Messy Girls Anonymous…They have that, right?

In lieu of any social plans, last night I decided to clean my apartment.

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It’s really unfortunate.

And when I say, “clean my apartment,” I don’t mean the kind of clean that happens 10 minutes before someone comes over. I mean actually clean; vacuumed floors, laundry folded and every single dish washed kind of clean.

I was sleeping with a pile of clean clothes on my bed for, like, a week. A week!! This is why I don’t have a boyfriend. I need all the extra room in my bed for piles of clean clothes.

I hope my mother doesn’t want grandchildren someday, because her daughter’s an absolute mess.

Now here’s the actual hard part: keeping it clean.

Every damn time I clean my apartment, I think, “Now, C, you’ve got to keep things tidy and start putting things away when you take them out.”

However, I must have missed that day in kindergarten. I never put anything away after I take it out. I’m a piler. I just pile shit on top of other shit and then it turns into a nice tall organized mess.

I am stopping the cycle though. Today is a new day! I can take on any challenge! I am my own worst enemy! Whatever.

Seriously though, who wants to take bets on how long it lasts?

I’ve got $5 on two days.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Six Years

Seventh grade sucks for just about everyone, but I’d argue that there are even more unimaginable levels of suckage when you have to go through it as a 12 year old girl and things are already screwy. Whether it was bullies saying that my eyes were too big and that I looked like a fish or the teachers saying that my voice was too loud and that I needed to learn how to talk in hushed tones, the ridicule seemed never-ending. Every day seemed like a new day for torture, until the day when I realized I would take the torture of 1000 bullies than to go through even one day of the month of April in 2005.

I’d had a good childhood leading up to my middle school years. I was considered one of the lucky ones because I grew up in a nice home, in the kind of small town where you never had to lock your doors, and I had two of the best parents who would’ve done anything for my sister and me.

For six years before my seventh grade year, our family took the phrase “live like you’re dying” very literal. We traveled to the places we’d only dreamed of going, we never said no to opportunities that came our way and we always made the best of every situation we were thrown into.

Those six years were some of the best years of my life and were filled with more love than anyone could possibly imagine.

Although, never in those six years did I think I’d lose him.

Never did I think I would be brought to my knees, screaming on the sidewalk outside of my middle school after my mom told me that the doctors thought my dad was dying and never did I think I would watch my dad cry when his oncologist told him that he was in the early stages of liver failure and they had done all they could do.

Watching my father fight colon cancer for six years was like watching a boxer get the crap kicked out of him again and again during a match, but always managing to get back up on his feet. He would be bloodied and bruised, but would always come back swinging with a new level of determination each time that made you cheer for him even harder.

But, all fights come to an inevitable end and his fight was one of the greats.

Not once did he let on to how much pain he was really in or how scared he was to leave my mother alone and miss my sister and I grow up. Not once did he let my mother, sister and me go a day without knowing how much he loved us and how we shouldn’t be afraid to move forward and find happiness, even though he wouldn’t be around to see it.

After his death, it was hard to be happy without him, to laugh without him and to smile without him. But I always remembered what he’d said and knew that I would smile again. Someday, I knew I would.

Eventually, I would smile thinking about those six years of wheelchair races in the Mayo Clinic tunnels, of him helping me with my algebra, only to look in the back of the book and seeing a different answer than the one he came up with, of our car rides on the back-roads listening to Sting and the Beatles, of how he would come to my basketball games and cheer me on even though I was probably the worst on the team, and of him coming to school one morning to pull the bullies, who had made fun of my eyes, out of class and give them a stern talking-to.

I would smile thinking about how much love he had for his family, his friends and his life and I would smile knowing that my father fought and fought so that he could have six years with all of the people and things he loved, when his doctors originally gave him only six months.

This year marks the tenth year I’ve lived in a world without my dad, but I know I have to keep living life to the fullest anyway. I know he’d want me to, or at least that’s what I’d learned in my last six years with him.

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My fighter. My protector. My dad.

Until next time,

C. Brooks

Vacationing from Life

Hidey ho everyone!

For the past week I’ve taken a step back from blogging and a step back from life to get some quality r&r on the beach.

I traveled to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on Saturday and am now crying in the airport as we speak having to go back to Wisconsin.

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The iconic Hilton Head lighthouse

Okay, so I’m not really that crazy woman sobbing at the airport gate, but I’m still super sad to leave such a beautiful place.

I haven’t been to the island in a couple of years and I always forget how lush and green the whole southern part of the U.S. is! Seriously, the ‘tree-tunnels’ over the roads with Spanish moss hanging everywhere was such a welcome sight after leaving the dead/in hibernation state that Wisconsin is in.

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Green. Was. EVERYWHERE. 😀

Not only did I miss seeing the lush green everywhere, I missed the smell of the ocean and the feeling of the sand between my toes.

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Animal friends, pt. 1

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Animal friends, pt. 2

I felt a bit like the start of a personal ad for most of the time there because I really did love the long walks on the beach. I took one at least twice per day. And during this time, I found six sand dollars! Now, I’m not sure if any of you are shell collectors, and I’m not really either, but I feel like a sand dollar is kind of a big deal. But I guess I’m just that awesome, whatevs. 🙂

Besides hanging out on the beach and laying out in the sun, my traveling partner extraordinaire, aka Gramma, and I went to all the must-see local spots on the island and even managed to take a day-trip to Charleston.

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The Salty Dog Cafe = ahhhhmazing Arnie Palmers

We had fun just traveling all over South Carolina because not only were we trying to get some r&r from our actual lives, but we were also trying to forget the hellish day we had traveling to South Carolina.

It turns out that both of our first flights were delayed and that my Gma couldn’t come pick me up in Savannah, Georgia like she had planned to before we both drove to the island.

Now, I know you’re thinking, “But, C, you can just rent a car and drive to Hilton Head yourself. Problem solved!”

Au contraire, mon frere. Au contraire.

When I got to Savannah, my Gma had just gotten into Charleston –a whole three hours away. I figured, “nbd,” but then I get to the Hertz desk and the lady says, ever so sweetly in her Southern accent, “I’m sorry darlin’, we don’t have any cars left and being that this is a such a small airport, I’m not sure if anyone else has one for you either without a reservation already.”

My mouth dropped.

Sure I could wait three hours, but I had already left the gate area where there was food and electricity that I could siphon. So since I had been traveling for the past nine hours at this point having nothing to eat, I was a bit hangry and a bit huffy-puffy.

After calling mom to vent a bit, I decide to try National to get a car. I figure, if anything, I at least have something to do until Gma gets here to pick me up.

I’m third in line and things look promising. Then the National desk closes and only Alamo is open, but since the two are in alliance with one another, they just said that the lines could merge.

This all sounds fine in theory, except when the lines don’t actually merge, but are actually kind of stacked on top of one another. Guess which end I got stuck on?

So now I’m seventh in line and the queue is moving about as fast as the speed of smell.

I then start to worry that there will be no cars available.

and then…LIGHTBULB!!!

I decide to go on Alamo’s website and reserve a car before I go up to the counter and act like I had reserved the car the whole time.

WOOHOO!! C. is cookin’ with gas now!

I get up to the counter and the poor soul working the desk looks like she is just about done with life, but is nice to me anyway and gives me the keys to a beautiful Jetta.

From that moment on, she was my favorite person that day.

I get the car and the only problem I have now is to make it to the island before my phone/GPS dies.

I’ll save you the story of my many prayers up to baby Jesus and just let you know that I got there in one piece.

Was I a complete hangry hot mess when I arrived? But of course.

I was just glad to be there and ready to go to bed at that point.

Thankfully, Grams took me to dinner and we had crabcakes that were so good, they pretty much salvaged the night. 🙂

I thank heavens that the rest of the trip was smooth sailing. We came at the best time of year too, because it’s not tourist season yet and we would miss all the craziness of the RBC Heritage PGA golf tournament this weekend. While I would’ve loved to stay and watch the tournament, I’m glad I got to leave before the tourist rush.

I’m so glad I was able to spend a week in paradise just relaxing and forgetting about all the troubles back home. However, now that I’m sitting at my gate going through all of my missed work email, I’m kinda wishing I could go back and stay forever!

I hope your weeks were as good as mine and that your weekends coming up will be even better!

Until next time,

C. Brooks

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Probs my favorite picture from the trip. Dat reflection doe…

P.S. If you want to see more photos of my trip, feel free to follow me on Instagram!