family

Everything Passes With Time

It is a sad day in the Moore family. Unexpectedly, one of our guinea pigs, mine to be more specific, has passed away. It was the last of the “original four” guinea pigs we have had.

His name was Cheech. He was a skittish Abyssinian guinea pig that loved carrots and his building block hideout.

It’s a funny story how Cheech (and his brother) came into our house. My sisters had gotten an exciting gift of guinea pigs, probably around their eighth birthday. Since they are twins, that means double the pig and double the fun!

Their names were Chilli and Cha-Chi. I’m not sure where those names came about, but I had the feeling my parents were part of the persuasion.

Of course, pet store employees don’t have credentials, and it turns out Chilli was a boy, and Cha-Chi a girl. And we all know what happens when you mix a boy and a girl together. Clearly, there is no sex-ed for rodents.

Some time later, Cha-Chi gave birth to two adorable baby guinea pigs (both male, we checked). My brother and I were delighted because now we both could have our very own guinea pigs. So as you already know, Cheech was mine, and my brother named his Ozzy (again, do you think there was parental persuasion?).

We had some great times growing up with our guinea pigs. They were one happy, rolly-polly and fuzzy family. They loved to eat grass in the sun, and they weeped around in our hallway as they playfully chased each other. We called this “The Running of the Pigs.”

After the other three died, Cheech remained. He had some other friends of course, what, you thought we wouldn’t get more pigs? Although, the original four is where it all started.

As we get older, I think we fail to neglect childhood memories, which sometimes may be pets. As a child, having a small pet like a hamster or a fish is the greatest thing in the world. As we get older, we tend to lose the excitement we once felt. Although it is never truly lost, just dormant. Those memories are still there, and so is that excitement. The memories come out of dormancy once we realize that they are gone. Then all we want is to go back in time.

Of course, just because I was older and my priorities changed, my guinea pig was not left in the basement to starve. My mother took great care of all of our guinea pigs because she loved them, probably more than we loved them.

All my siblings, and I, have our memories now. The memories are more than just the pet, it is everything else that came with the pet. It’s having to go and clean them out on a hot summer’s day and making an event out of it. It’s cutting up vegetables in the kitchen for the guinea pigs to enjoy. It’s begging our mom to let us do the “Running of the Pigs,” and video taping our laughter. It’s carefully watching the mama guinea pig give birth, trying our hardest not to make a sound.

It’s our childhood, my childhood. It is the knowing that time has passed, and it is time that we will never get back. I just wish I had realized how important those memories are, because maybe I would have cherished them a little harder.

Rest easy, Cheech.

 

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Being a Better “Me”

I do this every year. I claim that I will work out, and be healthier, but it never happens. Do we every truly commit and complete our resolutions? I know I never did. Sure, the month of January would go smoothly with me eating right, but I would soon give up and go back to my bad habits. I think this year it will be different. I decided I truly will be a healthier person. But let me blab to you about my life story, so you really will get the feel of why I want to make a change.

I had a good childhood. I was always the smallest kid in my class, and the most petite. I did have stick-like legs and arms, and rarely gained weight. My friends parents would call me a garbage disposal, and they would always plop extra helpings of food on my plate, trying to “fatten” me up, so to speak.

Then of course, puberty took its toll, and I realized I no longer had that awesome metabolism like I once did. Sure, I could still eat as much as I wanted of all the delicious foods my friends were wary about, but I had noticed I was developing a pudgy tummy. I still was the smallest of my friends though, so I never thought anything of my growing pouch of flubber.

I ran a lot my with my family when I was younger, and we always played a ton of sports that involved getting too sweaty. Both my mother and father were extremely fit back then, and are to this day, even if they are creeping into their mid 50’s. My mother is in better shape than I am, and my father has enough muscle that scared any of my potential boyfriends away.

I joined track in high school, and with all the working out I was actually hungrier than if I wouldn’t have been working out. The good thing was I got toned, and I felt a lot more in shape, even if I did have the appetite as a hungry-hungry-hippo.

Unfortunately, once high school ended, I certainly wasn’t driven towards exercising and eating healthy. I (embarrassingly) consumed too much fast food the year before freshman year. Obviously, this is a huge cause of weight gain, and add on the fact I wasn’t very active (I worked all summer) you can bet I packed on the freshman 15 before school had even started.

Thankfully, college changed my eating habits. I lost the 10-15 lbs just by cutting out fast food altogether (and swearing off the garbage). Since I commuted, I was forced to pack a healthy lunch, or I would be forced to spend $10 on a salad from my school’s pub.

Since I am still a commuter, I spend a good portion of my day running to and from either the train or my house. It takes up time that could be spent napping, relaxing, or you guessed it, exercising. My courses were hard freshman year because I had a lot of classes that had nothing to do with my major, so I often spent most of my free time keeping my grades up. I would go straight home and change for work, or sometimes, go straight from school to work. I always work until 9 p.m. so I don’t have much free time when I get back home. It’s quick eat dinner, get ready for tomorrow, and do my homework or study. As you may guess, exercising was not on my to-do list.

Now, this year, I had a hard time managing my time. I have another job working at my school in the marketing and communications

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. " Thomas A. Edision

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ” Thomas A. Edision

department. It’s not a grueling, physical job, but I do have to be in the office for it to count as work. It takes up time that I would probably spend doing homework (or maybe exercising?) but I love the job, and I love the experience I am getting. So, it’s been hard to work in eating right and exercising, on top of going to school full-time, working two part time jobs, and having a social life.

Some people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it, working and going to school.” Sure I love the money, but to be honest, I love the jobs just as much. I always wondered how other people stay active even with a busy life. How do they get up at 4 a.m. and go for a 5 mile run before heading off onto their commute for work? How do they squeeze in working out at the gym after an eight hour day at the office? How do they find time to pack a healthy lunch, when it’s easier to just pick up lunch at convenient store?

Well, they love it. I’d also say motivation. If you think positively, you can pretty much do anything.  I also like to think you need a support group, an entourage, cheerleaders; you name it. Just someone who will be there for you no matter what.

One of my challenges has been finding my motivation. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who only want what is best for me. But, a flaw I have is comparing myself to all my close friends and family, which gives me nothing but doubt.

It’s hard having two extremely fit parents because it seems like everything they do works for them. It’s hard having a naturally in-shape boyfriend, and friends. I look at them and think, why can’t it be that simple?

Every time I have tried to get back into my healthy habits, I have been surrounded by discouragement. Not by everyone, just some people don’t understand. They see me eating carrot sticks and a yogurt and complain, “You don’t need to eat like that, here, have a cookie.” And so I eat that cookie, because they make me feel like I don’t need to eat the healthy food. People are always telling me, “Oh stop. You don’t need to cut back, you’re skinny” or “You’re tiny what are you talking about??”

No. I’m not tiny. I’m not just some insecure girl who wants to be like the girls she sees in magazines and movies. I just want to be a healthier person. It’s not weird to like yogurt, nuts, protein bars, salads, vegetables, or fruits. I sure do love my sweets, my carbs, and my sodium. But I can’t consume it all the time. That’s not me.

I’ve started this “New Madi” thing Monday. It’s only been about a week, but I’m keeping it up. I haven’t gone crazy and eaten a whole cake. I downloaded this app on my iPod called My Fitness Pal, which helps you keep track of exercising, diet, and calories.

It sounds like every other calorie counting app out there, but so far, I have nothing bad to say. When I look down at my iPod and it tells me I ate cookies and cake as my snacks, it’s a slap in the face. It’s right there in front of me, and it gives me the motivation to do something good for myself. So, when I look down and see all these healthy things I have eaten for the day, it makes me smile, and gives me the strength to keep going.

I’m trying to add more cardio, strength exercises, and yoga into my life. Hopefully I can work out at least three times a week for the rest of the semester. I hope to hear from others about their motivation for working out, or maybe if you have a story of how you changed and became healthier!

 

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

 

There is Only One “You”

Sometimes I wonder what I would define as friendship. I just look at what I value in all of my closest friends. A true friend is there for you no matter what happens. Every bump in the road, they are right there beside you. They don’t judge you for who you are, or who you are becoming.

Over time, we all will change, and it’s those true friends that will stand by you through these tough times. I know that through the end of college I will become a completely different person, and I hope that I still will share good relationships with the people that mean the most to me.

I’ve realized that close friends can even do things wrong. The smallest thing can upset you in the biggest way. But, if you truly care about a person, you will not throw away the relationship. You will only try that much harder to make it better.

I know that I have said things to my friends that they may have disagreed with, or even started a fight over. I can only hope that one day they will see I have meant no harm and only have tried to make myself a better friend. I’ve found that holding things inside only makes you an angry and bitter person. It doesn’t help the relationship, only hurts it.

But sometimes telling people how you really feel is equally as bad. Sometimes when you tell someone how you really feel, whether it be for something big or small, can cause more problems than good things.

With my new year’s resolution of caring about myself and my feelings, I think that I may be misunderstood by someone close to me. I only hope that one day they can see the reason for what I have said or done. Taking care of your feelings should come first, because there is only one “you.”

Christmas is too Fast

The worst part about Christmas is that it goes by too quickly. Everything is one big blur.

You spend an entire month preparing for this one holiday.

You make sure the family can come over, or you figure out how many houses you need to visit. You make sure you can fly into a certain town the night before, or if you can drive all the way to so-and-so’s house to make it in time for dinner.

You decorate your house with garland and goofy knick knacks that only show their faces every December. You select the perfect pine, or maybe you drag one up from the basement, and fill it with every ornament that was packed away.

You watch your dad balance a stapler in his mouth as he climbs a ladder, all to string some lights that will sparkle when the sun goes down.

You make your lists and check them twice as you enter the stores, trying to find that perfect gift for your loved one. Then you go ask your boss for more hours because how the heck are you going to afford that…

You whip out every cookbook you own, call up your mom and frantically try and figure out what you should make for the eve and the day of Christmas.

Then finally, Christmas morning arrives. I don’t care how old you are, there is no way you can sleep in on Christmas morning. As you slug down the stairs (where’s the coffee?) and watch the young kids bounce into the room filled with goodies, you realize this is the moment you have been waiting for, and it doesn’t even matter that the sun isn’t up.

Soon everyone is done unwrapping and hugging, and there is still much to do on Christmas day. But the worst part is when everything winds down, and you realize the day is over. You realize the much anticipated day has arrived and left, just like that. It’s another Christmas to remember. Thankfully, everything was worth it, and now you can just start thinking about next Christmas!

 

Thankful for Thanking

Although I try to value the little things in my life everyday, it is nice to have a holiday devoted to thankfulness.  It’s great to gather with friends and family and realize the things that matter the most.

So, for all of the people who are near and dear to me, this is for you (and perhaps other fellow WordPressers can find enjoyment out of this post):

Throwback! My sisters (twins). I also have a brother, who is not pictured.

I am thankful for all of the necessities I have.  Food, water, a house, and my health.  You don’t really think about how all of that is important, but it isn’t a right that everyone has.  There are the less fortunate that may lack food or water, which some of us waste everyday.  I try to not waste food or water because I know that there are those out there would jump at the opportunity to have what I have.

I am thankful for my friends and my family.  When I have a rough day or I feel under the weather, I know there are those special people waiting for me to feel better.  Sometimes when I feel a bit sad, a hug from my mom will make it all better.  My boss knows I am coming straight from school and I don’t have time to eat, so she will sometimes bring me in a snack.  My friends always listen to my stories, no matter how long and boring they will be.  There are people out there who may have a rough home life, and they may not have loving arms to walk into after a rough day.  Some people may not have close friends to get them through the day either.  I am happy that I have both.

I am thankful for a strong relationship with my boyfriend.  I am thankful that he only lives an hour away instead of being in a

Goofiest couple there is.

different state or country.  I am happy that he has helped me on my journey to becoming a better person.  He is not only my boyfriend, but my best friend.  I know not every girl can be as lucky as I am, but I am thankful everyday for what him and I share.

I am thankful for my kitties, of course.  I know it sounds weird to be thankful for them, but they are the best pets a girl can ask for.  When you don’t have a human around you for comforting, they are there ready to comfort you.  I am thankful for the fact that I am even allowed to have a pet, and I value their warm little presences every day! Meow!

Florence and Zooey

I am thankful for the fact that I can further my education with college.  I know that not every young adult has this option.  I know that at one point I was not sure if I would even be able to go to college.  Although some days I dread going to class or I feel overwhelmed with what I have to do for school, I am thankful that I can look forward to a brighter future.

Lastly, I am thankful for my jobs.  The economy is rough, and blame whoever you want, but those of us that have jobs (no matter how small) should be thankful.  There are some people out there who struggle to get by with what they have, and I am thankful that my two small part-time jobs are helping me pay for what is important to me right now (which sometimes may include coffee in excess).

Five years later, she’s still my best friend.

These are the most important things that I am thankful for.  I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving can have a wonderful day filled with what matters the most (okay, pumpkin pie can count).  If you are in a place that does not have this holiday, I hope that you can take the time to at least think about what you value, and let them know.

 

The Forgotten Holiday

Every month there is some sort of holiday or special event that we celebrate.  You could live in the United States, England, or even on Mars, I don’t care where I just know that you celebrate something (be it a national holiday, a local celebration, or maybe your friend’s birthday).  Each of the twelve months has something to offer.

Except in November.

What’s that you say?  There is a holiday in November?  Oh, that’s right, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday in my book.  You may think I am crazy, but let me explain.

First, when kids start heading back to school, the stores start packing their items with superhero costumes, gore makeup, leaf decorations, pumpkin figurines, and big family size packages of candy.  We all groan and say, “But it’s only August!”  Yet we all stock up on the goodies and prepare for the festive holiday of Halloween.  Not long after Halloween merchandise comes out do we begin to see tinsel, jingle-bell cards, fake pine trees, shiny ornaments, dreidels, and Jolly ol’ Saint Nick.  Again, we groan, “But it’s only the end of October!”  Pretty soon everyone starts getting excited about December, and all the fun things that come with it.  Ah, just hear those sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingaling.

Hold the one-horse open sleigh, we just skipped a holiday!

But I thought Christmas comes after Halloween?

We are forgetting a holiday!  Now, I don’t mean we are directly forgetting Thanksgiving, but unless you are in elementary school making pilgrim hats and hand-traced turkeys, you don’t really care too much about this holiday.  Maybe your mom made you go pick up some canned cranberry sauce and that made you remember that Thanksgiving is approaching.  You probably care more about Black Friday (that iPad is $100 cheaper…).  We are forgetting what the holiday is about.  We are too busy thinking of the vacation we get in December or the snow or the gifts.  Calm it down folks, it ain’t Christmas just yet.

It’s not our fault that we want the Christmahanakwanza spirit to come a little early.  With the stores packing their shelves with all of December’s favorite things it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself.  And that darn radio…

Whatever happened to listening to winter jingles when it is actually the time of the year?  I don’t want to hear how mommy kissed Santa and that you want a hippopotamus for Christmas, or that you want me for Christmas.  I don’t want to hear about chestnuts roasting on some open flame, or how some reindeer had a deformed nose that glowed.  I will listen to all of these perhaps the week before Christmas.

Call me crazy, but I would like to enjoy my November.

To all of you who rushed to put out your Christmas lights, and light-up reindeer and hanging stars and other gaudy ornaments of the winter season, shame on you!  It isn’t even December!  I would say a fair time for hanging up the decorations is  after Thanksgiving.  No earlier than that.

The holidays around December are always fun.  It’s all about having fun with friends and family, and being thankful for what you have (and maybe getting a gift or two…).  But that’s also what Thanksgiving is all about.  Sure, it’s a total American holiday (especially since it revolves around eating) but who is to say we don’t have a right to celebrate?  You should enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family, sit around the table and talk about what you are thankful for, and of course, eat delicious and fattening foods.  Let’s just put the pause on December shall we?  Then maybe you will hear me singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

Staying Drunk on Writing (Somewhat of a Celebratory Post)

As you are reading this, you must know that it is my 50th WordPress post.

*Applause*

Thank you, thank you.  I have been blogging since March of 2011, which to me seems so very far away!  I have definitely improved as not only a writer, but a journalist, and an individual.  But, I have still kept the backbone of who I am and who I will always be.

I thought about what would make a great 50th post.  I know it’s only 50, but I started out with a meager one-post-a-month a year ago.  Now, 54 followers later, over 7,000 hits, a Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr account to boost my ratings; I’m fairly satisfied.

Without anymore stalling, I decided to celebrate this mini stepping stone, and to do so I will enlighten all with the many interesting facts of Madi (that’s me by the way).

Let us begin…

I was named after the movie Splash.

I used to not eat bananas because a girl told me the little brown parts in the fruit were actually spider eggs, and they would hatch inside my brain.

I have three Pillow Pets.

I have a huge obsession with Winnie the Pooh, which I show with a homemade “Pooh’s Corner.”  I have stuffed animals, cards, Pez collectors, all of the books, puzzles, mugs, snow globes and paintings (I’m really an adult, I swear!)

I snort when I laugh.

I am currently reading A Game of Thrones, Franny and Zooey, Martha’s American Food, Dare Me, Shiver, Peanut Butter and Jeremy’s Best Book Ever, A Brief History of Thought, and The Consolations of Philosophy. 

I commute to college, and work part-time (even though it feels like full-time) at a library.

I love to meet new people, as long as they aren’t going to potentially kill me, stalk me, etc.

Lists are my friends.

I probably should be diagnosed with some form of OCD.  I am always organizing things, especially Colin’s room (which he never keeps clean).

I LOVE KITTIES.

Pigs are my all-time favorite animal. And manatees.

I’m really loud, laugh a lot, and of course, talk a lot.

I am addicted to coffee, and to fuel that addiction, I have a collection of mugs from a variety of places (I’m over 50 mugs!)

I want to be a reporter, work for a newspaper, and write for as long as I live.

Before deciding I wanted to write forever and a day, I wanted to be a marine biologist.  Then I got a C in biology….that career choice defused quickly.

I hate constructive criticism.

I am a girly-girl.  I wish I could wear dresses everyday.  Although, yoga pants would suffice.

I love my boyfriend Colin with my whole heart!  And all of my very close friends who read my blog and put up with my shenanigans.

I wish I could sing, paint, take amazing pictures, and could solve a math problem without crying.

I think I’m amusing.

Fin?

“I’ll show you all that I am.”
-Rob Thomas

No matter where I go in life, I will remember these weird quirks and traits I have.  I think whenever someone asks me, “Tell me something unique about yourself,” I freeze up.  What do you mean unique?  What does that mean?  So, I tell the person what they want to hear, not the funny facts like I listed.  Some people are good at sports, others science and math.  I just think I’m a charming girl a majority of the time.  Someone who is always kind to others, even when they don’t deserve it.  Someone who loves to talk, and meet others who share the same passions.  But mostly, I’m a girl who loves to write, and even at 50 posts, I know I’ll never stop.

Cheers to those who have been here for me every step of the way.  I couldn’t do this without you.