Redneck Wedding

family

From left to right: Gabriella, Amber, Audriana, and Roy

So this past weekend my cousin Amber got married to her fiancé Roy. They have been together since they have been juniors and seniors in high school; which is 9 years total now. They have two beautiful little girls together named Gabriella and Audriana. Gabi is 8 years old and Audrey is 1.5 years old. I think it’s safe to say this wedding has been a long time coming.

gab and aud

The bridesmaids wore a very pretty blue colored dress. They all had different colored high heals that matched their flower bouquet. The groomsmen all wore black tuxes. The wedding took place outside. It was almost a perfect time to have a wedding outside because the weather cooperated so well. They were married at a place called “Camp Kenwood” in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. It on the lake and simply gorgeous.

bride

Before the wedding started my uncle, the brides father, topped a keg. All the guest and some of the wedding party started to drink before the ceremony. I have to be honest, this is the first wedding that I have ever been to that the guests start drinking before the wedding. Just about everyone that could drink was drinking. Not one person went empty handed. There was a big truck with 5 tabs, 4 were keg beer and 1 was root beer for the kids.

family 2

About 5 minutes before the ceremony my sister, boyfriend, and I go find a place to sit. My parents have to go back by the bridal party and walk down as part of the wedding because they are my cousin Amber’s God Parents. This was kind of strange to me as well, I have never heard of God Parents walking down as part of the wedding before. Anyways so as my sister, boyfriend and I are waiting for the wedding to start we are talking about how many empty chairs there were. As the wedding starts and everyone begins to walk down the isle, we look around and see half the guests standing around drinking beer. Most of the guests stood around the ceremony instead of taking a seat. Well you might be a redneck if…you stand for an entire wedding ceremony and drink beer. 

sisters    dad    boyfriend

After the ceremony there were lots and lots of pictures. I got pictures with a lot of my family members. Everyone, of course, continued to drink. There was a 2 hour social period before supper was served. I was able to catch up with my mothers aunts, my uncles, my cousins, and so many more people. About 1/2 hour before supper my cousin Amber, the bride, set up “beer pong”. Her and her husband played against their maid-of-honor and best man. In the mean time, my boyfriend and I played against my cousin Hailea and her boyfriend Brandon. Everyone was feeling pretty good by the time supper rolled around. 

bride and groom

Seasoned bone-in-chicken, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and cheesy potatoes were served for supper. Let me tell ya, it really hit the spot. Best wedding meal I think I have ever eaten. That’s my kind of meal. During supper, people came around and put two bottles of wine on each table. I decided not to drink any wine yet, I would wait until later. There was another 2 hour waiting period until the wedding dance was to start. So we walked around, talked to people, and of course drank. We admired all the pretty table and outside decorations that were all ideas taken from Pinterest. My cousin made all the decorations herself.

cake        cupcakes

The dance finally started. They did the introducing of the bridal party, father-bride dance, mother-groom dance, and the dollar dance. They then played some weird polka music. My boyfriend was to embarrassed to dance polka with me so we sat out during these types of songs. Later they brought out some kareoke which my cousin Hailea, sister Andrea, and I kicked off by singing “Call Me Maybe”. We totally rocked it. By this time my cousin Amber, the bride, brought me a whole bottle of wine she ordered me and my sister to drink. I guess I couldn’t disappoint her. However, we did play pass the wine around because there was no way my sister and I were going to drink that whole bottle alone. Can you say hello headache?

kareoke

At about 11pm they brought out the nacho bar. This was great. My boyfriend loaded up his plate with chips, cheese, ground hamburger, jalapeños, and salsa. He shared with me because he is a nice guy and by this point I probably needed some food. He is always looking out for me, that’s something I love about him. All I know is when I get married, I think I want a nacho bar too. This was a complete hit. After taking a little snack break it was back out on the dance floor. By midnight it was time to head back to my grandparents house, which is where we stayed that whole weekend. My mom kept saying that she just wanted to stay and dance. She didn’t want to leave but I finally got her to the car. My dad drove us back, mom was sleeping in the front seat before we even left, and my sister, boyfriend and I were squished in the back seat hoping for a quick ride back.

big family

From Left to right: my boyfriend (Travis), me (Emily), my dad (Bruce), my mom (Tammy), and my sister (Andrea).

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Tornado

Last night hit the all time record for being horrified. I had decided earlier that day to drive to Willmar to visit my old roommate Erin. We went to St. Cloud for the day and then headed home. On my way from Willmar to Marshall I decided to be a nice girlfriend and stop and see my boyfriend in Hanley Falls before I had to work. I worked at 10pm so I left around 9pm to have some time to get ready for my overnight.

As I began the usually 20 minute drive it began to rain tremendously. It was down pouring like no ones business. I was fine with the rain, driving a little slower than usual and it starts to thunder and lightening. I am still doing okay because I’m not to startled by storms. I saw lightening that seemed to be hitting the fields and the building tops as I drove by. I kept seeing what seemed to be a thousand flashes at a time. I had my radio on and I am signing along trying not to think about the weather when a news report came on saying a tornado was spotted outside of Marshall heading to Cottonwood at 15mph.

So now I began to panic. Remember I am supposed to be to work in about 45 minutes. Now there is a tornado people! A tornado on the ground heading right towards me. I was just about to pass the last exit to Cottonwood when I stopped my car and turned around to head into town. What was I supposed to do? I had never driven in this kind of weather before. Where was I supposed to go? I got on the phone with my team lead from work. As she answers the phone and I explain what is going on I can hear the panic in my shaky voice. No matter how hard I try to stay calm and collective, I hear the fear in my own voice. She is originally from Cottonwood and directed me to the gas station.

She stayed on the phone with me until I was safely inside Cenex. She assured me everything would be okay and to keep calm. I told the cashier what the radio had said but she didn’t believe me. She said her husband was firefighter and first responder and if something were to happen or be coming she would know about it. Not but seconds after she said this she gets a call to take cover. There were two other workers in the gas station. They gathered everything they needed and took it to the women’s bathroom. Right before the other worker and I were heading to the bathroom a car and a sheriff pull up. Another college student from SMSU had gotten stuck on the road and the sheriff helped direct her to the gas station.

The sheriff left to go be a spotter for the storm and the five of us girls went to hid out in the bathroom. As soon as the door was shut and secure one of the workers began to pray over us and to keep us safe. Then it was quiet. For over two hours we sat in this bathroom not knowing exactly what was going on. You could hear phones going off from text messages, the pounding of the rain hitting the steal roof top, and the hiss of the wind as it blew. The siren went off in town and a speaker system came on instructing everyone to take cover. There had been a tornado touch down in Green Valley and was heading our way. Then another.

So now there wasn’t just one but two sightings of tornados heading right for us. My body began to tremble. The noises out side grew louder and louder. My phone was running on low with only 8% battery life left. I let everyone know I was okay for the time being and would keep them updated as much as possible. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Was this really happening. We watched the clocks like hawks bracing ourselves for the worse. For over two hours we sat in this bathroom. My butt began to hurt but there was no way I was going anywhere.

Eventually the worker with the fire fighter and first responder’s husband called and said it was okay to get out of the bathroom. He had said that the storm kept rebuilding itself and would grow bigger each time creating the tornadoes and bad storm. I exchanged numbers with the SMSU student and she followed me back to Marshall. I made it to work eventually and no I wasn’t in trouble.

This was a heart pounding experience. I hope to never experience another situation like this one ever again. I hope everyone was left unharmed and minimal damage was done. I pray for all the families affected by this mess.

tornado   lightening   storm


 

Toy Story

Toy Story

Ever since I was a little kid, the Toy Story series movies have always been some of my favorites. However, my favorite of the three movies would have to be Toy Story 3. It is the final chapter of the series and goes through the struggles of the toys, as well as Andy, their owner, as he prepares to head off to college. This movie is my favorite because it is funny and I feel that as Andy grew up, I grew up with him. Throughout all of the movies, he was at a different stage in his life and I went through the same stages. Now we are both grown up and off to college.

The movie Toy Story 3 reveals the fate of the toys now that Andy is all grown up and going to college. The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college. While at the daycare, the toys meet Ken, the male Barbie, a hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants, and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear named Lotso. Woody decides to go back to Andy once he realizes he is at the daycare. He tries to convince the other toys to go with him but they think Andy doesn’t want them anymore because of this mix up. Therefore, Woody leaves the daycare alone.

At the beginning, Lotso comes off as very nice and helpful, but later all the toys see him for what he really is, a big bully. Lotso had once been owned by a little girl named Daisy. Unfortunately, Lotso snapped after his owner lost and replaced him, so he took over Sunnyside Daycare and turned it into a prison for toys. Coincidentally, Lotso turns out to be the antagonist in this movie. Lotso wants Buzz and the gang to be tortured by being played with roughly by the younger kids. The other part of the plan is when Lotso and his friends are played with; they handled more gently by the older kids. Buzz and the others discover that Andy is looking for them when Mrs. Potato Head sees him through her missing eye, which was lost in Andy’s room. The toys try to leave but are imprisoned by Lotso and his henchmen. Lotso found out that the toys are planning to escape so they lock everyone in bins.

During Woody’s escape from Sunnyside Daycare, he is found and taken in by a girl from the daycare named Bonnie. One of Bonnie’s toys, Chuckles the clown, reveals to Woody the truth about Lotso and Sunnyside and how it is now like a prison for toys.

Once Woody comes back and the gang works together they, overpower Lotso and his henchmen who become trapped at a garbage dump. They all almost die as they are being taken on the conveyor belt to be burned. At the last minute, they are rescued by a claw crane operated by the squeeze toy aliens. Later, Lotso is found by a garbage man, who ties him to the front of his truck. Finally, Andy’s toys make it back to his house and back into a box in his room. Woody writes a note and directions telling Andy to take the toys to Bonnie’s house while he is away at college. The reason they want he wants to go to Bonnie’s house is because then all the toys will be played with and loved again, instead of sitting in an attic collecting dust. Andy takes them there and the movie closes with him playing with Bonnie and all the toys one last time.

Southwest Minnesota State University student Aaron Sperl said, “I loved this movie because in the end all the toys stay together as Andy leaves for college. When Andy left the toys, I have to admit that I did get a little misty eyed. Although in the end I thought this was a great movie.” To go off of Aaron’s statement, I agree. I am very happy the toys ended up together because they have been through a lot in the other two movies. They deserve to end up with someone who is going to play with them and take good care of them in the end. I feel that it is better that they were taken to Bonnie’s house, where they can be loved, instead of being shoved into the attic and never played with again. However, did not cry at any point in the movie, but I have heard of other people whose emotions were effected besides Aaron. On the other hand, the movie wasn’t only emotional, it was also comical. A part I found rather funny was, when Mr. Potato Head had to use a tortilla as a body instead of a potato. He kept falling over because the tortilla couldn’t support his body parts. Another one of my favorite parts is when Mr. Potato Head says, “I told you kids to stay out of my butt.” It was funny because these three little peas popped out of his butt. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Overall, Toy Story 3 was a great movie for all ages. I could watch this movie over and over and never get bored of it. We all realize how Lotso and his friends turned out to be the bad guys and how Woody, Buzz and the gang always stick together and can get through any obstacle.

Chop, Snip, Cut

hair

 

So anyone who knows me knows that I have always had long hair. When my mom would take us to go get our hair cut I would always insist on getting a trim. I don’t know why I always wanted to have long hair but I did. It came to the point that my hair simply stopped growing. It didn’t matter how many trims I got, once it got to that spot it stopped growing. All I wanted was it to keep growing and growing. I would buy different shampoos and conditioners that were supposed to help but nothing worked. My parents began to think I was obsessed with my hair. I wouldn’t call it an obsession I just wanted long hair.

Well for the first time since the 8th grade I finally cut my hair. It was a little traumatizing for me. As I sat in the chair and had someone chop my hair off, I could feel my heart began to race. I just wanted to shut my eyes. There was no turning back now. All I saw was more and more hair falling to the floor. Once she was done cutting my hair I could breath. As I ran my fingers through my hair it was so strange. You expect it to take longer for your hand to reach the bottom of your hair but it suddenly stops.

I think I was so afraid to cut my hair in fear of not liking it or the fact I would have to wait forever to grow it back out. I mean what if I looked like a little kid? What would people think? Then I realized I don’t really care what people think. It’s my hair and the only opinion I should care about is my own. And as a matter of fact I do like my hair. Maybe a little more than I had expected. Change is different, but change can be good. Hair is hair. It will always grow back if I want it to.

 

AJ the Cat

AJ Say hello to AJ the cat. This is my boyfriend’s parents cat. She is 8 months old and a real pain in the butt sometimes. Although I would rather they have her than their previous cat Ally.

Ally was a real piece of work. She was 9 years old when I met her for the first time last December. Ally was an inside cat. She would hiss at anyone that would walk into the house. You couldn’t even walk ten steps without her having a hissy fit.

She was getting to the point where it was hard for her to see, she would run into walls, she would vomit on the floor, and she would bite people. The biting was the worse. She never attacked me until the night of March 8th, 2014. It was probably the scariest night of my life.

My boyfriend and I stop at his parents to say hello. They weren’t there so I ran inside to use the restroom before we headed to our friends place for the evening. Ally was sitting on the chair when I walked in. She didn’t even hiss. I said “hello Ally”, then walked to the bathroom. As I came out of the bathroom and walked towards the kitchen Ally attacks me from my right. She pounced and grabbed onto my leg and bit as hard as she could.

My adrenaline started immediately. It all happened so fast. I grabbed her from behind the neck, while she is still attached to my leg, and I pull her off and throw her against the water jug they have in their kitchen. I then proceed to run down the steps to put my shoes on. First of all, dumb move. I should have never ran. Ally got up and jumped off the ledge by the steps before I had the chance to get my shoes on. She had me backed up in the corner by the closet and the door to go outside.

Ally once again jumped up and bit my leg. By this point my leg was throbbing and I was trying not to cry. I tried to reach my phone to call my boyfriend, who just had to stay in the car. I am trying not to scream as I am trying to kick Ally off of me. She is growling and snarling at me. My boyfriend just happened to look up from inside the car and I see him run to the house. Right before he opened the door Ally unlatched from my leg and sat a foot away from my feet.

My boyfriend opened the door and just knew what had happened. I couldn’t talk. He kicked Ally to get her away from me. I quickly walked to the car as he took the cat downstairs. I remember sitting in the car as I started to get feeling back into my body as all my adrenaline left. I looked down and had a tear in my jeans and blood already seeping through them.

I was so embarrassed. That whole night at our friends I felt miserable. My boyfriend told his parents the next day what had happened. Two days later Ally was put down. This is what led to getting AJ. AJ stands for Ally Jr. A little creepy but at least she is a lot nicer than Ally was. My boyfriend and I brought AJ to his parents in April. She was just a kitten, and still is. She is loosing her baby teeth which is the reason why she is gnawing and bitting everything. When you are sleeping she likes to crawl on your face and sit there. It isn’t convenient at all.

Even though AJ can be a pain in my butt I am thankful my boyfriend’s parents have a cat that doesn’t want to attack me or anyone else anymore.

Be Happy

From left to right: Photo1 – My parents (Tammy & Bruce), Photo2 – My sister, Cousin and I – (Andrea, Emily, Sarah, & Mariah), Photo3 – My boyfriend and I – (Emily & Travis).

 mom and dad  family   boyfriend

Today is a beautiful day. To start off, I woke up breathing and thats always a good thing. I was able to work on homework, call my parents, talk to my sisters, see my boyfriend and simply be happy. I began to think about all the things and people I am grateful for. My parents have been there for me through thick and thing. My sisters always have my back. My friends except me for my imperfections. And my boyfriend who can make me laugh in almost any given situation. I could go on and on with a list of reasons why these people are important to me but instead here is a poem I found fitting and would like to share.

“Happiness Within” – Author: Anonymous

High to low them ups and downs,
Like my world, from smiles to frowns.
Happiness is a place that seems in reach,
One for oneself, we look to find it each.
But is this a mission or are we all blinded to see?
That’s it’s within ourselves, but we scorn to agree?
The simplest things in life, are hard to be grateful for,
Which is why happiness is dug deep into our core .
Open your eyes and see its within,
And once you see it, life well take you for a spin.

Everyday people take waking up, having a roof over their head, food in their bellies, and a job to go to, for granted. So many people in our world are without much less than this and they still find time to be grateful for what they have. It’s the little things that mean the most. So be happy today.

Licorice Laces

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So have you heard of this old time candy called “Shoelace Licorice”? Apparently it is “candy from the past”. I just discovered it today. It is pretty awesome. It is licorice that is roughly 36 inches long! It is soft and chewy. And simply awesome. I think I actually prefer this over licorice made today.

The original name is Licorice Laces. They are sometimes and more often called Licorice Shoe Laces. This may be because of the movie made by Charlie Chaplin. He had a set of licorice shoe laces made to be used as a prop for his classic 1925 film The Gold Rush. In the movie the character eats shoe leather to avoid starvation.

In the past Licorice Laces were only made in black (licorice) and red (strawberry) licorice. Today they have tons of different flavors, some include grape, green apple, watermelon, and raspberry. I have tried both the grape and green apple. Out of these two I would say green apple is my favorite.

Trying this “new” but “old” candy made me think of some of my favorite candy as a kid. Growing up we weren’t allowed to really eat candy unless it was a special occasion. Maybe thats why I don’t exactly like eating candy that often now. As a kid I always wanted pixy stixs, wonder balls, and baby bottle pops. I also remember Doritos 3D and Little Barrel Juice Jugs. It is funny how excited you can be as a kid and want all these things, but once you get older they don’t seem like such a big deal.

Then I began to think about the types of advertising done and who these companies are targeting. Why did these candy and “junk” food seem so appealing to me? Well it’s because of the advertising that was done to promote these items. Candy is colorful and “kid friendly”. No wonder I wanted these types of “treats”. Why types of candy do you remember as a kid?

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