Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Concert!

Hi everybody!
So, a couple of weeks ago, when I was still in Maine visiting Saoirse on a break (my parents allowed me to stay extra long because I was already caught up with most everything in school and I hadn't seen Saoirse since August), she invited me to go see a Christmas concert. Saoirse's new friend Caroline from the time traveling base that they attend had never been to a Christmas concert before, so Saoirse took us both out to see it!

We decided to sit right in the front row! The performers did an amazing job singing old time carols in a beautifully remastered way! Each person even got a poinsettia plant after the show! I had such a great time with Saoirse, like always giggling and having fun, and it was so nice to meet her friend Caroline! We all had a wonderful time and it certainly put everyone in the holiday spirit! 

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone!
Merry Christmas to all of those who celebrate it! The morning of the 25th of December has been one of craziness for as long as I can remember. When I was younger and my older brother and sister were still living at home, we would all get up extremely early and try to drag our parents out of bed. Then, family members would begin to show up and soon our whole house was full! Now, I wake up a lot later than I used to, but the house still seems to fill up until it's busting at the seams with people! Anywho, when i woke up this Christmas morning, I had to scramble to find something to wear because people were already showing up, and I was nowhere near ready! I grabbed a random shirt and skirt from my dresser, and wrestled myself into it in record time. I didn't realize until I looked in the mirror in my bathroom that I had grabbed my summer clothes from Belize! With no time to change my clothes, I flew downstairs all the while trying to make myself look as presentable as possible.

After hugging everyone, and eating a massive breakfast because my mom loves to go overboard, IT WAS PRESENT TIME!!!! Now that I'm older I appreciate visiting family more than opening up presents, but still, it's always going to be fun to open gifts!

 The first present I was give was wrapped in a pretty red polka dot gift bag with plum wrapping paper. The tag said that it was all the way from my friend Dani in Maine! Thanks, Dani! 

 I eagerly grabbed the tissue paper and tore it out of the bag!

 Inside was a delicate white box, with a beautiful pink ribbon. 

Finally, inside I found a pair of Ugg sheepskin boots, a pretty pink t-shirt and cute white pants with a heart design on the side. I really needed warmer clothes, so thank you so much Dani!

 Next, I was given a beautifully wrapped box from my mom and dad! The paper was so pretty I almost didn't want to tear it!

 Finally, I decided to take it off as gently as possible. 

 I almost let a squeal of delight escape my mouth when I saw it was a box from American Girl! I really love some of their clothes!

I opened up the box and inside was the coziest outfit I have ever seen! Thanks Mom and Dad! 

 Lastly, I grabbed another present in the same starry paper. It said that it was from my older brother and sister! 

 Inside was another American Girl box! But this time it contained the prettiest coat I have ever seen!

 Here's a close-up of the coat :) Thanks Heather and Jason! 

After opening presents, all of the guys in the family watched football and then went outside to play football in the cold Michigan weather. The girls stayed inside to chat and help my mom and my grandmothers get our huge ham dinner together. However, I became bored with crimping the edges of pie dough, so I went outside to join my Dad and Jason to play some catch in my new coat. 

 I am so thankful I have such a big family that can envelop me in so much love! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving in Rangeley!

Hey everyone!
Saoirse and her family had to travel for Thanksgiving to visit some relatives, but I got to stay in Maine! Saoirse's parents felt really bad that they had flown me to Maine, but then had to turn around and leave, so they called my parents and told them that we could stay in their cabin in Rangeley for Thanksgiving Break! I'm so happy to be here, but it's a little bittersweet considering Saoirse isn't with me, and everything here brings back memories of summer :/ Anywho, tonight my parents and I decided to experiment with the fireplace. We bought a couple of Duraflame logs at the local IGA(an independently owned grocery store), put them in the fireplace and soaked in the warmth.

Here's the fire :) 

My mom snuck up behind me and took a picture. I couldn't help but sit as close as possible to the fire, it gives off such a cozy feeling! :)

My first night in Rangeley seems to be straight out of a postcard. Warm fire, check. Loving family, check. Rustic cabin, check. 
The only thing missing is Saoirse. I have the Thanksgiving episode of Dawson's Creek on repeat, but it isn't the same without her. However, this time of the year is not the time to wallow about missing someone. It's a time to be thankful for what you have, even if they're not always with you, and to try to spread cheer as much as possible. I hope all of you reading this will reach out to help someone out this holiday season and are filled to the brim with joy! Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S. and happy holidays everyone! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trip to the Craft Fair

Hey everybody! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, school has been über busy!

This weekend I received possibly the greatest surprise ever...
A PLANE TICKET TO VISIT MY FRIEND SAOIRSE IN MAINE!!!!!!!!!!! Her parents emailed it to my parents and it was waiting on my kitchen table when I got home from school. Saoirse really wanted me to visit her for Thanksgiving Break and their was a local craft fair going on in her town this weekend, so she begged her parents to pay for my plane ticket to see her, and everything else fell into place. 

The craft fair was amazing, and I was most fascinated by the many extremely talented artists that were selling their artwork. If I weren't so engrossed in soccer all the time, I may just join art club....

 Here are Saoirse and I with our finds! She couldn't resist buying a funky scarf in her two favorite colors (pink and green), and two adorable hair bows in pink and green. I however, splurged even more than she did and bought a beautiful painting of two ravens so that I could hang it in my room. The painting was too gorgeous to pass up, and I'm so glad I purchased it!

 This is a close-up of her bows...aren't they adorable??!!!! :)

 Here is a close-up of my painting. I just find it so serene and I'm thrilled to be able to put it into my room. 

Finally, here is a close-up of Saoirse's scarf! It's so fluffy! And, obviously, extremely sassy! 

The day was so amazing, and I'm so lucky to have Saoirse as a friend :) 

I'll be sure to post soon, I've just been super busy lately! Have a great weekend and a great Thanksgiving everyone! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rangeley Day 5

Hi! Sorry about waiting so long to update my blog! It's been a busy couple of weeks getting back into the groove of school! Anyways, on Saoirse and I's last day in Rangeley we decided to go to the lake, considering the cabin is on Rangeley Lake :)
It was really choppy and cold, so Saoirse and I just sat on the dock for a while and watched boats go by. It was extremely relaxing to say the least.

After my legs fell asleep I decided I should stop putting it off and jump in. Saoirse followed, reluctantly I might add, and made me go first after our other incident at the pool ;) The water was FUH-REEZING but I wasn't going to say that to Saoirse because if I did, she would've lost her nerve and sat on the dock instead. She looked at me for a reaction, and when I didn't she sprinted forward and dived into the lake. She came up chattering, and yelling at me through chattering teeth. Apparently it was my fault she was cold because I hadn't warned her about the temperature. I didn't say a word until she was finished and then I dunked her. When she came up for air I was the one to go under and then it became a competition to see how many times we could dunk each other. Eventually our bodies became numb to the cold and we could actually enjoy swimming :)
When we climbed out of the lake, my whole body was numb, and the wind coming off the water chilled me to the bone. Saoirse and I decided that we could dry off in the green Adirondack chairs that look onto the water. I forgot my towel so the wind dried me off, but Saoirse was nice enough to offer her towel :) Even AFTER I dunked her in the lake!
While I was drying off, I noticed a dirt path that led from the chairs and into the woods. I was curious so I got up and walked to the mouth of the path. "Saoirse! Come see this!" I yelled.
"What is it?" She shouted back.
She followed me down the dirt path, and what we found at the end surprised us both. Our own private beach! It was deserted, and a long piece of driftwood separated the beach from the lake. The driftwood was worn on the top so Saoirse and I decided it would be nice to sit on and to watch the waves come and go.
"I'm so happy you invited me Saoirse." I said quietly. She turned to look at me and said "Are you kidding me? My week would've been B-O-R-I-N-G without you here! Plus, you made this one of the best weeks of my summer, so I should be thanking you." I smiled at that and instead of saying anything, I just squeezed her shoulder. Gosh, I was going to miss that girl when I went back to school.
After spending some time relaxing on our beach, Saoirse and I trudged home. We reluctantly packed our belongings, and teared up as we left the cabin that held so many great memories of ours. The T.V. where we watched Dawson's Creek together, laughing and sharing twizzlers, the porch where we watched the sun go down, and most importantly the couch that we ate together, laughed together and basically bonded with each other on. And, as the Downs' car ventured away from the cabin, I looked over my shoulder and tried to capture that moment in my head forever.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rangeley Day 4

Unfortunately, today Saoirse and I couldn't explore Rangeley. We were about to head down to the lake when it started down pouring relentlessly, so I suggested we stay inside and watch Dawson's Creek. The episode that we were about to watch happened to be about a curse on an island, where a girl is said to have died there because she was banished from her house, and everybody believed she was a witch. It got darker and darker and Saoirse's eyes got bigger and bigger as the show played. At the very end of the show, where Dawson and his friends were racing off the island after being scared half to death by the supposed spirit of the girl, I decided to grab Saoirse's shoulders and shout "BOO!" She screamed and spilled the popcorn on her lap. "Now look at what you've done." Saoirse said while trying to scoop pieces of popcorn back into the bowl. I fell on the floor laughing, so I couldn't help her pick up the mess. Later, I made her a bowl of ice cream to make it up to her, and we ended our night by watching yet another episode of Dawson's Creek, and laughing because of how awful Dawson's hair looked...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rangeley Day 3 *A Day Late*

Sorry everyone about posting a day later, Saoirse and I were super busy yesterday, as you will see in the upcoming post. Earlier, when we had driven up to Saoirse's cabin, she had spotted a local playground, squealing with excitement at yet another potential place for her and I to visit while in town. So, we decided to walk there on Monday.
First, Saoirse challenged me to a race up the rock wall. Of course, with me being older and WAY more athletic than she is, it was an easy win. ;)

I have to give her credit though, she took her loss like a champ even with my relentless cheering.
Next, we visited the slide portion of the playground. I won the rock climbing competition, thus I got to go first down the slide. Saoirse gave me a powerful push, and I went sailing down the green, plastic slope.
After that, it was Saoirse's turn. She shouted "Bí ag faire amach!" on her way down.
At the bottom, I stood there, hoping to scare Saoirse into thinking she was going to hit me. It worked ;)
Saoirse tried her luck on the swings, after her adventures on the slide and rock wall. As you can see, it didn't turn out so well.
When she tumbled over, I couldn't keep myself from giggling :D
Saoirse recovered, and as most 11 year olds' minds do, her mind wandered over to the building next to the playground. That girl has amazing eyesight, because as soon as she looked in the window she started squealing. "Jess! Jess! Jess! There's a vending machine in that building! I'm so hungry, can we go get candy?" She pleaded, while giving her best impression of "puppy dog eyes". Of course, I said yes, and so we wandered inside of the building labeled "Rangeley Recreational Center". As soon as we walked in the door, Saoirse ran straight towards the machine, deciding on a pack of Reese's peanut butter cups.
We decided to go back outside to the playground, where we could sit on a picnic table in the warm sunlight. It didn't take us all that long to finish our snack, and that's when I decided to tell Saoirse what I had noticed immediately when stepping into the rec center. "Hey Saoirse, I noticed that that rec center smelled as if somebody dunked it in chlorine. Do you think there's a pool in there?" Her eyes lit up with excitement, and said "OH MY GOSH I HOPE SO! I LOVE POOLS!" Thus, we wandered back into the building and headed towards the sound of splashing.
"Come on, Saoirse! We have got to go swimming! It's a pool!" I cried. "I can't! These are designer clothes, and I don't have a swim suit. There is no way I'm getting in there without a swim suit!" She shouted in reply.
I didn't say a word back to her. Instead, I leaned forward and pushed her into the water. I figured that the clothes will dry and she really needed to live a little.
I met her at the other end of the pool, where she dragged herself out onto the concrete, sopping wet. It was probably the funniest thing I'd seen all day, including the swing set incident. While I was laughing, I didn't notice that she had gotten fully out of the pool and was coming after me, her arms outstretched with a huge grin on her face. "Come here Jess! It's your turn!" She half-giggled half-yelled. In the end, we both got absolutely soaking wet and couldn't stop laughing.
On the way home, we stopped to sit in the grass and enjoy the view. I bumped shoulders with Saoirse and said "You're pretty awesome, you know that?" and she bumped mine right back saying "You're not so bad yourself." :)