Dear baby sister,
Please stop growing. You're going to be 5 this year which means that you'll be starting school in the summer (Damn year round schools). And I don't think I'm ready for this.
I remember when I first found out that you would be joining our little family. At first, I was hesitant. I mean, how couldn't I be? With you being real, it ruined any chance of my dad and my mom ever reconciling. And at such a young age, that's all I wanted was my parents to be together again and for me not have to switch houses every week.
But then you were born and my life, and my heart, changed as soon as I walked into that hospital room and was blown away by the emotions I felt. I can remember crying, like actual tears ran down my face, when I got to see you and hold you for the first time. You were so small compared to me. You still are and I hope you continue to be that way.
And now you're a walking, talking, sass-giving little girl who has taken after her big sister in the love of soccer, coloring, being a princess, having daddy wrapped around her little finger and having the entire world to explore.
Where has the time gone?
It disappeared just as quickly as you do when you take something of mine or your aunt's. Can it come back? Just like you eventually do with the item of mentioned. I don't know how much my heart can take of this.
But my love for you hasn't faltered. In fact, it's grown more and more every day. And it will continue for our entire lifetimes and beyond. Especially every time you see me, even if you just saw me the day before, and you exclaim my name in excitement before running to me and hugging my legs.
I know there are "fights" and disagreements between us (which is hilarious looking back on them because you're a 4 year old and I am a 19 year old) but there has never been a day that I don't love you more than anything. Even when you're ignoring me or annoying me by trying to mess with my stuff. If anything, all you do is keep me on my toes.
I am so lucky to have been blessed with such a wonderful little sister. Also, if I might be a little bias, you have a pretty rockin' older sister.
Just remember that whether it be your first steps, your first words, your first day of school, your last day of school, your first date, dance, boyfriend, or your engagement and marriage (to the one lucky man who passed not only dad's expectations, but mine, Remi's and Eric's. And could handle our craziness). I will be right there, supporting you, holding you up and being your rock, no matter what.
I love you so much my little munchkin. And nothing can or will change that.
Your big sister,
Who still can't believe the winter break is coming to a close? I know I can't. Wasn't it just last week I was celebrating finals being over?! Now it's back to new professors, new classes, new classmates and a whole new curriculum to stress over. And I can't even imagine how the students who don't go to their hometown university feel! They have to worry about all that plus saying good-bye to home cooked meals and mom doing their laundry.
Now we have to spend all this money on textbooks (that are required but not used). Luckily, what keeps me in high spirits are all the cute accessories and school supplies that I usually start the semester off with! (Go ahead... Call me a nerd. I just love back to school supply shopping!)
Starting off with my baby, my MacBook Air. I recently just got this in the Fall of 2014, so I'm still in the whole "Oh my gosh! I finally have a Mac!" phase. (#sorrynotsorry) And because I want to protect it from damage, I of course bought a cute laptop case for it. (Thanks Target!) Then seeing as how with college, the professors don't want much handwritten works, a cute and small flash drive is definitely on the necessary item list. I personally got mine form my university's book store but Office Depot has some pretty cute ones. Check them out here!
A laptop, I feel, is almost necessary to get along in college, but for those people who like to take handwritten notes (guilty!), you have to check out these adorable chevron notebooks! They are both stylish and an easy way to color code your classes. I got mine at my local grocery store (Way to go H.E.B!), but you can always check out your local store and see what composition notebooks they're rockin'.
Now earlier I mentioned the dreaded T-word... TEXTBOOKS! And the fact that you basically sell your arm and leg to pay for them. Freshmen... We're looking at you. But what I am about to tell you is very important...So read carefully... STOP BUYING YOUR TEXTBOOKS FROM YOUR UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE! Seriously, stop! You're wasting precious money that can be used for gas, food or that perfect back to school outfit you were eyeing at the mall. Figure out what books you need, than go hit up Amazon, Ebay and your local Half-Priced bookstore. I can say from personal experience that this saves so much money. My freshman year I spent about $600 on textbooks (cue the shocked gasps) and when I tried to sell them back at the end of the year, I didn't even get 1/4 of what I paid for them back. Spring semester came around and you better believe I was checking out the before mentioned sites. When all was said and done, I had spent a little less than $200. That's 1/3 of what I spent the first time around! To this day I haven't spent that much on textbooks.
Also to save a little extra, wait until the first day of classes and the professors will usually tell you if you for sure need one of their books or not.
Another thing I love about being back at college for classes and such (besides not being bored during the day) is that you can wear whatever you want (Hello sweatpants and tanks!) and you can have your hair up and barely any make-up on and no one judges you because they are all wearing the exact same thing. So find that comfy pair of sweatpants (some of my favorite sweatpants come from Hollister, Victoria's Secret, and Hot Topic) and don those flip-flops and get to class!
Top: Avengers Assemble (exact) || Jeans: Arizona Super Skinny (similar) || Ring: James Avery
Photos taken by a Canon Rebel T3 by Felicia DeMartino
Dear my best friend,
Wow; when I had first thought of actually writing this I could think of a mile long list of what to say to you. And yet as I sit here and write this... My mind goes blank. How am I supposed to put into words how much our friendship means to me?
All the laughter, tears, jokes and memories. All the late nights, early mornings and stress-filled days. All the pizza, cake and other horrible but oh so delicious goodies devoured on the days when we felt like we were racing the clock.
If 4 years ago, someone told me that I'd rely so much on you, I would've laughed. We were both so different and had completely different groups of friends as is. And yet in a matter of 4 days you became my closest confidant. I mean you had too, we would be creating a book together. Yet during the school year, it didn't feel forced. Like we had to get along. And of course, there were fights: "You shouldn't crop it there!" "That doesn't make sense." "Did you level it? It doesn't look like it." "That's all you took?!" come to mind. But there was also plenty of funny moments to overcome the bad ones: "Get out of my chair!" "Did you fall? Again?!" "That was my slice!"
Now here we are; a sophomore and a freshman in college and we're closer than ever. We've taken road trips, vented to each other, gossiped, spilled juicy secrets and so much more. With a ton of other trips and memories planned out. We don't always agree, but you can better believe that if worst comes to worst, we will always have each others backs. And we will always support one another, no matter how crazy or insane an idea is. If one of us believes in it, then we will back it up like it was our own.
Because it isn't just being each others best friend; for us it's about being each others confidants, partners in crimes, sisters from different misters, back up dates, and so much more.
We have been through so much in the last year alone but the only thing that is has done is make us stronger.
I guess what I am trying to say is thank you.
Thank you for being my best friend, through Thick and Thin, you've Raised the Bar on what it means to be a friend, so now, as we go on our ways to bigger and better things, we'll be by each others sides like Pieces of a Puzzle.
So for this post, I've decided to try something a bit different. And if I feel like this is something worth writing, then I'll continue this once a week.
The idea is a letter. A letter to whom you might wonder. Well...to anyone. Each week, I'll write a new letter to someone different. It could be to my future self, my dog, my sister, my car, etc... If you have someone (or something) you would like me to write to, leave it in the comments, and who knows! It might be the next week's post.
Now for this week's letter, It's a letter to my past self...
Dear younger self,
How's it going? I hope it's going okay. If not, don't sweat it. It'll get better. And you will be a stronger girl because of it.
To my 7 year old self: I know mom and dad's divorce and constant yelling frightens you. But I know that Sam has been a brilliant dog & best friend and has stuck beside you. It's okay to be scared, but know that this huge change helps you and your family. Of course, nothing will be perfect. No family is. But you do get twice as many presents on your birthday and Christmas, plus as many hugs and kisses. And as for having to move back and forth every week, hold out until you're 18 and then you get to make your own decisions. 10 years will fly by.
To my 14 year old self: I know high school has been tough (and it's only your freshman year) but in the end, everything will be worth it. Soccer is a pain, and sometimes so hard to wake up for in the morning, but cherish every memory, every play, every locker room talk, because there might be a moment in which you regret ever giving it up. The biggest struggle for you this year would have to be becoming a big sister for the first time... Oh I remember those times... Plus you have to add in dad's new girlfriend (who, btw, will become your new step-mom in October of this year). Believe me, I know it's hard and sometimes you just want to give up but hold on... That little sister will later look up to you and want to do everything with you, and when she learns to talk and walk, it will be reminded through her sass and attitude, just how related y'all are. And that marriage with your dad and his girlfriend will make you part of a family that grants you 4 new aunts and uncles, and new cousins. Stand tall, young one, and proud.
To my 15 year old self: It's okay to cry over a dog. Because he wasn't just a dog. Sam was your best friend when you felt so alone. He protected you, and was always the one to get you to smile when all you wanted to do was cry... So break down, sob, bawl... Because you are not alone in it. You are not the only one mourning. (Even to this day, as I write this, I tear up thinking of my first dog...I can't look at a golden retriever without feeling that pain), Remind yourself that while Sam was your dog, your baby, he lived at your dad's house. Dad took care of him when you couldn't. So go and cry in your dad's arms because both of you are feeling the same pain right now.
To my 17 year old self: Oh how I feel your pain so easily. Trust me, even to this day as I am about to be twenty and a junior in college in the fall, I still feel that pain of being the odd one out in your dad's family. Your younger sister and brother fit in perfectly because it is their family. But you feel like your just the add-on that kind of came with the package... And I know every day you get closer and closer to just ending it, but don't. Remember that you have been blessed with two younger siblings that adore you and think you are the world. That you have a few friends that have managed to squeeze themselves in your hardened heart. That in another year, you can add editor and high school graduate to your resume. All you have to do is hold on to the possibility of a greater future.
To my past self: There have been many highs and lows. Sometimes you feel the lows outweigh the highs. But I am telling you right now that those lows do NOT outweigh the highs. You are so so blessed. You have had the opportunity to do so much for someone who has so little.
New York, California, Nevada, Austin, Florida, San Antonio.
To my past self: Breathe. Because where you are right now at this moment will change just as the seasons do. And because where I am at this moment is only possible because of what you, I, we have been through. And where I am is in a perfect spot to do something great.
Your Future Self
When I first posted on my facebook/twitter/instagram that I had this blog, I got questions from some friends. All of it boiled down to one: "Why?"
At first, I couldn't answer. I didn't want to say that I was bored, and I needed something to fill my time up. Which wasn't the truth. Because, if you know me, my life is nothing but busy, busy, busy...
And I think that's why this blog, this place, came up as a option. Earlier, in my very first post, I had said that this was a spur of the moment thing. And it was. I didn't sit down and plan this out months in advance. I was sitting on my bed, like I am now, reading one of my favorite blogs, Jumpers and Jasmine, and I thought "This is what I need."
I needed something to escape to when my life became too hectic, when friends and family was breathing down my neck. I absolutely love to write, like LOVE, to. Besides photography, it's passion. Which is why I feel like this makes such a good combination for me. I get to take photos, and write.
But back to Jumpers and Jasmine, which is the reason why I wanted to blog... Well I guess the writer behind it was the reason as well. Alyssa Campanella is the voice behind Jumpers and Jasmine, and she is an amazing writer, or at least from my perspective. Now before anyone assumes anything; No, I don't know her. No, she doesn't me except as the girl who tweeted her and commented on her instagram post, which she will probably forget about. I am not getting anything out of this, I am just telling my admiration (a.k.a. fan-girling) for her. She posts fashion, food, travel, beauty and lifestyle tips and such. She has a killer closet (that I wish I could afford), her recipes are to die for (that Decadent Hot Chocolate was my lifesaver), her beauty tips are amazing (I mean who wouldn't want them from a Former Miss USA), and her travel diaries are perfect (Seeing as how I don't have the funds to go to the places, I can see all the beauty through them). If you're looking for any of these, her site is definitely the place to check out!
Back to Sweet Tea & Storms though... What I write will be honest, truthful, but most importantly fun... Or at least I hope it will be. I can't promise that you'll agree with my fashion sense (grew up a tom-boy, so still getting used to the whole girly girl thing), or you'll enjoy my travels (that are far and few between), but I do hope that you enjoy what you read, and maybe, one day, this blog will help someone realize their passion.
"If it scares you, it might be a good thing..."