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Summer Memories August 10, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Feelings, life, memories, music, summer, thoughts.
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I’m gonna take you back to about 2003 or 2005. It was July 4th and we were out at the Waco 4th of July event. Besides the fireworks as the main event, country singer/songwriter Anthony Smith was performing. He has written hits for many country artists including George Straight and Trisha Yearwood.

Anyways, I was first in line after his performance at his bus to meet him. I watched the fireworks from there and not even 5 minutes after the fireworks ended, Anthony and his band members walked out of the bus. One member said “I can’t believe we missed them!”. Anthony walks up to me and asks my name. I told him my name and handed him a picture to sign. I ask him if I could take a picture with him (since I had already taken pictures with Blake Shelton, Cory Morrow, and Pat Green years before). He was so nice, he gave me another hug after the picture!

The next day, Monday, I received a check from Country Music Weekly for a survey I sent in. I cashed it and ended up buying his CD. I thought it was really weird that I received the check the day after I met him! Unfortunately, the picture of him and I are in a photo album that’s stashed somewhere so I can’t show you.

That was one of the coolest Summers I remember! Do you have a cool favorite Summer memory?


CIJ: Retro Christmas July 27, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, hilarious, life, memories, thoughts.
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I was watching the Christmas in July special they had on QVC yesterday and the day before. Yesterday, they had a special segment called “Christmas Memories” where they brought out all sorts of retro Christmas ornaments and decorations. While I don’t remember having any retro Christmas decorations, I thought it would be neat to have a retro Christmas this year!

Instead of putting up a big artificial green Christmas tree, I love the idea of putting up an aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel! Mom told us about them and ever since that story, I wanted one! I thought it would be so cool to go retro for Christmas, but that also includes the tree! Every year, it frustrates us because we can’t get the lights to go the way we want. They’ll blink when we don’t want them to or they won’t blink when we would prefer they do. So to counterbalance all of that, I want an aluminum tree!

When I was little, Mom used to have this HUGE collection of Santas. I mean, there were a lot. They were given to her as gifts or she would see it, and say “I have to have it!”, thus ended up buying it. But a house fire in 2001 destroyed it all, including everything we had. So one year, Manders and I bought her this beautiful and colorful ceramic Santa that stood a little over 12 inches. Mom loved it. So she put it on a shelf. But one of the cats we had at the moment (I hope it wasn’t Smokie!) jumped on top of the shelf, where we thought they couldn’t reach, and knocked it over. It was broken into a million pieces. So one day, Manders and I decided to start re-collecting Santas for Mom. But this time, I would love to give her a retro Santa! It just brings back that magic that Christmas held close as children.

I don’t know if anyone remembers these, but way back when, they started making plastic Santas that you could put out in your yard and there was a light so Santa could shine. I believe they also had Frosty and Toy Soldiers. As I was watching QVC’s “Christmas in July” event, they had a Toy Soldier ornament. It brought back the image of those plastic Toy Soldier’s outdoor decorations and I thought it would be so neat, if I can ever find them, to snag 2 and place them outside. I know as older people drive by, they will be reminded of Christmases that features these outside their home. It would bring back a lot of memories.

I would love to buy all the retro Christmas decorations I can and just make on Christmas completely retro- down to even the tiniest decoration! I think it’s because it was a simpler time when Christmas didn’t mean the hottest iPhones or the coolest toys. It was about family and being together. I think most of society has lost that idea and I would like to see it come back!

Christmas in July: Toy Memory July 15, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, gifts, holidays, life, memories, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, Toys.
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For some odd reason, I have the gift of remembering things that have no relevance to the “now”. I can remember things from 2nd grade all the way up to certain seconds in my life in high school. But as we celebrate Christmas in July, I am reminded of a special toy that Manders and I once received when we were about 5 years old.

It was nearing Christmas and we were walking through the mall after seeing Santa. The mall wasn’t as bad as it is now, so it was fairly easy to just take a detour through Sears and create a wishlist in your mind. That is, until we came upon the motherload. It was a Disney castle. The most perfect castle we had ever seen and it was beautiful! We thought it was huge, but we’re only 5. We begged and begged Mom and Dad for it. Of course, we had just had our birthday so we already had presents at home to play with but we wanted that castle so badly! But Mom and Dad said that it was too expensive, we couldn’t get it this year. I can’t remember if we cried or if we just stormed out because we were upset.

Christmas Eve came and we just knew we weren’t going to get the castle. At 5 years old, you know these things. We went over to our Aunt’s house that evening for the annual Christmas get-together. We came home, and looked for Santa on the radar. The minute we saw that he was getting close, we hurried up the stairs to bed. We couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to arrive.

Manders and I woke up on Christmas morning and tiptoed to Mom and Dad’s bedroom. We went inside and asked them if we could open presents. When they said we could, we raced down the steps, looked at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Jiminey Cricket, our castle! There it was in all its glory- Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and even Pluto! It had a car so you could drive Pluto into the carport. It opened so you could place Minnie in the bedroom. We played with it for days on end. I found out as soon as I got older that they had already bought it for us before we even saw it but couldn’t tell us.

I tried to Google it and spent almost an hour looking for it, but thus, I didn’t succeed. I can’t seem to find the childhood toy I remember so vividly!

CIJ: Shopping Memory July 9, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, family, holidays, life, shopping, thoughts.
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I love Christmas shopping. Just the idea that I am buying for someone else and they have no idea just makes me want to shop even more! But a while back, I had developed the habit of not getting my Christmas shopping done early enough to beat the people who shop a week before Christmas Eve. I am one of those persons that shop a week before Christmas Eve. What is funny is that I can get done with birthday shopping for Manders relatively early. In fact, I already have her gift! I already know what I’m getting her for Christmas so it would seem plausible to go ahead and get it, right?

Wrong. If I get it now, I would be so tempted to give it to her and I’d rather see her surprise on Christmas morning!

But let’s go back a couple of years. Oh, I’d say about 4. Manders and Mom might remember this.It was about a week before Christmas. I was working at a church daycare and I had just finished picking up my check. I went to the bank to cash it. As soon as I had come out of the bank, a brilliant idea caught me- Christmas shopping! So I called Manders and Mom to tell them my brilliant idea. I knew of only one place I could get everything- Wal-Mart! Now I realize that was a stupid idea on my part but I hadn’t taken into consideration how extremely busy it would be. I was just excited to be shopping on my own.


So I drive around the Wal-Mart parking lot. I should have realized that it would have been impossible to find a close parking spot at Wal-Mart one week before Christmas. But I didn’t realize  I would have to walk half a mile just to get into the store. Now that was a different story. It was EXTREMELY busy and you always had the chance of bumping into someone with your basket. To make matters worse, my family back then was the hardest people to shop for. They aren’t particular in what they get so I ended up getting Manders a Family Guy DVD (because she loved Family Guy) and I got Dad an electric razor. I didn’t get Mom anything because I didn’t see anything she’d like!

So later that night, Manders and I went to ROSS where we found this floating candle stand that was so beautiful. That was also the night I found my first nutcracker that would, hopefully, someday become a menagerie of nutcrackers.

I hate shopping so close to Christmas.


CIJ: A Twin Christmas July 8, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, hilarious, life, memories, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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Believe it or not, Christmastime with twins is just as much fun as it is with any other siblings!

When we were children, Christmas was always fun. Mom, figuring that one would get jealous if the other one got something cooler, would buy us both the same thing but in different colors or designs. We would both get a Barbie but with different hair color. We would both get a stuffed animal but different colors. When it came to big items, she would buy only one of them for us to share. I can’t seem to remember it, but we had a toy that looked like a robot. It would tell us stories, and ask educational questions. It came with cassette tapes and you could even play your musical (we played Garth Brooks) tapes in it. I just asked Mom and she forgot the name of it. It drives me crazy!

Even Christmas now, having a twin sister is fun! I love shopping for my twin and seeing her eyes light up as she unwraps the George Strait shotglass I got her one year. She loves seeing my eyes as I unwrap the genuine leather clutch she won for me last year. We both love going shopping for Mom because we both know she’ll be surprised at what she receives. Let’s not even talk about decorations! We both love decorating together for Christmas. When we decorate outside, we do it together. We first come up with a plan in our heads. Then as we march outside with bags of lights, we realize that the plan we first had isn’t going to work. So we brainstorm and finally figure out what to do. We might argue a lot because we’re frustrated that the lights won’t go around the trelis like we want, but we get it done. We stand back, and look at our work. We are so proud of ourselves. When it comes to the Christmas tree, we hardly argue over that. We put on Christmas music or a Christmas movie, and dance to the songs as we decorate the tree.

Wrapping presents is a different story. We have developed the habit of wrapping each other’s gifts while the other is in the bedroom. So that the other doesn’t see what we got them for Christmas, we end up wrapping on the floor. We’ll throw the tape on the bed and after 5 minutes, we’ll ask where it is. The other will look under the covers and pillows, finding it under a comforter and laughing because the one wrapping is getting mad because they have misplaced the scissors. We still do the “shake” test though the presents have gotten bigger over the year, it makes it rather difficult. In fact, Manders couldn’t shake her gift otherwise it could have broke! Christmas Eve is fun because we argue over who is going to play Santa and hand out gifts and who will end up taking the pictures.

I love celebrating Christmas with my twin. It’s fun, frustrating, and above all- great.


Years Later… May 1, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in blog, blogs, family, Feelings, Friends, life, random, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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For those that don’t remember, I help Twin with the blog TwinTastic– which is pretty much a look into the lives of two twins. From their point of view, of course. I was updating it and posting because the last time we posted, Manders did a review of the Yanni Voices CD. So I decided to look back at all the posts we made until I came upon something that made me die of embarrassment. I saw that Twin had posted back on October 21st of last year a picture of us when we were toddlers and a current picture of us at that time. I won’t post them to save me the embarrassment but I was shocked.


Because one look at the old picture and one look at the 2008 picture put things into perspective: We have changed so much! There was a little girl in the picture with us and believe it or not, we are still unbelievably close to her! “C”, who was the little girl in the picture, has remained one of our best friends ever since we were pretty much born. Even if she is 3 months younger, we played together since we were little. It’s absolutely amazing that after all this time, you are still friends with someone you grew up with and still see them! I haven’t seen “C” since she moved in October but in about 6 days, I will get to. Remember in a previous posts that she’s coming May 8th.

Even as I look at Twin and I at 4 and now 20 years later, we’re still close. Hell, we’re more likely closer than we’ve ever been. Check out TwinTastic, and you’ll see what I mean.

Reuniting… April 25, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in family, Feelings, learning, life, MySpace, random, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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As I was reading past posts (like posts written in 2008) for the hell of it, I was reminded of something someone told me today.

On October 18th, I made a post about “C”, someone I have clamed as my cousin my whole life, moving away. Of course, me and Twin were sad. I mean, we had played with each other since we were born and our fathers had known each other since they were litter. We were family. We haven’t seen each other since they moved though we have talked online NUMEROUS times.

Yesterday, she sent me a message over MySpace saying that she could possibly be coming down for a few days. Of course, that made me ecstatic. Twin and I consider her part of our family so since we haven’t seen her and her little boy since October, I was happy. But this morning, after post a dorky MySpace video, she said it was like she had a little piece of us with her. Then she proceeded to tell me that on May 8th or 9th, she MIGHT be coming down. That was awesome to hear!

Me, her, and Manders were extremely close. All 3 of us had been there for each other through everything. So when she left, it was like me and Manders had lost part of our little “family” circle. It was weird not going over to her house every day but we eventually got used to it and considered it part of “growing up” in a way. Not exactly “growing up” in that sense, but it was a part of life we couldn’t change. Does that make sense? If not, bear with me. My stomach is hurting (who the hell knows why) and I am getting tired.

So if she does come down on May 8th or 9th, it will be like a small reunion for the 3 (4 if you count her 1-year-old) for the us. Some tears, some pictures, and a lot of hugs. Hopefully a lot of laughs.

6 Years Ago… April 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in family, Feelings, funny, life, memories, Moms, random, thoughts.
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Me and Mom were just talking. Why, on earth, she mentioned it, I will never know. It made me feel old.

I know we were talking about a local college’s graduation month and she said that the high schools’ graduations weren’t until June. She seemed shocked by this- especially when I told her that me and Manders had graduated in June. I even remembered the date- June 3rd. I won’t post the year for the fear that I will feel old again.

I guess it doesn’t matter. What I am about to say will still make me feel old.

She mentioned that me and Manders had been out of high school for 6 years.

Mom: Does it make you feel old? Being out for 6 years?

Me: Yes. I mean, it doesn’t feel like 6 years. But I can’t believe it’s been 6 years already.

6 years. Wow. I know it hasn’t been that long but in 4 years, it will mean that our 10 year reunion will be coming up. Granted, I will be in college so I won’t be able to attend. But that just makes me feel old for some reason. You ever have those days when you go back to graduation, realize how long it has been, and suddenly feel ancient? Sometimes I will think back to high school. How I looked back then, how I acted, and what went on. It has been 8 years since our house (which we just live down the street from!) burned down. I still feel old looking back to those days.

Thanks Mom. I might be 24, but damn do I feel old now.

My awesome memory! April 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in family, fun, memories, news, random, thoughts.
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I did not realize that I have a good memory. Well, long-term memory that is.

My mom was saying something about the Colombine anniversary when she started talking about the Branch Dividian raid here in Waco. She wasn’t sure when the raid happened and before I even Googled it, I blurted out “”93″. I immediately said “Wait, I’m not sure.” and decided to double check my answer. I was shocked and amazed. I was right! I was freakin’ right!

I didn’t realize that I had such a good long-term memory. I remember back in Kindergarten or 1st Grade when our local meterologist Rusty Garret came to the school to talk about tornadoes and what to do in the event of a tornado. Surprisingly, I don’t remember much of what he said but I do remember him coming. But through out the years, I didn’t need to remember. When the tornado hit in 2006, I automatically remembered everything I had ever learned before then. It came in handy.

I also remember in elementary (another elementary school) school that we went to a local news station (KXXV for anyone who is curious) for some odd reason. Granted, more than half of the newscasters are no longer there, but it was pretty awesome! Got to see the teleprompter, how they did the weather, and what the news desk looked like. That is something I can still see like pictures in my mind and something I won’t ever forget.

It’s funny how I can remember things I did when I was little but I can’t remember what I did last week. My memory baffles me. Now maybe I can remember what song I am supposed to download.

I feel old… January 14, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in bands, Internet, learning, life, memories, music, Popular, random, thoughts.
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And I feel old as hell!

I was listening to LaunchCast on Yahoo! Messenger when a song came on that took me to my teenage years. Now, keep in mind I am 24 and I was 16 only 8 years ago. If you remember about 8 years ago, boy bands and bubblegum pop roamed the earth. Yes, I was a huge fan of the BackStreet Boys. I still listen to their earlier songs every now and then when I feel nostalgic.

Manders walks in while I’m listening to the song and we start talking about what other songs the band had that we loved when we were 16. So, I went to CDNOW.com in search of other songs from the era. I started clicking on albums and songs, and by the time I was finished, we had relived our whole teenage music life.

I leave you this little gem in memory of a lost (thankfully!) era:

Until we meet again… January 7, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Blogging, Computers, Feelings, learning, life, thoughts.
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Because my 5-year-old computer decided to go to “computer heaven” last night, I am writing from the library. It’s sucks to have to go to the library to write my deepest thoughts and mindless chatter.

But alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. I got off the computer around 2 a.m. and decided to run the anti-virus while everyone slept so that it had time to fully run. When my family woke up this morning, they couldn’t turn on the computer. We tried everything and it just didn’t work.  I wanted to cry. Not because I had lost the internet. But because we had over 1,000+ pictures and over 500 songs on there. Pictures that were memories and songs that brought back memories. Lost… I don’t really care about the songs because we can download them with the new computer. But the pictures… they’re forever lost unless we can get someone to put them all on a disc for us. I wouldn’t mind paying $100 to get those memories back.

It will be almost 2 months before  we are able to get the new computer. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you in the dark. I occasionally will be coming the library to keep everyone updated and check my e-mail.

Until we meet again… don’t forget me.

I’m gonna miss her. September 11, 2008

Posted by texasheartland in family, Friends, funny, hilarious, learning, life, random, thoughts.
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In 3 weeks, I will no longer have my cousin around. Her Grandmother decided it was time to leave the city and move a family of 7 or 8 ALLLL the way to Arkansas. I know they’re still gonna be around, but I am a little upset. I have more time with my her than I have my real cousins. We were like night and day, but we were family.

When my cousin told me that they were leaving in 3 weeks, it brought back all sorts of memories. I remember one night me and Amanda spent the night but decided to leave during because we kept scaring ourselves. I also remember when her brother and sister were so much smaller than they are now. Barbies, BackStreet Boys, Moffats, and sleep-overs.

Speaking of sleepovers, I remember this like it was yesterday. She stayed the night one night. We had glow-in-the-dark stars all over our room. When I was Christian, I made a cross out of the stars on the closet door. (Keep in mind I share a room with my twin.) Well, when our house had an entity residing here, it was particularly cruel that night. One of the standing oscillating fans got unplugged and the plug was literately dropped onto the floor. No one in the room was walking. In fact, we were all in bed talking. We started screaming for my Mom and holding prayer hands towards the “glow-in-the-dark” cross on the door. What makes this memory even… weird is that my Mom said she never heard us. I’ve never known my mother to lie. I will never forget that night!

I know she hasn’t left Earth and is only leaving the state, but I am going to miss her like hell. We’ve been through a lot of shit together.