Archive for life

Ignorance is Bliss but I Need the Truth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2013 by Once Unwanted Girl

So I have decided that I am definitely ready and interested in truly beginning the search for my birth parents and possible siblings in Paraguay. I’m not going to lie and say i am not shaking in my boots because I am but this is something that I just need to know.  Everything in my life is finally falling into place and I know who I am but there is still an emptiness that needs to be filled.   Really thinking about my adoption and the life I could have led freaking blows my mind. I sometimes get so caught up in my current life that I rarely stop and think how lucky I am to be here. I have always wanted a sister and I may very well have one but she may not be as fortunate as me.

Yesterday I stopped to see my parents and grab my mail that has yet to be rerouted to my new address. Of course my mom made me a yummy broccoli soup and stuffed bread lunch and I was in heaven. After I ate like a glutton, I decided to grab my baby book and my the Precious Moments journal that contains the memories of my mom while she went through the adoption. I haven’t looked at any of this stuff in years and I am excited to go through all of her memories and incorporate them into my book.  I have also rented a total of 8 books from the Wallingford Library so I can begin the immersion into the history of my birth country. I will be spending the next few days reflecting and reading up on as much of my history in 1989 as I possibly can. I  promise that I will have a great post for you all this weekend. I hope you are all excited for me to officially kick off this journey to my past.

Ignorance is bliss but all I want as I get older is the truth about me and my life.  I want to be able to completely put together the pieces of my identity and I am happy to admit I am ready for whatever good or bad things may be revealed. Carpe Diem all and wish me Good Luck!

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Practice Makes Perfect On and Off the Field

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 10, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

I have always been told, “(Amarie) if you want to be great and successful you have to work hard.” In addition to the latter it is important to know that Rome wasn’t builtin a day and you can’t always expect to be a CEO as soon as you start.

And when there aren’t any visible doors knock out a window and crawl through!

Working hard and paying your dues not only makes a successful person but generates an appreciation hard to find.  So kudos to my parents for telling me , a bratty 13 year old girl that I couldn’t have a sell phone like all of my spoiled peers at my all girl prep school (Lauralton Hall).  My dad looked me in the eye and said, ” if you want a phone you have to earn it” and told me “GET A JOB!”  “Dad a job???” I whined.NEWSFLASH I was under the legal working age so it was either a tag sale or  lemonade stand.  To curb my anxiety and depression, My parents told me

“(Amarie) if you want it bad enough you will get it.” The very next day I called Big Nonna’s Cheer N More a local shop near my house that I would always pass on my way home from school.  I figured I am a cheerleader I can sell cheer and sports stuff no problem.  I called up the store and asked if I could have a job.. the owner said “sure can you start tomorrow”. It was as easy as pie And I got my Kyocera phone.

I made a whopping $6 an hour under the table and became the second in comand and helped her run her store.  At 13 years old I was sending invoices to companies, placing orders, managing the register and running the store while the owner was out.  I can remember the satisfaction when I was able to hand my dad the money after a few weeks of working and ask him to take me to get my phone.  Ahhh Hard Work Feels So Good! Thanks Dad for teaching me independence and perseverance.

Lastly, my favorite is PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

After graduating last year, I feel as though I have obtained some serious wisdom and appreciation for my education.  Feel free to laugh at me all you older folks who are probably shaking your heads at this very moment BUT I MEAN IT!  I know all those years that my parents would ask me what I learned in school and I would simply reply NOTHING but I know that I really have learned SOMETHING and it is really humbling knowing that I am using my skills and knowledge to pave my own path to success.  So much has changed in the last year!  I always thought I was good at business and marketing but I have come to learn that I can only get better and thinking I am amazing at what I do is foolish and only leads to being a stagnant professional. Growth and challenging oneself is not only the key to success but maintaining one’s success.

I began Sports Chat Fanatic my last semester of college and never thought it would turn into much more than a few YouTube vids. I wanted to show my friends, family and future employers that I have the ability to brand myself and utilize social media to get across information and demonstrate my knowledge of marketing and sports.  Then after being fired from my less than satisfying temp job and depressed from the next 3 solid months of unemployment I was able to seize the day and look uncertainty in the eye and say “Bring it!”  I swallowed my pride and took a seasonal part time gig at Victoria’s Secret.  After slaving away at the pantie tables and fixing underwear that people so carelessly destroy ( deep down I think PURPOSELY throw all over the place); I found a marketing job listing on Craigslist.  At the time I was so excited to have a freelance project lined up and Thinking how  excited I would be to help him launch his new online coupon site in Fairfield County.

The first week of February I began work which would later turn into a full time thing and helping run the company and then running the New Haven County Region on my own.  Through my experiences I have come to the conclusion that not only does Practice pay off in the sports realm but in what I like to call the old grind a.k.a the real world.   If I had continued to be depressed and not look for any more jobs after so many rejections. I would still be sitting here wondering how I have a degree with no job. But I took a little risk and followed an opportunity that had no guarantee and now I am in charge of something that could potentially grow to be very big!  FairfieldCoupon.com is a great local deal site if you live in Connecticut and I am so blessed to be a part of this awesome start up! We have a local premise and strive to help the local mom & pop shops while giving back to the community.  It is so nice to be a part of a company that has values and ideals similar to my own. Hence, going to work feels good!

And even though PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT I am still learning something knew about business and marketing each and every day which is why I am not afraid to admit that I do not know all nor do I try and know everything.  Practice makes you better but it is important to strive for perfection so that way you are always continuing to learn and grow. “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”-John C. Maxwell

I would like to share a little personal story.  When I was in about 3rd grade I played soccer because I figured I was Hispanic and adopted so it would bring me closer to being Paraguayan.  I played for a local coach who also coached an AAU team.  The team I was on however was not on that level so my little porky asthmatic self felt safe playing and not being judged. Well as time went on my competitive coach would be very hard on us. Well, me in particular.  When I couldn’t keep up with things or would be 3 laps behind everyone he would just ignore me and have me continue to run or if I messed up a drill I would run.  I grew to hate soccer and dreaded going to practice and games. I ended up quitting soccer after that year and didn’t pick up a ball until my freshman year of college. Then my junior year of college I felt more comfortable playing and actually played semi-decent for a former pudge ball. I played indoor and outdoor and I had a great time.

Practice truly does make perfect and standing up once you have been knocked down feels so good once you can find the inner strength to do so.  So dust yourself off and put a smile on your face.  Life is full of surprises so Carpe Diem , Follow Your Dreams and Live the Life You Were Meant To Lead because you can be anything you want to be it only takes a little TIME and PRACTICE.

An Incredible 70 Years Together

Posted in Family with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Imagine being alive for 70 or more years.  That is at least 25,550 days of experiences and memories back logged in your mind.  Now consider being married to the love of your life, and being healthy enough to experience your 70th anniversary with him or her.  Amazing right?  Despite the advancements in health and medicine, this really isn’t a common occurrence for everyone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, statistics show that in January 2012 the average person’s life expectancy is 78.5 years.  However, there is a couple in Cabot, Pennsylvania, who are celebrating 70 years of love and life together! I am proud to claim them as my own wonderful grandparents.  My gramps will be 95 next December and my grandma is 90.  Despite their age these two individuals are as sharp as tacks and as happy as clams.

They recently moved into a great assisted living home and spend their time playing cards, reading and taking advantage of the activities at Concordia.  Today they have an interview because they have been married longer than anyone at Concordia.  My Grandma is already to be interviewed in her snazzy red top with her red jacket and black sacks. And gramps is matching in his black slacks and a red turtle neck.  She said, “We both have had a good life. God Bless us we have lived long enough to have a 70th Anniversary!”

I guess you may be wondering how it all began. Well, my Gram and Gramps started going to the same private Lutheran school named Saint Luke’s but Gramps was in 8th grade and they didn’t really know each other in the beginning. My Gram said that they got to know each other at a youth group for people 18 and older.   They met and hit it off and began dating in a large group.  As time went on Gram said, “It wasn’t like it is now…we dated in groups and then eventually he and I paired off.”  She said that there are a lot of circumstances now that makes things a little different but she understands.  My Gram and Gramps dated for several years before my Gramps finally proposed to her.  The reason my Gramps proposed was because he was in the Army and was about to be sent off to Europe to fight in World War II so he wanted to marry my Gram before he went away.

I asked my Gram, “How did Gramps propose?”  She said, “I was sitting on a chair at my house and nobody was around and he knelt down and asked me to marry him but he was really bashful about it. I of course said yes!”  While laughing she told me that she picked the 14th of February to get married because she wanted to make it easy for Gramps to remember their anniversary and Valentine’s Day.  She told me that on her wedding day there was snow on the ground but the sun was shining bright. The only wedding pictures that were taken were outside by others because they didn’t have a photographer so there were no pictures taken in the church.   After they were married, they went to Niagara Falls for their honey moon.  You can tell in her voice how much she appreciates her life because she mentioned how their entire bridal party is no longer alive and she is blessed to be here to celebrate their 70th Anniversary with Elmer.  After my Gram was married there was a period of time when she didn’t see my Gramps because he was away fighting in World War II.  So I asked her how she coped with not seeing her husband for 3 years and she said it was very hard but she tried to stay busy.  She worked as a government inspector during the war, taught piano lessons, Sunday school and had girls nights with her good friend Maria.  Gram said that every Friday and Saturday her and Maria would get together and go shopping or see a movie.

Before Gram and Gramps moved into their house they lived with my Gramps’ parents while their house was built. The crazy thing is that up until last year they have always lived in the same house. I think that is a big reason why it was so difficult for them to move and leave the only home that they have known for the last 65 or more years.  Change is such a difficult thing especially after that long.

Two Thanksgivings ago we had a last supper like dinner at their nice Cape Cod house. It was something special that we all wanted to do for them before they moved to Concordia.  Looking back I think having this Thanksgiving dinner together was such an important thing not only for them but for all of us.  We had the dinner in the kitchen that I had spent so many summers watching my Gram clean veggies from their enormous garden and baking famous homemade bread which has been passed down to my mom and will one day be passed on to me. I remember how difficult that weekend was for everyone especially my Grandma.   The look on her face just seemed so sad and confused. One moment in particular my aunt Barb was going through all the kitchen stuff to figure out what everyone wanted to keep and what was going to get dropped off at Salvation Army.  My Aunt pulled out a glass container that had pictures of oranges on the outside and my aunt said, “Let’s get rid of this you never use it.” All I can remember is my Gram’s strained voice as she said, “No that is for my juice.” It really made me sad to hear her upset. I can’t imagine what she was experiencing but I suppose one day I will go through the same with my children. It has to be so hard to have someone going through your home, your stuff and feeling like the independence that you once had has diminished.

This memory stand out of mine from last year on their 69th anniversary. I was out to eat with my boyfriend and I gave them a quick ring to wish them a Happy Anniversary.  I congratulated my gramps and said, “Wow that’s a really long time to be married” and my gramps responded, “Well, I don’t drive any more so I don’t have a choice (with a chuckle)!” My Gramps was actually still driving up until about a year ago. That’s pretty good for someone who was over 92 years old but since then he decided to quite driving but my Gram mentioned today that she still misses him driving her around and said, “We can’t do things like we used to but your dad told us that it’s a part of getting older. I suppose everyone goes through this.”  As sad as this may sound it’s the inevitable truth and I feel that we must find solace in counting our blessings and appreciating our lives.

I then asked her if there were any interesting things that she could share with me.  She said that my Dad, Aunt Barb and Aunt Sharon were all 4 years apart and born on a Leap Year which is kind of interesting.   She remembered that when her kids (my dad and aunts) were young they had chickens for pets and tied strings to them and walked them around the yard.  She also told me about a story when her and my Gramps went up to the mountains with the kids to explore and she had packed a really nice picnic style meal.  Once they reached their destination and were ready to eat she opened up the pack and Gramps had forgotten to pack the spaghetti salad that was a big part of the picnic. She laughed after the story and said there were many more stories but she couldn’t think of them all on the spot.

Another memory that she shared with me actually included me but I was pretty little and don’t remember much. They had a 50th anniversary celebration and renewed their vows.  Apparently I was a flower girl but I don’t remember because I was about 3 at the time.  She said that my brother Nate lead my cousin Kalli and I to the front of the church and then sat in the front seat with us. I kind of remember bits and pieces but it mostly includes playing Monopoly and playing in the gym of the church during the reception. Of course since I was 3 years old at the time it makes sense that I would only recall the play time memories.

When I asked what her advice would be for young people today who want to someday get married she said, “Just make sure that you love each other and also consider the lives you’re leading to make sure you are compatible.  DON’T ever hold grudges and you will get along just fine. We have had ups and downs like everyone else in their marred life… you learn to get over that.  It’s important to have God in your life. Do what’s right and do everything you can while you’re alive. “

Our conversation ended with her saying, “We have our aches and pains but we are still going and the doctor says we are in good health!” We said, “I love you” to each other and hung up. I wish I could have given her a big hug but since we are 8 hours apart it was not possible today.  If you have grandparents nearby please do me a favor and give them a hug today!

I will end with this final thought. Appreciate your grandparents and try and learn about their lives.  Get to know them while you have them because one day they will be gone! I’m not going to lie I had to do some digging to get the content for this post.  Before today I didn’t know most of what I have written about them and I really feel closer to my Gram now that I know more.

So on this Valentine’s Day, I am proud to be where I am in life and I hope you are as well! It’s important to be you and appreciate things. I have a wonderful family who has instilled values and morals in me and I hope that one day I can have a marriage like my grandparents. Here’s to Gram and Gramps and hopefully more healthy and happy years to come!

Plugging Away

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Once Unwanted Girl

Life has its ups and downs. You would expect that when life throws you lemons you could whip up some fancy lemonade but it’s not always so easy especially in this current economy that we are all forced to endure. I have noticed that just because one has the tools and knowledge to do something doesn’t mean much in many industries. So I vow to myself to make an impression and maintain my reputation so that I can posses a solid network of people who may one day be able to connect me to that perfect job or opportunity. Being a recent college graduate, I was told that times would be tough and that the loan repayment process is the worse but you never truly understand until you are face to face with time catching up with you and the realization that the time has come to grow up.

Thank God for sports and the NFL. This past Sunday, October 16, 2011, my Pittsburgh Steelers played the Jags.  Despite Mendenhall’s recent hamstring injury he showed absolutely no impairment to his performance against the Jags during the week six game.  His athleticism was demonstrated by his 8 yard Touchdown and the 146 rushing yards which is a season high for this impressive running back. In the 2nd quarter Wallace had a 28 yard Touchdown. And in the 3rd quarter, Hill scored the Jags 1st TD and the refs broke up a little scuffle between Jones and Woodley. Polamalu was removed from the game after a potential concussion resulting hit in the 4th quarter. However, this amazing safety was just cleared and will be playing in the Arizona Cardinals game next Sunday. Pittsburgh was able to score three times in the first half. They were unable to put any numbers on the board in the second half of the game. Luckily for the Steelers the Jags didn’t score more than 10 points in the second half and the Steelers ended the game 17-13.
Woo hoo to the Pittsburgh Steelers win.  The Steelers are now 4-2 but this second half meltdown is far from reassuring and demonstrates the Steelers inconsistent performance. I hope that Tomlin and Lebeau have some plans up their sleeves for the next few games so that the Defense can continue to make stops and the Offense can dominate the running game to blow out the Cardinals and the Pats. But for now I continue plugging away at this job application process and the Steelers are plugging away towards the playoffs.