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Tag Archives: Christmas


Image Credits: Happy Thanksgiving Day Images

Hey guys, Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m not really feeling the holiday spirit this year – at all. My family and I considered scaling back or even postponing Thanksgiving this year and I am already sick to death of Christmas.

I’ve had a rough week. I went on a trip to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. It was a fantastic trip and I learned so much about the book of Genesis, God’s creation, and Noah’s Ark. You wouldn’t believe how big the ark really is – you need to see it for yourself. Kenn Hamm should be very proud of his creation on the Ark Encounter because it was extremely accurate and stunning!


However, I went on the trip a little bit sick and came back extremely sick. My mom was also sick and diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis or something. Dad got the flu. Our poor cat, Gizmo also got very sick and sadly could not fight off the infection. He died on Sunday morning.

Losing Giz has been extremely hard on everyone. He was so much more than just a cat to us – he was family. He was more loyal, loving, kind, and compassionate than most people we know including our blood family. He would always greet you at the door, eat dinner with you, and comfort you when you were upset. He was my dad’s best friend and my dad would talk to Giz and spend all of his time caring for Giz when Mom and I were at work or school. My dad has been completely heartbroken and devastated by the lost of his best friend.


I know that it was Gizmo’s time to go. He was 21 years old and we could tell he wasn’t feeling well and on Saturday night, was really suffering. We chose to have him buried in a pet cemetery where he will get his own headstone and everything. I know it sounds crazy, but he deserves it. His burial will take place on Saturday. I don’t think my family and I will ever be ready to let go of him though.

So, with all of this we’re not exactly in the mood for Thanksgiving or any of the holidays this year. It’s sad and not the same. It’s hard because we think of the times we’ve spent with my grandparents. How my grandfather would accidentally insult my mom’s cooking and it was so funny you couldn’t be mad at it. We remember the crazy Thanksgiving song my Mom’s mom invented and how mad it made her husband, my mom’s dad. We remember making special dinners for Giz and how we’d torment him with the turkey before we cooked it. We remember years ago when my sister was a part of the family and the holiday. We remember how these people are no longer a part of our lives, and we miss them and the way things used to be. This makes the holidays hard. Plus, while we’re feeling better than we have, none of us are 100% yet, which just makes it harder.

I know a lot of people would criticize me and say that this isn’t very “Christian” of me. I’m a Christian, but I’m not perfect. I need God in my life to give me a source of hope when I feel hopeless. When I’m too far invested in the world (like I have been lately) and not invested enough in God, I have trouble feeling hope. That’s why I want to spend a large portion of my time today invested in reading scripture, so I can feel that sense of hope again.


Image Credits: Bible Verse Images 

There is always something in life to be thankful for, even if you don’t always feel or see it though. Here is what I’m thankful for this year.

1. My Amazing Family.


My family is small – just my parents and I – but it’s been amazing. My parents are my biggest fans and supporters. They want nothing more than to see me succeed and reach for the moon. They yell at me when they think I’m not reaching high enough or when I’m “settling” for something less than the best. They always drive me everywhere I need to go since I don’t have a driver’s license and they do it without complaint. My dad has over the years even driven me all the way through State College for a job interview that went horrifically bad and my mom has taken me to NYC on the subway she knew nothing about for another job interview gone bad. My parents are the best and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

2. My Job at Penn Medicine.


This was an incredibly hard job to get. My interview process started in January and I didn’t actually get hired until June. I am thankful that Penn has worked with me and did everything they could to offer me a job, even when I took a different job instead initially. I know I have a strange schedule due to school, so I am incredibly thankful for Penn for working around my schedule by offering me reduced hours and the ability to work from home. I am thankful for my amazing co-workers who teach me everything and exert extreme patience, kindness, and understanding towards me. Penn has been such a great company to work for and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work for them.

3. Rowan University.


Image Credits: AliveCampus.com 

As a student, I don’t always agree with some of the changes or decisions the school makes, but I still really love this school and am so thankful for all of the doors it has opened to me. I am thankful to have the opportunity to earn my MA in Writing and to hopefully become one step closer to finishing and publishing my book, God Granted Me Hearing. I am thankful to have the opportunity to teach freshman college students through the Teaching Experience (TEP) program, something I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to do. I am incredibly thankful for Dr. Courtney and the current and former TEP instructors for all of the help, assistance, lesson-plan sharing, ideas, and advice they have given me. I’d be lost without all of you guys – you’re the best. I’m thankful for my students who while they drive me crazy at times, also know how to make me smile and show me why teaching is so awesome.

4. My Amazing Church Family. 


Image Credits: Washington Baptist Church

I saw a picture posted on Facebook the other day that said “Church isn’t just a place, it’s a family”. As someone who’s been church-hopping for many years, I can truly say it’s hard to find a church that feels like a family. I found that with Washington Baptist Church. Pastor Lex and all of the members of the congregation are absolutely amazing people. They really take the time to get to know one another, to lift them up, and to pray for each other. You’re never just a nameless face at WBC.

Even when I left WBC for a few months to try out another church, as soon as I came back I was welcomed with open arms. Even when I went each week to another church I couldn’t forget about WBC – I missed them because they were my family. I never felt that kind of connection at any other church before. This church has taught me SO much and helped to bring me closer in my walk with God.

5. My Cochlear Implants.

cochlear implant

This is the first time in 2 years that I’m not recovering from surgery around the holidays. I just celebrated 2 years with my first cochlear implant on my left ear and on Wednesday I will be at 1 year on my right ear. It still never ceases to amaze me how well I can hear. Even though my right one hasn’t been working right the last few days (I’m probably going to have to send it out to AB for repairs), I can still hear so well, better than most people I know now. I’m always in awe when I can watch YouTube videos (or my latest obsession – TED talks) without caption. Certain sounds are still new to me – hearing trains go by still scare me because I forget what it is that I’m hearing. Every time I’m feeling down and depressed and having an “I hate my life, why me?” kind of moment I remember how much God has blessed me with this incredible gift. I’m so thankful for Dr. Willcox and the amazing team at Jefferson for helping to make this miracle happen for me.


What are you guys thankful for this year?


So it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m about to close another chapter of my life and begin a new one. I already wrote what my New Year’s resolutions are and about what I hope to accomplish in 2014. Now I’d like to look back on my best moments of the past year. 2013 was a pretty crazy year. It’s definitely had its ups and downs, but overall it was pretty cool and if 2014 follows a similar path I’d be quite alright with that. Here are my Top 10 Moments From 2013.
10. Meeting Casey In Real Life. 


This was my 2nd day with Casey, May 9, 2013.I took this picture outside of the student center by my favorite bridge. I loved showing him around and he really seemed to like the campus.

I think this can go on two lists: top 10 best moments and top 10 worst moments. Casey and I were randomly brought together in 2012 after  meeting online through my writing for Bit Rebels. We became very quick friends and I ultimately ended up falling in love with him. For awhile we dismissed having a real relationship since he’s 34 and I’m 23 and he lives in Florida and I live in NJ. However, the more we talked the more our friendship grew and we just wanted more. It started to seem possible and like it was meant to be. We made our relationship official on April 1, 2013.

We started planning when we would meet for the first time in real life. We knew it was something we had to do it was just a matter of when. Casey was an avid traveller and used to these things so the plan was he’d visit me. Originally we planned to meet for his birthday which was in July. However, when he learned that my birthday was in May he quickly changed his plans.

Casey and I met for the first time on my 23rd birthday which was May 8, 2013. We spent the next 3 days together hanging out at the mall, seeing movies, going out to eat, and I even took him to Rowan for a book signing event. We had a great time and even though we broke up a month later, it’s something I will always remember.
9. Valentine’s Day

For those of you who don’t know Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. In 2012 I was dating a real jerk that made things really bad for Valentine’s Day. I was single for it in 2013 and couldn’t have been happier. I had off of work and I treated myself to an iPhone. I previously only had a crappy Cricket phone that couldn’t really do anything. I fell in love with my iPhone instantly. I don’t know how I ever went without it…this phone is amazing!

Here’s the first picture I took with my iPhone…notice my candy heart earrings and heart headband…I get really into Valentine’s Day!


8. Grounds for Sculpture. My mom always has off on Wednesdays and weekends. When I worked at Walmart I had off every Thursday and that was about it. One week I got lucky and had off on a Wednesday. We wanted to do something fun and different together as a family so we gave Grounds for Sculpture a try. It was such a fun day! I can’t wait to go back sometime. There’s so much to see! Here’s a few of our pictures:







Honestly one of the things I like the most about this picture is that I had to throw that shirt out because it no longer fits…it’s way too big! That’s a problem I don’t mind having… 😉

7.Yellowcard Concert Yellowcard has been one of my favorite bands for years and their Ocean Avenue album was practically revolutionary for me. I listened to that album thousands of time. Pretty much every single song on it is very important and meaningful for me. When I found out that they were doing a 10 year acoustic anniversary tour for the album I just had to go. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.  You can check out my full review of the Yellowcard Ocean Avenue Acoustic Tour Here. Here’s some videos from the show:

6. Commencement. I actually graduated in December of 2012, but my commencement wasn’t until May of 2013. I’ll be honest, Commencement was a little disappointing to me and I thought my community college graduation was 1000x’s better,but it was still a nice final “hoorah!”. I achieved something no one else in my family has — not just one, but two bachelor’s degrees.


This is Rowan’s mascot The Prof…we’re just too cool to call ourselves the Rowan Owls…


I recieved a bachelor’s in English and a Bachelor’s in Writing Arts. I chose to participate in the Writing Arts ceremony with the College of Communication & Creative Arts


The red and white cords represent my membership with the Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society.




I spent way too much time trying to decide how to decorate my cap. This was perfect. It’s a line from Dead Poets Society (my favorite movie and a movie that fits in well with both of my majors) that means “Seize the Day”.

5. Christmas  This was the best Christmas my family and I had for a long time. It was the first Christmas in our new home and we were all happy and well. The past few years have been rough with losing family members and financial struggles. We were very financially stable this year which definitely helped, but at the same time we always remember the true meaning of Christmas. Just having a nice day together was one of the things that made this year’s Christmas so special.
4. Working at Webimax I started 2013 still working at Walmart and it made me completely miserable. I hated it. I worked very hard and pretty much all I ever got was a hard time from everyone and taken advantage of by co-workers and management. I constantly applied for “real” jobs but the job market is no joke these days. Seriously, if you’re looking for a job good luck at getting so much as an interview. My job search lead me some interesting places…such as hundreds of miles from home in the middle of nowhere also known as State College PA:


I interviewed for a digital journalist position at Accuweather. I was really late because apparently it’s really easy to get lost in the middle of nowhere. They didn’t like me and I didn’t like them much either. No surprise I didn’t get this job. I’m quite thankful for that…I was less than enthused about the idea of moving to State College.

I applied to Webimax several times over the course of 2013. The first being about two days before my trip to State College actually. I applied again when they announced they were hiring over the summer. I never gave up on them because in my heart I knew that was my dream job and where I really wanted to be.

I was interviewed for an Inbound Marketer position around the beginning of July. The interview went extremely well, but unfortunately they were unable to hire me at that time. So my job search continued as I remained a cashier at Walmart.


I took this picture right before my interview at Webimax. It took me forever to decide what to wear. I loved the pink blazer because I thought it would help me to stand out and be more memorable.

Then everything began to fall in place. I had an interview set up with The Christian Post. It sounded promising except for one thing…the interview was to take place in NYC on 9/11…not a time when you want to go to the city. It was also a 100+ degree day…not ideal for wearing a business suit and walking around the city…

God works in funny ways. As I was stressing over my Christian Post interview I got an email from human resources at Webimax with a job offer. I accepted immediately.

Now I have been working at Webimax since September. I love it so much. I have learned so much about the world of SEO and I always look forward to coming into work each day. My boss and co-workers are amazing. Everyone is so smart, creative, and fun. I definitely made the right choice accepting this offer and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for me at Webimax.
3. Reconnecting with Old Friends I lost touch with a lot of friends during college especially when I transferred into Rowan. This year I started to reconnect with some and it’s been wonderful. I definitely need to give a shout out to Pam here. Pam, you’ve been a wonderful friend to me always. I always enjoy having tea with you and learning all about the cow apocalypse.
2. Moving to Washington Township I lived in Woodbury for about 9 years. It was supposed to just be a temporary thing but it didn’t quite work out that way. Woodbury’s been good for me over the years. The high school was amazing and I have many great friends from Woodbury. I love the diner, too. It’s my happy place. However, our house really sucked. Everything was broken. See:


Just one of the many broken walls in my bedroom in my old house…



Believe it or not this was actually the only “working” sink in the old house…


The condo we moved to in Washington Township is much nicer. Nothing’s broken, we have counter space in the kitchen, we have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, and even a sunroom! The area is much more quiet, peaceful, and safe as well. I frequently go for walks around town and morning runs. Here’s some pictures of the new house:




We have two bathrooms now. This one is mine.



And this is the main bathroom/my parent’s bathroom.



My new room is just a tad bit nicer than my old room…




This is the view outside of my new home in Washington Township



This is “the red room” also known as the sunroom but for some reason everything is red…

1. Meeting Sean Forbes Seriously though, did you expect anything else to be #1? Sean Forbes is absolutely amazing and meeting him was everything I hoped it would be. I love all that Sean is doing for the deaf community. He has so much talent and is just amazing. I saw his show at The Rotunda in Philly back in October and it was just amazing. I loved the vibrating stage and how he signs and everything it was just great. I got to talk to him before and after the show and he was such a sweet heart. He actually remembered me by name through Twitter! I was amazed that he remembered! He definitely cares about his fans!


Sean Forbes and I after his show in Philly! I was so excited to meet him!


2013 was a pretty cool year. I’m really looking forward to what 2014 brings!


Remember when Christmas break was actually called Christmas break instead of the all-inclusive “Winter Break”? Or how about when you could freely wish someone a “Merry Christmas” without having to worry about offending them?

I started to notice a shift when I was in high school and the name of the annual “Christmas Dance” got changed to the much safer “Winter Formal”. It seems like such a small, insignificant kind of change, but it means so much more.

Christianity is being censored all across the nation, and as Sarah Palin discusses in her novel, Good Tidings and Great Joy it’s only about to get worst. Other religious groups, atheists, and the liberal left are constantly pushing to have Christianity removed from not only Christmas, but well, everything.

As I Christian I have seen this happen many times recently. It’s frustrating. I feel as though I cannot freely discuss my religion on most occasions without being “wrong” or “offending” someone. It’s perfectly okay to be exclusive or to poke fun of Christians, yet it’s wrong for Christians to be well, Christians. Double standard, much?

Palin paints a picture of what’s to come in the future if we don’t stand up for our Constitutional rights and defend the Christian views of Christmas. She imagines that by the year 2028 when she visits her grandson at college Christian programs will be removed from campus for not agreeing to strict inclusive terms set forth by the university. Funny how a university (or anyone, really) that preaches about inclusion can be so exclusive to the Christian religion. She further imagines Christmas programs that are 100% removed from the Christian religion and focus on other elements including the commercialized views, or what at times seems even more horrifying, strictly scientific views of Christmas.

It can be easy to dismiss Palin’s predictions as being absurd or unrealistic, but the reality is all of her predictions have already been happening all across the nation. I chuckled a bit when reading about how she imagines by the year 2028 the religious freedom group would begin preaching about Saturnalia and encouraging individuals to remember the original Pagan roots of Christmas and even begin to accuse Christians of stealing the holiday. This sounds a bit insane, but truth be told, they are doing that. Right here, right now.

I grew up in the town of Pitman, NJ. It’s known for being a traditional, fairly conservative small town. A majority of the town is Christian or Catholic. They have held signs across towns from the Knights of Columbus for year that say “Keep Christ in Christmas”. No one’s ever really had a problem with them or at least never mentioned being offended by them in town as far as I know. However, the religious freedom group finds it offensive. Last year they tried to sue the town over the signs. This year they gave up with the lawsuit, but instead chose to purchase an advertisement that reads “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia”.

This is exactly the crazy nonsense Palin fears will happen in the future. However, I must commend Pitman on being less than accepting of the sign. I don’t exactly support the torching of the sign (yes, this is actually happening) but I appreciate hearing that people are still trying to stand up for their Christian beliefs and to protect the real meaning of Christmas (which I do not believe is the Saturnalia view, no matter how hard the religious freedom group tries to make us believe that…).

I know that people will be reading this blog post thinking I’m unaccepting of other religions and cultures. That is not true at all. I am accepting of all different kinds of people. I have a very diverse group of friends. I believe we should be accepting of others. But I feel like there are double standards. Palin wrote in her book about colleges and universities spending thousands of dollars to create foot washing stations to support the beliefs of Muslims and they are also rearranging gym schedules and times to allow females their own individual hours if they don’t feel comfortable exercising in front of men. All of this okay, but it’s unacceptable to wish someone a Merry Christmas or to call the break from school in the winter “Christmas Break”. Double standard, much?

I agree wholeheartedly with the views Palin expresses in Good Tidings and Great Joy. I know Palin gets a lot of slack from others, but I always found her to be a brilliant woman. She’s fearless, and in this novel it really shows. She says what she honestly thinks and feels and I truly believe many Americans, especially Christians, feel the same way even if they are afraid to admit it. Why are they afraid? Because they don’t want to offend someone? Sure, it’s important to be nice to people and to never deliberately offend them, but when you can’t so much as wish someone a Merry Christmas without worrying about offending them, then that’s a problem.

Our constitutional rights have granted us free speech and freedom of religion. Sadly, the liberal lefts are choosing to ignore the constitution and strip us from these freedoms. It is now our job to join the likes of Palin and others who value and respect their constitutional rights to protect not only the true meaning of Christmas, but our basic rights to free speech and freedom of religion. These constitutional rights are for EVERYONE. Not just non-Christians, as the  liberal lefts would like you to believe.


If anyone is feeling generous and would like to give me a really great Christmas gift this year, I’m accepting donations through a Go Fund Me page for new hearing aids. I started this fund a little over a month ago and have raised $105 so far. I’m off to a great start, but I still need to raise quite a bit more money. Hearing aids are expensive. My new set is estimated to cost a little over $4,000 (and that’s with a credit I’ll get for trading my current ones in!). I set my fundraising goal for $4,000.

As it is, I don’t expect to have the money to purchase the new hearing aids until about March after I file for taxes. I’m hoping to get them sooner. They will help me tremendously. A few weeks ago I had a hearing appointment with a hearing test. My hearing hasn’t changed too much. I still have about a 90% hearing loss across the board. I didn’t get any of the words right when she tested me for clarity. This has always been my biggest issue and with the new hearing aids my clarity should be a lot better. It will never be perfect of course, but whereas I normally have about 0% clarity, the new hearing aids should be able to increase it to about 35%.

To further explain my issues of clarity…most of the time when I hear things it’s like hearing through a clogged straw. I hear noises. Sometimes it’s VERY LOUD. But I can’t distinguish what it is. It just sounds like noise to me. Example – hearing songs and not knowing what they are, who sings them, or how they are supposed to sound. Or hearing someone talk and not being sure who is talking (if I can’t see them) or being able to tell whether or not they are talking to me or someone nearby. My life gets really awkward at times due to my lack of clarity. lol.

My new hearing aids will be coming from The Miracle Ear foundation. I’ve been with them since I was 17. Actually, when I first got involved with them I was issued a free pair of hearing aids due to lack of funds/resources and a dire need for new ones. My services with them have been great. After the initial first pair you typically have to upgrade every 3-5 years. I upgraded about a year ago. The pair I have now have always just kind of been okay. Technology has improved and the new ones are better gear for my types of hearing loss though. The ones I am looking to upgrade to I believe are called the Clear Vation.

Clear Vation Hearing Aids


Image Credits: Miracle Ear

The Clear Vation hearing aids are, in the words of my audiologist “AMAZING!”. They offer the clarity as I already discussed, are a great deal smaller, and what’s that…they have a WIRE instead of tubes to connect the mold to the device. Why is this so special? My ears get a lot of moisture in them. More than average (no one is really sure why.). When the moisture builds up it gets inside the tubes. The moisture then causes the tubes to shrink and harden. Think of the tubes like a straw. When straws get clogged they don’t work as well. A more narrow straw can get clogged more easily, making it harder to use. With my hearing aid tubes when they harden and shrink it becomes harder for the sound to come through and I can’t hear as well. I typically have to get new hearing aid tubes put in once a month. It’s a bit annoying to have to make monthly hearing appointments just for this reason. With the new hearing aids with wires this will no longer be a problem.

If any of you guys would like to donate to my cause you can by clicking this link: http://www.gofundme.com/506cvs . I can’t thank you enough for your donations. Every little bit helps; no donation is too small.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this, share it, and/or donate. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Okay so my mom’s been a bit frustrated with me this holiday season. I have a decent full time job and if I want something I buy it. This makes it difficult for her to buy me things for Christmas…I keep buying everything on my own. She also thinks some of the gift ideas I give her or lame or stupid. She keeps saying “You never tell me what you want!”. Since I’m a smart ass I decided to post a blog post with a guide for what she can buy me for Christmas. haha.


1. Bath and Body stuff from Bath and Body Works – Okay, it doesn’t have to be bath and body works, but they’re the best. I like to buy huge orders of the stuff and I always have coupons. The signature stuff is the best deal you can buy 3 get 3 free. That’s what I always get.  I have more coupons too. Ask me for them…I’ll act surprised lol. I like these in bubble bath or shower gel. Here’s the ones I’d buy for myself but I’m very flexible with this…








2. Calendars.  I don’t think you can buy me too many of them. Don’t buy me the large desk ones though as it will be too big for my desk. I like the tear off ones and I could use one of those ones that you hang up for at home. I don’t really care what’s on it  as long as it’s not totally lame.


3. Large post its.  I use them all the time at work but they keep shrinking…

4. Something I can use to hang things up with in my cubicle.  I want to hang papers onto my cubicle. I found pushpins in the office but they don’t stick through the cubicle walls very well. I’m not sure what other people do…

5. A cord to plug in my deaf ILY lamp when it comes.  They told me you can buy it at like Home Depot or Lowes or something.

6. Books. I can never have too many. Here’s the ones I am most interested in:




(Really anything by Sarah Addison Allen except for Garden Spells, The Girl Who Chased The Moon, or Sugar Fairy…I have those).








(Or really any Cecelia Ahern book except for P.S. I Love You, Love, Rosie, The Gift, If You Could See Me Now, There’s No Place Like Here, and Thanks For The Memories).

7. Something fun to do. Tickets to something different, gift cards for the tea place, etc.


8. The Betty Crocker Cake Pan I Was Supposed to Get When I Was Like 16 – I believe you owe me this from past Christmases…Amazon has it.




9. Clothes I could especially use sweaters or a new white long sleeved shirt since mine is not really white anymore. I also really like this TWLOHA shirt:



7. My rings resized. I miss wearing those. 


8. More charms for my bracelet. I’d really love a 7th infantry one if you could ever find it and a hashtag (number symbol). I’s like a panda as well.


8. New slippers.  I really like the ones that look like uggs.




9. Pretty much anything Big Bang Theory related except for the dvds since I have them all. Sheldon and Amy are my favorite characters.


10. Frames for my diplomas.


11. Surprise me!

That’s about all I can think of. I like quirky, unique things and I like surprises. Get creative, but not too weird. I.E.-Don’t let Daddy buy me another walking cane this year lol!

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