Payton Guest Stars on the Blog

My cousin Payton came to my house and helped me with a few things. When she noticed that I’d only blogged once all month long, she told me I needed to blog more. So I asked her if she would blog with me. I found those questions people asked their kids that were circulating facebook a few months ago, and I thought that would be fun to do! For both of us! The green text is what Payton thinks about me with my thoughts on her answers underneath, and the burgundy text is what I think about her with her thoughts underneath!

1. What is something I always say to you?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“That I’m a Maude.” 

Maude is what I call her when she gets a little attitude.
My Answer for Payton
“I don’t want to.”
That’s actually true. 

2. What makes me happy?
Payton’s Answer for Me 

Spot on.
My Answer for Payton
Yes. And no.

3. What makes me sad?

Payton’s Answers for Me
“I don’t know. Oh, wait, you’d be said if your bear would get lost.” 
The bear in question is my stuffed animal bear named Fuzzy Wuzzy that I’ve had since I was six months old.
My Answer for Payton
“Seeing hurt animals.”
Nods enthusiastically. Also when animals are abandoned or alone. 

4. How do I make you laugh?
Payton’s Answer for Me 
“You tell me stories that sometimes make me laugh.”

See Chance, I’m funny!
My Answer for Payton
“You make me laugh when you laugh.”


5. What was I like as a child?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“I did not know you.”
Fair point.
My Answer for Payton
“You still are a child, but you’re fun and smart.”
She just laughed.

6. How old am I?
Payton’s Answer for Me

She’s right!
My Answer for Payton
“You’re 11.”

7. How tall am I?
Payton’s Answer for Me

I’m 5’6″.
My Answer for Payton
“Like 4’8″??”
Um, I don’t know. My dad thinks I’m like 4’7″, I think, so you’re close.

8. What is my favorite thing to do?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“I’m going to say read or watch Harry Potter.” 

She’s pretty much on point. Harry Potter for life.
My Answer for Payton
“Your favorite thing to do is to watch TV and write.”
Um yeah. Kind of. 

9. What do I do when you’re not around?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“I think you probably watch TV in your underwear.” 

Half true. I hate wearing pants but I have to when it’s cold out.
My Answer for Payton
“You hang out with your friends and write stories.”

10. What am I really good at?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“Board games.” 

Boom. My fav. I don’t know if I’m really good at them, but I’m glad that she thinks I am.
My Answer for Payton
Laughs and nods. 

11. What is something I’m not good at?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“I don’t know.” 

I have fooled her good! This is my favorite answer ever!
My Answer for Payton
“You’re not always that good at listening.”
No I’m not. Haha. You’re right.

12. What do I do for a job?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“You’re an event organizer.” 

Close enough. I’m the promotions director for a three radio station cluster, which involves event planning too.
My Answer for Payton
“You go to school.”

13. What is my favorite food?
Payton’s Answer for Me
“Cookies. Or baked potatoes.”

Chocolate and potatoes are my favorite! Pretty damn close!
My Answer for Payton
“Pizza? I have no idea what your favorite food is.”
It’s chicken parmesan.

**Torey Side Note: Chicken Parmesan?? I never even knew she’d eaten chicken parmesan!!**

14. What do you enjoy doing with me?

Payton’s Answer for Me

My Answer for Payton
“I like watching our shows and going on adventures and coloring.”
Oh. Wait, like that’s what I like doing with you? 

I was a big fan of this. She’ll have to guest appear on the blog more often! I asked if she liked it and Payton said she was a fan. Granted, I’m pretty sure that she just wanted to say yes so she could go back to watching Boy Meets World. Well, what can I say? She’s a girl after my own heart ❤


My Daddy! <3

The lucky man has a daughter as his first child. —Spanish Proverb

Years ago, my parents gave me a book about daughters for Christmas. Or maybe my birthday. Or Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember. That’s hardly the point.  The book is full of quotes, stories, and little tidbits about parents and daughters. I keep it next to a picture of them, and read it every now and then. The above proverb is one of the quotes in this book, and I tease my dad mercilessly about it because I’m the oldest child. And I’m way better than Chance (the brother). More on the quote later. Moving on.

I’m now almost a month late on my Father’s Day blog post (life is fluid…oops), but I wanted to write about my daddy. Yes I am 25 and still call him that….I will always call him that. My dad is a teacher. So what better way to honor the best teacher I know than to share with the world what he’s taught me? And I’m not talking just about what he taught me in school (because he was literally my teacher in 7th & 8th grade).

My dad taught me…

  • …to be humble. Never once has my dad ever implied that he is too good, too rich, too poor, too old, too young, too anything to deserve a thing just because of that reason. And he made sure that my brother and I never thought so either.
  • …that you work for what you want. This ties into the above statement. You’re no better or no worse than anyone else around you. So you work your ass off for what you want. Whether it’s your job, a vacation, your home – it is your job to go get it. And to never stop working to keep it.
  • …that lessons learned from sports transcend the years you play them. Dad’s also a coach. Teamwork, persistence, dedication, knowing to drink enough water, and never ever EVER walking on what is supposed to be a running workout are just a few of those lessons.
  • …how to mow. I hated this one. I still from time to time hate this one. But I’m glad I know how.
  • …that money management is important to not only surviving in life, but enjoying it. I am not very good at this one. There are many times that my want for a new book or an iced mocha wins out over my need to make it to the next payday, but the reason I know how to budget and why it’s important is because of my dad.
  • …that you earn respect by respecting others. I’ve never met anyone who is more respected than my dad. I have also never met someone who respects others more than my dad does. That is not a coincidence.

I could continue talking about lessons that I learned and continue to learn from Papa Bear. He is certainly deserving of recognition for all of them. I want to make it known that I in no way believe I have fully understood and embody these. I am a work in progress.

The best teachers push you to improve yourself, and continue teaching you for your whole life. So thank you dad….thank you for even now continuing to push me to be my best self. Thank you for being my favorite teacher.

Back to the quote. Yes, I will always always say that I am the better kid, and that the quote contains the truest words ever written. But honestly? I am the lucky one. Because you are my daddy. I love you!

Boom Cats Meow

A week ago, Chance (the brother) graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Marketing and minors in Political Science & Leadership Studies. Through five years of school, struggles in his personal life, and being about as involved as possible as one person can be on campus, he got to walk across that stage, receive that diploma (which will arrive in two-three months), and he’s off to the real world.

He moved to Kansas City yesterday, and tomorrow he starts his new job with Lockton Companies, the world’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm.  He will be working at their headquarters office located on the Kansas City plaza.  Vera Bradley is also located on the plaza… I suppose I will come see him time and time again.

I am exceptionally proud of my brother, and exceptionally excited to see what he’s going to do. Enjoy the photographic journey of his college graduation, complete with matching shirts, unenthusiastic 14 year-old cousins, and lots of love. Congratulations Chance! I love you!

Happy You Day, Mom! (Late)

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I did the obligatory Facebook post complete with a picture of my mom & me. I’m not a big fan of rambling on Facebook. Every now and then I’ll have a slightly longer post (i.e. my Teacher’s Appreciation Day shoutout to my dad), but typically, I keep it short. Hence was the way with my Mother’s Day post. Yet as I spent lunch eating with my parents and reading others’ Facebook posts, I realize that if anyone is worthy of a ramble, it’s my mom. So I wanted to write about her. And say thank you. So, mom, thank you…

  • …for introducing me to Steel Magnolias. I love you more than my luggage.
  • …for letting me crash at your house and steal your cable and your food and play with the doggies at least twice a week.
  • …for giving me advice in my life struggles. And for not saying “I told you so,” if I don’t listen to your advice.
  • …for being my chips, queso, & margarita partner in crime.
  • …for understanding and valuing my love language, Quality Time, and hanging out with me even when you don’t want to.
  • …for letting me ramble incessantly about topics and tell you stories of which I’ve almost certainly told you before.
  • …for teaching me to be unapologetic about who I am.
  • …for telling me the harsh truth, even when I don’t want to hear it, aka when I “look a little rough.”
  • …for binge watching HGTV shows with me! Team Shiplap.
  • …for being my best friend.

Mom, I don’t tell you enough about how much of an influence you (and dad) have made on my life. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without your fierceness, strength, and loyalty rubbing off on me every day of my life. Thank you.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Love you bye.

Christmas (and Birthday!) Celebrations

Christmas is my favorite holiday. Actually, it’s my favorite day of the year if I’m being honest. The magic, the decorations, the lights, the FOOD!!! But my favorite part about Christmas is spending it with family. This year, we had celebrations for four days straight, because that’s how we do holidays.

This year was especially exciting for me, because it was the first time I hosted family for the holidays. I decided to have a Christmas Eve Eve Game Night. It was a great chance to show off my new(ish) apartment, especially since it’s all done up for the holidays. Here’s some of my favorites:

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent at my parents house. We pretty much ate the entire two days. If we weren’t eating, we were sleeping, playing games, or laughing. We are a loud family who loves to laugh, and we certainly do a lot of it each year. The most people we had at my parents house at one time was 18 – so my mom can also be referred to as a saint.

My cousin Brett’s birthday is the day after Christmas. He turned 14 this year, so we celebrated by going out to dinner and coming back for a 3 hour game of Baconopoly (Brett LOVES pigs & bacon, so hence the theme of the game). THREE. HOURS. My goal in any kind of Monopoly is to go bankrupt as fast as possible, and well, this year, that didn’t work out so well. Third place, baby, on the first of what the birthday boy wants to make an annual tradition.

I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas this year. As for tonight, I’m going to continue coping with the inevitable return to real life tomorrow by trying not to drool (too much) over Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman.” ❤