10 Reasons Why Screenshotting is a Way of Life

Because:

1. I can be petty. Let me just get that out there. But sometimes people will try you and your pettiness has nothing to do with it. I have been guilty of screenshotting stupidity and ridiculousness (in a heartbeat) and sending it to my fiancé.

2. My memory is awful. I constantly see things online that are amazing and realize at once I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IT; then later forget about it because (guess what) I can indeed live without it. Screenshotting helps me with my denial. 

3. I see so many beautiful ideas on wedding websites and on other blogs, and I definitely intend on stealing some of them.

4. Sometimes my boo sends me the cutest and funniest messages!!


5. People say they will send group pics but never do. Then you see them on Instagram. If you look good, a screenshot is all you have. And if you look hideous, refer to Reason 1.

6. Snapchat stories pass so fast! Wait, what do you mean “that’s the point?”. 

7. Pinterest has wisdom for days, and screenshotting is so much easier than figuring out where the “save image” button ran off to since the last update.

8. Because sometimes people make the funniest faces in homemade music videos, and you just have to – HAVE TO – screenshot it in hopes of laughing at it forever.

9. Passwords are my kryptonite.

10. Coupons never want to load when you are in line and ready to pay for your items. Ever. 

How about you guys? Y’all as screenshot-crazy as I? Let me know below!

    Trying Something New

    Before I get into my new interest, let me tell you how the wedding went! 

    This weekend I was honored to be a part of my friend Lena’s destination wedding in Florida.  I have to say they truly had it all together; Lena and her fiancé researched everything about the legalities of getting married in another state and knew exactly what they were doing. The three of us drove up to Panama City Beach on Wednesday and visited the nearby city hall to get their marriage license. 

    We headed back home to New Orleans, then prepared for the true road trip the next day. Thursday started with mani/pedis at a local nail salon, with the bride decked out in a “wifey” shirt (from an etsy shop called cutieandmore that I highly recommend) and a sash that said “Bride To Be”. Six manicures and 3 pedicures later, we were on the road.

    We made it to PCB after sunset around 7 that evening, and pulled up to the most GORGEOUS beachhouse. Open floor plan, large kitchen with new appliances and marble countertops, tall doorways, large “rain” showerheads, game room, 4 bikes to explore with, and an amazing community pool across the street. The best part? Each of us only payed about $200 for the 3 nights. 

    Anyway, back to the wedding: It turned out beautifully. It was on Friday after sunset on the beach. There were tiki torches guiding a path to the groom and candles forming a heart for the bride and groom to stand. We all formed a semi-circle around the couple and watched on as they said “I do.” My fiancé did the photography (and some videography) and I have to say he did an excellent job! I was a little nervous the lighting would mess things up, but he really impressed all of us. {I was like “There goes my baby!”}

    Get to the point, please.

    Okay, okay! Well, since Justin has skills, I had him train me behind the camera, and I have to say I am pretty impressed with myself. I’m sorry to do this, but I absolutely need to show you guys some photos I shot before the wedding ceremony. All by myself.




    Photographers, bloggers, readers: let me know how I did. What could I have done better? And tell me how you discovered photography, I am super interested.

    Or just ignore that last paragraph. I mean, it does take 15 whole seconds to type out a response. (Ugh, I hate passive aggressiveness and sarcasm. My apologies.) Talk to you guys soon!

    Rhymes with Beyoncé…

    So obviously, this post is going to be a tad personal… I do not apologize. As you can see, I had an amazing weekend. My best friend surprised me in the most ultimate and beautiful way possible. {If you do not know our story, just wait; I am positive either I’ll upload it later or put up our link when we put our wedding site together.} But I would like to share how he proposed, because he got me good. Sooo good. 

    How He Did It

    This past weekend there was a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses hosted in Macon, Ga, so instead of going to my own convention in Baton Rouge, I decided to join Justin and his family for theirs. Early on, his mom and dad were super excited I was coming because that Friday marked their 28th year of marriage. His mom sent all of her kids and me an invitation to celebrate with them at her favorite restaurant that Friday night after the convention session. I was super excited to be with my new family and celebrate with them for the first time. Slowly but surely my family in Louisiana somehow all jumped on the bandwagon, so instead of me just flying into Georgia Thursday night ( like I wanted to), we planned a roadtrip. All 5 of us- my grandma, mom, sister, nephew and me. 

    A week before the trip Justin’s mom called me with some girl-talk and asked if she could treat my mom and grandma to a manicure when they arrived. “I know you’ll have your nails looking nice… Just wanted to do something nice for your mom and Momo.” Then she asked, “When are you getting your nails done?”

    In all honesty, my nails are rarely cute. I am a nurse, so I use my hands a lot. And I can be a tad bit OCD with nails, so if one nail is ruined, it’s all over for the set. So when she alluded to me having them done, I was like oh crap. Then proceeded to add Mani/Pedi to my to-do list.

    Wednesday, I got my nails done, and then the next day we were on our way to Georgia!

    Fastforward through hours of driving, fast food, and highway arguments, we made it! 

    Friday, the first day of the convention, started off great. We had a great Bible-based program, and I had the opportunity to meet some of Justin’s family and friends. Around 2pm, as we were seated listening to the program, Justin started to dig in his pocket. When he retrieved his phone out, I could see his boss was calling him. He looked at me and said he had to take it, and he would be back. 

    He was gone 40 minutes before I checked my phone and saw his message.

    Taking care of a work emergency.

    I was a tad annoyed at this point. I felt like asking him “Really, Justin?”. I didn’t. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I decided to ask if he had to actually leave the convention center. I was hoping maybe he just had to step outside with his phone and give his boss step-by-step directions on how to fix whatever tech issues there was. Nope. His next message confirmed that he left.. I admit, I was angry. How in the world do you skip out on a regional convention?!  I sent him a message telling him that I was going to steal his phone next convention, and that it’s not okay to choose work over God. I ended the message with See you later. 

    Then later, when the convention session was finished I found a message from Justin to the family group message asking us to help him clean up from his work. Apparently there was an event and the person covering it from his job had a death in the family. Justin apologized for having to ask us, but sincerely needed our help. I ignored his message. Then I saw his brother-in-law messaged him back Sure thing. He told Justin that we were leaving the convention center and would be heading his way. 

    In my head I was thinking “How in the world is this okay?” But since I respected his family and saw that I was the only one a little annoyed by this whole work nonsense, I decided to just forget about the issue at the time, and just talk to Justin about it privately. We headed to the address Justin sent to us and when we got there, I greeted him like I would any other time and jumped out to help him clean up whatever mess he had left from the event.  The place was gorgeous, a large scenic park with a body of water close-by. He pointed to some garbage bags on the ground and told me that’s all he had left to pick up. 

    “Hold up, though.” He said. “You want to see what logo I made for them?” 

    “Sure.” I said, dropping the bags.

    He pointed to an eisel with a blank canvas on it. Me, not being the smartest of God’s creatures, looked at it confused. 

    “It’s on the back.” He said to me matter-of-factly.

    “Ohhhh.” I said, laughing. I walked up to it,  turned it over, and saw something that didn’t look like a logo at all. It was a purple illustration of a man in a suit. I took a quick glance at it without reading the words and started to ask Justin what it was. I turned around and he was on his knee. I looked back at the illustration and read the words “Will you marry me?” and gasped. 

    Of course I said yes. 

    All of my family and his appeared with cameras and hugs and I had to admit I was surprised. Him being the artist he is, the illustration was of himself wearing the exact same outfit as he was that day, on his knee, proposing. And, though his intention wasn’t to make me angry or for me to doubt his spirituality, his disappearance definitely threw me off his scent. In actuality, he didn’t leave the convention center when he “took the call”. He had his boss call him at a specific time and he went to sit somewhere else. 


    Afterward, we celebrated at this beautiful restaurant called Bucca di Peppo. It was a catered meal of many many entrees; we had two different types of appetizers, two pasta dishes, two different salads, two chicken courses, and two delicious desserts. Everything I tasted was amazing. Justin and I were so happy to share such an amazing experience with our families and such an beautiful day with his parents. That day, July 15th, marked 28 years of marriage for them, and it was truly an honor for them to share that day with us this year. (Thank you soooo much, and Happy Anniversary!!)

     
    We have a long and stressful future ahead of us, wedding planning. But having this weekend to outwardly solidify our relationship was beautiful and an experience I will never forget. I will try not to overbear you with wedding stuff nor desert you guys entirely, but please understand my focus has changed a bit. I love you guys so much, and genuinely appreciate your support and love. Talk to you soon! 

    Heartbreak at Work

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    He was a small man, around 5 feet 5 inches tall, 120 pounds at most. As he walked down the halls using his cane, he’d have a grim expression on his face. He’d knit his eyebrows together as if he were intently concentrating on each new step he faced. Wherever he was going, he was determined. He took quick, confident steps on weak, unsteady legs, and as a result, no more than a few feet away, there was always a nurse aid or nurse chasing after him.

    During mealtime, while waiting for his tray, he’d sit in his seat and stare ahead intently, every once in a while finding something interesting to follow with his eyes.

    I’d go up to him and smile really big and cheerfully say “Hey, Mr. C!” [name has been shortened to C for confidentiality purposes]. His expression would immediately brighten, then.

    “Hey, baby.” was his usual reply. He’d smile real big and start shuffling around in his pocket, pulling out his wallet.

    “How much do I owe you?” He’d ask , as he opened his wallet and took out one dollar bills.

    “No, no, Mr.C. Dinner’s free. You don’t need to pay!” I’d tell him, as I had done so many times before. He’d laugh to himself and put his wallet away.

    It wasn’t long until he fell, and was sent out to a behavioral hospital for his dementia and increased behavioral problems. They kept him for a few weeks to evaluate his medicine and behavior. Meanwhile, his wife was admitted to the facility at the end of the hall. She was a petite woman who stayed in bed due to bad arthritis in her legs. The right side of her face was decorated a dark purple color of bruises, with a large knot on her forehead.

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    She was a talkative woman, down to earth and friendly. Very hard-of-hearing, she’d speak loudly to me of her husband’s visit to the hospital and ask me questions concerning her appearance.

    “Who did this to me?” She would ask me when I would see her. It didn’t take long for me to realize the abuser. At the nurses station there were signs everywhere saying her son was not allowed in the facility for any reason. Soon, Mrs.C started to remember what happened. She’d sit in bed and tell me how she couldn’t understand why her son would do this to her. I would just listen to her as she vented; the answers to her questions beyond my grasp.

    When Mr.C came back from the mental hospital, there was a significant change in him. His speech was inappropriate and sometimes incoherent aside from the profanity he insisted on using. He was in a wheelchair now, but he was constantly trying to stand up, though he was weak. He was increasingly violent, smacking and grabbing at people who told him something he didn’t like. His behavior was unpredictable, and constantly a problem.

    One night, I remember his behavior being so out-of-hand that I had to sit him next to me at the nurses station while I did my paperwork for the night. To keep him occupied, we gave him some sheets and towels to fold, hoping his former career as an owner of a cleaners would help us to keep him in line. When that grew stale and he continued to try to get out of his wheelchair, one of the nurse assistants asked Mr.C if he danced.

    “Oh, yeah.” he said with a smile, his mouth dripping with saliva from his psych medicines.

    “C’mon. Dance with me.” she told him, fully aware that he wasn’t going to stay in his chair. She helped him to his feet and put one of his hands on her waist and held his other hand. One of the nurses turned on a Katy Perry song, and I looked at her like she was crazy. How in the world are they going to dance to this? But sure enough, Mr.C started moving his legs and dancing (quite well) with the nurse aid. He hummed along and smiled at her as they moved back and forth. Droplets of saliva fell from his mouth and glistened on the floor, but despite it all, it was a truly beautiful moment.
    For as long as I live, I will always remember that moment.

    A month or two later, as predicted, Mr.C fell once again, and was once again sent out to a hospital to assess his mental and behavioral problems from his dementia, and see what medications could help him to stay calm and safe. When he came back, he was only a shadow of the shadow of the person he was.
    He couldn’t walk at all. He’d try to get out of the wheelchair, but would only have the strength to raise himself to a standing position, then sit again. He was constantly doing this routine, three or four times in a five minute time period. His speech was consistently incoherent, with no real words being said, just mumbling.

    I would say my usual “Hey, Mr.C!”, but there was no “Hey, baby.” He’d look at me as if he could see right through me, giving no indication he knew me or he cared. I was talking to a wall.

    One evening after dinner I brought Mr.C into his wife’s room for a visit, since she always asked about him. I parked his wheelchair on the side of her bed and tried to encourage him to talk.

    “Hey sweetheart. How you doing?” She said to him, smiling at him.
    No reply.

    “Mr.C, its your wife. Your wife is saying hi.” I told him. He mumbled something I couldn’t understand, and Mrs.C looked to me for interpretation, not making out any of her husband’s words.

    She tried a different approach. Opening a pack of vanilla wafers, she handed one to him and said “Here, Honey.”

    He promptly ate it, and many more in the 10 minutes we visited. I felt so sad and disappointed that he wasn’t oriented enough to hold a simple conversation with his wife, but thinking back to that day, there were no indications of those feelings in Mrs.C. She thanked me for bringing him, and seemed so happy just to see him and make sure he was physically okay.

    Not long after that, about a week ago, I could see something was different. Mr.C, usually active, alert, and sometimes combative, was in his chair in the dining hall slumped over, his face on the table as if kissing it. His vital signs were all okay, but his behavior seemed totally out of character. When it was time for me to feed him his medicine, it was hard getting his muscles to relax to set him back in his wheelchair. The whole day, wherever he went, he was slumped over. That night, in his room Mr.C leaned to far forward in his chair fell headfirst onto his bed.

    I was scared. He had fallen at least a dozen times in his history, due to his restlessness, but this one seemed different. He was asleep before he fell, and he fell right back to sleep after he fell. It was as if nothing happened, though he fell quite hard.
    His vital signs proved to be fine, so the doctor decided not to send him out to the hospital, just to monitor him.

    Two days later Mr.C died.

    That Friday, I visited Mrs.C to see how she was doing. The first thing she said was “You know, my husband died. 65 years, we were married.” Then, she looked me straight in the eye and asked me
    “Have you ever heard of someone wearing a housecoat to a funeral?”
    I was confused for a moment. Why would you want to wear a housecoat to your husband’s funeral? Then I understood; that’s all she had.

    “It’ll all work out, Mrs.C.” I told her, “They’ll find you something to wear.”

    Sure enough, Monday morning, the day of the funeral, Mrs.C was in the beauty shop getting her hair done with a beautiful black and white outfit hanging up in front of her.

    “Look at what my daughter got for me!” she said, her eyes bright.
    She looked beautiful for her husbands funeral. Later, she told me people wondered why she wasn’t crying at the funeral.
    “I do my crying at night in my bed.” she told me. I just hugged her and let her talk.

    It’s truly a beautiful and life-changing experience to be a nurse. You see the lowest, rawest, most intimate, and most delicate moments of your patient’s lives, and can ultimately influence their lives or help them find a solution to their problems. I know I wasn’t anyone truly special to either Mr. or Mrs.C, but being in their lives, even if it it for only a few hours a day makes me feel accomplished. I did my best to make Mr.C’s last days as enjoyable as possible in his state, and I hope to do the same for his wife, and the thousands of other patients I will care for in my career. As long as the system is sighing and groaning over the sad state of this world, I will be here doing my best to touch lives in all aspects of my life.

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    Note: illustrated picture copyright PSA

    Blessings

    At my highest peaks,
    You were there.
    At my lowest points,
    You were there.

    I imagine you with
    Open arms,
    A welcoming smile.

    When I just want to scream and punch a wall.

    When bitterness consumes me and all positivity is sapped from me.

    When selfishness makes me blind to everything else in the world.

    When I look at a person and know I could never be half the person they are.

    When I view my life as unimportant and useless.

    Each time you are there.

    I imagine you with
    Open arms,
    A welcoming smile.

    You know my pain.

    When I smile just to make it through the day, no questions asked.

    When it’s guilt that makes me want to pray, but keeps me from doing it.

    When the closest of people let me down, again and again.

    When I can’t even bear to look at myself, much less love myself.

    When the concept of love seems unimaginable for a person like me.

    Yes, you are always there.

    I imagine you with
    Open arms,
    A welcoming smile.

    You bind my wounds, and make them hurt less and less.

    You never let me down no matter what happens.

    You embrace me with blessings, though I am so undeserving.

    You give me family, my spiritual brothers and sisters, to fight this system with.

    You give me confidence to keep working against my flaws.

    You are always there with
    Open arms,
    A welcoming smile.
    Because you love me.