With 18 people living under one roof, it only makes sense that we celebrate a birthday almost every other week. In fact, there was an old friend of mine that asked me years ago if we have a birthday at least once every 20 days. It would make sense mathematically but life doesn’t exactly work out like that when some of my siblings started coming out in doubles. It complicates things a bit.
This past Saturday was yet another birthday. Ziah Beckam turned 4! If you’ve ever seen this ball of fire you might be wondering how he’s only now 4, he looks like he would be at least 6. Well, we ask ourselves this question on a daily basis. It just so happens that we tell people that he’s a “big 4.”
Saturday was beautiful, in all sense of the word. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t nearly too cold either. It was comfortable. That morning was a little busy. Some of the other children had their baseball games bright and early. After lunch time, Beck was allowed to open his presents. He got a bright blue tricycle from mom and dad. My boyfriend, Cory, and I ended up getting him a bright blue shark helmet to match it. He was overjoyed with both and with the fact that he was going to put his new trike together with his daddy too. Daddy and Beck are two peas in a pod. Beck spent the remainder of his birthday afternoon riding on his new wheels and sporting his new helmet.
For dinner, because everyone in The Sharp Crew gets to pick their birthday dinner and dessert, Beck picked macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. Since Beck wouldn’t really notice, Madre spiced it up a bit by adding an assortment of vegetables and watermelon too. Cory spoiled Papa Georgio and I by purchasing Coronas and limes for the three of us to enjoy. Summer dinners are the finest of fine things if I do say so myself.
Once dinner was over, the family and I headed into the back yard. Cory and I bought Beck a $12 pinata at our local Dollar General. Let me tell you first and foremost, it was the best $12 that we’ve ever spent. I took nearly a hundred photos and a dozen Vine videos of our pinata adventure. It was hilarious. Beck started off and we moved from youngest to oldest until we stopped at Madison. I’ve never heard so much simultaneous laughing than I did on Saturday evening because of a $12 pinata. Cory blindfolded each sibling, spun them in circles and directed them towards their target with a plastic baseball bat in their hands. Papa Georgio had a wondrous time pulling the pinata up and down while the rest of us laughed repeatedly with each miss and fall to the ground. I’ll cherish this moment forever because of the explosion of happiness that something so simple brought to my family. Cory and I even decided that we are going to bring a different pinata to each birthday following this last one. Also, before I forget, we may or may not have let Beck break the pinata open too. To make matters even more exciting, once the siblings started picking up their pinata breaking earnings, Madison, Zander and Menzo come out of no where spraying silly string all over us. I wish I was tipped off on this surprise ahead of time so that I could have taken a priceless video. Better luck next time though! I did manage a few aftershock photos displayed below.
That evening, we finished off Beck’s 4th birthday celebration with his choice of dessert - spice cake with blue frosting. Normally my mother makes her own frosting but the blue turns out more of a baby blue color. This time, for reasons I don’t know, she bought blue frosting. In the meantime, I can’t help but wonder if she murdered little Smurfs in the process though. That frosting was exactly the color of them! Anyways, Beck’s birthday was one for the books. I hope that he’ll come to remember it forever and if not, he’ll always be able to look at the wild photos of this blog post. Now prepare yourselves for a photo overload.
Most of the people I’ve gone to college with at Alfred University will be graduating in a few days. They will be getting full-time jobs, internships, moving across the country and even furthering their educations at graduate schools. Those people are moving on with their lives and I’m incredibly happy for each of them. There’s just a part of me that wishes I could be selfish and keep them around a little longer. I’ll be returning to Alfred University in August to double major in Communication Studies and Art & Design. Life in Alfred won’t be the same without them and I’ve just started to make that sudden realization too.
I attended AU for three years majoring in Communication Studies. As each semester went by I had a more and more difficult time finding ways to fund my education. College isn’t cheap by any means and I seemed to have fallen in love with a very expensive school. I took this past year off from schooling to gather my thoughts on what I’d really like to do with the rest of my life and to somehow find a way to afford my dream. I discovered that taking a year off helped me so much. I’m still in the middle of trying to figure out how to afford to go back but I’ve learned that I’m going to do whatever it takes to succeed. I’ve rediscovered my passion for art.
Years ago a family friend told me “that I wouldn’t make it in that field, that I don’t have the strength and potential and that it takes a courageous person to sacrifice themselves into the field of art where you can’t and won’t make enough money to scrape by.” That particular person is terribly wrong in so many ways. I just want to go back into time and punch them in the face. If I listened to my 12-year-old self, I would have followed through with going to college for art in the first place and would be graduating in a couple of days too. I’ve been battling with this constantly throughout the past year. I’ve been paying my student loans since January now and every time I fork over $300 at the beginning of the month I think to myself whether or not it was all worth it. I’ve settled with the fact that it is what it is and I cannot change these decisions I’ve made. I’ve learned from it and I’m still learning some more.
I was positive that I was content with the ‘it is what it is’ saying, until I attended Alfred University’s Art & Design School’s Class of 2013 Art Show. Boy, it was depressing. I made a decision to go back to school this August to knock out a double degree. I’d like to consider myself a very gifted person in the art world but after seeing these so-called seniors I’m at a loss for words. These 101 senior Art & Design majors paid for four years of schooling and this is all they could come up with for their final project. I found myself incredibly discouraged. I’m not saying this about every single exhibit but a vast majority of them were just plain awful. My 7-year-old sister has created better masterpieces in the comfort of our own home.
My question now is do I want to suffer through potentially four more years of undergraduate studies to come up with nothing better than what a 7-year-old can easily do for my final project? Do I want to put myself into more and more debt? I would ultimately be paying for connections rather than an education because I know for a fact that I could make it in the art world without Alfred University behind me and a $200,000+ piece of paper that they grant me at graduation. I know of successful people in the art world that are self-taught and extremely successful. I have the courage and potential to do that too. I know it for a fact. It may be a little harder but more than well worth it in the long run.
I guess just having a college education sounded a lot better before all of the fine details came into play. I want answers to my absurd questions and I’d like them sooner rather than later. I feel like I’m being tested over and over and over again. To make matters even more complicated, my mother is now battling with a community college’s financial aid office to get my sister into her freshman year as we speak. At least I know that I’ll appreciate that $200,00+ piece of paper once it finally reaches my fingers someday. This little rant of mine with probably end up being Part 1 of The Complications of College because I know they won’t make it any easier for me down the road. Maybe I just wasn’t meant to finish. I’m not sure, but here’s a painting of a big boned lady that I took a shot of at the art show on Saturday evening. She makes me smile.
On May 4th, my sister Paige went to her senior prom. I know, I know, I’m a little late on blogging about her special day but as the saying goes, it’s better late than never.
About a month before, mom, Paige and I went dress shopping. Paige ended up liking handfuls of dresses that she tried on. It was a difficult decision but she finally settled on a lime green and white gown from the Bon Ton. It was simple and stunning and a wise decision.
On the morning of prom, Paige went to get her nails done with a friend. In the meantime, I spent some quality time sitting on my butt preparing to stand on my feet for most of the afternoon toying with her long blonde locks.
I ended up spending four and a half hours working on it. Between the curls, tiny pony tails and the fifty bobby pins in her head, I was certain her hair wouldn’t fall out throughout the four hours of dancing she had to do that night. Her hair was magnificent, if I do say so myself. I’ve never ceased to amaze myself on how well I do hair for my sister’s dances.
Paige attended prom that evening with her good friend Richie. They danced and danced and danced some more that night at their Hollywood-themed prom.
I believe that it’s safe to say that it was a night to remember forever.
A week ago my mother received a message from the people whom sold us our new puppy Thor. The message explained how they had another puppy that was being returned to them. His other family no longer wanted him. They took him to their personal vet and discovered that this puppy had a heart murmur. The puppy may or may not outgrow the heart murmur in the next 6 months. They were basically offering this other puppy for free to a good home whether it would be ours or someone we may know.
My parents thought it through though. My mother ended up asking a cousin of ours if she would be interested. She mentioned wanting an English Mastiff too before when she met Thor. This arrangement also didn’t suffice though. My father took this notion as a sign. He was going to get his way.
The next day my father picked up the new puppy after work. We were overjoyed to welcome our second English Mastiff puppy into our crazy household. Unlike Thor whom is fawn-colored, Loki is a brindle color. My family ended up deciding to name this new puppy Loki after Thor’s demigod brother in the movies and comics.
So far having the two new puppies has been nothing short of interesting. The two of them now sleep soundly in their ginormous kennel each night. My father feeds them twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. They are able to go into the kitchen at any time during the day to finish off anything they didn’t eat before too. I do quote from all of the little kids that “they poop a lot.” Menzo doesn’t mind cleaning it out of the yard too. Dad told him that he would pay him for his good service. Motivation is always helpful. Thor is stubborn and can be quite lazy. Loki is more easy-going and already goings for walks better than his brother.
Just when you thought that my household couldn’t get anymore chaotic, crazy, adventurous or insane - well, we hit you with a curve ball on this one. Just keep in mind, they say that raising puppies in twos is easier anyways. Enjoy some puppy cuteness below!