Younes Family 2012 151
November 5, 2012 – Solo shot on family portrait day.

My life was very different three years ago.  I was living with my parents.  I was set on going to graduate school and earning a master’s degree in social work.  I wrestled with my demons silently.  My personal relationships suffered as a result.  I put most of my energy into making another person happy.  I was not content, but I was hopeful that things would work out in my favor…. eventually.

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Nearing Midnight


Twitter reminded me this morning that Explosion in the Sky‘s album “The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place” was released exactly twelve years ago today.  I didn’t discover the album until two years later, but upon listening, I was hooked.

That being said, the reminder caused me to take a trip down memory lane, mentally traveling back to the year 2003.  I started thinking about how I’ve changed, and what the norm was then versus what the norm is now.  A lot has changed.

On November 4, 2003, I was seventeen and a senior in high school.  I had a flip phone.  I drove a Mercury Sable.  I made mix CDs like it was my job.  My go-to Starbucks order was a chai latte and a blackbottom cupcake.  My parents didn’t like my friends, and warned me about “those people.”

Twelve years later, I have a smart phone.  Mercury as a car manufacturer doesn’t even exist anymore.  Mix CDs are a thing of the past.  Starbucks became too high-brow for blackbottom cupcakes.  I became the kind of person my mother warned me about.

Thing is, though, “those people” are great people.  “Those people” became my closest confidants and allies.  Had my mother gotten to know them early on, she would have realized that I surrounded myself with people who reflected my values, morals, and ethics (for the most part).

I’m still here.  I’m still a decent human being (I’m being a realist, okay?)  Those people stood the test of time.  I stood the test of time.  Kind of like a fucking excellent album.  And that works for me.

It’s drizzling out and nearing midnight.  I’m going to finish my glass of wine with the windows open so I can hear the rain pitter patter while I unwind, and I’m going to listen to this album and devote most, if not all, of my attention to it.

Because it’s pretty okay, and so am I.

I’ll leave you with my favorite track.  Sleep tight, y’all.

What Are YOU Listening To? // Top 5 Autumn Drive Tracks


We’ve been having beautiful autumn days here in Maryland!  The sunshine and temperature is perfect for early afternoon drives with the windows down.  And because I’m a big proponent of cranking my music up on long drives, here’s a brief smattering of the songs I’ve been jamming to recently.

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NaBloPoMo Prompt – November 4th, 2015

Well, already November 4th and I’ve neglected to blog for two days.  But I will not dwell, nor will I let that discourage me from continuing to write for the month.  So today, we’ll have a three-for-one.

actual real work

Today’s NaNoWriMo prompt is: “When you were a kid, did you want to have the same job or a different job than your parents when you grew up?”

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Hello, November.  It’s so good to see you again.


Well, November marks the start of my favorite time of year!  Presents to make, friends to see, recipes to try, gatherings to plan, carols to… er, carol!  All things I am eagerly looking forwards to.  It is now through December 26th that I am at my best.

Then, of course, New Years Eve comes and goes, slapping me in the face and reminding me that another unproductive year has gone by. But that’s another tirade for another time.

Anyway, daylight savings time is kicking my ass.  My brain is telling me it is almost one in the morning, while the clock is telling me otherwise. My body feels like it is made of lead, and the pain in my legs (muscles and joints) is damn near excruciating.  Seeing as how it’s nearly midnight, I’ll cut this post short.

Catch you tomorrow, folks.

My Mother’s Best Friend // “Casimir Pulaski Day”

My mother’s best friend is keeping my grandmother company while my mother is on vacation.  She flew in from North Carolina on Sunday.  She had never met my grandmother, nor my siblings and me, but upon introduction, she said “I’m a hugger.  Come here.”  Her embrace was one of the warmest embraces I’ve felt in a long, long time.


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“You Have Me”

My teenage sister kept me company while my car underwent routine maintenance today.  I picked her up first thing in the morning and we went to the car dealership, stopping for coffee and donuts on the way.  I suppose she decided she preferred spending three hours with me in a waiting room to three hours in a house avoiding our grandmother.

We goofed off quite a bit; we took online quizzes together to determine what song we should listen to on repeat based on our astrological signs, or how awesome we were based on our knowledge of 2000s emocore.  You know.  The important stuff.

While taking a breather from pointless questionnaires, I returned a text message to a friend.  We were trying to pick a date for me to come over and meet her son.  A lot of my friends have given birth in the past year.  I try not to gush publicly.  I simply “like” the picture on Facebook.  Internally, however, I’m screaming and trying to come up with ways to be known as “Aunt Leila” or mentally designing little “edgy” onesies.

Anyway, my little sister looked over my shoulder at the text conversation I was having with my friend and then asked what we were talking about.

“You remember ‘K,’ right?”  I started, “Well, she had a baby, and I’m hopefully going to meet him next week.”  For some reason, I continued, “A lot of my friends have had babies.  I have no babies.”  I tried to force out a chuckle.

My sister, without hesitation, replied, “You have me!”  After reading my puzzled expression, she went on, “And you didn’t even have to give birth to me!”

We both laughed.  I hugged her tight and joked that she will always be my baby, pinching her cheeks until she started swatting at me to stop.

It was a strange moment, though.  She acknowledged something that my family members don’t typically talk about.  Instead of validating the sentiment and going off on some tangent about (at the very least) my parents absenteeism, I held my tongue.  Ten hours later, I still don’t know how to feel about it.