If I Die Young, Bury Me In Pajamas. Please.


Today, I am planning my funeral. Because you never know when I could just keel over.

Especially with this kind of a semester ahead. You just never know.

Yes, I know I’m weird.

But I have a few requests to leave behind in my absence. . .

1. First of all, if for the viewing of. . .uh. . .me. . .we could like make my eyes open, my mouth curved into a smile, and my arms stuck straight out of the casket. . .that would be great. You know, to traumatize small children for life.

2. I want a poison ivy bouquet. You know, because now it won’t be able to affect me. ย  I will win, poison ivy. I will win.

. . .just wear gloves when you pick it.

3. I want everyone to Cha-Cha Slide down the aisle. I’ll be in Heaven acting accordingly!

4. I want to be buried in Clemson pajamas and fuzzy socks. You know, just so I’m comfy. I also want a Snuggie.

. . .and a bull horn, cellphone (charged), shovel, and flashlight. Just in case some moron made a mistake and I’m still alive and kicking. And believe me, if this is the case, I WILL be kicking! So check the pulse. 100 times.

5. So no one has to listen to some boring speech about the life of Mandie, all the eulogy needs to be is “She lived, she died, there will be a buffet lunch served at 2.” <—-Yes, that is from “Mirror, Mirror”. It just made me laugh!

6. . . .there’d better be a buffet lunch.

7. When I’m lowered into the ground, I want “Drop It Like It’s Hot” to be played. No, blared.

. . .thank you, Pinterest for the idea!

8. . . .and I also give you permission to bury me 10 feet down. . .because deep down, I’m good. ๐Ÿ˜‰

. . .and yeah, I know. This is an awful, awful post.

But yet, you’re holding back the laughter. . . . . .O:)

You know you are.

-Mandie

“There Is No Other One Who Can Take Your Place”


In continuation of showing some love to my favorites, tonight I’m talking about the infamous Jaclyn Thompson. Whom I love dearly.

Especially since we’ve been pals since the diaper days. . .

Image

In case you didn’t know, I’m in the pink and she’s in the purple. We liked cake. A lot. We even had a deal where she would give me her frosting (because she doesn’t like too much of it) and I would. . .uh. . .give her nothing.

. . .we actually still do that. . .presh, huh?

Anyway, the thing about summarizing a person? It doesn’t really work. It didn’t work for Abby. It didn’t work for Meredith. I can assure you it won’t work for anybody else either. Because people are complex and multi-faceted. But I will certainly try my best to give as good a summary as I possibly can.

Here’s Jaclyn’s:

1. First of all, this girl has the best taste in music EVER. Her Decklyn playlist=amazing. She also has a love for Broadway that I admire. “Don’t Rain On My Parade”? Um. . .yes please!

Just look at her singing and driving. You know that’s good music!

Warning: Professional driver singing in photo. Please do not attempt.

2. She’s got a love for children that I definitely don’t get. She’ll be a star teacher!

Just look at the job she’s done with us. The girl works miracles.

3. She motivates me to work harder during Insanity. Because I’ve got the pride of a 60 year old man. Call me Mr. Wilson.

I don’t like not holding my own and often, she forces that competitive spirit out of me. And who wouldn’t love somebody who makes them skinnier? No one, that’s who.

4. She also introduced us toย bandannas. . .. . .and we love her for it. Way to spread the swag, girl. You go.

5. This girl here stands up for who and what she believes in. I love that because it takes a lot of bravery to speak up every once in a while on someone else’s behalf. And you know she will!

6. The sixth reason I love Jaclyn is because she’s weird. She makes the best expressions and acts like she’s gone crazy! It’s great. All Russells feel at home with her. . .

. . .and with good reason.

7. One of the reasons Jaclyn is a favorite lies within a memory taken place around 10 or 11 or 12 or who knows how many years ago. We were at my house (okay, apartment) having a sleepover and I ate a bit too much before bedtime, which resulted in me throwing up in my sleep and it landing on Jaclyn. . .who happened to be sleeping next to me. . .embarrassing? Yes.

Well, after we’d both showered, to make me feel better Jaclyn brushed my hair and read a Dr. Seuss book to me. It was a beautiful moment. Tissue, anyone? ๐Ÿ™‚

8. She’s made me pee from laughing so hard. I respect that.

^And this expression? No where in sight.

For that, I am grateful.

9. Jaclyn is always super supportive and she’s an awesome listener. So, so many times we’ve told her all our drama and she just listens and gives us her opinion. Let me tell you, that takes a lot of patience!

^We’re all super chummy.

10. Lastly, I love Jaclyn because she tries to do what’s right and she has a lot of depth, but at the same time she knows how to have fun. I think that’s really important. ๐Ÿ™‚

Just look at her go!

-Mandie

. . .I also love Jaclyn because she made me a BRIDESMAID!!. . .

Not that I care. I mean really. Pshh.

๐Ÿ˜‰

“Anything But Ordinary”


I’ve got a best friend. Actually, more like a sister.

Her name is Meredith.

(I had a sunburn, okay?)

And we’ve been friends since like 2006? Yeah. It’s been a long, long time.

We met in orchestra. . .

That’s us in the back. Weren’t we just adorable?

Anyway, here are my ten faves:

1. Meredith is one of the very first people I go to with problems, usually. She’s extremely comforting and I always know I’m going to get a big “AWW! What’s wrong?!” from her. It’s just so happy!

Image

^Exactly. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. She’s introduced me to a few of my favorite things: Lenka, Nutella, the Hershey Symphony candy bar, Singing In The Rain, Josh Groban, and Julian Smith. She rocks!

3. The third thing I love about Mer-dear is that she’s often the voice of reason. Believe me, if it weren’t for her, I’d be like running around Wal*Mart in a Batman cape by now!

Or do I?

For example, in this picture:

I wanted to take off my boots and wade in the water (it was only January. . .) but she (acting as the Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder) wouldn’t let me. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I could’ve died of pneumonia! For that, I thank you, Mer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

4. On any given day, I can call Meredith and literally talk her ear off without one word of complaint. Let’s take a moment of silence out of respect for her patience. . .

(Please wait 60 seconds here. . .)

5. We have the best memories EVER. That is a fact, friends. From renaming inanimate objects to running across BJ campus, we’ve got a ton.

6. ย She used to have a love for Pirates. And I think that’s awesome! Especially coming from a girl who also loves her Astaire.

Proof.

7. She always has an encouraging word and I think that’s especially awesome because she’s a very gifted person and could critique everything I do. But after every violin recital, even though she could have done a ton better, she’d tell me what an awesome job she thought I did.

But, uh. . .I still wouldn’t mess with her. . .even if she is nice.

8. I love that we can stay up and talk for hours on end and never run out of things to say. Call us chatterboxes–it’s probably true. But that’s why we’re besties.

. . .even if I am a little bit distracted sometimes. . .

9. She never gets mad, but I do get mad (I come from a long line of bad-tempered people!). And if I’m ever mad and she knows it, she’ll come and find me and settle the problem. She never leaves things unsettled and I’m very grateful for that!

. . .I don’t know how that picture is relevant either. . .

10. She’s always true to herself. Her vintage, witty, beautiful self. ๐Ÿ™‚ And that’s why we all love her!

Because she’s just Meredith.

Look us up on youtube:http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg1JzbbF2GOrbRzVh9GPVAw?feature=results_main

-Mandie

That’s Just Abby


So here’s the problem with being a nineteen year old blogger. . .my life stays the same. I work. I eat. I sleep. I do insanity with my siblings and Jaclyn. I hang out. It’s a hard-knock life. But since my life is so blahhh (or crazy busy) most of the time, the blogging topics don’t exactly flow. For example. . .
I don’t have some awesome significant other to talk about.
I don’t travel all over the place.
I don’t have any children who are constantly doing adorable things.
And I don’t cook.
BUT, I will not be discouraged in my blogging endeavors so I will just make something up. For tonight, and probably all other nights, here is my filler: listing the ten things I love best about the people that make up my life. So here it goes!

Me and my sister.
We’re pretty tight. You know?

Yeah. . .

1. Well, one of my favorite things about Abby is that she literally is the cream of the crop in our house. . .

I mean, just look at her. You can just tell that she’s the best of the Russells.And if you can’t tell, then just take my word for it!

2. I love that she’s the one to always text me. I love that I sometimes groan and think “another text, abby?”. That just means I’m very loved.

3. I love that she’s the only person to ever have read my manuscript through and always asks for more.

4. I love that she’ll take crazy picture. . .

after crazy picture. . .
after crazy picture. . .
with me.
5. The fifth thing I love about Abbers is that we both love the Jonas Brothers. . .okay, so you’re scoffing now, but you must admit they are adorable!
6. Abby makes me yummy food. Not that she’s my personal servant or anything. . .
7. She’s extremely mature for her age. . .
. . .okay, so at least she doesn’t take random pictures of herself making a duck face. . .
8. She has an awesome laugh! No joke, people.
9. ^And hilarious expressions.
10. She’s got one of the funniest personalities EVER. Fact.
That’s my Abby. ๐Ÿ™‚
-Mandie
(Originally posted: August 4, 2012 on Blogspot.com)

“High School Musical–Who Says We Have To Let It Go?”


Life with Abby and Anthony is crazy enough. But when you add in our adopted siblings, Meredith (commonly known as the Merbear) and Jaclyn (not-so-commonly known as the Intimidator), life is just insane.

The graduation of our beloved Anthony was no different.

Except Meredith couldn’t come. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

And Abby wasn’t really with us until the day of graduation. . .

So, here’s how it went.

Once upon a time, Anthony got a pretty good discount at the Double Tree Hotel down in Columbia since he was one of the graduates graduating at the Double Tree.

So, he took them up on the deal. And we bummed a ride with Jaclyn the night before.

The road trip look is clearly not my best look. . .

So, we got to the hotel at 11 PM and that was one NICE hotel. I was definitely expecting a mint on my pillow. But I was sorely disappointed on that one. Bums.

But I did get a cookie.

And it was warm and it also had walnuts.

I was appeased.

Once we got to the hotel and I ate my cookie, we decided to go for a little swim. . .

I attempted to tan, but the lights weren’t quite bright enough. . .

And the water was way, way cold. At midnight? Go figure.

So, we snuck back to our room. . .

(The picture with no words to describe it. . .)
ย 
ย 

ย After our shower and picture, we went on a 1 AM Waffle House run. . .and if Aunt Jemima ran a Waffle House, then this was the place!

ย 

We took a few more crazy pictures.

ย There was syrup galore!!

And. . .I have a problem with getting chocolate everywhere. Darn you, chocolate chip waffles!!

After I scrubbed the chocolate off my teeth, we headed back to the hotel and settled into the coziest bed there ever was. It was grand. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then the next day, *tear*. . .

little Anthony gave a beautiful speech (making people cry in the process). . .ย 

You go, boy. You go. ๐Ÿ™‚

ย and walked down that aisle to get his diploma.

ย 

Mom and Dad were proud.

And we were all pretty excited too. We really were. I promise.

And Anthony was pretty darn giddy too. . .

Especially when he got interviewed. . .man, this kid is going places!!

All in all, it was a good day. ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

Especially since we got food after. . .
-Mandie

(Originally posted: June 16, 2012 on Blogspot.com)

“I Believe In Love”


“I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe

Though I can’t see my stories ending
That doesn’t mean the dark night has no end
It’s only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days.”-Barlow Girl
I really, really love this song. โค
Because, the words are so applicable right now.
Life gets pretty dark sometimes and you don’t really know where God is in any of it.You don’t know your purpose, you don’t think there’s really a plan. Because the same awful things happen again and again and you just don’t know what to do about it. You see those going through the trials with you feeling that same hopelessness and you just don’t know what to do. Should you have to do anything? Should you be doing more? Maybe, maybe not. But God is still in control and even when your face drips with hot, angry tears and you’re more frustrated and angry with God than you’d like to admit, He’s just a prayer away. He knows ย how your heart is breaking and He knows the frustrations of life. . .He was here too, remember? And even though things appear grim and you don’t think anyone’s on your side, He is and that’s all that matters.
Psalm 18:6
-Mandie
(Originally posted: June 6, 2012 on Blogspot.com)

“Something About The Sunshine, Baby”


(Ummm, so I have no idea how to cite this. . .except to tell you it’s not mine and I found it via Google ย and apparently, it belongs to Answers.com. . .so yeah. That’s all I’ve got. Because I’m lame.)

^This is the current shade of Mandie Russell. Except for her face. Thank you, sunglasses? Other than that, lake day with my good pal, Katelyn, and her fam was a blast! We pretty much floated around and had the lazy sort of day that is so rare these days. We also ate sandwiches. And cookies. And drank diet berry flavored green tea. It was yummy!
And now, I’ve been laying around all day trying to let this sun burn thing heal up (hurry, please!). I’ve also been eating more cookies. Because I’m in pain. And I deserve them. Losing weight can wait just ONE more day, right? Wrong. I know it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. But it tastes so, so goood. ๐Ÿ™‚ . . .when Jaclyn gets back from Italy, she’s going to kick my butt. Quite literally. But I can deal with pain. Right, sunburn? Right.

I’ve been reading this great book lately by Colleen Coble calledย Lonestar Homecoming. I’m so in love with her writing style (nice adjectives!!). And Michael Wayne. Because he’s just so suave. Suave is a must. Gracie Lister is lucky. Not that either are real. . .Although, the picture of Gracie Lister on the front cover looks just like my cousin, Brittni. So, maybe she is real. Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚
Well, that is all the rambling I can muster up for right now. . .but I can assure you that more will come!
Have a happy week, ya’ll!
-Mandie

(Originally posted: May 27th, 2012 on Blogspot.com)

“Little Girl, You’re In The Middle of the Ride”


Hello bloggers! I hope your lives are going well. :]
I’m just sitting here thinking about life in general, dreading getting up for work, and wishing I would let myself have another piece of banana bread. Because it was yummy. But then I glance down at my hips and I just know that banana bread is the LAST thing I need right now. Wouldn’t it be glorious to be able to eat whatever and it just not do anything?
. . .I think I love food WAY too much.
Anyways, I think I’ve reached that point in my life that everybody warned me about. The part where you remember everybody saying that being an adult isn’t really fun and you finally realize it’s true. The part where you’re going for a degree, but you have NO idea what will happen with that. The part where your future looks like a big empty box filled with questions and ‘what-ifs’. The part where you’re scared of being alone, but scared to give up your independence so you really don’t know what will happen there. Maybe you should just get a puppy. I’m thinking that’s what I’ll go for. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Life is full of frustrations at this stage. Everybody EXCEPT you is in a serious relationship, you just have to get your grades up so you can get that scholarship, working is really not something you’re loving, everyone still sees you as a kid, lyrics seem to be your best friend, immature you and mature you seem to have daily battles, everything’s changing and adjusting, there’s that one person you can’t seem to get over, and you wonder if God really hears you. BUT, in the midst of all these frustrations, there’s hope. Hope that something better is coming. Hope that God will show you the way and reveal Himself to you in AMAZING ways. There’s hope that the American Dream will knock on your door and give you the life you’ve dreamt of and worked towards. Hope is amazing, so don’t give it up!

Jeremiah 29:11<—look it up!

-Mandie

(Originally posted: May 24th, 2012 on Blogspot.com)

Crazy, Beautiful Life


(This is a post I began like a week ago. . .because I’m a lazy bum. . .and never finish what I start. . .until like a week later. . .and I also don’t know how the Yogurt Mountain cup correlates to a crazy, beautiful life. . . but somehow, it just works. Or at least it does in my mind. heheh)

So, life is crazy. I’ve learned that in college. I mean, let’s face it. We have a schedule, but do we ever keep it? Noo. Friends are asking us to go places, teachers are making us go to forums for our majors (for you Bojes out there), we’re getting in those last-minute requirements, we didn’t realize that paper was due TOMORROW, drama’s going down, AND we still need food. (Unfortunately, food is essential to life and fuzzy feelings.)
But I’ve also learned that amongst all this craziness, life is actually pretty beautiful too. This year in college, I’ve met some of the greatest people ever. I mean, we grate each other and sometimes we don’t always say the right thing, but it doesn’t take away from the great memories. I love my people. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also met some of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. (Let’s just say, students like me are the very reason I’d hate to be a teacher!) They were pretty awesome and helped get me through. I appreciate them SO much and I’m so grateful for them.

I’m pretty sure I won’t forget the things I learned this year. Freshman year was crazy, fantastic, emotional, stressful, fulfilling, and sleep-free (typical). But I’m so grateful for these times. Even though college led me to ironing for longer than I’m comfortable with, I feel at ease. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well there’s my end-of-year speech. Anddd it’s a week late. But that’s okay!
-Mandie

(Originally posted: May 11, 2012 on Blogspot.com)

Something That I Want


I want flip flops. Cheap, non-checkable flip flops. That I can wear whenever I want to.

I want shorts. Comfy, knee-revealin’ shorts!
I want a tank-top. A bright, happy tank top.
I want to do my hair and make-up again.( Lately, that just has not been happening and all I can say is it’s a good thing no one I’m interested in goes to Bob Jones!!)Yes. I am the bag lady of BJU.
I want to drive somewhere FAR, FAR away and not worry about having an English 102 exercise due. At 8 AM. ON A MONDAY.
I want to read books and watch movies and run around playing ding-dong ditch without worrying about school being neglected for my childish desires!
I want Wal-Mart runs. Where we take insane pictures with every product sold in the store and run “like Phoebe” out the door. –that totally rhymed!–
I want watermelon and strawberries. I’m talking loads, here!
I want to sit on my deck and tan. I want my freckles back. (this pale thing has gone on long enough!)
I want to paint each one of my nails a different color and go eat an ice cream cone.
I want to go mudding. (new experiencessss)
I want to swim.
I want to sneak into the free kid’s movies at Cherrydale.
I want to drink more than my share of QT slushies.
I want to live at Dillard’s.
I want to write poetry and revise my book.
And for Pete’s sake, I do NOT want to even come close to climbing three flights of stairs!
It’s almost summer, people!!!!
I’m so doing all these things.
I’m going to stay up late, watch Seventh Heaven marathons to my heart’s content, lay around, AND. . .
oh wait.
I’ll be working 8 hours a day.
Kill me now.
But at least I’ll be a sophomore. . .which means sophomore platform. . . .Yeah it’s not looking too hot for me right now. So, if you ever see a crazy person walking down the side of the road, muttering to herself, then it’s probably me. Just say hi. Always a nice gesture.
-Mandie
(Originally posted: April 28th, 2012 on blogspot.com)