Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the mcbride clan

I honestly think I have the best family in the world. Obviously I'm biased, but I really don't think you can beat the McBride clan.

Last night I got back from a week-long trip to Manhattan Beach for my uncle's wedding. It was a fantastic week filled with family, lazy days and nights on the beach, and plenty of wedding festivities.

Even though I'm home now, I'm feeling extremely homesick. After spending every waking (and sleeping) moment with my cousins and aunts and uncles, I feel incredibly lonely being home with only my younger sister and brother for company right now.

The McBride family is loud. We're opinionated. We're messy, we're ridiculous, we laugh at inappropriate moments, we interrupt and talk over each other, we make fun of each other...but there is so much love in this family.

We look out for each other. Whether it's keeping an eye on your younger cousin who got drunk for the first time, or giving the cute boy your cousin/niece/sister has been eyeing the stink-eye whenever he comes in a 5-foot radius of her, someone has your back. Sometimes it's obnoxious, but mostly it's a very sweet gesture.

We take care of each other. We make each other lunch. We clean the kitchen together. We help slather on sunscreen in those hard-to-reach places. We help slather on aloe when those hard-to-reach places get missed. We share clothes. We make sure everyone has what they need out of the bathroom before we go take a shower. We see if anyone wants to go running with us (usually not). We see if anyone wants to go grab food with us (always yes).

We take too many pictures together. We laugh until we're crying and our abs hurt. We yell things like "cousin touch". We call our new aunt "auntie" specifically because she said she didn't want us to. We get locked in bathrooms. We compete to be our grandma's favorite. We reminisce about "that one time..." We eat. We drink. We make merry. We're probably one of the happiest families you'll ever meet.

We love each other. We may give each other a hard time (I was the butt of far too many jokes this week), but there is so much love. So much love.

It is so great when the whole family can just exist together for a week, with nothing keeping us from spending all our time together. It was a fantastic week, and I am already looking forward to the next time we can all be together again...

Here's me and two of my sibbos with some of our cousins:

missing my family,

♥ abigail

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How to pack for a week in California

How to pack for a week in California, Abigail-style (I am a notorious over-packer):

Step 1. Find every summery article of clothing I own (shorts, tank tops, dresses, etc.).

Step 2. Throw said items of clothing on my bed to sort through because it would be crazy to bring everything.

Step 3. Try on different outfits with all the aforementioned articles of clothing in order to ensure that I won't look like a fool in California, and to ensure that I won't over-pack.

Step 4. Decide I look awesome in all of my 7 million outfits, and decide to skip step two (in which I would weed out some outfits).

Step 5. Put all of my clothes in a suitcase I have nick-named "Gigantor" and feel accomplished before realizing that I have not packed shoes or toiletries yet.

Step 6. Curse my unpredictable hair and the fact that I'll have to take up precious space with my hair dryer and straightener.

Step 7. Curse the fact that I have feet and need to pack several pairs of shoes.

Step 8. Attempt the weeding out process again.

Step 9. Feel very accomplished for removing two skirts from my suitcase.

Step 10. Go to bed, feeling ready to leave tomorrow for grandma's.

Step 11. Wake up and realize that there's a huge pile of "Things I'm using today but need to pack for California" on a table in my room.

Step 12. Attempt the weeding out process again.

Step 13. Fail miserably at weeding out, and actually add more clothes.

Step 14. Weigh Gigantor. Breathe a huge sigh of relief when it's only 40 pounds.

Step 15. Pack a mini suitcase for my mom to drive down to California on Wednesday.

And now, I'm ready for California. Two days and 41 minutes until take off!

Friday, July 9, 2010

poor, neglected little blog

Story of my blog's life, right? For some reason, when I was in school and had absolutely no spare time to devote to blogging, I managed to post several times a week...and here I am in the summer, with nothing but spare time, unable to find the inspiration to sit down and write a post.

I have nothing profound to say, but I think I'll start by updating you on my life...although there aren't a lot of profound things to say about babysitting and reading and watching The Bachelorette with friends. But hey, it's what I've been up to!

In the past few weeks, I have been nannying for a few families, which I have been loving. Kids are so honest - I love it! They say what they think with no added fluff, no spinning to make it sound like anything that it's not.

They also say the darndest things - the 10-year-old girl I babysit every Tuesday (along with her nine-year-old sister and 12-year-old brothers) night noticed me texting the other day while we were baking cookies. She knew I was texting a boy (we have girl talk every time I babysit, so she knows what's going on in my life), and she said to me,
"He likes you."

I smiled and laughed, then asked her why she thought that.

Without missing a beat, this sweet little girl said (with a very matter-of-fact air about her), "Abbie, I think all the boys should like you."

I smiled and laughed again, told her that was very sweet, but that they definitely should not.

She insisted though, telling me "But you're so pretty, and you're nice, and you don't gossip, and they should just all like you!"

I thanked her. Despite the fact that it's not true (we all grow up and learn that being pretty and nice and not gossiping aren't the only things that matter in relationships, although being nice and not gossiping are pluses), it was very sweet of her to say, and it really made my night.

So there's one reason I love babysitting. I also just love playing with the kids - it had been years since I set up a pretend plane constructed of chairs in the driveways for a pretend flight to Maui, but that's what I did on Monday with the kids I was watching. (The flight was a little bumpy, if you were wondering - the captain kept abandoning us to ride his bike.)

I've been spending a lot of time with friends this summer, something I didn't get to do last summer. We get together for silly things like watching The Bachelorette (we are pulling for Roberto and Kirk), we wander aimlessly through parks, we sit in backyards and talk about life and what we hope ours will one day be like while listening to the sounds of summer nights.

(Note to self: Write a post about why summer nights are the best things in the whole wide world.)

It's been nice to catch up with old friends (friends I've known since I was six). There's something so comfortable about being around people who know everything about you...it's like you don't have to explain yourself, everything is just known and accepted...like, "I'm hanging out with Abbie. She freaks out if her bangs fall in her face, and her nose gets itchy when she's frustrated. Whatever."

I love that they know that, accept it, and run with it.

Sometimes people know things and don't accept them, and then they can't run with them...that's when things get messy.

But I digress...there's another post for another time in there!

Tonight my friends and I are going to "Movies Under the Stars." A neighborhood ("village" actually) hosts it every few weeks in the summer - they shut down a street and set up a huge screen and speakers and everyone brings chairs and watches the movie (this week is Back To the Future, last time's was Footloose, which I was shocked to learn that so many of my friends hadn't seen) under the stars (hence the name).

Tomorrow I'm going to a wedding (the second of the summer)...my roommate from freshman year is getting married, and I'm very excited for her and her fiancee. I love weddings - so much fun and so much love! This wedding will be especially fun since it will be like a house reunion of our co-op from our first year at Oregon State.

After the wedding I head to my grandma's house in Beaverton, where I will hang out for the day before flying out of PDX to LAX on Monday morning. My uncle is getting married next Saturday, and my grandma rented a house in Manhattan Beach for the whole family to stay before the big day. I am so ready for a week of California beaches and relaxation!

Hopefully the weather there will be nice than it is here...remember how much I wanted sunshine? Well, I got it...96 degrees two days in a row (probably three, if you count today) is a little more than I bargained for. I've been trying to stay cool (my house and my car both lack air conditioning), and have been doing pretty well by camping out in bookstores and at pools with the kids I watch.

Today is a big day of laundry and packing and getting everything in order for leaving tomorrow for over a week. I don't normally mind packing (unpacking is a completely different story though), but I've been doing too much of it for my liking this week.

On Wednesday evening, my mom and I drove up to Corvallis to move stuff from my apartment (remember the pit?) into my new house...my bedroom is teeny tiny, but it has character and charm and WINDOWS. As in TWO. And it was brighter than my room at the apartment ever was, even with the sun on the other side of the house and the light off. I am so ecstatic that I don't even care that my closet is barely big enough for less than half of my clothes, and that my room is the size of a shoebox.

Seriously, try to make me see the bad in this situation. I'll just keep seeing sunshine and old-fashioned doorknobs and crown molding and my claw-foot tub. And sunshine and natural light...and did I mention the sunshine?


So that is what I've been up to for the past few weeks...the cliffnotes version anyway. Here's a quick list to recap (plus to add things that I don't really feel the need to write paragraphs about at the moment):

1. Weddings.
2. Babysitting.
3. Baking (I baked these three times, and these ones. The white chocolate macadamia nut cookies earned me two marriage proposals. I also baked a delicious coconut cream cake. Yum!).
4. Reading (I've read several books, including Water For Elephants and Loving Frank. I really enjoyed both of them. I'm currently reading The Boleyn Inheritance and have started both Anna Karenina and Atlas Shrugged).
5. Texting (a lot).
6. Cleaning (just when I think my room is clean, I bring home another load of junk that has to get put away).
7. Enjoying the sunshine (my good ol' Hawaiian skin has turned a nice shade of tan, despite my continual use of SPF 45).
8. Running (two or three miles a day, depending on how ambitious I'm feeling).
9. Enjoying myself!

I'll try to stay more on top of this whole blogging thing...I forgot how much I enjoy it!

Loving the sunshine,
♥ abigail