Category Archives: Inspiration

Emeri Grace

In case you’ve forgotten when I spilled my guts out a couple weeks ago on family matters, I will remind you 🙂

My stepmom and Dad were expecting, and at 23 years old, I found this a bit odd, semi hilarious, and crazier than I had even expected. But, just as I predicted, when Emeri Grace was born on February 11, my heart melted into a pile of gush, even if it was 4:00 in the morning. I had  forgotten the tiniest toes and fingers could make you fall in love instantly.

So, here is a slideshow of some of the photos I took as well as the hospital’s of the newest addition to the Curella clan. I love you, Em!

P.S. I promise super personal posts won’t become a regular habit, but who doesn’t love looking at photos of a newborn!?

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“God has a sense of humor.”

I’m taking a timeout from my usual lighthearted posts to share something very personal.

My parents got divorced when I was very little. I’m not complaining in the slightest – I had a great childhood with 2 parents that loved me more than anything in the world. They got along, and I was able to see either of them any time I wanted. I know many kids who were only able to see their dads every other weekend or sometimes less than that if they lived in different cities. Joint custody was the best thing that happened to me, which is a weird statement, but so true.

I was even more blessed (although I may not have thought so at the time), when they both met the love of their lives. My stepparents are just that to me – another set of parents.  My stepdad and I have such a great relationship, just like any dad and daughter would. We cheer on the Wildcats together, he gives me great advice, works on my car when needed, and even took me to a couple of my high school daddy-daughter dances when my dad couldn’t attend. He has been there for me since I was 8 years old, and I consider his family as much a part of my own as my blood relatives. Of course, I wouldn’t trade my own dad in for anything, but those of you without stepparents probably have a hard time understanding that.

Heather, my stepmom, is the most generous, thoughtful person I know. Although we had a rocky start (no girl wants their daddy taken away!), she has become someone I can literally talk to about anything. I think she really understands my love of HGTV and is always up on the celebrity gossip. She’s pretty hip, I’d say 🙂 I look so forward to our time together in the future… planning my wedding shower, baby showers, picking out my wedding dress – all the things a mom and daughter should experience together. She and my dad are nothing short of perfect for one another and seeing their relationship has given me the strength to find someone who will treat me the way my dad treats her. I know both her and Al consider me their daughter – for that, I am so grateful.

My world was turned upside down, though, when I was 12 years old and found out Heather was pregnant. I mean, I had been an only child for TWELVE YEARS. That’s a long time. I was so upset! I couldn’t imagine how things could change for me so quickly. I liked being an only child. I liked having all the attention. I liked my life being normal. This was so unfair! In short, I was selfish. When Hali was born, I tried to dislike her, but that didn’t last long. Babies sure do have a way of finding a soft spot in your heart.

Everything changed again when I was 13 and my mom sat me down and told me she and Al were adopting a baby. My response, “you have to be kidding, right?” My mom knew everything I went through when Heather was pregnant, so I just thought, this can’t be happening again. Even though I loved Hali now, it was still so unfair! But that had no effect on my mom and Al’s decision, and obviously, looking back, it shouldn’t have. Anyway, Adriana, before she had that name, was growing inside a seventeen year old girl. The young woman decided giving her up would be the best decision, so my mom and Al committed before she was even born. They were there the day Adriana, Ana for short, breathed her first breath. I came the next day, a big sister again at the age of 14.

Although I love my now pre-teen sisters with my entire being, I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been difficult for me. In high school, I sometimes felt like a live-in babysitter instead of an older sister. I mean, I could play with them, but I couldn’t talk to them like sisters do. I always wanted someone close to my age to share secrets, stories, even argue. It was the American dream in my eyes.

As I went away to college, it got even weirder. My sisters were only 4 and 5. Not only was it difficult for them – they didn’t understand why I couldn’t be home all the time – it was weird coming home and trying to fit back into a family that had resumed its usual activities without me. In a way, instead of a nanny, I felt like a weird aunt or something. I think now, though, I have mostly gotten over that and realize that family is always family, even if you’re not a part of each other’s daily lives. My moms and dads love me all the same and my sisters love when I am around. Plus, I’m only 70 miles away, so I can really see them anytime.

I like where I am with Hali and Ana now. They are old enough to talk to and to hang out with, which is awesome. Ana helps me with my hair and Hali and I like to play Mario Kart. I finally feel like they are my sisters instead of my little mini-mes or something. I look forward to the times when they call me for boy advice, ask me to teach them to drive, and become aunts. Then I will be the one with the built-in babysitters 🙂

But, as we all know, life throws curveballs. Last July, my dad told me he and Heather thought they were pregnant. I am not going to lie – I literally prayed she wasn’t. God had already made His plans, though.

I was more in shock than anything else. While Hali and Ana could be my nieces, this child could really be mine. I mean, my mom had me when she was 23. One of my best friends is married and pregnant. So yes, I was upset, but not because of a lack of attention or because my world was changing all of a sudden. All I could think about is what other people will think of our weird little family, how my relationship with this baby will be different, and that I really won’t be able to talk to them like a sister until I’m, say, 60.

Oh, and then there’s my dad. I was more than a little surprised at his seemingly careless reaction to all of this. His immediate response was “God sure does have a sense of humor”. Then he went on to explain, “I think babies are a blessing no matter what.”

As of late, my dad taking everything in such stride has made me reflect on all of this – outsiders will think what they want. If they come up to me and say, “Oh, what a cute baby! But aren’t you a little young?” (like in that episode of 7th Heaven), I’ll just smile and say, “She is beautiful. And yes, I am too young to have a baby. Thanks for noticing.”

As for the people who know me, they may think it’s kind of strange, too, but they are being as supportive as possible. Maybe my friend Sarah’s baby, who is due in April, can have play dates with little Emeri. Okay, maybe not. Some things are just TOO weird.

Despite all of my concerns, Emeri Grace will be so loved. I have vowed to myself and to my dad that I will be around as much as humanly possible. After all, the relationship I have with her is up to me until she gets old enough to reciprocate. And so what if we have a weird relationship for a while?  At least I can look forward to being 60 with 3 wonderful sisters to count on – something I never would have dreamed would happen to me 11 years ago.

And once I see that beautiful baby girl next month, I am sure I will be thanking God, and His sense of humor, for such a blessing.

Slutty Grammar

As somewhat of a grammar nerd/connoisseur, this made me LOL. I hope you can appreciate it, too. Happy Monday!

Real inspiration for real women

French model Tara Lynn

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was: “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

“Dear people,

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia. They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

Crystal Renn

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish? They would have no sex life and could not bear children. Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad. And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.

We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.”

While it’s hard to realize that I’m not Megan Fox, nor do I live in her world, the pressures of being stick-thin get to all of us. I hope this teaches women everywhere that to be healthy, you must first realize that we live in the real world, not in Hollywood full of plastic surgeries and personal trainers. Whether you’re skinny or thin, full-busted or not, remember we, as women, are all in this together, and we all have insecurities. Keep that in mind next time you judge another female. And to the men: to put us down because we don’t live up to your fantasies makes us self-conscious, whether we know you or not. Stop holding out for a model, and start realizing that your dream girl may be right in front of you.

To live life to the fullest, you must enjoy the things you love. And even the heaviest of women are beautiful, and, as the letter above states, full of wisdom and knowledge. Be happy, healthy, and most importantly, be yourself.

It’s the little things…

I hope at least one of these photos puts a smile on your face today 🙂 Happy Thursday, everyone!


Blake Mycoskie, pioneer for entrepreneurs

Last night, Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMs shoes, was on E! News. I was shocked that the celebrity news show would interview Blake, but there he was in all his glory. In case you’ve been living under a rock, TOMs shoes is what they call a One for One business. Blake traveled to Argentina and noticed not only did thousands of children not have shoes, but they also couldn’t attend school because of it. He started TOMS, which stands for Tomorrows (buy a pair today, give a pair tomorrow). For every pair of TOMS purchased, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need.

I was fortunate enough to meet Blake and hear him speak in college, since I was part of a student organization that put on events for UK. He’s an amazing person, entepreneur, and pioneer for those who want to do something better with their business.

Blake’s newest endeavors include a sunglasses line with the same One for One philosophy. A pair of sunglasses = eye care for someone in an impoverished country. Unfortunately, nearly 2/3 of women are blind in these countries because families cannot afford eye care for everyone, so men get the upper hand. Blake also wrote a book called “Start Something That Matters”, which was #1 on Amazon before it was even released. I’m dying to read it!

Check out Blake’s inspiring blog or follow him on Twitter! You won’t regret it!