I Was Almost A Princess, This Is Not A Drill

I Was Almost A Princess, This Is Not A Drill

Shout out to my ancestors that made the mistake that affected us all – thanks a lot.
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Once upon a time, there was a girl who dreamed of being a princess. She drank apple juice out of real china tea cups, and ate homemade chocolate chip cookies with her grandma. She wore a new gown from Target from the Princess and the Pauper collection that came with a matching crown and had her stuffed kitten Cinnamon seated on the chair beside her. Her grandmother let her wear her real pearls and diamond ring and taught her how to hold her teacup properly.

Fast forward thirteen years later to a fresh-faced twenty-year-old who has no idea what she is doing, walks with a purpose, and has no idea where she is going.

That girl is me.

And this is how I, found out I was almost a princess.

Hence the almost.

It was around Christmas time and I was visiting my grandparents up north. I had just gotten in from playing outside in the snow – I’m from Arizona so we don’t get to see much of that around Christmas, and was now relaxing with a book in the living room (yes, I am that much of an old lady) as the snow fell on the ground.

My grandma was in the kitchen making dinner for the night and my father and grandpa were talking in his study. It was then I heard the magic word...Castle.

So of course I got up and went to where they were, in the dim light of the study, with dark wooden bookshelves from the floor extending to the ceiling in a 360 view. Books were filled in every nook and cranny, many old, and many new. A few black and white photos sat on some shelves, showcasing my ancestry.

“What are you two doing?” I poked my head in. My grandfather was bent over the desk looking at an old yellowed paper.

“Your grandpa found the family tree, along with some other documents.”

Curious as any nineteen-year-old, stuck in Idaho for a week could be, I walked in and looked at it. It showed my great grandmother and her family, along with many names I had never heard of.

“We have family from Scotland?” I pointed at a certain part of the tree. I had thought we all mostly derived from England.

My grandpa nodded, “Yeah, they owned a castle up there”

My eyes widened, “What one?” I pulled out my phone, eager to find this castle we supposedly had.

“Sterling, or something of that nature.” He replied and pulled out the papers from it.

I found it on the internet and eyed widened at the beauty. My inner seven-year-old was thriving. We owned a castle. That basically made me a princess right?

“Yeah, too bad they sold it.”

My heart plummeted. “What?”

“They sold it years and years back. When it was normal to do so.”

“They sold our castle?”

Grandpa, not fazed by the thought that we could have owned a castle, nodded and went back to his discussion with my dad.

That was the day I found out I could have been a princess. Basically. Or at least a girl with a darn castle. If it wasn’t for my ancestors selling the freaking thing, I could have lived out my little girl dreams in Scotland in my own castle.

So thanks ancestors.

You really made a huge mistake there.

And that’s the story on how I found out I was almost a Princess.

Cover Image Credit: Lily Cooper

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To My Little Brother

Six things I want you to know.
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I am not your mother, but I am your big sister.

I cannot even apologize for it, I am always going to act like your second mom. I am going to keep yelling at you to (please) put down the toilet seat and to clean up the mess you made in the kitchen. It doesn't matter to me how often you say "I am not your mother," because you're my little brother and I'm always going to be the boss.

I never mean it when I tell you to grow up.

I hope that you have taken, and continue to take, full advantage of your childhood. As often as I complain about your maturity level, my wish for you is to put off growing up for as long as possible. The closer I get to real adult life, the more I miss home and all of the worries I didn't have. You shouldn't rush through the years you have left at home, you are doing just fine the way you are.

No, I didn't tell Mom.

All of our secrets will always stay secrets. I may have ratted you out to Mom about being the one to break her new vase, but I hope you know that our brother-sister bond protects all of the private things we share. Please, never forget that I'll always be here to listen to you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for giving you your first bloody nose, and for laughing at you afterward. I'm sorry for every time I have blown you off for plans with a guy, or to get an extra hour of sleep. I'm sorry for yelling at you to leave me alone and for slamming the door in your face. I'm sorry for all of the times you asked me to play outside that I didn't. I'm sorry for all of my broken promises.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for all of the “little brother" insults you have used. I forgive you for using all of my paints and letting them dry out. I forgive you for embarrassing me in front of every guy I ever brought home. I even forgive you for cutting off that piece of my hair in fourth grade.

I am so proud of you.

It isn't said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you, little brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way that you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you go in life (but don't go anywhere too quickly). Keep working hard and doing what you love, no one can fault you for following your heart. I love you so much, and I will always be your biggest supporter and fan!

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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