It’s 2020 and I’m content.

I used to write in a blog religiously, and I’ve found that I touch this site barely a few times a year. I just took the time to make most of my posts private, because I feel as though I’ve gone through a “fresh start”.

2020 has been shit for most, I think we are all in agreement there. I’ve gone through an abundance of change, and now that I’m reflecting back on it I can’t help but to think that 2020 has given me more than I could have dreamed.

I’ve got to a better place with how I feel about myself. Sure, there are still times where I cry in my closet, or panic as I try on clothes, but there are more days where I feel confident, strong, and ready to take on the day.

I love working out. I love being in the gym and seeing what I can do with my body. I love moving my body, whether it’s at a fitness center or outdoors.

I have my own place, with Snickers as my roommate. She is constantly begging for belly rubs and for my leftovers, but she’s the best roommate.

I’m seeing someone who inspires me to be a better version of myself in every way. I feel as though I might be the luckiest girl in the world.

I don’t have a lot to say in this moment. It’s 2am, technically Thanksgiving, and I just feel content. The last day was incredibly difficult, but I’m proud for putting myself back together and feeling excited for next moments to come.

Tomorrow – er, today – I hope you’ll continue this way.

Happy Mother’s Day, Momma DeBrino

374802_10150489214562713_1613727210_n

Hi Mom. I wanted to make a special video for you today, but I couldn’t hold myself together long enough.

10285810_10152415226271031_6066949041762129911_o (1)

When you came to FL and we went to EPCOT on my day off

I wanted to take today to say thank you for being my best friend and biggest supporter. Without you and Dad, I’d be completely lost. The guidance you have given me has shaped me to be the person I am, and hope to be.

 

Being away from home this long has been the hardest thing for me. I miss you every single day, which is why I call you every chance I get. It’s the reason I make my goodbyes short when I leave from Seattle back to Vegas — or where ever I happen to be living — because I know I’ll turn into a sobbing mess when it hits that I don’t get to hang out at home with you, Dad, and the animals once I get on the plane.

When I got accepted into the Disney College Program, you could sense that I was scared to go. I remember you saying, “If you get accepted, you can’t back out. You have to go.” I guess you have always known me better than I’ve known myself – you know I get scared of taking chances on doing things for myself, and if it wasn’t for you, working for Disney would have never been a thing in my life. And going to Florida with you is one of my favorite memories, ever. I still can’t believe we spent an entire week in a car, with no

166115_10150116458551031_2771152_n

When we left for FL and we both couldn’t stop crying despite getting to spend the next two weeks together

breaks from each other, and we never once got in an argument! (ha) It was the most perfect road trip.

 

Before I moved to Vegas, I was so stuck on what to do next with my life. Where to go to school, what to major in, where to live… and you told me to just open up my own business instead. You have always had faith in me that I could succeed, no matter what path I decided to travel down.

You inspire me every day to be who I want to be, and not who everyone tells me I should be. You’ve been there for me during every moment in my life, good or bad: you’re more than my mom, you’re my best friend.

12901289_10153965715071031_1045174188729974884_o

On our way to Oregon during my Spring Break

I can’t wait to be in the same state as you again (which hopefully will be soon), because when I think about home it doesn’t feel the same without you around. Thanks for being the most loving, quirky, and fun mom. I love that I grew up in a house that encourages being silly while also encouraging me to try my best in everything I do- and to also not worry about the people that try and hold me back from doing so.

So thank you, mom. Thank you for being there for me even when you’re busy. Thank you for answering the phone even though you’re eating dinner. Thank you for encouraging me to live where I want to live, and to follow my passion instead of money. Thank you for supporting me to go to London this summer, and for helping me plan each moment of the trip. Thank you for being you, because it’s the best.

I’m sorry I can’t be there in person to celebrate Mother’s Day with you, but I am counting down the days until I get to see you next: only FIVE to go!

I love you, mom. See you soon!

134873_10150116463861031_6585504_o

Mom at the Riverwalk in Texas

Airbnb E-mail Scam

This summer I will be traveling to Europe for my first time, and decided to use a booking website I have heard so much about: Airbnb. After hearing nothing but good things over and over again, I knew it’d be a good choice. I was especially excited at the opportunity to rent a house with my friends for less than the price of paying for a night in a hotel.

So far we have booked in four different countries, and finally we started looking at our next option: Paris. The weekend we are looking at is booking fast, and with such a large group we knew we had to act soon. That’s why we were so excited when we came across this listing:

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 1.44.47 AM

The total for the whole weekend would only be $90/person, an offer we didn’t want to pass up. I immediately went to request to book it. I told the host about how we are a group of 8 business students, and we are representing our school based on our academic and leadership achievements. I explained in our message how professional we are, and how passionate about business we happen to be. This was the message I received back:

Continue reading

Our Goodbye to Paws

IMG_0282 (1)

If you have ever been over to the DeBrino household, you have met Paws. He would greet you with the loudest, and weirdest sounding, meow he could muster… again, and again, and again, until you sat down to pet him. And once you started petting him, he would head-butt you repeatedly.

He was the weirdest cat. And maybe one of the most annoying. But he was also the most loving- and a DeBrino.

We got Paws in 2001 shortly after moving to Bothell, WA. We went to a house down the road from us and picked out his brother first, and I asked mom and dad if we could get him, too. I don’t remember if it was hard to convince them but we came home with two little kitten brothers that day.

Being young, Jenny (my sister) and I gave them the best names ever: Lip and Paws. Jenny named Lip because he would constantly kiss you, and we somehow came up with Paws.

I can remember countless nights, especially in high school, having to open my bedroom door for Paws because I wasn’t allowed to sleep without him. If I tried, Paws would put a paw under my door, and shake it until I went to open it. If that didn’t work, he would scratch at it for as long as it took. And once that door was open, he’d go straight into the bed and lay on my chest.

He was obsessed with milk, and with hunting. He’d bring in all kinds of animals: bunnies, lizards, mice, rats, birds, ducks- whatever he could find. I’m also sure he is probably the reason we ended up with a weasel in my room!

My sister sent me a text this morning asking about my school schedule and it was followed by a phone call. I knew what is was right away- the last few times I had been home I knew he wasn’t doing well. We all did. My last trip home was during Thanksgiving and on my way out of the house I took a picture with him, held him for a bit, and cried because I figured it was goodbye. He actually would do this thing when you pick him up where he would give you a hug: he’d wrap his paws around your neck and hold on. It was the best.

Being the stubborn, annoying cat that he was, I wasn’t surprised he lasted so long- that cat was not a quitter.

I was planning on getting Paws back once I found a house so he could be my cuddle-buddy again. It makes me incredibly sad knowing that I won’t get to experience that anymore.

Knowing Paws, he’s up in some kind of kitty paradise feasting on a buffet of mice and milk and getting all the attention in the world.

 

My sister, Jenny, also wrote something to say goodbye to our favorite little black cat:

———————————

Paws was my little buddy, my sidekick. My sister and I always fought over who he belonged to, but really, he was the family cat. He sure knew how to annoy the crap out of everyone, but you could never really be mad at him because when it came down to it, he just loved everyone so intensely and you knew that.

One of my memorable things about Paws was how if he was ever at head level with you, he’d head butt you. I remember at times being so mad at him because it hurt so badly, but he never did it with intent to hurt, just to connect with you, to love you, to get you to pay attention to him, to feed him and all other things cats want you to do for them.

If you picked him up, he would wrap his front paws around your neck and snuggle his head in as if he knew what a hug was and what it had meant.

Paws had a meow that was not only obnoxious and loud, but also unique and funny. Friends would always comment on his meows.

I could go on and on about you little guy, but I’m afraid these tears are making it harder and harder to type. I love you Pawsy, I hope you’re happy in kitty heaven. We miss you.

Love,

Andrea & Jenny DeBrino