College told by the McDade Babes

College is such a unique experience that I do not think anyone will ever have fully figured out. But here is our shot through graduation pictures:

When you see that cute boy around campus and you make it real awkward:

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When people ask what you are doing with your life and you say being a kid forever:

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You will walk and walk and walk and walk the same paths again and again:

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When someone asks you if you want to get food: 

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Sometimes you need to find a new perspective: 

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Crosswalks SUCK as a pedestrian and a car: 

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When you are faking it until you make and your professor has no idea: 

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You may watch your GPA fall like confetti, but you won’t be as happy: 

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When you tell your friends embarrassing stories: 

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When your favorite song comes on at Back Bar: 

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Sometimes college might feel like it is going to kill you: 

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But do not fret, you WILL make it through. A different and hopefully better person:

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I absolutely love these people, this town, this college! So much so that I will be staying around another year. Throughout this bitter sweet time I am choosing to be joyful, because I know that life is just beginning!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

[Photo Credit: Noah Granger]

Life is Ruff When We’re Apart.

This spring season more than ever I have been hit in the face with puppies and dogs galore. Springs in Chapel Hill are beautiful by themselves, but add a dog running through the bright green quad and boy do you fall into a sentimental mess so quickly!

Then I begin looking up all the pictures of happy dogs I can find and I beg my friends’ with dogs to let me doggynap them for a bit. This is because I LOVE dogs and while away at college I am ALWAYS missing mine. Her name is Oreo. **Side note: my dog before her was named Twinkie, I think this shows my dad is obsessed with food!**

Oreo and I have been the best of friends since the fourth grade. We met because someone had dropped her and her brother in a box on the side of the road in my childhood friend’s neighborhood. After begging and begging my parents, she was welcomed home a few days later. Since then she has been a intricate part of our family, bringing lots of goofy joy to our house. After being inseparable day-after-day for nine years, leaving her for college was one of my hardest goodbyes. But now each trip home makes me excited for our reuniting party and the fun times have not stopped since college began.

She occasionally wears cheerleading outfits to support me at my games and never refuses to take a selfie with me!

Oreo never denies a chance to go on a field trip to visit Chapel Hill even if she hates car rides and hot bricks! On this tour around campus she was not about stopping to pose at the historic places, so instead I had to snap a pic when she was walking by. She is still lookng mighty fine, so I am okay with it!

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She ALWAYS makes a bad day better, as I think most pets do. As she continues to get older I miss her so much and get sad thinking about not spending some of her last few years with her. I hope she knows how loved she is and understands that my absence is not abandonment.

If you are in the same situation remember to show your four-legged friends just as much love as your human ones! You can’t call them. And plus nothing beats seeing the joy come to their face when you walk through the door. She is my favorite welcoming committee and has taught me invaluable lessons about unconditional love, playfulness, loyalty and forgiveness!

Wish we could be together more often, but revisiting the pictures of our selfies will have to do!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Coincidence or Nah?

Welcome to another post that reveals more about myself and shares some of the nonsense that goes on in my brain just so you guys do not think I’m too serious! If you asked I would definitely consider myself one of the funniest people I know, not because I’m actually witty and say funny things but more from my quirkiness on a day to day basis.

So my favorite color is orange! Yea yea, I know what you’re thinking “Ew. Why. No one likes that color.” Well it partially started in middle school when I wanted to be different from my peers. Pink, blue and purple were just so ordinary. So back then I choose yellow because it reminded me of sunshine and it was my best friend’s favorite color too! While I realize that contradicts my previous statement, it was totally cool to match everything your bff did back then. Trust me!
Somewhere along the way my favorite color turned to orange, still close to the same family but a revamped change.

Now when I am referring to orange being my favorite color this does not mean I want to start wearing anything orange I can find or paint my room orange, because let’s face it there can be a thing as too much orange! It is also a hard color to pull off depending on the shade. Once I wore an orange shirt that I guess was a little to bright for some people’s liking, because the janitor at school told me directly “Better watch out I might hit ya because you look like a traffic cone.” #hurtful or maybe it was good advice not to wear it again. I just think orange is a pleasant color for accent things, such as binders, pencils, pillows and towels.

Looking back I’m not sure when or why exactly the color transitioned from yellow to orange. I think too many people were liking yellow (can you say #trendsetter??, totally kidding), so obviously I had to move on. But now I have realized that most of my favorite and most frequently eaten foods are in the orange family. Admire the list below:

Goldfish (Snack crackers)
Oranges
Cheese
Mangos
Cheez-it’s
Sweet potato fries
Humus
Bell Peppers
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Sorry I feel like I just gave you my grocery list. No, but for real this is serious. Now I’m conflicted and do not know whether I like orange because my favorite foods are orange, or if they are my favorite foods because I’m drawn to the color. You may label this as a minute issue, but I was actually asked about this in an interview the the other day so it deserves thought!

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but goldfish will forever be Bae because of everything about them (taste, color, smiles)! I also wonder if anyone else has ever noticed this about themselves? If not, I am okay with choosing to acceptance my weirdness and find joy in food!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Day of Births

It’s my birthday!!!

April 13th has come again, but this time it feels a bit different. And no it is not because I am a year older and it feels sooooo different now (cue sarcasm). Usually, I am one of those obnoxious people who have a countdown until the day…sorry to all my high school friends who had to endure that. This year life has been moving in such a whirlwind that my birthday just crept up on me and *poof* appeared!

Nonetheless, I believe birthdays are so special and should be celebrated over the top!

Here are the four things I love about having a special day to celebrate you:

  1. THE FOOD! Many birthday celebrations revolve around good food and even tastier desserts and my belly could not be more pleased! I mean calories don’t count on your birthday, right?

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2. Dancing around to obnoxiously loud music all day because it’s your birthday dance! 476806075

3. Responding to everything with “It’s my birthday I can do what I want.” Even if you are not a sassy person, it is still fun trying to pull the princess card for the day! crown-1157720_1280

4. Most importantly, my favorite part of birthdays is feeling loved by so many people! Whether it is sent through a phone and social media, or felt in person it means so much. I rarely feel more special than when my family and friends get together just to celebrate me! 524384551

Thanks to everyone for making me feel so loved and blessed! It was a truly joy filled day!  I’ll try and limit my celebrations to a few days, not my usual “Birthday Week.”

Spread continuous Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

 

Gratitude.

Photo Credit: GoHeels.com

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Photo Credit: JD Lyon/Tarheelphoto

Do you see my emotion in this picture? It’s pure happiness! How could I not be that thrilled when I got to cheer for the best university and best basketball team in the National Championship!

I never dreamed this would be part of my life’s plan, but boy am I glad it was! Cheering at Carolina has provided me with the most unbelievable friends, supporters and experiences! This last year has truly been one for the books. I will forever cherish this team, my teammates who have become my family and all the memories!

The uniform may be off for good, but my heart will always be with UNC and this smile will always be here! Thanks to Roy’s Boys for taking us on the best journey of my life! So proud.

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Away for the Holidays

Hello beautiful people! Sorry if you feel like you have not heard from me lately, but I have definitely been thinking of you! As many of you know it is half way through March Madness, one of the greatest times in sports, and I have been lucky enough to be traveling for the majority of my days lately.

While I would not trade any of these emotional roller coaster games for anything in the world, I will be missing my first holiday with my family, ever. I have a very small immediate family so around the holiday seasons if one person is missing you can definitely tell. My parents go all out for holidays! Like Santa still wraps all of my presents, the Easter Bunny still drops off a basket after dying eggs and I get to celebrate a birthday week (not just day)…and I am almost 22.

Therefore, holidays always have a special place in my heart. Of course the true meanings behind the holidays are the main focus, but I love the worldly aspects of bringing people together and food too!

Similar to many of you I am a creature of habit and do not always deal well with change. On my eighteenth birthday and Easter Sunday I woke up early for Sunrise Service to open my Easter basket like always but this time it felt so different and lonely. It was the first holiday that my brother, who is 6 years older than I, was not present for. I opened my basket alone and it all felt empty. Additionally, my boyfriend (I know I haven’t really mentioned him before, but yes he exists) was in Spain making it difficult to communicate leaving me all in my feelings. I remember going to my room and crying. Crying because things were not the way they had been for the previous 18 years and they never would be anymore.

Tomorrow I will be missing my first Easter at home. I won’t have the familiarity of going to my home church, instead I will be visiting one where I know no one. There will be no home cooked Easter lunch. and no family around. My fear is that it will be easy to forget that it is such a special day among all the crazy events happening. While this is mostly a one time thing, it kind of represents the reality of changes happening as I soon enter the real world.Life will be all about the hustle and bustle and I won’t be at home anymore. But when finding the positive, it opens doors to the excitement of making new traditions and building more discipline of giving proper time and focus to these important days!

The first day of change starts tomorrow! Here we go!

Choose to bring an abundance of joy to this world everyday because of the gift of joy we have been given through the resurrection!

Happy Easter

Spread continuous Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

What is this “City Life?”

I grew up right outside the city limits and right before the country farms. Technically I was part of the country, the redneck area, the boon docks, whatever you want to call it, and i loved it! I have lived on the same road in the same house my entire life, so I knew nothing different.

But when I came to college I realized that what my hometown people and I have referred to as a city is not really a city at all. For us, what constituted as a city was that is had a Walmart, the mall and some restaurants (mostly vast food, but sit down ones too). Not a place rooted in deep history or with a super busy downtown. So now that I have had the opportunity to explore large, popular cities I am confused on how they can be the same word at all. This is why when I get to travel to “The City” I feel like I am seeing it all through the eyes of a child.568540481 It is like I have been out on the sea for ten years, completely extracted from the world, and I am experiencing every little thing for the first time!

I walk around and my eyes are overwhelmed with everything I see! All the cars racing by, all the humans walking in one way, the city air, the plant life, any monuments. Everything. Everything just seems so fascinating and I am sure whoever is with me has to tune me out or rolls their eyes at everything I say, because I point out the smallest, inconsequential of things (Sorry to all my teammates and Jessi). I literally stand and marvel in the different air, like what? That’s so strange. Here is an example of a conversation I can have with myself or whoever is around:

“Whoa! Look at these trees. And this pebble sidewalk. And that color on that building. And man oh man this building is ridiculously tall. Ooo ooo! And even their bathrooms are different too! Can people please stop honking, so rude and impatient!”

It is like I am seeing everything for the very first time. The smallest things catch my attention. The city seems to never stop going, which mean there are so many possibilities!

Currently, I am in D.C. and I traveled to Nashville, Charleston and NYC last year. All three places were beyond beautiful, inspirational and invigorating in their own way! You better believe I walked everywhere, explored everything and was the adult looking like a kid!!564725497 I have found that this exploration gives me so much energy and excitement that I never want to end. When you choose to look deeper than all the hustle and bustle you may find joy in noticing even that smallest aspects that make these cities so special!

I believe there is magic in every place if you are just willing to look! Now if only my wallet matched my desires….one day. one day.

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Under Ever-Changing Skies

It is only Wednesday and it has already been a dreary, icky, long week. As thunderstorms are  rolling in casting nothing but gray skies and light rain mists over overhead, it seems as though everyone’s mood is matching the weather too. We are all drowsy, groggy and for sure do not want to be anywhere but at home under our warm covers.

Because of this, I decided that we all needed some uplifting inspiration to get us through the rest of the week. So I have searched through my hundreds of Pinterest pins to provide you with few of the most appropriate and best ones. Disclosure, I am a Pinterest junkie in the most positive way ever. My top pin categories include Food and quotes which I have title “#truths”- so original right?

So here is what I want to leave you with these quotes this week:

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Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.
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Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.

During the hard weeks it is very easy to get discouraged. In order to get out of that funk it is time to remember that everyone runs in to failures, but these are temporary (See some real examples here). Be excited about the life we are living and choose to not regret that!

By the way I have checked next week’s weather for all my Chapel Hill readers, looks like sunny skies are head our way! Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

Follow me on Pinterest to see lots of yummy food and word of truth!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

 

 

 

Undecided is Acceptable

From a young age all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was either a hair stylist or a teacher. I think most little girls go through a “teacher phase” because it seemed so cool to be smart, dress adorable and tell people what to do! Also, you would have recess as part of your work day! How cool?! Ehh…but once I saw how difficult teaching children could be as the kids got older and sometimes less sweet, more hateful this career path dwindled. But being a hair stylist was something I aspired to be even throughout high school. I vividly remember dressing up as a beautician on Career Day in the second grade wearing an apron which held combs and brushes, curlers and fake scissors (although I was skilled enough for the real thing). You might think this is weird and I would agree because who does that? The answer is me because I had to be different. I even stopped letting my mom do my hair when I was 5 because I thought I could do it better and she graciously chose to let me win that battle.

As I moved through my high school years and my nerd status continued to rise I knew college was the next step. My parents did not go to college, but have been lucky enough to have the jobs they love, and set an expectation that my brother and I would go. I still loved the thought of being a hair stylist, but the dream ended when I realized my body could not handle standing up for that long! For all the hair stylists out there your feet must be made of steel, more power to you all! But without that dream I had NO idea what I wanted to do. When you are graduating that is all people ask about, and I’m like “ha. ha. I don’t know.” So when I graduated high school the answer was I don’t know. When I moved in to college the answer was…I don’t know. Throughout my entire first year the answer was still….Idk. Even half of sophomore year …..IDK! Guys, people starting pursuing their majors their first day, I started pursuing mine about 547 days after making me feel like I should get the word “Failure” stamped to my forehead.

But I am here to tell you that is is okay! It wasn’t that I was not trying to figure it out, I was taking classes in every department (besides science, which is my enemy) & taking any personality test I could to give me some direction.  Then I found that all I needed was time. Time to explore, time to think and time to grow. “Undecided” or “Uncertainty” is not something to be ashamed of for be afraid to admit. Yes, it is scary not knowing where your life is going, but I fully believe if you are actively trying and searching then it will work out. It is not all about the end result, the destination. You can find so much fulfillment, joy and learning from the process and the journey to get there. Sometimes I think that stage of life is the most beautiful, because there is so much in the unexpected. If you ever get to a point in life like this, not just with school but with anything, take time to breathe, release the pressures you are feeling and trust.

I am now a soon to be Public Relations graduate, and I am confident that I finally chose the right major. With that said, I am starting the whole uncertainty process over again with starting a career. This time is a little different though because I know my passion, just not where I will be. So I am choosing to be thankful that I have direction and passion and trusting the rest!

“Your path will become clearer as you discover who you really are and what you are truly passionate about.”-Laura Apisakkul

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

You’re Invited

Hi guys! Maybe you stumbled on this page or are reading this out of obligation for being my friend, but no matter how you got here I’m glad you are. Throughout this blog experience my vow to you is showing honesty, starting with the fact that weirdly, my heart is racing and becoming more nervous about writing this than it has about anything in a few months. I have known for a while now that this day of openly sharing my thoughts with the world would come and even after pondering over a multitude of ideas I froze when I stared at this blank screen. To better explain possible reasons for this there are some things you should know.

I am NOT a feelings person. Like at all. I do not enjoy talking about them, expressing them or really even self-identifying them, mostly because they scare me. I love listening to others’, but if I have the choice I prefer to keep mine off limits. Now…we all have those certain friends who know how to pull emotions out of you, I call them my “deep friends,”and I am eventually thankful for connecting with my feelings on occasion. But I think this is why this process stuns me. I am now sharing thoughts and experiences to more than just my “deep friends.” For the first time ever I have the power to write about whatever I choose. It is even for a grade, and for once I truly believe my professor when he says “any topic.” Other professors sometimes say it but are secretly hinting towards one way. So I wanted to choose something I am passionate about and feel pretttyyy confident in, but not limiting this to only one thing.

So I thought about things that describe me: small-town  girl, country accent, loud, student, muscular, cheerleader, happy, loud again, friendly, short, really loud…etc. But I continued to linger on happy! Being a partial extrovert, a lot of my joy and fulfillment stems from others and in particular providing happiness for others. The deeper I thought the more it rang that this feeling of happiness is a choice. While some of this characteristic is innate, it is also  a conscious effort. One that is very important to me. So I plan to start a journey on “Choosing Joy” in the easy times and through the periods where patience is tested and hearts are broken,because I think it can sometimes be the best solution!

As of now I would not consider myself a writer, blogger or life expert of any sort and I am nervous to open myself to vulnerability, but I am hopeful this challenge will bring many rewards to both you and I! Feel free to express feedback and ask any questions. You are cordially invited on this journey, let’s begin!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

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