My Special Skills

My Special Skills Rebekah Koontz

In life, it’s easy to think, “I’m not good at anything.

This may very well be true. Who am I to question you?

You are, however, unique in the things you do, and you do things in a special kind of way that makes you superior to others.

I’m talking about those useless skills you developed and proudly presented to your fourth grade friends. But you know what? They’re still cool, and it’s time we toot our own horn and stop being so hard on ourselves.

These are my special skills. Some I’m in the process of developing to this day. I’m so proud.

How (Not) To Clean Your Room

Prepare yourself.

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I’m going to write about something very close to my heart.

So dear, in fact, that I’ve already mentioned it in more than one post (5 Things I’m Really Bad At, Time, Spring Cleaning).

I have become world renown in this subject. A professional in every sense of the word. A high authority on the matter.

It has taken nineteen years for me to claim such attribution. Nineteen years of trial and error, hard work and practice. I am now prepared to share with you all my secrets on the matter.

You will never have to wonder “am I doing it right?” again.

Here’s how not to clean your room.

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Unboxing LE TOTE #2

LE TOTE clothing and accessory rental

After my first unboxing, I was quite excited to send the box back for a sequel. It felt like it took a while to return to me, if I’m being honest.

Though sure enough, after a few days I was greeted with a new black box. This time, with a fancy styled for you sticker to greet me.

The box gave me my usual set of compliments.
And I jumped right in.

Gonna Miss My Best Friend

A few blog posts ago, I wrote about being a college stayer, though I fear that that post came off too “woe is me.” The reality is I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life. But I’m not sitting around, pitying myself day after day or anything of the sort. I didn’t want it to come off that way.

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However.

Today, you may pity me. Pity away. Because today (well, yesterday) I lost my best friend.

“You make it sound like I’m dying,” he told me and my friend.

“You’re gonna be dead to us,” she joked.

This is true. Though I am very much aware that the dead are incapable of shooting me a “I’m making friends!” text, when you see someone on an almost daily basis because they lived a few streets down from you and then suddenly can’t see them for three months. Instant. They’re gone. Only memories remain. It’s quite similar to death.

Sleepovers and Girl Time With Amy

I may be nineteen, but that doesn’t stop me or my friends from having sleepovers and doing… the same exact things we’ve been doing since middle school. We’re just more… mature about it.

I’m choosing my words very carefully for this blog post.

Last night, I spent the night at my friend, Amy’s, house. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know exactly who she is.

She’s home from college so we’re spending as much time as we can together while she’s here, even if it consists of us posing in flower crowns and taking selfies in the middle of Claire’s.

We eat candy. A lot of it.
We get frozen yogurt. With more candy.
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Amy got a swirl of Chocolate and Pecan Praline. We had met up with an old friend, Noelle, who stuck with strawberry, while I got a dab of each flavor that interested me, followed by cheesecake bites, brownie, cookie dough, and sour gummy worms.
It was agreed that Noelle was the knowing mother who stayed true to her favorite. Amy was the tween, playing with the swirl option. And I was the three year old who wanted everything.
And it was delicious.
We drove about Redlands, looking for pretty houses to stare at, chewing on more sour gummy worms and gummy bears, soon said goodbye to Noelle once again, and began thinking about movie ideas.
When Amy slept over at my house, we went and saw Divergent.
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As I was at Amy’s house, she asked me if I had seen the trailer for Lucy. I thought it was a scary movie I didn’t want to watch at first, until the trailer reminded me it was the one with Scarlet Johansson about the girl who had drugs implanted in her body that began to leak and slowly she could use more and more of her brain capacity.
Movie review: mostly gory. Some nudity. All violence. And very much agrees on the theory that evolution is real, which tripped me up. Disposable movie. You see it once and that’s it.
However!
There was no one I would rather see the movie with than Amy!
We would flinch, cover our eyes, hide behind our hands and knees, and laugh randomly all at the same spots of the movie. People would be digging into the slits on each other’s stomachs to retrieve the drugs, and Amy and I would shudder and wince. I was holding my own stomach throughout the entire movie.
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I felt their pain. Really.
Or it was all the candy and CheeseIts…
It was real.
This is what girls do at sleepovers though, let’s be honest. We eat a lot of junk food. We go shopping. We watch bad movies. We talk until we fall asleep, mid-conversation.
We live middle school all over again. Those were the good ol’ years, right?
Sliced apples with cookie butter at nine o’clock at night. Hot chocolate at eleven thirty. That’s the good life.
Amy keeps me young. We knew each other from church and didn’t truly meet until six grade. Being stage sisters in a play propelled us into Stage Sisters For Life-dom and the rest is history.
I can be a guys-gal most of the time, but every girl needs a good girl friend. We have to face it. We may say we refuse drama. But a good girl friend is out there, and it’s amazing how much more she’ll understand than your best guy friend.
All that to say, I want to encourage girls. To first, take a chance on friendship! Find the Lucy to your Ethel. Then take your girl out and be silly, and girly, and tell your secrets at midnight, and eat chocolate, and watch scary movies.
Friendships are a big deal. Take care of them.
It’s a good reminder.
And count your blessings if you have a good friend or two. That’s something to smile about.
Thanks for the good times, Amy! You’re such a caring, cute, and godly Christian friend. You’ll be one of my five blessings for the day. *girl-to-girl wink*

Smelling Good

Chris and I had another friend day. We went and saw How To Train Your Dragon 2 with a bunch of moms and ten year olds. We thought sitting in the back would put us out of the way, not knowing ten year olds want to sit at the top. Two chairs over, Chris had a little boy explaining quite intelligently to his mom, “the dragon is sad because of this-this-and-this.” I started to laugh, and Chris flashed an excited grin and whispered that we had a narrator.

We wandered the mall, and I’m always enamored by the “stinky store,” Bath and Body Works. I kept finding myself inside, sniffing lotions and trying perfumes and imagining myself burning a yummy candle at home, but I never bought anything. That time, however, I made the mistake of telling Chris these life-changing little words.

“Chris. You should help me buy a perfume.”

Bath and Body Works has these little white cards available. The thought is you spray the fragrance you’re testing on the paper, in case you hate it. That way you don’t have something horrible leeched to your arm until you take another shower to rid of the smell.
Chris took it to an extreme. 
He collected a small stack of the cards in his hand and went one by one, down the wall of fragrances. The card has a side you spray and a side for you to write the name of the scent. He borrowed a pen. 

By the third smell, we had a system. He would spray the card, wave it twice, smack/smush it into my nose, smell the card, shrug and give me his opinion, then let me smell it. 
He got creative, adding smiley faces and hearts for ones he liked, and sad faces and tears for ones he didn’t like. He even changed what I believe was “Forever Love” to “Forever NO!”
Cute girl workers in black aprons would come and ask if we needed help, but we said no. They would smile politely then give us a weary look that said “please don’t destroy everything just to have fun” before going away.
We were having fun, probably too much fun to make sense. But it got to the point that I was saying between giggles, “Chris you’re really funny today!” Then I would be minding my own business, to turn and hear Chris chuckling to himself because he thought my expression was something to be laughed at.
We were high on Bath and Body Works fumes. Chris claims he’s always that funny.
But we were high on Bath and Body Works fumes.
We made it down one side of the wall, and exhaled happily, feeling accomplished, until I had to point out that we started in the middle and missed the first half of the wall. Determined, Chris went back to the cards, grabbed more, and we tackled it from the beginning until where we first began.
It didn’t end there. After going through the whole lot of perfumes, Chris shuffled back through our cards and repicked the ones with smiles and hearts. He was going to get more cards, but I stopped him. We had agreed earlier (when I made him try a peach lotion) that different smells smell different on different people.
“We should just spray these scents on me and see if they smell good.” Was my brilliant plan.
We sprayed my wrist, elbow, shoulder, wrist, elbow, shoulder on both sides. And magically had spots for each smell.
We looked ridiculous.
Again, weary Bath and Body Works employees watching us.
I do have to admit, it got to the point – after maybe the third hour of harassing the poor workers – that I did feel compelled to buy something. 
I had originally gone to Bath and Body Works for the new Sunset By The Pool scent, which supposedly smelled like peaches. I’m infatuated by peaches, apparently. So I had to get that one. A big bottle would be six dollars. Or I could get three little bottles (originally six each) for twelve.  
Isn’t that how they get all of us? This isn’t my first time with the three for twelve. Last purchase, I bought Sweet Pea, Moonlight Way, and Ocean Breeze. Sweet Pea was the only one I liked and finally finished. 
When Chris did his smell test on Sweet Pea, he shrugged, made a face, and said it was “okay..” and that he wasn’t very found of it, which made me double over into unnecessary laughter, because Sweet Pea is all I wear. He didn’t know and stood there awkwardly.
I walked away with Sunset By The Pool, White Citrus (even though Chris wasn’t a fan), and Beautiful Day. I have to thank Chris for his help, though. I’m in love with Beautiful Day, it has a subtle apple scent. I would’ve never found it without his crazy system. White Citrus is great too. A scent I stole from my friend Amy that I liked.
Ironically, Sunset By The Pool hasn’t been my favorite. But two out of three is definitely an improvement. 
I then had the biggest tantrum when I got this coupon AFTER I had spent all my money.
But just now, I realized it’s not valid until August 4th, so I feel dumb.
I’d like to say I’m joking about us spending three hours in the store, but I’m not. We did. And we had the best time.
I have all the scents to prove it. Just in case you didn’t truly take in the 24 fragrance cards the first time, look again.
We had a very good time.

I’m A Kindergarten Teacher

One of the wonders that came with turning eighteen was that I was finally able to teach  Sunday school at church. No more “Leader In Training” or being a “Helper,” I could finally call the shots… And ask other people to take the kids to the bathroom while I told the story.

I think it’s the writer in me. I love telling the story. I teach kindergarten and sometimes first through third grade, and to see their expressions as I tell them how Elijah “was swooped up in a chariot of fire,” while I proceed to run circles around the room with my arms stretched out, “WHOOOOSH!” is priceless.

Or how their eyes get all big and they start to gasp sporadically when I tell them how “bad men were waiting.” GASP! “To steal his backpack and lunch.” GASP-GASP! “And beat him up!” NO! During the story of The Good Samaritan.

I love it.

My Friend Jake

I have a friend name Jake.

Jake

He likes fashion.  .

Fashion

Like this super-classy feather vest we found at Forever 21. .

Just kidding.

He does like fashion, though. And so do I. So it was funny that we haven’t ever gone shopping together.

Julie wanted to go down to the Ontario Mills Mall to try on ball gowns and have this huge silly photo shoot, and Jake was going to treat us like his Barbie dolls. He had to go down the hill on Tuesday for an eye doctor appointment anyway (which was when I got a call about THE JOB), so it seemed like the perfect plan.

Until Julie found she needed to work Tuesday. =-/

So we switched it to a shopping day instead (and will be sure to come back when Julie’s free). It was actually the first time Jake and I have done anything together.

I texted him and asked if he wanted to dress up all chic (since we’re both supposed to be the fashion people, anyway), and after finally establishing and agreeing on what “chic” meant, he said sure. Haha.

He wore a black suit (I believe a skinny fit? Not sure if that’s a saying in menswear. Still learning.) with a gray and white Aztec design under shirt. And I wore my favorite navy lace dress with pearls, a thin belt, gray nylons, and my wingtip heels. I love my orange purse too, and it was fall, so I figured it could pass.

Confession on my part. Just like the stereotypical girl-shopper, I love shoes.

Even in the men’s department.

Jake and I have agreed, though, that our styles are very different. I’m more vintage/boho chic, so he wasn’t feeling the sweet wingtip shoes I found for him. Instead, he pulled a pair of rectangle dress shoes that had a thin belt embellishment across the top.

I think that’s when we realized, out of pure coincidence, we picked shoes that matched the exact ones we were wearing.

What are the odds?

At least we’re consistent, right?

After a burst of laughter too loud to be sane coming from the shoe department, we left the store, then stopped each other, stared, and pointed like a couple of jealous children at this kid on a tiger! It was like an ATV/electric wheelchair/awesomeness thing. After about the third kid who passed us on one of those, we HAD to know where they got them and if we could get one too.

Finally, we found where to rent them. There was a significantly long line of people and kids waiting to get one, and the girl there was explaining to the mother that the tail worked as an emergency break. Pull the tail, and the creature will automatically stop going.

That explained why I saw a lot of parents, walking around behind their kids, the creature’s tail in their hand.

I was also inspired by this man’s enthusiasm to be apart of such a wonderful animal rental company.

Doesn’t he look like he’s just ITCHING to rent one?

Okay. I’m done being mean.

Honestly, I think Jake was definitely weighing the options of renting one of these babies. But I told him why don’t we just take a picture with it. That seemed to pacify him.

He took my phone and stepped back and I think he was totally expecting me to mount the thing and strike a pose. But the girl was already giving us a dirty look for hanging around too close. So I quickly got down and took a picture, before we were asked to back away.

I don’t like it, but he said he did, so there ya go.

Jake spent the rest of the day trying to make me fat. After Starbucks, mind you, he found out I’d never had a Cinnabon and dragged me over to get one. The girl offered a sample of their sweet raspberry lemonade (and we don’t turn down free samples. Jake was making cheap jokes at me all day), which I immediately poured all down my front, to the tune of Jake’s oh-so-subtle. .

“OH! Haha! You just poured that ALL OVER your dress!”

-_-

I mumbled how at least I’d smell good, to save my ego, then we went and sat down for Jake to cut up the cinnamon roll to share. He got to the center chunk and hesitated.

“You know, I usually just eat this in one bite. It’s the best part. .” He was saying. I could see the wheels in his head turning, then he forked it and shoved it at my face. “Here.”

“No, Jake, it’s too big.”

“No it’s not. Just eat it!” He was pushing and pushing it at my face and I was backing away repetitively, telling him no, when PLOP. .

Big glop of icing. Right in my lap.

Jake looked horrified.

He quickly put the fork down and scrambled around, looking for napkins in our Cinnabon bag. “They didn’t give us napkins!!” He jumped to his feet and scanned the food court. “There aren’t any napkins in this FOOD COURT?!” I think he thought I was going to bite off his head. But I was busting up.

He tore off a piece of our paper bag and I used that to wipe the icing off, and me and my dress were fine.

This is probably why I wear dark colors, though.

We walked around the mall. And I bought nail polish, of course. But it was on a ridiculously high shelf, and I was in heels. So I don’t know what that was about.

Not short person friendly.

I got four colors from Aeropostal of all places (I had a gift card), and we ended our day having an Auntie Em’s pretzel, a cinnamon one. It wasn’t until we were driving home that I realized we went overboard on cinnamon. I was sweetened OUT. But everything was good.

It was a good day. =-) Time to wash my dress though.