Must Be Mo

Willy Wonka Girl of Pure Imagination

Disney Day Highlights

Mo Calderon
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Last weekend was my girls’ trip to California and I don’t really feel like outline every day step-by-step so I thought instead I would just share some of my favorite memories from the trip, starting with Day 1 — Disney Day!

Disney-Bounding as Vanellope

One of my favorite things to do is Disneybound! Last time I was at Disney I went as Winnie the Poo and this time I went as Vanellope. Angella made me the most adorable hair clips to go with my Disneybound and it seriously made the entire outfit! At one point, one of the cast members at Disney even told me “Hi, Princess Vanellope!” It made my day!

Meeting Stormtroopers + Star Wars Land

I don’t have any digital photos of this happening, but I do have some on my disposable camera that I need to get developed. I have a photo of Amy sneaking behind the Stormtrooper to get a photo with them, and a photo of Angella talking to one of them. He asked her, “Can I see some identification?” and after some stuttering, Angella came out with “uh…oh…can I show you my Instagram?” Best response ever.

Riding Splash Mountain

Riding Splash Mountain with AJ, Mika, Angella, Taylor, and Katie was absolutely hilarious. Between me and Mika screaming our regrets as soon as the ride started, Angella going hysterical at the tied up bunnies on the ride, and the epic picture going down the last drop, Splash Mountain had to be one of the best highlights of the day. My face in that photo. I can’t even. I love rides and rollercoasters but as soon as I get on, I start freaking out. The anticipation kills me and I always build it up in my mind to be worse than it really is. Yes, even if I’ve ridden the ride a million times before. Then immediately after I am always down to do it again!

How I Knew He Was “The One”

Mo Calderon
I’m the queen of nothing at all. He’s my king of nothing at all.

I’m the queen of nothing at all. He’s my king of nothing at all.

One of my coworkers recently asked me how I knew Brandon was the one and what it was about him that made me fall in love with him. I know we’re still newlyweds technically (we’ll be married two years in January) but it’s so easy to take the people you love for granted.

Reliving and retelling our story to my coworker reminded me to never take Brandon for granted and it reminded me to be grateful for every moment I get with him, good or bad. Life as of recently is reminding me every day to appreciate him every day.


Some Backstory

Brandon and I both came from pretty rough relationships before each other. He dated someone toxic who cut him off completely from his family among a lot of other things. I don’t want to air out his dirty laundry on the internet but to put things as simply as I can, all his friends and family say they “lost him” for years. They all say she had mental issues that she refused to get help for, leaving Brandon with the short end of the stick in that deal.

Before Brandon, I dated someone who had zero respect for me. He was a liar, an addict, a thief...the list goes on. I was bitter when we split but I can’t even lie — I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and I was still convinced that true love was out there somewhere.

When Brandon and I met I was looking for that kind of love. The kind of love that meant full respect and unwavering honesty. The kind of love like Snow White and Prince Charming had in Once Upon A Time. What I got was more than I thought I’d ever find.


The Shirt Off His Back

All my life I’ve heard people describe kind people as “so kind they would give you the shirt off their back.” Never have I ever experienced someone actually doing that—then Brandon came along.

It was the middle of December and I was cold because I had been trying to look cute (as one does) and I had on a short-sleeved skater dress. Did I mention it was mid-December? Granted, we live in Tucson but I had still underestimated how cold it would be that night.

After a night at a bar, Brandon noticed I was cold and he literally took his long sleeve thermal shirt off and gave it to me to wear. Granted, he was wearing a tank top undershirt thing underneath, but I had never in my life seen anyone literally give someone the shirt off their back. Sure, I’ve seen men give women their jacket before, but something about this gesture was just different. He may not have been naked underneath, but he literally gave me the shirt off his back.

I always thought that was just an expression. That was just something people said, not actually something people did. But Brandon…he was always just such a kind person. Not a standard-human-kindness type of kind. His kindness shocked and impressed me regularly. I admired it so much, and he continued showing me this over-the-top kindness one after the other.

The Motorcycle Wreck

Once, we were on the way to a bar with some friends from another restaurant in town. We were all somewhat following each other there, spread between two cars with Brandon on his motorcycle. He was driving in front of me, leading the way to the bar when all of a sudden he pulled the opposite direction we were all going.

There was a serious accident right in the middle of the intersection we had just turned right at. A car and a motorcycle had gotten into an accident and the motorcyclist and his bike were trapped under the car. A few minutes later I got a text from him saying he would catch up with us he had stopped to help out.

I asked him later if he stopped because he thought it might have been one of his motorcycle buddies but he said, “no.” He didn’t know the people in the accident or even suspect that it was someone he knew. He was just the kind of person who would stop for anyone in an accident because it was the right thing to do. He was the kind of person who stopped because he wanted to put good out into the world. Because he hoped that if the roles were reversed and that was his motorcycle under that truck, if that were him under there, that someone else would do the same.



There are so many other stories and reasons I could share that serve as examples of the kindness and chivalry Brandon showed me but a lot of them are private and not for the entire internet to see. So, I guess I’ll end it here. Maybe ask me sometime about Brandon’s chivalrous ways. Brandon can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but he’s my pain. I know there is no such thing as a perfect person but I do believe there is such a thing as a perfect match and I think I have found mine. He is the worst and the best and he is mine.

The Good, The Bad, and The Kodak Moments

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A lot has happened since I was here last. It seems like lately the bad has been outweighing the good, but life goes on. When receiving good and bad news, most people like to start with the bad right? I guess that’s where I’ll begin.

The Bad

I am getting a new boss at work, which is interesting. No one at work is talking about it, but it’s obvious everyone knows how awkward the situation is. Facts are facts — it’s awkward. There is no getting around it. No one knows what happened, but it is what it is. 🤷I’m sad because I had a truly amazing boss (at least I thought so) and now I’m nervous about who will come next. I’ve learned the hard way just how much having the right boss can make or break you when it comes to loving or hating your job.

Naturally this change has caused a lot of work to pile up. Here I thought things were finally about to calm down. Just when you think you are being given a chance to catch your breath, something happens to get you running again. I’ve become mildly overwhelmed at work trying to keep up with everything.

Some moments feel like I am drowning, and some moments I stop and think, “oh, okay this isn’t as bad as I thought. I’ll be fine.”

In other bad news, someone close and dear to me has lost someone who meant the world to her. It is a hurt I cannot even begin to understand. Her pain is not something that can ever be taken away, and I would be doing her a huge injustice by trying to. I know all I can do is be here while she lives through it.

There’s also a lot of other general stresses and mood killers going on in life but nothing too important to go into detail about. Just the usual — bills, car troubles, worrying about my credit, self-doubt, anxiety, and being paranoid about bed bugs. No actual bed bugs so far but I keep having dreams that make me paranoid.


Some photos of life lately…

The Good

I am going to California for my girls’ trip soon! I will be going to Disneyland and Universal Studios and I will get to see AJ for the first time since her wedding! It has been over a year now — it’s crazy how quickly time flies. I don’t want to dwell too much on the up-coming trip because I’m hoping to talk more about it once it happens.

I am also getting more into the habit of doing things I used to love doing. I am decorating my planner again, reading a tiny bit again. I’m here — I’m blogging again — and in the healthy way, not the toxic way!

I picked up another new hobby and have been continuing one I’ve talked about on here before.

You guys know about my Polaroid Project, which is all about taking photos for the purpose of memories, not for the purpose of curating a perfect social media feed. My fridge is mostly covered in polaroids now, and I’ve also started a photo album to keep the overflow in. I love all the photos I have now and I treasure them not for aesthetic reasons but for the nights and the moments they represent.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m so appreciative of the solid friend group that we have here and I never want to take them for granted. I want memorialize our friendships in a true and authentic way and I get to do so through these photos.

Well, I’ve also added an addition to the project — I’ve started using old-school disposable cameras as well. I know it’s how I grew up taking photos but it was such a foreign feeling at first taking a photo and having no knowledge of how it’s turned out. It’s exciting waiting for the photos I don’t know I’ve taken.

This photo thing is, I think, going to be my best life decision. I know years from now I will be cherishing these so much.

As of Lately

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This year has been flying by. I can’t believe it’s already September.

I’m going on a girls’ trip soon to California, and I’m so excited! I’ll be seeing AJ again so soon! Plus, this will be my first girls’ trip with Stormie and Amy. :)

I thought for this post I’d do some quiz-style updates of what I’ve been up to and some goals I’ve been thinking about setting moving forward.

What I’ve been up to lately. . .

CURRENTLY WATCHING — I just finished binge watching ALL of Boy Meets World, and now I’m bing watching Full House. I love that all the old shows are on Hulu and Netflix now!

CURRENTLY LISTENING — I’ve been listening to a lot of Waterparks, that one new song from Katy Perry, plus some new Taylor Swift.

CURRENTLY PLAYING — A LOT of Sims 4, Mario Kart 8, and this game called UnCooked.

CURRENTLY LOVING — Le Tote boxes! I’ve subscribed for the Le Tote clothing box to change up my wardrobe a little. I’ve been so lazy about shopping lately and my outfits have become so repetitive, but Le Tote has been honestly so awesome. It’s a little expensive, but totally worth it for me right now.

EXCITED FOR — Our girls’ road trip to California this month!

Goals & Plans. . .

READ 4 BOOKS IN SEPTEMBER — Reading is something I truly love doing. But I also, struggle with staying consistent. I get so exhausted from work and watching T.V. or playing the switch is sometimes easier to do than picking up a book. So the books I plan on reading this month are To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I Love You So Mochi, Ender’s Game, and Five Feet Apart.

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BE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY — I’ve been doing this by trying to use reusable bags exclusively, bringing my own dishes and utensils to use at work instead of using the paper and plastic ones in the kitchen, being more adamant about recycling, and bringing my reusable straws and cups with me.

That’s all I can think of for now. Chat soon.

I Got My Hair Colored!

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I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing a ton of “mini” posts to keep up with all the happenings in my life. Weell…I’m going to try. We all know that my commitment to all of this fluctuates, haha.

Back in January I decided I wanted to do something new with my hair and I dyed it. I went into a salon and got some baby highlights, which is not something I usually do. I’ve colored my hair before but I’ve always just done something simple like box dye. Even when I had crayon red hair, I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and did it myself. It just goes to show how big of thing it was for me to actually go into a salon and get my hair done.

I was nervous at first about going too light so it was a very subtle change (see below), but this time I went back and I told them I want it way lighter!

Gallery above: 1) My hair before I colored it. Naturally black. 2) After the first color back in January. Super subtle highlights. 3) My hair right after I colored it the second time, adding more. 4) It looks lighter from some angles and in certain lighting. The underneath is way lighter than the top/back.

I’m already itching to go back and get it lightened some more, but I’m going to California and Disneyland in two months so I need to save more!


Annual Family Vegas Trip

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Every year my family and I take a trip to Vegas for my mom’s birthday weekend. I’m about a month late on this post, but here it is finally!

Friday

Brandon and I both took Friday off so that we could try to get on the road early., We had scheduled to have a rental car ready for us at 8:30/9:00 am, but we found ourselves waiting around until 10:30 before we finally pitched a little bit of a fit, and we finally got our car at 11:30 am.

After a long process trying to get the stupid car, and a long, long drive from Tucson to Las Vegas, we finally made it to our hotel —- only to find out that we weren’t allowed to check in. -___-

It turns out because my parents had booked the room and hadn’t added me to the reservation, we couldn’t check in. My sister arrived around the same time and she couldn’t check into their room either. We were all so exhausted and were expecting to be able to check into our rooms and rest, but we couldn’t

By then it was past 6:00 pm and we knew our parent’s flight wouldn’t be getting in for another 5 hours so we were dreading it. We ended up walking around Fremont a little, had a couple of drinks and one of the bars, went back to our hotel to gamble a little, hung out and talked in one of the lounges, and tried our best to pass the time without spending too much money.

We look happy but in actuality we are exhausted.

We look happy but in actuality we are exhausted.

They finally got in at 11:30 pm, and by the time we got the whole hotel situation sorted out and in our names it was past midnight. We all just went up to our rooms, rested for a bit before going back down to spend time with our parents for a super late dinner

They usually sleep the whole flight over so they arrive excited and ready to go. But Brandon, my sister, her boyfriend, and I were all so exhausted. Usually when my parents get there we have a late-night dinner because the hotel has a great Ox Tail Soup that they only serve after 11 pm.

By the time we got done with “dinner” it was 2 am and we were exhausted so we went up to the room.

Saturday

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On Saturday we slept in a little bit (at least me, Brandon, my sister and her boyfriend did) to catch up on how exhausted we were previously. My parents were up early because they don’t really sleep much, especially when they’re in Vegas, but we had all planned to go to lunch at the Boiling Crab and to be there right when they open at 11 am. We had dinner plans at 5 pm for a buffet at Caesar’s Palace so we didn’t want to be too full for the buffet. My family doesn’t really do “light meals” so we knew we would be full for a long while after Boiling Crab.

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At lunch we ordered some oysters, everyone pretty much got a pound of crab legs to themselves, and me and Brandon shared a pound of shrimp. Not a ton of pictures of Boiling Crab because it’s so messy but before we started eating my dad pulled out this nifty little tool below. LOL Still dying about it.

If you know anything about my dad you know that his catch phrase is practically, “I can make that! I can make that out of stainless steel!” So of course, one of the things my dad pulled out of his own homemade, stainless steel crab tool. It pretty much looks just like the blue one that the restaurant gave us. My sister and I couldn’t stop laughing.

After dinner we went to the Premium Outlets because my mom wanted to do some shopping. I ended up getting a new purse and wallet from Kate Spade — my favorite 😍— and my family did some light shopping but it got so hot we just had to get back to the hotel.

By that point I had a pounding headache and wasn’t feeling great. Once we got back to the hotel I took a short rest in bed but after a couple of hours we had to get up to get going for our dinner buffet plans.

At that point I realized that I was definitely sick — or at least something was wrong. I think it was mixture of me getting sick with being in the 100+ degree heat then immediately coming back to an icy-cold hotel room but I felt sick to my stomach. At dinner I couldn’t even really eat all that much which sucked because it was such a nice dinner!

After dinner we went to a comedy show in the Miracle Mile shops. The comedian was Filipino so my parents thought he was hilarious since they related so much. After the show we kind of just walked around the Miracle Mile Shops a little and shopped. I ended up buying some sunglasses from Quay that I am so in love with! They are my babies and I am so careful with them.

Pretty much after that we just went back to the hotel and hung out in the casino before going to bed.

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Sunday

The next morning I woke up and I immediately knew I was sick. I had a slight fever and my throat was killing me. I tried to tough it out so that we could have breakfast with my parents and spend some time with them before we left since we were leaving at noon.

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Sunday was pretty uneventful. We just hung at the casino at our hotel until it was time to go, trying to get in some last bit of family time. Once we hit the road, I pretty much immediately fell asleep. I slept the entire drive from Vegas to Tucson, waking up on and off only for a few minutes at a time. By the time we got back to Tucson my throat was so sore I was convinced I had strep throat.

I ended up calling in sick the next day — I’m sure all my coworkers thought I was hungover — and went to Urgent Care. They swabbed me and I tested negative for strep throat but they said my throat was so inflamed they could see why I thought I might be getting it. They ended up prescribing me some antibiotics and I called out again on Tuesday. Great way to end a vacation right? LOL.

Hopefully my next one ends much better.

x
Mo