Archive | May, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – 5/29/13

29 May

Make a wish, set it free



Daily Prompt: Say Your Name

28 May

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself? – The Daily Post

Let me begin this post by saying that I love my name. It is who I am. I can’t picture myself with any other name at this point in life, the personality would be all wrong!

The story behind my name is special. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Hi, I’m Mariah. If this is your first time dropping by my blog, welcome! Pull up a chair and stay a while, we’re all friends here!

Now that you know my name, as I was saying, the story behind it is special to me. I was named after my 3rd great-grandmother on my mother’s side. Let’s break this down…

Mariah (me)

Crystal (my mom)

Judy (my maternal grandmother)

Sophrona (my maternal great -grandmother)

Lelia (my maternal great-great grandmother)

Hannah Maria (my maternal great-great-great grandmother)

My family tree, 4 generations

Part of my family tree, starting with my maternal grandmother’s parents on the far left!

Here’s the story: When my mother was 14 years old, she was working on a family history project for church and came across Hannah Maria (pronounced “mah-RY-yah”, not María like a Spanish name). Right then and there my mom decided that her first daughter was going to be named Mariah (with an “h” so as not to be mistaken for María. From personal experience, it doesn’t help much, people STILL call me by the wrong name, but I don’t mind so much anymore, I’ll answer to anything close.) And low and behold when I was born, my dad didn’t have a say in my name, I was Mariah from the start.

My 3rd great-grandmother

The woman I was named after, Maria was her middle name.

Many people, when they first meet me will first, compliment my name and tell me how beautiful it is. Second, they will ask if I was named after Mariah Carey (“no, no I was not.”) and third, they will start singing “and they call the wind Mariah…” (wow, you are so original, like I’ve NEVER heard THAT one before!)

As I’ve already mentioned above, I would never dream of changing my name now, I’ve grown into it nicely. But when I was younger, what I would have given to have had a more common name like Ashley or Brittany. When all of my friends had cool necklaces or bracelets or pencils with their names on them, I was the odd one out. Oh I came close, María could be found on any of the fore mentioned objects…but that wasn’t MY name. Sure, if I wanted my name on something all I had to do was buy a Mariah Carey CD, but that really didn’t count when you were in middle school. It also didn’t help that whenever there was a new teacher or my name was in the newspaper it was always pronounced/spelled wrong — a few examples: Moriah, Maryah, Maria(_)

Now that I’m older, I’ve discovered just how many OTHER Mariah’s I personally know. I can think of 6 off the top of my head (all spelled the same!) who are my age and older…strange, since I use to think I was the only one out there. And now, you can find my name SPELLED CORRECTLY on just about anything as my mom demonstrated by giving me a mood necklace with my name printed on it this past weekend. I wont lie, I did get excited to see my name on it, and I may or may not have danced around the kitchen.

All in all, I think my name is awesome. Depending on which book you read, it’s a origin is Hebrew, meaning uncertain, God is my teacher, bitter.  If you prefer the Italian origin, a variant of Maria (Latin), it  means “star of the sea.” Honestly, at different times, each of those meanings could be applied to me perfectly!

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

25 May

In the Background: The places that we pass through day after day, or even once in a lifetime, leave in their small way, echoes and traces of themselves upon us. But so often when taking self portraits or pictures of friends, the places themselves become a soft blurred mush of indistinct semi-nothingness, the limelight stolen by our smiling faces.” – The Daily Post

Purple flowers in focus as a soldier walks in the background, face hidden

As soon as I saw the topic for this week’s photo challenge I went searching for this photo. It is about 4 years old now but I still get chills when I see it. And to think, this shot was pure luck, no staging, one of those perfect moments forever captured in a still-shot. I wish I could find the file without the added text, but then again it aids in the storytelling of this very special photo. Let me explain…

As I have already mentioned, this photo is 4 years old. I was a sophomore in college and my older cousin, Alan (who I adore and think of more as my older brother because he has treated me like a little sister all my life. I have no brothers of my own and his sister and I are the same age, so we are kind of a packaged deal. He pestered us both, made lots of jokes and had our backs growing up. He’s two years older than me, so you can see the relationship!) Anyways, Alan was graduating from Basic Training in Ft. Jackson, SC in 2009 and I got to make the trip down there with his parents, his sister Manda, future wife Erica and our grandparents. We were all so proud of him! We got to see his base and watch him graduate, it was a very emotional weekend.

And as Alan was taking us around, I was the “unofficial photographer” for the weekend….partly because my aunt was so excited to see him and emotional she knew she’d forget to take lots of pictures to scrapbook and partly because let’s face it, this is me we’re talking about. My camera is an extension of my arm. I hardly EVER go anywhere without it, because you never know when the perfect picture will present itself, which brings me back to my photo for the week.

Alan had stopped to point out something (a building a person, a drill course, I don’t remember now) and tell us a story about it when I noticed these BEAUTIFUL purple flowers blowing in the wind. So naturally, I start taking photos of them. The shots were nice but the composition was all off and that’s when I knelt down and saw it through the lens on my camera, the perfect visual representation of something BEAUTIFULLY STRONG.

Here’s why I love this photo. The flowers are this bold purplish-pink color and immediately the eye is drawn to them. The branches provide beautiful curving, dark contrasting lines to offset the color. And then if you look closely, hidden in the background among the green of the trees and the grass is a soldier in camo, with his face hidden. He could represent anyone’s son, brother, cousin, uncle, father, friend…anyone. I’m glad that he’s out-of-focus because it forces you to really look for him, and once spotted he becomes what your eye is drawn to, the real subject of this photo, the strength and beauty of America. I choose to title this shot “Beautifully Strong” because it’s a beautiful sacrifice these brave men and women who serve our country make. They must be strong in their decision and their families, loved-ones, friends and those left behind must also be strong enough to support them.

How fitting a topic and photo for this Memorial Day weekend, I couldn’t be more proud of my cousin and all my other family members who are currently serving or have served. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to keep us safe. I love you all! ❤

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – 5/22/2013

22 May

Today Disney Quest celebrates 15 years at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida, and once upon a time, I was part of the magic there, too! ❤

Downtown Disney - Disney Quest

Wordless Wednesday – 5/15/13

15 May



Honoring my mom on Mother’s Day

12 May

Today we are thankful for our Mothers, but do we really appreciate everything she does for us? I tried to think of all the “hats” my mom wears and I doubt I came up with them all, but here we go!

She carried me around in Hotel Mamma for 9 months, changed diapers, bathed and fed me, and kissed all the Ouchies. She taught me to speak and to read, how to be nice and how to walk.

She became a taxi driver, a master scheduler, a cheerleader and my number one fan during competitions and games. She cooks and cleans and keeps our household together. She is the finder of lost things. She taught me about Christ and is a wonderful example of living his teachings.

She is a therapist and a mender of broken hearts, she’s a shoulder to cry on and a strong person to lean on when the ground is shaking. She lets me have 10PM bonding time when I just need someone to talk about life and its mysteries. She is my confidant and best friend. She builds up my confidence and tells me I can do anything I set my mind to. Her hugs make everything better.

She is generous and caring, always willing to go out of her way to help others. She is a super hero.

I hope to be just like her someday when I have children of my own. I don’t know what I would do without her.

Mom, this may be the day set aside each year for the world to recognize how wonderful and awesome you are, but I hope I make you feel like that everyday! Thanks for being my mom, loving me through the hard times and never giving up on me. I know I haven’t always made it easy, but I’m glad you were always there because I need you in my life more than you’ll ever know!

I love you to the moon and back, for forever and always! ❤

I love my mom!!!


My mom tells my sisters and I this quote all the time, so this year we painted it on a plate for her, she LOVED it!!

Wordless Wednesday – 5/8/13

8 May

See Ya Real Soon! 😥