#LiveGrand


I realize it has been quite a while since you heard from me and there is a really good explanation.  Hopefully you read about the loss of BFF’s Grandpa right before the holidays but in January, we had a devastating loss of her 23-year-old nephew, Mathew as well.  BFF and I have been best friends for over 20 years and her family has adopted me as another member, with her brothers calling me their other sister and her nieces and nephews calling me Aunty 2.  So, when we got the news Matty had died in a horrible car wreck, I was devastated right along with the rest of the family.  You see, I had known Matty since he was little and I loved being his Aunty 2.  It was so hard to think about writing and words could not seem to come to me to even begin to express my grief over such a young soul.  But this week, as I was musing over Matty and how he lived his life, the words he lived by inspired me.  Live Grand.

Matty may have only been 23 years old, but the life he lived was so full and rich.  We like to say he lived life going mach 3 with his hair on fire, but really he just lived grand.  He LOVED adventure. This kid ran river tours in the Grand Canyon with the Hualapai tribe for many years and they loved him so much he was actually made a member of the tribe.  He loved to take chances and was a budding photographer, doing anything to get the perfect shot.  So many photos of Matty not only show his beautiful smile but they also show him on the edge of cliffs, playing in the Colorado river, snowboarding down the mountain and many other things that made his life grand.  He loved spending time with the family, never missing a function if he could help it and was always the first one to take selfies with everyone.  His laugh and smile were contagious and you could forgive him of any transgression by that smile and he knew it.  This spirit, this essence of Matty is his legacy.  to all of us.  This sense of loving life and living outside the box is what inspires me.  This is where my challenge to you, my dear readers, is going to present itself.  In memory of BFF and my nephew, I challenge you to Live Grand.

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BFF and Matty 
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That smile….

 

Take a moment and reflect on your life and what makes it grand.  Find one thing that you can do to make it more rich, fuller and bursting with life.  Whether that be traveling to a new destination, creating your own adventure or even just spending more time with your family, find that one thing and do it.  Do not wait until tomorrow or put it off to next year, I want you to do it now.  Matty wants you to do it now.  Plan it, execute it and make your life grand.  It’s that simple.  This is my challenge to all of you…to keep Matty’s spirit alive and make your life grand.  I want you to tag me in posts on Facebook, Instagram and even send me snapchats with the hashtag #LiveGrand and show me how you can change your life to make it your best life ever.  I want to see you #LiveGrand no matter what that means to you.  Show me!  I plan on spending more time with my family and traveling more to make my life grand.  Because if there is one thing Matty taught me, it was that family is not always about blood.  It is about those people who love and support you the most and BFF and her family are some of those people.  Thank you BFF and her family.  You all have given me something I cherish….your love.

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This boy….

Mathew.  I am proud to have been your Aunty 2.  I am glad you never hesitated to tell me you loved me.  I am proud to have known you and been blessed by your smile, laugh and your love.  I am so proud of the man you had become and I will miss you my sweet nephew.  While I will never hear you call me Aunty 2 again and get some random snapchat from you showing me your smile, I will always love you.  You lived grand in life and now you can continue to Live Grand forever.  “Through every door, a new path awaits.”  Enjoy your new path Matty.  And #LiveGrand.

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Mathew Thomas Reyes  1993-2017  #LiveGrand

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did discover that even through great grief, you can discover a new joy in life but I didn’t die.  Thank you Matty.  I am Fat Girl who is going to  #LiveGrand Running.  The experiment continues…

An Unexpected Water Ride


One of the funnest things about our last trip to Disneyland was how much time BFF and I got to spend with her Nephew.  BFF’s Brother married just over a year ago and his wife already had 4 kids, so we haven’t had much chance to spend quality time with the oldest Nephew (I shall call him Nephew S) in that family and this trip we did.  We discovered that he is one of the funniest dudes and we loved every minute we spent with him.  In fact, a lot of our pics are with Nephew S and it looks like it was just the three of us riding all the rides together.  I mean, we did spend a lot of time riding all the big kid rides with him so I guess that part is true.  On our last day there, we met up with the family inside Disneyland because we had to check out of our hotel and they were staying one more night.  On our way into the park, we get a frantic text from Nephew S asking where we were because he was stuck in Toon Town with the babies.  We quickly told him to haul his butt over to Space Mountain to ride it with us.  So started our fun morning with Nephew S that ended up having an unexpected water ride included in it.

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One of the many photos of the Big kids

Nephew S ran all the way from Toon Town to Space Mountain (quite a ways by the way) a and what made it even more impressive is that he has a bum knee.  We waited for him at the entrance of the ride and we all went in to ride it together with lots of screaming and laughing.  The line wait times were next to nothing so we decided to go ride The Matterhorn as well since everyone else was still in Toon Town and BFF and I are not a fan of that area of the park (we swear it smells like pee back there).  We had already ridden this one a bunch of times, but since the wait time was only like 10 minutes, we could not pass it up.  Now if you have never ridden this ride, it is a roller coaster whose cars are like bobsleds and you ride inside a mountain where a Yeti lives. It can be scary and fast.  At the end, you “splash down” into a bit of water but never have I gotten wet in all the years riding it.  The water is primarily there to cool off the brakes on the cars.  Sometimes I might get a few sprinkles on my glasses or in my mouth (Ew.  Dont get me started on the ride water in my mouth.  Sometimes we play a game where we ask each other which ride water we would rather drink. So gross) but never gotten wet like you do on a log ride like Splash Mountain.

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Fun Nephew time

I will be honest, this ride to me is scary because of the Yeti but Nephew S loves it and it is his favorite so I was happy to ride it again.  There might have been lots of screaming on my part as the Yeti tried to get me.  As we came down to the end of the ride, we were all laughing as we went into the “splash down”.  All of a sudden, a wall of water came over the bobsled and proceeded to soak all three of us.  And I mean soak.  What just happened?  How the heck are we now soaking wet like we went on Splash Mountain?  In shock, we all turned to each other and I believe I said to Nephew S “Dammit S!  This is all your fault! You wanted to ride this one!” while BFF was asking how that happened and were we going to die from getting water in our mouths.  It was then I realized I might have gotten some of the ride water in my mouth.  So disgusting. We started laughing hysterically as we were not planning on getting wet on that last day but here we were…soaking wet from The Matterhorn of all rides.  As we walked away, we were still asking each other how that happened and I still cannot figure it out.  That ride is not a water ride but trust me when I say we got soaked riding it. We have tried to figure out how this happened.  Was one of us heavier that day because of extra churros?  Were the water levels higher because of the heat?  Would we get hepatitis from the ride water? This may be a mystery that is never solved.

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Prior to water experience
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Not happy.  BFF’s bang did not survive the ride

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today. I did, however, get soaked on a ride that wasn’t supposed to do that and get ride water in my mouth but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who had a fun time with my nephew but is still wondering when the hepatitis will set in from the ride water Running.  The experiment continues…