Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summertime, swimtime.

So I entered a giveaway for a Lime Ricki swimsuit via Pink Peonies. If you haven't checked out either of their sites, you definitely should, because they're great. Lime Ricki is a swimsuit company that makes modest--and super adorable--swimsuits for us girls that are interested in modesty and high fashion. They're adorable, and also affordable, unlike some of the other companies out there. Check them out here. And enter the giveaway if you want! It's worth a shot, huh?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Double or nothing.

Surreal. That was really the only way to describe how today felt. As I waited in line to turn into the north end this morning, grumbling as usual about the line of cars that were running behind like me, I couldn't help but think of everything that the last three years have taught me. Pulling into my parking spot, I watched as the lot filled up around me and laughed as the car next to me struggled to park straight--again. Walking in through the theaters, my nose filled with the distinct smell of the art classrooms and just north end in general, and the immediate lack of wi-fi frustrated my instagram addiction. I made my way to the commons, and took my place by the ramp to wait for everybody. Turning around slowly, I watched as the commons filled, and then the halls, and the main stairs became more and more crowded. My friends walked up and started conversations as usual, but my participation in these chats was limited by the ever present, "this is the last time we'll be doing this," thought in the back of my head. The bell rang, and there was almost a collective deep breath as we embarked on our final last day of school. Pushing my way through the main stairs like I have every day for the last three years, and veering around the corner to Dave's room, flash backs of the first time we walked in there flooded my brain. Sophomores, scared of school in general, and a foreign language wasn't helping anything. Now? That room is comfortable. Our corner is defined, and the sophomores are scared of us. Yelling "BYE DAVE" at the top of our lungs for the last time was almost irritatingly depressing, and eerily bizarre. During advisory, the pep rally in the main gym offered the perfect vantage point for us to watch almost all of the 2,400 kids at Davis High file in to congratulate our teams one last time. The awards were given, and the school song was sung. The cheer leaders did a dance we could all do in our sleep by now, and we yelled our "D," "H," "S's" louder than we ever had before, giving it all we had, because it was the last chance we had to give. The weirdest part of the day though? D-TV for the last time. Not only has that class in general changed my life, but our adviser completely altered the path I want to take in school and made me love things I never would have before. We watched our traditional parodies, and then sat down to listen to Terri read "Oh the Places You'll Go" for the last time. Terri doesn't cry, but at the line, "Kid, you'll move mountains." She looked around at all of us, and was almost there. I've devoted 16 class periods, countless hours, and way too much of my energy to that program. I even gave up prom last year for it. But when the juniors stood up to say thank you, I'm pretty sure that's when it hit me that we were done there. Us girls are all babies, and Sammy made us all cry. But the worst part was walking out of that room, a place where I have basically lived for the last three years (like ate all three meals there multiple times, gotten ready for games and assemblies, scrambled to finish homework, and slept on the floor way too many times lived) and saying, "peace out kids, good luck next year." It took more than a few deep breaths for me to come to terms with the fact that I'm done there, and there's no turning back. Our last sign off was weeks ago, but it didn't really register until today that I'm not part of that anymore. Signing yearbooks while the committees ran the BBQ was a little bizarre too, as we've run that thing for the last two years. Just another realization that we're done, and it's somebody elses turn to take charge. I'll be graduated in less than 48 hours, and will no longer be a part of Davis High. But right now, I can say for certain that it is definitely a great day to be a Dart.

Peace out, kids.

First day of kindergarten, and the last day of high school.
Blonde, brunette.
Curls, straight.
Living at my grandma's, new house in the culdesac.

12 years is a long time, and obviously a lot has changed.
High school has been great, but I'm ready to be done with this place.
Last Fit for Life class attended, and I've never been happier to leave the locker room.
Last pep rally cheered at, and we left the gym for the last time.
And D-TV wraps up in approximately two hours. I'm a tiny bit distressed.
But we've had our turn, and it's our turn to leave.

Peace out, Davis High.

Monday, May 28, 2012

All dressed up, nowhere to go.

It's been one of those weekends, where I'm craving something that I can't figure out. There's something out there I need to do, but I just can't decide what that is.
So. Rather than hurt my brain trying to find the reason, I resorted to hair dye again. Tomorrow evening...this lion's mane of hair will be new again. And really, I think I need to find a recovery group because this is getting out of hand. I guess there are worse things I could be doing, but all this dye is getting to my head. (Just kidding. But it does make me wish I had a cosmetologists' license. Really bad.)
Issue numero dos. Ragnar is in less than three weeks, and my legs total 19.8 miles. My longest leg is 7.3 miles, and I can't remember the last time I ran more than 5 consecutive miles--not counting last year's relay. Whoops. So starting June 2nd, you better believe this girl will be running her butt off, quite literally. Hopefully, I'll get some kind of tan in the process. Because swimsuits are no fun when you glow.

In other news, I have the greatest family on the planet. My grandpa owns a time share at the Marriott Mountainside Resort in Park City, and has his week the last week of June. Conveniently, nobody wanted it the last three days. Equally as convenient, Emi's 18th birthday is that Friday, and so we get three of the rooms for a fabulous 18th birthday retreat. My aunt and uncle agreed to play chaperone, so for two days and nights, us girls and the boys we decide we want there get to swim, eat, shop, and slide to our heart's content. It's kind of our last hurrah before everyone moves. And I'm so excited it isn't even funny. Another sign you're growing up? Your parents agree to let boys come on the trip with barely a moments thought. (Thanks Clint and Carrie for chaperoning.:))

I graduate in roughly 90 hours. And if that isn't the weirdest statement I have ever uttered, I don't know what is. It's finally coming. However, I have yet to find a dress. We'll work on that once the hair is done.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Almost there, just one more second.

While doing my usual pre-bedtime blog stalk, I read Maddy's blog. (Check it out here, if you don't already.) And she made this list of high school memories. Seeing as we have less than a week of school left before we hit the "real world," I figured it was only fitting for me to do the same. Here's a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I Remember:
1. That first day of high school, walking in feeling like I was completely lost. But so proud of my tan--recently acquired in Oregon, and my newly dyed hair. I had my priorities straight?
2. Helping Maddy do her hair for Homecoming sophomore year, and knowing that it would be a whole year until I could go to a dance was awful. BUT. That marked the first time we all got ready together.
3. AP World History just about killed me, and I remember feeling like the biggest idiot in that class, and in math. Not a good year for academics, other than English. Photography was also eye-opening. I think Anna and I did more in Photoshop than anybody else that year.
4. I remember taking Intro that year with Kelsey and feeling so cool that I had Terri for two whole class periods.
5. I remember taking family pictures November 20, and then randomly getting a text from Bronson, who I hadn't spoken to since the last day of ninth grade. He invited me over to his house, and I was the ONLY Davis person there. That was the first time I met Jared, Sam, Jackson, and all those kids. It also was the beginning of a long string of events.
6. I remember talking to Bronson two days after Christmas, and asking him how his family vacation was going, and being surprised when he told me he was coming home early. Why? "To say goodbye to Brian." I stayed up later that night talking to him than I ever had before.
7. New Years Eve sophomore year was the best one yet. Huge party at Hannah's, and everyone got together that night. The musical revue that next week was great, and watching Brian Regan at Bronson's house after was the first time of many. Poor Carla. Only one there without a boy.
8. I remember crashing Jessie Reid's birthday party at Flip's to bring cookies to everyone, and then leaving and documenting the entire adventure on camera.
9. I remember voice lessons with Karen Stephens trying to get ready for Musical Productions auditions, and being scared out of my mind for weeks.
10. I remember Emi and Bronson studying with me the night before my grandma died, and the bouquet of flowers that made everyone jealous.
11. I remember being at a family dinner, and preparing for the funeral when the Musical Productions list was posted, and being so stressed over telling my mom that I didn't make it, on top of everything else.
12. AP World Test. First of way too many, and being so scared I wouldn't pass. I did. :)
13. Sleeping over at my grandpa's with Emi the night before we went boating with everyone, and talking about purple roses and unicorns and asians. Then Maddy being stressed the next day because we were late to the party.
14. My 16th birthday party, and Megan running into Candace's car in her driveway. My first date, and Megan, Jared, and Bronson singing to me over cupcakes and a camp fire.
15. The Junior Committee parade float, and the picture we took that is quite literally the epitome of summer.
16. I remember my first day of junior year, feeling like I finally knew what I was doing...then getting to calc and AP bio, and regretting everything.
17. Homecoming, both Viewmont's and Davis'. Joy Luck, and lighting the table on fire at Jorgen's. Tearing the sleeve of my dress, and being the only one in my Viewmont group in a non-neutral. Pictures, both times.
18. HALLOWEEN. Go big or go home, and Joe's editing of Taylor Swift in the car. Epic face paint.
19. Christmas, and the scavenger hunt Jackson sent me on to answer. Revenge is sweet?
20. New Year's. Helping at the Kaysville City party with Emi and Dallin, and then hanging out at Annie's. Most awkward experience of my life.
21. Going to see HP 6 Part I with Annie, Jared, Sam, Emileah and Jackson. The snowball fight in the parking lot after, and Jared freaking out that a girl was in the car.
22. Viewmont-Murray hockey game, and driving with Emi and Annie in the middle of a blizzard. The phone call with Bronson on the way home, and the texts later that made everything okay again.
23. Sleeping over at Emi's while my family was in Oregon. BYU basketball game, and escorting for Mr. Dart, with six other girls.
24. Anaheim with D-TV. Winning best in show for layout, meeting the Ling sisters, Disneyland, the Tower of Terror 12 times, and calling Emi the second she got home from prom.
25. Crashing Viewmont's prom, and trying so hard to keep it a secret from everyone. The look on Morgan's face when she saw us, and the way she almost started crying. Dancing until we were bruised, and Danny leading the mosh pit during Sandstorm. Dancing in the fountain, and awkwardly running into Mal and Bronson when they walked to their car. Going out at 2:30 a.m. because my parents wanted me to tell the boys to leave, since they were still talking in the driveway.
26. Kyle's 18th birthday, and the list we made on postits. Hiding with Emi and Braxton in the neighbor's driveway, and nerf wars in his circle.
27. Girls' State with my best friends, and rooming with 3 complete strangers. Discovering that I hate politics, and trying to figure out where on earth half the girls were from.
28. Ragnar. And running Ragnar hill/hell. Jumping in East Canyon when it was 42 degrees.
29. Lake Powell. No cell phone service for a week, and sleeping outside under the stars every single night. Coming home the day before my birthday, and having my best friends in my driveway the next night. And coming home to the AP results...failing AP Biology.
30. Relationship counseling sessions with Braxton and Spencer on my hammock.
31. Starting senior year, in a totally new position, and spending time with Davis friends. Homecoming with my best friend of 11 years, and the biggest group known to man. Seeing all the Viewmont kids while we were at dinner, and the conversations that ensued.
32. Halloween, Christmas, Sadie's. All with my friends and the largest groups in the world.
33. First prom, with my favorite ginger. Driving in the corvette and watching How to Train Your Dragon afterwards.
34. The stress of D-TV. Figuring out who did what, and finally settling into a rhythm, in April.
35. The relief of finishing my last AP test.

Chronologically speaking, those are the most prominent memories, but I could go on for days really. The real point is though, that high school is almost over; and we're leaving behind the most influential time of our lives. We're so close to the real world that we can almost taste it, and the future is close enough to touch.
It's going to be a long five days before we can say we're through, but it'll come faster than we expect. And then? We're off.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We don't owe anything to anyone.

Posts are more interesting with photo evidence. So here goes...again. 
D-TV is basically a party period now that all our broadcasts and parodies are done. So Cat and I (and Emi, she just wasn't in this picture) have contests to see who could fit the most pretzels in our mouths. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. 

Wednesday, we had an assembly. The senior assembly, to be exact. Emi, Taylor Dayton, Becca Rose, Annie Tanner, Morgan Miller, Nate Johnson and I were the leads...and after our rehearsal that morning, we were all a little tired. That's Taylor, sleeping shirtless, in the green room. Yes, shirtless. 

As if an assembly and youth court weren't enough, my ward then went to the cannery for mutual. Why? To fill the largest order the cannery has ever received. (YOU'RE WELCOME SOUTH BENCH WARD.) Also, we learned that we'd look great as lunch ladies. Thursday didn't get photographed, but Davis played Brighton for the boys' soccer state finals game. We won, and there couldn't have been a more perfect ending for our last game as Darts. 

Last night was Senior Cotillion, and we figured it was only fitting to get ready one last time together. So while we curled, primped, and sprayed....

Hailee did this. She was hiding from Maddy, but then realized how comfortable it really was. So she stayed. All while discussing her love for a boy who shall remain nameless..

And finally? We attended our last dance. Cotillion is a "no-date" dance, so the three of us went with Randy. Zupa's for dinner, and dancing with just about everyone in the senior class--that we actually cared about. 

When the dance was over, and people were getting ready to leave, we noticed that all the "tools" were having major meltdowns in one corner. I guess they realized that the glory days of high school are over. And while we didn't cry and sob, it was a surreal experience. In less than 3 months, we'll be out on our own. It'll be pure chance if we see most of these kids again, and some of them we never will. The boys are leaving on missions, and the girls are going to get married. We're not growing up, we have grown up. And it's still weirding me out a little bit. 

But strangely enough, I think we're all ready. It's weird to think that we're finally where we are, but it happens to everyone. 
Besides, I'd rather be an Aggie any day. :) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I say it because I care.

Going through my phone today, I realized there was a lot of stuff I documented, and never posted about. So I figured I might as well, now that I have some time.

First of all! April 24th...Emi, Hailee and I went to see Go Radio. First of all, if any of you have never listened to them, that should change. Quickly. Because Jason Lancaster (Pictured ^^^^) easily has one of the greatest voices in the history of ever. He used to be part of a band called Mayday Parade, but split up from them a little while ago. If you're interested, look up "What If You Don't" or "Why I'm Home" on YouTube. I promise you won't regret it.

Go Radio performed, but so did this band from Oregon called This Providence. That extremely fine fellow up there would be Dan Young with my best friend. And yes, he was even greater in person. Look up "A Beautiful Rescue." His voice...mmmmm. British accent and that face. It makes everything okay.
We took AP tests this year, far too many of them if you ask me, and attended way too many study sessions. Art History reviews marked the birth of the Unicorner and reminded us that we're not maturing as quickly as we're growing up. It's probably fine.

After we took our various tests, we decided that having a Zupa's within five miles of our houses was the best/worst idea ever. Two times in a week can't be good...except it's so very, very good. That would be my favorite ginger on our second outing of the week with a chocolate strawberry as big as her face. (Not really, but still.)

We don't do a whole lot of extraordinary things, (except get my phone signed by Jason Lancaster. That was pretty freaking awesome.) but we do a lot of random, simple things. And frankly, it doesn't matter what I'm doing, as long as I'm with these kids. Because they're the ones that matter most.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One day down.

I graduated from seminary today. (!!!!!!!!) One graduation done, one to go. Basically, I'm terrified/scared/nervous/stoked/amazed/excited to be graduating. Because for soo long, we all dream of graduating, of moving on; and now that it's here, I really don't know what to do. So as I sat on my driveway pondering life with one of my best friends, I started thinking about everything I've done/wanted to do/never accomplished.

-I wanted to be a photographer. I took photography classes sophomore year, and have mindlessly searched photography tips for hours on end. But I guess I don't have the patience, or something, because it never worked out. However, I have had the chance to do shoots with some fabulous photographers, and I hope I get to do some more soon.
-I wanted to be a class officer/SBO. Ran twice, but it never worked out. Looking back though, it's better that way. I had the opportunity to do so many other things that I wouldn't have been able to if I was busy being official. I did however, get to be part of the junior and senior class committees, which was basically the same thing without the jacket. I'd recommend it to anyone. :)
-I've always wanted to be a designer. I love clothes, color, and fashion, and I stalk websites and blogs continually. This year, I got to be part of the design board for the 2012 Prom Line at Kathleen's Bridal and Formal Wear in Kaysville. It was just a small realization of a silly dream, but it happened. And my prom dress was even more special since I got to help design it.
-I wanted to sing and dance on stage. I have an almost unhealthy obsession with Broadway, and I would have loved to be a part of that. But Musical Productions never worked out, and I haven't been able to find the time for any outside theater either. I have gained a better appreciation for the "arts" though, and I never miss a performance that my friends are in.
-I wanted to be on TV. Stupid, huh? But by participating in D-TV for the last 3 years, I had the chance to do just that every single week. Sure, it wasn't national television or even a local news network. But the people I was with everyday saw it, so it was kind of the same thing.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I've done just about everything I wanted to in the last three years. No, I'm not some world renowned photographer, and my voice will never sell millions of CDs. But I'm proud of who I am, and the things I've done. And? I'm more than a little excited for the future.

In a somewhat related side note, I may or may not be participating in the Miss Kaysville-Fruit Heights pageant. We'll see.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh dear, old Davis High.

Last year, Dallin posted on his FB page, "You know you go to Davis High when..." and these were the responses. They're still true, and almost embarrassing. But they had to be posted, especially with graduation so stinking close.

You know you go to Davis High when:

You either fear or love the Stoop.
You have gone swimming in Lake Fiesta.
You never go on dates...
You have successfully tripped up the stairs twice in the same day.
You look at advisories as a necessary evil, in that it kills time in class.
When you move to college and meet someone in your graduating class for the first time, because Snow Hall is almost entirely compromised of Davis High.
You've wasted a half hour of your life trying to find where the 2800 hall is.
You know its possible for a human being to be as wide as he is tall... aka Coach Dickson.
You're surrounded by Mormons.
You see five new people every day.
You never drink the pop in the vending machines, but are enraged when they're taken away from you.
You come in second in every sport.
‎*You're surrounded by white Mormons
An ACT score of 31 is is a GPA of 3.6.
You are disappointed when you graduate with only 30 credits towards college...
You happily yell "We're gonna beat the HECK out of you."
You know every move to the spirit dance, and participate in the "3rd down jump" as well as various other cheers.
It's a great day to be ashamed of your mascot
You defend the tradition...of being second best.
Random clapping in the commons is perfectly normal.
Dave Miller is not only your teacher, but your hero. [Insert also: Terri Hall, Pam Coburn, Wendy Dau, Kelly Oram, Corinne Barney, Scott Nielsen, etc.]
When every other school hates you...
When you park in the north parking lot and become a north-end-nobody.
You know what the Stoop, Club Chev, and South/North-ender means.
When people make an event for you to "true dart" 118+ girls.
Your teachers swear!
You're one of the 150+ kids who "crash" Viewmont's prom every year.
The most rebellious thing you did all year was get kicked out of Sadie's.
You break out in a cold sweat whenever you even hear the name Johnn T.
You PROUDLY wear colors that any other human being would shun. Especially on game-day Fridays, even when there's not a game.
You participate in Mandrin Fridays.
You've never been to an assembly.
When girls that aren't better than anyone Call themselves "The Tasties!"
Not once have you caught the first words of the pledge in 2nd period...but you never miss a time yelling "Brown and Gold! Brown and Gold! Brown and Gold!"
You were freaking out when you saw that Senor Borup could grow hair.
Girls ask to Halloween before Homecoming, Christmas before Halloween...and Prom was planned before Sadie's.
When the soccer coach is more of a high schooler than half the high schoolers....
When at a dance, people going to a corner and squating repeatedly doesn't even phase you.
When you get kicked out of an AP class if they don't think you'll get a 5....
Gary Taylor.
When your volleyball team has the best chance at winning state out of all your schools sports and has the least attendence.

[courtesy of Dallin Sterling Johnson's Facebook page. Copied from a much earlier blog post on a previous blog.]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What if I call you darling?

AP tests? Conquered. Compared to last year, they basically rocked. Because I despise science and don't particularly enjoy math--which should make you ask, "Then why in the heck did you take AP Biology and Calculus last year?" And to be quite honest, I have no idea. BUT. I redeemed myself by taking AP Art History and AP English Literature/Language this year. Loads better. I actually enjoy these subjects, and am interested in those fields. Novel idea, really. But either way, they're all over. Which means besides participation points, senior year is basically over too. 

I graduate in 15 very short days. How am I announcing this tidbit of information to the population of the free world that I actually care about? Oh, with these little beauties. I decided that I'd take my years of designing papers (and the fact that I had to do them myself because of mild to severe OCD) and make something that I liked. So here ya have it. No, they are not in my school colors, except for the gold "D." But even that's a stretch, since it's chosen directly out of the picture. I like 'em. Lemme know what you think. (ps. the photo was taken by Ashley Strassburger. you can visit her website here or look at her FB page here. She's great, really. And she shares my name. There's nothing better.) 

I have to finish my Financial Literacy packets ASAP if I want to worries, I just need to focus....and I have a talk to write for seminary graduation. But frankly? I'm just reveling in the fact that for the next 92 days, I'm a free soul. And by free, I mean swimsuit wearing, hair-dye experimenting, summer loving, money making free soul. 

It's a glorious realization. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Really though, who can say.

Everything is winding down, but I still feel like I have way too much on my plate. Between school, work, YW, youth court, and attempting to maintain some kind of social life while keeping up with my family, I have no time for anything...while still doing everything. It's puzzling, really.
I found a dress for cotillion, (it pays to have an uncle who is dating a girl who wears the same size as you do. WINNING.) but now I've gotta find some fantastic shoes to go with it.
I'm in the home stretch for AP classes, but now I've got to finish Financial Lit. and pass Fit for Life.
Life is a whole bunch of "this, but this," statements, and it's starting to drive me crazy. Welp.

In other news, I have to teach the combined YW lesson this Sunday on the importance of temple marriage and dating for the temple. Somehow, our Heavenly Father has these odd little ways of teaching you what you need to hear by making you prepare it for others. I also have to speak at seminary graduation about how seminary has impacted my testimony of the Savior. Needless to say, I'm a stressing out a little. The second my AP stuff is done, my scriptures are going to have to become my permanent sidekick.

I guess that's another point I need to make, and I'm going to make it in public. I'm moving out in roughly 90 days..which means I have 90 days to cement in my brain the importance of good habits. Scripture study, prayer, exercise, good name it. I need to work on it. I'm so glad I'll be rooming with five girls who share the same standards I do, and who have the same priorities I do. But that doesn't change the fact that I need to work on it for myself. Starting May 17th, the number one goal is building healthy habits. Maybe I'll even document it. Who knows.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo.

"Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean 'I'll miss you,' until we meet again."

It's been two years since the hardest day of my  life, and that fact alone is pretty mind-blowing to me. It's still hard for me to process that my grandma isn't here anymore, and that so much has changed in just two years. It's hard for me to realize how different things are, when I can still relive that day like it was yesterday.
I remember waking up that morning with this overwhelming sense of peace and I was just so calm and I knew everything would be okay, even when it wasn't. I went to school, as usual, and came home to my dad--since my mom had been spending a lot of time at the hospital. He told me I'd have to babysit that night, since they wanted all the siblings and spouses up there, and I thought nothing of it. The day progressed as usual, and somehow, I just knew something was happening. My parents came home around 8 or 9, and sat us all down in the living room. And I knew, I just knew, that she was gone. We went down to my aunt Sheron's house for who knows what, and my cousin Lauren, who was three at the time, came up to me.

"Our grandma died, Ashley. But she's happy now! And we can see her later!"
Simple testimonies are always the sweetest.
The tears started, and certainly didn't end, there.

I babysat my cousins the next day while the siblings figured things out at the mortuary, and as far as I can remember, everything was fine with the cousins. People got along, kids behaved, and I know for a fact that my grandma was there.
The night of the viewing, I stayed home with the little kids. Emi came over after a little while,and wrote me a note that I still have by my bed. Bronson came over, and I met his mom for the first time. (Note to everyone out there: if you ever want to make a good impression on a boy's parents, a boy who you happen to like at the time, it's best if you don't do it while grieving. I'm sure Karen was less than impressed with my mascara stained face, swollen eyes, and inability to control anything.) While we were talking on the front porch, one of my chickens got out, and I just couldn't catch it. I completely lost it, and broke down sobbing in front of my best friend and his mom--who was a stranger until five minutes prior--they both gave me a hug, and reminded me that everything would be OK, and then left. If I learned anything that weekend, it was just how much friends and family can change your outlook on a situation, and make you feel like the circumstances are survivable.
At the graveside service later, we had bagpipes playing--the main reason I can't listen to them now without crying--and someone handed me 15 white balloons, one for each of the grandkids.
I gathered all my cousins around me, and passed out the balloons. I could barely control myself long enough to count to three, but we managed, and released the balloons together.
I have never felt such an incredible feeling of peace and comfort as I did right then, as I stared straight up into the rain-filled sky, and watched those balloons disappear into the clouds. There is an image seared into my head of me holding onto Andy for dear life with his arm around my shoulder, and staring at those disappearing balloons like my life depended on it. I don't know if he really said anything, but I distinctly remember hearing a whisper of, "Ash, what are we going to do now? What are we going to do?" and an overwhelming sense of everything will be OK replace my miserable tears with tears of peace.

My grandma was my hero, for a variety of reasons, but mainly because she was the ultimate example of love, endurance, and charity. She taught me how to leave behind a Christ-like example, and left a legacy that I am honored to follow. Her example has taught me more than I'll ever understand about selfless service, enduring to the end, and celestial goals.
One of her favorite quotes was, "We can do hard things," and if I've learned anything from the hurt of the last two years, it's the validity of that statement.

 I can do hard things.

When you lose someone you love, it leaves a gaping hole that takes what seems like forever to heal. But, "sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Sometimes it makes you love them more."

I know that I will see my grandma again, and I know that she's where she's supposed to be. But every fifth of May--and everyday in between--I know I'll take a minute and remember the greatest hero I had, and the legacy she left for me to follow. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I told you I would, so I did.

As I mentioned earlier, this month is full of a whole bunch of "lasts." And really, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Maddy and I anchored our last D-TV broadcast last week, and I couldn't keep a straight face to save my life. Because the whole time we were filming, I couldn't get the mental picture of me anchoring for the first time out of my head. I was terrified to look at that little red dot on the camera, and know that the entire student body was going to see my face. Now? We fight, literally, for those anchor slots.
Then today, we filmed the senior sign-off. D-TV always signs of with the anchors names, and "and D-TV." We've made more jokes about those three words, and said it any more accents than I care to count. It's ridiculous really. Back to the point. Today, we filmed every senior on staff putting in their last "I'm so-and-so," and crowded in front of the green screen for the last " D-TV."
Sitting on the arms of Braxton's chair, with Matt and Emi's arms around my shoulders, Maddy on Braxton's other side, and the rest of the staff crammed in behind us, we more more united in that split second than we ever have been before. Why?
You don't devote 3 years and 8 class periods to a class if you don't care. You don't stay at the school until 9 p.m. the night of the Homecoming football game if you don't want to make a deadline. You don't miss your junior prom for a journalism convention unless you want to win. And most importantly, you don't put your heart into something unless you are truly passionate about it. We know what we're doing. And we do it well.
In the grand scheme of things, D-TV is just another silly class, with just another bunch of kids, and another teacher that influenced me. But right now? It's a central part of our lives, Terri's room is a place we go to play, rather than work, and those cameras are our friends now.
I'm going to miss that room, and it will be harder than I want to admit to let someone else take over next year.
There aren't many kids can say they got to take first in newspaper design at the state competition, report in the 7th best student broadcast in the nation, or design one of the best newspapers in the country.

But I can.

Because this girl? Is part of D-TV.