Monday, June 25, 2012

We called it an adventure.

My aunt Amy is in town with her family--they live in Portland, Oregon--so this week, we planned all sorts of activities to keep us all sp busy we didn't have time to think straight. Today? We took everyone to Lagoon. And although it was pure chaos at meal times and finding an even number of people to go on every ride was crazy, it was fun. My feet won't forgive me for a while, but memories are worth it, right? 
We made all the kids go on Wicked, at least the ones who were tall enough to do so. This picture was waiting in line, before Dallin and Davis (the little boys pictured) screamed like little girls, and Emily asked, during a dead stop no less, "Dad? Are we still upside down?" They loved it, a fact they'd only admit after they were on solid ground again and far enough away we couldn't rush them back in line. 

For some odd reason, my family found a strange delight in Rattlesnake Rapids. Like, we rode the ride a combined total of 50+ times. Granted, there were at least 20 of us that went, but still. Numbers, people. After a majority of us decided we were done being wet, Grandpa and Jo decided they wanted to keep riding. So they took a bunch of the kids, and the rest of us watched....and paid for the water geysers to go off on them at every possible second. As if they weren't already wet enough. Aubrey was freezing cold, and my Grandpa and Jo looked....rather damp the rest of the day. 

I played the best big sister ever for part of the afternoon, and took Mary and Aubrey on just about every ride in Kiddieland. Mary asked and asked to go on these cars, even though I warned her she'd be bored after the roller coaster. She insisted, so I put her on it with Addy, Lauren, and Aubrey. As she came to the end where we were all waiting, she pounded her fists on the steering wheel and said, "Ash. That was the lamest ride, EVER." Told ya so. 
With a bunch of little kids, the train was an obvious choice for a ride. But then, we found out there were animals to see. If someone had told me I could see a zebra, lion, Siberian tiger, ostrich, llama, panther, and a stinking kangaroo within walking distance from my house, I would never go to Hogle Zoo again. Except for the giraffes. They're worth the drive. 

If Addy's little face here doesn't sum up the excitement these kids had all day, I don't know what would. Tomorrow, we're off to some museum at BYU to look at all sorts of animals and eat massive hot dogs, which should keep everyone happy. Plus, BYU friends are planning on making an appearance. Yay college friends! (I used an exclamation point. That's big. Which means I'm excited.) Also, three days until PC. The excitement is escalating. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's all the same to me.

It's days like today that make a girl think. One of my friends gave his farewell address this morning, and it was just another one of the many surreal experiences that have been happening lately. Watching Blake on the stand, Emi and I just kept looking at each other and saying, "Blake, OH Blake." in some weird voice or another. But as I listened to his talk, and heard his testimony, I couldn't help but be proud to call him a friend. Then, as the (super attractive) RM giving his homecoming address spoke, there was this almost overwhelming feeling that came over me that that is what I want these boys to become. Not that the boys I hang out with now are anything short of amazing, but this kid had matured in ways that aren't possible outside of the mission field. He knew where he was going, and how he was going to get there.
And while it's hard to comprehend sending these boys away for two years, seeing the "finished product," so to speak, makes it all seem worth it in the end.
There's a quote I've seen that says something along the lines of, "missionaries leave their families for two years so that other families can be together for eternity." When you think of it that way, it's hard to not say goodbye. 
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and ^^^ this little beauty is completely true. Blake's parents were called to serve as mission presidents in Detroit, Michigan, so he moved out there the summer before our junior year--which will be two years this August. (?) Those two years flew by, which gives me some sort of crazy hope that the next 2-3 will go just as fast. I know it's wishful thinking to hope that we'll all be friends and still around by the time these kids all get home, but it's what every girl thinks right as the boys leave. And who knows, it just might work. Blake will be one of the first kids our age to leave, but Trent leaves for Ghana in October, and Matt leaves for Arizona in September---which is so not OK---and while it's weird to think that these are my best friends heading out there, I know it's the right thing for them to be doing. And I couldn't be more proud of them.

In other news, tomorrow, the entire Bell clan is invading Lagoon. And by Bell clan, I mean....
Me, Brittany, Ryan, Emily, Aubrey, Mary, Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Jo, Maddy, Carrie, Clint, Evan, Owen, Amy, Brent, TJ, Brevin, Davis, Ian, Melanie, Dan, Kenzie, James, Breanne, Laura, Zach, Hyrum, Sheron, Branden, Megin, Dallin, Lolly, and Addy.
AND, I'm in a walking boot for my leg. It's going to be an adventure, to say the least. Today, when we were talking about it, I told my aunt Amy that I was going to wear a swimsuit all day because of the water rides. "Ash...there is no way you're getting married in the next year then, just saying." Finally, someone that is on my side.
Park City in four days. Be prepared for pictures, summer flings, and lots and lots of stories.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sheer, limitless, class.

Park City in 6 days, and I'm freaking out. It's going to be a blast. But while I'm (notso)patiently waiting for this adventure, we've been busy in this neck of the woods. 
My little sisters Aubrey and Emily had their ballet recital this weekend, and Mary--or #babyrapunzel--was jealous of their ballerina hair-dos. So I did hers too, and she proceeded to dance around all day long, until it was time for Lion King of course. These little girls are incredible dancers, each in their own way. As my mom put it, "Emily is a natural, and Aubrey? She just likes to be on stage." They're goofy, but they're beautiful. 
Speaking of the baby, she has an animal obsession. So we went on a field trip to the horses behind our house and she fed them an entire bag of carrots. I was freaking out--mainly because they have massive teeth and she's so little--but she was oblivious to the threat. Figures. 

ALSO. My best friend is home from Europe now. Three weeks without my favorite ginger was NOT. FUN. to say the least, and I'm so happy she's home. Not only did she bring me back a beautiful scarf from Italy, but now that she's home, gossip sessions can resume. Life is more exciting with Maddy around. 
In other news, this is my un-official promise ring. Who's it from? Stay tuned....
Thank you Europe, for returning the ginger home relatively unscathed, however sleep deprived. 

Just kidding. It's a thread from Hailee's shirt that she didn't want to litter Maddy's house with. Also, we're the only two not dating anybody [officially, or unofficially EMI] and were feeling left out of the love circle. So we staged a fake promise ring exchange. In case you were wondering, thread doesn't hold up very well through washing. FYI. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Third time's the charm.

Life has been a tiny bit crazy lately. Between work, and attempting to find another job, and who knows what else, this little baby got sort of neglected. 
Last weekend, I ran my third Ragnar Relay--the Wasatch Back. 200ish miles of running, between 12 people, from Logan to Park City. Sounds fun, right? But really, it's a blast. However, I  would recommend training to those of you who were interested. Because it HURT. 
 This is our team, "The Cat in the Hat Bunch" at the finish line. Our shirts say "Thing [1-12]". We're cool.
My dad sent me a note after finishing, which basically put into words what had been running through my head every year we've done this.

"To many, running a Ragnar is a silly, crazy endeavor - they think it is a waste of time and energy.   We dress up in costumes and have a moving slumber party for 2 days - how stupid.  They think that Ragnar is about running.  Those who have done it know the truth.  That it was somewhere on that road that we came to understand who we are and what we are capable of.  Before we did it the first time, we were afraid we would fail.  We worried that we would ask the hard question of ourselves and be found lacking.  We are now the lucky ones - we know.  We asked the hardest questions - "Am I a quitter?", "Can I do this?"; and we got the answer that we wanted.   We are the ones who know." 

It may sound silly to get sentimental about a 200 mile relay, but it's true. Because of this race, I've been pushed to places I never thought I'd go, and gone harder and farther than I ever would have otherwise. I've climbed impossible mountains, run through terrifying--to me, at least--trails, and kept going even when it seemed like the goal would never be within reach.

I kept going, and I'm no quitter.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

All good things come to an end.

Well. We did it. Twelve years of schooling, teachers, homework, tests, and social circles are finally over. We graduated. I didn't even trip. And they played the school song for the last time--it sounded like a funeral march. Fitting? or eery? Anyway. (Sidenote: Only at Davis High could you graduate and not know the person sitting right next to you. Seriously. I'd never seen--or heard--of her in my life. Better late than never, right?) The class of 2012 accomplished a lot. Multiple state titles, record breaking academics and test scores, and we were the first class in all 98 to ever get kicked out of a dance. I'd say we're winners. But the those things are all good, and fun, but the things that matter most are the people we met and the people we've become. Conveniently, those two subjects are directly linked. These girls survived nearly 12 years of school with me, except for the couple years they decided to be smarter than I was and go to Spectrum. But we all make mistakes. ;) But really, we've been through a lot. And in less than two months, we'll be two hours away from each other, and leading separate lives. It's a little odd. 
So as my favorite ginger heads off to Europe for a month,and the lone blonde betters the lives of underprivileged children, I just want to say thank you. 

In other news, I had a massive dinner of sushi with my parents. Mmmmm. I could eat that stuff all day, everyday. My husband better like it, or we could have some serious issues. Also, the all night party was fantastic. However, I wouldn't recommend doing Flowrider and iRock early, because then you're exhausted. Also, don't let your best friend belay you on the rock wall...I almost died. But that's another story. We bowled more than I ever have in my entire life, climbed walls, earned ticked, and won the sickest t-shirts in existence. (It has a giraffe with a mustache on it. Is there anything better??) I got home at 4, and slept til noon. I'm sore, tired, and not wanting to go to work tonight. But it was so worth it. 

We did it, kids. We really did.