Monday, October 29, 2012

Coming full circle.

Other than the fact that I'm so dead tired from last week that I can't even see straight, life is absolutely wonderful. I got to watch Kelsey and Dallin feed each other treats while the rest of my roommates were on an adventure (I'm telling you people, that right there is love. It was like a wedding reception cake eating fest on steroids. Because it was in 102. Surrounded by Halloween lights. And a homemade banana bar instead of wedding cake. They're a match made at USU.)
Saturday night was the [in]famous Howl up here, and these kiddos went all out. There's Emi the Flapper, Kyle Mafia Man, Kelsey's a 50's chick, and Taylor....he's the Sexy Saxophone man. Wearing MY leather jacket and MY leather boots. It's fine. Lauren's friends came up too, and Laur, Marley, Mckenzie, Adrienne, Lauren, Brock, Kyler and Hunter went to a corn maze while Hailee and I stayed back at the apartment and played with cats. [No folks, I'm not kidding.]
Hailee and I also had to run a couple errands for my great grandma and grandpa. My great grandpa Dave has been in the hospital for a couple weeks with multiple blood clots, and my great grandma has refused to leave him. So while they've been at the University Hospital in Salt Lake, their house has been untouched for a little while. I went to pick up their mail, check the house, and all that stuff for my aunts so that my grandma could rest a little easier, and dropped it all off at the hospital Sunday morning. Now, you have to understand how much I hate hospitals. They've always made me feel kind of anxious, and I've just never been a fan. I was a little stressed about making it to the hospital by myself, since I don't drive in Salt Lake like ever, and I'm slightly directionally challenged. But. I made it. 
I parked, grabbed the stuff, and made it all the way to the front desk without freaking out. But as I got up to the elevators, I had the strangest flashback of the last time I was at a hospital. It was the week before my grandma passed away, and we went knowing that this was the last time we'd get to see her. Getting into the elevator on Sunday, I couldn't get that out of my head. By the time I got to the 6th floor, dropped the stuff off, and was headed back down, I was in tears and shaking so bad I couldn't push the buttons for the parking elevator. I got back to my car and just cried for a minute--because I was scared. Because I miss my grandma so much it physically hurts sometimes. And I cried because I was so glad I wasn't one of the people who had lost someone and had no knowledge of what comes after this life. As I was sitting in my car, I got this message from my uncle Kip. [I hope he's okay that I screenshot-ed this, but I needed to save it.] Sometimes, its the little reminders in life that remind us that people everywhere care about us, and that our Heavenly Father is always looking out for us and knows every part of our hearts.
I'm sure Kip and Ginny don't realize how much I needed this simple reminder right at that very second--or as my grandma would call it, that tender mercy. I'm so grateful for my eternal family, for the fact that they are spiritually in-tune enough that they can help without realizing it, and for the knowledge I have that I will be able to be with them forever. Because that's the best kind of family, the forever and ever kind. 

After a busy weekend, full of parties, farewells, errands, and all sorts of stuff. It's all we can do to stay awake through the most pointless class offered at USU. Props to Jon for capturing Paige and Brianna out cold to prove to the world that David Wall can quite literally bore us all to death. Happy Monday, kids. :) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Six contentious women.

IT SNOWED. In OCTOBER. And I'm not okay with it. Because everything is cold. And wet. And not warm. Or dry. And my hair is frizzy. And layers of clothes make me feel claustrophobic....but really, I'm kind of okay with it. Because the mountains looks awesome. And this means lots of movies and hot chocolate, and blankets, and not leaving the house for extended periods of time, and soup, and okay. Maybe I'm a little okay with it. 
Last weekend was fall break--us Aggies got a a whole 24 extra hours of the weekend! My family and I went to Scheel's, a massive sporting goods store that they just built in Sandy. Inside? A full size ferris wheel. I had the twisted belief that I loved ferris wheels until I was stuck at the top with my little sister...hyperventilating. It was not okay. 
Before fall break though, our home teachers came over for the first time. Homemade chicken enchiladas and a spiritual message for our little 102 family? Perfect. We're lucky to live where we do, with the people we do. Because we're surrounded--and I mean completely--by excellent people. Life is good, folks. 
Saturday night, we had a heart-to-heart at our favorite park, and Emi declared her love for the stray cat that roams the cemetery. We named him George, and took a picture of the first time they met. She's destined to be a cat lady for life. [JUST KIDDING. She's getting married first. Or I'm out $50.]
Then last night, we scripted a music video, made crafts with our friend Teresa, and got a surprise visit from Kaylene. AND, we skyped my best friend Emily. She's going to BYU-Idon'tlikeithere, and I haven't seen her since August. It's a problem, but one we're trying to solve. 
After our adventures, we decided we needed to fight. Like, we sicced Kenz on Adrienne, and filmed it. If you're really interested in seeing it, check my Facebook page. Because it ends with Kenzie punching Adrienne in the face. And with that? We've had our first "fight." 
I'm officially going to keep my scholarship (Thank heavens for pass/fail when it comes to biology) and as of Wednesday, I'm officially an English Literature major. Logan is wonderful....and now it's time for dinner with Jon and Bronson and Jackson. Sweet pork and spaghetti squash. Yay for roommates who cook! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not perfect, but wonderful.

Curveballs are being thrown, ladies and gents. My major is being changed. I got a job. My roommates are the best friends I could ever ask for. And my best friends are leaving on missions. 
In preparation for Hailee's departure, Emi made me sign a "legally binding document" that says I won't get married until Hailee is home. Best part about it? Ron said that since the words "Binding legal documents" are written, and my signature is on there, she could sue if I get married. Shucks, looks like I'm out of the game for a few years. ;)
Kenzie turned 19! You won't meet a girl who is more sincere, more kind, and more willing to serve in your whole life. I can't even begin to count the times she's helped me with whatever I need, cooked for us, and cleaned up my messes. She's the most genuine person I've ever met, and I'm so glad I get to live with her this year. Happy birthday again Kenz, because you're great and you deserve it. 
Last Saturday was the LLS's Light the Night walk. Hailee, Emi and I put in a 14 hour volunteer shift--and I've never been more satisfied with what I was doing. Not only was I with my best friends, but I was helping Hailee out with something that she is truly passionate about, and something that hits close to home for me. It was cold, rainy, and muddy. But seeing the hundreds of people there to support the cause was incredible. We definitely lit up the night, and I'll be back to do it again. 
And last but not least, Kelsey gets a shout out of her own. This morning, she decided to go to the temple with a bunch of people. And being Kelsey, forgot her keys. I didn't even read these texts until 9:30, but it cracked me up. I seriously doubt that any one else's roommates would be this sweet while they were locked out at 6 am. 
Life certainly isn't perfect. In fact, it's downright hard most days. But sometimes there are things that happen and people that you're with that make it seem like the control you have over your life isn't as fleeting as you believe. They might be the five girls you live with who you can't wait to see again after the weekend, and stay up until the crack of dawn to fill each other in our your lives. They might be your parents who fill up your car and send you back to school with dessert even after you're only home to sleep and eat on the weekends. They might be the boys who fix you and your roommate's cars, and help you all study for your economics and biology and creative arts tests. They might be the best friends left at home that call you every day and make sure everything is good. 
Whoever they are, they make you keep control, and make everything seem tolerable. And I'm so grateful that I have those people in my life. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm well aware.

There are a few things in life that I am truly passionate about. My family, the church, lacrosse, and cancer awareness. It just so happens that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and seeing as this is the kind of cancer that has had the most--if not only--direct impact on my life. So it's time for a little story. 
I remember going to my grandparents house one Sunday when I was in 8th grade, and having my grandparents sit us all down to "talk." I'm the oldest, and I was 13, so there was a mass of small children running around. My grandpa told us that my grandma had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I remember my parents and aunts and uncles all crying. I didn't really know what that meant, but I knew that cancer was a bad thing. I guess then it didn't really process how dangerous and terrifying the situation was. 
That year, my grandparents, my aunt Maddy, and my little sister Brittany and I registered for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Coincidentally, that day marked exactly 15 days after my grandma's first chemotherapy treatment. As I found out, 14 days after the first treatment is when the effects really start to be visible, and sure enough, as we were getting our posters and outfits ready for the walk, her hair started to come out. We tried to make light of the situation by making posters with lines such as: "The Tortoise with No Hair." "No More Bad Hair Days"  and even went as far as to make a heart with the hair and a message about how much we loved our grandma. As much fun as the walk was, I don't think I'll ever get the image out of my head of my grandpa shaving the last patches of hair off while we all watched on the back porch.
Watching the effects of chemotherapy and radiation take it's toll on my grandma was the second hardest thing I've ever done. (We'll get to the worst later.) But there has not been a better example of perseverance, courage, and endurance in the history of the world. Not once did she complain, or even stop doing what she'd always done. 
Cancer has put a huge "black mark" of sorts on the last five years of my life. And I know that I'm not the only one affected by it. So many people are diagnosed daily with so many different kinds of cancer
If we're speaking technically, my grandma passed away because of a brain tumor. But ultimately, breast cancer is the cause. Breast cancer is the reason I hate October, and can barely make it through May. Breast cancer is the reason I am an avid supporter of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and while I offer to volunteer for the LLS Light the Night. Breast cancer is the reason I'm not a huge fan of the color pink. And breast cancer is the reason I don't have my biggest hero here with me today. 
When it comes to Breast Cancer Awareness month, I can honestly say that I'm well aware. And a silly blog post won't help find a cure, but it does show the world that I'm aware. 
I'm aware of the effects cancer can have on a family. I'm aware of the mass of people that are required to help a single person through treatment. I'm aware of the funds needed for a cure, and I'm aware that in some cases, there is no cure. I'm aware of the grief that comes when cancer wins, and I'm aware that for the rest of my life, cancer will be a possibility. But I'm also aware of the millions of people out there fighting, and even more people who are helping them, as doctors, therapists, surgeons--you name it. The moral of the story? Cancer sucks. And I'll never get over it.