Friday, November 30, 2012

A million at once.

Creative Arts is the most pointless class offered at Utah State. We had to go see "Miracle on 34th Street" this week...and after Lauren and I slept through the entire first act (it's been a long week. Don't judge.) we spent all of intermission snapchatting Jon, Bronson, Paige and our roommates, and making friends with the light technician. Ignore our faces...we were concerned, since the last play we'd seen had scarred us for life.
After Miracle on 34th....we discovered that Emi was the next attraction. Ladies and gentlemen, my best friend. 
My roommates and I have some interesting conversations...the highlight of this week? Adrienne told us that she thinks she was adopted. From the pound. So all week long, we've been teasing her about being a dog. It didn't help that her family wants to get another puppy, and we think they should name it Adrienne--since obviously they need a replacement for her. The day after this enlightening conversation, this slide came up in Creative Arts. [I'm telling you, we learn nothing important. Scratch that, we learn nothing in that class.] So of course we snapchatted it to Adrienne, and her response was a very passionate #woof
As a last hurrah before finals week, and the last concert before Hailee leaves, we went to see We Are the In Crowd, The Wonder Years, and...YELLOWCARD. It was incredible. And as soon as the first chords of Ocean Avenue were played, my entire life [at least since 8th grade] came full circle. Seriously, they were so good. 
And finally? The boys of 106 would like to wish you a Merry Christmas with their new wall decor. I have such attractive neighbors. 
Well friends. I have an interview for A-Team today [and I really really really want to make it.] and I have to teach relief society on Sunday. So I'm going to go teach a bunch of A-Team hopefuls how to successfully cradle a lacrosse ball and prepare a lesson on who knows what. Cheers to the freaking weekend, folks. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to reality.

Thanksgiving break was wonderful. Even though I was home for a grand total of maybe 48 hours, having no school for five days was blissful. I had to work Tuesday night, so I got to stay up in Logan all by myself until Wednesday afternoon. [It's terrifying. I don't recommend it.] But when I got home Wednesday, I got to go to lunch with three of my favorite human beings. After working with Kaylene, Kim and Ally for nine months on our "baby" of a girls' camp, I decided I want to be just like Kim and Kaylene when I grow up. Seriously. These ladies are the best of the best. [So are Tara and Julie and all the girls on our committee, I just went to lunch with these three.] Kim and Kaylene got this chicken sandwich...and while Kaylene's was decent sized, Kim's was a seriously half a chicken on a bun, paired with a head of lettuce and a massive pickle. Watching her eat it was entertaining, to say the very least. Long story short, I am so glad I have these ladies in my life. They're on the list of people I look up to the very most, and if I could be half as awesome as Kaylene and Kim are when I'm grown up, I'll be satisfied.
The next best part of coming home was being with my baby sisters. There's nothing better than having a sleepover with your three-year-old sister, especially when she talks in her sleep. [I woke up Wednesday night to her rubbing my hair. I asked her what on earth she was doing, and her only response was, "Ash. Your hair is soooo soft." I just rolled over and went back to bed.] She's also the only one who will take funny face pictures with me, so we took an abundance of them. I forget how much I miss these kiddos until I come back up to school and Doc McStuffins isn't on our TV, and there's not a massive pile of toys waiting behind the chair. Needless to say, I like my family.
Of course, Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what we have. And I was very grateful for the food. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad with homemade dressing, raspberry jello salad, rolls, and my Grandma's creamed corn and zupfa. I'm telling you people, this meal alone could keep me satisfied until the new year. And everyone knows the leftovers are the best part...which would be why I have a loaf of zupfa in my cupboard. It's the best part of the meal.
Last, but definitely not least, I got to see one of my best friends. Emily moved to Kaysville right before senior year started, and from then on we did everything together. She and I got a job at the same restaurant, were in all the same dance groups, and she's the one I dragged around with me everywhere I went. Her sister did my hair, and I think she owes me at least her first child for all the lunches I bought her. It's probably fine.:) But then, at the end of June, she went to California for the summer to help her aunt and I didn't see her again until right before I moved up to school. Going two months without your best friend sucks, so we survived the first three months of college with Skype--and lots of it. But this Sunday, I forced her to come to a farewell with me. Even though she's three hours away at BYU-I hate it here, she's one of my best friends. And my sister. And I miss her like crazy. But in two weeks? She'll be home for good. And I've never been more excited. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A tad forgetful.

So. I missed a week. And I don't have time to catch up on everything. Just know that I am so grateful for my life in general. I have the world's most amazing family [who sends me cookies as a surprise with the rest of the stuff I forgot.] the best roommates [who are my best friends.] the greatest friends [who put up with everything I do.] a fun job [that makes me far less stressed about life.] and some of the sweetest boys in the world [who fix my tires, explode watermelons, and go grocery shopping with me.] and I couldn't be happier with where I am.
However, I am going to do a delayed post for the 18th. The 18th would have been my Grandma's 60th birthday. Even though she passed away two and a half years ago, I'm thankful for her and her example every day.
She was the best example of selfless service I've ever seen, and true Christ-like love. She put everyone else before her, and loved like no one I've ever known. And I'm grateful for that example everyday of my life. I miss her every single day, and even more so during the holidays, but I'm also grateful for the sure knowledge I have that I will see her again. And I can't wait for that day. 
Now, to today's post. 

November 20th: Today I'm grateful for a whole lot of little things that make every day easier. I'm grateful for a warm apartment, and hot water. I'm grateful for electricity, and a warm bed [that I really never want to leave] I'm grateful for cars, and for my iPod. I'm grateful for my computer, and the stereo in our apartment that will let us listen to Christmas music full blast come Friday. I'm grateful for 24-hour drive-thru's when we're too wide awake to sleep and need some ice cream. These, and a million other little things, make my life so much easier and so much more fun. And I'm grateful for that. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The way it looks.

November 12: I've always loved English, and I love to read. So it only makes sense that finally, I can call myself an English major. I love to read, love to write, and as Bronson put it, I say probably twice as many words as anyone else. I'm also kind of obsessed with quotes...and have a board with over 1,000 of them on my Pinterest. [Pathetic, I know. But I'm not a crafter. Or a cook. So my boards are mainly quotes and clothes. Deal with it.] Today, I'm thankful for my all the incredible books out there, the plays, the poems, and the people who created them all. Now for some of my favorite quotes, Pinterest style.

Not only do I love quotes, whether they're funny, cute, sad, inspiring, or mind boggling, I am an avid reader. I could read Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" or Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo" seven millions times and never get sick of them--and I've probably come pretty close to that many readings. Which brings me to my very favorite quote in the whole world.
At the very very end of the Count of Monte Cristo, the Count is writing a letter to his friend before he leaves with Haidee, and leaves his old life for the last time.
The Count tells Morrel, "There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. It is necessary to have wished for death, Maximillien, in order to know how good it is to live. Live then, and be happy...and never forget that until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words--Wait, and Hope."

Words, words, words, people. They're a big deal.

November 13: I'm grateful for the standards that I keep. Last night, we had to go see the play "A Chorus Line" for my creative arts class...and it was one of the worst things I've ever watched. So many vulgar, crude, and nasty jokes. A whole lot of swearing. And nothing in it was even slightly redeeming.  It was so uncomfortable. But it did teach me something--there are things in this world deemed "high culture" that are just as low as the lowest culture out there. And I know my standards, and know what I think is okay. I'm glad that there are some things out there that are okay though, and that I know what's what. I'm grateful for the standards and ideals that my parents helped instill in me, and for the beliefs that I have being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That's all, really. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Never far away.

November 11: I should really wait a week for this post so it could be her birthday, but I'm too impatient for that. I'm so grateful for Miss Boston Workman. Our mom's have been friends for a while, and we kind of got thrown together--but I couldn't be more thankful for that fact. After weekly sleepovers [not enough.], walking home from church, and "doing homework" together as often as we could, I can promise you that no one has put up with me at 3 am more than Bost has, and the world will forever be indebted to her for that. She's been through a heck of a lot, and she's never stopped being the best example I've ever had. Her testimony is incredible and she is one of the most caring people I've ever met. Plus, she has excellent taste and gets me ready for things and takes me shopping with her. Sometimes, we even dress up like wild animals and take boys on dates. But only sometimes.
I got to talk with her for a few hours today, and I'm so glad I have a best friend that no matter how long we go without seeing each other, we can start right back where we left off. And she won't judge me for anything I do, say, or laugh at--and we tell each other everything. She's the older sister I never had, and I am so glad we're friends.
I miss this girl like crazy, and wish more than anything that we could have sleepovers every week and she could help me with my math homework every day. But regardless of where we are, or how far apart we live, I know that she will always be one of my best friends--mainly because she's knows far too much about me, and I know far too much about her. And because I absolutely adore every thing about her.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Everywhere I turn.

November 10: Go Radio. Katy Perry. Mayday Parade. Yellowcard. The Killers. Taylor Swift. Anberlin. Adele. Ed Sheeran. Regina Spektor. The Black Keys. Bon Iver. Carrie Underwood. All Time Low. Christina Perri. Coldplay. The Eagles. James Blunt. Every Avenue. Sara Bareilles. Fun. Ingrid Michaelson. Jimmy Eat World. Katy McAllister. Lady Antebellum. Maroon 5. Parachute. Muse.
Just a few of the bands and artists I am grateful for today. Because without music, my life would be rather dull. I'm so glad I live in a world where we have millions, if not billions, of songs at our fingertips, and even more grateful for the love of music my mom has instilled in me.
Music has a crazy way of making you feel things differently, and it cements memories in your mind better than anything else. Songs like Just the Way You Are, Every Time We Touch, So Close, 22, and E.T. will forever be associated with specific people. Emi and I have a playlist that will always remind us of driving to hockey games, and a bunch of the Top 40's will always remind me of Homecoming and high school dances.
Not only does music help you remember things or bring about emotion, it impacts people--or at least me--on a spiritual level. I can listen to talk after talk by all kinds of speakers, and feel the Spirit. But the second the choir starts singing, or a musical number steps up, it's overwhelming. I cry faster during the hymns than during anything else. And I know that it's because music is one of God's greatest gift to us.
I love music, and I wish I had any talent at all in that area. But I'll stick with appreciating everybody else in that field, and be forever grateful for the sheer beauty that it brings into my life.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Trying not to fall.

November 9th: It's a blizzard outside up here in Logan, and as much as I hate snow and cold and wetness, I will admit that new snow is one of the prettiest things on the planet. Because snow means holidays, family, fires, food, and smiles. It smells like pine needles and hot chocolate, peppermint and cinnamon, and tastes like eggnog, nutmeg and candy canes. And Logan is the epitome of winter, if we're keeping track. So today? I'm grateful for the opportunity to live and go to school on such a beautiful campus. I don't know how many people can truly say that they absolutely love their school and everything about it. Yes, my classes are boring. Most of my professors are crazy. And I don't sleep nearly enough. But I'm loving every single second of my life [except for right when my alarm goes off in the morning. Then I really hate life.] Today's just the first of far too many freeze-your-tail-off days, and one of even more school days where I don't want to walk to class. But it's so worth it.

I'd rather be an Aggie than anything else, and I wouldn't trade being up here for the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Been there, done that.

November 8th: Today, I'm grateful for all the clubs, teams, and groups I've been a part of over the last few years. I did a lot in high school, and sometimes it was a little overwhelming. But I wouldn't do it any other way if I could do it again. The people I met, the stuff we did, and all the things I learned have helped me become who I am right now, and shaped who I will be in the future.
First off, there's D-TV. [Yes, I am aware this is a picture from junior year. Deal with it.] Working with these kids for three years was the best decision I made in high school. We may not have gotten along all the time--we were lucky if we made it through a single day without hurt feelings--but I learned more from this class than just about anywhere else. We didn't place as high as we did in our competitions by sheer, dumb luck. We worked hard for those spots, racing to meet deadlines and spending hours in the back room after everyone had gone home taught me more about hard work than I'll ever learn anywhere else. Now, I'm done with journalism and such for the time being and I miss it more than I can say,  but I will always be grateful for the chance to work on such an incredible team.
Second, there's Davis' seminary council. As much as I hated waking up at the crack of dawn every Tuesday when I could have been sleeping in, I'm so glad I did. Working with the 10 other kids on council, as well as Brother Burton and Brother Barrus was the best thing to happen to my testimony so far. Coming up with ideas to help the seminary kids and planning all sorts of activities was a hassle most of the time, but the testimonies we got to watch develop and the friends we saw being made was worth every second. Now these kids are all over at school and Jace is on his mission, and I rarely see anyone but Jeni and Chloe. But I will forever be grateful for these guys and the influence they had on me and my testimony. 

 Lacrosse was a spur of the moment decision junior year, but it was so much fun. Playing the world's most random sport with some of the best girls at Davis was the highlight of my junior and senior year. Junior year's team was fun, but senior year was even better--I had all of my junior friends and my little sister on the team with me, and I got to play my aunt too. As hard as it is to find time for two hour practices, multiple games a week, and conditioning on Fridays, it was worth every second, every sore muscle, and every bruise.

Last, but definitely not least, are my South Bench girls. Having 10+ girls my age in my ward is definitely the best way to grow up. Girls Camp is always a party, and you have built in friends no matter where you go. Even though they're all only a year--and barely a year at that--younger than I am, they'll always be the baby bees. I miss Sunday school and young women's with all of them and Christie, Ann and Cyd every single Sunday. YSA wards just aren't the same, and daily snap chat conversations with Megan just don't cut it. I'm so glad I grew up in a ward where everyone is so close and us girls basically grew up as sisters. I'm so grateful for all of these crazy girls, and for the fact that I know we'll always be friends. Thanks, kiddos. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's been here all along.

November 5th: Today I'm grateful for number 12. :) Dylan has been one of my best friends since we were in first grade, and I can honestly say I can't remember a time when he wasn't there for me. He's one of the very few people I will answer a call from at 3 am, because he's stranded in an airport somewhere, and one of even fewer people who I will put up with constant teasing. Because the kid really is my big brother. He's going to school in Alabama right now, and I miss the kid like crazy--a fact I let him know at least a million times a week. I don't get to see him often at all, but he'll always be one of my very best friends, regardless of where we are or what we're doing with our lives. And I'm so grateful for a friendship like that.

November 6th: The best part of this picture is the fact that it's my two best friends, together. Bronson and Dylan may be as different as you could possibly get, but they're always the first two people I go to about anything. Bronson's helped me deal with just about everything, and he knows exactly what to say and how to say it to make me smile. Even though he teases me constantly, I figure it's worth putting up with. Because I really don't know where I'd be without him. He's put up with a lot from me, and he still sticks around. And I'm so grateful for a best friend like that.
The moral of the story is, without these two boys, I wouldn't be who I am today. They know me better than anybody else, and yet they still put up with me every day of their lives. They're the sweetest boys I've met, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world--and that's a fact.

November 7th: And today? I'm grateful for my ginger. Maddy and I have known each other since before we even started elementary school, and even though we haven't always gotten along....(like, ever, really. Until the last few years.) She's one of the best people I've ever known. Maddy drives me to be better at everything I do, and she's taught me so many things. She's not afraid to stand up for her opinions, and is willing to fight for what she wants. She's talented, inspired, and one of the best advice givers I know. And even though she's at BYU (We all make mistakes. ;)) I'll always be grateful for her and the influence she's had and continues to have on me. So, my crazy ginger best friend, here's to you.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Look how wonderful.

November 4th: Today, I'm grateful for my twin sister. [I know we look nothing alike, but one time a set of identical twins asked if we were twins, and we ran with it.] Em and I have been friends since 8th grade, and I'm positive we share a brain. She finishes my sentences--and sometimes she starts them too. She eats the green gummi bears so they don't go to waste, and makes sure I have my head screwed on straight--which doesn't happen all that often. She puts up with my messy closet, my weird eating habits, and my 2 am whining. AND, she's the best example and motivation I've ever had. Em's good at seriously everything, and trying to keep up with her makes me try a little harder in every aspect of my life. She's brilliant, funny (Emi would destroy all y'all in a battle of wits, I promise.)
We share clothes, a room, two families, and a brain. And I couldn't be more grateful to have this girl as my best friend. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Let me tell you about it.

It's November, people! Which means fall, and sweaters, and snow, and lots and lots of food. I love Thanksgiving. And I love November. I know it's the third, but for every day from here on out I'm going to do a gratitude post. Because I have so much to be grateful for. 

[catch-up posts.]
November 1st: The girls of 102. I know I talk about them a lot, but my roommates are seriously the best thing to happen to me up here. I scored, big time with these girls. They make me laugh, listen to my problems, and put up with my craziness day in and day out.  
Kenzie is the most sincere person I've ever met, and she makes me food at least a million times a week. She listens to me complain, and attempts to keep my head screwed on straight.
Emi has been my best friend since 8th grade, so we won't go into that, but we are the same person. On every level. 
Kelsey is our "mom," and makes sure I'm drinking my milk, takes notes for me when I miss class, gives me advice on everything. 
Lauren is basically a nicer version of me, and she keeps me sane when we're both up late. She understands my shopping addiction, and isn't afraid to try new things with me. 
Adrienne makes me feel like less of a failure when I fail biology and she doesn't, and keeps me thoroughly entertained through our many apps and chats, and never fails to give compliments, about anything. 
These five girls really are my best friends on the planet, and they're the best sisters I could ever ask for--except for the four real ones I have of course--and Kels and I are missing them like crazy this weekend. 
November 2nd: I have the world's best parents, ask anyone. Both of them are amazing at anything they do. Bake, BBQ, bike, crochet, you name it. They come to all of my stuff: lacrosse games [even though they still don't understand all the rules. But really, who does.], D-TV meetings, graduations, etc. They host parties for not only my friends, but my Seminary Council kids, my Girls Camp Committee friends, and the entire neighborhood+ on the last day of school. They're the best examples I could ever ask for, and give the best advice in the world. 
My mom drops everything to help me, gives me her hair appointments when she's been waiting for months to get to May, and lets me wear her shoes, even though I usually end up taking them. She makes me my favorite foods when I come home, and sends mounds of treats back up to school with me. And she fields roughly twelve thousand phone calls from me a week.
My dad knows everything. So when I call to ask whether I should do a Bachelor of Arts or Science, or ask how on earth I'm supposed to get pumpkin mold off my carpet, he has an answer. He fills my car up for me, fixes my radiator, and makes sure my car is clean when I leave, and that I have a way to insulate my windows so I don't freeze to death.
  I'm so glad that I get to be with them for forever, and am so grateful for everything they do for me. 
November 3rd: I've got the five best siblings, too. 
How many girls can say that they're 15-year-old sister played lacrosse with them, did youth court with them, and will drop just about anything to follow me around while I shop? Not many. Britt and I are just about as different as it gets; I'm loud and always have to have a million people with me. She's much more reserved, and can function perfectly fine on her own. She's also a lot more motivated and driven than I am, and is already blowing everything I did right out of the water. I'm so glad she'll come with me to anything I want her too, and so grateful that as far as I know, she's not embarrassed to admit I'm her sister to everyone at Davis. 
Poor Ryan handles being the only boy reasonably well. :) He listens to my music suggestions, most of them time, and is always willing to back my car in if I need him too. [Shhh...] He puts up with our endless teasing, and sometimes he even asks me for advice with his clothes. Ry will always come drive around delivering Christmas presents to my friends with me for hours, as long as he gets control of the stereo, and he always makes me laugh. 
Emily got all the genes I wish I did. Tall, tiny, blonde, and blue eyed. [You win some and lose some I guess.] And she's the only one who will actually read the books I like! She'll help me pick out my outfits long after Brittany's given up with my indecisiveness, and isn't afraid to let me do her hair and makeup for dance recitals. 
Aubrey and Mary are basically me in two different bodies, and they're the first people I grab when I get home. They're my Zupa's dates, my nap buddies, and the ones I drag around everywhere with me. They let me experiment with their hair, dress them up like they're dolls, and listen to everything I say and do. They sing the same songs I do, and play 'crosse with me when no one else will. Mary shares everything she has with me, and Aubrey will do anything I ask her to. 
I miss these kiddos every single day, and am so glad that they get to put up with me forever. [Poor things.:)] They really are some of my best friends, and I'm so glad there are so many people waiting for me when I get home. 

See, there's so much to be grateful for. I am so incredibly blessed, in every aspect of my life and couldn't ask for anything more. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

You don't scare me.

Newsflash: Letters from missionary friends are day makers. Em and I got a letter all the way from Ghana on Tuesday, and it was definitely one of the best parts of the day. I can't believe my best friends are all headed out, or already out on their missions, and I couldn't be more proud. 

Braxton and I wen to visit the D-TV kiddos yesterday, and it made me realize just how much I don't miss high school. Yes, college is exhausting. The classes are harder, the tests are a bigger deal, and life is way more stressful on your own. But it's so much fun, and so much better than high school. Even after all the time we put into that newspaper and those broadcasts, I'm glad it's their job now and not mine. :) 
The real reason I went home yesterday is because my best friend was opening her mission call. Watching Hailee's face as she read her call and seeing her reaction was one of the sweetest things I've ever witnessed. Hailee's headed to Paris, France on February 20th. The same place her dad served just over 20 years ago. I have no doubt in my mind that she will be an incredible missionary, and her testimony will bless so many of the French people. 18 months is a long time to go without my best friend, and I think it's stressing us all out a lot more than we expected. But I'm so excited for her, and I know that this is where she's supposed to be. 
In other news, Bryan Tew is great. We sat in the hall last night and took all sorts of hideous pictures. [Perfect practice for the ugliest snap-chat contest that Taylor and Dallin and I had later.] We're cute.

So kids. The church is true. Missionary work is incredible, and I'm so grateful for friends who are making missions and sharing this gospel a priority in their lives--and so thankful for a best friend like Hailee.