Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My heart hurts.

My heart is a little sore today--and my eyes are tired of trying to stay dry. 
We lost an angel today, and heaven gained one incredible superhero. 
I'll miss Bret and his motorcycle and his cowboy hat and his animal cookie contributions to our summer barbecues. 
I'm going to miss his voice in our ward choir and the smile and hug he gave me every time I came home for the weekend. 
I'm going to miss him. We're all going to miss him, so much. 
But as much as we're going to miss our superhero, heaven needed Bret more than we did. 

Bret said it best: "I gave it all, there was nothing else to give." 
I'm honored to have known such an incredible man, and even more grateful that I had the opportunity to have him make such a profound impact on my life. 

Today, my heart aches and I don't really know what to say. 
Today, I'm extra grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the knowledge I have of the eternities and I can't wait for the time I get to see our favorite cowboy again. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Heaven is here.

You've all heard the saying that if you saw a pile of everybody else's problems and had to choose which ones you wanted, you'd hurry to pick your own back up, right? 
It's a good reminder that even when you think it can't get any worse, someone close to you is going through something even harder. 

But that doesn't make your own trials any easier, does it? 
I'm pretty much the worst at getting wrapped up in my problems and forgetting about all the wonderful things that are happening right alongside the bad ones. 

There's something about watching someone you love suffer that breaks your heart in a way you can't really explain. There's this incredible feeling of gratitude for getting one more day coupled with this longing for their hurt to stop. It gives a whole new definition to the word "bittersweet."
And in the middle of this chaos of emotion there's an overwhelming sense that you're constantly and completely encircled in the arms of a thousand angels--angels trying to make things easier. Angels supporting the idea that heaven is all around us, that heaven is here.

When I was nine years old, my dad's side of the family decided they were better off without me and my family in their lives. It's a long, confusing, and frankly rather boring story, but ultimately it left me sans one entire side of my extended family. For a long time, this was a huge deal to me. But now, almost 12 years later, I've [more or less] accepted it for what it is, and life has gone on as it always does--with the help of the people in my life. 
As it became more and more apparent that my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins weren't coming around anytime soon, it became a subconscious priority to fill the metaphorical hole in my heart with the people I lived by. 
Lucky for me, that was basically every family in my ward, every leader I had in church, and every family friend we made along the way. 
We moved into a new house when I was in high school, and little miss Mary fell in love with the Frodsham family. 
As Mary's friendship with Bret and Kristi developed from playing in their backyard to motorcycle rides around the neighborhood to finding her their whenever our house got a little too quiet, our families became closer and closer; close enough to title our mismatched group of humans the "Lindsham-Frodberg" family. 
Because family is exactly what they've become. 
Bret and Kristi have filled a hole I forgot I had, and I'm so grateful for the love they show my little sisters. 
Watching Bret these last few months has brought flashbacks of the heartbroken and confused high-schooler I was when my grandma passed away, but it's also strengthened my testimony in a thousand different ways. 
I'm more sure now that the Plan of Salvation is real than I ever have been before. My faith in missionaries and missionary work has increased like I didn't think it could, and I don't just mean missionaries here on Earth. 
But I think the most important thing I've learned is how completely we are surrounded by heaven. 
I feel it the nights we spend reading stories with the Frodsham's. 
I felt it watching my cousins running around making gingerbread houses like we did with my grandma. 
It's in the hugs from past YW leaders in my home ward and the comments my neighbors make on everything I do. 
I read it in the texts from my best friends and emails from my parents. 
I hear it in the late-night talks with Brian and Ashley.
I felt it Christmas morning as the fireplace crackled and we got the most perfect snow storm, right on time. 
I feel it every time I go to, or even see, the temple, open my scriptures, or say a prayer. 
Heaven is so close. It's in every single detail of every second of our lives. Every thoughtful act, every kind word, every person we interact with is a direct influence of the heaven we are surrounded by.
So even though my heart is experiencing a new kind of hurt, it's also this strange sort of happy and full at the same time.
Heaven is here--and for that reason, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I almost forgot.

I decided to become an English major because I love words. If you know me at all, you know I never shut up and I love to read almost as much as I love to talk. Somewhere during the school year though I forget that I love to do what I'm doing and I get caught up in the assignments and essays and forget to read just to read.
Luckily, my bookshelf doesn't leave me when all my friends go home for the holidays and I've had the chance to get lost in a few books over the last week or so.
I forgot how good it feels--to get completely sucked into a story line. To stay up way longer than you should to finish. To get so caught up in a line that you want to print it on every surface in your room.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will forever be one of those books that I can [and will] read over and over again and always fall a little more in love with.
"And in the end, we're all just humans drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness." 
"You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person that I have ever known--and even that is an understatement." 
"I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self-respect. And it's these things I'd believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all that she should be. I love her. And that is the beginning and end of everything." 
[I mean, let's be real here. Who wouldn't want someone to say that about us?]
I took a class on Charles Dickens and his works this last semester, and as much as I despised his psychotic ways of writing and the way his characters messed with my mind, I couldn't help but relate to some of the things he said. 
"I have been bent and broken, but hopefully into a better shape." 
"Four our path in life is stony and rugged now, and it rests with us to smooth it. We must fight our way onward. We must be brave. There are obstacles to be met, and we must meet, and crush them."
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." 
My American Literature class helped me develop a healthy appreciation for American Literature (besides Fitzgerald, of course) and Kurt Vonnegut has words of advice that I think every person should listen to. 
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." 
"Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. And don't put up with people who are reckless with yours." 
"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'if this isn't nice, I don't know what is."
And some of my random favorites from my favorite novels...
"...Because as good as kissing feels, nothing feels as good as the anticipation of it." [John Green, An Abundance of Katherines]
"Who knows, maybe your love will make me forget all I wish not to remember." [Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo]
"It is to the credit of human nature that, except where it's selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates." [Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter]
"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." [John Steinbeck, East of Eden]
"We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered."[Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead]
"We were just there together. And that was enough." [Stephen Chobsky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower]
We've all read things that rocked our worlds, haven't we? We've all fallen in love with a story and wished a thousand times over it wouldn't end. I saw something that said, "we fall in love the way we do because we learned it from literature." And it's true. I want a love worth writing novels about--and a life worth doing the same. That's why I read. 
What are your favorite lines? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It means a little bit more.

A Barbie DreamHouse. Polly Pockets. A guitar. Art supplies. American Girl Doll + accessories. 

As a little kid, my Christmas lists were never-ending. There seemed to be a constant supply of things I wanted Santa Claus to bring me [and that probably had a lot to do with the fact that my attention span was even smaller as a child, and every kid wants every toy, right?] and my list got longer and longer as I learned how to spell more and more words. 

It's funny. As I've gotten older and learned about a thousand and a half more items to ask for--I've had a harder time deciding what I want for Christmas. 
I think this gets more and more true every year. 
I don't want a dozens of new toys or a bunch of new gadgets under the tree anymore. 
I want the people I care about to be safe. 
I want to do well in school. 
I want people to get along. 
I want the people I love to be healthy--and this Christmas I'd give anything for a cure for cancer. 
And ultimately, I want to fall in love and be happy. 
You can't find this stuff in a store or on Amazon Prime--and that's been an interesting lesson to learn. 

You get older and grow up and move out and realize that Christmas is so much more than making a list and opening presents. There really is a spirit during this season and it's something I'd pay money to keep around all year round. Maybe that's what I want for Christmas, this feeling through July. 

This year especially, I've had a hard time deciding what I want to ask for when there's so much going on that I can't fix and so many things I want [and people around me want] that simply can't be given. 
It's made me incredibly grateful for the little things this holiday season, and even more grateful that I know the reason we celebrate this time of year.

The Grinch said it best [as Dr. Seuss usually does]. 
"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came with out packages, boxes, or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, didn't come from a store. 
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The way things were.

Two years ago, I went to more missionary farewells than I'd ever imagined could happen and said more goodbyes than I thought my heart could handle. 
I spent a lot of time asking myself what on earth I was going to do when everyone was gone,  daydreaming about homecomings and reunions, and somewhere in the "see ya laters" and Dear Elders I forgot to wonder what was going to happen in that happy time in between--the time some people call "the best two years." 
I never saw myself serving a mission--and I still don't. But that doesn't mean I haven't grown and changed and learned exactly what I needed to when my old friends were out serving. 
When everybody first left, I was a mess. I'd gone to jr. high and high school with the same crowd, and my first semester of college had been a whole lot like what my life was in Kaysville, just moved an hour north. We all lived in the same building, attended the same ward, and went home the same weekends. 
Then everybody left. And I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what on earth I was going to do with myself [read, throwing tantrums about having no friends and crying. A LOT.] 
It took a lot for me to realize that all the letters and tears in the world weren't going to make time go any faster, and it was up to me to figure things out now. 

There was one night in particular that changed things for me--it was the summer after my freshman year, and I had just moved into a house with 12 people I didn't know. Lauren and Marley, the two I did know, were at home in Layton, and my mom had just left after helping me move in. I had to work that night at 9, but it was 6 o'clock and I was lonely, getting anxious, and feeling more alone than I ever had in my life. 
So I took a little drive up to my favorite lookout in Logan and put a whole lot of time into wondering what in the heck I was going to do. 
And as I sat there feeling really sorry about myself, lonely, and longing for a hand to hold that could only be found 1,500 miles away, the saying that "life begins at the end of your comfort zone" would not leave my head. 
I've never been a huge fan of change, because change usually means goodbyes and if there is one thing on this planet I hate more than spiders, that would be saying "goodbye." 
The thought of stepping out of my comfort zone enough to change my attitude at that moment made my heart stop, my stomach tie in knots, and my eyes fill up with tears. 
My insides were spinning, but all I could hear were the words to a primary song playing in my head. 
"Pray, he is there. Speak, he is listening." 
I said a quick [humble and whispered] prayer asking for help, and as I sat there thinking some more I became more and more excited for what was in store. 
Here I was, in a city I loved, without the people that had made it home. So now it was up to me to make it my own, and I'd been given the most perfect opportunities to do so. 
If you ever want to see where you stand with your Heavenly Father, do something completely out of your comfort zone and watch the ways that He influences your life. 

The summer went on and I began to appreciate everything that was going on. I was working two jobs, on my feet from early in the morning until way too late at night; but I was meeting dozens of new people. And as I fell into a routine, I made friends that filled where everyone had left. The girls on the A-Team with me became some of my best friends, and Marley introduced me to a house full of boys, and well, the rest is history. 

Those old friends are coming home now, and I like to say "my world's are colliding," which in a way is exactly what's happening. I've found my own footing, and I'm about to let a couple dozen new feet explore for a little while and that makes me all sorts of stressed and excited. 
A lot has changed since I started saying my goodbyes, and as I'm telling those same people "welcome home," I'm noticing changes in myself too. As many times as people tell you, "people change" or "things change," remember that you change too--and change isn't always a bad thing. 
In ten years, if we were the people we are today, not a single one of us would be happy--so why would we want to be the same person we were two years ago or even a few months ago? That doesn't make sense, does it? 
So no, I didn't serve a mission. But I know that I've learned exactly what I needed to these last two years. 
I learned to stand on my own two feet; and when I couldn't do that, I turned to my Heavenly Father before anybody else, and I think that's the most important lesson I've ever learned. 
And to be completely honest, I've had the best two years of my life. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's a special day.

It's not every day you meet a superhero--and it's an even more rare occasion when that superhero truly changes your life. 

Today is a special day. According to the City of Kaysville, today is Bret Frodsham day.
It's a day honoring our favorite lawn-care expert, neighborhood cowboy, Mo-Tab blasting motorcycler, and our neighborhood Superman. 
Bret is one of our closest family friends, and has been fighting Mesothelioma for over a year.
Despite his own battles, Bret manages to be a superhero for everyone around him [especially my littlest sisters]. He throws the best neighborhood movie nights, hosts the ward choir, and brings a special kind of love with him everywhere he goes. 
So last night, we gathered over 200 people who loved Bret, and threw him the birthday party to beat all birthday parties. 
And as we celebrated Bret and everything he does for us, I learned a little bit from this hero of mine:
Everything is in God's hands--and we have to be okay with that. It's not always easy, and it's not always what we want to do, but it's His will. 
There's always something worth fighting for. As Bret put it, he's going to fight this cancer like it's never been fought before--so why shouldn't we do the same in everything we're doing?

My heart's all sorts of mixed up right now. It can't decide if it's broken or full or empty or happy tonight. Cancer sucks. It breaks hearts and is no respecter of persons--it leaves this wake of tears and heartache and no one ever truly wins. But nights like tonight push those shadows away for a minute, because it's hard not to feel a tiny bit invincible as 200 people sing Auld Lang Syne and God Be With You Til We Meet Again to show support for a man you can't help but love.

Today, I'm grateful for neighbors who are more like family and personal superheroes that give us reasons to keep fighting. I'm grateful for examples of endurance, faith, and hope. I'm grateful for people who prove that even in the midst of heartbreak, there's a little bit of light in the darkness. 
And today, December 7th, Bret Frodsham day, I'm grateful for our personal Superman.
If you don't know Bret, "you ain't seen nothing yet." 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


She makes me feel like I can do anything, he's stuck around for years, he gives the best hugs, he just gets me, she's my best friend, she makes me laugh uncontrollably, he's my favorite. 
[b-f, l-r]

But for real. This Thanksgiving was good--like it only took 3 plates of food and 6 pieces of pie for Brian and I to finally admit defeat and put down the food, good. 
The food coma was a real thing today [and if there's anything better than Thanksgiving with all your friends, it's a post-Thanksgiving nap with all your friends].

I'm grateful for a mom who woke up at 5 am to make the most incredible Thanksgiving dinner the world has ever seen, for a dad who put up with 9 college students when he didn't feel good and did all the dishes on top of that, and siblings who kept my friends entertained and managed to not annoy anybody too much. ;) 
I really am the luckiest. I'm surrounded by incredible people who make my life practically perfect in every way, I live in a beautiful place where I go to school and study what I love, and I have a job that I enjoy almost every single day because I work with the most entertaining people. 
I'm so lucky. So lucky, and so very, very, grateful for everything I have. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Daydream look in your eyes.

Formal time is my favorite time--what kind of girl doesn't love any excuse to get all dressed up, take a million pictures, and dance all night with a cute boy [and her sisters, of course]?
Proof that we started the night pretty put together....
...even if we ended up a little hotter, sweatier, and more sore than we started. 
[My favorite part of this picture is Trent in the background]
They're my rocks--and once in every five thousand pictures we take a decent one. 

It's been a fabulous couple of days, and now we're all caravanning down to Kaysville for the Thanksgiving dinner of a lifetime. 
Here's to a million reasons to be grateful, and just as many reasons why I am the luckiest girl alive. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An awfully big adventure.

You don't really live until you become a part of something that is bigger than who you are. 
Somehow, I got lucky enough to call four wonderful organizations a little piece of "home"--and today I'm grateful for these things that have helped me become the person that I am. 
11. I was born, raised, and am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It wasn't until I moved away from home, and started watching the people I cared most about [second to my family of course] leave for missions that I realized just how important this gospel was to me. The summer after my freshman year, I once referred to as "ground zero" in my journal. I didn't feel like I had a single friend in the world, I was living in a house with 13 strangers [and Lauren & Marley], and the one person I wanted to talk to was 1,500 miles away in Detroit. I cried a lot--and then on one of my drives that typically led me up the canyon, I decided to go to the temple grounds instead. As I sat there and cried and prayed and thought about what on earth I was going to do, I realized that even though I was physically alone, I was never, ever, ever going to be completely alone. I always had someone there for me, and that alone was enough to get me back on my feet and motivate me to step out of my comfort zone a little more than usual. I'm not a perfect Mormon--there isn't such a person. But I try really really hard, and give it my best shot. Because I believe in this gospel, and I love it with all my heart. I'm grateful for Joseph Smith, for Thomas S. Monson, for the priesthood power and worthy priesthood holders in my life, for the scriptures, and most importantly for families and their eternal nature. My biggest dream in life is to walk out of the Salt Lake Temple on the arm of the man I love and get to be with forever to start a family I can teach the beauty and joy of this gospel. So today, I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me, a Savior who understands every single little aspect of my life, and this gospel to believe in when nothing else makes sense. 
12. To say I'm in love with where I live and go to school would barely skim the surface of how I feel about USU. I love our picturesque little campus, I love the feeling that fills the Spectrum on gamedays, and I even love the sound of the heaters creaking in the ancient Ray B. West building [most days]. I love the people I go to classes with, I love Aggie Ice Cream, and I love nothing more than singing The Scotsman while cheering on my favorite teams. Logan is home--and I'll bleed Aggie Blue til the day I die. 
13. I'm not the "typical sorority girl." I think Diet Coke tastes like old socks, I have yet to go more than 30 seconds with lipstick on my lips, and heels will always be a form of torture. I still don't fully understand the idea behind monogramming my possessions, and I will never be able to take conversations with abbreviated words in them seriously. But if we're being honest, a sorority isn't like the stereotype says it should be. It's more about discovering who you are and building leadership qualities than it is about parties. It's more about philanthropy, networking, and community service than it is about Lilly Pulitzer. And most importantly? It's about joining a group of women who motivate, support, and defend each other because this world is hard. I'm grateful for Kappa Delta and the people it's given to me--and the person it's made me. 
14. If you'd asked me two years ago if I'd be spending a large part of my free time with 45+ fraternity boys, I would have laughed in your face--after I asked what a fraternity was. For once, I couldn't be happier to be wrong. Over the last year and a half, these boys have taught me what it's like to have older brothers; shown me how quickly a group of people can change your life; and given me a couple dozen people to call if I'm ever in trouble. I don't think I'll ever get over how much I love walking into their house to a chorus of "Ash!!!!" and a round of hugs, or be able to listen to them sing to me without giggling from the sheer excitement of it all. They've become my entertainment, my big brothers, and my best friends--and I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have them to love on. 
15. My grandma would have been 62 today--and today I'm grateful for her memory. The holidays are always a little bittersweet without her here, but I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have that my family is forever. I'm grateful for her example of selfless love, endurance, and Christlike service. I'm grateful for the way she raised my mom so that I have the incredible mother I do. I'm grateful for the legacy she left behind--and I'm grateful that she's my grandma. I don't think I'll ever go a day without aching for her--but I'm grateful for the fact that I know I'll get to see her again. Happy Birthday, Grandma; I wish every child in the whole wide world had a grandmother just like you. 

The moon and back.

Gratitude list: Part Dos. Because the people I'm surrounded by are the best of the best--and my biggest blessings. 
6. She's the sweetest, most thoughtful, and least judgmental person I know--and the only person I can fight with without really ever fighting. We share a closet better than anybody else I know, and there's nobody else I'd rather share the Sweetheart Suite with. Abby is the only person who can tell me how big of an idiot I'm being [about boys, random tantrums, etc] without me freaking out, and even though we want to break the curse we share, I'm glad it's with her. ;) She's my person. [pick me. choose me. love me.
7. [yes, I know Brian's in here. Hi, Brian. That's what happens when you have two "boyfriends."They don't like sharing the camera.] But this one's for jaseface22. All summer long I heard all these stories about some Elder Dahlin that was coming home and how cool he was and how much fun we would have...and then he came to Logan and didn't say two words to me the whole weekend he was here until I told him to hurry back to Logan and love me--and he did! I love that he understands my humor, and reciprocates my endless teasing. I love that I can be myself around him--and I'm grateful that he doesn't judge me for being the weirdo that I am. He entertains my crazy ideas [like smashing a cake in Brian's face], and puts up with me yelling "BOYFRIEND" throughout the house whenever I need something. I'm grateful for quickly formed friendships, and even more grateful for friendships I know will last a long time; even if sometimes he wants to literally punch me in the face, and not just figuratively. 
8. Someday I want to be as cool as Emily Orr--but someday I want to watch a reality show based on her even more. I'm grateful for her confidence, her sense of humor, and the way she always speaks her mind. There isn't a single other person who I'd rather have acting as Squad #2--and a little bit of me will always live vicariously through her and her daily escapades. [AND I'M STILL SO HAPPY SHE'S FINALLY PART OF OUR CLUB]
9. She's my partner-in-crime, my secret keeper, my shopping buddy, and the angel on my shoulder. Ash truly is the big sister I never had, and I'm so grateful for her example, listening ear, and the unconditional love and support she offers. If I can be half the sister, friend, wife, and person that she is someday, I'll be one happy girl. 
10. She's my only friend. Mostly because sometimes, all a girl needs is someone to make her feel like the most important person in the room when everything is falling apart around her--and five seconds with Lynette does just that. She's the most selfless person I know, and manages to make my day a thousand times better whenever I see her. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

I call it magic.

I'm a real slacker when it comes to gratitude posts. 
But I'm grateful for a million and a half things--so I figured it's time to get started.
[don't worry--there will be more coming]
1. They've seen me sobbing on my bed when my best friend left on his mission, at 4 am during a stressful finals week, and on my way out of the door for a first date. I got supremely lucky when it came to roommates, because despite different schools, missions across the country, and even wedding rings, they'll forever be my Snitches. [and we'll all be back together for the first time in 18 months in less than 90 days and I'm so excited I could cry]. 
2. This little one loves me unconditionally, and I mean that to the fullest extent of the word. Even when I go home for the weekend and make her fend for herself, when I get distracted by various things [boys], or when I'm busy with who knows what, she's the first to give me a hug when I walk in the door and she leaves me the most perfect presents at the most perfect times. She's the most caring person I know--and she keeps me on track. 
3.  There's seven wonderful reasons I ache to be home on Sunday nights, seven people I want to talk to when everything is going right (or wrong), and seven hugs I want as soon as my car hits the Davis County line. My family group message is the highlight of my day, and FaceTime dates with the babies are my favorite distractions. I'm so lucky to have a family that motivates me, supports me, and loves me the way mine does--and I'm fairly certain they'll always be my biggest blessing. 
4. Nobody puts up with me quite as much as he does. He handles the approximately 20,000 "I HAVE A STORY FOR YOU" texts a day like a champ [especially because most of them are things I can't remember], the incessant teasing he puts up with [from me and because of me] is unreal, and somehow he never fails to make me laugh. Despite everyone else's best efforts, he'll always be my SnapChat best friend, the one person who doesn't have to ask before stealing my Dr. Pepper, and the only boy I won't endlessly judge for wearing camo.
5. "That top part of the Celestial Kingdom? Yeah, I'm going there." She's my better half--and that about sums it up. She talks me out of stupid decisions, and when I'm too stubborn to agree, helps me clean up the mess afterwards. She pushes me to step out of my comfort zone, and finishes my sentences [even when we're writing notes to each other]. We're really bad at being quiet together, and we take the world's most awkward pictures--and I'll never get over how grateful I am for her never-ending advice and love. She's my superhero best friend, whether she'll take the title or not. 

Maybe someday I'll understand how I got to be so lucky, but until then? I'm just going to keep on counting my people--because my people are my biggest blessings. And I'm just the luckiest. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

To my little.

You get to find out who I am this week--and the excitement is nearly killing me.
I remember being in your position last year. I had made the same kind of list you made, and picked five women I looked up to who I would want as my big. The night of reveal came, and I had no idea who would be waiting for me downstairs.
I knew that ultimately, my big was meant to be a mentor and guide through my experience in Kappa Delta; but I wanted a big for so much more than that.
I've never had an older sister--and I wanted somebody to fill that role for me. Somebody to look up to, somebody to gush and cry to about boys, and somebody to love me when I felt like giving up.
My big does all that--and so much more for me. She's the first person I go to after a long shift at work, and the one person I just have to tell when I go on a date with a cute boy [or kiss said cute boy]. She's my go to shopping buddy, the deciding factor in a lot of my decisions, and my secret keeper. Beyond that, she's who I look to when I need advice, or an example to follow of how to be a better daughter, sister, friend, or person in general. 
Little, I don't know everything about you yet, and you don't know everything about me. But I promise I'm going to try my hardest to be the best big sister you'll ever have. I'll be there with caffeine and snacks on those inevitable late-night study parties--and there to celebrate after you ace your tests and finals. I'll be there to help pick an outfit for your first date with the boy you've had a crush on for weeks--and if needed, have ice cream and a chick flick ready when things don't work out [and be ready to hunt him down if needed]. I'll do my best to be the voice of reason when you need advice--and I'm ready to play the devil's advocate when I need to. I'll be your midnight food-run buddy, the angel on your shoulder, your partner-in-crime, personal cheerleader, and your biggest fan. Most importantly, I'll be there to love you on your best and worst days--and stick by you through it all. 
I'm not perfect, and we may not always get along. But I will always, always, always have your back. 
Have fun this week, little one--I can't wait til Wednesday! 
Love, your big. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Coming home.

An essay I read for one of my English classes has had me thinking about the idea of home.
The dictionary definition says:

HOME: noun
1. The place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or a household.

 I started thinking that it goes beyond that. 
Home was the place I dreaded when my curfew started rolling around. 
Home was what I called the D-TV offices my senior year of high school. 
Home was what I hurried to my first semester of college for free food, laundry, and an escape from reality. 
Home was the place all my friends congregated while they were waiting to leave for their missions. 
Home is what I long for when I'm alone in my apartment because I'm stuck at work all weekend. 

Then I found this. 
And started thinking of the times home had been merely a moment in time.
Like the midnight drives with my roommates around the temple when we didn't want to do anything else.
Walking into SigEp and hearing a chorus of "Hi Ash" come from the boys I love more than anybody else. 
Falling asleep surrounded by my best friends with a movie playing.
Singing Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs with my little sisters on the way to a lunch date. 
The waves from the front window of Kappa Delta as I walk up to the front door, and the laughter that is inevitably filling the room. 
The feeling that overwhelms me as I drive down Main Street in Farmington. 
The hug I get from my favorite boy right before I leave for the night. 

It's funny--you think home will always be the place you grew up. But as you get older, you realize that home is anywhere that's touched you and any place you left a piece of yourself--and that maybe, just maybe, you're a little piece of home for somebody else. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The little things.

"I miss you" texts. Family FaceTime. An extra $5 in the bottom of your purse. Having time for a nap before work. Having a hand to hold. Emails from your dad. A new tube of ChapStick. The smell of summer rain. Finding a new song to obsess over. Forehead kisses. Your favorite sweats after a long shift. Starting a new book. Laughing so hard your stomach hurts. Reading a good book over again. Late-night canyon drives. Clean sheets. Getting your hair played with. Your favorite dinner. An early morning run. Checking something off your to-do list. A huge cup of pebble ice. Laughing til your abs hurt. Movie nights with a cute boy.  Bubblegum. Summer fireworks. The "I've missed you so much" hug. Pool days. Phone calls from your mom. Piggy-backs over puddles. FaceTime dates with your little sisters. Playing in the rain. Flowers from cute boys. Compliments on your new outfit. Hair appointments. Wearing your favorite hoodie. Impromptu dance parties. The "it-hurts-so-good" feeling after a hard workout. People who make you smile without even thinking about it. The smell of the person you love. Hot chocolate after a snowball fight. Chocolate ice cream. Good hair days. Handwritten notes.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sleep deprived and fabulous.

You'd think after two years of this, I'd get used to trying to get back in the swing of things once school starts again.
And you'd think after two years of this wonderful place I'd be able to say that I'd reached the highest of Aggie highs and it couldn't get any better.
You'd be wrong on both accounts.

The last month has been a whirlwind of recruiting, workshops, recruiting workshops, meetings, class, serving pancakes, writing essays, and spending time with the people that make Logan home.
The Judester got married--and if there's anything that makes me happy, it's making sure that the people I love are happy. Her wedding day was magical, and I loved that I got to be a part of it. 
The weekend before school started, I got to spend three days with my Kappa Delta sisters; preparing for this fall's recruitment and getting to know the girls I didn't know very well. If you ever needed a confidence boost, spend absurd amounts of time with 40 girls who share the same loves and ideals that you do...you'll feel like you can do anything when you're done. 
A new school year means new roommates...and this picture just about sums it all up. We can't take a decent picture together, we don't see each other unless we're getting into bed, and we make sure the other person gets to work on time. She's my person. That's all. 
Sorority recruitment is exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting--but it's worth every second of it. Because after a week of house tours, information packed nights, and a couple hours showing the girls that come around what our houses are all about...
We get to welcome new women into our sisterhood. And it was amazing how quickly I learned to love these new members, and even more amazing how quickly my love for Kappa Delta grew. 
Abby and I even found time to be crafty for our boys...a small price to pay for the things they put up with on a daily basis from the two of us. 
And when we finally put our books down for the week, take off our pencil skirts and heels after meeting, and clock out of good ole Village Inn, we get to have a little fun. Because every week should end in a party, especially if it's safari themed and we get to dance outside all night. 

Life is good. 
It doesn't always go as planned and sometimes it's not perfect. But that doesn't mean it's not wonderful, and worth every second. 
So good night world--here's to this year being the best year yet, because that's exactly what it's shaping up to be. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

See ya later, summer.

I love summer. 
Sunshine, freedom, water, no school...what could be wrong with that? 
Nothing. Until it ends. 
And suddenly you've got school, a job, a sorority, and a social life to juggle--all while trying to sleep and eat and shower in a regular fashion. It's rough. 
Especially when you had a summer as wonderful as mine. 

I jumped off bridges [and cliffs and rocks and rope swings] and climbed mountains and trees. 
I ate too many french fries and drank too much caffeine--and didn't regret it for a second. 
I swam at pools that weren't ours and took way too many selfies. 
I spent an absurd amount of time with the people I care most about. 
I finished my fifth Ragnar: sick, sunburned, and sore--but finished nonetheless. 
I got this cute boy to make lots of long drives from Denver and Phoenix to Logan for me because we all know summer sales are stupid.
I spent a week in Oregon with my family and played too long in an ice cold ocean, drank too many milkshakes, bought too many books, and spent the best birthday on the beach.
I realized [for the millionth time] just how lucky I am to be where I am, with the people I'm surrounded by, doing what I'm doing. This summer was perfect--and here's to a school year just like it.