Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sorry once again...

I thought this would get easier! Ya know having more free time on my hands and it being summer and all. But, it has still been kinda hectic! I am working two jobs: Rita's and Lifeguarding. Sure, the money is good. And sure... what else am I going to do? But, Saturday was crazy. I worked 10-3:30 at the pool. I got home a little after 4pm and then had to be AT work at 6 at Rita's. In which I worked until 11:35pm because well, there were things to be done and I offered to stay an extra hour and help. No big deal.

The strange thing is... I really actually liked working both jobs in one day. It keeps me from sitting at home, keeps me busy, gives me time to think and heck, gives me money!! Not to discredit the fun afternoons I have with my Mom. I so enjoy those as I know that they will come to an end all to soon.

That's the reason I've not blogged. Because, really I work most nights. And I don't typically get on my computer in the day. I get up. Run errands with my mom. Go to work. Come home. Talk to my Mom. Call Will. Go to sleep. Everyday. What will I do when he leaves? It will put a damper on my schedule for sure... but we'll get to that later.

Aside from working, running errands and late night phone calls... I have become quite the traveler of the continental US. I traveled cross country with Chase (he has all my pictures from that), spent a week in SC with my grams and then an extended weekend in Virginia/D.C. with William and his family.

Chase has all our pictures. My grams hates pictures. Which means the only pictures I have to share are the ones from my D.C trip.

Well here goes! May 13th (a Friday actually...), around 10:40 I was packed and ready to go. I had to stop by the gas station and then I was on my way!
 I took two like this. This was the better of the two. I look not my best. But, I promise I looked better in person... I think.

After like 4 stops to go to the bathroom (my mom's small bladder is a curse I wish I hadn't inherited), quick lunch at Panera (they got my order wrong and gave me a salad as opposed to a sandwich, which is kind of a big deal when you're driving down the interstate), and a nice scenic route (the majority of which was on stoplight infested I-29. Thank you dumb GPS), I arrived at 5266 Ellicott Drive, Centreville, VA. Took me like 6 hours and 20 min. But, Will was waiting outside and seeing him was well worth the drive!

I was introduced to his sweet mother and newly-wed cousins, Dan and Kate, who all happened to be doing yard work despite the overcast weather, being engulfed in a cloud of humidity and the ever so slight constant drizzle! Things were definitely awkward at first. I got the grand tour and I felt good. I use the word good because I can't think of a better word... "at ease" or "at home" are not right. Maybe, comfortable is the right word.  I immediately felt like I would genuinely like his family. We went on a walk in some woods by his house. It was still too early to whip out the camera and things were a little awkward. I think it was taking me some time to adjust to the fact that I was ACTUALLY in Virginia... like I had talked about being for so long. It wasn't a bad awkward or uncomfortable at all... but, it does leave one to wonder what it will be like seeing each other after two years. 

That night we had dinner as a family on his porch. Or with his family I should say. It was prepared by Dan and Kate, with a little help from Randy (his dad). It was quite good and Randy had some Japanese sodas for each of us to try. Once again, I felt very comfortable. Like I fit in. His parents included me and while we got to know each other my idea was correct. I did genuinely really like his family. 

After dinner we just talked for awhile followed by kitchen cleanup and a game of scattegories. It was quite funny and I really enjoyed playing. I had one hysterical breakdown. Both from the hilarity of his father and the happiness of being with Will after 3 weeks (it felt far longer than that). I really could not stop laughing. It was semi-embarrassing. Anyway, we finished with more talk and chocolate cake and ice cream (Me and Will took a trip to the grocery store to buy it before dinner). My mom had sent me with a delicious chocolate cake and it was VERY well received. Everyone talked about it the entire time I was there and how good it was. Finally, his parents went to their room, his cousins to theirs and me and Will sat in the family room for about an hour (when his mom, Nancy, called down and said it was time for bed) and just spent time catching up.

The next day, the six of us drove into D.C to go to the Eastern Market. We were each given 10 dollars to spend on an item of food. We were not to collaborate as later that evening we would be compiling all 6 items and attempting to make a dinner out of it. I loved it! We got to see a couple of the monuments before we left. But, most of my pictures are from the FDR Memorial.

Right outside of Arlington. I believe this is a Marine Memorial.

One of the many FDR waterfalls.

William and his 7ft prom date.

Some bridge on the outskirts of Washington!

Dan, Kate, Me and Will.

I forgot to mention that we got a flat tire coming in... so that's where his parents are during all of this. We grabbed lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl (I think that's the name.) It was a little hole in the wall place but, quite good. We took some pictures there... but on Will's camera. Hopefully he is emailing those as well as the ones from his cousins soon!

Afterwards we went to the market. :) We all split up. There was this little bakery in there at which me and Will spent some of our remaining money on a cupcake. My mom was appalled, but it is a peanut butter/chocolate cupcake.

Obviously excited about the delicious find.

I <3 Peanut Butter.

In the Market!
After the market we made our way home. But not before I got to sit on Einsteins lap!

We then journeyed home. He lives about 25 minutes outside of D.C. and we just spent the time talking. When we got home, we just hung out! Will worked on his talk for the Priesthood fireside that night (he was asked to speak about "Preparing for a Mission") and when he left, I spent the time with Nancy in her vinyl/craft room learning how she makes things! It was really cool! I got to help make t-shirts for the graduating seniors in their ward and enjoyed being a part of that. It was nice to have some down time and talk to his Mom about him, their family and something she enjoys! When he got home and changed... we went outside for a walk... in the rain!!

I tried something new since his hair is getting so long and spiked it! This is us after our fun playing in the rain... which for some reason I do like to do. Weird since I can only do it on days when my hair isn't straight!

We had a wonderful dinner and again just sat around talking and getting to know one another. After dinner and dessert me and Will went downstairs to talk and watch a movie. I fell asleep halfway through. Again... clearly my mother's daughter. (Valentine's day was the movie we watched... or attempted to).

Sunday, his church was at one. I spent the morning sleeping and getting ready (he went to one of his friends farewell's) and eating lunch. William put the finishing touches on his sacrament talk (2 in one weekend!) and we were off! He gave a wonderful talk on the Baptismal Covenant. And I learned that he was baptized in the Susquehanna River (the restoration site of the Priesthood)! He did really quite well and I think will make a spectacular missionary.

Us, in our Sunday dress! I am not a fan of coordinating couples outfits. But, someone did point out that we kind of matched. It was unintentional. I swear on my life!!

After that we went on a walk. I think it was like 7 miles but I'm really bad with distance. ;) So maybe it was less than 2. Haha ah!

Monday, William and I got to spend the day in D.C. together. We spent the time riding the metro, seeing some sites, getting lunch and just enjoying each other's company.

I think I look weird. I'm guessing it's the angle?

One of the many escalators we rode!

<3... My Mom's favorite ;)

Visiting Arlington!

On the Metro. Headed towards...

The Capitol! Our favorite monument found in every state!

My Marine! :)

In the heart of D.C... or just on top of the world! See how clever that wording was?! Cause we literally ARE on top of the world. My computer is being dumb and not letting me press enter... So that is the reason for this extremely WIDE caption.

Tuesday was a sad day. (Sorry for the lack of detail as I progress further...)

Right before I had to leave. :(

Making my way home! :) Looking better... but feeling sadder than the trip up!

I had to leave around 11am in order to be home a little after 5. This time I took I-95 to I-85 and made it home a lot faster but, used more gas. So, if you are looking to save money go I-29 if you are looking to save time I-95/85 is your route.

I really enjoyed getting to spend time with William before his mission. I loved meeting his parents. I grew to love them both over just the weekend. They are wonderful people and have an amazing son to prove it! I really did have a blast. I love his other siblings! I have only met his 2 older sisters but I really really liked them as well! And just from the stories about his two older brothers I know I would like them too. I know this blog conveys very little emotion, but I had a great time. I wish I could've stayed longer or gone up again, but I need to work and time is very limited. But, thankfully he will be coming to visit the first weekend in June. He goes into the MTC... June 15th.

I truly am excited for him to serve. I am envious because I think that serving a mission at 19 is far more convenient than at 21. Just one more BIGGER sacrifice women are asked to make as opposed to men ;). I tease. I do love William Henderson Daybell. Not in the elementary school way where you get butterflies whenever that boy walks into the room, not in the weird middle school way in which you are doodling the boy's name all over your notebook/hand and not in the high school way where you are walking each other to class, driving over to one another's house and spending hours on the phone and computer texting, calling and skyping. No, I love him in the college kid way... which is a silly yet perfect combination of all three. I don't mean to get mushy or awkward... but this is a kind of journal so stop reading if you start to feel queasy.

Really, when I think about Will and those 7,000 "What do you want in a husband" lists I have thrown away over my years in young women's he fits every single quality. He is tall, handsome, with a sweet smile, strong...he has a good body and he has a cute hands (I know that's weird to say... but, some people say they look at people's feet, or ears or toes... but, I look at their hands). He is smart, funny, sweet, quiet yet outgoing, complimentative (which is a real word I looked it up just to be sure), motivated, respectful, kind and charming. His biggest and only downfall is his current career choice. Which happens to be the army. He says he is going to do some serious thought as to whether the army is his chosen field. I will be doing the same if things seem to be working out. We have two years to get to know each other over letters. Two years to figure out what we want to do. Two years to meet people, serve the Lord and strengthen our testimony's. I will not be riding the bench here at home. But, if I am being honest with myself, I don't know that there is anyone out there who can come close to meaning as much as William does to me. Some say that it's childish or dramatic and I'm only 19. But, Will is a blessing, Will is special, Will is perfect and for the moment... Will is mine. I like it that way. Because I really do LOVE him. I have used that word before in two other relationships. But never before have I said it with such honesty and sincerity. In the excited words and actions of Tom Cruise on Oprah: "I LOVE WILLIAM DAYBELL!"

And that's all I have for now. :) More on my working of two jobs, his trip down here and the dreaded/greatly anticipated MTC date of June 15th.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In My Head...

In my Student Development class, we are watching/reading Tuesdays With Morrie. I don't know who all has read that book but, it is quite good. As we watch the movie, however, it really makes you think. The book is good for mulling over ideas and thoughts. But, the movie really brings it home.

I have been thinking a lot about death lately. I have met a couple of people this semester who all look(ed) at death differently than I do. And I think that's special. Or necessary better yet. I think our difference in ideas and perception is what makes us friends. We don't think the same, feel the same or react the same but we are all children of God and therefore we all have something in common.

Death is weird. It is permanent. It is unavoidable. And it is scary. We fear death almost as much as we fear living. I think back on my life so far and I am content. I am for the most part proud or accepting of the decisions I've made. In the book/movie the character Morrie (who has lived a long life and is now slowly dying) says "You have to learn to die, to learn how to live."

Sadly, my life is far from a movie. I yearn for experiences like Mitch Albom had. To talk with such inspiring people that you make a change in the way you live. And then I think. As a member of this church, we are blessed with such experiences. We have such individuals who speak to us two times a year. Who take the time to teach us life lessons. I will be honest. I am not always the best listener. I am not always the best applier. But, I want to change. I think a lot lately about who I am becoming. The standards I have and the way in which I uphold them. Like everyone, I have moments of disappointment and moments where I have to pat myself on the back.

I am different than the 30,000 students around me. I am not the same as them. My grades are not like theirs. My family is not like theirs. My background, future and present is not anything like theirs. But, I am living my life in a way that is similar to theirs.

There is something unique about college students who won't drink. Who won't have pre-marital sex. Who won't go do drugs, watch porn, swear or cheat. They are unique. They are different. And yet, we are the same. I am not one to say that the people here at BYU all comply to every single rule. But, I can proudly say that the people I hang out with aren't like other college students. We don't spend our time doing things we won't remember the next day. Instead we do activities that create a bond between us. That make us closer. And we take clear pictures that aren't filled with little red cups, or bloodshot eyes, that are filled with smiles, crazy boys and weird poses. And then without fear of getting in trouble with parents or the law we post them online. And we remember.

And then the boys leave. They go on to serve the Lord. They dedicate two years of their life to our church. To what they believe. Whether or not they believe 10% or 100% they are there because they know. And the girls in the crazy freshman college pictures with them... support them. And for reasons that go beyond a blurred picture, a fuzzy memory or a foggy recollection of Friday nights they are proud. Because, they know that they played a part, how ever small, to get them where they need to be.

And then, for the girls, it all starts over. The girls start their second year of college. And are challenged to find the same types of good friends they found before. Only, this time they are older. They are returned from those missions that other parents, leaders and friend prepare those boys for. And life goes on.

Being at school has created a barrier between me and North Carolina. I do not live there anymore. There also is a barrier to my family and reality. I don't see my brothers play basketball or my sit and talk with my parents whenever I want. Only, how many games did I go to before. And how many Sunday afternoons were spent working on something else instead of with the people I love.

When I watch Morrie struggle with his health in the movie, I think of my Aunt Dell. I think of how I don't know that I have truly grieved or that the fact that she has gone as truly settled in. I think about her and her life daily. I am reminded of her by the Tabernacle Choir, by the campus I walk on, by the fact that Will lives in DC home to the FBI, that I love to call and talk to her sister, when I look at Chase and memories of her house flood into my mind and when I really think about life after this and try to imagine what she is doing there.

I feel her presence in my life sometimes. Not in the creepy way that people say they see ghosts or dead people. Just more of a feeling of acceptance, love and pride. I am saddened by the fact that I was not there to say the final goodbye to someone who meant so much to me in my life. But, I am comforted that we, as a family, took one last chance to go and see her. To see a woman far greater than I am right now. I see a lot of the things that happened to her body, happening to Morrie's and the whole movie was entirely too hard for me to watch. I don't mind crying just not at school. And every time we watched the movie I was at war with my tears. I love her and miss her terribly. 

But, Morrie says something quite profound about love. He says that "we must learn to love or die." At first I didn't quite understand what he meant because we are going to die anyways. Everyone dies. It's a sad fact of life. Death is a punishment we are all subject to, just as living a life is one we all receive. Our life and death vary from person to person, but everyone is given some sort of experience. Whether it is 5 seconds or 500 years, is where it differs. 

We must learn to love or die. Because as Morrie said "death ends life, not relationships."

Finally, in class our teacher put up the quote:

"We are by virtue, our relationships with others. We learn to speak by being spoken to, and we speak because others listen."

I took that from class and carried it with me throughout the day. I thought about it and what it really meant to me. I think that the quote only reiterates that we are what others make us. Not that we don't have a choice, but that we are a product that we ourselves did not create. We are not alone in our life. We could not make it in this world without other people around us. Every word that is spoken to, about or by us make us into who we are. Other people shape what we think are OUR own thoughts, opinions and insights. To be alone in this world, is to be dead. And to love and learn to love those around us is what gives our life purpose and the essence of what it truly means to live. We ARE our relationships with others. For good or for bad. 

In general conference Elder Scott talked about his wife's death. I was inspired when he talked about how much closer her felt to his wife since her passing. That their relationship had not changed. But, instead that it had grown. That he still relied on her. I hope that one day my family/friends will be able to talk about me like that.

I am not ready to move on. I am not ready to make all new friends. I am not ready to go back to the humid state of NC. I am not ready to lose friends. And I will never be ready to lose family. 

However, I know that I am who I am because of what I've been taught and been given. I am ready to go home and to see family. I am ready to make new friends and continue to have experiences and grow and to learn. And I am ready to see my family together forever and to see my Aunt Dell again. 

Not that I am in any way alluding to my wish to have an untimely death. Just that I am happy with my life. I am working on continuing to be the person I want to be. I am excited to see my testimony grow and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. If I have nothing else constant to hold onto in a world where I am tossed and turned, I am thankful for the Gospel. I am thankful for my testimony. For when I think I have nothing, I know I have everything. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Afternoon Runs...

As much as people think I didn't gain weight at school... the truth is, that I did. Not in my face (I think?), not in my butt (sad huh?), not in my legs or arms (other than the lack of exercise deteriorating my muscles) but just a little bit in my stomach. I don't like it!! Not at all.

After being at my grandma's less than 24 hours I decided that I hadn't exercised since... Saturday I believe. Or was it Friday? Either way it had been too long. I felt better after I had exercised. It killed me, but I felt so much better.

Anyway today I went on a run. I was gone less than 20 minutes and did around 1.5 miles. I was dead. But, it was a good dead. I felt horrible yet, so refreshed. I hated it though. I hate running. I hate making myself run long distances because I do NOT enjoy it. I love to walk. I literally could walk miles. But, I don't know how much good walking does? Either way... I am going to walk more. And hopefully get back into shape.

I know it was 1.5 miles because I tracked my route on the car. Hopefully, I can do 2 miles tomorrow.

Will can do a little more than 8 miles no problem. That number makes me sick! My goal is not 8 miles. My goal is something smaller... get a flat stomach back.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Scalding Feet.

So... I went to work at the pool today! First day working there. It was just me and Matt (the pool manager). He is really nice and easy to talk to. So that's good. Something to look forward to I guess.

I decided that I was tired of having water drip down my leg and into my shoes. So, I took them off. Bad idea. An hour later my shoes were back on and my feet definitely punishing me. They are on FIRE and kill to walk on.

Did I have mention I have work in an hour? At Rita's. Where I'll be on my feet for 4 hours and then work tomorrow at 10:30am where I'll be on my feet for 6 hours. Wish me luck and a fast recovery.  :)

I'd include pictures but, my camera is broken. :( And my phone has horrible quality. If I had an iphone... all life's problems would be solved.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

First Week Home!

So, I am still keeping my blog even though I am living with my mother. They will probably be a little shorter and a little less entertaining as right now my life consists of work, sleeping, and sitting around. With of course the occasional hanging out with friends which I have severely missed!

Which is not to rag on my mother because as she very well knows... she is one of my best friends.

It is good to be home. It is a lot like being thrown back into my senior year all over again... minus the seminary, school and homework. Oh and the other kids my age that are around. So, it's like the summer of my senior year again... only with just me and Aeryn from high school. Which is alright with me. Really there are a couple of other people I would like to add to the mix (Josh, Katie, Cameron, Tiffany, Tom and Morgan). But, I am enjoying having Aeryn all to myself and not making her pick between me and other people. Just one of the perks to being home early I guess.

I went to my home ward for the first time today. It was... interesting. It was FAR louder, FAR colder, much older, and a little bit less interesting and fun than my student ward. Which is to be expected. But, there is something to be said about wards or any organization run by 19 and 20 year old kids. It was a unique experience and I loved every second of it.

I am excited to spend this week with my grams! So, hopefully she is as well. Anyway, I really have to use the restroom... So, i'll end here. But, keep checking back. As I will be attempting to post at least 2 times a week.