Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Best Thing About Me is......

YOU! I love this song by my man, Ricky Martin, so much. It may be a love balled, but it doesn't change how the song makes me thing about my Mom. I keep talking about how much I already, or am, going to miss my friends but, none of them compare to mi madre. She has been there for me through it all. She was there in those awful middle school years, when others let me down, when I thought I was rebellious, through my random emotional breakdowns, through all my (and my friends) late night study session, and will my supporting character through this chapter in my life and all other unwritten parts of my story.

I found this talk from my Church's General Conference, by  back in April of 2010. There were a few points in that talk about what a mother daughter bond should be, so I would like to share these.
"Her primary observation after each trip is how much the young women behave like their mothers. If the mothers are thrifty, so are their daughters. If the mothers are modest, so are the girls. If the mothers wear flip-flops and other casual clothing to sacrament meeting, so do their daughters. Mothers, your example is extremely important to your daughters—even if they don’t acknowledge it."My mother has always set the example for me. I mean come on, we are the thrifty due! LOL. Besides that, she taught me the basics of fashion like to be weather appropriate, flip flops are to casual for anything, and accessories are a curvy girls best friend!

"Teach your daughters to find joy in nurturing children. This is where their love and talents can have the greatest eternal significance. Consider in this context President Harold B. Lee’s injunction that “the most important … work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes
My desire for wanting to be a homemaker most defiantly comes from my mom. She may have worked during the day, but her love for nurturing the home never fell short. I may be her only child, but I always knew how much my loved babies, and that the family unit is essential in building Heavenly Father's kingdom

"And so, my dear young women, with all my heart I urge you not to look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors. Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow. Model yourselves after them,not after celebrities whose standards are not the Lord’s standards and whose values may not reflect an eternal perspective. Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. Listen to her. She may not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page. But when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge."
It is ironic that this was in the talk after my rant a post from Sunday. Hardworking, loving, reserved (HAHA), and creative are all things that make my mother my role model. I bet there are some celebrities out there with those same qualities, but the difference is that my mom uses it in accordance with the standards of the church. Anyone can be hardworking, but not all can be hardworking towards the right things. In these next stages in life I won't be calling her for computer or cell phone help, but I will be relying on her wisdom of cooking, patience, and so many other things I never thought I would need help on.

I may not be daughter of the year sometimes, and she may think that I blow her off every time she brings up cooking or other tips on maintaining a home, but... "Let me assure you that even when you think your daughter is not listening to a thing you say, she is still learning from you as she watches you to see if your actions match your words."

Follow the link below for a copy of the talk I used this from.

It doesn't have to be mothers day for you to love and appreciate your mom.
With Love,
Ciara Ann

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cook, clean, and create! Oh My!

I have been trying really hard to expand my photography to make some kind of posters in photoshop. This is mostly because I really want to enter the Denver Modernism Art Contest next year with some kind of pop art digital design type of thing.
In case you didn't know, the Denver Modernism Show is just a convention of all things vintage! There are shows, vendors, art, etc. I love it, and my favorite part is the fashion show that shows trends from the 30s-70s. Most people who know me know that 50s fashion is a major source of inspiration in my art because it embodies so much history (women rights, war, etc). 
Of course during this fashion show I took some photos of the runway models. Here are a few of my shots; 

The whole housewife culture is something that really intrigues me too, hence my obsession with the 50s. Maybe it is because I want to be a stay at home mom really bad, or maybe its because I'm Mormon. <-- JK
That concept mixed with this Photoshop tutorial, , is what inspired me to create the collage. (Let me remind you I am new at this type of art so it isn't the greatest, but I am trying)

The other side of the equation inspired this collage (with help from another Photoshop tutorial; ) Some young girls were hungry to travel the world and make a name for themselves. This is part of what evolved the role of women to the rest of society today.

I tried hard to use the techniques shown, but add my own twist to the collage. Hopefully I can create a vintage poster, with these and future techniques. Go and try to expand your talents!
With Love,
Ciara Ann

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Role Model

Tonight I enjoyed doing one of my favorite things, watching the VMAs. The whole Justin Timberlake performance with *nsync was just amazing and my girl, Lady GaGa, of course! The whole Miley Cyrus thing made me sick. I just couldn't stop shaking my head and I was embarrassed for her family and for herself. I am sure in about 2 years (hopefully) she will look back in regret. I was even more embarrassed when I saw people posting/tweeting about how great she is and how people shouldn't judge her. SERIOUSLY?! Did we not watch the same award show?! It just makes me so glad that I was raised with people who established standards in my life. These people who raised me to respect myself and others (like my mom, uncle, aunt, etc) are the kind of people real role models should be considered as. 
This leads me into my excitement of the night (other than *nsync). Lady GaGa. I may not always agree with how she can present herself, but I agree with what she stands for. She is big on being who you are, and loving yourself no matter what others may say about you. That idea in general is just what I live my life for. She encourages acceptance, even if you are outrageous and do not fit in the mold. I th
Concert, July 2010. 

ink Lady GaGa lives what she preaches, which is very rare these days. 
Going to her concert, back in July of 2010 was a blast. I went with my best friend, and we had a blast. We got dressed up too and went the whole 9 yards. People dress up for concerts, but you are never sure if alot of people will be into the dressing up thing. Trying to come up with an outfit idea for this concert was just so fun because there were no limits. Either way you were not going to be judged for dressing in an outfit that wouldn't be socially acceptable any where else. Seeing all the dressed up people was one of the best parts. 

With her new album coming out, I couldn't be more excited for her comeback. With her injury and such she was out of the spotlight, and people were like "told you so, she was not the next Madonna." Now I'm like, want to rethink that statement? I always enjoy feeling how much passion she has for what she does in interviews and such. Not only is there passion, but there is talent. At the concert, and TV performences, you can tell she doesn't need to rely on lip singing. If you don't get what I am talking about, then you need to watch the Thanksgiving special she did a few years ago with Tony Bennett. Their song, "Lady is a Tramp" is just incredible!

Her comeback and all does have me missing my soul sister pretty hard core, but being able to call him and text with him after her performance on the VMAs tonight made it a little bit better. GaGa is who started our first conversation and led to our friendship. 

Remember, people who stand up for what they believe in (while actually living it) are the role models that make the world. Role models are people like parents and family. Not necessarily celebrities, and if you do consider a celebrity a role model, evaluate and reflect why? Is it because she can twerk on stage or because she works hard at creating a more accepting place?

I leave you with a photo project I did back in 10th grade. My photography has gotten better since then, but this quote couldn't be more perfect in tying in what I love about Lady GaGa and my life purpose with the Shimmer Sparkle Shine Project.

Much Love,
Ciara Ann

Friday, August 23, 2013

Purple Mountain Majesty

I have always understood why Colorado was the inspiration for purple mountain majesty in "America the Beautiful". My family and I went on a day trip to the Pine, Colorado area. It was seriously so beautiful! This whole time I was also geek-ing out with my newer camera, taking many photos. Lately I have been into photos of old buildings and buildings of small towns. I want to maybe do a photo book on these buildings that surround us here in Colorado. Here are two of my favorite.

Unfortunately there are also lots of dead trees from forest fires last summer. This is sadly something that is common in Colorado, but it only further emphasizes the importance of fire safety and living environmentally friendly. The whole time as I was driving around, I kept thinking, "The trees, the trees! It's not about what is is, but what about it can become." (The Lorax by Dr. Seuss) I am not a tree huger by any means, but I do think we should take care of our Earth, because we only have one, and we won't get another one. I had this wonderful idea spark that I had to expand upon when I got home, and needless to say I loved the outcome.

The best part of all was this field FULL of yellow daisies. It was like something you would see in a movie. Personally, it reminded me of a part in Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dust (I love the cinematography of that movie).
It was better than this!
If possible, it was even prettier then that scene in the movie! I seriously needed to be in a white flower dress prancing around with my basket, heading to my tea party singing the Sound of Music. My family and I switched off photographers and messed with self timer to get these beautiful photos. It is now one of my favorite places in Colorado.

I appreciate the Earth God spent so much time creating for us. Honestly, if we lived in an environment that looked like the planet Mars, it would be so ugly. I think we should be glad that God chose Earth's environment for us! Lol

With Love,
Ciara Ann

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Big "A"

That means Big Apple, geez people. Today I was kinda stumped on what to post about, so I went on a google search hunt. One idea I saw that I really liked was planning my dream trip. What a perfect idea!
People who know me, know that my biggest place I must see before I die is New York City. I know it is still in the country, but something about it just makes me feel giddy and full of excitement. I don't want to go there and make it big because I don't have any singing or acting talent. I just feel like the heart of America is in New York City!
I have $50 saved in my New York fund, so I don't know how soon I will be there, but it is a start. The closest I have ever been is the summer before 5th grade. My grandpa flew me out to New Jersey with him to see where he grew up, and we went and visited the Statue of Liberty. You may be thinking, isn't that New York? But no, NYC and NJ have a long history of fighting over what state it technically belongs in. I could just remember seeing the city and begging for my Grandpa to let us jump on the ferry and go over to the city. He was in a walker, so needless to say it never happened. Being there, seeing it, but not being able to experience it was like getting my teeth pulled out without the good meds.
This is as close as I got. I didn't take this picture, but this is from
the Statue of Liberty. See the torture?! lol
One day I will get there, I will! When I do, it will be everything I dreamed of plus more! So, what would I do in New York City?

Watch the Today Show. Believe or not, this is one of the roots to by obsession with NYC. I would love watching this show every morning when I got ready. I was a rather nerdy kid. I think it would be so cool to be one of those crazy people outside watching the show!

Visit Trump Tower. Yup, another nerdy thing. My childhood love for the Apprentice is to blame for this.

Visit the headquarters of some of the biggest Fashion magazines; 17, Elle, Vogue, Nylon, etc.

Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Feed pigeons in Central Park. (Kinda seems necessary)

Go Clubbing! One thing positive about waiting to go for so long, is now I am old enough to actually experience the night life!

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum, enough said.

Ride a double deck bus to see all the historic, well known places of NYC.

Have a photo shoot with whoever I go with. I can only imagine the overwhelming creativity I will have when I am there. Organizing a photo shoot is a must.

Visit a few more Museums and places ; Skyscraper Museum, Museum of the City of New York, Tribute WTC Grounds, UN Headquarters, Whispering Gallery, NYC Library (to find people's hidden secrets in the postsecrets books)

Have Breakfast at Tiffanys 

Yeah my list is rather long. I know that when I go, I doubt that I will be able to do all these things in one trip, but its a dream trip right?! When I go, I will look my best for the whole time. It is New York City, anything can happen! As I said, it is the heart of America, I mean there is so much history there! There is culture and there is fashion! Art, fashion, history, and politics? What could be better? Oh, thats right. Nothing! Now I have myself all excited about the day I will get there. What is your dream trip? What makes your heart skip a beats at the thought of going?

With Love,
Ciara Ann

Life Lessons

Maybe I like list a little bit too much, but I don't care. I see all of my younger friends posting about today being their last first day of high school. It feels bittersweet to me. In one hand I am glad to be done but in the other THS was the avenue for so many great times that I wish I could continue to live over and over again.
So, what has THS taught me?

  • Universal Acceptance does exist. If the acceptance within the school was carried on throughout the halls, the world would have far less conflicts. Compared to other school, friendships are not built off of looks but on hobbies and personalities. That is the way is should be. Even though everyone has their "clique" they still intermingle with other people. Everyone twines together.
  • Pride is something that doesn't create itself. The level of Trojan pride in those halls is incredible. Let's be honest here, we don't have the best sports team, but that doesn't stop us from bleeding blue. Pride is something that is created, simple enough.
  • You must work hard and play hard. Sometimes when the going gets tough, one must let loose and laugh. The teachers at the school would know when it was time to sit back a little and let us have fun, because we can only take so much work.
  • You can't rewind. You are only in high school once. Spirit days, dances, pep assembly's, and everything else that comes with ends when High School does. Be bold and step outside your comfort zone. Who cares if your the only one who takes western day seriously! You won't be able to rewind back to those moments when you are finally confident enough. Look stupid and have fun doing it.
These are things I will be taking with me, because college will only happen once. I will bring Trojan Acceptance, Trojan pride, Working Hard, Playing Hard, and living in the moment to Idaho with me. All my senior friends, enjoy it! Senior year was the hardest year, but also one of the funnest. The plans you had for next fall will be different than what you graduate with them being. Trust me, just let life take you.

With Love,
Ciara Ann

Monday, August 19, 2013


It is no secret that photography is a hobby of mine. It is something that I know I will always keep pursuing. I started using a small pocket sized camera, and I got pretty good that way. Now with having a DSLR camera the possibilities seem infinite.
I have complained about this before but I really do hate how much stigma my generation creates around photography. Before, film was so expensive making photography an expensive hobby. Now with the instant availability of a camera on any device has made everyone feel like they are a photographer. Instagram sure doesn't help the matter. It just makes me want to improve my portfolio that much more so people can take me seriously and weed me out from the overpopulated field of "photographers."
You see, my favorite type of photography is portraits. It is just the reaction I get from my subject when they see themselves that makes it so worth it. It probably roots back to my mission to increase self worth. Sometimes I really do feel like with a click of a button I am changing how people see themselves, and having that type of potential is just overwhelming. It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite portrait photographers Annie Leibovitz, "Sometimes I enjoy just photographing the surface because I think it can be as revealing as going to the heart of the matter."

A good photograph is one where the viewer can have insight into the soul and personality of the subject I am capturing. This summer I have had some Senior picture jobs. My philosophy of capturing their soul through their external surface has been more prevalent than ever. When their friends, family, classmates, or teachers look back on their senior picture, I want them to remember the internal spirit of that person.
Enough jibber jab, here are some of my favorites from two seniors this year.

Check out my portfolio some time;
With Love,
Ciara Ann

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I'm Going to Call This Place My Home

Today I spent time with a friend taking his senior photos around the Santa Fe art district followed by walking around Denver and just spending time there. I seriously love it there so much, and it makes me sad to leave it. I love cities in general, but sometimes they scare me when I visit other ones. In Denver, I just feel comfortable and young. Denver, or Colorado I should say, really does have my heart invested in it. I think once college is done and I am married, it will be impossible for me not to come back and live in Colorado.
This inspired me to do a post of my favorite things about Colorado. These don't reflect an order because I couldn't pick one over the other.

  1. The Music Scene; Seriously so many great musicians have come from Colorado! It is only bound to happen because music is a big part of Denver. Ranges from Boulder to Denver all have their own venues and set of street performers. More times then not those street performers are pretty awesome.  Even if you go to 16th street, there are pianos everywhere that are open to the public to use. It makes me proud knowing that 3oh!3, The Fray, Neon Trees, OneRepublic, Tickle Me Pink, Breathe Carolina, The Chain Gang of 1974, Flobots, and The Lumineers are all from Colorado. Pretty impressive list I must say. 
  2. Santa Fe Art District; I am so glad that for part of my birthday surprise weekend we got to go walk around down there. Seriously, all of the street art is amazing by itself, let alone the galleries. I finally went on the first Friday of the month, that is when it is really busy and the best, and it was such a cool experience. It isn't just visual arts, but every other type to. Like the performing arts with all the musicians and little acting skits. The culinary arts with all the local unique food trucks. Seriously such a cool experience. Being there just makes you proud to be in Denver, because nothing adds a better sense of community than art. One day I hope I can have a piece on display down there. 
  3. Rocky Mountains; The Mountains are of course another highlight! People are always surprised when I say I love camping. Being around the natural Earth is just so fulfilling. Living in Colorado pretty much allows you to camp somewhere different every time, because the availability is just endless. Like I couldn't imagine living in Kansas, and never having anywhere exciting to camp. It would be awful. 
  4. 16th Street Mall; this is also an amazing place. It is also known as the 16th street mall, as it has the typical retail stores, but it also has this vibe about it. As mentioned earlier they have the pianos but they also have other things. For example they have a huge section of benches to play chess. There is also the varying styles of street performs. I have seen things like banjo players, freak shows, magicians, mimes, and even people meditating. Seriously never a dull moment there.
  5. The Historical Value; Colorado has so many places that are important to National History along with many education experiences. We have Mesa Verde, the Sand Dunes, the Royal Gorge, and the list goes on. Denver is home to where the unsinkable Molly Brown lived after surviving the Titanic. Our museums are incredible too! The Art Museum, the museum of Natural History and Science, the Children Museum, the list could go on. Seriously there is never an opportunity to explore Colorado and not learn a new tidbit of history.

I am so tired now and need to go to bed, but I think a list of 5 is pretty good! Seriously, if you aren't from Colorado and have never took the time to explore, I recommend you come watch a Colorado Sunrise.
With Love,
Ciara Ann

Friday, August 16, 2013


"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow." William Shakespeare
Today after a fundraiser with the Shimmer Sparkle Shine Project, my high school friend group and I hung out, just us. This will be a long time before this happens again, but when I found this quote I knew it was perfect to describe this. You see, I like being around so many types of people, and I really care about all my friends to such a high degree of love. Sometimes people don't take me seriously when I call someone my best friend, because I like saying that about lots of people. The thing is, a best friend doesn't always mean your closest friend. To me it means who are the best friends I could personally have to surround myself with, and to me that is so many people. These people I have memories with, are the best ones I could have done that with. Make sense? Like those memories would have been different with somebody else, because that person's unique personality would have completely set it up for another circumstance. 
I have my three closest friends in the entire world, which are practically my sisters from other misters..and sisters...
Then I have some other close friends and my group I hung out with tonight is who those people are. The quote mentioned above covers our friendship group so well. Marissa and Leandra were apart of my original 'freshman 5' group. Over high school, we had some people separate from us, but the three of us stayed together. Through life Ashley was adopted into the circle. It feels like she was one of the original five though. 
The beauty about this group is that after 4 years of going through high school together, we understand one another pretty darn well. We know who each other entered high school as, compared to the ones we left as. We all changed so much over the 4 years, but we still accepted each other, knowing that people change and need room to flourish themselves. I mean, it's high school. It is going to happen. Since we had this knowledge we somehow stayed true and stayed friends.
Not spending life's little day to day moments with these three girls is going to be weird. Our whole routine of day to day life incorporated each other. Just the 4 of us, eating Basket Robbins was one of those moments where I thought to myself, sometimes we just can't value the the friends who we always have fun with when we are around. Rather we need to value the friends who are there for everything that happens in life, whether they want to be or not, because they see all sides of us. 
Just my thought for the night, so my Taco Bell Hot Sauces; Te Amo <3

With Love, 
Ciara Ann

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Being Thirsty

Thirsty has been my word of the week..or past few weeks. Doesn't matter. Moral of the story is that has been my response for everything while becoming just another reason to laugh and smile with a friend of mine.
There is one type of thirst I want to talk about today though, the thirst to be something greater. Everyday we are told to strive to be our best selves, and the only way we can do that is to have the thirst to be something or do something. Honestly the only way to know what you are "thirsty" for, or even to know what being "thirsty" feels like, is to be deprived or dehydrated of who we are. Without going all religious, I know that on this Earth I am expected to make mistakes, some bigger then others, but in the end it is to learn what satisfies my thirst.
I hope some of this is making sense and just doesn't sound like Buddha and Gandhi's love child throwing up. Even if you are making mistakes right now, or trying to recover from some, it's okay! Eventually you will learn that you can't run yourself on empty without anything that personally satisfies you to something greater. We can only learn what that greater is if we experience what the less than great is.

There has been this new app or website I have been addicted to called stumbled upon. Seriously, it is better then Pinterest if that is even possible. Through it I came across this website that had "50 Secrets" to life. Number 9 was to drink plenty of water. Its reason being was the whole soda may taste good thing. but it is full of sugar and bad chemicals for your body. If you think about it, it can be applied to what I am saying here. We may think that bad choices are pure and just as hydrating for our body, but in all reality they aren't. When saying this, I am not just meaning drugs and alcohol but rather anything that takes away your attention from being you. In the end, only water can cure your "thirst". So I challenge whoever is reading this, if you don't know what your thirst is for and what can solve it, then go for it!

To my friend, who is re hydrating his life, I couldn't be prouder of you. As long as you stay #thirsty I'll be right beside you to help. Actually, that goes for all my friends. No joke.

I think I have done being all philosophical now.
Find the #thirst my friends!

With Love, 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mambo N. 5! Top 5 Memories of Summer

People are leaving for school or getting ready to do so. My life is now in focus of school as well, and what I need to do to be on my own in less then a month. Rather that focus on all this chaos, I should reflect on my summer of 2013 and what my top five favorite memories were. The countdown begins....

5. Girls State 
I love how so many girls can come together and leave as sisters or best friends. I think it is rare for a camp to teach you so much and keep you so busy while allowing time to make friends. Being a JC this year was so rewarding in allowing to give back to the program I enjoyed so much the year previously. I didn't know I meant something to the girls till the last day or so, and just for those kind words, I would do it all over again. I can't forget to mention the other JCs that made sure no conversation went without a laugh.

4. Paint Twister
Playing paint twister was something I saw on Pinterest when I first got one a few years ago or so now. I was determined to do it! My parents tried to make it too thought out but sometimes it doesn't matter, you just go for it. Now I may have been made to try and scrap off the extra green paint from the sidewalk from when we came back from the park (we played the actual game at the park) but it was still worth it. Seriously there isn't an excuse everyday to get covered in paint.

3. My Senior Trip
My original Freshman 5 group had planned and known that we were going on a Senior trip after we graduated since the summer after freshman year. The location may have changed a few times, a few friends drifted from our circle while we gained some at the same time. It didn't matter, we had a will so we found a way and we packed our bags and enjoyed our new freedom in Orlando Florida. From the amusement park rides to watching Girl Code in the hotel room I enjoyed my time with the 4 people who I spent most of my day to day high school years with.

2. Christmas In July
When my family is all together there is never a dull moment. It is literally like watching the butterfly effect in person. When one person laughs, another one does and so on and so on. Once it gets started, it never ends. Konner was there as usual, because any family gathering includes him. Our special guest this year was Draven. Between the snickers and laughs exchanged between the 3 of us, it was a really great night. With it being the last time all of us saw my Aunt Tammy, the silly occasion blew up to mean so much more.

1. Tracks/ Village Inn
I have said for a long time that when I turned 18 I was going to hit the Denver Club Scene, and I kept to my word. As promised and said years ago, Konner became my clubbing buddy. We tried a few we didn't like and others we did. Tracks was of course our favorite and we took one of our favorite people with us. When the three of us are together there is never a dull moment, seriously I laugh so much that my belly is sore for days. Between being #thirsty on the dance floor and #thirsty at Village Inn this was the best night of summer. That night was very similar, if not exact to what I have pictured being an "adult" out of high school was like.

I keep saying the term "adult" here, and I mean it loosely. They say that age is just a number, and that is very true. Some legally aged "adults" could have the mental capacity of a 5th grade. It makes me think of this conference I went to this summer in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a bunch of religious leaders from all walks of faith. The rabbi was talking about words that exist in English, but not in Hebrew. Adolescents was one of them. In Hebrew you are either a kid or you are an adult. Adolescents is a term in modern society that allows you to give yourself the title of "adult" while still acting like a kid. This term may be the downfall for many public figures and other's lives. I can't help but to ponder what category I fall in if adolescents doesn't exist. I don't want to be a kid, and I believe that with some aspects I am far beyond the capacity of a child. In the same token, I want to be an adult and I am in some ways, but in other ways I'm way below par. Does this mean I need to suck it up and become that "adult" or do I just except that I am still a kid and have some experiences that need to happen first. All that I know is that I don't want to be in that adolescents category, but I don't know which one of the others I fall into. It is that point of my life where time will be the decider of which one I fall into.
With Love,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Reason for the Title...

This blog used to be called "Fashion, Fun and Myself." Kinda lame if you ask me. My senior year took me for a whirlwind of work that never let me have time to do things like blog. Since I am going to college, BYUI, I thought that I should get back into the blogging world again.
These changes are tough for me right now. As my family keeps telling me, "it is just the end of one chapter." You know what, they are right. It is ultimately the mystery of the unknown blank pages that lay before me that scare me. I think that filling these "blank" pages up will not only benefit my family/friends at home, but myself as well. Most know that my favorite song lyrics from my favorite band is "We all have a story to tell," and between my jam sessions this summer of He is We and Natasha Beningfeild's anthem on growing up, "Unwritten", I couldn't think of a better name for my blog.

Within the past 2 weeks I have had to say some really hard goodbyes. Two were expected, and one was not. Having two out of my three best friends live on the other side of the country is a thought that has worn me down mentally, but I was told that it isn't goodbye but a see you later. With the unexpected passing of my Aunt Tammy two weeks ago, I worry that maybe a see you later won't cut it. She was my Mom's best friend, and they still had many years to go, and life experiences to share together, but all of it was lost just over night. The role it is playing on my mom is scary, and I have become afraid that my see you laters will turn into goodbyes without my permission. I don't mean I think everyone is going to die off, but that life may take us in different places. I think what if all these difference scenarios happen, and my kids won't be able to experience the same love I experienced from my Uncle Byron, Aunt Tammy, etc with their Auntie Bruna, Uncle Konner, or crazy Aunt Anna.

Giving Bruna and Konner their farewells hugs was a mix of 10000 different emotions and thoughts. There was the obvious terror of the future, the sadness, distance that will be between us, but there were also the over-flooding levels of gratitude that I was trying to fit into that one hug.
I was trying to say thank you for being there for me, thank you for letting me attach myself to you, thank you for living the memories with me, thank you for the laughter that will cause me to live twice as much longer.
To Bruna, my biggest thanks was, 'thank you for being the friend who reminded me to stay on the straight and narrow path when I would occasionally loosen my grip, thank you for being my sister in Zion.'
My thanks to Konner? 'Thank you being apart of my life at a time when I most needed it. Because we were so much alike, I discovered that all the love I had for you are some of the same reason I should love myself. Thank you for, unknowingly, healing those wounds I had from the younger years, and showing me what a difference one person can do in your life."
I don't know if all this (^^^^) was communicated via osmosis in my last hug with each of them, but I would like to think it went as the saying goes, "Silence speaks when words can't."

These are just the start of the "see you laters" that are to come, along with the start of the self discoveries I will be sharing. This summer has been pretty great for that. I have surprised myself on who I have spent most of my summer with, but that's why there were blank pages at the start of summer.
The lessons from making a new friend to the lessons of never giving up on one will be shared soon enough. As I have always said, my job is to love and support whoever comes into my life. It may not be easy, but it is a journey I would gladly take with anyone.

This post was simple for the first one, but the ones too come will be a testament to my start of adulthood. I wanted to leave you with a song. I wanted to make a mix-tape all Perks of Being a Wallflower style for Konner when he leaves. (Still waiting for my tunnel moment...but I bet we will have plenty of chances for that) This song was directed towards for him, but in a way it is for all those who worry about what the unpredictable future has on our friendship. This is to Konner, Bruna, the newer friend, the friend I never lost hope on, and all those in between. I'll be there for you because I know you will be for me too; Count on Me by Bruno Mars.

With Love,