Reflection Letter on Rhetoric Rationale

Once again, addressed specifically to Lauren Matthews:

This letter entails my opinion of my success in two of my essays.

The first, “Stars & Stripes, Butterflies & Fireworks: A Story Of Love Untold”, is a descriptive narrative and true story from my own life. My purpose in writing is to tell a story in a descriptive kind of way, and, well, I believe I did just that. My audience is for anyone and everyone that happened to come across this paper, my purpose for them to enjoy my writing—I think I survived that qualification as well.

In your own comments to me, you wrote: “Lovely, clear sentences. You are really playing around with voice and I really appreciate it.” Voice is something I worked on a lot in this paper. It being a true story, I really wanted my reader to go away feeling like they knew me, like my thoughts connected with them, like any other paper written by Abbey Morrison would be recognizable, because “that’s how she writes”. Overall my tone is reflective and almost whimsical I would say—any dream unlived but most desired should sound like a repetitive thought whispered in your mind almost like a secret, in my opinion. And that’s how I wrote “Stars & Stripes, Butterflies & Fireworks: A Story Of Love Untold”.

The second paper I choose to discuss is my issue paper, “High School and College: A Letter To My Adolescent Friends Titled ‘How Dare You Think You’re Life Is Hard’”. It is apparent that my audience is to high school students. My purpose in writing was to let them know what I thought of their struggles verses mine. I think my argument is effective because I’m honestly afraid to show this essay to any high school friend that I have for fear that they will get super offended. But if they did read it, I think it would convince them that their high school issues are ludicrous and miniscule in comparison to a college student’s.

Again, I used my voice loudly throughout this piece. A ten-page paper couldn’t be exciting if I wrote with no emotion, so writing about something that actually bugged me made it easier to get my point across and make actual arguments that I had a passion for. I used metaphors to add creativity, I used personal insights for credibility, and I inserted lots of relatable quotations, including one of my own from a blog post of mine. This paper was one of my favorites to write because I was able to write and hold nothing back—my opinion was the only one that mattered in this paper and I was able to express everything I wanted to without interruption: that is the beauty of writing. No one can stop you.

These two papers were the two I was most invested in. Writing for myself is a lot easier than writing for any other cause.

Advertisements

Reflection Letter on Writing Process

To all English & writing teachers in general, but more specifically, Lauren Matthews:

In any writing class, for me it’s always about patience. I recall a year ago when I was in a creative writing class, my teacher never explained anything, but let us go loose on whatever the syllabus said we had to do. See, I already knew how to write. Thinking I’d get more help on the subject though, I signed up for that class, only to receive nothing and use what I already knew to get the A.

So am I a bad writer for never having a good teacher?

College has a funny way of twisting your view and opinion of yourself. You come in thinking you’re great at something, only to learn you’re actually quite mediocre compared to the rest of the world. And so it was with my writing skills this semester at Snow College.

I came in thinking I knew a lot, and honestly I got bored because in every writing class I’ve taken—all the rules of grammar, of MLA, of using voice, of being creative—are so redundant. But to my surprise, I was humbled: I learned something this time around. I’ve learned that not everybody can understand my thought process, that I actually have confusing paragraphs, and, despite how organized I am outside of the classroom, my papers sometimes suggest otherwise. These are things I can continue to work on as I continue to write, because there’s always room for improvement.

Throughout this writing class, English 2010, I have written a rhetorical analysis towards Amy Chua and her ineffective argument that Chinese parenting is superior; a descriptive narrative on the best day to be had filled with stars & stripes, food and fireworks and car rides; a research paper about the injustice of slavery and the poor ignorance of third world girls that don’t know any better; and lastly, an issue paper (in my previous blog post) about high school and college and which one inevitably brings more genuine tears.

(I get that that was a huge and long sentence, but I used semi-colons, so I should be good, yeah? I like long sentences.)

I’ve learned this year that I am an okay writer. In all honesty, my sixteen-year-old brother is probably better than I am. But contrary to what this course syllabus has taught about the strict rules of writing, I will still enjoy writing most with my voice and my sass in all its glory; this class hasn’t changed me, but I can see improvement.

Thank you, Captain.

High School and College: A Letter to My Adolescent Friends Titled “How Dare You Think Your Life is Hard”

My dear high school friends:

How is it over in that small, single building of yours? You wake up every morning, go to roughly four classes a day, see all of your friends in the hallway or in English or math, go to lunch and fill your grumbling stomachs, then either go home to hang out with friends or go to work to earn money as soon as the last bell rings. Hardly a bad life now, is it? You high schooler’s have such simple lives—you don’t realize how lucky you’ve got it. You think high school is hard? Wait till you’ve been to college.

Here in college I pull myself out of bed, get myself ready, and sometimes have time for breakfast. I then go to 5-7 classes, depending on the day, from 8:30am to 5:30 or 7:30pm, and that’s just class time, not even time for me to do homework. In the evenings I spend all my time in the library, doing homework and reading assignments, trying to balance what assignments I should get done first, because in college, timing is everything. I don’t have a lunch break, unless I’m lucky enough to find time to run home and make myself a sandwich, if I haven’t run out of bread yet. There is literally no time for “hanging out” during the week—to do so would be ludicrous and, frankly, a waste of time. Sure, being in school for six hours a day isn’t that great, but at least you have time to yourself for the rest of the day. In college, that doesn’t exist. Not if you’re like me.

Now, there are college students that make their schooling a joke. With three to five classes total, they come to think they have all the time in the world; that most definitely leads to poor time management, and soon enough they’re not doing too hot. On the other hand, there are college students (like my sister, for example) who always attend their classes, then spend the rest of their day studying in the library either by themselves or in study groups. These are students you can tell are dedicated to their work and want to be here in college. They have the right motivation and a love of learning. Although it means constant work, I bet they’d tell you that no matter how difficult it may be, it’s worth it.

In my limited experience, college has taught me more about life than high school ever did. Perhaps that is because I’m away from home, and when that happens, life lessons come faster than your head cheerleader can get a new boyfriend. In college, everything comes at a fast pace—due dates, tests, the entire curriculum in general, friendships, relationships, food—and leaves at an even faster pace in many cases. College is definitely a wake up call to evaluate what your priorities are and what they should be. It’s a realization that good things have to be earned and are not simply given out on a silver platter. College is a time of self-discovery, a glorious time where it doesn’t matter what people think, because honestly, everyone is so focused on their own lives to judge you anyway.

High school is hard. I’ve been there, I know. If your appearance isn’t up to par then the “cool” kids will look down on you. If you aren’t funny enough, no one will want your company, unless you’re an extremely attractive human being. If you don’t have anything to give, people and so-called friends will usually push you aside for someone better and more convenient. If you go a day without make-up, everyone thinks you’re having boy problems (which embarrassingly enough, is probably true, that or you just didn’t wake up in time to get ready—also embarrassing). If you follow the rules, you’re considered a goody-two-shoes. If you don’t have a social life, you don’t have a life at all. If you don’t have clever captions on your Instagram posts, why are you even posting anything? If you’re a student body officer, that jacket is your trophy and the whole basis of your self-worth and life purpose revolves around just that; everyone without a jacket is beneath you and should feel privileged that you give them any time of day. If you don’t play sports or have friends that play sports, you aren’t popular. If you are in drama, no one knows the reality of your hard work and devotion because no one seems to care about drama besides whoever is in drama. Now, I know I’m totally stereotyping, but bruh, high school is the supreme factory for creating stereotypes. You do this every day, my high school students. You worry about falling into stereotypes and categories that fellow classmates might put you in.

So what do you do?

You pretend. You try to fit in. Soon enough, you don’t know who you are. Wonder why people say college is for self-discovery? You gotta find yourself under that high school mask. In an essay by Michael Davidson, he wrote about the idea of a “social mask” and living in stereotypes:

“Some people will only accept you if you act in a particular way. But everyone has different expectations and desires of how other people should behave, so by pleasing any one person you are neglecting others… It takes a lot of energy to pretend to be someone you’re not. Yes, the social mask comes ‘automatically’. But it’s tiring to keep up your persona. You can’t relax when you need to constantly second-guess your thoughts and actions. Over time, this really takes its toll on you… The purpose of your social mask is to please other people. The problem is that it helps you please the wrong people.” (Davidson)

Basing yourself on the stereotypes won’t help you. You poor high school kids think that fitting in is the most important thing in this life—fitting in and being accepted.

Your priorities are a far cry from what mine are, due to experiences with being out of high school. Living in college forces you to grow up and look at life a little differently. After you graduate, you won’t have that comfortable pillow that is your friend group to lean back on. You and your friends will go your separate ways, and you’ll be surprised with how distant you will become with some of the people you were so sure would be your friends throughout your entire life. You might even look back and wonder why you even considered them to be friends.

This next excerpt from an article online describes almost perfectly what I think of when I reflect on myself and my acquaintances in high school:

“One of the priorities of teenagers nowadays is the psychological priority. This priority includes fame, love, and ego. Teenagers always wanted to become popular because they think that there is a need to be. Youths are attention-seekers and they always wanted to be admired by others. They show off their talents and skills in order for them to be appreciated. Due to the advancement of the technology, teens use social networking sites to mingle with their friends and colleagues. They display their talents on the Internet sites for them to be noticed by others, to express themselves and to become famous. In their young age, they get easily attached because of love. Majority of the teenagers today early get into relationships. They fall in love easily when someone shows them extra care and love. Ego sometimes causes us to follow the wrong path.” (Phenrosales)

Have you forgotten there are people that truly care for you? Don’t you realize that you are someone’s priority? Not in a romantic sense—it’s not a temporal thing—but you’re a priority in the sense that they would do anything for you. Whoever you call family, ever notice how they’re there the instant you let them be? A lot of high school students take their families for granted. Once you’re in the real world, you learn really quickly who’s really there for you and will be a permanent part of your life. In high school it’s all about your image—about your face, your hair, your clothes, the people you associate yourself with—and then suddenly you’re in college and none of that matters.

Priorities can be set selfishly. In high school during my senior year, I started to come out of my All-About-Me Coma, something that happens to teenagers when their self-image is what matters above all other things. I was trying to comprehend how high school relationships work—they seemed so dispensable and so quickly discarded if need be. In an earlier blog post I wrote during high school, I compared the two variables of a relationship: giving and taking. How much do we give and how much do we take? Specifically in high school, what must the balance be in high school relationships if they so easily fall apart?

“[I] decided the percentage is higher in the ‘take’ category. All [high school relationships are] is taking. That boy doesn’t hold that girl’s hand just cause he wants to make her feel loved and special… the main reason is cause it feels good and he likes it. It makes him feel good. High school kids don’t give hugs, they take hugs. It’s a lot about… instant gratification… Do these high school couples really care about each other or do they just care about the feelings they get from hugging, holding hands, kissing, etc.? If it’s all taking for pleasure, for satisfaction, if that boy would be perfectly fine holding hands or hugging or kissing anyone else, then it must be all about taking.” (Morrison)

This world isn’t just yours to rule. There is a responsibility you must take with the people here in it. Life isn’t just about having fun, or about instant gratification; it’s about learning and being the best human being you can be. Is that taught at all in high school? Maybe a little in the learning department, but even there it’s scarce nowadays.

It’s really easy to graduate high school. In fact, it’s more difficult to not graduate. The real struggle is once you get to college and you actually have to work hard to get a good grade. In college, professors expect so much more of you—you actually have to do the reading in order to get by, you should take notes during class, and the library literally becomes your home away from home—just to receive an acceptable grade. You pay for everything yourself—from tuition to books to apartments to food to other living essentials—to even be there to have the opportunity to go to school.

My mom always says, “There isn’t enough time in a day!” to which I always would roll my eyes. Little did I know that this phrase would become far more applicable in my own life. For example, here I am, writing this essay on why high school isn’t as hard as college. The clock reads 11:16pm, which surprises me because I got to the library at 7:30pm. All I’ve been working on is this paper and I still have physics homework, a paper to write for my beginning conducting class, theory homework, song practice for my voice lessons, music to memorize for my choir concert next week, a test in the morning I haven’t yet had time to study for because my professor didn’t tell us about it till three hours ago, and those are all obligations, not even things I want to do. It’s impossible to accomplish everything in one day—don’t believe me, come try it out yourself. It’s hard to strike a balance between wants and needs. Stress is ever constant because homework is never done, sleep is never long enough, and I feel guilty for any social excursion I find myself taking part in because I know I still have loads to do.

Everything moves so quickly, in fact, that you don’t have time to be something you’re not. Friends come fast, and people decide right away if you’re worth their time or not. If you aren’t yourself, I doubt your friendship will last long. If you want anything to last beyond college, you’ll need to work hard and be genuine. That statement doesn’t apply to friendship, but the whole scheme of what you do while at school—work, classes, grades, relationships, and so on. You’ve got to pace yourself and learn what you want to make time for.

There isn’t enough time in a day. Like I said, everything in college moves at a fast pace. In college, there are lengthy assignments due every other day for multiple classes. Semesters are shorter and class times are shorter than those in high school, and yet more material is covered in college classes. If you don’t study, you will not do well, I guarantee. There is no free time in class to do assignments, because college really does believe in homework.

My dear high school friends, you’re going to look back a year or two from now, laugh at your pathetic problems, and wonder why anything so small once stressed you out. In high school your struggles include cramming for due dates, having multiple assignments at once, staying up late to finish last minute projects, getting your heart broken, not being cool enough, not fitting in, not having enough money to go out, getting anything less than an A. It all seems hard now, but just wait.

In college, there will be days where you think you’ve got everything under control until you suddenly have six new assignments due all within the next week. You’re gonna regret taking a break from homework and not getting your science lab finished a day early when something more urgent comes up the next day. Wait for the day when you figure out that it’s actually impossible to finish everything you have to do in one day; you’ve been up since seven and it’s near midnight and you’re still in the library. You might miss your sweetheart for a while, but such a flimsy relationship wasn’t meant to last anyway. Just wait until that one shining moment when you’ll learn how much a heart can really feel, but then you must try to walk away when they change their mind. Being cool and fitting in won’t matter, because in college, you are literally “too busy to care what people think” (Hoyt). Wait until you don’t have enough money to buy even just the essentials, and have to pick and choose what you actually need. Getting anything close to an A is a good call and proves you worked hard, but an actual A? Now that’s dedication and something to be extremely proud of. Wait until your future is resting in your hands and you are fully responsible for the outcome. It all seems hard now, but you just wait.

The popular and talented singer, Taylor Swift, wrote one of her songs about her high school experience. This song is one that I relate to well. One thing I didn’t realize until just recently listening to it was her last chorus. Swift used it to sing from an adult’s point of view, talking to the girl who is beginning her own journey into high school. She says in her song “Fifteen”:

“’Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you/you’re gonna believe them/And when you’re fifteen, don’t forget to look before you fall/I’ve found time can heal most anything/And you might just find who you’re supposed to be/I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at fifteen” (Swift)

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

Me, on the left, at my high school graduation, May 2015

Not to rain on your parade, but life gets a lot harder after high school. You think you’re on top right now and that you’ve got a lot figured out. Really you’re still at ground zero. Remember this when you’re in college. You’ll look back at all of your friends and acquaintances still in high school and cringe when they tell you their struggles, because really it’s not as bad in comparison to your workload and stress level. College is much harder than high school. Don’t wanna take my word for it? Try it yourself.

 

Update (8 Photos Worth) #4

I’M BACK. haha

1. Every Sunday we have what Weston calls Jesus Night… We make waffles or pancakes and watch a church movie! It’s a fun tradition. (Buuuut in this specific picture I was sick and felt so awful. But Kels stayed with me while everyone went to the fireside and we had the best talk, something I really, really needed. I love Kelsie)

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

2. Near the beginning of the semester, we went sledding and it was fun but then I ripped my NEW coat… and my pants… and my back. Who knew sledding could be so dangerous? I really like these people though. That day was really fun, despite we being super bitter about my ripped clothing and body…… haha (I have a scar. Cool, right?)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

3. If you wanna discuss Star Wars, relationships, funny stories, music, or basically anything else you can think of, Geoff is your guy. This picture was from our date to the Girls Choice Institute Dance. For our pre-dance part of the date, the girls made a “homemade photobooth”. It was my idea (not to brag hehe) and I was so so proud and happy that everyone loved it so much! It really was a blast!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

4. If you don’t have choir friends, what’s the point in choir? Madeline & Faith here are super cute and fabulous. Madeline is one of my best friends at Snow College and I’m so grateful that I see her every day!

Processed with VSCOcam with acg preset

5. If you didn’t know… this is Aneisa. This picture is silly, but so are we. She is my favorite person to talk to, my favorite person to laugh with, my favorite person to be with. Basically she’s my number 1. And I am so grateful that I have her in my life! Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t chosen Snow, but then I stop thinking cause if I hadn’t come here I wouldn’t have met my best friend.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

6. Another great thing about Snow College is my sister Kelsie. WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT HER. I don’t know. She is such an amazing example to me, and she loves me!! She is such a good friend to me and for that I will be forever indebted to her. She is the greatest sister on this whole planet. So caring and kind. (This picture was from when we went shopping for our Girls Choice Date. So much stuff!)

0204kashopping

7. So……. I have never been SO excited about Valentines Day or SO happy about getting mail. This smile is real life genuine because in that moment I couldn’t believe that I’d gotten the CUTEST VALENTINE EVER. :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Processed with VSCOcam with acg preset

8. I got to go home FINALLY! It was a long time not seeing my family, almost two months…. Connor got his Eagle! And I am so proud of him! That weekend was so so so so good. I love Brother. (also love temple trips with Jill and facing fears and family dinner and visiting Josh and hugs and good talks and Nate and my parents)

Processed with VSCOcam with acg preset

These are the fun moments. I don’t have more pictures because I’m ALWAYS IN CLASS OR IN THE LIBRARY. College is hard. But the good times make it worth it.

-Abbs

 

Update (10 Photos Worth) #3

Obviously I’m really creative cause my last three blog posts have just been pictures and explanations of them… I don’t have much time for anything else. But.. enjoy!

1. This photo is too cute… haha! This is Cody, Kenz, Aneisa, me, & Regis before the football game messing around with Elysa’s camera. Notice how someone decorated our hallway? It’s awesome! 0926ckaarSQ

2. Cody is a cool kid. Elysa & I respect him so much! He’s so funny and is so nice to everyone and we love it. Elysa & I actually went with Cody to his house in Nephi on Sunday and it was really cool! His family is super nice and way good at cooking. ;) It was nice having a change of scenery from Ephraim but staying with the same people… ya know? 0922codyeaSQ

3. Aneisa is AWESOME. She loves cute photos and she loves me too so it’s a win-win. ;) This picture is from our drive up the canyon with Cody & Regis.0926aneisaabbs

4. Me & Kels before the homecoming dance. (Did I mention this week was homecoming week?) She was so so excited for her date and it was so cute! Aneisa lent me her fabulous dress cause Kelsie & Elysa were borrowing mine. I love my sister, she’s got the greatest smile!0926seesters5. We went on a Frazil Run (drove all the way to Manti) at like 11 at night. It was super fun and reminded me a lot of home! I love frazils. :) Being able to start the tradition down here with my new friends is super exciting. New place, new memories. But still a bit of home.0924frazilrunSQ6. FAM. Yes, we purposely wore matching shirts for this photo. And isn’t it great? The football game was SO HOT though. I wasn’t feeling as cute as I did in this picture by that point in the day. ;) 0926fam7. Up in the canyon again. Regis wanted to take some “date” photos. About 50 takes later and this is what we got! hahaPicMonkey Collage8. On Sunday, Josh facetimed me!! My family that lives in Colorado went to visit him (Grandma and Allie’s family–that’s actually Tanner standing behind Josh in the screenshot). They were so excited! haha But I mostly talked Josh and I loved that. Even if things were different and he was still at BYU, I like to think that I would call him up or text him every now and then to tell him about my life, just like I did in high school. He’s such a great friend and I’m so so grateful for his positivity and kindness. He’s the best.0927facetimewithjosh9. The homecoming dance was CRAZY. It played upbeat music the entire time and so for the whole dance we were bouncing and going nuts! It was SO HOT and we were all so sweaty but hey it was a good time! I’m glad I got to go with all of these kids. Love love love my “fam”. :)0926homecomingSQ10. Sunday Drive with Regis, and turns out I knew where this lake was all along, I’d just forgotten… hahaha And the whole reason we kept going up the canyon this week was to find it! That was a funny moment when we figured out that I actually knew this lake existed. We skipped rocks and talked about our lives… Regis’ record was nine skips, mine was six (which I was SO excited about). Grateful that he’s my new friend!0927foundthelake

Update (10 Photos Worth) #2

1. We LOVE our roommates!!! Kenzie just got her mission call to France! We are so proud and so excited for her!
0904yayKenzSQ

2. My mom and dad are my heroes. Dad makes me laugh and Mom gives the BEST advice in the world. I love them so much. Being away makes me appreciate them even more. It made my heart hurt a little bit when Dad stood in the middle of the road and waved goodbye until he couldn’t see us anymore when Kels & I were leaving Lewiston on Labor Day to go back to school. I really have the best parents.0907myparents

3. Connor is and always will be the most important boy in my life. The best thing about it is that I’ve got him forever no matter what. And I am SO grateful for that!! I love him and miss him more than anything.0907brotherSQ

4. Josh asked me to come visit him and that was truly a blessing to be able to get to see him. I brought him this ring that he made me back in sophomore year that I kept forever. But yeah so when I visited I just told him all about college and it was so fun to chat and just be myself and be able to talk to someone without them getting mad or interjecting… haha Josh is a great friend… 0906joshua

5. Meet our friend Cody… he’s had staples in his head and has fractured his hip all in two weeks and still keeps us laughing. What a champ. haha!FullSizeRender

6. Forever and ever grateful for my very best friend Elysa. We are super cute so that just adds to the amount of love I have for us. 0915provo

7. This picture is from my third visit with Josh, the night before he went to Colorado actually. It was super awesome getting to see him again and he was so upbeat and positive I couldn’t help but feel it too! I love this kid so so much. He has helped me in so many ways, especially during our senior year. He’s amazing.0915joshandmeSQ

8. What do you do when you don’t have plans? Steal Cody’s hat and take photos by the gravitee wall that’s what. hahaha These girls are so much fun. :)IMG_5531

9. This is my FAM. We really call each other that… haha It’s so fun having them around to hang out with! From left to right: Regis, Kenz, me, Aneisa, Elysa, and Cody. I love love these friends! Hopefully they stick around a while.IMG_5551

10. Forever my favorite girls. We’ve lived together for a month and we know basically everything about each other already and I absolutely love it. :) FullSizeRender_1

Update (10 Photos Worth)

An update is definitely needed. I have relocated to the lovely city (town?) of Ephraim, Utah. And I have been an official college student for about a week now? Kinda weird… This whole summer has led up to this… And now here I am. 145 miles away from home at Snow College.

1. Nate came the morning I left to give me a letter and to say bye. No matter what happens in my life, I will ALWAYS be grateful for and remember fondly the Johansen family. Nate is one of the best kids I know and I am so so glad he is a part of my life.0815abbsnateSQ

2. My family is the best part of me. Their goodbye was the hardest. I sure do love them forever and forever. I LOVE technology and the fact that Mom has already had to help me with Theory homework… I’m so blessed and even being gone for only a week has given me a better appreciation for my family and all they do for me. Can’t wait for Labor Day Weekend.0815lovemyfamSQ 3. Connor became one of my best friends senior year. I now understand Savannah’s frustration when she’d tell me he was really bad at texting back… he really is. I miss being able to talk to him whenever I wanted to. The awesome thing is that no matter what happens, no matter what friends come and go, I’ve got him forever. 0815sunshine 4. FaceTime is so fun and talking to Randy last Sunday made me SO HAPPY! Miss him.0816facetimerandy5. Fin stopped by for a visit on Monday night. We went to dinner and then got some frozen yogurt and it was such a good night. I love family and I love Fin and I’m so so glad he decided to come down. :)
0817finfinfin 6. Shoutout to us for both looking fabulous on our first day of school. ;) I really really wanted the typical First Day of School Picture to send to our moms. We were soooo excited at how much our social media sites liked this picture. haha 0819firstdayofschoolSQ 7. The movie we were watching on Friday got a little boring, so I decided to make us a doormat out of chalk…0821mydoormat8. … and then this guy told me if I wanted to I could make him a doormat too… so of course I told all of my roommates and at 2 in the morning we decided to leave this in front of his door. 0821doormat

9. One of the most exciting things ever was having these guys come down. I don’t know how thrilled they were to be at our apartment when they still had a long drive home, but it made me so happy! I’m super excited for them to start their school year and can’t wait to hear all about it. :)0821stansburyBOYS 10. I’m really really really glad that Kels is here at college with me. I’m hoping going to the temple becomes a weekly thing, and I’m looking forward to becoming better friends with my sissy.0822mantitempleSQ

July 4th

You know those days that are just so perfect you wish you could freeze every moment from them to keep forever? 

I’m a picture girl. I like to have pictures of everything, proof of what I do I guess. 

But I didn’t get a single picture today. 

It was one of the best days I’ve had this summer and I didn’t get a single picture. 

It’s a good thing I’ll always remember how much I love early mornings and simple conversations, snow cones and family, laughing and the feeling of utmost admiration, air conditioning and the small stress of driving on dirt roads, being needed and being valued and being appreciated, compliments and hugs, and the aura of adventure: the I’ve-never-done-this-before-but-I-think-I-love-it kind of feeling. 

I’ll never forget this July 4th. 

May 1st

Donuts, friends, cupcakes, passing grades, laughing, siblings, car washes, pictures, favorite dinner, presents, cake, shopping, coloring, movie theaters, drives at night, swinging on the swings, good talks, hugs. 

Perfect way to start my year. #eighteen

  

Stars

Prom was one of the most carefree & fun days I’ve had in a long time. I loved loved loved that I went with Nate! He’s one fantastic friend. :) He made me feel so beautiful.