oh right, resolutions

it's 53 minutes into the new year, and i need to list out my resolutions/goals to work on for the next 12 months. I've been thinking about things I've wanted to improve on over the last few days and I have quite a list. Most of these goals are a lot more...i want to say physical, but i don't think that is quite the word i am looking for. 2009 goals had a lot more to do with improving myself emotionally/as a person. Most of 2010 goals have to do with my daily life and things I want to achieve in a more tangible way...

ANYWAY! here we go:

1. Eat healthier/lose some weight/work out:
I need to do all of this to A: make my knee last longer B: try to help with hip problems and C: feel better about myself. I plan on trying to go swimming once a week and getting back into my 50 crunches before bed routine. Also. MORE VEGGIES/FRUITS THIS SEMESTER
2. Follow my budget/be financially stable:
I even made a spreadsheet yesterday outlining my income and where everything needed to
go. Now I just need to STICK TO IT and stay organized.
3. Read a lot more. 2-3 books a month that are not required for school
Reading Dear John now. in the following weeks I have lined up: Wicked, The Picture of
Dorian Grey and Brave New World.
4. Buy a Digital SLR.
My budget includes setting aside money every month for the chelsie camera fund. It may take me a long while, but i decided that it will be worth it.
5. Three A's in the winter semester, and bring my GPA up to a 3.5 by the end of the year
6. Start every morning with a prayer.
I have been really good at saying my night prayers, but morning is never a go for me
7. Work on trust issues.
Try to not clam shut with new people, but know where the line is about giving out too much information
8. Go some place I haven't been before
9. Be genuine.
For some reason, I have really wanted to work on coming across as a genuine person. I think that is because my favorite kind of people are genuine ones, but also because I want people to love me for me instead of some alteration of me that I might revert to in order to gain acceptance. This goes hand in hand with trust issues though.
10. Write letters/emails frequently to my missionaries, especially Mike and Brett.
I do not want to get caught up in my own life and let them slip away. I miss them so much.
11. Floss.
My dentist said that i need to work on this.
12. Take care of myself better, physically and emotionally. Know when to say when.
13. Learn to accept my flaws and understand that people who can't don't matter.
this is on going.

Okay. there they are. goals and resolutions for the new year.


bring it on.

2009 in review













Words can not describe how much I have learned this year, mostly about myself. I am so thankful for that, and for the person I am becoming.
I don't know what 2010 holds for me, but I am excited to see where it will take me.

happy new years!



She's seven and she's been fighting since she was three. She loves Bon Jovi and my little pony and Hannah Montana. and her options are running out. She's seven.

Mary has been one of my favorite little girls and one of my inspirations to keep pushing forward. I met her at the beginning of her fight and while I have found my cure (hopefully), hers hasn't been found yet. Her options are running out. Her mom posted the following on her carepage the other day:

Mary: mom, when I die, will you put all of my American Girls and their stuff at my grave? And whitey (her blankie) too? I will miss whitey.

Me: Well I think that you can have this conversation with your own kids b/c I plan to head to heaven long before you?

Mary: Ok. (pause) But what if they can't fix my cancer and I die? Pinky swear ok?

Something I struggle with constantly is watching my friends who are younger then me not have a cure. It makes me feel almost guilty for being alive and healthy and living my life while my beautiful friends are still fighting; or who have already lost the fight. They have so much to live for, and so much to give and I know that whatever happens is part of the plan, and that I need to have faith and trust that things will be okay, but still.

If I have to watch another one lose the fight...


a content moment

there is almost nothing more beautiful or peaceful to me then to sit in my favorite chair with a favorite book and a purring kitty in my lap, in front of the smoldering fire in the wood stove of my quite living room while the chilly winter wind howls outside, here in the heart of New Hampshire.

There are moments in my life when the only word to describe how I am feeling is the word "content". These moments are so rare and far and few in between; so precious to me.

This moment, right now, is one of them.

and I am reminded that no matter what happens, life continues to be beautiful.


success of today:

bought a new coat.
cut my sisters hair.
watched my new movie
talked to Symone for the first time since break.
made plans to see 9 people in the next four days.
still finding peace...in the most unlikely places.
I believe in miracles.


Resolutions of 2009

Well, it's almost time to start compiling my list of goals/resolutions for the new year, but before I do that, I think I need to check in one last time with all of my goals and resolutions from this past year.

My goals for the semester:

-Get two-three A's in my final grades I GOT TWO A's! AND THE REST B's!
-Pass math! Do not miss any more homework and take more time to read chapters and understand the material PASSED MATH WITH A B-!
-Do not miss any more assignments in science or education Done!
-Re-read history chapters and take notes from the book. well, i didn't take notes from the book. but i highlighted a lot more and applied myself a lot more to reading and memorizing.
-Make time for the library. Two to three times a week! not so much. I did go to the library more frequently this semester then any previous semesters, but I wasn't good at keeping it at a regular schedule.
-Schedule out my day and follow through with it Back to those post-it's that outlined my days perfectly at the end of the semester. If only I did that sooner in the semester.

Assessment: I consider this pretty good. I got the grades I wanted and I applied myself and worked hard this semester

Goals for working on myself: (from this summer)
1. Work on being Selfless, especially when it comes to my family-I know i've been better at this, but there is always room for improvement
2. Attitude. Always try to be positive. Every unhappy situation that comes around, try to find the silver lining. i have an FHE brother who has kept me in check with this one for the last few weeks. I think I'm finally getting there.
3. Being Active. Stop laying around and sleeping because I feel like I'm going nowhere. I am going somewhere. Between school/work/The Locus/winter adventures I feel like i'm doing well in this department.
4. Don't believe in limitations. Accept that I need to make adjustments, but do not look at them as limitations. I am not limited. I consider this a huge check off in the last few months. see my post about limitations here:

And here are the goals/plans I want to accomplish this summer:
1. Work as hard as possible and save as much as possible so that I can be as financially secure as possible when I am back out West. Check. I did well in this..
2. Take Hamilton out to school. Check? Hamilton was a go until he had a meltdown. But I have Cazz at school not..
3. Eat healthier and work out. Lost some weight. No check. I fail at eating healthier.
4. Play my flute more often so I am ready for flute chior in the fall. Check. Flute choir has been my saving grace this semester and I have improved my playing/breathing technique times a million.
5. Read. half check. I've read, but not as much as i wanted to.

Let's check in with my New Years Resolutions:

1. When I need help, ask for it or accept it. This always needs improvement, but I'm getting better at asking for help.
2. Don't spend my money on things I do not need.I am either really good at this or really bad at this. Part Check,
3. Get off of academic probation. CHECK
4. Call my sisters more often. Check! i talk to my sisters at least once a week
5. Go to California. CHECK X2,
6. Make my parents proud. CHECK! i got off probation, worked during the summer, brought my grades up this semester, and am working a job.
7. Learn to do what is best for me, even if it isn't what I want. ugh. not fully here yet. but getting here. the letter being sent to BP is a huge testament to that.
8. Keep in touch with my friends back East more. still part check
9. See the beauty in everything. Check. i would have to be blind to not appreciate Sunsets in Idaho
10. Sleep more. CHECK!
11. Tell the people who I love that I love them more. I end every phone conversation with I LOVE YOU BYEEEE! CHECK!
12. Don't let distance come between the people who matter the most. I am going to say CHECK to this because I am still close with the people who are far away, particularly the ones who are now serving missions.
13. Let people care about me. I have gotten a lot better at this in the winter, digressed a lot in the summer and beginning of fall, but I am finally getting back to the point where I can let people in and let them care. CHECK!
14. Learn to accept my flaws and imperfections and understand that the people who can't accept them do not matter. this is on going struggle for me. I am beginning to love who I am, but that doesn't mean i can easily accept that some people might not like that person.

All in all, i think that i did pretty well this year. This was the first year that i periodically checked back in with myself and stuck to my guns. (Thank you Alexandra, for you example) I am proud of how far I have come. I think that as i get ready to set new goals/resolutions for the coming year, I would like to give myself a few more "tangiable" ones, so that way I can measure my progress a bit more easily.

but still. this was good. this has been good for me.

keep going, chelsabelle.


A Christmas Miracle

I think I have finally found peace.

I wrote this a while ago, and I found it today. I read it, changed it a little and now I feel like I can post it with my entire being behind it. I honestly and truly believe in what I have written.

I have found peace, after struggling and searching and praying for so long.
and that is my Christmas Miracle.

I wish I could learn to love myself the way that people think I do. Every time I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere, finally understanding myself, something happens that puts me back three or four steps and I’m nowhere. Progress always involves backtracking, but I’ve backtracked so much that I feel like I’m permanently going backwards.

I feel useless a lot of the time, but no one will ever know that. They all think that I am strong, compassionate, talented, a master of musical emotions. I have been through a lot and I try to love unconditionally. I can play some instruments and I understand chord progressions, but someone is always going to be better then I am. They see my hours of practicing and my blistered fingers and my arms splattered with ink from composing and they think: she is so amazing, so gifted, so talented. She has a gift. But the truth is; I’m just hardworking. I put my head down and I just move along. I don’t feel like I have my own rhythm. I spend hours creating them, but it turns out that they always belong to someone else.

My friends are so solid in their selves. I look at them and I wonder how they do it, and if they ever felt as undefined as I do now. Even my youngest friend, who is still growing and molding into her future self, seems to know exactly what kind of person she is going to be. And I wonder if I knew what kind of person I was going to be when I was her age, and that maybe it is just harder to be grown up then it is to grow up.

They look at me and think that music is my calling in life; that it was chosen for me before I born. They can’t see me without my music. Without the black notes clinging to my name like a caboose to the train, I am irrelevant. And maybe it is that fear that makes cling to music. Being irrelevant scares me more then being a shell.

But, I think I cling to music because it’s the only thing that makes sense to me. They say that math is the universal language. But I think they got it wrong…whoever “they” is. Music speaks the same notes, the same sounds, the same emotions, no matter where you are or whatever language you speak. And you don’t need to go to school to understand what music is saying to you.

Math has never been one of my strong points.

I wasn’t expecting to meet him that night. I just tagged along with my friends. The only thing I really take notice of is how Kendra is wearing skinny jeans in an eggplant shade and how Erin’s scarf encompassed every shade of brown and green and was draped perfectly around her neck. And I wondered when I would be able to wear clothes that scream out who I am. But until then, I am still a blank canvas, like the white v-neck shirt draped over my body.

He’s like a breath of fresh air and I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen until I’m around him. His eyes are pools of mossy copper and his hair is always messy and when he laughs, it sounds almost like the summer breeze: childish and carefree. He likes plastic swords and nerf guns and he wears an orange beanie around as if he was about to go hunting any second. He reads older authors and believes in epic adventures, traveling and star gazing. I think he is the most genuine person I have ever met.

He asks me questions that I’ve never been asked before and I have to think a long time before I can answer them. Sometimes, he will tell me stories about when he was little and even though he doesn’t give me a moral, I always learn something from them anyways. Sometimes we don’t talk at all. We just sit on the steps outside his apartment and watch the world pass by and when it gets too cold or too dark, we get up and go inside and when I go home, I feel like I just had the best conversation in the world.

At the end of the year, I go home to New England and he goes back to California. I shed a few tears when I hug him goodbye, and he tells me that I’m the best friend he’s ever had and that I better call him soon. I tell him that I love him, because I do. And then I walk out of the door and drive away and I don’t understand why my eyes are getting wet, because he is just BP and we are the best of friends and that won’t go away because we’re going to be apart for a while.

My days are long and I feel like I am always on the go and that there is never any down time. The smallest things remind me of him and at the end of every day, I call him and tell him about the things I have seen or the people I have met or the music that I have made. And he asks me questions and takes an interest in what I have to say and tells me to keep going when I feel too tired. And I feel like I am finally waking up to the world when I hang up the phone to go to sleep.

My days become measured by the last time we talked and the next time that I will hear his voice. I try to take in every detail of what happens in between the hours of our phone calls so that I can answer his questions. He wants me to share my world with him and I find that I do have a world and that I want to share it with him. His laugh is almost like the summer breeze: childish and carefree, and I am in love with him and I didn’t even realize that I was.

He is going across the continent and I won’t see him for a couple of years. Things have been hard and he’s been distant and he only asks questions and doesn’t answer mine. I hear he’s been spending a lot of time with a previous love and I’m not jealous. I just hurt. I knew that he could only love me for so long before something got in the way, but I didn’t expect him to stop being my friend.

I guess people change though, and I go back to my music because music stays the same and I understand it. And it rains outside and I think that weather really isn’t a language but it still speaks volumes. And I wear my white v-neck t-shirt, but I don’t feel blank anymore. I pour my emotions into the piano and words flow from my blood through my fingertips onto paper, and I realize that I am my own person, because these are my feelings and no one else’s. He isn’t around to hear about my day or ask me questions that make me think and I fall asleep without his voice now every night. He’s with someone else and he isn’t mine and I realize that maybe he was never mine in the first place. And I love him and I know he still loves me in some way, but I think that some kinds of love are meant to be unspoken. Sometimes I think about the days when we would sit on the steps and I never felt so alive or myself or defined and I get sad because I miss talking to him, but for some reason, it makes sense to me.

I’m so busy and I am always on the go and there is just so much to do. I am almost always okay with his silence now, and my days are getting easier and although there is this void where he was, I can still function and my music is still being written. I’m still wearing my white t-shirts and I look at the stars once in a while and I wear an orange hat because it makes me happy. And my friend saw me wearing it and smiled and told me that only I would be able to pull them off.

I’m making new friends and I am finally starting to trust new people again. I’ve set goals and I’m actually achieving them. I’m being honest with myself and I’m asking myself my own questions now and I’m becoming inspired and I am beginning to understand myself and I think I might actually love who I am.

I am my own symphony.

Merry Christmas Everyone.


all A's and B's on my report card.
I have never been so proud of myself.
I am smart, I am hardworking and I definitely made my parents proud.

Keep going, Chelsie Belle.

like autumns turns leaves, winter will breathe,

the cold on our necks, snow in our heads...

one day it will be better and everything will be ok


i miss you more then I expected.
but i know better.
i just need to keep on reminding myself of that.

i know better

kittens, inspired by kittens.

for some reason, i take a lot of pictures of my kitties and my friend's kitties when i am home.
maybe it's just cause i miss them.
maybe it's just cause they are so stinkin' cute.
but they usually account for most of my pictures at the end of break.

baby bru

precious monty

buddy MgGinnus
i love spending time with my mom.
she is the funniest lady i have ever met.


weekend in a nutshell

finished finals, finished cleaning, finished packing.
DI run, Walmart run, check out.
dropped off Cazz,
be good little car, i'll miss you!

good music blasting, getting on the road.
Geoff singing his missionary version of Forever
Brother is such a goof.

UTAH! Aunt Marla and Uncle Steve. Kindest people you will ever meet.
warm taco soup.
home made meals for the first time in ages.
happy tummy.

Hopping on the Trax
laughing, trading stories, understanding.
intoxicated Santas...Jesus?
Temple Square adventures and pictures. So beautiful!

"That guy has good Abs...you should marry him."

checking into our flights.
"are the kids in bed?"
sharing our stories, reading, believing, understanding.
saying prayers, tucked in, lights out.

I think I've found a real friend this time.

Flight cancelled. Nor'Easter. of course.
Pick up Julianna. Bye Bye Geoff.
Pianos and duets and Lucky Charms
My best friend makes everything better.

Airport time!
reclining chairs, free movies, giggling, THEY KNOW OUR NAMES?
we could be jet-setters.

Georgia. Dunkin Donuts.
waiting at the gate, Patriots playing
Boston Accents.
almost home.

Logan Airport. out of the gates.
bye Juli. see you tomorrow. BECAUSE I CAN!

driving through Boston.
music. daddy. smelly shoes.
almost home.

so happy, so content.

I am a New England girl.
now and forever.


the night the lights went out

to the person who ran into a telephone pole that made a sub station blow up that consequently made a transformer in rigby blow and resulted in a multi-city black out while I was elbow deep in oven cleaner chemicals....


we had the best adventure last night.


ed200 grade=back to a b minus.
world foundations papers=turned in
math take home final=completed
church history final testimony=bore.


still to come:
Science final=tonight
History Final=tomorrow
selling back books=in a half an hour
white glove=tonight



three days left.


it's 2:17 in the morning and I should be sleeping, but instead I am stressing out. of course.

here is the run down:

Current grade is a high c.
I am handing in some missing preps and my final paper tomorrow, which will help me out a little bit.
I then need to study hardcore for the final thursday evening. If I can pull off a B, I will be safe.

Church History:
Current grade is an A.
Final paper is turned in and tomorrow is my last class and my assignment is already done for it.
no worries.

Current grade is a 80.2
I bombed my last test. absolutely bombed it. so i expect that grade to go down some.
I handed in some missing homework last class and i need to look at my grade record tomorrow and make sure nothing else is missing.
I started my math final tonight and i NEED to do really well on it. If i can keep my grade at a C plus, I will get boosted a third of a grade because I had 100% attendance.

Current Grade is a solid B.
But I want to get it as high as possible, so I need to study hardcore for my final on friday.

World Foundations:
Current grade is also a solid B.
I outlined my final papers today and I will write them tomorrow and hand them in.
I shouldn't be worried about this one.

Current grade is a C.
POOP! I had a 79.4 yesterday and today i have a 76 because Symone and I mis-read the assignment from last week and we both got bad grades. I emailed my professor and explained the situation and asked if I could fix it for a better grade and I also asked her if I had any hope of getting a B- in her class. Hopefully she will get back to me ASAP and things will work out.

A. no worries.

Okay. so things look like they will be okay. I just have a lot of studying to do, and on top of all of that, I have to work tomorrow and thursday, clean for white glove, pack and sell back books and finish christmas shopping.
there isnt enough time in the day.

i can do this, i can do this, i can do this.


goals for today

Goals for today:

1. Math Test
2. Return Movies
3. Rent Movie for FHE
4. Get Quartah's for laundry
5. FHE
6. World Foundation Homework
7. Start World Foundations paper
8. Finish ed200 Brochure
9. Write final ed200 paper
10. Try to be in bed by midnight, if not earlier.

I can do this. i can do this. i can do this.

I'll be home for Christmas in five days, back in my bed, with my kitties, in my room, in beautiful New Hampshire.

I am so excited.



but really.
i need to go to church.
and then i need to:

1. finish my ed200 project
2. write my world foundations papers
3. catch up on science stuff
4. study for my math test.
5. write my church history paper.

that is a lot.

there is a world outside...did you know that?

The past three years, it has been drilled into my head that I have limitations.
I can't do certain things anymore, and I just have to accept it
I can't run, I can't jump, I can't skip.
I can't play outside when the weather is yucky.
I have to be careful.
one fall can be damaging;
can take away what little abilities I still have.
one fall can ruin everything.

Starting this last summer, I've been facing my limitations head on.
I was heartbroken, tired, barely functioning
and I knew something had to change.
I began learning how to do things for myself,
because there is a world outside...

there is a world outside and I've been missing out
because I have been told that I can't experience it the way I used to be able to.
I've accepted it.
I understand that I physically can not do certain things anymore
and that I have to be careful.
I refuse to be limited.
I refuse to be defined by my knees, or lack thereof

And so this summer, I faced my "limitations" and decided that just because certain things may be more difficult for me, or certain adjustments need to be made, I can't let the world pass me by anymore.

I learned how to belay rock climbers.
I ran around after kids all summer.
I walked the freedom trail.
I went white water kayaking again.
I hiked out to Sabbaday falls.
I played in huge waves in the Ocean and walked all the way to Salisbury center along the coast.

And recently, I've rediscovered the world of winter.
I've had snowball fights
I made a baby snow castle
I've been teaching some friends how to drive in the snow
there is a new parking lot across the street from my apartment that i've been doing donuts in.

And today I went on an adventure to Mesa Falls that involved driving into the mountains in a foot of snow, trekking in snow for a while to get to the falls, and just being outside.
and even though i might have taken a baby spill that got me feeling a little defeated
and my knee is pretty sore and swollen and I probably won't be able to use it tomorrow
i was outside and I got to enjoy the outdoors
and i went for it.

Whose woods these are, I think I know,
His house is in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
to watch his woods fill up with snow

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
but I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep
and miles to go before I sleep.

I didn't say no. I didn't back down.

i am not limited.
if you had asked me this time, i would have said yes.


Nikon cool pix on sale for 99 dollars.

i need to think about it though.

i need to put gas in my car, contribute to Geoff's gas tank next week, pay to check a bag to fly home for chirstmas and buy a new comforter since mine is a fire hazard.

oh, and pay for insurance next month and my credit card bill.

so do i have the money? nope. of course not.

and i really want to buy a digital slr in the future. but. the camera I have right now is on it's way out, and i miss my nikon so much!

i want to go homeeee

elder ivey, your letter today couldn't have been a clearer answer to my prayers.


the calm before the storm

The things I need to get done this week for school:
  • Catch up on all of my science homework
  • Catch up on my math homework
  • Start to study for my history exam
  • Get my Church History paper going
  • Start on my Ed200 final brochure
  • Start on my World Foundations Papers
  • every thing else homework wise
Things I need to get done for myself:
  • Start to seriously clean my room in preparation for white glove (Closet tomorrow, Under the bed Wednesday, Desk Thursday, Bookshelf Friday)
  • Go grocery shopping tomorrow! I need some wheat thins and milk, but that is it.
  • Christmas lights for our apartment
  • Go to the book store sometime this week and start getting things for family
  • actually, I should make a christmas list
  • Call Juli and read her the draft of my letter
  • Have Geoff read my letter too
  • SEND THE LETTER. get it done and over with.
oh my gosh, my science teacher is crazy.
yes. I am writing this while in science. I'll fall asleep if I don't. This probably is the most painful class I have EVER taken.

I also need to spend time with Kevin, Jared, Brad and Derek. I gotta finalize plans for leaving next weekend. I was going to drive down and stay with Juli, but Geoff came up with the brilliant plan of me going down with him and staying with his aunt and uncles and going to the airport and then I wouldn't need to drive by myself or figure out where to leave my car. and we will be able to go look at christmas lights in temple square. YES!

I am so excited to go home. I am so so so excited to be back in New Hampshire and to see my family and my friends and to sleep my my big bed and to cuddle with my kitties. I can't wait to make the drive to Juli's house and raid her fridge and get China food, to take a nap on the Bratt's couch, to spend time with Allie by eating ice cream and watching chick flicks, to go on a photo adventure with Gagey and to have a craft night with Amy Lee. And I am excited to see the girls I used to work with this summer, and the girls who i counseled over during summer camp. Yes. and I am stoked to go spend time in Boston! Mom and I are going to spend the night there because i have an Early AM scan, but we always have so much fun when we are in Boston. And I will get to see Valerie and Caroline while i am in the area. yep. it's going to be a full-packed two weeks but I can not wait for it. I just need to focus on what is on hand this week, get everything done and I need to stop procrastinating. I need to set goals for myself and not let myself play until I have completed them. and that includes Poker Night, Chelsie.

ready. set. go.

here comes the storm.

christmas music may possibly be my favorite part of getting into the christmas spirit.
But not just regular old christmas music.

I'm talking O' Holy Night christmas music.



bbq chicken, white rice, sauteed sugar snap peas with butter and salt and apple juice.

i should eat real meals more often.


words can't describe how much i miss you.
i miss talking to you, i miss hanging out with you, i miss taking naps on the couch in cottonwood while you sit by my feet and do your homework. I miss our walks on Sunday nights and sitting on the steps of the law office and watching the world go by. I miss our car rides and knowing that if i fell down and hurt myself, you would come back to pick me up. I miss your ringtone playing on my phone, i miss arguing about the smell of snow and that New England really is the better place.

i miss you so much.

but honestly.

that doesn't change anything.


Sunrise, Sunset

A beautiful sunset is something we can miss if we get distracted. It never lasts as long as we would like, and it is always followed by darkness. And the sun always rises the next morning.

be thankful

I can't explain how angry I get whenever I hear or see or read something from someone who says:
"I hate my life."


It just makes me want to scream, yell, punch something, throw something, break something, strangle something. How can people say something like that about life? How can people be so blind to how beautiful, how incredible, how absolutely amazing and astounding life is?

yes. Life is frustrating and hard and tough and stressful and scary and sometimes, it is just down right ridiculous. I do not disagree with that; in fact, I most whole-heartidly agree with all of that. I mean, my own life is frustrating and tough and it certainly has been scary and very much hard. This blog and my entries from the last year is proof of it.

But really. Life is such a gift. It is such a beautiful gift. And I despise those who say that they hate life. Does anyone realize how many beautiful people lose their lives unwillingly? Does anyone realize how realistic it is to wake up one morning and for someone to be gone? Doesn't anyone appreciate how fragile, and how delicate life is?

i have been delving into my life a few years ago, something that I have done very rarely in the past months in an act of protection of myself:

Meghan was 9 when I met her. nine years old. she loved her webkins and her stuffed animals and she loved to play on her computer.

Maddie was 8 when I met her. Eight years old, long brown hair and the best crooked smile. She was eight. She loved her dog, pink clothes and learning how to paint. She was learning how to paint and she was getting very good at it. She was eight.

Emily was 18 when I met her. She played cribbage in the resource room constantly and she had a great sense of humor.

I have outlived Emily almost two years now, i'll be twenty in March and she was 18 when she passed away. Meg passed away two years ago and I held Maddie's hand at her funeral services. Maddie passed away a year later. My beautiful friends who had no choice in whether they could live or die, my inspiration friends who fought every day to be able to have the opportunity to play outside one more time, to put a coat on and go outside in the cold, to go to school and to learn. They died and they didn't have a choice.
But every second they were alive, they taught me the beauty of life and how wonderful it really is. No matter what it throws at me, no matter what twists and turns I have need to go around, no matter what heartache or heartbreak I suffer, I know...i know that no matter what happens, life continues to be beautiful.

The other day I was having a bit of a hard afternoon. A friend of mine wrapped his arm around me in a gesture of comfort and for a moment, I had my ear pressed against his shoulder and in the few minutes of silence that we sat like that, I could hear his heart beating. It was a spin-chilling moment for me. I could hear someone being alive. Breathing, heart-beating alive. Hearing his heart beat brought me such peace and awe in a split second because I could hear the miracle of life.

sometimes i get caught up in the whirlwind of my life and forget to look at life the way that I should.

But I try my hardest to appreciate life, to learn to love what it gives me, good and bad. I have learned to take every small moment and to enjoy it to the fullest potential.
I am so lucky, so blessed to be alive and to see the sun rise every morning and watch it set every night. No matter what life throws at me, I could never hate it. If anything, I live and love my life for my friends who no longer can. I live and love life for them and for myself.

Maddie's mom posts frequently on her blog as she suffers through her despair and sorrow at losing her only daughter. But even Kristin can not be brought down into such depths of despair that she could hate her life. Maddie taught her better. Kristin posted a few days before Thanksgiving and as always, I was touched and moved to tears at the beautiful and inspiring words that she wrote.

I am forever thankful that I was chosen to be Maddie's Mom. So thankful God chose me. I am so thankful for the time we had with Maddie. Although it was way too short, I am so thankful for all she gave to me, all she taught me, for all we shared together. For everything she brought to this world, for everything she taught so many, through good times and bad. For the lessons she continues to teach, and of course, for our everlasting memories, I am forever thankful. There is always something to be thankful for, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow...

No matter how hard life gets, it continues to be beautiful. Im thankful for my trials, I am thankful the beauty and I am so very thankful to be alive.


end of the semester stress...it's baaackkk


Work: 8-11. check.
Class: 11:30-12:30. check.
Lunch: 1-1:45. check.
Walmart run: 2-3. check.
Study for science test: 3-5. check.
Science Test: 5-5:45. decent grade. hopefully a scale to help out a bit. check.
Flute Choir: 6-6:30. check.
Home. Dinner. (sauteed sugar snap peas and a baked sweet potato). Check.
Three science projects. check.
Math project: check.

still to go:
history quiz. Science prep. Shower and curlers. bed.

work 8-11.
Class. class. class. class. 11:30-4:15
library: 4:30-6
Math Test: 6-7?
Errands. Home. dinner. homework. Bed as EARLY as possible.

oh my gosh. can you recognize from the layout of this blog entry what I am embarking on?
yes, my friends. enter the last three weeks of the semester, a whole bunch of stress and no sleep.

but. thank goodness for work christmas parties, the locus, and good friends to keep me going.



Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99:

If I could offer you only one tip for the future,
sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth;
oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
how much possibility lay before you
and how fabulous you really looked….
You’re not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future;
or worry,
but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind;
the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy;
sometimes you’re ahead,
sometimes you’re behind…
the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive,
forget the insults;
if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters,
throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…
the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives,
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t,
maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t,
maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…
what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either –

your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…
don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it,
it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..


even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths,
prices will rise,
politicians will philander,
you too will get old, and when you do,
you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse;
but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia,
dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…