College Update!

Hey y’all! I’m currently writing from inside the Science building like a true college student.  If you didn’t know, I’m currently a freshman at Dixie State University. Today is my 3rd day and so far I’ve really liked it! This year I’m taking Intermediate Spanish, Biology and the Biology Lab, Kundalini Yoga, Psychology, Human Development through the Lifespan, and Medical Terminology.

Saying goodbye to my parents and little brother was actually pretty hard, especially when my mom started bawling immediately. Watching them drive away was a really weird feeling because I was really sad… but also really excited at the same time. I haven’t gotten home sick thus far ( go me xD) but I did tear up a little this morning while texting my brother because today is his 16th birthday. It’s the first birthday/holiday that I’m not home for which is a little sad, but since I’m the best sister ever (obviously) I ordered the game he’s really been wanting on Amazon so he has something from me to open.

I live in a little house with one other girl who I really like! We spent one of the nights watching TLC (can someone say guilty pleasure television?) and it was super fun! I also got a new mattress and I looooove ittttt.

Welp I am also great at procrastinating and so now its the weekend after my 2nd week of college and the homework is starting to flow in (help plz).

On Saturday I drove an hour out to my grandma’s house with Lauren to see my baby cousin! She’s almost 9 months now and she’s so so cute! She is starting to get a sense of “stranger danger” but still let me hold her for the most part thankfully. My uncle from Arizona and his girlfriend also came and brought this really good pie from a small shop in the middle of nowhere essentially xD

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Oh, also! My allergy to high fructose corn syrup has decided to show up again which means that I had to get rid of all the food that has it since I’m trying to keep myself alive over here.  Thankfully I got in the habit of buying certain brands that already don’t have HFCS in it like ketchup and bread, but basically all the candy and sweets and stuff like that had to go. (Oh and btw for those who live outside of the U.S. high fructose corn syrup is in like everything).

Overrall everything has been going pretty good and I’ve really liked living on my own and going to college instead of high school. I’m hoping to be able to keep actively blogging, so we’ll see how that goes!

Love y’all! -Aspen AKA The Author

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From 4, 858 Miles to Zero

Hey y’all! Since the last post I have now moved to St.George and finished my first week of college! It’s been crazy, and fun, but that’s a post for another time. I’m clearly behind but I thought that I would still write about when my boyfriend, Ewan, came to Utah a few weeks ago!

ALSO QUICK INTERVENTION: In the midst of all the craziness going on, I didn’t even realize that I passed the THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF MY BLOG. When I started writing as akatheauthor 3 years ago I never thought it would have led me to all the things it has today. I’m so thankful and I love you all! 

So it all started when he flew in on Tuesday night, *flashbacks to me freaking out in my car in the airport parking garage and snap chatting Lauren frantically about how to not get lost*. Luckily I actually figured out where I was going and even remembered how to get back to my car (yay me) all whilst my brain was going 100 million miles an hour xD. After the airport we had to head straight to meet my parents at the movie theater to watch Mission Impossible Fallout, which was actually pretty good even though I’m pretty sure we spent most of it whispering to each other. Also like can you say that your first kiss with your S.O. happened at the airport?? Didn’t think so…

The next day we spent the morning dancing around the kitchen while making pancakes before driving downtown to see Temple Square. We also got a tour of the conference center from this really cute old lady. After finally tracking down my car in one of the 5 zillion parking garages we headed to hike Ensign Peak which has a view of all of Salt Lake City! That night we went to Texas Roadhouse, one of my favorite places for dinner with my parents and I may or may not have been the mean (but hilarious) gf and told the waiter that it was his birthday so he had to sit on the saddle and have everyone sign to him.

Thursday we met my mom, and some of my aunts and cousins at Silver Lake and then hiked to Twin Lakes. All of my cousins are little girls so it was funny to see their reactions to him and at one point the youngest, Ivy (who I was giving a piggy back ride) whispered in my ear to ask if he was my boyfriend.

Friday we went to Lagoon, which is an amusement park. I love love roller coasters and heights and everything that most adrenaline junkies and even though Ewan isn’t the biggest fan of heights he was a good sport and let me drag him around. We even went on the scariest one, Cannibal and he only told me he hated me a few times xD. My cousins were also there and by the evening Ivy had completely warmed up to him ( it was adorable) and we had done whoopsy- daisy with her across the entire park. That night my family made the 3 hour drive to Bear Lake in my dad’s truck so in the back seat I was in between Ewan and my little brother who both proceeded to pass out- on me.

Saturday we woke up in my favorite place on Earth and went boating. Ewan and I went tubing together and everyone on the boat thought it was hilarious because he was just sitting there taking the waves whilst my body was flopping all over the place as per usual, but it’s still tons of fun. On the way back to the marina the waves were crazy bumpy so my back started hurting really bad and I had to lay down across the seats, but he was so sweet about it. I tend to grip my arm really hard to try and distract myself with pain in a different area but when he noticed he grabbed my hand. Later that night we got to go to a demolition derby which is essentially where a bunch of crappy cars go into an arena and crash into each other until only one can still move – and yes its just as western and redneck and American as you think it is- and I love it. It was so fun to be able to show him something he had never experienced before but was something I have really liked growing up.

Sunday morning we drove into Idaho to hike Bloomington Lake which is super pretty. We also got the best shakes ever from the gas station in Bear Lake (it’s a hidden gem) the raspberry is the classic favorite but turns out they have a really good mint one too! I proceeded to get my butt kicked in even more rounds of Go Fish ( I blame my bad luck) before the boys went golfing and I just tagged along. I did get to drive the go cart which is really fun but it doesn’t go fast enough, and at one point I was elbow deep in freezing water with soaking wet shoes to get one of my dad’s golf balls.

Monday was Ewan’s birthday! It was really fun to be there for it even if I got beat in even more card games (seriously people). We had a long drive home which we spent listening to music and sing/dancing to each other whilst my parents gave us weird looks, but it was so much fun. We stopped at a really good restaurant called the Beehive Grill for lunch and I got to talk to his mom and sister and they’re so sweet, I’m really excited to meet them!! Before going home we stopped at Sam’s Club to get a cake and tried on these really funny costume animal heads which is now one of my favorite pictures of us because it’s super silly. Then fast forward to my mom walking in on us making out (yikes man) and then falling asleep watching Insidious because we stayed up way too late way too many times before some really yummy cake. And completely random fact but we were playing some NBA game on the PlayStation with my brother and I somehow made a shot from all the way across the court on accident (#baller).

Tuesday we went with my best friend Lauren and little brother Spencer to the Great Salt Lake and met up with my aunt and cousins who live nearby.  We climbed black rock and then went to a rope swing in the middle of nowhere where I proceeded to not only trip over a log, slip down the entire side of a mud hill, but also get rope burn and massive handprint size bruises on my thighs (pure talent I’m telling you) Ohhh, and then on the way back to the car I’m pretty sure I got bit by a spider but my toe swelled up really big and it really hurt. After that whole ordeal we swam in the mill pond and then went back to my aunts house to watch my uncle and his cousins rope some cows on horseback which is always cool. Then we rushed home and threw some pillows and blankets into the truck before heading to the drive-in movies for our first official date! We stopped at 7- Eleven for some snacks and it sounds cringy and stupid and I’m not generally one for cutesy things, but that night was honestly perfect. Just laying in the back of the truck watching the movie all cozied up was something that you could literally dream about (and there were even stars out!)

The next afternoon he helped me brush up on my soccer (football, sorry) skills, that don’t exist. And then we went to Topgolf with Spencer and Lauren again (another sport I have exactly zero skill at), but it was still so much fun. After we picked up Lauren’s little brother and went to my favorite type of store on the planet- a cookie dough shop called Dough Co. The flavor of the month was butterbeer and it was actually really good! Later that night all my friends came over to meet him while we roasted marshmallows (S’mores are another thing he had never tried before). It was pretty funny because they were all saying how weird it was to see being affectionate even in the slightest because I usually wouldn’t even hold hands with someone in front of them, but with him I didn’t even care. They all really liked him (which I knew they would) and I laughed way too much going over all of our old inside jokes and more.

Thursday was our last full day together so we opted to do something just ourselves and head up into the canyon again. We stopped at Wal-mart (for the true American experience) to pick up some snacks (raspberry filled, powdered sugar donuts for the win) before driving to Little Cottonwood. The road was closed so we ended up finding a little river just off the side of the road to have lunch at. It was so much fun to just sit there talking about the trip and the future and making a bunch of dumb jokes. Literally no matter what we’re doing he can always make me smile or laugh, its a little ridiculous to be honest (like let me be moody… jk, jk)  After our hiking adventure, I took him out to meet my grandparents where we played more card games before heading home to my favorite dinner everrrrrrrrr, 7-Up chicken!! Ewan liked it (and goldfish) so I didn’t have to break up with him, thankfully 😉 Then I realized that he had still never had an ice cream sandwich so in order to stop a full on crisis we ran to the grocery store to grab a box and 2 journals which we now write in (almost) daily to each other because we’re just super cute that way.  Before heading home we made one last stop at a lookout point in just off the highway to *ahem* look at all the city lights (the view is actually amazing).

The next morning was bittersweet from the get-go. I turned on Thor but we ended up just cuddling and falling asleep which in my book, is pure bliss. Eventually we had to face reality and pack his bag to go home. The last stop before the airport was a little restaurant called Iceberg that has really good fries and fry sauce, but most importantly Grasshopper (mint) shakes which just happen to be Ewan’s favorite. (Sidenote: he actually ate the fry sauce-so proud). The shake was amazing (and HUGE) as always, we didn’t even finish it between the two of us. We had one last car jam session that involved me driving with one hand because I didn’t want to let go of his (drive safe, kids) xD. Once we got to the airport all hopes of not crying kind of went out the window and I’m sure I looked like a mess. I definitely hugged him one too many times, but walking away was honestly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I already hate goodbyes, but this was a particularly difficult one.

However, as sucky as that was, overall the trip was an ABSOLUTE BLAST and I can’t wait til I see him again because ever minute was a party and I laugh so much there’s a chance I may actually have ab muscles at some point. I’m not one for sappy lovey dovey stuff but then this one boy came along and now “aw” is part of my regularly used vocabulary, Skype is my most used app, and couple things don’t make me want to throw up xD And I know you’re reading this so just thought I would say I miss you and I love you, I have literally zero patience so having to wait so long to see you is killing me, but it’s all worth it. Don’t forget that goldfish build character and that dino nuggets are life, truffle butter is my fav, and you know the rest 😉

 

 

Congrats if you made it to the end of this super long post! Thanks for reading, I love y’all!

-Aspen AKA The Author

These Are The Nights That Make it All Worth It

Hey y’all! So last night I went to a music festival called LOVELOUD and it was AMAZING. The music was so good, but it came with an even more important message.

Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, at 60% higher than the national average. It’s the leading cause of death from ages 10-17. It makes me sick just typing it out. However it’s not even the number that makes me sick, even 1 is too much.

When it comes to suicide, any is too many.

Imagine Dragons performed at the festival and the leader singer had grown up in Utah himself. He talked a bit about how we knew what it was like to grow up here and how the pressure can be really difficult particularly because of religion, etc. But his main point was that we have to love each other and learn that the amount of worth you have is infinite no matter who you are, what you believe, how you identify, what you look like, etc. And that hit me really hard for some reason, I’ve been taught forms of that my entire life and I’ve been passionate about suicide prevention for years but last night was another reminder to me of how important it is.

Life is HARD. Life is SAD. Life is SCARY.  But life is SO GOOD. And life is SO WORTH IT.

I’ve been dealt my fair share of bad days, but standing in that crowd yesterday with thousands of other people screaming out lyrics was one of those nights that made every bad day this year worth it. I went to the concert with some really good family friends who I consider to be my 2nd mom and little brother along with her boyfriend and his kids and let me tell you I never want to miss out on all those smiles and craziness.  My cousins and other brother were there too and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of hearing the laughter I grew up listening to.

I hope you know that I’m crying happy tears just writing this because there have been days where I have been so done with fighting to live. Days where I was so sick and in so  much pain. Days where I felt like my own parents couldn’t stand to be around me and I was so alone because no one else understood. And there will still be those days.

But as cheesy as it sounds I would take it every day because no matter how bad it gets, it can always get better. And I am so extremely grateful for the life I have and the people around me. This blog helped me through many things and y’all mean the world to me. And I know that I am so so lucky to have the amazing family, boyfriend, and best friends that I do because not everyone does.

However, if you think that no one cares about you, I do. No matter what, 100% of the time I care about how you are and that you’re here even if we haven’t met or talked before. You are of the utmost importance I promise you.

So let’s just all love a little more, and appreciate the good days that come around. Live unapologetically.

Love y’all! – Aspen

What You May Gain by Traveling Europe

Hey y’all! So like I mentioned in my last post about graduation- the last month or so has kind of changed a lot of things about my life. First off my grandparents told me a few days ago I can’t live with them anymore so I’ve been scrambling to find somewhere to live before the 2nd week of August??? (Just me, I swear I legit have the worst luck in the universe)

 

ANYWAYS I did have the amazing chance to travel to 5 European countries for my senior trip with my family for most of June. It definitely made this summer memorable, so without further adieu, here is a list of things you may gain if you travel Europe.

 

  1. Catch phrases your grandparents use, primarily being, “Let’s blow this popsicle stand” which may or may not now be included in my everyday vocabulary.
  2. One less favorite earring, ( I know it’s backwards, but I’m bitter. Stupid Paris.)
  3. Really weird tan lines because said countries don’t have the same weather. And also your favorite sandals happen to make the letter “Z” on the top of your feet.
  4. The ability to walk 10 miles a day because your father is insane.
  5. Also the ability to live on 1-2 meals a day because said father thinks he needs a picture of every old building.
  6. If you live somewhere with free public restrooms, you will definitely gain a deeper appreciation of them.
  7. Extreme thirst, because paying for water is weird.
  8. Approximately 5,000 pictures because admittedly, all the old buildings are pretty cool.
  9. New random friends who help you figure out the train systems in multiple countries.
  10. An obsession with gelato.
  11. A British boyfriend*
  12. A knack for train systems because after 3 weeks you’re basically a pro ( and you miss your car)
  13. A new sense of confidence from seeing so many people in so many places just going on with their lives and rocking on with their bad selves, and realizing you can too.
  14. A new phone, because yours got stolen on a bus in Greece.
  15. SO many memories (good, bad and everything in between) that I’ll have with me for a longggg time.

 

*I know, no one is as surprised as I am xD

All in all, it was a veryyy long, educational, fun, and crazy trip! This summer has definitely been the most adventurous one yet. What do you guys gain from traveling whenever you go, either good or bad? I love y’all!

-Aspen AKA The Author

Graduation!

Hey y’all! Well it’s only been about a month since I last wrote yet my life has completely changed in the last few weeks. I just got home from my 3 week trip around Europe ( but that’s a post for next time)

3 days before I left for Europe I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL!!

It’s one of the days you always think about and know is coming, but never think will happen. The whole experience was surreal. Before the ceremony I was sitting in a hallway with around 1500 other girls I had just spent the last 3 years of my life with. Hundreds of people I had befriended, made jokes with, or shared notes with. Many of them I spoke to on a daily basis.And 5 of them I stood next to wondering how we survived high school. Compared to many others,  I would say my friend group went through some very difficult things and we somehow stuck together.

The ceremony itself was actually really great, Lauren and I sat next to this hilarious kid who kept talking about how he was going to get wasted . Our principal is switching schools next year so his speech was actually a video that was super good! His motto (and our schools) is “we bow to no one” so at the end he got up and told us that he respected us and loved us so much and then he literally bowed to us on stage. All 800+ of us were shocked to say the least. ALSO, I surprisingly didn’t trip on stage even though I was hearing heels!

After the ceremony I went to dinner with my family, but then we all met up again for Senior Sunset. Basically the school rented out a recreation center til 4 a.m. so we got to do rock climbing, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, air hockey, zumba, swimming, etc all night long. They even had karaoke and Just Dance set up, and unlimited ice cream. It was really weird to leave the building knowing that I would never see most of them ever again.

The really odd part though is that graduation didn’t hit me hard, but now being home from my trip everything just seems a little different. Maybe it’s just knowing that in less than 2 months this won’t really be home for me anymore. Today I walked up the street to one of my best friends’ houses and it hit me that the walk I’ve been making for 5 years will end.

I don’t really know how I feel about it. I’m really excited about college and meeting new people, but change is hard.

Stay tuned for my post about Europe!! Love y’all!

-Aspen AKA The Author

So Close I Can’t Believe It

Hey y’all! I’m writing this just a few hours before my last high school final EVER. Granted it’s my current least favorite subject and I’m freaking out that I’ll fail, but STILL. After this, I have 4 days of high school left until GRADUATION.

It’s still so mind blowing to me that it is so close and I am actually going to college next fall. I’ll talk more about that in a later post, but for now I’m typing mainly to calm down my nerves before this test.

On Thursday my main group of friends and their families are coming over to my house for a barbecue and I’m so excited! This year it’s been rare that we’re all together at the same place, and after this I don’t know when I’ll see all of them next which is terrifying. They mean the world to me and we have become so close these past years.

After graduation, is my family party which I am also really excited for. On my mom’s side I’m the oldest and therefore, the first one to graduate so it’s pretty cool for everyone. And on my dad’s side I’m still only the 2nd one to graduate.

And then 3 days after graduation, my parents, me, my little brother, and my grandparents are flying to EUROPE FOR A MONTH. I am so stoked, this is the first time any of us have left the continent. We are going to London,  Normandy and Paris, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece.

The last & next few months have been, and will be the craziest of my entire life thus far. Not only did I become an adult, and I’ll finish high school and start college, but I’m also moving away from the life I’ve known for 18 years.

I’m terrified but also so excited for what’s coming next. Let me know if any of you have any exciting summer plans below!

Love y’all (Wish me luck on this math final!),

-AKA Aspen

18?!?!

Hey y’all! 5 days ago I had my EIGHTEENTH birthday! I know, it’s insane to me too. It was genuinely one of the best birthday’s I have ever had.

Lauren came to my house in the morning with balloons (which one of them had popped actually XD) and a CACTUS. If you don’t already know, I love cacti and this new one is so cute, his name is Spikasaurus Rex ( I know I’m genius).  We left school at around 11 to go get lunch at Culver’s, one of my favorite fast food restaurants, because french fries on your birthday are a necessity.

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Then we had to get her tire changed before heading back to Zurcher’s to get another number 8 balloon before heading to take pictures at Gardner Village. I have a serious problem with laughing in basically every picture that is taken of me.

After pictures we came back to my house where I saw my car which had been getting fixed for the last week so I was super psyched! The house was also decorated which was SO cute because we don’t usually do anything like that for birthdays but my parents and little brother went all out.

We also watched an episode of Criminal Minds (Is it even my birthday if I don’t watch some Criminal Minds?) The rest of my friends started to come over and we FINALLY got to eat my favorite dinner ever, which is 7-Up chicken (my dad cooked it in the smoker this time, and agh, so good) funeral potatoes, and salad.

Since I got a new engine in my car for my birthday (what everyone wants, right?) my parents gave me a huge box of goldfish because I’m OBSESSED with a bag of Laffy Taffy and Peach Rings (my favorite candy). Bex got me a square balloon (LOVE) with a few of my favorite things, i.e, fuzzy socks, vanilla coke, baby goldfish, and a Kit Kat. Hailee got me a card for dinner and an activity.

Even though I’m technically an adult now, I chose to have a throwback nerf war, disco ball lights and battle music included. It was easily one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, I highly suggest it. Especially a version we like to call Hunger Games-James Bond where you put all of the ammo and weapons in the middle and have to run to them and then it’s everyone for themselves.

 

After our epic battle we had cake, where my brother sang as out of key as he possibly could. Everyone except Lauren went home so we watched another episode of Criminal Minds which is always the perfect way to end any day.

This Saturday Em, Hai, Laur, and I went to Honeyville to Crystal Hot Springs and it was a blast! We had lots of driving which means there was a lot of singing. We all decided that we’re going to laminate our homework so we can study while relaxing in the hot springs xD

Thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday,  my friends and family are completely amazing and I love them so much for making my day special! Here’s to an amazing year!

Love y’all!- Aspen AKA The Author