Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Writing on the Wall

Things found on the walls of the bathroom at school:

God loves you, gorgeous!
Hey beautiful, it gets better... and you get stronger. Head up :)

Life is hard, but you can do it!

It gets better.

Love yourself.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Far Away

Listen to this while you read! :)

Eleven months. It’s been Eleven months since I’ve seen you. Eleven long, torturous months. Eleven months since I boarded that plane. It’s been eleven months too long. And, love, I miss you. But there’s only a couple more months until I can come home and see you and Aubree, and that’s what keeps me going.

I can’t wait to see her, to meet her, to hold her in my arms. Does she have my curls and your eyes? Or your smile and my dimples? The pictures you send just aren’t enough. How could they ever be enough, when I know there’s a little girl across the sea, waiting to call me Daddy?

I carry the picture you sent me in my boot. You and her. It’s my good luck charm. My two girls. The woman who owns my heart and the little girl who already has me wrapped around my finger.

Every night, I lay awake and stare at it. Shadows dance across the walls and scenes play out in my head, things I’ve missed. I was deployed only a month before Aubree was born, and I kick myself every day for missing the birth of my child.

I can only imagine how that would have gone. I can imagine you waking me up at three in the morning, whispering that your water broke. As we both know, I would have freaked out. You would have been the calm one, grabbing the overnight bag and the keys.

            Her first smile, her first steps, so many things I’ve missed out on. I’m sorry, love, but I’m coming home. I’m coming back to the place I belong. Only a few more months, and we’ll be together again. In just a few months, we’ll be a family.

            I love you. Forever yours, Ryan

            The letter ends, and I smile. “I miss you,” I whisper. It’s been so long since he’d left. I just want to be together again. I want to see his face, hold his hand, hear his laugh.

            I grab Aubree from her crib and head downstairs to feed her lunch. Opening the cabinet, I pull out her favorite snack and set it on the counter, but the sound of the doorbell fills my ear.

            I shift her to my other hip as I head for the entry way. “Just a second, baby girl,” I tell her as I open the wooden door.

I freeze when I see the camouflage that the man wears. His hair is cut short, his combat boots laced all the way up, and dog tags hang from his neck. In his hand is a thin envelope, and his last name is stitched onto his shirt. Johnston. His eyes are apologetic, and that’s what hits me the hardest. His eyes. Deep blue with flecks of silver, and filled with sorrow.

“Mrs. Grace?” 

I can’t answer. I know what’s coming. He’s gone.


“Y-yes. That’s me,” I force myself to choke out.

“You’re husband was killed last week. It was a roadside bomb. Almost every man in the vehicle was killed.”


“He’s dead, ma’am.”

The four letter, one syllable word hits me hard, knocking all the air out of my lungs. I lean forward, and place my free hand on my knee, the other still supporting Aubree. I can barley breathe. When I was finally able to draw in a breath, it sounded like a wounded animal. It was a gut- wrenching, broken cry, so desperate and mournful.

I slowly stand upright, hand over my mouth, stifling my sobs, and look at him. “I’m terribly sorry, ma’am,” He hands me the letter and turns to leave but then turns back around. “He was a very honorable man. I knew him personally, and that’s something I’m proud to say.”

            “T-thank you,” I whisper and shut the heavy wooden door. I collapse on the couch, sobbing. “No, no, no, no, no,” I wail, repeating it over and over.

            Aubree soon joins in, whimpering softy. Whether if it’s from hunger or from hearing me cry, or if she can sense something is wrong, I don’t know. “Shhh,” I whisper. I hold her head close to my shoulder and rock back and forth. “Don’t cry, baby, don’t cry,” I tell her, even though my weeping is louder than hers.

            My gaze catches in the mirror above the fireplace, and I’m startled. I don’t cry often, but now my eyes are red and puffy. They’re full of fear, anger and despair. But the thing that strikes me the most is the full-blown terror.

            “Ryan….” It’s the only word I can manage, when really, I want to say how much this hurt, tell him that I can’t do this, that it was too much. But I can’t. He isn’t here. He can’t hear me. He’ll never be here again. He’ll never meet the daughter who looks just like him. He’ll never get to teach her how to ride a bike, or how to drive a car. He’ll never get to sing her to sleep or kiss me goodnight.

            What’d I’d do for one more chance, just one more day with him.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Father is the King of Kings

Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." - Proverbs, 31:30

Bad Habits

Day 27 – my worst habit

Hmm. I have a lot of bad habits, but it's hard to think of any right now.

If I get on the computer to do one thing, I'm on for hours, without even realizing it.

I'm constantly reading multiple books at once.

I always stay up really late, even though I know I have to get up early the next morning.

I'm amazing at wasting time.

According to one of my friends, I try to make everyone happy, and I blame myself too much. Hmm. How's that for bad habits?

That's all I can think of for now, so talk to you all later! :)

Typical Day

Day 25 – your day, in great detail. Hello lovelies! My day’s pretty boring, but oh well.

6:45 My alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

7:00 I actually get up

7:20 Eat breakfast, pack lunch

7:35 Out the door, headed to school.

7:50 At school, hang out with friends and finish homework until the bell rings

8:08 Warning bell rings, head to first period

8:13 Last bell rings, first period starts- Peace and Justice (my religion class)

9:02 Peace and Justice ends, head to homeroom

9:16 Homeroom ends, time for Chemistry… ugh

9:16- 10:10 Suffer through the worst class in the world

10:13 On to Creative Writing… best class ever. Filled with funny people and fun stuff!

11:02 Bell rings and I go to my locker

11:05 on to Applied Rhetoric, aka English

12:08 Lunch! (:

12:38 lunch ends :( on to math, another terrible subject

12:41- 1:27 suffering, suffering, suffering

1:30 History class, which is pretty fun

1:45 usually by now my history teacher has made jokes that are so stupid they’re funny, tell us a story that has no relevance to what we’re learning, insult half the class, and still managed to have taught most of the lesson.

2:16 And now for Spanish, last class of the day

3:05 Final bell rings, I’m finally free!!

3:30 and I’m home. Change out of my uniform, get a snack

4:00 pull out my laptop, usually write some

6:00 Dinner!

7:00 Homework. Yuck. Typically study Chemistry, and usually have some Spanish and History homework as well

8:15 take a break, eat a snack, then back to studying

9:00 usually done by now. I’ll read some, or get on the computer and do absolutely nothing productive on the computer

10:30 bed time! Good night (:

Sunday, April 8, 2012


“It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.”

J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Only in Ohio

Day 24 – where I live

I live in Ohio! A lot of people don't like it, but I actually do.It's not a big tourist spot, and there's really not that much to do in the summer. Or the winter. Or ever. But it's home to me.

I've lived here my entire life, all my friends are here, everything I've ever known is here.

That's why I love Ohio.

Ten Ways

Day 23 – a YouTube video

I actually have two videos, but they go hand in hand. Here they are. Go watch them now, then come back.

Why are you still reading this? Go watch!

Ten Ways to Get the Right Guy to Like You

Okay, now that you've seen it, I have a little to say about it.


Everything he said in the video was true.

We like it when you show interest. We don't want to just be arm candy to you. Let us know you care about what we care about.

Encourage us. Girls need affirmation. We need to know that we're good at something, and coming from you means a lot.

Compliment us. Like I said, we need affirmation.

Get to know our friends and family. This goes hand- in- hand with 'Show interest,' because it shows us that you care about people we care about.

Act chivalrous. This is a huge one for me. My dad's always taught me that men should open doors for you, pull our your chair, pay for you, and carry your heavy things. Though some woman think that it's degrading, I love it.

Give us space. We love you, but we need our space too. We have other relationships with friends and family to maintain.

Keep your hands to yourself. We don't belong to you. We have boundaries.

Make us feel safe. We need to feel protected, and you should be our safe place. We should be able to tell you anything, not have to hide anything.
Be our best friend. When I date and eventually a guy, I want to be friends with him. I don't want it to be only gushy and romantic stuff. I want to be able to do things with him that I'd do with friends.


Everything he said in the video was true.

If you want a guy who respects you, who treats you like an equal, who is the right guy, be willing to wait. Don't date just for the sake of dating.

Respect yourself. If you don't, you're going to attract the kind of guy your mother's warned you about.

Be kind. No guy wants to date a girl who treats him like trash, just like you don't want a boyfriend who's a jerk.

Show interest in him. It's a two way street, they like it when we show interest in them too. Make him feel needed.

Guys need to be needed, just like girls want to be wanted.

When he acts chivalrous, don't go all 'women's rights' on him. He knows that you can open the door, but he's doing it for you because he cares about you.

Put some clothes on, gals. This goes along with respect yourself, because if you don't, the guy won't get to know you, he'll be to focused on what he can see.

Ignore Hollywood. Plain and simple.

Set boundaries. If you know your boundaries before you get into a tough spot, it's easier to stop.

Be yourself. Personality is what matters, so don't act like someone else to impress someone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Quiet Place

Day 22 – a website

This website is about giving you a place to relax and tune out of distractions, even if it's just for a moment. It's about taking a break from Facebook and email and Twitter and texts and everything.

It's a really simple idea, but it's a great website. I invite you to go to it now, and follow the directions exactly! Silence your phone. X out of Facebook. Turn off the TV.


Giant M&M Cookies

Day 21 – a recipe

This recipe is from How Sweet It.com

giant rainbow cookies.

This is how you make gooey, chewy, massive rainbow cookies that make everyone in life love your guts.

Lookie here! You don’t even need a mixer. You just mix all the goods with a whisk. Don’t have a whisk? Spoons work too

Add some super cute rainbow candies… aka mini m&m’s. You could add regular m&m’s. Really… whatever floats your boat.

This is the weird part. Roll your dough into a ball then rip it apart evenly with Hulk Hogan strength.

Bake cookies like this. Laugh because they look funny. Cry because you are ridiculous.

Not even joking. Really bake your cookies like this. It’s the SECRET.

While your cookies are baking, admire the adorable slash colorful slash overflowing bowl of mini m&m’s that you opened two bags of m&m’s for just so you could show all of your invisible internet friends what an m&m bathtub looks like.

After your cookies bake and cool and you inevitably burn the skin off the roof of your mouth because you’re really a child with no patience, flip it over and look at how pretty it’s cookie butt is. Colorful cookie butt.

Stack up some giant rainbow cookies and set them by your overflowing m&m bathtub bowl. Pour a mason jar full of milk so you can photograph your cookies for your invisible internet friends, even though you hate milk and don’t even like to dip cookies in it.

Giant Rainbow Cookies

makes 18 large or 36 small cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mini m&m’s (or something else that you love)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until they are combined (and look like the first picture above). Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to help at one point. Fold in the m&m’s.

Divide the dough how you choose (1/4 cup portions for 18 large cookies or 2 tablespoon portions for 36 smaller cookies). Shape each portion into a ball with your hands then pull each ball into two equal pieces. Turn each half so that the rough side of the half (what used to be the inside of the ball) faces upwards and

then squish both halves together. Place the dough rough-side up on a baking sheets. If you’re doing large cookies, I’d leave about 2 inches in between each.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (large cookies) or 8-12 minutes (small cookies) or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be
soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Let cool completely then dig in!

Note: to melt the butter I simply microwaved it, and to let it cool I allowed it to sit for about 10 minutes.

Finally, take one single bite of your cookie since you are the epitome of self control, then neatly pack them up to share with others. Do not eat any more cookies, ever, because you are always satisfied with one bite of dessert.

Look at These Photographs

Day 20 – a hobby of yours

I love photography. My dad’s a photographer and has had pictures published in magazines and I’ve learned a lot from him.


Hey bloggers, sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I’ve been super busy with school and drama and everything

Day 19 – a talent of yours

Hmm. I’m not really sure. I asked some of my friends, and here’s what they said:

· Photography

· Editing stories

· Writing

· Making on costumes for the school play

· Baking

I don’t really have any special talent, nothing weird I can do with my face or anything. I’m just boring old me.