Thursday, August 29, 2013

Look What the Cat Dragged In!

Alright, time for a blast from the past. This little story took place over 2 years ago but it's definitely a keeper, so I've decided to grace you all with its telling.
Once upon a time, two girls walked home from school together every day. Spoiler alert! Those girls were Abbz and me. I know, didn't see that one coming, right? It was our sophomore year and as a result we had neither our licenses nor vehicles to call our own. Fortunately for us, we both lived 10 minutes (walking distance)  from school and as a result, we spent many happy hours walking home together over the course of that year. That was one of those special blessings of our friendship: the fact that we lived within walking distance of our school and, consequently, of each other. Before we were grown up enough to drive, the times we spent walking together created countless special little memories that continually deepened our friendship.
But back to our story. On this particular occasion, it was a cold February day. Very cold. In fact, temperatures had been freezing or below for that whole week. We were bundled to our noses, backpacks full of homework strapped to our backs, and doubtless chattering about our day and all the little dramas and hilarities that had taken place therein. We crossed the busy road and started down the long sidewalk that was so familiar to us.
One of the reasons that Abbz and I are so perfect for each other is that we both talk in exorbitant amounts. Individually we have the ability to talk almost endlessly. If you ask me, the reason is probably that we are very excited about our lives and the things that go on in them, and that excitement pours out of our mouths in a waterfall of words. But if you think we're bad on our own (and trust me, our fathers do), we are even worse together. After all, with two people, there's double the conversation to cover. We often have the same thoughts, so we feed off of each other and thus spur each other on in our verbal marathon. In fact, we've gotten so close over the years that many times, others have a hard time keeping up with our conversation because we know what the other one is saying before they say it, so we will leave a thought verbally unfinished and move on to a new one in a second. What can we say? It's a sister thing.
All this is to say that as we made our cold trek toward home, we were so caught up in conversation that it's a wonder that we noticed anything along the way. Thankfully though, while we are both excellent conversationalists, we are also both superb multi-taskers.
And so, after we had travelled about half way down the sidewalk, something caught our attention. It was something so out of the ordinary that, at first, we didn't believe our eyes. We stopped in our tracks, conversation halting mid-sentence. As we stared, we realized that what we were seeing was in fact, what we thought it was.
It was a cat. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, cats aren't extraordinary. I see cats all the time. Before you pass judgement on our discovery, though, let me give you a little more information about this cat. It was lying in the bushes beside the sidewalk, legs outstretched, eyes wide open, and frozen solid. That's right, frozen.
We couldn't figure out for the life of us why a cat would decide to lie down and let itself freeze to death. There were no other signs of injury - it was not smashed, cut open, or dismembered. It did not appear to be starved. It was simply frozen. It's awkwardly extended legs and glassy, glaring eyes actually made it look like the freezing had taken place in a second.
As we ogled at it, we grew more and more thrilled - not at the fact that the cat was dead (this was rather unfortunate), but at the singularity of our discovery. Who is just walking down the road and finds a full grown cat, frozen solid? No one, we told ourselves. But we did.
Remember what I said earlier about us being excitable girls? Well let this instance stand as exhibit A. We hovered over the body and chattered quickly about why the cat was there and how crazy it was that we had come across it. We debated on whether or not we should touch it, decided that was a germy idea, and eventually settled for poking it with the tips of our boots. I distinctly remember having Abbz hold my arm as I reached out gingerly with my boot, as if the cat might spring to life and swallow me from my toes up. When I prodded a little, the strange, hard, frozen feeling sent me into a bought of squeals highly fitting for a 15 year old girl.
After spending several more minutes examining our find and bouncing around on the sidewalk, we eventually tore ourselves away from poor little freezer-head and began our mad-dash home to inform our parents of what was surely the biggest event of the week. They were, of course, appropriately shocked, as were our friends and teachers at school the next day when we burst the information upon them.
Granted, we might have overreacted a little. Yet it was a marvel and I bet if that happened today, I'd be just as shocked as I was two years ago.
We went on to find several other things of note along that path including a Starbucks gift card with $10 on it. If you think we were excited about the cat, you should have seen us then.
Since that day, we've obviously had many other exciting adventures. But coming across that cat is, to this day, one of the strangest. Sometimes in life, it's really the small things that create the best memories. And I can honestly say that I will never ever forget that poor, dead, feline.

In lieu of a picture of the cat (which unfortunately, I don't have) I've chosen these pictures of our sophomore selves. Yeah, we were a little crazy.

#youngheartsgocrazy #weownedthenight #cookiesmakeushyper #ThugLife

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sprouting Wings and Staying Put

Hello there!!! It's true. Abbz and I slacked off a little with the blog there for a while. But hey, we were busy doing something kind of important. . . Graduating! That's right, as Abbz said in her last post, we are now women of the world. (Or at least women of somewhere bigger than our beloved CAM High School). This is a big step in our lives. So I'm gonna give you an update on where we've come since then.
As you may know from reading previous posts, Abbz and I were some of the first people in our class to pick our colleges. For her, the obvious choice was Washington State University in Pullman. She had so much waiting there for her already and she could practically hear God calling her name from the windy walks of the Cougar campus. And that call never waned. As she drew closer and closer to that life-changing day called "move-in," her excitement grew.
Several weeks before she moved to Pullman, she went for her orientation. Every day she was there only offered her more reasons to dive into her new life with joy and enthusiasm. As if she needed any more encouragement. Abbz is one of the most joyful people I have ever met. Embracing every new adventure with all she has, the kindness and sweet sincerity she has in her heart shine through her words and actions. Needless to say, this positivity served her well, even at her short orientation. She made friends right away and encouraged those she encountered. When she left her orientation and came home, the first thing she said to me was that she wanted to go back.
And so she did. She was one of the first of all of our friends to leave. It was hard for me to say goodbye to her. Obviously. She's my best friend. The thought of not being able to see her any time I needed/wanted to was hard for me to take. But as her mama said to me a few days later, "It's hard to be sad about someone when they're so over the moon." Since My Little Cougar has moved to Pullman, I've cherished seeing all of the pictures she's posted of her and her new friends and seeing how much joy she is finding in her new home. She is by far the most excited of our peers for this new phase in our lives. I couldn't be happier for her.
What about me, you ask? (Ok, you probably weren't asking that, but it's a classic transition!) Well. . . My journey didn't play out quite like Abbz's did, although I was fully expecting it to. When I last left you I was geared up to be a Bronco at Boise State University. It was the only college I applied to because I felt such an excitement for the school. After just a few weeks of thinking about it, I couldn't see myself anywhere else.
I too went to my orientation (on my second try, but my unfortunate car problems are a tale for a whole different time). Although I came out of it feeling great, it was actually a two-day roller coaster for me. There was a lot of information - some that I was comfortable with, and some that left me feeling very small in a very big place. Thankfully, I was able to be encouraged by the academic counselors I met and when I left, I felt the buzz of excitement that's supposed to turn up during this time. Oh yes, it was there.
The funny thing is, we as humans can be absolutely, 100% , without a doubt sure about something, and God can still smile down upon us and say, "Oh no you don't." Even at the last minute. And one month before my set departure date, God had this very message for me.
Sitting down with my dad one evening to examine some To-Do list items for college preparation, we decided to take a look at where my finances were. We went onto my Bronco account and added up all of my costs. Then we subtracted all of my financial aid, savings, and money I would make working while attending BSU. Quite to my surprise, I came up short. Almost $4000 short for the whole year. Up until this point, I had been living in that optimistic dream state I tend to occupy when planning for things. You see, I'm a cup-half-full kind of girl. And for the last four years, I'd had a plan of going to college. And because that was my plan, I was going to come up with the money. That was all there was to it.
Unfortunately, that last $4000 was money that I absolutely did not have. Throughout the year, I wouldn't be able to work any more than I was, and scholarship opportunities were just about closed. My only option left was to take out a loan. Decidedly, I was not going to take that option. Although I'm an optimist, I'm also practical, and I knew that there were ways to accomplish my undergrad without debt. So why would I strap myself with debt later in life just to have the experience that my culture tells me I should have in college. I know lots of people do it, and if that's what they are comfortable with, then I'm happy for them. I just couldn't justify it for myself.
At this point, I was left with a realization: I couldn't afford my plan. The path that I had set out for myself, probably before I even started high school, was now falling apart four weeks before my ship set sail. Naturally, it was a big slap in the face. My dad told me to think about what my options were, talk about it with people that are important in my life and give myself a week to make a decision.
I was lost. I didn't know what to do. But as I slowly worked through everything in my head, I turned to God for my solution. When I brought my problem to my beautiful best friend Abbz, she had words of wisdom for me. Reminding me that sometimes the path is not easy, she told me to seek God's will above my own preferences and considerations. Fitting to my situation, I thought of the lyrics from the song Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets:

"I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own I
 don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting I’m finally letting go
I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
 I will trust in You

If there’s a road I should walk Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it."

Through His faithfulness to me, God helped me find my road. By the end of my set week, I felt very led in the direction of a gap year. Among the options that I had laid out for myself, it was the only one I felt total peace about.
A small piece of my heart - that little blue and orange piece that had been growing in there for months now - was broken. When I was so close to fulfilling the dream that I had become so excited about, I had to open my hand and let it all slip through my fingers.
But guess what? I believe that God does all things for a purpose, and even in this disappointment, He is fulfilling His perfect plan that He has for my life. Also, I'm the kind of person that likes to give 100% to what I'm doing. Since I decided to go with this new plan, I'm going to GO WITH IT. Planning for this gap year includes working, pursing my relationship with Christ, and even taking a trip out of the country! So fear not, dear readers. It's not sad. I get to follow this new path that God has set up for me and I am confident that He has great things waiting for me along the way. And Boise State University will still be there for me next fall.
 Psalm 117:1-2 "Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."

 #growingup #ToLiveWillBeAnAwefullyBigAdventure #collegeswag #cookieswag #GreatisThyfaithfulness #ThugLife

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Swooning Mooners at Mcdonalds

Hello from graduation- land! This is the place where people go after they graduate and become unmotivated to do anything and its fabulous! I kid, I kid. But really, it has been 6 months since the last time Kenz and I have blogged and it is entirely my fault. I've been meaning to blog about one of the best and worse nights in Kenz and I's high school experience but this thing called "getting ready to graduate high school" happened and if it wasn't school or work, I wasn't doing it. Thankfully though, the craze has died down and until I move to college(9 days away people) I am free to write to my hearts content! 
  Before I begin our epic tale, I'll give you a little taste of what its like to live the crazy, wonderful life of Mckenzie and Abby on a October Friday night during our Senior year. It means football, fast food,and best friends. Living in the humble town we do, football games are a big deal and alot of the town shows up for it. Naturally, this puts us fun- natured girls into a little bit of a high. So obviously, after a big game- we HAVE to do something afterwards. And while our town doesn't offer much, it does offer a booming fast food industry. Taco bell, KFC, Burgerville, McDonald's, we got it all. Being the boy- crazy, I mean food- loving girls we are, we have to stop by every one after a game, just to.... check out the... scenery. 
   After one particularly awesome game, Kenz, myself, and our crazy pal Sarah were ready for a night of fast food hopin. For a while, it seemed like the scenery was going to be less than glorious until we lapped McDonalds for a second time. Low and behold, we found exactly what we thought we were looking for(obviously I'm talking about french fries.) Once we each had a time to "use the restroom"(because we are completely coy) we got some attention from what turned out to be, our towns finest boys. They less than dashingly made it outside to our car and apparently thought they turned up their charm to 100% but I'm convinced they were using the charm meter of puss for their guide(not to be harsh or anything.) After some degrading, insulting comments on their part (the kicker being when they said they would throw Kenz into the trunk) I slammed the door and told Sarah to drive away. She did and we didn't get 10 feet away before one of these geniuses decided the moon wasn't bright enough that night and proceeded to give us a full view of his. Being the innocent girls we are, we were shocked. I was shocked, Kenz was shocked, and Sarah was DEF shocked. It got to the point we had to steer our fearless driver to pull on the side of the road because she kept yelling "I JUST SAW A BOYS BUTT" followed by high pitched shrieks. Needless to say, our night was continued by spiels and spiels of laughter. Some of it was nervous laughter because we had just seen way to much of the male anatomy but mostly because with these girls, its hard not to always be laughing. They are the most wonderful, hilarious, fun oriented girls I know and being with them is always a time to be reckoned with. And even though we are all heading off to new adventure, I pray we still have a few left together. 

#youcantbethemoon #howdidigetsuchawesomefriends #thuglife