Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the ethel to my lucy.

Dear Reader,
It says in the scriptures to love thy neighbor as thyself. Whenever I hear this I immediately think of the cute pink house next door, and the brilliant 20 year old girl who lives there. Earlier this week she dedicated an absolutely beautiful post to me on her blog, and I would feel ungrateful if I didn't return the gesture.

Shauntel Ledora "Butterfingers" Byron, as I like to call her, has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. As little girls we pretended to be mermaids, ran numerous lemonade stands, became obsessed with the 80's, and had a secret club house that consisted of a hammock and a stump between our backyards. I treasure these innocent memories. As we grew into awkward preteens we came up with a motto- "We're freaks, we were made for each other." And right we were...

Our true natures came out at Girl's Camp, and those are by far my best memories with Shaunzi!

Shaunzi's always supported my copious amount of boy obsessions, and the drama that comes with it. She got excited for my happy moments, and comforted me in my sad ones. This picture is us at my boyfriend's track meet at 7 in the morning...what a pal :)

High school had it's ups and downs, but our bond only grew stronger because of it. Shaunzi was my go-to for everything. At times we were inseparable, and other times we knew we needed our space, but loved each other all the same. Oh, and we remained freaks.

As Shaunzi mentioned, the last few months of her senior year (my junior year) we hit a fork in the road and went our separate ways completely; barely speaking to each other. My heart had never felt so broken. At the time it seemed like the end of the world for me, but as usual it was a blessing in disguise. I learned how to really depend on God during my trials, and I ended up making a lot of new friends that summer. Shaunzi made tremendous leaps of her own at Utah State, and made the greatest friends in the world. The fates realigned the next spring, and the duo was back in business! Good thing too, because this is what was becoming of me without her...

Summer 2010 was a blast! We more than made up for lost time.

Then my time finally came to join her at USU. I had my doubts about remaining as close to her as I was, but God knew we needed each other. So besties we remained! And she graciously shared her incredible group of friends with me. I learned a lot more about her by being around them. Our crazy adventures of late nights, dance parties, Zumba, random drives, and of course Cafe Rio continued to bless our lives.

I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for allowing Shaunzi to be such a big part of my life. She is one of the only people that can bring out the emotional side of Samantha. She keeps me in check and constantly reminds me that I am of great worth. She tells me I'm pretty when I think I'm not, and tells me I'm hot when I know I am! I would rather spend time with her than almost anyone else. I used to find a better word than FUN to sum up our relationship. Interestingly enough one of the synonyms was DIVERTING. So I decided that's our word. It not only means to provide enjoyment, it means to change course. I think Shaunzi and I have done our fair share of changing courses, but our paths can't help but cross. And I know they will continue crossing for the rest of our lives. I have the greatest best friend in the whole world. Go ahead and be jealous Reader.

~The slightly-softened-but-still-sarcastic-Swampman

Saturday, May 14, 2011

sunny d and other shiz.

Dear Reader,
Friday was my last day of work at Millville Elementary for the school year. I managed to save my tears until I got in the car to drive home. Although my job was to help these kids learn and grow, I myself did a lot of learning and growing. I learned a greater measure of patience, kindness, responsibility, and to love people despite race or disability. I'm so grateful that I have a job that allows me to interact with the brilliant, innocent minds of children. A few kids in particular will be imprinted on my heart forever.

My summer-school teaching program doesn't begin until June 13th, which gives me an entire month off. Now my original plan was to conquer my ever-growing Summer bucket list...items including:

-Chug Sunny D while blasting Cat Stevens
-Get a henna tattoo
-Go skinny dipping
-Rent Aggie Bikes and ride all over Logan
-Protest with the Hippies on Fridays in front of the Tabernacle
-Speak in an Australian accent for a full 24 hours
-Go camping up Logan Canyon
-Clean the sink at Angie's
-Find a perfect climbing tree, and spend the whole day reading in it
-Master a margarita chicken recipe
-Learn Spanish
-Do a painting of the view from my window (A lovely stream surrounded by trees)
-Go on a date with an ethnic boy
-Go to the Farmer's Market every Saturday
-Play a game of catch in every park in Logan
-Hand out one pass-along card every week
-Completely avoid listening to Smash Mouth
-Take a trip to Ashton, ID and eat a Huckleberry Mountain at 511 Main
-Get my knee better so I can run in every Cache Valley canyon

Well Reader, instead I drove home today, planning on staying a few days, and made the command decision to stay here for the next few weeks. There is just something about being home in the Summer that just warms my heart. Doing yard work in the morning with my Dad while blasting Boston and CCR, singing around the piano with my Mom, hot tub chats and Cafe Rio trips with my best friend Shaunzi, and watching animal attack videos with my sister Maren. What more do I need? I feel quite spontaneous today. So spontaneous that I randomly cut my bangs straight across today after deciding to grow them out. Who knows what other crazy shiz I might do this week. Perhaps I'll adopt an emu or change my name to Harriet. Either way, my advice to you Reader is to do something unexpected today. Sing in your local Walmart, dance in an elevator, stick your tongue out at an old person, or maybe even grab that certain someone you've had your eye on and just kiss the crap out of them. The choice is yours.

-The Swampman

Monday, May 9, 2011

omg i'mma teenage girl.

Dear Reader,
This is what's up. The last few weeks have been some of the funnest of my life. The stress of finals paired with my health problems failed to ruin the last couple weeks of my freshman year. So suck on that! I found myself being overrun with amazing blessings. Some in the form of sunny days and free meals at Cafe Rio, and others in the form of amazing people.

One person in particular managed to severely brighten up my life. He made me feel like a 5 year old girl at Disneyland eating an $8 churro. Yeah, doesn't get much better than that. It's awesome when you find a friend that you just click with, ya know? Someone who you can carry on conversations about alligators with, skip rocks on the beach in the freezing cold rain, or order the same thing at Taco Bell at 11:00 p.m. And it never hurts if they look like an Abercrombie and Fitch model with melancholy eyes (just when you thought I wasn't shallow).

He's someone I honestly admire though. Dare I say, look up to. He's the most positive-minded person I've ever met. I don't think I caught him once without a glowing smile on his face. He is extremely service-oriented which he proved to me when he went out of his way to take care of me when I was sick AND helped me move my ridiculous amount of belongings out of my apartment. And did I mention the eyes? Dang. I'd be a lucky little lady to end up with someone half as incredible as him.

It would appear that my emotion-free criticizing blog has morphed into a "dear diary" entry. What can I say though? I'm a teenage girl. It's cute boys, Lady Gaga songs, and fat-free fro-yo that control me. The only agency I have left is which shade of red to paint my nails tonight (this chicks going with crimson).

Til next time Reader,
The Swampman