Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Son's first hero; A Daughter's First Love

It's hard to believe that it was nearly ten years ago that I first heard the word "cancer".. Something an eight-year old shouldn't have to hear! The same age my dad was when his mom passed away from cancer. I don't talk about this much... Most people who know me, know that I don't open up very easily and I tend to hide the things I'm afraid of, even though it's constantly on my mind! I was young... But I remember every single part of that day. One of my parents would always pick me up after school.. Without fail! But that day was different. My aunt picked me up and she was late. She didn't hide it very well. I could see she had been crying and I had no idea why. I didn't ask! I wasn't sure I wanted to know. But right at that moment it hit me. I knew something was wrong.

My family was living at my grandmas house at the time while we were building our new house. I remember pulling into the driveway and running inside just to see my parents, or my grandma. Walking inside I had no idea what was really happening. Seeing my whole entire family there was quite a shock!! But seeing my dad crying... That was even more of a shock. I just remember everyone crying.. All in the front room. And all I wanted was answers. I wanted to know why! But all I needed was to hug my dad. And I did for a long time. When I finally asked what was wrong I knew they were hesitant.

My family has always been close. And my parents did the best they could to protect me when I was that young. They told me it was nothing and it wasn't a big deal! So I trusted them. Even though in the back of my mind I still worried! I'll never forget when I found out they lied to me. They didn't tell me he had cancer... That he was sick! And I felt absolutely betrayed, and angry! I know they did it out of concern and love, but I thought I was old enough to handle it, at least at the time I did. Boy, was I wrong!

Even after finding out he had A-Plastic Anemia, I didn't know the half of it. I remember noticing my parents were gone a lot after that, but I didn't know they were at the hospital that much! His chances weren't good... And I had no idea. I loved playing at my grandmas! It was familiar, and it was a place I didn't have to worry. So I was content with that. I didn't think much of it. I actually thought it was cool that we could give daddy shots at home everyday... And his hair was falling out! But I still knew something was wrong. Seeing my mom cry, going to hospital and riding in the wheelchair on my dads lap with the teddy bear he gave me before he went into the hospital, falling asleep in the room with him and making my grandma drag us out because we didn't want to leave them... Those are the things I remember! And then it was all over. He was fine, as far as I was concerned I had my dad back! He was in remission... And all that meant to me was that I got him back!

He was in the clear for a very long time! It became something that stopped worrying me. We never did move into that house we were building, because we were too busy with everything else. It turns out, that was probably the best thing that ever happened! I don't know what I would do if I had never moved here to Bountiful! I was in fourth grade when we moved here! I grew to love it over time. It wasn't until I was fifteen that things started up once again. Dad went to his check up and found that his counts were down. The doctors didn't know what was wrong, and after two years of research they diagnosed him with Myelodisplastia(MDS), which is a rare form of blood cancer. The doctors said they believed he got this cancer from chemo the first time. This time, my brother and I were older. We knew was happening, but that didn't make it any better... If anything, it made it worse!

Treatments started but it wasn't until the summer before I went into high school that they realized they would have to go to Texas for his bone marrow transplant. Again, my parents did what was best for us! They left for five months... And kept us in school here in Utah. We could have moved down to Texas to be with our parents, but they thought it would be in our best interest to stay here. So they flew down to Texas on our first day of school. It was my first day of high school... And it was hard enough, but knowing my parents were on a plane to Texas without me was even harder. I was fine. Most people who knew me probably had no idea that I had no parents around for months. Except for the people I was close too. Most people have no idea how hard it was on me and my family.. Because I hid it! I run from things... Its what I do best! And I ran from this as far as I possibly could. I realized just how important my parents were. Coming home to a house and knowing your parents won't be there isn't a very welcoming feeling.

I still am shocked at how much support people gave me. Even though I never talked about it with people, they knew it was hard. Part of me was so angry that my parents were away from me. That I didn't have them here with me and my brother. I took it very hard and I felt it was my responsibility to stay strong for my brother. So I was. I never let anyone see me cry! I put up a wall that no one could break down. My mom came home for my first dance. My dad was doing a little better and she wanted to be here. She got to watch me cheer for the first time at a football game... She got to see my life and how much it had changed while she was down in Texas taking care of my dad! It was hard for me to look into a crowd of people at a game and not finding comfort because my parents weren't there.

It was the small things that really got to me. I only broke down a few times at football games... Every once and a while I'd get thinking about how much they were missing and I'd cry, but my friends were there! And words can't describe how grateful I am to them for that! I never admit that my parents leaving changed a lot for me, but it did! No one could get through to me while they were gone and I ALWAYS avoided the subject... I didn't talk to my friends about it, my mom, or my family... I acted like it was all normal. Like there was nothing wrong. I found solace in my boyfriend at the time. And not many people understood that at all. I didn't even understand why I could only open up to him about it. All I know is I don't know where I'd be without that comfort. Call it weird, but his family became something special to me because I could be myself, and I didn't have to pretend I was okay for them. Most people, including them, still probably have no idea why I found comfort coming into their lives.. Or why he was the one who helped me feel like everything would be okay! One thing is for sure, I owe a lot for that. People that didn't have a clue how I was feeling were there for me... And they didn't even realize it!

It's weird to look back on it all and think it really wasn't that long ago! The thought of losing my dad would kill me. I have so much respect for my mom for doing everything she possibly could for him! And my dad truly is my hero! Going into the hospital and seeing him fight every single day for his life amazed me! The doctors say all the time that it was all in my dads attitude! Leaving us wasn't an option. My dad is the funniest guy in the world. He always has a smile, even when he was at his lowest. I couldn't be prouder to say my dad is the strongest man there is and he never stops fighting! I love him so much and I am so grateful for such an amazing example and hero in my life! Thanks Daddy for all you do and for believing in me. You're the one person who has never doubted what I can do! I love you so much! Happy Fathers Day <3 Read this article over again and am amazed at all the support through it all! Couldn't be prouder of my daddy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Show Must Go On

If you would have asked me three years ago how I pictured I would feel right now, I would have probably said that I would have everything figured out!. I would have said I would be overjoyed at the fact that I am leaving this place, and most the people in high school.. and a part of me is! Truth be known, I couldn't be happier to get away from most things in high school.. haha! But part of me doesn't want it to end because it changes a lot. I step into a new world. That scares me. I had someone tell me today that I'm the hardest person to read. That I need to start saying how I feel. So I asked myself how I was feeling right at that moment.. and I couldn't answer the question. So here's my best attempt...

The hardest thing about growing up for me, is letting go of what I was used to, and moving on with something I'm not. The past month has been a real eye opener for me. To say that stress has gotten the best of me would be an understatement. I completely changed the way I saw things and to be honest, I don't like the way I saw them.

It's been said that times changes things... Well, I disagree. Time doesn't change anything. The three years I have been in high school, I've realized that doing things changes things. If I didn't do anything, it would have stayed exactly the same way it was. As I look back on high school.. The one thing I found comforting was cheer and my friends. Part of me is sad to let it all go. It has all become a huge part of my life, but today I realized it's all in the past. No matter how fast it went by, this week means it's time to let it go. Graduation is a time for goodbye. It's a chance to look back on every memory and smile, and walk away from it all knowing that there are better things in store! :)

Very few people know exactly how I am. Most people don't have the slightest clue. The people who have stood by me through it all... through all the memories of high school.. Those are the people who know me! Those are the people I owe the world to. The past month I've changed the way I look at things, and not until this past weekend did I realize that it got me no where. Looking back, I've made a lot of mistakes. I was asked today if I regret any of it, and I said no. If there is one thing I've learned it's that sometimes I had to do the wrong thing. Sometimes I had to make a big mistake to figure out how to make things right. In the end, it has helped me find who I really am. Who I want to be.

With graduation on Friday I've had a lot of time to wake up and look back on everything. It always seemed so far away and in a matter of a second I feel like it has snuck up on me. Its finally here! The week I swore I'd live up! Its the end of one life for me and the beginning of another and I couldn't be happier!

It's hard to believe I've walked the halls of Woods Cross for the past three years. Most of the people that have passed me every day I don't even know. And I'm leaving that all behind. Somewhere between cheering at football games, falling asleep in class, and dealing with more than enough drama to last me a lifetime... I grew to love it! I loved that feeling of cheering on the sidelines at every game with the girls who became sisters to me. I liked the idea of getting through a week of school and going home on a Friday night knowing I had the whole weekend to have the time of my life! And I couldn't be more grateful for all the people who challenged me.. who pushed me. The ones who had nothing good to say about me and my life! The ones who put me through hard times and who made me realize that the person I am could really care less. I got through it all even stronger than I was before! Those are the people I have to thank.

There are so many people I owe thanks to.... My parents especially! I've put them through a lot the past few years but they are always there. To the people who continue to support me no matter what and believe in the person I am. The people who love me and give me so much happiness, so much to live for! I have grown up a lot the past few months and I have a lot more of growing up to do. I think it's safe to say I am beyond ready to let high school go! It only gets better from here!! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Never Grow Up...

It all hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. There are three months left of school and I have NEVER had to make so many hard decisions in my life. When did it all happen? When did I grow up and turn into who I am today? Because I still remember being a five year old little girl.. I remember my grandma always telling me to believe in myself, always!

When I was little, I LOVED Disneyland! :) I guess loved is kind of an understatement haha. I loved the hope it gave me. Tinkerbell was always my favorite character. Being the oldest grandchild, my grandma/family loved spoiling me.. haha! They smothered me with these ideas about Tinkerbell and Disneyland. I remember getting SO excited when I actually believed in it all! I remember going to Disneyland when I was a little older and I finally realized it was all make believe. I still remember getting frustrated and saying "This is stupid.. It's not real! None of this is real."... Geez! I remember like it was yesterday my grandma telling me that it was real. That I had to believe in it! So I did... I believed in it for a while. I know Disneyland isn't real now, but it gave me some kind of hope when I was younger. :)

That's kinda mine and my grandma's thing. She still to this day will tell you that Disneyland is real if you believe in it. Just like Tinkerbell is. ;) Ya know, sometimes I wish I could go back to that. Back to when I thought nothing could hurt me and I believed in it all. "Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust".. Haha it's a phrase that is all too familiar to me. Everyone in my family could tell you that I was that little girl that lived off of fairytales and the belief that Disneyland was real. I guess in some way that is all still a part of me.. Call me crazy, but I still believe in "happy ever afters" and sadly, I have too HIGH of expectations for guys. I guess I have Disney to thank for that!.. ;)

I'm not a little girl anymore.. I'm going to be making harder decisions than choosing what crayon I want to color with :( Somewhere along the line I started to believe that I can "take care of myself".. and I have this idea in my head that I can't let people down in my life. I have to make all the right decisions. But what if I dont know the right decisions? What if I dont want to grow up anymore?

Lately I feel like my whole world is changing. I've become a girl who is too tired to believe in myself or to listen. For those of you who know me well, you know that I can be very hard to read sometimes. I DO NOT make decisions. That is why it is so hard for me to make decisions about my life right now. Anything major in my life can take forever for me to decide. I look to what matters to other people. I talk to others and get their ideas and I usually put it all together into something that satisfies everyone else, but some decisions I need to make on my own. The thing that is hard for me is that I am the type of person that is "laid back".. What I mean is, I like people to give me the specifics and a plan on how they want me to do it. I have never been good at making tough decisions. I question myself and I challenge what i dont feel is right.

All day today I just keep asking myself what people want from me. I mean my whole life I thought I had a plan about what I want to be and where I want to go to college and now I dont. It's like I have no idea what to do. All I know is I want to stay this young as long as I possibly can. I keep trying to figure out what the right thing is to do and I dont know what that is. I have absolutely no idea. I keep reminding myself to take pictures in my head of everything so i wont forget.. I realize now that I can lose everything based on one decision. If I move away, I feel like I'll lose who I am and what I have become. Is it bad to say that I don't ever want to grow up?.. :(

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Got 99 Problems, And I'm All of Them.. ;)

I know it's been a while since I've posted. I have a lot on my mind right now.. and I've realized that I feel like writing is the only way I can say it best. So I'm just going to rant about everything and anything. Bear with me on this one..

I have always known I have a hard time saying how I feel. I cant express it very easily and that has definitely affected me lately. I dont just come right out and say how it is... and sometimes I wish I did. I put up a strong front. I recently heard a saying, "The truth will set you free"... I had no idea how true that was until I started thinking about everything.

If you haven't figured it out yet, one of the things I am going to be "rambling" about is communication. I mean, communicating is one of the first things we learn in life right? It's funny how you grow up and it actually starts getting harder to say what you really want or ask for it! At least, that's how it feels for me. Like I said earlier, I put up a strong front to protect myself. Not until recently did I ask myself where I should draw the line. I've had countless people tell me that I am too stubborn to admit how I'm really feeling. And lately I have seen the truth in that.

Now, truth be told, it's a girl thing. Most girls I know, including myself, say things and mean something COMPLETELY different at times! I have realized that as much as I want it to be true,  NO ONE can read my mind. So why do I find it difficult to express how I feel? And why do I get so frustrated that people don't automatically understand? Is it really just 'how I am?' Like I said, I 've seen a lot of truth in my life lately. I have opened my eyes. And I have come to realize that, although I thought I overcame it, I am still that shy, reserved girl I used to be when I was little. And for some reason, it is hard for me to admit! I HATE being shy.. and I didnt think I still was until I took a step back and realized that I only open up to people I am comfortable with. I guess I'm rambling about this because I am trying to convince myself that I need to start saying what I really mean and not assume people already know.

Now onto the next... Expectations!! I've heard it said that if you expect nothing than you'll never be disappointed, but is that possible? Because I have realized that I have expectations for people that I didn't even know I had. One of which is expecting people to clearly understand what I'm trying to say. So my question is: How do you know when you are expecting too much of someone? What if you are someone like me who has too high of expectations? One thing that I will say is I expect too much TOO SOON.. Let me put this in perspective, have you ever had someone expect perfection and nothing less? It's almost like you're doomed to fail right? That is when I think it becomes too much to ask. So as I try to see the truth.. I guess I want to be able to overcome my high expectations of others and being happy.

Well I guess I should try to wrap this long and completely random post up with my last "rant"... This one's a tough one and I'll tell ya why. I don't understand why people who have the most to say about me are the ones who really don't know about my life. "The people who know the least have the most to say".. Why?? News flash!! If I wanted you're opinion, trust me I would ask for it. Of course I understand that the people who really care about me are just looking out for me but I dont get why others do it.

One thing I have realized through all of this is that it doesnt matter how many times people tell me how to live my life. I cant even begin to explain how many times I have heard people tell me certain things aren't "worth my time". It may seem like I am compromising my dignity, and I may get upset or hurt but I know one thing for sure: I am happy! VERY happy! :) And if that's wrong, then so be it!!

I guess what I have realized is that I need to tell myself the truth about myself and by doing so it will help me become a better person. The past few months I've realized that I have to compromise things. Being stubborn gets me no where. I need to stop listening to what others think. Reality has given me an open mind. I want nothing more than to prove to people that they are wrong and above all else, I am going to make changes in order to be happier with the relationships I have in my life because that is all that matters.. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cheer like it's your last... :(

Senior night? Are you kidding me?.. This came way too fast. I can’t believe in 3 and a half months it’s all over! As far as cheer is concerned, the games are coming to an end. Tonight might be the last game the seniors ever get to cheer at. The three years I have been in high school I have waited so long to get out of here, but there are still so many mixed emotions. :/
I don’t think it really hit me when I woke up this year on my last, “first day of school” that I can’t ever get it back. I don’t even know if it has hit me at all yet! I mean, I’ve thought about it. Every time the cheerleaders go out and perform I remind myself that I’ll miss it. And every time we cheer at a game, I remind myself that next year I won’t be doing it anymore. I think at some point every cheerleader has always wondered what it’s like to be in the stands instead of cheering on the sidelines. And this year I realized that cheering on the sidelines is what I’m going to miss most. I think every single person I have talked to that has graduated has told me that I am going to miss high school and that I don’t even know the half of it. Even after hearing them all tell me to enjoy it, I still feel like it hasn’t hit me yet.
Tonight is probably our last home game… It’s the last time we get to cheer at a high school basketball game and the last time we can perform at half time. I know it isn’t going to hit me until I’m crying my eyes out after cheering tonight so I guess it’s time I realize it because in a few hours it’s pretty much over as a cheerleader. :( We don’t have competitions anymore, and practices are just for fun now! Sure, we perform at the end of year, but that’s it.
My whole life I’ve cheered at games and pretty soon it’s all over. I know it’s not the end of the world haha! I’m moving on to bigger and better things. But there is always a part of me that is going to miss cheering and the friendships I have built. I wouldn’t trade anything for the years I have spent at Woods Cross. The friendships I have built with some of the teammates are unforgettable and I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else. I don’t think many people understand the bond we share as a team. I go to practice every day and laugh because there is never a time when cheer hasn’t made me happier. All the summer practices, and the parties, the early morning practices, tumbling at Cheerz, competitions, cheering at games...It’s all ended! And I guess you could say I wouldn’t want to end it any other way…
My coach told us at our last competition that some of her closest friends are still the girls she cheered with in high school! And I know the friendships that I have built on this team will last. Pretty much all of my best friends are on the team with me and it’s so weird to think next year I won’t be back at this school. But I want to say to my best friends and team mates that it has been an absolute honor to be a part of such a talented, close team! The memories this year are unforgettable and I honestly couldn’t be happier the way we are ending it!
To the seniors… Ah! I love you guys... Haha we’ve always gone all out and I am so excited to perform one last time with just you five at half time tonight :) To my amazing parents, who have supported me 100% in cheer… I am so glad that I have you guys to fall back on when things get hard. I don’t know how I would have gotten through my years of cheering without them. I can’t thank them enough for coming to every competition and performance. There is no greater feeling than looking into a crowd of people before I perform and seeing their faces every single time to calm me down! I am so grateful for the many years I have had to enjoy this and after tonight, I know I will be able to smile and remember it as a great memory! :) I guess I should probably be preparing myself for MANY tears tonight… but all I have to say to the seniors is let’s cheer it like it’s our last tonight (Because it is!) and umm… “We… Work.. Out!” :) Sassy and Classy.. <3 XOXO...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

All We Do Is Win.... You ain't seen nothin yet!

"Somewhere behind the athlete you've become, the hours of practice, the coaches who pushed you, the teammates who believe in you, and the fans who cheer for you is the little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back! Play for her..."

AHH! Competition Season is already here??! You've gotta be kidding me! I remember when I first started cheering at Cheerz. Man, I had no idea how brutal that was going to be. And I also had no idea how much it would change my life forever!

I started Cheerz when I was probably 8. When I first started, I was shocked at how close everyone was. If you haven't had the chance to be on a Cheerz team, I dont expect you to understand because those teams are like family. It's practice 24/7 and you learn to love each other! Over time I overcame my shyness. I'm sure all my coaches still remember how shy I was. I was very reserved. My second year I became more outgoing. And by the third, I guess you could say I was a completely different person.
Loved this team so much! So long ago haha!

The girls on my team taught me so much. I grew to love them all like sisters. I know it's hard to believe that a bunch of girls can have such a sisterly bond like that, but at Cheerz we were taught to be a family. Of course, there were bad times.. Very bad times! We would all get frustrated. And yes, there were many fights! But I can't remember a time that I went to practice without laughing. It was a way for me to get away. I remember one thing I LOVED was being able to go on the floor when I was really mad.. And I could just tumble. Everytime hitting the floor I let it all out. Worked like a charm everytime ;) I knew I could go to cheer and be with the girls I trusted because we were a team.
Kelb and Shy! I love them soo much!

The things cheer has taught me is.. actually unbelievable. It is something I would never give up! Cheerz is where it all started for me, but it has gone beyond that. I have created friendships through cheer that I never thought I could, especially in high school. Ha.. I am already getting teary eyed as I'm writing this.. :(

9 days from today, I will be at my very last, first cheer competition as a Woods Cross cheerleader :( It has come WAY too fast. We work all year for a routine that lasts 2 minutes. And let me tell ya, its not easy! Long practices... tumbling, stunting, cheering. Non stop! I can't explain the everyday practices...  It's not only a team sport, but an individual sport. Everyone has to do their part or it just doesnt work. It's a commitment. It's full of expectations and determination. It involves not only your body, but your mind.

There are two things that can happen when it comes to sports teams... The teammates can come together as a team or they can tear each other apart. I have definitely experienced both of these situations. It can be so frustrating when a team doesn't work together, no matter how hard you try! But.. the best feeling is overcoming differences and working together!

This year, as a senior, has definitely been one of my best years so far. The first time our team practiced I knew we would all be close. If it weren't for cheer, I wouldn't have met my best friends.. I wouldn't have learned half of what I have learned in high school. I am so grateful for you all to have such amazing examples in my life. I've grown up with them and it's been such an experience for me. I just want to say to:

Stephy- You're absolutely amazing! In every way. You always motivate me and push me to do my very best. I am so glad that I have become best friends with you! <3 I love you so much babe! And really, you are seriously my idol! I don't know how I would have survived half of high school without you!

And Bec- Haha we ALWAYS have our moments but I hope you know our friendship means the world to me! I hope you don't leave me for college but if you do I know we will always be friends! Haha we will probably be on the phone 24/7 ;) So you might as well just not move to Cali.. Or wherever you end up going and just stay here so we can continue the good times! 

And now Shelb... :( She is the best friend I have ever had! And I mean that in EVERY sense of the word. Shelb is ALWAYS the first person I go to. No matter what. Haha I still remember when I first met her. Yes, we were wearing the same shirt... I had no idea that she would become my best friend! Who would have thought? :) She could not be a better example for me. Honestly though, Shelb. I'm talking to just you right now, and I know you're probably bawling so I don't feel as stupid since I am too.. but no one can understand what we've gone through. No one understand more than you.. and like, through everything you've helped me so much! And I really do.. I absolutely adore you and I think you're amazing! I wouldnt pick anyone else in this world to go through this experience with. Its been more than I could ever ask for! (I know that was long.. but she's probably leaving me when we graduate! And I dont know what I'm gonna do without this girl! Haha.. It's hard to believe only a few short months are left and then its over.)

Then there is the person who makes it all happen, Nichole! She's been my coach all throughout high school and I couldnt ask for better. She sees more in the team than anyone else ever could. There really aren't enough words to describe what she has meant to me. I am sure I speak for all the seniors when I say she has has been by our side through thick and thin. She really has taught us how to be a team and strive for goals, no matter how impossible that may seem. It has been amazing having her as a coach! :)

I know it's not goodbye yet. But with our last, first competition coming up.. it sure seems like it! Every long practice.. comes down to that routine! To all the Woods Cross cheerleaders.. I could go on and on about every single one of you! You are all like sisters to me and I wouldn't have it any other way! Once competitions are over, everything dies down. I never knew that I would grow so close to everyone this year! I know we are gonna KILL it at comp! That's just what we do ;) I love you all! And everything we have worked for is finally here! 5 competitions.. and then it's all over! I can't thank my team enough for the amazing memories and laughs they have given me! I will never. ever. forget how special this team is! My coaches ALWAYS taught me to "leave it all out on the floor with no regrets." That is EXACTLY what I plan to do! Love you all! Let's get it done babess! :)