Lots of new things have been set up since the last time I posted on here so I'd like to take a moment to share some of them! Lately I've been trying to focus on setting up a good foundation for myself to have a career and pursue my dreams in the future. I have set up another more professional blog to display some of the photographs and other projects I do during my college years. I will continue to post on this blog any pictures or stories I have to tell, but I also urge you to take a look at my other blog!
I'm officially moved into college! I am attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln which is about 45 minutes away from home. I love it so far. I moved in a week before classes start because of sorority rush (which I then proceeded to drop out of..), but I have now had plenty of time to explore campus, pick up my books, and just relax a little before all the stress of 17 credit hours kicks in. I am majoring in Journalism and getting a minor in International Studies. Hopefully one day I will be able to use both of those things to travel and write/photograph the places I go. Before I left I finally got my disposable camera from London Developed. Here are some pictures from that as well as a few randoms I took to fill up the last few spots on the camera.
These last few days I've been trying to decide how it's possible to experience the best and worst day of your life within a two week span of each other. I knew life was known to throw some curveballs within everyones lifetime but I never imagined that my curveball would be as extreme as this. I just keep thinking "this couldn't have actually all happened to me, right?".
Between my London trip, loosing Katie, and moving to college in two short days, my life has been a whirlwind of ups, downs, happy times, sad times, and a few moments where I feel all of those at once. It's hard to sleep at night. My mind never shuts off or stops replaying emotional moments and joyful memories.
One thing I've noticed is that some people seem to be afraid to bring up Katie or the topic of death while in my presence. They don't want to upset me or bring up any painful memories. The truth is though, if you don't talk about it, it will eventually be forgotten. If Katie deserves anything from this life, it's to NOT be forgotten. Iv'e learned that there is a time to show my grief- with certain people who will grieve along with me. At other times, I just put on a smile and hide my emotions until I am again with those few certain people who understand what those close to Katie have been going through.
So as I move into my new dorm, meet new friends, and start classes that will prepare me for the rest of my life, I will put on a smile and try to live life as though I am just 45 minutes away and will be seeing her over Christmas break again.
I still can't comprehend the fact that your up in heaven right now. It saddens us so deeply here on this earth, but it brings a smile to my face when i think about how joyful and happy you are right now. To people who have never met you, it is impossible to put into words the kind of person you were. Even if somebody had only met you once, they could tell that your beautiful, loving, caring soul was special beyond its years. I keep replaying in my head the many, many memories we have together. You were my cuddle buddy.. oh how you loved to cuddle. The countless swim practices and meets we attended together were always that much more enjoyable when you were around. Once high school came around, we became that much closer. I remember being so exited for you, that you were going to experience school for the first time after being home-schooled your whole life. We spent our winter days running through the snow in our swim suits, streaking in basements, walking around on hotel roofs in the middle of snowstorms, tping the boys on the team, and jumping in the pool with all our clothes on:) There wasn't a single sleepover we had where we didn't fall asleep curled up right next to each other. You were one of the hardest workers I knew. When I was making my goals for my senior year swim season, I remember asking O'shea if I could be in your lane because when I swam with you I worked that much harder. When I was having a rough weekend at state, it was you who I went to for comfort; you held me and just let me cry, all the while encouraging me to focus on what was really important. I'm so thankful for those last two days at the pool that we got to spend together.. we talked for hours about how exited we were for each other to go to London and Belize, and we made plans to get together right when we got back because we wanted to hear all about each others trips<3. For some people this is very hard to understand, but I can physically feel you trying to lift my spirits. I haven't cried much these past two days- that could be because I simply have no tears left- but I'd like to think that it is because you are lifting my spirits, telling me that your in a happy place.. so much happier then you ever could have been on earth (if it is even possible to be happier then you were on earth!). The day after your passing, I was coaching at GOAL and this little girl was starting her trial week. She was so happy and bubbly and her name was Olive, which was just so precious. I couldn't help but think that she reminded me of you, with her bleach blonde hair and her adorable smile. Right after i thought that, she pulled out a bright yellow swim cap and I knew you had sent this little 5 year old girl to make me smile. If i ever had doubts about God and heaven before, your death has made them completely vanish. God has to have an urgent and very important plan to take a girl like you off this earth for a completely unknown reason and so suddenly. I just pray that you can keep comforting all those that knew you and help them realize that what has happened is for the best<3 keep shining your light up in heaven. Thanks for the countless memories and always making me smile. Words really can't describe the impact you've had on my life. Love you Katie baby, and as always, you motivate me to stay cute:)
My dad and I in the top picture and with my grandparents in the bottom picture. I couldn't have asked for a better trip! These three people were so welcoming and caring and I'm so thankful that I got the chance to meet them.