Saturday, December 25

I Will Cry if I Need To

When the memories fade, and the time becomes more distant, so too will my presence.  Years from now, I doubt I'll be remembered as a figure in the life that made up Ryan Barber.  I was nothing special, just a girl he lived with. 
In my mind, it was beautiful...full of romance and bursting with love.  No man could ever love me stronger, I was convinced.  I woke up next to him everyday with his loving arms wrapped around me so tight, "I'll never let you go babe..."  He did everything in his power to cheer me up when no one else could, called me beautiful every day, surprised me with as much as he the world, he was wrong for me in every way.  In many ways, yes, he was...but now, as my heart is aching at the memory of how real it was to me, why can't it just be understood that I will cry if I need to, miss him if I miss him, allow myself to FEEL the pain that still lives inside me.  I've been hurt since he left me...I thought my best friend was going to come back into my life, he did...until I was stable, now I don't hear from him & he's found a new girl.  The first man I wanted to give a chance to after my heart was feeling patched together...he stomped on it & now finds it necessary to call and tell me how fantastic his new relationship is going.  
These issues are so incredibly minute in comparrison to the pain I can still remember from that night.  As I ran down the hall to the only friends I knew, I remember him clutching me so tight in his arms as my knees collapsed under me.  Complete strangers who only knew my name because of Ryan, were holding me as I sobbed and tried to forget what I'd just seen.  
World, I'm doing better...I function, work, go to school...but I witnessed a tragedy.  There are still times in my life when I'm going to cry like a child again, somedays I will want to just lay in bed and miss him, I still dream about that night, that image, its all still living inside my mind.  I've been called a murderer because Ryan is many twenty year olds can just forget this sort of thing?  
Ryan Barber wasn't a very good boyfriend...he cheated on me, and made me cry more times that I can recall...but as a friend, father, son...he was great.  Boyfriends are supposed to come & go from our lives, but the things that mattered he was loyal to.
This Christmas hurts me, just like my first Christmas without my dad, I am allowed to miss Ryan.  I can't be strong all the time, I've been strong a lot more than I expected I would please don't be shocked or disappointed to know that I fall sometimes too.  

Tuesday, December 21

The Holidays of 2009

I sincerely hope that although I've made such long strides in my life, its still acceptable to be sad sometimes when I write.  
Today, and recently, I can't help but think about 'this time last year...'  I invited Ryan to join me in Yuma for Christmas, as did the rest of my family, because we all knew he wasn't going to be able to make it home for the holiday.  It broke my heart to know the man I loved was going to spend it alone in a new city, but because of conflicts they had that he felt uncomfortable with, he said no and that he'd wait for me here.  Luckily he ended up with his friend baking cookies all day with some other people they knew that also couldn't make it back home for the holiday, so he wasn't alone.  He called me Christmas morning, so early he woke me up, to say "Merry Christmas babe! Its our first one together!"  The plan was to spend the day with my family in Yuma, then drive back that night because I had to work early the next day.  Ry was so excited that we'd spend Christmas night together, and called or texted throughout the day to see when I was leaving so he could see me.  I ended up getting snowed in and staying an extra night, missing work and spending 4 hours on the road fighting my way back to Greeley, but the next day the excitement I saw on his face when I saw him again, he seemed so happy to have his girl back.  

The next week he was lucky enough to go home to see his little girl, and they spent new years together.  That evening when I was getting ready he called and said he was nervous about me going to a nightclub for the celebration.  He said "you are just so beautiful, I just know some guy is going to try and take you home, and I'm not there to help you remember my love."  I laughed and told him that there was no way I'd forget it....then, he told me the big news...never really figured out if it was true or not, but at the time, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.  He called me Mrs. Barber, and I laughed and told him to stop teasing...then he went on to tell me that he told his family that he wanted to marry me, and had the conversation with Lis about what an important person I was in her daddy's life.  "Let's go to Vegas when I come home and just get married, I want to spend the rest of my life with you & being away from you now makes me realize that even more..."  he said.  Not exactly romantic, but it was the wild adventerous side of him that I just adored, so I said yes.  

When he came home, I swore there was a ring..he'd asked for my ring size and everything, but there wasn't.  Instead, he'd bought me a cross necklace that was so beautiful, because while he was away, I got the call that I was going to start worship team soon, and he wanted me to know how proud he was of me for finally chasing my music again.  He said "When the time is right, I'll have the perfect ring for you..."  

Memories of this incredibly romantic whim of my life just keep flooding into my mind as the days get closer, the men in my life now keep disappointing me, or days when I just feel his presence in this house that used to be ours. 

This is the first Christmas and New Year's the world is spending without Ryan Owen Barber, and now more than ever...I hate the reality of his choice, and even if he'd left me someday for his life in New Mexico, or another woman, or whatever...he should still be alive.  

Monday, December 20

The Accomplishment in Finishing

Today's lesson: If you're feeling down, go do something you are good at and keep doing it until you feel great again!

I always say that one of the greatest blessings God could have given me, is my artistic soul that is so drawn to music.  Without fail whenever I'm sad, lonely, discouraged...whatever the emotion may be, just strumming a few chords on my guitar and letting myself get wrapped up in the music, is more than enough to bring me back up in spirits.  

Slowly, but surely, I've been piecing together songs one at a time.  The first song was angrily written on a lonely night about an ex who walked out of my life and how he would regret it someday, the next was about the pain I felt when Ryan chose suicide over the love I had for him, it was my pain in a song and soon after that I began to feel the emotions I was too scared to let in at first.  Tonight, I finished my third song about the excitement of taking a risk on love from a friendship.  I can't really say it goes out to a certain someone right now, I more or less drew on the emotions I felt when I was 16 years old telling my brother's best friend that I wanted to be his girlfriend.  This was a fun one to write, and I'm glad I finally got it finished.

The greatest part about finishing my third song though isn't having another song to my name, its the feeling of accomplishment in FINISHING.  So many times we start something that we love but get discouraged for one reason or another, and end up quitting...which in all reality only leads you to more feelings of despair instead of any relief.  There were times tonight I was frustrated, I couldn't play it right, the chords are off, my voice couldn't get as high as I wanted it too...but I kept going, and by golly I have an entire song to prove it!

When I had just moved to Denver with Ryan, I found myself facing the anniversary of my father's passing in a strange new city with no one there but the man I loved.  The morning started out terrible and I didn't want to move from my bed, until Ryan finally came in with my camera case and said "Let's go do something you love to do, your dad would like that."  So, thanks to that day, we all have many photographs of Ryan to enjoy because he made me do something I was passionate about until my pain eased.  

So if you're feeling down, discouraged, lost or lonely...think about what makes you happiest, something you can do alone to gather yourself and heal your broken heart, and don't quit until you feel that passion go right back into your heart and you know you can keep moving.  

Go do something you love!!! <3

Arianne Elizabeth

Saturday, December 18

With a Little Determination, God Threw Me a Bone

Today's lesson:  Learning that giving it over to God isn't just an expression, the result of finally trusting him could be incredibly rewarding.  

I was feeling very discouraged earlier in the week, last weekend I got the news that unless I wanted to fill every room in the condo with roommates again, I would have to be moving out in February.  I'm not very good at roommate hunting...and I'm terrible at living with other people, so here it is: time to move into my very own 1 bedroom apartment, totally by myself this time.  This is something I don't mind at all, when I'd moved to Denver I surprisingly loved my tiny little 1 bedroom apartment, even if the neighborhood was awful, things were falling part, and management/maintenance was far from functioning...but it was mine, home to me.  

So I was forced to take a good long look at my job status, and decided it wasn't going to cut it.  Not to mention, I want to get my CNA certification anyway, so I wanted to start working in healthcare somewhere to get some experience under my belt.  As it turns out, a good friend of mine's mother works at a great nursing home in town and was going to start doing some hiring soon for her facility.  The application is in, connection made, and now we wait...

Not sure how long it will take to hear back from them, but I'm so excited to know that I have a chance.  It took a few days to pull myself back up into determination mode, but when I did I believe I finally turned it over to God and said "do with this what you will, I know you've taken me out of worse situations and never let me go, I know you'll be with me now."  

So remember...when things look bad, or you think you can't get anywhere, THIS is the time God wants you to just turn it over to him.  When you finally do, maybe you'll see your prayers answered, or find blessings in your life somewhere the least expected.  

Tuesday, December 14

Putting More Than just Tragedy Behind Me

Today's lesson: People come into our life for a reason, some forever and some just long enough to teach you a lesson. 

Today I woke up to my Facebook page still open and started scrolling through the many updates from friends.  Some about finals week, some about Christmas break coming up, and one that stuck out very loud and clear.  One friend boasting about how incredible her weekend was wishing she'd had more time to enjoy it.  Then it hit me again...this friend was supposed to see me this weekend.  Of course it hurts getting ditched, hurts even more to be ignored, and I've become very used to this feeling from certain people around here...but from an old friend, the knife seemed to be pushed a little farther in the wound.  

As I continued to scroll down I saw a countless number of old friends who before I introduced them, had no idea the other even existed.  Making plans, recalling recent memories, best friends I would guess...all the while, I attempted to talk to almost all of them this weekend to see some of no avail.

Anyway...I'm not crying about it, this is just another thing I will soon learn to shrug off my shoulders and say "the happy times we had together WERE great, but you are moving on with your life and I am moving on with mine."  It seems that there is more than tragedy I must learn to put behind me.  

In the meantime, I have one incredible friend who I can talk to anytime and makes me smile (that's you Miss Britt!)  the strangest beginning to a friendship, but its turned out to be quite the blessing in my life.  To the friends who made me laugh and smile in the past...maybe our paths will cross again someday, but I will always hope for the absolute best in your lives and smile in gratitude for the times we once shared.

So here's to a new future, growing up doesn't mean forgetting, it just means accepting and moving forward.  

 Happy Tuesday all!

Arianne Elizabeth

Thursday, December 9

Moving On Doesn't Mean Forgetting

Life will always be a struggle at one point or another in everyone's life...its unfortunate but very constant reality.  It is my full belief that the most important times in our life are how we deal with the storm over our heads.  Sometimes, its in a persons lowest moments you see their true colors come out and shine or disappoint.

What I went through was hard, unnecessary, and awful.  There are a lot of things about it that I wish I could change one way or another, but after about two solid months of trying to bargain with God, I finally caught the hint that his will is final, I can't 'convince' him to turn back the clocks just to make a few tweaks here and there and hope the finale is better, no matter what insane promises I make.  

Instead I accepted the journey ahead of me, took on the heartache and finally started facing it.  I uncovered many many truths...within our relationship, myself, his life outside of me..some was very unsettling, some comforting, ALL a part of the process.  After months of seeing a counselor, endless phone calls to friends who let me cry for hours, and nights when I truly felt like I couldn't go on...I found myself beginning to put my feet back on the ground.  Suddenly the world wasn't spinning so fast, and I was able to catch my breath.  It still gets crazy, but I've began learning how to DEAL with those times. 

Where I am now is a good place, its not my forever..but a wonderful place to be considering 8 months ago I didn't think I'd ever survive past that tragic night.  I am working hard at my job, trying so hard to get into CNA classes to start a career, guarding my heart and keeping myself life now includes men who YES I might want to have a relationship with in the future, but none of this means I'm forgetting Ryan Barber.  It means I know in my heart he wishes he could take this back, a permanent solution to a temporary problem..he knows that now, but I think also that it would just crush him more to know the people he loved stopped living.  We all still deserve great and beautiful things, and just because I'm chasing them doesn't mean I forgot.  

So world..please don't be upset with me for moving forward with my life, I will always be thankful for the happy memories we had, I will always feel in my heart that even if we'd never stayed together - we both deserved happiness and a long long life, but this will not define or control the rest of my life.  It is one of the pieces to build who I am as a person.  

For tonight,

Arianne Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 7

Happy Birthday Daddy

Today is an important day in many is my best friends birthday, many remember Pearl Harbor several years ago, and it is also my father's birthday.  

When we were little, I remember getting so excited to get home from school so I could call him to tell him...I could imagine that it made him smile ear to ear to hear those adorable squeaks of a "happy birthday" from his little girls.  There for a while I was seeing a guy who has two little girls as well, when the topic of his girls came up his face would light up so incredibly took me back to hearing Ryan tell me about his Lis the first time we hung out, I'd never seen him happier than when he was talking to or about his little girl.  Something about a daddy being a daddy just makes me smile and warm my heart because for 7 years, I was the luckiest girl in the world - I had two incredible fathers who both loved me more than words could describe.  

I still have two fathers, one is just watching out from heaven... today I miss a lot of things, I'm sad about a lot of things, and would be lying if I said I hadn't shed a few tears, but I'm still forever thankful for the time I got with daddy...

Happy birthday old man :) love you with all my heart..

Arianne Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 30

Moving Back Home

Today's Lesson: Facing your fears when the time is right with understanding and acceptance.

Tomorrow, December 1, 2010, will mark the day that my 'lease' at the condo begins officially again.  The check is written, my whopping 15 boxes are packed and waiting in the garage, and now all I need to do is clean the heck out of the room that will soon be mine.  It still feels very unreal...and I find myself tonight sitting in the silence reflecting on my life thus far.  I spent three months alone in that place, the next two months with amazing roommates, then the next six living there with Ryan.  It would make sense that obviously most of my memories there are with Ryan, and I'll the first few months after losing him - it was like a stab in the heart to even step foot in the place we'd once tried to make a home.  

However, with the love, support and strength of the amazing people in my life...I've finally reached a place in my life where I can truly look back on the life we had, the memories we made, and the things we lost and say "It was life: mistakes were made, but lessons were learned." Its not shrugging off the past like the situation was a pair of old shoes I grew out of, its smiling on it and appreciating what time we DID have that was happy.  

An incredible friend of mine and I were hanging out one night when I was just visiting Greeley from Yuma.  He knew how difficult Greeley was for me, but was so kind and understanding with his words its like I almost forgot the pain for a while.  We were watching a movie together when he started asking me about my future, what I was going to do to pick up the pieces of this tragedy and move forward.  (He knew that was exactly what I'd do because he admitted later the first reason he knew he wanted to be in my life somehow was when we met, he could see how positive I was and how I could find the best in every situation.)  So I started to tell him about Denver, the apartments I'd looked at in Arvada...far far away from Glendale, the jobs, etc... and he finally stopped me.  He said "Arianne, you shouldn't be going to're chasing something there that you're never going to find, you should be in Greeley where you can be surrounded by people who love you."  It hit me like a ton of bricks (as would lots of other incredibly insightful things he'd say later on) and I knew he was so right.  

So that night I made the decision that I was not going to let my fears keep me from Greeley, I knew I wanted to be here, and never really wanted to leave... I only left in fear of losing the man I loved, only to learn later that love is about compromise, not sacrifice.  Greeley has always felt like home to me, and tomorrow marks the day I'm finally back on my two feet.  I will struggle, I will fall down and get some bruises, no doubt I will mess things up...but I'm a different girl these who learns from her mistakes, and won't let them control her life.  

Sorry for the long pause blogger world, maybe now I'll be back on track :) 

For tonight...

Arianne Elizabeth

Friday, November 19

A Win and A Lose

Sometimes...actually a lot of the generation is full of men who do not know what it means to respect a woman.  Considering what we've grown up with (Rap music about hitting women, Hughe Hefner & his wonderful idea of relations, Spice Girls instilling such self respect in us..) its no wonder that chivalry is somewhat dead.  On top of wonderful role models, the era of technology has led us to a whole different type of relationship between men and women.  One of my favorite movies of all time says it perfectly: 

"...I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting."

He's Just Not That Into You is by far one of the greatest movies of all time, and no doubt one that every woman should see.  It is full of incredible life lessons, especially for the serial dater like myself.  I will admit that one of my flaws is making excuses for men.  Never is it: he's just not that into me.. its more like: I'm sure he just got busy, that or his phone isn't receiving texts..maybe mine isn't, I'm going to call the phone company and find out... <<< Not healthy!! 

So this week, I started making the exact excuses.  The new boy really was busy, being an apartment manager means he's got lots on his plate.  Its true he wasn't avoiding me, but I didn't get to find that out until today.  It wasn't exactly the news I was looking forward to hearing, but the reality is he was honest with me.  He told me he had something to tell me but wanted to tell me to my face.  Bummed me out to hear what he had to say, but he didn't dance around it, he came out and said it straight up. 

My chance isn't gone forever, but it is on hold.  I wasn't picked, but I don't see it as not being picked for another was a man trying to make the best decision for his kids.  How can I be depressed when I am lucky to still have that decent man in my life??  I don't regret giving him my number, or even giving him a chance... I showed him what a great girl I am and found myself a great friend...and you know what they say: "The best relationships grow from friendships." :) 

So, its a lose because my chance is officially on the back burner but its a win because if the chance ever comes back up again, I've found myself a good man with good morals.  Not a bad catch either way!  

Have a wonderful night bloggers!

Arianne Elizabeth

Saturday, November 13

To Write Love On Her Arms

My first TWLOHA
Sabrina, Mom & Dad's 'love marks'
Today's STORY: One of overwhelming support and encouragement through the battle of depression.

Yesterday I had the great privilege of finally participating in my first "To Write Love On Her Arms Day."  Wheww, the title is a mouthful to say, but the organization is just incredible.  In their own words, the mission of "TWLOHA" is:

"To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."

 To me what this means is simple...depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide most definitley exist in our world.  The rate of all of these is rising at an alarm rate with my generation.  Its a scary time, and knowing from experience...these kids and young adults are just trying to find a way to release the pain.  When I was thirteen years old and first picked up a knife, I didn't know what I was doing.  I'd never heard of cutting before, no one ever told me what it was or why people believed it helped them...I just was in pain and wanted it gone.  I used to say that the reason I'd cut was to turn emotional pain into physical pain, because physical injury will always heal.  

This organization offers hope to those who suffer and shares stories of thousands of people who've overcome their addictions, dropped the knife once and for all, and chose LIFE.  What better way to fill yourself with the encouragement you need than to witness so many people live happy lives, fulfilling lives, because they chose to fight for their life?  

As a twenty year old, my little brain holds more tragic memories than it should...and it is still painful to remember, sometimes brutal to talk about, but always a reminder.  Yesterday I found myself holding back tears at work when I got the photo from my mom and saw that my little sister and dad also wrote love on their arms.  Not that a mother's love isn't cherished...because I love my momma more than anything...but when I saw that my sister and dad supported the day too, I broke down.  Dad's always been one of the 'strong silent' types, and never really said he loved us first, he'd wait for us to say it then tell us.  Living in a house full of girls who are all 'i love you sluts' however has changed him :) To see him supporting this cause...felt like he was somehow saying he was proud of me for where I've made it to.  Here come the tears again as I write this because knowing your dad is proud of a daughter, somehow that is just one of the best feelings in the world.  I was blessed to have two daddy's in my life, and even though God had to call one home when I was seventeen I couldn't have been more blessed to have the one I do in my life.  

I beat depression, many times over, and have since then sworn off the knife.  I choose life -- with whatever curves and road bumps it has in store, I know that I have the support system to rise above anything.  Not only that, but they did a great job raising us to be fighters...we all know how to strive for what we want.  

Today I am a proud survivor of depression, and a proud supporter of To Write Love on Her Arms as they continue the fight to offer light and hope to anyone facing the darkness.

In Strength,

Arianne Elizabeth

Ps. For more information on this organization and to purchase merchandise so you can spread the Love Movement more than just once a year visit 

Thursday, November 11

Proud to be my Father's Daughter lesson. Just a daughter missing her daddy.  

For two days now, the owner of the store has been hanging out at our store to see how we're running things.  Its always a little nerve racking just because no one wants to upset him, but it always ends up being better than we expect.  One thing about him is that he always switches the radio station when he gets there.  Instead of the usual twang of country singers singing about their ex-loves and alcohol, we were listening to christian radio.  Its always difficult to find things to be upset about when you're listening to such uplifting music, but occasionally a certain song would hit me right & bring back memories. 

When we brought daddy home from the hospital, we knew it wouldn't be long before the cancer took his body and God called him we did everything we could to make him happy.  He wanted a whopper from Burger King really bad, so we stopped and got him one his last night in the hospital.  Then when we got him home the next day, he wanted to see his deck he'd just had put in his new house.  We all went outside with him and he asked to feel the sunshine, and put his feet in the grass.  Around midnight that night, he started feeling sick.  We knew something wasn't right, and he did too...about an hour later he was feeling better but knew his time was very short.  He told us he was at a crossroads, and he knew he was being called home.  So we put on encouraging music and sang to him and stayed by his side.  The song "Praise You In This Storm" came on and we all had to fight through tears to keep singing because it described us perfectly...

"I was sure by now, God you would have reached down, and wiped our tears away..but once again, I say amen, and its still raining. But as the thunder rolls, I barely hear, you whisper through the rain 'I'm with you' and as your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives...and takes away." 

As the last chord strum played through the speakers, daddy took his final breath.  The tears were no longer controllable, we'd just lost a was gone.  In that moment, the first moment the earth existed without Bruce Alan Robertson, the song "In Better Hands" began playing, and as if a message from daddy...we knew he'd made it home. 

"Its like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down, its like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground...its like the world is silent though I know it isn't true, its like the breath of Jesus is right here in this room -- So take this heart of mine, there's no doubt...I'm in better hands now."

This song came on today, as I watched a daddy walk through the store with his little girl close by his side.  Memories triggered in my mind, and I saw the image of my daddy after he'd gone to Heaven...but as if he was there with me, my mind was flooded with the happiest memories I had of him.  I felt a smile come across my face as I knew that he was still here with me...he promised us that day he'd never leave us.  "I know I promised I'd always be here for you, but God wants me here in a different way..."  

Daddy is gone now...and there are days my heart just breaks in his absence.  I want nothing more than just one more day, one more moment, one last hug...but I know that someday I will get all of that..only it won't be "one last" anything...when I see him again, I can be with him always.  Today I smile through my tears when I say that I am proud to be my father's daughter.  He was a great man and the world will always miss him...especially his two very special daughters.  But we were blessed beyond words to have had him in our lives when we did.

Rest in peace Daddy...I will see you again someday.  Love you forever.

Arianne Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 9

The Importance of Family

Today's Lesson: When everything else falls apart, as long as you have a strong foundation, there's no reason you can't rebuild.

This one is one that I have lived my life by ten thousand times over.  Every new person to come into my life always hears endless stories about my family in the "getting to know each other" phase because they are the single most important people in my family.  There are days when I look back on the path I've traveled and am not a single bit surprised I've made it through, because I had the love and support of the most amazing family a girl could ask for.

After my mom remarried, my little sister and I gained three older siblings.  Debra, the oldest - and most motherly...Char, the second oldest - the drama queen (in a good way) of the bunch...and Jeff, the youngest - the ONLY boy in the whole family (besides dad).  A few years later Daddy remarried, and our huge family was complete.  Sabrina and I had two dads and two moms.  Trish will always be the answer to our prayers as she brought our dad closer to us and he was more involved in our lives when she came into his life...she brought out the best in him.  

Over the years all of us five kids have endured our fair share of heartbreak, and my favorite memories of my childhood include someone from my family showing their love and support by helping one another through those hard times.  

My family, to me, is literally my foundation...they are my roots..they keep me grounded when I can't even see the ground.  They've pulled me from some of the darkest moments in my life, even when I wasn't acting like the daughter or sister I was raised to be.  Without them I'd be one very lost 20 year old trying to find love in all the wrong places, but thanks to them...I know I can survive absolutely anything this life throws at me.  

The lesson here is...ladies and gentlemen, take a good hard look at your life.  What is the most important part to you?  I'm not saying there is no other answer other than family, sadly not all of us were blessed in having great families, but your foundation should never be built on a man, money, alcohol, etc.  Too many times in this life you see people who have made these things their foundation, so when they let you down - where does that leave you?  Alone and disappointed.  Society will tell you that it is more than okay to make these your priority, but look where society put people like Lindsay Lohan or Mel Gibson -- in and out of rehab or a raging media bully!  Not exactly the life we should be striving for...

Hope you all find great foundations...because like I said earlier, with a great foundation, its NEVER impossible to rebuild. 

For tonight...

Arianne Elizabeth

Monday, November 8

What You Give is What You Get

Today's lesson: Life really is all what you make it.

Today I was oh so fortunate to finally have this dreaded cough/cold catch up to me and knock me out of the running for my fresh start.  Here I had my alarm set for 5 am so I could get up and go for a run, start my lifestyle change, and have a great beginning of the week...and I'm still tossing and turning coughing up my entire respiatory system at 3:30 am. 

Despite this awful way to start my week, I spent the entire day in bed taking time to reflect my life and truly appreciate my chance to have a fresh start.  Everything in life is affected by the way your attitude is.  What you give, is what you will get.  

When I was younger, my parents got a divorce.  For many years I hated this fact, and as a child resented things way beyond my contorl or comprehension.  It wasn't until I was 10 years old that I finally realized just what God was thinking when he knew my parents wouldn't be together forever.  I was blessed beyond words with the family that I got, I wouldn't ask for it any other way.  The difference in my view was that after I saw the reason behind the divorce, I was blessed.  It wasn't long after that I began living my life with that same principle, with the difference of not resenting bad situations, just accepting them and anticipating the blessing that would soon come from it.  Some call it a blessing, others would soon grow sick of my optimistic attitude, but those were the people I didn't want to attract into my life in the first place.  

I think I got this attitude from my mother, she's always been optimistic...and sometimes one could say "obnoxiously optimistic."  Just the other day, I was texting her about how frustrated I was that the store was staying open late because customers didn't know how to read the 'Hours Open' sign.  She replied back, "Deep breath honey, those customers keep you in a job!"  I smirked and thought to myself "What a peppy brat she is today, I just want to be negative!" But eventually, the day ended perfect.  We did stay late, but the extra thirty minutes of pay tacked onto my paycheck were spent sitting in a rocking chair up front talking to my co-workers about life.  Some of the easiest money I've ever made!

So that's what I want to get across tonight...that there is something great that can and will come out of EVERY situation, even if it takes a few years before you get to see it -- its worth the wait.  They say life is what you make it, and they are more than right.  So take whatever negative thing you're dealing with today and imagine what great things might come from it! 

**One more thing: Even if you fake a smile for a whole minute, more times than not it will stick :) Try it sometime!

That's all folks!

Arianne Elizabeth

Sunday, November 7

Acknowledging Your Personal Growth

Today's lesson: Realizing the growth you've made as an individual, and not fearing the acceptance of it. 

As a little "catch me up" and starter to my story, there is a new man in my life.  Avoiding all the hairy details, he is a regular customer at Ace and we've been talking for some time now and just recently exchanged numbers to go out on a date sometime.  Now...keeping in mind the Arianne that most people knew & hated, I used to jump both feet into the pool on the chance that any guy was interested in me.  Do everything in my power to find him, hook him and keep him.  

Terrible way of living girls!  You want a man to stay in your life because he genuinely loves you, not because you can afford to buy him.   

After hanging out once, talking for a while, and getting to know more about him I've come to the conclusion that I like him.  How much yet, I'm not sure, but I know that as a person making him a piece of my life seems like a good decision.  I'm still sort of lacking in the friends department here in Greeley, so there is nothing wrong with making a new friend.  Talk has come up about possibly dating someday, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested, but for the first time in my entire life...I, Arianne Robertson, set boundaries right away.  I told him I'm nobody's girlfriend, that is an earned right.  He laughed and said he'd be glad to earn that respect someday.  

The story + the lesson = Where I am today... In my past, I've made the mistake of throwing myself into relationships...being someone's girlfriend made my life seem close to perfect - even if I wasn't being respected.  *Another note for girls: if you aren't being respected in your relationship, it may not seem like it, but being single is going to take you down a much happier path than being disrespected everyday.  I told this man right away that I am a woman who deserves nothing less than respect on every area of my life.  I followed it up with "if that's not okay with you, feel free to walk."  Maybe he's a good guy after all, because he thought it was great that I would respect myself that much to stick to my plan. personal growth has taken me from very low and dark valleys in my life, all the way back up to a beautiful place in my life where I feel like I am wonderful, I deserve incredible things, and nothing/no one is going to keep me from getting where I want to be in life.  Today, I accept the growth I've made as my own progress, another brick in my path, and another very important life lesson I can consider learned.  

Now...time to grow in the world of Psychology 101.  Have a wonderful evening blogger world!

Signing off,

Arianne Elizabeth

Saturday, November 6

I Want to Write!!

In the past days since I wrote my last blog, its like creativity has come and slapped me in the face.  I have had so many things I wanted to share, and so I've decided to not be afraid to continue writing.  I stopped for many reasons, time being one of them, but I've also made some decisions in the past few days that will allow me more time to do school and blogging!  

Here's the deal followers -- I've revamped the blog again.  Gave it a makeover and a new focus.  Some people may not like what I have to say, but I have a message to tell -- and I'm going to tell it my way and in my time.  If you don't agree with what I write, then please quit reading...because as of now: I want to share a story of overcoming and empowerment, of taking an awful hand of cards dealt to you and turning them into either a royal flush or a beautiful house of cards.  

My life's journey has led me down some wild paths, and I now know what I want to do with my life as a result of the tragedy I've endured.  Maybe this blog will help me continue to work through my emotions & hopefully touch the life of at least one person so they can find the hope they need to work through their own tragedies. is official: My Life In Boxes is UP AND RUNNING once again!  Hope to see the hits start showing up again, because I have so much more I want to share with the world -- and you guys who are my dedicated followers -- you will be the help I need to get the word out that this girl has a message to share, and I'm not backing down from it!

Signing off for the night 

Arianne Elizabeth

Monday, October 18

Done For a While

My life is starting to get hectic again, two jobs and online school is a lot to handle, and I'm by no means complaining because I'm very content with where I am.  The only downfall to that is that I just don't feel very creative latley, and most certainly haven't not been able to think of anything to blog about.  So...sorry to disapoint what readers I have left, but the blogs are going on the back burner.  Someday when life slows down a bit, and I find myself in more exciting stories than just work, school, sleep and repeat - I will probably start a new blog.  This story was started because as a 19 year old girl, I'd lost more than my share of loved ones.  I hoped that by writing my way through my greif that maybe someday someone will read through my story and find hope and courage through my journey.  It is an ongoing story, and each day offers its own challenges - in both myself and in my loss - but for now its time to hang up the keyboard, and let the internal healing begin.  Thanks for following my journey this far - your support and love has carried me through some of the darkest moments in my life and I'm thankful for you.

All my love,

Arianne Elizabeth Robertson

Monday, October 11

No More Rushing

Facebook is filled with the joy of engagements, baby anouncments, and love pouring out in every status.  The probelm? These girls are so young...they have so much growing to do before they can ever truly understand what love is, how to be a mother, and the kind of commitment it takes to be married.  Hiding behind my words...I realize that when Ryan was here I was one of those girls.  "I'm out of high school though, I've been living on my own - I know what the world is like, I can know love."  That was my thought process...wrong, love.  Truth be told - I still couldn't tell ya what true love is.  I'm sure its not something you describe, but rather you experience and grow from everyday.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you can only know love when you are all grown up - I don't doubt that I love my family, my friends, and past boyfriends - I had some kind of love for them, but it wasn't the love I thought it was.  A few months ago, my high school sweetheart came back into my life.  He was sorta like that handsome knight riding in on a beautiful white horse to rescue me from despair.  Throw a tiara on me and I would have been convinced that Disney was so right about everything.  He came in as quickly as he went again, but in that time he opened my eyes to a lot of things.  One day while on a day vacation away from the world, we stopped by a Zales in a mall.  When I was 16 and his girlfriend, we used to take day vacations all the time - and every single time I'd beg him to "pretend" we were engaged so I could put one of those beautiful diamonds on my little finger just to see what it would look like.  Back then it was always no, of course, but this day it was his idea.  He'd done everything in his power to try and pry a smile out of me and thought this might do the trick.  "So...I know we're just friends, but I know you've always wanted to do this...follow my lead."  He said as he pulled me into the store.  

Driving home that night, I found myself staring at that finger that might someday actually hold a wedding ring...I sobbed the whole way.  When Ryan was in New Mexico for Christmas he had me convinced he was bringing home a ring, and he proposed to me while he was there.  These tears the time they stung for the loss of what I took to be my fiancee...but later they'd come up as I'd finally open my eyes to realize that my life wasn't supposed to end up that way.  Ryan knew I was still a child in so many ways...and many times he'd tell me "You need more out of this life...I want you to chase more because I believe in you."  For a man as broken as he was, he had no problem showing his faith in other people.  

When I was 16 I wanted to get married right out of high school, and tried so hard to make that a reality.  When my age and maturity level revealed itself - I lost him.  A few years later, my age & maturity level would once again force me to push an engagement -  but I was only 19! Two nights before he passed away, I asked Ryan if he was ever going to propose to me.  "I just don't think you'd truly be happy..."he replied, crushing my heart.  He never felt good enough for the world, and whether he meant that or that he wanted me to chase more than I was doing - he made me find more.  He never intended to hurt anyone by doing this, but his story just might save lives and give people a second chance! Including me...

So...tonight I am lonely.  It bums me out to no end to know that out there in this big big world - there is no man tossing and turning just hoping I'm thinking about him.  Tomorrow I won't wake up to a cute "good morning sunshine" text, and I most certainly will not be coming home to a man surprising me with dinner and a movie, but I'm okay with that.  My life is about me now...surviving and learning to do everything over, with me as a priority.  No more trying to rush to grow up, its not a race.  Life's all about the journey, not the destination.  So I'm stopping to smell the roses, and the only rushing I'll be doing is to make it to my next job that I love :). 

For tonight...
<3 ari.

Tuesday, October 5

If You Really Knew Me...

The show on Mtv has to be the most impactful reality idea they've ever come up with.  To watch people my age open up to each other and share their life stories with each other, and then accept each other instead of continue being so hateful.  

This show makes me think of my experiences in high school...and how much I wish this "Challenge Day" could have happened in Yuma.  I used to think that we didn't have a clique problem there - we had cool people and weird people (ignorant, I know).  Thinking back I realize now that there were so many awful things going on between the cliques that did exist.  I've learned many things about my classmates since graduation day that have brought more compassion to what their stories have written out to be.  

If I had the chance to tell my classmates the reality they thought they knew about me...this is what it would be like.

If you really knew me you'd know that from the age of 5 years old I fully believed my dad left because I was a bad daughter...freshman year my boyfriend shattered every last bit of hope I had that true love existed.  The text message that was sent around three schools about me...I cried for weeks knowing that so many people forwarded that in a heartbeat, and that three different schools were literally laughing at me, and only me...junior year I thought I'd found hope in love again, and maybe I did - but then my world came crashing down the day cancer stole my daddy from me.  Two years later, after struggling so hard to find my identity in all the wrong places - when I found Ryan after he took his life, for weeks I truly thought I'd never survive, and I wanted to be gone too.  

If you really knew me now though, you'd know that even though I am worried about money and working my tail off - that I am finally beginning to find myself.  You'd know that with each day I'm finding myself in a safer place than before, I have my heart in boundaries, and I believe that the lonliness won't last forever.  You'd know that I come from a long line of survivors - and I'm proud of my family and the woman I'm becoming.  

If you really knew'd know that I'm about to begin the most exciting and rewarding journey of my life -- and I can't wait. 

All my love,


Thursday, September 23

Building--One Piece at a Time

Baby foot at a more than ever I've heard variations of this phrase and it couldn't be more true.  It's been almost 6 months, I can't believe that the time has gone by so quickly.  Even reading posts from the beginning of this new path, I barely recognize who I was - and to see myself growing through this tragedy, I pray that I give hope to others going through life to see that anything is possible when you trust the right people and believe in yourself.  

My life seems to be adding a brick of happiness each day I wake up, and this is something I never thought I'd find again.  It means so much to me to know that I have so many people rooting for me, even if its silently from the sidelines.  I know I have lots of prayer and support - and let me tell you: its been working!  

A few weeks ago, I decided to apply for jobs in Greeley and see if God was willing to let that door open up again.  After my crazy move to Denver, I'm a big believer in job first, apartment later :).  September 16th started off very hard...I cried most of the morning, and really considered staying in bed all day and calling into work.  Then - something in my mind clicked.  I realized that if on this first anniversary date I let my sadness win and control me, not only would I be taking 5 very big steps backwards in my growth - but also that Ryan would not want me to live my life this way.  I found the strength to pull through, went to work, and was so blessed that day!  That's the day I got two phone calls offering two jobs - in Greeley.  A day of sadness was turned around with the opening of a door to the next chapter in my life.  

Now, slowly, I'm making the transition to Greeley.  I'm working part time at Kohl's, starting Ace again in 2 weeks, and still work part time in Yuma.  It's hectic, and by the end of the day September 29th I will know the roads from Greeley to Yuma by heart with all the commuting I'm doing!!  But I love my job :) I remember a great woman praying for me to find a job where I would find good friends to be blessed by, and her prayers have been answered.  I've only been there two days and some of my co-workers have already blessed my life with their kindness.  

Each piece I'm adding to my life has been carefully thought out...I'm now making decisions with rationality instead of emotion, I'm protecting my heart and everything I've worked so hard to get.  Hard work will be a new way of life for me, because I am determined to live a full and prosperous life that my daddy and Ryan would both want for me.  I'm glad my posts are starting to sound so much happier - and I hope this reflects how I'm doing because I finally feel at peace to begin again.  

All my love!

P.S. More great news that has made this life so blessed: I'm going to be an aunt!! I'm so happy for my oldest sister, she's wanted this for so long now and she's finally been blessed with it.  She'll be an incredible mother with a great line of beautiful aunts (and a handsome uncle :p) to help her out.  Not to mention - some amazing grandparents who did such a great job raising us.  I have an incredible family - I'm so blessed to have them in my life.  Love all of you so so much!

Wednesday, September 22

September is Suicide Prevention Month

One morning this week as I was rushing around the house trying to get ready for work, mom stopped me and had a serious look on her face.  Concerned I asked what was wrong and she pulled out a yellow band bracelet and told me "I'm supposed to give this to you if you're ready - September is suicide prevention month and this is their bracelet."  

Of course I was ready!  From the moment I knew I was going to make it out of this tragedy alive, I wanted nothing more than to share Ryan's story with the world through my eyes so that people may see the effects of such a sudden decision.  He left behind so many amazing people, and although we would all love to have him here to tell a joke, or offer one of his amazing hugs to help us heal from this loss - he is gone and I have a feeling that he's no longer happy with his decison.  I could never watch my mom cry, the mere thought of seeing her in pain brings tears to my eyes and for him to watch his family go through this pain...I know he had the kind of heart that he's not glad to be gone.  

In the process of writing a short tid-bit of our story, I'm hoping that this Sunday I will get to share with my congregation at church the song I wrote and a bit about the man I lost.  There aren't many young people in our church, but I hope that by sharing my story the few that are there will decide to find a lifeline when they feel they can't handle life anymore -- because my list of lifelines were so incredible in the months after losing him.  

People who saw me in my "zombie state" tell me now that seeing the aftermath in such a 'close to home' way has opened their eyes to the way they deal with their depression.  I know in my heart that Ry's death will not be in vain - through this loss, and sharing the crazy story he left as his legacy, I know he will save a life.  

It's almost over, and I wish that I'd known the whole month so I could be involved in events that support groups specializing in suicide prevention -- but I know now, and I am doing my part to bring awareness to this permanent solution to temporary problems.  Wish me luck & prayers blogger world, I'm already nervous!  I know this message is meant to be told though, and I know he'll be right there with me for support.  

So as the month comes to a close - hug your family, friends, loved ones, everyone who means something to you.  Reach out and tell them you love them, and never be afraid to make that first step of offering a hand.  It may sound awkard, and you may not know what to say, but trust me from experience -- people just sitting with me while I cried were some of the most amazing friends through this all.  You don't know how much that could impact someones life, and maybe someday even save it. 

Friday, September 17

Decisions that Define Us

Life throws us situations everyday, and most decisions are simple.  Wear the red shirt or the black one, latte or mocha, one song or the next...but when they become decisions that will end up shaping your life - this is when true character is defined.

In my life, I've made many decisions that impacted my life years to come...and decisions were made involving my life that would later become blessings.  When my parents divorced, for years I thought it was the end of the world.  I remember being such an awful kid sometimes, because I was so upset inside and missed my dad - but years later, when Tony, Deb, Char and Jeff came into my life, I was so happy that the decision had been made years before.  

The past four months have been full of decisions, and most of the paths I've chosen to walk on lead me straight to a dead end.  For a while, I thought my consequnces radar was broken beyond repair - but the past few weeks have shown me differently.  Rather than let my emotions run my decision maker, I thought rationally about my move to Greeley and about my girl Zeaka...

I've never had to make the life altering decision that involved another persons life other than my own...until now.  I'm sure that a young mother who decides to give her baby up for adoption faces that with rationality and selflessness.  Truth is, I'm not the best thing for Zeaka...and as hard as that is to admit, for her happiness it needed to be said and dealt with.  It breaks my heart to know that I can't take care of her the way she needs, and therefore she will be finding a better home.  

There will be many many more decisions that will come my way, and in them I will continue to build my character.  The beautiful thing about this life is that we have the freedom to make the decisions we do.  Through this you learn - more about yourself, more about what you stand for, and who you will become.  The decisions that define us are yet another thing that makes us unique, and although the tough ones may hurt - its just another stepping stone leading us to a legacy. 

Wednesday, September 15

This Time Last Year

The stages of grief are never easy, and each one brings its own challenges with it.  Maybe its not considered a stage, but when daddy passed away - the whole first year without him I found myself constantly thinking "this time last year...daddy was with us."  Its a mental game played in my mind, and quite obviously it doesn't bring much comfort, instead as each day moves on that you realize this is the first March 15th daddy isn't with us, or the first April 6th Ryan isn't with us, it is painful to realize.  

Having only been in Ryan's short life a mere seven months, I only got to see him from September 2009 to the first few days of April 2010...I thought as the day of what would have been our 1 year anniversary approached I'd keep my head like I'd had for two months now, but it has been more of a challenge than I thought.  Today last year was the second day I knew Ryan Owen, we'd met the day before and had an instant attraction to one another.  He'd been asking me out since the moment he met me, and this day was no different.  That night I still hadn't caved yet, but we hung out anyway because it was just amazing to me that a man would spend so much time trying to get a girl like me to be his.  

September 16, 2009 I finally made it official...he asked all morning until I finally said okay.  I often asked him in later months if he remembered what day our anniversary was, and I always had to remind him -- but that was okay with me because I was very OCD with dates, so it made sense that it was glued in my mind.  We spent our 6 month anniversary moving into our first home, it was two days after the two year mark of losing my dad.  That day Ry made lunch, and we went for a walk by our favorite little creek by the apartment to explore.  

Although I'm very happy to be moving back to Greeley, that small sting will still follow me as I'm about to live what would have been the beginning of our second year together.  Days like my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc...last year were spent with him.  My birthday - he threw me a big party, made my favorite dinner and we had a candle lit dinner before the guests showed up.  Halloween was spent at his friends house, and we snuck off for a few hours to watch a scary movie with Stan because Ry was so bummed he was spending the holiday alone.  Thanksgiving was a great day - my family, Ryan and I all participated in our first "Turkey Trot."  Ryan ran the whole thing with my young cousin, and hung out with him while the rest of us slowly walked our way into the finish line.  

Although there were bad moments between Ryan and I, there were also so many great ones to remember.  I can't change the situation either way - so why not remember the great things we did together and let those be the memory I have of him.  I accept the things I cannot change, and move forward with the best thoughts to help me continue surviving.  

This time last year I was about to embark on one of the most wild and life changing journies this life would lead me on so far.  I met a troubled man who's broken heart had me drawn to him from the moment I saw him, and I would spend the next 7 months of my life & the last 7 months of his, loving him with every ounce of being I had.  This time last year is when I let myself fall for Ryan. 

Tuesday, September 14

I Get That from My Dad

Daddy was always such a unique character, he did things his way and always marched to the beat of his own drum.  They say that when your kids grow up, each year you can see more and more of yourself in them.  This has proven to be more than true in my family.  

As I continue to grow up, more and more people tell me I'm the spitting image of my mom (a lot even go as far to say I sound like her and laugh just like her!)  Daddy, however, gave me something much better than his looks.  He taught me that being unique is perfect, the world needs more of it.  I remember growing up, several convorsations I had with dad about how girls were just plain mean.  When I was younger I was made fun of a lot about my weight and for many years before high school my best friend was my journal.  When I'd call daddy crying about it, he'd always tell me "someday you'll see - when people realize how beautiful you are they will come crawling back for forgiveness."  

Thinking back, it seems like most of my memories with dad had something to do with either the cooking channel or scary movies.  When I finally agreed to watch a scary movie with him when I was around the age of 15 - he was so thrilled that I was finally growing up and we could enjoy that together.  It came to be that I fell in love with horror just like my dad, and to this day seeing a scary movie always makes me smile because of the great times I had with dad.  

Losing him right before my life was supposed to take off was really hard, and a lot of days I was so angry with God for taking him from us...but as time goes on, I know that God needed him more & now I have a guardian angel who I have felt save my life more than once the past 2 and a half years.  I still miss him very much, and especially after losing Ryan I just wanted my dad here to hold me while I cried...but days when I say something like him, or find myself acting just like he did - it makes me so proud to say "Yep, I get that from my dad."  

Sunday, September 12

What a Change a Smile Can Make

Yesterday I had the privilege of watching my little sister play volleyball and be a leader on her team.  I must admit that being a big sister will never be a job title I get tired of, and the proud moments just keep coming as she continues to teach me so much about life I never realized.  

I used to play sports in Jr. High, and when I played it was always because I had fun doing so.  I was big into softball -- it was my sport.  I wanted to be a pitcher someday, and really thought I stood a chance...until I started throwing.  :) I realized very quickly that it wasn't a future plan for me, so I just had fun with it.  I'd go out on the field with a smile and play the game for fun.   

 Eventually when high school came around, it seemed that playing for fun wasn't the rule anymore...we were playing to win.  It didn't take me long to realize that I was not competitive enough to keep playing, so I was a choir girl instead, but loved watching my school compete.  Today when things got hard, the volleyball girls would get frustrated and quit having fun.  You could see defeat in their faces, and instead of smiles their faces showed scowls.  

Then - after a really good hit, or an ace, or something else exciting in volleyball language, you saw a smile again.  They'd bounce back and in some photos I can see some really big smiles and you could hear them laughing.  It was those moments they played the best - when they were playing the game to have fun.  

It has been proven that even if you are in a bad mood, faking a smile can help improve your mood and most times you end up smiling for real.  Something this simple can do so much!!  So next time you are upset, smile!  Don't forget your passions in life, and play this game of life to have fun. 

Friday, September 10

Moving On is a Way Of Life

After many heartbreaks, I found myself wondering what coud possibly be worse: the fact that he wasn't my boyfriend anymore, or the fact that someday along the line he would be calling another girl his babe.  Eventually I got to a point where being dumped was the easy part -- a pint of Cherry Garcia, sappy love movies, one night to cry my eyes out & stare at pictures, then it was time to move on.  Of course, the routine wasn't perfected the first few times it was took time and practice to get better at being dumped.  Senior year, I thought I was head over heels for this guy...I fell in love with his niece and nephew and seeing him with them made me think I loved him that much more because he was so good with kids, and he spoiled me with love I never thought I deserved.  

6 months later, he dumped me.  "I just don't think we are going to work out" read the text message.  He text me while I was in class, so as I left school for lunch, I realized that the past 3 hours I'd actually been single and didn't know it.  One of my friends was with me and she let me cry, then that weekend we went to Denver and partied the weekend away.  Clubbing, shopping, flirting with new & exciting boys -- this was my new break up therapy.  It was easy to be strong around her, but then 1 month after being on my own I found out he moved on.  Suddenly being over him wasn't as easy as it was when we were both single.  

Maybe this happens for never know what you have til its gone??  Difference is, I didn't choose to walk away - he did - so isn't he supposed to be suffering in complete agony that he let this amazing woman go??? What was happening!?  

Today I found out that someone I cared for very very much in high school is seeing someone.  This is the guy I honestly thought I was going to marry someday...and later found out he'd even bought a ring for me, but I walked away because he was leaving.  Things were never the same, and we both dated different people, but still cared about each other....until today?  I usually call him on long road trips because he used to call me and we'd just talk, keep each other awake & entertained, but today it was very obvious that I no longer hold a special place in his heart like I had for so many years.  

Twenty years from now I will probably have to search my mind forever to remember my first boyfriends name, and when people remember my high school sweetheart and ask me about him - the memories will all be fading...and that's just the way it is.  Moving on happens, people change, life stories change, paths change, and no one ever really ends up the way they see themselves in high school.  According to my high school plan I should be engaged and planning to get married next year...that's for sure not happening!  

However, although people move on...I believe there are a few of us in this world who still cherish those who we know made us who we are.  When Ry passed away, Nick was one of the best friends I could ask for...and although he's moving on, I will always look back at him & I with a smile on my face because of what he's done in my life.  Friends I had in school...its been a while since we've talked, but some of the times we shared laughing in each other's basements will forever be the best of my childhood.  Ryan Owen Barber...crazy ass kid who I fell so deeply in love with...I will always love him, and in such a big way - he made me who I am today.  He left me with a gift: myself.  Losing him has forced me to find myself, and when I take steps towards a better life its like I can feel his hand squeeze mine and hear him whisper "keep going babe...that's it."  

It's never fun to let people walk out of your life, but not everyone comes into your life to stay forever.  Some people are put there to show you something beautiful, teach you a lesson, help you reach new heights...then it's time for them to go...

Thursday, September 9

Simple Joys of Family

If I could simply write down every increrdible memory I had with my little sister, I'm pretty sure we could make it into one of the funniest movies of all time.  Last night, for example, we were talking about the fire that's been taking over Boulder and I mentioned how it hadn't rained in a while....

S: "Yeah it has Arianne, it did yesterday."

A: "No it didn't, I thought it was hott yesterday..."

S: ", it rained, all day."

A: "Wait...why can't I remember the weather from yesterday? I was at work."  

Silence....(Sabrina's evil grin)

S: "You think you're crazy! Don't you!" 

We have some of the most simple humor, but some of those quick moments that happen and make us laugh for days and still make us laugh months later are what make us special sisters.

Another day that still makes us laugh is the day mom, Sabrina and I went car shopping for Sabrina's first car.  After we spent the entire drive up there laughing about stupid stuff, we finally made it to Greeley and pulled into a car lot.  We drove around the used lot and were waiting for one of those salesmen to start prying and throwing cars at us.  When the time didn't come, we finally drove up closer to the office.  Soon enough, a man in a hawaiian shirt came walking towards the car.  So mom rolled down the window and stuck her head out "You look like a car salesman!" She said while putting those little air quotes around 'salesman.'  The guy kinda chuckled and said "Yeah, what can I help you with?"  So she launched into detail about how we needed a cheap, but cute car for her youngest daughter...using those obnoxious air quotes around every word.  When the guy started offering some options, she reached over and turned down the stereo (which was already off) and told us to turn the noise down.  We both cracked up laughing because there was nothing on!  Quite possibly one of those 'had to be there' moments, but none the less it will go down in my books as one of those great days I had with my family. 

Tuesday, September 7

God.....Bless America!!

With daddy there was never a dull moment in our lives, even when it was something as simple as a drive down the interstate. I remember one day while visiting him & Trish in California, we were driving down the interstate and we were battling for the radio. I kept trying to play Atreyu and Thrice in hopes to convince him that my music was just as heavy as his old school music. We'd listen to one of my songs, then he'd try and find something by Metallica or Pink Floyd...we'd listen for a few seconds and I'd quickly say "Nope, don't know it." He'd hit the steering wheel and say "What!? My daughter doesn't know the legends!?" It was something he'd always picked on me for - my terrible and ageless taste in music. It was something that always made me laugh though, and eventually he did enlighten me, and I'm sure he was smiling down at me when I met Ryan and he had the same things to say about my awful & ageless taste in music.

On this drive, it happened several times (as it does in California traffic) that some idiot cut him off. It freaked him out at first, and he would do the parent thing and reach his arm over to my seat to make sure I didn't go anywhere, and then when things calmed down a bit he'd grip the steering wheel really tight and mutter (quite loudly actually) under his breath "God........bless America!" It made all of us laugh as we knew what he was about to say, but glad he caught himself instead.

He offered to let me drive around town the year I got my permit and visited him, but remembering those many years of crazy Cali drivers made me offer the keys every time. Now that I've been driving for almost 5 years, my sister and I both find it funny how easily we fell into his habits and yell the exact same thing when we end up in a bad traffic incident.

As they say: like father, like daughters :)



Sunday, September 5

A Pocket Full of Regret

When it came to friends, I was usually the odd ball out as far as relationships were concerned. In fact - one year I was literally "kicked out of the group" for not having a boyfriend...which broke my heart because being that chubby little 10 year old -- I wanted a boy, I just wasn't very pretty to them. Maybe it was my childhood filled with rejection, but when I got older and started to get attention from guys, something crazy in me clicked that I will forever regret and wish hadn't.

When I was the single friend, I hated being the third wheel, left out of 'group dates,' and it was the worst when my friends chose their boyfriend over me...but when I had a boyfriend? I was that exact girl I hated. And so the pattern continued throughout high school--so by then, it was settled that a boyfriend was all I needed.

When I met Ryan, I was at a place in my life where there was so much more to give up than just friends...but of course those friends I did have were the first to go. Next would be college, then my job, then my entire life in Greeley. I'm not blaming Ryan for the decisions I made, I blame myself entirely, I'm just saying that now it is so clear to me that I did in fact do this and choose this.

Well, one friend stuck it out and wouldn't let me write her off -- she and I met because of Ry and instantly became friends because she was so easy to talk to, and we had a lot in common, and our boyfriends loved acting like doofs with each other. She is a very strong willed and independent person, I always admired that about her - she wouldn't take crap from anyone and she had herself as her number 1, not a man. She fully supported my relationship with Ry regardless of what everyone else said, because he would sit and talk with her about how much he loved me and cared about me...she saw the side of him with the walls all broken down, and believed him that he loved me...until the night before V-day.

How it hapened, I'm still not sure...I'm guessing she showed up, he decided he wanted her and he forgot about me that night...but this would be the night he cheated on me in front of my best friend. The next day, he came to my house and got a phone call from his friend asking him what he did when he left with that girl.

Two nights later my best friend called and asked me to go see her because I needed to know something...despite Ryan asking me to not go, I went...and she confirmed what happened that night. In the end I still chose my relationship with him over my friend...and after she found out I'd gone back, I lost that friendship. At first I was furious, I wondered how she could just walk away from what we'd found in our friendship just because of a personal choice I made...but today I realize how she felt. I've been that friend before -- the one who warns my friends about a guy and they trust them over me. Yes, it hurts like hell to be dumped by your friends like that...and I hope someday I get the chance to tell her I'm sorry...because she was just being a good friend, and I turned my back on her along with the rest of the world.

Lesson learned tonight: when you find friends who truly care about you, hold them close to your heart...they're going to be the ones you need when you need a friend.