Sunday, August 29

When Young Love Grows Old

As soon as we fell in love with Denver, we started going more and more often. I'll admit, I got a certain little thrill when we'd check in "1 reservation for Ryan Barber..." I'd tell the desk clerk. Most clerks made the mistake of calling us Mr. and Mrs. Barber...but we never corrected them. We'd check in late hours of the night, and wouldn't leave until 2 hours after check out time because when we went to Denver, it meant we were going to to the clubs.

The night before Ryan was leaving for New Mexico, we decided to stay in Denver so he could catch the earliest flight. As soon as we pulled into town and located the hotel, we went out looking for a liquor store so that we could have a romantic evening of champagne and the hot tub. It ended up being a very nice night, sipping from out ever so classy plastic cups, and laughing together until we fell asleep.

Tonight I checked in a couple who reminded me of Ry & I those nights we spent in Denver. They stopped by the liquor store in town to ask where the best hotel was, and the craziest part was that they got the same bottle of champagne Ry & I had grown to love. He used to joke and say that when we got married, that was the kind of bubbly we'd have because it was a whopping $6.00/bottle.

Here's the part of this particular check in that made me smile...this couple is over 70 years old. They aren't two young & stupid kids not thinking about the consequences of their decisions, they have probably had those days and grown together since then. Seeing a love like theirs that exists in more places than just my mom & dad's marriage gives me hope that it could happen for me. It makes me look out into the beautiful sunset setting over our small town, smile, and send my love up to heaven to thank Ryan for the moments in our life that were beautiful and made me feel like the most amazing girl in his world.

Saturday, August 28

A New Era of Self Expression

Kat Von D, a famous tattoo artist, did a photo shoot about a year ago to feature a new make up designed to cover up tattoos. It showed a photo of her before, with all of her beautiful tattoos - and a photo after, when she had covered the visible tattoos in this make up. Thing is, BOTH photos are still of her. Whether her tattoos are visible or not, her personality is not marked by the art she decides to display on her body.

My first essay in my Eng. 122 class was titled "Marked Bodies Essays." The entire chapter 10 in my English book has articles supporting the art from of tattooing and piercing. The main theme in every one of them is that self expression through this way of art is a choice made by the person sporting the tattoo or piercing. While writing my essay about memorial tattoos, I wrote the line "
It is a choice offered to customers to make their body a canvas and showcase the many great pieces of a person’s soul that exterior beauty alone can’t capture."

Alright blogger world, today I peirced my lip. For years I've wanted to, and when I was younger I'd put new toe rings around my lip to see what it would look like. I am in the process of planning new tattoo's I will someday get that include my dad's memorial, Ryan's memorial, and a cross with the words "The Lord is My Strength." That's what I have so far, and the ones I already have are meaningful and had lots of thought put into them. The thing I want to stress is this - I feel beautiful, my body is mine to decide how I express myself, and I am still Arianne. Nothing about me changes now or ever just because I am one of those people who enjoy tattoos and piercings. My work ethic, goals, life plans, etc. have not changed just because I have a new addition to my skin.

I hope that the people I love will continue to love and support me as I add to the art that I have carefully decided to bear on my skin, because no matter what changes on the outside - isn't it the inside that really matters?? If that doesn't change, is it really fair to pass judgement?

This is a new era, and times are evolving and changing with every day that comes to us. Every day tattoos and peircings are becomming more and more accepted...and the girl you know happens to be one of those women who express myself freely through tattoos & peircings.

Friday, August 27

Life Lessons From the World of Retail

When I woke up this morning, I admit I laid in bed staring at the ceiling for a few minutes wondering what would happen if I just didn't go to work. For four months, the mornings like this seemed like they would never go away...and really they haven't, but what I have learned is to choke down my fear and walk forward anyway.

I am a cashier/sales associate for a small town retail store called Alco. I'm not thrilled that I'm working there, yes it was one of the last choices I wanted for employment, and the pay or hours are not incredibly amazing, but -- it is a job. The day Ryan lost his job from Papa Murphy's I remember him saying..."Wow, it took forever to find a job in this town...and I just messed it up." He was very regretful for letting his pride get the best of him and refusing to show up to work.

Pride bit me in the butt a few weeks ago when I accepted employment at the local grocery store out of an emotional whim. One day as I was driving to work, I saw the entrance & drove right past on into the country and found myself full of anger and pride that I had to work there & not at the job I loved in Denver. My idea of work has been rough the past 4 months, half the time it was because of complete fear that I'd go to work & lose someone close to me in return (amazing what the mind can connect when it is grieving) and the other half I was very angry and bitter to not be able to work at the Ace I'd so quickly fallen in love with in Denver. Each new job made me think of all the amazing people I'd met in the one week I worked there, and I resented my new co-workers.

My mind is healing, and work is slowly becoming just the pain that means I have to wake up early, but today I realized how much I can learn from working. It sucks waking up early, and some days I wish I could just lounge in my sweats again, but the truth is - I feel great knowing that I have a paycheck coming in. I now work for a living, and that is something that four months ago I would have done anything to avoid for the rest of my life.

My horoscope today said something about how if I continue to work hard for what I want, it will be repaid. This I know is true, and not because of my horoscope - because God has a plan for me, a plan for me to prosper - not to harm me. I am going to make it out of this, and from all the pain & suffering will emerge a stronger woman.

<3 love,
your friendly neighborhood cashier.

Wednesday, August 25

Silenced Fear

Warning: Tonight's blog is somewhat graphic -- don't feel preasured to finish.

You can't run away from them forever. Tears find me still, ache still hurts my heart some nights, but now the tears and the ache come more from knowing what happened to someone I cared about. It makes me physically sick to remember what I found that night...looking at photographs of him will never be the same because the last time I saw his face, the smile I saw was the most awful thing I could ever see in my life...I've thought about going into nursing, but the mere thought of's not fair that was the last thing I had to bear witness to in his tragic life. I watched him play with those guns, hold them to his head, hold them to my head just so I could "feel what it felt like", get so drunk I wasn't sure if he'd quit breathing in the middle of the night I found him crouched in a corner with blood coming out of his nose because he'd done cocaine and wasn't himself. I watched him punch himself in the head until his knuckles would bleed because he thought he was such a terrible person. All this a young girl watched in absolute paralyzing fear that someday I would find what I found on April 5th. I stayed because I thought...if I leave, and I mean as much as he says...that will put him over - then it will be my fault he's gone. So I gave him everything I possibly could in hopes that someday all the darkness would leave him and he could be the man he wanted to be.

Today...four months after his death, I have come to a point in my life where I'm open to the idea of falling for someone. The guy I like is amazing...we find out something new about each other everyday, and he makes me feel special. But I'm terrified. He's a man of God, and is not afraid to admit he believes...but I can't help but let my mind wander toward the thought that what if someday I do let my guard down and let him in...and he's gone. I am so absolutely terrified of ever witnessing anything again as horrific as that night...and I know I can't live in fear for the rest of my life, but I just want to hit the refresh button on my memory so it doesn't come out to haunt me.

I watched a video on Facebook just was of a bunch of real and very tragic car clip was a girl sitting on a wall and her boyfriend was standing in front of her. I won't go into details, but he died in front of her, and she was left paralyzed. I was watching the video thinking about how I can drive safer to make sure I stay away from such a horrible situation, until that clip came on and it brought back all those thoughts I used to have of "Wow...I can't even imagine how I'd be if my boyfriend passed away so suddenly." I used to think that with any guy I was with...and then it happened.

I want to be happy, and I don't want to push everyone away from me...because whether something comes out of this new crush or not, he's a good man and I don't want to be the single driving force to ruin a possibility. I never realized how dominant this fear is until I had the chance to just sit and think...and then, it made me pray that God takes that away...because I hope that even Ryan in heaven wants to see me have the life I've always dreamed of.

A Night of Renewal

I will start off by admitting something...when I found out Holton Buggs was coming to Colorado I was slightly bummed because I had already made the decision to quit doing Organo Gold. I decided I was going to keep drinking the coffee, stay qualified, and answer what questions my one team member had -- but no more working the plan for a while because it was heartbreaking to see all my friends ignore me so they wouldn't have to hear about coffee. So needless to say when a certain boy mentioned that he'd also be going to this huge event - I energeticly said "Mom!! We have to go!!" :)

Seeing my "OG Family" for the first time in about a month was so exciting, I hadn't even considered that they would be there to offer their hugs & support and to ask how things were going -- really I was just excited to see him. Then I started to remember how at home I felt when I was with these people...Katie had said something the night she started telling me about it "You go to an event and everyone there makes you feel so loved & welcome!" At that time in my life, that's what I wanted. A room full of strangers who didn't have a clue about what I had just gone through...I wanted that so badly so people would simply TALK to me! Before I went to my first OG event in Greeley, I hadn't realized just how many people avoided me after Ryan passed away because they just didn't know what to say.

Two of the people I've met in OG know what happened, maybe more depending if either has said anything, but they STILL treat me exactly the same as the day they first met me as that shy girl in the corner. I'm not "that girl who's boyfriend committed suicide" I am Arianne - "she joined a few months ago and has some great ideas!"

While at this event I think I made some pretty solid life decisions as well -- I will stay at home, work on school online for this semester and next, then I am moving back to Greeley. I never thought the day would come that I'd even be able to look at Greeley the same, but then I started to open my eyes and realize what else that city was to me. It was MY start, and in that I happened to meet a man who 7 months later would take away my entire life with a split decision...and that used to be enough to keep me scared. Now - I've talked to so many friends who I wish I could just jump in my car and go see, but I can't...for now. So! New plan, and honestly - the best sounding one since I've been home: Work my butt off at both jobs, continue with Organo Gold when I can, kick some serious ass in school, save money, and eventually (whenever the time is right & God is willing) move back to Greeley to be a student at Aims Community College again & eventually UNC for my bachellors degree. Because even though the first few months my heart broke when I'd drive past my old house, Pitchers or even the place Ryan still felt like home. Just like it did even on the lonliest nights last summer - Greeley feels safe, comforting, and welcoming.

Tonight was an amazing night...and well - I'm falling asleep smiling :)

<3 ari.

Monday, August 23

Don't Come Back 'Til You're Married!

My first memory with Deb, Char, Jeff and Tony is at a mud volleyball tournament somehwere close to a river. I remember bits and pieces about that day, like Sabrina forever losing one of her favorite shoes in the mud pit...Jeff finding a snake and showing all the girls...Deb & Char helping us to get our feet cleaned off in the river -- but above all that, I remember thinking about how much I liked them, and how easy it would be to get along with them. Soon after that my mom and their dad were seeing each other more often, which meant we had more time to hang out and get to know each other too. When most people look at blended families, I'm sure you'd think of the awkward 'getting to know each other' stage - but I honestly can't remember that. I feel like my earliest memories with them felt like they were my true siblings all along.

Eventually mom sat down Sabrina and I and asked our opinion of all of them, and told us to not be afraid to be honest because it was our choice. At first I wondered how different life would be if it wasn't just us girls. There would be more girls in the house, plus a brother - and even more crazy, a different man to call a dad. Those fearful thoughts passed as quickly as they came and I'm not sure what Sabrina was thinking - but I was excited to have a big family.

The feelings were mutual among all of us kids, and we somehow devised a plan to make them get married. They were taking a trip to Las Vegas with a lot of dad's (tony dad) family. Not sure if he was already planning to propose (I think he was) but we told him very specific instructions. Do not come back to Yuma until you're married!!

Well they didn't get married in Vegas, but he did propose and they decided to save the wedding for all 5 of their kids. February 1998 we became a blended family and it has been the biggest blessing to my life. I'm very happy we added the Powell family to ours and we became the Pow-Robs :)

Saturday, August 21

Venice Beach

Daddy lived in California for what seemed like a very long time before we finally got to see the ocean, but when we did it was more than worth the wait. I remember so many exciting times I had with daddy every summer, and the times just got better when he married Trish and we all got to experience some of the greatness of Cali.

The summer we were finally going to see the ocean for the first time, Brina and I were more than thrilled. On the drive down we kept telling daddy "Make sure you get pictures of our feet when we run in, it will be the first time our feet ever touched the ocean!" When we got there, we both ran to the water, I let it cover my feet then stopped. Sabrina - ran full speed ahead and kept going into the water. Here is where I fully recognized my fear - I cannot be in water that I can't see my feet in, it terrifies me beyond words. So in that instant, I knew I would most enjoy Venice Beach by laying out to tan & pointing out the cute lifeguards to Trish.

That first year we got to spend the weekend there so we had several fun filled days in the sun, and by the end of the weekend it became quite clear that Brina was the adventurous one and I was the girly one. I didn't mind a bit though because being afraid of the ocean meant Trish and I got to experience all the shows, art, shops and of course hobos on the boardwalk. It was at Venice Beach I bonded so quickly to Trish and saw her as a friend.

Before daddy passed away, he requested that he be cremated so that his ashes could forever rest in his favorite places...and the four of us decided (Daddy, Trish, Brina and Me) that someday we would all get together again in California and spread daddy's ashes where we all had the best times together. Brina decided she will spread hers in the ocean because they spent most of their time body surfing until they were sore. I decided my share would go along the shore, where we would spend what seemed like hours walking up and down, talking about life, and of course - picking up shells.

It was too hard the first summer after losing him to visit our special place again, but as the years have gone on, and I can still feel his prescence around me just pushing me to be stronger and better everyday...I now know that whenever we get the chance we can handle it - and go enjoy a weekend full of memories and new stories as we all know daddy will be smiling down from heaven.

Friday, August 20

Rebel Girl

When I was younger, mostly in jr. high, I was known as the rebel girl. My hair and clothes always looked like I had stepped right out of an 80's video, I spoke my mind and lived my life as far close to the edge as a 12 year old could. I was a spitfire with a strong head and even stronger beliefs. Today I was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering how much simpler my life would be if I was still that spitfire 12 year old girl who fought for everything I believed in.

It was then I remembered that this blog is not my first blog floating around here on the world wide web...I started one in Jr. High to post my arguments on subjects like teen drinking, public displays of affection, the principals in school, and many other very controversial subjects in our small little town -- and at one point, had quite a big fan base and lots of arguments going for both sides. I'd sparked an interest in people deeper than a girl who had worn the same shirt as another girl.

I was so proud of myself and eventually ran for student council president my 8th grade year. I lost the election, but still won a secretary spot. Through out the year, however, the president and vice president eventually lost both their spots and I was bumped up to presidents chair a few months before promotion. The way I remember it, I did some good things the few months I had presidency, including give a pretty good speech at our promotion as we took the next step to high school as the class of 2009....and my reputation never died down.

In high school when people wanted to organize a protest, or a petition - most times I was at the top of the list of the involved, if not the one who started it. I remember one year, there were some very serious allegations surrounding the principal and the entire school believed he should be fired - so we started planning a walk out if he wasn't out of there by the end of the week. They found out, and we still are not sure if it was because of us - but he was gone.

The other night I had 2 lines to a new song strike me like lightning -- and tonight's blog has a huge part in them:

"Shake the dust off that tiara, you're still a princess - believe it or not...
Though this life, has been kind of rough now, you're still a fighter - believe it or not."

This rebel girl may have learned to keep her mouth shut more often, and now a days you don't see me plastering lockers with papers written about a controversial I've grown up I have tamed my wild rebel child inside me, but every now and then I see that fighting spirit come out and defend the people and things I love most in this world. The best part of this new chapter in my life, is to feel the fire burning in my soul that tells me to fight for my life and fight for what will be mine.

Signing off for tonight,

Rebel Girl :)

Sunday, August 15

Different Kind of Beautiful

This is me.
  1. I have acne
  2. I am only 5'2
  3. My hair doesn't cooperate most days
  4. Curves are the furthest thing from describing my body
  5. My toes are short & stubby
  6. I have a chubby face
  7. My stomach is not flat
  8. I don't wear bikinis
  9. I have scars all over my body
  10. and most people would call this ugly
But the reality is...a few people in this world think I am beautiful just the way I am. You wouldn't look at Cameron Diaz and say "Well, because she was in a movie with Lucy Lui - I think Cameron Diaz is the ugly one." It's not fair to label someone "the ugly one" in any group because someone somewhere thinks very differently. My sister is beautiful by the world's to most people that would make me "the ugly one." As I get older, I feel my beauty is still shaping...but more important than that, I'm growing in my maturity and I know I shouldn't let these stupid comments get to me anymore...but the truth is they still do. My little sister will say all the time "I don't look good!" or "Do I look fat? I feel fat." As much as I love her I just wish I could slap her around and say "Look at yourself and look at how many people make it a point in their day to make sure you know they think you are beautiful."

I'm not sure if this blog is me being hurt, or me taking the words I heard tonight with a grain of salt. Either way, I wish people would really think before they told a girl she was ugly...somehow that is one of the most hurtful words a girl can hear. I think I'd honestly prefer to be called a controlling bitch (which I also heard via "friends" telling Ryan how awful I was.)

So if there are any men reading my blog tonight...if you think a girl is beautiful -- tell her! She loves to hear it, and it makes her feel amazing. On the same note, if you think she's ugly -- do not say anything. Chances are she might just feel beautiful about herself until you say that...because that's how I felt tonight.

Anyway...guess we all have to step back and live off those simple grade school rules sometimes.

Denied, denied -- denied!

Every loan application I fill out, jobs I apply for...anything to help myself get back into school and on top of my stupid bills -- everything is coming back denied. After the very sudden death of Ryan, excuse me credit companies -- paying my bills must have slipped my mind as I was more focused on how to avoid the world for the rest of my life. Therefore - my credit score is now shot. Leading to the consequence of that constant "Sorry Miss Robertson but we cannot grant your request for a loan at this time" message showing up on my screen.

Today at church the worship team leader stood up and gave his testimony about how hard his life has been, and how after some serious medical visits - he too felt like he was drowning in debt. Then he ended his testimony by saying "I finally remembered, if I have Christ on my side - who could beat me?"

I'm still praying...but the more times I get rejected from a job or another student loan...I have to wonder what the chaos behind all this really means.

Tuesday, August 10

A Mother's Love

Selfless unfailing love. It is easy to love someone half way, dedicate some of your time to them, and still throw on the title of 'love.' Mothers though...I don't believe it is possible for them to half way love their children. From the time I was born, my mother and I have had a special connection. For years, she has been my best friend...and for a while after my dad left, Sabrina, Mom and me were closer than ever because it was just us girls. We've always had fun together, and now in my life more than ever I feel like I can talk to her about anything.

Through everything I've gone through, my mom has done everything in her power to help me make it through. She's gone under the radar since I've been home, but she's been my warrior. Not only since losing Ryan, for years she has been my fighter. Freshman year in high school I went through my first devistating break up - she held me through the pain. 1 year later that same guy and his new girlfriend brought harassment charges & restraining orders to my doorstep (as if her taking him wasn't enough) and my mom found a lawyer, and spent so much time to clear my name and get everything dropped. The next year I lost my daddy to cancer, and she didn't even blink when it came to making sure we were in California for anything we needed.

Then, the awful night I had to call my parents and tell them that Ryan was gone, I sobbed as I tried to say "Mom he's gone, Ryan is gone." She tried to understand what I was saying when it clicked that he didn't just walk away, he wasn't coming back, she told me to stay put because her and my dad would be there in 2 hours. (Side note: it takes 2 1/2 hours to get from Yuma to my old apartment, they made it in 2!)

Huge milestones my life has faced and although I thought certain friends would be there no matter what, they faltered. Some were there for certain things, others for different events, and today most of my friends have abandoned me because they just didn't know what to say to me. The one lady in my life who has been strong and true is my beautiful mother.

Just the thought of my mom loving me brings tears to my eyes because it is unfailing and beautiful. The relationship I have with my mom makes me so excited to be a mother someday so that I can have this kind of relationship and feel the kind of love she feels for me.

She's my rock, and God blessed me beyond words with her because without her, I'm not sure where I'd be today.

Love you mama.

Monday, August 9

Welcome Back....Love, Life.

For months my mom has been hounding me to "Make sure you have the 8th off - it's the Bowersox reunion and Grandpa really wants you there." In fact, I can remember her starting to tell me about it when I was frantically looking for work in Denver in March. So after months of telling jobs to absolutley not schedule me for this weekend - that weekend finally came. Lucky for me, I got to start the weekend off with my first ever demolition derby match with one of my favorite aunts. Her new "boy toy," as I call him, was driving car 309 in the second wave of matches. Needless to say - he dominated his match, and got out of his car, stood on the hood and raised his helmet as the crowd went wild. Of course this made my aunt happy - I'd he happy too if that were my man down there! After it was all over, we went and hung out in "The Pit" with him and I was secretly hoping to meet one of the younger drivers. Well - as we were talking to John, this good looking guy comes up and starts talking to him too. April saw my body tense up a bit and she smiled and nudged my elbow and raised her eyebrow at him. He was wearing a filthy white t-shirt and tight jeans with a beat up baseball cap on - and had amazing eyes. Then...something cliked.

For 4 months, even the mere thought of another guy sent me into such a guilty depression that I thought there was no way I'd ever be with someone again because it didn't feel right. But this weekend, seeing that guy...I felt like a girl in school again. I had butterflies, his smile made me unknowingly smile too -- and that's when I realized it. I had a crush!

My mystery derby man has a name and is my age :) and who knows what might come of it, if anything...but the beautiful part is simply that my heart felt excited again! I'm not out looking for a relationship right now, but the difference is that I'm not opposed to it anymore.

Last night, I even listed myself as single on my Facebook page...something I knew I should do 4 months ago, but I needed time. In that time, I finally realized that I was so scared to let the relationship I had with Ryan go because I thought Ryan was the last man on earth who would ever love me. Despite what so many people told me, I truly thought he would be my forever and since he is gone...I believed I would not have a forever. Looking back now, I can think of so many occasions when I got upset because different guys showed up in my life after returning to Yuma and said things about how I was beautiful to them, I had such a heart, I was fun to be around...they loved me!? I was so mad that they were trying to replace what Ryan and I had that I pushed them all away in rage and didn't listen to a word they said about me.

So today...yes, I am single. I was with a man who I loved very deeply & he made a foolish decision to the world and chose to leave all of us here...but I also know that the same man I loved so deeply, cared and loved me too in his own way no matter how hurtful it was--but now that he is healed and complete in Heaven, I know him and my daddy both want happiness for me, and neither of them want me to be alone in life. I just feel so GOOD! And not the slightest bit fact, I almost feel like Ryan is smiling down on me because the lessons he came to teach me, I'm finally getting & putting into motion in my life.

Monday, August 2

Knowledge in Prayer

I had the most wonderful convorsation with an amazing friend a few weeks back, and he was just glowing with pride as he told me and my best girl friend that God is proud of us, he loves us unconditionally and always will. He told us that God thinks we are beautiful - even on a bad hair day....God is begging you to love him the way we love eartlhy things.

Of course the conversation turned deeper than just casual talk, my best friend was going through some rough stuff with another mutual friend, and the three of us sat outside Dairy Queen and talked, cried, laughed, and talked about God and his wonders for almost 2 1/2 hours. My guy friend seemed to know a lot about God and there was one question I hadn't asked out loud I looked at my feet and said it..." you think Ryan went to Heaven?" As soon as I said it, it was like a flood of tears opened up and I felt safe as my best friend pulled me in close and my other friend sat down and began talking to me about what he thought in the most comforting voice.

He said, "Look...from what you've told me, Ryan had a good heart - he did the best he could here on this earth and you told me yourself you shared God's love with him...I can't tell you yes or no, but I can tell you that you can talk to God about it." I was utterly confused and he went on to say "Why can't you still pray for him? Ask God to protect his soul and take him into Heaven so you can see him again someday."

That night he opened my eyes to a fact that I'd been ignoring. Yes - I can pray for Ryan, I can still pray for my daddy and others that I've lost...but goodness there is SO much MORE I can pray for! This sounds so silly, but I guess I haven't really had the closest relationship with God because I never really talked to him. A few days before he passed away, Ry & I had a talk about God...we were watching The Cleaner and he said he loved how that man lived his life with God...he told me "Yeah babe, I talk to God...I don't really believe in the praying thing, I'd much rather just talk." "That's perfect babe, that's all he really wants..." I replied.

After that night at DQ, I started praying - FINALLY. I'm trying to be patient (yet another one of the things I'm praying for) and waiting for his answers - especially when it comes to my life in the next month & important decisions I need to make. When all of it is revealed to me - I can't wait to be awed by the amazingness of it.

Sunday, August 1

Baby Piders

Around 1 in the afternoon today, my very energetic mother came down to my room to not only wake me up and beg me to 'shake my booty' out of bed but to inform me "It's cleaning day!!!" 1 pm sounds like a very sad time to be crawling out of bed - but in my defense I did work the overnight and didn't get home til 6 am.

Anywhooo-- back to the story. Mom rented a fancy shampooer and brought it all the way down from Greeley so we got rounded up into cleaning all day. At first it was a complete drag because I got stuck on basement duty (makes sense being that I live down here on a daily basis.) After a few hours of cleaning alone downstairs, my adorable yet totally crazy for the day little sister came home. I had no idea that cleaning could be so fun until she came home with this insane attitude of fun.

After a while mom heard us doing more laughing than cleaning, so she came down to see if we were doing what we were supposed to be and we made a bribe that if we kicked it into high gear dad would get TV put in our rooms. So we started working together...sort of :) One problem we kept running into was our worst fear - spiders. Huge spiders! When we'd see one, we'd scream and jump around like little girls and yell at each other to kill it. We looked like such dorks, but after the first one it made me remember the great history we have with spiders. One afternoon when we were younger we actually climbed out of my window (when I lived on the top floor) and sat on the roof until our brother came home to kill the huge spider stalking us outside my door.

One memory however that I remember that always makes me smile is a story our grandma told us about when we were younger. Sabrina used to pretend to catch the 'baby piders' and keep them safe, then she would show grandpa and he would try to crush them and she would yell "No Papa! Don't smoosh my baby piders!!" I can just imagine her little face yelling at grandpa with such an attitude!

Sort of ironic that years later we still find ourselves bonding over those icky 8 legged creatures, only this time instead of yelling at Papa for smooshing her baby piders - we were screaming like those same little girls to run away from them.

I love my little sister - and today was a beautiful day & night spent laughing with her.