struck down by the west coast

Last weekend was absolutely magical. Maaaaagical. It was full of insults and adventure and side splitting laughter. And bare feet. Heaven.


A group of girls (who claim me as their cousin, but it is absolutely not true) decided to rescue me from the rut that I’ve been in and take me town to southern Utah where there was no stress, just happiness and unicorns and rainbows.

See here’s the things about these girls. I just fit with them. There wasn’t even an awkward ‘get-to-know-you’ phase, no reservations, no nervousness about thinking what they might think of me.


Because trust me…they’re very open with how they feel about things. Especially me.

We didn’t do anything grand or significant. We spent the hours driving through the dark listening to music spanning from four different decades. We went to Wal-Mart, the late night and our tiredness from being cramped in a car too long caused to us find everything hilarious. IMG-20120210-02662IMG-20120210-02658IMG-20120210-02663

We made some dessert that took way too long to make and was consumed way too quickly.IMG-20120210-02669

Do you like the spoons in the middle of this picture? It took less than a minute for us to all inhale it. Seriously.


Supper flattering of everyone, I know.

We ate food and went shopping, as I suppose most college girls are prone to do. We also watched twelve year olds play basketball and we changed clothes in the back of cars and drove around with the windows down, listening to good music and yelling at men on motorcycles. IMG-20120211-02717

The best part of the whole weekend was when we pulled off the highway into St. George and realized that it was warm enough to roll down the windows, letting a warm breeze filter through the car and tousle our hair. Something about singing in cars with the windows down and the sun shining on your skin just feels beautiful. Like nothing else matters, things that are bad aren’t really all that bad, and the world is glorious and exciting.IMG_5634

Here’s the thing: people only have so much to offer. Even when you’re at the top of your game, you’re going to have imperfections and you’re going to have differences. Some people are okay with who you are—they like you and they try to appreciate you for what you are. But there are people that genuinely love you for who you are—people that can truly see the best in everyone. I love those people. And these girls are those people. They make me feel like I’m awesome, even when I’m tired or cranky or sad.


Clambering out of the car after a forty-five minute drive felt marvelous. Especially since it meant unfolding my cramped legs and stretching my arms high over my head—both to combat the tenseness in my muscles and to soak in the sun. I loved how it drenched me in warmth and sunlight, drying my hair still damp from the shower, spilling onto the ground making it warm enough for me to climb cement stairs barefoot and carefree.  I ambled down the side of the street lingering in the shade (because it was finally possible to be too hot), stepping on branches and cracks, wincing when my feet met a rock. My feet aren’t nearly as tough as they used to be.IMG-20120211-02711


In so many ways the weekend was a huge sensory overload—my days were packed with laughter and adventure and massive quantities of delicious home-cooked food (I miss living with a mother).IMG-20120212-02726

I wasn’t troubled by the past or worried about the future. I was just content to be living in the moment, to be literally basking in the sun. We never went to bed at a reasonable hour, yet it was impossible to sleep in the next morning because there was so much more fun to be had.



That’s me…on someone else’s cell phone. I’m so cool.

We went to the most incredible rendition of Beauty and the Beast, orchestrated by a genius drama teacher and some incredibly talented middle-schoolers. I absolutely set my standards lower than I should have and was blown away by the adolescents’ ability to adopt a new persona with such precision.


These three were, in my opinion, the most convincing actors. Also I don’t know why girls find it necessary to squat in pictures…perhaps I was trying to increase my chances of dating a studly seventh grader by descending to his level? Ha. No idea.

And having made an appearance at a middle school we somehow found it necessary to crash a high school dance. So we did. Just a group of college girls taking a room full of awkward, sweaty, hormonal teenagers by storm. We were really the only ones dancing and I’m sure everyone was heartbroken by our departure after ten minutes. But I’m cool now because I’m in college and I can do things like this—parading around an unfamiliar high school like I have some sort of authority. Mostly I’m slowly being corrupted by the influence of these girls.564

It was rough coming home—back to reality, to responsibility, to a pile of dirty laundry and a lot of unfinished homework. Though I was completely exhausted, I felt like my spirits had been lifted and somehow I was ready to go back to the routine of life with a little more enthusiasm and a little more zeal.

Thank you so much to Haynie family for opening their home to a band of loud, obnoxious girls—for the air mattresses and the meals and the patience it must have taken to have your house invaded. For providing a safe haven; a temporary break from real life.

And thanks so much to you beautiful non-cousins of mine for a fantastic weekend.


[Title from More Than Alive by The Ready Set]


  1. Have I ever told you how much I love that your blog posts are song titles? I love it. Not as much as I love you non cousin/cousin/nest friend of mine. You are the greatest and let's take another trip..oh, like now! :)

  2. 1) I'm so glad you had your first pizzookie experience with the Haynies. Rest assured that all pizzookies are consumed in 60 seconds or less.

    2) Welcome to Haynie Co. It's the best.

  3. I am so glad you had such a fun weekend. I love college and all the fun times. I'm glad you have found such good friends.