Saturday, November 28, 2009



26-23. Enough said. I just wish it didn't have to be so close. My health would have been better (as would have Katelyn's and Megan's and Buzz's and Woody's) if I had actually been able to breathe for the last 10 (football) minutes of the game, plus overtime, because screaming plus not being able to breathe due to nervousness equals about to pass out. But WE WON!

First Quarter: Very frustrating
4th: Frustrating/horrible/nerve-wracking/crazy insane/loud
OT: All of the previous things, except ending in AWESOME, and much shorter than the 4th quarter--thank goodness. Oh. And 15th row seats. And rushing the field. And J-Dawgs. And now I'm watching Sabrina with Megan and Katelyn and supposedly working on a Relief Society lesson that I will hopefully be able to give after screaming at the game today. I can already feel my voice going.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Mother: It's Her Birthday/Rolls: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Today there are two things I am grateful for.

First, is my mother. Today Mommy turns 43. Which is kinda weird, I suppose, because most of my friends' parents are much older than that. But I am also the oldest, and have a 2-year-old sister. When my sister is my age 18 years from now, my mom will be 61. But I'm sure she doesn't want to think about that. :)

Anyway, for those of you who have not been fortunate enough to meet this wonderful lady who is my mother-extraordinaire, this is her:

She is fabulous in every way your mother is, times a million. ;) Just kidding. Probably not every way. But she is the most wonderful mom ever. Seriously.
Next I am thankful for Thanksgiving rolls. Every year since as long as I can remember, the rolls have been my responsibility. When I was little, I used to just spread the butter around the dough with the pastry brush. Now I do the whole shebang. And they are yummy and I love making them. But I am also grateful that I am not perfect at them yet. I forgot to divide the dough earlier, and so the rolls are very narrow and fat instead of longer and perfectly-sized. HAHAHA. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009


I am grateful for rocking out in my car during a 5ish minute drive home with my 9-year-old brother singing songs by Demi Lovato and Black Eyed Peas and mash-ups by the Glee cast. He is one cool kid.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am grateful that I saw this building as I was driving through some sporadic snow tonight:

Which means I am now here:

With these people:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful #?

I am thankful that I have decided to skip Monday and Tuesday classes and to go home after Sacrament meeting on Sunday in order to spend more time with my family and friends from home. I am thankful that I am going to the Vocal Point concert tomorrow with Sarah Snow and that there is a football game on Saturday. I am thankful that I only have a test and a paper to do before I go home. I am thankful for a roommate who puts up with my mess. I am thankful for friends on missions who write me really long letters when they're bored out of their mind because their companion is sick and who make me laugh and send me goofy applications to fill out. I am thankful that Thanksgiving is in a week. I am thankful that Lisa and Emma, even though I could not be in Paris with them, spent practically all their time together talking about me. That's the next best thing, right? ;)

Oh, and we haven't done a song of the post in a while, so let it be: Here We Go Again, by Demi Lovato. I know, I know. Disney Channel star...but hey. I like the song. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Red Coat

Today I am grateful for my red coat.

And now...
The Story of the Red Coat
One day, my mom and I were in London. It was her first day and so she had to be not-jetlagged and not-asleep, and so we went to Portobello Road. There I found a nice young lady that sold red and navy coats, long and short. They were hand-made by a nice old lady that the nice young lady knew. They were kind of expensive, but it is a coat, and they tend to be expensive. I probably wouldn't have bought it, except I was in love with it, and my mother, a seamstress, approved of the quality and I had wanted a red coat ever since Tracy got one, because once you see Tracy in her red coat you immediately start thinking of ways to look as good and cute as she does, but in your own way. Also, I look really good in red. haha. ;) Anyway, I bought this nice red coat from this nice young lady and was very excited and took it home and all summer long, although I didn't want winter to come and was enjoying the weather, I wanted it to be fall, just a little bit colder so that I could wear my red coat. And then Conference weekend came and it was the first cold weekend. So I pulled my red coat out of my tiny closet and wore it up to Salt Lake. It kept me warm, made me happy, and a cute boy told me that it was attractive and that he liked it (but in slightly different words...haha). And I have been wearing it often ever since. On Halloween, it abeted me in stealing the Eiffel Tower...I mean, being Carmen Sandiego. Today, it is keeping me warm on a brisk-but-not-as-cold-as-the-past-two-days afternoon. It also goes with anything, even if those colors usually don't go with red. Like today I am wearing a light green shirt, but, to quote Katy A, I look "stylish and not Christmas" or something like that. AAAAND, days when I wear my red coat just seem to always go great. As in, be among the best days ever for no reason. I dunno. It's just awesome like that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brrr. But in such a wonderful way. :)

I am thankful that I went camping last night with John Bennion-ites. I am thankful that although it was snowing when I woke up this morning that I was not too cold. I am thankful that Bentley tried to roast his socks in tin foil to warm them up and that he, Matt, and Katie slept outside under the stars instead of in a tent (and they woke up to the snow). I am grateful for John Bennion providing me with sleeping bags that kept me sooo warm and Christine for making me an awesome driving mix and thankful for Whitney for food-ing and everyone else who helped with food. I am thankful that most of us were together, even though we missed those who weren't there. I am thankful Chris Bennion showed his face. I am thankful that Christian was there and that I saw him for the 2nd day in a row and that he gives nice hugs. I am thankful that Tiff also gives nice hugs. I am thankful for Kylie for just always making me so happy. I am thankful for how it almost felt like it was just another night at a hostel in England. Except we were in an orchard around a campfire in Mona, Utah. I am thankful that the sky was so clear last night and that I could see so many stars and it was beautiful. I am thankful for my wonderful friends. I am thankful for Rick and Cheryl and Annelise for coming for a bit and for just chatting with everyone. I am thankful for the snow, even, and how it makes me want the holidays and how it's reminding me that Thanksgiving is really almost here. 10 days 'til I'm home, baby. Or, as Matt McDonald would say bay-buh.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


"Today, I realised that my being British and living in Britain is a complete waste of british-ness. I am going to try and convince my Mother to move to the USA, where my british-ness can be truly appreciated. MLIA"

I am thankful for stupid websites and how they make me laugh. Today's choice is, where the above quote was found. It made me laugh. Goodness, as much as I love the good ol' US of A, I sure miss the UK.

Also. A new episode of Bones tonight. And then All's Quiet on the Western Front with John Bennion-ites. There is nothing more wonderful than spending a day being productive and then spending the evening watching Bones and a movie with friends and then going back home to be more-productive, because your weekend is crazy busy and involves a test, writing a paper proposal, hopefully starting to write a German paper that I should have started AGES ago, playing piano for a missionary homecoming of one of your best friend's brothers (whom you've never met), stake conference, and a camping trip to John Bennion's father-in-law's orchard with most of my England friends, during which we will each dutch over and have a bonfire and it will probably snow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Children of Eden

As cheesy and dorky as this may be, I am thankful for musical theater. Mus-i-cals. There. I've said it. At this moment, I am especially thankful to Stephan Schwartz for writing some of my favorite music on the planet, including Wicked and, the gem of tonight, Children of Eden, which I just saw BYU put on tonight (shout outs to Landen, Assistant Costume Designer, and Jeremiah, who played Japheth and was in my tap class last year and is currently in my ward, even though I don't think he knows who I am, haha). I am thankful for it and that I got to go see it, and that I got to see it with Christine and talk to her about it, and that I have a mind that soaks up things such as this and ponders them and enjoys them, and yet thinks and expands the show and its themes to fit my own life and compare them with my beliefs and learn and grow from something so seemingly-trivial as a piece of music, as a piece of literature, as a play, a musical. (Just for the record, none of these things are trivial in my mind. It just was the best word I could think of at the moment.)

More importantly, I am thankful for God, for a loving Father in Heaven, who is perfect enough to let us go for a short time, even though it is hard for both us and Him, because it is the right thing to do, and the only way for us to become like Him. I am thankful that He loves us enough to let us go, and that even when it seems like He is gone and not answering prayers that He is always there and that He will always answer eventually. I am thankful that He lets us choose and grow and BECOME, that we may be perfected and eventually return to Him to be with our Heavenly Father and families forever.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some people's children

I am thankful for people who are not like the person currently sitting across from me. His music is so loud that I can hear his music (not just the fuzzy noise, but words and the definite beat) from 5 feet away across the hall. It's not that I don't like his music. It's the fact that I came here to have a quiet place to study and it's obnoxious and it's not the type of music one can study to. Well, apparently he can, but it's just too distracting for me.

To make matters worse, he keeps bobbing his head and tapping his foot. OFF-BEAT.

His cord is plugged in the same outlet that mine is. AKA I'm right by his cord, whereas he is not. I'm half tempted to unplug his computer. But that would be mean and inconsiderate, and I try not to be those 2 things.

So I am thankful for all you people out there who don't listen to your music obscenely loud. May you be blessed with ears that can actually hear the words that people are saying to you and the music that is playing in your ears. May you be blessed with people not hating you. And if I ever do that, please smack me. Hard.

I am also just thankful for music. Tis awesome, that stuff. And that this is post #100 on this here blog-o'-mine.

Das Ende.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coming Full Circle

Almost exactly two years ago, I had my first real heartbreak over a boy. I remember lying in my bed, in my cinderblock room in the dorms, crying, Lisa comforting me, brushing my hair and rubbing my back and just being a best friend, a roommate, just listening to me cry and telling me that it would all be okay, even if I felt like it was the end of the world. There were nights where I'd take my phone and go to the elevator room, where we all would talk on our phones if we needed a private conversation. I'd go to the elevator room at 2 in the morning, sprawl myself across two of those uncomfortable chairs that were made to not sprawl across for the same reasons they put the "chastity bars" in the couches. I'd look out the tiny square windows and see cars drive past Hinckley Hall and call Garin in Logan, because I knew that he would always talk to me, no matter the time of night, and even if I was being completely ridiculous because I knew that he cared about me in the way only your best friend/adopted older brother can. I remember so many nights just crying to him until he'd ask me if I was feeling better, gently reminding me that we both needed to get sleep, but always willing to listen more if I wasn't. I was (and still am) blessed with so many wonderful people to get me through hard times, to keep me grounded in reality and love even when I feel like I'm worthless and horrible and unloved.

Last night/this morning, a dear friend of mine had to tell a boy that she cares about and likes even that she couldn't date him. I could tell she was hurting when she called me this morning, wondering where I was, because she needed to talk. I had been cautiously telling her to be careful, because the situation was all too familiar to me, like deja vu with my first experience, and it's all too easy for both parties to get hurt in something like that, even when you're being careful and not meaning to, because honestly, no one wants to hurt someone they care about. But at the same time, everyone needs to have experiences, to learn for themselves. And so today, it was my turn. She lied on my bed, silent, and I rubbed her back, knowing and understanding as much as I could. She wasn't crying, not like I would be (or have done in the past); while I'm probably melodramatic, she was just quiet. I don't know what all she was thinking, but sitting next to my bed, rubbing her reminded me of Lisa brushing my hair and singing "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods to me. It reminded me of Garin telling me he wished he could give me a hug and just listening to me cry at odd hours of the night, sacrificing his time and energy for me when he was plenty stressed out enough with his life and school as it was.

I am thankful for my experiences, even trails, in life. For Lisa and Garin and anyone who's helped me through those experiences. And for the opportunity I have to help others through their own experiences, to help them smile and laugh and heal, or maybe just sit there and listen to the silence and just be there to rub their back. In short, I am thankful for people and life and love.

Lila's Book of Poetry what I am thankful for. It is beautiful. And it makes me slightly crazy sometimes. But it is all so beautiful. Sigh. I love beautiful words. And how beautiful words can make me feel. I am SUCH an English nerd.

"You dance inside my chest/where no one sees you" -from "In Your Light I Learn How to Love," Rumi

"I Can't Hold You and I Can't Leave You" by Juana Ines de la Cruz

I can't hold you and I can't leave you,
and sorting out the reasons to leave you or hold you,
I find an intangible one to love you,
and many tangible ones to forgo you.

As you won't change, nor let me forgo you,
I shall give my heart a defense against you,
so that half shall always be armed to abhor you,
though the other half be ready to adore you.

Then, if our love, by loving flourish,
let it not in endless feuding perish;
let us not speak no more in jealousy and suspicion

He offers not part, who would all receive--
so know that when it is your intention
mine shall be to make believe.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Keats and Bones, but not Keats' Bones...

On today, the 6th of November, I, Rachel Ashby, am glad for John Keats. He was a Romantic poet who penned such beautiful things as Ode to a Nightengale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, many beautiful letters, etc. Read for yourself:

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing

"Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" . . . Soul as distinguished from Intelligence--There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions--but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception--they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God--how then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them--so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each ones individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this?"

"You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving"

Just go read Keats. All of him. He is fabulous. As is the movie Bright Star, about his love story with Fanny Brawn. Spoilers: It does not have a happy ending because Keats died at the age of 25 as a poor writer without having gotten to marry Fanny. And the movie was kind of slow at parts. But I loved how they laced pieces of Keats' writing through it and it was very romantic and REAL romance. Not that crappy Hollywood stuff.

And then there was a new episode of Bones last night, that I watched tonight with Sarah and Lila. Hooray.

Anyway, bed time. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember, Remember...

...The Fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
I know of no reason why Gunpowder, Treason
Should ever be forgot

What I am thankful for today:
1) Guy Fawkes Day--fire and England, what could be better? (Even if I'm watching the Scarlett Pimpernell with England peeps instead of having a bonfire) :D
2) Thinking about Guy Fawkes Day has made me miss England and made me incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to go on my Study Abroad and the friends who turned into family there, and the experiences I had.
3) Again, warm weather
4) Chocolate
5) My talents as a writer, especially how I feel I've grown as a writer over the past few months. Sigh. I am thankful for writing, and communicating.

P.S. My heart aches for England right now. So much. I just miss being there with everyone and everything and always writing and almost always being so overwhelmed with happiness. And if I went back to England, I'm sure I would love it, but it wouldn't be the same. There would still be this hole in my heart, because I don't just miss England, but the two months I spent there on the BYU England and Literature, Spring 2009 Program.

Song of the Post: Being in Love, from the Music Man (the movie). It doesn't have to do with anything. It's just been stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG for no reason whatsoever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mazel Tov

So, uh, hey, I really liked the way my last post turned out visually. It made me happy. Maybe I'm getting okay at this whole making my blog aesthetically pleasing thing. And yes, I feel the need to make it such.

Anyway. Periodically, my friend Whitney will hold 30 Minute Dance Parties at her lovely house. And, after missing the last one, I FINALLY went to one. Really, if you don't know Whitney Bush and have never been to a 30 Minute Dance Party, you are missing out. Short, sweet, simple, and rockin'. I love dance parties because there is great music, you get to dance, and even though some might say they're kind of awkward, everyone is just as bad at dancing as you are, and even if they're a million times better than you, guess what--they don't care! They just want to have fun. And you should too. I, for one, always feel like a horrible dancer, but so what? I laugh at myself and keep dancing because I love it. The end.

Song of the Post: I've Got a Feelin' by the Black Eyed Peas

(Please forgive the fact that this picture is not of anyone I know. Let's call the girls Sophie, Bianca, and Astoria. Anyway. I was going to put up pictures of my favorite dance parties, but I didn't feel like digging any up off of the hundreds of thousands of pictures they're among on Facebook.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I am a Copycat. Plus: Rice, Sun and Delicious Music

So. My England-friend Whitney is spending the month of November being grateful for things. And I rather like this idea. I probably won't post something every day, but probably most.

Also. Another friend does a "Song of the Post" everytime he posts something on his blog. And I want to start doing that too, although, once again, I probably won't do it every every single time.

Today, I am grateful for Rice packs. You know, the type you heat up in the microwave that spread warmth and goodness throughout your body and help relieve all sorts of pain and are just relaxing. Even though they smell kind of funny, mine brings me so much joy.

I am also grateful for warm November days that feel more like early October days. They make me happy--they have the chill of autumn days, but the sun is emitting warmth that makes it pleasant, not cold, and warms the soul as well. The sky is blue, but the leaves are almost all off the trees and crackle as the breeze sweeps them along the sidewalk and passing students tackle them with their feet. Because of that, that leads to my first....

SONG OF THE POST: Come On, Come Out. A Fine Frenzy. (Fun Fact: when Christine had me make a mix of songs that define myself, this was the opener) Also, while you're listening to A Fine Frenzy, go listen to You Picked Me as well, because I've had that song stuck in my head the past two days and it is another good one. :D

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday, Round 2

Who would have thought that my Sunday would be even better thane expected? Not only did all the things that I thought would be lovely turn out to be even lovelier, but it was just a beautiful day full of beautiful things and overwhelming love for God, my Savior, His gospel, and those around me. I've truly been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life. Just to name a few: Sarah Snow, Elder Savage, Elder Cowdell, Lila, Liz Katelyn, Tracy, Michele, Megan, Karyann, Marilee, Marilee's family, President Uchtdorf, Lisa, Christine, Lindsey, Amanda Hufstetler, Camille, Sarah Lutz...seriously. I could go on FOREVER. That isn't even listing my immediate family or even my immediate extended family.

After a church meeting which was just wonderful for no particular reason, just it being church and all, I went to Mare's for dinner. Lasagna. Yum. And then we went to the CES fireside and talked and talked and talked afterwards. Such a wonderful fireside. And such wonderful company. Mare is such a wonderful girl. She's turning her mission papers in in just a couple months. She will be such a wonderful missionary. She loves the Lord. She loves all His children. She loves His gospel. She will sacrifice anything for them. She teaches me so much every day. I am forever grateful that we were in the same EFY group that last year.

And Pres. Uchtdorf's fireside was simply wonderful. It does not get much better than being spoken to by that man. Sigh. Be happy, all. :)

My Sunday

Delicious for all senses.

Sound: Music and the Spoken Word
Taste: Fast Sunday--so all food is good, but I'm going to my cousin's for lasagna tonight!
Touch: Warmth of a pea coat and tights
Sight: Mountains and beautiful people
Smell: Late fall air


November is off to a good start.