Traveling , Family
Girls Trip!

My mom bought a Minnie Mouse sweatshirt for Emmeline last summer & promised Alisa she would take Emmeline to Disneyland in the fall. After my sister's death just a few days after buying the sweatshirt, clothes were boxed up and all plans of taking Emmeline to Disneyland just kind of disappeared.

Early last week my mom was cleaning out her closet when she came across that same pink Minnie sweatshirt. In tears she told my dad she needed to keep her promise to Alisa-- one of the last promises she made to my sister.

Two days later we were in the car for our girls trip to Disneyland. How cool and spontaneous is this lady?! I'm so impressed by my mom daily. I want to be just like her! I mean, who rocks prescription sunglasses and gray hair quite like Mara Lizzz?

25 and 22 years old and guess who still got front seat? TYPICALLL

We visited the JELLY BELLY FACTORY on the way down to Southern California. I loved this place as a kid and loved it even more as an auntie. Seeing the world through a three-year-old's eyes is pretty amazing and pretty exhausting.

Money Bags,as we so lovingly call my mom, even splurged on lunch at the factory. Did I mention I love girls' trips? 

We made it to Anaheim late Wednesday night. I promptly got into bed on a (wonderful?) couch bed and pretended to sleep so I could eavesdrop on my mom and auntie's gossip. #realtalk

Disneyland the next day was fantastic. But I mean, does Disney ever do anything that isn't fantastic? Nope. They don't!

Huge thank you to my aunt and uncle for letting us crash their family vacation!

I even met up with my high school bff who now lives in Southern California. I seriously want her life--she goes to Disneyland like twice a week!

The magic of Disneyland definitely still exists.

After our whirlwind day with about 1,000,000 of our closest friends, we drove home the next day. A certain Daddy and Papa were anxious for their girls to get home to them.

You may have noticed Emmeline's little pink sweatshirt in some of the pictures. Knowing that Alisa was there when my mom bought that sweatshirt made the day at Disneyland even more special. I like to think Alisa heard Emmeline squealing on the tea cups and yelling at Morgan "I'm tirsty!" several times during the day. :)

Sure missed our last girl on this girls' trip. And that's the truth!

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Friends , Traveling

At my parents' suggestion, I started seeing a grief counselor a few weeks ago. He's really kind and really old. Maybe the best therapists need to be both of those two things! During one of our sessions together, he asked me what currently makes me happy. Like, genuinely happy. And excited. Excited about the future.

Now, I consider myself a pretty happy, upbeat person. But, when he asked me that specific question, I didn't have an answer. In fact, I started crying. It was a low moment to realize I had become apathetic about so many different aspects of my life without even realizing it. Maybe that's just what grief does to us.

So, since that day sitting on that comfortable couch in a warm office, staring and then crying at the old guy giving me life advice, I decided to look for small blessings, tender mercies, and reminders from my Heavenly Father that He loves me and is mindful of me.

Here are just some of the many reasons I've found to be happy:

Important to note: Stephanie has a GYM MEMBERSHIP

My favorite part of Friday was taking the paddle boat out with Stephanie and Aimee. Although we were clearly not naturals at using the paddle boat, we eventually made it over to the buoy, where, according to Aimee, we all had to kiss the buoy. It felt as awkward as it sounds.

And lovely, Taylor sent the most embarrassing picture everrrrr to our family group message. Hi Dad. Sorry Dad.

Love you, La Porte. Until next time.

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Although I've been home from Thailand for over a week, I have delayed writing this blog post because I'm having a difficult time putting my thoughts and feelings into words. I can hardly understand what happened, much less try to explain to other people.

About a week and a half ago, I was riding my bike on a busy highway in Thailand. While crossing the road, I was struck by a van. Although I'm not sure how fast the car was moving, the posted speed limit was 80 kilometers, or 50 MPH. I don't remember much from the accident, other than rolling several times and other cars still whizzing past.

I was with Sara, another American teacher in my small town. I consider her one of my personal heroes-she jumped off her her bike and ran to me in the middle of the highway. By doing so, she was able to prevent other cars from hitting me while I laid there on the ground.

It was there I had my first major panic attack. As my body went into shock, I could only scream and yell to Sara that "I couldn't let my parents lose two daughters in two months." The heat of the road, combined with the summer humidity, was unbearable.

I felt a mix of relief and dread as I heard the ambulance siren. In just a matter of minutes, I was loaded onto a stretcher, wheeled into the ambulance, and taken to the hospital.

At the hospital I was treated very well--the language barrier was tricky, but manageable. I was allowed to go home after a few tests and some observation. The majority of my right side was bruised and I had scrapes all along by body. According to people who saw the accident, I am "lucky to be alive."

Happy to be home. Happy for a mama who demanded my dad fly me home the next day after the accident. Happy for a loving Heavenly Father who watches over me. Happy to have my angel sister protecting me. Happy to have support & love from my fam. Happy to be alive.

And major props to Taylor--thanks for changing my bloody butt bandages for a week! You the real MVP

Don't worry, more blogs to come! But rather than being about Thailand, they'll be about Emmeline. *Fair warning*

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WE MADE IT TO THAILAND!

We left San Francisco bright and early at 1:40am on Tuesday, September 6th. Mom and Dad quickly popped some magic sleepy pills and I watched chick flick after chick flick. Note: international flights are great when your shoulder buddies don't speak English and you don't feel like making flight small talk!! I did, however, accept strange fruit from the cute Asian lady next to me. Maybe sketchy but! must have been safe enough.

We spent the night in Bangkok and then flew to Phitsanulok, the town I will live in to teach English. :)

"That's a photo op if I've ever seen one!" -Pudgy Judgy 
"Smile so I can have this on my phone" (Guess who said that?)

My parents and I spent the majority of the morning walking around the town and exploring the school. It only took us about ten minutes to find the Magnum ice cream bars at the 7/11 just around the corner. My dad loved the prices--only 40 baht per bar! (which is roughly just over a dollar)

Had a little cry cry after saying goodbye to my parents. It's going to be a long four months away from them, but it's a good change. Livin like Sasa!

Fact: Tropical spiders are hideous and durian is the WORST FRUIT IN THE WORLD

Another fact: I love grocery stores!!!!

Peace and blessings, peace and blessings,

ABH

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Traveling
First Stop: SAN FRANCISCO 

What do all of these things have in common: A carousel ride, french fries, a crazy balloon-maker, and a silver street performer?

Answer: Emmeline's various requests in San Francisco (and as a direct result, Papa Hardy losing money!)

Our day started relatively early. The plan was to be on the road by 7:00am, buuuut we rolled out by about 11:00 instead. Whoops, sorry Judge. We listened to church music and complained about all the Burners coming back from Burning Man. Traffic was ridik! We also stopped nearly every 30 minutes (shoutout to my dad's weak bladder).

San Francisco, so fun, 8/10 would do again. San Francisco clam chowder bowls, 10/10 would eat again. YUM!!!

Here are way too many pictures. What can I say, I'm just enthusiastic to start this trip!

And that's the truth!

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Church , Quotes , Traveling
Love you forever, Intro to Cultural Anthropology (Anth 101)

As I sit here on my childhood bed, with the same awful pink and green bedspread my 11-year-old self just had to have, listening to calm hymns about faith, I am filled with dozens upon dozens of emotions.

Tomorrow is a big day for me! Tomorrow I will say goodbye to Reno, to friends, and to the familiarity that all of that entails. After driving to San Francisco, I will board a plane with my parents and set off for Thailand, where I will live for four months. My parents will drop me off in Phitsanulok, ("tuck me into my bed"--direct quote) and then I will also say goodbye to them. I will find myself in a place I have never been with people I have yet to meet. I am so excited! I am so scared.

Because Alisa was brave and was willing to try new things, so will I be. In that small way I will live like Alisa.

And just like Emmeline always says: That's the truth!


"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people" (Alma 7:11-12)

Also I got a selfie stick!!! #judgingmyself

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