19 Things I Learned in 2019 || 12 Days of Blogmas 2019 Day 5

Hey everybody! Today I have a super exciting blogpost to share with you all: I’m talking about the 19 Things I Learned in 2019!! I did this once before, when I turned 18 (you can find that here) and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to do it again!

19 Things I Learned in 2019

  1. It is, in fact, possible to date somebody that has . . . essentially the same name as you
  2. It is, also, in fact possible to get rid of 2 55-gallon trash bags worth of STUFF from your room and still have a full room (being a minimalist is hard)
  3. Having a good feed on Instagram . . . isn’t that hard??? You just need to plan ahead a little (which, yes, is difficult) but it’s not /that/ bad? Also Unum is the best
  4. Menstrual Cups are pretty great. Except for when you drop them when you’re trying to take them out and the bathroom looks like you tried to flush a body🙊
  5. You, uh, need to make sure your phone volume is on before you connect it to your speaker or else you’re going to be very confused
  6. KEEP👏A👏CAN👏OF👏WHIPPED👏CREAM👏IN👏YOUR👏MINI👏FRIDGE
  7. No matter where you are in life, or how busy you are, or how stressed you are, time with God will NEVER be wasted (unless you’re using it as an excuse. then it will. but not because you spent time with God)
  8. Talk to your professors!!! They can help you A LOT . . . but also not help at all, lmao oops
  9. Both you and your roommate getting super sick during finals week is going to be . . . a time (not at all).
  10. There will, in fact, be a point in your life when your parents congratulate you for getting a C- instead of failing. (There might not in your life exactly, of course, but I learned that I did)
  11. You can just ..switch two letters on the MBTI typing test?
  12. I make some bomb homemade mac and cheese. (Recipe found on Pinterest here)
  13. Playing piano for church is . . . actually really stressful??? Hats off to anyone who plays every week bc it’s HARD
  14. MORNING ROUTINES ARE AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGG and everyone should make one. Also, I’m a morning person?? Who knew??
  15. Grocery shopping??? is so fun?? Who hid this information from me for so long
  16. Journaling is GREAT; you get to remember what you did in a day, and pray and think and it’s all just for you. Not sharing everything on the internet? Who’d’ve thunk
  17. Baby Yoda is the best thing to have graced this earth
  18. Taking four 2-hour exams in 50 hours is BAD and will END POORLY
  19. EVERYTHING COSTS MONEY and is EXPENSIVE

So there you have it! 19 Things I Learned in 2019! What’s something you learned in 2019? Do you like grocery shopping? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

How I Wrap Up a Year || 12 Days of Blogmas 2019 Day 4

Hi everyone! Today I have a super exciting blogpost to share with you all: it’s how I wrap up a year! Every year, I take the week between Christmas and New Year’s to wrap up my year, and today I’m showing you all what I do!

How I WrapUp a Year.png

You may or may not have gathered this already, but New Year’s is a big deal for me. I love seeing what the past year brought and looking forwards to what the new year will hold. I love introspecting and analyzing my own personality and seeing how I’ve grown. I love making my new bullet journal for the next year. It’s my faaaaaaaaaaaavorite time of year, honestly. 😂

So how do I wrapup my year? There are several components to wrapping up a year for me, and I’ll describe each of these, and how it benefits me:

Books I’ve Read. This one’s pretty easy: I read a Lot of books, and I like seeing stats on what I’ve read this year. I do this in conjunction with my GoodReads reading challenge, and it’s been really fun looking at what books I’ve read throughout the year and remembering my favorites. 🙂 || Books I Read in 2019
People In My Life. I started doing this when I saw a friend do it years ago. I write a list of all the people that are important to me/that have made an impact on me this year, and I write a short thank you note/open letter to each of them. It’s not so much for them as it is for me, and having done it for several years now, I can see all the people who’ve made me who I am, and all the friends that have stayed with me throughout the years versus the ones who’ve gone! || People of 2019
Highlights of the Year. When you’re wrapping up a year, it’s really easy to look at all the things that you didn’t do and think about all the bad things that happened that year. However, I am nothing if not an optimist, and I always really like looking at all the things I’ve accomplished/places I’ve been/people I’ve hung out with/adventures I’ve been on throughout the year! After I make my list, I write them all in my little wall calendar (since I don’t write in it during the year, it’s blank at the end and I fill it up!)

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Goals and Achievements. I like looking at my goals from the previous years to see what all I’ve done towards them. Sometimes it’s not a lot, sometimes it’s quite a bit. Usually, it comes around to 50%, which isn’t the worst success rate in the world! (lol) I reevaluate the goals to see if I still want to implement them in my life, and also appreciate how far since when I set them! ||  2019 Reflections/2020 Resolutions
Setting New Goals. After I look at my old goals, it’s time to set new ones! I think about what things I want to be different in my life, and what habits I want to implement. Most of my goals are more habits, rather than goals goals, and I really like it that way! I see my New Year’s Resolutions as steps to make me a better person than who I am right now, and not as something that will change who I am as a person, and that helps guide how I set my goals. || How To Achieve All of Your 2020 New Years Resolutions
Making My New Bullet Journal. This one’s pretty self explanatory, but I set up my new Bullet Journal for the year, which is my absolute favorite thing to do! I reevaluate what has worked in my bullet journal the last year, and I look at some new spread ideas to log all the new habits I want to be working on! This is hands down my favorite thing to do when wrapping up a year, and it’s awesome! || My 2020 Bullet Journal Setup
Journaling and Introspection. This is really important as well; I’m really prone to just . . . putting everything online, and don’t take the time to introspect, but there’s always a side of wrapping up a year that doesn’t go on the internet. I take some time to journal and pray and introspect and just really think about who I am and how I want to grow and how I’ve already grown, and just look back at my last year of life. I always put it off for a really long time (it really should be the first step, haha), but it’s so important!


I hope that sharing my end of year routine helps you out! It’s not too late to wrap up a year, and I really hope that you do it! Obviously you don’t have to do all of these steps, but take what works for you and run with it! Try some things out, and have fun!

How do you wrap up a year? Are there things that I do that you also do? Are there things that I do that you want to do? Let me know in the comments! I’d loveeeee to chat about the end of the year; it’s my absolute favorite time of year!

I’M BACK! || My Summer Bucket List and GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ve finished my freshman year of college (?!?!?! yeah, I’m amazed too), and I’m back and hopefully better than ever! In this post, I’ll be giving a little recap on my life over the past few months, and then share my summer 2019 bucket list. Finally, I’ll be including a giveaway (!!!) to thank you all for sticking around during my months and months, and months, and months of accidental hiatus.

I'm Back!.png

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash, editing via Canva by myself

What I’ve Been Up To

So . . . what have I been up to? Well, I finished my second semester of college, which means I’ve officially finished my first year of college!! *insert celebratory balloons, confetti, music, and whatever else you deem necessary* I’ve learned so much this year, not just about the things that I studied, but also about myself, my friends, living alone, and God. It was a really fun year, though not without its own struggles. (I realized that I, a homeschooler, was, surprise, surprise, REAL BAD at taking tests. Finals week was . . . a train wreck).

However, I also had the opportunity to make a great group of friends, as well as join a Bible study, where I met some awesome girls that I even got to go to church with a couple of times! Close to the end of the year, I decided to change my major from biochemistry to a psychology and biology double major, which is very exciting: I’m so much more pumped for the next years than I was!

I’m on vacation right now with my family, visiting extended family. While we’ve been here, I’ve been catching up on a lot of book reviews and reading in general, which is really nice: I’ve missed just being able to /read/ a lot! I’ve also managed to stilL be ahead on my GoodReads reading challenge??? How does that happen??? This has never happened????

With all that’s been happening, I’ve still been on the internet scene, a bit, even if I haven’t been blogging! I’ve been REALLY on top of my Instagram game, if I do say so myself! I’ve really enjoyed taking and editing photos to fit my feed, and the accompanying growth has been really fun too! Here’s my latest post!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BynTdb3AoGH/

I’ve also still been tweeting sporadically on my Twitter. In addition, I was introduced to kittens game at college, which is a completely nonsensical idle game that I’ve spent probably too much a lot of time on. (I probably have an addictive personality . . . oops)

My Summer Bucket List

Since we’ve been on an extended vacation, I don’t anticipate a road trip/vacation, and I’m planning for a very at-home summer.

  1. Clean the house and donate things
  2. Go to a baseball game
  3. Make my blog something I’m proud of/update my social medias
  4. Make a piece of art every day
  5. Read 40 books
  6. Finish my psychology class
  7. Learn statistics
  8. Get my driver’s license!
  9. Go to a sunflower field
  10. Watch 10 movies
  11. Go visit my college friends
  12. Cook 5 things I’ve not cooked before

The Giveaway

And now for the part of the post you’ve all been waiting for! You can enter to win either a $10 Amazon giftcard, or a book of your choice from Book Depository!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Capture

(the rafflecopter doesn’t embed in my page, but here’s a preview of what’s on it!)


Happy summer! Have you entered the giveaway? What are some things that you’ve put on YOUR summer bucket list?

 

What Happened This Month: December 2018 || Blogmas 2018 Day 30

Hey everyone!! We’re almost done with the month, and the year!! Today, I’m doing the last monthly recap of 2018!! So let’s get started!

Blogmas Day 30 2018.png

Happenings-

 

Awesome-

  • Listening to all of Handel’s Messiah on a Saturday before finals week
  • Setting up your new bullet journal and being aBSOLUTELY PUMPED for the new year
  • Realizing that Instagram has pretty great face filters now????
  • Getting a large mens sweater on sale and it being the ACTUAL BEST THING EVER
  • Realizing the Windows 10 Instagram app has DMs on desktop!!!

Awkward-

  • Realizing you have 21 books to read to hit your GoodReads goal . . . after you lower your goal
  • Watching 7 episodes of b99 instead of studying for your finals
  • Putting the phrase “this one is one about one” in a blogpost, whilst writing blogposts at 1am
  • Hand-writing a card and having the thought ‘I could put an emoji here’ pass through your brain ><
  • This

Blog News-

Well I did Blogmas, so go read through that for a list of posts I wrote. Or come back tomorrow and I’ll have the list too!

Stats-

  • Views: 227
  • Visitors: 98
  • Countries Viewed From-
    • United States
    • Germany
    • Canada
    • United Kingdom
    • India
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Ireland
    • Czech Republic

December Goals WrapUp

  1. Finish out finals! Done.
  2. Less than 4 hours on my phone every day.  Done.
  3. Read a book every day  (finish out GoodReads challenge). Lol no, and no.
  4. Do blogmas! kiiiiinda???
  5. Do something productive everyday. … … … that goal was as sketchy as my accomplishment of it

January Goals


And that’s a wrap for the year! I’ll be back tomorrow to wrapup Blogmas, but aside from that, I’m done for the year! What was the best thing that happened to you this month?

Media This Month: December 2018 || Blogmas 2018 Day 29

Well, December (and thus, Blogmas) is coming to an end, and I figured we’d wrap up this month as well! So here we go, fun media things this month!

Blogmas Day 29 2018.png

Playlist-

Cool Musical Finds-

Cool Blogposts Read-

december 26 by Sarah

Do YA Books Have Too Much Romance? by Cait

Great Videos Watched-

The internet LITERALLY BROKE in December 2018. HOLY HECK.

Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings) gave birth || Cole and Savannah also gave birth || Oscar and Kyra got engaged || (as well as that other youtuber but I don’t watch her lol) || my brain is BROKEN || and of course, there was just VLOGMAS

and then there’s also this one

Twitter Finds-

(language warning)


What was the biggest thing (in your opinion) that happened on YouTube this month? What cool media thing did you see this month? Let me know!

17 Things I Learned While 17 || I’m an ADULT NOW

Hello, friend! Today’s blogspot is an exciting one: I turn EIGHTEEN (18!!!!!) in a few days, and so today, we’re talking about 17 Things I Learned While I was 17!

17 Things I Learned While 17.png

  1. Popsockets are the greatest thing to ever exist.
  2. Don’t ask multiple people if they want to hang out . . . if they’re all free, you have an issue. a big one.
  3. Professional people may appear professional . . . until you stalk their social media
  4. I REALLY LOVE teaching music. Teaching music is awesome.
  5. Driving isn’t that hard. You just have to not step on the brake so hard that the wire breaks, rending the entire car useless.
  6. Getting into troll arguments on twitter is counterproductive and useless . . . unless it’s about homeschooling.
  7. College classes are fun . . . provided you get a good professor, but stILL.
  8. College applications . . . just start them early. For your sanity, for your parents’ sanity, for your dog’s sanity, JUST DO IT.
  9. Spotify is an amazing thing.
  10. I’m old enough to have friends who are married. Not sure how that happened.
  11. E-books are amazing because you don’t have to cart liTERAL books around . . . side effects include staying up until 4am reading
  12. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but . . . it doesn’t hurt either
  13. Money is SO HARD TO GET
  14. DAILY Bible reading is so, SO helpful.
  15. Grades are important. but not thAT important.
  16. Graduation is one of the most exhilarating things ever
  17. It is, in fact, possible, to leave EVERYTHING you’ve ever known and live . . . though maybe not without tears

And that’s it! What’s something you learned recently? Also, e-books–yay or nay?

April 2018 Recap || What Happened This Month

April was a weird month. While on one hand, I got a lot done and put out a bunch of blogposts I’m really proud of, it was also very emotionally draining because of lots of things ending. And aside from doing a lot of *stuff*, I wasn’t really productive either. So. it was weird. But I did a recap!

What Happened This Month April 2018
Photo by Maggie H on Unsplash, [terrible] editing by me

Playlist-

Happenings-

Awesome-

  • going prom dress shopping with friends
  • getting chocolate from a random little old lady at church
  • changing the music you’re listening to on your computer with your phone on spotify
  • the sweetest moments with Him™
  • getting to meet the SWEETEST and SMALLEST and MOST PRECIOUS baby boy after his parents, my youth group leaders, walked through infertility for 9 years
  • realizing how much Jesus loves us
  • posting a picture of Him™ on the finsta and y’ALL LOVING ON US

Awkward-

  • writing down a list of activities and stuff that are ending in a few weeks, hitting the words “the end,” and starting to tear up
  • getting that YODEL BOY’S SONG STUCK IN YOUR HEAD
  • being at community college, paying thousands of dollars to attend class, and going on Youtube, and them having the audaCITY TO SHOW YOU THEIR OWN AD WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO WATCH A CALCULUS VIDEO
  • going from 85 degree weather to 40 degree weather in the span of three days
  • sitting in the college library studying and listening to the conversation of the four guys by you, three of every four words being the s word, the f word, or the n word

That Moment When-

  • you find out dodie is going to be twenty-five minutes from you on tour . . . then also find out that tickets are sold out
  • doing multiple choice in class and a kid saying his answer was “D for doggo” and the teacher saying he was wrong because she didn’t know what it was and thought he said “B for bongo”
  • Him™ breaks his wrist IN FRONT OF YOU
  • Pentatonix comes out with an AWESOME ALBUM but you listen to it on a day with lots of sad memories and ruin it

YouTube Videos-

Blogpost Read-

Self-Love vs. God's Love Banner

Self Love VS God’s Love by Christine Smith

2018-04-03 09.15.20 1

Just Little Things by Emily Mundell

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The Confidence of a Child by Maggie

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Dear to be Happy Again by Julia

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Extraordinary: A Definition by Madeline

April Goals WrapUp-

  • Do 150 hours of productive work- pshhhhh hahahahah no. As my Camp NaNo cabinmates have seen, I’m so far off of this goal it’s funny
  • Take one chapter of notes a day- you would think that with finals coming up, I’d work on this more . . . but lol no
  • Finish 30 Day Ab Workout- I did 24 days! Which was more than I expected!
  • Memorize Philippians (with church)- not . . . .really?
  • 5 blog comments per day- I did it!!!
  • Be in bed by 12 and up by 8- this goal helped, but no
  • Fluoride Rinse everyday- did it! (mostly)
  • Read 7 books- haha I got no time *distant crying*

May Goals-

  • Handletter the Little Bible Plan prompts
  • No social media between 11am and 10pm
  • Finish out high school (!!!)
  • 3 blog comments a day
  • Read 20 books
  • Clean out the house

What happened TO YOU in April? What are some of the goals that you have for May? Can you believe that it’s MAY next month??

States 2018 || Science Olympiad

States Recap.png
5:20.
alarm.

5:40.
roll out of bed, get ready, pack (bc was too tired the night before and bc lazy and bc was writing memoir)

6:12.
driving. very derealized. pretty sunrise. brief moment of being present. happy, almost start tearing up. quickly is derealized again.

7:23.
on campus. it’s familiar from past years, yet worn out by time. parking garage is familiar, but still vaguely horrifying. sees SW’s car. feels oddly comforted. walks on campus, sees rival school students. their shirt colors match ours. see my especial rival. we exchange peace signs and good luck wishes.

7:42.
homeroom. my last one. big room, auditorium like. gets wristband. puts it on lopsided. I feel oddly cheated. sits next to SW for briefing meeting. hooray for Wifi. I try to feel something. I fail.

8:12.
walking events with GM. is passed from behind by a group of three from another school. “sorry, sorry” they mutter. “it’s okay,” I say “experimental design is more important.” realizes how creepy that sounds. walks to rocks building. sees CK and RF. also MM and JC. they are very excited about live snakes.

8:22.
walking towards labs. speed limit 12. because 10 is too slow and 15 is too fast. I overshoot the lab. she’s running out of time. we’re by the gym. we find the side door. runs up 3 flights. BK’s dad leaning over the railing, concerned, on the phone. I’m a terrible chaperone. checks my lab rooms.

8:33.
leaves lab building. sees F parents and A. they’re struggling to keep the door open. it locks on its own. Mr. F holds the door, I find a big rock. problem solved.

8:47.
back at homeroom. talks with Mrs. B about helicopter transportation. parents are highkey stressed. it’ll be fine. but will it?

9:11.
lab apron, goggles, notesheet, box. forensics. it’s a beautiful day outside. an elderly couple out for a walk. what are you carrying? can I see the baby? I turn, surprised. the box with my sweater over it looks like a baby, apparently. I look old enough to have a baby, apparently.

9:24.
SW walks up. GM waits with us for her event. she goes in, we sign in. I’m out of it, and SW gears me up, which is an oddly sweet gesture?

9:35.
instructions. I hear the words but they never make it into my head. SW nudges me. you hear that? no plastics. I didn’t. I’m glad. I’m bad at plastics. we talk about the good test we have. the next table team looks over. yeah that regionals test was messed UP. we didn’t fill in half of it and we got second. they’re good. are we?

9:41.
small scoops of powders into the well plate. SW lights the bunsen burner. we have a real life legit bunsen burner. an actual bunsen burner. I am elated. I know most of what these powders are. SW does chromatography. he screws up one. it’s okay it’s okay, I reassure him.

10:02.
twenty minute call. I’m halfway through the powders. “I suggest you start the analysis” says the proctor. but I’m doing well at these powders. I keep going.

10:08.
powders are done. plastics descriptions matches notesheet, nearly word for word. brilliant. accidentally pour vial of strong base all over the counter. no time for that now. label forensic diagram. everything matches and it. is. glorious.

10:14.
start analysis. I can’t focus. five minute warning. no way can I do this in time. I write, but my focus is not there. four lines in, time is called. we’re sitting right under the proctor, so I can’t sneak a few more sentences. I’d done less than ⅕ of what was supposed to be on the analysis. the analysis is worth 30 percent of the score. “I told you” says SW. I’m sorry, I was doing powders

10:23.
gather everything, toss it back in the bin. leaves room, feeling confident but despondent. we’d been doing so well. but I missed the entire analysis. a flurry of activity distracts me for a second. SW runs off to his next event, I meet GM and CF coming out of theirs. GM needs to run too, so I take her stuff and my forensics box, and CF and I walk to the homeroom. “will your family come to get you?” I ask, wanting to avoid abduction accusations. “no, they probably don’t remember” she says. we arrive at our building. her dad is behind us, smirking. he did remember.

10:32.
“how was it?” chimes concerned parents in the homeroom. I drop the boxes where they belong. terrible, absolutely terrible. we finished about half the test. I have to talk to Mrs C. she’ll listen and calm me down. I leave.

10:36.
she must see the stricken expression on my face. “it was terrible. so, so terrible” I wail. she hugs me. “the powders went great, but I didn’t do the analysis. which is worth 30 percent. it was an awesome test, but we only answered 60 percent. it was terRIBLEEEE”
like I expected, she reassures me. “at least you got the powders. you think you got all of them?” I think I did, but I wasn’t sure. after all, my last powders test I’d only gotten a 65% on. she talks on. I listen, glad for something to fix my mind upon. she talks about growing up, having kids, change. she read my dramatic poem and she relates. we walk back to the homeroom.

10:42.
we walk to the homeroom. I internalize her words. by the time we get to the homeroom, I feel like talking. we sit and talk. about life and music and other events. normal things. I’m glad for the distraction.

11:12.
I get ready to head off. walking through the quad, see MM and lots of other people. we compare how events go. he heads back to grab some food. I continue on to the rocks building.

11:24.
arrive in front of the rocks room. there’s a group inside. I sit down on the floor outside to wait. some other students gather.

11:32.
MM joins me. we sit on the floor. I lean against him. waves of memories. the bookends of my science olympiad years. rocks and minerals.

11:35.
the proctor pokes his head out. you here for rocks? we nod. come on in, we already started. what? confused, we point at the sign. you don’t mean the 11:45 slot, do you? he’s baffled, but hides it. yes. we’ll give you extra time

11:39.
we go in, get our packet. I drop everything and we sit. MM takes over. I do basic binder work. it’s fast. easy. we got this.

11:57.
time for the stations. the pictures are terrible. not even real specimens. the rival school calls over the proctor. they point. no doubt they’re talking about us. our field guide. sure enough, he comes over. with the rules. “I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s allowed.” we’re ready for this. attached to the rings, in any form. we point, our hands bumping. oh. okay.

12:13.
I pick up a mineral. we look at each other. it is what you think it is, right? he writes it down. no words are needed. we need fifteen seconds. we get two minutes. we sit together on the floor. we don’t talk, breathing in sync. time’s up. we move, do it again.

12:24.
we’re done. that was bad, but it could have been worse. the pictures even match the pictures in our binder. we’re not sure of one. it’s not in our binder. we guess. educatedly. we don’t need the extra time. we walk out. that’s it. I drink water. he leaves, grateful for a break.

12:31.
I walk around. speed limit 12. it’s so warm. Mr. C is there. no one is clamoring for his attention. I go up to him, tell him about my day. he hears about rocks, gets all excited, whips out his phone. it’s okay. we know rocks. he calms down.

12:38.
the back gym. SW is there. so is mama. and Mrs. B. and our helicopters. I sit next to SW. we check our phones. time passes. we’re on a time crunch. I set up everything. focus, focus. I am focusing. do you want food? I thought you wanted me to focus. calm down. it’ll be okay.

12:45.
I go check in. where is KB? people start coming in. red shirts. the Fs, the Ws, the Ks. I go sign in. what team are you? I say it. one of the last times I ever will. the last time I get to fly with these people. he’s so nice.

12:52.
there he is.
KB doesn’t have blue hair? oh. we go stand in line. we’re second in line. they wind, meticulous, slow. it actually flies. they relax. it drifts up to the ceiling, floats back down. second flight. KB pokes me. electric drill, he whispers. I smirk.

1:03.
more people trickle in. the wall is lined with red shirts. I text Mrs. C. helicopters in 10 minutes. she texts right back. coming. Mrs M. is timing? people walk back and forth. I try to shield the helicopter with my body. if anyone breaks it we’re done for.

1:13.
still in line. we’re next. they fly. I’m keyed up but relaxed. KB and I stand in our own little bubble. action is all around. we’re like new parents guarding our child with our bodies and our lives. sees my especial rival. of course she’s here. she wouldn’t miss it for the world.

1:22.
our turn. I take a deep breath, unload my arms, clamp the torque meter. do we have paper towels? he shakes his head. my mind whirls. it flashes. the box top. I snatch off the lid. there it is. we wind, load. I walk to the center of the room. where? KB shrugs. it doesn’t matter. it won’t go up straight anyways. I close my eyes. this is it. five…four…three. I let go, swing my arms back. two…one. and it goes. unsteadily, but upwards. it rests on an edge. the red wall lets out a collective gasp. it’s staying up. it teeters on the edge. a swoop, it lands flat. everyone exhales.

1:28.
second flight. she catches my eye, gives me a thumbs up. I give her a thumbs up back. we wind, load. we have a good flight under our belt. this one could put us on stage, or even, on top of the stack. my last ever flight. KB counts down, loud and clear. the release. it flies, but not how we want it. it flies straight. but downwards. I look at him. I’m so sorry, KB. I’m so sorry. I didn’t check. why did I not check? it’s all my fault. how did I forget to check? I’ve never forgotten to check before. we walk out, in a daze.

1:31.
my hands are shaking. a tap on my shoulder. can I get you to sign this? I nod, numbly, scrawl an illegible version of my name. 1.33. we could have flown so much better, but also so much worse. you know where you went wrong, don’t you? of course I do. I’ll be thinking about it for years. I’ve seen lots of those, he tries to help. but it doesn’t help. we’d thought we’d be better than those. we know what we’re doing. or at least, we should.

1:39.
somehow, I find myself in front of the chem lab room. SW must have led me. I have all my stuff. we look at the comic wall. all I see is the helicopter. driving straight down. I need to shake it off, move on. I have one more chance. my last ever event. we gear up, sign in.

1:43.
we start. everything looks familiar, but I don’t know it. SW takes over. okay, so what you need to do is . . . I obey. he bends over the packet, intent. water boils. my hands are shaking.

2:13.
none of the math is checking out. I don’t even know the multiple choice. this is not going to turn out well. I start tearing up, but catch myself. not now. wait. there will be time to cry. nothing makes sense. both of us have forgotten this.

2:36.
that’s it. we did terribly, but I cling to a shred of hope. we walk back to the homeroom. I’m starving. what do we have to eat? mama pulls out a costco salad. God bless mothers. a tap on my shoulder. do you want to go outside? it’s Mrs. C. we go, stand around, talk. the boys are playing football. AH is studying for her government exam.

3:04.
RF and I sit on the bench. it faces bushes. the scenic bench. I eat my salad. it’s good. we talk. how warm. MM slams to the concrete. ouch. the peanut gallery has comments. the game resumes. we talk. stupid little things.

3:18.
everybody disappears, suddenly. Mr. C is back. MM takes a picture. the three of us on the bench. none of them turn out well.

3:21.
we file in. my last debrief. how was your day? terrible, but we all knew that already. I know I’m being hard on myself, but it’s my last tournament. I need to make it the perfect day, and it hasn’t been. none of the building events failed, which is encouraging.

3:41.
we’re done. more accurately, I’m done. dear heavenly father. a rush of tears.

3:46.
a flurry of activity. we clear out the room, load up our arms. I hand off the forensics box to Mr. C. he needs help carrying things out. I grab the box, stand there. CK swoops it out of my arms.

3:52.
we walk out. my family deserted me. team or sushi? what? team or sushi? we walk to the parking lot.

3:59.
the cool darkness of the garage. I outline the security story to RF. she laughs. her father works here now, apparently. we see SW and his dad. they’re looking for the C’s car. I find the key fob in my hand. there’s a gray van. we walk around, try the door, peer inside. the windows are dark. that’s not it. we walk. I push the panic button. the distant echo. we walk up, see the flashing lights. the C’s and the K’s are walking towards it. Mr. C is laughing. I hand him the keys.

4:04.
we find our car. daddy and D aren’t there. I don’t have service, but call him anyways. they’re coming. we load up the car, and walk.

4:08.
walking through campus, relying on memory. it really is a beautiful day. do you want to split a bowl with me? it’s P. yes, of course! where is chipotle. crossing the street. RF trips spectacularly. we see it. chipotle.

4:18.
orders food. can you order for me? sure, what do you want. I grab my bowl, join GM and other people at the tall counter. the most surprising smorgasbord of people–SW and his dad, Mrs. J and her twins, GM, AM, MM, AH, me. RF comes in with a bagel.

4:32.
they’re looking through my bullet journal. you didn’t get anything done. yes, GM, I know. you also know.

5:04.
start walking back. the campus is all uphill. it’s lovely seeing the campus without rain. what’s on campus today? some high school thing. you go here? no, I’m homeschooled. oh cool! so are we! trashcan.

5:24.
we’re sitting on the wrong side of the room. we should move. Mr. C refuses. we have all the results ready! hooray for competent administration. they’re still muddling around. I thought they were ready? the small F comes. sits next to me, shares my chair. so does P. he’s subbing for JK. he’s so excited.

5:34.
we start. we get first on our first event. a good start. next. where is AH? I run out, try to spot her. it’s her event. I hear she got fourth from behind me. she comes in. both her events finish.

5:46.
second in rocks???? how. I’m screaming. we go up in a daze. how did we mess up that badly? if rocks went that poorly, how did the rest of my events go?

5:49.
FIRST IN FORENSICS? How???

5:50.
middle school got first in rocks. how.

5:57.
we knew we were doing poorly, but this is exceptionally poorly.

6:05.
they pause. not really sure why; they said they have all the scores. this is exciting, says the small F. I used to think this was really boring, but now I understand!

6:09.
it’s KB’s events. where is he? I run out to see. his mom is pulling up. we go in. he got a ribbon. game on. helicopters. if we didn’t get first, I’m getting up and walking out. we get first.

6:42.
we got first. both teams. small school league, but still. chem lab didn’t get on the board, we’re not surprised. photos. so many photos. and hugs. we sing. to God be the glory, great things he has done.

7:04.
we start walking out to the cars. we’re all going the same way, why are we walking in different directions? I need to go to the bathroom, get water.

7:31.
start home. it’s still light out. my phone buzzes. want to stop for ice cream? we decide. I text everyone. some respond, some don’t.

8:29.
I sit there. it’s getting dark. I’m so derealized. I’m too dehydrated to actually cry, but I’m close.

8:32.
we pull in the parking lot, see red shirts. we order. the little ones go in the playground. I sit there, everyone else talking, not wanting the day to end.

9:22.
my phone buzzes. JC’s water broke, she’s having her baby! I’m so excited. we chatter more.

9:51.
some last pictures. we leave. my heart is full. that ending was perfect.