Thursday, October 30, 2008


Is in a few minutes! Oh how exciting it all is.. I always loved this "festivity",(my mom says it isn't a holiday) however when I was little I remember the night beginning with me being anxious- anxiety ridden. You may ask, "What would a 5, 6, or 7 year old have to be worried about?" Read on, my friends, and you will see.
You see, I had this neighbor... who was already kind of creepy. He had really long hair, rarely wore a shirt, and frankly, he scared me. To make matters worse, every Halloween he'd rise a few levels on the sketch-o-meter.
Every year Mom would take me over to that house, it usually was the 3rd or 4th house.
Every year I'd be scared. Why?
Because every year after I'd reluctantly ring the door bell, he'd answer in THE scariest mask. I swear- it was probably a mold of the devil.. I'm pretty sure it even freaked Mom out a little.
Every year I felt like my teensy heart would jump out of my throat and run away.
I clearly remember the best moment of my young Halloween days was when we went over there one year- I believe I was Esmeralda- and much to my relief, the man's wife/girlfriend/woman answered sans a mask, and carrying her new baby.. Oh, the relief! Funny, the things you remember. :)

As the years went on, it seemed Halloween got less and less fun... in 7th grade I was a sandwich, and that costume was probably the most time & money consuming costume I have or will ever wear... Halloween night three friends and I went out for some free candy, and no joke, Amy Schmeckpeper ripped my costume three houses into the night when some older kids jumped off a roof and scared us. I was so upset! I spent the rest of the evening butt hurt, and basically cursing the tradition. I think it was the last time I went trick or treating.. but no fear, I got over it... and now parts of the the costume serve as cushioning for the seat in my car. (we are quite resourceful in the Ball household.)

So, tomorrow is another Halloween- another time to make some memories, another time to act childish. ( Trust me, for my friends this is NOT a once-a-year type of thing) Stay tuned for some exciting pictures, I am sure. But, to tide you over, here are some from a Halloween party/dance me and the girls went to this week...

It's never to late to accept the gospel!
UPS man, geisha, egyptian, and... ugly sweater.
We're strange.
It's a right of passage in the Ball household to dress in this once in your junior high life..


watch.. and love.
praise jah. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Taking State- 08!

Okay, so basically to start, our girls' soccer team rocks. This weekend they took state for the 2nd year in a row, and a sophomore on our team decked a girl.. and it was caught on film, and put in the Idaho Statesman for all of Boise to see! Evidentally the other girl did something, Ruth got mad, and socked her real good. She got a red card and we had to play down a man, but in the end we managed to beat the Eagles in double overtime 2-1. GO WOLVES!

There Are Two Types Of People In This World..

1. Those that run
2. Those that should.
Well, it's official. Cross Country is over. It's weird to think that... I recall halfway through the season during countless 30 minutes out and 30 back runs thinking... "This will NEVER END!" But, like all good things, it did. Our last run was the District meet last Friday at Eagle Island. If we did well enough- placing top 6 teams- we would have gone to State this week, but we didn't quite make the cut. I had decided I was going to get a PR this week, so to meet this goal, I reluctantly wore my spikes... oh, my spikes. Let's just say I've had them since 7th Grade, (my feet don't grow) they aren't meant for distance, and I knew if I wore them I would curse the day I was born after the race. However, They were much lighter than my regular shoes, and hey.. what's walking like a grandma if you can shave some seconds off your time?
The race was pretty good I guess, anti-climatic, but fun. My time was 23:04, 2 seconds better than any of my other times, (I don't think the spikes were worth the shooting shards of pain I had the next few days) and even though it felt kind of strange to cross the final finish line of high school XC, and my final thoughts were, "$#@%@# I should have run faster!" I was glad to be done, glad to have run, glad to have had FUN! (Did you catch that rhyme?)Note the shoes, please. :)
I'm so fast, the camera couldn't get me in the actual frame! Photo cred: Cloey Hardy. She said, "Sorry I cut you off, I was just cheering so loudly!"The last finish line- so metaphorical! Just look at the sunset symbolizing an end to another season of my life.. high school XC. hahaha

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free Time= Time With The Candidates

So, I am a HUGE planning nerd, as many may know. My agenda is my best friend. All my lunch commitments are written, the days I work are highlighted, all my homework is boxed, the ongoing countdown of how many more days of school is religiously scribbled, (137 mind you) and only PENCIL can be used. I guess you could say I thrive on being busy and making plans. However, there is something I enjoy from time to time during the week, and that is those empty spaces in my planner. Today was one of those empty spaces. Ahhhh... how good it felt to just come home after XC, shower, read a few pages, doze off on my favorite sleeping couch (yes that's right.. there is one couch that in my living room that puts me to sleep without fail every time!) and then spend some quality time with my friend Barack. Yes, my space was so empty today I watched the presidential debates. Now, don't let me get you wrong,
The lying, the backbiting, the policy. Maybe there is something wrong with me? However, my very favorite thing to do is make fun of the candidates. I love watching McCain and his creeper grin he gets on his face whenever he is concocting a rebuttal, and I love it when he blinks like 50 times per second. And in all fairness, I also like Obama's mole and watching him use his hands like a madman, wondering what he would do if he had to keep them down for fifteen seconds. :) Ha, but anyways, after I get over the mannerisms, and down to the content, I'd say this debate was good because I felt the candidates were a little less ambiguous tonight, and there were hints of solutions to big issues. I wish I was born 5 months earlier so I could vote, but oh, I am still excited to see what November 4th holds for us...

And just remember folks,
Once you go Barack, you never go back :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bend, OR

Bend was so fun this year! I figured that I should put a few pictures of the highlights of the race in beautiful Oregon. Wow- I had never been up to that part of the state before, and I was smitten immediately by the quaint little place. We only stayed for a night, but goodness it was a fun time with the team that will forever hold a special place in my heart!
Overpacked for just an overnighter? Some of my throw up after our water drinking contest.. I got 7 glasses in about an hour. Yeah, I don't recommend trying it. :)And they're off! I'm the first girl in blue.. haha yeah pretty sure this was the only time I was EVER in the front. :)since it was the PUMA Invitational, Diana and I thought it fitting to put these tattoos on our heads for all the world to see.
On the way home our car made it a point to eat an entire gallon of ice cream

Right after the race.. we were number one in our hearts

Timberline Varsity XC 2008
Me and my other half, Diana
After races we always make it a point to conga line with complete strangers!

We Love You Sara

[Sara is third from the left]
Oh, where to begin. At the end, I guess. As I sit here, it's kind of hard to piece together what I want to say, except to make a tribute to the most gifted runner I have ever, and probably will ever, know; Sara Shields.
Last Sunday I woke up to one of my friends calling me, letting me know that Sara was missing. We had just returned from Bend, Oregon the previous night, and she had gone home, told her parents she was going to Fred Meyer to run an errand, and didn't return. I was so confused. Sara? Diana told me that some of our teammates on XC were going looking for her, asked if I wanted to go, but I said no- I figured we would just be more people in a car that had no idea where to look. A few minutes later, Diana called me again, and told me our friends had found Sara's car up near Lucky Peak. Without hesitation we decided to help them go look for her.
As we were driving up there, our minds were pretty much racing. I couldn't imagine Sara doing anything rash, so this was just all so surreal. Diana called Kaitlyn, one of the girls who was up looking for her, and she told us that they had found Sara... but was hesitant to tell us that she wasn't breathing. We hurried to drive up, and followed an ambulance and cop to the scene, a place I won't soon forget. Sara's car was parked at the turn out near a bridge over Lucky Peak. When we got there we waited for news, confused, anxious, and scared. Sara's dad came over, and gathered us together. I thought he'd just tell us that they were bringing her up, or thank us for coming, but instead, he just said, "she's gone." Isn't it funny, how words and emotion can be so intertwined, how two simple words can change the course of the day, the week, life in general. There were so many questions, so many tears. Time froze as the six of us wept for the loss none of us understood, and today continue to question. Our coaches came, we tried to comprehend what was going on, and I just prayed and prayed that we could feel the comfort of the Lord, that Sara would be safe, that her spirit would live with us.
The rest of the day and week was just like driving up a windy road up in the mountains. Sometimes I would stare blankly out the window, sometimes I tried to sleep, thinking it would make the trip pass faster & drown out everything, and then other times I just wanted to throw up. My parents came to the scene, and after talking to a social worker, we were told to a place where we would all talk to an investigator who would try to piece everything together. I didn't have much to offer there; she'd seemed fine at Bend, we'd played games, had a dance party after our run, and I had seen her reading her Bible the night before. The only thing I had really realized was that she had slept quite a bit on the way home, but then again, we had all done that.
The rest of the day was spent with my XC team. Strength in numbers has really taken on a new meaning during this week, and I guess one good thing that has come out of this tragedy is the uniformity, the cohesion, and the family that our scrappy team has become. The kids have become my heroes.
So, I know you may be wondering exactly what may have happened to Sara. I guess we'll never really know, however they suspect suicide. I can't imagine Sara ever taking her life- I mean she was so passionate about everything. 5 time State Track and Field Champion, artist, extreme sports god, the list goes on and on. We have so many question, so much we want to know, so many things I will never understand.

However, amid all the haze I do know one thing, and that is that Sara did not live in vain. She touched as many lives in her life as the number of girls she passed in races, she led by example, and humility was the queen of her character. She has taught me lessons I will not soon forget, and I will live my life parallel to how she ran- having no concept of giving less than 100%, lengthening my stride throughout the race, competing amid aches and pains, and, most importantly, always being up for a dance party at the end of the race. :)
It's times like these you learn to live again,
It's times like these you give and give again,
It's times like these you learn to love again,
It's time like these, time and time again.
-Foo Fighters