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Reasons Why We Needed 13 Reasons Why

Hi, guys! Its Brittany again. I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of 13 Reasons Why. I mean, if you’ve been on any social media, you’ve probably seen a thousand posts about the emotional instability it puts you in. I know I cried at least 13 times (yes, I did that on purpose) during one episode. I wanted to make a post about why we needed this book and show. Forewarning, there will most definitely be spoilers in this, so I advise either watching the show in its entirety before reading this post, or you can read it and know what to expect. Its up to you.

My first reason: it really opens your eyes to the subject of suicide. You’re no longer just getting a lecture about the warning signs of suicide, you’re seeing it fold out in a pretty realistic way. It also didn’t hold back any of the details of it. It even goes as far as showing the act. I really think that the media, shows, and movies make suicide much cleaner, for lack of better word. It doesn’t leave your mind to wonder about how she did it or what it was like for her. You see it, you see her pain, you see her struggle. They normally don’t show it, I for one haven’t seen many movies or shows that involve the actual scene. It normally just implies that it happened.

Reason number two: it doesn’t sugar coat rape. It shows the emotional impact on the person once they’ve been raped. Its another difficult subject that all means of entertainment have tried to stray away from. This is a serious problem. It doesn’t avoid it and it doesn’t change scenes when it gets uncomfortable. You should feel uncomfortable, this isn’t something you should feel comfortable with. I also think that it does a good job at showing the society’s response, or at least the response of the people who knew about it. They all tried to keep it a secret, not only from the authorities but also the girl that it happened to. Also, this a clear example of the “Well, if she wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened.” NO! This is all the way wrong. Wrong all over the place. Had the guy been able to control himself in the presence of an unconscious girl, it wouldn’t have happened. Rape is never the victims fault. It also showed the struggle for Clay to understand HOW they could not have said anything.

Reason three: WORDS AND ACTIONS HURT! I capitalize that so the people in the back can hear. I’ve seen some posts that have just burned me up. One that really got to me was where they were making small of the reasons Hannah gave each of the people on the tapes. All of the tapes were reason enough. They all did something to affect her. They all played a part in her decision. Back to the first sentence in this reason— Words hurt. I don’t think people realize how deeply what they say can cut someone. (SPOILER ALERT) Justin spreading the rumor about her wasn’t a small reason. Zach stealing her notes wasn’t a small reason. Alex and Jessica breaking off their friendship wasn’t a small reason. Tyler taking pictures wasn’t a small reason. The rape wasn’t a small reason. (DONE WITH SPOILER) None of her reasons were small. None were insignificant. You do not know how much your words or actions can affect someone. This is why being kind is always the best route.

Four: It shows the life of a high schooler. Everyone thinks that the drama and stress that someone in high school goes through is just pointless and insignificant once you get out of school and start your life. This isn’t the case. I know. I know. Well, Brittany, you’re in high school, where do you get to talk? I am in high school. I know that people think that the stress that I am going through right now is dumb and that I should get over it. But high school is all I know right now. I don’t know what its like to have a family of my own, to be out of school, to be in my career. I don’t know any of these things. All I know is the six classes that I go to (well, I go to three right now) and the teachers that I see every day. What may seem like dumb stress that isn’t needed to someone thats already on their path through life, is my whole life. I’m almost through. I am just weeks from walking across the stage at graduation. That’s my biggest stress. So, when you see Hannah, getting knocked down over and over and over, it’s not just stupid high school drama. It is her life. It is all she knows at this point. She doesn’t know that it changes. She just hears those words and thinks, “That can’t possibly be the case, this is far too bad.” High school stress and “drama” isn’t insignificant or pointless, it is our lives.

Five: It shows what happens to your family, classmates, and friends after you’re gone. It even said in the show, “They’d be better if I wasn’t here.” That’s not the case. In 13 Reasons Why, it shows Hannah’s parents struggling so much, trying to find the reason why she did it. Why they hadn’t caught that she was so upset. It shows them just grasping at strings that they think will lead them to the answer. With Clay, he is so angry at himself. He knows that he did something, but he can’t figure out what or why he didn’t try harder to love her. He was trying to find what he could have done differently. Alex and Jessica wanted to know why they hadn’t just stayed friends with her. All of these questions are whys. Sadly, most times, there’s nothing that could have been done… after. During her life, they could have seen, but that can be difficult. They could have just been kinder and not have avoided her. But when something this tragic happens, so many different actions that could have been taken rush through the minds of the people that were left. Although seeing everyone so distraught and helpless made me feel so upset and emotional, I think seeing these actors portray the struggle that a loved one might face was seriously incredible because it felt so real.

Six: She was a normal girl up until the point that it happened. I say normal loosely because I like to think of everyone as unique. She wasn’t antisocial she didn’t mope around, she was a “happy” girl. Although she showed the warning signs, she didn’t seem like she was going to commit suicide. She cut her hair, that’s one of the warning signs- changing your appearance. Okay, this isn’t very noticeable though. People cut their hair. This is one overlooked warning sign. Everyone just thought she had wanted a trendy new haircut. There were countless other signs, I would go into detail about the others, but this paragraph would be too long. The problem with today is that we don’t go around looking for the warning signs of suicide. We really don’t. If you do, kudos to you. I wish there were more people like you. I wish I was like you. I think that 13 Reasons Why will open up everyone’s eyes to the warning signs,  though. I really hope that it does.

Now, I had planned to do thirteen reasons, but honestly I think you might get my point. Saying this show is stupid and making jokes about it doesn’t do anyone any good at all. I understand not liking the show, people have different preferences, but honestly in my opinion, I think everyone should watch it. I think we needed this representation of suicide. I also encourage people to read the book. Guys, seriously its super good and I think that it helps show you what’s going through Clay’s mind a lot better and you can feel what he feels. I don’t think we should downplay suicide, bullying, and rape like we do. I think it should be talked about and I think we should try as hard as we can to stop it.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone or feel as if suicide is the only option, please call. You’re life is worth far more than you could possibly believe. Don’t let yourself feel like you’re not worth it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.info

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Be a Light for All to See

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Brittany has always been a compassionate person; she wouldn’t hurt a fly and she will go out of her way to help anyone in need. She inspires me to be a better person everyday. I’m so proud to be able to call her my sister and I couldn’t be any more proud of the person she has grown to become.

When Britt’s class was thinking about senior project ideas, she struggled. She wanted to do something different from anyone else, and be able to leave a lasting impression for years down the road. Around the time they were working on projects was when Brooklyn Runion passed away. Brooklyn left an impact on not only SSHS and our community, but our entire county. We had other schools supporting Brooklyn by wearing shirts, bracelets, pink and green socks, etc. to let everyone know that Brooklyn was on everyone’s mind and heart. It was devastating to hear that she would not be returning to school, because she had gone home to be with the Lord.

As Brittany juggled multiple ideas that she could have done, I told her that she was able to create a monument at our family business, why not do something in memory for Brooklyn? Being the kind hearted person Britt is, she loved the idea-but she wanted to do something that included all of the Shady students, teachers, and alumni that we have had pass away over the years. So, she took the idea for a memorial and pushed it a little further so that nobody would be left out, and the benches became more than just an idea.

Brittany didn’t just throw some designs together; she worked incredibly hard on every single detail in the memorials. She consulted with Brooklyn’s mom to make sure that the bench would represent her daughter in a way that would be acceptable to her. On the Shady bench, she went as far as to include the Alma Mater (which she had to do some research on because who actually knows it by memory?) and hand draw the Shady logo.

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It took Brittany well over the 24-hour time that was required for her senior project-both benches took 2 weeks (or 80 hours). She wanted to make sure every aspect was perfect before they were revealed to the community. As far as keeping the benches a secret, she did a really good job. She didn’t want anyone to know about them until they were set on the school property, aside from the principal, teacher, and close friends. Near the end of creating the benches, she decided to add a special touch to Brooklyn’s that not even her mom know about. She painted the butterfly and filigree Brooklyn’s favorite colors-pink and green.

For me, it felt like forever from the time the benches were complete to the time they were set at the school, so I know it felt even longer for Britt. Finally, God blessed her with the weather that made it possible to get the memorials put in their places. Brittany actually didn’t get to see them completely set until we got off work on Monday. As we drove home, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning and it was pouring the rain. Lightening and thunder filled the air and the wind whipped through the trees, trying to rip anything off the ground that it could. When we got to the stoplight before the school, the clouds broke and the sun was shining. The rain began to disappear as we drove closer to the school. When we got to the benches, Brittany jumped out of the car and cried. Her project was finished, and the benches were absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t do anything but smile. I was speechless that she did this all herself.

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Though the benches will never replace the people that they honor, they serve as a reminder that they are always with us. They give students a place to sit and talk to their lost friends, or just to think. They are there to remind us of all of the memories, to help us heal, and to be a light at the end of the tunnel when we needed it most.

Family · Uncategorized

Fur Children

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I wake up in the morning to the sound of my baby crying because she is hungry. I roll over and try to enjoy a few more seconds of sleep, but she really is ready for breakfast now. I get up and I let Sassy out to go to the bathroom and I get her breakfast ready while I wait. I step on toys as I go fumble for the door to let her back in. She zooms through the house before pigging out on her favorite meal. This is what it’s like to be a fur parent.
In our house, we have eight animals: 5 dogs and 3 cats. Silky was our first dog in the group, we brought her into our family when I was 10. She has been with us for 11 years and counting. Odee is our second oldest, swinging in at 10 years of being our family’s stubborn little boy. Sassy is 9, I got her when Silky ran away for a month when I was in 6th grade. We then found Silky the very next day. Odee and Sassy are our only store bought puppies in the house. Angel is our giant chocolate lab that we adopted when I was in 8th grade. She is 7 years old. Teddy is our newest dog, we adopted him after my dad’s dog, Sammy, had to be put to sleep and Angel got severely depressed. He is 3 years old. Our cats are all adopted. Jomo is Britt’s baby, he is 5 years old. She got him when she was rewarded for finally doing her back handspring. Bella is mom’s cat,
she’s also 5. Mom has always been a fan of cats and when Britt got Jomo it was an excuse for her to also get a new cat. I got Willa my senior year, she’s now 4 and becomes more and more evil with every day that she’s alive.

Each of our animals has their own unique personality—they’re so different from each other. Silky enjoys wandering the neighborhood and begging everybody on the hill for food. She has Memaw wrapped around her little chubby paw and is her very best friend. She had to go to fat camp last year because she was 30 pounds overweight. Lucky for us, that stay at the vet bought us some more time with the furball, she is just on a very strict diet and has to come to work with us to keep her from begging people for food. She has been hit by a car, shot, went missing for a month, and so much more. Silky is our little fighter.

Odee is our dachshund, Andy’s dog. He used to be mom’s dog, but gradually grew attached to Andy as he got older. He will literally eat EVERYTHING. He has had chocolate, bags of cookies, crackers, any food that he is able to reach and drag into his room. I once found my camera bag under Andy’s bed. Odee likes to cuddle, and he’s like a little space heater. He will keep you warm even when you don’t want to be. He is also our smelliest dog. His favorite hobbies are digging in the litter box for hidden treasures and rolling in dead animals he finds outside.

Sassy is my little girl, and she’s my greatest gift. I got her because she was on discount, nobody wanted to take her home. I thought she was the best thing in the world. She protects me like she is a dinosaur dog, and knows when I am not feeling good. She won’t leave my side when I have a migraine. Throughout her years, she has had her fair share of bad luck. She has been attacked 3 times and
managed to pull through. Sassy is my little trooper. I don’t know what I would do if I lost her, she has saved me from myself more times than I can count.

Angel was Britt’s dog, and has sort of rounded into being everybody’s big baby. She is our big baby and keeps Teddy in line. Angel has puppy anxiety because when she was younger, her best friend died from a brain tumor. Sammy was her “big brother” and was with her for her entire life up until his last day. When Sammy died, she started chewing on her leg, and she became aggressive. It was so sad because our once perfect princess had become something so depressed. We got Teddy after a few years of her being grouchy, and now she’s back to being her big baby self. She still chews on her leg, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was before Teddy.

Teddy is our pitbull, who is completely opposite of what the stereotyped breed is supposed to be. He is so smart, and he’s one of our sweetest animals. Teddy likes to play fetch, except he only likes to get the toy when it’s in Angel’s mouth. My favorite thing Teddy does is when he starts chasing his tail, and he goes so fast it looks like he’s going to take off into the sky. Ted likes attention, so if you aren’t giving it to him he will nip the inside of your thigh (where it’s sensitive) until you give him some cuddles.

Jomo is Britt’s pride and joy. He weighs in at 15 pounds, and looks like a baby panther. He is a really smart cat, he can open the shower doors so he can lay down in the tub. Jomo has his own giant kitty condo, where he will lounge during the day and sleep during the night. He will find fun in anything, he plays in bags, will carry around mouse toys like he killed it himself, and pull up the edges of notebooks to hear
the noise it makes.

Bella is terrified of everything. I have scratches everywhere from her where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She stays in mom’s room because she doesn’t like dealing with the other animals. She’s also very spoiled: every Sunday is soft-food Sunday for Bella. She will cry until mom feeds her, but her cry sounds more like a dying scream.

Willa is the spawn of Satan. She will do anything just to spite me, for instance, knocking over my makeup mirror while I’m sleeping so tha
t I will wake up. She is a very vocal cat, she will just walk around meowing and will meow back at you if you talk to her. Her favorite place to be is outside all the time, and she will sneak out if you aren’t paying attention. She likes to roll around on the sidewalk and eat the grass. Her favorite person is definitely Andy, she will snuggle up with him without any trouble and take a nap.

If you can’t picture what it’s like to live with five dogs and three cats, just imagine it’s like living at home but it’s a little happier. People look at us like we’re crazy because we have so many animals, but I look at them and think why wouldn’t you want to? Of course it is difficult, but loving them isn’t. Because of us, six animals were taken out of shelters and given a home. Without our pets, our
house feels empty. What would we even do with the spare closet if we didn’t put all the pet food in there?

My animals are the lights of my life, and make each day worth waking up to see what will happen. They make me look at life like every day is an adventure, and that each moment is whatever you make it. They taught me that life is short and to do whatever you love doing. Chase the stick, steal the humans snack, roll in the dirt. Don’t stop being young just because you’re getting older and your hair is turning white. Love everybody no matter who they are. Take the afternoon nap.

Do you have a fur friend? What do they mean to you, and have you learned anything from your pet? I love hearing stories about animals, and I can’t wait to hear yours!

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20 Questions with Ericka & Britt

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1.What is your most embarrassing moment?

B— I honestly can’t answer that, there are so many flooding my mind right now

E— The video of the back handspring at World Class, I scorpioned.

2.Who do you look up to the most, and what qualities do you love about them?

B—A person close to me, Mr. Bennett. He’s very smart and kind. If there is anybody I’d want to be like, it would be him. A famous person, Jacoby Shaddix. He got through being an addict to getting his family back and overcoming a lot.

E—A person close to me, Jeff (our cousin). He’s been there for me for everything, he’s who I aspire to be. A famous person, Austin Carlile. He’s sick and does so much and his faith is so strong.

3. What would be your perfect day?

B—Any day at a festival

E—Festival days, nice cool festival days with a good line up

4. What is your biggest fear?

B—Annie, the movie Annie

E—Being alone

5. How do you like to be comforted when you’re sad?

B—By my cat

E—Kelsey was texting me. I like when people are far away and still help. It’s nice to know they’re there when I need them

6. What is your favorite memory?

B—My first rock concert: Five Finger and Volbeat. It was fun, it was the first time I experienced anything like it.

E—It’s whenever we met Islander and I had them call you back and I liked the smile on your face and how you freaked out cause they knew your name

7. What is the favorite thing you own and why?

B—my cat because even when I feel lonely and sad he’s there, even if he doesn’t want to be. He’s the glue that holds me together.

E—My favorite thing is my Of Mice & Men record that’s signed because it’s a reminder that I met them.

8. Who was the last person that made you cry?

B—Jane and Great Grandma Workman last night. I miss them.

E— Dad when he said I couldn’t go to Charlotte

9. Where do you hope to be in 5/10/15 years?

B— 5)in bed sleeping 10) on the cat farm I plan to start 15) trying not to die in a shark tank

E— 5)I hope I’m a nurse or singing 10)I’ll be 30, I hope I’m still alive 15)I hope I’m successful and not in a shark tank

10. If money was no object, what would you buy?

B—I want the Beauty & the Beast library

E—A Jeep Wrangler

11. When have you felt the most proud?

B—Everyday when I wake up and look at my cat and realize I raised that from a baby into a strong handsome lad

E—When I was saved

12. When have you felt the most challenged?

B—one word: college

E—When I was in 11th grade and I was trying to decided if my life was worth living or not

13. Do you have any regrets?

B—Everyday of my life all the time

E—No, I’d like to think I do

14. When was the moment in your life you laughed the hardest?

B—I have a video of Andy almost breaking his ankle because he tripped putting a stone in the sandblaster

E—Whenever we made the videos of Andy playing with the dogs with Ann Murray and the Carpenters

15. Which celebrity would you want to be your best friend and why?

B—Selena Gomez, she’s amazing

E—Jared Padaleki because he seems funny and he’s tall so he can reach high places

16. What did you dream of last night?

B—I was dating a bird and my cat told me he hated me

E—I was Alan Ashby and I couldn’t play the guitar and Austin was just like you’re doing great

17. Which family member are you closest to?

B—Andy because we’re twins

E—It’s freaking you

18. What do you do when no one is around?

B—watch gamer youtube videos, cry, and play with my cat.

E—sleep and pinterest that’s it

19. Where do you want to travel?

B—I really want to go to Europe

E—California really bad

20. What is something people don’t know about you?

B—I’ve never had a boyfriend

E—I’m an open book I think

Fashion · Uncategorized

Outfits of the Day

FullSizeRender 17.jpgToday I woke up and decided to actually put effort into getting ready (A part of my plan to be better for myself). Also, it is the first day of spring and that felt like a celebratory reason to try. I know I’m so over the winter weather and just want it to be warm.

The weather today called for a temperature somewhere in the 50’s as a high, but it was quite chilly this morning. I decided to layer. I started with a simple shirt that I got in my Stitchfix box last year from Market and Spruce. It’s super soft, comfortable, and will go with any type of outfit. I tied it on the right corner because that’s something cute that people are doing now and I wanted to hop on the bandwagon.

Over the t-shirt I added a flannel that I had bought at Francesca’s a few summer’s back. I really like this top because of the hints of denim and polka dots on the collar and sleeves. It’s also super comfy and looks great whether buttoned or not. I layered an olive utility coat over top of my flannel for an edgy look, and to keep warm.

I wanted to lighten up my outfit with some light wash jeans, and luckily my favorite pair was clean this morning. I buy my jeans at American Eagle (which is having buy one get one 50% off on jeans right now), because I love how comfy and stretchy they are. I cuffed the bottoms for a Spring-y look, and paired them with my old pair of classic black Vans, my go to.

I added a few pieces of jewelry to tie my look together, aside from my Apple Watch. I wore 2 of my favorite Alex and Ani bracelets, the Snow White one was bought in Disney and the lobster one I bought at the outlet in Pigeon Forge, TN. I also wore my Alex and Ani spoon ring that Britt got me for Christmas and a gold band. The necklace that I wore today is a Bellabeat leaf, which basically tracks everything you do and looks cute while doing so.

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Because I was running late for work, I didn’t have time to fix my hair. I pulled it up into a ponytail, and picked a few little pieces out to hang around my ears. I then sprayed my hair with Bb hairspray to hold it in place without it feeling crunchy.

Overall, I’m happy with my outfit today. I feel super cute but also feel like I could take a nap if need be.

img_5567.jpgBrittany dressed cozy for school today since it was very cold when she left this morning. She started her outfit with her favorite Ivory Ella pullover to keep her warm. These jackets are super soft and the money made from them go to a great cause. She paired her pullover with her favorite dark American Eagle jeans. She also wore her black and gold Vans (as she always does) and her Bellabeat bracelet.

She pulled her teal green hair half up to prevent crazy static from her pullover and went on her way. Let me mention that she didn’t wear a shirt under her pullover. She’s lazy. She’s also wearing socks that come up over her ankles and her jeans are too short, so you can see them and their cat glory. For some reason she thinks thats stylish, I think she’s weird. She also has an Apple Watch, so that’s there too.

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What is your favorite outfit and why? Does it make you feel good to dress nice or would you rather dress for comfort?

Uncategorized

A Little Intro.

Brittany and I are from a small town known as Daniels, West Virginia. I am 20 and she is 18. We aren’t exactly the coolest girls around; we take pleasure in being unique and enjoy the nerdy things in life. People look at us funny when they ask us about our music preference, what we enjoy doing for fun, or what things we like to watch on tv. I’m actually entertained by the faces people make when they talk to us.

IMG_3840Britt is still in high school and graduates this year. She’s not excited, but I know she will do great with whatever she does. I graduated in 2014, however with some health setbacks I have had some difficultly sticking to my education route. We both plan on becoming nurses; So far we have taken 2 out of 4 of the tests we need to pass to be accepted into the practical nursing program at our local technical school. We both like to take care of people, and with our fair share of of injuries and ailments, we feel for people who are in pain.

We both work at a family business as artists. She is a lot better than me in my opinion. Britt puts so much pride and effort into her drawings, I am so proud of her. I try to help her when I can, but she shows me new techniques all the time. I always look forward to when she gets out of school so she can come to work. I love telling her about my morning and I love hearing her stories from her classes.

Britt and I are a lot closer than normal sisters; she is my best friend. I battle anxiety and depression and I’m terrified of change or making new friends. Brittany is truly my shining light. She rarely complains about me dragging her around town or wanting her to hang out with me. She listens when I need to cry, and I try to be the best sister I can in return.

We are music enthusiasts. Britt takes guitar lessons at the School of Harmony. I enjoy IMG_3839.JPGsinging sometimes, but I’m terrified of singing in front of a crowd. We also have a brother, who is Britt’s twin, that also plays guitar. Andy pushes Britt to be a better guitarist and wants her to learn quickly. She is learning fast, I don’t know how they do it. Our family spends time together at rock festivals on the east coast. We have seen many bands and met a few as well. Last fall, Britt and I met Of Mice & Men at Rock Allegiance. It was a pretty big deal for me because they made a huge impact on my life. Without Brittany, I wouldn’t have become a fan of them. We both cried as we walked away from them, and I am so grateful to be able to have these experiences with her.

I’m gracious that she decided to help me with this blog (she is so much more creative than me). I can’t wait to share our stories, ideas, and opinions with you all. In the meantime, what sorts of things would you like to hear from us?