Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inspired: Part 2

I have a friend. Now I'm sure you're thinking, "very good, Nicole. You have many friends....so??"

Well. This particular friend is in the constant state of inspiring me. Her name is Ashley. I created a quote wall from a visit I had with her a few months back. It was one of my highlights from college, actually :) I was able to re-connect with one of my very best friends and my 2nd mother, and then meet a new friend!

Me, Ashley 1, and the new friend! Ashley 2

Aren't we cute :) And now I would like to talk about the lady in the middle, Ashley 1.

As I said, she is in the constant state of inspiring me. Ashley never lets life get her down. Ashley still keeps on, even when faced with challenges. Ashley is always cheerful. Ashley is beautiful inside and out. Ashley expands her horizons. Ashley touches every person she meets. Ashley walks the walk.

Ashley is not a normal person. Ashley makes goals, and completes them. No, this is not necessarily abnormal, but her goals are.

Ashley wants to go on a service-oriented trip every year. Last year she went to Kenya, a place I have wanted to go to for the last eight or so years. And she decided to go, raised the money, and went, all in five months.

This is one of my favorite pictures ever. Isn't she amazing?!

Five months people! That is amazing. But that's also common-place for Ashley. She was in and out of the hospital a lot of school, but she still passed, and not only that- she made good grades. She got into the college she wanted to attend, University of Utah, where she studies, makes friends and inspires, despite her recent diagnosis. You see, Ashley found out a few days ago that she has Multiple Sclerosis.

I debated a bit over whether or not to include this information, but then I realized that Ashley is not a person to hide things like this. Ashley faces problems and then dismisses them once she's given them a severe talking to. She does not pretend away their existence, but at the same time she does not let them define her.

Ashley is amazing. In her blog post announcing this information, she ended with, "....because it all works out in the end!" Seriously, she did.

Ash and I. I wore her Utah hoodie for the photoshoot because I was feeling rebellious :)

Ashley is a living legend to me. I really don't believe in gushing this much, but with Ashley I just don't consider it gushing, it's just stating fact. She is one of those people that you really can't say enough. She is a thousand billion qua-drillion eighty-two hundred million seven thousand and three times better in person than on paper.

Ashley has this way of making people feel special. She sees value and has love for each and every person, no matter where they are from or their back-story or their worldly wealth. She is not perfect, but she has charity, which is the perfect love of the Savior.

There are few people I admire more than this girl. I would move mountains for her, and it is not even a question in my mind that she would do the same for me. I am so honored to be counted among her friends. I think God only lets a few "Ashley"s go to Earth at once, because if there were more people like Ashley, the world wouldn't be in such a bad state. She is a rare gem, so special and unique. I am so blessed to know her.

Dear Ashley,
Thank you for always going the extra mile. Thank you for my wonderful panda pillow pet! Thank you for letting me back into your life without a pause after a five year hiatus. Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me. Thank you for always smiling. Thank you for letting me drink all your apple juice. Thank you for achieving your dreams. Thank you for always helping others. Thank you for teaching me just through your example. Thank you for introducing me to s'more pizza and McDonalds oatmeal. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for laughing as much as you do. Thank you for going to Kenya. Thank you for inviting me :) Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for letting me borrow your family/friends/pets/make-up/clothes. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for always taking the time. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being my hero.

I love you, Ash <3


  1. Nicole.
    I honestly have no words to properly explain how much this means to me. Though I am certainly not anywhere near as amazing as you say, I am sincerely grateful for these sweet words. You seriously brightened up my day- no, my life with this. Now I need to write my "thank you" letter:

    Thank you for being the sweetest, most caring person to not only me, but everyone else. Your smile brightens up the world. You have such a huge heart and it rubs off on people. It is people like you who have the ability to change a life, simply by being present. Thank you for being the best example to me while I was growing up- you were there through all the important steps I have taken. Thank you for coming to stay with me, and baking treats with me and watching movies all night long with me. Thank you for wearing my University of Utah hoodie despite the fact that I know you are a BYU-faithful. Thank you for always being a shoulder to cry on or a silly goof-nut to laugh with. Your passion for life radiates and it affects me in more ways than you think. You are absolutely beautiful, and your faith inspires me. I am so excited to see the world with you. I am excited to Road Trip it to school this winter. I love you. Nobody has ever said things like this, and I am so grateful for you. You are such a blessing in my life, and everyone else can agree. You are spectacular, Nicole!


  2. Dear Nicole and Ashley,

    I love you both so much!! Your words of love and caring for each other touch my heart--and make me very happy. You both got it right--you are both amazing, kind, loving and determined. You are good people--everybody knows it that meets either one of you. I am so proud of both of you. Friendship like this is rare--so treasure it always--and you will always have someone in your corner!! I am blessed to have both of you in my life.....lucky me!

  3. Wow. Speechless for words Nicole. You definitely nailed that. Your words were just so amazing. You are a amazing. You guys are definitely so cute! ha I love you both. I have to agree with everything you've said. For sure. :) Also i agree with everything Ash said about you!