frozen. [let it go, let it go.]


I'm a Disney Princess fan.
Like, I have every single Tangled and Brave song memorized and on my iPhone.
And I was incredibly blessed (thank you, Momma) with the opportunity to go see Frozen on opening day with my baby sister.
We laughed. And cried. And smiled a whole lot. Sven was adorable, Olaf was hilarious, Anna made us smile and cry at the same time, and Elsa broke our hearts with her pain. The message of true love putting another's need ahead of your own was powerful throughout the movie. There was heartbreak, and pain, and love, and the final understanding that true love casts out fear.
Elsa is scared throughout the movie. scared that she's going to hurt her sister with her powers, and through a series of events, that fear drives her away from everyone she cares about. But in the end, true love wins out.
I'm going to see it again.
It made me happy.
Have you seen Frozen? And if so, your thoughts on it?
ps: Kristoff and Sven = my relationship with Gus exactly. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand. ;)
pps: I promise that a real post is coming very soon. I have the SAT on Saturday and then there will be free time again.

nanowrimo 2013 // island girl.


It's day 27 of NaNoWriMo, and I'm twenty thousand words behind. I've written possibly my favourite novel ever this month, and it's nowhere near being done. However, I thought I might share a few bits of it with ya'll, since I've been painfully absent from this blog for the past few weeks. (My apologies.)

please keep in mind that Island Girl and all it's characters are copyright (c) me, and if you steal it I will hunt you down and make you give me all of your cookies for the rest of your life.
If you were to ask me at any point in time where, exactly, I came from, I wouldn’t have an answer. No one knows. Not really. The old folk down on the docks, with their rocking chairs and gossip, say that when I arrived, things began to get interesting on the island. The loose-tongued say that I walked straight out of the sea, naked as the day I was born, and danced on the beach in the twilight. Some say that I brought luck with me, but the superstitious say that luck always runs out.

My heart was light.
And it was heavy.
She was beauty 
and she was everything that I was not.

My heart sang.
And it sobbed.
She was never mine
but she was everything I ever wanted.

My heart was with her.
And it was alone.
She was the stars
and I could never reach high enough to reach them.

I was heavy and light 
and singing and crying 
and with her, but so terribly
I stand on the brink of a great wave, the past behind me reflected in the dark storm clouds, and the future before me, looming and equally as dark. My feet are firmly planted in the water as it laps at my toes, and there’s no going back. I close my eyes, and screams are tugged desperately from my lips. I try to turn back, and there’s nothing there for me but darkness and hurt and loneliness. Before me lies the path I must take, and it’s a solitary one. I’m in a kingdom of isolation, and a crown sits upon my brow. 
I’m the queen. The queen of this growing darkness and hurt and pain and I can’t see the end of this horrible throne room. Darkness curls out from my fingertips and dominates the things I see and everything I touch turns to ash. I’m burning up, and taking my life with it.
Stars, like tiny broken shards of glass shine in the sky, beckoning to me to leave the kingdom I’ve created for myself behind and start afresh, but I can’t. I can’t.
My fingers dig into the fabric of my quilt, and I jolt awake. I sit up, and there’s nothing around me but darkness and the flickering light of my dying flashlight. My chest heaves with my every breath, and I can’y calm down. The darkness, my old friend, has turned against me and terror replaces my old fondness for it. I struggle to calm myself, but everywhere I look I can see the great wave and the shadowy crown that became my identity. 
I tear back the covers and run down the hall. My feet are slippery with sweat on the floor, and the coldness of the air mixed with the dampness of my clothes and I begin to shiver. I burst out the front door, and it slams back against the hinges, hurtling into the wall. I can see nothing, and I run the path into the village by memory, and then the little sandy trail down to the beach. The pebbles cut my feet, but I can’t feel it. I’m numb, body and soul, and I can’t escape this new longing for everything to go back to the way it was before, when everything was simple and nothing hurt.
The water is cold as it comes up around my ankles, and then my knees and thighs, and finally my waist. My thin nightdress floats on the top of the water, and my toes curl into the sand. Here, in the sea, with tears in my eyes and bloodied feet, I begin to scream. Louder and louder, howling with the wind as it whistles up off the surface of the sea. I want to die, I think. I want to drown, and the desire to do so has not felt so strong in a long time. I was getting better, and the sea had lost it’s hold on me, but now, at the turning of the tides and as new pages are begun in my own story, I cannot escape it’s clinging fingers. 
The sea’s fingers are as sticky as seaweed, rolling up around my ankles and pulling me down down down into the depths, and I am helpless to fend it off. I scream again, and then one more time. I sink to my knees in the sea, and the waves roll over my head. Water fills my lungs, and in between the choking and wheezing and bitter taste of the water, I feel alive. 

counting stars.


Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
Lately, I've been a bit of an insomniac.
My thoughts keep me up at night, restlessly anticipating the unfolding of some new chapter of my life.
I sit by my window some nights, blinds up, and count the stars, and sometimes, I make wishes upon them. They don't come true, the wishes.
Sometimes I hate that.
The fact that you can wish so hard for something, but it never happens.
I wish for things, and whisper them in the darkness, but the quiet October wind carries my wishes away, and they remain unfulfilled.
I wish for silence that is understanding, and not so cold and cowardly.
I wish for an eye that seeks out beauty instead of seeing pain.
I wish for my fingers to cooperate when I sit down to play the piano, and my fingers are choppy on the keys.
I wish for a mug of chai tea and a bit of biscotti.
I wish for the way things could be.
Mostly, on those sleepless nights that come more and more often, I wish for sleep.

i did not take the SAT today.


I have type 1 diabetes. I'm not shy about telling people that when asked what 'that iPod thing' is that just happens to be attached to my hip constantly. Having only been diagnosed a year and a half ago, it frustrates me when people assume I need special treatment/food/etc. just because I'm diabetic.

I was supposed to take the SAT today. And, as you know if you've ever taken the test before, there's an option when signing up for special accommodations for those who have disabilities. I do not consider diabetes to be a disability and diabetes/having an insulin pump was not on the list of disabilities given by the SAT Collegeboard website. And so I checked the 'no' box on that question. I was ready to go. I was a little worried however, because I do know someone who had their pump confiscated during the test because it alarmed, and there was a kid in the same room as my brother who was kicked out for the same reason. An alarming pump that was mistaken as a cellphone. He was kicked out for cheating.

Let me get one thing clear, SAT test administrators: there is no way that I could program my pump to do anything that could be considered cheating. It's specialized to deliver insulin and really can't do much other than that.

I was not allowed to sit my SAT this morning.

To be on the safe side, and not take any chances with having my pump taken away, I informed the test proctor in my room that I had an insulin pump and while it was an electric device, I would only be using it if necessary during the break. He said that he wasn't sure that that was allowed and I was sent to talk to the test administrators.

The SAT Collegeboard website does not say that using special accommodations is mandatory. Diabetes is not listed as something that requires those accommodations. However, when I talked to Sarah the administrator, I was informed that I was not allowed to test regularly while wearing an insulin pump. Her best suggestion was for me to go home and reschedule my test for another day.

I did that. I called my dad, nearly in tears, and had him come and get me. We went and picked up coffee on the way home, and then stopped for Krispy Kreme. While at coffee, we (literally) ran into my pastor, Brad. Brad's oldest daughter is diabetic. We told him our story of being kicked out of the SAT before it even began. He said that the same thing had happened to his daughter. He said that it pisses him off (his exact words, no joke, my pastor swore) when people treat diabetics differently.

The hoops I have to jump through to do things are ridiculous. Driving requires medical clearance, and standardized testing requires special treatment.

And that's what bothers me.

Treating us differently. Do you know what the special accommodations are? They knock off part of the test, extend the time, and give you breaks whenever you want them. It sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? But to me, it's just a reminder of the fact that I'm different. As someone who was diagnosed at a later age, I don't want to be treated differently (and I'm sure that those who were diagnosed at an early age feel the same way). If I get a good score on the SAT, I want it to be because I sat the whole thing and did my best. I don't want it to be because I got special treatment because of this disease. I want to earn it. I don't want extended time and I don't want less work.

I want to sit my freaking SAT without being sequestered away in a room on my own because I'm different. That is all.

squirrels are nature's little speed bumps. [literally.]


On May 7th, 2013, something very big happened. This girl, Bailey Noel, got her driver's permit. (Which was then taken away three days later because apparently diabetics have to get special medical clearance from their doctors before actually operating a moving vehicle. whatever. I think that's stupid, but it's the law and I'm a law abiding citizen.) After three months of waiting around for our notoriously slow branch of the California Department of Motor Vehicles to finally get around to telling me if I was fit to drive or not, a letter came in the mail.

I was cleared.

Cue another month of being too scared to drive which resulted in me not scheduling my driving lessons and quickly changing the subject whenever my parents brought it up.

On Thursday September 12th, I had my first lesson. White knuckling the steering wheel as I drove through the neighbourhood over and over, turning poorly and only going about twelve miles per hour. That was frightening. My instructor was continually telling me that it was okay to go a little faster and that I wasn't going to crash. I didn't believe him and drove at my snail pace.

That's when the speed bump happened. No, not a real one. A live furry one with a bushy tail. A squirrel. 

Cue me slamming on the brakes, my instructor screaming like a girl and almost throwing his phone out the window, and me nearly in tears.


I did not hit the squirrel. My instructor told me that hitting squirrels was acceptable. Just don't ever do that again. Like, ever.

I said okay. That sounded reasonable. Squirrels are scary little speed bumps. They move.

I have no driven since my lesson. I probably should, since I can go for my license test in the beginning of November, but those scary little squirrels (and my instructor screaming like a girl) have me terrified of messing up on the road again. (also I can't turn or back up or anything else safely yet and me being on the roads right now is not wise at all.)

This weekend, my dad is taking me out to go driving following my SAT. (crap, I should probably be studying for that.) I'm praying that the squirrels leave well alone and I can refrain from slamming on my brakes again.



making : a mess of words on paper, dreams.
cooking : apple cinnamon bread, chai tea.
drinking : soon, chai tea.
reading : emotionally healthy spirituality, don't waste your life, the great gatsby.
wanting : peace, a little bit of warmth, a bear hug from my favorite brother.
looking : for joy.
playing : ultimate frisbee. (tomorrow morning.)
wasting : time.
wishing : for the right words to say, that I was better prepared for my SAT. that words could be erased. that I could go back to the beach, and stay there, with my best friends, forever.
enjoying : cool weather.
waiting : impatiently for too many things.
liking : my anatomy homework.
loving : the oh hello's. (and just music in general lately.)
hoping : to attend the University of Portland.
marveling : over the depths of His grace.
needing : to do pre-calc. (but wasting more time.)
smelling : the spices in my tea, warm apple bread, chili on the stove.
wearing : worn Sharks hockey t-shirts, running shorts, blankets on my lap.
noticing : little things.
knowing : that things need to change.
thinking : too much and too hard.

the aaron busters. [fantasy football woes]


I have the worst team in my fantasy football league. And it's only week two.

As the only girl in the league, I feel the need to prove myself. That I can play as well as the boys, and that I can make it to the playoffs. As of today, I don't know how possible that's going to be. Last week I lost 75-95 to my dear Stetson wearing friend, Cody. I didn't expect to win that round, as Cody has a great team and knows a lot about football. (His brother is a Raiders fan, though, so that's a little questionable.) This week, I felt confident.

I was only playing the second worst team in the league, after all. How badly could I do?


Apparently, really badly.

Aaron Rodgers played beautifully. Four touchdowns, 480 yards. 35 points for me. Dez Bryant, injured, but still tough as nails. He got me a stellar 20 points.

And that's when things started to go downhill. Montee Ball did nothing. David Wilson did nothing. The people on my bench did great things. I began to cry internally. My kicker did nothing. Real tears began to come to my eyes. (That's an exaggeration, no tears have been shed over fantasy football yet this year.)

I got a text from my friend Aaron, who's constant smack talking was the inspiration for naming my team the Aaron Busters. U can't have the worst team in the league and still expect to bust me.

Aaron, they say that slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady also wins fantasy football. I have no intention of giving up my invitation to Cody's Super Bowl party, and so I'm going to the playoffs if it kills me. Never mess with a girl who has serious motivation (food) to win something. Or a girl who's cousin is a former NFL player. You're going down, buddy, and I hope you know that everyone else in the league wants you to lose just as much as I do.

xx, Bailey
ps: basically my team sucks.
pps: that was the entire point of this post, I think. to tell you that.
ppps: what's your favourite football team? (I'm a diehard Cowboys fan.)

the dog days.


In the middle of June, you arrived. You were crying, missing your brothers and sisters, and you were tiny. You played with a little blue squishy dog-shaped dog toy, and you became my baby. You still are my baby. You've grown now. You're a whole five months old, and you can do several tricks. You don't come when you're called, though, puppers, and that could become a problem. You've escaped once already, off to boldly see new worlds in the neighbours' front yards. You're a dork, really. But you're my dork, and I love you.

[the one is an outtake. just in case you thought that taking photos of a puppy who's snuggled up on your lap was easy. ;) also, enjoy the shot of my insulin pump. it's something that I often have to tell my little Gus not to eat. silly pup.]



++ researching colleges ++
++ editing photos from a trip to San Fran ++
++ writing an entry to my senior logbook ++
++ doing algebra ++
++ having a pounding headache ++
++ applying for jobs ++
++ wishing for coffee ++
++ listening to country music ++

ps: if you have coffee, and bring me some, consider yourself my new best friend. xx

magnets: a poem



you're like the wind
unseen, and always changing

i'm like the trees and plants
quiet, and tied down
whipped to and fro by your force

together we're like the sun and moon
pushing + pulling like magnets

but they say that opposites attract
and i think you know
that that's all i ever wanted.

[currently: eating: toasted pecans // drinking: diet pepsi // reading: the book thief by markus zusak // wishing: that school didn't start so soon // listening to: i almost do - taylor swift // feeling: a tad lonely]

getting to know me. [30 things you should know]


  1. My middle name is Noel. Mostly because I was born four days before Christmas. Also because my mother is obsessed with all things French.
  2. I can eat more pizza than my nearly twenty year old brother. Um.
  3. I prefer the British spelling of words. Favourite, recognise, colour, organise, etc.
  4. I have been informed on several different occasions that I look like I'm twelve, not seventeen-going-on-eighteen.
  5. I can sing along to every single Silly Song with Larry that was ever made. Achoo moo moo, achoo moo moo, achoo moo moo, achoo moo moo moo moo moo moo moo moo moo.
  6. I never cry in movies. Seriously. I don't cry when watching Les Mis, and really only teared up while watching War Horse. I'm called the heartless one in my family.
  7. My dad calls me his hippy love child. It stemmed from the fact that I had pants with sequins and an embroidered butterfly on them. Don't judge, I was eleven.
  8. My form of photography used to only be point and press the button. My iPhoneography technique has not changed.
  9. When I'm tired my sense of humor becomes very snarky. As exemplified by the bus ride home from Mexico when I jokingly (of course jokingly, and not because they were being very loud in the seats behind me) told people that if they had a golden ticket, they got to walk the rest of the way home. We had just crossed the border.
  10. I play fantasy football. 
  11. People don't believe me when I say that I actually have a very short temper. I get it from my dad's side of the family.
  12. Once, in Mexico, I tried a churro and it was as close to heaven as you can get on this earth. Three words that make it heavenly: cinnamon. sugar. fried. Mmmm. So good.
  13. Thirteen is my favourite number, and my lucky one. Also, seven and three. Because good things come in threes, and seven is the most powerfully magical number in the world.
  14. I have a horrible knack for saying stupid things and then digging a deeper hole for myself. Did you mean: everyday of my entire existence?
  15. At age sixteen, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and spent three days in the intensive care unit of my local hospital. I spent my entire time watching superhero movies because that's what you do when you've just been diagnosed with a chronic illness.
  16. I don't intend to have children. I will become a doctor and deal with other people's snotty nosed kids instead. #logic
  17. When I have crushes on cute boys, I facebook stalk them and then hate myself for liking someone. Again, don't judge.
  18. My first phone was my dad's old iPhone 3GS. I killed it within six months of receiving it. We don't talk about that.
  19. I read all seven Harry Potter books in three days and then went to see 7.2 in theatres for the midnight premiere. My family still doesn't believe that I was able to read them that quickly. I haven't told that that I didn't sleep and barely ate during those three days yet.
  20. I've never traveled farther east than Texas. And even then I was only in Texas for a grand total of four hours. And besides. Does El Paso even count as Texas?
  21. My favorite colour is blue. I love it so much that I painted my room the exact shade that I love. My sister, whom I share a room with, does not love it as much as I do.
  22. I'm a bit of a grammar freak. I correct signs as we're driving. It drives my mother crazy.
  23. I love running and playing ultimate frisbee. I love it so much that I got stress fractures in my right leg. Boo.
  24. I overuse commas. Wait. Does this mean I lose my grammar police badge?
  25. I collect notebooks. My shelves are filled with journals and notebooks and papers. My dad hates it.
  26. I am a huge hockey fan. If you look through the texts sent between my dad and I, you'll find over three hundred about the Stanley Cup Final and the NHL draft. 
  27. I have a four month old beagle puppy named Gus. The cuteness kills me.
  28. When I was six my parents told me that Christmas lights were not put up for Christmas, they were put up for my birthday. I believed them. And didn't know the truth until I was nearly eleven.
  29. I used to figure skate. And then I realised that one must be rather flexible to do triple axels and lutzes. I can't even touch my toes.
  30. My name is commonly used for dogs. Just last weekend I was at the mall and there was a man with his guide dog named Bailey. My mother apologizes for naming me such a common dog name.
  31. I never follow the rules. They're more like guidelines anyway.

never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.


Road trips are my absolute fave. You load up the car with snacks and your favorite people and set off on an adventure into the Great Unknown. In this case, the Great Unknown was little town stacked full to the brim with thrift shops, old churches, and health clinics: Paradise, CA.

There were fourteen of us senior interns who loaded up in a church bus at eight-oh-six yesterday morning and took off down the road. We stopped for icees at nine, because when you're road tripping, icees are an absolute must have. We sang awkwardly in the back seat as our youth leaders drove and laughed along. We toured Paradise, seeing all of the places that my youth pastor, Jeremy, grew up going to and hanging out at.

And then we got to the real reason for our trip: hiking.

It was an easy hike down to the waterhole and dam. We talked and laughed and began to work as a team. We helped each other over the rocky places, raced over the flat areas, and whooped when we saw our end goal. We stripped down to our bathing suits, and stood looking out over the river from the top of the dam.

The water was deep and clear and our feet slapped against the cement of the dam as we got into position. "Nobody jump yet," Jeremy said. "It's all about trust. We have to jump together and each trust that no one will land on top of you."

I chickened out. "No way. I thought I could do this, but no. No. Absolutely not." (Imagine Russell Crowe as Javert jumping to his death in Les Mis and you have a pretty accurate what I was convinced was going to happen to me.)

Jeremy and the boys tried to get me to jump, but I stood there, not looking down, and refusing. The gave up, and the rest of the team jumped.

Part of me wanted to jump to. Part of me was screaming that someday I would regret it. Someday I would look back on that particular moment in time and wish so hard that I had been brave and jumped off of a twelve foot high dam into twenty+ foot deep water. I stood up, and walked to the edge. My girl friends joined me, and the boys watched from the bank. "Are you going to do it this time?" they yelled at me. "Let her be," said Jeremy.

I remember my paralyzing fear and again not wanting to do it. I remember counting to three. I remember my feet inching towards the edge of the dam, and curling my toes over it to keep  my balance. I remember falling for a few seconds, and then hitting the freezing water and going under. I remember my eyes popping open in shock, and taking in a lungful of river water. I remember coming up, and laughing over my fear. I remember the cheers of my teammates as they grinned from around me and at the river bank.

I do not remember jumping.

I did it again. I jumped again, this time with the entire team. It was just as cold and terrifying and horribly addicting as the first time.

I remember asking to go again, but it was time to say goodbye to our little waterhole and head back into town.

We went out for Mexican afterwards, and as I sat at the table with all of my friends and youth pastor, eating my super nacho, they began to dole out nicknames. When they got to me, there was a bit of silence, and then John said, "Merida. Your nickname is Merida, because you're both brave. And it's one of the only Disney princess movies you've ever seen."

There was laughter after that, and lots of smiling faces, and the nickname remains. Merida.

xx, Bailey

in the [very] beginning


I've always found that the first entry in a new journal is the hardest⎯ it sets to tone for the little book that will home your fears and hopes and far flung dreams. Blogs are equally as hard. 

These are the first words written on a blank slate. It's the beginning, and beginnings terrify me.

My story doesn't begin here, and it won't end here. It begins in a little house and continues on to a slightly larger house with a big backyard and a bedroom with blue walls. It started with a little girl, and now that girl is almost grown up. It follows her journey through life and and joy and love and friendship. There's a dash of pain and hurt mixed in with the joy, but pain is like salt: it makes the joyful times all the sweeter. Her story has been documented and influenced by so many different people, and now she's turning the page into a new chapter.

Stories never really end, I don't think. There's always an unspoken ending, something that the reader knows will happen regardless of how the author ends it. The story takes flight on our imaginations, and a million different scenarios play out. Do they fall in love? Do they grow old together, or separately? Does her pain ever go away? The end goes on, and so the story continues to live in the reader's heart.

My story is not unlike the rest. It had an ending, and now it continues on.

My name is Bailey, and I like to think that I'm a storyteller. Welcome to So She Says.