Touch Up: A Poem

Touch Up: A Poem

Sticky situation

While touching up paint my father points

to a collection of shiny circles on my wall.

What’d you do here?

I dipped my finger into the drying wax

of a clean linens scented candle.

The warm wax stuck to my fingers

It felt like it would stick to me forever.

So I began to wipe them onto my white wall

creating a circles of glossy polish.

I scraped and scrubbed, but no amount of

spit and elbow grease could remove the wax.

He scratches at it.

Seriously. What is this?

I shrug my shoulders

I don’t know.

Cover Image Credit:

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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My First Skydiving Experience Was Exhilarating, I Can't Wait To Go Again

What I experienced my first time skydiving.


This is a personal testimonial of my first experience skydiving. I had an amazing opportunity in front of me when my boyfriend presented the idea that he would be willing to go skydiving with me. Something to know about me is that I have always had a special soul, I'm adventurous and spontaneous. These are just a few qualities and ways my friends and family describe me. Knowing this, now you can maybe imagine the dreams of 7th grade old Ally, which was to go skydiving. It had just been something that I can say "I've always wanted to do that", and now, fortunately, I can say that I have.

the start of our journey Ally Burnham

Originally it was one of my best friends mom, Linda Reisacher that interested me. She herself had been hundreds of time and inspired me more to take that same leap. I ran into all sorts of challenges along the way, but that wasn't going to stop me. I eventually knew one day I would make it. It wasn't until finally the summer before my freshman year of college that I overcame those struggles and was able to jump. At first, I struggled with talking my parents into letting me go, having someone to go with, driving there, and paying for it. As you can imagine as a 7th grader I wasn't quite mature enough to get all of these components aligned to go. However, as I said my senior year summer, fresh out of high school me and my boyfriend Brandon embarked on this adventure together. Just one of the many fun things that we've done but also one of the best!

We started planning it out so we could go when he turned 18, hence our parents wouldn't sign the waiver at 16 and you needed to be an adult to jump. So once that happened we bought our skydiving pass off of Groupon with a visa debit card. We ended up pre-purchase this at the grocery store because our parents wouldn't let us use their money or cards to initially purchase it. Even though we were going to be reimbursing them for it, right then. So this was just one extra step we encountered, for our parents who both disapproved. (they never actually came around to being ok with us going).After everything was paid for and scheduled the challenges seemed to fade. The last component was just the situation of getting there. My parents were not going to let me use their car to get there but, thankfully Brandon has a car too and we that we were able to use to go.

Fast forward, after maybe about a month of all this initial planning and picking a date the day arrives. This is the morning! I wake up early, however, Brandon is already awake and working. He had summer employment at home goods, where he would get up around 4 am (Way to EARLY)and unload all the packages off the truck. Knowing that he is already ready, I get up quickly. It is thankfully a warm summer day, so I just throw on Lulu shorts, a tank, and running shoes. Once I am ready I begin driving to Brandon's work which he was getting off early from so we could go and do this. While driving there I'm so excited and nervous, I have my music fully blasted in my car and I'm a little shaky. When I get there it just seemed to be perfect timing. I see my boyfriend start coming out of home goods right at the time that I arrived. He is running towards my car with the biggest smile on his face and I lose all feeling of nervousness. I am just totally stoked or excited to have this experience with my best friend. Feelings of happiness overcome me! I'm fully excited and ready to jump, it's crazy how just the sight of someone can change your day or mood.

I leave my car in the home goods parking lot, just for a few hours as we embark on the beginning of our day. I transfer all our paperwork and snacks and things to keep us busy with or distracted by into Brandon's car. On the "what to bring page" it mentions that we could potentially be waiting up to three hours and to bring stuff to keep you occupied so as the responsible one I bring the snacks and entertainment! Brandon begins driving, it's only about thrifty minutes out from where we live that we're headed, I believe somewhere in Lincoln, California... oh I forgot to mention that. If you're new to my blog then welcome and now you know that I'm not originally from the Kansas area. Although, this is where I attend college.

Anyways back to the story. As we drive we talk and say how our mornings went and just about how we're feeling and I'm sure whatever else popped up on our minds. Soon enough were driving down this dirt road in what it seems like to be the middle of nowhere to go to a tiny little place with an "airport" but it was really more like a parking lot, tiny building, an old beat up truck and a plane. As we get there we head inside and begin our additional paperwork. We go into a side room to watch a video and start filling this out. As I look at the paperwork it's a lot, all basically saying that the companies butts are 110% covered for if there was any reasons that we didn't make it while skydiving. As well that we should know this experience is extremely dangerous and that it may cause death and injuries. Which we knew however the section that made it seem real, was the one where we sign and say to who all our belongs would go to if we didn't make it. Asking for our insurance and people/ family to contact. That was scary as well as the video that was playing just seemed to be really sketchy, not very comforting. I'm starting to feel overwhelmed again and turned to Brandon who's debating going at this point. I can't just tell he is as freaked out as I am, I start reading the paperwork that we are signing allowed and ask him if he had read it all.... of course, he hadn't. He responded that he stopped reading after the first line or two because it had freaked him out and he just didn't want to know but that he had signed at the bottom of this packet we were given. Although he forgot to read and fill out all the insurance info which we weren't notified to bring.

Anyway, short story, we turned it in not 100% completed but they still accepted it and never made any comments. Maybe not a good sign but the people were super sweet and assured us that we really were fine and that it's not a big deal to not have all the questions completed; just very relaxed people.

Then we go into another waiting room when we're finished, it doesn't take long until our instructors are with us and we start getting suited up. They give us about three rules and we're super assuring that we were safe. I did feel safe though, the two instructors were so calm and experience, I didn't have any regrets that I was going to be jumping. I was excited again at this point and was ready to go. They repack our shoots and we're off sitting in the back of this truck and start driving to the middle of nowhere to this tinnie tiny plane. We get in and hook into our instructors. The plane has no seats, except for the pilots so we all just sit on the floor. The plane was at maximum capacity, totaling 5 people. As we start flying it seems just like normal, the elevation begins and we're looking out the windows like excited kids on Christmas or Halloween. It's about a twenty-minute flight straight up. Then were there!

getting ready to load into the plane Ally Burnham

Once we reached the appropriate elevation they fling open the door, we lean our heads back and jump.

I go second, so I see my brave and courageous boyfriend first take the jump and turn into a tiny spinning spec, that just flew out of the plane. Then not even 30 sec later I go. When you initially jump your spinning so fast and do probably eight-ish give or take backflips in the air as you free fall down. This was the most exciting and thrilling part of it all. The free fall is amazing and it happens so quick I'm super glad I knew the experience and expectation of what I wanted prior to going from my friends mom, Linda. This was the thrill that I was paying for. Unfortunately, some people forget to breathe or are crying through this whole part just scared out of their mind (such as the girl that had just when prior to us), she forgot to be in the moment and experience the beauty of the fall. So as I feel through the air there was nothing on my mind, I kept everything as open and free as possible. I just treasured the stillness that I had while I fell. It was just one moment in time where nothing else seemed to matter and you could just realize, not think of anything and be present. I was so high on life and stoked, I just don't want the feeling to stop.

Brandon getting ready to jump Ally Burnham

the initial jump and flips in the air Ally Burnham

Unfortunately, this is the shortest part of it all. Pretty quick, the free fall was over and the shoot was pulled and I spread my arms, just ask the shoot spread its wings. This opening of the shoot hurt a little bit as I fell into the loosened straps, I seemed to just be a little less secure and not as comfortable. Although I would say that I was still safely attached. Slowly we start gliding through the air back and forth. We turn to the left for a bit and then back again right. As I was looking out I was in awe of the earth beauty and everything was still in slow mo but reality started coming back really quick and my mind started to fill with the everyday things like what I needed to do and blah blah blah.

free falling once the shoot was released Ally Burnham

Eventually, I see the same parking lot that we had originally parked in and we land on a small rectangle concrete slab in the middle of this field. I was amazed at how that the instructor could plan the landing so precisely. As I land, the top half of my harness basically falls off which you can also see in the video because that's what I had sunk into on the way down and why it felt tighter around me. Anyways, I was just so happy to have had the experience and also so glad to meet Brandon at the bottom. It was overall such an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade. It left us feeling like we were in an adrenaline high all day long.

As we both got back into the car we both turned to each other and we're so excited, saying "let's do that again!!!"

Currently, it's been a little over a year since that experience and I'm still so thankful event that happened. Sadly we have not gone again but, I'm sure I will again at some point. You know what we're going to be doing on our vacation, definitely something to look forward too.

Attached is a video and that I created from some of the GoPro footage, as well the second link is some of the pictures.

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