Our Mission

On May 12, 2012 Austin Brashears finished what is one of the most epic stories of all time: his life story. He lived colorfully and beautifully during his 21 years and painted pictures all over the world of his kindness, generosity, and positive spirit. We have decided to begin the stage of moving forward to embark on a grand adventure to create new memories with Austin every day. It can be something as little as trying a new flavor of coffee or going underwater go-cart racing in his honor. We invite you to play with us, laugh with us, and take risks with us. We encourage you to put your Austin foot forward and begin to live with Austin and his energetic spirit as your guide.

He needs our help to finish his epic adventure.

We’ll be posting our adventures here for you to read and hopefully be inspired by, but we want to hear from you too! When you do something amazing and incredible or just a little something you know that Austin would LOVE or appreciate, throw on your Austin merch (v-neck, tank, or bracelet) and take a picture! Write up a post and email it to us at doitforaustin@gmail.com and we’ll share it with everyone!

Have a great Austin Adventure Day,

Sage, Brittany, Cole, & Shannon

The Family

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just Like You

We had the kind of day you would love and so we brought you along to play too. Grandma Julie told us how much you loved squirt gun fights and how you would climb on the roof to ambush your friends. Mom and dad would never let us get on the roof but we did have a lot of fun.

We got great new guns and since we are little we went two against one and really got grandma today! Don’t worry, she was laughing and having fun. =)


Then she told us that you loved to put sprinklers on the trampoline and jump so we did our own version of it.  

We got on the trampoline, put the squirt guns and buckets up there too and had a water fight while jumping and being sprayed with the hose by grandma.  We spent about 2 hours out there and had so much fun. 

We took a quick rocket popsicle break (grandma ate one too and said it was for you). There was a cool rainbow that kept showing up in the water. Grandma Julie said that a lady in New Zealand told her that was a good sign.  We jumped over it back and forth making it hard to take a picture but this one turned out OK. Uncle Austin we love all the stories about you and how much fun we always had with you.  


Love, Bryson and Everett

Gallivanting Through the Woods

Tori: Severine and I were feeling adventurous on Friday, we were tired of the city and wanted to see some green! So, we made yummy lunches, threw on our backpacks and headed for the Arnold Arboretum, which is a botanical garden in Boston thats made up of trees from all over the world. You walk through the gates and you're not in the city anymore, you're in this almost magical forest where every tree is different and new and exotic and there are sleepy little ponds, or a grove filled with rose bushes around every corner.

Severine: As we were walking through the Arboretum we took different paths that circled the gardens, sweat a ton (due to the 150% humidity), and then....we got rained on.

Tori: There were claps of thunder and flashes of lightening and the rain felt AMAZING after being so hot and sticky all day! Sev and I talked about how Austin-y it was to be gallivanting through the forest in a storm. But it was starting to get dark.

Severine: We were walking towards the exit when we stumbled upon something that looked like a small shrine. There were stones, flowers, and some random items...

Tori: Like seashells, bits of pretty colored glass, a few beads. It was beautiful. We stopped, in the rain, and admired how pretty it was in the middle of all the gloom.

Severine: We wanted to add something to the shrine!

Tori: I dug through my backpack, trying to find something pretty to add to it. I saw I had a bottle of red nail polish and had an idea.

Severine: Tori pulled out the bottle and began painting, in shear silence, Austin's initials, APB, on the stone. 

Tori: It only took five minutes. But neither Severine or I spoke, it was so perfectly quiet, with the sound of the rain and the wind rustling through the leaves, and Austin's initials and a little heart slowly taking shape on the piece of bark in the center of the shrine. It was so peaceful! We could feel him, we really could. When we were walking though the gardens earlier and I was talking to Sev about how it was strange to think Austin's not here anymore, she said "But he is here, Tor. He's always here." She was right. It was such a serene little moment of time, we wanted to share it with all of you:)

Love always, 
Tori and Severine 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Small Things

The smallest things can make the biggest difference. That is what Austin taught me. Unlike many of you, I didn't have the honor of knowing Austin well. We only met a few times and only for brief periods, but this past month has made me realize how influential he was to me. I have probably spent more time crying over his loss (and the other students, those affected, and the mental health of the driver and passengers in the accident) than I did knowing him. But I certainly don't regret it. For the past few weeks every other day or so I have checked blogs, reflected on life, looked at Austin's facebook, wandered what his life would be right now, and pondered writing this. I couldn't justify making people read an account that seemed so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But I think that as his family and friends, you would all appreciate knowing that even in only a few moments a stranger could tell how wonderful he was. And that even if people only crossed his path for a short time, he made a great impact on their lives.

The first time I met Austin was a few days after I moved to Boston, I was a freshman at Boston University. I can't recall whether it was the week of FYSOP, Orientation, or the first week of classes, but there was a carnival/dance party on the BU beach. Of course, I went, nervous and scared as all the other freshman were. Who were these people? What was I doing so far from home? Why in the world did I leave the place that I had always known?

I danced and climbed through inflatable obstacles like a child with some new people I met (who turned out to be great friends) before some people decided they wanted to go smoke hookah. I hated smoking and was again struck by the realization that maybe I just didn't belong. Maybe I was wasting my money to go to college and I was going to hate where I was. One person stayed with me and we went walking around into Marsh Plaza. The details of how I ended up on the steps of Marsh Chapel talking to random people I cannot recall, but there I was. Me, the single person I knew who didn't want to smoke, and random other people sitting on the steps talking about everything and nothing. Austin was one of those people, and he had cookies.

The cookies were from the snack table that was set up for the guests and I must not have hidden my shock at the theft very well because soon after I learned where the cookies came from Austin laughed and said something along the lines of, "well they are for us after all. we just thought they'd taste better with milk." Turns out, someone had run across the street to obtain milk and cups for the cookies. For the next half hour or so I sat on the steps of Marsh with these strangers, ate milk and cookies, and talked about everything unimportant. It was maybe the second time in Boston that I thought maybe I could belong. Austin, the boy with the most charming laugh, a genuine smile, and silly hair. The California boy who I found different and interesting. The boy who just wanted to have a good time, and share that with others. 

I believe Max was there that night. And Tori. But I distinctly remember Austin because on my first day of classes at 9am, my first college class ever, I walked into CAS room B12 for calculus. And at that moment, Austin's face was the most glorious thing that I had ever seen. I had taken calculus before, I knew the material. Calculus didn't scare me, I knew calculus (I actually loved calculus). What scared me was the people. The students just like me that I would have to meet and talk to. I wasn't good at small talk, what if I couldn't make friends? What if everyone hated me? What if I just wasn't ready for the real world?

Seeing Austin sitting in the class brought a smile to my face. It didn't matter that he had silly hair, wore different clothes and grew up thousands of miles away from me. I smiled the biggest smile knowing that someone I knew (and at least didn't hate me) was in my class. And he smiled back at me. And somehow I felt that things would be okay. Maybe not today, perhaps not even for a few weeks, but I would make friends. I would know people. And I could do this college thing. 

Everyday we chatted a bit in class, made small talk. I ended up dropping the class a few weeks in (because it turns out I already had received credit for calculus) and Austin and I lost touch. We met a few other times, recognized each other, chatted, but we didn't really get to know each other. For at least a little while though, Austin was the light at the end of the tunnel. He made me believe that things would work out. If he hadn't been there that first day, things may still have been similar to what they are now. But I know that I wouldn't have taken the chances in talking to people and getting to know people like I was able to with his influence. And I deeply regret not being able to express my thanks to him for the kindness and hope he gave.

Austin was a gift. And I hope this simple story brings smiles to the faces of those who cherish and love him. Even though people say small things can make a huge impact, it is regrettable that sometimes it takes a loss to realize how much these things really matter. And from my experience (especially with Austin) it was the very smallest of things that mattered most.

I know that everyone reading this knows that they were blessed to have loved and known Austin but I would like you all to take a moment to realize that he was equally as lucky to have your love, passion, and dedication in his life. For each and every one of you helped shape him into the amazing person he became. 

My thoughts, love, tears, and best wishes go out to you. May you all find some peace.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Softball Bliss

I am the librarian at Eastwood Elementary School, where Austin attended. Every year we play a softball game, teachers against the 6th grade students. I usually play but am always pretty nervous. NOT this year! I was ready to go...not nearly as nervous as usual! I was ready to give it my all! So how did I do? I made it on base my first up, made a pretty awesome catch and had another solid hit! How did our team do? We beat those 6th graders and I have to say it was the funnest game I've played in the last 5 years at Eastwood! Thanks Austin for helping me to have the confidence I needed to go out and play my best and enjoy the game. Did it for you Austy! I love you and miss you. Now on to the next adventure:) I'm looking forward to hiking with your mom and Sherri this summer. More to come!

Love you,

Jenn Goes To 6 Flags!

This weekend I went to Six Flags. It was beyond burning hot & extremely tiring walking up hill both ways at that theme park. However, whenever I started to complain, I kept being reminded of you in the back of my mind – it made me smile. Every ride was at least an hour wait for a 1 minute thrill, but during those rides it was a constant rush – just like how your everyday life was. For those few moments in time, I got to feel what you felt every day. I love that you have taught me to never doubt myself or fail to take chances…no matter how outrageous they are. I love knowing that you’re with me wherever I go too. It’s so refreshing. I love you so much & miss you more & more every single day. I can’t wait to take you on more adventures with me.

Love always,
 Jenn (aka: kid)

Monday, June 11, 2012

The B.F.I.

NOTE: This post is being dually written by Sage and Nicole. We apologize in advance if things get confusing, but try to hang with us. It'll be worth it. ;)

It was a gorgeous, sunny day and though Nicole and I were feeling pretty lazy, we decided to try to make the most of the day by getting out and doing something cool. I felt like working out and since Nicole doesn't have a gym pass, I suggested a hike. My parents love hiking at El Moro overlooking Crystal Cove and I had been a few times so I figured it was the perfect place to go. I didn't exactly remember how to get on the trails or where to park, but I figured it would all come back to me once we got there.....

So Sage came on over and picked me up and than we chatted with the parentals a bit than went out to start our adventure. Sage drove and we put the top down, drove down PCH and blasted some of our favorite tunes. Once we got there we went to park and that was an adventure of its own! But we finally got a spot and even sucked it up and payed the $15 to park. When we entered the lot the nice old lady working the booth gave us a map of the trails and warned us of the B.F.I (Big Freakin Incline). We then grabbed our water and headed out!

After the hour it took us to figure out where to park and where the trail was (we walked across some little trail thing that wasn't even on the map...) we were ready to go! The very sweet lady at the toll booth told us that there was a gate we were supposed to walk through in order to get to the trail, but we couldn't find it because it was hiding behind a bridge, BUT! once we found it we were off! We were convinced that the tiny little trail we had walked along before was the B.F.I. because it was a pretty legitimate incline....we were really wrong.

So once we found the bridge and went across that, we found a map and looked at the "you are here" dot and realized we were just now starting the trail we thought we had been on 30 min prior. So we started our journey along this trail and realized about 5 minutes in that we were not going to have an adequate amount of water for this hike but we then proceeded to talk about the titles of the newspapers and stories that would report on us getting lost and without food or water etc. (Quite dramatic, i know) So we switched to talking about how we would save someone else with our last few drops of water! Team Austin would save the day!

Just as we were planning Team Austin's glorious rescue, we came across a REAL LIVE RATTLESNAKE! It was about 30 feet away and stretched across the entire trial when I first spotted it and realized what it was. As we got closer, I got more and more curious, but Nicole got more scared. I made sure she snapped a picture of him before we backed up and let him slither into the brush and off the trail. Once we determined he was safely hidden away and wasn't going to attack us, Nicole zoomed past and ran all the way to the next fork in the trail. I jogged past, not wanting to frighten or upset our new little friend, but I definitely wanted to get another look at his rattle.

We then realized after we ran past the snake we had missed our turn to continue on the trail we wanted to be on. So Sage and I braved the snake again and found the right path and continued our hike. After seeing this snake any shake of the bush we of course thought it was another snake or maybe even a Mountain Lion! But we did not run into any other creatures on our adventure, just many MANY hills all seeming to take us higher and higher at quite an incline. Every new incline we would swear was the B.F.I but sadly none of them were.

Eventually we got to the top of a huge incline where the trail turned and the view was absolutely  incredible. We could see the gorgeous blue ocean and sailboats and Catalina and all the cute little houses on the coast. We stopped and took pictures and appreciated the gorgeousness before we FINALLY hit the real B.F.I. It was incredibly steep and we thanked our lucky stars that we were going down this trail instead of going up. We were sweating and parched and panting when we finally got back to the car......

So since we were just across from the ocean Sage and I decided to throw our shoes in the car, run through the tunnel under PCH, turn or the go pro and take a dive in the water to cool down and do a little body surf sesh. Overall it was an Awesome Austin Adventure Day! Just one of the many great ones that are yet to come this summer and lifetime.

Love Nicole and Sage

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Palindromic Times

     When I was little, I used to make a wish whenever it was 11:11. As I grew older, the magic of it seemed to fade when not every wish came true. But Austin loved making wishes on 11:11! It was a "palindromic time" (meaning it was the same backwards and forwards) and whenever he noticed it was a palindromic time he'd sing the "palindromic song" (Its another palindromic time today! Its another palindromic time hey hey!) over and over again until the minute was over and it wasn't a palindromic time any more. It was cute if he only sang it once or twice, but it was enough to drive you up a wall if you got the full 60 seconds :) One of his best qualities was his untainted boyishness. He had this Peter Pan-ish quality that won everyone over. I just looked up and noticed what time it was, and smiled as I hummed the palindromic song. Thanks for making me smile, love:) So here's to never growing up, to climbing trees and singing disney songs and making wishes at 11:11! 

Love & Hope, 

Hanging with Mr. K

So this blog entry isn't really about me, its about my roommate's bf James doing something that Austin would have absolutely loved. I wrote earlier about our trip to the Bham Highland Games and the blessing of the ale. Well we were all pretty inspired by that, but none so much as James who decided that he just had to build one of the "firkins" or wooden barrel's that he saw there. The only problem was that he had no idea how to actually build a wooden barrel and so he did the only thing that made sense in a situation like this, he called my dad. Now my dad is not actually a cooper (the term for a person who builds barrels apparently) but he has some mad woodworking skills that all my male friends seem to find impressive and Austin was no exception.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to take AP Calc with Mr. Boogar at Marina, you know all about the awesome project that he assigns over Christmas break where you have to spend all your free time assembling tiny pieces to create some object that matches a bunch of crazy calculations that you did first. Clearly, I remember a lot about it. My partner for this project was Kiersten and Austin's was Cole (big shocker, right?). Because Kiersten and I are awesome, we decided to take on the challenge of making our project out of wood. This worried the boys who couldn't stand that thought that ours would be better and so they decided that they would do the same. The only problem was that none of us actually had any woodworking abilities so my father was fortunate enough to be asked to help. Kiersten and I made two footballs with stands, an amazing one for USC and a not-so-amazing one for UCLA. The boys went a very different route and decided to make a wooden ship. With all of the goofing off and bonding they did with my dad, this meant they spent pretty much our entire Christmas break in my garage. Their project turned out amazing and to finish it off they christened it "the Mister K" and even attached a flag with my dad's face on both sides. It could even be raised and lowered with a pulley. Talk about showing off!

It didn't take long for James to realize the same thing that Austin did, that my dad was pretty awesome. He gave "Greg" a call, set up a play date, and did whatever it is that they do in the man cave. The whole situation just reminded me so much of Austin and Cole working with my dad during high school that I had to share. The barrel should be complete after tomorrow so James better start thinking up his next wood project!

It's no pan flute but it's pretty cool I guess.


     I am who I am today because of Austin. He met me when I was timid, tentative, a bit silly, and terribly unsure of myself. I was a worrier. I used to drive with white knuckles on the wheel and the volume turned down low on the stereo. Whenever I was driving more than 30 minutes from home I'd print out mapquest directions, just in case the GPS lost signal. I'd have a piece of paper with emergency phone numbers written on it, incase the car broke down and my cell phone died. I'd arrive to the bus station an hour before the departure time, just in case. But none of that mattered to him. He saw me for who I could be and we had something beautiful together.

     One of my favorite memories with him is one some of you know from Brother Mac's speech at Austin's service. It was the summer after freshman year, we hadn't seen each other in two months because he was summering in California and I was teaching sailing Back East. But he told me he'd be in New York City for a day in July, with his boy-scout troupe. New York City. I live south of Boston. NYC was definitely more than 30 minutes from my house. But he begged me to come up, he knew I could do it, he hadn't seen me in months. I packed my bag the day before and laid out the pretty blue dress with pink flowers that I'd bought just for this trip. I couldn't get to sleep thinking about how far I had to travel the next day, and all by myself! I almost wimped out the next morning but I opened my phone and saw a text from Austin that was something along the lines of "I know you can do it babe, I love you & can't wait to see you:)". I had to. I had to see him! I could do it. It was 4am. I got in the car, drove an hour and a half into Boston, waited an hour for the bus, rode the bus 4 and a half hours into NYC, was terrified by the size of Grand Central Station, asked a nice portly policeman how to get to Battery Park, got in a cab (driven by a man that must've been a member of the pakistani version of NASCAR), got to Battery Park and got in line to take the Ferry to Ellis Island. A line that wound twice around the ticket building. I stood in line for an hour before I realized I was never getting to Ellis island. He was getting back in one and a half hours. Between late busses, irate cab drivers, New York traffic and issues with the troupe (something involving his boy-scouts setting the sprinklers off in the hotel), we'd have a total of 2 hours together before I had to turn around and take everything but a plane to get back home and then not see him until September. Austin wasn't answering his phone. I was alone in New York City. I was tired. It was hot. I was scared. So there, in the middle of Battery Park, in my pretty blue dress with pink flowers my eyes filled up with tears. And then, as he always seemed to when things seemed hopeless, he called! 

     "The ferry is leaving now, I'm coming! I'll be there soon!!"

     He was coming! I didn't care how tired or hot or scared I was, he was coming! I ran through the park in my dress, all the way to the docks, and there he was! The only human male who can still look stunningly handsome in a boy-scout uniform, leaning over the rail of the ship, smiling that smile, then running down the gangway and scooping me up in a huge hug, spinning me in a circle, kissing me, smiling, laughing, of course I cried a little again from all the nerves and happiness and exhaustion but they were happy tears, it had been months! He laughed at me for crying and being a "silly, pretty girl" (something he called me often), and took my hand and led me through the park. We made our way from there to Central Park and broke away from the group. We walked for a bit, found a huge maple tree, settled under it and just sat, wrapped in each others arms, watching the sunlight sift down through the leaves, setting them all golden-green, listening to the wind rustling through them. We sat there for the whole hour. It was perfect. That day, I traveled for a total of 18 hours. I drove, took cabs, walked, ran, took busses, all by myself. All for the most perfect two hours I could possibly ask for, two hours with Austin, sitting in Central Park, having him smile at me. But it was for even more than that. I could go to New York by myself! I could travel! I could do things! He was always pushing me out of my comfort zone, pushing me to become a better, more self-sufficient person. Even when it meant tough love, he'd push. Remembering how nervous I was that day, and how I collapsed into his arms after nothing but I few bus rides, always makes me laugh. 

     I just got back from sailing the entire Bermuda Triangle. Six weeks at sea. From exploring tiny remote islands on foot, eating mangos out of trees when I was hungry, sailing across oceans and through storms (big storms, I'm talking 20 foot waves and 55 knots of breeze here), and having no one to run to when I was scared. I never thought I could do that. He knew I could. And he knew I'd never realize that unless he pushed me to. I realize now how incredibly difficult that must've been for him, it must've been like pushing a baby bird out of a tree. But he knew I'd fly. He knew the things I could achieve, the person I could become, far before I did. The amount Austin taught me is unmeasurable.

So for the leaves in central park, for the song we sang at the service, for the poem he wrote me, for the metaphorical tree he pushed me out of, and for new reasons I discover daily, here is my leaf for Austin. Something that will be there forever, to remind me of someone who changed me forever.

"Nothing can remove the impressions left by each stroke of the pen,

whether they be found on the page when the light falls just right,

like the mid-summer sun through the lightly swaying branches of trees,

Or in our hearts,

Engraved and untouchable,



Love & Hope,


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mmm...Tasty but Sandy...

A couple of Christmas breaks ago, I was lucky to get to spend a great week road-tripping up to Bellingham (adequately named the City of Subdued Excitement) to show Austin around the great Pacific Northwest. Along the way we spent a day and a half in Portland, OR with my sister Allison and her soon-to-be-hubby Jeremy. We played video games, visited Powell's Bookstore, got Voodoo Donuts (probably Austin's favorite part of the whole trip!), and went out to dinner at Kell's Irish Pub. Dinner was delicious minus the part where Jeremy ordered a round of oyster shooters for the table and insisted that we all have one. Austin dutifully obeyed and choked it down but as many of you know, I'm a pretty picky eater. I debated doing it but in the end refused and so Austin, being the great friend that he was, finished mine off too. 

So last night my sister came up to visit in Bellingham and we decided to go out to eat at this awesome cajun restaurant called Bayou on Bay and lucky me! They had oyster shooters on the menu. Of course my sister remembered the time Austin came to visit and insisted that I make up for not doing my shooter with Austin.

And guess what?! I did it! It was really slimy and pretty much tasted like I was taking a bite of sand off the ocean floor, but I'm glad I did it and I am sure Austin would have been proud! I love that Austin can still make me do things that are out of my comfort zone. <3 TEAM AUSTIN <3

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

B -73

The other night we went out to dinner to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary in Sunset Beach, CA.  We went to a small little Italian restaurant, Roman Cucina, which is just down Pacific Coast Highway from the Surfside colony of beachfront homes.

We decided that we would walk down the beach and find the house Julie used to live in, since were married there.  Due to Pappa B's advanced age :) (Austin of course lovingly referred to his Dad as old man), he just could not remember the address. 
We started by the water tower house and the adventure started as we walked down the beach in front of the homes and evaluated each house, going in and out of the rows, to see if they fit our recollections faded with the passage of time.  We had to walk to almost the other end of the colony of homes.  We were determined, how else do you get through 29 years of marriage, and knew we would find it if we looked hard enough. 

We would stop and look at each house trying to remember as we looked at them one by one only to have several false starts as we decided many times over that we were looking at the wrong house.  Once we saw B73 it was like both of us said out loud, "THIS IS IT"!  Julie recalled the balcony from where she had thrown her bouquet.  Tom recalled the stain glassed window we stood in front of when taking our vows.  As we stood there and began to reminisce the floodgate of memories opened and we were deluged.

It may not seem EPIC in the sense of an amazing adventure but we feel to have been married for 29 years in this day and age is epic in itself.  We have been challenged and blessed throughout our marriage and love the family that God has blessed us with.

Momma and Pappa B
(AKA: Julie and Tom Brashears)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Austin's Boys

If you knew Austin or talked to him on any semi regular basis, you undoubtedly heard about his many love interests and his next grandiose plan to woo the object of his affection. He was always planning something incredibly thoughtful and magnificent. But there were some other loves of his life that you may have heard a little less about.

His boys. 

Of course there are the men of his family: Papa B, Matt, and Travis. He loved them so incredibly much. They all wrapped up into Austin's ultimate hero and everything he wanted to be: Brave, intelligent, handsome, generous, fashionable (don't get a big head, Trav), courageous, a leader, a family man, and sooo much more. Austin spent a lot of time talking about how amazing the men in his family are and how much he loved them and aspired to be just like them.

Then there are the little boys: Bryson and Everett. Austin loved those kids with his whole heart. He wanted them to grow up knowing that they could always come to him and that he was always there to listen and to play. He was great with all kids, but especially with his nephews.

Then, of course, there's Cole. Cole and Austin had a bond unlike anything else I've ever seen before. I literally can't describe it to you, I really wish I could, but it was something that could only truly be understood by witnessing them together. Their love for each other was so strong and so true. It was truly remarkable.

All of that was a lead up to say that yesterday I got to spend the day with Austin's boys. I got to chat with Matt and to jump on the trampoline with Bryson and Everett. Then later, I got to laugh (and be scared) with Cole watching old horror film trailers.

It was such a great day with so much fun and love that I totally forgot to take any pictures. I'm so bummed at myself because I keep promising that I'll get better about that, but I still have a lot of work to do.

Bryson and I drew Cole some pictures and they made the fridge!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Cole and I from gradnight, but that's pretty much what last night looked like without the face paint. 

I felt so lucky to get to spend the day with people that Austin loved and cherished so much. It made me feel closer to him in some small way. Team Austin. <3


Sunday, June 3, 2012

"....I also like to live dangerously..."

On the podium, a bit scratched up, but no worse for the wear.
Lately I've fallen plague to the dangerous passion that is mountain biking. In true Morm fashion, every day, every ride, I seem to push things, sometimes maybe a bit too far, but I love every second of it. I participated in a local race yesterday that I had signed up for a while ago, and when I had signed up initially, I had no idea that this little insignificant race would mean so much more. It was my first race since he had been laid to rest, and I was worried in the days leading to the race, that I would not do well, in his eyes, or I wouldn't be able to focus, or I just might not perform to my expectations. For some reason I had taken it upon myself to pile on the pressure, and make the race bigger than it was: wondering if Morm would care whether or not how I did... It took a few friends, and some sleepless nights to realize that Morm, no matter if he got the big "Dub" at the end of the day or not, made damn well sure he had a good time getting there, and never cared how I or any of his friends did in any competition. He would ALWAYS ALWAYS ask if we had a good time or not, how much fun we had, etc. before any conversation of results would be brought up. It's all about the journey. So, come race day, I had a smile on my face, love in my heart, and "Austin Brashears - Always Remembered" on my wrist. I can't say whether it was his mantra, or training, or just good old luck, but I came away with 1st place in my category!

Just before the start, wondering why that guy in the pink glasses is looking at me

All I can say is, I gave it everything I had, took some risks, and soaked it all in. Hope I made you proud Morm. To more great todays, and even better tomorrows...


Carnival Crashers

While Brittany slaved away in the kitchen making a meal that Austin would have LOVED, I was channeling Austin's inner child and frolicking around an end of the year carnival!

My boyfriend, David, goes to Santa Clara University in Northern California and I stopped by to visit him on my way home. Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny day and the students of Santa Clara were definitely taking advantage of the amazing weather, even though they're about to take their finals for the quarter. After hanging out in the sun all day I was exhausted, but David wanted to check out the carnival that had been going on all day literally across the street from his house. I was so comfy and cozy all bundled up on the couch watching the original Amityville Horror with his roommates that I just didn't feel like going. David (or "The Rebdster" as Austin called him)decided he was going to go, even if he had to go alone.

A few minutes after he left I realized this was the exact opposite of what I had been encouraging everyone else to do. How could I be writing this blog and preaching about living a life of adventure if I couldn't even get off of the couch to go check out a cool carnival? I jumped up off the couch, threw on my Team Austin tank and ran over to meet The Rebdster at the carnival.

It was so cute! An elementary school was putting it on so there were lots of games, live music, and a few of the best carnival rides (the Zipper, the Ferris Wheel, the UFO, all the classics), and TONS of little kiddos!

There's no doubt in my mind that Austin would have used this opportunity to woo some beautiful girl by winning her a stuffed animal, expertly twirling her around in front of the band, and buying her a giant cotton candy. He was always such a charmer and knew exactly how to make someone feel special.

David and Austin have that in common as the only thing I didn't get last night was cotton candy, and only because they were out for the night. :)

That's my new Baby Duckie!

Team Austin Forever! <3


Treats from the Trolley, Dear?

If you spent any time at all with Austin and me together than you know that the only thing stronger than our need to torment each other was our absolute LOVE for all things Harry Potter. For a couple years now I have been the proud owner of "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook" (not to be confused with The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook which I also own). The only time I have cooked out of it was a year and a half ago when Austers came to visit me in Bellingham and we made some very British, very beefy meat pies. They were extremelyyy time-consuming but so delicious and we had a lot of fun talking in British accents and quoting Harry Potter while we cooked.

Austin has been on my mind pretty much constantly over the last few weeks, something I'm sure everyone reading this can relate to. When I got to thinking about the Harry Potter meal we shared I knew that it was time to whip out the cookbook and make another! I consulted my roommates Kelly and James and we decided on two items:

For our entree we chose the Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings that Kreacher offers Harry after he is feeling sick from yet another trip into Voldemort's mind in chapter 12 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

For our second dish we decided on the classic treat, pumpkin pasties, which first appeared in chapter 6 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when Harry buys them on the Hogwarts Express.

They both came out SO great!!! Granted we had to eat at like 9 pm because they took so long, but thats okay. I can definitely see where having a wand would have come in handy!

Glad my friends go along with all my crazy ideas :)
For me, anything Harry Potter related is an adventure in itself. And the leftovers made a fab breakfast the next morning too! 

<3 Team Austin Forever <3

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth (for a Highlander)

As many of you know, I have a tendency to fall in love with book series and when I do I fall hard. I obsess over them, talk like them, and dress like them. My latest obsession would have to be the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and so when the annual Bellingham Highland Games rolled around I knew that I would be there rain or shine. Now this is a very dangerous thing to say when you live in Bellingham, WA because sure enough it was raining the whole time. This is the kind of thing that I would have begged Austin to go to, he would have refused, but in the end he would go with me and we would have the time of our lives just because we were with our friends doing something new.

For the past year or so, Cole, Austin, and I had been planning a year-long trip around the world that we wanted to take after graduation. We had an online dropbox where we each put the names of places that we wanted visit and about 90% of mine were in or near Scotland. Some day Cole and I will go on our trip and you better believe Austin will be with us the whole time, but for now the B-ham Highland Games will have to do!

The evening started out as any good Highland Games do with the blessing of the ale! It started a little late (because they couldn't find the piper) but it was worth the wait!


Next they held a Scottish Idol Talent Show which was kind of boring except for the part when the guy doing rope tricks slipped because the rain had made the grass wet. Now this would not have been that exciting normally, but like the good Scot that he was, he was wearing a kilt and so all the judges and the audience got a nice view of his underwear.
Oh! And we got to drink the Scotch Ale that they had blessed and tapped earlier!

Yes, that is me having a beer with the piper!

They finished the night with a "Flaming Saltaire" where they lit torches! (Okay they were actually tiki torches). And they called out all of the clans that were represented at the games. I was a little disappointed that there was no one representing the Fraser clan (my fave) but I proudly wore my new Clan Fraser hat the entire time.


Overall, a GREAT night. Austin would have loved it!

Okay maybe Austin wouldn't have loved it all but he would have undoubtedly enjoyed making fun of me the entire time. I would say this was an awesome first Austin Adventure and I can't wait for the next one!!!

I like Ike's

Yesterday, I had a craving for an Ike's Sandwich. I was looking through the menu (you call in your order and pick it up because it's always sooo busy) and realized that I had told Austin that I would take him here next time he came to visit. The sandwiches are AMAZING. They put together flavors that no one else would think of, but every single sandwich is the best sandwich you've ever had. They've been so popular and busy that they were kicked out of the neighborhood they were originally located in due to the increased traffic and noise and whatever. The people staging that coop had obviously never had an Ike's sandwich, otherwise they would consider themselves the luckiest people on Earth living so close to it. Their loss. Now Ike's hops around the city trying to establish a permanent home, but it's become a fun little game to have to track them down every time you want one of their delectable little gems.

It becomes an adventure.

Here's my sandwich! It was seriously pure dopeness.

The other really cool thing about Ike's is the way they name their sandwiches. They're all really funny. Mine was "We're JUST Friends" literally on the menu just is in all caps. Hahah. I'm not really sure how chicken, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a special orange glaze sauce connotes being JUST friends, but i wanted to marry that sandwich. Yeah, it was that good. The sandwich I imagine Austin getting is called the [Name of the Girl I'm Dating]. But! There's also the Heath Ledger, the Spiffy Tiffy, the Nacho Boy, the Blind Date, and the Pizzle, among so many others. Every single one is above and beyond amazing, I swear. Ps. Ike's should probs be paying me for all this advertising I'm doing right now. Anyway!

This is me posing cutely with my Austin Merch and my Ike's Sandwich....

And this is me not so cutely digging in. :) 



Friday, June 1, 2012

The Beginning: Baker Beach

Family, Friends, Loved Ones, Strangers, and Everyone In Between,

I was sitting on the beach today marveling at the beauty that is the city of San Francisco.

 I thought about all the spontaneous adventures we stumbled upon last year when Austin and Nicole came to visit and all the promises we made for the next time they came. As I spelled out Austin's name with rocks in the sand and enjoyed those memories I was struck with sadness at the idea that Baker Beach was one of the things on the list Austin would never get to see, but I refuse to believe that he would be robbed of all of those beautiful memories yet to be made. 

Then I realized that I’m taking him with me: in my heart forever and conveniently on my clothing. I grabbed my Team Austin tank and headed toward the Golden Gate Bridge determined to take an epic picture with that bridge that would make Austin proud. This is going to be the first in a collection of many pictures of memories that help keep Austin’s legacy alive.

We are going to help him finish his epic journey in anyway we can, and this seems like a fitting start: The part of the beach closest to the bridge is the nude part of the beach, so yes, those are two very brave old men behind me. Austin probably would have giggled and said something like, “Only in San Francisco.”

I want to promise myself that I’ll set aside a few minutes to giggle with Austin everyday. I want him to inspire me to do great things and live the way he would want me to…one epic adventure at a time.

I love you, Austin. My whole heart misses you every single day. You were one of my most favorite people on this planet and though you may not physically be here anymore, you will always be with me.

Team Austin FOREVER. <3