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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lake Trip

One of the last times I (Amanda) talked to Austin he expressed his frustration that he hadn’t come out to my lake house yet. I agreed that it was ridiculous and that we would plan an immediate trip upon his return from New Zealand and Nicole piped in from the background with a, “I better be invited too!” Well, here we are now sitting in the car on our way home from that lake trip, and he definitely helped to make it a good story.

Amanda: My trip began at noon when I left Chico to drive to go to the bay, got to Travis’ house and headed for the airport. Upon arrival we discovered our flight was 2 hours delayed so our 8:45 pm landing was now schedule for 10:45 pm. Awesome. Well my brother was a trooper and still picked us up and we started on the 4 hours drive to Arizona. 3:30 am we got there and passed out.

Kristin, Nicole & Amanda: The fun began bright and early at 6:30 am on Friday morning. We all woke up, made sandwiches, had a sunscreen party and took off for the lake – except it wasn’t that simple. Less than a mile from the launch ramp Amanda shredded her first tire, and it only took everyone in the car behind her frantically waving our hands out the window, pulling to the other side of the road, and two turns later (because of course her brother’s horn was broken) for her to notice. The tire on the Sea Doo trailer not only popped but shredded (until now I always wondered how chunks of tire got on the side of the road, I now know). A set of tools, spare tire, jack, a rock and muscles later we replaced the tire and were back on our way.

Day one at the lake was awesome. Glassy and warm water, it was perfect for knee-boarding, wakeboarding and tubing. The rest of the day was your typical lake day, got home , ordered pizza and we all passed out by 8:30 pm.

 Day two, we got a much more mild start to our day. Fueled up and headed for the lake free of any shredded tire detours. Even through the water was a little choppier we still filled our day with boarding and tubing. A lot of the day was spent on the back of or driving the Sea Doos…or occasionally in the water after being flipped off while doing a gnarly donut. Later in the day we all headed over to the jumping rock and spend some time there throwing and flipping our bodies of various heights of rocks. Everything was an adventure and we channeled Austin to get up after each face plant on the wakeboard or plummet off a rock. We packed up and headed back towards the launch ramp with the intention to jump off of “hole in the rock”….but obviously it couldn’t be that easy. As we stopped all the vehicles in the cove to jump the sight of lightening was announced and we felt the storm blowing in. We quickly started everything back up hoping to beat the storm, however that didn’t happen. (I think Austin is still a little upset he didn’t get to come to the lake house)
The last half of the ride back was full of stormy waves and choppy water that was slightly terrifying but extremely thrilling. Heading into the ramp we had one sea doo out of gas, another on reserve and in a panic to get all the car keys to shore we ended up with one entirely flipped upside down – and let me tell you those are NOT EASY to flip back over in the water. While the three ran up to grab the cars and wait in the pull out line everyone else was getting whipped around trying to get the sea doos in shallow water, oh and did we mention the sandstorm pelting us in the face…but we all had smiles despite the chaos. We successfully got all the vehicles out of the water just in time to discover that Amanda’s brother had locked his keys in his truck…while it was still running. An hour and AAA later we all were back at the house where we quickly soaped and dried all the toys under the beautiful desert sunset. We then showered and headed to Chili’s for dinner at the ripe time of 9:30 pm.

This morning we let everyone sleep in a bit, we all woke up crawling to the IB Profen bottles to relieve some of our sore muscles, cleaned the house and now we’re on our way home. Two full days on the lake was a blast but we’re al feeling it. Thanks for all the detours and bumps in the road Austin, it definitely made for a better story.

Just when we all thought the story was over, we stopped in Barstow on the way home to get some food and some gas. We pulled off the freeway and naturally we stopped at In-N-Out(one of Austin's favs). As we walked into the resturaunt Amanda quickly noticed a "Team Austin" shirt on someone we quickly approached him just asking how he knew Austin and we found out it was Erik who played polo at BU with Austin.  It was crazy to recognize this shirt on someone, especially when we are in the middle of nowhere just driving home from the lake and him driving home from a weekend in Vegas. Crazy how some things work out sometimes.

Love Always,
Nicole, Amanda, and Kristen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The NZ To Do List

Been meaning to write this for a while now. But, better late than never, yeah?

After only three days together Austin, Stephen, Sam, Anne, Katie,
Melissa and I sat in Albert Park on a gorgeous, sunny day and made a list of 50 things we wanted to do while we were in New Zealand. Sam recorded the list in his journal, and over the following months we often revisited the list to check our progress. Between the seven of us we accomplished most things on our list, with the exception of #6:Get a part as an extra in the Hobbit. During the last couple days before flying back to the states I tried to cross a few things off our list.

“Jump off tall things” was one of the list items that was meant to be done over and over again. The more times the better. The most recent tall thing I jumped off was the Auckland Harbour Bridge, doing the same bungy jump Austin did on his twenty first birthday. I was absolutely freaking out and had to shut my eyes before I jumped, but of course it was amazing. #50: Do it for the Story was another one of these things that was meant to be done over and over again. “Do it for the Story” was that little extra bit of encouragement needed to get us past the point of no return on any potential adventure. I definitely needed that extra push to jump off the bridge.

Always keen to do something that wasn’t on our list, I took Jess up on her invitation to go to Rainbow’s End, a theme park in South Auckland.She warned me that although it was New Zealand’s premiere theme park it would not live up to Disney. But a theme park’s a theme park and it’s always great to run around and just be a kid for the day. We ran around the park for hours and never had to wait in a line. We pretty much rode each ride at least twice in a row. The Fear Fall was the first and the last ride of the day, Jess and I rode it 5 times in all! We knew Austin would have loved running around with us and making the most of the day!

Lying in Albert Park that day, making our list, we couldn’t help but notice the fountain nearby that was just beckoning us to jump into it. We put off the urge to frolic in the fountain then and there and added it to our list, knowing that it would be something to do on some random day. But we never got around to it, not as a group anyway. To start my very last day in New Zealand I enlisted a friend as a photographer and headed off to Albert Park. So cold! So worth it! I was sad we didn’t all do it together but glad that I did it. Jumping in fountains is going to be a thing from now on. This is not a goodbye to New Zealand, for I will return and continue adventuring. And this is definitely not a goodbye to Austin. Austin was on my mind during those last few days in New Zealand, still is now, and will be for days to come.

Love Always,

An Austin Kind Of Week

Monday July 9th seemed to confirm that this month was going to be a rough one. Life’s little and big trials were getting me down. Now normally I would stay in the daily grind until I had a complete melt down, but on May 11th, everything that was normal changed forever. On that day the unthinkable happened. However I quickly observed that no matter how overwhelming the grief was, those of us who had come to know and love Austin were going to be moving forward from that awful day embracing life like never before. We were all going to “do it for the story”.

That’s how I got to where I was Monday night. Since that devastating May evening, I stop and consider my choices now, and consider what I want my story to be. I had a choice because I was going to get a story out of this week either way. I could go back to work Tuesday morning and most likely continue to have a really horrible week. Then my story could have been about how much paperwork I had to shuffle, or how my boss didn’t appreciate me, or how I got my laundry done but was too exhausted to do anything else!

But then I wouldn’t have had a blog worthy story to tell. So Tuesday morning I called in “sick” and decided to have an Austin kind of week. I work with mental health professionals so a mental health day (or two) is never out of the question. Even though my choice was intended to change my attitude for the better, it took me most of the morning for that to happen. I got out of bed slowly and it was early afternoon before I got out of my jammies. Not an epic start, but my intent was to rest my weary self. I think Austin would have approved.

Tuesday afternoon I decided to have a wonderful lunch with a new found friend. What was supposed to be an hour lunch extended into a four hour gab fest! By the time lunch was over it was time for dinner. There are new opportunities on the horizon, and in another decision inspired by Austin’s legacy, my husband and I headed out the door for an exciting evening with friends.

Again not epic, but definitely better than sitting behind a desk all day.

Wednesday I was trying really hard to feel guilty about not going to work the day before, but I just couldn’t seem to get there. I saw that as a sign that I should probably rest my mental health just one more day. Besides I had already decided to go kayaking.

By 10:30 AM I was at Sherri’s house. Sherri had already kidnapped Julie so that she could rest her mental health from work also. And we all waited patiently for Janet to arrive so our little adventure could begin. Now let me just say that middle aged women do not just dive into an adventure, even spontaneity requires that we take some care. What has almost become ritualistic, we first spend a few minutes or more (usually more) discussing our hormones. Hormones have absolutely nothing to do with kayaking, or anything else for that matter, but when you are on the verge of menopause, hormones work their way into just about every conversation. Hormone talk provides a natural segue into a discussion of the latest aches and pains, which reminded Sherri that she has tennis elbow from not playing tennis. Her injury was sustained from pulling her suitcase through the airport on a recent adventure to Japan. Don’t laugh! I hurt my knee putting the cover over our EZ up. And crossing our legs can lead to some serious muscle cramps. Be very afraid young people, getting old is not for wimps!

As Sherri strapped her elbow up tight with a piece of fuchsia duct tape the rest of decided to pop some ibuprofen before heading out, just in case. At our ages you never know what you are going to pull or strain next, getting out of the car could lead to hip replacement surgery!

Eventually we got to Sunset Beach, parked the car in a few different locations (street sweeping day is the pits) made a quick payment to the nice kayak rental man, and off we went. Janet and I, verses Sherri and Julie. Well it wasn’t supposed to be that way, and not that I am competitive or anything, but Janet and I did win.
We paddled up one side of Huntington Harbor and down the other. We talked about the old days at Mother’s Beach with our babies; we talked about Austin and our other kids and how fast life is moving and how quickly things change. We hit a few nasty head winds, the kind that make you want to stop paddling, but when you do the wind and current send you backwards and thwarts all your progress. So then we talked about how sore we would probably be tomorrow. Best of all, we talked about our next adventure. Normally we would just talk, normally we are only talk. But as I said before, life isn’t normal anymore. We have some fun things planned and I can’t wait because I have no doubt now that we will do them….. “for the story” of course!

Kayaking ended with us all starving so we headed to a friend’s shop for a yummy acacia bowl of heaven. We parted ways after that. I headed to Burke Williams for a massage, and then ended this perfect day with my daughter and some of our friends on the beach roasting marshmallows and watching the sun set. Now I know this was a day Austin would have approved of.

Thankfully I was on a roll now, so even though I couldn’t find any good reason to miss work on Thursday, by the evening I was back to making more memories. Julie and Cammy, along with Janet and I and our two daughters headed to a local theater to watch our favorite musical. Singin’ In the Rain, the original movie with Gene Kelly, was being shown on the big screen to a sold out audience. It was so much fun! The light, warm rain that fell from a tropical storm just added to the specialness of the evening.

Friday a staff retreat at the state beach was the perfect way to end the perfect week. No matter that Monday wasn’t a great day, in the end it turned out to be an Austin kind of week!

Mary, Sherri, Julie,& Janet


At first glance this may seem like a trivial "adventure", but over the past week what began as a decision to take the time to be more artsy has quickly turned into an epic battle against spray paint. When Chelsea and I hiked to the "top" of Mount Baldy (see previous post) we vowed that instead of spending days this summer laying on the couch watching One Tree Hill, which is what we both seem to find ourselves doing quite frequently, we would spend more time with the people we love, doing things we love. One of these things that neither of us had really spent any time on recently was crafting, so we decided to have a crafting party at my house. 

Chelsea had this great idea to make "bucket list boards" by glueing chicken wire behind empty picture frames and clipping on papers with our "dreams" written on them with mini closepins. Sage and Nicole came over and after some minor struggles with hot glue we got our frames down pat. Our "dreams" for our bucket lists were very telling of our individual characters... mine were more realistic (Run a marathon, Drive across the country, Pass Chemistry) while Nicole's were very adventurous (Go on a real-life safari, Go Zorbing), and Sage's were a little eccentric (Float around in space). It only seemed fitting that we each titled our Austin-inspired dream boards with "Do It For The Story."

Chelsea and I also made crayon art! We hot-glued crayons to canvasses and melted them with a hairdryer. We had to deal with rebel crayons that decided to splatter all over the place and cause minor 3rd degree burns, but the result was totally worth it!
Finally, Chelsea's internship for a wedding planner has been keeping her extremely busy, so the other day Shannon and I decided to help out. We each learned the valuable lesson of NEVER EVER USING SPRAY PAINT when it took us hours and hours (and hours) to paint wood boards on Shannon's front lawn. Our artistic journey ended with an epic paint fight, which was so much fun it was totally worth the time it took to get paint out of our hair....

All this carpe-ing the diem has got me thinking about the incredible, adventurous life Austin lived, and I stumbled upon this quote which (though a bit long) is amazingly applicable to both Austin's point of view on life and the attitude that we're trying to adopt now: "The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—quite an active verb, “pursuit”—which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands." -David McCullough 

Sarah, Chelsea, Nicole, & Sage

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mt Baldy: Highest peak in LA County!

As almost all adventures start in my life Trevor texted me practically telling me I was going hiking with him and his brother Ian and friend Chris. He has this misconception that I in fact am not a female and should be included in all broman date activities. Although I quite enjoy being dragged along, I am fully aware of my lack of athleticism..... So I chose to rope in Sarah Branoff! (At least I would have a girl to feel bad for me if I epically failed at this mission.) Turned out this was the best decision I could have ever made, but for complete opposite reasons. Apparently I am a little more in shape than I thought, at least that’s what I’m telling myself since Sarah and I, along with Ian, led the hike the entire trail (me and Sarah even scaled the side of the mountain for a good tanning location...and for the story of course!!)  Ian’s competitive drive is the sole reason that we never stopped for more than five minutes at a time up the entire mountain!!! There were a few older gentlemen trailing us, and by older I mean nearly three times our age, and Ian would have rather had his legs fall off from exhaustion than be passed by his grandpa…. So on we trekked! (By the way I failed to mention Trevor and Chris were carrying 30lb packs to train for a backpacking trip they are taking in August, but whatever.) 

When we all finally reached the top I literally felt like I had developed asthma, gone swimming and ran for two days straight. But the view was just breath taking.  I felt so accomplished to have made it, because let me tell you I honestly considered giving up a few times when the incline felt like it was practically vertical and our one water bottle was empty. Lucky for us we met a hiker god who informed us of a fresh water spring, and lucky for me I had Austin on my mind and my wrist.

 I had started out the hike sick to my stomach over the idea of taking a hike. For some reason it just felt wrong seeing as it was one of the things Austin didn’t get to complete on his epic New Zealand bucket list. But by time I reached the top of the mountain all I could think about was how proud he would be of me that I pushed through and was determined. I sat on top of the mountain, on a very nice tree trunk, with Sarah for two hours that day. We talked for awhile about Austin and how are lives would be forever changed, we talked about what we loved about him like his determination to just live and be happy, but we also talked about our future, our plans, our dreams. We planned a trip to Greece for next summer and agreed that we wouldn’t waste this summer sitting alone at home watching One Tree Hill marathons! 

If there is one thing Austin and I did well together it was have life chats just like me and Sarah had. Sometimes just a quick catch up on each other’s lives kind of ones, but more often than not we would end up talking for hours. It is from those chats that I got the privilege to see a glimpse of the beauty that is Austin Perry Brashears. I heard a quote recently that said, “ The most beautiful people I know have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” I honestly think its all those life chats with all of us where we expressed and shared our own struggles and defeats that he gained some of that beauty. He valued relationships and truly allowed peoples pain and hurt to transform him into the most compassionate and loving person. He had a gift for making life better and I think he is still using that gift. By letting us all know loss and know suffering maybe we will find a little piece of that great beauty Austin had.

Stay Beautiful Love you Austin.

<3 Chelsea
And we're off! Still optimistic that this hike will be easy!

the epic view :)

mountain scaling!!! Scarier than it looks I swear!

Leaders of the pack :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

That Little Extra Push

These last couple weeks have been a whirlwind but I’m finally writing the post for you. So with two weeks until the departure date I was asked to go to Florida with my boyfriend for a wedding. I’m not sure if you know how expensive plane tickets are less than 2 weeks before leaving but they definitely aren’t cheap. I thought I wanted to go but came up with about half a dozen other excuses about why I couldn’t go (my puppy, work, money, packing…). Then I looked down and saw you, there on my wristband, and instantly said yes. Whatever the cost, whatever the inconvenience I’d go and do it for the story. I remember us talking about New Zealand before you went and I mentioned that of course you picked one of the most expensive countries to travel too, but you told me cost wasn’t a consideration it was where you wanted to go, and you’d make it work. You taught me that there was no price too high for an experience or adventure. Florida was an adventure and I’d make it work.

It was such an amazing week! We started off in Sarasota with just his parents and sister and got a couple good days on the beach (I didn’t get sunburned!). We then made our way down to Captiva where we checked into the Resort and started the wedding festivities. I went for a long run on the beach one morning and couldn’t stop thinking about you, thanks for keeping me company. Later that day turned into another good beach day before a storm hit and we played beach volleyball for a good 2 hours, I kept thinking about you and that one summer you were OBSESSED with beach volleyball. The next day was the wedding and because of the storm it got rained out and had to be inside but in the end it didn’t matter, it was a beautiful wedding full of happy people. Besides, none of the good stories are about everything that goes perfect, it is the last minute changes and uncontrollable surprises that make the best stories. I got to spend some much needed time with Travis and meet his family, they are a riot. I instantly felt comfortable and like I was exactly where I should be. Thanks for giving me that extra little push to buy that ticket.

                               Love always, 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exploring Marmaris

After studying abroad in Turkey for the semester, I am also staying here for the summer. I joined some friends in a town on the Mediterranean coast called Marmaris last weekend. 

We rented motor scooters to get out of town and see all the small villages along a beautiful peninsula. I had never driven a scooter before so it took a while to get used to but once we were on the open road I felt more comfortable. It was very warm but the ocean air kept us cool as we zoomed along the hillsides. Being on the scooter allowed us to connect to the elements around us and embrace the scenery. We stopped in almost every village to explore and talk with locals, and we even got to go swimming in a waterfall! 

This kind of adventure is just what you are always on the hunt for, Austin. I definitely could sense a bit of you in the ocean air that day. I'll miss you always, bud.

Till my next adventure,

Waterfalls and Winks

Austin taught me two very important things about life. The first, never underestimate the power of a good wink. The second, take every chance you get to have an adventure. I will continue to wink in Austin's honor for the rest of my life, but this last Sunday felt like an adventure day! What better place to push my limits than to hike to the top of Nevada Falls in Yosemite!

A couple friends and I planned a short trip to Yosemite wanting to get out and explore one of the most beautiful places in California (in my opinion the world, but I'm a little biased). Round trip the hike is 7 miles, the longest hike any of us had ever done before.

The first mile and a half of the hike is called the Mist Trail, and for good reason. If the water level is really high, it's impossible to come out of the hike with dry clothes. Fortunately for us, water is low right now and we were able to climb without slipping or getting soaking wet.The Mist Trail may have been hard, but the views were definitely worth it.

Vernal Falls was beautiful, but in true Austin fashion, weren't ready to stop just yet. We continued on up the mountain to Nevada Falls, where more dramatic views and moments of awe were awaiting us.

I'm not gonna lie, there were many moments, more than I would like to admit, that I wish Austin had been there to carry me up that last part of the hike. After those moments I realized to myself that he was there carrying me, telling me to hurry and catch up since he would have been miles ahead of us at that point. I'm sure happy I listened because the top of Nevada Falls just gets more and more beautiful every time I see it.

Before we started our trek down, I took a second to sit and think about my life and I found myself looking up. The song You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham popped into my head. My favorite line in that song is "I look up to the sky and say, you're beautiful". It may not have been originally written for him, but to me that is now Austin's song.

Thank you for living a life that has encouraged me to take risks and enjoy every single second of it!


                             Till we meet again,
                                 Candace ;)

Bungee Ball

Austin had been the person in New Zealand who would always be able to convince me to do outrageous adventures. It was all about the story and the experience.

    For his 21st birthday I wanted to do something crazy that was both fun and as he would say “cost effective”. I had this idea to do the bungee ball with him, because we always talked about doing it and just never did. So I told him on his birthday that I have a surprise for him which we will do on a boring night when we had nothing else to do. With our hectic schedules of work and school we could never find a good time, and then we finally found a night that worked for both of us. Unfortunately that night never happened, but I knew he would have wanted me to go on with the plan.

   Jess and I did the bungee ball a few nights before I left Auckland. For those that don’t know what a bungee ball is, it is a large ball located in the middle of Auckland city, surrounded by buildings, that is attached to bungee chords and is launched into the air with the help of the chord’s tension. When we first got to the ball we watched a bunch of videos of it soaring into the air. We were both scared, but I knew Austin was there with us, egging me on like he always would, and giving me the strength I needed to conquer this fear. Just another challenge, easily accepted, that will result in another great story. So we paid the fee, got strapped in and prepared for the launch.

Before we took off I took out a picture of a leprechaun out of my pocket. Not many people know the joke behind the leprechaun, but I will tell it now so when it appears in all my new posts people will understand the significance. This leprechaun always made me and Austin laugh because of his odd excitement and weird pose. And one day I took this St. Patricks Day decoration off the wall and put it in Austin’s bed. So that night when he climbed into bed to go to sleep, the creeper leprechaun was there and the game had begun. We hid the creeper leprechaun everywhere. In backpacks so he would appear when you were at class, in your underwear drawer, basically anywhere  you wouldn’t expect to see him, he would appear.  And the last time the leprechaun was placed anywhere was in my room. Austin pretended to come and borrow my electric razor, and he somehow hid it in my bed without me noticing and I was actually freaked out by how stealthy he hid it. So now when I go on adventures in Austin’s honor, I will try to bring the leprechaun and have him appear in random pictures.

  Here is a video of Jess and I doing the bungee ball. It is easier to just watch the video then explain exactly how it works.

I couldn’t help but feel as if Austin was between Jess and I when we did this. He would have loved the rush that you got and the feeling of flying like peter pan. Once we were done, we both just felt so close to him. And that feeling is something that can not be replaced.

We love and miss Austin so much. May this be the first of many adventures to come.

          Sending positive energy and love to all,

                    Stephen and Jess