Wednesday, June 4, 2014

selfish. pride. anger. incivility.

There is something exhilarating about sitting down to write after going months without writing a paper, or answering an essay question, or having to think. I miss it- I miss school, I miss learning, I miss writing- so this is my outlet. One that I have left untapped for some time now.

Today as I sat in institute I listened as we discussed the natural man. We discussed four traits that can hurt relationships if not avoided. Those four being, selfishness, pride, anger, and incivility. We discussed what they were, why they were bad, and then how we could avoid these natural man tendencies. As we talked I could help but realize how selfish my life is right now, and it scared me. The more I thought the more I realized that i am in the extremely selfish time period of my life. I don't have a husband, I don't have kids... it's just me. Should this be an excuse? I have roommate who I can serve, I have a calling I can fulfill. There is so much around me that I can focus on besides myself, yet, MY life tends to take over my thoughts. So as I sat there I had the thought come- a challenge for myself- for the next week to focus on others. When I am in a group of people to not worry what people are thinking of me, but make sure I am focused on them. To not worry about what it is I am going to say, to genuinely care for those around me, to seek out ways to serve and not think about how it will impact me... the list can go on and on. Like anything good in life it takes practice, and so I will begin practicing, and while I might not be perfect at first I hope that as I try to emulate Christ I will find greater joy in the "selfish" time of my life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

peace out gilbert.

Once upon a time life was stressful. gross, I know. and my body decided it didn't like this new state of stress so it started a boycott. It started on a run, continued through packing, and on to... well everything. How did my body boycott, you ask? Pain, lots and lots of pain. Food became my worst enemy, and sleep was constantly interrupted. I lasted until Tuesday before I decided it was time to figure out what was going on. A lot of tearful phone calls later (not having a primary physician and insurance are tricky things when you are away from home) my dear mother came to the rescue.

A visit to InstaCare, a few blood draws, an ultrasound, and two new friends later we knew what the culprit was. No, I was not pregnant. My gall bladder, Gilbert, decided that he hated me being stressed and was being defective. Happy gall stone.

One trip to the general surgeon later it was official- I was getting my gall bladder out. While it wasn't completely defective they said it should cure the illusive stomach pain I have had since high school and that I would never have to experience the pain I had the week before. I was sold. (oh and something about not getting pancreatitis)... despite the fact that I then bawled in his office. Lots of tears and a pep talk from the surgeon about all things happening in my life later I had the date set.

The day came for surgery and I was terrified. This is the girl who passed out in the 8th grade when she got her finger pricked and now someone what going to cut me open and remove an organ... I was not okay. My wonderful Mom came in from Chicago and was there with me as I nervously cracked jokes. I became good friends with the nurse as she helped to get everything set for surgery. We had talked the day before and she had told me everything I had to do to prep, and we had become instant best friends (despite the fact I can no longer remember her name). She tried to put the IV in, I slightly freaked out. She tried again. I freaked out internally. Poke. Instant Ellie overheating (as customary whenever she gets pricked)... I told the nurse this and she instantly rectified the situation by sticking a fan on me. I told her this happened whenever I donated blood. To which she gave me a very long lecture about how I shouldn't donate blood and taking care of myself first.

The anasteologist came in and asked if I had any questions, and informed me that I would be in more pain than I thought. I didn't appreciate the warning.

I remember them wheeling me back and going through the double doors and thinking this is what it is like in the movies- I then remember going into the operating room, at which point I was terrified inside, naturally jokes insued. I started talking to the anesteologist while he was doing something at which point I asked if he was giving me the stuff to knock me out- he said yes, and I asked if this was where I start counting backwards. He chuckled and told me I wouldn't get very far... I remember saying 10, and after than it all went black.

I woke up groggy in a post op room. I tried so hard to stay awake but just couldn't do it. I knew that my mom was waiting for me in the other room and they wouldnt take me there until I could stay awake, but no matter how hard I tried I just kept falling asleep. Eventually I made it there and had the same problem staying awake with my mom as I had before. We had been quite excited to see me on drugs, and we were both very let down as I knew exactly what was going on and was just tired.

After what seemed like forever of me trying to fight off sleep they wheeled me to the car. the car ride was short. 4 blocks to be exact. and I was home. and extremely grateful to live in an apartment complex with an elevator. I made it successfully in and out of the car, but didn't quite make it to the elevator before throwing up in a grate on the floor. (I feel like this is a college rite of passage if you aren't LDS, so I can officially check it off... even though I am graduated... and LDS)

That day was full of visitors, sleep, and a lot of netflix. Eating and I were not friends. I officially had no saliva (thank you drugs) which makes eating surprisingly disgusting. I remember my mom running to the store and asking if I needed anything and the only thing i asked for was saliva. She brought home dry mouth rinse. saint. short walks around the apartment complex were required to help with post op recovery. I remember slowly making the lap around the second floor accompanied by friends who could have lapped me fifty times by the time we finished. I felt so loved having them there with me. Despite feeling so alone when my gall bladder started freaking out, sitting in instacare so far from home- I now knew how very un-alone I was. Our landlord Terry saw us slowly making the loop and inquired what was going on- later he told me he told his wife about how kind everyone was. (that was the start of a great friendship with Terry... note to self: if you ever want to have a great relationship with your landlord, have surgery, he will love you the whole year). The love didn't stop with just friends visiting. Flowers from work, balloons, chocolate, magnum bars (that i couldnt eat)... and even a personal Jamba Juice drop off from the kids of co-worker who was out of town. I am so blessed!

I remember being told that recovery was a week, so I was determined to be back to work before then. I tried cutting the pain meds pretty quick (this whole fear of becoming addicted thing is real), but with no avail. I would go off of them and then end up in constant tears... (note- i am a whimp)... I went back to work on monday but ended up coming home early. Tuesday I went into work with some pain meds and was able to make it the whole day... Wednesday was a repeat of Monday. Thursday we had a kickball game that I went to in thoughts that I would simply cheer the team on. And maybe kick. We were short on girls so "just kicking" turned into "shuffling" around the bases while holding my stomach. I scored more runs in that game than ever before and I am certain this had to do with the fact that they were scared to pelt me with the ball.

The next day I went in for the post op check up distraught that it was over a week and I was still in pain. The doctor asked how I was doing and I explained that I knew recovery was a week but that I still hurt. He looked at me quizzically and asked who told me that. I informed him that he did- to which he set the record straight that recovery was in fact 4-6 weeks, and that people regain normally activity after a week.

The next few weeks went by fairly quickly (at least looking back). My mom left. The stabbing pain became a dull ache, and eventually I was able to eat normal food again. And now all that remain are four small scars on my abdomen. (and the whole missing an organ thing...) The whole experience taught me a lot though... 1. I am surrounded by people who care about me. 2. That you shouldn't push yourself harder than you can just because you think other people heal faster 3. That I really really really love hamburgers

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Maya Angelou

My attempts at blogging again are failing. posts have been started about marathons, falling of horses, surgery, beautiful drives, and all the other exciting adventure that come with a new semester- yet they stay unfinished.

But today I dont want to finish any of those posts. and so they will stay untouched for a while longer.

Instead I just want to post all the amazing quotes by this amazing women, Maya Angelou


“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”

“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.”

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”

 “I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

 “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.”

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.”

 “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

 “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” 

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

“I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”

“A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” 

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” 

“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face.”

Monday, September 30, 2013

a drive through heaven

thirty miles from the bustling provo streets is a magical place. a piece of heaven. It is a place where you can imagine a bright yellow bus stopping to pick up a child for school with a chocolate lab barking in the distance. fall is in full bloom. and it is breath taking.

this is my happy place. the mountains. the fall crisp air. it is a place where you can escape the trials of day to day life, and get a greater more full perspective.

where you are forced to slow down. and soak in the beauty of the world around you.

were you could go on a sunday walk for forever and never get tired...

enjoy the beautiful of diamond fork canyon.

until next fall...

my friend, the fedex guy

just about every other day I log on to my computer. open up firefox. type in the letter "f" followed by an "e" and click enter. I am welcomed as I sign in. I type in an address, walk to the back and weigh the books, I come back and type in the newly discovered number. I schedule a pick up, pick a delivery type, click submit- one moment later I have a printed delivery slip and my package is ready to go.

within the next 24 hours my fedex friend is there to pick up whatever I want to send- other days he brings me presents packages for anyone in our office. I say hi, sign my name on his little computer, and he is off until the next time.

*My favorite are the days Tom gets a package- it always seems a little like christmas watching him open his packages.

today though we broke out of our normal "quick hello, sign, and go" routine.

as I said hello he turned to me and said "you are so nice" I said thank you and that he was kind- he asked if I was married, I replied no. He said "oh, I was going to say if you were you probably weren't as nice to your husband" I chuckled and said, nope, no husband- but that I hoped that wouldn't be the case. I made a joke about "maybe thats my problem" to which he told me "maybe your problem is your too nice" I laughed and told him he was probably right.

We talked a little longer and he told me about having to have surgery and losing his landscaping license but how he was about to get it back. He told me how you learn a lot about the person you marry in those situations. He told me to make sure I marry a good one, and then told me there were a lot of scary ones out there (especially in the business park we work in), I smiled and told him I would do my best.

He ended out interaction with two simple words. "stay nice."

It was a brief interaction but it gave me a glimpse into his life. It re-emphasized the life long lesson of being kind to everyone because you don't know what they are going through. It also taught me how much a smile and a simple hello can do.

so. keep smiling. keep saying hello. and keep making the world a better and happier place.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Once upon a time I was on my way home from work. It had been a good day, long, but good. I was happily listening to my radio as I made my way back home. A drive that had become monotonous over the last few months- stop, wait, go... repeat... three turn and your home. This day was just like the rest. stop, wait, go... repeat.

I made it to a stoplight. I was first in line. Life was good.

A biker came up along side me- he had clips. I watched him as he tried his hardest to not have to clip out and stop. He skillfully balanced his bike while inching forward, anxious for the cars turning left to stop so he could do. I watched him go farther and farther into the intersection as the last car was making the turn. I held my breath in hopes that he would make it in time- (I might have laughed really hard if he had fallen over, but my humanity really was hoping he wouldn't)- He had my complete focus, I was engrossed in this biker. The last car turned left, he had made it, and off we went across the intersection.

We- I followed. I looked up half way through the intersection to see a red light staring back at me.

I got to the other side. stopped. laughed. a lot. and then slowly started driving again- still laughing.

After waiting at the light for over a minute I ran a red light- I wasn't in a rush, it wasn't intentional- but it happened.

There is a lesson to be learned- despite the fact you shouldn't run red lights.

Life is about where you place your attention. Are you focusing on the things right in front of you, or do you allow other things to distract you? I have become awful at being on my phone in the presence of others- a quick text, instagram, or even to play a game. My focus is off of the things right in front of me, the things that are most important. There are even times when I'm talking with someone and my attention wanders to a nearby conversation or I get lost in thought.

And then there is the eternal perspective. How often do I get distracted by the here and now, the biker, and ignore the things of eternal significance.

the end of my musings.

Monday, September 16, 2013

the short and the tall of it.

one month. I have one month under my belt at Zenger Folkman on my own. It has been a good month. The first week was, eye opening to say the least. training was nothing like real life, which I guess is how life is. No matter how "ready" you think you are- life is not a textbook, there are always curve balls. so the last month has been filled with double bookings, rescheduling coaching calls in Asia, and the occasional messed up Cafe Rio order.

Somewhere amiss the first week of stress came the realization (and the conversation with my boss) that I can do anything but not everything. I realized that doing my best was enough, and that I didn't have to get everything done right away. A dysfunctional gall bladder also forced me to stop stressing.

Despite the stress and the constant fear of failing somewhere along the way I did something right. Once a month they have a leadership team meeting, and once a month the whole company comes together to have what they call a "stand up meeting" as part of this meeting they do recognitions, and today Jack got to the short and tall of it. Greg (one of the tallest employees) got called to the front, and then I heard my name. Amid laughs at the short and tall jokes, I made my way to the front. And realized that I was doing a good job, even if I have a constant fear of failure. I also successfully played down the recognition until I received multiple congratulations and the promise of a gift card. It's funny how we do that- how we play down our successes and play up our short comings, and by funny- I mean stupid.

Also on the topic of tall and short. I attract the tall ones- who knew, 16 inches difference in height. no worries. another possible interest. 15 inches height difference. I am thinking I should start investing in step stools...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

chivilary isn't dead.

we live in a day where it seems like roles are slowly changing. No longer are women damsels in distress, but rather independent strong working women. Men are no longer portrayed as prince chartings but rather "lazy" and disinterested. (as shown in the painting seem below)

However, despite the view of this slowly diminishing society- chivilary isn't dead. it is alive and kicking and there are boys men out there who would make their mothers very proud.

Tonight we went to dinner at an apartment of boys who showed us this. The smell of chicken and steak fajitas filled the air as we waited for dinner to begin. Our offers to help with the last finishing touches were quickly declined, and we were told to sit and enjoy. Two tables  changed their cinderblock living room into a formal dining room. Individual bottles of sparkling cider sat just above our plate waiting to be opened by the our dainty hands, and when we proved too weak they sacrificed their hands to open the slightly rough, "extremely hard to get off" cap. Conversations were had, jokes told, and time well spent. And when the time came for ward prayer, they ushered us out and invited us back after for fondu. We came back to find the dining room switched into a dessert bar, chocolate flowing from a fountain on the coffee table, surrounded by bowls of strawberries, pretzels, and bananas. Once again our efforts to be of any assistance was rejected. Even when we took matters into our own hands and started clearing dishes we were met with open hands and "may I take those"

We left feeling pampered. special. and very well taken care of. These boys didn't make us feel dumb, or stupid, or like we needed to impress them. They didn't make us cry, or fight for their attention. They showed us that not only is chivalry not dead, but it is alive and kicking.

P.S. The mother's of those boys should be very proud.

dirt. sweat. and exhaustion.

I am an extremely blessed individual. It is true- and sometimes I think I don't remember that fact as much as I should.

And one of those blessings- my wonderful new roommates. Its always slightly frightening to move in with two random individuals that you have never met before. What if they are scary? or mean? or weird? All very valid concerns... we hit the jackpot and not only got normal roommates- but friendly and kind roommates who we became friends with right away.

And example of how wonderful they are. The text waiting on my phone friday afternoon from Kar asking if I wanted to run the dirty dash with her the next day. Two friends had dropped out so she asked us. Cami couldn't and so Allissa and I became the two new replacements.

Unfortunately a 10K through the mud doesn't count as a training run for a marathon, so the morning started with an 8 mile warm up run. Then it was home to get ready to go. We talked and got excited as we ran around getting everything together, and before we knew it it was time to go- but not before a near break down on my part.

I have gotten in a "get rid of everything I don't use" mood since moving. I have three pairs of old running shoes which are great for fun runs, mud volleyball, hiking, painting, basically just about everything. Why I need three I dont know- so in the process of getting ready I went in my room and opened the duffle bag of shoes to grab out one of my three pairs. As I emptied my bag, I progressively got more and more worried... where were they?! and then I remembered- in my frustration of moving I had gone on major "get rid of everything mode" which included all three pairs of shoes. Im pretty sure my rationale had included the fact I was in need of new running shoes, and when that happened my current running shoes would take the place of the other three. However, I had not gotten new running shoes in the few weeks previous.  So why not just get new running shoes after the race? Happy week before marathon day- aka not enough time to break in new running shoes. So I start to freak out slightly. all because of shoes.

remember the fact that I have angel roommates? I think I forgot for a second, because Cami came to the rescue with one of her old pairs of shoes...

and then we were off to the race.
note: temporary tattoos do not come off within 24 hours. if placed in an area not covered by a skirt the next day it will be noticed. remarks will be made.

It was wonderful. and fun. and hysterical. the first obstacle was ridiculous. it was great- the mud was so thick that we all got stuck right away. I couldn't move an inch. Two boys started wrestling behind me- then they were on top of me- and I couldn't move!! I had a slight moment of "oh crap my ankle is going to break and I have to run a marathon next week" and then the wrestling boys became heavenly. They were Allissa and I's saving grace. They would dig out our feet and place it a step in front and then dig out our other foot. They then helped give us a boost over the wall of dirt. Allissa and I fell in love with them right away- minus the love part... but they became our favorites.

The other obstacles were not quite as challenging but just as fun. We climbed over walls, under poles, through a marsh, and over blow up rolly polly thing-a-majigs... We laughed and bonded- and had dirt in more places than we could count.

We made friends with a random boy from Alpine along the way. He wanted to be a neurosurgeon and is graduating in April... and I dont remember his name, but he was great and friendly

Other boys came to our my aid when I couldn't get over the wall of a blow up obstacle. I would get a running start and try to jump and not move. The mud would cement around my feet and I wouldn't move at all... The extreme laughter didn't help at all...

One giant slip n' slide and another mud pit later we finished- covered in mud!

It was so fun- and slightly exhausting.

But the night was not over... a cold shower with strangers, a car ride, and a very long hot shower later I was changed and ready for a date. The activity of the night. Wallyball. Meet a very exhausted Ellie. My skill level drastically decreased as the time went on, but we still had fun. The night ended and I had never been so excited to get off my feet and into bed. 8:30 church came quite early the next morning, but I was feeling quite active, healthy, and alive.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

life as of late.

I think it is time to dust off the old blog. It has been four months and a lot has happened.

To name a few: I graduated, had my last day at BYU Student Services after 3.5 years, started working at Zenger Folkman, moved to a new apartment, visited home, entered the world of dating again, found out I have to have my gall bladder out, hiked the Narrows, signed up for another marathon... the list goes on and on.

If I was more ambitious I would backlog all of these events and tell you in detail about all the exciting things- however I don't know if that will happen. So here I will put the adventures to come. So dust of your reading classes, grab a cookie and a glass of milk- and enter my world, filled with the musings and adventures of one Elizabeth Jane.