Wednesday, December 5, 2012

next tuesday.

if i can make it to next tuesday- life will be the greatest...

before tuesday...
attend 3 classes
an 8 page paper to finish
a 10 page research paper
a movie report on a movie I still need to watch
reading with a TWA (assignment)
a work christmas party
a ward christmas party
a ward FHE to plan
an two hour essay final to study for and take
A monitoring log to finish
And write-ups to write

after tuesday...
the rest of my finals
frolicking through fields of wild flowers

breathe. tackle the list. stop blogging.

Monday, December 3, 2012

the side effects of being a marriage and family major

remember that one time i freak out a little all the time. and have to learn to not let fear rule my life over and over. i am grateful for a loving and extremely patient heavenly father who is always there.

i sometimes forget i have control of the life i want to have. so as I sit in my classes and learn about dysfunctional relationships and bad practices in marriage and family life- i feel like i am destined to have that life. That somehow I will change and be an overbearing crazy wife and mother. That I will be selfish, or criticize constantly. I see examples around me and think that my life will be just like theirs. This results in me having a slight freak out. I can't do it. Life is so good now- and I will ruin it by getting married. FALSE. so false. dumb satan. I then remember that I am an agent, that I am not an object. I have choice. and I have an amazing marriage prep teacher who has taught us amazing principles this semester. I also am blessed to have someone who will debunk my irrational fears, hug me, and force me to breathe, stop thinking, and tell me that I am not the things I am scared of becoming. I AM SO BLESSED.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

hiccups and dart guns. what more do you need?

hiccup. it's my new name, train your dragon style.

a mouse like, sneeze like, bird like, high pitched hiccup has plagued my life for the last year. it likes to come out at the most inconvenient times- such as, in meetings, class, or at the library when it is as quiet as can be. I am blessed in the sense that it is a "cute" noise but it doesn't make the constant hiccuping any easier or less distracting (and slightly embarrassing at times). I have had lots of different reactions to my hiccuping- smiles, laughs, "bless you"s, comments, you name it. Luckily, no one has told me of the hatred for them yet, and it all tends to be positive.

this is a lot of background to tell the "best reaction" story of ALL time. So here it is. it's Thursday night. I have my devilishly long class from 6-8:30, which my diaphragm decided would be a great time for yet another fit of the hiccups, not surprising. (they are chronic, every day, multiple times a day, for the last year- i have a doctor's appointment when I go home for Christmas) I was sitting towards the back, our teacher made a comment about them (they are disruptive) and then class continued on as I tried to hold in my hiccups. class ended and Sadie, Lisa, and I continued talking as we walked outside- we braved the cold as Sadie continued telling us about deciding to marry Spencer, when another boy in our class walked out. He knew Sadie so he stopped to talk. Per usual a few moments later I hiccuped. He freaked- in the happiest way. He got so excited, and ran to me and shook my hand and said he was so glad to meet me. He was in the front and didn't know who had the high pitched hiccups and he thought they were great. I had no idea how to respond- i just laughed and said, "thank you." I had instant celebrity status; it was great. He ended the night by telling me it was so nice to meet me and that he would remember me when I became famous- who knew hiccups could be such a good thing?

I came home- retold the story to anyone who would listen, but somehow I couldn't, and still can't, fully explain how hysterical this moment was. The rest of the night might have topped the charts for "good nights" as we avoided homework with not one, but TWO, dart gun fights. Betrayal happened left and right as coalitions were built and quickly dismantled.

My skills were honed in preparation for Christmas Dart Gun Fight 2012. best. tradition. ever.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This post comes from an answer to an essay question.... It seemed perfect for the thanksgiving- enjoy the holidays, and be grateful...

...also it was timed- so it was written in an hour- meaning I apologize for any mistakes or incoherent thoughts...


Fall is in the air. The weather is becoming cool and crisp, and the sound of crunching leaves can be heard underfoot. It is the time to break out warm jackets and scarves and eat everything with the word pumpkin in it. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Lists of what people are grateful for will plague refrigerators right along side hand print turkeys. Is gratitude something that should be thought of just around the time we consume exuberant amounts of turkey? The answer is no. Researchers have found that being grateful has an effect on relationships and, as one researcher put it, is vital to the maintaining of relationships.

What is gratitude? It is simply saying thank you when someone holds the door open for you, or gets you what you want for Christmas? It is so much more than the words “Thank You.” Gratitude is something that is felt when someone experiences something that makes his or her life better. It can be seen as self-serving in the sense that as you express gratitude or take on a grateful perspective your life will become more positive and have more meaning, but it is generative. As you express gratitude it will grow. We can see this by looking at the four ways one can measure gratitude.

There are four aspects that go into gratitude; intensity, frequency, span, and density. Intensity refers to the amount of gratitude you feel about a certain thing. Frequency is how often you feel grateful. Span is the time period you might feel grateful about (your whole life, the last five years, etc), and density looks at how you are able to see the mass amounts of effort that had to go into one event (i.e. Graduating from High School. Are you grateful for just your teachers or for the lunch ladies, the bus driver, your fellow students, etc?) By looking at these four measures one can better understand how grateful a person is, and as they increase in any of the four areas they can see greater affects.

Gratitude is essential to relationships because it allows your partner to feel appreciated and safe. The articles discussed how the is risk that comes with any relationship, the risk that you will get hurt as you become more vulnerable. However, by showing gratitude one is able to feel more secure in a relationship. We can gain better insight into the idea of gratitude by looking at a model developed for sacrifice seen below.

*i dont know how to draw the model in blogger- im not that advanced... so imagine the below characteristics all inter-related with positive correlations*

Amount of sacrifice 
Perception of other’s pro-relational behaviors

This model is to look at the amount of sacrifice in a given relationship and how it affects other aspects of the relationship. However, by affecting the perception of one’s view of their partner we can see the same ripples throughout the relationship. By feeling more grateful for what someone has done for you, you will have a higher level of commitment. This is because you are aware of their pro-relational behaviors, and can feel more secure in the relationship. The risk goes down, and you appreciate and feel appreciated by your partner. Also as you are grateful for those things your partner has done for you, you will be more likely to want to sacrifice for them, because it is not a one-way street. These effects can be seen in trust in the relationship as well as dependence.

For a long time gratitude was viewed as a weakness. As you said, “thank you,” you were admitting that you needed their help that you were dependent on them and this made you weak. However, we can see through studies that interdependence facilitates strong relationships. Rather than having parallel marriages, living independent lives side by side, you interact, and rely on each other. Which in turn creates higher levels of trust and commitment within the relationship.

Being grateful can also help one to become more optimistic and positive about life. As you look for the good in life, you will find it. The same goes for the bad. As we have discussed in class the bad is stronger than the good. This is because of a myriad of issues. One might say for survival, or because we fixate and think about the bad more than the good, it has lasting repercussions; the list could go on and on. Whatever the explanation, we can see that the bad effects people more than the good. However what if by taking a grateful view of the bad we were able to change those bad experiences to good. Would it make the event even stronger? I would theorize that it would.

Gratitude is something that has seeped into my life. A gratitude journal has helped me to see my Heavenly Father’s hand constantly in my life, and has given me a more optimistic outlook on life. My life is good. However, that is not to say the bad has not come. One of these “bad” times came as a relationship ended. Thought of getting married and starting a future, were replaced with heartbreak and uncertainty. I went from being “happy Ellie” to simply being a shell of a person. Life seemed miserable. Over the next few months, and even years I have seen the amazing blessing that have come from that “bad” experience. What was the hardest time in my life, is now viewed as one of the greatest blessing in my life. I am grateful for it because of the lesson I have learned, and experiences I have had because of it. I am no longer that “shell” but rather have a fuller, more enriched life. When bad things do happen, I can look back and see how it all works out in the end. By looking for the silver lining in the bad, by taking a grateful perspective, one can change the bad into good, which will in essence change their life. But how can you be grateful for death or a flat tire? Is there anything that is too bad, that by being grateful you can’t turn it into a good? By focusing rather on the blessing that come from the bad, even if that is just to give you a more grateful attitude for the good that does come in your life you can have a more optimistic and positive life, which will positively affect those around you and your family life.

We can see from the research and the discussion about how important gratitude is, so why is the whole world not walking around counting their blessings and constantly saying thank you? Is this something that is a core personality trait, or rather something that can be learned? While gratitude might come easier to certain individuals as part of their personality, it is a skill that can be learned. As one focuses on trying to increase the frequency, intensity, span, or density of their gratitude they will see that gratitude will become more natural. They will find they have more things to be grateful for, and they can change their perception.

Gratitude is not something that should fill our minds in the month of November, but should be constantly part of our life. By looking for the good, and appreciating others, we will see increase in our relationship satisfaction, as well in our personal optimism and well-being. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

a choice.


it's amazing. and i love it so much.

we get to choose. we get to choose what we want our life to be like. we get to choose our attitude. we get to choose to not be offended. and we get to choose who we love. we even get to choose who to vote for.

however, other people have agency too- which isn't always the happiest. they don't always choose the way YOU think they should, but if they chose how you would, wouldn't that be taking away their agency?

i think my favorite part is to remember that I have control over my emotion (minus the fact that I cry all the time). That I am an agentive being. Life can stink at times. If you looked at my day yesterday it would probably top the charts for bad days- however, it didn't seem so bad. It was only when I was recounting the events to friends that I realized how it good look like an awful day. But what does being sad, or upset about the day do? NOTHING. not a single thing. Instead you just wallow in self pity which is the lamest.

I am so blessed. I have an amazing family and friends who show me more love than I probably deserve.  I have a home, and food on the table. On Saturday we served dinner to the homeless. It was so humbling to see them, and how grateful they were. My life is so easy- yes, I have unfortunate things happen (like my professor telling us our major is useless- happy graduation in April with a useless major and having to change when I go to the temple). Unfortunate, but not awful. I think as you take a grateful attitude (happy november- and thanksgiving) that you realize it is a waste of time to focus on the negative.

but the thing to remember is we have agency. we get the choice. we are in control. act, don't be acted upon. don't let life just happen to you. don't be a victim...

thats all. musings over.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


run a marathon
officially crossed off the bucket list.

I dont know how to start this post. do i tell about the day in narrative form? do I give all the background leading up to the actual race? do I tell about my emotions? my fears? lessons learned? I have no clue. so meet me word vomiting onto blank page staring back at me...

the week leading up.

monday and tuesday were great days as far as the marathon was concerned. I went to a friends house for dinner and her roommate had just run a marathon. She told me everything, and got me as excited as could be for the race. She told me things she had done which made the race more meaningful, such as dedicating each mile to a different person and then thinking about that person for that mile and why they are important to you. I was excited and feeling good.

The list.
Whole Race: Heavenly Father
1. Mary
2. Cathy (Mom)
3.  Bill (Dad)
4. Matt
5. Keri
6. Michael and Rachel
7. Jonathan and Chelsea
8. Becca and Jeff
9. Matt and Keri's Kids
10. Michael and Rachel's Kids
11. Jonathan and Chelsea's Kids
12. Kayla
13. Jenna
14. Cali
15. Diana
16. Grandparents
17. Extended Family
18. Student Services
19. EFY Youth
20. EFY 2011 Team
21. EFY 2012 Team
22. Past Roommates
23. Past Relationships
24. Future Kids
25. Future Husband
26. Me
* I could write a novel about why each of these people are so important to me but that would take this post from the size of China to the size of Russia
Then Wednesday came, I looked up information about packet pick-up, and other details of the actual race and suddenly was filled with the feeling of "oh crud, what did I sign up for!" I was scared. terrified. nervous. And what accompanies those emotions- nausea. So I felt sick to my stomach, and had no appetite which then made me more emotional inside and more nervous because if I didn't eat I would die on Saturday. (talk about a bad cycle to be in). I went to institute. turned down ice cream. (shocking I know). and then went to support our kickball team. skinny jeans and a cardigan- i had no thoughts of playing based on the track record for injuries on our team- who knew you could pull a muscle in kickball. So I went to cheer and build team morale. They won the first game in the tournament. the next game? right after. they only had 7 players and somehow convinced me to play. I felt emotionally unstable, and my normal excited self was replaced with oscar the grouch. I played- after borrowing a random girls shoes. The extent of me playing was kicking the ball (and not running to first) and standing at home plate, and pretending to play catcher. I went home, called my home teachers, and got a blessing that I would stop freaking out and be able to eat.

the shoes Josh found for me. shiny. and 2 sizes too big.

the next day was better. I was able to eat, but still was apprehensive about the upcoming race. I scrambled that night to get everything set. I ran to runner's corner and stocked up on gu for the race, and got some last minute tips from the worker man. I washed all my clothes, packed, and loaded my phone with music. What I thought would take 15 minutes took 2 hours because of "updates" so rather than getting to bed at 10, it was after midnight.

I have the bestest hometeachers- who know the way to my heart. They stopped by on thursday with a "naked" protein drink for "pre-marathon" and double stuff oreos for "post-marathon"

friday morning was full of excitement. my parents were on the plane, everyone at work was wishing me luck. Jessica (the sweetest girl in the whole wide world) had gotten me some marathon necessities including icy hot. and it felt real. 5 hours of work and one class later, I was home packing the car and doing some last minute cleaning. And then we were off. We swung by Matt and Keri's to pick up the rents, gave some hugs, jumped in the back and started the 4 hour drive down to St. George.

St George. the day before.

The drive was good. Mary and I slept, and talked. Bill told his injury stories, which always bring entertainment. Mary and I discussed how the race was going to work. She had kidney stones and wasnt sure if she would do it, but made me promise if she did I would be honest and leave her if she was holding me back. I told her that she wasn't allowed to say "you can leave me" until she absolutely meant it. honesty. the best policy.

we got to st george and made our way to the Dixie Convention Center to pick up our packets. bib number 8087.

 the expo was huge, and I could have wandered around all the different booths all night. We stopped by the cliff bar stand for Bill, and I grabbed a pacing wristband. coolest thing ever. I loved it. and then we were off to carbo-load at the pasta factory with the hostetters.

The wait was long, and the longer I stood there the more nervous I felt for the next day, and the more I just wanted to be in bed. Luck had it that a family they called was no longer there, so we got to go earlier than expected. We pushed the tables together and all gathered around ready for some delicious food. Mary and I sat there in shock as the others talked about there excitement and hopeful times. I just wanted to finish. False, I just wanted to go back to May and not sign up. What had I done? Mary and I split the pesto pasta (My boss' advice was to not eat more than you usually do so you dont feel sick, and considering we didn't have much of an appetite it was perfect). We ate quickly, made the "we need to go" face to the parental units and headed towards home. We made a pit stop at the finish line before making it to the Ryther's. We parked, got out, walked the last .1 miles of the race, visualized finishing, wanted to die, and then got back in the car. We made it to the Ryther's, had blessings (I needed all the help I could get), and then curled up in bed to give my body the last bit of rest it could get before the next morning.

race day.

the alarm went off early. I woke up excited. excited to put on my running gear. excited to get on the buses. and excited for the race. it was so different from the feelings of the day before.

writing out the "dedication list" before leaving for the race
about to load the buses. still scared as could be.
we made our way to the bus pick-up along with hundreds of other runners. we waited. loaded. and made the 26.2 mile journey to the starting line. I slept. that was the advice I had gotten from people. sleep on the bus, that way you don't mentally psych yourself out. That was always my least favorite part of our Saturday early morning runs. Making the drive and thinking of how I was going to run, it seemed to take forever, and my heart would sink. Sleeping was the best thing. Before I knew it we were at the start and I had no idea how long it had taken.

I LOVE start lines. there is such an energy. an excitement. The St. George Marathon has been voted one of the most organized races and you could tell. It was an amazing starting line complete with music, first aid, bon fires, and porta potties. I still love the line waiting for the bathroom before a race- weird, i know. but it was great. we waited among the crowds- went to the bathroom- and then it was time to start.
my favorite part is waiting in line for the porta pottys. weird? i know.
getting more excited
It was just another training run. that's what we kept telling ourselves. just take it easy. don't get too excited, don't pass people. just run. the first seven miles seemed to fly by as we talked about the people we had dedicated each mile to (an idea from Amanda Garlock's roommate). We told stories, and why we loved them. We talked about our own lives, and laughed at the signs along the road.

Mile 7 is when the hill started. it seemed to go on forever. 4 miles of uphill. it wasn't awful. we stayed on track to finish in under 5, even though we took a few walking breaks. Mary was an absolute trooper with her Kidney stones... i have no idea how she did it.

We stuck with what we had done training. "gu"s every 45 minutes. taking it easy. and just having fun. we made it to the half way point and Mary wasn't feeling so great. She had heard the idea of run five and walk one, and decided she wanted to try it. We had prepared for this. The moment where we would split. I knew I would go crazy walking- I was feeling great, but could I mentally do it alone? We talked about it for a little bit, and decided the time had come. She started walking and I kept pace. Immediately it was a battle of the mind. I felt overwhelmed thinking of the next hours by myself. I needed Mary- she distracted me... "no, I can do this. you've run a half alone, you can do this" it was a battle. I said a prayer that I would be able to have the strength and will power to finish without Mary. Suddenly she was next to me. Literally. She had the same thoughts, and decided she wasn't ready to break. The next few moments were filled with very cheesy sentences coming out of my mouth like "I missed you" "I couldn't do it without you" etc... we ran the next mile together, and then it was time. We hugged, and separated.

I was okay on my own. I people watched, and thought about life, and what I was accomplishing. I was lost in my thoughts when I heard someone say, "you were an efy counselor." I turned and a girl was talking to me. She had been in Ohio for the last few years and had recognized me. We talked for a bit, updating each other on our lives, and getting to know each other better, and then she stopped to walk. She was a tender mercy, and made that mile seem to fly by.

Mile 16. I got to see my parents. I had called my mom a mile before letting her know I was almost there and to make sure I was on the correct side of the road. She told me where they were, and I tried to talk to her while extremely winded. I was running down a hill, seeing the crowds of families below when I saw a man holding a sign, "may the course be with you" with a picture of yoda. It made me chuckle and I was going to tell him I liked his sign when I realized the man holding the sign was my dad. I have never been so happy to see him. I ran up and gave him a huge hug, before continuing to my mom waiting below. A family friend came and met me, and ran with me the rest of the way. All I wanted was a hug from my mom. She gave words of encouragement and I continued to run. 10 more miles to go. I was feeling good.
the hill before getting to where the parentals were
running in for the hug- gross and sweaty
Mile 17. not feeling so great anymore. my right quad was starting to bother me, it had never done this before and was the weirdest. the mental tricks started. trying to distract myself wasn't working. i could only focus on the weird pain in my leg. thinking about the person mile seventeen was dedicated worked for a few seconds. its funny how telling mary about them, and telling her stories seemed to take up the whole mile but I could recount all of my memories and emotions tied with that person to myself in a matter of seconds. I came up to the next aid station and they had biofreeze at the first aid station. I decided it was worth it to stop, and jogged over to them, lifted my running capris and had them apply it to my knees. The biofreeze seemed to seep up into my quads and it was absolute heaven.

Mile 19. Someone at the aid station was broadcasting conference. It was like an added boost of energy and the spirit and exactly what I needed. I felt rejuvenated, even if I only was able to hear 15 seconds of it broadcasted, it was a reminder that I wasn't running this race alone. We had never been alone, we had had the help of our Heavenly Father in training, and he was there with us on this race. I also renewed my love of orange slices. For some reason they taste heavenly during races and I can't get enough of them.

Mile 22. the biofreeze had rubbed off and the pain was back. this aid station had bengay rubs. I ran over, decided it was worth it and hiked my pants as high as I could so they could get to my quads. My black running capris now had some nice white smears, but it was well worth it. My legs felt great, and odd. Where the biofreeze had just numbed, I could feel this go from icy to hot. My legs just felt so warm, but it was good enough (it helped win the mental battle). I finally decided to break out my music. I had my playlist of songs with the word "run" in the title and it was amazing the energy it gave me. "Run Run Run" by Natasha Bedingfield... love. love. love.

Mile 24. They were handing out bags of ice. I grabbed one just to hold. The St. George heat was starting to kick in and i just wanted to be done with the race and in an ice bath. I held the ice in my hands and it did nothing but make my hands cold... it was worth a try

Mile 25. They handed out cold wash clothes. HEAVEN! they felt so wonderful. Also I got to see my parents again. I might have gotten a little teary eyed as I saw my mom. I was so close and I loved her so much.

Mile 26. .2 miles to go. I could see the finish line. the thought that crossed my mind "I could just stop right now. That is a valid option. I don't have to finish. I am done, I don't want to keep going." I kept going. but seriously... who thinks that when they see the finish line. dumb dumb dumb.

Mile 26.2. I finished. wanted to throw up when they gave me a popsicle and just wanted to lay down and pass out.

the finisher medals were the coolest

after the race.

cathy is the best and came and talked to me over the fence for what seemed like forever. she told me she was proud of me (probably the best words a daughter can hear). i told her i wanted to pass out. she told me I wasn't allowed to, but that I could lay down. I did. It made life ten times better. I ate food. great harvest bread equals perfection. the "runner's zone" was amazing with the most post raceness that I had ever seen. after waiting a while we decided to try to find mary. we walked back, saw Bill, kept walking and eventually found Mary and Cami Jo walking in. Mary was amazing. She had finished even though she felt awful. She had wanted to quit, but didn't know how to get the shuttles or "wagons of shame" to stop and pick her up so she just kept going. We walked the last 1.5 miles with her, and ran in with her.

mary still going strong.
she looked beautiful! but for real!

how we really feel after running. our half is on the left, and our full on the right.

The rest of the trip included an ice bath and an uncomfortable ride back to provo. My legs HATED me for making them sit in a car for four hours. That night we celebrated with Bangkok Grill take-out and seeing family.

all in all, it was a great experience. and it's true what they say- you catch a bug. I am ready to run another one. I thought there would be an amazing sense of accomplishment that came when I crossed the finish line. An instantaneous change in how I felt, and who I was. Its the same feeling that I thought would come when I turned 16, or when I stepped off the plane in Europe. It never comes. It is gradual. The change didn't come when I crossed the finish line, but when I woke up at 5 every saturday to train, when we signed up, when it seemed impossible after EFY, when we would go to bed early on friday nights after spending the evening driving the canyon to make sure it would be okay to run. It came slowly over time. It reminds me of the talk my dad gave at Arielle's baptism. He talked about how she probably wouldn't feel different after she got baptized because the change came as she learned to love the gospel. I still don't feel much different than before- it didn't feel like that great of an accomplishment (my mom said not to say that because it negates others who have run marathons... don't get me wrong it is hard and an amazing thing, but when I crossed the finish line it didn't seem like it was that hard... the reason? i trained, with Heavenly Father's help.)

I was sore that night, and the next day, but by Monday I felt back to normal. I could walk up and down stairs with minimal pain, and the only residual pain were my feet which took a beating. Luckily for me I have a doctor cousin, scotty, who performed surgery on my toe (aka drained a blister).

I feel this sense of needing a "lessons learned" section. but this blog post is already the size of china. so in short. all things are possible with the Lord, and you can do hard things if you put your mind to it. and I have the most amazing parents in the world. and friends and running buddies are essential.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

cool, crisp air

the weather is changing. the ground is wet. the air is crisp. winter is coming.

i love it.

it snowed today. not just a little. but a good, blizzard-like snow. it didn't stick, but it made the sky look majestic.

this is in no way what it looks like outside. but its pretty.
it is time to break out the boots, hats, mittens, hot chocolate, and christmas songs. (not yet...but im getting excited)

moral of the story. life is good.

on the flip side.

it's funny how stress can ruin lives. and procrastination. meet my tuesday night and wednesday morning. it's the worst because I knew it was completely my fault. I had a paper to write, and rather than taking advantage of the weekend or my monday without classes, I waited until tuesday. I was tired. stressed. and the biggest grump. and it penetrated everything. roommates' dishes in the sink that normally cause slight frustration were driving me up a wall. i wasn't feeling loving. and just wanted to quit school. BIGGEST. GRUMP. EVER. It was amazing how in the moment I finished the paper, and realized I had time to go home and shower and get ready for the day I instantly felt better. it was a miracle. but I don't want to be that person, and have prided myself on not letting school affect those around me, however, I let it creep in. It always gets done, it all always works out- so why let stress ruin your life? end of my random musings. also I apologize for anyone I was a grump towards...

random tidbit.

i saw weston goggins while writing this. he is the greatest and brings joy to my soul.

we had an EFY debrief meeting last night. oh how I love all the other coordinators, and miss efy. one of the administrators asked me if I was coming back next year... I paused before responding. they are sneaky at making you want to come back. but for those of you planning on working efy this summer, there should be lots of good changes. happy day.

visiting teaching is my favorite. and we visit the most wonderful girls.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the list keeps growing.

the list of "drafts" keeps growing and growing. and the more it grows the less I want to convert those "drafts" into actual blog posts. which results in no posts ever. lame.

i have recently become obsessed with Rachel Koller. It's bad. She is Becca's friend and absolutely amazing...listen to her. love her.

Monday, October 1, 2012

life in color.

i am in love with fall.

i dont know how else to describe the joy I feel driving through the canyon and seeing the bright colored trees. the cool evening air, meaning it's cardigan weather. the crunch on the leaves under your feet. it's perfect.

last Friday was a perfect fall evening. a football game (you can't get any more fall than that, go cougs) and then it was up the canyon for a moonlight chairlift ride at sundance with a group of friends, something that has been on my provo bucket list for a while now. The chairlift ride was perfect, all that was missing was a cup of hot chocolate and a boy to cuddle with. As I sat there, climbing higher and higher over the beautiful mountains I couldn't help but notice that I was missing all the colors. In the dark of night, with nothing but a full moon the world had literally turned black and white.

how had I gone twenty-two years of my life without realizing this simple fact? without light there is no color. it is simple, and makes complete sense, but it seemed to take over my thoughts at that moment.

the next morning I woke up early for yet another long saturday run. this week in was provo canyon. 16 miles. we drove up past sundance, parked the car, and started the decent (after a 30 minute nap so we could have more light- its amazing how much time you save by staying in provo). We past sundance with the sun starting to illuminate the earth. The mountains looked as if they were on fire. It was absolutely beautiful. They were the same mountains i had seen the night before, however, now the black and white blurrs were replaced with magnificent details.

so as I ran down the windy canyon road i could help but think about how this perfectly parallels the gospel. how often have we heard Christ referred to as the light of the world. He takes seemingly black and white things and makes them beautiful. I look at my life, and how it is full of color, and feel so blessed. As I talked with Jace, the boy who was a saint and ran with me when Mary couldn't, he made the profound comment. He mentioned how if we had only ever seen the world in black and white we would have no idea what we were missing, and then he simply stated, "it makes me wonder what else we don't realize we are missing." what blessings is Heavenly Father just waiting to give us. Where I think my life is wonderful, and at times wonder how it could get any better, he has buckets of blessings just waiting to pour down if I turn to him. it is so amazing. so so amazing.

so, the take home message, live life in color. have light in your life. and it will be magnificent.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Never Be the Same

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now. The post where I talk about the many things I learned this summer. How efy changed me once again. It is on my mind constantly. how am I different? what did i learn? but my mind has been blank. I know that it did change me but how. I didn't realize the emotions it would stir writing it. So I sit her at my desk tucked away in the bay window of my room looking at the mountains with tears in my eyes. Pathetic, right?

working for efy has been a blessing in my life. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am without it. It has taught me so much, and introduced me to amazing role models. it has been a great three years. I had the opportunity to be a counselor, BC, and coordinator and learned unique lessons each year. Will I do efy again? I'm not sure, but as of right now I don't think so...

so here it is. here is how i will "never be the same" because of efy.

my relationship with my savior. efy came at a perfect time in my life. a time when I was low, and hurt, and heartbroken. and was exactly what I needed. learning about the atonement of Jesus Christ each week brought the needed comfort. Testify to my girls how he knew them, I learned that he knew ME. I was scared and I didn't know what I was doing, but I learned that all I had to do was turn to him. And that has changed my life.

my amazing dance moves. I can do an efy line dance with my eyes closed. and have some awesome nerdy dance skills. I will never hear the song "firework" or "wide awake" without secretly doing the dance in my head- and don't even get me started on "we like to party"

choosing faith over fear. this summer especially taught me this principle over and over and over again. in all aspects of my life. it is amazing how if you have faith nothing seems all that bad. It is all to help us learn and is for our benefit- even the hard things. so why be scared? heavenly father is a smart guy and knows what he is doing. and teaches me that over and over again.

my parenting skills. well with 3 little guys I am a pro parent. oh wait i have no kids. and therefore no parenting experience. but efy has taught me a lot about parenting. one. how much you love your kids and want everything to be perfect for them. I was amazed how quickly I loved my girls when I was a counselor, and how hard it was to see them in pain or to let them go. One week one of my girls dislocated her knee. She sat there just crying, and there was nothing I could do. I tried to comfort her, but was helpless. She went to bed and I just cried. And then realized I could never have kids because I would be a wreck anytime they were sick or hurt. love. it's an amazing thing. secondly, how to set a good example for your kids. we saw a lot of different parents come to the solutions table. it was amazing to see the similarities between them and their kids. the parents who were irrational or rude had children we struggled with. but the parent's who accepted the way things had to be and then found that silver lining had kids who had an amazing week. third. you have to let them learn things on their own and let them fail. we learned this with our amazing BCs. At the beginning James and I were extremely involved with everything, and because of that they didn't feel a sense of ownership. It was week 5 when we realized we had to step back and let them take over. we literally went into our meetings that week and said, "okay, plan tomorrow" and sat there. (don't worry we would make sure everything got covered, but it was mainly them). that week was amazing, and we saw a difference. Things changed from there- I learned that I wasn't helping them at all by doing things for them, I was preventing them from learning valuable skills.

the knowledge of my abilities. i can do hard things. whether it was a conversation I didn't want to have, waiving 15 parking tickets, or doing 9 weeks of EFY in a row- I was able to do it. i learned you just have to take it one step at a time, and keep moving. sitting there and wallowing about it doesn't solve a thing, and the problem is still there. I remember before the summer started thinking there was no way I could be an efy coordinator. I had no idea what I was doing- and 9 weeks... i would die. somehow we made it through. Life is going to happen no matter what, you can't stop time from moving forward. So you might as well jump in with both feet and try your best, and pray that Heavenly Father will make up the rest.

my future marriage. i had a nine week crash course in marriage. James Grant made for a great husband. I learned how it can be tricky to merge "two" families. You each have your way of doing things, things that you thought were standard that weren't. We learned to take what we had both experienced and then create the summer we wanted. What was important? What wasn't? I learned how to compromise, and talk through differences. I learned the importance of communication, and taking time just to have "co-corrdinator dates" aka running errands and talking about things other than EFY. It is so easy to lose your identity- and important to remember that we were real people before efy. I learned about open communication and keeping each other informed. I learned about making big decisions together, and supporting the other person even if you didn't always agree, because you were a team and needed to be unified. I learned a lot from James, and I will forever be grateful. Also watching different session directing couples. Their dating advice. marriage advice. life advice. My favorite advice might have come from the long conversations with Sister Boyle. She told me about when she was dating her now husband how whenever there was a problem he was used to running rather than working through it. Rather than seeing something he didn't like and running, she would make him stop and tell her what it was, and then humbly work on it (because many times it was something she knew she could do better). Humility. so so important. and patience, and work.

my wardrobe. I will never wear a polo again. false, but kind of true. I also have an array of beautiful, colorful, EFY polos in my closet.

my hair. I learned this summer to like my hair down and curly. I did a summer of NO HEAT. Meaning I didn't blow dry, straighten, or curly my hair for the entire summer. Week 5, I started craving getting ready and straightening my hair, it quickly passed. I was amazed at how quick I could get ready, and realized my jealousy of boys was completely validated. The reason behind my "no heat summer?" My hair grows like a snail, and I wanted it to be healthier. So Jenna cut my hair right before I left, and I did my best to prevent any damage. It was successful, and my hair finally grew a little bit longer.

my friendships. EFY has surrounded me with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. I could go person my person, relationship by relationship telling about how they have changed my life. There is a bond that comes from serving with others, from constantly talking about the gospel. I have learned so much from the people I have met through EFY, and some of my closest friends have come through the opportunity to work for efy. They are such examples to me, and make me constantly strive to be better.

my future job. because of efy I want to be a seminary teacher rather than a marriage and family therapist. I learned to love the youth, and being a seminary teacher takes everything I love about efy and puts it into a career. perfection.

my love of Nauvoo. this summer I learned to love this place sooo much. it was incredible.

efy has changed my life. as cheesy as that sounds, and as cheesy as this whole post sounds. it was an amazing summer. hard, but amazing.

to get an idea of this last summer... read kjersti's blog just ignore the two provo weeks...and giving out band-aids....and a lot...

pictures to come.

Friday, September 14, 2012

a renewed love affair...

I have fallen in love again with... Pinterest.

It had been months. months- since I had opened my pinterest account and scrolled through the pins of DIY and recipes.

So there I am sitting in my PSYCH 301 class. Statistics for Psychology. The class they wouldn't let me waive because it was specific for psychology, and even though I had already taken general stats and stats for marriage and family, it was a no go. Bored as can be. (we were learning about the mean, median, and mode... i learned that in 3RD GRADE!!! 2 hours of which number is there the most of.... i was going crazy) So i pulled out my new smartphone. yes, i have a smart phone. and started looking at apps. free apps. in a spur of the moment I downloaded the pinterest app. Life changed.

One class period later. and 75,000 pins later. I had my future house planned, and enough craft ideas to last me a life time.

Now and honest moment. I have never done anything with any of the things i have pinned- they are always a "one day I will" type thing. until tonight.

I came across the idea while trying to stay awake in class. A date jar. for the night you cant think of what to do you choose something from the jar. it just so happened that a friend's wedding is tomorrow and I was sans gift. this was it.

so one quick run to hobby lobby later. i had a mason jar. paint. craft sticks. and ribbon. ALL SET.

then it was off to my night class. 2.5 hours of marriage therapyness. the only reason i dont go crazy in that class is because our teacher is literally crazy- and so funny. the time somehow goes quickly even though we dont learn very much. so I multitasked. while he repeated himself for the 13th time, i created a list of date ideas.

After class my visiting teacher's came over. having been home for only 10 minutes the whole day and being on a time crunch, they helped me paint the sticks while we talked about life and got to know each other. it was perfect.

I love crafts. truth.

here is the finished product. simple. easy. thoughtful.

the woman who i got the idea from used the different colors of popsicle sticks as different categories. (one's that cost money, that take planning, etc) I didn't want to- so it is just to make it look prettier.

Making the list of date ideas was fun. It was fun to relive dates as I wrote the idea down, or remember times sitting on the couch brainstorming with the boy I was dating a "bucket list" of dates we wanted to go on.

Here is the list I came up with.

  1. go ice skating
  2. go to the library and read your favorite children's books
  3. visit temple square
  4. watercolor the sunset
  5. invite a couple over for games
  6. invite a couple over for dessert
  7. get dressed up and go out for a "classy" dinner
  8. go for a hike/snowshoeing and carve your initials in a tree
  9. look up what is going on in the community and go
  10. go to a movie- his choice
  11. go to a movie- her choice
  12. make italian food and watch the movie "Life is Beautiful"
  13. go rock climbing
  14. go to a local arcade
  15. play catch at the park
  16. go star gazing
  17. go window shopping for things for your home
  18. build a fort and tell ghost stories
  19. feed the ducks at the pond
  20. make something for your house off pinterest
  21. go roller blading
  22. play at a park
  23. go on a picnic
  24. look through old pictures and tell stories
  25. go geo cashing
  26. go camping
  27. go to the mall and pick out outfits for each other
  28. go bowling
  29. go mini golfing
  30. make crayon art
  31. finger paint
  32. go for a bike ride
  33. watch a disney movie while coloring in a coloring book
  34. stay home and watch a movie- his choice
  35. stay home and watch a movie- her choice
  36. play hopscotch, color with sidewalk chalk, and hoola hoop
  37. visit a retirement home and talk with the residents
  38. go to the food bank and volunteer
  39. go see a show/play
  40. spend the night in the city (hotel)
  41. go to a bed and breakfast
  42. go canoeing/paddle boating
  43. visit "your" spots
  44. relive your first date
  45. do facials
  46. grab a friend and have a photo shoot
  47. go shooting
  48. plan your dream vacation
  49. go to a museum
  50. go to a concert
  51. invite people over for minute to win it games
  52. cuddle up on a couch and read a novel out loud
  53. drive up a canyon and soak in the beauty
  54. build a fire and make s'mores
  55. make cookies and deliver them to friends
  56. go to a sporting event
  57. write "your story" together
  58. look at wedding pictures and talk about the day
  59. go out to dinner on "main street" and walk around
  60. go out for ice cream
  61. make homemade ice cream
  62. put a puzzle together and drink hot chocolate
  63. create a couple bucket list
  64. go to the temple
  65. project an old western on the wall and "shoot" the bad guys with nerf guns
  66. have a nerf gun fight
  67. carve soap
  68. make sailboats with stuff around the house and race them
  69. invite friends over and have a murder mystery party
  70. find someone to serve
  71. go for a run with your cameras and photography the world
  72. make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar
  73. test the mentos and soda myth
  74. invite friends over for a murder mystery party
  75. go to a fair
  76. plan a road trip and actually go
  77. go to cascade springs (in utah)
  78. go out to dinner- her choice
  79. go out to dinner- his choice
  80. go golfing
  81. go go-carting
  82. go to the DI and get ridiculous outfits
  83. go to the dollar store. spend $5 and just play with what you got
  84. go dancing in the moonlight
Its the holiday season.
  1. carve pumpkins and roast the seeds
  2. go to a haunted house
  3. go to a corn maze
  4. write letters to santa
  5. make "thankful' turkeys
  6. write thank you notes to your parents (thanksgiving)
  7. dye eggs
  8. make a snowman
  9. go sledding/ snowboarding/ skiing
  10. cut out paper snowflakes while watching a christmas movie
If you have any ideas to add to this not comprehensive list...comment. share the knowledge.

also i have a renewed love affair for this song...

Saturday, September 8, 2012


hobble creek canyon.

nervous. the emotion that accompanied me at the beginning of this run. I had yet to break the 13.1 barrier, and while it was only a mile more I didn't know how it would turn out.

the night before we had an efy reunion at Kjersti's house in Springville. I slipped away to drive the canyon and figure out the route we would run in the morning. It seemed like a lifetime as I kept driving- it seemed like I checked the odometer every 30 seconds expecting it suddenly to jump from 5 miles to 14.

The morning came early, however, I was wide awake. I was so excited for this run, despite my nerves. I had a new pair of shoes, a new running tank top, a hydration belt full of water bottles and gu. Life was good.

We made the trek down to Springville, parked Mary's car at the library, and started up the canyon. It was dark and cold, but by the time we made it to our starting point light was starting to peak over the mountains. We got out of the car, made sure we were all set, and took off towards Mary's awaiting car. The first mile was steep, but after that it leveled out and was just a very gradual downhill. We talked about our week, life, and anything else we could think to talk about. Eventually we pulled out the iPod and blasted music while we ran. n'sync "bye bye bye" came on and for some reason it put us at a perfect pace. I felt like I could run forever.

We stopped and gu'ed every 45 minutes, and it was amazing to see the difference it made in our run. Where I felt like I was running on empty at our half, I felt perfect (well as close to perfect as you can when running 14 miles). Mary loved the Montana Huckleberry (Hammer Gel) because it reminded her of jam. I had quite a different sentiment, considering I dont often eat jam straight- but with a little bit of water before and after I got it down without a problem.

The canyon was absolutely beautiful. It was perfect being awake early, feeling the fresh air on your skin, and the smell of the trees. I didn't want the run to end, I didn't want training to end. I wished we had another month to train for the race, simply so we had a reason keep doing these long runs.  I felt like I was on top of the world.

The run was exciting, and there was always something new around each bend. Whether it was a dead animal (gross, but we saw surprising a lot), a herd of cattle we had to run through, or the scariest porta potty in the world- it kept us entertained.

We eventually made it out of the canyon, and it was amazing how instantly it became a mental battle. No longer did I have the beauty of the world around me to distract me from what I was doing. We made our way down the seemingly never-ending road. We stopped by Kjersti's, said hi, used the bathroom, and then continued on our way. WORST DECISION EVER. somehow in the three minutes we stopped our bodies learned to hate us. As we started to run again, we hurt. only 2 more miles to go. they seemed like an eternity.

we eventually made it back to her car, and nothing has ever looked so lovely. we hopped in, and made our way back up the canyon to pick up Charlie. The drive after might be my favorite part, especially in contrast with the drive at the start. Rather than the sinking feeling of "oh shoot, what are we doing, I have to run this" it was replaced with "holy hannah, we RAN this!" We made it back to the start, I jumped out, and blissful drove back down the canyon while listening to Keith Urban "wanna love sombody like you." Perfection.

Things that are good about running Hobble Creek Canyon:
  1. not a lot of traffic up Right Fork, and there is a path for part of the way
  2. not too steep
  3. it is beautiful
Things that are not so good about running Hobble Creek
  1.  there are only about 10 miles in the canyon that aren't steep and paved. If you want a longer run in the canyon you can brave the hills and dirt roads, or spend more time on city streets

Thursday, August 30, 2012

this thing called life.

You know that time in your life where you think, one day I'll have time... when I'm no longer an EFY coordinator, when I graduate, when (fill in the blank). I am coming to the stark reality that that time will never come. Life never slows down, if anything it gets more and more jammed packed. The days of coming home from school and playing outside on the swing set are a thing of the past.

EFY is officially over. I was so excited to have time again. Time to clean my car, time to organize my room, time to train for St George. I got back, created my first to-do list of being back and was shocked how it just kept growing and growing. Two pages later, i realized I needed a time-turner (Harry Potter Style). I had this misconception that life would be less busy after EFY, but I am coming to find out that it is actually more busy.

All of this is to say that there are so many things I want to write about, to document in my life. The lessons I learned this summer, the shock of going from taking care of everyone to being taken care off, starting school, becoming a supervisor at work, training for the St. George Marathon, and all the tender mercies I have seen in my life...but there is just no time. 

Last night as I felt overly exhausted I hit meltdown point- the point where my body was exhausted and I had forgotten to eat dinner once again, which wasn't smart with running and swimming, and I just felt overwhelmed. I had homework standing between me and my bed, a 5:15 am wake up call to do the canyon run with mary, and an 8:00 am to 8:30 pm day on campus staring me in the face. I couldn't handle it, there was too much to do, too much I wanted to do, needed to do, and all I wanted to do was take a day off. I melted down to my roommates (no, there were no tears involve). It was just too much.

Ironic, because earlier in the day I had a conversation with a friend how we can't do it alone, how it is only through the help of our Savior and the Atonement. We talked about how often we want to be perfect now, we set lofty goals and somehow expect we can accomplish them all by tomorrow. 

I am amazed constantly how aware Heavenly Father is of me. He gave me the extra hour I needed. Our staff meeting was canceled today, meaning I had one more hour to get my homework done. I was able to focus and get done what I needed in half the time i thought it would take me. I was able to take a moment and do something I wanted to do. document my life. 

Is my body still exhausted? oh yes. I may or may not have dozed off at work while listening to one of the associates calls- he woke me up. embarrassing? slightly. does my backpack still weigh more than i do? yes. do i somehow feel like I can make it through today- yes! and the best news of all...we have a three day weekend.

this is my reminder to myself to just take life one day at a time. and know its never going to stop, so you just have to do your best and live life to the fullest.

now back to the old grind. 


sometimes i find thing hysterical at inappropriate times.

meet today. i am at work when an associate comes and says they have a caller who wants to speak to a supervisor. I take the call. He was trying to pay tuition with a Visa. I explained that unfortunately we dont accept Visa for tuition but he can use any other credit card, or use an e-check for free. He didn't particularly like that answer but was very courteous anyway. He explained how he was bummed because he gets points on his card for paying tuition. I sympathized, and he then went on to say something along the lines of, "well i guess the visa is pointless then"... i laughed on the phone as he was expressed his sadness. pointless. without points. his card didnt work so he wasn't getting points. he was punny and he didnt even realize it. and i chuckled- sorry for the inappropriate timing.

dear puns. thank you for making life so much better.

Friday, August 24, 2012

so blessed.

At the beginning of the Summer Kayla, Jenna, and I started a "Tender Mercies" Journal. We were inspired by Elder Eyring's words:

We had been seeing tender mercies left and right, and didn't want to forget them. Plus it would be a way to remember our summers in a different light.

I am so amazed at the number of blessings and tender mercies in my life. This summer I had experience after experience that testified to me that my Heavenly Father was aware of me and cared, even about the little things.

The day I left for efy I was exhausted. I had gotten 4 hours of sleep, with a week of restlessness before, and had a middle seat on the plane. Meaning I would be a bobbing mess the whole flight. (i am a head bobber. it is bad!) we are sitting there before the plane takes off and the people on either side of me are talking. they were friends. when the one sitting in the window seat asked if I would like to trade them seats. It was a miracle. I was able to rest my head against the plane and was out like a light the whole way to Minnesota. We then got a free upgrade on our rental car which allowed us to have cruise control for the whole summer- which when you have 9 road trips makes a huge difference. When we got to the university we parked outside the dorms and went on a campus tour with our contact. we came out later to see a parking ticket on out car. Not a minute after we looked at the ticket, the officer who wrote it came by. He talked to us for a moment. We told him we weren't aware we couldn't park there and that we were with efy. He told us how, while he doesn't agree with all our beliefs, efy was the best camp they have all summer, and he loves us. At which point he tore up the ticket.

that was just one day. the whole summer was like that. correction. My whole life IS like that. At times I feel like it's not fair. Why am I so blessed?

I have an amazing family. Not only do we love each other, but they are the funniest and so great to be around. I have a job, and a good job. I have amazing friends and people in my life that make me want to be better because of their examples. I have a body that works. i am SO BLESSED, and so grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me and cares about the small things in my life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the person I want to be.

Life is like a box of chocolates. cake
Forrest Gump

I have had the amazing opportunity to attend a lot of efy classes in my life. a lot. I have seen a lot of different teaching styles, and heard similar topics shared in completely opposite ways. I have sat through classes that are "painful" and others that seem to change my life.

Today I went to my favorite class I think I have ever been to at efy, and that is saying a lot.

He didn't try to be funny, yet he was entertaining and held his audience's attention. He used the scriptures, and had the kids searching and learning for themselves, yet directed their conversations. He was an amazing teacher- but what he taught was even more amazing.

the amazing cake my sister-in-law made for my sister's wedding.
He compared life to a cake. (he had the kids attention at the mention of cake, especially right before lunch) A cake has multiple ingredients. Some are some sweet, and some are bitter. Yet, when it is all baked it is sweet in the end. He talked about how hard times will come, but that our cake isn't "baked" yet, and it wont be until the end of our life- but with those bitter times we know it will all be sweet in the end. 

He talked about his daughter. He told a story of her when she was a little girl with this lamb they had gotten her who was completely rotten, and how sad she was when she found out he was most likely going to be killed after the fair. He then went on to tell how she was in a car accident. She was rear ended and the gas tank exploded and she burned to death. He shared something from her journal where she talked about the person she wanted to be. He challenged us to do the same, who do I want be? What do I want people to remember me as? You are remembered for the way you live your life, not the way you die. So here is my short, and public, explanation of the person I want to be (with a much more personal list to follow in my journal).

I want to be the person that loves everyone no matter what. I never want a rough day that I am having affect those around me, especially those I love. I want find joy in the small moments, and not let stress rule my life. I want to be the person who puts the gospel before everything else in her life, and that everyone knows loves the gospel. I want to be the person who is friends with those who are lonely, and is always serving those around her. I want to be the person my heavenly father knows I can be.

I left his class, and literally bawled to the BCs about how wonderful the class was. I wish I could have recorded it to put here for all to enjoy, words cannot adequately describe this class.

So I went back to his class after lunch for his second class of the day. It was wonderful, I didn't necessarily bawl afterwards, but he made me think of how I can be better. He shared a quote, that I thought fit perfectly with his first lesson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson

So- there is no excuse to not be the person you want to be. You have the choice. We can always come up with excuses, but why? We are the only ones limiting ourselves...

So I will start now, and I will be the person I want to be. It is not enough just to try. He made the comment that if when you get married your husband says "i will try to love you forever" that you should say- "sweet, try with someone else" we make commitments all the time, and success without commitments are impossible. So I am committing to be that person... wish me luck.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

blog vs sleep

This is a constant battle in my life.

Do I blog or do I sleep.

Here is my Pro/Pro list... Pro/Con lists are silly, because the cons of one are the pros of the other, so when making a lists are the only way to go...

Pros of Blogging:

  1. quickly write down memories so I can remember them in months to come
  2. help my family to stay updated on my life
  3. get random musings out of my head

Pros of Sleeping:

  1. I am more rested
  2. happier during the week
  3. I can stay awake while driving
  4. You get to have exciting dreams
  5. more energy
  6. Im not as grumpy
  7. I can do my job better
Sleep tends to always win. I have 2,390,823 blog posts in my head that I haven't found time to actually write out...they are coming, hopefully... but for now my bed is calling my name for a quick nap before more meetings and a trip to the airport...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


week 7. Bowling Green, Kentucky

I can't believe we are already to week 7, but at the same time it feels like we have been here for an eternity. Last week was the low point. The week where I just wanted to go home. There was no air conditioning, no cell service, Morningside started at  7:30 rather than the normal 9:30, we were all tired and slightly grumpy.

I'm not sure what changed. It could be the cold rooms to sleep in, or the extra hour of sleep because of a time change. It might have been our cheer on Monday morning. I'm not sure what it was but this week just feels so much better, we are all... refreshed.

our cheer. it was epic. Thank you Shmidtty for the amazing lights...
we made it the night before and I was literally on crack. I have been in a funk of late and as we all helped choreograph it (main credit goes to James and Shae) we all just kept getting more and more excited. Funk gone. Seven year old Ellie, back. 

EFY is draining. It is amazing but draining. It literally takes over every part of your life. Even on your days "off" you're not really off because you are travelling to the next session and getting everything ready for another week. A life back home seems like a distant memory, and trying to maintain relationships with friends is tricky, to say the least. (This is my public apology to Jenna for failing at calling her every time I say I will, and the forever long game of phone tag). You crave normality, independence. I remember at the end of last summer the highlight of going home was being able to go to the bank by myself. To run an errand. I was so happy. So by week 6 it is understandable that one would start to get a little stir crazy.

There is something about Kentucky. This campus is magestic. We are in a beautiful, newly renovated auditorium, with the most amazing lights and sound guy. Our site office is perfect, with leftover cereal from mingle for those mornings you don't make it to breakfast. Orientation ran like a dream. Everything has just been nearly perfect. 

James and I came to the realization that we don't have enough fun with our BCs. Our meetings are quick so we can get to bed, but it doesn't allow for them to de-stress. So last night we got little tiny things of Ben and Jerry's. We told them how we loved them and how we saw a difference from last week and how much we appreciated and what the do. Mary raised her hand, "can you be more specific, that's pretty broad and I want to know what we can do to get more ice cream." it was amazing, and hysterical.

While last week I found myself wishing the summer would come to an end, this week I have found myself saying I have the best job in the world. While it is hard at times, and we have to deal with not fun things (like mean parents at check in, mistakes from the office, discipline, and all the other not-so-great things), we also get to play with our friends and learn about the gospel. Where else to you get paid to sit in classes and learn, or sit and listen to your friends as they practice singing "I Feel My Saviors Love"- this really is the best job in the world.

I'm not sure what I am trying to get across in this post, it's mainly an update and for me to remember that I really do love what I do. The moral of this story is that this week is different, and I am excited for the next two weeks and what they bring!

Friday, July 20, 2012

small town USA

i have fallen in love with small town USA.

its real.

we are in Hiram, OH this week, and I am almost certain we doubled the population when all the kids got here. and it is beautiful.

if you asked me Saturday or Sunday I would have said something along the lines of "I COULD NEVER LIVE HERE!" it was a 30 minute drive in any direction to the nearest walmart, and the walmart we went to had a horse and buggy parking lot for the amish people that live here. (okay, I loved that! but i wouldn't want to live here)

Somehow in between the long drives to kirtland, lack of sleep, and running a special edition... I fell in love with this town.

Some of the reasons...

Everywhere you drive it is absolutely beautiful. green pastures. rolling hills. tall trees.

there is one police man on duty. one. and we have become best friends. story. (yes. police officers are becoming a common occurrence, i promise im not a felon) on monday morning we woke up to find parking tickets on all of our cars. surprise during the week you cant park on the street from 4am-6am on weekdays...who knew? the signs coming into town, not on the side of the road..thats who. So being the loving coordinator I am I had them turn them into me and went to hopefully work some magic. I went down to the police station. no police man. There was a nice lady though who informed me that he was out. "Do you know when he will be back?" she responded. "nope, it just depends on whats going can just look for his car and then you will know he is back." I smiled, gave her my number (even though I didnt have service) and she told me she would give me a call. Well luck had it that I was driving by right when he got back. I went in and instantly became best friends with my favorite police officer Dave. I explained what had happened and he explained the no parking on weekday rules. He then took the stack of tickets (probably 10) and gave me a hard time. "So you are all felons?" my response. "Yes." (he looks at me...) "I mean, no. well yes, we all got tickets, but we are all good people I promise!" he laughed, took me in the back telling me he was going to have to "book me" and then simply told me not to park there again and sent me on my merry way. I have never left a police station feeling happier. I came back and told the story to James while sitting at the solutions table. Not long after our good friend Officer Dave showed up at the solutions table. Just to check that everything was going okay. This was the biggest thing going on in the town. He talked to us for a while and made us laugh. This week has been full of random check-ups and waving from his patrol car. I LOVE HIM! and I have never felt more safe in a town.

People know one another's name. I was at the post office and the worker called the woman in front of me by name. I want that. I want to live in a small town and know everyone. I want to walk into a store and say "Hi" to Gary the checker on aisle 4, and go see Susie the baker who helps me come up with new recipes...perfection

Everyone is soooo kind. A little boy helped me carry boxes into the post office when he saw me struggling. I loved him, and it literally made my day.

They have one stoplight. one. and then a blinking "yield" light. at night the town is dead. it is perfect for late night walks, and just everything...

in case i didnt adequately say this before it is BEAUTIFUL!

today as I drove to a different town to the post office. "Makes me Wanna Take a Backroad" by Rodney Adkins came on and I thought to myself that life couldn't get any better. That was the moment I was completely sold. I want my small, humble, full of character home, in a tiny town in Ohio... where I know all my neighbors, and the police man and I are old chums, and everyone is friendly.

yep. that is the life i want some day. im sold.

also thank you to mary and shawn for the post below.