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.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

escaping to a different world...

my favorite part of spring... the mountains. add a great book, and the boy you have a crush on and life is just about perfect. meet our go to activity. reading Harry Potter on a blanket in the canyon. this is my happy place.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Remembering Boston

Marathon Number 2: Complete

Five days after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I laced up my running shoes, put on my "storm fit" Nike Jacket, and made my way to the starting line with 5,000 other runners. 4 hours and 55 minutes later I crossed the finish line. cold. wet. tired. and wishing for nothing more than dry feet and a hot shower.

once upon a time I wrote an epic play by play of my experience running the St. George Marathon. I am not sure I have the memory to recreate this marathon in the same way (it all seems a blur) but I will do my best.

The Monday Before: 5 days to race day
The fear and feeling of stupidity started to set in. While I had tried to be good about training- school projects and finals had sneakily stolen my time that would have been spent running. Not to mention a random night of being sick preventing one of my last long runs. I was feeling like I was going to die. Being the comical person I am I posted on facebook about my fear of my eminent death. something along the lines of "countdown to marathon: 5 days countdown to funeral: 6 days." An hour later I was sitting in class when a girl next to me turned to the people around her and told us about the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I was mortified by my facebook status- what was meant to be funny now seemed to be more of a callus comment. I quickly went and tried to rectify the comment, eventually hiding it from my facebook. Now I was left with questions about what would happen with the SLC Marathon, would it be cancelled? what were they going to do?

The Friday Before: 1 day to race day
The stress from the week made the race anything but top priority. I was stressed, and the marathon took backseat. With St. George the marathon had engrossed my thoughts all week long- I almost forgot I was about to run a marathon. Finally on Friday life seemed to slow down and I was able to think about the next day. It still seemed surreal. That day for supervisor meeting we went to Pizza Pie Cafe to say goodbye to those supervisors leaving at the end of April. Happy Carbo Loading. I ate, talked, and tried to eat some more. Then it was off to work where I realized once again how I work with the best people in the world, and then it was home to pack. Jackson had to take an OChem final before we could leave, but he was done before 6 and we were on our way to the expo.

Embarrassing moment of the day: We went into the wrong parking garage and had to flip around. I didn't turn wide enough and successfully got my car stuck. Jackson was trying to coach me how to reverse and fix the turn but I kept failing. Laughing, and wanting to die. I finally gave up trying and made Jackson switch me. By this time I am pretty sure there was a car waiting to try to exit from the exit that I had successfully blocked. Jackson is magic and reversed and pulled through in a matter of seconds.

We met up with Mike Pulsipher in the parking lot and went in to the expo. It was surprisingly little and empty. We picked up our packets, Jackson switched to the half instead of the full, we signed the Boston Memorial Banner and then headed to dinner.

We convinced Mike that he wanted to come to dinner with us and that he wouldn't be a third wheel. We got in the car (I made Jackson drive after the fiasco in the last parking garage) and made our way to Trolley Square to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory (The last time I ran the SLC half marathon that is where I had eaten with my family... tradition in the making). We all fell in love with the Old Spaghetti Factory that night. They won us over with bread, salad, and a delicious pasta- but what made us go from having a crush it to full out being in love was the free ice cream at the end. We talked, laughed, watched the news on Boston, and talked to our waitress about how she plays Quidditch (real life).

After dinner we took Mike back to his car and then it was off to the airport to pick up my parents. It had started to rain and silent prayers hoping it would stop by the morning were said. We dodge raindrops as we loaded luggage into the car and gave quick hugs before we made our way to my Aunt's house. It had suddenly gotten late, and the hope of a full night sleep was seeming like a distant dream. We unloaded the car, talked with Aunt Margy and Uncle Bryce, I got a much needed blessing, and got ready for bed. PS something I love- brushing my teeth with the boy you are dating- weird? maybe, but it was great. By the time we went to bed it was close to midnight and the 6:00 wake up call seemed too close to run a marathon.

Saturday: Race Day
The alarm went off way too early. I rolled out of bed, turned off the annoying chime, and made my way up the stairs. Breakfast time. I tried but the last thing I want to do was eat. I managed to get half a piece of toast down before giving the other half away. The weather outside wasn't promising. Half asleep I got ready for the race. I layered to stay warm, and decided that I would just try to remember my "dedication list" rather than writing it on my arm under all the layers. Mike came and joined us at my aunt's and my padre drove us to the starting line. We reached a road block on the way and talked to a kind police officer about how to get to the start with all the closures for the marathon. We made it there just in time for Jackson and Mike to drop off their jackets and make it to the starting line.

The starting line was great. Everyone there excited for the race to come, and there was also a sense of reverence for Boston. We had a moment of silence and then they played "Sweet Caroline." Yes, we sang along. It was also comforting to see the bomb squad at the starting line. They had added security and made it known.

The gun went off and the race was underway. Jackson, Mike, and I decided to run together. It was so fun running with them. Our pace was perfect in my book. We told stories, talked, enjoyed the people around us, Mike enjoyed his first "race" experience, and we handled the wetness.

My mom and Dad were troopers and handled the rain to come out and cheer. We saw them around mile 2 and it made my day. They cheered for me, they cheered for Jackson, and they even cheered for Mike who they had met on the way to the starting line. Mike turned to Jackson and I and expressed how Bill and Cate have his eternal allegiance. I ended up getting to see them about five times along the course. It made my day. It was a hard course and a hard day for running. It was cold and rainy meaning you were soaked and there was no way to get warm. My feet were wet from the rain and hurt from being so soggy (gross word). It seemed as though the course was all up hill and the course wasn't through very exciting areas- so seeing them along the way saved me. Along the route my water belt started to bother me and I was able to hand it off to them. huge tender mercy.

Mile 4: For the first time in a race I had to go to the bathroom. bad. however, i have this whole not wanting to waste time standing in line- so I didn't stop. My goal. Mile 8 when the half and full split- I figured with less runners the lines would be smaller.

Mile 7.9: .1 miles until Jackson and Mike split for the half. Jackson turned to me and asked me how I was feeling. I shook my head. not good. I might have cried slightly. It was raining. My feet were wet. and I had to run 18 miles by myself. Jackson told me he would walk back and run the last little bit with me and gave me words of comfort. A quick hug- and he was gone.

I made friends with a guy named Jason. He was my new running buddy and kept me from stopping. My pace slowed to a little over 10 minute miles (I no longer had Jackson and Mike keeping my pace up). I asked Jason questions about his life and he told me about his adventures. He was from Minnesota, single, working for the state- his hobby: running marathons all over. He would fly different places and make a weekend out of it. He is not your "typical" marathon runner. He was well over 6 feet, and probably 250 pounds. He was a big guy, and I am sure we looked like quite the pair running together. I saw my parents it once again made running so much easier- they even cheered for my new found friend, Jason.

Mile 15: The rain finally stopped. I was freezing and my fingers were the size of a hot dog. (Note to any boy ever: never propose at the end of a marathon... there is no way a ring could fit.) My "Storm Fit" jacket had failed and I was soaked to the bone.

Mile 18: I started playing intense mind games. I had Jackson's Garmin (he is an angel) but I refused to look at the miles (also it was hidden under my now very wet jacket). Instead I tried to convince myself that I wasn't as far as I was. I convinced myself I was at Mile 17, and then when I reached Mile 19 I was extremely happy. The sad thing is I kept doing it and it worked.

Mile 20: The 4:30 pacer passed me. I had been on track to make my secret goal but I had slowed considerably as my feet became more and more painful. It was the feeling you have after sitting in a hot tub for WAY too long. I had been running for over 3 hours with wet feet and my feet were letting it be known that they weren't happy with me. When they passed I tried to pick up my pace to stay with them but the pain increased and I couldn't do it. My legs felt mind but my feet were winning the battle with my mind.

Mile 21: The mind games continue. I had told myself that I would get to see Jackson in about three miles and then I would be almost done. I planned to give him the Garmin and make me finish strong. I tried listening to music but I had my moms headphones and they were weird and wouldn't stay in. I eventually gave up.

Mile 22: JACKSON WAS THERE. He was the nicest person in the whole world and had walked back four miles after his half. I was so happy to see him. In my mind seeing him meant I was done. Wrong. I still have 4 more miles which equates to at least 40 minutes of running. I handed him his garmin and told him to push me. This lasted for about .2 miles before I begged to walk. We walked a lot. Mentally I was dead. Then the embarrassment set in. I felt weak mentally and therefore pathetic (oh the dumb things of our mind... i was running a freaking marathon and felt pathetic!) I would try to run for a bit but then needed another break. My feet were awful and all I could think about was being dry. It felt like the end would never come.

Mile 24: The slight drizzle turned back into a downpour. The water was washing the sweat off my forehead and into my eyes. I kept trying to remind myself that I was doing this because it was enjoyable. It was not enjoyable. We passed what looked like an aid station- luckily I had Jackson who warned my that it was actually people passing out alcohol to the runners. I was so confused- who wants alcohol while running- we also had a free beer coupon on our bibs. Seriously? That is exactly what I want when I finish a marathon.... false.

Mile 25: Best. Aid. Station. Ever. There was music, people cheering, amazing signs (Jackson's favorite was "Your feet hurt so bad because you are kicking so much a**), and a woman passing out pretzels and gummy bears. Nothing has ever tasted so good.

The finish: It came sooner than I thought and I was so excited. It was pouring but I saw my dad and life was perfect. I finished. Got my metal. Grabbed a water bottle- and realized I couldn't bend my hot dog fingers to open it. My mom offered an umbrella but I realized there was no sense because I was already drenched. Jackson and I got interviewed by a reporter for the newspaper and BYU. We were on the second page later that week, with a very attractive picture. I looked like I wanted to die. We walked around and I felt like a baby- I was helpless. I felt weak and was carrying nothing while everyone else had their hands full. The best part about running the full with a mainly half marathon race is by the time you are finishing they are trying to get rid of all the extra food. We took home a huge box of Famous Amos cookies and Greek Yogurt.

The aftermath: We made it back to the Barker's house, took showers, and then got in the car to head back to Provo. Jackson and I fell asleep in the back sleep. We were both exhausted (He had ended up running around 18 miles). The parentals wanted to take us out to lunch at Bangkok Grill to keep the tradition alive. We got back went to lunch and then hoped to both take a nap. No such luck. That night was full of fun festivities including a pine wood derby ward activity (Jackson's roommates car had a C02 cartridge- it was AMAZING), pizza and family time at Matt and Keri's, and a friend's birthday party. We got to bed late and exhausted. Church was early the next day and Sunday was just as busy as Saturday night. We had family lunch/dinner and then hosted a party for a friend moving out of the ward. I found myself extremely grumpy that night, I just was upset at the world. The next morning I woke up with the desire to be happy but it wasn't coming. I hurt. My legs hated me. My back hated me. I had finals. and I was Oscar the Grouch. I took a final Monday morning and had some time to kill before work. I decided a nap was much needed. I slept for an hour. I woke up feeling a thousand times better. Life was great for another 4 hours but then the grumpiness started to come back. After work I decided another nap was needed. I woke up from this nap and my legs felt good as new. No longer did I notice the pain as I walked down the stairs. I was the happiest- and this time it stayed. So moral of the story: Get enough sleep after you run a marathon.

Despite the awfulness of the course and weather I still want to run another marathon. The bug is real. And the best thing is Jackson is running his first full in a month, and I get to be on cheering detail.

*pictures to come*

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

pizza bagel

funny story: It's Tuesday. happy devotional day. Jackson meets me in the ASB and we are about to head over to the Marriot Center. Jackson was in need of a snack so we made a pit stop at the vending machine. There was a pizza bagel stuck. We (by we I mean I) thought it would be a genius idea for Jackson to get a pizza bagel so we could get two for the price of one. economical. and exciting. So he inserts the money presses A4, the metal rings move, the bagel is about to fall, and then it stops. Two stuck bagels and 1.25 poorer. So what do you do? You get another pizza bagel in hopes of it getting the other one to fall which will cause the stuck one to fall so you get two for the price of two. (Once again this is all my doing, but Jackson is the greatest and goes along) Another 1.25 in the vending machine. The metal rings start to spin, the one bagel falls leaving another one stuck behind it. The bagel falls the two feet to where the original stuck bagel waits, it hits, and stops... both bagels are now stuck. I die. laughing that is. No bagels. 2.50 out. Current number of stuck bagels... 3. So what do you do? turn to brunt force- with a little bit of shimming of the machine we were able to get one bagel for Jackson. The best part: Jackson didn't even really care about having a pizza bagel.

ps Happy Birthday Catherine Daines Hall

Thursday, April 11, 2013


patience. of all the virtues I long to have but fall so very short, this one takes the cake.

i remember being young and my mother trying to teach me delayed gratification, but I am almost positive that if they did the marshmallow experiment with my I would gobble it up within 3 seconds of the observer leaving.

being done with school. finding out about seminary. having time... everything in my life is requiring patience. and it is the hardest.

"patience is staying with something until the end." -Elder Uchtdorf

Over the last two weeks all I have wanted is to quit school. There was so much to do with not enough time. I am pretty sure Jackson has heard me ask him if I could quit school a thousand times. He won't let me (the little punk).

We are taught to have joy in the journey time and time again. Yet, why when school is staring you straight in the eye, with all other stressors trying to crowd their way in is it so hard to remember. I get stressed. shut down. want to cry. complete  the project. look back. and suddenly all of my stress seems so dumb and unwarranted. The problem is keeping that end perspective before you know how it will turn out. Trusting in the Lord is what it all comes down to. However things turn out trusting that it will be what is best, and that you can do all things with his help.

so I will attempt to patiently wait, while I continue to move forward, for he is my savior of good things to come.

ps meet the to-do list that I wrote last week. enter stress. meet crossing things off. enter feeling of accomplishment.

  • positive living paper (3-4 pages)
  • interview presentation
  • watch yours, mine, and our. write 6 page paper analyzing.
  • watch father of the bride. write 2 page paper analyzing.
  • major application #3 (5-6 pages)
  • FLE portfolio (final product 40 pages)
  • FLE presentation
  • FLE extra credit paper (1-2 pages)
  • Teach Seminary x3
  • Developmental Theory Midterm
  • Developmental Theory Journal (1 page)
  • Systems Midterm
  • Systems Theory Journal (1 page)
  • willpower chapter 8 quiz
  • willpower chapter 9 quiz
  • willpower chapter 10 quiz
  • willpower conclusion quiz
  • follow up survey for positive living
  • course evaluations
  • final project presentation
  • final project write-up
  • relationship homework
  • email professor about missing class because of teaching, report points

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Perfect Saturday

There are some days in life that just seem perfect. You are the perfect amount of busy while not being stressed, the weather is perfect, you have perfect company, and are doing the perfect things.

Today was one of those days.

It started with a Ju Jit Tsu Tournament that Jackson was competing in. I was super excited until I realized I didn't want to see my boyfriend get beaten up, or beat someone up. He did great though and one the first match. One of the reasons I love him- he was friendly and talking to the guy he was fighting during the fight. He is a gem. His friend Burke won the division they were in. It was great to be there and cheer.

Then it was home to quickly get ready, make a picnic, and head up to Salt Lake City to see the Odd Couple. A coworker had given us the tickets because I covered him one morning. They were great seats and it was fun to get out of Provo. We both secretly said that we liked University of Utah's campus (but we still have loyalties to BYU). The play was great and funny- and we both felt extremely cultured. It took me back to my days in London, however, my ability to analyze theater has significantly decreased.

waiting for "The Odd Couple" to start
Afterwards we laid on the grass soaking in the beautiful day talking about anything and everything. It was a perfect moment.

It was then home to get ready to go on a group date with some of our favorite people. My friend from London was going on a date with Jackson's roommate, Lacey and Jake came, and Mike took a girl we had met laser tagging. We went to Zupas for dinner and then up the canyon for a bon fire. Jackson told me ghost stories about the "trappers" who had worked up there, and we laughed a lot. We cuddled up by the bon fire, looked at the stars, told stories, and watched the first dates happening around us.

The day ended perfectly, which is to be expected on a perfect day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

valentine's and life.

how to start this post? i have no idea. writer's block has taken over, so now a stream of my thoughts fills the page rather than a perfectly worded introduction. valentine's day is two days away. it is the season of love. i have become a pro valentine maker with the help of a group training at work where we made cards, and FHE. I harness my seven year old self as I grab the scissors and markers and try to come up with something slightly creative. i am a minimalist when it comes to making things- this makes for extremely boring valentines... but they are made with love and that is what counts... right?

today i missed devotional, after a bought of peer pressure from the other supervisors at work, to go and deliver valentines to the hospital. while sad I missed the devotional (which i will watch later), I was grateful for the opportunity to serve. I never know what to say as you hand them a card that you made for them. "I hope you feel better." "Happy Valentine's Day" it just seems so impersonal. These people are struggling with so much, whether it be surgery or cancer or a recent heart attack- their life has been shaken. As we walked around I somehow got lost in my mind. I am doctor phobic.. ie: I told my doctor I hated him when I was three, and the only way they let me go from the hospital was because a nurse had checked my vitals when I was asleep and I was okay- I wouldn't let them come close to me. I walked through the halls of the hospital thinking how wonderful it was what these doctors and nurses were doing. I thought of Becca in nursing school and was so proud of her. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life- how could I help? how could I make the world better?

Becca and I talked months ago about my life. About what I wanted to do, and the uncertainty that lies ahead. I graduate soon and with that comes so many unknowns. It is terrifying. I want to teach seminary which is full of unknowns, hope, and possible disappointment. What do I do if I don't make it through the extremely competitive process. What then? Becca mentioned that she had thought of doing something where she would be an emotional coach for children in the hospital. I brushed it off thinking of how much I hate hospitals, and how depressing it would be. At one point I wanted to do family therapy for families who had a member diagnosed with a terminal disease and how to be resilient through that- but once again those thoughts of the emotional taxation came to mind. How selfish am I? Today I couldn't help but think how wonderful that could be. To help kids who are struggling. So the research begins... how do I make that happen if Seminary Teaching doesn't work? I have no idea...

one more thing before i get off the topic of love... funniest thing ever.
switching topics.

I am in a positive living class. yes, that is right. a positive living class. best. class. ever. recently we talked about savoring. how we have to slow down and really enjoy the good things in life. it is so hard. I feel like my time is always spoken for. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed it is scheduled. I have a to-do list with everything I need to get done and the time I have to possibly get it done...But how awful is it to let those things pass by and not enjoy them in the moment. Basically my new goal is to find joy in everything I do.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I walked home from school. I ran into a friend who was stressed and just seemed bogged down. I thought of my life. The things in it that I wish were different. I thought about how I just wanted to fast forward until everything made sense. But as I thought of my friend I just wanted to tell him- you cant avoid the things you have to do, so you might as well enjoy it while you go. I then realized how dumb I was being in my own life. I was wishing it away. Rather than enjoying the moment I was in, I was looking forward. I wasn't taking time to savor my life. I wasn't having faith in the Lord's timing. I wasn't being patient.

Moral of the story. I learn the same lessons over and over again.

so happy week of love. tell those you love that you love them. smile at those you see walking by. and remember life is too short to just endure it- enjoy it.

ps i just read this talk- highly recommended.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
Desire or be curious to know something.
noun.  marvel - miracle - prodigy - astonishment - amazement
verb.  marve

i look at the blank page before me. ready to soak in all my thoughts. and I wonder why I haven't been better about recording my thoughts and life over the past few months. My mind has been everywhere- new insights gained, lessons learned, experiences had. Yet the pages stay blank. I blame... myself. I am sure I could come up with a myriad of reasons to justify why I haven't written, but all would simply be to validate my lack of making it a priority. so what thought/experience broke the long silence that was this blog.

today's forum by Michael Wesch.

It was a debate wether or not to go. It was a forum, which is like playing Russian Roulette with your time- either they are wonderful, or you would rather be watching paint dry then sitting in the hard, cramped seats in the Marriott Center. And I had a test I had to take in the hour break I had right after the forum that I could use a little extra time to study for. 

The decision was made to go, with full intent to study while there- then I could say I went, while still getting done what I needed to get done. Studying lasted for a whole three minutes before I quickly switched from reviewing my notes, to taking notes on what he was saying.

He was inspiring and captivating. He made me want my life to be so much more than the trajectory it is/was on. He started by talking about questions. The art of asking questions and searching for answers. He talked about how questions so humility, and make us vulnerable. And how it is through shared vulnerability that we learn about empathy.

He talked about how the questions we are asking ourselves in education and how they are not the questions that matter to learning. questions like "how many points is it worth?" or "how long does it need to be?" are not the questions that spark creativity or help us learn- but rather teach us the minimal we need to receive a grade. He shared a brief snippet of this valedictorian speech which I went back and read, and is phenomenal. and eye opening.

an excerpt of Erica Goldson's Valedictorian Speech.

This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contend that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared.

Her words are scarily correct. I look back at my education and think of the number of tests I have gotten and A on, yet I couldn't tell you anything I learned a year later. What a waste. In my life planning and decision making class (the joys of your last semester) we have been talking about purpose, and the importance behind having purpose, and finding purpose in what you are doing. I loved a quote from the forum, he said "Find purpose and it will ignite your creativity." We need to find a purpose, a purpose for life and for living. What is the purpose in going to class? Is it to get an A, or to learn? Jackson and I had a conversation once about "what is intelligence." He is a smart kid, but he posed the question if he is considered smart simply because he test well. Conversation ensued. I dont know the answer, we didn't come to a conclusion. But we agreed that it consisted of applying knowledge gained.

moral of the story. learn don't just go to school.

other things I loved from the forum...
* failures are just signs on the road- it doesn't define who you are, but is just a sign to keep trying
* be in a state of wonder- when you are you want to experience everything, and connect with everyone around you
* love is something you do- something you get better at... it is the same with wonder.