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.