Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So long, farewell

Tomorrow is my last day as an official resident of Provo, and I have mixed emotions about it. I guess it's true that the one constant in life is change, and I'm just dealing with it like I've learned to.

I packed all of my stuff in less than two hours. It's crazy how empty a room can get in such a short amount of time. Tomorrow at circa 2:30 p.m., my manager will come and check to see if I adequately scrubbed the baseboards and got all my stuff out of here, and I'll hit I-15 running.

It's a funny thing, dealing with change. I went to visit some friends in the ward tonight and to say goodbye, but I wasn't sure how to do it. Do I tell them thanks for the good times? Do I take a Christmas gift? Do I stay and chat? Do we hug? I thought of sending them an e-mail or Facebook message, but if I'm going to do that, couldn't I do it just as well after the fact when I'm already home?

And I don't even know that this is goodbye. I remember when I said "goodbye" to my friend Jake — the first of my friends I graduated with to leave on his mission. I saw him over Thanksgiving break and he was pretty much the same (except with a couple years on his face and a hint of a Spanish accent). Back in August of '06, I didn't tell him goodbye at all. It's more of a "see ya later."

So I guess there's no reason, really, to be sad. No reason to say goodbye, even.

See ya later, Utah.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A few of my favorite things

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and yesterday I left my mistletoe-clad abode and ventured to the holly-jolliest place in Utah County — University Mall. Finding a gift for a co-worker was harder than I thought, so I thought I'd give y'all an early Christmas present — ideas! Here's my 2008 gift guide: (Note: These are probably best for the teenage/twenty-something females on your list. Not that your son won't LOVE a Flirty Apron)

1. So I'm a total sucker for anything with an Apple sticker, and when my iPod completely lost its mind (after three long years of heavy use, by the way) and started playing any song in its library completely at random and ignoring my futile attempts at contolling it, I decided it was time for something new.

And if that doesn't make you drool, watch this.

(*Note: My dad just got and iPod Touch and has been listening to the music I left on our home computer. He said, "That band called Weasel is pretty good. I really like the one song 'Say it Ain't So.'" He meant Weezer. I love my dad.)

2. I'm not exactly a domestic goddess. Have you seen "Father of the Bride"? Remember when Brian gives Annie a blender for their anniversary and she flips out? I can relate to her a little. But that doesn't change the fact that I think these are completely to die for:

I'm a sucker for blue and brown anyway, and that just makes me want to bake up some banana bread, stat.

3. I'm kind of a bookworm, but even if I'm not reading a book, I still like to own it. My apartment never feels like home until I have at least a dozen books lining the shelf, and I'm taking a Fiction to Film class next semester, so I get a whole new collection. You can never go wrong with a nice book.

4. Games, games, games! LeaDawn and I used to have Sunday Game Night every weekend, and we played more games of Nertz than you can imagine. Variety is wonderful — have you ever heard of Settlers of Catan? It's addictingly delicious ... and (speaking of delicious) so is Apples to Apples. And Cranium. And others.

5. And if you're buying for someone who already has #1 (or something with similar capabilities), a CD is always a fine choice. Let me offer some suggestions:

I saw a Limbeck show in Salt Lake City last Saturday, and I'm totally in love. I couldn't stop smiling the whole time they played. You won't hear them on the radio, but you should.

Sondre Lerche makes me smile — and he did almost every song on here.

I haven't fogotten. I've been waiting for this since May.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

English 318 and skydiving finally have something in common

I registered for winter semester classes a few weeks ago. I was busy the evening before looking at my Grad Plan and what classes were offered and who taught them, and when, and how long it would take me to walk to class from my new apartment. I was basically stressing out over life. Have you heard of The Color Code? I'm pretty much true blue, and I go into checklist-addiction relapse when registration time comes around.

By the time I finished, there was nothing left of my Grad Plan. Choosing classes for the MesoAmerica tour, adding web design courses to my emphasis and otherwise adapting to changing circumstances turned my schedule into a strange mix of the classes that actually turned out much better than I had planned.

I guess life is kind of that way. Graduation won't be the last thing I accomplish despite my best efforts. I made a list when I was 12 describing my future husband, and as much as I wanted a tall, movie-quoting guitarist at the time, my priorities have changed. I made another list when I was 14 of things I want to do before I die, but somewhere along the way I've lost my enthusiasm for skydiving and added things like "write a novel" and "get a Master's degree."

As far as I can tell, change is paradoxically constant. I think Steve Carell said it best at the end of one of my favorite movies, Dan in Real Life:

"Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised."

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Post-Thanksgiving "Thanks Giving"

As promised, here are a few things I'm extra thankful for after an extra-awesome Turkey Day.

1. Dodgeball with the fam at Madison Middle School 2. Ice Skating at Tautphaus Park 3. Real mashed potatoes 4. Big, comfy couches and good movies 5. Christmas carols 6. Black Honda Accords 7. New Fong's Chinese Restaurant 8. Little boys 9. Little girls 10. Mario Kart 11. Being a Madison Bobcat 12. Volkswagen Beetles 13. Dimples 14. Not being "out on the street" 15. Chex Mix with candy syrup and nuts 16. Trips to the grocery store to buy lemons 17. Sleeping in 18. The Rexburg Temple 19. Selling housing contracts 20. A good life

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Pre-Thanksgiving "Thanks Giving"

I'm all packed and ready to go home for the break tomorrow and I'm totally stoked about it. I miss my Idaho! I feel like I'm in The New Amsterdams' song that my friend dedicated to me:

She says
Is calling her home.

The rest of the song is, unfortunately, pretty depressing. But I like that first part.

Anyway, I was thinking today about all the little bits of happiness that come with the holidays and all the good things in life itself. It is Thanksgiving, right? This summer at EFY, I started making mental notes of things that "light up my life" and thanking people for them ("Amber, your smile lights up my life!"). It kind of became a habit (minus the awkward compliments you can only get away with at EFY), so in the spirit of Thanksgiving I made — you guessed it — another list! Here are some of my favorite things in no particular order:

1. PEZ dispensers
2. Symphony bars (the blue ones with almonds and toffee)
3. Little kids
4. Movie nights
5. Falling asleep on the couch during movie nights
6. Looking through old photo albums
7. All-new episodes
8. Taking pictures
9. Birthdays
10. Home videos
11. Converse/Vans shoes
12. Sleeping in
13. Clean sheets
14. Free continental breakfast
15. Clothes warm right out of the dryer
16. No-bake cookies
17. Haircuts
18. Running with an iPod
19. Shooting stars
20. Going home

I think sometimes I'm thankful for the things I miss — the old "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" philosophy. I'll let you know in a day or two what I'm thankful for at that point. Until then,

"Idaho is calling me home."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I know. I'm lame

So I have about a hundred million ideas of awesome things to blog about, but I'm not feeling particularly creative tonight (Max Hall broke my heart when he collapsed on himself like a dying star). Perhaps tomorrow or the next day I'll get the motivation, but since I'm wallowing in BYU's sorrow I've resorted to a blog cop-out. Here's the tag that Natasha sent my way (thanks Nat!). And McKenzie, I'll get to yours next time I'm feeling down.

8 Things Tag

8 Things I am PASSIONATE About
1. Writing/Journalism
2. The gospel
3. Learning
4. EFY
5. Music lyrics/poetry
6. Grammar
7. Photography
8. My family

8 "words" or "phrases" I say often
1. What!?
2. Fetch.
3. Seriously?
4. Sorry, man.
5. Dude!
6. Oh ... my gosh.
7. Are you kidding me?
8. Sweet.

8 Things I want to do before I die
1. Go on a mission
2. Write a novel
3. Go to Fenway Park
4. Have a really cute family
5. Swim in the Mediterranean
6. Zipline through the jungle
7. Get a Master's Degree
8. See Les Miserables on Broadway in New York

8 Things I have learned from my past
1. It's OK to make mistakes as long as you don't repeat them
2. Everyone can teach you something
3. Always let people teach you
4. Forgive others and forgive yourself
5. Work hard, play hard
6. Don't bottle things up inside
7. Family is important
8. The gospel is EVERYTHING

8 Places I would love to see...
1. New York City
2. Paris
3. London
4. Rome
5. Boston
6. Australia
7. Africa
8. Guatemala

8 Things I Currently Need or Want
1. Scholarships
2. New clothes
3. Someone to drop out of the 9 a.m. CIT 230 class so I don't have to get up at 7:45 a.m.
4. My hair highlighted (I'm getting roots ...)
5. Someone to buy my housing contract
6. A headlight for my car
7. A letter
8. A new iPod — mine tragically died recently ... I don't want to talk about it

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm not a professional ... yet

So remember how LeaDawn is getting married? I think I'm having almost as much fun with this as she is (perhaps I'm living it all a little bit vicariously as well). I work for Utah Valley Bride from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and help LeaDawn BECOME a bride whenever she'll let me. What can I say? I'm a little wedding-happy.

And in the spirit of humoring me, LeaDawn let me take her ENGAGEMENT PICTURES!!! She's a smart girl and got a real professional as well, but I think
some of these turned out pretty well and she chose some for the invitation. I just love these two. Oh, and a special thanks to Bonnie Olaveson for letting me use her camera and the small town (does it count as a town?) of LaBelle, Idaho for being so pretty in the fall.

Oh, and for more fun wedding plans (or ideas, if you're one of my friends who happens to be engaged) click on "LeaDawn and Daniel" over on the left. I talked her into starting a wedding blog. I know, I know, it's genius ... I'm thinking of starting a wedding consultation business.

Invitations coming soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gotta love it

I did a cool interview today with a lady who just opened her own furniture store. She majored in advertising/graphic arts in school and started her career with an internship in Atlanta working on the Coca-Cola account. She knows her way around design and fonts and color and branding. She did all the interior design for Omniture (an international online advertising and web analytics company headquartered in Orem).

Basically, this lady could do whatever she wants. She opened the store and does private in-home design consultation, and she talked to me about it for two hours. Her eyes lit up when she showed me the couch in the corner that she designed and had custom made and the artwork on the wall that was made entirely from fossilized beetles (and it was surprisingly beautiful).

That made me think — what am I passionate about?

A lot of things, I guess. I'm passionate about chocolate milk and corner brownies. I love writing and photography. I think The Office is hands down the funniest show ever and that Mario Kart is still the best video game ever made. But I'm making big decisions right now, and it would be really good to notice when things light me up like that. I guess it's a good thing for everyone to figure out. Basically, it seems like whatever you do, you've gotta love it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Great Day in Happy Valley

So, this weekend I had the BEST time in Idaho. LeaDawn's bridal shower was wonderful and it was so fun to see a lot of good friends I've missed.

I can't believe I'll be there for good again in just five weeks! But, on the flip side, I only have five weeks left in this valley I've started to call "home." And while I'm excited to start school, there are a few things I'm REALLY going to miss about Happy Valley.

While I'm still here, I'm determined to drink in every drop of Provo and give myself some things — and people — to miss. Here are a few things I'm going to be sad to leave:

1. The mountainsThey're beautiful. They're picturesque. They're grand. They're right outside my office window. Who could ask for anything more?

2. My roommates

(Halloween — I'm a Lone Peak High School football player, Jess is a pixie and Marissa is some character from a TV show I've never seen. I said, "Oh, so you're a nurse?" That wasn't satisfactory. Apparently, the girl she's impersonating is not your ordinary hospital worker)

(Natalie and me just before my first Institute Dance. It was an unforgettable experience)

They're funny. They're loud. They're goofy. And I love them.

3. The Provo Temple

When you come around the bend in University Parkway, it just POPS out. It's the highlight of my drive home.

4. Utah Valley Magazine

I have the Best. Internship. Ever.

5. My ward. I don't think I have any pictures, but that's because we're always too busy playing. My sister called last week and she said it sounded like I was at a party. I said, "Is that what they call it? We just call it Thursday."

It will be good to go home. But it will be REALLY nice to soak Provo in for just a little bit longer.

Maybe that's why they call it Happy Valley.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Susan B. Anthony would be proud

So, today I totally rocked the vote.

Isn't that SUCH an 18- to 25-year-old-female-voter-ish thing for me to say? We're young, smart and TOTALLY in to politics and, like, what's happening in the world. reported today that "young voter turnout nationwide is showing significant increases compared to 2004 vote totals. Across the country, young people are voting at historic levels." We're definitely doing better than we were a few years ago, but I still think we have a long way to go.

Not that I'm one to talk. I'm guilty of justifying the laziness — My vote doesn't even count in Utah. One vote really doesn't make a difference at all I told myself this morning when I realized it was already November 4. Still, I couldn't shake the feeling of Susan B. Anthony and thousands of other dead feminists breathing down my neck all morning.

So to the polls I went. I wasn't looking forward to the long line all my co-workers (who are mostly over 30) were talking about, but I drove to BYU campus on my lunch hour anyway. This is SO worth the sacrifice, I thought, mentally patting myself on the back for my patriotism.

When I got there, I thought I'd come to the wrong place. I was the only one in line — the old man at the table seemed thrilled to have some company. While I thought it was sad, I wasn't terribly surprised. My precinct included BYU and UVU students, and we're SO busy all the time.

But one other voter came while I was there — a young man probably not more than 25 — who caught my eye and changed my perspective. He was fully dressed in his Army Greens — or, rather, the Army Tans they wear today in Iraq. I couldn't help watching him as he signed his name and stepped up to cast his ballot.

I felt sheepish standing next to him. I had thought so highly of myself for driving an extra 12 minutes and sacrificing our office's daily MarioKart Tournament to do my civic duty. What was my sacrifice when compared to his? The very fact that I was able to stand next to him was because of him and people like him. And I thought I was the patriotic one?

He finished, nodded to the workers and left. I awkwardly took my sticker and saltwater taffy as I followed him — I left a little prouder of my country and a little more embarrassed for my generation.

It's a little late, but I'll still say it. Generation Y, get out there and rock the ...

Yeah, you know.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Heart Creative Suite

In case you haven't heard, my very best friend (and Idaho roommate!) is getting married on Dec. 20. Horray! (See previous blogs "Best Summer Ever" and "She's Been Domesticated" for events leading to the big question)

So, in true bridesmaid spirit, I'm throwing her a bridal shower next Saturday! I enlisted several of our friends to help with food, games and the other nitty-gritties, but if you know me at all, you know I reserved the invitation design for myself. What do you think?

Cute, yeah? I just love Creative Suite. I drew that flower in Illustrator (thank you, thank you) and laid it out in InDesign. Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions. :)

Oh, and if you didn't get one of these and think you should have, send me your address and I'll send you one.

Happy wedding, LeaDawn!

Monday, October 27, 2008

¡Voy a México y Guatemala y Belize!

Did you like that subject? Well, I'm going to be speaking a lot more (and better) Spanish than that by the end of next semester. At least, I better be, because of this little e-mail I got last week:

I know you can't read that, so I'll just tell you what it says:

"Welcome to the MesoAmerica tour and congratulations! (This is your official acceptance letter.)"

Horray! It's official — I paid my money and locked in to what will be my next big adventure and an unforgettable experience! I'll spend a month touring Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. I'll climb volcanoes and pyramids,

eat REAL Mexican food, sleep in mosquito nets, explore the jungle,

snorkle in the Carribean, stay with members of the Church in central America

AND earn six credits.

Can you think of anything better? After spending two weeks in April in the classroom (I don't know what I'm taking yet, but probably a Sociology class and an English class), we'll go at the end of April/beginning of May and come home at the end of the month. Basically, don't ask if I can do anything next May. I'm busy. :)

I don't know much more about it because I'm in Utah and haven't been to any meetings, but I do know it's going to be incredible. I'm saving up a lot of money.

Donations accepted.

(Note: All those pictures are from past years of this same tour)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In a nutshell

Last Thursday, I took myself on a date to see one of my favorite bands, Sherwood, who happened to be passing through Provo.

When I got home, I turned on my MacBook to see if the new episode of The Office had been added to NBC's Web site yet.

While the site was loading, I stopped by to see how the BYU game turned out.

That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about my priorities.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Say anything, but say what you mean

I was going through an old binder last weekend that had some of my writings from last summer. I found this one and liked it. See what you think.

June 25, 2007

Sometimes the most annoying thing in the world is a sound.

It’s kind of funny that something as intangible as a sound can be so irritating. But when someone else’s alarm goes off and they’re out of town, or when steam sets off a fire alarm or a toilet won’t stop running, it’s enough to drive you crazy.

But sometimes, the nothings drive me crazier than the somethings.

Silences kill me sometimes. The phone doesn’t ring. There’s no knock at the door. Someone will mention the weekend but not ask if you want to be part of it. No compliments. No invitation. No letter of congratulations. The company you applied to work for doesn’t call back. Missionaries don’t write. The alarm clock didn’t go off. The radio doesn’t work. The air conditioning is out. No one’s home.

Those silences don’t go away. I think we all have one or two of those silences in our lives that we wish we could fill with something — anything.

But who says no news isn’t good news? Sometime I take it as a good sign if I don't hear from someone who's gone. If they were hurt, someone would have told me. If a guy doesn’t want to spend his time with me, he's probably not worth me spending mine. The phone's silence creates more time to think. And there’s nothing wrong with sleeping in once in a while.

Maybe silences are as essential as noises.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Favorite Boy

I'm kind of a Daddy's girl.

That much, I've known for quite some time. But it's my dear old dad's birthday this Saturday, and I realized the other day just how much he's taught me.

A couple days ago, I was putting oil in my car and a boy from my apartment complex came running over.

"Do you need some help?"

I slammed the hood shut. I'd just finished.

"No, thanks. Just putting some oil in."

"Oh. And — you don't, like, need help?" He didn't seem to know what to do with himself.

"No, it's cool. I just got done."

"Oh," he said, and left, finally convinced I really was OK.

I couldn't help but laugh as I walked to my apartment. My dad taught me how to check my oil — and what to do when it was low. Hadn't everyone's dad done that? Then I realized ... probably not.

I thought of other valuable things my dad has taught me. He showed me how to cook fried eggs (over-easy, of course). He taught me to appreciate fine cheese. He explained to me the beauty of Les Miserables and helped me understand Shakespeare. I learned from Dad that it's OK to not be a Republican and that funny movies are meant to be memorized for quoting later. He taught me the value of a simple, declarative sentence. He teaches me to learn from every experience when he asks, "So, what did you learn?" when I call and tell him a heartbreaking story.

(Me and Dad being "scared" of the Tower of Terror at California Adventure)

I took my groceries into my apartment and unloaded my lowfat yogurt, extra lean hamburger and orange juice. I realized that Dad had taught me to take care of myself. He was diagnosed with Diabetes when I was nine, so we traded all of our cookies for cheese (fine cheese, like I said) and our Coca-Cola for Diet. I used to joke that my parents were starving me to death with all the low-calorie foods, but when I see piles of junk food in my roommates' cupboards, I'm grateful.

Mostly, though, my dad taught me the value of people. I grew up watching my dad teach — first students my siblings' ages, then my own — and he genuinely cares about people. I love it when my friends tell me they think he's a great teacher. I love it when I overhear people at BYU-Idaho talking about their "favorite professor" and figure out it's him. Dad loves people.

I'm OK with being a Daddy's girl.
Happy birthday, Dad.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I like to give my opinion, especially on things that don't particularly matter. I've noticed this topic has come up a lot lately, and the odds are you have an opinion on it to:

Now, before you try to tell me either 1) that Edward is the greatest thing ever 2) that Jacob is the greatest thing ever 3) that Twilight is the best book in the world or 4) that you hate it, let me throw something else out there:

While I have to admit that I'm curious to see how well Hollywood can transform Cedric Diggory into Edward Cullen, I must honestly say I don't love him. I don't hate him either, but I think Stephenie Meyer destroyed any chance he and I had the thirteenth time she described his smell. Seriously. But whether our beloved BYU English department polished Stephenie's writing into something worth reading isn't really something I want to talk about (though I will mention that at least half a dozen people have promised me that if I can just make it to the last quarter of the book, it gets "better." Take that for what it is).

I think the more important matter at hand here is the question of making a book into a movie. I have friends who have made hobbies out of making movies (and have attended film school, for that matter) and we've talked about it, and I think I've come to a sound opinion on the matter.

When a book becomes a movie, it ceases to be a book. If you go in to any movie theather expecting to see what you imagined, even if you're the author, you're not going to get it. Think about it: In a book, you can say something that the main character is thinking, but how on earth can you depict it as clearly on screen as the author did in the book?

There are, however, certain things movies can do that are impossible in books. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a motion picture speaks volumes. No descriptions — if any medium understands "show, don't tell," it's film.

So on Nov. 12 the world gets a new movie. Thousands of Twilight fans will hate it and thousands more will love it.

I think I'll stick to Harry Potter. I like Cedric better than Edward anyway.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Horrah for Israel!

You always hear that miracles still happen, but there's nothing better than when you see a sweet little tender mercy in your life — or in the lives of people you love, as the case may be.

I've sat through my share of mission farewells in the last year or two, and at every one of them a little piece of me has been sad to see the missionary go. Of course, I'd rather have my friends serving the Lord full-time than doing anything else, but it still hurts a little.

They say that sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. I felt like I was making pretty big sacrifices when two of my best friends were called to serve — Dave Page left for Portugal in June of 2007 and Nic Moseley went to Brazil a few months later.

(that's me, Dave, Nic and Laura Bessey [Sommer] back in '05)

But last Wednesday, a short e-mail threw everything into perspective.

One woman's life was changed because the Lord used two of his modern-day stripling warriors from Rexburg, Idaho to reach her. Here's the story in Elder Page's own words (complete with Portuguese influences ... When he spoke 100% English he was a much better speller):

"Italla is the daughter of Ivone, a long time investigator from Benfica that couldn´t be baptised because she was waiting on papers from Brasil to get legally married. Italla came to portugal to visit last winter and we taught her several lessons. At one point she got an answer to her prayer about the Book of Mormon and we marked a baptisimal date, but she wasn´t able to keep it because she decided she was going to go back to Brasil to study. She decided and left within a matter of 3 days and so we couldn´t do much about it. We mailed a reference card to the missionaries in Brasil but they never contacted her so eventually we had the mission office send and e-mail. Her mom, Ivone said that Italla still wanted to be baptised but couldn´t find the missionaries, and they never got around to finding her. We prayed for weeks that the missionaries would run into her but then I got transferred and it all just kind of fell through the cracks...What a tender mercy to hear that Elder Mosely found her."

Elder Moseley found her! Dave's dad gave me a little more background:

"When [Italla] heard Nick was from Rexburg Idaho she asked, 'Do you know an Elder Page who is serving in Portugal?' The rest is history!"

The tender mercies of the Lord really ARE over all His chosen people (see 1 Nephi 1:20), and He really DOES bless those people through "small and simple means"! He prepared Italla, and the odds of everything working out the way they did are slim — even close to none — and yet, they did. That's the miracle — that's my boys.

And suddenly, sending them a few thousand miles away doesn't feel like much of a sacrifice.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Good Day

I've had a lot of good days in my life, but yesterday was definitely one of the better. Let's just put it this way — I started it in the same room as these people:

Spent an hour in the same room as this man:

And finished it with four of my favorite people in the world.

(Note: That picture wasn't taken yesterday.)

All members of BYU stakes were invited to the Marriot Center for Regional Conference, and President Uchtdorf, Elder Packer, Elder Marlin K. Jensen (my brother's mission president and current member of the Seventy) and Ann M. Dibb spoke to us. Elder Holland spoke at the CES fireside for young adults, and because I'm in Provo I jumped at the chance to actually be there, not just watching a broadcast.

And I went to Kendall's and played with those four awesome people for an hour or so before going to bed. Kendall and Roxanne went to a wedding and I went over to make sure Scotty and Ty got showers and Devin and Kalli made it to school.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a difference five years can make

Today while I sat at Sonic Drive-in waiting for my $3 order of cheddar bites, I found myself thumbing through my wallet. It's fun to do sometimes — I'm a bit of a pack rat.

I found my Dependent I-Card from when I was 16. I found my MHS Activity Card from senior year. I found an old iTunes gift card and a new one I haven't redeemed yet. But somewhere between my Delta SkyMiles Card and a Paul Mitchell business card, I found a small slip of paper that said this in faded ink:

Beehive Federal Credit Union
Date: 12/14/03
Time: 12:11
Location: 65 South Center
Rexburg, ID
Withdrawl: $60.00
From Savings
Current Balance: $120.58

I laughed a little when I saw "$120.58." I am a poor, starving college student. But — I strained to remember — was there really a time that I was that poor?

That got me thinking. Dec. 14, 2003, was only five years ago. I was just starting high school. I was sophomore class president and worried about putting together an awesome dance. I couldn't wait to be old enough to date, and it felt like 16 was decades away. I didn't worry about money or time or what I was going to cook for dinner.

Another five years before that, I was 10. My parents were building a house and I didn't want to move to Rexburg. I was afraid the other kids would be mean to me or that I'd get a bad teacher. I was trying to learn how to do my own hair — and failing.

Now that I'm older, I move at least twice a year. I've done my own hair thousands of times and I can hardly remember what it was like to not be able to date. But I worry about having enough money or good enough grades. I worry about where I'll live next semester. I worry about choosing a good man.

How much, then, will I change in the next five years? Ten? Twenty? Where do I see myself? Sonic was particularly busy today, so I had a lot of time to think about it. I have a plan, but if there's one thing I've learned in the last five years it's that life rarely follows even the best laid-out plan. I do know a couple things, though. I see a few specific things coming:

Internships ...

... graduation ...

... the Temple ...

... a family.

I think the best is yet to come.

Monday, August 25, 2008

High pain tolerance? I call it "insanity"

I started my internship at Utah Valley Magazine today, and it went really well, considering it's my first day at a new job in a new city. I'm basically just transcribing an interview for Jeanette. It's important work, albeit terribly boring and tedious. But I guess that's the life of an intern.

The really crazy thing was the phone call I got after work. My friend Ryan had a doctor's appointment to check on his leg ... OK, it's time for a little back story:

Last Wednesday, Ryan and his friends were playing Ultimate Frisbee for the championship (have you seen the RM? Ryan from Rigby ... likes to play Frisbee!) and it was a really intense game. They were up by two with just a few seconds left in the game and Ryan jumped to block a pass that would have been a touchdown for the other team. As his feet left the ground, he says, he heard a pop. Not when he landed — when he jumped.

He iced it and took some ibuprofen, but he walked on it for days and it didn't discolor or swell enough to worry about. We went to Lagoon and rode roller coasters last Saturday. He just thought he'd better get it checked today to make sure it was all right before he leaves on a 25-day excursion to the east coast. The doctor said it was probably just a sprain but did an X-ray just in case. And you'll never guess what they found:

Yep. It's a compound fracture. He broke it in two places. It looks like it's about a quarter inch from slipping and sticking out of his skin. Gross.

He blamed his lack of previous concern on a "high pain tolerance," and that's just not human. But he's going into surgery in the morning, and I was extra careful during my Ultimate Frisbee game tonight — which we won. It's good to know things always work out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Top ten reasons this was the best summer ever — hands down.

I don't care how awesome any other summer has ever been in the history of the world — ever. This one tops it. Except maybe the summer when we became a country. Or when, you know, the Civil War ended or something. But I digress.

Seriously though, I've had the time of my life these last few months (as demonstrated by the lack of any recent posts — I haven't sat at a computer for longer than a half hour all summer). A lot of things made it great, but for simplicity's and brevity's sake, I've narrowed it down to the Top Ten Coolest Things That Happened This Summer.

#1: I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll All Night
Any time you start your summer break (which, of course, happens to be five months long) with a Jimmy Eat World/Paramore Concert, you're one lucky girl. Or guy, if you happen to be a guy. I went with my friend David Packard, and Hayley Williams winked at him. I'm not kidding. And Mitch Porter smiled at me, and Jeremy Davis gave me a nod. I'll take it. Cool things like that happen when you have floor tickets and the guts to push your way to the front. I got a lot of sweat on me and most of it wasn't mine, but the front-row spot was totally worth it.

#2: On An Island in the Sun ...
I went straight from the concert in Pocatello to Salt Lake City, where my family and I boarded a plane for Maui. I went with my parents; my brother Matt; his wife, Jeanette; and his two oldest kids, Nathan and Hailey. The kids liked jumping into the ocean — in swimsuit or in normal clothes — and letting the tide push them back to shore. Mom and Dad liked the weather. I liked the snorkeling best, and I didn't even get sunburned! It was a summer miracle.

#3: You and Me, We's Pals!
LeaDawn and I, of course, had our adventures. Even though I wasn't her roommate anymore, we still went to Shoshone Falls and hiked the R Mountain. I just love her.
I think Daniel might love her, too, which I guess I'm OK with. He's a pretty cool guy.

#4: Ain't No Party Like an EFY Party!
For five weeks this summer, I basked in the fabulous LDS-youth infested bubble known as EFY (for those not hip to the LDS-acronym jive, that's "Especially For Youth." And by "LDS," I meant "Latter-day Saint"). I loved being a counselor there. I loved the girls I was over, I loved teaching them about the gospel and I loved bearing my testimony so often — several times a day. And I'll never again hear anyone say, "All right, all right ..." without getting ready to clap. If you've been to EFY, you know what I'm talking about.

#5: Glad Tidings from Cumorah
I had a little break in EFY sessions in June, and I once again headed to Salt Lake and boarded a plane. This time, though, I headed east to Palmyra, New York to be in The Hill Cumorah Pageant. Of all the amazing things I did this summer, this sticks out to me the most. I played the role of a harlot, which was hilarious, and was one of the wicked people to cast the prophet Lehi out of Jerusalem. I hope they weren't type-casting.

But my favorite part was proselyting before each performance. We went out into the audience each night, and I've never felt such a sense of purpose before. Nothing else I've ever done has felt so important, so urgent, so fulfilling, so worthwhile or so rewarding. Bearing testimony of the Savior, the Prophet Joseph and the Book of Mormon strengthened me, and I didn't feel like I could do it enough. I had to do it, and I had to look people in the eye when I did, because I was THAT sure. And the best part is, when you give of yourself like that, you get a lot more than you give.

#6: "I Retired to a Grove of Trees Near My Home..."
While I was in Palmyra, I went to the Sacred Grove three times. There's a unique spirit there, and you can feel that something important happened there. It feels almost like the dirt, the trees and even the air can remember when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. That story sounds crazy, and I realized that when I told it to people. But when you really listen, it's very sacred, very true, and that feeling is wonderful.

#7: Slug Bug! Silver ...
When I came home, I knew a sad, sad day had come — it was time to say goodbye to the blue Geo Metro I'd driven since I got my license. I was going to buy my dream car — the one I'd wanted since it was introduced in 2000. My parents and I drove to Murray, Utah where we picked up my new silver Volkswagen Beetle. I bought my first car, and now I'm officially in debt. It's totally worth two years of payments, though, because it's pretty much the coolest car ever.

#8: Splish, Splash
In between trips, I managed to get my friends to take me wakeboarding twice this summer. I successfully got up once. My first time, actually. And I'm satisfied with that, because Ryan's mom got a picture of it and I got a lot of good snacks between tries.

#9: Just Keep Climbing ...
Toward the end of the summer, I climbed Mount Borah. I don't know why. It seemed like a good idea when we started, and I guess it's cool to say I climbed the tallest mountain in Idaho, but it hurt. For days.

#10: My Brothas and Sistas and Me
Overall, I got to spend a lot more time with my family this summer than usual. That made everything better. I have the coolest brothers and sisters and cutest nieces and nephews in the universe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sorry, Jim Halpert

There's a new man in town — I've fallen in love with David Cook (and, I promise, I'm still a good Mormon).

That place in my heart used to be strictly reserved for The Office, but since the writer's strike, American Idol has completely taken over. Sorry, Jim, I'm all about David now.

I fell for David Cook the first time I heard him sing "Music of the Night" — and I even kind of think Phantom music is overplayed. His version of "Hungry Like the Wolves" was even better. Dad had to "mop me off the floor" that night, to quote my mom. Last night, I was totally crazy for that "Sharp-Dressed Man." I'm even willing to overlook the ridiculous cowboy boots as long as he's holding that left-handed guitar.

Seriously. Look at that face. How can you not just love him?

I told Hannah I was going to marry him. She believed me. And as soon as David Archuleta gets on the ball and baptizes him, I'm totally going to make it happen.

So, congratulations to David Cook. I can't wait for the CD.