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. RockTheVote.com 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.