Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Best Two Years

Dearest Huntington Beach,
Surprise! Happy anniversary!!! I hijacked this blog so I could publicly tell you how much I love you. I want everyone to know how happy I am that we've been together for TWO YEARS! I hope you're not embarrassed that all of our friends are going to read this...but I don't care because you deserve the attention. xoxo

Many of you may not know this, but HB and I met a long time ago on a road trip with my freshman year roommates. Best trip ever. We were determined to discover all of California, even the weird parts, so we hit every beach we could possibly fit in (including Long Beach, which is not exactly known for its beach...but I digress). My first impression of you wasn't great, or very memorable. Little did I know what lovers we would become later on.

It seems like only yesterday that I pulled up in my exhausted Corolla, anxious about where Gretch and I would sleep that night, but practically bursting with excitement about our new relationship. I drove your tree-lined streets and gushed over all the cute houses, amazed that this was my new life. Once I found a place to live, it was rough for awhile. Every couple has their issues, but I can honestly say I never once doubted you. My eyes wandered a bit, toward Santa Monica, Newport Beach, even--dare I say it....LA--but I always came back to you. We spent a lot of really intimate time together in those first 6 months, when I had few friends and little energy for anything but curling up on your beach in my spare time. Every day, when I had to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and kiss you goodbye to battle the 405, I vowed that one day I would leave all that behind and stay home to devote myself to you completely. It took some doing, but I finally did it and now we're happier than ever.

Here are some of the things I love about you:
--Running on the beach
--Surfers, all day long, every day
--Chronic Taco, Cafe Allessa, Tuna Town, Liquor Store sandwiches, Thai Silk
--Your killer sunsets
--Our rooftop
--Volleyball on Saturdays
--Biking everywhere together
--Friday farmer's market
--The Pierside Ward (RIP)
--That one best day ever: Volleyball, lunch, hot tubbing at the Hyatt, etc
--This house
--Salvation Army and yard sale furniture
--Taco Tuesdays

I could go on and on. Of course it hasn't all been bliss, but it's all been life changing. You've been good to me, and your insane cost of living seems to be worth it every time I step out my front door. I'll stomach the parking tickets, the weed smoking next door, killing of all my rooftop plants, and the occasional possum,, this is love.

Cheers to a great two years!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old me, meet now me

Direct quote from my journal, February 17, 2003: "I just spent a whole entry talking about boys. I am so lame! I hope I'm the only person who ever reads these journals. But who can blame me? All my friends are getting hitched, so it's kind of a boy-focused stage of life."

Oh, ho you think the Me of Ages Past would be embarrassed to know that I just shared that with the entire world? Not much she can do about it.

There are several indicators that I have a little too much free time today (besides the glaring fact that I'm blogging at 9am), one of those being that I just read my entire journal from the years when I was 19 and 20. Those were very formative years for me--The pages are filled with stress and worry about what to study in school, where to spend my summers, how to stretch my thin income, and....boys. Boys boys boys. See my previous blog entry for more information about that trend. Reading one's former self is not a comfortable experience, if you're me. It's cringe-worthy, most of it. I have to sift through a lot of mess to get to the heart of who I was and to see if that girl is still in me. I simultaneously conclude that I have both changed completely and haven't changed at all.

And then, right in the midst of laughing and shaking my head at the things I used to say, I come across a list. In October, 9 years ago, I made a spontaneous wish list of sorts, declaring all the things I wanted and wanted to become. I still do that sort of thing today, so not much has changed there. But as I read about the deepest desires of my 20-year-old heart, I was taken back to that time of my life. I remembered what it felt like to want those things and feel like they were so far away. Pipe dreams. A wish list is just that, right? Dreams that you fling out to the universe and longingly pine for, with no expectation that even half of them will come true. I remember that feeling--the taste of  frustration at my own weaknesses, combined with a barely-containable excitement about all possibilities that lie before me. I remember that feeling because I still have it, all the time. But what's crazy about today is that I can check so many things off that list I wrote in 2002. Without knowing it, the last 10 years have brought me really close to all of the things I wanted to be. Of course there is much more work to do and infinite wish lists in my mind, but I'm amazed at how far I've come in realizing my dreams. In that entry I said "How much of that will really happen, or is even possible?" I love being able to answer that question now.

Time is a funny thing that way. I tend to wish it away, or want it to speed up to help see me through some current frustration. I found myself doing that just yesterday. I used to do that all the time--wish that I could just fast-forward a few months, a few years, or whatever. Well, it turns out that wishing away time is one wish that always comes true. I feel like I've just fast-forwarded to 2011 and am wondering where the time has gone. I feel sad about that, but also I am overwhelmed by gratitude for my life. I have been blessed with experiences that seemed like crazy dreams ("I want to go to Italy and learn Italian" or "I want to do weddings and floral design") and I've also learned through the hard things ("I don't want to work somewhere that I don't love"). Some of my dreams have changed ("I want to weigh 110 pounds") and some will never change ("I want to be an amazing, memorable writer" and "I want to be a positive influence" and "I want to be really, really good at something, like guitar or piano.") I'm glad to see that much of who I was is still who I am, and that at the very least I know I've been passionate.

I am filled with hope today. I hope that I continue to hope. My wish lists are less specific now ("I hope I'm learning what I should" and "I hope everyone feels loved by me") but no less real. And, thanks to my abundant free time today, I've learned that my wish lists are actual possibilities. Just give me another 10 years or so.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fisher of men

Confession: I have been boy crazy my entire life.

This statement, of course, comes as shocking to nobody who knows me. Being a boy crazy girl has its perks, you know: I always have someone(s) to talk about, think about, dress up for, get excited about, analyze, etc. And I always had little boyfriends growing up (before junior high happened). Even now the laws of statistics determine that with so many objects of my affection, I'm bound to get at least a little flirting in every coupla days or so. But I'm thinking today about some of dark sides of crushing (gosh, that word "crushing" should really only have dark sides when you think about it).

The ratio of nets cast into the waters of love compared to actual fishes caught is alarming. I figure that over the years I've invested some of my heart in roughly...435 boys (15 per year x 29 years) and I've ended up having that affection returned roughly...75 times. And of those who've returned my affections, only maybe 15-20 of those have netted a relationship of some sort. Don't question these numbers, by the way--it's science.

So, to sum up:
Boys desired: 435
Boys desiring me: 75
Boys following through with desire and actually dating me: 15

I'm batting a 3% rate of return on this particular investment.

Now, maybe if this were a money market account, I could feel good about that. But it's not, and I don't. So, math whizzes, life coaches, summoners of the dark arts (Jenny Morrow), ask yourselves what you would do in my position. I need to boost my rate of return to, say, 100%. No big deal.

I have questions:
--I'm still young, so the finance guys say "take risks". Done, doing, will do, thank you. Does that mean I cast more nets? More and more and more nets?
--The emotionally scarred would say that a heart can only be fragmented so many times before it ceases to function (actually, I'm pretty sure doctors would say that too), so perhaps the best course of action is to pull in the line and work on patching up the leaky spots until I'm in safer waters. ?
--Economists will tell me to use not more nets, but better ones. Part of my problem is that I run around gleefully throwing around anything that remotely looks like a net and then I might catch a little fishie who remains caught only long enough to find the nearest hole and wriggle away. Or, sometimes when I'm on a roll I'll catch too many fish in one net and, a la the Faithless Disciples, my net breaks and sends them all a-scurrying. How does one improve the net?
--I think most people would probably tell me to never, ever take an analogy this far.

Sigh. You're right. Maybe I just need to grow up and realize that it's possible to choose who to invest in, and that not having crushes on everything male with a heartbeat is something to consider. But even as I think that I feel sad, like a huge part of me would just be snuffed out by the part of me that finds it prudent to be cold and unfeeling and careful. NEVER! Ahem. Never.

Hummmuna hummuna hmmmm.....
Meh. I think probably I have less control over this than I think I do. I am me and apparently, that means I am a fisher of men. Analogy back on, yo.

Monday, July 18, 2011

As of today, I am debt free!

Monday, June 13, 2011

If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum

Late-night blog rant that I'll probably regret in the morning....ready....go:

I had a little 6-year-old student I'll call D for just about 5 weeks. Cutest thing ever, but let me tell you about the rollercoaster ride she put me on. I asked her awhile ago to list some songs she likes so we could learn them on the piano, because students will usually get much more excited to practice and/or perform a song they know, right? Well, she had recently seen Fiddler on the Roof and fell in love with "If I Were a Rich Man". So I went home and listened to it about 65 times, and came up with a little kid arrangement that I knew she could do if she worked hard. When I came to our next lesson and played it for her, she lost her mind with excitement. She threw her arms around me and thanked me and promised to do everything she could to learn the song in time of for our fast-approaching recital. And during that lesson, she sure kept her word! She was focused. She was working. She was very unlike a 6-year-old in her tenacity. I left that lesson rejoicing, considering a musical connection made and a testimony born of hard work and dedication.

That lasted until our next lesson, where D could barely play a short three-note section of what we'd learned, and spent the whole lesson exhibiting ADD like I'd never seen, repeating "piano is hard" about every 5 minutes. My little, naive heart broke. It really broke. I left that lesson feeling like such a failure. The scariest part of that feeling was not that I'd failed as a teacher, but that one setback in my student's progression so easily broke my heart like that. It took the wind right out of my sails. Instead of taking it in stride and chalking it up to a bad day, in one fell swoop it cut my motivation right out from under me and I wrote her off. Just like that.

Frightening, isn't it?

Then comes the inevitable onslaught of questions: Am I an idiot for thinking she could play that? Did I push her too hard? Is this simply a lack of experience kind of thing, since I've been a teacher for about 5 minutes? Are all children rotten little monsters who hate doing anything that requires work?

I'm learning that I have very high expectations for people, including myself. I realize the story above is embarrassingly dramatic, but I really did experience those highs and lows based on a little thing like Fiddler on the Roof. It may not be so bad to have such high expectations, except for the part where those expectations are not met (which they rarely are) and the resulting crash into despair. Tell me, mothers, how do you handle this with your children? I'm terrified to have children because I'm terrified they'll disappoint me.

That last line made me a little terrified to post this...we'll see if I actually do.

God hasn't blessed me with children yet--which obviously is a very good thing for now--but what I have been given instead is a Relief Society full of women for whom I am now responsible to be a good example to, to care about, to pray for, and to hope for...which I do my best to do. The problem is that I don't think I've really learned about agency yet. Two months into it and I'm already bitterly disappointed when I see girls who don't try very hard or who just...aren't that awesome at churchy things, you know? It's not like I feel they've disappointed me personally--I know they don't owe me a thing--but it's like they've betrayed my hope in them. It's difficult for me to avoid sometimes feeling like my efforts to get people to change (or to get myself to change) are an exercise in futility...that in the end, that little girl doesn't want to practice piano, or this girl just doesn't feel like coming to Relief Society today. Heck, sometimes I don't feel like going to Relief Society, so it's not the end of the world, right? I'm not any better than them and I have plenty of examples of girls who blow me away with how amazing they are. Still, disappointment will come throughout my life. What I need practice in is shaking it off. I need to be able to maintain hope in the face of disappointment. I don't want unmet expectations to mean that I have no more desire to try. If it's having that effect on me, then I am much more impatient than I ever thought. Sigh.

Not my best day, you could say.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today was a good day. I got a glimpse of what it would be like to be a stay at home mom with no kids. A little of this, a little of that, total freedom, yada yada. I liked it.  Once upon a time I had a really gross schedule that looked like this. Here's the new me:

9 am - We begin with some roof time. Reading, contemplating, gardening. Take a look at some of my babies:

10:30am - Some church stuff. It's my busiest job.

12:0pm - Lunch. I have time to make BLTs!

1:30pm - Temple. I love my little pink temple, but I do not love going in the afternoon. I forget the overwhelming power of sleepytime.

3:30pm - Temple photoshoot. Why not?

5:00pm - By the sweat of my brow shall I eat my bread. *Translation: Yes, I do have to work some today.

7:30pm - More church stuff

9:00pm - Hang out. Blog. Watch Modern Family. Visit a friend.

11:30pm - Go to bed smiling.

Can you believe this fairytale? Me neither. And you shouldn't, because this is by no means a typical day. Though my life is sooooo much better than it was, my semi-retirement has actually been much, much busier than I thought (thank you, Bishop) and that makes today a nice little treat. I really love where I live and I love when I have the time to love it.

I went to Yosemite last weekend! Remind me to blog about that. I've learned much about California and hiking vs. Utah and hiking. Remind me, ok?

Friday, May 20, 2011

I think the post below is possibly the worst blog post of all time.

A Bedtime Story

Forgive me for my long absence. 

I honestly haven't had much motivation to blog lately, mostly because things are great and I'm busy and somehow I like to keep all that goodness to myself. But yesterday I was flirted with by a 9-year-old on a school bus, and I realized: People need to know about these things. I have plenty to write about.

 This is what the kid did to me, I swear. The whole back of the bus was eating it up.

So now, a bedtime story.
Not sure how this has happened, but I have purchased 3 beds in the last few years. The first is my favorite: a queen that resides in my brother's basement, begging me to get married and finally reclaim it from storage. The second is the subject of this story. The third is the bed I now sleep in, a full-size that dips slightly in the middle but otherwise perfectly suits my needs.

The second bed has been on a quite a journey. I rescued it from some man's garage at what I thought was a good price, but has proven otherwise. It was advertised as a twin, but some exacting friends have determined that it is in fact a single, which is smaller than a twin. Did you know that there are beds smaller than twin size, that aren't cribs? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, my little kid bed and I have been through a lot together. She and I, hand in hand, fled the snow and cold in Utah and arrived in humid Huntington Beach a little torn up and soggy, but happy. When I placed her in my current room, she and I both realized this move was bigger than we thought. As giant room dwarfed my little kid bed and made me feel like I was sleeping in a warehouse. That was fine with me for awhile, but then I purchase bed #3 off a friend and determined to send the little kid bed to live somewhere else. Like maybe with a deserving little kid. But I had underestimated the popularity of Hotel Stef, and my many guests have enjoyed her firmness instead of the firmness of my bedroom floor for about 9 months now.

Why am I going on and on about this? I don't know.

Anyway, I determined a few weeks ago to finally part ways with this bed. I had a mini yard sale where the bed was one of only 2 items I needed to sell. I sold the other one, but not the bed. So I posted the bed on Craigslist, to no avail. I called a place to see if I could donate it, but they wouldn't come pick it up. So yesterday, at 6:30am I put the bed in our alley by the garage, having been told that people come through there looking for free stuff all the time. I made an airport run and returned about an hour later and made a sign that said "FREE!" to put on the bed. But when I went to the alley to put the sign on the bed, it was gone. Gone! It took just over an hour to rid myself of it. Heck, it could have been claimed 5 minutes after I put it out there for all I know. I wish so badly I could have been there to see who picked it up, because the speed at which they came is blowing my mind. I'm a little suspicious that somebody has been stalking my bed, just waiting for me to offer it up for free. Well played, alley cats, well played.

Thus ends the story of my little kid bed. 
 This is the current bed. We'll call it my adolescence.

I know this is not very interesting to you or answers any of the questions I've received about how my life is going these days, it is. This is what I'm doing with myself lately.

 PS I'm extremely happy. Things are going just fine. I'll write about it sometime.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lent and a Leap of Faith

It’s that time of year again—My most favorite torturous Catholic tradition that I’m totally not required to do but feel compelled to anyway. It’s Lent!

I’m giving up a lot of things in the next 40 days. Here they are, in order of difficulty from least to most:

1) Candy. I don’t enjoy candy as much as I used to, so it makes me mad that I eat so much of it just because it’s always around. So this is a nice way to make me stop doing that. Not too hard.

2) Picking at my face. Like a stupid, self-mutilating monkey, I pick at my face constantly. I’m sure you all can attest to this. I am determined to break this habit, and I can already tell after only 2 days that this may be my most difficult Lent attempt ever. I am amazed at how much I do it, now that I’m paying attention. It’s such a terrible habit and if I really succeed in breaking it, I just may convert to Catholicism.

3) A trip to Thailand.  Sad cry sad. No, I’m not giving this up on purpose for Lent, but I am giving it up nonetheless. I was planning on going in April but something came up that required me to adjust my travel plans, which is…heartbreaking. I’m starting to think that the Powers That Be do not want me to visit Thailand ever. Maybe if I go there I’ll quickly become seduced into a life of prostitution and woe. Anyway, this is sad news but I made the decision for a good reason…which leads me to my next topic, the GOOD NEWS segment! Ba bada baaaaa…..


Not just a new job, kids: A complete career change. I’m going to be teaching piano for the Winder Academy of Music . Woot! I know you’re thinking I’m the most random person in the world, and you’re probably right. But I’m a big fan of their program and the whole interview process was so fun and exciting and I’ll be involved in music every day and I feel really good about it and I can afford to only work part time if I want. Did you catch that? I will be living in southern California, 2 blocks from the beach, and working part time.
Dream job—Check.

So anyway, I’m still reeling from this development and how quickly it happened. I am a lucky, lucky girl when it comes to jobs, but great employment opportunities always seem follow this pattern for me: 1) Interview for something awesome “on a whim”; 2) Have a great interview where we really click, but still assume I’m totally unqualified and don’t take it seriously; 3) Have another interview/conversation that changes it from a “whim” to an actual possibility; 4) Struggle to start taking it seriously; 5) Get job offer, but under conditions that require major life changes and quickly at that; 6) Spend one long, sleepless night spent making a huge decision; 7) Accept job offer the next day; 7) Run to keep up for the next several months. I’m so happy this is happening but it’s a lot to take in at once. Kinda like when I moved here. And kinda like my quitting school to work in advertising before that. Apparently this is my MO.

Well, huzzah. I am happy and so grateful. I hope it all works out I hope and I can learn how to be a good teacher. In the meantime, this post shall be followed with another one that I’m starting to compile now, entitled “Things I Will Not Miss About My Job.” I already have a list 6 miles long but I’ll give you the condensed version.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Doubting or Devoted?

If you’re interested, help me settle an internal debate:

There are two opposing statements about human nature that I’ve thought a lot about, and I want to contrast them here. I’m curious what the masses (read: you 7 who follow my blog) think and why.

First is the great CS Lewis. I admit to having Brother Lewis on a pedestal, because I agree with most of what I’ve read and I am so persuaded by his easy logic and ring of truth statements. Therefore, some of what he teaches about human nature has significantly affected how I think about myself and others. From Mere Christianity, I quote:

“When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts; they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberated and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats; in only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.”

This makes sense to me. I spend a lot of energy trying to curb the “natural man” in me, striving to be pleasant and friendly and kind and slow to anger and all that. My frequent failure to do so, however, has resulted in a tendency to really beat myself up. I’ll lose my temper at someone on the freeway and suddenly I feel like I’ve lost any ground I’ve gained in the positive direction. Back to square one, basically. I assume that, like Lewis says, the “real me” is the me that comes out when I’m caught off guard, when I don’t have time to shape an “appropriate” reaction. And I’m here to tell you, this girl is sometimes very slow to process and that instant reaction is not always great. So if that’s the real me, then…..not great.

Enter S. Michael Wilcox, an LDS speaker and institute teacher. Bro. Wilcox also has a simple, reasonable tone but he also speaks so much of love and mercy. His words take my breath away sometimes, in the sense that they are exactly what I need to hear. In a talk called “Using Scriptures to Solve Serious Problems” he coins something he calls the “Doubting Thomas Trap.” Though he’s talking in the context of marriage, I heard it as concerning myself. Here you go:

 Far too often couples fall into the Doubting Thomas trap.
If I were to ask this group to fill in the blank: ‘blank’ Thomas….You’re all going to say ‘Doubting’ Thomas. Poor old Thomas; he’s remembered at his worst. Isn’t that sad? Sometimes we say in a marriage that’s struggling a little bit, “Ah, now I know the real you.” And the ‘real’ you is usually you at your worst, right? So who is the ‘real’ Thomas? Doubting Thomas? And then I like to ask people a question: Can anybody here think of another story in the New Testament about Thomas? I rarely get a single hand go up. Nobody knows the other story about Thomas in the New Testament, and yet we see a different Thomas. It’s in the 11th chapter of John, when Jesus is going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. And the disciples are concerned, they say unto him, “Master the Jews of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again?” Your life is in danger if you go back towards Jerusalem. But Jesus is determined to go. And in the 16th verse we read, “then said Thomas, which is called Didymus unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Now how else could we fill in the ‘blank’ Thomas? Devoted Thomas? Loyal Thomas, Sacrificing Thomas? ‘Willing to die for Jesus’ Thomas? So who is the real Thomas? Doubting Thomas, or Devoted Thomas? I like to think that Devoted Thomas was Thomas at his best. If we could just realize this in our marriages…as I think of my own wife. My wife at her best is the most magnificent woman God ever created on this earth. I, at my best, am…not too bad. And an eternity with somebody at their best is probably worth a few times when the stresses and frustrations of life bring out maybe not their best selves. Let us always realize that the person we married is them at their best; the devoted Thomas part of them, not the Doubting part of them.

(Listen to this amazing talk here)

Can I tell you, when I heard this my entire paradigm shifted. That sounds dramatic; But I really struggle with guilt and self-doubt, so to hear someone say that the worst parts about me don’t define me has been more helpful than any council I’ve sought out in a long time. I can go easier on myself when I think that way. I still try to do better and improve, but when I have a moment of weakness it doesn’t have the snowball effect of making me feel like a terrible person. That’s the idea, anyway—the practice of it will take time, but I like the idea. And it really has helped.

So, time to compare. Is one right and one wrong? Does one ring more true to you than the other? I believe both of them but have found one of them to be sort of damaging to my self-image.

If I believe Lewis, then I haven’t really changed at all because I still get ridiculously angry sometimes; I still am unkind at times; I still have bad thoughts and temptations. Those things are the real me because they are they quickest, most raw sides of my personality.

But if I believe Wilcox, then I’m pretty great. I still have all those negative things in me, but at my very best I’m doing good things and am confident I’m ok.

It’s obvious which one is the more attractive school of thought. Of course I want to believe that I’m great, but it’s much easier to believe I’m not. This may not be true of everyone, but it’s true of me. Perhaps this is just the age-old debate about whether man is basically good or basically evil. Anyway, I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this. A note, however: I’m not looking for validations or comments about me. I use me as an example because, well, I’m most acquainted with my own experiences. I’d really like to hear about other people’s thoughts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby making!

An opportunity passed me by this weekend, and I don't want the same thing to happen to you.

If a baby is to be born on 11/11/11, it needed to be conceived this weekend. I figure that with modern technology there's still a bit of time to make a baby and still deliver it on that day. And since my baby making powers are on restriction, I'm calling upon friends and family to make it happen. Melinda, McCall, Maria, CANDICE, Shannon, Elisha, heck, even Katrina, I'm looking at you. Just think of the historic place your child will hold in society!
I'm shooting for 12/12/12. Not nearly as cool...but I'll take what I can get.

Monday, February 14, 2011

These days

I realize my blogging of late has not been fact, my mom told me that if I don't start blogging again I would have to join Facebook. And since none of us wants that to happen, I must obey by posting something.

I've been meaning to post about my New Year's Eve this year. I didn't hate it, which is newsworthy! In fact, I loved it. Some of the single ladies got the idea to stay in a hotel and hot tub 2010 away, and it was perfect. We ate Indian food, which was amazing, and then battled the freezing cold but beautiful January snow to our hotel and stayed there the rest of the night. I got really hyper and we ate peppermint ice cream in a hot tub, which is totally illegal but definitely worth the risk. Some pics:

Pre hot tub, sans pants.

Have I mentioned I look 12 when wet?

Gretchen kept drowning me.
No really, she was drowning me. We all thought it was hilarious, I guess.

Midnight! I mysteriously disappeared at this point.

A coupla weeks ago I went with some friends to Mexico for lunch, "just because we can." 
Some highlights:
--Not getting beheaded
--Best horchata I've ever had
--Donkeys painted like zebras are all the rage over there
--Crossing the border into Mexico feels like entering Disneyland or something because you literally walk through a turnstile and you're there. We didn't even have to show our passports. In fact, the sign that points the way says "West Parking lot and Mexico." No big deal.
--Spence bought us giant sombreros and made us wear them the whole way home. People cheered us on as we walked by, thinking to themselves (and sometimes aloud) "you can always tell the ones who've had too much to drink." Little did they know we're just a bunch of Mormon kids who are all hopped up on horchata.

We're using this as our engagement pic.

Other things of note: I did a small floral job recently. I'm trying to slowly work my way back into doing floral design, so spread the word if you know of anyone who needs flowers. Here are some shots of the latest, which were used in a photo shoot for an interior design firm:

Hmmmm....what else?
I just got back from San Diego with my parents this weekend. I really loved San Diego! I was worried about us having enough to do, but we had plenty. Go there. Go there now. Highlights:
--Old-fashioned candy on Coronado. Necco wafers, black licorice, and even these Italian seltzer candies I've been looking for allover the place! Yes, I meant to write allover as one word.
--My dad's reaction to the big aircraft carrier we happened upon. Picture 10-year-old excitement trapped in a mature adult's brain and vocabulary, and you get this: "That is...really cool..." repeated about 10 times. Very cute. 
--She crab soup 
--Vacation Mom
--The ward choir at the sacrament meeting we visited was AMAZING. They only had about 10 people singing, but they had this rocking organ player and they seriously gave me goosebumps. I couldn't believe it. It would have been even cooler if my mom had walked up there to sing with them like I dared her to, but oh well.

I've been kind of all over the place lately--I went to Vegas to see Maria last weekend (which was super fun and I can't wait for her to bring back the shoes we bought to share--we're the Sisterhood of the Traveling Shoes); to St. George before that with my ladies from Utah (which was also super fun, in that way that only exists with people you've known forever and love forever and ever amen), and now I'm tired so I'm going to bed. 

PS The weather in the last month has been exactly what I changed my entire life to move here for.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Year in a day

If January 1st, 2011 was any indication of how the rest of the year will play out, it will look a little something like this:

Act 1: Cold, Dark, and Alone
My breath struggled to even leave my body, frozen inside me, as I rushed out to my borrowed car. Cold that deep leaves me in shock, stripped down to the basics of survival and aching to escape. So drive toward my escape I did, albeit slowly.

Act 2: The Great Escape
Still early in the day, I took my last few strained breaths and gleefully blew out the visible toxins, knowing they were my last like that for a while, maybe forever. I almost laughed in anticipation of my freedom, of flying, of soaring high above the cold and the dark. But still alone.

Act 3: The Sun
The early rays start to chip away at the ice I’ve grown accustomed to. I’m still cold, but starting to thaw. The sun is hope, refreshment, banishment of darkness, and I smile way too much just at the hint of it. These next few hours are mine to bask in its glow, to both wake up and rest and to keep concerns on hold for a while. I need sleep, and I need affection, and I need my ocean waves to carry me to safety. And I need to walk. To move. To become and to realize. I need to need more than cold, dark, and alone.

Act 4: Friends
The absence has been long, so reuniting is also long. I tell my secrets and you tell yours, and we make new ones to keep us laughing for months to come. That comfort sometimes seems so far away, but I realize it’s my own hand staying its warmth. I do my best to stay my hand. With the sun and with friends, I start to remember the opposite of numb.

Act 5: Warm and Safe and Sound, For Now
It ends the way any day should, with calm and compatibility. Reflection makes me grateful and sleep gradually but firmly takes over.