pulse check

I was listening to iTunes on shuffle tonight while folding some laundry, and Train’s This Ain’t Goodbye came up on the queue. I haven’t thought about that song in forever, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. There was a time that I used to listen to that song quite a bit—not because I was sad or lonely or pining away for some boy, as the lyrics might suggest. I just liked it. A lot. I think it came to represent a feeling of contentment for me, and it involuntarily encapsulated an important era of my life—one that I often think back on. I like to call it The Era of Apt. #318. It was the year I turned 23, the year I met MJM, and the year I fell madly in love with my life. I felt good. I felt alive. I felt genuinely happy.

I wanted to reminisce back on that year, so I listened to Train’s song on repeat while I read back through this blog tonight. I wrote some things (—not that long ago!) that made me laugh a little, but I am so glad this record exists. It helped me recognize two important things:  

1) I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be madly in love with life. Lately, the highlight of my day is walking through the door each night because it means the day is over and that I survived. Unfortunately, The Era of Survival has lasted far too long. I was talking to my mom the other day about the winter blues. I have them pretty bad this year, and it’s discouraging to feel so low. I’m normally a pretty optimistic person, and it’s hard for me not to feel bad about feeling bad. It’s a rough cycle, and I’ve struggled to feel at peace.

2) However, as I read back through the things I had written over the years, I recognized that my life is so much better when I take the time to appreciate it. Out loud. Writing down what makes me happy extends the shelf life of my gratitude. And sharing those happy feelings with others makes me feel good. It’s a perpetual process of positivity—and it helps me keep pulse on what is really important.

I know the winter blues won’t last forever—but until the earth warms up for spring and I figure out the greater purpose of my life, I want to recommit myself to being grateful with the present moment, to being more creative, and to being in love with myself and my life. Because I deserve to be happy.


mountains to climb



five things

01. Please tell me it is not August already. I have no idea where this summer went, but June and July slipped right through my fingers. I am so bummed!

02. I went boating Monday afternoon, and I seriously can't move. Like can't squeeze-the-toothpaste-onto-my-toothbrush move. I was so determined to get up on the wakeboard this trip, but I couldn't do it. Why?!

03. Ryan Lochte may be a babe, but Missy Franklin has totally won my heart. She is a doll. I love her interviews.

04. While I recognize this is a highly debated topic, the fact remains: green grapes > red grapes.

05. I will never live in Michigan. Just sayin'.


cinco cosas

01. I feel like I give awkward hugs and consistently break the cardinal don't-pat-people-on-the-back rule. Patting is for moms and babies -- not friends. Will I ever learn?

02. Antarctica is apparently the place to be this summer. I tried to explain to my new roommate that she doesn't need to bump the air down ten degrees to cool the house off. The thermostat doesn't control the temperature of the air; it controls the amount of time the air blows. Colleges should seriously consider a course requirement called Thermostat Usage 101 because this is the 76,485 time in seven years that I've had to have this conversation.

03. Does the smell of Acqua di Gio remind anyone else of high school? Or their first kiss? Bueller? Bueller?

04. I love button-down shirts. Plaid ones.

05. Pre-packaged Rice Krispies treats are my #1 vending machine sweet of choice. Fate brought me together with an $8 box of metallic-blue goodness while I was shopping at Walmart last week, and I have probably eaten four treats today. Maybe five.



wacky wednesday

Pretty sure nobody cares, but:

-- I swear someone is playing the recorder next store. Hot-cross-buns.
-- I am currently reading a 26-page article on facial hair and women in the 19th century.
-- My Redbox rental is a week late.
-- I am wearing dirty jeans.
-- The only two things I have eaten since last Saturday are Taco Bell and Frosted Mini-Wheats.
-- I woke up an hour early this morning to run to the grocery store to purchase a dozen apples for a 10-minute presentation's centerpiece.

I may have reached an all-time low.


cinco cosas

01. Late night chats on the porch with Mom & Dad are the best. We love our country home.

02. The weather this weekend has been c.r.a.z.y. It calmed down just enough for me to sprawl out on our trampoline for a few minutes last night. No such luck today.

03. Yesterday was the last day of school for several school districts in Utah County. I ran to the public library on my way home from work, and the place was swarming with tiny, energetic bodies. This is the first time in five years that I haven't experienced that end-of-the-school-year sensation, and it made me really sad. There is something particularly exciting about the peak of enthusiasm that comes at the start of each summer, and I am totally bummed about its absence. I need some sun and that summertime tickle!

04. After graduation I am:
            1) Moving home
            2) Taking horseback riding lessons
            3) Playing the piano all day, every day
            4) Making this bag

05. Have you ever had the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's? My dislike for dark chocolate is unparalleled, but these are amazing.


freedom & democracy

So, I have this thing for E.B. White.
I also have this thing for America and people with unabashed patriotism.
Ergo, I love when the two combine in one short snippet of brilliance.
This quote is perfect for Memorial Day weekend.

White states:

We received a letter from the Writers' War Board the other day asking for a statement on 'The Meaning of Democracy.' It is presumably our duty to comply with such a request, and it is certainly our pleasure. Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don't in don't shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles, the dent in the high hat. 
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is the letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn't been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It's the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the rationed coffee. Democracy is a request from a War Board, in the middle of the morning in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy is. (July 3, 1943)

I hope everyone that reads this quote recognizes what a blessing it is to be a citizen of the United States -- and takes the time to walk to the nearest cemetery to reflect on and commemorate those that have served this great nation. I am grateful for parents that continue to fly the American flag outside their front door every chance they get and for the years I was able to say the Pledge of Allegiance with 20 squirmy children each morning. My love for this country runs deep.


pity-party pants

me: on a late-night date with the library.

i am tired.
i am terribly hungry.
i am sooo sick of james joyce.
i've been exploring crawling through 
his views on womanhood and sexuality 
though his use of metonyms 
and parallel structure
for hours.

it's a riot.
or not.

only one... more... page...


several items of business:

01. I had Taco Bell for dinner tonight in honor of Cinco de Mayo. I couldn't justify spending $8 on real Mexican takeout when I had plenty of food at home. I just really wanted a burrito. #keepingitclassy

02. The more time I spend in the country, the more I become convinced that rural America and I were made for each other. Dear Future Husband: Let's buy a big piece of land, raise a couple of sun-kissed kids, plant a garden, and ride off into the sunset on horseback. I'm dead serious about this.

03. I want to go fishing reel-ly bad. Punny, right?

04. My little sister turned sixteen this past week. s.i.x.t.e.e.n. Feel free to have a heart attack alongside the rest of us.

05. There were several kids at Target tonight in dresses and tuxedos, which can only mean one thing: it's Prom season. Is it just me or is the idea of high school more resplendent years after graduation? Think about it. When was the last time you spent $300 dollars to dress up and go miniature golfing?


a wedding reunion

Aleta, Whitney, Amber, Tracie, & Betsy Ross

I haven't seen these girls in a long, long time.
Three years is an eternity if you ask me.
We traveled near and far to support Amber
in her nuptial bliss.

The best part of the week?
Sitting in the SLC temple with Tracie & Amber.
There was something really special about being there
with the girls I've known since childhood.
To me, it was a significant mark of our
metamorphosis into adulthood.

We are grown up.

I'm excited to see what the future has in store for each of us.
Cheers to friendship, marriage, independence,
childhood, & all that lies beyond.


heavy heart

Simple. Raw. & Beautiful.



01. For Biscoff cookies. Delta Airlines just met my pantry -- and it was a serious match made in heaven.

02. For the teenage boys that gave me flowers yesterday at work. Aw... Slightly inappropriate and yet so endearing.

03. For the approaching equinox. The sunsets that greet me when I leave for work each evening remind me how beautiful life can be. I love a hot pink sky.

04. For homemade shrimp scampi. Yum.

05. For the people in our lives that teach us to be patient.

06. For time. To learn. To grow. To heal. & To be free.



Breakfast in Midway.
Two hours of work.
An aced test.
Tooling around SLC.
And some RT and DP for the drive home.

Today was a gift.
Can I push repeat please?


just a couple of letters...

Dear Utah Winter of '12,

You sure know how to treat a girl. My ability to endure the dormant season has increased over time, but this January may spoil everything. You've raised the bar: I'm going to expect every winter from here on out to be just as mild.

Dear MacArthur,

I've been talking about you to a lot of people lately. Remember when we used to go swimming at the Riverside Country Club, and you would hit on the high-school girls tanning in their bikinis? They didn't quite know how to react to you, but they loved to watch you waddle to the edge of the diving board, perform your little monologue, and throw yourself into the water. I didn't realize how much I would miss your chubby little self. Let's do something together again real soon.

Dear Becca,

Me + You + The Middle of the Dance Floor. Check it. This weekend is going to be fabulous.

Dear Mal,

Thank you for teaching me to be vulnerable. I had no idea what that really meant until I met you, but it is a lesson that will forever change the way I look at myself and other people. I appreciate your willingness to share so much with me. And thank you for having the courage to embrace change. The next few months are going to be so strange, but I have a feeling that they will yield results that neither of us anticipated. I hope you remember that no matter where you go, your friendship will always mean the world to me.

Dear Change,

We are in the middle of a MAJOR love-hate relationship. Thank you (?) for reminding me how comfortable I was -- and how much growing I still have left to do. I just wish you weren't so ambiguous. I like having a plan, you know?