Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tick-Tock

Change has been on my mind a lot recently, probably due to the fact that I am living in Utah again. Some of the biggest changes and adjustments in my life occurred while living in Utah, such as moving out of my home of 18 years, living with people who weren't my family, interacting with a predominantly LDS population, paying bills, learning and studying with students who weren't my 2 older sisters, and attending church with only 18-30 year olds.

Some of these things have since become the norm. I'm so used to singles wards that when I occasionally attend a family ward, I feel like I'm sitting in a parakeet cage. Have kids always been that noisy? I'm not only used to taking classes with random strangers, I love it. And the bills? It's the one thing in life I can count on to be consistent.

I'm distinctly aware of changes in my appearance. Who knew that after 4 years I'd change so much? I try not to let it get to me, but it does. It's like I have a clock ticking behind my subconscious, sending me time checks every time I look in the mirror. How long have those bags been there? When did that wrinkle start forming between my eyebrows? And when will that stupid, stubborn gray hair right on my hairline be joined by another?

The only thing that makes me feel better is looking at pictures of Kate Middleton. She's 35 and still a fox. But then again, I've never been a fox to begin with, so with some diet, exercise, salicylic acid and hair dye the best I become is a mildly attractive jackal.

F-O-X


Some changes, not of the physical kind, I recognize and I like. I remember when I lived in Provo, Gared would give dating lessons on Sundays in our apartment. Sometimes he drew in a pretty good crowd, and if I remember correctly, 1 or 2 people really took on his advice and had more success in dating. Gared's advice for me at the time (I was pretty young, not looking for anything serious) was to attend as many activities as I could, join a club and participate in a hobby. Just get to know people in group situations. Eventually some patterns would emerge of people I clicked with and liked. Then it was time for some casual dating. Fun stuff, group dates, going out with lots of different people.

I never did any of those things while I was in Provo. I was too chicken, and expected the guys to somehow know of my existence and ask me out randomly.

Well I am proud to say that I am no longer chicken! They say you should be like the person you want to date, and I don't want to date a chicken. I want a date someone who isn't afraid to say, "hey, I think you're cool, let's go on a date." So I have started asking the guys out. Last year I started with group dates with my friends, but I have since graduated to single dates. That's right! A couple weeks ago I straight up asked a dude out on a single date. We will probably not go out again, but it was an empowering experience and I plan on doing it again.

Send me a message if you know of any eligible bachelors in Utah County! To give you an idea of my type, here is my list of top 5 hottest dudes, in looks AND personality:

Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights
Jeremiah Johnson
Colonel Brandon
Jim Halpert 
Aragorn
Smash all these men together and voila!: my perfect man. That's not asking too much, right? 



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

6 years

2011


While decluttering my bookshelves this week, I discovered (and I suspect many others out there are guilty of this same thing) that I have about 5 different journals, and most of them are only half filled. So in an effort to consolidate, I've been transcribing my journal entries into Word and will probably put them all together into one of those self-publishing books you make make/order online (it's a tedious process, if anyone has any better ideas, please lemme know). 

Tonight I finished transcribing my journal that covered my first summer at Philmont and all of hair school. I can't help but laugh at some of the things I wrote as an 18-year old. Here are a few of my favorites:


"The past few weeks I have been working hard @ being nice."

"I feel that overall, they were much more intelligent people, who enjoyed reading and discussing.

"Well I must not have been praying enough, because I didn’t get the Red Lobster job." 

2017
"I just want to be 30 already!"

"If there is a fire, I want to be here for it!"

"I don’t like being a mean person, just some people…"

"Today I cleaned the Yurt some more, did moulage on an advisor, hid him in the woods, then went on a hike to the top of the ridge."

"I feel that I am SO immature. And the worst part? I don’t know what to do about it!"

I can't believe that was 6 years ago. I still write in a journal to this day, and I'm curious to know what sort of things I say now that will make me laugh in 6 years. I guess I'll find out in 6 years. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer

Let's face it, this is probably the only post I'll make the rest of the summer. So here's a recap of summer 2017:

 Fourth of the July fireworks from our balcony. I will never travel anywhere else for fireworks again. Someone made the comment that, in Utah, instead of spending money on booze, they all spend it on fireworks. We watched a phenomenal show, no crowds, no traffic.
 Caroline and the kids came for about 3 weeks. As crazy and hectic as things were at times, I loved having them here. I was definitely depressed for a few days after they left.  I can't wait for them to come again next summer!

 It's so rare that all of us get to be in the same state together. And I think this was the first time that I went to a session with both of my sisters since I was endowed 2 years ago.
 I flew down to Texas for Kelli's wedding! It was (unsurprisingly) a Hawaiian themed wedding. Pork, rice, tropical fruit, the works. Kelli looked beautiful, and I was so happy I could be there for her sealing. Seriously girls, just go get endowed as soon as you can. You miss out on so much otherwise.
 Another one of my Texas friends has moved to Utah, so I'm starting to not feel so lonely! Derek and I went longboarding down Provo Canyon trail the other day. He was very patient and went super slow which was nice, because I still haven't gotten the hang of breaking.
 I loved my class at UVU. The instructor brought in several guest speakers a week and I got to hear from lots of social workers all over Utah who work in a variety of settings. I've already begun reciting my "I can't save everyone" mantra. Each week we discuss a different problem, some issue that isn't being addressed, some population that doesn't get enough resources. The world is so messed up! And as much as I want to help, I won't be able to help everyone. But if I can help a few then I think it will be worth it. So in a few weeks I will take the GRE, 3-4 weeks after that I will apply to schools. Wish me luck!



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Settling In

 One of the greatest joys of living in Utah so far has been seeing Holly and the kids more often.
Henry and Rusty are best friends. Henry loves to throw the ball, and Rusty LOVES to play fetch. Match made in heaven.




No school + no job = impromptu fishing trip in California! I didn't fish, I just took the pictures. I feel bad for the poor little guys. What did they ever do to deserve being yanked up from the bottom of the ocean like that? Especially Mom's first catch of the day, which unfortunately got hooked through the eye.
Poor feller. They sure were tasty, though.


 No trip to the Pacific is complete without an encounter with a shark!
Back in Utah, and now I have a job. I work at a Sport Clips. It's awesome! After 2 years in the Greatclips franchise I'm grateful to by trying out something new. I like listening to ESPN all day, which has a surprising amount of variety. It's much better than listening to the same radio station play the same top 40 songs. The women I work with are awesome, and the hours fit perfectly with my school schedule (which will start up in a couple weeks). What more could I ask for?
Look who moved to Utah: Mariah! On her first official day in Utah we hiked to the hot springs (and actually made it this time. I think I'm acclimating, finally). It was stinky, but fun. 
Mom has been joining Dad on all of his Hawaii trips, and I jealously stalk them while they're away. 

I picked up Christina early from the airport this morning and we walked around center street and ate Indian food before heading to the MTC. This was the first time I've dropped someone off for their mission and it was such a great experience! The excitement was palpable. As we entered the gates I felt like we were entering Disneyland. She was so excited, the other missionaries were so excited, everyone was just so happy! I can't wait to hear all about her adventures in Taiwan. 

Third week at church and I've been issued a calling: Gospel Principles instructor. Yikes! I've never had a teaching calling before (I was hoping for something musical), but I want to be a better teacher and this calling will certainly help me with that. I also gave a talk last Sunday about obedience and temple blessings. I was a bit nervous because I talked a lot about my temple experience and the importance of women receiving their endowments. I wasn't sure how most Utah bishops felt about women and the temple before marriage or a mission, but my talk was well received. I think this is a church-wide trend (hallelujah)!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Take Two

Here I am in May 2011 when Holly and I stopped along 287 to snap a quick pic before pressing on to Philmont. I had just graduated high school, and after working at Philmont would move to Utah to start hair school at Aveda. Geez, what a twig! 
And here's me again 2 years later, about to graduate from Aveda and considerably heavier thanks to a year-long vegetarian experiment where I compensated for the lack of protein by eating rice and bread. I also worked at the Awful Waffle during this time, so I partially blame Belgian waffles and frittes as well. 
September 2014 finds me back in Texas, the land that I love, surrounded by family who accompanied me to the temple for the first time. I also completed my first week at Texas A&M by this time. And I'm back at my high school weight.
Now it's May 2017 and I don't care that much about my weight, I just want to be healthy. This is also the longest my hair has ever been. I didn't mean for this to be a body transformation collage, I just find it interesting how I have fluctuated over time. Honestly, I think my greatest predictor of weight gain/loss is the presence or absence of a boyfriend...and Belgian waffles.
Anyway, this is me two weeks ago about to embark on my journey to Utah. I've come full circle. This is Utah: take two.
Hair stylist to college graduate. Whodathunk?! I determined early on in high school that I would not be attending college. Once I finished Algebra 2 I vowed never to pick up another math textbook again. Yet somehow, hair school gave me the bug that I needed to pursue further education. While in Provo I discovered that I loved being a student living among other students (however annoyingly condescending all those BYU preps may have been). I also found the prospect of being a 20-year old tradeswoman set for the rest of my life in my chosen career field absolutely terrifying. I wanted to be a student for just a little bit longer. 


Now I'm in the process of getting myself deeper into academia by applying to grad schools! If "professional student" was a job, I'd probably do that.  



I am so thankful for my family who attended my graduation. I tried to explain the school's history and various traditions to my family, but I'm afraid I did a very poor job. Frequently quoted around campus is the phrase "From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can't explain it." As cheesy and overused as that saying is, it perfectly describes every Aggie's struggle when they leave Texas A&M. There is just no way to accurately convey what it was like attending the greatest school in Texas. 
I am so lucky that two of my good friends agreed to accompany me on the drive to Utah. What a great farewell it was to drive by the Aggie barn for the last time and see my graduation year painted on the side.
My friends stayed one whole week with me in Utah, and we did a bunch of stuff...yet we only took 3 pictures. Boo.
We attempted a hike up Spanish Fork canyon but gave up because us lowlanders ain't used to the high altitude. Heck, I get winded just walking up the stairs.
And we toured the Hindu temple. 

And took a picture with the mountains in the background.

Not photographically documented but still checked off the list:
  • In-N-Out burger, Kneaders, Zupas, Indian buffet, Bam Bams BBQ, BYU Creamery
  • Session at the Salt Lake temple
  • A day at Park City 
  • Tour of UVU campus where I'll be taking a class this summer
  • Shopping at the outlets, DI, Missionary Mall and Riverwoods 
  • Scoped out the hotties at institute  
  • Hours and hours of playing Hanabi and watching Great British Bake Off
  • Played in the snow (yes, it snowed in May)
Overall I think it was a productive week. Haley, unfortunately, did not accomplish her one goal for the week which was to secure herself a husband. With just one more week I think she may have been successful.

I cried when I dropped these girls off at the airport on Saturday. These friends are the closest I can get to what Anne Shirley would call "bosom friends"  My friends at A&M could not have been more different from my friends at hair school. I hate to perpetuate stereotypes but I have been a hairstylist long enough to recognize that a certain shallowness and incivility pervades the beauty industry. I became aware of this trend just before graduating from Aveda when I was badly treated by some of my classmates. I knew then and there I could not work with these "friends" for the rest of my life. This is not meant to be a slam against all hair stylists! I know and have worked with stylists who are kind and intelligent. I am lucky that I've had a few positive experiences throughout my time as a hairstylist, and I can't think of a better job to help me through school, but I am so grateful that I chose to continue my education. I'm grateful to have other options.

My friends at A&M never treated me badly, never spoke behind my back, never tried to make me change, and never made fun of my beliefs. My friends at A&M never looked down on me for my field of study, they were supportive and encouraging of everyone regardless of where they went to school or where they worked. Everyone in my ward recognized the need to break down cliques because we were the only Mormons living in the bible belt. I experienced a unity in College Station that I'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else.



Throughout this week I've found myself chanting to myself "give it a chance...it won't be like last time...give it a chance..." Christina also offered me some really good advice: instead of looking for what I can get from my new ward and community, ask myself what ways I can give. The past 4 years I feel like Heavenly Father has been giving, giving, giving, and I've been so blessed. So I'm not going to ward hop looking for the best ward with the cutest guys, I'm transferring my records to the ward within my boundaries and I'm going to look for ways to serve and contribute.

Here's to hoping I get a church calling quickly!