A week around the town

28 April 2014

Library visit - renewed with new morning and bedtime reading  ||  Driving up the Provo canyon - feeling a strong humanitarian surge

Back in the day - best friend Becky and I as freshmen  ||  Visit with Becky and family last week.  Boy #2, Spencer, resembles my last serious boyfriend, ha!  Cuties.

Work elevator signs - love this message!  ||  Childhood best friend Audrey visits my beautiful mama with her sweet little newborn, Tenley.


Drive with junior high friend Becky up the Uintas canyon.  Amazing conversation!  But the weather was not this nice - stock photos win.

Destination - to visit our other friend, Joelle and family.  Evening scripture study.  Becky and Dallin snuggled on the couch to the left.
 
 Reading snuggles with myself.  Bedtime reading after Julie and I watched Step Up. ||  Then got a text to continue our midnight scary movie series with Becky, Preston, and Mace.  Some of my favorite memories are late nights with these folk.

 Sunday morning out my window.  ||  A little pow-wow with God so I could open the gates for some specific Higher Thought this week.



Upward and onward,



Flash mob professionals tape their shoes

27 April 2014


The elevator doors close as I'm headed up to my office on a Monday morning.  I look down and see a piece of tape on the bottom of my shoe.

I nonchalantly lean down to peel it off, letting a clear smirk slide all the way across my face.  I put my foot back down and keep my eyes lowered on all the briefcases and freshly shined shoes.  All these folks ready for their work day.  But I keep my grin because I feel so sneaky.  

I remember a scene from one of my favorite movies - Step Up 2, which I just watched with my buddy David a few weekends ago.  Though, instead of treating it as my normal dance-a-long film, I had to remain completely immobile, rubbing Icy Hot all over my achy running legs for the entire duration of the film.  My bro, Devin, bought that movie for me many years ago, and he basically walked straight up to me and shoved it in my mouth so he could plug the hole that talked about it so much.  I still take it as one of his sweetest gestures.

Anyway, the movie begins with a flash mob on a subway train by the best dance crew in town, all disguised in masks.  And the scene ends with a business man chasing these kids off the subway and  then riding up the elevator, tapping his fingers to the fading beat.  Then the camera pans in, showing a streak of paint on his hand.  Then the camera pans out to the wall beneath him, revealing a freshly painted graffiti image of the crew's name.  Turns out Mr. Business was a piece of the guise.

So now I have MY turn.  Peeling tape of the bottom of my foot.  All sourced from the night before.  My girlfriend, Kristin's, golden 26 birthday party.  Some other girl threw the party for her so she decided it needed a flash mob.  Talk about a GOLDEN idea!  Harhar.

She reached out to a small group of us, and we formed our own "crew," uniting for some Saturday morning garage practice.  But at the last minute, the party location was switched to someone else's home and carpet became the dance floor.  Now our gliding became more... glitchy.

UNTIL we came up with the idea of TAPING THE BOTTOMS OF OUR SHOES!  Good thing this practice was so late at night because sleepy minds sometimes give the best solutions.

So the party came.  The setting was astonishing.  The crowd was hot.  The tape went on.  And we delivered a jaw-dropping show.

And then of course, because I am me, I wore bits of the same outfit to work the next day, and apparently... missed a piece of tape.  But I'm glad I did because I now know the satisfaction of being my own little guise.

And then the elevator doors opened and I scissor-kicked some guy's briefcase into the air, jumped out, and turned around to face him with my karate hands as the elevator doors closed.

Upward and onward,







Thoughts on the back of a church handout




I don't talk about it much anymore.  My divorce.  The lies.  The abandonment.

It's hard to talk about because it's not an elevator clip.  And also, by speaking about it, another person's poor choices are under the light of scrutiny, and I feel that is unfair because past doesn't reflect present.  And I believe this person's character is greater than what he showed.  But that won't come until he is honest about what he did.  And I trust that someday he will be able to honestly face and understand the effects of his actions.

Those beliefs help me with forgiveness.

He was an "almost" person, not a bullseye person.  I need a bullseye person.

Upward and onward,







image source

The DNA of Courage

25 April 2014



This week for my morning devotionals, which is sort-of doubling as my inhale-breakfast-cram, I have been studying the profiles of renowned innovators, like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Larry Page (Google) in a book called The Innovator's DNA.  It's all about innovators being different than just executives because they are more inquisitive and willing to cross boundary lines.

And then I suppose the winds of my life decided to see if I could take my own intrepid steps, because work produced several situations where I had to stand up for myself at work.  Something about being a young woman and not as capable.  Why is femininity a reduction of perceived intelligence? But I proudly reaffirmed my professional contributions, communicating very calmly and clearly, and opening that space up again for me to be respected as a working female.

I wish I could be a stow-a-way in the lives of these innovator's, discovering the ways they believe in themselves beyond others small minds.

Innovator's are courageous.  That's what I think.


                       — Maya Angelou



Off to hide these exhausted dark eye circles.  Really tough week for me.  Got a girl's night with my junior high ladies.

Upward and onward,








(This was a couple summers ago when Katie and I hid in the bushes at work to enjoy the summer sun the day before my marathon)

Intro - Philippines Journey

24 April 2014



The time has come for me to share.

My journey to the Philippines. 

I wrote about it a lot in a secret place, thinking maybe I'd publish this wondrous adventure someday.  I already hired Kee as my illustrator, because obviously a work produced by me would have images.  And scratch and lick stickers.  And in work meetings, I doodle design covers and plot graphs, so half of my work portfolio is smeared in Filipino daydreams.

But gradually I stopped wanting to share something that means so much to me with every human in the world.  I want this story to be cherished.  I want it to be a gift to those who are special to me.  And if I do choose to someday publish, I pray that my story finds it's way into the hands of others who would benefit from it.  Plus, such an undertaking takes a lot of effort and writing in private makes me more long-winded, and thus, boring.  And we can't have that. 

Well, if I write here, then I follow a Full House method - short, cute, meaningful message.  And photos.  Which is much more engaging for a reader anyways, so shouldn't I write in a setting that will produce the most optimal story?  So--

I want to share my journey with you right now.  I want to share it all - the rumblings inside of me that spurred me to go; the blind adventures of three Americans flying by the seat of their pants; the night I chose to forgo my best friend's wedding as her Maid of Honor and miss my flight back home; the graphic and unforgettable things I saw; the way I felt calmly at ease amidst such awful destruction; all the times I fell asleep beside Mace, sharing secrets and stories that kept us comforted; the way I fell in love with sleeping on cement; the way I fell out of love with bathing from a muddy bucket; the time I puked all over the ocean; and the time I sat between my two guys in the backseat of an eternal bus ride, and I finally unlocked the most sublime spiritual key of peace.

This is my gift to you.  Because Birthday Week is over so you'll have to stop complimenting me and buying me Ghiradelli Cherry Tango chocolate.  Now it's my turn to give back to you.  Not that this offering is really much of a gift at all, because writing on the wide-open internet and assuming masses of people rejoice about that is actually more haughty.  But I'm going to pretend it's generous so the Pearly Gate interns will put a tally under "Heaven."  I fear I have too many tally's under "Hell," so thanks for letting me exploit you.

Anyway, here's to my raw and unedited and subject-to-a-lot-of-reconfiguring someday book.

My Philippines Journey

Aaaaand I already have tear-stained eyes and a joyous heart.  Mabuhay.

 
Upward and onward,


 



Went to the porch to have a thought

23 April 2014



I know one thing for certain.  I'm going to be the most sympathetic wife.

When my husband comes home after a looooong day at work and---  Oh say no more, hunny!  I hear ya!  Because today I had one of those days myself.  And I thought- what if I got home and my spouse had placed our children on the doorstep to wait for me, all with snot bubbles coming out of their noses, and said it was now my turn to tend them because I've been gone all day and he needs a break.  Well I need a break too!  Because some co-workers can be more misbehaved than children. 

So then I decided that my husband and I are going to have a code word for days like today.  He'll text me "SHYSTER."  Or something.

And then I'll know.  I'll prepare him a special plate of steamy food and place it on the sidetable of a nice recliner chair by the time he gets home.  And I'll put the children in the attic.  Maybe I'll put on some lipstick.  Or even brush my hair.

So I just have to remember - it's days like today that will make me so understanding and thoughtful towards the arduous working days of my hubs.

Aaaand I have other ideas for him too, but I can't share them here because what if hubbzy READS THIS.



Upward and onward,








Becca, thank you for emailing me lots of pictures of baby animals.  And one human baby in an ewok suit.  And also, thanks for the walk. 

And Kate, haaaaaaa!  You  +  ballet.

And Cici, your story about writing letters to your high school crush signed "Rashumba" was the best thing I heard all day!  And as the bus drives away screaming, "I. AM. RASHUMBA!!"


Image source

Conquering the gavel. With stretch pants.

22 April 2014

 


Well, the fact of the matter is...

If I ever end up in a courtroom, I couldn't deny that I'm the epitome of a completely unattached, big city working woman right now. 

All my meals are based off grab-n-go.  If I can't open it and eat it in 30 seconds, or microwave it for less than a minute and a half, because two minutes really pushes my patience, then no.  Which is silly because I love to cook.  But that's the most impossible thing when you are only one person. 

And all my truly committed romantic relationships over the last while have been with TV show characters, which I watch on the floor of my bedroom with my pants unbuttoned - if I'm ambitious enough to wear pants and not leggings from my wear-sleep-repeat model.  Right now I'm going steady with Ben, from Parks & Rec.  Real life men don't hold my attention.  And everyone close to me knows it.  If I find I still love my own head of hair more than him after a month, then I don't see much of a future.  A shallow, but permittable, metric.

Also, I answer work emails 24 hours a day.  And I even skipped dance practice tonight so I could keep working on this big project and hopefully impress someone with it.  Although I adore my Big Dream Job, and it really gets me going with my mini self-leadership devotionals every morning, I absolutely hate the bureaucracy of it all.  Which is the whole reason I'm writing this post.  Vent in disguise.  I am learning that I am quite protective and assertive when it comes to my job.  For that I'm proud.  But for the rest, well, we'll see how I stand up to the high towers tomorrow.  As for tonight, evening of grab-food, leggings-TV-marathon, and a scripted screen boyfriend.

Living this singledom life to the fullest.  Because someday I'm going to live with little people who will wipe their boogs on me.


Upward and onward,








Second Image Source

All the cake is mine

21 April 2014



Birthday!!  As far as birthdays go, I believe this is one of the best I've ever had. 

I mean, that one birthday where a girlfriend in highschool poured gallons of heart-shaped confetti into the vents of my car was also really memorable.  Because for two solid years, every time someone would get in my car and I'd turn on the air, they would scream as billions of little red hearts sprayed them in the face.  I liked it.  Little love blast.

But, once I got to college, my birthday was put on hold because it was always during finals week.  Actually, on my 23rd birthday, I completed graduate school with a 7:30 am advanced taxation final.  So that was a good present, I suppose.

Because of all those birthdays I had to forgo, I must always collect more birthday days - hence Birthday WEEK!  Lots of me me MEEE time!  And beautiful friends (dinner with Brooke, lunch with Nora).  Kersti, Cici, and I celebrated our April birthdays with a pure vanilla birthday cake that was the most succulent thing I ever tasted (compliments of Cici).   And our entire ward sneak attacked us with birthday cards aaaand a strange aluminum foil bird.

My favorite part of birthday week - an email from my old friend, Ben.  We connected about an evening a few years ago when we experienced a really transcendent, spiritual moment and just now shared our feelings about it.  He opened up about few people in this world being so impressionable on him as I have been and thanked me for being me.  I shed pretty little tears on my pretty little dress.  I was so touched.

All of birthday week culminated in me feeling incredibly valued and loved and cherished by the people in my life.  I wish I could trap and preserve these feelings of appreciation.

Below is a review of my Birthday Weekend!





My Birthday ROADTRIP! 

Roadtrip to Hannah & Daron's house in Las Vegas (with our fav cupcakes)!
The drive really opened my mind to all the people who love me.
Felt so adored and protected.
Talked with Kee and Mace.
Got a random text from my 16 year-old boyfriend's best friend (wanted me to come play soccer).
Thought about how people near and far, old and young, from the long past, and the present, really value me.
Thought about how I seem to be a bit of a timeless person in other's lives - people wish for me to stay in their lives for a long time.
The view as I drove was so breathtaking and refreshing.
Thought a lot about God, and how much He loves me to create such a world.
Overjoyed to just be me!

Arrived at Hannah's house.  Caught up on our lives.
Went out on the strip with her hubby and sister.
Wandered through the Bellagio and Planet Hollywood.  Dinner on the balcony of Sugar Factory.
Spent the next day at the park with her sister's kids.  Skin couldn't soak in enough sun.
Went for a walk with Hannah and pup.  Talked more deeply about life undercurrents.
Had to leave.  Planned a summer pool trip with Hannah.
More driving thinking time.
Thought about my miraculous journey of life.  I have a lot of experience, lots to share.
Thought a lot about the Philippines.
Made it back just in time for Birthday Dinner with my ward family.  Sweet Julie put it together.
Bombay House and snow cones.  Jules and I "dropped" most of our ice on the ground.
Hit the spot.
 




Easter Sunday & My BIRTHDAY! 

Sunday morning Easter surprise! 
Cici hid goodie bags around the house for Kersti, Julie, and I.
Felt an overflow of the Spirit at church.  More on that later.
Brennan, my dad, and my mom called to sing me Happy Birthday. 
Talked to my mama for awhile - told me how Brennan reads my old scriptures from high school.  Loves all my notes from when I was on seminary council.  So sweet that my kid brother gathers so much from my high school mind.  I can never think about Brennan for too long or I cry.  I miss him.
Got all the Step Up movies from my friend David. (Except 2, because I got that for my birthday years ago).
Went to the park behind my house and wrote Trevor a letter.  That was my ONE goal for my birthday :)
Thrilled to have my birthday in spring.  All the trees and flowers are blooming and the sun is fresh.
So happy.
Trevor emailed me that evening.   
We planned a trip for me to fly out to Japan in exactly 6 months when he is released.  
Love that kiddo.




Because of Him

The best part of my entire birthday.
Sharing my birthday with Easter.
My relationship with my Savior Jesus Chris is one of the most tender parts of me.
I don't talk about it often because it's so sacred to me that the poignancy couldn't be delivered from mortal to mortal.
But He understands times of my life that no one else can and that is incredibly bonding for me.
As I thought of His Resurrection, I felt His strong care for me.
Topped all the appreciation I've felt this week.
Bowed my head in intense gratitude.
I love Him, and I am so humbled to be known by Him.




The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more you will find to celebrate.

Upward and onward,






First Image Source

For some reason, I'm still allowed in public

18 April 2014



I went out to lunch with my girlfriend, Katie, last month.

Which all came to pass when her co-worker asked her again to set us up.  I graciously declined his advance but said I'd love to meet up with Katie.  So she reported back to him that I have turned him down a second time but she got a date with me out of it!

Some people win, and some people lose.

So Katie and I met up at my favorite cafe.  I told her how I was watching a TV show while eating dinner the other night, and the characters were slicing small bites with their knives in the right-hand, and then quaintly eating the bite off the bottom of the fork with the left.  And I was hunched over using both hands to push food into my open mouth.

I told her that I intend to work on becoming a prettier eater - as my mouth was full.

Then Katie reminded me about her birthday dinner last summer.  We were at some super trendy grill downtown with Katie and her sister.  And halfway through our order, the waitress and I made the connection that I'm good friends with her husband.  She got so excited that before I knew what was happening, she wrapped her arm around my neck and smooshed my head into her chest.

Once I was released, I ordered a soup that I was so eager to try, but the waitress replied that the restaurant had just run out.  Hmph.  So I ordered a kale salad.

The waitress walked away to submit our orders and revealed the table that had just become vacated behind her.  There, right between plates of half-eaten meals, was a half-eaten bowl of that exact soup!

I turned back around to Katie and her sister with a smile on my face.  Katie knew.  Katie always knows.  So I asked her sister, "Would you judge me?"  Which was more rhetorical than anything because I didn't really have time to determine if she was or wasn't the judging type.  And besides, she didn't really understand what was happening anyways.  And as everyone who meets me must learn at some point, nothing I do is ever predictable so you should probably just bring a raincoat and goggles whenever we hang out.

So I turned around and quickly snatched the bowl of soup from the table behind me.  Then I pulled out my own clean spoon, because even though I eat other people's trash, stranger's germs are SO beneath me.  I took a few bites until I was satisfied, and then offered some soup to my friends.  Katie just laughed, and her sister looked at me a bit mortified.  Assuming that was a no, I quickly put the bowl back on the table, right as the busser walked around the corner to clean up.

Let that man feel vindicated in my date decline.


Upward and onward,






Image Source