Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Spirit of Christmas

My friend asked me, "does it feel like Christmas?" Which led to a rather contemplative sunny-day run. As I thought about the feelings of Christmas I was overwhelmed with humbling thoughts of my Savior, feelings which were stronger than Taylor Swift at full volume in my earbuds. (which is evidence enough that she can't be that bad). Christmas this year has been extra special to me as I reflected on this last year. This last year, I watched the Atonement working daily in my life. The experience fortified and solidified my testimony of Jesus Christ. In this year, I have finally healed, and I am entirely whole. His power is real, His life undeniable. Because of Christ, my most difficult moments and hardest struggles have become my most sweetest of memories. I have never been more grateful in my life for all that I have, all that I am and all that I can become.  These realizations are the most empowering motivations and the most humbling of attitudes. But with them, I can feel my Savior in every moment and detail of my life. I can turn to Him, wherever I am, and feel His love (even when I am running and listening to Taylor Swift). 
After this year, I feel that I understand Christmas more than I ever have. And that understanding has brought me greater peace, light and love than I have ever had in my life. 
I finished stretching in the driveway in the sunshine. 
Yeah, it feels like Christmas. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

13.1 miles

It's normal in life to create a bucketlist, lots of people do it.  Lots of people make note of things they want to do before they...die. er, before some life-altering event that might make such things relatively impossible, improbable, or maybe just harder. Life becomes all about checking something else off the list.
Of course I have one, but I'm thinking about deleting it, crumpling it up, throwing it away, and living without a second thought to what's next on the list. Now before you label me as purpose-less, unmotivated, ambition-less or goal-less: allow me to explain.
Life isn't made up of events, which can be carefully and strategically crossed off the list, life is about experience.
I ran a half-marathon this last weekend, and it was an impressive feat, if I do say so myself. I was undertrained and probably under qualified. So I did it anyway, and my uncle asks me, "so is that done now? did you get it over with, and now you just cross it off your list and never look back" (or something along that sentiment). and I realized something with my rather automatic response, no. It's not. It wasn't a one time thing, it wasn't just an event.
Sure, I was running because I wanted to label myself as legitimate enough to run a half marathon. "I RAN A HALF-MARATHON" how cool does that sound? The whole time, I was so focused on that finish line, about ending, about being able to say I accomplished such a feat. Of course, much like life surprises us, I was surprised to find, At about mile 10, when my legs were getting tired, and I'd been running already for a really long time, that the race became no longer about that finish line. It was just about me, sweaty and exhausted, finding one more burst of energy not to stop and not to give up. The race was repeating encouragement to myself, a new song which changed my whole attitude, thoughts and thoughtlessness, and carrying a gatorade gel for three and a half miles before I was brave enough to attempt consumption. But I did. The beauty of that day was not posing for the picture at the end (because we all know I looked anything less than beautiful), rather it was every step of every mile, every conscious self-evaluation that still found me breathing and feeling great.
So, that day was an experience, a million little moments lived, not just something crossed off the bucketlist. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


I recently came across this crumpled piece of paper as I shuffled through a box of old memories.  It was a copy of a monologue that I performed for the middle school and my high school during my senior year.  I stood up in front of that 200 some odd people and said,
"You know what I think has gotten devalued in the twenty-first century? Kindness.  It's sort of gotten to be a second-rate virtue.  You know how people who don't think you're pretty will always tell you you have nice hair?  Now they say what a "kind" person you are and then they never call back for a second date.  So I started asking people if anything nice had happened to them this week and everything they mentioned was a form of kindess, you know, somebody picking up something they dropped or walking them to a place they were trying to find or taking the trouble to return a lost item or incorrectly addressed piece of mail, and I though, everybody loves it, they've just forgotten its name.  So I started applauding.  Whenever I would see a kindess done I would start applauding and when people asked why I would tell them, and this guy I applauded had a drive-time radio show and he put me on and the next day I saw someone else applaud and then someone else and then there was a bumpersticker, 'Applaud Kindness,' and about a month later this older man applauded and then everyone else on the street did too and this guy who had stopped his car so this lady could push a stroller across got out of the car and bowed.  It was fantastic.  So anyway I don't know why I brought this up, it's old news by now...but it was really nice of you to listen all the way through. [applaud]"

Everybody loves it, they've just forgotten its name.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Things to Say

Goodbyes are hard.  Mostly because at that moment you feel the need to say something, profound, important, memorable.  But some things are hard to say, and how do you fit into to one potentially final moment everything that you feel, everything that you've ever wanted to say, anything that you haven't? At that very pivotal moment, with those words at the very tip of my tongue, I suddenly feel vulnerable, and I've caught my breath and left things unsaid.
So, this is everything I should have said:
I should have said goodbye.
I should have told you how much you mean to me.
I should have said, I'm sorry.
I should have told you that I love having you as a best friend, love the way you make my laugh, and let me be me.
I should have told you how happy I am for you.
I should have said, don't marry her.
I should have told you that you put my life into perspective and helped me see the world differently.
I should have told you that you taught me so much.
I should have told you how proud I am of you.
I should have told you how much you hurt me.
I should have told you that you made me feel safe.
I should have told you I would have stayed if you asked me to.
I should have told you that I trust you.
I should have told you that I admire you and everything that you do.
I should have told you that you inspired me to be better.
I should have told you that you helped me out of one of my lowest moments, I don't think you even know.
I should have told you that I appreciate you.
I should have said, thank you. for everything.
I should have told you I wasn't fine.
I should have told you I miss you, how much I'm going to miss you.
I should have looked you in the eye and said, I love you because you changed my life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Freshman Antics

BYU is tearing down Heritage Halls (Freshman housing).  The rubble-making started about a year ago.  Next in line is building 8. Penrose Hall.  A very special place that a small group of girls picked for no particular reason at all.  I picked it because it sounded the pretties, Penrose, why not?  And it was right near the middle.  Little did I know, with such reasoning, that this would be the place.  This would be the place that would change my life forever.  It became the place where I grew up as I sometimes acted like a little kid, the place where I claimed independence while learning to sometimes lean on other people.  Here, I met my best friend(s). Here, I have the fondest memories, and some of my worst.
So we all met up at that special place, spent one last hurrah! before, after three years, we go our separate ways, and this place can only be kept inside of us, preserved by too many albums on facebook.  We drove through the parking lot where we would have dance parties in the bed of a Truck.  Walked along the sidewalk which we decorated with chalk.  We reenacted roommate pictures outside with an updated wardrobe.  We entered the lobby where we "weren't allowed to have dance parties or watch movies", and went out on the balcony where we would release our craziness.  I remember 1 song dance parties in the middle of late-night study sessions.  There was the hallways that we filled with out mattresses on Friday nights, the walls covered in butcher paper and favorite quotes.  Our first discovery was the panic cupboard, I ended up there on the first day.  Our true bonding experience was a death-march to Albertson's, we only walked a few miles in the wrong direction, and took the short way home.  We had shopping sprees at the mall at the end of every semester, and sometimes in the middle when we were sad at boys.  I remembered the spot where my first college boyfriend kissed me.  That year we were in the middle of a prank war, and found a belt in the middle of a cake.  There was the grass where we always brought our food, pot and all and had a picnic on warm Spring afternoons, where we devoured Creamery shakes, played soccer, jammed on the guitar, laid out under the stars, rolled up as a burrito.  I remembered family dinners every night, and after dinner left overs for our seventh roommate.  Every week was planned family meeting on Sunday night and one day a week we floundered.  There was a little spot out back where the water would collect when it rained, it formed a small lake which I jumped over one night with someone else.  And our back steps were covered in brownie, one time we forgot the eggs and ended up throwing the dessert at each other instead of eating them.  At the end of the hall we had a giant family clock, at one point I was on a date for at least a week.  Through the kitchen window we posted messages, asked to borrow rice cookers and wished happy holidays.  Through the kitchen window we could see right into the guys apartments; they always kept their blinds down.  One week we rearranged the furniture and made a "big bed" to have one giant slumber party, I stayed up until 3 am smiling about potentials.  We shared a back door with our neighbors, soon enough we had 12 roommates and a heart attack one February morning.  We instated Easter Mexican Fiestas.  It was the year that Shaun White won the Olympic gold medal before he even took his last run.  We all wore different colored chucks, matching plaid, and ski goggles when we cooked.  Our bedroom doors locked, and sometimes we got locked out.  My roommate and I would have adventures late at night, trying different beauty products, facials, nail polish, hair dye.  One incident went amiss and someone's hair ended up orange, so naturally, we all dressed in orange, ate only orange food, and threw a party; there was more orange than cones in the construction zone.  We used to get all dressed up and go out, after cheering at every single home football game.  Somedays I went to the Creamery more than once, more than twice, more than three times... My roommate and I covered our walls, and built a giraffe army.  We had "funky jello" in our fridge for an entire semester.  We screamed aaaaaaaahhhhhhh at the end of every word.  Every inch of the place was tainted with memories, and it all came chaotically back, in certain spots, snippets, still frames, faces, moments, ideas, songs, jokes, quotes, and laughs.
Walking around that place watching all of my memories, it seemed so far away, and I felt so big;  I guess I've done a lot of growing since then.  And now life moves even further on, even further away, but Here was a good starting place, a place that sent me in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Sometimes all you need is to stand on the edge of a large body of water and just feel, small.  Sometimes you need a lot more than that.  Perhaps the Great Salt Lake isn't big enough.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Everything is AMAZING, and nobody is happy"

They say that living in Provo, UT is like being inside of a bubble.  That's not really a good thing, seeing as we aren't talking about soap bubbles or bubble gum, but it's a bubble nonetheless, a very small suffocating bubble, one that I quite often find myself enclosed in, and I can't quite remember how long I've felt trapped.  But when I come to this realization, notice my complacent captivity in this mythical sphere of fake blondes, misperceived perfection, and deceiving superficiality, I have to make a dramatic escape.  It took me an hour and a half to travel from Salt Lake City, Utah to Oakland, California; that's it, a cat nap (in honor of my roommates infatuation for cats) and a few chapters in my book and I had traveled out of this bubble and into a surreal weekend.  Sometimes I don't feel like I'm really living my own life, sometimes it takes me a moment to take a breath and realize that everything around me IS amazing and that I should be happy.  That realization makes me smile because I am happy.  And sometimes one just needs to step out of their bubble, take a little vacation, and see that their is life outside of Provo.
And when I did this, I found myself in a whole different world.  I found myself in the middle of a brand new city to explore and found myself in love with it.  I found myself in a car full of hipsters listening to European electronica.  I found myself taking a deep breath of crisp and humid ocean air after splashing through frigid waves.  I found myself laughing, uncontrollably at everything.  I found myself watching a movie about super heros.  I found myself sitting out under the stars with a best friend, talking about everything and anything.  I found myself comfortable, relaxed, happy.  And then I found myself back in Provo, back in the bubble, back to work, back to reality.  But it's nice to realize every once in a while that even living in a bubble, even sometimes letting myself be content in that bubble, I'm not stuck.