Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If only they KNEW!!!

OK, so there is this musician who is rather well known in Utah. I am friends with him on facebook, but have never actually met him.
He has an amazing voice and all I think about when I hear him sing is HOW WELL WE'D SOUND TOGETHER...
So I've messaged him a couple of times. I Sent him my website info, gave him my number, what have you, but he's not biting.
It's so frustrating because to him, I'm just some random girl who "says" she can sing, but for all he knows I'm like all those people on American Idol who know they can win, then you hear them sing and think, "WHO is telling them that they should audition?"
I know if he were to give it a shot he would be pleasantly surprised and I really think we could make some SWEET music together, but I don't want to harass him and be more creepy than I've already been.
Oh the frustration!



Thursday, November 29, 2012

No Right Answer

So this one time I started dating two different guys at the same time. One I felt safe with and I felt had more potential for longevity. The other I had a lot of fun with and could talk with really easily but didn't necessarily see it as a "serious" possibility. I had a hard time choosing between the two, but ended up choosing the guy I felt safe with.
That relationship ended about a month later. I just never felt excitement with him and I wondered if I made the wrong choice.
I was still friends with the "fun" one and had seen a different side of him that made me wish I wouldn't have given up on him. We talked about it later I let him know how I felt, but at that point he was dating someone else. He told me it was strictly timing. It was hard wondering what could have been.
I recently found myself in the same situation. I was dating Mr. Safe and Mr. Fun.
Remembering how I felt the first time I decided to try with Mr. Fun. That lasted all of two weeks and I think about Mr. Safe all the time. Wondering if I blew that.
WHAT IS A GIRL TO DO? How do you know where to go? Have I been making wrong choices? How do I not wonder what could have been or if I did the right thing?
All four of these guys are great guys, really top shelf, I could be happy with any of them so it's not like I'm choosing someone bad for me, but why does it happen that way? How am I supposed to know which direction to go?
Gosh dating! So over it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dang Wrenches!

One thing I have been struggling with lately is trust.
I got to a point in my life where I had a plan set in motion and all was well, we all know those moments are fleeting before something (someone) comes along and throws a wrench in your plans.
As soon as I decide to like someone I lose faith in that person. I don't trust them, I expect them to hurt me, and I am afraid that I am self-sabatoging in that regard.
I won't allow myself to be vulnerable because I tell myself they will take that vulnerability and make me regret giving it to them.
I hate this because I feel like it will prevent me from giving the guys a chance to not hurt me.
I just feel like I've been hurt so many times that I can't imagine any different so I don't want to give people that chance.
I'm trying to give people a chance anyway, but it's so scary. I'm afraid I'll beat myself up if the same thing happens again with the, "I should have known" attitude.
I had gotten to a point where I was dating but I wasn't letting anyone in, I wasn't attaching to anyone emotionally and I was totally fine with that.
Then a wrench got thrown in the mix and as much as I didn't want to like him, as much as I put it off, as much as I avoided it, it happened, and now I'm scared.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Best Mom In The Wide World

This week my group, had a show in Midvale. It was for a relief society thing for a branch. I had called my mom that morning and asked her if she would want to come and be my date, she jumped on the opportunity.
That alone made my whole day. Sometimes I feel like people get sick of feeling like they have to come to my shows. Like I do them all the time and sometimes they just don't want to have to go, like it's a burden. So when I called her a part of me was prepared for the, "Well... I have this going on, I'll see if I can make it." But this is my mom we are talking about. The woman who will ask me to sing for anyone and everyone be it at a family dinner, at a restaurant, on the street... So I shouldn't have been surprised when she wanted to come.
I was so excited to have her there. She has met the guys in my group before, but only a couple of times. I was so proud to have her there and have them really get to meet and talk to her. My friend Kelly also was there and I was so excited for her to meet my mom for the first time. For these people to meet someone so very important to me that they have heard me talk about for so long.
As we sang I would look down at her in the audience, and she just smiled the whole time. I could see how proud she was. For me it wouldn't have mattered if anyone else was in the crowd that night. I was singing for her.
I have been singing my whole life. I have been in a ton of different groups and have performed hundreds of times, and my mom has been there every chance she could be. Every singing recitle (some [most] of which were really painful to sit through). Every talent show. The thing that sticks out the most was when I was in a rock band. A ROCK band. Our music was not soft, was not pretty. It was awesome but it was hard and loud and certainly not her cup of tea, but I just have this image in my mind... We were doing a basement party and she came and was in the front row. I'll never forget looking over at her, she just had this giant smile on her face, but she was plugging her ears. THAT my friends is support. I remember her telling me after that the bass was so strong and loud that it actually made her physically ill haha, but she loved it.
It means so much to me to know that not only is she so proud of me, but that she will support me, not because she has to because she's my mom, but because she genuinely wants to be there and listen to me sing. She is, without doubt, my biggest fan, and I am her's.
Love you Momma.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Uneasiness of Ease

Ok, so lately things have just been really really great.
I feel an influx of motivation towards my physical goals. I have gone off sugar again (which I did this summer for two months)the first two days were rough, but the past 5 have been just fine and I feel awesome. I've started a new workout class. I'm the kind of girl who has to try everything. I hear of a new workout and my ears perk up and before I know it I'm signing up for it. I feel like I've done just about everything, yoga, pilates, bikram yoga, bootcamp, crossfit, dash fitness, power pump, kick boxing. I've done spinning classes, water aerobics. I've tried (not completed) insanity and p90X.
I do all of these things because I like trying new things. I want to know what works the best for me and what I'll stick to. So far my faves have been, bootcamp, crossfit, dash fitness and this class I'm doing now at The Dailey Method.
I have a cruise in 75 days, I like having a goal to aim for.
I digress. I have also jump started my music again. My group, Mountain Blue, hasn't performed, or even practiced, in months, we got together Sunday and practiced and tonight we have a performance. Having gigs lined up just makes me feel whole again. I have now been in Mountain Blue for 4 years, and it has become a part of me. I really can't imagine not being a part of it, and the idea of ever having to leave it scares me. I recorded on Saturday with one of the guys in the group, just to test out some microphones, but just being in the studio again recharged my batteries. Friends of Spencer, continues to book weddings, which being a project I started (didn't join) feels so validating to be noticed and wanted. I'm so grateful for that partnership with Jaycie and for what I have accomplished with her.
I have a great job. I am able to support myself comfortably. I am out of debt and able to add to my savings. I feel respected and acknowledged at work. I feel like I do a good job and it is noticed.
Even with the elections this week, no it did not go the way I hoped, but I feel this odd sense of patriotism for even being a part of it. I am proud of our country, I'm proud to be a part of it. The world is a wicked WICKED place and though I firmly believe it will get worse before it gets better, I have faith in God's plan, and the scriptures say the world will get worse before it gets better, so the fact that it's getting worse just affirms my faith that one day it WILL get better.
Most importantly I have felt the spirit a lot in my life lately. My oldest niece Leah is getting baptized this Saturday, I feel like I have been waiting for this day for so long. I remember my baptism and to have the first grandchild having this experience, I am just so excited for her. I am excited to see my brother Dane baptize his daughter. Emotions will run high that day.
A girl in my ward was baptized last week and they confirmed her a member on Sunday. I was sitting on the stand as they did this and I couldn't help but smile. What a brave thing to do. I am incredibly grateful to have been born a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but there was a part of me that sat there thinking, "What did it feel like for her to hear it for the first time? To feel the spirit the first time?" How incredible. I wanted to talk to her after and pick her brain and welcome her, but I didn't want to freak her out, so I didn't (plus I'm an introvert... so... I found reasons why I shouldn't approach her).

All that being said, my comfort right now is somewhat unsettling. In my experience there is always something around the corner.
Luckily, also in my experience, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13


My beautiful niece, Leah Danielle Sanders, in Maui this year.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cinderella?

So this one time I was invited to a military ball by a guy I met online three weeks prior who lived in North Carolina, and if that wasn't unbelievable enough, I went.
The only thing I had to lean on was the 3 weeks of conversation via text, sometimes via facebook and very seldomly via skype. What I knew about him was that he served his mission with a friend of mine, who he hasn't had any contact with since the mission, he was a paratrooper in the army, an officer in the army, very handsome and Southern.
When I was first invited we kind of just laughed at the thought, the second time he mentioned it, we looked into it more seriously. He offered to pay for half my flight and I was able to get work off.
I knew how crazy it was. I knew the risks. I had seen enough Lifetime Original Movies to know that I was running risk of being kidnapped, taken hostage, accosted, murdered and so on and so on. Yet for some reason that didn't sway me... very much. He kept my nerves at ease.
I had made the decision to go and from that point on made sure to cover all my bases. I had a place to stay, I had given numbers out to friends, co-workers, family members. I had code words, I had flight options. I had informed him that I was the daughter of an FBI agent. I had ways to get out, and I also had ways to get him caught in case anything went south.
There was so much that I didn't know about him, yet I felt oddly comfortable. There was a part of me that was terrified, but another part of me that couldn't help but imagine how awesome it would be. Go to a military ball with a handsome army man, spend time in North Carolina? That could be an experience of a lifetime and a story to have for the rest of my life.
The thing to solidify my comfort in going was the fact that my dad called him the day I was supposed to leave. Sure at first I felt like I was 16 and this was the phone call equivalent of my father cleaning his shot gun, but I wanted my dad to feel at ease about me going, and I wanted this boy to know that I had a protective father.
After getting the go ahead from my dad I was on my way, and I was SO EXCITED!!! Almost too excited, there was no way the expectations I was building in my mind could possibly be met.
My flight was leaving late Tuesday night and getting into Fayetteville, best case scenario 11:30 Wednesday morning, but more likely not until about 7:30 that evening. I had my laptop and plenty of movies to get me through the layover.
I made both my flights and let the Mr. know I was in town. I told him to not rush over, that I could hang out for a while, but he called me to tell me he was on his way to come get me.
Oh I was nervous. I was about to finally meet this man I had been talking to every day for less than 3 weeks. What if he wasn't as cute as I thought? What if he was disappointed in me? What if we didn't click? In 20 minutes I would answer all of those questions.
I saw his car pull up, he got out and we both just smiled. I did NOT feel like this was the first time we were meeting. We hugged and he drove us to his house. I was exhausted so we just popped in a movie and I took a nap.
He had all these plans to take me to all these different restaurants, try all his favorite places. Immediately I knew I had nothing to worry about. I was getting texts from all my friends, checking in. I text them all (code words included) to let them know they had nothing to worry about.
We got sushi, we got milkshakes, we had Waffle House, we had more milkshakes, he took me on base and showed me all around. He took me to get some Ft. Bragg shirts and sweatshirts. He gave me an army shirt to take home. He took me all around.
North Carolina was beautiful, but the point of going... he took me to the military ball.
Thursday was the Ball. I had my dress all planned, my hair, my makeup and my jewelry. He had to work the day of so I slept in, I worked out (which included hitting myself in the chin with a kettlebell [apparently I don't know my own strength] hard enough that even now, nearly 2 days later, my chin still hurts but luckily no bruise) then I started getting ready. When it came time to leave I felt like a million bucks and he looked it! We looked in the mirror and he said, "We look good!".
We went to the ball and found our table. For some reason seeing my place setting "Lt. ... guest" made me so happy. I was his guest. I was HIS guest. That was me.
I loved the Ball. All the traditions and the customs. I loved hearing him "HUA" when they acknowledged his unit. I loved people calling him Sir. I loved the toasts. One person would say a toast and everyone would say something acknowledging it. I had two favorites, "To the fallen", followed by a moment of silence and then all the men sat the ladies and then someone said, "To the lovely ladies" and all the men yelled, "TO THE LADIES!!!" and cheered.
I was introduced to a few of his friends. One of which sat next to me and chatted a bit asking my opinion of being there, he said it seemed like it would be such a drull being someone who isn't really a part of it. I told him I loved it, I was fascinated being there, all the customs and everything, it's not something I see every day and I loved it, not to mention it was GREAT people watching. To which he said, "It's even better knowing all the men in uniform. It says a lot about the man to see the woman he brings. How she dresses, how she looks." I said, "Interesting, so let me ask you, what am I saying about him?" he replied, "I don't know you well enough to answer that fully, but you're saying good things."
The whole night was just so great. I would like to take a minute and mention, HE LOOKED AMAZING! Ladies... a man in uniform, RIGHT? Not only that, but dress blues? I mean... ladies... take a minute!
After the ball we went to this little fast food place to get THE BEST SHAKE EVER. I had to go to the facilities so we had to go inside. There was this family sitting outside and this little girl saw my army man and goes, "(gasp)HI! Nice suit... Mom look at him, did you see him?" I just smiled walking behind him, so proud to be the girl with him.
When the night was over I was looking at some pictures we took, and it started to hit me. It was almost over. It was then that I realized this experience had met all of my expectations, and it was almost over.
The next day we went and got breakfast this was the day he took me to the base and around North Carolina a bit. He made sure I did all I wanted to do, got all I wanted to get. He then brought me to the airport and we said our goodbyes.
This experience couldn't have been better. You know that feeling where you wake up from an amazing dream and you're so bummed to have it ending. That's kind of how I feel. The good thing is, it wasn't a dream. This is a story I'll have forever.
At one point during the trip he asked me what the craziest thing I had ever done was. Without delay I said, "This!" The time I flew across the country to go to a ball with a guy I met online three weeks prior. Yeah this was definitely the craziest thing I had ever done. Chalk one up to taking risks friends!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What happens when I cook...

So I don't cook. I sometimes think I probably could, but then I usually just don't risk it. Why? You may wonder... because I have stories like the following in my repertoire:
When I was a teenager I was at home and my mom was cooking in the kitchen. She had to go somewhere but had onions she just started to fry on the stove. She says to her daughter, who hates onions and had never cooked them ever, to watch them for her while she was gone. I said, "Mom, I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know how to cook onions!" and in a frustrated state she said, "Just WATCH them!" and she left.
I watched. I watched them for a while. I watched them burn to a crisp.
Needless to say, she was NONE TO PLEASED when she got home to her black onions. My only defense, "I told you I didn't know how to cook onions, watching them doesn't change that."
I'm wondering if I have blogged this story before... it seems familiar to me. BUT let's be honest, not a lot of people read this blog, and most probably haven't read that post anyway. So THERE you have it folks.!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A letter to the 15 year old me

I recently had a friend blogger do this and I thought, oh man, if i could talk to the 15 year old me. So here it goes,

Oh man, things for you right now are not easy. you have all of high school ahead of you. Just going to give you so tips:
You think you need to be so many things in high school. You think you need people to see you a certain way. You are going to realize that the friends you already have are the best friends you could ever want. You are going to learn that the personality you have in high school and the things you believe and make you who you are, are admirable.
High school will not be the highlight of your life so don't put so much weight on it.
You are going to go to Utah State and you are going to love it. Try harder while you are there. Don't skip classes, you aren't going to love them, but they are important. You are going to have some great friends while you are there, friends who love you for who you are. Friends that will be a part of your life for the rest of your life. Friends who will show you that you are an amazing person, and someone worth getting to know.
After that year you are going to go to Hawaii with Bree. Pray about this decision. You will feel uneasy about it and you will be afraid to pray for fear that you won't feel it's the right decision, but if you pray about it you will be comforted and know that it is the right decision. This will be a defining time in your life. This will be a time of growth and revelation. You and Bree will look back on this for the rest of your lives as the best decision you could have made. (You'll also get your first kiss while you are there, don't be nervous!)
You are not going to get married at 20 or 21 like you think you want. THIS will be a huge blessing. Your early twenties are going to be hard. You won't be super confident and they are going to be a challenge. You are going to have a string of unfulfilling jobs, but endure them, they will lead you to where you want to be. Around the age 24 everything is going to change. I mean everything. You are going to be the person you always dreamed you'd be. You are going to do things you never thought possible. You are going to achieve things that seemed impossible. You are going to be singing all the time, you are going to run races, you are going to date a lot, you are going to travel all the time. You are going to have a life you always wanted, but never thought you'd get. Don't be frustrated at the thought that you won't get married young, because of this you are going to have so many experiences that will make you better prepared to be a wife and a mother and you will be SO glad you had the opportunity to become that person. You are going to make so many friends that you will consider best friends. You will ALWAYS have someone to depend on.
You are going to want to go on a mission, but that won't be the right decision for you. It's going to be hard forever, you will always in your heart long for that experience, but the work you are going to do in music will be your mission, and you will love it!
Stay close to your family, they are going to become your best friends. Tell your parents everything. When they decide they are going to move, it's going to be really hard for you, but you will actually form a deeper relationship with them in their absence. It will show you how much you love them, and it will also teach you about the kind of marriage you want when you see how they depend on each other. You will also become closer with your siblings as you depend on them for those years.
The thought of life being pretty hard for the next 10 years I'm sure is daunting, but I promise you, you will love what is coming your way.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Famine Masquerading as a Feast

Ok, so I have these two guys that are like my best friends. Jon and Steve. We talk about dating all the time, and share our woes and triumphs. One thing that we talk a lot about is that dating is always a feast or a famine. You either are dating more than you can handle or NOBODY!
At the moment it seems we are all in the feast category, which is great... well which can be great. I think the feast is better for them than it is for me. I don't do well with options. I like having one guy, I don't like to juggle and am not good at it. Anyway, I digress.
At the moment one would think I was having quite the feast. Last week for instance I heard from 7... *7* guys from my past. Steve mentioned to me that it's because the season is changing... going from summer to fall and these guys are now looking for their fall girlfriend. Someone to cozy up with as it gets colder, someone to go to haunted houses with and such. Makes sense.
Here's the thing, I've been set up a lot lately with great guys, I've been asked out by great guys, I've been flirting a lot with great guys, all good things BUT nothing is happening with any of them. There are A LOT that are out and about, but nothing is happening. Right now I am just waiting to see what will happen with any one of them. Sure I have my preferences, but I'm just waiting. Waiting to see if "so and so" is going to follow through. Or if "that one" is going to ask me out. Or if "THAT one" is going to ask me out again.
I wait. So though from the sounds of it, from the guys that I am talking about it sounds like I'm in a feast, but NOTHING IS HAPPENING! So really, I'm in a famine!


Monday, September 3, 2012

5 years 2 months and 16 days

Today it has been exactly that long since I had my surgery. Since I started losing weight. 5 years 2 months and 16 days ago I weighed 225 pounds.
My goal for this surgery was that I would get down to 175. That was the lowest I had ever remembered being, that was when I was the happiest. That was 50 pounds and that was just over the average amount of weight to lose. Most people would lose 50% of their excess weight, and that was just over 50% of mine.
That was my goal.
My hope was that I would lose it all. Get down to 145. I knew it wasn't "likely" but that it was possible.
I had a skirt that I wore when I was first down at 175. It was my goal skirt. All I wanted was to fit into that skirt again. I loved that skirt and felt so skinny in it. I kept it and would try it on all the time to see if I was getting closer.
Today, this morning, just now I weighed myself. Today, 5 years, 2 months and 16 days after the surgery, today I weighed in at 125. 100 pounds. I have lost all my excess weight plus 20 pounds. Today I am 100 pounds smaller. 100 pounds!!!
I never really thought I'd see this day.
It took 6 months to lose 40 pounds. 1 year to hit my new goal of 80 pounds. Those were all surgery assisted. This last 20 pounds, this last new goal was all me. I got down to 135 in the second year and I was ok at that weight. In the last 2 months is when I lost the rest, but I did it. 5 years 2 months and 16 days later I am 100 pounds smaller. 50 pounds past my original goal. 125. I weigh 125.
That 225 girl is still in my head sometimes, and right now she is crying with joy. The 125 girl that I am now can't help but do the same.




This was a bridesmaid skirt for my best friend's wedding when I was 21. This skirt was made to fit me. I found this skirt a few years ago and I remember holding it up and not knowing what it even was. When I realized it was that skirt I was shocked!



This was my goal skirt. This was the skirt that all I wanted from this surgery was to be able to fit into this again. Well... I can't, and I am so happy that I can't!

Friday, August 31, 2012

I dreamed a dream

Last night I had one of those dreams where you dream of someone that you see on a regular basis, but are not involved with, nor have you ever thought of being involved with them, but then you have a dream about them were you are involved with them and it makes you want to be involved with them.
These dreams frustrate me. I see this guy all the time, and now I see him totally differently. I find myself thinking about him and about the dream and how comfortable we were together. Dang subconscious! Messin with my head again!



This is my niece Leah. She can sleep anywhere.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lose Weight... WITHOUT Surgery!

I am so sick of hearing this. Every time I hear that, or see it on a magazine I think, "What about the people that can't? Would it be better to not have the surgery and remain overweight? Feel deflated because you 'failed' at dieting? Feel like your life will never change? Feel like because that person on the magazine did it and you can't that means you are lazy and gross?"
I'm so tired of hearing that and the automatic thought that if you did have surgery you are less strong, less dedicated, it means less that you have changed your life.
My opinion that I will defend to the grave: No matter how you do it (with the exception of eating disorders) surgery or not, you are a stronger person than most. People that have never had to work that hard will never understand, no matter how you do it, commend yourself for taking the step to change your life. If surgery is what you needed to get your foot in the door, more power to you.
I personally know that had I not done that I would not be where I am today. I know that it is what I needed to get me to this point. I worked my butt of (literally) I trained hard, I changed my habits, and I have to work hard every single day. Surgery was not a cop-out. Surgery was not me being lazy. Surgery was the starting point to me becoming the person I was always meant to be. I will never regret doing what I did. I will always defend it and stand up for it.
To those who say otherwise, quit being ignorant and judgemental, you clearly know very little about what you are talking about.

*Disclaimer, no one said anything to me to start this rant, I just saw it on a magazine cover.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Singing... Hot or Not

I like to think that most people would think singing is an attractive talent to have. It is one that I am happy to possess, but I find myself hesitant to talk about on dates. I realized why that is this last weekend.
On Saturday I went on a blind date. In being set up with this guy, the common denominator with us was that we are both "snarky". Truthfully, that was a big seller for me, I love a sarcastic guy, I can handle it, and better yet they can handle me.
Anyway. We went to lunch and as happens on all first dates we starting talking about hobbies.
I started wondering if I should even tell him that I am a singer. I have a lot of other hobbies, and if we were going to continue to date he would figure that out really quickly, so should I bring it up?
The reason I question it is, when I get started talking about singing, I talk about it A LOT. I say things I probably shouldn't say, like the fact that it is a big priority in my life. That it's something I'll do for the rest of my life. That if a guy doesn't appreciate that about me it is likely the relationship won't last. That it would be difficult for me to leave Utah, because I would be giving up some singing opportunities that I am not really willing to give up. That I spend a lot of money on it. That I spend a lot of time on it.
I did talk about it, and I did talk about all that. I also mentioned that I remember in my early twenties the way my dad would guage my feelings about a guy would be that he would ask, "would you give up singing for him?" At the time, there were guys that I would give it up for, but as time as went on, as I've spent more time and money on singing than anything else in my life. As I've honed my skills and found my niche, if he were to ask me that now, I don't know what it would take for that answer to be "yes". Truthfully if I were ever to encounter a situation where it was to choose the guy or music, I wouldn't want to be with a guy I'd have to "give it up" for, and I can't imagine a guy would ever ask me to. But, leave Utah? There is a good chance that whoever I marry will need to work out of state, or something and that would be a big sacrifice for me. Yes I can sing anywhere, but I can't really pursue the music I want to pursue outside of Utah. I can't sing with my group, I can't sing with my duo. It would be a big sacrifice.
So that, all that, I can imagine that would be a lot to take in. I can imagine a guy would hear that and think, "Geeze, that's heavy stuff do I really want to get involved?". That is why I question even talking about it.
This date on Saturday, the look on his face, I could see a look of intimidation, I could see a look of, "That's intense" and I kind of regretted saying anything, and it made me want to keep it to myself in the future.
So my question is this, guys, what would you think about that? Would that scare you away, or intrigue you? Should I just keep my mouth shut?




This is a picture of my group, Mountain Blue, singing on a single's cruise we were hired for back in 2010.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gotta Tri

The very first time I did a race was October 11, 2008. I did a 5k. I wasn't ever really planning on getting into racing. At this point in my life I had just lost about 80 pounds and was just getting into my athletic side.
I was sitting at my friend Spencer's house and he was talking about triathlons. He told me we should do one together and I laughed in his face. ME doing a Triathlon? Really that was laughable. I told him, "in all honesty I couldn't run a mile right now if I wanted to." He assured me I could and I said, "No really, you don't understand, I couldn't." I had never run a full mile without walking ever before in my life. I'd think about running a mile and I'd flashback to high school where all we had to do was run one mile in less than 15 minutes to pass, and I failed.
I told him, I couldn't even do a mile, there is no way I'd be able to do a whole TRI by October, he was still insistent that I could do it (it was the end of August when we had this conversation).
I kept thinking about it, and the next day I text him and said, "I won't be able to do a tri, but I will do a 5k with you in October." He agreed. I found a 5k online, the PIMI 5k in Provo Canyon, and I started training.
I was a mess, I'd run and be SO tired after only like 2 minutes. I was more than a little discouraged.
That weekend we went to Las Vegas and one day we were there he asked if I wanted to go running with him. So we went. He said it was all about pacing myself. I didn't have to run really fast, just run at a speed I can handle. We ran/walked for a while. At one point he said, "Ok we'll run you just tell me when you need to walk." We ran roughly 27 feet and I said, "Ok... ok..." he said, "That's it? That's all you could possibly run? You couldn't run ANY further than that?" I said, "Well yeah I guess I could." Then he said, "Ok I'll decide where we stop running from now on."
He pushed me, but not too hard. When we got back from Vegas I went to the gym one morning, and I set my pace to something I could handle and said, "Ok I'm just going to run for 5 straight minutes." I ran, 5 minutes came and I was still feeling good so I added 5 more minutes, still felt good so I finished the mile, still felt good so I went until 20 minutes... still felt good so I finished 2 miles.
I could not believe it, I went home and practically started crying when I told my parents I just ran for 2 miles straight.
When October 11th came, I was nervous, but excited. We drove up there early together and my dad met us there. I was planning on running it in about 12 minute miles as that is what I paced on the treadmill. So 36 minutes was my goal.
I felt good while I was running, really good. I would see my dad at certain locations throughout the race taking pictures. When I was in the home stretch I couldn't believe it. Over 3 miles... ME! I turned the corner and saw my dad and Spencer waiting for me at the finish line and I got all choked up. I looked over at the time clock when I crossed the finish line 32:56. I did it, and faster than I thought. I have done a lot of races since then, but that will always be my first. I will never forget it. That will always be the best race I ever did.
I loved the feeling of completing that race, and I craved that feeling more and more. I did another 5k that Thanksgiving. The next year I did a few more. I was always signing up for more. Last October I completed my first half marathon (which I hated every second of but I did it!) In April I did my second half marathon. All this time I would think about that first conversation with Spencer. Ever since the first time he mentioned triathlons that was on my bucket list. One day... One day I would do one.
When I finished my first half marathon, my cousin Josh wrote me on Facebook and said, "Ok, now I know you can do anything, you should do the Spudman Triathlon with me." It was a challenge, I couldn't back down. I accepted.
I found out in February that I was accepted to do it (it's a lottery system) I was scared. The date was July 28th, I didn't feel like I could ever be ready.
The months went by and the training went on, not as hard as it should have been, but I was getting ready. I bought a bike, I swam, I ran (never one right after the other, which is a lesson learned). I just watched the time fly by, and the day get closer and closer.
The week of the race I realized how much I hadn't thought of, "I don't have a swimsuit! I don't know how the transitions work! Where do I change clothes? Do I run in what I bike in? Do I bike in what I swim in? What am I going to swim in?" I was panic stricken. Luckily thinking about all that stuff took away from the fact that I was days away from having to swim a mile, bike 26 miles and run 6 miles.
The day before the race (and about 2 hours before my ride was coming to get me) I went to Sports Authority and bought a bunch of stuff. Stuff that I felt comfortable swimming and running in. I was feeling a little more calm about that, which meant I could now panic about the race.
Surprisingly I never really got that nervous. I knew what I was about do was going to be hard, but I also knew I could do it. I knew I would survive and this time around all I wanted was to finish. I had no time goal, I just wanted to be able to say I did it.
I swam in spandex shorts and a sports bra (gasp I've never let anyone but my family see that much skin before! I tried to act like I was comfortable walking into the lake wearing that biz, but the whole time I was thinking, I hope no one I know can see me! Is everyone looking at me? STOP LOOKING AT ME!) I got in the water and was happy to feel that it was actually pretty warm. As soon as I got in they counted down and I was off.
The swim was awesome. My favorite part by far. It was downstream in the Snake River which was awesome, it took me 37 minutes, but I felt really strong. I easily could have kept going.
I went to the bike transition (the night before I was putting my stuff at the first transition and saw my friends placing towels out... towels... huh... drying off would be nice. Yet another thing I didn't think of. You know... you'd think with all the people I knew that were doing this or have done it, that people would give me this kind of info. OH it's common sense you MIGHT say. I'M BLONDE!!!! MY COMMON SENSE IS BROKEN!) I got changed and started biking. The bike, though challenging wasn't bad at all. Sure, at one point as the 179th person passed me they said "Half WAY!" I thought, "You're KIDDING I'm not DONE yet?" but I forged on. The hardest part about the bike was the seat. YOWZA!!! The amount of padding I would need on my shorts to make that not so painful would be immense. I knew I wasn't going very fast, people were passing me right and left, but I had never biked that far before and I didn't want to exhaust myself, so I just kept it steady. I didn't have a time to beat, I just had to finish.
When the bike was over and I was "hopping off" to start the run, I realized my legs lost all feeling. They were complete jell-o. I got off the bike and about collapsed. I hobbled over and set my bike down, took my paddy shorts and my helmet off and started the run portion.
Note I did not say started the run, but the "run portion" The part where most people ran. I did not. I ran (aka lifted my feet a little higher than in walking) some of the miles, but walked most of it. My legs were not having it. They were mad at me, I could tell. They were going to punish me.
Again, I didn't have a time to beat, I just had to finish. (I had to keep telling myself that when the 70 year old with the knee brace passed me saying, "You're not gonna let the old, fat cripple pass you are you?" To which I responded, "Um... yup... yup I am" what I wanted to say was, "Listen PAL! You don't know what an accomplishment THIS is for me. Chyeah, maybe I'm slow, but I'm doing it, something I never thought I could ever do EVER. Something the me 5 years ago could only dream of. SO yeah, maybe the old, fat, cripple is passing me, but I'M DOIN IT!" but I refrained) when there were 200 yards left I had people who had already completed the race cheering me on, "200 yards left. Finish strong. Run the rest, just 200 YARDS." So I started to run. The last part was downhill and I ran, I ran hard, I felt like at any second my quads would give out, honestly it could have happened. When I saw the crowd I heard my Aunt Robyn and Uncle Craig yelling with the pride I knew my own parents would exude, "JULIA!!!! YEAH JULIA!!! THERE SHE IS!!!" I ran harder. I crossed the finish, yanked my medal and met my family. When I stopped running my quads were still going. I looked down and they were going nuts, spasming like crazy as though to say, "You gave us no warning! We're over worked, we don't know how to stop."
We sat down and chatted for a while. I just kept thinking, "It's done! My first tri, I did it. I finished."
The next 12 hours after the race I had 3 of the worst charly horses I've ever had. If I flexed my foot my shin charly horsed, if I pointed my toes my calf charly horsed, there was no relief. I would drive and my right leg would freak so I had to drive with my left foot. I was walking from the couch to the kitchen, leg freaked out and I couldn't walk anymore. My cousin walked in the house to find me laying on the ground half in the kitchen half in the living room. I just said, "don't mind me".
I'm proud of those charly horses, proud of what caused them.
The whole race took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes. I know I could have done better, I know I could have pushed harder, but not knowing what it was going to take, how hard it was going to be, I didn't want to over do it. BUT now I know. I know what I can do, I know I can push harder, I know I can do more, and NEXT time around I will do better. Next time I will have a time to beat. Next time I will be the one doing the passing. And there will be a next time.
I did it. Almost 4 years after the first mention of a tri, I did it.
I did it, and this like that 5k so many races ago, was just my first. My first of many. The one that I will always look back on. I did it.



This is me about to cross the finish line at my very first race.



Me about to cross the finish line at my very first Tri!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Swimming...

So, growing up my cousins and my family used to go to the pool every day in the summer. Some of my greatest memories. We'd walk to Alta Canyon and spend every possible minute allowed at the pool.
This didn't totally change when we got older. Nearly every Saturday, as many as could make it would meet at Cottonwood Heights to swim. This pool was bigger with platforms to jump off of, and slides to race down.
I have a slight fear of heights, so if I were to jump off a platform I'd pretty much stick to the bottom of the three terrors. I'd watch people like my brother do trick after trick off the other levels. Nolan every time, would do a gainer off the third platform, and then get in trouble because you're only supposed to just jump straight off. Every time, he'd act surprised as though no one had told him that every saturday of every summer.
One day we were all lounging gettin our tan on and I was talking about how I didn't dare jump off the third platform, and out came the dares.
It started off with one person just daring me to do it. The next offering a couple bucks if I did and then another person offering. It got to be about $20 in total if I were to jump off, so I took the dare.
I took the walk over to the platform, the whole time looking at how high it was, I swear the closer I got the higher it got. I started the ascent to the top, my breath getting shorter the higher I got, I'm quite certain it's comparable to Everest, there just isn't as much oxygen that high up.
I make it to the platform, there are a couple of kids in front of me and I less-than-pateintly wait my turn.
The two other kids jump, with screams to join them down. I have to wait for the lifeguard to hold up three fingers to let me know it's my turn to go. I pray that it will never happen. The time comes, the fingers come up. I walk right off the edge. I didn't even look down to my watery grave just walked off the edge.
As I'm floating down I realize, this isn't that bad, it wasn't THAT high, I could do it again even not being dared.
Twas then that my feet hit the water. Let it be known, falling at that velocity, it's important that you tighten your body when you make contact with the water. Flex every muscle so you stay in a uniform line. No one shared this information with me... I continue. My feet hit the water and as though my ankles were tied to two sports cars that drove off in opposite directions I did the splits so dang fast my legs nearly ripped from my body.
I let my body float to the top of the water as the thought of using my legs hurt my heart.
I swim to the side of the pool and climb out to waddle back over to my challengers to at LEAST get the $20 that was hardly worth what I just went through. I lay down sure that my groin will never heal, request my money just to hear, "Oh well I don't have it with me, but I'll get it to you." I never got that money.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What a difference 5 years can make...

I recently had someone ask me, "If you could rewind or go forward 5 years, what would you do?" Without skipping a beat I said, "Fast forward" and I have not strayed from that answer, but I have been thinking about it since then.
5 years ago I was a completely different person, I was insecure, shy, had no experience in the dating world and had little experience in the "real world". BUT 5 years ago was the start to the biggest change of my life. Every year since then I feel like I have improved in so many ways. I have become a much more active person, I am more confident, I am a stronger person in every way.
I get frustrated with life, who doesn't, but I have also realized that my life is pretty great. I have come a long way, and each year I find myself saying, "I can see why I'm at where I am right now, and I wouldn't trade that." I can only believe that it is going to continue to get better. So If things are as great as they are now, and so much better than they were 5 years ago, what is to come in the next 5 years? The only thing I can think is that it will be that much better.
So yes, if I could rewind or fast forward 5 years, I would definitely go forward.


This was my birthday in Vegas. Who would complain about a life surrounded by this good looking group of people. Not this girl!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Much Needed Break

Due to my little freak out last week, I seriously needed a break from being social. I didn't have plans this last weekend and had no desire to be with the "single crowd". I was contemplating going to St George to see my brother and his family, I also, more seriously, contemplated just telling people I was going out of town and just having a weekend to myself.
On Thursday my friend Hyrum sent me a text about boating on Saturday and I was SOLD. Hyrum is married to one of my very best friends and I don't get to be with her very much so the idea of spending the day with them was IDEAL! I invited my cousin Michelle, and my friend Lauren to come along.
Saturday it was just the 5 of us (and baby Georgia) for 7 hours on the lake. I wakeboarded and am getting much better, I get up every time and am now just working on catching a little air as I re-enter the wake.
It was the perfect day. I got home that night forced myself to stay awake until it was dark. I went to bed around 10 and didn't wake up until 9:30.
It was exactly what I needed. A weekend away with great friends, not worrying about the dang dating scene and just having me time. I could handle the rest of my summer being that way.
Just me July is in full swing!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Light BULB!!!

I figured out why I'm going crazy! (read the last blog for this to make sense)
Ok so back in December I went on a couple of dates with this guy. Great guy, but for whatever reason I wasn't interested in anything happening. We ended things, and he was super great about it. Over the next 6 months I continued to think about him and at the end of May we started going out again. This time I was interested in seeing where things would go.
It didn't go very far, his choice this time, but that experience was totally new for me. I had never gone back to a guy I previously ended things with, and this opened up a world of questions.
I think that's why I'm thinking back on all these guys. Wondering if I were to try again this time if things would be different like they were with the other guy.
I am going to do my darndest to continue with this sabbatical for a little while. I think I just need time. I need to not make any wrash decisions. I think I need some me time, but I can tell, my brain will be working on overdrive the whole time.
As per usual.

Driving myself crazy!!!

Ok... so for about the last 8 months I have constantly been dating someone. Short-lived as each of the relationships may have been, I have always been with someone.
I got fed up a couple weeks ago. Fed up of not being interested in fantastic guys who liked me, and fed up with being interested in guys that didn't like me.
So I decided to take a break.
Here's the thing. I have become quite accustomed to having someone around. Having someone to call, someone to see. It has been ONE WEEK since the last one ended and I am going crazy. Thinking of all the guys that I let go of, wondering if I shouldn't have, wondering if I should have given them more of a chance, wondering if I should call them up and try again.
I know how I felt at the time when it ended, but was I just freaking out? Would it have gotten better? Was I stupid to let them go? Seriously, in my mind right now I am thinking of 3 different guys that I ended things with, that I'm now wondering if I should give it another chance, and those are just who come to mind right away, if I thought about it longer, I'm sure I could add at least 3 more to that list.
To add insult to injury I read this quote on someone's facebook page,
The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely on her shoulders now. She was twenty-five and looked it, and so there was no longer any need for her to try to be attractive.
Thank you Gone With The Wind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blog Stalker

Ok so I read blogs from time to time. I see interesting titles of people on my sister's or friend's pages so I go to that blog and read it. Some of them I have grown quite accustomed to reading and enjoy to thoroughly. Almost like waiting for the next episode of a show you love. I check regularly to see if they have written a new post.
There is one blog in particular that I love. I don't really know why but I like it. She writes a lot, it's always interesting, she has cute decorating, hair, clothes ideas that I think one day I might mimick. It's just an interesting blog.
Anyhoo she posts pictures regularly and so I know what she looks like.
The other day (month whatever) I was at the local gymnasium working on my svelt physique (too much?) and she walked in. I almost said hi to her before I realized we have never actually met, she would have no idea who I am, and if I were to say "oh hey, yeah you're friends with my sister, and she has your blog on her blog, so I read it once and now I like it a lot, so I that's why I know who you are, I know all about you actually, your style, your boyfriend your brothers. I know a lot about you, wanna be friends? Wait... where are you going? I swear I'm not creepy, I just think you're neat. CALL ME!" Yeah I thought that could be mis-construed.
I feel like a creeper.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Proper Cartwheel Form...

I am realizing that this post is LONG over-due. It is a story I have told and retold and never ceases to disappoint.
Nearly 10 years ago I was at my Alma Mater (can it be an Alma Mater if you only went for one year?) Utah State University. Oh how I loved my time there. I made some amazing friends that I will have for the rest of my life. We may not see each other often, we may not talk often, but when we do, it's like we were never apart.
Among those friends was a girl named Sarah Mae Smith (now Bindrup but I'll always refer to her as Mae Flower). To this day she is one of the sweetest girls I've ever known, not to mention beautiful and smart. I feel the need to inflate her a bit because the story I'm about to tell... well, it's awesome.
One day we were all sitting in the lounge of the Valley View Tower 2nd floor lobby (aka the lobby of our dorm) just talking, laughing and having a good time.
In the corner of my eye I noticed Mae Flower standing by the hall raising her hands HIGH above her head, as though she was reaching for the ceiling.
This raised my suspicions a tad so I asked,
"Sarah... what are you doing?"
Very sweetly and innocently she replied,
Well... I want to do a cartwheel, but I'm afraid I'm going to kick the ceiling."
Bless her heart. Bless her beating heart. I smiled and said,
"If you can stand like this (and reach my hands high above my head) and not touch the ceiling, you'll be fine."
It was in this moment, she dropped her hands to her side, frustratingly placed them on her hips, scowled at me like I was an idiot and said,
"Uh... your legs are longer!"
Bless her ever-loving, beating heart. All I said in return was,
"You're right."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Getting Spiritual...

I just heard a guy I work with answer his phone and talk to his daughter. She called because a fire truck was behind her with it's sirens on and she didn't have anywhere to go and didn't know what to do so she called daddy. I thought, "TOTALLY something I would do." which lead me to this story.
A buncha years ago, the Sanders family had a reunion in Las Vegas. One night all the cousins wanted to go to the strip... do the rollercoasters andwhathaveyou ;). So we piled into a bunch of cars and made our way down. After doing the roller coasters, a select few of us wanted to go back to the hotel. I had to drive because my parent's van was one of the cars and I was the only one able to drive back.
I don't like driving in places I am not familiar with, and VEGAS is not a good place to start. So crowded and I didn't know where I was going.
This was before the time of smart phones so I didn't have GPS available. We started driving and the other passengers in the car were emmersed in conversation, and it didn't take long for me to realize I was totally lost. I drove along looking for something that looked familiar. Asked the other passengers if they knew where we were, they didn't and continued with their conversation. I started getting really scared. I wanted to call my dad, but it was like midnight, and I didn't want to wake him up.
Silently I prayed for help. Prayed for some street sign or something that looked familiar. I prayed to get back safely and not alarm the other passengers. Within seconds my phone rings... it was my dad.
I answer the phone and he says this,
"Hey Jules, I was just getting ready to go to bed and felt like I should call you and see how you were."
I said, "Oh I'm fine just driving home."
I really don't know what I was thinking but then I remembered I was totally lost and said,
"Wait NO, I'm lost and don't know how to get back"
Then he gave me step by step directions to get home and stayed with me on the phone the whole time. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he was prompted by the spirit to call me. For all he knew I was still out hanging out with all of my cousins, there was no way for him to know I was scared and trying to drive home. I will never forget that experience and it will always remind me that I am never alone. It will also remind me that my dad is in tune with the spirit and I trust that as much as I trust him.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Just a Number?

Oh boy... 28 has never felt as old as it did last night... I have this dear friend Paige. We have been good friends for a long time now. We don't see each other as much as we used to, but we try to get together every now and again. Last night she invited me to this party some of her mission friends were having. Paige just got home from her mission about 10 months ago, she is a year older than me, I was just excited to see her, it didn't bother me that we'd be hanging out with some fresh off the mish boys.
Oh boy... OH BOY!!!
Granted most of the guys were great, guys I could see myself being friends with. BUT I FELT SO OLD!!! The things they talked about, one kid talking about his first date post-mish. Talking about how they are excited about this really exciting promising job that is "Network Marketing..." Aka MLM... aka Pyramid scheme, where I'd think, "Oh the things that 21 year olds buy into."
I do not miss being that age.
The point. There was one child, bless his soul, who found out I was 28 and said, "That's ok" like it's something he had to comfort me about. Once he found that out, that is how he would introduce me to people. "This is Julia, she's 28."
There was ONE guy there who was 28 as well, and he introduced us like it was fate that we were both there. THE STARS HAVE ALIGNED!!!! YOU ARE BOTH 28, I'M SO HAPPY TO BE THE ONE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO YOUR ONE AND ONLY!!!!!!!!!! Honestly I should have taken him, clearly 28 these days is similar to leprosy the chances of finding someone else as seriously stricken as I am, I should grab him up and never let go.
The best part.
The infant continuously put his foot in his mouth throughout the night, but at one point he said something, which I don't even remember, but I remember laughing at his idiocy, and one of his friends (a normal human) looked at him and was like, "Dude, don't say that to a girl." To which the fetus responds, "Come on, she's 28, I'm 22, clearly we're not going to date."
Oh son, you couldn't be more right, but trust me, it has NOTHING TO DO with the fact that I'm 28 and you're 22, and has everything to do with the fact that you are a ridiculous human being, who I don't feel like supporting for the rest of my life as you go from one MLM scheme to another. I hope that kid get's married soon. He'll end up dating a 19 year old who sees him as wise and cultured, who has traveled the world and seen so much selling pest control and security. Oh how happy I am to be out of that age range.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A War of Words

Today something happened that shall remain as one of the most awesome things to happen. I got into a poem fight. My friend got engaged last night so I wrote on her wall on facebook a little sonnet. In response a mutual friend of ours saw my sonnet and raised me a sonnet. There it began. I can't let this die in the never ending abyss that is facebook, so I am copying it here. It makes me happy. We begin
There once was a girl named Kristen, For a husband was all she was wishin She conquered her fears (only took three years) This is one event I shan't be missin. Congrats roommate, I'm so happy for you.
His response
I raise this sonnet with another sonnet: Kristen and Spencer sitting in a tree, They will be as happy as can be But first they will wed And raise their street cred This poem is better than Julias.
In between these comments the suggestion was posed to have a poem battle at the reception, whoever wins gets to initiate the cake fight.... This was our reaction
Challenge accepted :) It's on Michael Hanks BRING IT
Him
I accept this challenge, just you see That my slew of words will set cake free And bless our ears with a sugary rhyme Then push the baked good squabble line So bring your best my opponent of late Cause in the end I will be victor, and you…the lone roommate.
Me
Gasp! Said she, in reply to his threat I shan't be undone, though the bar has been set. I know this girl well having shared the same wall But I know you as well and I know you shall fall. The date has been set and the stakes have been made When the challenge is won through the cake YOU shall wade.
Him
I am aghast at such a quick reply That surely has caught my eye Yet not enough though a decent try To beat my cunning, funny ply For you will be beat no one can deny Such a worthy foe she may ask why To be scaled next to this Hanks guy Is a sure way to lose, a sure way to cry Yet the real winner here, I will not lie Is the soon to be wed couple on high
Me
You should be aghast that just shows you're unfit To compete with this girl, who has such unmatched wit Though never before has this battle been waged You'll feel I'm a pro once completely upstaged. So again I say BRING IT. Let the games begin In this first annual wedding sonnet war we're in.
Him
Such big words for such a weak refrain For the king of the hill I will remain This sonnet war more like an unfair fight Where surely I’ll rule the wedding night And you left alone in a poets disdain Like a stray cat in the pouring rain
Me
Such harsh words and surprising "big talk" For one who most assuredly will walk Whist I remain as the cake fight goes on With smile on my face when the victory's won. You can rhyme, you can sing you can even dance None of this save you from my poetic lance. A worthy component you well may be But someone in my shadow is all I see.
Him
You won’t give up, and so I’ll cease And give this FB thread some peace And let our Kristen bask in the joy Of telling the world about her boy But now know this before I end My piercing words will surely mend Your empty threats and bland prowess That soon will leave you a cakey mess
Me
K :)
Did I tell you, or did I tell you... straight up awesomeness.

Friday, May 25, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

Last night I went to The Civil Wars concert, which was absolutely amazing, if you don't know who they are you should look them up... like NOW... this blog will wait for you. Welcome back, now that we're all on the same page of how awesome they are, I wanted to talk about a song they sang last night that hit home. I've heard this song a buncha times, but never really paid attention to it. Joy Williams (the girl in the duo) is having a baby in like a month (props to her for doing an hour and a half show in 4 inch heels) and she introduced this song as what she is feeling right now being so excited to have this baby. The song took on all new meaning to me. This is what I will sing to my babies when I'm preggo fer sher. Right now it's what I sing to my hubster, (if that confuses you thinking, "You have no hubster" that's the point) It's called To Whom It May Concern, these are the lyrics.
Why are you so far from me
In my arms is where you ought to be.
How long will you make me wait?
I don't know how much more I can take.
I've missed you, but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
Slowly counting down the days
Til I finally know your name
The way your hand feels 'round my waist
The way you laugh, the way your kisses taste
I've missed you but I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
Dear whoever you might be
I'm still waiting patiently

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vindication

I will start this blog off by saying, I know this is not exactly nice of me... but I can't help it ALRIGHT? Over three years ago I worked for a company who shall remain nameless, cuz the internet can be a scary thing. While working for this company I had a friend who became my manager. Once he became my manager, I think he just assumed that I would take advantage of the friendship so he started treating me as such. I would call in sick, and he would go to my friend who also worked there and say, "So where is she really?" One day when I found out my parents were moving, I was having a really hard time with it, and kept crying at my desk. I finally emailed him and said I needed to take a personal day. He wrote back and said, "Do what you need to do, I hope everything is ok." As soon as the door shut behind me, my friend told me he went to her desk and said, "So where did she really go?" She replied, "Um... she's been crying at her desk all day... she needed to leave." Needless to say, our friendship went down the tubes at a rapid pace. A little while later I was pulled into his boss's office with him, and was told how I wasn't meeting guidelines and what I needed to do to fix that. One of the criteria was he had to review every file I did and sign off on them. I felt like some of the things they asked me to do, were unreachable goals, but I told them I would do my best. About 3 weeks later I got called in again. I knew I had done everything they asked, and as far as the unreachable goals went I knew I got as far as was possible, so I was feeling pretty good. I asked him, "Am I in trouble?" He said, "No, this is just to follow up from last time. You have made a dramatic improvement, and have done a great job over the past few weeks." So I was feeling better. When his boss walked in and told me again that I wasn't meeting standards and that I hadn't been having him sign my files, and that I wasn't doing what they asked. I looked at him astounded and said, "He just said, verbatim that I had made a dramatic improvement and that everything was fine, and this was just a meeting to follow up." He looked at me confused and said, "You must have misunderstood me." I was speachless. I knew in that moment my job would be gone in a matter of weeks, if that long. I knew it was my word against his, and he was going to lie. I was completely thrown under the bus and knew there was nothing I could do about it. I asked him point blank if he was signing off my files, to which he replied, "I may have forgotten a few." I said, "If you don't sign those, it looks like I'm not taking them to you, and I don't have any proof that I have. You HAVE to sign those." Within the next couple of weeks I did in fact get fired, for failure to do what they asked of me. Keep in mind, they fired me a week before I was having surgery, I had a week of sick time saved up. Sick time doesn't get paid out if you get fired, only the PTO. So I lost all of that. I was fired on the last day of the month, so I didn't have insurance the following month. They knew I was having surgery, and I know this was all methodical. I was sad for about a day, but knew really quickly it was a blessing in disguise I was incredibly unhappy there, and leaving that job brought me to the job I have now been at for 3 years and absolutely LOVE. The point of this blog. Today I was leaving the break room and walking down the hall and who do I see walking with one of the managers. HIM!!! As soon as he saw me his face went bright red. The last correspondence we had was right after I got fired I sent him an email telling him he was a coward and basically a horrible person. I said, "Do you work here now?" He said, "I just interviewed." I said, "Oh well good luck" and we went our separate ways. I walked to my desk with a co-worker and said, "Well... he's not getting that job." I didn't say anything to the manager, another girl who got burned by him did that herself. The point of this post is to express the sheer joy that I felt when he saw me walking down the hall after his interview, and knowing that the thought that most undoubtedly went through his head was, "Crap..." That makes me smile.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weird = Potential?

I went to dinner with my friend Jon on Monday and we were talking about dating, as we always do. Side note- I love being great friends with guys, because I can talk to them about dating and get advice as to what is going on in the guy's heads, and help them know what is going on with the girls. Anyway I was telling him about my current dating situations and I was telling him it was just a weird situation I was in. I wasn't used to this feeling. What he said was simple but profound:
Weird means new, new means different and different means potential.
How true that is, and it's something I've thought about a lot since then. At this point in dating, if anything felt the same as something in the past that didn't work, what hope is there in that? But weird... this is a different feeling.
Nother side note... after two years I learned how to add pictures to my blog... turns out it was pretty easy, and right in front of my face. This is me and Jon when we first met on a cruise two years ago. This picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Somebody That I Used to Know

I recently had an interesting experience. I ran into someone that I used to love. I mean I LOVED HIM. We had this connection that I've had with very few people, we were together all the time, and people saw it. We were perfect together. Anyway he started dating someone else and we stopped talking. I lost my best friend. I have seen him a couple of times since then. Once I saw him, but he didn't see me, the other time we ran into each other and said hi and were friendly. Occasionally we'll text a "Happy Birthday" or a "Merry Christmas" but nothing much more beyond that. Anyway it has been about 8 months since we stopped seeing each other. I saw him recently he was without the girl so he sat with me and we talked for a while. He looked different. Rather, I saw him differently. He was no longer the person I loved, he was a person I used to know. We would joke like we used to, we would laugh like we used to, we had all these inside jokes that we would throw out, but it was different. It wasn't like it was before. It was fake, because that was the only way we knew how to be together, but it wasn't real anymore. It was strange to look at him, I felt like I was meeting him for the first time again. A big part of what I loved about him was how we were together. Being "us" together. We weren't "us" anymore so I looked at him not as somebody I loved anymore. It was bittersweet. I still miss my best friend. I miss being "us" but it also felt really good to know that after such a deep heartbreak you can be ok again. I was glad to know that I wouldn't always long for him. That I could be around him and not hurt. It felt good to know that I had moved passed it. I did love him, I will always be a little bit sad about the loss of the friendship. It's so strange to me that someone can go from someone you LOVE so much to simply someone that you used to know.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When I think of Grandfather...

I wake up to Grandfather, "Ho...oh-oh-oh" I know what that means, breakfast is ready. I look in front of me and out the window looking over the basketball court, past the shed to the giant alfalfa field. What will today hold?
I climb out of the brass bed, get dressed in a hurry and head down the spiral staircase. Going down I see Grandfather slaving away in the kitchen making the typical breakfast. Hot cakes, soft boiled eggs, cracked wheat cereal. Adams peanut butter on the counter, hot syrup, cold cereal (if you're crazy). Table set with our daily vitamins laid out. I've recently graduated to the gross adult green ones. Next to the sink is the old fashioned orange juicer with dozens of oranges cut in half. I walk over and start juicing them, as I look out the kitchen window. There are humming birds at the bird feeder with the weird red water in it.
At this point Grandfather walks out the front door, "HO... OH-OH-OH" summoning the boys sleeping in the granary that it's time to get up.
By the time everyone has sleepily gathered in the kitchen, grandfather says, "Prayer bones." We all kneel down and say a prayer to start the day.
I eat my breakfast as fast as I can, choke down my vitamins so I can go outside and play.
I walk outside, the air is still crisp, not a cloud in the sky, the only thing you can hear is the sound of the wind rushing through the giant cottonwood trees that surround the ranch house. How do I start my day? I decide to go across the red rock volleyball court to the trapeze. I grab it and climb to the 4 stair platform. I climb to the top and climb in the trapeze. There are three bars, I hold on to the top bar and sit on the bottom bar. You have to hold it with hands facing in opposite directions or the bar will turn and you won't be able to hold on. I lean back and swing out and off the platform. Grandfather comes out and says, "Oh, There she goes!!!" tells me to hold on tight so I don't fall off and break my nose. Jennie comes out and we play a game of "whiplash".
We decide to go over to the tire swings. The tire swings lay horizontally being held by three ropes. We take it to yet another platform built in one of the giant cottonwood trees by my grandfather and boy cousins. We hike it up to the third platform. (You have to work your way up to that one, it's high and scary) I hold the tire swing vertically and sit in it. Rump in the hole. I lean back and swing out. I look above me all I can see is leaves as I hold my arms out and the cool air runs through my hair. As I'm swinging back to the tree I remember to hold my legs up so they don't get smashed between the tire swing and the tree, I remember hearing how that happened to grandfather, not knowing if that is actually true.
The tire swing comes to a stop and I hear grandfather getting the truck ready, I know it's time for a wood project. I hate wood projects. I go inside and grab an extra pair of work gloves. The doorway leading downstairs houses grandfathers extra boots, gloves, hats as well as coats. I also grab a coat. You do not want to have short sleeves during a wood project.
I hop on the back of Big Red, the biggest of the three wheelers. Justin drives, Jennie and I grab the green and white striped pillows off the hammock and put them on the rack so we can sit comfortably. We all hop on and Justin drives us to the wood project.
Grandfather has chopped down another giant tree. As we approach you can hear the sound of the chainsaw growing louder. We get there, and people are already at work. Some people splitting wood, some people loading wood into the truck and someone with the chainsaw cutting the giant tree into small pieces. I hop off Big Red, my hands feel numb from holding on to the rattling rack of the three wheeler. I put my gloves on and start loading wood into the back of the truck. As a little girl it's really the only thing I can do to help. I remember the time Grandfather was cutting down a giant tree by the barn. He was up in the tree and he was cutting down a huge branch. The branch itself was the size of a tree. We had it chained to the truck so when it fell we would have control. He sawed through it, and it fell, but it swung first and almost ran right into Grandfather. One of many times he had a close call.
I continue loading wood into the truck. We do a wood project every time we come to the ranch. We load it on the side of the shed, so Grandfather will never run out. There is always a fire going in the wood burning stove, mid winter or in the heat of summer, it doesn't matter. That's why we always need to have plenty of wood.
After a couple of hours the wood project is over and playing continues. By now it's really hot outside. Jennie and I take Big Red to the waterfall. It's not as full as it used to be. We can see the crawdads a the bottom. We dip our toes in and think about how cool it is that our brother Justin got baptized there. After we cool off a bit we decide to go on an adventure. We take Big Red on a journey through the rolling hills that surround the ranch. We sing songs at the top of our lungs as we drive. We risk our lives going through creeks, over big rocks, steep hills. Trying to go further than we ever have. Always passing through gates that it's very important you always close behind you. We get to a point where we are directly beneath some giant electrical lines. We stop the three wheeler and just sit there. The only thing you can hear is the electricity running through the lines. It's amazing how clearly I can see the dry dust beneath us, the shrubbery that surrounds us, sometimes you stumble across bones of cows and other animals. You see lizards and bugs. I can remember the feel of the dust on my legs, the dirt under my fingernails, the way my hair feels after riding the three wheeler all day.
After a while we decide to head back to the ranch house. Somehow we remember every trail we took, every fork we passed and make our way back. Whoever sees the ranch house first wins. I can see the red roof break through the trees.
We make it back and decide we want to go swimming. Luckily grandfather knew this would happen, so he pulled out the giant steel horse troph and has filled it with hose water. We get in our bathing suits and head out, we first clean out all the bugs that have made their way to the water. The water is still cold, but you just get in and dunk yourself, and you get used to it quickly. We make a whirl pool, then try to reverse it. Laughing the whole time. The boys are playing basketball on the court next to the pool. Parents and Grandfather are playing croquet on the grass next to the court. Everyone is happy. No one is thinking about work, or school or what is going on at home. In this moment nothing else is happening but swimming, basketball, and croquet.
After a while I'm cold so I get out and lay on the hot concrete. I immediately see the steam as my wet body hits the hot concrete. I look up and see images in the clouds. My imagination runs wild. The sun is so bright and there is a perfect summer breeze. I fall asleep under the sun to the sound of wind and laughter.
I wake up and get dressed and head over to the swing. I ask grandfather to push me. He has a way to get you higher than anyone else can. The board is rickety on the rough rope, but I get it into position and sit on it so it's solid. I hold on and Grandfather pushes me. When I get high enough he'll grab my feet and pull down and it will send me flying. It's a little scary going that high, but I can't help but laugh and reach for the leaves with my feet. Again he warns me about holding on, so as to not fall off and break my nose. As I swing I can hear my brothers racing around on the three wheelers. I can hear water splashing from the horse troph. I can see the barn in the distance. This is perfection.
I hop off the swing and go to the front of the house where there is a porch swing. I sit and swing. You can't swing too much or you'll bump into the side of the house. Behind me through the window into the house, my parents are playing Rook against my Granny and Grandfather. I faintly hear Granny say, "Someone needs to take you back to school and teach you how to deal." And Grandfather bidding 80 before he even looks at his hand. I look out over the alfalfa field. The sprinklers are running and I am memorized by their pattern, "CH CH CH CH" The sound of the sprinklers drowns out the sound of anything else.
After a while my mom knocks on the window and tells me it's time to come in for dinner. I haven't stepped inside the house since breakfast. I come in and don't want to take my shoes off, so I put the shoe covers on that my grandparents got from the hospital. I wash my very dirty hands and while doing so, hear Grandfather yell out, "HO, oh-oh-oh Prayer Bones!" We all come in and have a blessing on the food. We all sit around the table and talk about our day.
At the end of the meal Grandfather pulls out this Manila envelope full of cut out stories that he's found in magazines, newspapers, books and a number of other places. Which stories is he going to read tonight. He pulls one out, they are all familiar, we have heard them all a hundred times. They are all emotional. Stories of family, triumph, dedication, hope. Grandfather and at least my mom cry every time. Every once in a while some of the rest of us will get choked up too.
After dinner it's dark outside. We all sit around talking while we all take turns showering and getting ready for bed. After a day in the sun and dirt nothing feels better than a hot shower.
I brush my teeth, get into my pajamas and say goodnight. I climb up the spiral staircase, jump into the big brass bed. The light from downstairs streaming through the crack in the door. I fall asleep to the sound of my parents and grandparents again playing Rook. I can hear my dad laugh as Grandfather makes another ridiculous bid. It was the perfect day. Tomorrow another just like it will happen. Every day at the ranch is the perfect day. My grandparents made it that way.
I don't know if Grandfather remembers all this now. I don't know if he can remember the sound of the wind through the leaves. If he can remember his orchard. If he can remember his stories. His memory fades more and more every day. Mine remains strong. I'll remember for you Grandfather. It's due to you that I have these memories. I'll hold on to them for you, we all will, forever.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Small and Simple Things...

It's been a while. I've noticed that when I'm in the midst of dating someone I don't really post, because everything is so current that I worry about the guy stumbling across the blog and freaking out. That being said, I have no fear of that at the moment.

This post is dedicated to the little things in dating. The things that can usually go undone and be fine, but when they are done they leave an impact.

The first one that comes to mind is simply asking me to dinner. I mentioned that to a friend and her response was, "How do guys usually ask you out?" When I thought about why I liked being asked to dinner I realized that it really doesn't happen that often. Yes, we more often than not GO to dinner, but the asking is usually something along the lines of, "Yeah we should hang out sometime..." or, "Oh you like to do that too, we should do that together sometime..." or, "A group of us are doing this you should come along." In all of those options and many similar, it's the guy suggesting it, but not actually asking. Your reaction to any of those is what will determine whether or not he follows through to actually ask you, therefore taking some of the pressure off himself. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that is a bad thing, it's perfectly fine, BUT to have a guy call me, somewhat unexpectedly and say, "I'd like to take you to dinner" or even saying, "I'd like to take you out" denotes a sense of chivalry, courage, and respect that he will get bonus points for. When I pointed this out to my friend and my roommates, they all agreed, as I think most women would.

The second is doing the classic textbook dating things. Opening my door, pulling out my chair, standing on the outside when walking on the sidewalk. I had a guy do that once, I didn't even realize it was something I cared about and prior to this I didn't, but we were walking on a sidewalk and I was walking on the side next to the street, he subtly grabbed me and moved me over and took my spot and we just kept walking, totally surprised me, and I felt totally protected when I was with him. That is one thing that has made it to my list. Feeling safe with the guy. That showed me he would protect me.

Along with that list, is one that I think we all find really awkward, but I've learned it is a must. Walking the girl to the door at the end of the date.
I recently went on a date, that was great. The whole night was great. We totally hit it off. The conversation flowed so easily, we had so much to talk about. It was originally just going to be dinner (he was one guy that asked if he could take me to dinner... bonus points). Afterward we were driving back and he asked if I needed to get back right away, I didn't so we kept hanging out. Everything was textbook with a few surprises and bonus points for him. At the end of the night we finished our conversation in his car, and he says, "Well thanks for coming out with me..." I thanked him back and got out of the car. He didn't get out of the car. Didn't hug me goodbye. I get that we all hate the doorstep scene, especially on a first date, but I learned it's CRUCIAL! He didn't do it and it totally left me wondering where I went wrong. The rest of the date was AWESOME, I thought. I asked some of my guy friends if they would ever not walk a girl to the door and all of them said NEVER! Something so easy, something SO textbook. Something so small can ruin things if you don't do it.
In response I didn't send the post-date text...

Small and simple things can sometimes mean the most, good OR bad!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Expectations vs Reality

There is a scene in the movie 500 Days of Summer where they do a split screen of the guy's expectations vs what really happened. It's a sad scene, his expectations were awesome and the reality of what happened was... not so much.
I just came home from a cruise and I had the exact opposite situation.
The night before the cruise I was talking to my parents, and I was, less than enthused about the cruise. Stupid you may think, a cruise is a cruise, but never-the-less I almost didn't even want to go.
I flew out on Saturday morning and from that moment on, my expectations were blown out of the water with how awesome the reality was.
I flew out with one of my best friends, and we met up with some guys who were nice enough to let us stay at their hotel instead of the airport floor which we had planned to sleep on, (we got in at midnight).
As soon as we got there, and started meeting the people in our group it just got better and better.
Day one, St Johns, by way of St Thomas. Laying out on the beach, snorkeling and playing ultimate frisbee. Awesome. That night karaoke party, never have I had so much fun dancing (interpretive which was beautifully hilarious) and singing with my friends. At one point, Kelly and I were singing Goodbye Earl and went out into the audience and most of our crew came out and danced with us, it was SO MUCH FUN!
Day 2, day at sea, not much to report. Also formal night, I do so love seein guys all gussied up. Every night we would rotate who we ate dinner with, which I loved because I got to meet so many people that I otherwise may not have.
Day 3, Barbados. This day a good friend and I rented a scooter and rode around the island a little bit, looking for Crane's beach. We found it at it was beautiful. We hung out there, laid out, he went body boarding and then we rode the scooter back. We both got sufficiently and uneavenly burned but it was awesome.
Day 4, St Lucia. This day most of us took different routes but all ended up at this natural mud bath, it was cool to take a tour around the island, I got to hold a boa constrictor, which in the picture looks like I was scared, but nah.. I was good.
Day 5, St Kitts. Some people took scooters to Cockelshell beach, others took a tour to a "rain forest" I put that in quotes, because when I think of a rain forest I don't imagine paved walkways, but whatevs. Then we went to the same beach, played some volleyball, some took wave-runners, threw a football around, it was awesome.
Day 6, St Maarten. This day was kind of up for grabs, some people went on a shark dive, some people got scooters, some people went to a beach. I didn't know what I was going to do. One of the guys on the dive said, "You should just come with us and see if they will let you just wait on the boat while we dive." So I decided to do that, but as it turns out, I couldn't go with them on the boat, so I ended up hanging out alone on this beach for about 2 and a half hours. Which honestly was pretty great. I took a nap under some palm trees. Listened to some good music. I had a grand, relaxing, albeit lonely day.
The nights were spent, dancing, singing, playing games and eating ice cream.
On Carnival cruises they do what is called the Carnival Legends show. On this show people on the cruise audition, during karaoke, to impersonate different "legends". And the last night of the cruise that is the main show. They had 9 legends to impersonate, and people from our single's group did 7 of them. Including, Ricky Marten, Frank Sinatra, Britney Spears (me), Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley and Gloria Estefan.
During the show one of the dancers told me that was the best legends show she'd ever seen, with the loudest audience. It was so fun to be a part of that with so many new friends.
Sunday we got back to Puerto Rico and Kelly and our other roommate Marianne and I decided to go skydiving which was amazing, a definite highlight.
We went back to a hotel and met up with everyone to watch the superbowl and have one last night together. By that point I had so many new people in my life who I can see myself being close to forever. There are already plans of reuniting, future trips and plans to see each other.
In addition to all that, there were prank wars, there were "cruise crushes" there were deep conversations, there were games, there was so much laughter I think I am knocking on the door of a six pack. Numbers have been exchanged and relationships have been forged (as in created, not faked).
People ask me how it was and I can't even find the words. I told a friend that I feel like I was gone forever and he said, "That's how much you lived" and he's right. I couldn't have planned a better week, and I didn't even explain some of the best parts of it.
It was a Dear Diary trip, and it has been documented.
Those expectations had NOTHIN on what reality gave me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

There's Something About A Best Friend

I was thinking today about my best friends, the things that have made them my best friends and the stories we have.

What lead me to this initial thought was I was thinking about this thing that happened to me once that was SOOO funny, I thought about retelling it, but I thought, "if I tell someone else that story, they won't think it's nearly as funny." but then I was all, "unless I were to tell Lauren Kirton".

Lauren is the kind of best friend who if I tell her a story I think is funny, she will laugh just as hard as I did when it happened. Case and point: I retold a story to my family that made me laugh super hard followed by saying, "oh man when he told me I was laughing so hard." To which my sweet brother Dane said, "So I'm guessing he told it better than you did?" When I told Lauren the same story, she laughed SO hard, about as awkwardly hard as I did when it was originally told to me. I honestly remember thinking in that moment, "She is such a good friend"

Another sign of a good best friend is being able to understand each other in odd circumstances. Another Lauren example is we would lip things to each other. There would be situations where we wouldn't want people to know what we were saying or would be too far apart from each other to discuss something, but something important that needed to be said would come up and we would lip it to each other. We were perfect lip readers, with only each other. If anyone else would try to lip something to me, I'd say "what?" the appropriate 3 times before finally nodding and smiling in acknowledgement though I still have no idea what was being lipped.

I remember when I lived in Hawaii with my best friend Bree, we would usually be getting ready for bed at the same time, she would try to talk to me whilst brushing her teeth, which is disgusting, I would just look at her with this dead look on my face, because no, I could not understand a word. HOWEVER, if I was also brushing my teeth, we could carry on a conversation just fine. Another reason she is my best friend is she wouldn't let me be miserable alone. While we lived there, I worked at McDonalds and I hated that job more than just about anything. As soon as I put on the uniform my whole demeanor would change. I had to be to work at 7:30 so I would leave the house at 7AM. Bree would wake up early just to be able to watch me put my visor on and watch the blood drain from my face, some might think she took joy in this, but I know it was because she didn't want me to be alone in that... right Bree? Right?

Another sign is being able to read each other. I was watching a movie with a guy best friend, and a kissing scene came up and I saw his hand twitch, without missing a beat I said, "Were you just going to cover my eyes like I'm a child?" His response, "Don't.... know what I'm going to do before I do it." and then we laughed, for a good while.

I think one of the most important qualities in a best friend is knowing when you need them. My friend Kelly is a prime example. We have both been through our share of drama in the recent past and basically take turns having crappy days. One day I was particularly low, it was late at night probably around midnight and all I did was mention that it was a bad day and her response was, "I'm on my way. Ice cream or cookie dough?" She came over with cookie dough and let me cry until she finally went back home around 2 am.

I am a lucky girl in the friend department. I know that and pray in gratitude for that every night. I have had a lot of quality friends, who I don't know where I'd be without them.
So for thinking I'm funny, for getting me, for laughing with me, for consoling me, this one's for you!