01 December 2012


Today was a perfect day.

Really and truly it was. I can't think of anything I would have changed about today (almost, ahem the three hours it took me to make pizza ball monkey bread, but I'll forgive you because you're bread and you ended up being delicious).

Among other things I was able to help at a bridal shower and catch up with old friends, attend a baptism, pretend to study with a friend, grab dinner with another, go see a play, and see even more friends at a winter party.

I hadn't been to a baptism since my mission three years ago. This baptismal service, though held mostly in Spanish (which I was able to surprisingly understand fairly well), had such a sweet and powerful Spirit in the room. I am so happy for Gabriel and his decision to be baptized.

Tonight I went to a local community theater's production of "A Christmas Carol." A friend was a part of the production and he was gracious enough to offer me a ticket to his cast's opening night performance.

(Guys, if you do nothing else this holiday season, go see a version of "A Christmas Carol" near you. I'm sure you can find a production. Or rent one of the various movie versions. I had forgotten what a powerful story of change it is. Though Dickens wrote to his time, imploring those in his society to love a little more and judge a little less, we still need to hear and apply the same message.)

This story touched my heart as I looked introspectively to see what I needed to change to be more like the reformed Scrooge. It also reminded me of the reason we celebrate Christmas: Jesus Christ.

I can think of no better way I could have started off this month of service and love. We all have things in our lives that can turn us bitter if we let them. But we can also choose to look outward and love and serve and improve the lives of those around us.

21 November 2012

A Life Snapshot

So it's the beginning of Thanksgiving break. But I'm still on campus. Surprise, surprise. I'm in a computer lab in the Brimhall. The building is pretty much empty. Actually, all of campus is pretty much empty. There were about five cars in the parking lot I usually park in. Typically there are about 150. And I even got to campus at 10 a.m.

Currently it's just me and another grad student in the lab. He's the year ahead of me and I don't remember his name. We aren't talking. Obviously.

I'm also trying to find good fonts for a bridal shower invitation that I probably should have finished designing/sent out in the mail last week. Oh well. Jillian will forgive me, right?

And I just wrote a letter of recommendation for one of my former employees for grad school. That was weird. I feel like I'm too young/underqualified to recommend someone for something that I'm currently trudging through.

Oh, and I'm wearing a plaid flannel shirt and no shoes while doing these things.

And listening to One Direction. Proudly. Happily. Teenage-girlishly.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

12 November 2012

'Hold on to what you believe'

Here's a sneak-peek into an editorial I wrote for this week's paper. Special thanks to the friends who helped me with an article close to my heart.



10 November 2012

First Snow

Today I left my apartment dressed like the professional I am and ready to be a moderator at the Mormon Media Symposium. I had dutifully checked the weather to make sure that nothing catastrophic was coming my way during the day. I stepped outside to the damp air and the wet ground, careful to make sure I had brought my umbrella for the expected rain. I had even brought a change of shoes (tweed Toms) to switch out of my black heels after I was finished at the symposium. Prepared am I, no?


My first couple of hours at the symposium were so pleasant and I even ducked into the Morris Center to see my former coworkers and current friends whom I haven't seen since quitting my job and going back to school. We had a lovely visit and I went on my way, aware the my shoes were getting a bit damp in the rain and slightly worried that I was going to end up with mud spots on my white pencil skirt, but confident that I was prepared-ish for the day.

And then the snow came. Turns out, today was not just a light rain that made me feel like I was in Portland for the day. No, no. It snowed all day. Not just snowed but snowed. Fortunately an acquaintance from my program gave me a ride from the Conference Center right to the door of the Brimhall. (This is normally a twenty minute walk.) By this time it was dumping snow and I was cursing the time I had put in to straightening my hair. Foolish move, Thomas.

I stayed in the Brimhall safe from the snow, watching it come peacefully down to the earth, covering the world in a blanket of white.

But then it was time to make the trek back up to my car. It was literally twenty minutes, uphill the entire way, in the snow. By the first five minutes my shoes were completely soaked through and my feet were sliding around in them, making it difficult to walk. But don't worry, it was already difficult to walk in my pencil skirt. But fortunately, I had an umbrella and a hood on my coat and my legs and feet started to go numb. And eventually I made it safely (and free of mud stains) to my car—which I then had to wipe three inches of heavy snow off of.

I was vastly unprepared for this day and a bit grumpy that it ruined my plans to see Emily in Midway. I did not feel like Lorelai Gilmore about the snow today—until I was coming home from a friend's house tonight, found that some random person took our covered parking spot (rude), and parked my car in the street by my house.

When I got to my doorstep, I took a minute to look around. Everything was quiet, as only it can be during a snowstorm. Every sound muffled by the celestial enveloping snow that made everything so lovely. All the world was white and perfect and beautiful.

And I was grateful to be a part of it. Welcome back winter. I forgot that I've missed you.

15 October 2012

Stretched Too Thin?

So currently I'm sitting in the women's locker room at BYU, in my ballet leotard and pink tights, trying to seep out the last second of productivity before my ballet class.  And I just got back from the paper, where I had to wait around for the sports page to get done because a reporter got his article in HOURS too late. And before that I was studying for four hours, trying to get my seemingly endless reading done, as well as completing a midterm that could end up taking 7.5 pages of text, and later I'll continue working on a freelance job that has come when I have no time.

And I just had the realization that I forgot that I committed to helping a professor with his research. Blast.

It's going to be one of those weeks. Again. Again.

I keep hoping that next week won't be as busy as last week. Such pathetically false hope.

And I think it's so sad that I view the Texas Rangers losing in the Wild Card game as a blessing because I just don't have time to watch baseball right now. That is sad that this is the saddest realization of all.

But at least I like my job, my program, and my freelance job, right? Right?

And incidentally, I don't know how to punctuate anymore. Thanks a lot, AP and APA styles for ruining my perfect Chicago conventions.

03 October 2012


Grad school is exhausting. And super busy. And I always have work to do. And I'm always sleep deprived.

But it sure is good to be in school again.

27 August 2012

My First Day

Today was the first day of school. Technically I started my grad program today. But I actually started doing some reading on the I-15 where I was parked last week when a dump truck's tire blew and I was stranded for two hours. And I had my orientation for my program on Friday and met my other cohorters. And the only class I had today was beginning ballet.

Soooooo today wasn't really a big deal to me. But I was on campus all day between dropping in on a personal finance class with my girl Emily (which made me realize that I want to be good at personal finance, so I'll take that class later) and attempting to do some super boring reading. Then I had my first official day at my new job in the newsroom. They found out that I know how to use InDesign and now they want me to help out on the design as well (yay!!). It's kind of fun working in a newsroom. I had a blast writing captions today.

But despite not actually starting my program today in the traditional sense of taking classes that pertain to my program, it was weird to be a student again on campus.

I'm still not sure about this whole grad program thing. It's a bit overwhelming and nebulous to me. I'm sure it'll be great and I know it's where I need to be. But the unknown terrifies me.

Tomorrow: six hours of class. Wish me luck.

14 August 2012


The past week has been an absolute whirlwind. Here's a synopsis of things I did:

-Wrapped up all my projects at work...mostly
-Trained my replacement....mostly
-Quit my job
-Went to the doctor (the levels are much better and I may be able to start eating normal food again!!! [even though I already am for the next week, huzzah!])
-Played volleyball
-Played volleyball
-Played volleyball
-Played volleyball
-My forearms got really bruised from playing volleyball...It looks a little sketchy.
-Went swimming
-Cleaned, with no AC. Yep. It got up to 85 degrees. That was amazing...
-Took a walk in my favorite place in Provo
-Assembled a dresser by myself, using an awl for the first time last night around 1:30 a.m. (that was fun)
-Started my new job in the newsroom, copyedited yesterday, did the layout for the sports section for tomorrow's paper. Check it out. I'm sure it will look completely different from what I started with...(Loving my new job in the newsroom, ps. It's going to be amazing. I feel like I'm in His Girl Friday the whole time I'm there.)
-Changed my address
-Went up to Salt Lake to hang out with my dear friend Allison, who just moved from Boston and is on her way to Seattle. So good to see you, Al!
-Slept in my new room for the first time
-Started breaking in my new mattress, which I love
-Played with my roommate's dog, Kaya. She's gorgeous.
-My stake was split and now I'm in a completely new ward....It should be an adventure.
-Went to multiple wedding receptions then up to Centerville for a ward activity including a giant slip and slide
-Drove to the airport twice
-Received an adorable knit penguin from my dear friend Emily. It's keeping my nightstand company while I'm gone.
-Made it to the airport and now I'm on my way to Boston to see Bruce Springsteen!!! I have been having a hard time keeping my excitement in check. One more day!

That about sums it up. I'll be back east for about a week. I'll let you know how the adventure goes!

29 July 2012


Well guys, it's been a good run without any injuries for me, but, let's be honest, we knew it wouldn't last long.

The long streak ended about a month ago. I went down to Zion National Park with some friends and wound up with a broken toe somehow. I blame my Chacos. (I'm not the huge fan that everyone else seems to be. Mine have only caused me pain. I've officially broken up with them.) We hiked up the Narrows, which is a river hike. It was cool and refreshing in 105 degree weather. And let me just say that Zion is so beautiful. I will go back there again and again. But I came out of the river, which was chilly, and my left pinky toe started to hurt. I thought my Chacos were just adjusted wrong, but no. Turns out I broke my toe somehow in the river. Some athletic tape later, and I was just fine. I enjoyed not wearing closed toed shoes at work for those couple of weeks. And it really didn't hurt, so it was no big deal. It didn't slow me down at all, thank goodness. We all know how much I hate being slowed down.

Well every Monday a group of us gets together to play racquetball up on campus. I am absolutely the worst one who goes, but it's always a good time and racquetball is extremely addicting. My friend Adam had pulled his hamstring at our stake kickball tournament (which we dominated at, just so you know) a couple days before. And I was sad that he couldn't play racquetball with us, but then I realized that he wouldn't be needing his goggles.....So after he gave me the green light I made my way over to his apartment. I was walking down the ramp, looking up and talking to a friend who was out on his balcony when all of the sudden, my foot found itself caught up in a crack in the pavement (This crack is about the width of a hand...not just some tiny crack. Please don't think I'm completely ridiculous.) Well, the rest of my body kept going and my foot did not. I fell down hard and heard that lovely popping noise we all hate to hear...

I ended up with some torn ligaments in my foot, where I had torn ligaments before. I've been healing fairly well these past two weeks and with the help of an ankle brace I'm walking around just fine. I hobbled around quite a bit for the first few days, but now I'm not even limping. YAY! Give me a few more weeks and I'll be back to running around like a child.

So the lesson I have learned this time: don't try and take advantage of your friends who are injured. You may end up tripping over yourself in a freak accident and tearing ligaments in your foot like a fool.

Today, I leave you with some pictures of my recent adventures. It's been a while since I've shared any pictures with you....

In June I went to my dear friend Emily's wedding in Denver. Isn't she a doll?

A couple from Zion:

This was totally unplanned. Probably the highlight of the trip for both of us.
 Here are some pictures from the kickball tournament. It was seriously so fun. I never knew kickball could be this fun.

We were so good as a team we even coordinated our standing positions...apparently.

My adorable roommate Audrey.
After poor Adam pulled his hamstring. I rocked the awkward face, didn't I?

We were trying to be mean. Notice Audrey's face. I can only manage neutral. She masters mean.

Don't worry we had a coach, Steven. He led us to victory.
And don't worry. We conspired to dump a cooler of water on him after we won it all.

21 June 2012

Thursday Funsized

Yesterday I went to a Real Salt Lake game for the first time. I discovered a few things: I love going to professional soccer games, sitting by the rhythm section is really fun and I wish I were Latina and could join them, I do not like the LA Galaxy (although seeing Landon Donovan in person was really cool), and that trying to park before a game there is lunacy and I will get there earlier in the future.

It's time for Strawberry Days again in Pleasant Grove. You'll recall my experience from last year. I was reminded by picking up a gallon of Freedom Milk at the store again this year. (My milk expires on July 4. This happened to me last year. I love my Freedom Milk.) Now I need to go back there and ride the Zipper again. Who wants to come with me this year?

The Euro Cup is going on right now. Some of you may know that I get completely obsessed with international soccer events and the Olympics. (As in I will watch every game that I can, follow the stats of every game and yell at the TV.) Lucky me I get both this summer. Portugal is facing off this afternoon in the quarterfinals. I can't wait.

This article moved me and spoke to me. I follow this blog regularly and I have so much respect for Robert Krulwich. Any of you who related to my blog post of a similar vein will love this.

And finally for all of you Ryan Gosling fans or not-fans, this video is delightful. The boy could move better as a nine-year-old than I can as an adult.

22 May 2012

Tender Mercies in an Overwhelming Day

Today completely overwhelmed me.

I've had unexplained health problems for the past four years, which have left me completely exhausted and sometimes dizzy for months at a time. I've gone to several doctors, tried different courses of action, and still I hadn't discovered the root issue. We'd only been merely treating the symptoms. Well a couple weeks ago I went to an angel of a doctor and he talked with me and he actually listened to me (miracle!) and he took six vials of my blood. Yes, six.

Today I went back and he went over the results with me, spending the necessary time to go over what every single line of the six page report meant and explaining the physiology when necessary. I finally got some answers:

I can't eat wheat, milk, or eggs anymore.

This is both good news and bad news. Good news is that this should put my body back in balance and resolve the weird problems I've been having and lead a normal life, feeling much better than I have in years.

The bad news is that I feel like I'm going to be hungry from now on. (I know I'm not actually going to be hungry. It just feels like it.) Milk and eggs I can deal with. Coconut or rice milk, check. I can still eat cheese and yogurt, so that saves me from instantly breaking down into sobs. Eggs I never really eat anyway and it's not a big deal if they're used in something. These two things I can handle. It's just the wheat. It's in everything it seems. For many people this wouldn't be a big issue at all. After the appointment, I went back to work and wasn't too worried about it. But then my brain actually started to register what this would mean for my life and I became completely overwhelmed. So much so that I left an hour early, came home, watched some HIMYM, worked on a puzzle, and tried to not think about it. Then I went to three different grocery stores for different reasons and I just became more downtrodden as the seemingly insurmountable task of feeding myself unfolded before me.

You see, I am not a planner. I can do big picture stuff. Ask me where I want to be in five years and I'll have an answer for you. Ask me what I'm going to be doing the rest of the week and that gets a little hazy. Planning was the worst part of every week on my mission. I hate hammering out details. I like understanding expectations and big picture issues. The rest just falls into place as you go along. But having such a strict diet now requires that I actually plan ahead and have a detailed plan of what I'm going to be eating. At least now as I'm trying to wrap my brain around it.

And that is what overwhelms me. I feel almost panicky when I think about what I'm actually going to be eating beyond tomorrow. Before I could just wing it (my favorite). Now I have to think about it. Food has turned from friend to foe. Thanks a lot, Food.

But as I was meandering through Sunflower Market, feeling completely out of my element surrounded by natural, organic, Oregonianesque foods, a beautiful thing happened: "Angel of Harlem" by U2 came on. U2 has a magical ability to heal me. I felt instantly better. And then CCR's "Proud Mary" came on. Another favorite. And then when I went to Smith's because I'd forgotten something (third grocery trip by then) "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi came on and I couldn't help but dance a little and sing along. That was exactly what I needed. It helped me realize that even though this overwhelms me, and will continue to overwhelm me for some time, God knows where I am and what I'm going through. Those songs were a hug from on high and I'm grateful to know that I am loved, even while grocery shopping.

And I know I can conquer this.

07 May 2012

A Delightful Video

I stumbled upon this gem today:

I don't know what it is about this video. But I think it's delightful. There's something about seeing Justin Bieber hanging out with his friends doing normal teenage silly things that just makes me smile. I'm somehow comforted that all of these child stars have friends and do silly things. They wear fake mustaches, they use bananas as phones, they have silly hats and sunglasses. And I love it. It just made my day today.

Hooray for a very public glimpse into a sense of normalcy.

Also, I love that they're making fun of a ridiculous song. Seems ironic, no?

11 April 2012

What No One Prepared Me For

Remember the game Life? You had your car that you filled with yourself and then your spouse and then your children. You moved forward, passing through various milestones.

Well, I've kind of completed all the milestones I can. Left home? Check. Study abroad? Check. Mission? Check. Undergraduate degree? Check. Full-time employment? Check. I obviously won't be adding more players to my car at the moment. But I feel like my car has broken down and I've been pulled over to the side of the Life road.

Now I love my metaphorical car. It's been good to me. I've had a good run to this point. But I'm exhausted of feeling like I'm stalled on the side of the road and that no effort on my part is getting me back on the road of life. But perhaps it's my perspective. My whole life I've had a plan, a next step. When you're a kid, you have the next grade and the prospect of summer break. As you get older, you look forward to going to college. In college you look forward to the next semester, or that study abroad, or a mission, or graduation, or marriage. There was always a next step.

I know I have a million next steps in front of me. I just don't know how to take them. I have every opportunity in front of me and it's paralyzing. I've been trying move forward with my life (whatever that actually means) for months and every plan I've made has blown up in my face. When I was growing up, I was prepared to go to school, serve a mission, get a job, get married, have kids, etc. But now there is no mechanism for helping move forward. I have to figure it out on my own. And I have to figure out what "moving forward" actually is.

I guess what I'm realizing is that we're all moving forward blindly. I feel like I understand Paul's words to the Corinthians: "For now we see through a glass, darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV). I feel like that is exactly what I'm doing. I'm looking through a dark glass, trying to figure out what my next move is (no pun actually intended, though it works).

The thing is that no one can actually prepare you for growing up. It just happens gradually. And it's painful. It's how we become who God intended for us to be. And it's hard.

There's just no way to plan to not have a plan. So maybe my car isn't broken down on the side of the road. But I'm just landing on one every time I spin the wheel, making indiscernible progress toward my next milestone. But who knows, maybe my next turn I'll land on ten (or eight or seven...I'd even go for a three) and it will take me to where I need to be. But in the meantime, I'll wait until it's my turn to spin and then I'll try to be content with landing on one again if that's what it turns out to be. It may take me longer to get there, but I'll get there eventually.

08 March 2012


I just came to the discovery that I'm finally okay with it being the year twenty twelve. Before I'd always held firm to saying two thousand eleven. Now. I don't care. Bring on twenty twelve.

31 January 2012

Lost Folder, Found Time

So someone just moved or deleted the one folder that we store all of our course data in. Whoops. Fortunately our computer ops guys can get it fixed for us shortly. But in the meantime, I've finished everything I can without that folder. So why not say hi?

Have I mentioned that I started playing the guitar last year? My dear friend, Asia, taught me some basics last summer when it wouldn't stop raining and I've just been practicing and teaching myself since then. And I love it. It's nice to be able to learn something new, especially something music related. It's also nice to keep my dexterity up to snuff for when I play the violin.

Some things I've learned so far:

-Frets are fantastic.
-Playing and singing simultaneously is both hard and easy.
-I am much better now than I used to be. I can sight-read most uncomplicated music.
-The guitar is wonderfully complex. The more you delve into it, the more fun it is.
-I am not afraid to play and sing in public. I did my first acoustic night only a few days after I had first started playing. The audience was gracious enough to support me.
-I cannot for the life of me figure out how to write music. Sad face.

Take home message: the guitar is really fun and a great outlet.

Special thanks to John HVO for lending me his guitar, which I have named Bruce. I promise I'll return Bruce to you....

25 January 2012

Phun with Photoshop

I've never really dabbled with Photoshop, but the past week or so I've been playing with the Mac OS Lion background picture. My office just moved and now I'm in a room instead of a cubicle. All I want to do is decorate my office. So I've been playing with some effects in Photoshop. I thought I'd share.

Which ones should I include in my montage? Any other ideas? All I have to say is I love Photoshop. So much fun.

Also, I went to a concert/show a couple of weeks ago at the Midway Ice Rink. It's a cute little outdoor skating rink in arguably the cutest town in the world. I had a good time skating with my friends Elle and Ruthanne. Enjoy this photo.