Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Busy, Busy


It's been a busy two weeks since I last wrote. Last Wednesday was spent on the road!

My grandpa passed away over the weekend, so I made a trip to Texas for the funeral. It was a beautiful service. I cried through the singing of the hymns, but what really got me was the burial and the poem that was read by my uncle. Even when I read it now, I can't help but feel overwhelmingly sad, but also proud of the legacy my grandpa left. The poem so perfectly encapsulated his life, his work, and his family. The poem is 'Close the Gate' by Nancy Kraayenhof, and the last line reads:
   Your labor is done, your home is now heaven; no more must you wait.
   Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.

I wish it had been under different circumstances, but it was so good to spend time with that side of the family. Now that all the cousins are older, it's hard to get together, so I cherish the time I'm able to spend with them. I also got to spend some time with old and best friends, and that's always amazing. Friendships that last the time and distance that ours have are worth holding on to.

I returned to Cedar City Wednesday night, then turned around Friday afternoon and left again. This time the destination was Moab! I'd never been, and I'm so ready to go back. My mom and I were there to run the Canyonlands Half Marathon. The town of Moab is so fun. There are shops all along main street, and there's a winery, a brewery, and a distillery! Next time, I want to spend time there and take tours of them all.

The half marathon was so incredibly hard. It was very windy and hilly. Around mile 11 I started falling apart, mentally and physically. Running that far is incredibly painful (I think), and it's frustrating because even though there's only 2 miles left, those 2 miles feel like they're never going to end. I was honestly running down the highway fighting back tears because I was so upset with myself. The run sucked, but it's over now and I'm glad I did it.

This was the last week of Improv Class and it was good one! We started with a dance game, which is scary, because I cannot dance. (I'm looking for a dance class because I feel this is something I should be better at.) Every week I surprise myself with the stuff I'm willing to do with these people. It's so cool how we created a safe space together and at the end of these 5 weeks, I'm happy to call them friends.

The rest of the time we played a game where 4 people "build" a scene by describing the room and describing the things in the room. Then, two other people play within the scene. These scenes lasted longer than I'd been on stage previously. The first scene I played took place in an interrogation room that was decorated for Christmas. I was the criminal, handcuffed to the table, and opposite me was a nervous cop on her first day on the job. She was trying to get me to confess to a murder, but I was too occupied by the Christmas cookies and claiming my innocence. The second scene, Heather and I played that she welcomed me to her Airbnb, but it was very dirty and she had 7 cats, and I was allergic to cats. She also self-taxidermied one of her cats that had recently died.

I think what's fun about Improv is that it's so surprising what you'll come up with, and you never know what the other person is going to do or say. That used to really scare me, but now I see it as something great. Really funny scenarios can come out of it!

I was initially relieved that tonight was the last class, but now I'm kind of sad. The next round of classes starts in April and I can't wait to start again. After class, Heather asked if I would be taking the next round, and I told her that this class is too good for me to stop. All I'm doing is playing with a bunch of other adults on a stage, but I can see actual evidence of how this class has made a positive effect in my real life.

Never before would I have said this, but I would encourage any person to take a class like this one. I believe it helps with communication and confidence, and everybody could use a little help in those areas!

I'm so happy to be in a place where this is available to me, and so happy I have friends who encourage me to step out and do things that scare me.

What a life we live.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Follow the Fear

Hey there!

I might sound like a broken record, but I'm here to talk about Improv again! (Because I literally just got home from it, and it's fresh on mind.) (I'm also feeling very proud of myself, and I'd like to bask in that before the inevitable self doubt plagues my sleep tonight.)

This week's class was amazing. We amped it up and only did one group game, then did nearly 2 hrs of straight up Improv-- just two people on a black stage, making up a story in front of other people. Do you know how exhilarating/terrifying that is?

The scenes started at 15 seconds, and when you haven't been on stage, 15 seconds feels like an eternity. Seriously, in my first scene, I was looking over at the guy with the timer, like, dude, I know time's up, I need you to call it.

Just when I thought I'd survived the worst of the night, they doubled the time we spent on stage. 30 seconds is (wait for it) even longer than 15. But I did it! (I even did it more than once, which is a big step forward for me.)

AND THEN THEY DOUBLE IT. And you have to play for a full minute. But it was so good! And once I'd be exposed to 15, then 30 seconds, 60 seconds no longer felt like it would never end. In fact, I was surprised when the timer guy told me to stop.

It truly was a good time. I think part of why it's so fun is that every single person in the room is entirely supportive of every choice you make on stage. (I honestly think that they're equally as uncomfortable as I am, but much better at hiding it.) We ended with a strange game where we could only talk in numbers, and it was meant to teach that it doesn't matter so much what you're saying, but how you say it and how committed you are to the scene.

Commitment was the theme of the class, and I'm confident I fully committed during those 2 hours and came out stronger on the other side.

I was looking at one of the teachers' tattoos while he was talking (low-key not listening and very distracted), and what it said may have changed my life. It was a ship wheel with a banner across the center that read, "Follow the Fear." I've heard similar things, like 'do what scares you', but I'd never seen it written that way. I'm still processing exactly what that could mean in my life (because it could mean very big things).

I think I'm sometimes good at doing things that scare me, but for the most part, I stick with what I know. One thing this class has taught me is that doing something I NEVER thought I would like can lead to really fun things. Perhaps Follow the Fear means more than going and seeing; it's doing-- stepping out and participating. That's where I'm lacking; I'm most comfortable as a spectator, but I think the players are the ones having more fun.

Something to think about.

Also this week, Heather, Katie, and I went to Paint Nite. This is a thing I'd never done, and I was kind of anxious for it because I have perfectionist tendencies and I worried I wouldn't be happy with what I created. The thing about it though, is that the process of creating is much more important than the end result. I got to spend an evening with two great friends, talking and laughing together, in the presence of 30 other extremely supportive women and men who were there to have fun, just like we were. And that's why it was great! The atmosphere is so positive, and we're all fumbling idiots just trying our best and trying together. In the end, I was very happy with what I created-- I gave myself permission to do what I felt, instead of trying to make it perfect.

We're so cute. 

I've felt very supported this week. I'm learning that when you're surrounded by happy, encouraging people, you can't help but also be happy and encouraging. And who doesn't want a happy and encouraging person in their life? (I do. I want several.)

Anyway, that's where I am right now-- extremely gratefully for the people I get to spend my time with and happy to be ever-growing and ever-learning.

What a life we live.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Scary Things

Hey, two weeks in a row! And it's been a really good week.

Friday night, Heather and I went to the Improv Show. They have one every Friday night, but I'd never been before. This is unfortunate because I had a blast! This is a seriously untapped gem of Cedar City. They put on a great show. I will say however that it did very little to calm my nerves about what we might be doing in Improv Class this week.

Despite the snow and abhorrent weather, I was able to escape to sunny St. George and get in a good run this Saturday. It was even better because I got to run in Snow Canyon State Park. I figure any place that's cool enough to be named a state or national park is a place I want to spend time. And it was beautiful! I've been there a few times before, but I feel this time I was really able to appreciate it's beauty. I'd like to go back and actually hike some of the side trails instead of running the main trail.

Sometimes I really hate running. It's a hassle, it hurts, it's really freaking hard. But I also really love it. I love how it clears my mind. I love how I begin to appreciate my body and how it gets stronger with every mile. I love that step after step, I prove to myself that my willpower is stronger than the thoughts that tell me I can't do this or maybe I should just stop.

Monday night I started playing volleyball again. Cedar has a fall and spring adult league. My team killed it in the fall, so I'm very excited for this season. I'm playing with 3 of the same girls, so hopefully we'll fall back into a good rhythm. This week we beat both teams that we played, so we're off to a good start! Since I didn't play college ball, I didn't think there would be any opportunities for me to play competitively again, so I'm very excited for this.

That brings us to tonight. I went back to Improv class. If it's possible, I think I was more nervous/ anxious for this week than I was for last-- partly because I figured this would be the week I'd have to be on stage, and partly because the Friday night show really freaked me out. I was right about having to be on stage, but thankfully they built us up to that.

We started with a few group activities just to loosen everyone up. Then, we had to play The Game. Actual improv, on an actual stage, with actual people in the audience. And you know what, I'm really happy with how I performed! The game was that you knock on a door and the other person has to answer it, and you build the scene based on what the other person says and you just go with it.

Once I got out of my head and stopped thinking, I felt able to enjoy myself and the scene and just react! instead of taking the time to think about what might be 'right' or funny in this situation. My scenes were:
-I'm a vet and the person on the other side of the door has a dying bird.
-I open the door to a friend who showed up to my mother's funeral wearing jeans. I'm pissed.
-I'm a trick or treat-er and the old lady who answers the door doesn't have candy, but she does have green beans.
-I open the door to someone responding to my newspaper ad for a tiny bike.

They were all kind of dumb and funny, but they were made up on the spot and it was so much fun! And once I was on the stage not worrying about what to say, I also was not worrying about the audience and that was a great feeling. It's amazing how much more confident I felt afterward. I felt powerful and confident and just proud of what I'd done. Incredibly proud that I'd done something that scared the pee out me. Doing scary things is hard, but I think it's probably worth it.

Now I'm home, ready for bed, and looking forward to the week ahead.

What a life we live.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I want to live.

How many times have I told myself that I need to get back to this blog?

Well, I'm back, for now. And I'll just get into it!

Lately I have been longing to feel alive.

This feeling came about one morning when I was out running on the canyon trail, here in Cedar. It's a beautiful trail that winds from the baseball fields to the edge of town, through a park and up the canyon. I love running this trail. On this particular day, I was running 6 miles, and I was dying because I hadn't been training like I should, but I was determined to stay on schedule. (even if that meant the longest I had run to date was only 4 miles.)

Anyway, I was running and I became acutely aware of my body and how it was moving and how incredibly proud I was of it for doing this. My body was putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. I was so in awe that I was capable of this, because just a year earlier, I wouldn't have even dreamed of running more than a mile. (I completed my first half marathon last September!)

I was in awe of my body, and I felt the sun on my skin, and I was in awe of nature and my place in it. How crazy is it that I am alive at this point in time? And I get to be here and do things that I enjoy because my body can take me places.

Maybe this isn't making a lot of sense, but it was a revelation to me in that moment.

The next day, I went hiking in Zion and I felt the same elation to be out in nature and to experience the beauty all around me. The next weekend, I went to Zion again, and I promised myself I would do as many things as I can fit into my schedule this year, because I'm here and I might not ever be here again, and I want to live while I can.

The second weekend in Zion, Katie and I hiked Observation Point. It's an 8 mile roundtrip with 2,000+ ft elevation gain. (This means it's a 4 mile uphill climb.) It was strenuous and I wanted to curl up in a ball after we were done, but it was the most incredible view at the top. There wasn't a single part of the hike that wasn't amazing. There were no boring stretches, because you never knew what was coming around the next bend. It's filled with sheer drops, slot canyons, and a nice stroll on the rim of the canyon. I can't wait to do it again!

Also, this may come as a surprise, but as I write this, I have just come home from my first Improv class. What?! I know. I'm still in shock. But it was so much fun! (And I'm low-key looking forward to class next Wednesday.) My friend Heather asked me if I would join her in the class, right before we sat through a 2 hr musical, and the only thing I was thinking about was the class and whether or not I should do it. The next day she asked again, and I got on the website to sign up before I could think too hard about it! On my way to class (and most of today), I was SO scared, but I did it. And I'm so proud of myself right now!

So that's what this blog is going to be. A journal of the hikes/festival/events/activities I partake in this year. Hopefully there will be so many!

What an adventure this will be!

Thursday, November 10, 2016



I realize I'm the worst. It was a goal of mine to keep this blog updated, but I seem to be failing miserably. I feel that I cannot start this without commenting on the month and the weather. Guys, it's November. It hasn't snowed once (knock on wood). It's so great! I'm still wearing capris to work. I haven't had to find my winter boots! I love it. Usually by this time, we'd have had a major storm or three or four.

Last time I wrote, I had just graduated from college. Goodness, that was so long ago and so much has happened since then!

Back then, I was working at the Garden Park Nursery here in town and absolutely loving it. I fell in love with the plants that I cared for everyday. I didn't even mind the customer service aspect as long as I could spend a little time with the trees and flowers everyday. Sometime in June, my boss was approached by the owners of the other nursery in town and she sold the place two weeks later. The new owners were amazing and kept on all the employees, so I didn't lose my job. They were really great.

I honestly loved working there. The new owners gave me more responsibility and trusted me with so much even though I'd only just started working for them. It was around this time that I began questioning whether or not I wanted to continue working there. It wasn't that I was unhappy with my job, but rather, I didn't see much room for growth. As I looked at the other employees who had been working there for years, I realized that they hadn't moved up at all.

I was approached by a friend who knew a guy who was looking for an office assistant. I wasn't actively looking for a new job, but I agreed to interview for this because I figured, what could it hurt?

It was really amazing-- I know God was working things out for me. I interviewed with the gentleman on Friday evening, stressed about it all day Saturday, and then Sunday morning, I got a text from him offering me the job! It all happened so quickly. I gave my 2 weeks notice, and then started working at REMAX Properties.

That's where I am now, working as a Listing Coordinator in a real estate office. I love it. I really, really do. The first few weeks were magical-- I had actual responsibilities and I was learning so much! I'm still learning things and getting to do new stuff every week.

I'm so glad I took that step and interviewed back in June. One thing I tell people is that it's nice to be in a position that pushes me. Sometimes I have to make uncomfortable phone calls or go do things I've never done before. While sometimes I would rather be comfortable, I appreciate the opportunity to grow.

Since I started this job, my boss has been pushing me to get my real estate license. (Actually, it's a job requirement, not so much a suggestion.) Since July, I've been taking online classes to prepare for the big test. At the beginning of October, I told a friend that I while I had all the required credits, I lacked the motivation to actually study for and take the test. I committed that I would be done in October. Finished and licensed.

I went to take the test two weeks ago. It's an ordeal, let me tell you. I had to schedule the test, then go to Salt Lake City to a testing center, and when you're taking the test, they record the whole thing to make sure you didn't cheat. I was a nervous wreck all the way there. I was so afraid that I wouldn't have the necessary paperwork or that they didn't get my reservation or some nonsense.

I went into the testing room and began. The first question was so easy. I was thinking, "Man, if this is how it's going to be, I'm so prepared!" Then I got to the second question, and the third, and those thoughts turned to, "Whelp, this sucks." I made it through the first test, General Sales, and I thought I did alright. There were a few that I didn't have a clue on, but for the most part, I felt confident that I had done well.

Then I started the second test-- Utah Law. My stomach dropped after every question. It was strangely specific about stuff that I don't ever remember studying. I recall one of the questions was about how agents have to be labeled on a postcard. (Right?! I didn't know it mattered enough to be on the test!) Anyway, I finished the test just knowing that I had failed Utah Law. I comforted myself with the fact that when I retook it, I would only have to retake the second part since I was sure I had passed the first.

I exited the testing room and went to the main desk. The kid behind the desk handed me my papers and told me to sign and I could get fingerprinted after he finished with the lady in front of me. Fingerprinted?? I was told that you only get fingerprinted if you pass! I scanned my papers and sure enough, a big bold PASS was hidden amongst the other (far less important) information.

Hallelujah! I wouldn't have to come back and retake anything! I was ecstatic. The girl who I replaced at work had had to take the test 7 times before she passed. My own boss had taken it 3. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

So that's where I am now-- qualified to be an agent, just waiting for the state to approve my papers.

Having my license doesn't mean I'll be working as an agent. I'll still be an assistant to an agent, and that's right where I want to be. I love what I do and I love that my boss has the harder job of making cold calls all day long.

I'm happy where I am and only have the occasional what-am-I-doing-with-my-life crisis.

Let's see... what else. Oh! My friend Katie and I moved to a new apartment. It's so nice to only have one roommate. She and I get along and stay out of each other's way and it's just great. We moved at the beginning of September, so we've been there a few months now. I've enjoyed decorating and filling a space that's mine. When there are 4 girls living in a house, it's hard to really make it homey, but since there's just the two of us here (and I know Katie doesn't mind my style) I've had the freedom to decorate how I like and really make it feel like home. I think that's my favorite thing about this place-- it's warmer than my previous rentals.

This weekend, my Mimi and Papa are visiting me from Colorado. I'm so excited to see them, and I'm so excited to have someone stay in my guest room! (Yeah, I've got a guest room-- fancy coming to see me? You're welcome here :)

This has been fun. I'm at work right now and had some time to kill so I figured I should write a bit. I've got 12 minutes until I can leave, so I think I'll close, then finish up a few little things before I go home. It's always nice to get my thoughts out here.

Anyway, I hope your day has been wonderful.
Until next time,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



How have you been? All is well here. Actually, things are going really great for me. I'm happy with where I am, what I'm doing, and the people I'm surrounding myself with.

This past week has been exciting. I am officially a college graduate! I walked the stage, I flipped my tassel, and I got that diploma! It was a really incredible weekend, and I'm so thankful to all of my family and friends who have become family for making it so special.

To start things off, some of my family from Texas came to Utah to celebrate with me. We started the party at a friends house with pizza and cake. It was so much fun to relax with them. Saturday was a full schedule, with the Commencement Ceremony in the morning, a big late lunch that afternoon, my Graduation Ceremony in the evening, followed by my sister's birthday party.

The Commencement Ceremony was really good. The speakers were great-- inspirational, just like they should be. It was so cool to walk into the Centrum to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance. I think that's when it really hit me that this was all real.

After the ceremony, I watched my roommate graduate, then headed out to spend time with my family. We had a late lunch and I invited some people from church. It was so great to have most of my favorite people in one place. I was overwhelmed at the amount of support I received from these people that I love. I'm so, so grateful for them.

After lunch, we relaxed for a bit, then it was my turn to graduate. (Instead of one big ceremony, SUU divided it up between the different colleges. School of Business went last.) We had to line up an hour early, but mostly we just stood around and talked and didn't actually form lines until it was time to walk. That was incredibly stressful and poorly organized, but whatever, it worked.

Thankfully, there was only one speaker this time and there weren't very many business people graduating. It made for a short ceremony. At the end, some of the professors who play instruments got up and played a song called, "School of Business Blues." It was hilarious, but they were actually pretty good.

Afterward, we took all the pictures and gave hugs and it was such a joyous time!

Honestly, it was just a great weekend.

Now, it's Tuesday, aka my day off, and I'm sitting on the couch, relaxing, eating a Snickers, and just taking it easy. I tried to sleep in this morning, but the sun woke me up. At least I didn't have to get up!

Work is still going really well. I enjoy nearly every day out at the nursery. We're mostly finished planting stuff, so now my days consist of helping customers and watering all the plants. Most days pass fairly quickly.

Anyway, it's great.

That's all I've got.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Almost, Sometimes, Finally Spring!


Can you believe it's already April? Maybe this is a recurring theme in my blogs, but seriously, how is time going by so quickly?

It's been a pretty good month so far. My brother came down to Cedar to go to a concert in Las Vegas with me. We saw Adam Lambert and it was so amazingly, mindblowingly fabulous. Adam Lambert is just... fabulous. He's seriously so good live. If you remember, Zane and I saw him in Paris last January when he was touring with Queen. We both became fans after that concert. He's an amazing performer. Since then, he's released an album and a new single, and they're so good.

The concert was at The Foundry at the new SLS Las Vegas Casino. The venue is designed to be intimate, so it only holds about 2,000 people. It's rectangle shaped with the a long stage, so you could be standing anywhere in the room and feel incredible close to the performer. Zane and I were probably about 15 feet from the stage, so we had a good time. I would definitely go back because of the experience.

Work is going really well. My boss has been giving more responsibilities and I'm actually talking to customers now! I can't answer very many of their questions, but it's still fun and it's a really good learning experience. I'll be happy there this summer.

Today I went out with my roommate/photographer and took graduation pictures! I'm graduating from college this month. Crazy, huh? It'll be good to get that behind me. I have a bunch of family coming to Cedar for it, so I'm super excited about that.

Life is just moving along nicely, I'd say. It's just strange to me that we get into routines and days pass and before you know it, things have changed without you ever consciously realizing it. Or maybe they've stayed the same and once you notice, you do something to change that. I don't know. Sometimes I worry about staying in Cedar. There are many other places I would love to live, but also, I'm happy where I am. So do I stay and fall into the routine, or do I mix it up and do something else for a while? And what if I stay too long and get stuck?

I guess I don't want to ever feel like my life is mundane. I have this fantasy that one day I'll write a book loosely based on my life and I don't want to be in a place that would make for boring chapters. (But I also don't want to have unrealistic expectations of what my life should look like.)

Are you happy with your life-- how it's turned out, where you are, and what you've done? I hope so.

I hope you're having a good day and a beautiful beginning to Spring!

Until next time,