Sunday, March 31, 2013

On our way to the moon.

I guess you could say I'm a fan of Easter weekend. Lots of family [even family pictures], tons of food, and just enough friends to remind me how much I love my life. 
Jackson and I trekked down to Spanish Fork for the Festival of Colors--and by trek, I mean we drove for almost three hours to get there--and partied as we always do, this time with far too much color. 
And on the way home [stuck in stand still traffic again] we happened to pull up next to Mallory, who was driving up from California for Easter. Talk about the best surprise I've had in a really long time. 
After being stuck in a car with this kid for 5 hours, and discussing literally every single aspect of our lives possible, I realized just how much I'm going to miss him when he leaves on Wednesday. 
Jacks gave an incredible talk today about the Atonement, and I don't think the people of Hong Kong know how lucky they are to get him for the next two years. 
So for the next two years, I'll go on all our crazy adventures by myself. Write him play-by-plays of Psych so he doesn't miss our favorite TV show. Make dozens of playlists of all the new music he'll miss. And record the concerts we were going to go to so that he can watch them when he gets home. Because there's only so much you can do when your best friends are scattered across the globe. 
Good luck out there, Jackson. Learn how to like fish, and don't forget about how much we love Fall Out Boy. Because there's going to be a lot of both of those in our culdesac on the moon. 
Thanks for being the best friend, big brother, relationship counselor, and partner-in-crime a girl could ask for. I wouldn't be where I am without you. See ya in two, Ibble Song. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sounds like a memory.

This week will probably go down in history as the most flawless week in the history of the world. The sun has been shining every day, school has been actually making sense, and I've just decided that life is wonderful. In Institute the other day, our teacher put up a quote that said,
  color your tomorrows with the best of your yesterdays.
And I guess I liked it a lot. Because the things I remember about my yesterdays make all my tomorrows better. I hate when people say things like, "forget the past, you don't live there." Yes, it is good to move on. And being human, I've made a lot of really, really, really dumb decisions. But I've also made a lot of really, really, really good ones. And I don't want to forget any of the good choices I made. 

Like choosing to go to Utah State. 
And room with these girls. 
Or making these boys my best friends. 

Because between these kids and high school, I've had a pretty stellar existence. Some of my favorite memories revolve around these people, and I'm so glad I can call them my friends. 
Along those same lines...I love the ability our brains have to remember things when we catch a certain scent, or hear a song, or see a place. 
I love how the smell of Burberry London takes me back to the summer of my sophomore year and my first date. 
I love how listening to E.T. by Katy Perry makes me feel like I'm driving down Main Street in Farmington. 
I love how the smell of chlorine takes me back to babysitting Daniel and Will McKay at Cherry Hill or another late-night pool party at Bronson's. 
I love how driving past Cemetery Park reminds me of heart to hearts with all my friends and some of the best talks I've ever had.
I love how the taste of soy sauce makes me feel like I'm at Mandarin Friday and am digging through my purse for the "four dolla for you..."
I love how listening to Taylor Swift's Speak Now album sounds like I'm driving to a hockey game in Bountiful. 
I love how walking through Logan with the sun shining, and the sounds of spring starting to come out reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to be where I am. 
Because with a view like this, there's a lot to be happy about. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

California dreamin.

Sometimes, California gives you a tan line. Or pictures with Mickey Mouse. Or a head of saltwater curled hair. Or a headache from a roller coaster.
 But if you're really lucky, it gives you a best friend. 
A best friend who goes job hunting with you for days, and then spends the longest five months of our lives slaving away at a little Mexican restaurant for $2.13 an hour. Learns how to make gallons of salsa, serve a beautiful fried ice cream, and order a to go dinner of tacos worthy of royalty. 
A best friend who has never seen snow before, and has no idea what the term white washing means...and doesn't hate you when you show her exactly what it means. 
A best friend who drives around with you for hours when you're bored and Skypes you at 3 am when you're going to school 4 hours away from each other and understands your love for Dr. Pepper better than anybody else in the world. 
A best friend who dyes her hair almost as much as you do, and doesn't judge you when you get completely and totally lost on the way to crash a prom, stop at a green light, run a red light and successfully park worse than anybody else in the history of the world. 
A best friend who goes along with all your crazy ideas, delivers cupcakes to someone she's never met and you haven't talked to in a year, and has random sleepovers with you when you're home for the weekend. 
And then that best friend puts in her mission papers. And gets called to Paris. And leaves on April 3rd. And as you watch her give her farewell talk, you realize how grateful you are that her dad got a new job in Salt Lake, and that you went to lunch with that random new girl the first day of senior year. 
So Em, here's to you. For being one of the best friends I've ever had, and for changing my life more in one year than anybody I've ever met. 
Change some lives in Paris, and don't forget that you're not allowed to stay any longer than 18 months because I need a midnight McDonald's run buddy and someone to laugh at my jokes. 
Good luck, Soeur Elliott. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just a minute.

It's no secret that I despise Mondays. And I have yet to find something [inanimate, at least] that I hate more than Monday mornings. Yesterday though, was way different. I rolled over, and picked up my phone because it was freaking out while downloading emails. First name that pops up....Bronson Kunzler. I sat STRAIGHT up and bed, more awake than I had been in days. Between him figuring out a nice way to tell me to stop talking, learning what a "Michigan minute" was, and making me laugh like he was right here, I discovered that there's seriously nothing better than starting your day off with a "talk" with your best friend (if you can call it that) and yesterday was wonderful because of it.
In his email, he told me about an investigator they're teaching and he talked about the Atonement. As I was reading his testimony about this incredible event, I remembered a talk that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave in General Conference a few years ago.
He spoke about the Atonement, and the sacrifice that it was for our Savior to suffer and atone for our sins like He did, and ended with what is probably my favorite quote in the history of General Conference.

"...may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in world only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ "at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death," for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone." 

Today? Take a little extra time to be grateful for our Savior and his sacrifice. Because I'm grateful.
Grateful that there's someone who understands how I'm feeling when I can't sleep at 3 a.m.
Grateful that there's someone who understands how I feel when I ace a test.
Grateful that there's someone who understands what it's like to miss someone so much it physically hurts.
Grateful that there's someone who understands how excited I get when I get to see my little sisters.
Grateful that there's someone who not only knows how I'm feeling every second of every day, but someone who has felt it exactly like I have.
That's what the Atonement does for us. And it's just one of a million and a half reasons why I love this gospel.

Happy Tuesday, folks.

[p.s. If you want to read/watch/listen to Elder Holland's whole talk, go here. I promise, it's worth it.] 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

You learn something new.

From work:
There are three reasons Americans are overweight: ranch dressing, french fries, and syrup.
We have a different favorite pie depending on the night...if a pie isn't cut and ready to serve, we won't recommend it. Easy as that. 
You can be the cutest boy I've seen in Logan, but if you don't tip well? There's no hope. 
If you come in with a party bigger than 10 people, there is a good chance I hate you. 
There are very few words that make me happier than "You're cut," and few words that make me angrier than "We're just getting pie."
We remember how well you tip, and will serve you accordingly. [We're shallow like that, sometimes.]
If you come in 20 minutes before we close and order a full meal, chances are that we definitely hate you.
The customer is always right. Even when they're wrong...they're right.

From my roommates: 
Ethnic hair products should never be used on a white girl's hair. 
Don't overfeed your fish. 
Mason jars are terrifying. 
There's no problem in life that Pringles or Ben & Jerry's [or both] can't solve. 
Toaster Strudels are a nutritious part of this complete breakfast.
No one loves their mailbox more than Snow 102.
There is absolutely nothing irrational about making a cake at 3 am, eating multiple paninis in one day, doing laundry at one o'clock in the morning,  or watching Phantom of the Opera three times in 24 hours.
"It's finals week" is the perfect rationale for any food purchase.
We will go to great lengths to get to Taco Tuesday.
Missionary letters are better than 42 Dr. Peppers.

From being in college:
Creative Arts is the most pointless class in the history of college classes.
High school journalism classes are VERY different from college journalism classes.
The 12:00 Aggie Shuttle can explode your personal bubble in .3 seconds.
BlueZone is never reliable.
The words "FREE FOOD" will get most college students to do just about anything. [Actually, free anything makes us pretty happy campers.]
It's easier to wait a week to do laundry when you go home than to pay $2.25 at the Lundstrom.
I thought I was a decent cook. College has taught me otherwise.
Finals Week is nothing like AP Week, regardless of what your teachers tell you. Unless AP week suddenly involves 3 am McDonald's runs for yet another caffeinated drink, 12 hour days in the library, and enough popcorn to fill a small house, then no. They're nothing alike.
My parents know a lot more than I thought, and I need them a lot more than I thought I would. On the same note, my siblings aren't quite as obnoxious as I thought they were.
PDA is much more prominent on a college campus.
Being an adult isn't as much fun as we thought it would be when we were little.
College social life usually starts about the time I had to be home to make curfew in high school.
And last, but definitely not least, Utah State is the best place on the freaking planet. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

If you say so.

 My Friday nights are better than yours. Guaranteed. I got off work way earlier than I thought I was going to, and everybody else had we went to Hasting's. Rented The Lucky One and Sweet Home Alabama and didn't move off our couch for four straight hours. It was blissful. There's just something about Zac Efron and Patrick Dempsey that make staying in on a Friday night completely worth it. [that, and the fact that I have a legitimate ice cream problem. Ben & Jerry are my best friends. My roommates just laugh at me.]
 Good news, kids! We've finally how to keep our sink empty. We're really good at doing dishes...and stacking them up nicely, we're just rather awful at putting them away. [This picture was taken a week and a half ago...and even thought that particular load has been put away, we've got another pile.]
When my family doesn't answer my FaceTime calls, and I exclaim that they don't really love me that day, Kenzie decides to FaceTime me instead. From the opposite side of the couch. 
While Kenzie loves me...Emi abuses me. The remaining potatoes in our 25lb bag may or may not have started sprouting...and I wasn't okay with it. I have a large problem with expiration dates, moldy food, and unnatural growths on food. Anytime I said something snotty or sarcastic--which happens more often than not--Emi would pull these out and try and touch me with them. It was not okay.
I promised Bronson's mom chocolate peanut butter cupcakes the next time I was home, so when I was home Sunday afternoon, I figured I might as well employ my little sisters to help me make them. Mary probably ate more uncooked batter than actual cupcake, but she's also the best helper I have. She's one of my best friends and the best part about coming home. 
 It's mid-term week at USU...and I'm loving it. Not a single one of my classes has an actual midterm exam, and next week is Spring Break. I've got a research essay to write and I have to read The Awakening for my literary analysis class, but none of that is even due until after spring break. [Side note: after spring break? I only have 12 days left of classes. One of the many benefits of only having school two days a week!]

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Just hold on.

Having all your best friends gone or in the process of leaving gives you a new perspective on life. 
I used to spend every day trying to figure out ways to spend time with them and keep them happy, and now? I've got all the time in the world to make me happy. Rather than driving home every weekend to be with friends, I spend my weekends doing my best to make sure I make something of myself while they're out changing lives. 
And it's been wonderful. 
Wednesday night, I spent a solid 8 1/2 hours in the library. Studying, writing my English papers, and actually doing my homework. I took time to really think about what I was doing and put effort into the research I was doing. I wrote in my journal for the first time in a week and a half. Wrote way too many pages of missionary letters. Emailed some high school seniors about the wonders of USU and answered way too many questions about graduation requirements and on-campus housing. Looked over my runs for Ragnar and died a little inside. Did a whole lot of soul searching. 
I realized a few things. 
1. I'm much more productive when I'm by myself. I hate every second of being alone, mind you, but I can focus and the distractions are limited to making sure I like the song playing in my headphones and finding more ice to chew on.
And 2. I'm a very, very, very lucky girl. I have parents who love and support me in everything I do. Siblings who make me smile everyday. Roommates who I love like the five extra sisters I never had. Boys who go out of their way to make me happy. Two jobs that I love doing, keep me busy, and allow me to do whatever I want. I'm going to school where I've always wanted to. I'm studying something I love.  

  And as weird as it may sound, I'm glad I miss these kids. Because it means I have some incredible examples and amazing friends out there. 
I have a quote on one of my pinboards that says "...I learned a lot about being a friend when I was alone." And it's so true. My friends are just starting out on their 18-24 months adventures, and I can already tell how much they're changing, and I can see myself changing too...all in such good ways. I've learned to take more time for myself, and focus on what I need; all while making sure I'm not missing a single opportunity to do something kind for those around me. It's changed my perspective on a lot of things. I'm more grateful for what I have, that's for sure. And more excited to have everyone home again in a couple years because I actually know how lucky I am now. 
I guess the moral of the story life is great. And it feels good to finally be content with where you are, what you're doing, and who you're becoming.