Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekend Wonders: One.

I love Pinterest. 
I "pin" a lot of random things: wedding ideas, decoration inspiration, clothes I wish I had, quotes [so. many. quotes.], and a whole bunch of stuff that I just adore. 
So we're starting a series. It's called "Weekend Wonders." 

This week....
This shot from Audrey Hepburn's movie "Funny Face," which happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies.
This Leonardo da Vinci quote.  Just the motivation I needed to act.
This video. Reminded me of Brother Crimin's seminary class--and if this father-daughter duo doesn't make you smile, you don't have a heart. 
This heart+state craft.  Definitely making one for my new apartment. [Just over 50 days until we move in!]
This sequined cardigan I love summer more than any other time of the year, but when my bedroom is 81 degrees, I'm begging for cold and layered clothes. 
This journal idea.  I have a really hard time keeping a consistent journal that isn't my blog...and I love this idea. Maybe separate the months with my favorite pictures instead of postcards? 
This picture that perfectly describes how Jon and I feel about ice cream [long story short, the word "obsessed" doesn't even begin to cover it].
These typography sketchbooks. Being the layout and design nerd that I am, these are basically my happy place put on paper. Birthday present ideas?? 
 This DIY corkboard.  I've been obsessively looking for decor ideas for my new apartment, and I'm thinking this is perfect. Any other suggestions? 
And my personal favorite, this list of items you can mail in the US without packaging. That missionary of mine is going to be receiving some awfully different mail in the near future. 

Also, happy 19th to the best friend, roommate, and twin sister ever. You're the best, Em. 
And happy five months tomorrow. :) 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Why do we do it?

For the record: I am not a runner. 
I do not run an insane number of miles a week. 
I do not sprint--or do distance. 
I don't find joy in 8 mile training runs. 
And I especially don't look forward to a nice ice-bath after a grueling race. 

With all that in the open however, I am a Ragnar addict. I look forward to the third weekend in June more than I look forward to my own birthday. 
To an outsider, it doesn't look enjoyable, at all. 
You pack 12 runners into two vans of six; each assigned a set of three "legs" varying in distance from three to 10 miles. 
You start at a ridiculous hour, run three times in just over 24 hours...all for a sticker that looks like a butterfly, a medal, and a t-shirt [though I have had friends try to buy all three of those items off me].

For some reason, those 30 hours change who you are. There's just something about those 198.3 miles that tests every possible limit you could have...and still leaves you wanting more. 
The first year I ran the Wasatch Back, I had begged my dad to let me do it. He wouldn't let me sign up by myself, so we joined my uncle's team together. 
I was runner 12 that year, which meant I got to finish the whole race for my team. My last leg was from the Park City ski resort to the Canyons resort...and I think they were the longest five miles of my life. I could hear the finish line from a mile away--literally--and felt like I was never going to get there. I turned what I hoped was the final corner, and saw my dad waiting with his camera. We ran the last stretch together, and crossed the finish line with the 10 other members of our team. I couldn't walk the next day, but even as I laid on the ground, my dad said, "I just got a team for next year." And the tradition began. 
Our second year, my little sister ran with us. I decided I wanted a harder leg...and chose runner 10. I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about "Ragnar Hill" but didn't think it was anything I couldn't handle. 
Yeah, I was wrong. Those four miles were the hardest four miles of my life. But I finished. 
Last year wasn't very eventful. We ran, we slept, we finished. But I finally found the legs I loved, and actually enjoyed my runs. 
This year, I ran the same legs I did last year. It was the 10th year of Ragnar, and there were over 1,500 teams participating. It was a madhouse, and a brutal one at that. But once again, we finished. And I'll be back next year, and the next, and every one I can after that. 

People ask all the time why we do it. Why do we find any kind of enjoyment in running at all hours of the day, climbing mountains and hills, and sleeping in parking lots? I think my dad said it best. 

"One of the reasons I love doing Ragnar is to learn more about myself. I like seeing what my limits are and pushing myself beyond what I previously believed them to be. It doesn't take many Ragnars or Lotojas to realize that we are far more capable than we first thought. There occurs a special, almost sacred time during these experiences, you know what I'm talking about. It is an intensely personal moment. It happens sometime in the middle of the long night Ragnar run, or going up Ragnar hill in the heat of the day, or maybe on a bike halfway to Jackson. You are exhausted and hurting, you want more than anything to quit, to give up and walk away. It is then that you realize that you are not a quitter; that as much as you hurt at that moment it would hurt far more to quit. This newly discovered knowledge of yourself finds a permanent home in your soul and becomes who you are. You have uncovered a part of yourself that you didn't know about before. Your limits have been pushed back and away--there are now no limites to what you can do--as you will never give up once you start something. To many, running a Ragnar is a silly, crazy, endeavor--they think it a waste of time and energy. They think that Ragnar is about running. Those who have done it know the truth. That it was somewhere on that road the we came to understand who we are and what we are capable of. Before we did it the first time, we were afraid we would fail. We worried that we would ask the hard question of ourselves and be found lacking. We are now the lucky ones--we know. We ask the hardest questions--"Am I quitter?", "Can I do this?"; and we got the answer we wanted. We are the ones who know. [This year] there was no doubt in your mind that you would finish--but you knew that there would be pain in getting there. You already knew the answer this year, you started with the knowledge. 
Such is the rest of your life. What you now know about yourself is not about running. It is about you. You now know that if you want to do it, you will do it. If you start it, you will finish it. It might hurt, but you will never quit or give up, because that just isn't who you are."

Why do I run Ragnar? Maybe because I'm crazy. Maybe because I don't have a firm concept of pain yet. But mostly because I like proving to myself that I can do it. To me, Ragnar isn't just some 200 mile, overnight relay. It's a way to remind myself what I'm capable of, and to test and expand those limits every year. It's more than just a race. It's a way to show myself who I am. And I'll be back every year I'm able to prove it over and over. 
Plus, people do crazy things to get their hands on the coveted Ragnar sticker you can only get at the finish line. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I'll always be.

I've got an incredible Dad. Honestly, I don't know how I got so lucky. As the oldest (and probably the loudest and most high maintenance) of six kids, I'm the guinea pig child--and I'm sure it hasn't always been easy. But my Dad is a winner, and he's taught me more than I think he realizes. 
When I came home from the hospital as a newborn, my parents lived in the little brown house next to Pineview Apartments in Logan. My parents both tell a story about how he took me outside to "talk to the sun" the first day I was home. From the very beginning, my dad taught me to love the sunshine--and that hasn't changed one bit. 
When my Grandma had my aunt Maddy, I was about a year and a half old. My mom went home to help my grandma, and my dad stayed and took care of me. There's a picture of me in the hallway of our apartment with my hair ratted to high heaven in a baby bouffant, all thanks to my dad. Since I was little, my dad has taught me the importance of dressing nicely, and making sure my hair looks great. ;) 
As I've grown up, I've done multiple sports and extracurricular activities, and my dad is always supporting me in those. He was in my first ballet class in Texas when I peed my pants all over the studio floor [can't believe I'm admitting that...]. He was there when I played on my first soccer team, and he even ended up coaching it. He was there during all my dance recitals, gymnastic competitions, and every performance in between. He was in the audience when we were sworn in as judges for the Kaysville City Youth Court. He came to my lacrosse games and became the team photographer, even though the sport was completely foreign to everybody else. He came to all my award ceremonies, team banquets, and drove D-TV to the airport at 4 am my junior year. And when I wanted to run Ragnar for the first time? He got us both a spot on the team, and ran it with me. 
My dad is brilliant. He always has the answer to every question I have, and on the small chance he doesn't know, I know he'll have it shortly. He's taught me how to jump my car battery, change a tire, and detail cars and bikes like nobody else. He may tease me all day every day, but he cares more about what I'm doing, who I'm with, and where I'm going than anybody else. It used to bug me that my friends liked my parents so much, and the crushes they seem to have on my mom and dad used to drive me insane. Now though, I completely understand it. I was ridiculously lucky to be put in a family with the parents that I have. 
My dad is an incredible example. He's never afraid to try something new, or help someone out. And he's taught me more about myself than anybody or anything else. Last Father's Day we had just completed our third Ragnar Relay, and he sent me an email that taught me not only about running up that stupid hill, but also about who I was because of who he is. The email ended with this, a thought that I've used to motivate me through basically everything since then.

"...Such is the rest of your life.  What you now know about yourself is not about running. It is about YOU.  You now know that if you want to do it, you will do it.  If you start it you will finish.  It might hurt, but you will never quit or give up, because that just isn't who you are."

 Because of my dad, I know I can do anything--which is plenty of encouragement by itself. But I also know that no matter what I do, he's going to help me finish: and that means more than anything else.

As a girl, my dad has always been a huge part of my life--and he'll always be the first man I ever truly loved. He's one of my biggest heroes, and the perfect example of the kind of guy I want to marry. Someone who puts family first, and works hard. Someone who loves the gospel, and helps others without question. Someone who is supportive, and funny, and intelligent. And most of all, someone who loves me for who I am. 
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you. :) 

Friday, June 7, 2013

One more time.

So. Thanks to your wonderful support and voting skills, my friend made it to the fourth and final round of Blog Wars. 
Is it possible that you could summon all the love and support just one last time and vote again? 
It would be much appreciated.

There's the link for you. 
And here's a hint: her craft is a perfect reflection of her fun personality. 

Voting is open until Sunday night at 10 pm, and you can vote on both your computer and your smartphone. 

Please and thank you, in advance. From both of us.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

All under control.

I'm just warning you, there's a very good chance you won't really hear from me again until the end of June. SOAR starts on Monday (USU's new student orientation program that A-Team runs), Ragnar is in less than 20 days, I'm still working my serving job, and trying to balance a "thriving" social life and being a good daughter and sister on top of that. My calendar is jam-packed--but I love it. Time is flying by, I'm satisfied, and life is good. 
That said, there's a couple of things I need to get through my crazy busy life. Copying my 20x20 list, here's a list of: 
20 [inanimate] objects I can't function without [in no particular order]. 

1. Dr. Pepper. 
I have a problem with this stuff. Like a Marley+Diet Coke kind of problem. I don't like Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Mt. Dew...any of that. But Dr. Pepper and I get along splendidly. 
2. Extra Polar Ice Gum. 
I rarely go a day without this gum in my purse, backpack, and car. I love peppermint, and this stuff is cold enough to make your eyes water. Perfect. 
3. Maybelline's Baby Lips chapstick [but only the "Quenched" flavor].
I hate lipgloss and lipstick; HATE them. But I always have chapstick with me. At the moment, this Baby Lips stuff is stealing my heart. I think I have every flavor...but Quenched takes the cake. 
4. My cell phone. 
It may just be the generation I'm a part of, but I don't go anywhere without it. They might be cliche reasons, but my calendar is all on there. I make my to-do lists, reminders, and random ideas on there. I can get ahold of anyone, and I'm not denying the fact that I'm an Instagram addict and a tweetoholic. 
5. Mascara, and lots of it [and by lots, I mean the four tubes I have in my makeup bag right now].
Eye makeup is the best, and mascara is my favorite part of that. I honestly have probably six different kinds in my possession, but I only use four on a regular basis. They all do different things, okay?? 
6. My planner/calendar. 
My planner is one of those super dorky ones that lets you plan your day hour by hour. I love it. And my calendars--yes, plural--keep my life in color-coded order. 
7. Rocky road ice cream.
Just ask Jon, and my roommates, how much I love ice cream. It's seriously my favorite food. 
8. John Frieda's Heat Defeat straightening spray. 
My hair is naturally curly...and by curly, I mean it gets ridiculously frizzy and thinks it's curling. This spray makes it straighten like a charm, smells good, and makes my hair soft. It's my favorite. 
9...and on that same note, my BaByliss blowdryer. 
Sometimes, my dad finds the best blowdryer my mom and I have ever we order two within a day of each other. Merry Christmas to us! 
10. The blanket my aunt Maddy and Grandma Jo made me for graduation. 
Don't laugh at me for this one [but even I think it's a tiny bit ridiculous]. For graduation, my aunt and Grandma Jo made this minky blanket for me to take up to school. It's a giant purple blanket made of pure heaven. I may or may not take it to and from home and my apartment with me, and I just might have trouble sleeping without it. My poor future husband. 
11. BIC fine point ballpoint pens. 
I hate inky, wet pens. I hate gel pens. Honestly, the best pens are the ones you get in hotel rooms or from banks...but fine point BIC pens are the next best thing. I have probably a dozen in my purse for work, and even more in my desk jars. It's an addiction. 
12. Avocados.
Lauren may be the only person on the planet that eats more avocados than I do. I could honestly eat them with just about anything. My favorite combination? Wheat toast, swiss cheese, and fresh avocados; all sprinkled with salt and pepper.  
13. My toothbrush+toothpaste+floss. 
I brush my teeth probably a million times a day. When I wake up, after I eat anything [I hate the taste food leaves in your mouth after a meal or a snack], before I leave the house, as soon as I get home, and before bed--and sometimes more than that. 
14. My usual jewelry. 
I cannot leave the house without my CTR ring, the ring I wear on my right middle finger, and some form of sparkly stud earrings in my ears. I'm also developing a ridiculous attachment to my collection of gold bracelets. 
15. Light.
Probaby the dumbest thing on this whole list, but it makes sense to me. Not just light in general, but natural light. Sun light. There's nothing that irritates me more than closed blinds and a light turned on. I love windows and sunshine...and I'm not afraid to admit that the dark still stresses me out.
16. Ice. 
I hate drinking anything without ice in it. Milk is the only thing I won't put ice in, and even then, I don't like milk, so...
17. Maxi skirts. 
I think I legitimately own 15. 
18. Crackers. 
Ask my roommates, I love crackers. Especially Goldfish. And Triscuits. And Saltines. As Kenzie says, "You can take Ashley's clothes and she wouldn't care. But mess with her crackers...." Judge me. 
19. Hair elastics. 
My hair is ridiculously babied. But as much as I pamper it, I still don't know how to focus with it down. If I'm doing homework, at work, or trying to be productive in basically any aspect of my life, I can almost guarantee my hair will be up in a knot on top of my head. I have yet to figure out how to do that with a pencil or I keep a lifetime supply of black hair elastics in my possesion. 
20. My car.
If I need to calm down, I drive. If I'm bored, I drive. If I need to talk, I say, "let's go on a drive!" If I need to think, I drive. Ironically enough, I hate being the driver [this whole driving thing was a lot easier when Bronson was home. We both love car rides. And he loves driving. It worked out well]. I've learned that my car is the perfect place to think, cry, talk to myself [don't judge, you all do it too], and blast whatever music I want.

Basically, I know what I like. :)

It's officially Sunday, which means that SOAR starts tomorrow. I'm mostly excited, but a little bit freaked out. Let's hope USU's newest batch of students doesn't eat me alive the first day.