Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Year in Pictures. So Far, Anyway.

It's only March ... or maybe April by the time I post this. But so far this year has proven itself to be a good one. It could possibly be up for the title of one of the best years of my life thus far. Here are some of the things that have kept my busy:

Okay, there's really no reason for this photo... other than I think it's funny. :)

The Special Olympic Utah Winter Games
Quite possibly my favorite event of each year.
I look forward to spending the weekend at the games with these 3 brothers every year... for 7 years now. Nothing like being teased relentlessly for 2-3 days by 3 brothers.

The athlete below has asked me to marry him for nearly 7 years in a row now. 
Gotta admire that determination.

Yes, they light a real torch at the Opening Ceremonies.

The band that played for the dance after the ceremonies let the athletes "perform" on their instruments. This was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time!

My cute friend Natalie and I convinced our office to hold a Valentine's exchange. We were a little homesick for our teacher days. Some of them really got into it. Check out our Valentine boxes!

I got a lot of grief for co-planning this and then using a bag from the store as my Valentine Box. Oops.

I got to play Cinderella for a local elementary school's Literacy Night.  I took one of my nephews with me to play Prince Charming. He was a great sport!
 (And he's going to kill me when he's a teenager!)
His little sister was so excited to see us when I took him home that she ran upstairs to put on her "Cinderella-la" dress. 

I sang "karaoke" to Rock Band. I always refuse to sing- always! But my cute friend offered to sing a duet... and I actually enjoyed it. But don't tell my friends— my fake guitar skills are much more developed.

I have begun to notice a pattern of falling asleep at social events... prior to 10 p.m. This phenomenon may or may not be related to the patch of grey hair developing near the part in my hair.
I learned the Cha Cha and that chivalry might not be dead, all in the same evening!
I discovered that just because you show up to the Holi Festival of Colors after the throwing of colors, doesn't necessarily mean that some wild, strange 18-year-old girl won't randomly throw a fistful of pink chalk right into your eyes while running by at an incredibly fast rate. 
(Sometimes nothing gets your point across like a good run-on sentence.)
I figure if the first quarter of the year was already THAT good, there's bound to be even more to be had in the last three quarters. 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Actions Speak Too Loudly

I sometimes think that having a brain is a curse. I’m no genius, heavens no! But I’m a thinker. I watch people, their actions, their words, and I catch similarities in patterns of behavior between different people that I interact with. Basically, I create generalizations and apply them to people based on their patterns of behavior. I do this all subconsciously. The problem with generalizations is that they don’t always apply to the people they’re labeling, at least they don’t always fully apply. But just try telling my brain that, I dare you. I am a very logical, sequential thinker. Once I’ve observed a person and their pattern of behavior, a label soon follows. The label and the person are together until death do them part, unless they begin a new sequence of behaviors that follow a new pattern. But in order to get a new label, the new behavior needs to be more extreme than the first, and continue for a much longer period of time. (I don’t write the rules, people. This is just how my brain works.) This way of thinking can cause many problems.
It’s not to say that I gold grudges, because I like to think I’m quite forgiving when I’m wronged. I would hope people could do the same for me. But when a girl shows a pattern of being a friend who lacks trustworthy qualities, my brain shuts her off. I don’t sit and stew over how upset I am with her, my brain simply forgets about her entirely. I never think to call her. I never wonder how she’s doing. I just do my own thing and assume she’s doing hers.
As I spend years and years mingling with the same singles, I categorize boys as friends, and they stay there. Even boys that come back into my life after 7 years, come back as friends. My best single gal pal gives me lots of grief for this. But it’s not me, it’s my brain… it can’t be controlled! As you can imagine, this particular application of my thinking patterns causes a lot of confusion. Apparently not all boys who are friends with girls wish to stay just friends with girls at all times in their interactions. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. When I finally accepted that a guy friend might, at some point, begin to have interest in being more than just friends, my world was turned upside down. Then my logical brain began to over-apply this new understanding in guy-friend situations. My logical brain started assuming or wondering if every guy friend had ulterior motives. My crazy, logical brain began making me think it would be a good idea to confront these "grey area" guy friends to find out which pattern of behavior applied to them. This was not pretty. Let’s just say that I’m glad to have this period of craziness far behind me. For those of you who are thinking of confronting most all of your opposite gender friends and asking them something like, “So are we just friends, or are you into me?”— THINK AGAIN! I got a whole lot of mixed responses. Each individual situation was different than I’d expected it to be. And in the end, I just stirred up a whole lot of trouble.
Life has gone on for some time now, and the dust has settled. My wisdom and maturity in these situations (neither of which came easily), has taught me that actions speak louder than words. If a boy is my friend and I’m curious to know what his motives are, time will tell. If I like a boy and he’s not asking me out on dates, but wanting to spend time with me, he’s interested in being friends. If a gal pal seems shady to me, she will continue to step over me to get what she needs over time, and my brain will shut her off. If I wonder which friends from my past really care about me, they will call, write, stop by, or make efforts to keep in touch. People are smart, but they’re still people. They will ultimately end up acting out what they feel, whether or not it’s the way we want them to feel— and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


About 3 weeks ago, I went with a few of my friends to see the movie "Taken." It is an action/thriller movie that I wouldn't recommend to anyone who has feelings. Just to give credit where credit is due...  the movie has a well-developed plot, good actors, and kept me on the edge of my seat. But it scared me to death! I lied awake in my bed until 4 am after returning from the movie! 4 am, I tell you! It probably didn't help that my super sensitive guy friends kept emphasizing how worried I should be about have a similar experience in Europe. Bless their hearts...

All this to say, that what I'm about to write has nothing to do with this movie. It just happened to be a coincidence that the title of the movie and the title of my post are the same. See the movie, or don't— I really don't care.

However, I do car about THIS:

This guy— taken. 

It is not fair that a boy this cute, this talented, this nice it THIS TAKEN. But for what it's worth, my dad told me I'm cuter than his wife. Nothing like a completely unbiased opinion to make you feel better. I ask you America, is it fair that we let this boy win when he's taken? How many 14-year-old girls will go crush-less if the next American Idol is a married man? We can't let this happen! David Archeleta is so Season 7. Not to mention, WAY too young for me to have had a crush on last year. And so, I ask for you help in my venture to get a legally crush-able American Idol. It's been too long, and together... we CAN do this!

Since I honor the bonds of marriage and all that, I present to you my Plan B: 

I know, my last post gave the impression that being a Plan B was a bad thing. But that doesn't apply to Hollywood scenarios. Plus, I figure since I'll never actually meet Anoop and have to tell him to his face that he was my Plan B celebrity crush, he won't feel too bad. Win-win.

But now you have an idea of what I'm looking for. You can see that I'm not too picky. I'm simply looking for someone with star potential, someone who I can admire from afar by way of Fox broadcasting. But hey, if I happen to meet a boy this endearing in real life... even better!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Airing of Grievances

[and not in the Sienfeld way]

Not to complain... BUT....

I have to say, that the older I get, and the more dating I do, the more I'm convinced that 90% of the male population are complete idiots! I have been conducting a study since I was 16, and I have the data to prove it.. in the form of journal entries, blog posts, and recurring conversations (which seem to be entertaining to everyone but me)! No, but really. Not a day goes by that I am not surprised at the idiocy of some male(s) in my life. Not pleasantly surprised, but shocked and appalled-surprised. I often find myself using the following phrase from one of my most beloved movies, "Just when I think you couldn't possibly do anything dumber, you go and do something like this..." Of course, I can't use the last part of that quote, "... and totally redeem yourself!"— because, sadly, it never applies to real life. 

Yes, cute, good, fun, smart boy— you should totally marry that girl with no heart, who makes small children cry with a single glance, who can't keep friends, who has big hair (should I go on?), instead of my nice, warm, friendly, beautiful friend. I hope you enjoy a very miserable life being slave to your wife who can't carry a conversation in a bucket. Makes sense, right? Wrong!

Oh, and yes guy friend— you should totally date girls with issues GALORE because their good looks and dynamite wardrobes make up for the fact that they lack confidence, goals, motivation, and brains. I sincerely hope you enjoy talking about "Twilight" and how she shouldn't have gorged on that half cup of broccoli for dinner. What stimulating conversation that must make.

And, finally (thank heavens)... Yes, boy I have a crush on— you should definitely call me "friend" as often as you can. I love the resonating ring of that word in my ears. And you should probably continue to talk to me about other girls, while flirting with me and consuming all of my precious time. That's what every girls wants— to be somebody's Plan B. 


Turns out I should be banned from blogging when I'm sleep deprived and over-worked. But there you have it. Raw, unfiltered, unedited thoughts from yours truly.

Go hug your spouse. And then write them a "Thank You" letter for taking you out of your dating misery. And if they happen to be in the 10% of males who aren't idiots, give them my congratulations! They are fighting a losing battle.

[I promise to make my next post a more positive one. Probably.]

Monday, March 23, 2009

Others' Words

I got bored of work tonight, so I decided to create "pictures" of some of my favorite sayings. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Conversations with Norm

Last night some friends of mine were hosting a dessert party. I reluctantly decided that I'd better stop by for at least an hour, so I could claim that I was social this week. I was headed out the door of my parents' house and I called, "See ya. I'm going to get myself a boyfriend." To my surprise, Norm replied, "Yeah right." I stopped dead in my tracks, turned to him and exclaimed, "Excuse me!" He must have felt the need to clarify because his closing statement was, "You're too picky." [Door slams]

The End

Afterword: Incidentally, I did not get myself a boyfriend at the party. There are good reasons, however. Unfortunately, I am too tired to justify the circumstances.

Monday, March 9, 2009

They're Not Always Just Words

It seems like being in the single scene means always seeking approval of people around you. You want boys to approve your looks and personality so they'll ask you out. You want girls to approve your looks and personality, as well, so you'll have friends to do fun things with. You also want girls to approve your fashion sense.  For some reason, an awful lot of energy, time, and money is spent on your "style" when you don't have a home, husband, or kids to spend the energy, time, and money on. I know that this hobby isn't entirely good, but it's a hobby, none-the-less.
Living in a single community allows you to frequently be surrounded by or exposed to the same large mass of people. Sometimes this is your ward, sometimes it's just a group of people who all live in the same area. As you prepare your attractiveness and personality and then take them on display to this group, you can soon rate yourself according to the "feedback" given by those around you. Girls give verbal feedback: "I like your hair like that." "Where did you get your dress?" "You look cute today." Receiving a series of three or more comments like these means that you've struck gold with the outfit, make up, hair-do, or overall fashion sense for that day. Why can't you count one or two compliments as an A+, you night ask? Because girls often say things just to say things; they say things they don't really mean. It took me a long time to realize this. I thought for a few months in college that I must have been really, ridiculously good-looking because a certain gal pal of mine told me how "beautiful" I looked EVERY time she saw me. This was not the case. Sure, I had cute days here and there. But c'mon, I was in college with many a late night that I know did not have positive effects on my face the next day. But many girls think that "You look cute," is synonymous for "Hello," "How are you?" or "Are you ready to go to class?" Girls.... don't believe everything they tell you. But not all compliments are insincere. There are plenty of women who give sincere compliments. These are almost as fun to give as to get. :)
After years of being in the compliment-ridden social scene, I have changed my mind about what I like to hear from or tell people. Yes, I'm a girl, and it's always nice to have your hair or outfit complimented. And it's hard not to want to tell a girl what a cute purse she has, how cute her tights look with her skirt, or how her new haircut makes her look younger. Everyone enjoys sharing these kinds of compliments. But sincere, heartfelt feedback from someone your respect, admire, or hardly even know can go much further and have a longer-lasting impact on someone's confidence. 
I have been told a lot of heartfelt things in my life. Not all of them were positive. As a teacher, I had parents express concern for a way that I chose to do something in my classroom. These moments were always hard, but I was always grateful for their honesty in the end. I was glad that they felt like I was someone who they could talk to about something critical and potentially hurtful. I'm grateful for a mom, sisters, and friends who have told me when I look like a clown in an outfit, hairstyle, or color of makeup. This has prevented a lot of future embarrassment. It takes a lot of courage for someone to tell you the truth when they know the truth may hurt you. I admire people who are able to do that.
As I've gone through life the past few months and "rated" myself according to feedback and comments that people have given me, I've learned some interesting things. I've learned that being told I look cute is nice but has no lasting effect. These comments are forgotten soon after they are shared. I have learned being told I was "interesting" by a girl I don't know well, but respect very much, had an unexpected positive effect on me. It made me curious at first, then reassured me that there are people out there who can appreciate loud, out-spoken, quirky  personalities. I learned that I would rather be labeled as smart by a boy than any other adjective. This means that they have taken the time to look past physical appearances, and personality quirks to note things about me that I pride spending my efforts on. 
It's interesting how much stock we put in to what people think of us. And honestly, I'm sure that it often makes Heavenly Father sad that we let other people effect our opinions of ourselves. But it's probably something that we'll always battle. And by "we," I mostly mean women. My entire mood or outcome of my day can be determined by what people say to me, about me. It seems like an awfully self-centered way to live my life, as I stop to think about it. I'm glad I came to this realization (as I'm writing). What a great reminder to focus on the things that really matter... and not fear the judgement of man. 
This is such a modge-podge, random post. But can think of no fluid form in which to present these ideas. Sorry :)
So I declare today, "Give Someone a Sincere Compliment Day!" You never know the effect (for good or bad) that you might have on someone with the words you use.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Europa or Bust!

I am twenty-five years old and I have never left the country. I have always wanted to. In fact, there have been times when I've wanted to flee the country. But I've always been so busy being an adult, focusing on school, trying to get ahead at work, that I haven't dared take the risk of going on a trip to Europe.
BUT.... I did it. I purchased plane tickets to Frankfurt. I am leaving May 23rd and returning three weeks later. I feel really lucky to be able to take this trip and to have an employer who is willing to work with me on this. Yes, it is going to be a big pain in the butt to work holidays and weekends to earn this privilege... but it will be totally worth it! Plus I have to work overtime anyhow these days to make a deadline in 3 weeks. So, win-win, I think.
My friend and I have said for years now that we would go to Europe as soon as we were both graduated from college. He graduates this May, so off we go! A third friend joined in on our plan, as well, last year. I have been good friends with both of these boys for years, so it will be very fun, very comfortable, and hopefully very safe (I'll be the one protecting them, of course). They're great, I promise. If you don't believe me, these pictures speak for themselves:
I can't think of anything better than spending my 26th birthday in Italy with two of my very best friends! Now I just have to mentally prepare myself for hostiles and germ-ridden, busy cities... yikes! {What was I thinking?}

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Way Funner!

 I can't tell you how many times during the week I find myself wondering, "Do blondes have more fun?" I wonder each time I do my blondish-brownish hair. Maybe that's the missing piece... blonde!