Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Breathe, and I'll carry you away

Home among these mountain tops
Can be so awfully dull, a thousand miles from the tide

Like I said in my last post, I adore Owl City. The title and lines above are both from their song On The Wing. The thing I love the most about Owl City is that the words explain so perfectly emotions that I (and I am sure you) have felt. It is pure poetry, and I love it.

This song has hit close to home lately because I have contemplated that exact sentiment; Living in Utah, among the mountaintops is pretty dull, and it's for sure miles and miles from the Ocean, which I honestly feel like is part of my heritage. I cannot be without the water. I live here because it's what I know and it's where my family is. That's crap justification if you ask me.

I want to travel. I always have. I think it's something most people secretly wish for, and something that they leave for "someday" Well, someday never comes. I feel strongly that just because I was plopped down in the middle of Orem, Utah, does not mean that I must stay here forever, or even that this has to be my future. I want to travel the world. I want to go around the entire Earth and find the one place I love the most, and then stay forever.

I went to Australia, almost exactly on the other side of the world. I saw some amazing things and I loved it. It makes me wonder what else the world has to offer. There are billions of people here, and even more places to see. I want to see them. I don't care if Google Earth has street view that is pretty realistic. I don't care that I'm not going to be the first person ever to look at the things I see. I just want to see it first-hand. I want to experience it all. That way, when I am ready to settle down, I can be confident that the place I have chosen is the one place in the world that I want to be.

Or maybe I'm not ready to settle down because I'm not sure what exactly I'd be settling for here in Orem, Utah...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Wonderful Christmas Time

It does not feel like Christmas. I have completely been in denial about Christmas approaching until BANG! It's here. I am not sure how I feel about it, but I am typing this first blog post on my new laptop that Santa brought me. That's gotta mean something, right?

I am listening to Saltwater Room, by Owl City, and I must admit it is my new favorite song. I bought the entire album because I adore this song.

With your ear to a seashell, you can hear the waves in underwater caves as if you actually were inside a saltwater room.

I love listening to seashells. I remember doing it as a child, which means it is pretty awesome now. Things I did when I was little tend to be awesome. For a while, I insisted on being called Spotted White Deer. I knew I was part Navajo and Paiute, and I for sure looked like I was Indian, so I decided my name would be Spotted White Deer after an Indian girl I saw in a coffee table book.

I still think about myself as Spotted White Deer sometimes. It makes more sense than I ever knew when I was little. I have pretty white skin, Freckles (which I found out this summer were actually moles...) and I prance around on my toes, similar to a deer. Awesome?? I think so :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


(Disclaimer: This is a pretty disjointed, jumbled, post... Read at your own risk!)

Well, this past week has been an awesome one!! It's been a week since I've worked, and I absolutely LOVE it! Tomorrow, I am headed in to work to sub... (have I mentioned that I have been substitute teaching for PE at my work?) so I figure I will play the catch-up game on my blog because this week has been kind of awesome.

Thanksgiving day was a special day for my Grandma, Jenna Lee. It's a day that should be full of family, but more importantly, the day that marks the treaty. What treaty? You may ask. The treaty that regulates the playing of Christmas Music. If allowed, my Grandma would have listened to Christmas music all year round, but Grandpa installed the limits of Thanksgiving to New Years.

Those are the blessed weeks, where Christmas music would be blasting from every available speaker, and Grandma's house would transform into a winter-wonderland. She enjoyed so much decorating her house and knew where every item should go and which way it should face. She was full of Christmas spirit, and helped us to love the Christmas season too. It offended her when Christmas cards would say Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays, because Christmas should be the focus.

This week, I've thought a lot. Some about my Grandma, some about my life, some about nothing at all, and a lot about me. I took an impulsive trip to Vegas with my cousin, Dara. It was wonderful. There's a lot to be said for a long drive and space... Sometimes, I need both. I am easily irritated, and have a strong need for personal space. So, I take drives.

Sometimes, the drives are just to the store and back with my music blasting. Sometimes, they are up through Provo Canyon and out further up or down the Wasatch front. Sometimes, they are to Vegas. Wherever the destination, they are cleansing for me. It is a time where I am able to gain some clarity. To get away from the clouds and fog of my every-day life and just be alone with nothing but my thoughts for company. I love it. I live for my drives.

My Grandma took drives, too. It's just another reminder, in this Christmas season that does nothing but remind me of her, that we are kindred spirits.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Wow, Thanksgiving really creeped up on me this year. I will get extremely emotional about EVERYTHING thanksgiving-related if I allow myself. It is really one of my favorite holidays (I guess there are not that many to choose from, but you know what I mean!) and it reminds me the most of my dear Grandma Jenna Lee.

For today, my short list of THANKS:

LDSJournal. My Grandma Nellie faithfully kept a thorough Life Story for herself and husband all of her years. It is a blessing to us, her posterity, to be able to read and learn more about the amazing woman that was our Great Grandmother. LDSJournal helps me be more like my Grandma Nellie and gives me a good and easy way to journal with a purpose.

Google Profiles. (Mine is here) I had second thoughts about doing it, but after I Googled myself and saw all sorts of weird stuff, including things I tweeted, I figured I at least wanted to be a little in charge of how much info people could find.

My Family. Not only the ones here with me now, but the countless generations of ancestors I have. People who lived their lives and went about their business just like myself. They had thoughts, emotions, lives of their own. They were passionate about things, had religious convictions, loved, felt heartache and were basically the same as me.It's easy to read or hear about stories and let it die there. It's amazing to me that my ancestors were so REAL. Without knowing it, they were paving the way for me to become the person I am today. Choices they made in their lives affected not only them and their immediate families, but me any MY family. I get super overwhelmed when I think too much about it, but I am infinitely grateful for my Family, and for the ancestors that paved the way for me to become me.

Music. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads D&C 25:12. There is just something about music that speaks to my soul. It's nice to know that the Lord feels the same way.

Heaters. I am not sure I need to expound, but they're really useful (to take a line from Thomas the Tank Engine)

My Car. It's nice to have reliable transportation and to be able to get places I need to go.

My nephews and the Princess. I am so grateful for these kids' presence in my life. They are a blessing beyond anything I can describe. They are a grounding force in my life and my calming influence. Without even knowing it, they brighten any day they are in. They are a handful a lot, but I cannot even express how much joy they bring into my life. They are the perfect balance for work (which leaves me not ever wanting children) They remind me of the joys and countless blessings that come from motherhood.

Friday, November 13, 2009

When the Music Stops

...It's all on us.

That's a quote from The Cleaner. I love that show mainly because it always starts (or ends) with a monologue from Benjamin Bratt's character.

I think that quote is one part of being a "grown up" that scares me. There is no longer anyone else to blame or take any responsibility for my life. I tend to get bored and make rash decisions just to kill the boredom.

I started looking for nanny jobs about two months ago. I had quite a few interested people, some close and some far. It was basically a repeat of the last time I looked for a nanny job with one exception: I was dragging my feet big time.

At the time, I didn't really want to admit it, but I knew this was one of those instances. The kind where I would not be able to make a rash decision and still end up on top. I knew that no matter what nanny job I took, I would reach this same point eventually. The point where I get restless and get an insatiable desire to wander.

It always plays out the same way. I get bored, change things up a bit (or a lot!) and then end up bored again. It's a never-ending cycle.

On a completely unrelated note: I adore the song Fireflies by Owl City. It annoyed me at first, just because it was all weird and techno-like, but after I really listened to the words, I fell in love. I love the camaraderie that comes from a song that explains your feelings so well. It's always nice realizing that a complete stranger, who probably does not have much in common with you or the same life experiences, can still understand (and more importantly, describe) your emotions. Anywho, just some thoughts on my day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Own Brand of Crazy

Well, it is a pretty well-known fact that I am crazy. I just feel like I should share a (maybe a few) story about my own brand of crazy. Hopefully, by sharing, I'll be able to recognize it earlier and earlier.


My Fiddle
Once upon a time, I decided that my life's dream was to be able to play down-home fiddle. Devil went down to Georgia-style. Because it was my life's dream, it made sense that I should be able to play it by ear. Yup folks! By ear. How does one play the fiddle by ear, you might ask? Here is my easy, tested, 7-step plan!

Step one is to buy a fiddle online for an exorbitant amount of money. (check!)
Step two is purchasing a few hundred dollars' worth of fiddle music from ITunes while waiting for said fiddle to arrive (check!)
Step three is listen to fiddle music 24/7 while waiting for online-bought fiddle to arrive, allowing your brain to memorize the music and preparing your hands to play (check!)
Step four is pick up the fiddle and hope your brain has created the required muscle memory in your hands (not quite a check...)
Step five is repeat step four for a few weeks, while simultaneously trying (in vain) to hide your shame that said plan is not quite panning out (check!)
Step six is come to terms that it is entirely possible that playing the fiddle by ear is A LOT harder than it sounds (check!)
Step seven is list the fiddle on craigslist and ksl and eventually sell it to a [horrible but true stereotype] Asian family, who wants it for their 8-year old child--and wish you could return the hundreds of dollars worth of ITunes music (check!)


Heart Attacks...
Well, one day, I was having chest pains. I was absolutely convinced that it was a heart attack (calm down! Turns out it was pleurisy :) and I called my mom, frantic that I was dying (after I took a healthy dose of aspirin to thin the clot in my heart, of course!) She was trying to talk me down, but I was not having it. I was convinced I was having a heart attack, and was on my death bed (and also quite annoyed that my mom was not concerned that we were having our last EVER conversation) My mom finally, in a very triumphant voice and happy she had bested my retarded logic, told me that in the event of a heart attack, your extremities go numb.

This part is very important, and also absolutely true. At the very moment my mom told me about that symptom, MY HAND BEGAN TINGLING.

Yup, my own brand of crazy. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life, the Universe, and Everything


I think it is slightly entertaining that there is a politically correct word that people use to describe my Ethnicity. Ethnic is the go-to word when wanting to describe something from another culture. Ethnic music, ethnic food, ethnic dress. How much more vague can that phrase honestly be?

Ethnic, according to Merriam-Webster online means a group of people classified by a common background. Thus, ethnic music could mean anything from down-home country to the twangs of a didgeridoo.

Of course, there is another definition that Merriam-Webster gives for the word Ethnic --Heathen. Heathen is actually the first definition it gives. I think that it is ironic that the politically correct word most people use to describe people from another culture, first and foremost means heathen. Apparently, if you are a person of color, you must also be strange, uncivilized, and not Christian. It is politically correct, though, so no complaints, right? :)



I cannot type that word without imagining the father from A Christmas Story in my head "Fra-Geel-Lay" It must be Itallian! That line really makes me laugh.

I think that if I had to describe life with one word, Fragile would be pretty close to the top of my list of words. I feel like life is happy and fulfilling, but I also know it is so fragile.

It's easy to think of fragile as meaning on the verge of breaking, or easily broken, but I like to think of fragile more as something extremely precious. Something that, yes, is easily broken, but is also worth defending and protecting.

I don't remember where I was going with this anymore, but...

Life is good, and I'm a happy girl!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wild Horses

...I want to be like you.

Throwing caution to the wind
I'll run free, too.

I kind of love Natasha Bedingfield. Or at least this song :) It brings up the same feelings that Wide Open Spaces, by the Dixie Chicks does. Those songs speak to my soul and stir up all sorts of restless emotions. They make me want to uproot my entire life and start over somewhere new. Not necessarily because starting over is an option, but because the unknown is fascinating.

I feel like Americans are a restless, wandering people. We have always loved the anticipation and surprise of discovery; whether it is a new valley or a new planet. We like to be aware of our surroundings and thus be assured of our place in this Universe. From the earliest beginnings of Europeans on this continent, we have been curious about what is ahead, and eager to be the stewards of our destinies.

Wandering is a way to control our destinies. It is a way to open new doors of opportunity and move forward. I am realizing more and more that I am pretty firmly planted here in Orem, Utah. I like the known. I like the familiar. However, the more thought I put into it, the more I realize that staying rooted here just equals me closing doors on myself.

Sure, there are a lot of (really convincing) reasons to stay where I am, and not mess with the mix (the economy is comparably good here, I am close to my family, it is familiar, don't fix something that aint broke, and so on) But there are also a lot of really alluring options out there.

My Grandpa lives in a house that his grandfather built. He is the 3rd generation to live there, and the 4th also inhabits it now. My Grandpa's great-grandfather is buried in the same cemetary that he will one day be laid to rest in. I like that my family has a history there in the charming town of Malad, Idaho. I like that I have some sort of heritage there, but I am not sure that is what I want from my life.

When people trace the path that is my life, will it be a tiny circle, with me never venturing out of my comfort zone? Or will I take the plunge and do something different? Forge a trail far out into the unknown? Honestly, I am not sure right now the answer, but I know which I would prefer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thoughts I am Thinking

This post is more for my own records than anyone else. That being said, if you choose to read it, I ask that you read the following two paragraphs first.

After writing this post, I was not sure if I would post it or not. I debated with myself, and finally gave it to my sister to get her opinion. Her suggestion was adding a happy ending, so people would not think (basically) I was about to kill myself.

My solution is this Disclaimer: This post is by no means my cry for help, or anything similar. It is me, recognizing for once, that I have suffered with depression for a long time. I have no suicide intentions or ideations. I do not equate myself with psychopaths. These are thoughts, and nothing more. I feel 100% safe.


Where to begin…

When I write the pages of my life story, where will I begin? Shouldn’t every story have a dramatic start and a happy ending? Or perhaps a happy and innocent beginning with a tragic ending. It’s hard to pinpoint a starting point in my own life story. I do not remember my birth, and the details of my early childhood seem so foreign to me now, I can’t start there. But where then? At the onset of adolescence? After finishing High school? After starting my current job? None of my options leap out of the page at me. I suppose I will just start with:

Who am I?

That question seems so cliché. It’s been done and overdone millions of times. Adding my own query to the pool does not even ripple the water. But it is a valid question. I tell people all the time that you cannot get anywhere without first knowing where you started and who you are. How hypocritical that I really can’t answer those questions for myself.

I know who I want to be, or who I think I want to be, but there is much to be desired when reality meets dream. I wish I were successful and driven, an icon to strugglers everywhere. I wish I were in control. Not just of my surroundings and my personal space, but my emotions. Right now, it seems like I am constantly on the brink of another exploding session. I pity the targets that are hit constantly with my rage, but it is just that. Years of pent-up rage.

Lots of stuff has happened to me over the years. Some of it is clear as day to me, but most of it is more like mud. The memories surface sporadically, and usually when they do, I wish they hadn’t. It’s much easier to have the memories be skeletons in my closet, because I can shut the door and ignore them. It is another monster altogether to be confronted by said skeleton. It rocks the foundations of my world. It shakes everything I had known to be true.

I found a poem I wrote when I was 18. I think it was right before I went to Hawaii, to escape the hell that was home at the time. It shocked even me. I had completely forgotten the entire incident. I had forgotten how lonely and forgotten I felt. I had forgotten the utter sadness that drove me to run away, thousands of miles to the island of Hawaii. Not even my therapy baby could save me from the fate I was heading into. I had to get away from the hurt.

The hurt of that incident is one of those memories that was like mud to me now. I move on from and forget things, which is a good survival mechanism on one hand, but a bad idea for someone trying to function as a human being. Emotions are not bad things. They are the one thing that humanizes the entire human race; the one tie we all share. The truly monstrous people you read/hear about are people who lack basic emotional response—the sociopaths who do horrific things without remorse and without emotion. Those are the ultimate monsters of our world; they look like us, but they lack that basic connection with others.

Michael Meyers from Halloween, is the best example. He has haunted our nightmares for over 30 years. The reason he makes a consistently good villain is because he never cares. He kills and slaughters people without second thought, and for sure without remorse. He stares at people he is killing; confused about the situation, but unable to make the emotional connection required for true remorse. He is the embodiment of monster.

I have learned (or been conditioned) to turn the emotional response off in stressful situations; it is better for me to never deal with a problem than to confront the fact that a problem exists. Thinking back on so many things in my life, I wonder how many other situations in my life have been smoothed over with the magical putty that is my mind. I literally feel like someone took a big spatula and smoothed over all the bumpy spots; all I am left with is a smooth finish. It is disconcerting; to look back on your life and remember only an eerie smoothness. Not memories, or happenings, but just a smooth surface, like an undisturbed pond. Literally a picture in my mind where I know memories should be.

It is only because I know there should be more there, that I am even aware of this sensation. I have fleeting memories of bad things, and they never meet up with that glassy surface. It is an uncomfortable feeling, like you have forgotten something important; like you know there is more to the story, but you are not sure you want to know at this point. I am truly scared about what I might find out if I ever go digging further into my memory. But, I figure it’s got to be better than the fallout from these anger attacks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Open Water

Water fascinates me. I adore playing in water, whether it is a chilly lake or the ocean. A day (or even a few hours) playing in water cannot be beat. There is nothing I would rather do with my time. I have always loved swimming and playing in the water. I am not sure what the allure is, but I love it. Since I was super little, I have loved playing in the water. Not much except my size has changed.

Water also scares the life out of me. Since I was at least 12, I have had a fear of open water. I do not like what I cannot see below me; I have an irrational fear of it. I grew up hearing stories of my Dad and his adventures on the high seas, and I was always scared of sharks in the water. I even panic in pools and lakes, certain that there is a shark below me, biding its time until it eats me.

I know these fears are irrational, and I have known for a long time that they are not normal, but I have never said it out loud. Uttering those words somehow lets the Universe know that I am in on this big conspiracy. I am not sure why speaking my fear scared me for so long, but I somehow thought that the sharks circling below me were being lenient on me because I was unaware of their presence.

I am also "secretly" afraid of ghosts. It's a paralizing fear. One that I only overcome through self-talk or a lot of effort. I feel the same way about vocalizing my fear of ghosts; you just don't do it. Somehow, the ghosts leave me alone if I don't know they are there. However, saying out loud that I know they are there, or I am scared of them, means they will somehow become very angry. Angry ghosts = horror movie setup. Everyone knows that the fat girl is either a) non-existant in the horror movie, or b) dies early.

I cannot allow myself to be in either category. Thus, I live with my paralizing, irrational fears, safely tucked into my mind. No one I encounter is any the wiser until now. I guess my secret is out. I suppose I will have to be weary of ghosts in my mom's house, and watch out for those sharks next time I float the river.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I sing you to me, redone

Well, I found this among some papers I had written when I was 16. I haven't changed any of the wording, and I am actually pretty impressed with how well it was written. If it seems familiar, it is likely because it is very similar to my thoughts on the movie Australia, though I have to admit, I expressed my thoughts much better when I was 16 than my previous post. :)


The best of both worlds

That is how most people look at being biracial. I tend to agree--by being partially raised in two different cultures, AKA worlds, I can take the best that each has to offfer & create a better combined culture.

However, this system is largely flawed, for it may be able to create a better, more well-rounded person, but from my own experience, one must still choose which of those two worlds to live in. For, you cannot inhabit them both at once. The simple answer for this dilema would be 'follow your heart' or 'just be true to yourself.' But the answer is not so simple if you consider that by having the benefit of being raised in two cultures, neither of them will ever be without flaw in the minds of those involved.

I was greatly blessed to grow up 1/2 Tongan and 1/2 white, because I was able to take the good parts from both the American culture and the Tongan culture and combine them in my self. The trouble comes when I contemplate the huge choices in my life...I must choose one of the two worlds to make my primary home, yet in my mind, they are both flawed. Am I thus cursed to wander aimlessly; serching for something that does not exist?


Well, I still stand by my 16 year old thoughts. There is not a perfect culture; one without flaw. The difference is that I no longer feel like I need a perfect culture. The imperfections that I see in both cultures are no longer enormous obstacles that I have to overcome. Neither will ever be perfect; I just have the unique opportunity to be able to see both for what they are, and still choose the best aspects for my own personal life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baby sisters are the best

This is a repost from October 21, 2008 Original Post Today is my baby sister's birthday, so this is for her! (who also made all the simple prettyness on my blog!)
I Love you, Pen!

Chicken, rice, and corn from a can

Disclaimer: this post is dedicated to my baby sister, Pene. It just might get cheesy or sad or personal. If you don't want to hear about it, I suggest you move along.

Usually, I say that I cannot remember life without my sister. I'm here to tell you it's a big, fat lie. But not a horrible one, I don't think. I have exactly one memory from before she was born.

My earliest memory is from when I was about 2 years old (plus some 5 or so months) It was the night my baby sister was born, and actually the only memory I have without her in it.

I have a vivid mental picture of our house in Salt Lake; it's night time, and we are eating dinner. You guessed what's for dinner; chicken, rice, and corn from a can. Nothing too fancy. Just fried chicken, sticky rice, and corn. I don't remember much beyond that, except that my older siblings were there, and I colored a picture. I also remember a man there, who I'm assuming was probably my cousin Tui, who I guess babysat us a lot.

After that, pretty much all my memories involve my sister. We were always "the little girls" and did pretty much everything together. Whether it was bullying the girl next door into letting us play (she had THE coolest toys) and then fervently denying it to our mom, or trying to convince a neighborhood kid that we could get him deported to Canada, we were quite the pair. We fought constantly with each other, but I knew she always had my back.

When I think of how a good sister should be, I usually think of a Jane Austen book. The sisters in her books were usually pretty close to perfect, and always totally devoted to each other. My sister has always been the Jane Austen sister, and I'm so grateful to have her in my life!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I know that I am biased because I am their Auntie, but I just think these kids are so adorable (it's ok that I am often grateful I can return them!) I love this picture; they are so little, but they look SO grown up at the same time.

This picture captures their personalities so well; the Princess is the center of those boys' universe and she knows it. (lets be honest, we are all guilty of revolving around her) She has a horrible need to know EVERYTHING, so it's no shocker that she is not looking at the camera, but off to the side, probably at what her Uncle is doing. She is a big girl, and don't try to tell her otherwise. She can do everything the boys do, and will not tolerate people doing things for her. She is strong-willed, stubborn, and loving. She cannot be bothered to do things on your timeframe, hers is much better. My mini-me in more ways than one.

The Monkey on the left can be perfectly content just doing his own thing, and is easily distracted. He looks like he is ready to pounce, leaping off into some imaginary adventure that only he sees, or maybe just off to talk to a bug before getting scared and running back. Luckily for the rest of us, he is always willing to tell you about his adventures, and test out new words. He is curious about emotions, asking you how you feel and why you feel that way, or straight up telling you how he feels ("I'm ANGRY!") He notices things that no one else does, and is so thoughtful. He is the social butterfly his mom always was, and set to be just as happy and fun as she is.

Little Mohawk on the right looks like he is pondering some great mystery of life, and is on the verge of understanding. "Auntie Latu? Why is ____" he will ask. The questions he comes up with usually shock me for a while. I have to gather my thoughts and figure out how to answer most times, and my answers usually don't sate his curiosity. But he is patient, the perfect big brother. He is coming up to that threshold of "big kid"ness. He wants so badly to be a big kid and grow up, but he's still such a sweetheart. If you need someone to feel your pain, he is your man.

So often of late, I have felt blank. Not the blank of a canvas, prepped for paint, but a different kind of blank. It seems like these kids have been the only part of my life that is in focus. The further the eye gets from them, the more blurry everything else becomes.

These kids represent the exact center of my culture; family. When I have that part of my life in focus, a lot of other stuff seems to fall into place. It is when I try to distance myself or be selfish, that things start to go wrong. It's a great thing for me that I have these kids in my life to remind me what is important, and more importantly, what is not.

They are Happiness. In every sense of the word.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bucket List

I was looking at a family crest I did for my mom's class a few years ago. It was just a simple drawing in black ink, on white paper. When explaining my crest, I talked about how the white represented peace and the black represented hardship and trials.

The black by no means dominated the page, but the way the eyes were drawn to it, you would think so. I spent a few minutes examining the black lines, scrutinizing them. Until I realize that the page was completely dominated by white-by a huge majority. But, the eye has a hard time focusing on the white (the peace), of the page when the black stands out so well. I think it is a good analogy for life.

Most peoples' lives are peaceful and enjoyable, with small splotches of trial thrown in. You must have both pieces, the peace and the trials, to make a succesful life. Otherwise, it is just a page of white or a page of black. It is when the peace and the trials fit together well that the picture becomes visible. But it is so easy for the eye to be drawn to the trials in your own life, and make no further effort to find the peace.

No single situation is pure peace or pure trial, no matter how solid the line may look. There are shades of grey everywhere, and those shades of grey are where I want to live my life. They are the points where peace is reconcilled with trial, because you need one to fully experience the other. With no reference point, the greatest joy in your entire life is merely just another day, floating on by.

Well, when I was cleaning out some of the junk I have stored at my parents house, I ran across a bucket list I made when I was 14. I am 23, so the 10-year mark is approaching for that list. I completely forgot making that list, so it was quite shocking to realize that I have done quite a few of those things in the past 9 years.

I wanted to see the Mississippi River, the river that dwarfs all others and makes every other river I have ever seen look like a quaint little creek. Done. A few times :)
I wanted to see the Atlantic Ocean. Done (side note: It is colder, uglier, and just all-around second rate to the Pacific.)
I wanted to go to the Land Down Under. Done (urban legend or not, I REALLY did see water drain the opposite way while there)
I wanted to go to Nauvoo, the City Beautiful. Done (while there, I found out I had ancestors who lived/owned land there. I for sure visited!)
I wanted to buy a Durango. Done.
There were lots more I have yet to do, but here are a few of my highlights: I want to kiss the Blarney stone and walk the Giants Causeway. I want to swim in the English Channel, Visit Neuwanschtein Castle, see me some real Shetland Ponies. I want to take pictures in Times Square, see the Statue of Liberty, visit the city of Brotherly Love, see Niagara falls, walk the Mall in DC, visit the Smithsonian.

I don't remember making the list, but I remember thinking more recently about the things I wanted to do before I die. It seemed like some huge, impossible task. Looking back at the last 9 years I realize that it was not that hard to accomplish most of those things. In fact, it was effortless. I was not thinking about checking items off my list or having awesome experiences. I was just living life, and those things just happened.

I realized that I need to focus more on the parts of my life that fall in the shades of grey, and less on the black, gloomy parts. It takes more effort, but the bottom line is this: The more I focus on on the parts that are at least partly white, the more I realize my life is shaping up to be AMAZING!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The post I should have posted

Well, it's a day late and a dollar short, but here is something more like I should have posted on Father's Day.

Well, this is my Daddy through the years. He will give anyone the shirt off his back without hesitation. It's a trait that drives me crazy, because if I am around, it usually ends up inconveniencing me. However, I think it is a trait that most of us could use more of. The things I want to say about this man are too personal for me to share here, but I want my Daddy to know that I love him and I am so very grateful for his presence in my life.

My Grandpa is one of a kind. Literally. He is the only Grandfather I have, and honestly, I have never wanted that to change. I stole this pic from my sister's blog, mostly because I think it really captures my Grandpa. On the outside, he can be a bit gruff, especially if you make him angry, but you soon realize he's just fiercely protective of his grandkids. He is truly one of the hardest workers I have ever encountered. He taught me that any job worth doing is worth doing well, and it's stuck with me. When I need advice on life, money, spirituality, or anything else, he is my go-to guy. Life would be a whole lot different without the influence of my Grandpa. I don't want to even imagine it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Picking up the pieces

Well, long story short: Today has been a really bad Fathers Day. Just kind of disappointing. I went to sleep at about 3am last night. All good and well until 8am rolls around this morning, and I realize I have to work from 9 - 4. When I got off at 4, I decided to head up to Idaho to see Grandpa. All good and well until I hear about some horrific storm that I will have to drive through. At that point, I decide to turn around and go see my sister instead. All good and well until I decide to stop and visit my niece's grave. I get out of the car and am sitting there for a bit. All good and well until a car pulls up behind mine, (literally about 15 yards away from me) a guy gets out, breaks my window, and grabs my purse.

Was there much of value in there? Nope. $21 in cash, and even less attached to my debit card. A pack of gum, hair brush, pair of socks (not brand new, gently used) a book, a dozen pens, and a half dozen chapsticks (not cherry, thank you) I feel slightly vindicated that my purse looks a lot like a laptop bag, and I am pretty sure the dude who stole it is pissed off that he took that and left the ipod on the seat, because it sure will not pay off.

I am oddly ecstatic that I had my journal with me at my niece's grave. Not because I think the tweaker who broke into my car is interested in my deepest thoughts, but because I have been so faithful in writing in this journal. This is my first successful journal I have ever kept. Usually, I last all of about two cookie-cutter entries before the journal joins the other discarded, failed journals in my drawer. Not this one. I am going on two months, and it is nearly full. I am so proud of myself, and so happy that it was not stolen. I can handle having to buy new gum, chapstick, and paying the $18 to get a duplicate license. I don't know if I could handle losing my journal.

While I was vacuuming up the pieces of glass (which literally flew EVERYWHERE in the car!) I realized how ironic the phrase picking up the pieces is. This is not a hugely traumatic occurrence. It happens every day, and to be honest, I was asking for it to happen by leaving my purse on the front seat. I usually am not that careless, but part of the problem is that I trusted too much in the goodness of people today. I assumed that everyone else in the world would be celebrating Father's Day, and not plotting to do evil. I assumed that people pulling into a cemetery are there to find peace or mourn the dead, not scoping out cars for valuables. I assumed that my car was safe because I was so close. None of those proved true.

I feel more violated that I want to admit. The things in my purse are all completely replaceable. I have a passport, so proof of citizenship and identification are non-issues. I have my beloved journal, the record I am keeping for future generations. I am just angry that my purse is likely sitting in a dumpster a few blocks from the cemetery at this point; discarded as worthless by the thief, but infinitely valuable to me. I am angry because I got that purse in Australia. My sister gave me the yellow wallet for my birthday. Both are truly irreplaceable. I am angry that my lips are feeling chapped, and not only do I have no cash to buy chapstick, I have no cards to use either. I am angry that this happened to me. But, there is still a silver lining.

I heard the infamous still, small voice. I absolutely did not heed it, because it told me to just go straight to my sister's house, and then to just visit fast, then leave. I followed it not at all, but I heard it. This is possibly the first time I have recognized that voice, and the knowledge feels nice.
My journal is here. It seems so trite, but I am so grateful for it.
I am fine, and they didn't steal the car.
I still have my ipod, thus my music. It is shocking for me to think about how much time I spend listening to music. I fall asleep to hymns, and they play all night long. I listen to music in the morning while getting ready, I listen to it any time I am in the car, and then once I get home at night. The cycle repeats daily.

The situation is more annoying than I can express, but there is still much to be grateful for, and thankfully the pieces I have to pick up were mostly vacuum-safe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Well, I love to go on night drives. They calm me and make me a much happier person to be around. I have never thought much about why I love night drives until I was asked last week. I honestly did not have an answer at the time, and it kind of bothered me.

Tonight was a gorgeous night. I could tell it was going to be pretty at sunset. It was not a red-orange-pink sunset, but a simple blue. Just the bluest blue imaginable. There was not a cloud in the sky, and the moon was nowhere to be seen. Those kind of sunsets turn into beautiful nights. The kind that make the mountains leave a black outline on the sky; the kind that make your heart feel like it's fallen out of your chest.

Nights like this make me ancy. I need to drive on nights like these. On nights like tonight, I feel like there is nothing in the world but me, the sky, the mountains, and the Lord. Nights like tonight thoroughly convince me that there is some sort of plan. Nights like these are not some interplanetary happenstance that I stumbled upon. It's part of the plan.

On nights like these, I see so vividly my role in this plan. My life has purpose and meaning. I live for these nights. I want to soak them up, because I know it will not last, but while it does, I am happy. Nights like these convince me that if it all ended right now, it'd be ok. You see, I am more content than I have ever been.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Uncle Sila!

Well, one of my sisters is pregnant, and she found out on Friday that it is a boy. They are naming him Silakivai, after my oldest brother. My 4-year old nephew is more than happy to tell everyone who will listen about his new baby who is coming soon, and will be named "Uncle Sila"


One of my sisters recently realized that the top on a tanning bed is meant to be pulled down over the top of you. This same sister once engaged my mom in an argument about whether "a quarter to 5" meant 4:35 or 4:45 (a quarter=25, right?)


Well, the inevitable has happened- I am beginning to plateau. School is not quite as new and fun, and not having as much expendable income is becoming old. I think Melancholy is probably the perfect way to describe this feeling. I knew this day would come; that I could not surf along on the high of making a life change forever. I just wish it had not come so soon. Nevertheless (I love that word, but spell checkers don't) I know that I am doing the right thing, and I am so excited for the way things are headed!

I started training for this volunteer program called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) that works with the Guardian ad Litem's office (What I want to be when I "grow up") It is a pretty long training, and all volunteer, but I am so excited and hopeful to begin! I know it will be so fulfilling, and I am excited to finally have the ball rolling.

Anywho, this was kinda a disjointed post, but there's an update for anyone interested!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Grab Life by the Horns

I think that's a quote from some Dodge trucks commercial, but I really like the sound of it.

I am a firm believer that we are the creators of our own destiny-Our lives are exactly what we make of them. I was recently talking to a girl who, because of experiences she had with a few stuck-up white people, has decided she does not like white people at all. Immediately when I heard that, I was saddened.

Saddened at the loneliness this girl must have felt to make her respond like that. Saddened at the people whose own close mindedness had fostered a close mindedness in this little girl.

I realized that I am a fixer.

I have a compulsive urge to fix things. Not the broken faucet or the broken cabinet, but people. I feel helpful and calm when I can fix people or their situations. Does it matter that these people don't want to be fixed? Not at all. They're gonna be whether they like it or not!

Which is why I was dumbfounded when this girl told me her story. I had no idea what to say that would fix the situation. Looking back, I realize there was nothing to say. It's a problem she's got to sort out herself. Any advice I could give her would either be too vague, too personal, or too harsh.

What is the difference between me and this girl? Our stories are different, but our personalities are alike, and our experiences similar. What is the axis on which all this turns?


I am hardly what I would consider old. I do not think I am any sort of expert on life and living, but I do know that I have gained a lot of perspective since I was a teenager. The world that I thought I understood has changed in so many ways since I was 16, and on my way to conquer it. I wonder how much more it will change as I grow older. I feel like the "perspective" I have now will seem like nothing when I am 50, but it is all-encompassing now.

I guess that is the essence of life; to learn, gain perspective, and wisdom. I hope to continue to gain all of them throughout my life. I guess that is part of the reason why I have registered and paid for school. There is no turning back now. I'm all in.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random thoughts...

Well, I read a book about overcoming OCD the other day. Am I a coffer full of knowledge and insight into overcoming OCD? One would hope so.

Sadly, the only thing I have accomplished by reading the book is recognizing that I obsess about things. Irrational and ridiculous things. I swear that my obsessions are worse off since I read that book.

Now I'm obsessing about how I obsess about things. I'm hopeless!


I feel like I am standing on the brink. I am stuck in this rut in my life--not entirely miserable, but also not entirely content. My toes are dangling out over the edge, and my future; the fulfillment of 23 years of desires, is within sight. All I need to do is take the leap of faith.

I feel like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade. I cannot watch his leap of faith scene. It makes me tense about my own situation. So much rests on me going forward, but the way is deceiving. I can see the glowing chamber that is my future. Even though my trusty guide is urging me forward, I am not sure.

I recently realized that my entire life has been leading me to this exact point. The precipice I stand at is the culmination of years of preparation. I have been unconsciously working toward this day literally forever.

I also recently realized that this feet-dragging I am experiencing is only a problem of perspective. Someone above or below (or even to either side) of Indiana Jones would be able to see the situation clearly, without the deception Indy experiences. They would urge him forward, confused about why he pauses.

I, too, am merely a victim of perspective. From where I am at, the way seems impassable. Yet I have a guide, the Spirit, that is far more knowledgeable about these things. My guide is telling me to move forward with faith. I have no real options but to do so.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The back story

Any time I see skid marks on the road, I wonder about the story behind them. Was someone driving too fast, and a deer darted in front of them? Were they on their cell phone when traffic all-of-the-sudden stopped? Were they driving too fast when their exit snuck up on them? Most of the time, I am left to my thoughts to ponder the story behind the skid marks; it is not often that I get the whole story.

The most disconcerting skid marks are the ones that head straight off the edge of the road. Those have back stories that I do not care to know. Those almost always end in tragedy. My dad and brother left skid marks like those on the freeway once. Driving past there, I have this morbid urge to look for the skid marks. There are plenty to choose from, so I usually pick a pair and assume those are them. The physical reminder of someone's worst drive ever.

It is not often that our choices leave such blatant physical proof. If you choose to drink, short of a biopsy of your liver, the alcohol will have left few physical side effects. Not so with tire marks on the road. They are a testament to the raw power that 2 tons of steel and metal rolling down the road at 65 mph can possess.

Skid marks make me grateful for modern-day advances in brake technology. They are a humbling reminder of our own mortality. I cannot look at a set of skid marks without the urge to slow down; wherever I am headed will still be there even if I am 5 minutes late.

Every image sends a message, but every image also has a back story. The back story is rarely public knowledge. It's the stuff deep family secrets are made of; the stuff of legends. I think often, we are extremely concerned with what message we are sending out to other people. Maybe we should be more concerned with the back story; the real story. That's what will matter in the end.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April showers

April showers bring May flowers

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day

Down came the rain and washed the spider out

The rains came down and the floods came up...and the house on the rock stood still.

Well, it is raining tonight. Not the usual Utah drizzle, but pouring rain. It's a little intimidating to see this much rain on my way home from work. The first thought that ran through my mind was annoyance that it was raining, until I realized that April showers bring May flowers. Then I was actually kind of happy. It's amazing what the difference of attitude makes. Earlier, my attitude was annoyance because the rain symbolized winter to me, and I was ready for winter to be over months ago.

Remembering that nursery rhyme changed my mindset. All of the sudden, rain meant sunshine and flowers-- the beginnings of Spring! It was such a shock to me to realize that my entire attitude could be changed by something so simple as a nursery rhyme.

Something that I viewed as a nuisance, an annoyance, was suddenly transformed into a wonderful reminder that winter is not forever. Rain went from being the bane of my existence to being a source of joy.

I wrote that last night, and it has rained off and on today also. I have a much better attitude about the rain today. I am focusing more on the fact that I love the smell of rain, I miss the smell of slugs after it rains, and I mostly just love summer.

Spring is here; Summer must be on its heels!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let's try a Benjamin

Well, I have seen this on a lot of blogs, and I am rather bored today, so here goes.

1. I have two jobs.
2. I hate having two jobs but will not quit either.
3. I like each for its own reasons, and they are a good balance for each other
4. I call my nephew "brown boy" not because he is brown, but because my other nephew called him brown (versus himself who is "black").
5. I have to stop myself from saying it in public because I don't want people to think I'm some skinhead racist.
6. Some days, I can be guilted into doing anything.
7. Other days, you can beg for hours and not change my mind
8. When I was 12, my older sister got married
9. I was the youngest one in her line
10. I was also the tallest
11. It messed with my mind for a while
12. Now, I'm almost twice that age
13. And I work at a junior high
14. It almost seems like some sick kind of regression
15. I track kids' attendance at the Junior High
16. I have conversations with them about how important it is to attend every class
17. I make them promise to go to their classes and get upset when they don't
18. I feel like a hypocrite because you couldn't pay me to go to class in school
19. I hope some of them take it seriously
20. I know from experience most of them will not
21. I hated our High School tracker.
22. I swore she was racist
23. I would have sworn on a bible that she only yelled at the brown kids
24. Now, the kids swear I am racist.
25. Karma's a b****
26. I am pretty certain most days that I could do a better job than everyone else.
27. It doesn't matter what job it is
28. I refuse to put my wipers on high, even if I need it
29. I guess I would rather die than look like a spaz
30. My nephew has really bad asthma
31. He throws up if he runs or plays too much
32. The thought of it happening in public is enough to make my OCD mind go crazy
33. I read a book about OCD the other week
34. Partway through it, I tried to convince myself I had OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder)
35. It's a lot the same, only not as bad
36. More like personality quirks than crazyness
37. Sadly, I am definitely crazy
38. It's nice pretending they are just personality quirks
39. I am incredibly vain about my hair
40. It does not matter how nice yours is; my hair is better
41. I adore the color of my hair
42. Really. It's got tons of natural highlights in the summer
43. My hair lightening is more incentive to be outside than getting tan
44. Bodies of water fascinate me-I love them.
45. I am terrified of what is below you in open water
46. Sometimes, I even get scared of sharks in the deep end of the pool
47. If I'm not careful, I have to talk myself down from a panic attack in the pool.
48. The first time I water skied, no one told me to let go if I didn't get up
49. I held on for a good 5 seconds before the force of the water nearly drowned me
50. Everyone but me thought it was hilarious
51. I am probably the only one who still remembers it
52. But I think it's hilarious now, too
53. I got peed on by a dog last summer
54. Warm pee dripping down my hip was the nastiest feeling ever.
55. Another one of those times when everyone but me thought it was hilarious
56. I am able to laugh about it now
57. When I let myself, I become more crazy than normal
58. It's a nice coping skill
59. I can physically feel the tension melt off when I am doing something OCD
60. Alphabetizing, re-ordering, counting, cleaning. Anything works
61. I made a quilt for a baby shower last week
62. I was quite proud of it
63. In fact, I thought it was a lot better than one someone else brought
64. She doesn't know this, but I won.
65. I basically never comment on people's blogs
66. If a post of mine does not have a comment, I wonder if it is horrible
67. I contemplate deleting the post
68. I have to talk myself out of it several times
69. Then I remember "It's not me, it's the OCD"
70. And my universe re-centers itself
71. But I still don't comment on other peoples blogs
72. Double standard, I know
73. I peed my pants in the 4th grade.
74. My mom was working, so my friend's mom brought me clothes
75. I am not sure which was more embarrassing to me, my teacher and the office lady finding out, or my friend's mom
76. Sometimes, I wonder if she remembers and thinks I'm gross
77. I am terrified to drive next to bicycles on the road
78. I just imagine them toppling over into my lane
79. I hate CFL light bulbs and refuse to use them
80. I don't necessarily hate the environment.
81. I just hate that they are so dim right at first
82. Dim just doesn't cut it. Sometimes, I need light right then
83. When I was in Mutual, my Young Women leaders were all within the ages of 19-24.
84. I learned more about sex (and their sex lives) from them than anyone or anything else to that point
85. I adored Mutual for the most part
86. It helped that there were a high of 10 girls ever
87. Girls camp was the best
88. This past summer (and the one coming up) was the first summer since I was 12 that I did not go to camp
89. I really like being in charge
90. Not necessarily to power trip
91. More just knowing I'm in charge
92. Someone else who is in charge can make exactly the same decision I would but it feels a lot better knowing it came from me
93. It's the same with driving
94. I hate being behind a car, even if they are going the same speed I am
95. Knowing that I could not speed up if I wanted drives me crazy.
96. Without fail, I speed up and pass the car
97. Only to then go the exact same speed I was
98. It is unacceptable if said car attempts to speed up and pass me
99. This number is lower than the MPH that I am willing to go to prevent said car from passing me
100. I'm crazy. I know. I am still trying to convince myself they're just personality quirks!

Wow, 100 seemed like a pretty big number when I started. I guess time flies when you are having fun AND when you are talking about yourself. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In the still of the night...

The other night, I walked outside, and could not help but feel something eerily creepy about the night. I thought it might be that I had just watched the Ring the night before, and was still a little scared from it but that was not it. I could not pinpoint what was creepy about that night until last night. Last night was a normal, beautiful night (hopefully also the beginnings of spring). Nothing seemed odd, and everything seemed in its place.

It was then that I realized that nights without wind are eerie.

I can't imagine what could be romantic about the still of the night to inspire the song, but it's apparent from the song that not everyone agrees with me. A completely still day does not phase me. It's just as normal as a breezy day. A completely still night on the other hand, is disconcerting.

In general, I think the world (day, or night with wind :) is such a wonderfully beautiful place. It is hard for me to look at a flower and not be awed by the omnipotent God that made it. The more I grow and learn about our world and its intricacies, the more convinced I am of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am blessed to live in a truly beautiful and choice land. Sure, there are prettier mountains out there. Prettier deserts, prettier lakes and rivers, more gorgeous fall leaves, but I like the ones here best.

There was a time when the only thing keeping me in Utah was my family. Yup, you heard me! My family. I am a self-professed homebody (though I don't think anyone will disagree) In my years here, I have actually grown to really appreciate and love Utah. Sure, the people drive me insane sometimes, and I am not sure I want my kids to grow up here. However, I think it is probably a case of blooming where you are planted more than anything else. Sure, I might be the weed popping out of nowhere-a nuisance to all involved, but at least I am blooming :)

Professing my love of Utah is not what I intended with this post, but just as with life, the post takes you unexpected places. Working two full-time jobs and still not done with school is not where I intended my life to be, but welcome! This is where I'm at!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Great Day

Today was just a good day. Nothing incredible happened and it was actually a slightly busy day at work. It was also just an all-around good day.

I love days like today. Days like today tend to make me focus on the smaller things in my life, the tender mercies, that I am so grateful for. There is no great flash of happiness to focus on, so I am forced to focus on the small things.

I love my car. I am grateful to have reliable transportation. It is a total gas hog, but I feel like it is one of the last few Great American cars. I have wanted a Durango since I was 12 and we rented one. It is truly my dream car. =)

I am so grateful for my daddy and that he is still here. Last week, he and my small brother were in an accident. They literally almost flew of point of the mountain, and I am overwhelmed by my gratefulness that they are still here.

I am grateful for the amazing people I work with. They keep me grounded and sane.

I love my heritage. I think it's awesome that I have so many different cultures and backgrounds. I love that my mom just found an article from when my dad passed the threshold between Illegal Alien and Resident Alien. It's an interesting blast from the past.

I adore the brown boy, my younger nephew. He is adorable to be around, and notices the smallest things that, in his mind, are the most amazing finds ever. I love that he will lapse into some foreign language midsentance, and keep on chattering like we should understand every nuance of his make believe language.

I love taking naps and then waking up in the evening, freaking out at the time, only to find out that it is 8:00 p.m. and not a.m.

I love the smell of Gain. Just regular-old Gain laundry soap. It's such a treat to pull out clothes and have them still smell awesome.

The most amazing part of my day happened when I ran to the post office. A little back story: I have to cross a big-ish street to get to the post office, which usually entails me waiting at the light to get there, and then waiting forever on the way back. Not today! I made the light both ways, and never had to stop. It was pure joy!

Such a great day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Laugh Out Loud

These are just some quotes that I was thinking about that make me laugh out loud any time I think of them.

Call from a mother in California to me at my Provo, UT job (approx. 40 miles south of Salt Lake City)
Yeah, I just saw on the news that there was an avalanche in Salt Lake. Is my daughter OK?

Conversation with a mother who has a pretty perfect child: You're really calling me because my kid pulled his pants down in the hall and pretended to pee?! Did you actually see him peeing?
No. I was actually trying
not to look at him once I realized what he was doing.
Well, unless he actually pees in the hall, and someone actually sees it, I don't want to hear from you! Click

Conversation with a kid at my work: Are you Chinese? Because your eyes look like it when you smile.....Will you help me with my math? Chinese people are good at math.

Conversation with a kid at my work who just found out she has an STD: Latu, have you ever had an STD?
Are you sure? Not even when you were younger?
Yeah. Pretty sure.

Conversation with a kid at work: Are you Tongan? Because I've never seen a white Tongan.
Yeah, I'm just albino.
Oh. Cool!

Flex is a new program we are starting at the Jr. High designed to help the kids who are struggling succeed, and rewarding the kids who are not. Here's a conversation about it: When is that exercising program going to start?
.......What exercising program?
You know, the one they did the assembly about.
Do you mean
Flex, the new academic program/schedule we are starting?
Yeah, whatever.

My Nephew, upon seeing a present for his birthday: Is that a surprise for me? You can tell me, I won't tell you!

Just a few things I thought (and still think) were funny.

This one is less funny, but more telling about our day and age.
A group of girls is playing the Game of Life. One of them lands on the marriage space, and this is the question I hear: Are you marrying a girl or a boy?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The road goes ever on and on

...Down from the door where it began.

That is the beginning of the first poem/song I ever read from JRR Tolkien. It was sung by Bilbo Baggins, a famously wandering hobbit. The song had a huge part in me becoming absolutely enthralled with the world Tolkien created. The reader has a hard time relating to most of the hobbits in his writing because they are resolutely anti-wandering. There is a huge wide world outside their beloved Shire, but they not only do not care to see it, they fear it. I think there is a lot to be said for the fact that Tolkien's protagonists are constantly on a journey. When the journey ends, their story does also. There is precious little written by Tolkien about what Samwise or Merry or Pip did once they returned to the Shire. There is little written about people once they reach the grey havens or about Aragorn once he became king.

I think Tolkien knew that the story was all in the journey.

We as a people revere others who have riches or renown. But we revere even more the people who are "self-made" Who doesn't love a good rags-to-riches story? We are fascinated with how they got to where they are, but the "my daily life as a billionaire" books somehow never make it to bestseller status. We are fascinated by books about people losing enormous amounts of weight, and the things that caused their weight-gain in the first place, but not interested in their lives now that they fit the "normal" mold.

One day, I hope to be a "successful" person. I want to have the type of life that would make others want to read about; the type of life that makes others think I possess some marvelous secret about life. But I also hope to never be finished with my journey. The jury is still out about whether both are possible at the same time, but I'll keep plugging on either way.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pretty much the worst week ever.

Well, that is a huge exaggeration. But one I can definitely get on board with.

I need a break before I start the cleanup of my apartment, so here's a re-cap/rant of my week so far.

Sunday: I spent the entire day in bed sick. I never made it farther than my bathroom (even that was pushing it) I woke up during the night (this actually might count as Monday) because I literally could not breathe. My lungs and throat were almost sealed off by mucus (TMI, I know). It was the most panicking experience of my life. I am pretty sure I might dread whooping cough more than anything else in the world. I spent 25 minutes sitting in the bathroom with hot water on until it ran cold. Finally, after inhaling all that steam, I was able to breathe and sleep again (it was 4:30 by now, and I could only sleep sitting up, but sleep is sleep.)

Monday: After trying all night to call and leave a message at work that I would not be coming in (the phone just rang, I guess the voice mail system was off) I set my alarm for 7:45a.m. so that I would be able to wake up and call once someone got there. 10:00a.m. rolls around, and I am woken up by my brother, asking why I am not at work. Panicked, I call in sick (2 hours after I should have been there) and then schedule an appt. with the doctor for that afternoon. 3:30p.m. rolls around and I drag myself out of bed and go to the doctor, where I proceeded to slip not once, not twice, but three separate times in the parking lot. (two resulted in me on the ground. The other probably just sprained my knee again)

Tuesday: By the rest of the week's standards, a good day. All that happened was I went to work sick.

Wednesday: I should have known never to eat something made in a Jr. High foods class...
I was asked to participate in a taste testing session for the foods classes at work. For the final project, the kids made samples of food items for us to judge. The first day (Tues.) went according to plan. The food was good, and I was full and happy. The second day (Wed.) went fine until I bit into a piece of Calzone and found a long, thick, black hair in it. It is obviously gross to have hair in your food, but the 'gross' factor changed to absolute disgust when I looked up to see the culprit and his greasy long hair.
Later that afternoon, (after fighting the urge to purge all day long) I went to my other job, and about 30 minutes after getting there got a call from my mom, notifying me that my dad had been admitted into the Cardiac ICU at the new IHC hospital in Murray. Visions of the past rushed through my head as I imagined the very worst, and the doctors confirmed by fears by telling us he would be there for at least 5-7 days.

Thursday: I spent the day at the hospital, witnessing my father literally healed by the power of the priesthood, and being allowed to go home that afternoon because of his miraculous recovery.

Friday: I wake up at 6:30a.m. to find my ENTIRE apartment covered in 1.5 inches of standing water. So started my day full of wet-vac, dumping buckets of water out, mopping up water, moving furniture, frantically moving electronics, being grateful I chose to put my laptop on the couch not under it like usual, trying to figure out how to turn off the water to the toilet, and above all, just pure stress. (and it's only 11:30!)

Saturday: I have the day off, and am planning on going to Cracker Barrel and having my fill of french toast; I am cautiously optimistic about how the day will go!

Well, looking back, none of the incidents seem too bad alone (or at all, for that matter). But, put them together and it seems worse than they really are.

So ends my rant about the week. I know that most of my views right now are tainted by my annoyance that my apartment flooded, but I figure everyone is entitled to a little self-pity once in a while!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Well, I realized I am a very prideful person this past week. But, I don't think that's always a bad thing. Who knows, though.

Here's my list:

*I am proud to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
*I am proud to be an American. I am proud of the privileges and responsibilities that it brings
*I am proud to be the daughter of my father. He taught me everything I know about work ethic and the value of hard labor. He taught me to respect people so that I can expect respect back.
*I am proud to say that after 31 years, my parents are still happily married
*I am proud to be my mom's daughter. So many of my personality traits I inherited from her. She is a smart lady who knows what she wants, and is willing to do what it takes to get it
*I am proud that I am 1/2 Tongan, and 1/2 everything else (I am also German, Welsh, Scottish, Navajo, and Paiute)
*I am proud to say that I am 100% American, a veritable melting pot, or a mutt. Either works. I have an ancestor who came to America on the Mayflower, ancestors who have lived in this land since Lehi and his family left Jerusalem, and a dad who came to this land when he was a young man (and everyone in between)
*I am proud that my ancestors chose to join the LDS church and come to America from Europe
It fills me with pride to know that even though my great-grandmother was full-blooded German, she did not agree with the evil things her government did in the name of the German people
*I am proud of my two sisters and the amazing mothers they are; I am proud of my brothers and their contributions to society
*I am proud that I spent 18 months of my life as a nanny, and I hope that I had as much of an impact on the kids as they had on me
*I am proud to say that my Grandfather is one of the most amazing men I have ever met. I am proud he was a professional scouter with the Boy Scouts of America
*I am proud that I received my Young Womanhood award and graduated from seminary (4 years, nothing but As) when I was 18
*I am proud to be the descendant of father Lehi
*I am proud to be able to look a police officer in the eye and know that my conscience is clear
*I am proud that I taught myself to quilt and enjoy it as a pastime
*I am so proud to have known my Grandma, and proud of the legacy she has left for her posterity
*I am proud to know that I can live for eternity with my family
*I am mostly just proud to be me.

There are so many reasons for me to be proud; I cannot name them all.
Suffice it to say that I am mostly just proud to be who I am, and where I am with my life. I am proud of the successes I have had, as well as the hard times, because I know it has taught me things about myself or about life that I would not have learned otherwise.