Friday, November 9, 2012

Election 2012

Well, another presidential election has come and gone. Another election that demonstrated I am a member of the political minority. If the election can be trusted, the majority of America is shifting away from the ideals I cherish.

I have had a love-hate relationship with facebook over the past couple days. Tuesday, I couldn't handle all the people telling me not only to vote, but who and what to vote for. Wednesday, I couldn't handle all the hate-filled posts (mostly in reference to our president). Thursday, I couldn't handle all the "last political post, I promise" posts. Though it stressed me out, facebook this week has been like a train wreck that I couldn't look away from. Rather than post any more on facebook about the election, I have decided to post here, in my little corner of the internet, how I feel.

Immediately after the election was called, I felt a pit in my stomach. A feeling of dread came over me and my mind began racing with all the catastrophic things this would absolutely mean: For sure, the second coming is near; it's a sign of the times. America as I know it is gone. Our economy will collapse. Wars and rumors of wars will result. I will lose my job, be fined for not having insurance, nothing will get done for the next 4 years. The country will lie in shambles. Literally every ridiculous fear possible raced through my mind. I wish it had been a sprinting race, but this race was more like Nascar; hundreds of laps around my brain. I struggled to get to sleep Tuesday night, even though I had work Wednesday morning at 6. I was an emotional mess. Frantic and anxious.

There came a moment when my rational mind stepped in for a minute and began to back pedal on all of the crazy. A moment of peace. It was after I read a press release from the Church of Jesus Christ if Latter-day Saints (my church). It said (I'm definitely paraphrasing. I am much too lazy to look it up on my phone) "the LDS church has a longstanding tradition of praying for the leader of our country. Pray for President Obama." or something similar. That press release stopped the crazy race in my brain in it's tracks. I thought of my president as a human for the first time that night. He was no longer the epitome of all that it's wrong in this country and every political scare tactic around. He became again the human leader of my country. A man, trying his best, who could definitely use my prayers. I remembered the respect POTUS had always had in my head (I guess not always; just back when it was a president I agreed with) and became determined to renew that respect, regardless of where my vote had been cast.

For 4 years now, I have justified my disdain for my president. I have hidden behind his policies and used them as an excuse to hate the man he is. I have been a poor sport. It took a press release from my church to humble me and drag me back to reality.

Did the candidate I voted for win? No. Am I leaving America in a huff? Not unless its for a cruise I just won. Do I have misgivings about the next 4 years? You betcha. Do I believe our country could have used a businessman at the helm? More than ever. However, at the bottom of a cliff, it doesn't matter if you were pushed or jumped. I lost. Or I should say my chosen candidate lost. I wish I had been able to accept it as gracefully as he did.

The election is over. The game is done. It's back to business. America is going through a rough time. My country is struggling. I regardless of all the politicking and drama, I live in the greatest country in the world. I am blessed to be a part of the democratic process. I am grateful to be able to voice my opinion. I am grateful that I have so much. I know there are people who have so much less.

So, world wide web, if you are still reading this, drop a prayer for my president. Drop one for us all.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


so, i posted 30 posts in july. then i posted zero posts in august. now, it's almost halfway through september and this post makes my count one. not bad, i think! 

i have been thinking a lot lately about my life. for most of my life, any time i would sit down and assess, i would get super discouraged. i would get frustrated that things are not going according to "plan" or angry that i am not where i "thought i'd to be", or disappointed that i am not doing what i "should". no matter what the specific frustration, the discovery i make is the same: i am in no way content with my life. in fact, usually it goes beyond not being content, and falls into i hate my life territory.

the other day, i was hanging out with a friend (shocking that i did that, i know) and talking about changes she is making in her life, ways she is finding to get to where she wants to be in life. that made me think about what changes i want to make in my life, too. i am realizing that i have very high expectations for myself. not only that, i punish myself a lot when i do not meet those expectations.

it is becoming more apparent to me that my life has been like a broken record. i set an unattainable expectation for myself. i do not attain it (duh). i beat myself up. i set an even higher expectation, or i give up altogether. rinse and repeat. the only change is the specific expectation. the formula never changes. rather than stay stuck in this ridiculous cycle, i have decided to change it. i don't like beating myself up for doing something that, in anyone else, i would recognize as unattainable. i don't like seeing myself as a failure when i make mistakes or fall short. i am rambling, i know, but that is ok with me right now. i just need to spit out all of what is in my head. otherwise, it will drive me crazy. do you ever feel that way? like you just need to spit everything out? just throw it out to the world? just get it out of your head?

one thing i also realized after talking to my friend was that my life has been incredibly blessed. i have had the opportunity to have amazing jobs, to work with all sorts of people. i have had the chance to travel; something that is out of reach for a lot of people in the world. i have the opportunity to have a family and a home; to have a support system and cheerleaders. i have a job that i adore right now. i have a body that allows me movement and the ability to accomplish anything i need to do. i have teeth that have held up pretty well for not being to a dentist in years. i have modern medicine that allows me a metabolism (did you know that in high school, my thyroid was 3x normal size, and the medications they gave me to slow it down did not help. thus, my heart was also working 3x normal, and would eventually kill me. so, i had to have radiation on my thyroid to kill it. now, i take hormone replacements for my missing thyroid) i have the gospel in my life (even though that is one huge area where i am hardest on myself when i am not perfect) i have the skills and help to overcome the bouts of depression that has plagued my life for as long as i knew what it was. i have a car to get me where i need to go, and a bus system that can take me most places if i need. i could go on and on. i could type all day, but i think i have proven my point.

i live a charmed life. maybe outsiders don't see it that way. maybe they do. but, i am realizing more and more that it is true. i know that this knowledge is relatively new. i know that right now, my life is like a pendulum and i have swung to the far side; to the happy side. because it's a pendulum, i am sure that i will make my way back to the other side; the sad side. but, i also know that there will be a huge period in the middle where i am neither extremely happy nor extremely sad. the part where i can just be content.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thoughts on the day

5 years ago today, i wrote down some thoughts on my day. it was the day after my grandma had died, and my world was in chaos. sometimes, i think that chaos still has not left me, but i also think that chaos can be a good thing. i think that strength pokes its head out of chaos. it smiles a cheeky grin and continues doing its thing.

strength is a really odd thing. it does not follow a normal patter of existence. it needs chaos and destruction to really flourish. it is the random flower that survives a nuclear blast; the tree that pops up when nothing should be growing. strength is...a fighter.

i have had the song the fighter stuck in my head for weeks now. just off and on, but stuck nonetheless. it's just such a profound song in my mind. i want to be known as the fighter. no matter what the world throws at me, i want to have the strength to do it. i know that i can do hard. it's a proven fact by now. here are some of my favorite lines of the song:

Give em hell, turn their heads Gonna live life til we're dead.  
Give me scars, give me pain  
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me 
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter 
Here comes a fighter  
That's what they'll say to me, say to me Say to me, 
this one's a fighter

no matter what the world throws at me, i want to say to it that i am a fighter. i want the world to chant that to me; to know, just like i am coming to know, that i can do hard things. that i am a fighter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

thirty is the new 20

list 10 things you would hope to be remembered for

i would hope first of all to be remembered as loving. i love so deeply for people, but i am really bad at sharing my love, or expressing my love. this is something i want to work on, so i hope that when my time comes, my family remembers me as loving. i hope that, if they remember nothing else, it is that i love them.

i hope to be remembered as patient. i almost hate to say it, because the only way i know to learn patience is
waiting and "longsuffering". but, i have innate patience with some stuff. i hope to be able to improve it more and build my patience. at the same time, i hope to build my patience without ever having it tested, and i hope to be allowed to pick and choose the patience building exercises i am given. :)

i want to be remembered as full of life and fun. i want to always be young at heart and never lose the desire to have fun. as a rickety, nearing-the-grave 26 year old, i sometimes forget to stop and have fun. i want to always have fun. i don't care how old i am, life is not really worth living if it is no fun!

i want to be remembered as the crazy aunt/mom/wife who traveled the world. i don't want to be remembered as the one who traveled once upon a time, but the traveler. the one who has already been there, who you ask advice about restaurants and hotels and currency. the one who can share her knowledge with all around her. the one with a lifetime full of stories, and not enough lifetimes to tell them all. the one who can interject "once, in bali" into any conversation, and people listen cause she's legit. she's literally been around the world.

i want to be remembered as faithful. i want to be remembered as an example of the believers. one who knows with a surety and who constantly acts on her knowledge and who raises righteous sons and daughters who know with the same surety. 

this one is similar, but not entirely the same. i want to be remembered as Christ-like. i want to be remembered as a disciple of Christ, a true follower. one who emulated Christ in everything i could, from my thoughts to my actions.

i want to be remembered as intelligent. not just book smart. not just street smart. but intelligent. i am not sure exactly how to define intelligent so it makes sense, but to me intelligence is more than smart. it is more than knowledge, but it is the reasoning and judgement and intuition as well. intelligence is also acceptance and open-mindedness; not just a knowledge of facts and figures. it is knowledge + wisdom. i think that's a good way to put it.

i want to be remembered as trustworthy. someone who does what she says and says what she does. someone with follow through, not the flaky friend who always falls through at the last minute. (maybe that's me now. what of it??)

i want to be remembered for my confidence and my self worth. i think those two things are very tangible parts of a person, and others can sense them.

i guess more than anything, i just want to be remembered. it kind of goes along with what i think is most misunderstood about me but i want people to remember me. preferably, who i really am. but, i will take any kind of remembrance over forgetting.

as i near the 5 year blogiversary of my blog, this last one has been on my mind a lot. in the beginning, i blogged because i had so many emotions about my grandma dying that i needed to throw them out to the world. some small part of me hoped that the world would catch them, and somewhere out there, one person sharing this planet with me would say "aah, i understand". some part of me hoped to find a kindred spirit; someone who understood exactly what it is like to be latu. exactly why my life has led me to where i am today.

another part of me hoped that the world would catch my words and spit them back. it hoped that the personal words, feelings and experiences i was writing about would just stay around me, huddled together in a mass that made up my world. for no one's eyes but mine. it hoped that my personal thoughts would stay that; personal.

throughout the 5 years i have had this blog, the level of personal thoughts i share has fluctuated. sometimes, my bluntness surprises me and i remove an entry. i allow it to sit in the limbo that is the draft folder until the rest of forever. safely tucked away from the wandering eyes of the world. sometimes, i throw it all out to the world, and watch from the crack in my fingers with bated breath, waiting for the world's reaction. it is never as dramatic as i hope for.

the bottom line is that this blog will live on for a long time. maybe beyond the point where blogger exists. maybe beyond the internet. this blog has been my outlet for the past 5 years, and now that i have gone blog, i won't go back (that line sounded a lot funnier in my mind, haha)

twenty nine, one more till the big 3-0

what do you think people misunderstand most about you?

omg, definitely my motives. usually, i have good motives, or at least not evil ones. i am usually trying my best, and if i am rude, i do not mean to. if i offend you, i do not mean to. this one is so hard to explain because i play it off a lot like i don't care if i am rude, but the truth is that i do. i am harder on myself than anyone else can be, so it really disappoints me when i am rude or when i hurt someone. even if i am mad at you, i hate when i am mean to people. (i think i talked once before about my inability to stay mad)

but, i am getting off subject. i feel like people generally misinterpret my motives. whether for bad or good, they usually do not get it. a lot of times, it is frustrating for me to try to explain them, and so i don't, but it sucks being misunderstood. especially when my silence often backs up whatever the other person already thinks is truth.

the bottom lines is that for the most part, my motives and intentions are pure. even if they bite me in the butt or they don't pan out the way i thought they would, my heart is pure. please trust that and don't make assumptions.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Twenty eight in two years

What is your love language?

My love language is... I can't remember, haha. I am going to go take the quiz again.

Quality time and words of affirmation (plus one more but I forgot what...) All three were tied. I think like the rest of my life, I am indecisive, haha.

Next year I will be twenty seven

What is your favorite part of your body and why?

My favorite part of my body is my hair. I looove my hair color, my hair thickness, my hair health. I just looove all of it. I looove that my hair grows fast and that it bleaches itself in the sun. I just super love my hair.

I am currently twenty six

What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

I think the world in general misunderstands entitlement. You are entitled to your own opinion just like I am. You are entitled to choose your actions just like I am. This does not mean that you get to choose the consequences of your actions. Society or nature does that. You are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. You are not entitled to happiness or a life without effort. You are not entitled to special treatment. You are not entitled to money or possessions or much else in this world. I feel like the world misunderstands this concept a lot. I also see us, as a society, teaching our children that they are entitled to many of these things.  In my mind, it sets them up for failure.

Twenty five year olds can rent cars

If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would have dinner with my grandma Jenna Lee. Hands down. I would spend all night talking to her, getting advice, etc. Just being with her like I used to. I don't even care what we eat, maybe one of her sunday night roasts with all the trimmings. Maybe a picnic with all her cute little fly covers and handy, one-purpose  utensils. It would be a great meal.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

my sister turns twenty four this month

describe the family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now

when i was younger, my family was split into two groups, the older kids and the little girls. the little girls were distinctly separate from the rest of the family. nowadays, the family dynamic has less to do with age and more to do with personalities. i am pretty sure that all of us siblings like darl the most; he is a uniting force in our family :) i think the biggest change is that we are now all adults (minus darl, of course) and there is less division by age. we do things together and get along a lot better than we ever did as kids. which is nice, because now we spend time together because we want to, not just because we are forced to. i think another big dynamic that is changed is that my mom is back to working, and my dad is not.

this post is kinda disjointed, but i am just really into wrath of the titans right now, haha

twenty three...a.k.a. three years ago

list your top 5 hobbies and why you love them

first things first. i looove to read. i love to get out of the world, and escape into a make believe world. i love how effortless it is to pop into another place.

t.v. i love tv for a lot of the same reasons i love to read. it is effortless to jump into the world of a movie or tv show. it does not take much, and you can focus on the drama and storyline of the show, rather than your own :)

driving. i love to drive. it is a huge stress reliever for me. i love to be alone, blasting music and driving. it is mindless and a time when i can really clear my head. driving is awesome.

swimming. whether it is at a pool, lake, river or the ocean, i looove swimming. i was always a water baby, and i just love to be in the water. i don't like tons of toys or games, i just like sitting in water. my body was made for water, and my sanity requires it.

rugby. this is not a hobby i've done in a while, but i adore rugby. i love that i can go 100% and tackle the crap out of people. it is such a great stress reliever! :)

double deuce

where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

in 5 years, i will be 31. i see myself done with school by that time. any time i go to school after that will be purely for fun or enrichment. i imagine myself married, and i definitely see myself traveling a lot. maybe a rtw (around the world) trip, maybe living out of the country. i see myself in 5 years a seasoned traveler.

in 10 years, i hope to still be traveling. in 10 years, i want traveling to become a lifestyle, not just a hobby. i want to get through my travel bucket list in the next 10 years, and start just seeing the world. i see myself with a kid or two in 10 years. traveling with them, showing them the world.

in 15 years, i see myself settling down in the one place on earth i have found that i love the most. i am sure there is a place out there; i want to see the entire world so i can choose where to spend the rest of my life. i could not choose where i was born (though america is an awesome place to be born and has blessed my life a ton) but i can mos def choose where i live. i see myself finding that place in the next 15 years.

Friday, July 13, 2012

twenty one is when you can drink. drinking is dumb, though

if you could have one super power, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

if i could have one super power and i was choosing the coolest one, it would be flight or the ability to teleport. it would be so awesome to drop into paris for lunch today, or to pop on over to hawaii to lay out. it would be so useful to pop out of a dangerous situation or pop into an interesting one. the first thing i would do is go to hawaii for the afternoon. i would just sit on the beach and relax until this evening when i have to go into work.

realistically, though, the super power i would pick would be super hearing, the ability to be invisible, or reading minds. anything that would allow me to be nosy! that would be my true pick. i just really love being able to know everything.

twenty years is one score

describe three significant memories from your childhood
i have talked about one of my most significant memories before: i  have a vivid mental picture of our house in salt lake; it's night time, and we are eating dinner. we were having 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, maybe a poster. i also remember a man there, who i'm assuming was probably my cousin tui, babysat us a lot. we were waiting for my brand new baby sister to be born. it is my first/only memory before pene was born. she is a part of every other memory of my life, this one is significant because it predates (barely) her arrival on earth.

another memory i have is driving around in my grandma's convertible with the top down with one of my uncles. i cannot remember if it was jason or chris, but one of them got the assignment to drive me around because i had some sort of rash/infection on my face and the air was the only thing that helped it. so we drove for hours. those hours were the only time i did not want to peel off my skin by hand. i remember i had just found out my rash had been misdiagnosed, thus it had been mistreated. i do not remember to this day what it really was, but they thought it was impetigo. while we were driving, my uncle took me to the marine base (we had a religious pass because my grandpa was a bishop) we drove around until we saw flashing lights on the mountainside. my uncle told me those were to attract ufos to the island, and i believed him. little did i know they were just warnings to incoming aircraft that there was a huge, hulking mountain there.

another memory i have is playing doctor in the closet with my friend josh, and subsequently getting caught by our older sisters. i guess we thought the door being closed meant no one could hear us, even though the doors were louvered doors :)

nineteen is the age for a missionary

if you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

ok, i understand that i am about to out myself as an uber geek, but i just am not sure how much i care at this point.

if i could live anywhere, it would be middle earth. there, i said it. i would go to tolkien's wonderland, his universe of fictional places. i would go there, love it there, be there forever. i would live in rohan, maybe somewhere in the white mountains. i could handle gondor after the king returned. i would be an elf. i would live in valinor or in the grey havens. i would live in the misty mountains or mirkwood. i would loooove the shire, rivendell, lothlorien. there are just so many places i would go. so many places i would live in. so many lives i could live in that world.

when i was in high school, i found a role playing website dedicated to tolkien. it is that site was my haven. in it, i took on the character sethiel, and did with her what i pleased (wow, sounds dirty or weird. i just made up a back story about her. she was a rider from rohan, and she was everything i was not). it was (and continues to be) the geekiest thing i had ever done. but i happily lost my real life in the shadow of this fake world.

i guess i could have said the typical ", etc" but i promised myself (and implied to anyone who reads this) that i would be honest with these posts. of course i would love to live in any of those places. but that was not the question, or the truth. thus, there you go. latu is a nerd. now the whole world knows it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

eighteen, a real adult

What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive

I would say it's not really something anyone else did, I get over those pretty quickly. I think my hardest thing to forgive would be myself for dropping out of high school. Sometimes, I still regret it, or I get annoyed with myself about it, but it is what it is. There is not much changing it!

Seventeen magazine is done shopping models skinnier

What is the thing you most wish you were great at

this is a hard question. I think I most wish I were great at being perfect... No, but for reals I do.

I guess if that one doesn't count, I wish I were great at language. I wish I were a linguist like jrr tolkien. I wish I were able to speak multiple languages, german, spanish, french, dutch, italian, farsi, cantonese, mandarin. I want to speak them all.

Sweet sixteen

What are your five greatest accomplishments

I would say the first one would be getting my GED. It was a huge accomplishment just because it was the first academic accomplishment I made after the academic failure I have spoken of before.

Another would be going to state in mock trial. Super geeky, yes, but I worked ridiculously hard at it, it's mos def an accomplishment.

I would say going to college. In this day and age, it's more of an expectation than accomplishment, but I see it as one.

Successfully buying/paying off a car. If you don't know how this feels, do it!

Making it to 26 years old. That's a huge deal!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

fifteen candles....maybe that's a bit off!

if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

i think if i were an animal, i would split my time between two different animals (if i were an animal, and i could choose the animal i was, i would have the power to change it, or the universe sucks.)

first, i would want to be a sheep. their lives are so very easy. their owners provide fenced-in pastures, guard dogs, food, water, anything else a little sheepy would want. all you would have to do in return is suffer through being rounded up by a sheep dog once in a while to get sheared (is it once a year? twice? i really need to brush up on my animal husbandry skills) as a sheep, you are more valuable alive, to be harvested every so often for wool. i can handle wandering around a field in hobbit land for my entire life, having no real threats or responsibility.

i would also be a humpback whale. i want to migrate, i want to see the world, to be free to do basically whatever i want. plus, i have always been fascinated with humpback whales. in maui, we used to see them in their migration, we used to walk down the streets of lahaina, an old whaling village, and see all of the whaling ships and accoutrements. (wow, run on sentance!!) i have always loved them. i would love to be one, roaming the oceans at my own pace and desire.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

fourteen, eighth grade

describe 5 strengths you have.

wow, this one is just as hard, maybe harder than he weaknesses was. for some reason, i feel like i will be judged more by what i write in this post than the weaknesses i have. if anyone disagrees with these strengths, please feel free to shove it. i don't want to hear it, haha.

i would say one of the strengths i have is patience. i do not always possess it, but i am capable of a lot of patience. i wish it were something i was born with, but i learned patience by


another strength would be empathy. it is easy for me to feel empathy and sympathize with others. sometimes, i wish i did not; that i could just ignore their humanity. but, those moments are usually pretty short-lived

i like to call this next one my resilience (actually, i just pulled that out of the air, but i like it so i am running with it!) i am able to get over stuff easily. my anger, like my willpower is a sprinter, not a distance runner. i get mad, but it is always short-lived. sometimes, i will write down why i am mad, imagining my future self feeling just as miffed, offended and angry about the situation. in the moment, it feels great to envision my future self on my side, supporting me in my fury. it never works out like that. any time i come across something like that, i laugh inside at how angry i used to be. when i was in high school, i got mad at my mom. i have no idea why, but i was mad. i wrote a passive agressive note to my mom. behind my door, and in some weird code. it might have been the longest i have stayed mad at someone, because i put tic marks below it i think marking days i was mad. i really wish i could remember what all the crap i wrote meant (my teenaged self would be disappointed in me. i was convinced i would NEVER forget that situation or my anger) i was just inspired to take a blurry, poorly lit camera phone picture of it. while doing so, i realized just how much i wrote on my walls in sharpie during high school. like my smallest brother, who was 4 at the time, i thought writing on the walls with sharpie was awesome!!

anywho, here is a pic of the wall.

i like to think of myself as intelligent. not intelligent in the you-really-should-stay-in-school-and-graduate kind of way, but intelligent in the you-are-one-of-those-special-people-who-can-get-an-education-without-ever-stepping-foot-in-a-classroom sort of way. of course.

i guess another strength i have is my sense of duty. i do a lot of stuff because i feel honor-bound or duty-bound or guilt-tripped into doing it. i think this is a good thing, and something more youngsters could learn more of. it helps me balance my inherent desire to be selfish.

anywho, that's it. that's my list. maybe one day, i will share some more teenaged stories, like the one YEAR where i called everyone sexys. cause, you know. high school and all that...

Friday, July 6, 2012

thirteen, an official teenager

describe 5 weaknesses you have

wow, i really don't like this question. i guess maybe cause i have way more than 5 weaknesses. maybe because i like to pretend i have none :)

one weakness i am seriously struggling with lately and only understanding a bit is the fairness fallacy. it's basically the belief that the world is orderly and fair. or, that the fairness in the world should follow my own perception of fairness or equality. as we all know the world does not and will not ever. my struggle is convincing myself to let it go. i cannot control it! i want to do a better job of balancing my expectations without losing hope. i want to always keep my hope. but it's hard to distinguish between hope and expectations for me!

sunk cost bias. oh my goodness, my life literally changed the day i read the linked article. i love the quote "don't throw your valuable resources down a hole just cause you dug one". i get sucked into this all the time, using stuff that is already spent and gone (time, money, effort, etc) to manipulate myself or guilt myself into doing stuff i don't want to do. it is so hard for me to not fall into this mind trap. it seems like all my decisions are skewed by the emotional "investments" that i make, and then expect fair returns from (sound familiar??) i am all sorts of crazy!

another weakness of mine is food. man alive, i love the stuff, and the stuff loves me (or maybe not, haha) i love food, and for a long time my most effective coping skill was eating. i am trying hard to change that, but i am pretty sure it will always be a weakness for me.

in the willpower race, i tend to be a sprinter, not a distance runner. i run out of willpower at the most inopportune and inconvenient moments.willpower is mos def a weakness of mine.

wow, four down and i am stuck. never mind, i am not stuck. i am a poor listener. i interrupt all the time and interject personal stories (i just think i am really clever!) (wow, i just interrupted myself, haha) rather than let people finish their sentences. i am working on this one a lot. hopefully the world will be fair and let my work pay off :)

twelve noon or midnight?

describe a typical day in your current life. 

wow, this is kind of a hard question. i have about three typical days right now; days i work a morning shift, days i work an afternoon shift, and days that i do not work.

i guess the best thing is to just jump on in!

when i work at 6 am here is how my day goes:
4:30am wake up, panicking that i am late for work. making out the time on the clock is impossible with my dark-adjusted, puffy eyes, so i reach for my phone. of course, it is plugged in as far away as possible so that i am forced to get out of bed to turn off my alarm. i check the time and relieved, lay back down with my phone. don't ask me why, i am just reporting how my day usually goes.

5:52am wake up, faintly hearing a noise. realize in a panic it is my phone alarm, muffled because i am laying on top of it. jump out of bed, throw clothes on and take off to work with a toothbrush in my mouth. i will go to the bathroom at work.

6:07am arrive at work, sputtering some excuse and apology for being late. nightwatch grunts a reply and leaves. i sit down and my heart starts to calm down. i made it, and not too late, so all is well.

depending on the day of the week, i will spend a few hours playing on the computer or typing emails or with a house full of teenagers, awake and not too happy about it.

the next 8 or so hours vary. sometimes, we head to a llama farm, sometimes we go do service, sometimes we hang out around the house, sometimes we clean, sometimes we go to na meetings, sometimes we go to church. we basically do what we want ;)

2pm it is time for me to be done with work, but this is precisely the time i realize all the things on my to-do list are going to take longer than i expected. 

2:30pm get all my stuff done and leave work.

2:34pm arrive home and wonder how it only takes 4 minutes to get home in the afternoon with traffic, but 7 to get to work on empty streets in the morning. vow to time each route to determine the most efficient one....tomorrow :)

wow, this is a lot more labor intensive than i thought. i am done going hour by hour. suffice it to say that i never wake up earlier than i absolutely have to, and i have a hard time being productive on days that i work, during the hours that i do not work (after working 6-2, i just want to sleep and be lazy. before working 2-10, i just want to sleep and be lazy :) thus, my most productive days are the days i have off, when i am ok with the notion of getting up and at 'em at 10 or 11 :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

eleventy-first birthdays

describe 10 pet peeves you have

wow, this question could end up being a pandora's box... a lot of things annoy we. we have discussed before how bratty i am. i guess pet peeves go a bit deeper, though.

  1. i hate it when people cut in front of me when driving and then slow down. you seemed in such a hurry, why the wait now?
  2. along those same lines, i cannot stand people who match my speed when i am trying to pass them and then slow back down when i give up and get behind them. there is a special corner in hell reserved for people who do this,
  3. i hate it when people think they know my life. it really annoys me when people make assumptions about my intentions or thoughts. if you are wondering, ask me. i will let you know what i am thinking and what my intentions are. you might not like them, but it will be the truth, not some ridiculous assumption. 
  4. people who do not rinse their dishes immediately after they use them. don't think this is a huge deal? try washing a sink full of stuck on, baked on food and you will understand. 
  5. people who read over my shoulder and then ask me questions about it. most of the time, i could not care less whether you read over my shoulder. it happens. i get that people are nosy. but to ask me questions about the email i am typing or the article i am reading?? seriously, how annoying! at least try to be sneaky about your nosiness.
  6. i cannot stand smelling other people's burps and farts. yeah, it is a bodily process, but really. no one wants to smell what you had for lunch or the decomposed remains of your dinner last night. 
  7. sitting in pee on the toilet seat (do anyone else's nephews constantly do this??) i don't think i even need to explain this one.
  8. having my personality or behaviors justified or explained away by my religion, race, upbringing, gender, education, political affiliation or anything else. why can't people just accept that i am a human? why do they need some deeper reasoning for the things i do, especially when they rarely even affect others. i think it is a way of maintaining a sense of superiority, and i despise it. if you wanted to explain the reasoning behind the behaviors of those around you, become a psychologist. otherwise, well, you know. :)
  9. too many chiefs and not enough squaws.. or some sort of saying like that! i guess this is less of a pet peeve, and more of something i have no ability to cope with. it is extremely overwhelming to try to do any task when surrounded by people who have differing opinions about how to do it. stop telling me how you would make/do it (which translates into how you think i should do/make it)! if you care so much, you can do it next time. until then, i know what i am doing; leave me be.
  10. i hate when people pick apart a movie/book/tv show that i love. yeah, there will be inconsistencies and stupid plot points, but save your criticisms for shows/movies/books that i also hate :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ten fingers, ten toes

describe your most embarrassing moment

this is a hard question for me. not because i don't have lots of embarrassing moments to choose from, but because i get over embarrassment very quickly. it is good for me, but bad for story time and any other time this question (inevitably) comes up. i am embarrassed often by being wrong. i am embarrassed by a lot of normal social situations. but, i honestly cannot recall a most embarrassing moment. maybe my friends or family could fill me in on one. :)

nine are mine

list 10 people who have influenced you and describe how

  1. my grandma. she is the reason i know that kids should have fun childhoods. she is the reason i love the 4th of july so much. she is the reason i trudge through a lot of days. she is a lot of things. she was just always so full of life and fun and understood. she was amazing. plus, you know, she gave birth to the woman who birthed me. no biggie :)
  2. my grandpa. from my youngest years, he learned that my stubbornness was not something to mess with. i learned to respect him, by his quiet strength and few words. i learned from him that a job worth doing is worth doing well, and i learned more than i care to learn about the sorrow of losing one's spouse. 
  3. my grandma genevieve. i learned to love animals and all life. we were never allowed to kill any insect, animal or critter in her house. they were all to be left alone or gently taken outside. i learned that babies can feel your spirit, because she was the sweetest, purest woman i have ever met. any baby she held instantly quieted down and loved her. i never saw her raise her voice or get flustered over anything. she lived a quiet, simple, pure life and i so admire it. i learned the beauty of smile lines, wrinkles and hands deformed by age and arthritis from this sweet woman.
  4. my grandma nellie. i learned that hard work is a lifestyle, not a chore. i learned that the key to living a long life is never letting yourself sit down until you're dead. i learned that, even in the midst of sorrow, you can still serve others, and by serving others, heal your own broken heart. i learned not to fear old age, that it does not always bring health concerns and memory loss.
  5. my sister talia. i learned from her everything i know about being a sister, friend and daughter. when my parents would fight, she would take us to her room and give us makeovers or play games with us; she would take us on drives or outside. because of her, i was spared the trauma that could have come with seeing my parents fight. i was kept out of the drama. i learned how to be gracious and a good friend from her example. everything she did was cool, thus, if i am at all cool, it is because of her.
  6. my dad's dad, vilisunia. i guess a lot of his influence could be seen as bad, but from him i learned the perils of holding a grudge and burning bridges with the people you love. i learned the sorrow that can attack years after a mistake you never make right. i learned what i hope to never do in my life. 
  7. j.r.r. tolkien. this man created not just a book, but an entire world. he created deities, languages, histories, cultures, people and stories. he created a place that the teenaged me ran to in order to escape the horrors of my own world. he created a haven for me; a coping skill before i knew the term. a safe place before i knew i needed one. my teenaged self instinctively loved his world, and it is only recently that i am able to fully understand the depth of what that world meant to me. 
  8. masey. that kid showed me the incredible power of faith and long suffering. he was dealt a hard card early in his life, but he did not get angry about it, and was patient with all of the horrible stuff that he had to do. all through it and to this day, he speaks of the power of the priesthood with such faith. it's hard to argue with the faith of a child who witnessed his own miraculous healing. 
  9. my dad. he taught me about manners and hard work and life and the blessings of being born in the amazing country. he is not a citizen, yet he is the most informed and educated man i have ever met. 
  10. my mamma. this list would not be complete without her on it. she raised me. everything i am is because of her. she taught me about sacrifice and love and beauty.

two times four equals eight

what are 5 passions you have?

i have a passion for my job right now. it sucks a lot of days, but i really love my job. i love the girls i work with. i love the staff i work with. i just love my job. so i stay.  i feel strongly that it is doing good in the world and in the girls lives. so i guess that is passion.

i have a passion for eating good food. (i also have a passion for eating mediocre food and a passion for eating my emotions)

i have a passion for my family. i don't even know if that makes sense, but my family is a huge driving force in my life, and i would not change that for the world.

i have a passion for travel. going to europe reminded me how much i love to travel and how important travel really is for my soul. i love it so much.

i have a passion for kids being kids. sometimes, my ocd kicks in and i get mad at my nieces and nephews for being too rowdy, but usually, that is followed quickly by me regretting it and letting them do it.

seventh heaven

what is your dream job, and why?

my dream job is such a hard question to answer. at one point, it was to be a full time nanny. i did that. at another it was a veterinarian. i realized i don't like to see animals suffer. at another point it was to be a nurse. i realized getting all the prerequisites suck. at a lot of points it was to be a lawyer. i realized that is a lot of school for a girl who can't stay enrolled for any meaningful amount of time.

i guess in all reality, my dream job would be a homemaker or a stay at home mom or just a mom. though, i like vili's answer. i would take being a kept woman too :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

six-pick up sticks

what is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

i would say the hardest was death. probably my grandma's. hers was so heart wrenching. it changed the path of my life. it removed an enormous force in my life, which made all the other forces out of whack. i still don't think they are straightened out. it is hard for me to talk about because i have some left over teenage angst and truly do not believe anyone can understand how much i miss her. i do not think anyone can understand how much i needed/need her in my life still. i do not think anyone loved her like i do. i do not think anyone can even understand how amazing she was, or the impact her death had on my life. i know, crazy. but, no matter what anyone else says it will not change my mind.

five alive

what are 5 things that make you most happy right now?

well, the 5 things right now are named mo, masey, jenna lee, sila boy and baby nina.

i guess another is summer time. i love having the option to swim whenever i want, and not to have to be in a nasty indoor pool.

i love a/c. with a passion. i can't remember how i survived before a/c

traveling. i love seeing new things, places and people (i guess i like seeing new nouns...)

trek. i am seriously digging trek. i love it so much.

four my younger self

list 10 things you would tell your 16-year old self, if you could

wow, there really is so much i would tell my younger self. I wish I could just infuse my 16 year old self with the infinite knowledge and wisdom i now possess.

no, but really, this one is a pretty hard question. i am sure that the moment i finally choose 10 and post them, i will think of something better. but, here are my 10 (for now)

  1. be the change you want to see in the world. stop spending so much time trying to push the river. be the change you want before you expect it from anyone else.
  2. along those same lines, you cannot change anyone else. stop trying. no, for reals, just stop trying. you will be 100x happier if you just accept that.
  3. finish high school. i know you are still a few years from that point, and you might not believe you need this advice, but YOU DO!! finish high school. 
  4. you can go to college without paying out of pocket/getting a full ride scholarship. there is a magical thing called student loans and grants (your parents aren't quite poor enough to qualify for beautiful grants, but believe me that day will come) for some reason, your high school counselor will offer much "guidance" but will never mention this third option. (um, also...your guidance counselor will sobbing cry to you in a year. do not feel obligated to sit through it. say goodbye and leave her to her tears. it's not your problem)
  5. forgive dad. no, really, do it. in a few short years, he will look death in the face. all this anger and drama will mean absolutely nothing. just let it all go and feel the freedom of forgiveness.
  6. grandma is not immortal. she will die in less than 5 years. appreciate the time you have with her. enjoy the trips she will take from idaho to spend time with you at college. go to costco with her every.single.time she comes into town. listen to her advice, take your medicine, she is a genius. your children will not grow up playing games with her and doing crafts with her. you will need to learn those skills to pass on her legacy. pay more attention now. appreciate the newsletter. those glimpses into grandma's mind will one day be the closest you can come to talking to her.
  7. you are absolutely right, you are clinically depressed. go to the doctor and get you some happy pills. it will save years of anguish. depression is a chemical imbalance, you will not be able to balance those chemicals in any other way. just trust me and take the pills.
  8. don't argue with pene on the day you were supposed to graduate; it is not her fault, and you will just end up rear-ending another car. the driver will be on the way to her daughter (your classmate)'s graduation, which will only add insult to injury.
  9. you are a bonafide melting pot. half of your genetic material is tongan, the other half is a mixture of scottish, welsh, english, german, french, navajo and paiute.  as you can see you are more brown than white. you do not need to prove that to anyone. you are the only one who gets to decide who/what you are. do not accept a race-based label from ANYONE.
  10. pene is going to have a baby in a few years. it's gonna be a rough time for her. do everything you can to make it easier and make sure she knows you love her unconditionally.  also, that baby will get cancer. i wish i could tell you he lives to be an old man, but only one person knows that answer right now. however old he lives, appreciate the crap outta that kid. he will bring sunshine to your home and life.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

three's a crowd

describe your relationship with your parents

this is another pretty hard question. my relationship with my parents has morphed so much over the years. i guess i can just explain my whole life and you can take it or leave it!

also, to understand my relationship with my parents, you need to understand that i am fully aware that i am a brat. i know that my relationships with my parents were shaped mostly by my own brattiness. i know that i could have had a hollywood-type relationship with my parents if i had wanted one. that our relationships have struggled is a reflection on my own issues, not theirs. 

my dad was always the do-no-wrong type in my childhood. that is why, when he did wrong, it was really hard for me to move past it. i spent most of my teenaged years angry and bitter toward my dad for whatever reason my teenaged self saw as justified. i saw him as the enemy, and was fine having as little contact with him as possible. we lived under the same roof, but i cannot remember having any conversation with him about anything other than things like "the food is ready" or "go do _____" that all changed during the last half of my senior year in high school, when my dad became deathly ill. for the first time in my life, he was fragile, and truly on death's door. that was a humbling experience for me. i had to reconcile my resentments toward him with the pity and love i was feeling because of his illness. he became less of the enemy and more of my dad. i realized how little my anger mattered, and how much i was willing to fight for his health and life. that was a huge deal for me, and changed our relationship so much. now, years later, his health is still an issue, and every so often we are reminded how sick he is, but i love those reminders. they help me keep focused and keep my priorities in check. now, i can chat with my dad about anything and everything. i don't see him as a disciplinarian or authority figure, i see him as my dad and a human. which is much better than when i saw him as a conglomerate of his flaws.

my mom. we have so many personality traits in common. my mom would always say that, but i hated to hear it. i hated to think that i was like her. in my eyes, she was a mom. i was an original, the only one like me. there was no way we were alike. i had all the teenaged angst in the world and truly believed that there was no one out there who could understand me. not a single soul. thus, when my mom tried to understand me, i pushed her away. i pushed especially hard the (many) times she got it right or got it close. i did not like the thought that she was in my head. that she might have insight i could use. i just wanted to go it alone. to prove who knows what to the world. while i was rekindling my relationship with my dad, my mom was busy trying to save our family. she went back to school, as it was apparent my dad would never be able to work again. the timing was bad for me, but when does illness take into account our own preferences and convenience? i disagreed with her going to school for selfish reasons, and because i could not see the bigger picture. i thought that her doing what was right for the family without consulting me was a personal attack, so the resentment i felt shaped our relationship for years afterward. once again, because the problem was mine; had always been mine, it was not until i was humbled that i was able to see my mom for the amazing, self-less and beautiful woman she was once more. i was able to recall the amazing cook she once was, back when she had time to spend in the kitchen. the beautiful blankets, wall hangings, clothes she could craft with her bare hands, back when she had personal time to relax. i was able to remember all of our trips she took us on, the singing in the car, the constant support she was, even when the last thing i deserved was support. i was able to recall my mom, the super woman. and i haven't looked back yet!

a second of your time

describe three legitimate fears and explain how they became fears

ok, first of all, i did not really anticipate having a problem writing about all this stuff online. in fact, i did not really read the list before this moment. but, i am determined to write, so write i will, i guess...

my first fear is definitely my most feared. the fear of dying alone. i have always feared this, i don't know if i can really pinpoint the moment it became a fear. i think we as a society fear this, or we at least marginalize those that we see as having suffered this (think the cat lady, the spinster, the bag lady, the creepy old bachelor)

another fear is one that i am slowly, slowly overcoming. (though any progress is easily undone by watching a horror movie) the fear of the dark. when i was younger, i was terrified of the dark. i had to sleep with my door closed, in case something bad was in the hallway (because we all know how well a flimsy interior door without a lock fares against a villain) and i could not dangle my feet off the bed before something horrible under my bed grabbed them (the act of being on top of the bed is a very strong deterrent) i could not walk outside without the lights on, and even then, i could not look off into the distance, where the lights did not shine. (somehow, it made sense that not letting the evil beings in the dark know i could feel their presence protected me from them. we all know that naivete = protection!

i have a fear of open water. i don't like not being able to see or touch the bottom of the water i am in. i guess it is really an irrational fear of sharks or mermaids or human-eating giant squid or some other sort of water monster that is the problem. i love to swim in lakes, but you will not find me going farther than i can touch without panicking. i love to swim in the ocean, but you will not find me going farther than i can touch/see without panicking. i guess growing up, hearing stories about my uncle who was swimming to shore from miles out and was eventually eaten by sharks is the basis of this fear. i know that the numbers are astronomical that i would ever be attacked by sharks (i myself have been swimming a ridiculous amount of times and never even seen a shark) but i am still terrified of the possibility.

5 years is a long time...

 well, today is july 1, 2012. in just a few short weeks, it will be the 5th anniversary of this blog. in the past 5 years, i have written 183 posts. that is about 3 posts per month for the 60 months i've been at this. a few months ago, my brother decided to do some getting to know you type posts. i liked the idea, but let it die at liking it until today. today, with the help of one of my oldest friends channey, i decided to take the plunge. my goal is to get all 30 of these posts in before july 26th, my official blogiversary. what do i get for this feat? probably nothing. what do you get? lots of moments of t.m.i. and 10 times as many posts as my average for this month :)

here are the 30 questions, followed by my 20 random facts :)

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for?

ok, 20 random facts:

  1. i have a new-found love of trek. a.k.a. hiking in the wilderness with a huge 70+ pound pack, sleeping under the stars and enjoying nature. 
  2. i love to blog stalk people. people i know, people i don't, people who have interesting posts, you name it, i love to blog stalk it.
  3. i have owned 3 computers in the last 5 years. 
  4. i own two cars, neither of which are currently running
  5. i have dreams of becoming a linguist. languages come easily to me, i think i just am very able to hear nuances in pronunciations. 
  6. i love renew lotion (it's from melaleuca. it is seriously amazing)
  7. i never thought of the nickname la2 until i was like 19. even then, other people thought of it for me. 
  8. sometimes i like to make up a pattern or just start cutting to sew an item i randomly decide to try. besides my usually crooked sewing (on a machine, go figure) it usually turns out pretty well.
  9. once on a handcart/pioneer trek (you know, the kind where they bus you out to martin's cove and set you loose for a week, all the time wearing pioneer clothing and trying to envision our ancestor's struggles) the family i was with fashioned me a harness to go out in front of the handcart and pull. one might say much like you make a harness for an ox to pull your wagon
  10. i am a pack rat of sorts. i tend to collect junk until it overwhelms my ocd, then i trash it all. 
  11. i love me some orange julius
  12. i have allergies that i did not discover until i was like 21. this year they sucked. like really bad. i think all the stupid fires were not helping, either.
  13. i feel claustrophobic with socks on while i sleep
  14. i tried marmalade for the first time in england and LOVED it!
  15. i have traveled to three continents and i plan on seeing all the rest before i die
  16. i have a will written out.
  17. i once wrote out the funeral i wanted to have, including speakers, topics, songs, etc.
  18. my ears have been pierced since i was an infant, and they really do not close, no matter how long i go without earrings
  19. i had sinus surgery once, where they stuck enormous picks/rods up my nose. they looked like egyptian brain scramblers. they drilled holes in my sinuses to allow them to drain more easily
  20. i am in charge of burning cds for the girls at work. when i got the assignment, i had to look up how to burn cds. it had been years since i burned a cd.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

trek on

years ago, i got super good advice from my uncle darl. he told me something along the lines of if i did not take pictures, no one would believe i'd been there/done that. i hear his voice telling me that constantly, and it is so true. journals and books and family histories are really only awesome when they have a photograph accompanying it.

a few months ago, i went on a 4 day trek with my work. it was awesome, i really loved it. it was great to get out in nature, prove to myself that i can survive on necessities, and prove that i can do hard stuff (omg, my backpack was enormous, and we hiked miles and miles)  well, tomorrow (or technically today) i am going on trek again! it is with another program from the company i work with. i really don't know much about what or where or who i am going with, but i know there was an emergency and i need to fill in for the next three days.

the idea of going on trek is exciting, i am excited to go out in the wilderness and just be one with it! the idea of not knowing details is scary, and the fact that i am wide awake at 3 am is terrifying, i only have 5 hours until i leave! i should be sleeping!!

anywho, the point of this post is more than to freak out about trek coming up. it's kinda a catch up post. i know it has been months since i posted, and the knowledge that i am so behind on my life is stressful. so, i will fill the internet in on the biggies :)

i went on trek, but i have no photographic evidence, so feel free to not believe me.
i became a supervisor at work.
i am coming to terms with the fact that my synthroid (wow, long story, but when i was in high school i had to radiate my thyroid and kill it off because it was working way too hard and damaging my heart, now i take hormone replacements for my non-existent thyroid) basically makes me allergic to the sun. i get nasty sun/water blisters all over. nope, no pictures of those either. call me a liar all you want.
i turned 26. wow. i am officially on the downward side of my 20s.
i went to england, scotland, wales and france. that needs a post of its own. or two or three. one of these days (surprise! i have pics of this one!)
my grandpa is going to be the grand marshal of the malad 4th of july parade
the 5 year anniversary of this blog is coming up way too fast.
i have not been to malad in months and months
i discovered a weird love for swimming in utah lake (don't judge. it's not as gross as the stereotype would have you believe)
i am filling in these spots with useless chatter to create the illusion there is lots more going on in my life.

sadly, that is not the case, haha. anyways, i am going to go and try to sleep, i have 4.5 hours until trek! and i am taking my phone on this one, maybe i will actually document it! proof, suckas!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

well, here i am, at boston's logan airport. i am heading to london in a few minutes. it's weird, being here, looking out at the overcast, foggy sky. i'm definitely not in utah anymore.  all of the announcements are being made in a thick new england accent. i guess it's good practice for england and paris.

i always have these huge plans, to travel the world and meet new people. what i am realizing is that the older i get, the harder that is getting. i have left the country once before (mexico does not count) and am about to do it for the second time. i have so many thoughts about going to england. part of me is scared. part of me would love to hop onto the flight to salt lake. it's one gate over and boarding now. part of me wants to just sit and type, but i don't really know what i want to say...

i guess i want to just validate myself for following through. anyone who knows me, doubted i would go. well, this is one time you doubters were wrong! london, you better get ready!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Joseph McKay and Martha Blair...

... and their progenitors and their posterity

that is the title of a book my mom has had on her bookshelf as long as i can remember. it is hard covered, and fairly large. five generations after joseph and martha you will find my mother, on page 155 of the book. (assuming you accept her name as julia, not julie) it is apparent that the book was published before my mother's two youngest brothers were born, as their names are hand written in, on makeshift lines. many of the names of the people in this book are familiar to me. each memorial day is spent carefully trodding about the malad cemetery to deliver flowers to these ancestors, 6 generations back. some of them go to the old limestone pillars, with words obscured by lichens. we take grandpa's word that they are the proper grave markers. i imagine myself one day, carrying on the tradition of remembering these ancestors at least one day a year, with a token bunch of flowers. my mind is already drawing a map of the locations of the graves. maybe this year, i will pay closer attention to where grandpa puts them. maybe i'll draw a real map. i remember the family in the garland cemetery, too. after that, my mind is drawn to the faraway new mexico cemetery where my sweet grandma genevieve and her family is buried. i need to make a map of those, too. maybe i should include it with the handwritten will i have made (utah requires either a professionally-made or hand-written will. lawyers are expensive, so handwritten it is) maybe i should include sweet lile genevieve. and the burial place of my grandma talia, half a world away in the land down under. it's weird for me to remember that this blog is almost 5 years old. i know it's not old as far as blogs go. i know i will win no awards for content or length, but 5 years. that's an amazing amount of time for me to dedicate to something. i have been through 4 jobs since i started this blog. i have started and stopped school twice, and started a third time. i have bought two (p.o.s.) cars, i have seen three new children born to my sister. i have gotten two new dogs and kept my same old dog. i have been to nauvoo and to hawaii and to vegas and to florida and to new mexico and to arizona and to idaho and to california, to australia, and new jersey, and many more places in between. i can't remember them all right now. i have been to antelope island, on the great salt lake. who knew that lake was so big?? i have seen the beast known as cancer. i have felt heartbreak and sadness and anguish and longing and emptiness. i have felt joy and happiness and elation and excitement and contentment and relief and gratitude and appreciation and humility. 5 years is a long time. if you would have asked me where i would be in 5 years, right here is not where i would have said. still unmarried and childless, fielding offers from my dad to set me up with eligible bachelors in tonga, is not where i would have imagined myself. i truly had no idea back then. i thought i had lived life. i thought i had experienced so much. that's kinda the story of my life. right now, i feel like i have lived life and experienced so much. i guess in another 5 years i'll look back again and think "i was so clueless" i guess that's a good thing. it is progress. two things i have tried hard to improve (let's be honest, i'm still trying hard) are my gratitude and my empathy. i am definitely still a work in progress, but maybe in another 5 years i will be able to move to some different goals.

my mind is wandering. i can't really remember what the point of this post was. maybe i'm waxing nostalgic in my old age (today, i am officially 26, you know. i actually am not sure i can call it today anymore. i guess for 20 or so more minutes) i think the point i was trying to make is just that my life has been incredibly blessed, both by the family i know here and now and the family that i only know from heaven.  i am ridiculously grateful for them today, my heart feels ready to burst, and i love that feeling. i owe a lot to joseph mckay and martha blair, and the countless others that came before.