Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Family Night

Last night Lisa and I decided to ditch the ward family home evening and have our own. Lisa gained inspiration for the bright idea from the fact that our apartment is still not “home” to us. We have some mis-matched furniture, in all random colors, a few decorations I brought home from Africa and way too many blank, bland walls.

Lisa ventured to the craft store and bought 12 frames in all shapes and sizes, then we both picked out our favorite pictures from our travels went down to the CVS and had them printed. At 10:00 PM is when we finally started putting the pictures in frames, organizing a cool pattern and then pounding nails into the walls. (I’m sure our neighbors loved that)

The final product is spectacular. It brings personality and class to our plain apartment. The big problem came after we were finished and were sitting, staring at the pictures. We couldn’t figure why it just didn’t fit exactly and we came to the conclusion that instead of the pictures not fitting with the d├ęcor of the apartment, it’s the apartment that doesn’t fit with the pictures. Our apartment was not classy enough for such a wall of grandeur. So then we started chatting about, painting the table black, buying a different couch, putting the futon in the sun-room, creating paintings to hang above the TV and couch, painting walls, getting new bedspreads…. The list goes on. As my mind was reeling with ideas that were much too big for my wallet, the words “If you give a mouse a cookie…” came to mind; I wonder why?

Friday, July 24, 2009

O' Pioneers!

Happy 24th of JULY! Oh Pioneer Day; what a marvelous summer celebration! Parades, fireworks, dutch-oven cooking, car shows, demo derby, rodeos, getting to see Ms. Rodeo Utah all dolled up in sequins and huge hair and the only time of the year I can whip out my belt buckle without feeling stupid. I am sad to not be in Utah for such an event, but considering I have not been in Utah to celebrate for the past 3 years, I will just have to carry as usual with my own secret celebration wherever I am. I wanted to reflect on some of my past “Not-in-Utah-and-am surrounded-by-people-who-don’t-care” celebrations!

Catalina Boy Scout Camp: We celebrated by feeding the boys and extra special breakfast of pancakes instead of the usual Hash and told every one who came through line Happy 24th of July! Many of them were from California and thought we were crazy. Later that night we did a full-on reenactment of a rodeo, complete with barrel races with no horses and the crowning of a Ms. Rodeo Catalina.

Ecuador: The morning started out with good ol’ American breakfast of pancakes and syrup. I secretly listened to twangy, cheesy country music. After working, we went out to eat as American of a meal as we could find and topped it off with ice cream. (Though it was no where near as good as Farrs)Not much, but it's the best we could do with the limited resources we had.

TODAY: I am celebrating by going to Lake Anna and relaxing in Shannon’s lake house, wakeboarding all day tomorrow in perfect weather and roasting marshmallows over the fire... can't wait!

Have a wonderful 24th of July to all who are in or from Utah and have any clue about what I am talking about! Yeeeha!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Plans

Growing up is tough. Especially when I become overwhelmed and nervous around words like contract, insurance, taxes, but the one that is hardest for me is commitment. I am committed to a job, apartment and city for an entire year, with only a regulated amount of vacation and sick days allowed. I have never felt so tied down, so stable. I don’t like this feeling of having my wings clipped, my freedom taken from me. I am a 9 to 5 robot.

Ok Ok I know this may seem a little over-dramatic and I need to be grateful for the opportunity at hand rather then the having a perspective of what feels like a lifetime. You also have to understand, that I have not been in the same place for longer then 4 months since the day I graduated high school, so this has been a completely life-changing experience.

In order to keep my sanity intact and to keep me from just up and running away from this new lifestyle, I need to make some exciting plans; both short and long term. I need to look forward to something. As one of my friends put it, this is will be my “base camp” year, where I will plan, save and prepare for an epic year to come.

Plan #1: Money- Find a part-time job that will allow me to actually save money instead of just barely scrape by on my fellowship stipend.

Plan #2: Brain-teaser- Get a hobby. Something that will allow me to escape for a little while so I don’t get bored and start looking up cheap flights to all of the places I wish I could be but can’t go because I don’t have enough vacation days.

Plan #3: Review- I found a ceramics class being offered at an art gallery near-by and once I save enough, I think I will sign up for a few of the classes. I have always loved ceramics and can’t wait to try my hand at it again.

Plan #4: Work on documenting and scrap-booking all of my previous trips and years of my life since I graduated high school.

Plan #5: Research-Start researching places I have always wanted to explore with fascinating culture and sights to behold. Try to find a job, internship or cheap way to travel those places during the summer once my “commitment” is over.

Places I will be considering:
South-East Asia
India
Indonesia
Australia/New Zealand
South Africa

Plan #6: Fly away- Explore and immerse myself into a new culture until my heart is content :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reality

It has been 3 weeks since I have been home from Africa which have been filled with non-stop adventures and new, exciting journeys…

-Flew straight to D.C
-Started my new job the next day
-Moved into my wonderful new apartment
-Went shopping almost every night with Lisa (my roommate) for apartment supplies
-Bought a pet fish and named him Pez
-Went to conferences, seminars, webinars, lobby visits, hill drops….etc. for work
-Flew to Utah for the 4th of July weekend
- Flew in just in time to be a bridesmaid at my friends wedding reception
-Cleaned out all of my closets and drawers
- Packed my bags for a year of living in D.C.
-Visited wonderful friends that I have not seen in far too long
-Went to Huntsville, Liberty and Cherry Days for the 4th of July
-Took a 3-hour nap
-Went on a 3-generational shopping spree
- Showed off my Africa pics to my very kind family who tried to act excited after the 1,000th picture
-Watched the Ogden fireworks from the cemetery… best seat in the house. Kinda creepy though.
-Took a drive down memory lane
- Flew back to D.C.
- Was given my first real assignments and projects at work
- Finally finished my internship paper that was due 3-weeks ago
- Enjoyed a weekend filled with relaxation, friendship and memories
-Went on a tour of the Capitol building…. This was my 4th time in 6 months, I think I could give the tour now
-Have officially decided that growing up is expensive, stressful, at-times boring, but over all it’s an adventure
-Realized that having the attention span of a three year old is not good for a 9-5 job being stuck in a cubicle