Thursday, November 29, 2012

Misophonia

the hatred of sound. Namely, of gum-chomping, pen-clicking, cereal-chewing kinds of sounds. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I have this condition.

OK not literally, because according to my *extensive* scientific research on this psychological condition (i.e. 4 minutes on Google), people who legitimately have misophonia are "driven to rage and panic by certain small sounds like chewing, slurping, and gulping." And I can't say I've ever actually started shaking or pounding my fists when someone next to me is loudly chewing gum, but I also can't say I haven't felt the strongest urge to reach into the offending person's mouth and yank out the gum (or whatever the offending object may be), then quietly and happily continue on my merry way! Some people's kids. Seriously, it's kind of crazy how such a small thing can make me almost sick to my stomach. That and I start looking like this:

Whether or not I've actually seen segments of this movie will remain confidential.
End of rant. Someday I'll be happy for all the patience I've had to build by so many gum-chomping, pen-snapping, cereal-chewing beautiful children of God in this world.

Friday, November 16, 2012

You know you're a (byu) accounting student when...

*You get really excited about the Church auditing report
*You randomly look at companies' financial reports, just for fun
*You make choices based on the materiality of consequences
*You think about ways you could potentially defraud businesses, including your local grocery store
*You generally wear one of two categories of clothing: (1) freebie t-shirts, sweatshirts, and the like from recruiting companies, or (2) business attire for your interview/presentation/info session/career fair/cute boy in class
*You score free meals several times a day
*You know that a "macc" isn't a computer, it's a graduate degree
*You also know that B.S. isn't an acronym for a swear word, it's one of the financial statement reports
*Your favorite pick-up lines are ones like "Hey girl. Will you be my going concern?"
*You make accounting jokes, all the time.
*You get told that you need to work on lowering your GPA and increasing your experiences
*You get confused for a split second when someone says they're auditing a class
*You put a running agenda on every powerpoint presentation you make
*You panic as much about misplacing your financial calculator or iclicker as you do your phone or keys

[list subject to increase.]

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Grandma Christensen: 1937 ~ 2012

Late last night I was leaving campus and was about to go to the temple when I received one of "those" calls -  my dad telling me that my Grandma Christensen had passed away. This totally came as a surprise for me, because I had not even known that she had been so sick for the past two weeks. But, I also felt so much peace. I love Grandma so much, and I am going to miss her and visiting that house that my mom grew up in. But it just makes me so happy to think that after 13 years, Grandma is finally with Grandpa! She missed him so, so much, and I just know she must be so happy right now. On her way to the hospital yesterday, apparently she said to my aunt, "If I see the bright light, I'm going for it!" And I don't blame her.

I was just thinking today about the good memories I have of Grandma and decided to write these down as I think of them. I wish I had spent more time with her, but I am so thankful for the wonderful times we did have together. I love you Grandma!!!
Look at all that love!
 





Memories with Grandma:
  • riding in her/Grandpa's big van. I was always so excited to ride in that thing!
  • sitting in Caribbean water, finding pictures in the clouds while fish swam all around us
  • Grandma always coming out to graduations and weddings, even if that meant driving and flying by herself
  • going fabric shopping together
  • Grandma being there when I found out I made it into Zion Choir in high school
  • Grandma always being super supportive of me while I tried to decide what to major in
  • talking to her on the phone...and finishing with Grandma telling me she loves me
  • spending time at Karissa's house with Grandma and the boys
  • Grandma talking about Grandpa and how much she loves him

Saturday, October 6, 2012

a double-temple run

Tonight I did something I've been wanting to do for a while - go on a run to both Provo temples! Seriously, where else can you run for 5.6 miles and stop by two temples?! So blessed.

It was just what I needed. Without going into tons of details, today was one of those days that just felt like all the unfairness of the world was against me and I suddenly had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life. After having a good talk with my mom (who is so so great at understanding me and knowing exactly what to say!), I decided to go on a run. Gotta love running with some anger in you, you end up doing really well haha. Seriously though, there's no better way to clear your mind than a good, hard run. And then, there's no better way to fill it back up again with love and peace than a visit to the temple. I run up the hill to the Provo Temple first. It was so beautiful.
I love temples.

The Provo Temple with Emily a couple weeks ago. She's pretty much my best friend, and she's going to be a missionary soon. I'm going to miss her so much!...but she'll be great :)

I sat there at the top of the hill on some grass and had a nice little chat (aka prayer) with my Heavenly Father. It was so peaceful sitting across from that sign that said "The House of the Lord - Holiness to the Lord." After a while, I got up and made my way down the hill, across to University Avenue, and then down to where they are constructing the Provo City Center Temple - what I fondly call the Tabertemple. Really there wasn't much to see there, but it was still beautiful, and I loved standing there and picturing what it will be like when it is all finished.
pretty much what it looks like right now, but with the tops (the steeple things) taken off
About how it should look in a couple years :)
There were a couple things that I thought of while talking with my mom and while on my run. One was from last week's General Relief Society meeting, when Sis. Burton talked about Heavenly Father's love for each one of His children. He really is aware of each of us and cares about us individually. The other thought I had was a quote by President Packer, who said "All are part of the test, and there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect." For someone like me who has a tendency to compare myself to others, that is a pretty comforting statement. 

I came home from my run pretty exhausted but feeling so much more at peace. I'm thankful for a healthy body so that I am able to go on runs like that when I need. I'm grateful for temples and the gospel. And I'm so thankful for the Atonement, a knowledge of it, and a Savior who suffered everything for us, so that He knows and understands everything we are going through. Through the Atonement, all the unfairness of the world will be made up for and made right. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember and believe that, but I have a testimony that it is true. I'm not perfect, but if I just keep trying and stay close to Jesus Christ, He will carry me through. I love Him so much!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

oh happy day

Yesterday was one of those days that just filled my little heart with so much joy! And even though it's super late and I need to get to bed, I realized that I am already forgetting so much about yesterday that I thought I'd better document it before it completely goes away.

In reality, it wasn't that crazy of a day. Just a peaceful, smile-on-your-face kind of day :)

I took my last test of the first round of accounting midterms from 11:26 - 2:23 (exactly). It was a grueling 18-page test. But, walking out of that testing center was the best feeling, knowing I had finished a long week of tests. I went to Women's Chorus practice at 3 and had a good, hard practice, then walked home in the warm, beautiful early fall sunshine. Emily, Jordan, and I drove to Wyview, where we met up with a bunch of Emily's cousins for a tailgate party. It was so fun being with her family and just seeing the love everyone had for each other! Gosh I love families. Also food - we were fed Little Caesar's, root beer, chips and salsa, and the like. It was a great time.

Later I went for a run for the first time in about four weeks. It felt soooo good. I still surprise myself sometimes when I actually go for a run haha. But seriously. The early evening air was so perfect, and just the feeling of my body running and working felt great! I'm glad that I didn't take my iPod with me this time, because I was able to think and ponder about a lot of things while running. I felt like it was such a blessing to be able to just go out and run.

Afterwards, Emily and I went to the Provo Temple. Being there just made me so dang happy! I was sitting and waiting and just had a little grin on my face for no apparent reason. I loved seeing all our temple worker friends and watching everyone serve each other. Temples are so great. The Priesthood is so wonderful.The Church is so true!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Zero fun sir.

Replace "football" with "accounting," and this just about explains my life exactly right now. Yay for test week! 3 more days until Friday, less than 2 months until Thanksgiving, and 3 months exactly until Christmas.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Monday morning to remember. Or forget.

I haven't posted anything in a while. Yes, I am still alive. But after this morning, that's debatable.

First of all, I dreamt that I was running around without a shirt on. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get one on. Awkward. And kind of stressful.

Then I overslept for an hour.

Then I realized...

We didn't have any hot water.
We didn't have any toilet paper.
We didn't have Internet.

When the Internet finally did connect, I made some quick changes to the assignment due at 8am, clicked print - and then forgot my ID card and couldn't actually print it. When we went over it in class, I realized we had probably done about 80% of it wrong.

On my way to school, I mentioned to Emily that I'd probably have a quiz. I did. Two of them, actually.

When we finally got to the top of the millions of stairs south of campus, Emily said, "I hate seeing people holding hands." Ahh, at times like these, the feeling is mutual.

Later I opened an online link to a homework submission - except, I opened the wrong one, the one I hadn't actually done yet. Since it was timed for 30 minutes, I had to quickly run through the homework assignment and submit my answers. And I couldn't discuss them with my teammate like I had planned to.

We forgot to submit our census. Which was due Saturday. Hopefully we don't get fined, or tracked down by the US government.

Ever read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"? That's kind of what it felt like haha.

On the bright side, though, I had a very nice talk with my mom (as did Emily with her mom...haha what would we do without them?) and I had a great time at Women's Chorus practice. As one of our songs goes, "I know dark clouds will tower 'oer me, I know the way is rough and steep. But beauteous fields lie just before me, where God's redeemed their vigils keep."

My friends, we are going to get through this!





Sunday, September 2, 2012

4 auditions and 9 sessions later...

Today I found out I made it into Women's Chorus! It is not an exaggeration to say that this is basically a dream come true (as in, I've actually had several dreams slash nightmares about women's chorus, auditions, etc.). It definitely was not an easy process for me getting here though.

At the start of each school year, there are three rounds of auditions. First is a skills test with a graduate music student, who then decides whether to pass you on to audition for the conductor, which is round 2. The final step is a call-back audition.

Freshman year, I basically auditioned on a whim and was thus not prepared at all. I did terribly on the sight singing because I had never been taught or learned how to do that, and I didn't realize I'd have to sing a capella and ended horribly off pitch. I did get to the second round, but didn't get called back. I wasn't too surprised about that, but I do remember deciding one day that I'd keep trying and that one day, I would get into women's chorus. That year I sang in the non-auditioned University Chorale with Dr. Broomhead, who was a complete riot, and I just loved it. I sang with a few friends from back home and had a great time. Sure it hurt my pride when several of my friends made it in and I didn't, but overall I was pretty happy.

About mid/late-summer before sophomore year, I started preparing for auditions again. I was working at Aspen Grove, but I was able to get some sight reading books from the BYU library, as well as use some online sources. I would sneak away sometimes during my breaks to go practice in the bottom floor of one of the lodges on site that had a piano. I worked really hard preparing my two hymns (one for the skills test, one for the test with the director), but I really struggled staying on pitch. It was super frustrating, and sometimes it was really hard to go practice by myself when I wanted to hang out with friends. I even passed up on ice cream during the last week (I know, right?!) to try to keep my voice in tip-top shape. When auditions came around again, I did much better on my sight singing - but still did pretty poorly on my intonation. Still, I made it not only to the second round, but also the third. I was stoked! I started feeling confident and excited, and got my hopes way up that I would finally make it. And then, that Friday morning after auditions came around and I futilely searched the list for a "Hannah Whipple." It wasn't there, and I was crushed. I had worked so hard and had felt like I had sacrificed so much (people, we're talking about ice cream here), to no avail. After a pathetic little cry by myself, I picked myself up again and went to class.

After the most recent failed attempt, I decided to register for private voice lessons through BYU, both to try to get myself in a better position vocally and just to continue receiving credit for my music minor. I loved my teacher and felt like I made some good improvements. I told her my goals, and she encouraged me to try out for the few spots that open up for winter semester. Since this was a much smaller audition, there wasn't a separate skills test - I went straight to Sis. Applonie (the director). It went pretty terribly. I'm not sure what it was, but I was just not performing my best at all. Talk about discouraging! There went my chance for another 8 months. Yet again, I joined University Chorale, this time in the section led by two graduate students, Mariah and Lee. I didn't always have the best attitude, especially at first. I wanted to be in women's chorus, NOT university chorale, and I was sure that Dr. Broomhead's section (which didn't fit in my section) would be much better than any choir led by graduate students. However, I soon realized that I loved this choir equally well as the one directed by Dr. Broomhead, and when we performed at the end of the semester, I got the biggest performance high. I loved it.

Before I knew it, summer rolled around again. I decided to give it one more shot and fork out another hundred dollars or so to take voice lessons during summer term in preparation for another long round of auditions. I did NOT want to audition. I didn't want to practice sight-singing and hymns over and over, I didn't want to get all nervous, I didn't want to wait to find out the results, and most of all I didn't want to get rejected. again. All very dramatic, I know, but I knew I had to give it another shot, and I had to give it everything. So, I worked hard in my lessons and made my way to the practice rooms as often as possible, sometimes wanting to despair over the seemingly impossibility of sight-singing and staying on pitch - it was this summer that I realized that I am actually somewhat tone-deaf. For real. It was quite frustrating. But I kept trying.

I went home to Mesa for a couple weeks before school started. Auditions started on Saturday before the first day of school on Monday, so I asked Lizzie, who I had driven with, if we could drive back on Friday - without saying why. I wanted as few people to know my audition plans as possible, because it was a little humiliating at this point. I came back in the late afternoon on Friday, basically a total mess - I was scared about school, I was tired from our drive, I was missing my family, and I had an audition the next morning. Thankfully, a talk with my mom on the phone and some time with friends seemed to do the trick, and the next morning I woke up feeling ready - or as ready as I could be - for another audition round. I got myself all dressed up and to campus in time to warm up and practice for my 9:30-ish audition. The skills test went fairly well; I sang the required hymn for alto II (which I was trying out for because it is the least popular, and thus easiest, to get in as), which was "I Need Thee Every Hour" - and boy did I feel that need! I'm pretty sure I ended on pitch, though I don't know exactly because he didn't actually play it on the piano at the end. I did the first two sight-singing lines of music well and the third one not as well, and same with the tonal memory exercises. But, I felt I had done my best, and thankfully he sent me on to the next round.

Luckily for me, when I went to sign up for a spot for the next round, there were still lots of empty spots available, including for that morning. I decided, heck, I'm already in the audition mindset, I'm dressed, I'm warmed up - why not get this one taken care of too? So I waited and practiced for a few minutes and then went to round 2 with Sis. Applonie. This was a little different than in past years, because she auditioned three of us at a time. Which was just a little scary because one of the other girls had perfect pitch and both of them were awesome and were even sent on to audition for Sis. Hall, the concert choir director. But it was also really exciting because Sis. Applonie had me change the way I was placing my tongue while I was singing (it sounds weird, but singing's weird, so whatevs) and it made my voice so much better! At least, that's what she said. She was like, I'm glad we did that, because that just brought up your score! What a relief. She said she was super close to sending me on to Sis. Hall too, but she wanted me to practice with my "new sound" for another semester or so. That got me hopeful though because if she thought I was almost good enough to audition for Concert Choir, maybe I was good enough for Women's Chorus? I tried not to get my hopes up too much though.

On Tuesday at 1:00PM, the call-back lists went up. I was on the Alto I list - she told me that I was definitely not an alto II, which I basically knew anyways, I was just trying to get away with it ;) I went to the call-back "class" that same day at 3, where we learned the portion of the call-back piece. It was a really pretty song, but I was feeling pretty grumpy because there were just so many girls there, and I was so tired of going through the process and feeling like I wasn't good enough. But I worked really hard to memorize as much of the piece as I could because I knew we wouldn't be allowed to take the music to practice.

Wednesday at 3:00PM was my call-back time. I went as early as I could so I wouldn't have to wait so long and get all nervous and such. I was still super super nervous though. It was on the de Jong concert hall stage - no big deal. I went up with two other girls, and we each sang a line of the song consecutively. I did it once and felt pretty good; we sang it again and I felt pretty good again. Sis. Applonie said she was sure about me and another girl (sure as in she knew if she wanted us or not so we could go, but no one had any idea whether that meant she was sure she wanted us, or she was sure she didn't...) but the graduate assistant said she wanted to hear me one more time. Dang. I knew then that I was on the border. I sang one more line, and then was told I could go. I didn't feel as good about my last one as I had about the others, but I was happy I was done and tried not to think about it any more. Thus finished my 9th session of singing in women's chorus auditions - two my freshman year, three at the beginning of my sophomore year, one in the middle of my sophomore year, and three now at the beginning of my junior year. What a ride.

Friday noon finally rolled around. I was busily working on a project with some of my classmates in the basement of the library, when I looked at the time, excused myself for a minute, and ran (not literally) to the Harris Fine Arts Center. There I found myself surrounded by girls squealing in delight that they made WC. I didn't want to look at the list. I glanced at it, then quickly glanced down. Then did it again. I thought I might have seen something that looked like my name. So I looked at the list one last time, this time long enough to actually read the names - and I saw it! My name was actually, finally there. I was so excited, but I didn't really have anyone to be excited with at the time, so I just happily walked away back towards the library with a grateful prayer in my heart that it hadn't all been for nothing :)

Part of me is pretty stressed because I know it's going to be a busy time commitment, but I am so excited for this amazing opportunity! It's what I've wanted for so long. Singing makes me so stinking happy. Yesterday I was being a dork and listening to every WC youtube video and music clip I could find and thinking, they sound so awesome! That's going to be me!! While I sometimes wish I could have sang in this choir in the past, I am also grateful for the experience this has given me. It's been a humbling experience that has taught me to keep trying, and as cheesy as that sounds, it's been an important lesson. I'm not perfect, I'm not the best or even relatively great at some things, but if I just do my best, things will work out. I sure am glad that this time, they eventually worked out in the way I wanted :) I tried on my WC outfit on Friday and as unflattering and '90's-esque as it is, I'm so excited to finally get to wear it and be part of this choir! And sing awesome songs like this!:



                                    

:)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It might be the laughing gas...

Got my wisdom teeth out. Hands down, one of the funniest experiences of my life. This is what I look like as I write this:


That hot new accessory? Two ice packs wrapped in nylons and tied around my head. That's right, I'm wearing pantyhoes on my head.

Ok so here's the story. Mom and I walk into the maxillofacial surgery office at approximately 8:53 AM on Thursday, August 16, 2012. The receptionist is so nice that I can't understand her when she asks for my name because she won't take a break from smiling in order to talk clearly. Anyways, we get all checked in and before too long, they call me back and ask me if I'm excited, to which I reply in the affirmative (because actually, I kind of was). For a split second, when I realized my mom wasn't coming back with me, I got super nervous - but then remembered that I'm 20 and I think I can handle it ;)

I sat down on the chair and two hygienists started talking to me and asking me questions at the exact same time. It's a good thing I'm a girl, or else I totally would not be able to understand what anyone was saying. I don't remember exactly what they asked, but stuff like when was the last time I ate, am I allergic to any medicines, yadda yadda. One looked like she was about my age and boy, she sure seemed excited for some reason. They were both great though.

Before too long they put a mask over my nose to "help me relax." It just felt kinda strange. And they kept kept talking to me (I started getting slightly annoyed, which is probably how people feel when they've been around me for too long haha). One girl, the not-so-talkative but still-super-nice one, tied a ridiculously tight rubber band around my arm, told me to pump my fist (at this point I started getting kind of dumb and didn't respond as well, so she had to tell me a couple times and help me out a bit), and stuck the IV in - which DID NOT HURT AT ALL. It was great! (and after getting blood drawn on Tuesday, I now have two holes in my arm, which I am quite proud of). Also, every time I get any blood work or whatever I always get complimented on my beautiful veins - it's a greater confidence booster :) All of a sudden, though, I started feeling really sick and dizzy from the laughing gas. I didn't say anything because I get dizzy really easily and I thought that maybe that was part of the process of going to sleep, but I just wanted it to come sooner because I felt terrible. I just wanted to close my eyes because I felt so dizzy, but I had this fear that I would close my eyes and they'd think I was asleep and start the procedure but I wouldn't actually be asleep, so I tried to keep them open. Luckily I think the assistants noticed something was off because the first one said, "You doing OK?" I said I was, because I just assumed it was all normal, but then the second asked, "Do you feel dizzy?" When I said yes again, they both seemed surprised and a little concerned, and I realized it wasn't normal. The assistant turned off or down (not sure) the gas, and I felt better almost right away. Next time, no laughing gas for me! I hated that stuff, and the IV didn't even bother me so I don't think I needed it.

Like I said, the assistants just. kept. talking. I realize now it was probably to make sure I was still alert and such. One kept asking me stuff like what high school I went to, where I'm from, where I go now, what I'm studying, why I'm studying it (she didn't realize how much I have to think to answer these questions!), and "you've never had any cavities, have you?" and when I said I have she said, "oh it must have been on your baby teeth" and then I lied and said yes, even though I got two fillings just a week ago, because I couldn't seem to think enough to explain that. Finally, the doctor came in, said "I'm going to put you to sleep now," one assistant stuck a thing in my mouth to bite on to keep it open, the other started putting vaseline on my lips, and the last thing I remember is her telling me that they'll take it off at the end.

Boom. Half an hour later, and I'm short four wisdom teeth. I think I might have dreamed a little, at least in my not-quite-asleep-or-awake stage, because it seems like I remember there being something right as I woke up, but I don't remember anything now. Bummer. I barely remember sitting in the waiting room and having my mom ask me if I was ready to go, to which I stupidly shook my head no. I have absolutely no remembrance of how I got to that room, but evidently I walked there, with a lot of help haha. I was seeing double of everything, but I have super vague memories of people helping me walk to the car and not really being able to walk (or see) straight at all. It was super weird. I woke up a lot more in the car though, and I started getting kind of silly I think. I just thought the whole ordeal was so funny! My face felt HUGE - I was numb all the way up to my ears. And I was just thinking about how it was a good thing I wasn't allowed to drive because I'd see two yellow lines to every one. I kept trying to talk and convince my mom that I was totally awake and fine, but I think that might have just made her think I was crazier because I was like, "Ma bwain ith working thothally fine, I justh canth thee or thalk right!" And I kept laughing. Classic.

When we got home I knew I wouldn't be able to walk myself in quite yet, so my mom grabbed Victor and they both walked me inside (still seeing double). I was seriously cracking up, because in my mind, IT WAS HILARIOUS. Like, funniest thing ever. Finally Victor was like, "Hannah. You. Are. High."



I sat down on the couch, where I stayed for the next several hours. My mom tried to give me some pain meds and antibiotics but my mouth was so numb that I couldn't swallow, and I choked and spit it up everywhere. Gross. Also I had to go to the bathroom like, 3 times in about 2 hours. That was probably way TMI, I just thought it was oddly interesting. My mom had to help me make sure I could walk there on my own the first time - it took me much longer than I expected to fully pull out of that anesthesia! I kept stubbornly thinking I was totally fine, though, and I even tried to blog right when I got home, but it took so much effort just to type in my laptop password that I decided it would have to wait. I rested for a while, but didn't actually sleep that much. At one point my mom asked me if I like jello and I was like, "I lif in Uthah, of courth I like jello." It was orange and yummy.

Anyways, that's about all the good stuff. Later I was finally able to swallow my pills, which I was quite proud of. And I kept talking away in my terrible lisp because I just had so much to say, but finally my speech came back too. Victor and I watched some mafia show on TV, which I got about 10% of, and later we watched "Pursuit of Happyness" which was awesome. My mom was an amazing, sweet nurse and made sure I was comfortable and fed with delicious watermelon and other yumminess smoothie concoctions. After the movie my mom took me over to Lizzie Tutt's house, as she also got her wisdom teeth out today, from the same doctor! It was like a little play-date because my mom actually had to drop off and pick me up again. Good times. My cousin Cali came over too and we all had a fun little party. With bags of ice. Like this.

Same job, same church calling, same home ward, same school, and now same wisdom teeth extraction day!
Dinner tonight was broccoli soup (which was surprisingly yummy) and more orange jello. My only regret is that I forgot to ask to keep my teeth, which I told Kristina I'd do. They'd probably be pretty gross though because they hadn't grown in yet (they were still impacted) and the doctor had to split my bottom ones in half to get them out. Wonder what that looked like. Anyways, all in all, quite the exciting day :)


Sunday, August 5, 2012

And the saga continues (or something like that)


OK so remember that last post I made? The one about the crazy dream with Philip? Anyways, for my humanities class I had to do a "creative works" project, and one of the options was to write a Petrarchan sonnet (basically a poem with a set meter and rhyme scheme, about an unattainable love, with introspective aspects, and lots of fun poetic devices). Considering my significant inexperience in the field of love, I decided I'd just write a sonnet based off of that dream. Please don't take it too seriously haha. Also, it works best if you read it in a dramatic voice, out loud, to some unsuspecting person nearby:

It was a peaceful dream that night alone
I slept, though not at first it seemed to be;
For all around was hot, I sought to flee,
But trapped I stood above and thought to moan;

Until I saw a man I had not known,
With eyes so blue and vast as is the sea.
He spoke and bid me jump, with him be free,
So I obeyed (and daily now atone).

It was into his arms I jumped—I flew;
We fell so far but not a sound did make.
He saved my life but killed me even so,

For but a kiss exchanged it was not true.
Alas—my heart! Ere long I did awake.
This stone within me cries that all is woe!

Don't judge, I had to fit it into a super strict structure! But it was pretty fun.

Anyways, I've continued to have many more crazy dreams since then. The other night I was pregnant and trying to figure out how to tell my parents (that was pretty stressful). Last night I dreamed that I was in Brazil and was bored so I decided I'd just go walk to Libya (which in my dream was in northern South America), but I didn't make it all the way to Libya and just turned around when I got to Lesotho. Fun stuff. Sometimes I just get excited to go to sleep.

Well, sorry all my posts are about dreams lately! They're about the best I have for now haha. Less than one week and I'll be home!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Philip from UVU


As some of you know, I tend to have really vivid and sometimes quite entertaining dreams. I hadn't remembered any from a while...until last night. It was awesome.

There was some mini-terrorist attack that a bunch of crazy Americans were reeking on the US in a kind of protest/demonstration against government. It was pretty scary (but like a good chick-flick, any fear was overshadowed by the knight in shining armor). I ended up getting stuck on the top of some building while everything was blowing up around me, and this super good-looking guy told me to jump and held out his arms to catch me. I said "Are you sure?" and he assured me that he was, so I jumped, he caught me, and we fell really far but of course landed perfectly softly. He was super good-looking and his name was Philip and he went to Utah Valley University (even though we were in NYC). I kissed him on the cheek (this is a big deal, guys) and decided I'd marry him.

So if anyone ever runs into an attractive Philip from UVU, feel free to send him my way.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Awkward Voice Lessons

So I'm taking voice lessons for music credit this term, and can I just say that private voice lessons have got to be one of the most awkward situations ever? Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoy them, but I always just laugh inside because of the awkwardness of the whole situation. Even with a fabulous teacher, and even when you get past the initial awkward phase, there are still awkward moments that just make you want to cringe. Instead of wanting to die every time something awkward happens, I just add it to my what-makes-voice-lessons-so-awkward list. Enjoy.

1. You will never know where to stand or look. This is especially true during warm-ups, when the teacher doesn't have to look at any music to play and you don't have to look at any music to sing...so she will look at you and you will not know where to look. You will end up awkwardly looking at the nearest wall, occasionally shifting your eyes to glance at the keys (at which point you will freak out because she will take you out of your comfortable range and doesn't want you to know it, but you do know it, because you cheated and looked at what note she's on), or you will find a different spot on the wall to stare at, or sometimes - gasp! - you will glance at your teacher (because she never takes her eyes off of you), and  you will regret it because you will make awkward eye contact. Because it's just weird to make eye contact while singing, especially while warming up.
Even in A Walk to Remember, eye contact while singing just reeks of awkwardness. Plus it led to a kiss, so, no bueno.
2. When you first start learning the words to a piece, especially if it's in Italian (or some other foreign language), your voice teacher will probably tell you to speak the song out loud to her. You will automatically feel self-conscious and turn into a monotone idiot. She will then tell you to add more inflection and to make it sound more "ItALiAno!" and you will just feel even dumber. Don't worry though - those Italian songs usually only have like two lines total, which are just repeated over and over, so it will be over before too long.

3. After having you try a new technique or demonstrating a new principle or whatever (oh and by "new" I mean you still haven't mastered it...even if you've been taught it one million times), voice teachers LOVE to ask you how it felt. You probably won't know what to say. This also applies to when they ask you if you understand something, or if something "felt" better. Most of the times it will probably just feel the same. But if you say no, it didn't feel better or no, you don't understand, you feel dumb. So you say yes, it did feel better, but then they ask you how it felt better and how you "got it" that time and then you will be stumped. Here's the key though friends: always say it felt like nothing. If you say that, they will get really excited and start bouncing and say that YES! it feels like NOTHING! Because singing is easy and natural and if you do it right it should feel like nothing! So then they tell you to do it again but this time you're thinking about it and you can't make nothing, so as hard as you try to do nothing, by doing so you do something and you are back to where you started.

4. If you're like me, sometimes you just want to cry (don't judge me). This isn't really about voice lessons in particular, but sometimes things just get frustrating and you sound dumb and you just want to cry. The awkward part about voice lessons (as opposed to, say, piano lessons), is that you soo can't hide it. In piano if you're frustrated, you just play with a lot of gusto and before too long any urge to cry is long gone. However, in voice if you want to cry, you will try to hide it from your teacher and act like nothing's wrong, so you start singing, and your voice wobbles or cracks and then you're embarrassed and want to cry more. Those are definitely the worst days. Most aren't like that, so don't worry - you get through it.

5. You get a one-on-one work-out session. But it's like you're singing in the weight room while doing cardio, with just your trainer. Throughout the course of your voice lessons, you may do any number of the following: skip, do jumping jacks, do sit-ups on the edge of a chair, push against a wall, swing your arms back and forth, do squats, bounce on the balls of your feet, and repeatedly bend over so your arms dangle to the floor. All while singing. Don't ask me why they have you do this - I'm pretty sure it's for their own entertainment's sake.

6. There is always some amount of physical contact. After all, your body is your instrument, and sometimes it doesn't work quite right...so some amount of physical contact is bound to happen. It can be a little awkward when your teacher starts to correct your posture on her own or put her hand on your stomach to make sure you're breathing correctly. What's worse is when she has you put your hand on her stomach so that she can demonstrate her awesome breathing. You just kind of have to get over that part.

7. The room is usually pretty tiny...so when you start singing something on the top of your lungs, and it's just you and your teacher in a little box of a room, it just feels awkward. Especially if you mess up.

8. Your voice teacher will always ask you how you're doing. You'll say "good" because that's what you always say when someone asks you that. But then she'll stare at you until you actually tell her the run-down of your life and your practicing for the week and your life-long dreams and hopes and your concerns regarding the state of the nation. Once in the middle of singing my teacher asked me if I had a boyfriend. Which leads to another awkward thing...they always try to talk to you while you sing. And it's like being at the dentist when they ask you questions - you don't know if you should actually respond or just smile and wave.

I could go on - about the sometimes awkward procedure of picking music, the awkwardness of when they compliment you and you don't know what to say because you didn't know you actually did something right, the awkward times when you start singing before the piano comes in (or vice versa), those times when your teacher tells you to do like 10 and a half things at once, etc. But I think I'll just leave it at that for now. Plus this meme:
Haha so true. Oh well. Good times are promised to be had be all. Ciau!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sisterhood of the Traveling Sunglasses

Guess who got these really awesome sunglasses for freeeee? Apartment 9 did! They've been sitting in the room where we have church each Sunday for weeks, if not months, and no one's claimed them. Finally our bishop was like, "Just take them!" Turns out we all had our eyes on those sunglasses, so we took them for our apartment. They now have their own special spot in the living room, and pretty much whoever gets to them first gets to wear them for the day. It's pretty rad. Today was my day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Let Freedom Run"

Super cheesy title, but that's what's on the back of my race shirt. So it's not me, it's them!

Anyways, I ran my first 10K race today! It was awesome. I've been trying to work up to this for the past two months, so I really wanted it to go well. I'm not a naturally talented runner, so it's been a challenge! It was legit though. I woke up at 5:30 (k that part wasn't legit) and found these adorable notes all over the apartment from my awesome roommate, Emily, plus some sweet post-it notes from Jordan. My favorite would probably have to be the one of the toilet. What the random?! Here they are:






 Palolo was super sweet and got up early on a holiday to take me to my race so I wouldn't have to walk or worry about traffic. I have great roommates.

The run itself was actually a lot of fun. The weather was perfect - sunny but mostly under the shade, with the nice morning air. I loved running down University Avenue and Center Street and around there because there were so many people lined up for the 4th of July parade who kept cheering us on. It totally made a difference! It was just so much fun. The hard part though was the last about 3/4 of a mile, which was an uphill finish so it killed. I thought I might just die right then and there (I didn't, in case you were worried). I got a really bad cramp right at the very end, but luckily I was able to just run in and finally stretch it out. I had guessed that I'd run the 10k in about 64 min, but what I was really hoping for was under an hour...and I got 58:58! It's not a great time, but I was pretty excited. That meant I ran at a pace of 9:31/mile, which is better than my goal of 10/mile, and I got 24th place out of the 16-19 yr old girls. Whatever that means, haha. Anyways, of course the best part was all the free food, waterbottle, and medal at the end ;)

When I got home I made my roommate take a picture of me so I could commemorate that I actually did successfully run the 10k. Thus the awkward setting of the picture...
sweaty...also, one day I'll actually get real running shorts so I don't have to keep wearing these Del Mar PE shorts haha

Ma numba. The medal spins too, it's pretty sweet.
 Happy Fourth of July everyone!!!







Wednesday, June 20, 2012

$72.70?!

Ok so I've really wanted to get a blog post up about my trip to the Bay Area this past weekend, but I've been swamped with school and work already (as in, I already fell asleep on the couch while attempting to finish all my reading...and then woke up at 3am and figured I was awake enough to get some more reading done). So, until then, I just thought I'd make a quick complaint (sorry).

Textbooks! WHY SO MUCH MONEY?! Ok so usually they're not that that bad because I've gotten fairly good at getting them for cheap and then selling them again. But this one is going to hurt. $72.70. For this piece of paper. These are the worst ideas because making me pay so much money for a one-semester online access code completely prevents me from buying it used or ever hoping selling it again! Oh woe is me.

My eyes look kinda funky. They've been acting up lately. Thus the glasses.

I better say some "thankfuls" now that I've thoroughly complained: I'm here, at college, at BYU for that matter, getting a really awesome education, and at least I have a couch to fall asleep on. Plus I have a job, an apartment, and awesome roommates. K cool. Now I'm going to break the seal on that piece of paper and, in doing so, seal my fate to $72.70 gone for good.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Disruptive Technologies

I promise this has to do with something somewhat interesting.

Anyways...at the beginning of this term (which, btw, will be over in 3 days!!), we learned in my I SYS 201 (Information Systems) class about disruptive technologies and paradigms. It was actually really fascinating. Basically, a disruptive technology is a new way of doing something that initially goes against what seems to be the needs of the customers, but which actually meets a specific need and in time is improved upon until it actually beats out the old way of doing things. For example, digital photography was originally way inferior to chemical photography, but it met the needs of people who wanted a simple, portable device to take pictures with. Over time, disruptive technologies become the new sustaining technologies. This often occurs along with a paradigm shift - a new set of rules or ways of seeing things. Paradigms are super interesting (I'm a nerd and these are one of those things I sometimes think about while I lie in bed before actually falling asleep...) but are kind of a topic all on their own. So to try to keep things as short as possible, basically many times companies suffer from "paradigm paralysis," and they aren't able to see why the new technologies are worth their time. Many companies that were once huge, well-known, and established companies and now long gone because of their inability to adapt to changing technologies and changing paradigms. Here's the kicker for me: it's not the technology itself that causes the downfall of these companies - it's their inability to change their existing business models to adapt to the new technologies.

Well, all this discussion about disruptive technologies and paradigm shifts made me think of my own life; specifically, about the changes I've experienced that could, in a way, be like my very own "disruptive technologies." For example, some people wonder why I'm even taking I SYS 201 in the first place. Why? Because I, once again, have changed my major. After 2 years of agonizing over a major, I've decided to apply to the BYU accounting program! And this is a prereq. Along with M COM 320 (management communications), which is the class I'm keeping this blog for in the first place. There are a lot of reasons behind this decision, but this post is already wordy enough :). But basically, it made me realize how change isn't a bad thing, just like how disruptive technologies aren't bad. They actually make our lives a whole lot better. But the key is being able to adapt to the changes and not be paralyzed by my own paradigms and inability to change my own "business model." Another thing that got me thinking is this: when companies choose to adapt to new technologies and new paradigms, they are taking a great risk. Like I said, these technologies usually start out quite inferior to the existing ones, and certainly don't usually make business sense. However, those companies that are brave enough and have the foresight and innovation necessary to make these changes are the ones who win in the end. I realized that I need to have the courage to make changes in my life that I feel are important too, no matter if other people tell me if they "make sense" or not. 

Disclaimer: I'm not saying I'm not ever going to make any more decision changes. I still have a lot of life planning to do! And I'm a girl, I'm allowed to change my mind ;) But, I'm happy with my life right now. I've learned so much in the past couple of years, it amazes me! And I'm so grateful to be here at BYU at this time of my life :)

Oh, here's where I tie in my survey - for the M COM 320 blog assignment, I had a few requirements to meet - include links, include pictures, include a video, and include a survey. Well, this is my last required blogpost (don't worry, I'll still keep posting!), so I thought it's about time to include a survey. I asked my facebook friends how many times they'd changed their majors. (I've changed mine officially 3 times...but probably changed it in my head at LEAST a dozen.) Here are the results!:

Number of times major changedNumber of peoplePercentage
01532.61%
11832.13%
2715.22%
3510.87%
400%
More than 412.17%
Total46

Also, am I allowed to brag that I just coded that table using HTML? Just another trick I learned in I SYS ;) Also...I was kinda hoping I'd have some more company in my little poll (as in, I was hoping others had changed their major as much as I have!), but I guess most people have either not changed their major at all or only changed it once. Oh well! Like I said, it's not about what other people think, right? :)

PS I got a haircut! It feels great! So even though that has nothing to do with anything here, this post is kinda boring so I'm going to post a I-got-a-haircut-picture (also it's straightened, which is a very rare occurrence). Actually I found a really fun webcam thing online and got kinda carried away, so I'm just going to be vain for a minute and post four pics. Also don't mind the old high school tshirt...or big pimple...k cool. ciao! te amo!




Monday, June 4, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things

I always kind of want to shoot myself every time the last two weeks of a term/semester comes along (I don't actually have suicidal tendencies, no te preocupes). So, as a little almost-finals-therapy, I decided that for this week's blog (which is due in like half an hour) I'm just going to list a bunch of stuff that makes me happy! Yay! Feel free to take any hints as to how to make me happy ;)

Things that make me happy:
  • The Sound of Music (and basically any awesome musicals)
  • the utah mountains
  • walking barefoot
  • this girl: 
(let's be honest, I pretty much love youtube videos in general. And movies.)
  • my "Can't Help Falling in Love" Pandora station (if you ever desire some rockin music, try this one out. seriously.)
  • a really good piano practice (but only if it's a good one haha)
  • roommates
  • guffawter
  • this blog post by lovely roommate emily as well as this blog in general
  • validation. including the youtube video by the same name
  • aspen grove
  • chocolate, ice cream, pizza, curry, french fries, rice, ...
  • really nice guys (being attractive doesn't hurt either, let's be real)
  • nice people in general
  • my crazy family
  • being mormon
  • when I wake up and the sun's shining
  • belting showtunes
  • big cities
  • the beach
  • singing in awesome choirs
  • saying random spanish phrases
  • successfully helping people
  • africa
  • running (didn't think I'd ever say that haha)
  • watching the olympics (as of this moment: 51 days, 18 hours, 38 min, and 30 seconds left!)
  • really awesome books, like LOTR, anne of green gables, and to kill a mockingbird
  • phone calls home
  • funny dreams
  • randomly running into my favorite people
  • being ahead of schedule
  • talking a LOT :)
  • planning road trips
  • good hair days
  • closing all my computer tabs after I finish a project
  • the moon
Life is so good! even during finals :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

A Conglomeration of Memorial Day Thoughts

Happy Memorial Day!

I truly am thankful for the many people who have sacrificed so much - everything, in some cases - in the service of our country. Especially those I have personally interacted with: my brother-in-law stationed in Alaska, two cousins stationed in Afghanistan, both grandfathers who fought in the army during the Vietnam era, two uncles and several great-uncles, friends from high school, the old men in church who would wear their veteran hats and pins, and the once-homeless Vietnam veteran who lives with my former piano teacher as he goes through surgery after surgery, still fighting the effects of the war on his body. I have always been fascinated by war veterans, wondering what they truly went through - but not really wanting to know, at the same time. I also feel much gratitude to the wives of these honorable men, including my beautiful sister Jenessa. I've seen what they go through, but I cannot imagine what it would actually feel like.

My sister and her new(ish) husband :)
On Friday night I watched "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" with some friends. I totally bawled for a good majority of the time haha. It really made me think though, seeing the intense confusion of the boy who's father died in the World Trade Centers and who desperately tried to understand why someone would kill his dad, a complete stranger. It made me think about how war today isn't like how it used to be, or like how I once imagined it was. It's not always about right versus wrong. Or like when I was a little girl and would line up all the little toys to fight an epic battle, where the dinosaurs and monsters were the bad guys and the Little Bo Peeps and Hello Kittys were the good guys. Sometimes it's not that clear cut. Sometimes we're not even sure what we're fighting for anymore. But that makes me almost more grateful for the soldiers who still fight, who still pledge to defend the Constitution as their number-one priority, even if they're not sure exactly what that means. And sometimes, it's not just those in uniform who are the heroes - it's the firefighters who entered the crashing buildings knowing they'd probably never come out again, just to save a few individuals. It's the civilians, people like you and me, who rushed to others' safety without thinking of their own. On that day and in the months following, America was united. We may have looked weak to those who were laughing and celebrating at what they had done; but in my almost-20 years of life, we have never been stronger.

To be honest, I wasn't always so sure about America. In elementary school, I grew up feeling quite patriotic and proud of my country. However, over time the cynics really began to affect me, and I wondered if the United States wasn't as great as I had thought it was. It started to be "uncool" to be patriotic, and in a way, I could see why. I remember one day my sophomore year of high school as my principal - one of the most patriotic men I know - was speaking of America and the great nation that it is. I don't remember what he said exactly, but I remember that at one point, I made a sarcastic remark about America to the people next to me to try to get a laugh out of them. Well, it worked - but I felt horrible. By the time my principal was done talking, my teacher was furious. With great conviction, she told us about those who have died, and those in her family, in the service of this country. She reprimanded us for the disrespect we had shown, and we certainly felt it. I had much admiration and respect for my teacher, and I was so ashamed. I went to her later that day and choked out a measly apology for my disrespect. 

Still, I felt confused. In elementary school, our teachers taught us what a great country the United States is. By the time I was in high school, I felt like we were constantly told how many bad things the US had done and how it's not such an awesome country. It wasn't just the historical stuff like slavery or the near-complete annihilation of the Native Americans either - it seemed that America just couldn't seem to do anything right. How could I reconcile these conflicting statements? How could I love a country that had done so much wrong? Were the good things that the US actually did do just means to achieve selfish motives? And why does everyone in the whole world seem to hate us? 

I've thought a lot about these confusions I've had. Just in the past year, I've learned a lot about the United States in relation to other countries, and heaven knows we are not perfect. However, I realized today that maybe I can love the US in a way similar to how I love other people, or even how I love myself. I don't expect others to be perfect, but I love them anyways. I know that I am not perfect, but I can still love myself as I try to overcome my imperfections. And just because I love myself doesn't mean I hate everyone else. Maybe being patriotic isn't so different. I can love my country enough to want to help it become better. Loving my country doesn't mean I hate others - in fact, having a love for the United States helps me to see the good in other countries as well, and see what other countries do right that we can apply to our own country. I have hope in my country, just like I have hope in humanity. And, I can be proud to call it my country. I can listen to my country music, break out a good ole American-style BBQ, watch a fireworks display, and wear my red white and blue with pride.

So today, I say thank you to everyone who has sacrificed in the service of America. Because of you, I can enjoy the freedom I take for granted every day. God bless America!




Monday, May 21, 2012

Jobs get you jobs.

I got a new job! Yay!

I always feel really blessed with my job searches because it seems like I get jobs when I'm not looking for one, not when I actually am actively looking for one. Case in point: at the end of fall semester last year, I applied for a few jobs and the only thing I got was a job to work at the cafeteria, which I didn't really want (not that there's anything wrong with working at a cafeteria!). Then a day before winter semester, I got an email from a political science professor, saying that my PL SC 150 (Comparative Politics) professor had recommended me as a TA. Evidently he was pretty desperate for a TA, because he hired me before he even met me.

Then last week I was sitting in PL SC 150 as a TA, when someone started making an announcement about a research team on campus; since my job only lasts until the end of spring, I thought I'd better listen up. He said he works with the BYU Political Economy and Development lab in conjunction with an organization called AidData, which basically works to increase transparency and accessibility of international aid data. Since he announced that they were looking for new research assistants, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to check it out. I emailed the lady in charge of it, met up with her a few days later, handed her my resume, and sent her my transcript, and she hired me! It was great! Also...I had written up my resume just one day previously for a class assignment, so all I basically had to do was hand her my homework and I got the job :)

Since I don't actually start training until the end of spring term, I'm still not sure exactly what I'll be doing. It seems like the gist of what I'll be doing is what Wikipedia calls "geocoding," which is where I'll look through databases and records of international financial aid reports and code where exactly everything went, which will then show up on a map so that it's easy to see where the finances are going.

Anyways, here's a link to the research group I'll be working with: PEDL..and the AidData organization: AidData...and I like Wikipedia so I'm including it here for kicks: Wikipedia

I'm a little nervous because it's going to be a lot of time and work, but hopefully it'll be a good experience! :)

One more thing...since I love pictures but I don't really have any for this post, I decided to post a picture of these absolutely adorable African children! I know we'll work a lot with aid that goes to African countries, so I figured it was relevant enough (plus I just really really love African children...)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Swicket Showers

Friday morning at the SWKT--formally known as the Spencer W. Kimball Tower, commonly pronounced "swicket." Go figure. Anyways, Friday morning found me there at about 6:45 AM, 45 minutes later than I had planned. Some eight hours earlier I had found myself locked outside of said building, on the phone begging the BYU Police to just let me in and grab the midterms that I was supposed to have graded and entered by last night. Alas, no mercy was granted--although what I was really asking for was justice, as the building was not supposed to be closed for another 25 minutes! So, I was stuck having to come early this morning to enter the grades in time for my professor to access them before the 9 AM class. I decided that while I was at it, I might as well have an adventure...

First, a picture of how I looked when I got to the TA office in the basement of the SWKT. Yep. Proof that even drop-dead gorgeous people like myself don't look so hot early in the morning:
What am I doing here?!
It took me a while to finish up with the midterms, but by 8 AM they were all turned in. Then the real fun began. Once upon a time in my freshman year of college, I had a review session in the SWKT and happened to find a shower in one of the girl's bathrooms. I thought that that was funny, and later put "shower in the SWKT" on my mental bucket list of things to do before graduating from college. Today was the day.

Turns out I forgot where exactly the shower was, so I awkwardly walked around a few floors and went up and down the elevator a couple of times before I found it: the Shower, found on the 11th floor of the 12-story building, where research posters entitled "Changes in the Cingulate in Acute Mild TBI Detectable with Diffusion Tensor Imaging and their Relation to Memory Function" and "Functional Neuroimaging Evidence for High Cognitive Effort on the Word Memory Test in the Absence of External Incentives" are pinned up on the walls next to the "Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy" research rooms. Yeah, actually I can see how those would go together.

I was quite tickled when I turned on the shower and there was hot water--I was a little nervous that I would have to shower cold. Turns out it was almost better than the shower in my apartment...maybe I should do this every day and save on my utility costs! Anyways, some proof:



I'm not the only one who's had this idea...

Been a while since I've had to use these to shower!


Rub-a-dub-dub? Don't think I've ever carried shampoo, etc. to school with me before...glad I had a car this time! This was seriously so exciting haha.



  
 Ok enough pictures of the shower, that's just weird.

Yep, it was quite a success--I only had one person come and give me a really strange look until she finally asked, "Did you actually shower in here?!" 
<--I was at about this stage in my getting ready when she walked in. Super attractive. Pretty sure I made her day.



I finished up my morning by finally eating some breakfast. Yep, I definitely brought instant oatmeal to school. It was delicious.
The packet even matches the bowl! Definitely planned that.

There are only two things I would do differently if I were to do this again. First of all, I wouldn't forget my belt...that made for some awkward inconveniences. Second, I would definitely consider singing "Baby It's Cold Outside"--maybe then some cute elf would start singing with me.
yeah maybe not...




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sophomore Whippersnappers

Clarification: I'm not actually a sophomore (anymore). However, I don't have much to write about regarding this past week, and seeing how I had so many groovy times last year but kept next to no journal, I decided I'm going to write a little tribute-to-Brookview-17-and-the-former-inhabitants-therein post! Here we go...


Fall Semester:
The proof-that-we-live-here picture!
On our way home we stopped by the duck pond south of campus. Next time, we should let the ducks join our picture. Especially since we have such an awesome relationship with them, after having one ding-dong-ditched at our doorstep late one night in honor of Sam's birthday...
Speaking of Sam's birthday, these pictures were taken at her party! Sam is super awesome and I am so glad I was able to live with her! She is enthusiastic about everything. I loved how all I had to do to make her jump was walk in the room and say hi. I loved having so many classes with her Winter semester--her crazy, fun spirit kept me going through our late nights in the library. I love her so much! "SNAP DIGGETY!"


Near the beginning of the year, a group of us from the ward went up to my old stomping ground, Aspen Grove, to hike to Stewart Falls! It was fun seeing the falls actually flowing and not frozen over like they were when I first got to AG. Everything was so beautiful and it was the perfect fall weather for a hike!
Leah worked with the Residence Halls Association for Heritage Halls, so basically she planned really awesome parties! Ashley and I went with her to this BYU Football Party she helped organize, where we hung out with her and a lot of crazy freshmen. Leah is always super dedicated to her work and does an awesome job! She is really great at making sure everyone is having fun and feeling included. She also has an awesome laugh! Plus, there's never a shortage of peanut butter when you live with Leah..."STOP. STOP JUDGING ME."



                                                                                                   
Halloween! I don't even remember what our jack-o-lanterns ended up looking like. But, we had fun making them! Especially Ai, apparently...


Here is Ai, with her face showing! I love this picture (even though it's fuzzy) because it's quintessential Ai (as in the girl, not the subjective first-person singular pronoun). Ai is from Japan - thus the name written in Japanese in ketchup on one of her amazing omelets. I had the joy of eating one of those omelets with ハナwritten on it, and it was divine. Besides being a fabulous cook, Ai always has awesome words of wisdom to impart unto us, and is just plain hilarious. "SOMETIMES I WANT TO HIT MY HEAD WITH THE WALL."
After running home one Sunday night in the rain...I like how this is one of the few pictures we have with all 6 of us roommates in the same picture. Just for all of our future progenitors...L-R is me, Sam, Ashley, Leah, Jordan, and Ai.


 The obligatory fall pics with the roomies. But aren't they great?! What a beautiful day and a beautiful campus. Amy Witt joined us in our pictures since Jordan wasn't there. She is probably one of the funniest girls I know! We always loved having her come visit :)

Another voyage to Aspen Grove! I used to clean this room...this time I got to party in it! Ward Christmas Party 2011 :) (once again, please excuse the fuzzy picture...)

Let's name all of the reasons why we are so excited here: (1) BYU won the basketball game! I think...maybe I'm just assuming we did because we're THAT AWESOME! I don't think we did actually. But it was a blast. (2) 2-for-1 pie shakes at Sammi's! (3) DONE WITH FALL SEMESTER FINALS. What a great feeling :)




 Winter Semester:


People always say that Sam and I look alike...actually some even thought we were sisters. Haha I don't know if I see it! But, I don't mind being compared to Sam :)
At the Hunger Games midnight premier! I did not want to go to this...but I'm so glad my roommates made me go! It was so worth it. Plus we had some intense roommate bonding while lost in the hills of Bluffdale...
Kinda love this picture of us. I'm so so happy that I get to room with Jordan this year! Jo is so much fun to talk to and just chill with! I've loved the times we've cooked, watched movies, gone to the gym, and practiced piano together. I love how she always laughs at my dumb jokes and weird stories. Def more fun times to come (she also LOVES it when I shorten words). "FOR REAL?!"

I don't think I have ever seen such amazing and hilarious pictures in my life as these three. Seriously. Where was I when this was going on?! Love these girls.





Ashley! I couldn't have asked for a better room roommate. She is always super optimistic and a really great listener. I seriously feel like hanging out with her made me a better person! Plus she always let me steal her clothes ;) And every time I hear a weird hiccup, I always think of her. "TRUE THAT."

Cute pics. But this is what college really is like...

Crazy hair, retainers, and no makeup. I love roommates.
 

 Wohoo! These are the times when I LOVE COLLEGE! (k maybe not the falling asleep while reading a textbook times, but the others :) ). Thanks for making it a great year! Can't wait for all the fun times to come!