a collection of certainly special, uniquely unusual, and equally momentous thoughts: memoirs of me

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Abnormally Excited

So I'm getting abnormally excited about Les Mis these days, and when I say abnormally excited I mean that I've watched the ENTIRE 10th Anniversary concert edition FOUR days in a row now and have listened to the soundtrack for weeks. 

So here's a little sunshine to brighten your day, actually your life. 

25 Reasons We Are Abnormally Excited about Les Miserables- stolen from here and sent to me from the fabulous Lauren Richey (a fellow fanatic). 

You'd better believe I want a sing along, I want a sing along oh so bad. 

1. When Eponine comes in with "he was never mine to lose" in "A Heart Full of Love." Mmmmbest. (It comes later than you think. Fourth verse.)
2. We have to assume someone is organizing an unofficial-but-come-on sing-along screening. This sounds like fun.
3. So many good cries.
4. Possible uptick in babies named "Enjolras."
5. Wolverine is going to sing "Bring Him Home"!
6. Being able to call every weird trash heap of discarded and presumably bed-buggy furniture a "barricade."
7. The end of having to hear about Anne Hathaway's diets.
8. Helena Bonham Carter's side-eye. Helena Bonham Carter's everything, really.
9. It will suddenly be okay for a few weeks to, like, reenact important scenes from Les Miz at a bar. "We just saw the movie," you can say if someone gives you a stink eye. "I just saw the movie," you can say if someone is doing the scene wrong and you want to jump in.
10. Anything that references the spinning stage.
11. Russell Crowe's inevitable jaunty hat line — a tri-corner in every color!
12. The movie version of "One Day More" making its way to YouTube, so we can send it to people the night before important events (weddings, trips, etc.). Not that we don’t do this with the tenth-anniversary version, but you know, options!
13. The confusion that will sweep over the theater when the new song plays.
14. Dancing!
15. Sasha Baron Cohen's cockney accent.
16. Seth MacFarlane singing “Confrontation” at the Oscars in voices — Brian as Valjean, Stewie as Javert.
17. People going as Javert for Halloween next year, and then being confused for Captain Crunch.
18. Better close-ups of the little miserables children running through the streets. (They don’t actually look that miserables, but they are cute!)
19. Sitcoms making Les Miz jokes in two to three months. We’re looking at you,New Girl.
20. Taylor Swift’s inevitable revenge cover of “On My Own,” with the words changed to shame Samantha Barks.
21. Measuring time in Les Mizes. Set your crock pot for two “Les Mizes” and you’ll have the best chili in the world.
22. Eddie Redmayne as heartthrob. It is his time!
23. Changing all our passwords to 24601. Just kidding, we didn’t do that; please don’t try to hack into our e-mail.
24. More Sesame Street Les Miz spoofs like this one.
25. A guaranteed two hours without anyone talking about The Hobbit.

It's almost here people. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

A couple weeks ago I was on the metro traveling home when I saw a man use the bars in the metro train to help him stretch his muscles. When I say he used the bars to stretch his muscles I mean he was wrapping his legs around them this way and that doing all sorts of things that were completely unexpected and out of place for a metro train at rush hour.

I've chronicled the randoms of my metro commute before, several times. But this morning I experienced something so unique, unexpected, and beautiful that it almost brought me to tears.

As I was on my knees last night praying I thanked my God for the Christmas Spirit that I've felt particularly strongly this year. For weeks now I've been brimming with gratitude for all the goodness in my life, for there is plenty, and more than once have found myself ducking away to shed a tear or two.

I was just standing there on the metro this morning. We'd just stopped at Roslyn station when a middle-aged Asian man got on. As the doors closed behind him, in not-so-perfect broken English he said out loud, Good Morning Everyone! Then, lifting a book to his hands he began to sing the Christmas song God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. His voice filled the entire train with the words of his song. I looked at him at first bewildered and then humbled. Here was a man singing a Christmas song to people he'd never met. He was singing about Christ. Most people in the train car ignored him, there were a few who thanked him for what he'd done. I looked at him with respect and gratitude. He sang until the train came to a stop at the next station and then he stepped off to find another spot.

Thank you my dear metro friend. Thank you for your courage among all of us, non-believers and believers alike. Thank you for believing in Him. Thank you for your voice, which I can still hear inside my hear. Thank you for singing about my Savior, that tiny babe that came to save us all.

God rest ye merry gentleman
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we are gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy, 
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, In Israel, 
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and and joy, 
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy. 

My favorite Christmas song, sung by my family friend Shane and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dear Mum

As I'm sure every single person can attest, your childhood home and the memories you make there are priceless. For me, that childhood home carries so much significance because it's where my mom is, where my mom nurtured and taught me, and instilled within me Gospel principles.

It's where she loved me.

I have been gone for seven years now. It's been seven years since I moved away and went to college. In that time I have served a mission, cared for orphans in Ecuador, and picked up my life and established myself on the East Coast.

There have been dozens of trips home and although repeated over and over throughout the years, I will never get tired of pulling into my driveway, opening my front door, smelling the rich beautiful scents of my childhood, seeing the beautiful decorations my mother has meticulously collected, smelling the latest decadent dish cooking in the kitchen, and arriving in my childhood room, with my bed perfectly made and my mail waiting for me on my pillow.

It all means so much to me. And it means so much to me because that's where my family is and that's where my mom has been all these years.

In May I wanted to finally show my mom a little of my life here, the life I've established for myself and love so much. So one plane ticket later and my mom was due to arrive in October for a four-day extended girls trip here in DC.

I was nervous of course- nervous that we wouldn't get along or that she wouldn't like what I showed her, nervous that we wouldn't have a lot to talk about. It had been so long since we'd spent that much time together. I couldn't imagine that those four days would become precious to me and that I would enjoy them more than just about anything.

Oh but they were glorious! I got to finally show her this place that I'm obsessed with! So I took her to all of my favorites: the monuments and museums, Arlington Cemetery and Mt. Vernon, Founding Farmers and the Washington DC temple. To top it all off we did a Capital Bikeshare monument bike ride at night, my most favorite thing to do with visitors in DC. And she loved it all! I couldn't have been happier than seeing the sites sink down deep and have a real impact on her, just like they do me.

So thank you dear Mother. I'm glad we got to spend those precious days together. More than ever I'm grateful that you are mine. That I share some of your beautiful features, that I resemble you, that I think like you, that I laugh like you. Thank you for visiting me and seeing my life!

It means the world.


Sometimes when I'm browsing Pinterest I come across something like this:

And I laugh.

I laugh because it's ridiculous! It's ridiculous to push your body so hard that you would puke, faint, or die.

That doesn't make sense! Why would you do something like that to yourself? That can't be healthy.

So tonight I was at the gym working out with my trainer Joe (aka Joe the Rock) who is a literal magician when it comes to helping me fix everything I don't like about my body. He's kind but motivating. He pushes me just enough but not too hard. He encourages me to reach a little further and dig a little deeper.

And guess what?

I puked tonight at the gym.

Yes, puked.

We were almost at the end of the workout when I sat up from a particularly hard set and....just...lost..it.

For a second neither of us even realized what had happened. But then Joe saw the look on my face and the splatter on the floor, reached for the equipment wipes, handed me a couple, and turned away.

I was so embarrassed until he came back and told me that he'd seen worse come out of his client's bodies.

So sometimes you laugh at things on Pinterest. You laugh because they are so ridiculous.

And then they happen to you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

There is a feeling in the air today, a feeling I've never felt before in DC. There's an air of excitement and anticipation. It's like a buzz, filling the metro, the office, every conversation.

Today is November 6, 2012. Today is the day we decide to deep Barack Obama in office or elect Mitt Romney.

Both the young and the old are leaving the polls after standing in lines for hours and are wearing their "I voted" stickers proudly.

In just 16 hours or so we'll know the leader who will shape our country for the next four years. We'll know the man whose policies and promises will change my own life in the next four years.

Never before have I felt so involved emotionally in a campaign. Four years ago I was a missionary in Texas and barely knew who the candidates were let alone cared enough to vote. Eight years ago I had just barely turned 18 and although I did exercise my right to vote, I hadn't put much thought and effort into educating myself about the candidates and issues.

So here I am now. I graduated in Political Science from BYU-I. I moved to DC (Arlington, VA to be exact). I live a swing state. I actually read the news. I watched all the debates. I've studies the issues and hashed out the differences with roommates and friends. I have dozens of friends who've worked tirelessly on the campaign, putting in hundreds of hours and losing sleep to spread the word.

And everything is to be decided today.

Go Mitt!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I never want to see a police officer at my door at 12:45 am ever again

So I had an experience last night.

One of those I-have-to-be-an-adult experiences where I “get” to do things I’ve never done before nor would ever choose to do if I didn’t have to.

So let me ask you this, have you ever gone to your car and not found it where you left it?

I mean, it happens to the best of us.

I walked out to the parking garage last night to run to Costco and my car (my roommate Katie’s car that I’m borrowing) was nowhere to be found. My heart immediately went into slight panic mode as I looked around and tried to rack my brain about where I must have left it. It was then that I realized that ALL the cars were gone from the parking garage.

Of course we found a letter on the floor of Katie’s room notifying everyone of the garage close yesterday morning. It even listed the towing service that would be used if any cars were not removed from the garage. How kind of them. 

Just like a good roommate I called the towing company and got the address to the tow lot. Next I called a friend to come pick me up and soon enough we were on our way.

This wasn’t going to be as hard as I thought.


Two-lots-without-my-car later my friend dropped me off at home car-less and concerned.

I became really grown up next when I called the Arlington non-emergency number and talked to several nice people who, even though I didn’t know the license plate number, VIN, or my roommate’s social security number, told me that my car had never been towed.

Oh no.

Heart beating.

“Ma’am do you want to go ahead and file a stolen vehicle report?”

I guess.

Within a few minutes there was a knock on my door and a police officer standing in my doorway. We went over the details of the evening, where the car was parked last, and the fact that it hadn’t appeared at either car lot.

This is legit stuff.

At this point I’m almost laughing. I mean, my car disappeared, I had no idea where it was, and it wasn’t even my car.

The good news is that this all ends well. I got a call a few minutes later from the police officer informing me that he’d found the car………

{wait for it}

……in the parking garage across the street.


As it turns out the Avalon had decided to tow all the cars into the garage instead of to the tow lot and not let anyone know.

Double awesome.

I walked over to make sure my baby was safe and sound, walked home, called and soothed my worried owner-of-the-car roommate, and went to sleep at 1:15am.

I’m officially calling myself a bona fide adult.

Oh yeah, I also called and canceled the stolen vehicle report, thus ensuring that neither me nor Katie will get pulled over at gunpoint for driving a stolen vehicle.

Now that would have been a great story.

This is really happening.

Monday July 2: Sent Cute Boy #1 a FB message and asked about his Fourth of July plans. Never received a response to date.

Tuesday July 3: Texted Cute Boy #2 to come watch fireworks on the 4th. Took him a day to respond. Couldn’t come. Invited me to go swimming a couple days later. I was excited. Told him to keep me posted. Never heard from him again.

Wednesday July 4: Cute Guyfriends #1 and #2 failed to tell me that their friend, Cute Boy #3 was married. Cute Boy #3 never mentioned his wife and wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. I flirted. Then found out at the end of the night he was married.

Friday July 6: Talked with Cute Boy #4 at a baseball game. He mentioned Katy Perry. Asked him if he wanted to see the movie with me the next day. Then Cute Boy #4’s girlfriend arrived.

Friday July 6: Talked with Cute Boy #5. Trying not to crush on Cute Boy #5.

Saturday July 7: Went on a date with Cute Boy #6.

Sunday July 8:  Found out some stuff about Cute Boy #5. Crush is officially over.

Monday July 9: Sent Cute Boy #6 a thank you FB message for the date. Friendly and sincere. Received the lamest response on the face of the planet “Thanks. Your great.”

Tuesday July 10: Car gets towed. I call Cute Boy #5 for help. He shows up to help me out while out with another girl.

This is my life.

All I can think is, "Dear God, you've got my attention. Now what?"

Monday, July 2, 2012

When four girls go to New York we...

Ride on a Bolt Bus

Eat at donut place #1: ice cream filled donuts. yes, please. 

Walk, walk and walk some more. 

Make the birthday girl take a picture next to models

Take the birthday girl to eat some steak

Do dessert in Central park 

Eat at donut place #2: creme brulee and carrot cake

Experience real Italian food

Take pictures by random things

Do a lot of refreshing

Ride the subway

Creep on the nerdy and the beautiful
*he was playing pokeman with himself. bless him.  

Shop. I mean, shop a lot. 

Eat cupcakes and pizza on a rooftop overlooking the city

Die from said sugary cupcakes

Take pictures from said rooftop

Take pictures of us from every single possible angle on said rooftop

Love every single second of our lives! Happy Birthday Marissa!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Okay people, I have some bad news. 

I’ve felt for a while now the need to get this off my chest. It’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, as is custom when you have an addiction as bad as mine. 

There, I said it. I have an addiction. 

It’s as bad as any in the book and I don’t know how to stop it. I think about doing it every day and crave it again at night. I thought it would get better once I moved to DC but nothing has changed. 

I know it’s costing me so much time and energy but I just can’t stop. I don’t want to stop. 

Why is this so hard for me?

The good news is that I know of a couple other people who have the same problem. We talk about it and can really support each other. We understand what each is going through. The bad news that is then we all cave and our addiction to the same thing deepens.  And then we do it together

Hello, my name is Hannah, and I’m addicted to Café Rio. 

Anyone want to go tonight, or tomorrow, or the day after that? I'm always available.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012



You say that word around here and everyone knows.

Are you going?
Whose house are you in?
Isn't it going to be epic?
How many swimsuits are you going to bring?

This is the subject of every conversation leading up to Memorial Day weekend. Every conversation.

And so I went. And it was epic indeed.

I drove down with Chris, Jensen, and Chance on Friday and soon enough we'd arrived at Duck Beach, North Carolina and were at the beach. We dug our feet into the sand, pulled out our books, and shed as many clothes as appropriately possible in order to feel the rays of sun on our skin.

I knew it was going to be a great weekend.

Some highlights:

34 of my closest friends from the ward and surrounding areas together under one roof.

One 3 million dollar mansion with private access to the beach- 7 bedrooms, one pool, one hot tub, two fridges, one pool table, several comfy couches, and hundreds of dollars of Costco food.

 Our house in the one on the right of course.

View from the top deck of our house. As you can see it's a beaut. 

Two days of gathering at Whalehead beach with thousands of other Mormon singles from around the country. There was beach football and soccer, mixing and mingling, sunbathing, reading, and a whole lot of loving.

Just a small part of the enormous crowd at the beach.

One middle school that provided their entire gymnasium so we could have our church services all together. It was packed. I love that even though it's a holiday weekend, me and my thousands of friends still make Sunday special and we still go to church. It was awesome.

Five dinners together as a house. We grilled kabobs and burgers, had Cafe Rio night, and finished the weekend with coconut rice, pork tenderloin, and mangos. Absolutely delicious.

One dessert party where dozens of friends from other houses congregated at our house and we shared red velvet cupcakes, brownies, banana pudding, and chocolate chip cookies. I'm proud to say that Katie Bell and I started the dance party. I can officially cross Starting a Dance Party off my bucket list.

Three nights of playing cards including Mormon Bridge and Hearts. Last night we played an intense game of Mafia that had us yelling to defend ourselves and jumping on the couches like monkeys because we were laughing so hard. Jerry and Domineau also played the guitar and made up songs as to how people were killed. Mafia rules.

One gigantic sand castle that took us several hours to build even with scattered rain and thunder. It also took a toll on my abs and thighs and now I'm officially sore from building a sand castle. I'm a proud mamma though. It was tall and bedazzled.

Dozens of meaningful conversations with people in my house. None of this small talk anymore people. We got down to the nitty gritty. Yesterday Lance, Mike, and I sat outside the pool during a perfect evening and talked for hours on end. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Two taco runs to Bad Bean. Mahi mahi and shrimp tacos. Queso and tortilla chips. Always goodness.

Five nights of going to bed at 2 am. I thought I wouldn't be able to keep up but surprisingly I've had mad energy. It could be that I love the beach....... and my friends. Or both.

One epic Duck experience.

About half our group. We forgot to take a picture until most people had left. 

We always joke that if some part of Duck doesn't live up to your expectations, well then, "There's always Duck '13!" It's only funny because none of us wants to actually be around for Duck '13. If you are that would mean you aren't married. And isn't what all this Duck business is about?

Maybe yes or maybe no. Who cares anyway?

I had a blast and that's all I really care about.

**Photos are courtesy of Lance Wheeler and Lauren Richey.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Reason #14,903,361 why I love DC:

It is an honor to see things like this on the metro during my morning commute.

Oh the joy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Why I was not cast in this music video I will never understand.

My girl. My Latino people. My languages. Dancing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A charming South African

My roommates and I met a South African man named Lusio on Saturday at Gravelly Point.

He was ever so charming and wooed us to pieces.

Today, he wrote us this.

Just a fleeting moment fluttered its winds in my mind and caused me to reminisce on our magical rencontre this Saturday. I realized again that I have been so bedazzled by this it caused me to grow pensive and wondered to myself if when one is gifted by such a moment in life is it not a triste affair to let this beautiful gift wither away in the nostalgic winds of time sans one's care taking attention. I therefore with you all a hearty southern howdie!!

No, you did not just read a paragraph from Pride and Prejudice. It's 2012 and a man wrote us this beautiful piece of prose. All of a sudden our apartment turned into a scene from a Jane Austen novel.

Did we go to his party on Saturday night? Yes.

Did he offer to take us to the park and prepare a picnic of bagels, brie, and strawberry jam? Yes.

Was it a perfectly splendid weekend? Yes.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DC-ing for 365 days

Two trips back home to Utah

Several hundred new Facebook friends

Four church callings

Two roommates that I continue to obsess over

Approx 251 days in the office

Three promotions

First business trip to Nashville

One too-short weekend trip to the charming city of Boston

One desk upgrade with three decorations on my own office wall

A whole new wardrobe

Dozens of dinners at new restaurants

Constantly continuous trips to the monuments

One new ward family

One amazing weekend in Sandusky, OH, with rollercoasters galore

Three Broadway plays

Many sacred moments in Arlington Cemetery

One rockin Maná concert

Three Café Rio openings

A new found love of exercise

One 25th birthday

Two skiing trips

Four midnight movie showings

Two new swimsuits

Daily walks home from the metro with frozen yogurt in hand

One love let go

Too many trips to the mall

One delightful cherry blossom festival

Several new crushes

Many lovely dates

One free chocolate bar at the embassy of Kazakhstan

One new pair of designer sunglasses

50 trips to the temple

Two new smart phones

A dozen new “best friends”

Twelve ridiculously large rent payments

Zero haircuts

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Temple pick-up

There are things that happen in Mormon life that are so cliche that when they actually happen, especially to you, all you can do is laugh out loud.

Case in point:

I work in the temple on Thursday evenings. At the end of my shift I wait in the Celestial room for my friends to finish before we drive home. It offers me a couple minutes of uninterrupted silence before leaving the temple and finishing a long and tiring day.

Several weeks back I was sitting in a chair reading the scriptures when a handsome young man stood up from his chair, walked across the entire room, and sat down next to me. Besides the fact that the room we are in is very sacred and whispering is the appropriate level for talking, besides the fact that we are dressed in white, and besides the fact that this kind of thing never really happens but only in sappy Mormon movies, this nice young man my age struck up a conversation with me right then and there. The next few minutes encompassed all the usual get-to-know-you formalities as could be appropriately had in the place we were in but inside I was dying from hilariousness. He got my name and even verified that I worked in the temple every Thursday.

Was this really happening? Was I really being picked up on in the temple?

You betcha I was.

Hilarious is all I can say.

I wish I could finish with saying that he got my number which he magically memorized seeing that there's no available pen and paper in the Celestial room and that he called me the next day, we're dating and already madly in love.


As it turns out, I offered him a ride back to the metro but with four other girls in the car there was no descent way to exchange any sort of contact information....

....and I haven't seen him since.

At least it makes for a good story, right?

It covers all

It happens every time I visit New York City or Las Vegas. I don't know what it is but I feel it in my heart as I drive through the passageways and into the city with its bright lights, high rise buildings, and massive crowds.

I look at the hundreds of cars and the thousands of people. I notice the dozens upon dozens of apartment buildings and the people who inhabit them all.

And I think...

I think to myself, "How can it be that the Atonement of Christ covers everything? All this? And everything in between?"

But it does. Somehow, yes somehow, it does.

I look at the people on the street. I wonder where they've come from and where they're going. I think of the trials and sorrows and crushing problems they've each had to deal with.

And I know the Savior knows them as well. He is aware. He notices. He knows their joys, their interests, their passions. He takes a keen interest in all of our lives.

And he loves all of us. Every single one of us.

A love affair with TED

It was sometime during my last year in college when my brother called me up and told me he had discovered TED talks and was crazy about them. I crooked my phone with my shoulder and opened my laptop to see what he was talking about.

Three hours later I closed my laptop and was a believer. This was my kind of thing.

I told everyone I knew that they needed to listen to my favorite TED talks: the Stanford commencement speech given by Steve Jobs, the one by the woman who experimented with being homeless for a year, the man who studied running barefoot.

I was enthralled. Some people I found shared the same joy and interest in the short 20 min. blurbs packed with brilliance. Some people didn't care at all or understand my enthusiasm.

I didn't care. I kept listening.

I have two TED talks that I'm obsessed with right now. Let me reiterate, obsessed with.

They resonate with me so deeply that I can't really describe how much I love them. I've listened to both of them several times each and wish I could memorize them by heart. Maybe one day.

First this one:

I got my first smart phone last summer and it has changed my life, I'm not sure for the good or the bad. Either way I'm always connected.....and I've grown to hate it. I have Facebook, Google Reader, Instagram, and Pinterest constantly at my fingertips and I find that I can't concentrate for too long at any given time before I want to check everything just one more time. It's insanity.

So after listening to this TED talk I made some goals: 1) absolutely no social media on Sundays 2) leave the phone at home when I go on walks or am at the gym 3) keep the phone in the purse when I'm in any kind of social setting. Instead focus on being with the people I'm with and developing relationships with each one of them.

It's been hard...but I think it'll be worth it. Oh so worth it.

And then there's this one:

I've found that being vulnerable and opening myself up allows me to feel alive. I love greater, I feel deeper, I think clearer. It's hard to put down the mask and be real, even with myself, but it's a good practice.

Am I worthy of having connection? I believe I am.

Thanks TED for the lessons you are teaching me and for opening my eyes to different thought that change the way I see things and live things.

Friday, March 16, 2012


There are always ebbs and flows to life. Sometimes I find a certain thought swirling around in my brain for a couple days or weeks, something that's troubling me or just something trying to work itself out.

Then in a moment of pure mercy a conversation with a long time friend is sparked and that thought, the one that's been foggy and unrelenting in my brain, is cleared up- in a moment of brilliance.

I've had a certain thought like this lately, one that I haven't been able to let go of or figure out, but then I had a brilliant gchat conversation with a dear friend yesterday and by the end I knew what I was supposed to do.

He didn't say anything strikingly important, but his kindness and thoughtfulness touched my heart in a moment of unnoticeable weakness. He asked me questions and digitally gave me a bear hug that hasn't quite stopped still.

Tender mercies are what I call them, directly from above. Moments of clarity and peace and tenderness. Times when the burdens of life and mind are lifted and all you can is the clear and right path ahead.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Worth it

The beautifulness that I bought on Friday.

I called my dad on Friday with a mini crisis. I couldn't choose between the classic black and the tortoise shell. Oh the agony.

I ended up with the tortoise which compliments my brown hair and I'm in love.

First pair of designer Ray Bans. Classy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Loving me right back

I could have a thousand reasons to be sad today…but I’m not sad. My life has never been happier. My faith has never been more optimistic. My heart has never been more grateful.

I’m rockin’ the single life. I’m going on trip after trip. I have so many nice things that make me feel beautiful and give me confidence. My friends are singular and some of the kindest and most charitable people on the planet. My family is intact and healthy. I am healthy. I get to work in the temple every week. I know God lives. I’m surrounded by the monuments and museums of Washington DC.  I’m going on dates with smart and interesting men that open my eyes and keep me young and laughing. I’ve been able to start over and create a fabulous life for myself independent of any other person. My heart is healed. The thousand shattered pieces have been put back together and now there’s not even a scar. I have overcome.

I have found that I can truly love again and feeling my heart open to other people in a new and compassionate way that I couldn’t do before has been life-changing.

March 9th is not the date of any national holiday. We don’t celebrate it or recognize it in any way. To anyone else it’s just another day to cross off the calendar.

But to me it’s a day I hope comes and goes quicker than most because today is the day that the man I thought I'd marry is getting married to someone else.

Does today still sting a little? Yes.

Does some part of me still wish it was me that was by his side? Yes.

Do I think that will ever change? Not sure. But I do know that something even better and more right will come along.

And the past year and a half has influenced me so dramatically that I’m all right with that. And happy. 2012 holds something special for me even though I’m blindfolded as to what that is still.

And so I’m going shopping today after work. I’m going to buy myself something beautiful on this sad-but-still-happy day….because in my heart of hearts I’m happy for him.  I loved him entirely and therefore still desire his happiness. He has found his queen and how can you not smile and be happy that that has happened to at least two people on this earth?

To my friends and family who have borne my grief and sorrow and have cried when I have cried I salute you. Thanks for your shoulders to cry on and your listening ears. But I’m moving on now. I’ve been moving on for a very long time but something about today is different. I’m literally leaving that part of my heart behind and never looking back.

It’s time. Life is too amazing to not live it…..and love it.

I’m loving life and it’s loving me right back.

***If you want to read one of the most incredible blog posts on love, life, and heartache read this. Loved it in every single way***

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My tunes

I think I’d be comfortable saying that naturally I’m a pretty happy and loving person. I don’t consider myself too emotional, hormonal, or pessimistic.

But then I looked at my playlist I’ve been listening to all day today and this is what I found:

Matt Nathanson- Heartbreak World
Matt Wertz- Falling Off the Face of the Earth
Sara Bareilles- Hold My Heart
Adele- I Can’t Make You Love Me
Tracy Chapman- The Promise

Geez Hannah, stop listening to such downer music would ya?

I can’t. It just speaks to me.

Luckily for me I don’t think the music I listen to translates to my behavior.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Modern at its best

In part 9 of my 10 part series of grateful lists I've tried to get down to the nitty-gritty and list ten modern inventions I love. Creativity has never been my strength and so even though I'd love to dazzle you with 10 modern inventions that will take your breath away

...cue this video...

I found that all ten of my items are really rather boring. Absolutely necessary and in some cases for me, thrilling- but boring.

Bear with me.

1) Contacts- If I were to take my contacts out and not put my glasses on, you could hold two fingers two inches from my face and I wouldn't know it. I'd probably say you were holding up five fingers. My eyes are that bad. I got contacts when I was in 5th grade because I was dancing almost full time and when I would spin on stage my glasses would go flying off my face and across the stage. You can bet that made me feel popular. So to my parents credit they decided to get me contacts. Bless them.

2) Mattresses- Sometimes I thank Heavenly Father for a soft mattress because, well, wouldn't it be miserable to sleep on a hard floor every night after a long work day? I think so. Sometimes I don't think we realize how fortunate we are to have soft things.

3) Flat Iron- You don't want to see my hair air dried. It's not pretty. I'm grateful for a flat iron that makes my beautiful locks straight and shine for all they're worth.

4) Medication- Let's just say that if it weren't for modern medicine I would have bit the dust a long time ago. And we're not talking just tylenol. We're talking good strong morphine and the like. That stuff has literally saved my life (a couple times) when I've found myself in the hospital in more pain that I can even describe. Pain that creates delirium. Modern medicine continues to save my life as I take pills that keep my Crohn's in remission for (hopefully) the rest of my life.

5) Airplanes- As I grow up and become more adult-like I seem to move farther and farther from my family and hometown. How grateful I am for jets that take me away and in just a couple of hours deliver me back to my loved ones. It's as simple as that.

6) Pillows- See number 2. I'm grateful for a soft thing to rest my head on at night and dream about all the good things.

7) Camera- I have one of those dads who, on every single family road trip, would stop every couple of feet to take a picture. Oh how it annoyed me! My brothers and I would whine and complain and whine and complain some more. "Why?" we always protested. Now I can't praise my dad enough for all those stop-to-take-a-candid-photo moments. We have six large albums chock full of every road trip and every phase of my childhood bangs. You better bet that anytime you visit my house I will sit you down on my couch and show you all my favorite photos of my Halloween costumes throughout the years. Consider yourself lucky.

8) Chap stick- Yes I used to have a chap stick addiction. Yes I used to attend chap stick addicts anonymous. Don't make fun :) But really, I had a problem. And then I discovered my secret chap stick. The one that revolutionized my world and made my addiction disappear almost overnight. I know I've said this before, but if you're really one of my friends than you've probably been privileged to learn what it is. Good for you.

9) Sunglasses- I inherited sensitive eyes from my dad. Couple that with the fact that I have blue eyes which are naturally more sensitive to light than other eyes and BAM, I always need sunglasses. I'm thinking I want to buy some Ray Bans this summer and complete my east coast summer look. What do you think?

10) Printing Press- Okay so this is probably the least modern, modern invention on this list but in reality I'm super grateful for this revolutionary machine that allowed me to learn to read the written word. Books are some of my absolute favorite things. I want to have a library full of them and the most comfy chair in which to sit and read them.

Ten modern inventions. Fairly boring right? I decided wrong. These inventions are all amazing in their own right and oh how grateful I am for every single one!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Rules for life:

Do you ever find yourself creating little rules for your life? Things that you do and will always do no matter what? These are things that you live by. Things that you do subconsciously (or consciously) in order to prove something to yourself or others, or just to have a better life.

Here are some of my own rules for life:

1) Always walk up the escalator. Live an active life. Get moving.

2) Go to bed before midnight. The next day will always be happier.

3) Get dressed up on Fridays. Your weekend will start off on the right foot. Optimistic and lookin' good. You'll find you get more dates.

4) Don't wash your hair everyday. Shiny healthy hair = letting it get greasy every once in a while.

5) No social media on Sundays. Turn off Facebook and Pinterest and Google Reader at least once a week.

6) Laugh as much as possible. I'm a person that loves to laugh. I laugh at just about anything. I love people and I love laughing with people. It keeps me young.

7) Buy a new shirt for a special event. If it'll give you the confidence you need to dazzle than it's worth it.

8) Set realistic expectations. Life is all about coordinating expectations and reality. If you can get your expectations under control than your life will be easier.

9) Make eye contact and keep it. It's a powerful flirting technique and great for job interviews.

10) Always rinse your plates and silverware and put them directly into the dishwasher. The house will always looks better.

11) Go to the temple often. Life will ALWAYS be easier than if not. I promise.

12) Don't listen to music on walks. Walks are time for talking with God and working things out with Him. Go on lots of walks.

13) Spend money on a good makeup foundation. Having a clear, beautiful and smooth face will always feel good.

14) Have at least one guilty pleasure. I love the Bachelor which I probably shouldn't. It's fabulous entertainment and ridiculous at the same time.

15) Having a nice sized cushion of money in a savings account brings a sense of security not found elsewhere.

16) The most important parts of a wedding are the photography, the dress, and the food. Everything else people will forget.

17) Don't be afraid to talk.....and to love.

18) Perfume is a good thing.

19) Always keep a book in the purse. You never know when the metro is going to break down and you'll be stranded. It will not matter if you have something good to read.

20) Have mints and gum handy at all times. The last thing you want is bad breath.

21) Be where you are. Stop wishing you were reliving the past or already living in the future. Be happy with the phase of life you're in. And never complain about the weather.

22) Strive for matching dinnerware and coordinating centerpieces.

23) It's okay to jump on the bandwagon for some things and then jump off for others.

24) Call people by name. If you remember someones name the next time you see them you can bring a smile to their face quicker than almost anything else. It makes people feel important if you remember their name and then use it.

25) Write love letters to those you love. Be sincere. Tell them they're beautiful and loved. Don't be cliche. Leave love letters in unexpected places.

26) Be nice to the little people- the cashiers, the waitresses, the cleaning people. We've all had those jobs and know what it's like. So be patient and kind.

27) Try not to eat after 7pm....unless you're famished. Then eat.

28) Be the person that's easy to get along with. Don't have enemies. Don't be exclusive.

29) Creamed honey over any other honey. Frozen vegetables over canned. Always quality over quantity.

30) Always wait for your letter from Hogwarts. It'll come someday.

Maxims to live by- Hannahisms if you will.

What are your rules for life?

Friday, February 3, 2012

A personal victory

I'm not a super tech savvy person by any means but I do feel like I can understand and follow instructions exceptionally well.

I enjoy putting furniture together because it's like putting together a puzzle and challenging my mind and hands to figure the project out. 

I love word searches and strategy games. Really, I like any sort of game.

I'm the type that if I don't know something I'll probably Google it almost immediately to find the answer. 

I love learning new words and trying to use them regularly.

All these things I feel I'm pretty good at, so when it came time to set up a router in my apartment for wireless internet I wasn't too intimidated.

But it was 12:15 am last night and I found myself surrounded by cords and more cords, little boxes that all looked similar, and none of it was working, that I almost broke down in tears.

The router had come in the mail on Monday and I finally had time last night to sit down and figure everything out. I pulled out the instructions and carefully, ever so carefully, started going through them one by one. When I got about halfway through I was supposed to turn the computer on and confirm access to the internet.

The web browser window came up and..................nothing. 

I was perplexed and annoyed and eventually frustrated. I reviewed the instructions, made sure the cords were securely attached, and even started over again to make sure I had followed the instructions perfectly.

And still..............nothing.

Still almost in tears I scanned my contact list in my phone looking for any male that I could call to help, but it was almost 12:30 am and so instead I called my dad.

Good 'ol dads, always there to save the day. 

He reassured me that I could figure it out but that I might need to call technical support and talk to someone in India who could walk me through the instructions. I really wanted to get everything going then because I wanted to go to sleep knowing the job was done but finally conceded that I had to wait till the next morning.

I called Comcast this morning *cough India* and talked to a really sweet woman who definitely knew better than me what was going on even though she was thousands of miles away. We figured out that there was a single cord that had to be plugged into the wall that wasn't included in the instructions and within minutes....BAM, we got wireless in my apartment.

I may have screamed as I danced around my apartment and then called my dad out of breath to exclaim the news

Have you ever gone NINE months in an apartment without wireless? It was definitely time.

For me it was a personal victory. A life victory. I installed my first router. Like the time I bought stamps at the post office for the first time or the first time I successfully purchased a rump roast. It's the small things people.

I'm growing up kids. Who knew a little router could make me feel so smart and accomplished. Now I know why people put as their Facebook status that they have wireless in their apartment. It's because they're PROUD they actually installed something so important so successfully. I get it now.