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

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.