Sunday, December 29, 2013

But I want to buy something!

Time and time again I sit here looking through Facebook and other friend's posts and get sad that I can't just go off and go on a shopping spree.

Since August, and losing my job, I have become quite humble in my spending. It's quite difficult to go from spending $5000 a month to wondering how you're going to pay your rent. When it comes down to it, I really don't need anything more, it's the stupid want inside of me that begins to take control. I love to shop and perhaps this is a wake up call and a sign from God that I need to evaluate my life and determine wants from needs. Why do we care so much what the latest fashions are, what the nicest car is, and what the prettiest decorations are in our home? When will enough ever really be enough? After spending time in Thailand, and getting to know the Asian culture, I realize that in America, we simply have to much stuff. 

At church, I was gifted a stylist consultation from another girl in the ward. We picked from a little Christmas tree anything from services to gifts and I struck gold. Ashley, the stylist, had made a joke that I didn't need her help. Granted, I did think I had good style and nice clothes but my problem was, I had too much and therefore I could never choose anything. Simplicity. Perhaps that's really what life is all about and although this may be a difficult learning curve for my previous spending habits to become acclimated to, it is something I'm in need of. 

So the next time I get sad because I can't buy a pair of shoes or new jeans, I should remind myself that they are WANs and not needs. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Babooshka

There's an old woman that sits outside of my house every day at 5 PM. She sits on a small plastic chair with a handkerchief over her hair, the cutest little black shoes and a long dress. Every time I walk past her I smile and say hello. I've noticed that she doesn't speak English but she always smiles and nods her head. There's something about her, her eyes, that reminds me of Goose. 

I decided the other day that I wanted to photograph her. Knowing the language barrier would be an issue, I set out with a plan b, a translation on my phone asking to take her photo. I walked downstairs today and said, "Do you speak English?" 

She grabbed both of my hands and said something so endearing that I could not understand. Her eyes spoke to me and let me know the sincerity in her words. I tried to show her my phone with the translation but she waved her hand as if she couldn't read. I then said the only word I knew, babooshka- you remind me of my babooshka. I ran upstairs to get my camera, came downstairs and she waved her hand in front of her face as if she did not want her picture taken. 

Defeated I came upstairs and snuck a picture through the blinds in my window. I watched as she contined to look upstairs for me. As I left the house she grabbed for my hands again while speaking in Russian. The sweetest lady, I just want to be able to speak to her. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Alone.

I'm sure one day I will look back upon this time of my life and have some incredible story about my faith and how I grew close to The Lord as well as strengthened my testimony however right now, I'm finding it hard to see that day. 

Today I was released from my calling as Relief Society president. I so vividly recall the day I was called and remember how difficult it was for the previous president. I didn't understand the way she was feeling and I have to admit that numerous times throughout my calling, I'd dreamed of the moment I would be released, but today as I was released and the new president was called, I felt empty. I felt alone. I felt lost. 

I made a promise this morning while doing my scripture study that I would stop murmuring and begin looking at the bright side of things. Satan must have gotten word of that and thought he'd give me an extra jab, pour a little salt on the wound. I need to stay positive and know that The Lord has a distinct purpose and plan for me and aging out and moving on is one of them. 

Add it to my list of transitions. Someone once told me that the 30's are a refining process. I feel like Job. 

I'm gonna keep trucking along because all too many people give up when they are close to the finish line, they just never knew how close they were. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dreams Can Be Reality.

I had a friend tell me lately that when you want something, put all of your effort and energy into attaining it. I'm not talking with relationships or materialistic items, although to each their own, I am speaking more about goals and future possibilities. If you want to be something or do something, focus all of your efforts into becoming better and doing better so that you can achieve that thing. For me personally, that thing would be photography. I struggled countless times over the past six years with identifying myself as a photographer. Everyone seems to think that if they have money and can buy a camera, they're deemed a photographer. In response to my statement hesitance with this trade, a friend once said, everyone also thinks they're a good person too.

The fact is, if you want something set your mind to it. Don't just go and think that things are going to come your way or be made easy for you, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. After much pondering and prayer, I came to the conclusion what I feel my dream job is. I'm shooting high and I know it, but that doesn't stop me. There's nothing that says I can't do what I have desires to do. I can just as easily make myself the best candidate and fit for any job as someone else. With my undergraduate degree in technical and professional writing, and my inate ability to capture beautiful photos, I know that this is something I would truly love and enjoy.

Dream job; to be a photographer and writer for National Geographic's traveling magazine. Mark my words, I will attain this goal whether it be in five years or in 10 years, it is something I feel I won't stop until I have reached. Writing your goals down on paper can be a very therapeutic exercise. To me, writing things down makes them  more concrete and holds myself accountable. I read an amazing blog post this morning about transitions and how they're only in the moment theyaren't lifelong struggles and although we want to get out of them and learn the lesson quick, sometimes that's just not what happens. My hat is off to this amazing opportunity, to give myself the time and effort needed to become what I want to be and of course to become accustomed to the Lord's timing rather than my own.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

You Deserve the Best.

My friend Brandon made a comment the other day that has resonated in my mind. While talking about dating and life, he made the comment that sometimes it just takes the right person to change your view on relationships. I suppose Brandon could have been viewed as somewhat of a player. As the lead singer of the band and an attractive guy, he tended to play the field, until he met Haleigh. All too often you hear excuses of why relationships don't work out. However valid those excuses may be, the truth of the matter is the guy (or girl) just wasn't that interested. If a guy is interested he will work past struggles, and together you will do what it takes to make everything work. Observing the transformation in Brandon and seeing how great he treats my friend Haleigh really gave me insight into what I deserve and what I know is out there. Brandon said he wakes up every morning and thinks of how he can make Haleigh happy. I think that that is just so amazing to know that there's someone that's out there that can think that and want that. We sell ourselves short in the dating world. We settle for less than we deserve because we think it's all that we deserve.

I'm not saying that anyone is perfect, because that doesn't exist, but I am saying that you should be with somebody that makes you feel like a million bucks. I have dated three guys this past year. A friend asked me if I were on the bachelorette which one would I choose. After narrowing it down to two, I said, "can I just get a combination of the two?" 

Growing up I loved the quote, "never settle for anything less than everything." Somewhere along the line I forgot that quote and began settling. As difficult as it may be when things don't work out with someone we're interested in, I have to realize that the Lord only wants the best for me, and sometimes what I think is the best is nowhere near what he thinks is the best.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Unexpected. Unplanned...and Uncomfortable.

If I asked to take away the pain would I only be cheating myself of the blessings? With all trials come blessings, at least in my experience nevertheless, amiss all the knowledge in the world, when you're in the middle of a storm, nothing seems possible, nothing seems fair, and surely nothing seems like it will ever make sense. 

I jokingly told my best friend that I'd like to erase the last 3 years of my dating life, the heartbreaks, the hard lessons, and the confusion. Although I know I've learned and grown, as I sit upon another broken heart, I wonder when things will ever make sense. My friend Christa gave wise advice last night as I pondered the course my life has taken and the approach of my 31st birthday, "I'm just not where I thought I'd be." Christa shared a story about her grandmother and how she had asked her when things starts to make sense, when you figure things out, to which the 70-year-old replied, "I'm still figuring things out." We set milestones with expectations and believe we have failed when we don't meet them. 

Returning home jobless, loveless, and famliless (mom and I had a major falling out), makes things tough. Although I appreciate the kind and encouraging words, they go in one ear and out the other as I lack the capability to see the bright side of things at this point. Inately I KNOW things will work out, not how I planned, rather as The Lord planned, but I still struggle in the moment. Nine hours is a long time to be alone with ones own thoughts, the mind is capable of so much. 

Time essentially is the only answer and perhaps facing what is most uncomfortable will be most beneficial. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Simplicity.

If you were to ask me if I were simple, I would probably say yes. Almost 3 weeks ago I lost my job, an event that I feel has made me become more simple. The luxurious things that I may have found a necessity have now become something I do not need. I have been dating a guy that has also made me value simplicity. I think it is in our nature to make simple things more complex. Dan has the ability to make me really think about things for what they are rather than what my mind would like to fill in the blanks for what it should be. I find myself taking offense or putting added emotion and expectations into something that is meant for face value. I'm not sure what will come of this relationship in fact, it is the hardest relationship I've ever been in, but I do know that within this time I am able to restructure the way that I think. When I question what is so hard, I realize that there's growth and change that needs to occur in myself, something I am normally too stubborn to do. I can be cold and insensitive, I can overlook others' emotions when I feel that they are overreacting. Dan challenges me,  he makes me think about things that I normally wouldn't think, he challenges me to be a better person, to be more open, to be more simple. Stepping out of your comfort zone is not always easy but it sure can be worth it

Thursday, August 15, 2013

You're Fired.

One week ago, I was the reciprocate of the terrifying and much dreaded words. Although there are the stresses of, how will I pay my bills?,  I have not had more peace than experienced throughout this past week. Embarrassed and ashamed I didn't know how to feel. The waythat a company executes the firing process can be quite inhumane. I felt as though I was a criminal when they told me I was not allowed to return to my desk. I suppose being fired for working overtime, really isn't the worst that things could've been. You see, I worked in the IT department for a private investment firm. We have many offices around the world and I would answer emails and respond to things outside of my normal business working hours. While working, I would clock in and clock out. Because I had not asked for previous approval, I was fired. Not written up. Not given a warning. But fired. After the expected tears, I began to think, I never want to sit in an office again. All too often we become complacent in our lives. We stop challenging ourselves, forget about continued learning and simply work as a means to provide income. I knew that my talents were not being utilized but I also knew that I was making great money and would probably never leave on my own. It's funny how God works. I feel that all too often we are given these trials which allow us to emerge and show our true talents. I've been doing photography for quite some time but have lacked the ability or confidence rather to pursue it fill time, until now. So, as I pack my bags and head to Utah for the next month, to explore different opportunities behind the lens, I have a such peace about things. I had to ask myself the question, what has God given me that I need to bless others with? We are not given talents to simply sit on them rather we are given talents to bless the lives of others. I'm excited for this new adventure. Although there may be some parts of me that have hesitance I know that with faith all things are possible.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nothing Ever Comes Fast.

Unlike the ripping-off of a band aid, important news or decisions rarely come fast. I have been sick to my stomach and worried about my job since yesterday when I was pulled into the HR office to discuss my time card. I work from home/my phone and clock in and out when I do that-which I gather would have been fine had I asked for permission but since I never asked to do that, and just assumed, I'm in a heap of trouble. 

Sitting in anticipation of their final decision or action to the situation has left me feeling like I just had a horrible break up. I can't eat. I can't sleep. It makes me wonder why we as humans do this to ourselves. These types of situations are completely in our control. Only I can control how I react to the predicament I am in. Only I can change how I act in the future and no one can change the past or take anything back. With that being said, why do I worry over things that I can't control? Why not just think of ways that I an improve myself and become a better person? 

I had a moment of analysis last night as I decided I was this horrible person, that isn't a good employee, nor a good RS president, and the list went on. There is so much that I need to improve on in my life, although I know there will always be things I need to improve on, I beat myself up on my weaknesses. 

Lists. They are efficient. I made one today of some goals that I have. When it's in writing it tends to hold me accountable. I'm struggling with reading my scriptures, not just forcing myself to read them but actually reading and enjoying them. I've become lazy. Lazy with many aspects of my life and I don't like the direction this is heading. Only I can take control. Only I can alter the path I am headed down. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Five.

I have lived in LA for just under three years. Within the three years I have been in five accidents. Prior to living in LA I had never been in any accidents. I thought perhaps this meant that my car had a bullseye but I've come to realize that people in Los Angeles simply don't pay attention. 

It's been somewhat of a rough week so needless to say, when I went to CVS last night I was somewhat at my whits end. As I went to park, a lady was taking a long time to back up out of her parking space. There were a group full of girls in a beetle behind me. As I got out of my car one of the girls laughed and said, "horrible driver ha ha." "Excuse me?" "Are you saying I'm a bad driver?" She proceeded to laugh while pointing at my driver side car and said, "look at that dent, clearly you're a bad driver." As my skin boiled and my patience dwindled I looked at her and said, go F yourself. I walked away and couldn't believe that I let these girls get the best of me. I grabbed my detergent, walked back to my car, and proceeded to leave the parking lot. Add a standstill waiting to leave the parking lot I felt and heard a crash. In my rearview mirror I could see a man in his Mercedes in my passenger rear side. 

Are you kidding me? Was my first thought as I exited the car. The man was yelling, he was yelling and claimed that it could be buffed out, there was no need to report things. His demeanor would lead one to believe he was not one that wanted the law involved. We exchanged information as I told him I didn't care who he got to fix it, asking as it was fixed. 

I drove home with tear filled eyes and an outpouring from the stressful day only to find a piece of artwork I've been waiting on for two months to be delivered on my doorstep...broken in two pieces. I often think things like this happen that throw us to our breaking point to keep us humble. For whatever reason challenges come, I pray that today is better on many levels. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Absence of Compliments.

Throughout an average week many people give and receive compliments. Unfortunately society has ingrained in others that when one receives a compliment they must reciprocate with the same compliment. For example, "you look really pretty today."  "Thanks, you do too." Whether or not the person saying the reciprocating comment means it, they feel obligated to say it. A friend recently told me that he doesn't reciprocate the comment but rather gives them when he feels they are due, in turn making the compliment more meaningful.  There is a catch, because we expect to hear a compliment when one isn't automatically given, we assume the negative. 

I had a boyfriend that always complimented the way that I looked. I got ready, I walked out of the room and he'd immediately tell me how beautiful I looked. Being one that cares about style, that always made me happy. Now, when I get ready and go out and don't hear the expected, "you look pretty," I automatically assume I've got the wrong outfit on and don't look my best. The same goes with photography. If I take photos and don't hear back from the individual after delivery, I automatically assume they weren't happy with the results. 

We come from a society where things are  expected. Where less is appreciated because its not original but rather a robotic response. I began practicing that outlook, not complimenting out of obligation yet out of sincerity. Some things are hard to retrain but the genuine compliments are priceless. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pavement.

On April 28 I tore my IT band in the Big Sur International Marathon. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt and wasn't quite sure when or if I would ever be able to run again. 

After an MRI and a definitive assessment of what was wrong, I was ordered to physical therapy, something I was not fond of. During those two and a half months he taught me how to retrain my muscles.

To stand different. 
To walk different. 
To build my core. 
To go without heels. 
And to strengthen my muscles all over again. 

Yesterday during our visit he released me to begin running, with baby steps. Basically, I'd be permitted to run for a minute. Walk for a minute. Run...walk. He looked at me and said, now I know you're going to do what you want to do but that's what I would advise you. 

Yes, he was correct. I wanted to go hit the streets and run 4 miles on my first day back, but I also knew I didn't want to end up regressing rather than progressing. So tonight, I was obedient ...somewhat, and ran for two blocks, then walked one, ran for two blocks, and walked one. My running stints were longer than a minute but I didn't push it hard. The fresh air, the beautiful streets (I love my new apartment and the location) such an incredible night!

I'm so excited to work my way up to really running again! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ring.

About a month for my grandmother passed away I took her wedding ring from her. The ring that she had worn for over 40 years was now on my hand. I wear the ring every single day. Last night while in a presidency meeting I rubbed my thumb on my ring finger and realized the ring was not there. In a frantic I searched everywhere; my car looked on the ground looked in my purse looked in my seat of my car and could not find the ring. Finally it dawned on me. I took the ring off when I was styling my hair. The relief that I had when I got home to find the ring was priceless. I went almost an entire day without realizing that the ring was gone. It made me think that perhaps sometimes we don't realize the importance of things until they're gone. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Schooled.

My best friends tends to keep me in check when I fail to update the blog. I have been horrible, I know. Please forgive me?

 

Let’s see. I suppose the most excited thing that happened was a few weeks ago when I attended a funeral for a friend (hold tight… I am not morbid). So my friend’s mom died and I went to the funeral to support her. It was at a big cemetery, Forrest Lawn, and she said they were in the white chapel.  When I pulled up I saw a white chapel, parked my car and walked in. I leaned over to sign the guestbook and as I looked up I noticed that I didn’t see my friend. I walked closer toward the body and realized I was in the wrong viewing! Nothing like signing a guestbook for someone you don’t know! I finally made my way over to the other white building where my friend’s mom was and was able to sign the right guestbook.

 

Life has been hectic and all over the place, but I suppose that is what keeps us alive. One of my good friends is going through a divorce and that makes me sad. Her husband came home from work and decided he wanted someone he was more attracted to with bigger boobs… gee, inspiring. I know that life is hard and relationships are hard and marriage is NOT easy, but heck- really buddy? In light of all that heavy news- things have been hectic with work, both jobs, and lots of photo shoots, which means no free time for me. In the midst of all of this, I have managed to move from my lovely roach infested studio in Hollywood- to a nice big one bedroom in West Hollywood. And the best part of it all- there is parking… the small things in life.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pictures.

A friend of mine got married recently. After looking at the pictures my initial reaction was regarding the age difference.

 

Another friend is going through a divorce, which came as a shock. I told him they looked so happy together, he responded, “We take great pictures.”

 

The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is true… but what exactly determines those thousand words? Our imaginations can run wild.  We can look at a picture and immediately have 50 thoughts running throughout, including an immediate way to pass judgment.  They are too thin. Too fat.  Too short.  Too old.  Too dorky.

 

I think we all live in somewhat of a fantasy world.  We like to believe that just because people are smiling in pictures that makes them happy.  I believe true happiness lies within a person’s eyes.  While doing a photo shoot for a musical, the character headshots all had to represent a certain persona.  The expressions on the face were spot on but I continued to control their eyes, make your eyes more sad, more happy, etc. A smile is easy to put on, but eyes are the pathway to one’s soul.

 

I believe the gospel is the way to happiness, the way to filling the soul with a smile through one’s eyes. As simple as that sounds, we make it so difficult to maintain- resting our happiness on others, waiting for them to make us happy rather for us to make ourselves happy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ho Hum.

Some days are harder than others, I suppose this feeling may never subside and it is just a part of losing someone you care about. I still remember her voice. It always frightens me when the time comes when you forget their voice. I have a video of her saved, although it isn’t much, it is something.  She is my inspiration and what keeps me on the straight and narrow.  I want to see her again and I know through Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation, I will.  I have been thinking a lot lately about life and all that jazz, which is potentially dangerous sometimes haha. My mind likes to wonder and think and analyze. There are few things I know in life that are definite, but the few I know, I know well.


I may not know WHAT Heavenly Father’s plan is for me, but I know there IS a plan. 
I may not know WHEN I can run again, but I know I can walk.
I may not know WHERE I will be in a month- physically, personally…, but I know I WILL be somewhere. 
I may not know WHY my health sucks, but I know I AM alive.

The common denominator I see in my life is patience. Life is about growing and learning and those growing pains sure can be a pain.

 

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Everyone's a Therapist.

I try and stay positive  but there are just some days that really get the best of me, yesterday being one of them. After spending four hours in a court room trying to fight a red light ticket and losing $498 I went to physical therapy. As I walked into the room and he asked how I was, I told him I didn't want to talk about it. It seems to me that in my life when things are going bad I tend to add up every negative thing in my life and have a personal pity party. My car has a huge dent from a semi truck, my school loans are atrocious, red light tickets are consuming my paychecks, a wedding I was really depending on the money for my down payment to move was canceled, and the list goes on. Not wanting to sound like a poor helpless soul, I decided it would probably be best for me to keep to myself during my PT session. And like any woman a moment of silence and I decided I wanted to talk. "I know you're not my therapist, you're only my physical therapist, but…" With a smile on his face he replied, "it's all the same." If you think about it, he's right. You talk to your hairstylist. You talk to your doctor. You talk to pretty much anybody that you make an appointment with. I had so much frustration consuming me that I struggled with being conversational. I simply had to come to the already known conclusion that life isn't fair and money is just money. Getting so caught up in a situation is a weakness of mine. It's difficult to step outside and breathe. To realize things could be worse. It always amazes me how lying can get you free and clear, at least to some extent but that's an extent I'm not willing to take. Every single one of the people in court for a red light ticket that lied and said it wasn't them was excused. The person (me) that simply claimed not guilty and that the light went off prematurely, the honest truth, had to pay...while having a court date scheduled where I have to return again. 

Enough of my rant. Crap happens. Life isn't perfect and I suppose if you can weed out the negative things and focus on the positive, even though they may seem minimal, you'll be a happier person...even if you are $498 I'm arrears. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Opinions.

Everyone has them. 

As I found myself sitting in the Bishop's office last week to talk about the sisters, he asked how I was doing to which I replied, "I'm depressed." The natural question that proceeded, "Why?" 

..."I can't run, I think I'm fat and ugly, I had an eating disorder for three years and I'm never happy with myself, I'm always tied..."

He waited until I finished my rant and said, "First off, don't feed yourself lies. You're not fat and you're not ugly. If you're not happy with your weight, you can say, I'm not in the best shape I could be in but saying you're fat, is a lie."

He went on to say that when others pay me a compliment, I need to accept it. It is their opinion and has nothing to do with my own perception of myself. "It's like artwork," he said, "everyone always likes different pieces for different reasons and you can't tell them they are wrong for liking a specific piece because it is THEIR opinion." 

I paused to think about the words I had heard him say, he was right. Opinions are opinions...if they are a compliment, accept them. I suppose the point goes in hand with the video Dove posted on YouTube about beauty. We all beat ourselves up, think we are dog poop, and never give ourselves enough credit. Let another person tell you how amazing you are and stop being so critical. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Time is Money.

Last year I volunteered to do a photo shoot for the musical, Spring Awakening.  I had never shot anything to that extent and felt that the experience would be good for my portfolio. One year later I was asked to shoot for the musical, BARE. Seven hours of shooting, pure exhaustion and a realization that my time is worth a lot of money. Something that people don't understand when hiring a photographer is how much time goes in to post production. Although I try to get everything perfect in the actual shot, there is always something that needs to be touched up in Photoshop. On average, one photo takes 10 minutes and that is simply making sure there aren't flying hairs, dark circles under eyes, and occasional blemishes. Multiply that by 100s of pictures and the time adds up. People also don't understand that there are certain times of the day that is horrible for pictures, ie 3:30 pm when the shoot was scheduled to happen outside. Not enough warnings could let the producer know this was a poor choice for timing- until today when I told him I refused to used any of the group shots outside with shadows and wind. I just wish people would listen when you advise them, rather than waste time and then have to reshoot. At any rate- As a photographer you can choose your clients and if they are difficult to work with, don't work with them again.  

After a long day of shooting I decided to treat myself to a nice steak dinner...at least I had high hopes of it being nice. After a sub-par $80 meal, a complaint to a server at no avail, and a complaint to a manager, I have a free dinner for two if I choose to go back. Saturday was long. Sunday please be relaxing to me. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I've Got A Case of "Greg."

I have a good friend Greg that is notorious for making plans and canceling them at the last minute. On the receiving end, it bothers the heck out of me.  Lately, Greg's unbecoming trait, has worn off on me. Perhaps my recent need to work 100 hours a week and shoot photography at least once a week has left me drained. I find myself constantly making plans and booking up my schedule sometimes even overbooking. In the moment, in my mind, I always think there is enough time what I hate to do however, is plan time to recoop. I find myself faced with choices of, should I go do that do that social activity or does sleep and relaxation trump my plans?

Mom called the other day to ask if I'd be in Orange County before Chad's birthday (July 4th) to which I replied, I've got a photo shoot for an off-Broadway play this weekend, shooting a bar mitzvah next weekend, a wedding the following weekend, and moving the first weekend of July. Being the caring woman she is, she replied, make sure you take time for yourself. Although money may be great my longevity means more! Now I just have to find some relaxing things to throw into the mix of my life. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Energy, Where Have You Gone?

There was a time when I didn't wake up every morning tired. I'm not quite sure what I did that was different or how I can get back to that stage but I really miss it. I don't believe that the world NEEDS caffeine to function, however popular demand would imply otherwise. I've consumed more energy drinks in the past 2 months than my entire life. I've also gained weight, which I contribute to my lack of running from my injury...but it's raised the question if the sodium in energy drinks is any contribution. From 2009-2011 I had an eating disorder, which has left my perception of myself and others quite whack and in turn made me extremely critical and down lately. On Saturday while talking to my Bishop, he asked how I was doing, proceeded by a long pause, "I'm depressed...I miss running." It's funny, when you CAN run, you take it for granted, when you can't, that's all you want to do. Oddly, that principal applies to so much. We always want to do the things we can't. 

I'm not sure when I can run again but I miss the energy and great feeling it provides. Physical therapy sucks, I'm bad with "homework" aka exercises, and am impatient (as you read yesterday). With multiple things in life I truly do believe the Lord wants to teach me patience and since I haven't learned it, I keep getting trials haha. You'd think I'd catch on and perhaps now that I'm writing my thoughts down, that means I am. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On and on we go.

For anyone that knows me, they know how little patience I have, and how much I need to work on it… maybe I should consider this my lifelong goal, but the other day I was ready to simply “throw in the towel.” The only glamorous thing about Los Angeles is, well, the stars. Now for those of us that don’t care about the stars (yours truly) then what is the draw to this city? Last Wednesday I went to a hoity toity party at STK.  It was their anniversary party which meant for a nice little party filled with alcohol, aspiring/ current actors, and collagen.  Outside of the nice ambience, my favorite part of the night was my steak (which I must say was the best steak I have ever had).  I highly recommend trying this joint before you leave Los Angeles, slightly pricey but well worth the money. 

 

On Thursday I was invited to yet again another collagen-filled party. As I drove up to the valet at the Sofitel and he informed me how much it was to park, I quickly spurted out, I am too cheap to pay that, but thank you! Opting to save the extra $20.00, I parked in the mall across the street and walked over. I can’t remember the last time I saw so much plastic surgery- the women were either in really great shape, or … not. My friend who put on the party said, the ones that aren’t are the ones with money. Quite sad that the only way you can “fit” in in this city if you aren’t a skinny model, is if you are funding the skinny model, or some other investment. Like clockwork, the average question when you meet someone…

 

“So, what do you do?”… “Oh, do you enjoy that?”

 

I kept wanting to say, “I am a proctologist, yes, I enjoy looking at a’holes all day.

 

By Saturday I was burnt out. Over Hollywood. Over Los Angeles. I had been cut off, flipped off and ripped off. In complete frustration I called Stevo and said, “I hate this city, you can never get ahead in life, everyone is always out to get you, and if you can’t do anything to advance their career, they could care less about you. How all the party conversation should go is, “Hi, what do you do? Oh, um, well, you can’t do anything to help advance me in my career so… I will go talk to someone else.” I have honestly never lived in a city where no one cares about you, where it is each and every man for themselves. I am sorry, but I can’t be friends with someone just because they are “famous.” I also don’t want a friendship that I am only invested in to achieve higher success in my career. I do however enjoy friendships where I get unexpected letters in the mail that make me smile, thank you Cait :) and…

 

I bought a Dyson.

I am moving in 20 days.

I am getting a new website.

I went blonde again.

I am attending physical therapy and my knee is getting better.

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jealousy.

I have never thought myself to be a jealous person, I suppose no one ever finds themselves to be jealous, but this weekend caused me to analyze my actions.  I asked Stevo the other day if there was anything about me that annoyed him or frustrated him. He looked at me in hesitance and said, “really?”

“Yes, really.”

 

Although it is never fun to hear the things that you need to improve on, it is always good to try and learn, make yourself better, and through that, grow. Throughout my relationships, I am usually the person that has male friends, that boyfriends become jealous of, and in turn add strain on the relationship.  Stevo is the first time I have had a dose of my own medicine per say.  There is something about that man that attracts a lot of girls.  They like him and they have no shame in showing that.  The logical side of me says, “Ok cool- my boyfriend is attractive, that is a compliment to me.” The irrational side of me says, “Who are these girls- let’s eliminate them.”

 

A friend posted an article about 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy- it’s great- go read it. (http://worldobserveronline.com/2012/04/25/15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy/) Anyway, it mentions that we cause ourselves to have pain, stress, and suffer, because we hold on to so many things.  Although I feel that I constantly read things, think they are awesome, then 5 seconds later forget what I have read and stress out or get upset about something, this article really makes me want to improve myself.  “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

 

We create things in our mind that aren’t real.  How powerful the mind can be.  We are self-defeating, and in turn, become insecure.  Last night I told a friend that every time I time a picture, I think it is horrible, I am never satisfied.  She said that was something all artists struggle with. If only we saw what others saw, in ourselves, and in our potential.

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Becoming One.

When Heavenly Father said that we were to leave our mother’s and father’s and become one with our spouse, he didn’t mean combine your Facebook and email address into one.  One pet peeve I have, and yes, I have been married before so I can speak from experience, is when people get married they feel they need to lose their identity, get rid of everything that makes then an individual and become a mesh of one person.


Trust. What it boils down to is trust. I could care less if my husband has my passwords to every account I own, I would never merge my email or any social media for that matter into one.  A. People know you’re married when you’re married, you don’t need a joint account of any means to express that information. B. If your husband or wife is going to cheat/talk to others flirtatiously/ or whatever the heck they choose to do, they will do it regardless if you have a joint account or not.  


What did we do before social media? We enjoyed our friends company, we went on honeymoons without posting the entire time about our outings, and maintained our own set of friends (which is completely healthy).


More power to you if you've chosen to merge your accounts but here's what non merged account holders think of that. It's an opinion, we all have them. 


Happy Wednesday. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Not Like the Movies.

Sometimes I think I will never be happy. That I am doomed to be single the rest of my life. My mind begins to catalog prior relationship issues that I may have had. When I get annoyed or frustrated I begin to think it is me that is the problem. I've been reading my friend Heather's book, Bigger than Texas, she has a line in there that states how nothing is ever like the movies when it comes to relationships. I'd like to think that our reality is somewhat skewed due to movies. Expectations of love and happiness are slightly difficult to meet. Sure, people live happily ever after but it always takes work. There's a talk that I heard once regarding enjoying the journey, I believe it was by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I fall guilty of not enjoying the journey many times. If there's a plan to go someplace I rush and rush until we get to that place not enjoying any moment of the journey prior to being at the destination. When I step outside of the box and think about these things, it's obvious that I need to do better. I can be just as happy as everybody else, I just have to enjoy the journey. Sure, I could nitpick about everything going on around me or, I could look for the positive aspects of everything around me. The fact is, no one is perfect. Sometimes I believe that it is Satan that tries to get inside of our head and make us believe that another relationship or another job or another whatever it may be will make us happier. Truth be told, every two years I get sick of my job. I reach a point where I'm bored, I find myself stagnant, and think that something else will be better. I've noticed if I stick it out through that time however, I end up enjoying my job and actually growing. I suppose the moral of the story is, you must be happy with yourself in order to be happy with another person,  in a job, or wherever your life may take you. No job will make your life better, sure it may give you more money but I promise it won't make your life better if you're unhappy with yourself. No human can possibly save all of your problems, it is up to you to turn to Heavenly Father and rely upon his hand. I am prideful. It's a weakness. It's hard for me to take fault, it's hard for me to take blame but I know that Heavenly Father can help me overcome these weaknesses.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pizza.

I hate to talk about Stephen Kellogg two days in a row, but he made a great quote in his Ted talk (I posted it yesterday) that I thought was relevant to my story.

"Sex is like pizza, even when it's bad it's still good." Okay, I know that's not the most modest statement that I could write about but it gets you thinking. Most people would say that pizza is pizza it's good no matter where you get it from. Last night, like every night of my life I came to the question of, "what is for dinner tonight?" As I weighed the options, what I was hungry for, was I willing to go drive, find a place to park, pay to park, wait to sit down, and then drive back to my apartment? Or did I want to sit in the confines of my own home and order pizza? 

Pizza. Who doesn't love pizza? Now that I had decided what I wanted the next question was where did I want it from. They're not that many good places to eat pizza in Los Angeles which is surprisingly sad. I wasn't feeling like the average $5 Little Caesars, or perhaps the $10 Domino's, I wanted something more. While going through different pizza places on yelp, I came across Mulberry pizza. I had it once before and remembered that it was good little did I know the price was astronomical. $30 for a pizza. Was it worth it? My mind started thinking of every single mathematical equation that I possibly could come to terms with...was it worth it to pay $30 for pizza would it be the same as if I were to go out to eat pay for a meal, tip a waitress, would the convenience of staying in my own house and having an amazing pizza worth it? 

The answer my friends is yes ... capital Y-E-S. First off, the pizza arrived in a box that was bigger than my studio apartment. Okay, that may be a bit of a fabrication but the box was large. Imagine a normal large pizza from Domino's or Papa John's and double it. The quality of this pizza was by far the best I've ever had. Was it worth the $30? Indeed. Every single penny.

It then became a question in my mind, I should be on a quest to find the best possible pizza throughout Los Angeles. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stephen Kellogg.

I have seen many musicians.

I have listened to many songs.


But there is something about this man that just makes you smile as soon as he opens his mouth up to sing. Much like all the music I have found, I can’t recall how I stumbled upon this gem.  I remember the first time I saw them at the Troubadour in 2009, they had filled the venue and put on one of the most entertaining shows I had ever seen. As I watched Stephen perform, it dawned on me that somewhere along the lines, singer/songwriters have forgotten to put emotion into their songs.  In my opinion, singer/songwriters greatest focus is on their lyrics. As with most pop/rock singers, their focus is more on whatever beat makes your booty shake or can be a number one billboard placer.  When Stephen Kellogg steps on that stage, it is as if you are watching him re-enact each of the stories he is telling within his lyrics. There is passion, there is emotion, and there is soul.

 

He came to the Hotel Café and put on yet another great show.  Although he recently went solo, formerly known as Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, or shall I say, he went back to being solo, since he had begun a solo career long before the Sixers were attached, his set was solid. Such an amazing stage presence, engaging the audience with his undeniable talent and originality. Not only is he talented musically, he is such a humble and sincere person.  Watch this TED talk that he recently recorded to get a glimpse at this talented and extremely amazing individual.

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/xYdTkfJ5zhU

Monday, May 13, 2013

Whirlwind.

The past few days have been a whirlwind and it all began as I stood in the kitchen above the sink and claimed, “That’s it, he just died.”

As I walked away from the sink, Stevo rushed into the kitchen, stuck his hand down the drain, and pulled out Godfrey. That fish sure was a trooper.  Godfrey was one of the goldfish that had survived my 30th birthday carnival. I mention that simply because a majority of the fish didn’t survive. In all truthfulness, I believe Godfrey and one other are the only fish still swimming from an original count of 30. 

In a rush to change his water, that had become a mucky yellow in what seemed like overnight, I was pouring him from one bowl into another. I am not sure what happened but as I went to pour Godfrey, rather than going into the bowl which was intended, he went down the drain. I think the trauma of that alone put me in a mental state of shock, where I didn’t even think to put my hand down the drain and save him. I suppose I figured with blades and whatever else may be down there, he was a goner. ALAS! Prince Stevo saves the day and luckily, the 10 second memory that goldfish have, he didn’t even remember the near death experience he had just underwent.

The next morning, I glanced in the mirror as I was getting ready for Mother’s Day, and Goose’s memorial service. I looked down on my ring finger of my right hand where her wedding ring sat. I dug through a box of jewelry trying to find something of hers that I could wear, placed her locket around my neck, and drove up to the cemetery.  Mom was meeting me there prior to the Mother’s Day brunch.  We were having a service with the entire family but wanted to have a moment to ourselves as immediate family.  Grandpa Doc had been buried since 1983 and to dig up a stone to place Goose inside would have cost thousands. Rather than breaking a piggy bank none of us had, we decided we would dig a hole next to the stone where her death date was freshly engraved, and place the tiny two inch- heart shaped box that was filled with some of her ashes. The small box read: Gloria Orpha Monroe/ Forever in our Hearts/ February 15, 1923- February 3, 2013. Sunk into a hole about six inches deep, I kissed the small box and covered it with dirt. As to not make our recent burial noticeable, we covered the stone with flowers, plants, and a card.  Goose loved cards.  While going through her apartment when we moved her to the assisted living, there had to have been cards dated back to 1930.  It didn’t matter who you were in her life, if you had given her a card, she had saved it. In addition, if she liked the front of the card you had given, she would tear it and reuse the card, that portion I blame on being a child of the depression.

I went over to the trunk of my car to get out my camera and capture a few pictures before heading over for brunch.

Jiminy Crickets! I had ever single lens I own, but no camera. Before causing an alarm to my mother (taking pictures was the ONE thing she really wanted on this day) I reached for my phone to text Stevo and ask if he would drive the 50 miles up just to bring me the camera. I knew it was a longshot, and a large favor to ask, but since he was on a role of being Prince Stevo (with saving Godfrey) I figure he would save the day yet again).  

We headed over to the brunch where we met the remainder of the extended family and enjoyed great Mexican food. And sure enough, Stevo entered to save the day with his delivery of the camera just in time for us to head over to the cemetery.  

Mom had purchased 15 monarch butterflies to do a release at the memorial. She, or rather I, read a few poems with tear-filled eyes, we said  The Lord’s Prayer, released butterflies, and ended with Doris Day’s hit, “A Bushel and a Peck.” The day was amazing and Goose would have loved everything down to the little gift bags filled with oatmeal pies and candy.












Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Dreams May Come.

I used to watch movies like, “What Dreams May Come,” and truly hope that I had that control over my own life. If you haven’t seen the movie, Robin Williams loses his entire family in a car accident which kills his wife and two children, and is left alone.  In his quiet moments he learns that only through his dreams he is able to see his entire family and what if those dreams could be a reality. The movie is quite touching and if you haven’t see it, I highly recommend you add it to your Netflix queue.

 

I woke up this morning, and thought to myself, “I had some horrible dreams last night.” I couldn’t remember the dreams, I couldn’t remember what they were about, I only remembered that they left me feeling uneasy when I woke up.  Whenever that happens my brain begins to analyze what I may have eaten the prior night to cause such dreams.

 

It has always amazed me how certain things in life send your brainwaves to recall different memories. As I was standing at the copy machine this morning, my mind began to wonder about a wedding I had just been booked to shoot in July. One thing led to another and I thought about the last time I shot a wedding in San Diego, how Goose loved pictures, was she still alive when I shot that wedding…

 

PAUSE.

 

I remembered my dream. I vividly remember my dream down to the jacket Goose was wearing. It had purples and golds, accompanied by her black standard pants she wore. It was my birthday and there was a surprise party.  I remember walking into a room and there was Goose, my mom, my friends, and additional family members. Shocked, I looked at my mom and said is this real, Goose is dead. She went on to say that she knew she wanted to have a good surprise for my birthday and the only way she could do that was to tell me Goose had passed away, keep her hidden these past few months, and then bring her to my birthday.

 

Feelings of shock and anger both crossed my mind. Why would she do something so cruel? I suppose that was my subconscious telling me that she is still here, I don’t want her to be gone. This weekend is Mother’s Day and we are having a ceremony for Goose, something we didn’t have after she passed in February. I pray this weekend goes smoothly and it isn’t a field of waterworks from my eyes.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Screening.

The majority of LA can be split into two types of people; those that are famous and those that want to be famous. Those that want to be famous stop at nothing, including embarrassing others, to get there. 

Last night Stevo and I were invited to what we thought was the premier of the Great Gatsby. We were meeting my friend Heather who had the tickets and got all dressed up and made our way to the Archlight theater in Hollywood. I suppose any of us could have googled when the actual premier was to know that this was just a screening, but none of us had. Prior to moving to LA I didn't know the difference so I'll briefly explain. The screening is simply a screening of a movie before the release date. The premier means seeing the movie for the first time with all the stars that were in it.

Like all things, nothing is official until you place it on Facebook. (Sarcasm) I had made a post that Stevo and I were at the premier of the Great Gatsby. This of course was prior to knowing it wasn't. Stevo has this aquaintance I'd say that spends every waking hour trying to figure out where the next star sighting will be and how she can get her picture next to them. While going to the "premier" he had mentioned how she would probably really like Heather. We got there, took a picture, and began to wait. After a few hours we learned it was just a screening but at that point I had already posted it on Facebook and wasnt going to change my verbiage on the post. 

Low and behold deer sweet spirit of this friend who found it necessary to simply post 'screening' on the picture. No other comment. No other words. Just a sly way of saying, "I am better than you I stalk all the celebrities and I know you're not at a premier." Ok, maybe she didn't SAY that but she didn't have to. Her jerk move said it all. 

I woke up this morning to that comment and it really got under my skin. Why? Who knows. It's not like she's anyone to be jealous of and heck, if I took a picture next to every famous person I met I'm sure I could have an album on Facebook dedicated to them as well, but that's not my life. I had to ask myself why I really cared about this girl, her opinion, and her comment. I suppose I just don't understand why people say or do things that are irrelevant and pointless. Something I may never understand but I sure as heck can control how I respond and how I let them affect me. All that aside, the SCREENING was great. Go see the Great Gatsby, you'll relive your dreaded high school days when you were forced to read the large book and can swoon over the great performances of Toby Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Carey Mulligan. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Self-Control.

I have none. I have come to the horrible realization that I have no self-control in many aspects of my life. I suppose this is a big fat flaw that I am writing down to hold myself accountable. I make goals and can’t keep them. I, Nicole Priest, have a self-control problem.

Food. When it comes to food, if I have a piece of something, say some Chex Mix, if I sit in front of the Chex Mix long enough, whether I am hungry or not, I will eat the entire thing.

Clothing. I keep telling myself that I don’t need to buy anything, I have enough clothes. Then… I go to the thrift store or I see something cute at Anthropologie, or who knows whatever website I may be on and I buy it.

Student Loans. I make goals to save money and pay off my loans and bills and then I see something cute and get distracted and pay for that instead of saving.

Vicious, vicious cycle.

I need to keep a post-it up in front of my face every day or perhaps even a screen saver on my phone that tells me my goals so I don’t forget them. I get so easily distracted and I hate that. I suppose that is all a part of instant gratification, you want something NOW and you forget about all the goals for the future. I need to tell myself that I have enough clothing, that I don’t need to eat an entire bag of Chex Mix, that I want to be free from school loans and debt. The gratification of paying those things down will be much more than the instant gratification I receive from a pair of shoes… yes, I tell myself this now but in the moment, I better be able to remember this blog post!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Putting Down the Pride.

My father always used to tell me, "Nicole, sometimes you're going to have to put aside your Priest pride." Truth be told he said this in regards to dating!

I can be stubborn. In fact, I think I am one of the most stubborn people I have ever met outside of my father. This weekend was one of the hardest times I had to lay down my "Priest pride" and do what I actually needed to do. The Big Sur international marathon was on Sunday. Saturday I woke up feeling just fine and drove up to Monterey California. At the event expo I decided to get some tape for my knee because it hurt during my last long run. I taped my knee that night and felt fine.

3:00 am my alarm went off and I felt great. I showered and geared up for the run. Made sure I had everything, kneeled to pray and made my way out the door and to the bus that left at 4:00 am to the start line.

40 degrees. It was cold but I still felt fine and when your adrenaline is pumping, you somewhat forget the cold.

6:30 am. They called for wave 2 to line up. I got into the line with the 4:15 pace group, which means if I stuck with them I would finish the marathon in 4 hours and 15 minutes. He warned us not to go out too fast and that the first 8 miles were downhill. Downhill my arse! It was rolling up and down, nonetheless, I was good. I felt great...but my knee had another plan. I decided not to listen to my iPod rather instead I would listen to the coaching of the pace group leader.

8 miles down. This was good. My knee was starting to hurt but I was ignoring it. He told us to think of our inspiration for running as we approached the 2 mile uphill at mile 10. Goose. I had her name on my bib number and I would think of her. Look up to the horizon he said, looking at your feet shortens your stride. I did just that.

No walking. I wouldn't let myself was up the hill. Slow and steady wins the race kept going in my mind. I had a good pace, it was no 8 minute mile but I was keeping a good 10 minute mile pace up the hill. The hill was endless. I kept waiting to see the mile marker for mile 11 but nothing. Part of me thought maybe they don't have mile markers on the hill, and then I saw it. Mile 11 great, it's only been a mile, one more to go. I turned on my iPod and kept my steady pace until I reached the top, mile 12! The two mile downhill was next. My knee started popping but I had made it this far and up the hardest hill of the course, I refused to quit. Crossing over Bixby Bridge with a man playing the grand piano was breathtaking as the waves crashed on the coast.

Mile 15. The popping became intense and the pain even worse. I pulled off to the side trying to stretch and pray. A bystander looked at my bib and shouted, "You got this Goose." A medic came over and asked if they could help. Choked up and in pain, I let them tape my knee, but I wasn't ready to give up.

Mile 18. I couldn't do it anymore and I knew I had to quit. I tried walking to see if I could at least still finish but the main was just as excruciating. I swallowed my pride and realized finishing wasn't worth a knee injury for the rest of my life. With tears in my eyes I pulled over and told the medics I couldn't make it.

As the medics took me to finish line I watched the pace group that I had been with cross. Pure sadness. I felt like such a loser and I am still having a hard time accepting this weekend. I see a doctor today and hopefully get some insight as to what happened.

Pride. It sure is hard to let it down.













Friday, April 26, 2013

Game Time.

As I laid on the bed in my doctor’s office, I began to think of every possible thing that could go wrong this weekend. I tend to be a pessimist when it comes to myself, an optimist when it comes to others, healthy I know haha! I have been seeing my acupuncturist a lot lately in preparation for my run. With being sick, having my stomach issues, and now having some knee issues, I wanted to make sure I was taken care of for Sunday.

She decided she wanted to cup me another time. Those unfamiliar with cupping (I was! In fact, after being cupped I was at Disneyland and felt some pain on my back. I lifted my shirt to ask Stevo is he could see anything from where she cupped. His mouth slightly dropped and he said, let me take a picture. I looked like a human lady bug with giant hickey-like marks all over my back.) That is normal. Cupping releases the tension you have in your back by a suction on different parts of your body. The suction loosens up tension and takes away pain… and leaves purple markings in the aftermath. Knowing I would be wearing a tank top for the run, but also knowing I would rather be in tip-top shape, I let her cup me one last time. Here is to running like a human lady bug :)

She cupped my knee and did some pressure points on my stomach for my knee. The body is such a miraculous thing! Everything works together as a giant system and if something is not working, other areas can help out. I feel ready. As ready as I can be. I am confident that my knee will be fine… the cold that I started to come down with on Tuesday is gone, (thanks to a blessing) and the only other obstacle I have to face are the hills… minor detail!

Tomorrow AM starts the drive up the coast, the race expo, a nice fish dinner with rice and veggies, and a 4:00 am commute on the bus to the start line, with an official start of 6:45 am. Happy race weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Training.

I had a friend that recently wrote a blog about the birth of her first child. When she was telling the story, she was talking about training herself and learning everything that she could possibly learn prior to his arrival. She likened it to the preparation of her son to a marathon and how a person wouldn't run a marathon without any training. As I read the words on her blog, I started to get nervous as I thought that I really have not been training.

Before Goose passed away I made a decision that I would run this marathon. Goose loved anything that made her legs move. She had a saying, if you don't keep these bones a movin' they'll quit on you. I don't know if it's the fact that it wasn't my own money that registered for this race, I raised about $2000 for a charity, but I just haven't had the motivation to train as hard as I have for any of my previous marathons. Nonetheless, I told myself I at least had to get in two long runs. The first of the long runs was a 15 mile run to Santa Monica. The latter was supposed to be 20 down to Santa Monica. I began my run Saturday, the weather was horrible everything That could possibly go against me had occurred leaving me with only 18 miles.

Now, with just over a few days left until the run, I am beginning to feel like I should have prepared better. I feel like its the final days before my wedding, I've got my dress (race outfit), hired the DJ (put songs on my iPod, and need to plan the meal (for the night before the run).

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not Everyone is Going to Like You.

This is something I have come to accept. In life, not everyone is going to like you. Recently I received a phone call that a status that I had on Facebook was deemed offensive by another person. Now, I find myself to be a pretty conservative person I don't necessarily post controversial things I don't discuss politics but one thing that I just won't shy away from is the fact that my family are not members and therefore they may say or do something that I think is funny and it's a part of my life.

For anyone that knows my brother he is spent a lot of time in and out of jail. Therefore, as I was texting my brother today to try and figure out what we can get our father for his birthday, My brother had randomly text me a picture text message. The picture noted something along the lines of how he wished his stories of handcuffs involved sex and not police. My response, So we should get dad a stripper for his birthday then. The fact is, my brother sent me something that I found was funny and in turn, I posted it to my Facebook. Although I do apologize if anything I ever say or do offends somebody I don't necessarily mean that Everyone should simply cater to what they think will be approved by somebody else. In my calling as Relief Society president I understand that I am in the spot light, I also understand and have understood since I received my calling that we simply can't judge other people. I guess I make this post because sometimes, even I included, we post judgments on other people. Something that someone may find offensive that I have done or said perhaps they don't know the entire meaning behind a story perhaps it's only funny to me. I suppose that also means I should take into consideration how other things could be taken out of context. The moral of the story is, you're never going to please everyone. I obey the commandments, I read my scriptures, I attend the temple, I fulfill my calling and yes, I have a sense of humor.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Drained.

Last night I thought I was nearing a nervous breakdown. I think we all go through those moments where we realize there is just too much to do in too little time.

I've always been good at keeping busy and filling my schedule to the brim and although that is grand, there comes a time when you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself as well.

Last night as I was rushing from work to a meeting, then home to change, then off to a mission call opening (first one I've seen) and finally to a friend's art showing, I realized that I overcommit myself. There are days where there is nothing to do and others where you can't find time to breathe. Tomorrow will be another hectic day as I jam in a 20 mile run, a baptism, a bridal shower, a photo shoot got head shots, and a birthday party.

As I look at my eternal perspective I know that the small things really don't matter and that all will work out as planned but for now in the moment as I am only human, I am a scatter-brain!

16 days until show time. Aka marathon time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And that's a McWrap.

I have been slacking. Not in my REAL life, but for sure in my interweb life as I have failed to update my blog on a daily basis.

I am sure some exciting things have occurred, but rather than spending an hour trying to remember them I will post about the one thing I can remember, and that is my invite to be a plus one at a Paramount party.

When my friend Heather asked if I wanted to be her plus one, I immediately said yes. Paramount studies? Most only get to see what it looks like from outside the walls but we had an invite to go on to the lot, and that was exciting, at least in my book. I asked what my attire needed to be because unfortunately, I haven’t been clubbing or out to Hollywood parties in oh, never. She told me to dress like a hipster, and since that isn’t necessarily in my wardrobe, I decided to wear some green skinny jeans and an adorable top I got from Anthropologie a few years ago. The party was for the “McWrap,” McDonald’s new healthy option for fast food. There was a large space of the parking lot tented and decorated, lined with a red carpet and paparazzi. As we entered the venue, the décor was amazing; I felt as if I were in a farmer’s market with flowers and vegetables galore.

“Would you like a drink,” said a young lady in black as she held out two smoothie options, “non-dairy or dairy,” I grabbed a smoothie, took a sip, then turned to my friend, and said, “these don’t have alcohol in them, do they?” She laughed, “How funny would that be if they gave you the option of dairy and non-dairy but not alcoholic or non-alcoholic.”

The menu included, “World famous” French fries, the mcwrap, and smoothies. As we looked around there was nothing but models. Great publicity. Gather a bunch of tall skinny models and claim that they love the new “McWrap.” I have been brushing up on my stars and celebrity magazines so I was proud of myself to notice quite a few faces. Every reality star including the Kardashians were there, many of the women from the Real Housewives, and … Zac Efron. I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised at the height of most people I meet in Hollywood. It amazes me that you always think stars are tall and built. Although I am not here to rain on anyone’s hopes and dreams of what the stars are really like, I can say, that most are short! I can also say that the Hollywood scene is not my scene. These stars are just people, that is all they are… people that like to drink and do drugs and smoke cigarettes. If I wouldn’t hang out with absurdly drunk people on a daily basis, why would I want to hang out with them just because they are famous?

This one guy approached my friends and began telling a story. I recall tuning him out after I had eyeballed his leather pants. He continued on with his schpeal about who knows what and was frequently trying to involve me in the conversation. I assume my lack of interest bothered him. He began his next statement with, “I am an actor and producer and I have been successful at it, I am not saying this to brag, I usually don’t tell people that, I am just saying it to validate my statements.” I had no clue who the man was, and I frankly didn’t care.

I left the party, with vegetables as my parting gift, and went home. On Saturday morning I had met back up with Heather to go shopping when she was telling a story about one of the guys from the night before (the not so interesting story man). She goes on to say his name, Tom Welling, which still didn’t ring a bell… until I pulled up his picture and saw that he was superman on Smallville. My point is, people are people, whether they are famous or not, and although we have built them up to be the characters they portray in shows and movies, they are just like every other person and if they are annoying to be around, or embarrassing drunks, the fact that they are famous shouldn’t redeem them from being idiots.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Decisions.

When making decisions sometimes its best to make a "pros" and "cons" list so this morning I did just that.

It's hard for me to make decisions sometimes. Is it the right choice, have I considered all of the possibilities and consequences of my choice, is this what the Lord wants for me? You know, the basic questions that run trough your mind and consume your thought process. So, after asking some friends their opinion, I finally decided to make a "pros" and "cons" list. Are the things on the "cons" list liveable? Are they changeable? Do the "pros" make up for the "cons"?

I firmly believe that the Lord will never lead you astray and that he will also provide the guidance and direction needed to make all important, no matter how small they may seem, decisions in your life.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vomit.

That is what I feel like doing.

Last night Stevo and I were talking about our credit scores and I pulled up my credit report. Although my score is very good, I couldn’t help but look at my student loans, as those and my car loan are pretty much all that is on my report. I took out a calculator and began adding up my student loans, my stomach began to turn and was in knots. How the heck can education cost so much money?!

This morning as I came into work, per ushe, I began to play on the internet however this time it was a productive quest, how will I pay off my student loans?! I found this amazing article on Forbes about how this girl paid off $90,000 worth of student loans in 3 years, that gave me some form of hope because I didn’t have that high of loans and I do have a decent paying job right now. I need to start making a spreadsheet and watching my money and stop spending because the last thing I want to do is find myself in 20 years’ worth of repayments to the government.

I am motivated… now to just stay motivated as I pass up the new shoes and all the other amazing things my eyes may become set upon. Being a grown up sucks sometimes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

All the Greats in Three's.

The other day Stevo asked me what Goose sounded like, how she said my name, how she talked. I took a moment to think and I became frustrated, it has only been a month and I can’t remember her voice. With that in mind, I can’t remember the last she actually spoke since she was pretty quiet her last few months. I miss her every day and can’t stop thinking about her. Trying to come to grips and cope with a loss is never easy, especially when multiple losses occur. Someone once said that the greats go in 3’s, I lost that number 3 on Friday night.

Eric Billings was one of the most amazing men I knew. I met him four years ago when he was a high councilman in the ward I was baptized in. Working with Eric gave me the opportunity to grow and understand an amazing father, husband, and leader. His smile was contagious and his laughter filled a room. I recently introduced Stevo to him and stated that I had always wanted to marry one of Eric’s sons just so that I could have Eric as a father. Death is never pleasant but I think the most shocking and hard ones to accept are the unexpected ones. As I called my second father, David Beckstead, we talked about losing Eric and our gratefulness for the Plan of Salvation and to know that we will see each other again.

I hide loss really well, which is not a good thing. I suppose I don’t know how to handle it and one day I am just going to break down. This is my format to inform anyone that knows me that when I lose someone close to me, regardless of how I may appear on the outside, I am really hurting on the inside. I am a softie.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I would like to add that it is worth a thousand emotions as well. Seeing a picture of Eric and his smile, of Goose, of my aunt, a flood of emotions run through me as memories flash through the catalog in my mind. Heaven has gained a lot of amazing people within the past two months and I can’t wait to see them all again.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Are You Mormon?

There are countless times throughout the day that I will see people and wonder, “Are they Mormon?” Ok, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, maybe this only happens once a week, but nonetheless, it happens. On Monday I was in a department meeting and a new guy was standing over in the corner, as he was introduced I glanced over to see him standing with what appeared to be the outline of garments. Sometimes it is difficult to know if they are garments since most men wear an undershirt with their dress shirts but there was something more distinctive about his shirt, it had the “eternal smiley face” appearance. From that moment on I found myself watching his every move to determine if he could be LDS. Should I ask? Is that awkward? Will he say something else that would lead me to believe he was Mormon? The questions and thoughts began to flood through.

Yet again this morning, with another co-worker, I found myself asking the same question. My friend Laura and I go to Starbucks in the morning (don’t worry, I don’t get coffee). At any rate, we passed by Roger, a co-worker that is constantly happy and smiling. I stopped and asked, “Do you ever get mad?” He replied, “Yes, why do you ask?” I went on to tell him that he is always smiling. I asked if he had kids, he replied with 4. Laura then asked him if he wanted some coffee, he declined. As we walked away I turned to Laura and said, “Do you think he is Mormon?” She said, “I thought the same thing because he had 4 kids.”

It is funny what marks or deems people a certain faith or type of persona. I had analyzed these qualities, he didn’t drink coffee, he has 4 kids, he is always smiling, and he gives the appearance of a Mormon, yes, sadly, there is an appearance. I decided that since Roger and I are friends, I could ask him and settle things for once. I approached his office and said, “Random question, are you Mormon?” He replied, “Why, because I have 4 kids?” He chuckled and went on to tell a Mormon joke. I stopped him before he could continue and said, “Wait, I am Mormon.” I didn’t care what joke he was going to say but the last thing I wanted was for him to feel awkward after telling a joke and finding out that I myself was Mormon. He followed with the typical response I always get when I tell someone I joined the church 4 years ago, “did you join for a guy?” “Nope, I joined for myself.”

He said that people ask his wife all of the time if she is Mormon too. They don’t drink, they never have, he only drinks coffee occasionally, they have 4 kids, and he is always happy. Man is he a great candidate for the missionaries :) I suppose if they “randomly” showed up at his door it would serve for an interesting conversation in the office!

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