Thursday, February 26, 2009

Random updates of the MTC kind

The other day I was telling my coworker that I needed to buy a stamp. A sister missionary was listening and came up saying, "No, no! Here I have stamps, I will give you some!" So she gave me a stamp, and it was very kind.

Mr. McNaughton is the new volunteer who helps direct missionaries through the bookstore on "new missionary Wednesdays". I love Mr. McNaughton. He taught me how to drive! The first time we went roading was the day after I had been on my very first date (it was with Spencer, in case anyone was wondering). Mr. McNaughton was so amazing. He let me sit there and tell him everything about my life. I remember telling him all about my date-he even offered dating pointers. "Does he get good grades?" he asked "because if not, that is a red flag!" I told him the reasons I don't play basketball. We talked about school and life and practically everything in between. I really appreciated Mr. McNaughton because he taught me how to drive but he accepted me and treated me like a real person instead of a student. Our meeting in the MTC was very similar-instead of asking about my driving record right off the bat (which is clean!), he asked about my life, school, work...I just love that man!

Today a sister missionary told me I look like a Wemmick. You know, from the book "You Are Special" by Max Lucado. The Wemmicks judge each other. But there is one Wemmick who doesn't care what people think-all the stickers she gets just fall off. That's who I want to be. I want to be the kind of person who lives her life no matter what other people may think. This is important because...

There is a boy who works in the mail room and he does not like me. Seriously, he acts like it's painful for him to even make eye contact. Usually he just smirks. I'm not even kidding. It makes me feel bad becuase I just want to know what I've done to offend him. Plus it's hard for me to treat him kindly because I'm so intimidated. It's not just me he treats this way, though, it's all the girls who work in the Bookstore. Anyway, weird.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I just recently came across this picture for the first time. It's from State Fair, which was about ten years ago. I played a little girl (named Violet, incidentally) who got set up on a date with an older man through a misunderstanding. We had our own dance number and everything.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The ice cream social

I don't feel as though I live in the past, but I have been thinking a lot about last year at this time. I like to notice how much I've changed and grown. A lot has happened and I'm so grateful for all the experiences I had that helped shape the past year of my life and me as a person.

I've also been falling into a cryptic abyss lately, so I hope that I can pull out of that for this post and say what I want to say without worrying about who will read it and what they will think (let me clarify that this post is in no way meant to point fingers, just stating facts). Here we go!

This week last year was very difficult for me. I was struggling with feelings of abandonment, I think. I always knew I wasn't alone in a very spiritual sense, but I physically felt as if I had no friends and I didn't know how to get any (oh, I sound so sad and mournful right now. I didn't mean for my blog to have this tone).

Our ward had an ice cream social. I was very worried about going because I felt that it would be awkward, but I was on the activities committee so I went to help and support.

This is where the point of my post will (hopefully) come to light. I went to the ice cream social, feeling alone and sorry for myself, and I met three of my best friends. I was already acquainted with them but something changed that night. They very quickly formed my support group. Suddenly I had someone to talk to and share my feelings with. I no longer felt alone.

They were spectacular and really held me through that time in my life. Karlee was pivotal because she had recently been through something similar so she was able to relate very specifically to what I was feeling.

We continue to be each other's support system. As each of us goes through a difficult time, the others are there to help. I wanted to write this blog just to say how grateful I am for those friends. They are so dear to me and I am very blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Story time

Our family moved to Virginia in the late fall of '93. Abby had just been born and Karly was still very young, so to make for a less stressful move, Dad, Nathan and I drove across the country to set up shop and Mom, Karly, and Abby were going to fly out and meet us. I remember just a few things about this road trip, and this blog is dedicated to telling that story.

1. Mom, Karly, and two week old Abby were staying with Grandma and Grandpa Murray. I remember saying goodbye to Mom, getting in the car, and pulling out of the driveway. I looked back and Mom was standing in the doorway, holding Abby and wearing her pink bathrobe, and crying. It is a very sad memory for me. Even now I'm tearing up.

2. We forgot the suitcase that had our swimming suits. This is a problem because how do you occupy children on road trips? You swim in hotels. We went to a store and Dad tried to buy us swimming suits, but it wasn't exactly swim suit season so I ended up with a gymnastics leotard and Nate got a pair of shorts with a picture of a baseball on them. We were able to swim!

3. We ate at Casa Bonita in Colorado. I love that restaurant. The Mayan: Casa Bonita::Lagoon: Disneyland (it's really good). There was a man in a gorilla suit running around, and that's where we took the above picture.

4. When we finally got to our house it was very late. We put a mattress on the floor in one of the rooms, plugged in our little TV, and watched Aladdin. I thought it was very exciting.

That's about all I remember from the trip from Utah to Virginia. I'm sure it was a lot more eventful than what I've mentioned, but it was great for me to be able to spend that time with my dad and brother.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I just love to laugh.

Last night I was in a bad mood, don't ask my why because I don't know, but I was allowing myself to feel awful. Then Noelle called, and it completely changed my mood. I love Noelle because we can (and do!) laugh at the most random things. Noelle and I are really good at taking any situation and turning it into something hilarious.

This is a good thing because, while we were talking last night, we realized that I have this uncanny ability to attract the most awkward situations. This is not me being facetious, it's true. I wish I could blog the weird things that have been happening to me lately, but I'd better not. Just believe me when I say that my life is hilarious! I'm so glad I have friends I can laugh with about life because if not....I might be depressed.

I love finding the comedy in my life story!

Oh! But a word of clarification: we know when to be serious. We aren't always silly and frivolous.

Monday, February 09, 2009

First edition

Because school can get so stressful, jobs can be overwhelming, life is just time consuming and becomes rather stagnant, my best friends and I always like to have a fun project going on. It gives us something to look forward to and plan for-something that is exciting and hilarious! It provides a release for our pent-up non-school/work energy. Not only do we get to do something fun and different, we get to spend time together as friends, which can be an emotional catharsis. Usually is.

Our senior year we focused on "Casterbridge". Freshman year...well, I was out to lunch for the majority of my first year of college. Sure, I had fun, but I was so disconnected from my best friends; if there was a fun project going on, I missed it. This past fall semester, we focused on our love commercial (if you missed it, you can watch it here).

This semester we are writing a tabloid. It most likely won't be funny to any one but us, as it's chock full of inside jokes, but Noelle sent me the cover today and I just couldn't help myself. I had to post it.

Friday, February 06, 2009



I work at the MTC bookstore, which I know you all know. This means that I interact with a lot of people from many different areas of the world. Sometimes it's difficult. There is sometimes a language barrier (for instance, once Russian elders were trying to ask about an energy converter. We could not understand them, as they were speaking Russian with an occasional English word, and about the only Russian word I know is "dasvidania". Eventually they drew a picture, and we got everything worked out). Not only does the language barrier cause occasional problems, but there are also vast differences between some culture's social norms. I'm not saying one culture is right and the rest are wrong, but everyone is's fun and very interesting.

Anyway, the point of this blog is kind of a question. I never know what to say when an Elder says to me, "Cheers!" Because really, how does one respond to that? I feel silly saying "Cheers" back. I don't know if I'm supposed to say, "Thanks", "You too!", "You're welcome", "I enjoy mint brownies" or something else entirely.

Usually I end up saying something like, "Okay, see ya!" but I could be completely missing the mark on this one. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What a deal

Last night I was at home, lamenting the fact that I needed to study for an English test. Mariel was doing her after dinner chores and she turned to me and said, "Okay, let's do this. You do the dishes for me, and I will study for you."

It was a great offer. And oh, I wish it was that simple.

That's my baby sister!
(Disneyland 2000)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Adventure

So, one summer Hannah and I decided to go to Nauvoo. We were faced with three travel options: bus, train, plane. The bus was definitely out, and we basically decided to just fly across the country, even though we'd have to fly to an airport about 5 hours away from our destination city.

THEN someone (probably me) had the genius thought: "Wait a minute. Neither of us has ever been on a train. A train would be an adventure! We have to take the train." So...we purchased two round-trip train tickets to Burlington, Iowa (the Burlington station was only about 30 minutes away from Nauvoo, so that aspect was easier than flying).

The date of our departure came. We thought we were so prepared for this adventure. But I think we forgot we were taking the train. It was a 30+ hour ride to Nauvoo. No stops (besides those we ended up having in the middle of nowhere because the train's brakes were having issues). We had brought enough food--by food, I mean chips and candy--but we failed to think about other practical aspects like our toothbrushes, washcloths, fresh clothes, etc...those we left packed in our big suitcases.

We also were surprised to discover that scary people ride trains. We got on at 4 AM and there were two guys who wouldn't stop staring at us. We feigned sleep so we wouldn't have to talk to them. I don't think we slept more than a few hours the whole ride because we were so scared and uncomfortable.

Once we got to Nauvoo, I called my parents and asked them to buy me a plane ticket home. They said I had to finish the adventure the way I had planned. Luckily, two weeks later Hannah and I were so sleep deprived that we slept for probably 75% of the journey home. Or something like that. Anyway, it was better.

So, it was an adventure. Just a scary and uncomfortable one. But an adventure nonetheless.

This picture was taken at the Burlington station right after we got off the train. We were trying to look excited. We were really relieved to be off the train. And we look tired, because we were exhausted.