Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Didn't you know? I'm in The Lion King.

My entire life, I have been a night owl. (It's a little ironic that I am writing this at 5 am because I can't sleep.) My mom tells stories of that when I was a baby and she would put me to bed, no matter what she did, I would always outlast her.

That evolved into endless nights staring at sesame street wallpaper making up stories to go along with the characters as a toddler. I don't ever remember watching sesame street except when we stayed home from school. However, the wallpaper in my room was white and it had rows of doors or houses with rows of the sesame characters in between. So, I would make up stories and imagine the different characters going to the different houses for tea, movies, games... you name it, I acted it out in my mind.

After that, came school where I found an excuse for my insomnia. My problem has never been sleeping. Once I fall asleep, I am out. I mean seriously, I have forgotten to set an alarm and slept for 20 hours once. My problem is getting tired enough or having my brain slow down enough to let me fall asleep. 

Just recently, a new chapter has been added to this insomnia, in the past month or so... I fall asleep and don't sleep very well or very long. Hence, the need for drastic measures. I found an app called sleep maker. It plays the noise of crickets chirping near a stream. I have never slept better in my life. I just focus on the sounds which inevitably puts my mind on the same line of thoughts each night: sleeping out under the stars. 

This is very similar to the sound my phone makes...
To get the full ambiance necessary for this post to be good, 
you should start playing this as you finish reading.

The first place this takes me is to my very first, that I can remember, camping trip. My dad and brothers would go on a yearly fishing trip to Utah. I was never allowed to go, until this year (I think I was 7). I was so excited to be part of the fishing group! I was on cloud 9 the whole time. That is until I got sicker than a dog. I woke up in the middle of the night (our first night at camp) throwing up and had diarrhea. I was miserable. No toilet, no sink, no mom to give me a cup of sprite and a wet wash cloth on my head. I don't remember much more about that night but thankfully early in the morning my dad had us all packed up and we checked into a motel so I could be sick there. 

What a good dad. But what a bad memory to go to sleep to, so I continue to rack my brian for another experience to go to sleep with.

The only one I can come up with is when my pals and I looked up in the sky at the stars and tried to decide what they are made of. One friend thought that they were fireflies stuck up in big bluish black thing. Another friend thought that they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away. Best of all, one friend thought that the great kings of the past are up there watching over us, or rather a bunch of royal dead guys are watching us. 

Yes, at night with crickets in the back ground, I interject myself into scenes of The Lion King. There is something wrong with me. But, I have been sleeping like a baby the last couple weeks. So who could ask for more? 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Go, Dog. Go!

Often times, I wish that I could live in a life where it was sociably acceptable to be a pink poodle asking a yellow dog with black spots, if he liked my hat. 

Go, Dog. Go! happens to be one of my favorite children's books. I love so many things about it, but mainly its simplicity. There are big dogs, so of course, there are little dogs. 

There are fast dogs, which means there are slow dogs.
 And when a little bird stands in the road all the dogs will stop. 

There is also, a stylish pink dog who wants more than anything to pull of wearing a hat. Hats on women are more rare than they used to be, so it takes a good hat and a bold woman to make it work. 
This pink dog was bold if I ever saw a bold dog. But, like any woman she had some insecurities of being able to pull of such a daring gesture; did it go with her eyes, did it make her look fat, was it too much... As a result, like all woman so tragically do, she asked a mans advice. This, however, is no ordinary girl ask boy, boy tells white lie, girl goes to a party in an ugly hat story. This dog has balls of steal, doesn't care what the sassy pink dog thinks, and tells her the truth.

The moral that I got from this story is that girls and guys can talk open and honestly with each other and it doesn't have to be awkward after. When the yellow dog said he hated the ugly blue hat with the hideous yellow flower, did the pink dog sulk away spitting profanities at him and swearing to never speak to him again? NO! They were both civil toward each other and even got together later to talk about more hats and there was still no offending, hurt feelings or drama.

Oh, I can just imagine my perfect little drama free world now: I'd be the sassy pink dog and a guy I am interested in takes the spot of the yellow dog. Our encounter could go something like this:

Me: Hello
Him: Hello
Me: Do you like me? 
like you.
Him: ________
(No, yes, not now, HE** no)

We would then either link arms and attend a party on top of a tree or we would speed of in our separate directions. Once we come in contact again, even after rejection, we could still go on like normal, having both moved on and neither one freaking out or taking things out of proportion.

Thank you PD Eastman for giving me hope. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Commitment Phobia

I just left school for the last time of my first semester of grad school. Wow, that was the most ridiculous way to say that the semester is over! It has been the best semester of my college career and personally the most reveling. In these last four months, I have learned a lot not only in school but about myself. So, I am going to make a list of the most notable things I've learned.

  • I love stats! - I wrote an entire 30 page research paper (with the help of Giulia), which included analyzing 30 animated films. Minus the stress and pressure of time restraints, I loved it. 

  • Insta-friends are the best kind - I have a cohort of 10 students in my masters program. We are all super different with different personalities, however, we all get along great. And, being new to Utah it was great to get 10 friends without even having to work at it. We all know that if it were up to me, I wouldn't have worked at it and therefore wouldn't have had any friends. 

  • It is useless to try and not be a night owl- At the beginning of the semester, I tried to go to school early (since most of my classes were later) to get my work done and get ahead in classes. That was the biggest failure of my life. I then changed back to my old ways, staying up until at least 2 am everyday, and the fruits of my labor were so much greater. 

  • There is a threshold to my patience - I would consider myself a patient person. However, if I am stressed, sleep deprived and haven't had enough alone time, I become super irritable. (SORRY)

  • I'm gonna do my thesis on something related to animation- I really enjoyed my research project on animation and feel like I have started on the path to know a lot more about it, so why not make it my thesis! One less thing to stress about. 

  • I have commitment and attachment issues- Actually, when I googled my symptoms it said that I have Commitment Phobia and Attachment Disorder (and yes, google is the right place to go to get psychological diagnosis). 
Some of the symptoms I have always known I have: slow and careful to get friends (usually I'd rather not have them), it is rare for me to really like a guy and if I do it is easy for me to talk myself out of it (just give me a week or two), it is a constant battle to convince myself to want a family of my own (my worst fear is that I will marry a guy and he will die leaving me alone or that I will have a child at it will die and I will lose myself in depression).
Symptoms I've learned this semester: I have an internal debate every time I am invited to do something with our group (the more time I spent with them the more I will be attached and when you're attached it is harder to move on), I don't even like to keep my text books because they will end up being outdated, I don't like to take photos of me in a group because I will then have to associate that place with those people and once it seems I am close to someone I have to pull myself away or I end up feeling totally smothered.
I was asked this semester if I had my heart broken or some sort of bad experience to make me this way and as far as I knew, I hadn't. As I notice more and more of my issues, I have given a lot of thought to what would cause me to have these fears and act this way. Then, a few nights ago, I remembered a time when I was about 10-years old, my little sister was about 4 and we shared the bottom of a white metal bunk-bed. One day, she was attacked by a dog. I didn't see it happen but I remember her screaming and I remember seeing my mom hold her with blood all over the two of them. My dad drove to the hospital as my mom held her and us three kids stayed home with my grandma. I remember that night being horribly long and scary. She had tons of stitches and puncture wounds on her face and head but she was alive and had no lasting problems. I know this was traumatic for me because as I look back, for months after, I would hold her hand while she slept and cry myself to sleep as I imagined how I could've lived without her. (Just writing this is making me feel like I need paper bag to breath into.) This is the first instance I can think that I felt this fear of someone leaving me, and I guess it just stuck with me. 
So, in a nut shell it has been a great semester. I am mostly looking forward to next semester. Truly, the only thing I am nervous about is that another semester with my insta-friends will inevitably lead to getting even closer :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My new calling in life: Philanthropy

I think I would make a great philanthropist.
I am a research assistant for Professor Callister at BYU. There is a group of us (2 professors, 1 librarian, 2 grad students and one undergrad student) who are working on a project about non-profit organizations.

I spend ten hours a week researching articles about, from and to non-profits. I read them, take notes then report back. Another aspect is that I research actual non-profits and see what they are doing to fundraise specifically using social media. I have such a vast array of ideas, thoughts and suggestions that I feel like I could start my own non-profit one of these days...

Today, I spent some time on twitter (@chelsie_akers) looking up some organizations. Two really stood out to me: Charity:Water and Room to Read.

charity: water funds a range of water technologies. These solutions include hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments and BioSand filters. In 2011, we expanded our work to Bolivia and Guatemala. 
Photo from Here
Every day, Charity: Water posts a photo of the day. Their photos are heart warming and moving.
There fundraising is impressive because 100% of what you give goes to fund the water projects.
Even if you make a credit card donation and the CC company takes a % they will use their private funding to pay that % so it truly is 100%.

Room to Read
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. 
Photo from Here
On a recent trip to Vietnam, a reporter joined up with people who were receiving help from Room to Read. The inspiring and heart wrenching story really painted a picture of what the world is really like. It made me hope that I will never again take advantage of my education. The story is of a girl who has to raise her siblings because her mother died of cancer and her dad has to be out in the city working to pay off the medical bills. He told the reporter “I tell my children that we don’t own land that I can leave them when they grow up,” he added. “So the only thing I can give them is an education” (The full story can be read here).

So, If I could just be rich and become a professional philanthropist, I could not only be moved by my research but I could then click on the "DONATE NOW" buttons and give to such wonderful causes. And as such an important member of philanthropy, I would be able to join these organizations around the world as they make a difference, with a little of my help (with my imaginary riches).

As it is, I am poor as can be and can't even afford the $20 it would take to give one person clean water for a life time... But one day, after I find me a sugar daddy, our money will go towards clean water for lots of people!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I've Never Leapt

As cliche as this is going to sound, I am going to say it anyway... Today, I watched Julie & Julia and was inspired to write a blog post. It isn't about my desire to start cooking French food (although inevitably that is true) or the aspiration to write more often on this blog so I can be famous one day too (which is not the case, sorry), instead it is about one line in that Julia Childs said that really caught me off guard.

" Every morning when the alarm goes off at 6:30 am, I leap out of bed. By 7:30 I’m in class in my apron peeling potatoes. Then we cook stock, bone fish, dress pidgins, make pastries with so much butter it almost stops your heart just to look at it." 

So what does it mean that I woke up at 12:30pm today?

The only conclusion I could come to, is the fact that I don't have any passion. None at all. I have never once leapt out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. Even when I was serving a mission for my church and I was required to wake up at 6:30, I not once leapt up. It was more like a slow droop to the ground where I then proceeded to say a prayer which was intermittently disturbed by a few more minutes of sleep.

Besides the 18 months I was required to wake up at such an ungodly hour, I have only woken that early for really good reasons: an early college class (lets face it, I was late every time and ended up with a B because of it...), an exercise class (the only reason I was faithful was because a friend was doing it with me and I couldn't let her down) and black Friday (no explanation needed. Oh, except it was probably earlier than 6:30).

I really can not think of anything that I love enough to get me out of bed at 6:30?
Maybe, when I figure it out, I will be a grown up!? Let's just hope I can figure it out before I graduate... I guess if I don't there is always a PHD to be had...

What would make you leap out of bed every morning?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Whoot Whoot for new Boots!

This post is in conjunction with Archives of our Lives

My entire life has been me living in hot places. Until now... I moved to Utah and committed two winters of my life to the snow. Or rather two years of my life to a masters program at the good ol' Brigham Young University. The move has been great and has given me many new experiences, the most exciting so far has been fall (the season).

Even though I am having a great time up here, my bliss was quickly shattered last Tuesday. What, you might ask could shatter the bliss that one finds in Utah? Freaking rain! I hate rain. The rain here is so dainty and cute but still, it makes you wet. Being the Arizonan that I am, I had no idea how to prepare myself for walking around in the rain. When I got to school, parked, walked to the library and got to my research meeting I was soaked! What the crap? How was I the only one wet up to my knees? How had everyone else forged through the same rain and not got a drop on them? That, my friends is a question that I may never know the answer to. However, my solution was to come home and promptly order me some boots.

I had given the thought to boots knowing that snow is in my near future so I had some styles in mind that I liked. Unfortunatly, those tastes lead me in the direction of Nordstrom... I did however find a few that were marked down! Of all the cute marked down boots to choose from, I had to make a decision and it was made due to one word WATERPROOF.

Yes, I bought the Sorel 'Tivoli High' Waterproof Boot. 
Original Price: $139.95
Sale Price: $99


Not the best steal of my life but if I'm gonna fork out food money for the next two months on a pair of boots, at least I saved 40 bucks. And they're cute! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yummy yummy salsa

Last week, I made salsa and it was GOOD! 
I am going to give you the recipe that I concocted because one it isn't a secret and two even if it were, the readership of this blog is quite small...

This was the second time I experimented with this mixture of goodness. The first time I made a lot. The recipe yeilded about 12+ cups. 

This time, I made only half the amount. (And I regreted it the rest of the week...)

Salsa was always so scary to me. It was a road I was afraid to go down because what if it were bad!?
My mom has a secret recipe that has always been good and I didn't want to just make it the same. I wanted my own twist on it. So, I got here recipe and then went to the internet and searched other recipes. I ended up using mostly my moms recipe and then tweeking it a little with some suggestions from other recipes.

It was super easy. These are the ingredients I needed:

5 lbs of Roma tomatoes
12 tomatillos
1/2 red onion
1/2 yellow onion
juice from two limes
2 large bunches of cilantro
4 whole jalapenos
1 can of El Pato Sauce 
(The yellow kind not the green kind) 
Salt to taste

I went to the Superstition Ranch Market in Arizona and here in Utah, I went to the Sunflower Market and piled all the fresh produce into my cart. Then, I waited in line, checked out, paid, placed my ingredients into reusable cloth bags and headed home.
Thanks to my mama, I have a multi-use Ninja blender that works great for such a project

After I cleaned all the ingredients, I cut everything into 4ths so they could fit into the blender/food processor. I had to do multiple turns in the blender to make such a big batch. As each ingredient got chopped up, I placed it into a large bowl. Once everything was in the bowl, I mixed it up thoroughly then tasted it on a chip to make sure the salt was good.

Vooalah, best salsa ever!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dream Dream Dream oh Dreeeaaam

When I was 14, my family went to Washington state.
The thing I remember most about that trip was our visit to Mt. St. Helen.
It is a popular tourist site and with construction and fog, we ended up waiting a long time to get to the visitors center. As we waited and slowly inched our car up the mountain, there were road bikers climbing up the mountain and whizzing down the mountain on each side of us. (Come to find out, it was the annual "Tour de Blast". ) As I watched those bikers, I wanted so badly to become a biker and do that one day.

Adam, Michael, Me & Hannah

That day, I felt my heart pulled in a way I wasn't used to. I had a dream! I had a passion! I could do this! But wait, I was a 14 year old chubby girl with little to no self esteem, so I put that dream and passion to the recess of my mind. I forgot about that for years on end. Then about 3 years ago when I joined a gym I saw that they offered spinning classes. So I went to a few. Unfortunately, since the classes at they gym were just come and go the instructor didn't go over how to adjust the bike or anything, so I just went with the flow. Well, needless to say after spinning for hours with a bike in the wrong position, I couldn't walk straight for a week! This frustrated me and I gave up {wow, I don't fight very hard for my dreams!}. I figured It was because I was out of shape (hello low self-esteem) and went back to just doing my own thing at the gym.

Thanks to grad school and having to think about a thesis, I have been trying to focus on what makes me happy, what I am passionate about and what are my dreams. I had given up on so many of them that I felt like I didn't even have any. One dream that fought its way out from the back of my mind was biking.

I had made the goal to be active for three hours a week this semester, so I picked up a schedule of the physical activity classes offered at school. Every hour of the day they were offering spinning classes! Without hesitation, I signed up. I am absolutely loving it. I have only done it three days, but I feel that I am getting more used to it and able to go further and harder each time. Today, I went 28 miles in one hour. The beginning and end are still pretty simple but the middle our instructor works us pretty hard. Eventually we will be doing harder stuff for longer, he is just breaking us into how stuff works.

This is just a start, but maybe one day I can go back to Washington and do the Tour de Blast. It'll take a lot of work so I better be over all this giving up crap! 

 From their website: here

Tour de Blast is the essential event for road bikers, attracting crowds in excess of 1,000 each year. The 82-mile route from Toutle to Johnston Ridge takes riders into the very heart of the blast zone. If you can’t make the annual June event, you can still enjoy the experience and the views by following the ride route from Toutle to Johnston Ridge Observatory. Total elevation gain is 6,240 feet.


Beginner Level:
53K (33-mile) round-trip fun ride to the Hoffstadt Bluffs Rest Area/Viewpoint. Approximately only a 900' elevation gain.

Intermediate Level:
87K (54-mile) round trip to Elk Rock.

Advanced Level:
132K (82-mile) round trip to Johnston Ridge viewpoint.

Mile 0: 500 ft. (Toutle - Starting Line)
Mile 11: 1,000 feet (Sediment Dam)
Mile 16: 1,400 feet (Hoffstadt Bluffs - Pit Stop)
Mile 24: 3,000 feet
Mile 27: 3,800 feet (Elk Rock - Pit Stop)
Mile 34: 3,159 feet (Coldwater Ridge - Closed)
Mile 41: 4,314 feet (Johnston Ridge - Pit Stop

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I know it's a bit too hot, but...

In conjunction with:

Last week, I spent 5 amazing days in Alberta with my bestie, from Archives of Our Lives, Camille. 
I had an amazing time. We spent it one part relaxing and the other part shopping.
I am going to tell you about not one, but TWO amazing steals that I got while traversing across the American continent.

As seen in the photo below, I am trying to sport a peach scarf. This scarf is adorable and it only cost me... (drum roll please)... $4.99. 
(That was canadian dollars, but I hear that the exchange rate is pretty close...)

What do you think? 
I haven't ever really worn a scarf before...

Steal #2:
This my friends was a real steal. Literally, I stole it from Camille. 
Notice the sleeves. They go down so far on my hands.
Camille's arms are twice as long as mine. These self same sleeves were between her elbow and 3/4 length! Since it was a nuisance for her, it became a steal for me...

I hope you stole something this week too!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Today, I woke up like any other day (besides the fact that for some unknown reason, I woke up at 7:15 am, way before my alarm went off). I got in my car and headed to Helga's house because we were going to a Zumba class together! Since I live in Orem, it took about 15 minutes to get there and I was listening to Glen Beck. (I try to keep up a little on things going on in the real world, even though I know they are biased on talk radio.) Today every host did a show in remembrance of 9.11.01.

In most cases I am not a very emotional person. Today though, every time I got in my car, I cried. I cried because I remembered where I was that day. I cried because I remembered how I felt that day. I cried as I heard people re-telling how their day was in New York and at the Pentagon. I cried as a 12 year-old talked about her father, a first responder, whom she doesn't remember because she was only 2 when he died. I cried out of guilt for the ten years I have taken advantage of the freedom, shelter and safety that I feel.

You'd think I'd change the radio Station, but I just couldn't. I sat in the Orem City Library parking lot until a commercial, soaked up my tears and went to study. As I read chapter 4 in the communication theory and research book, I started crying again. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIBRARY!!!  How embarrassing... Reading about qualitative research and homelessness, I also felt those same pangs of sadness. I worked at a homeless men's shelter for a year. As the author shared his notes, I remembered each of the times I was in the self-same position and felt every emotion like it was happening again.

These two experiences today have reminded me of a lot: That I DO pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and that I need to do more to show that allegiance and my appreciation for those who are more consistent at it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

C++ a language of computer jargon

Today was the start of my second week at the great and wonderful BYU...

I have loved every second in Utah. It is like a postcard
everywhere you look and it is amazingly cool!

I am in a small graduate program for communications. There are ten of us in the program and we all have the same classes together and all of them are in the same classroom at the same oblong table.

I am taking my first computer programing class this semester and was trembling with trepidation as I walked through the door and found my seat in a sea of computer geeks. Before class even started I was anticipating how to drop the class. I signed up for it because I felt like in this day and age any computer help would be good. What the heck was I thinking!!! To have to learn something completely new on top of the function overload in com grad studies... I didn't know if I had the stamina.

The professor got up and introduced himself and I could barley pay attention because I just had to find a way out of this self inflicted torture. Then, he said "if you have no idea what you are doing, what computer programing is and wonder how you are going to make it through the semester... you are in the right class." Then the light bulb went on! "This is a class for dummies not professionals!"

I was just a fraction less neurotic as I walked into each of our Com classes. I was able to apply the same thought from the computer programing class to the graduate program and tell myself that "this is a class for dummies, not professionals!" Now, please don't take offense. I don't think any of my peers are dummies, but I do feel like, for the first time in my academic career, that we are all pretty much on the same playing field.

I have always loved learning but am always slow to pick up on new things. This always left me feeling behind and lesser than my class mates. Oh, how I remember the timed multiplication tables and how I felt so inferior to everyone in my 4th grade class. But once I got a hold of the concept of multiplication, I was making the same time as all the rest of them!

I am so glad that this last week hasn't been a repeat of the 4th grade. I feel like we each have our strengths and not one of us is on their way to finish 100 multiplication problems in less than a minute, but instead we are each going to steadily pace ourselves to the end.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I never cease to amaze myself...

After I heard back from BYU about the scholarship and the assistantship, I went back and read the letter I sent in. This is what I was able to write and it was truly from the bottom of my heart.

Everyday on my mission I would stop and talk with young people at the bus stop or walking down the street. Through just a short conversation with these people I was able to feel not only their great desire to know more about God and Jesus Christ, but Heavenly Father’s love and desire to have them as part of his fold. Disappointedly, these people always refused a visit. They did so not out of disregard or malice, but because they literally didn’t have the time to have a meeting. They worked all day then took night classes all night, the only hours they were at home was after college at 11:30pm until they were out the door at 6am to head to work. The truth was being held back from them because they were too busy. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t let that be the case for me anymore.

Since I have had that experience, I have worked less hours and focused on my family and schooling. Consequently, my family relationships have gotten stronger and each semester for the last two years my grades have been better and better. As I battled the grades from my carefree days, I was able to graduate with an above average GPA. I will be starting this program with a passion to do my best and without past grades to battle with, making me an ideal scholar for the communication department. Any award of scholarship would be a great stepping-stone in helping me keep my promise to myself and to reach my future goals.

Financially I am in need of assistance because my parents are unable to support me through my college pursuit. They are both public school teachers; my mother teaches high school English and my father teaches second grade. Growing up in a household that believes “if there’s a will, there’s a way,” has taught me to reach for the stars and not settle for mediocrity. Through their example I have learned that I can make a difference in the world and have been placed on this path, hopefully, to do just that.

Thank you for this opportunity to be in the communication department and for taking the time to consider me for financial assistance.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Leap of Faith: Update One

What a month!

I have been here in Virginia for a month now!
I figure it is about time for me to update my friends and family so I will jam as much in as I can...

I am working for a company named Moxie Pest Control. I am a door to door sales girl and I am actually enjoying what I am doing. (That could have something to do with the fact that I have only been here 4 weeks, ask me again at the end of week 8 and we'll see how I feel.) I work with a group of 25 sells people and each of them are amazing in their own individual way. It is great to get to know them and feel part of such an instant family.

We work until about 10 or 11pm each night Monday-Friday then on Saturday we get off between 4 and 5. So, essentially we work really hard and have a day and a half to fit in all the playing we can. (Which isn't too much because we are always so tired from the week.)

We've gone down to DC a few times to see museums and monuments.
I drove down to the DC Temple one Sunday. It is hard to get there during the week so instead, I just went on Sunday and read my scriptures there. It was quite beautiful.
It's nice to just go to a movie sometimes. We can still get out of our work clothes and just sit and relax. Needless to say we've seen a movie two of the weekends: The Fast Five and Thor. Of the two, I would say I liked Thor better but watching The Fast Five with a bunch of boy fans, made it impossible not to like.
Those were some of the fun things that I've done. As for the personal side, I have had some great things happen too! Most of you know that I was accepted into the Masters program at BYU for Communication. Well, just this last week, I was sent an email from Dr. Thomas telling me that I was granted a half scholarship and that I was accepted for an assistantship with another professor for the fall semester!

When I started looking back into school, I never in my wildest dreams wanted to go to BYU but through a long process of prayer, I knew that was where the Lord wanted me to apply. With it being such a competitive school, I didn't think I would get in and I could just kinda laugh at the Lord for making me do such a silly thing. Well, for some reason he really wants me there. He not only got me in but he keeps sending me these little jabs, "you know you can't go anywhere else if you get a scholarship." "I can make it even harder for you to pass up by giving you a job too!" "Who's laughing now?" Needles to say, there is really NO doubt that I am supposed to be at BYU come August... Wish me luck!

Another success since I have been here is with my health. Most of you all know that I was sick a bit before I left. I had an ulcer and was sick all the time... Well I went on an organic detox diet with the ladies from work (at A New Leaf) and it made me feel a lot better. I haven't had any health issues since I started on it. It was originally just for a month but I am still going strong and am feeling great. When I weighed yesterday, I was down a total of 20 pounds! I am so proud of myself for being so good. I have never been successful on a diet before. I think the difference of this one is that I am afraid that if I do give in and eat things I am not supposed to, I will end up sick. And when my paycheck rests on my daily performance, I can not afford to be sick!

There you have it! That is what I am up to. I am missing everyone but most especially Rachel and Nathanael. Beijitos fofinhos!!! Te amo.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bonding With The Night Fury

Wednesday, April 13 my dad and I loaded into the Night Fury (Other wise known as my 2007 black prius) and headed off. We headed into the vast unknown for an adventure of a lifetime: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and the final resting point of Virginia.

A few years ago, I was on a road trip just a few hours shy of the one I had in front of me. On this trip, I was most comfortable in my best friend Kyle and his wife Camille's F- something amazing truck. Although the accommodations were exemplary, I found myself a with a bit of motion sickness. During my short bouts of consciousness (sleeping is the only remedy for motion sickness), I foggily remember two men talking to each other about the strangest topics such as the Hells Angels and totem poles. Even though the memories were only foggy, I remember thinking that this could be something interesting. Once these memories surfaced, I talked with Camille and asked what the heck we were listening to. She changed my life. She introduced me to Josh and Chuck, two men who are now a part of my life. Josh and Chuck have a podcast "Stuff You Should Know".

Knowing I get a little sick from such long rides in the Fury, I was not adrenalized with the idea of 4 straight days on the saddle, so I made sure and prepared well: I downloaded 195 of their podcasts, 2.8 days worth of material. We made it through at least 25 of them! An informational, humorous and random podcast was the perfect thing to pass 6 states and 36 hours with. My dad and I were able to enjoy ourselves and really get to know Josh and Chuck pretty well.

The trip was pretty uneventful. We drove, switched, filled up the gas, drove, switched, filled up the gas... repeat a bagillion times. The Night Fury impressed us all and on one tank of gas got 429 miles! I think it took a little under 7 tanks of gas to go 2299 miles. Thank goodness I got me the Night Fury and not some other gas guzzler.

It is taxing on ones body to be cooped up in a car all day. Then adding the fact that it was raining, hurricane style, for three days in a row meant that I was clutching all my muscles and so tense as I held a death grip on the steering wheel. So, each night we stopped at a motel (thanks dad) to rest our little bodies. I'm not gonna lie, the motel 6's we stayed at both had a really bad smell to them, but heck all we needed was 6-8 hours to sleep so their job was fulfilled.

A long road trip with a person is a big commitment. My dad is the perfect road trip partner. It was great to be with him for 4 days. There aren't many people in the world that you could take a 4 day road trip with and not ever once get sick of them or annoyed by something they do, my dad is that man. He should be a professional road trip companion. (I don't know what type of road trip companion I make, but I know I am not nearly to his caliber!)

Needless to say, the three of us got here safe and sound. Then 18 hours later my dad was on a plane headed back to the good ol dry city of Mesa Arizona while I stayed in the freezing wet city of Centreville Virginia.

Love you dad!