Monday, December 10, 2012

Crazy Weeks and Lazy Mondays...

Well, it's been a couple of crazy weeks around here.  It began with me officially submitting my Grad School App.  I realize that most of my friends scoff at my agonizing over one application to one school, but I don't think I've explained the situation.  BYU is one of the top programs (if not the top) in the nation for Marriage and Family Therapy.  And while I feel personally qualified, I'm not sure my application quite speaks for itself.  I would apply to other programs, but Dave is finishing his PhD here and...we just bought a house.  So we're kinda stuck here.  So if I don't get accepted this time around I will most likely apply again next year after strengthening my application.  So there's that.

Annie's Bridal Shower was at our house the next day.  It was a ton of work, and I'm pretty sure I need to learn the skill of delegating before I kill myself off someday.  Anyway, it was a blast, and I think Annie had fun.  The food turned out great and there were lots of girls there.  It is so excited that Annie's going to be married in just 5 days!!!  I'm so excited for her :)  Here are a few pictures from the shower :)
Lemonade, No-Bakes, Oreo Truffles, and Cupcakes!
Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches, Vegetable Platter, Chips and Guac and Salsa, Artichoke Dip and Crackers! Yum!

Thanks for the help guys!

The Lovely Photographer...And Dave's decorations ;)

So, after we survived the shower, Lysa (Dave's sister) came to visit from Rexburg!  It was a blast, except for the whole sleeping for 2 hours after the shower...We went to in-n-out for dinner.  (She has personally endeared herself to me forever for that)  And then watched some climbing videos Dave was dying to see.  We got to spend some quality time talking with her which is a rare thing living so far apart so it was great to have her here :)
The next day was church!  I love church :)  You know why?  Because I get to teach the 8-11 year olds Singing Time in Primary!!  At first, I was super intimidated, but now it's a blast.  They are so cute and full of love.  They wave to me in the halls and the parking lot now and just come up to me to hug me.  It's adorable.  What better place to feel loved and included in a ward, right?  There's too much to say about the primary, so that needs to be it's own post, but it's been a big change in my life lately.  Now my mind is constantly full of new ideas for teaching songs, and humming primary tunes in my mind trying to memorize words.

Then it was my birthday on Tuesday, and Dave was so sweet and threw a surprise party for me with my family and some of my close friends!  We'll pretend I had no idea what was going on ;)  Thanks babe!  You're the best :)

Brownies and Trick Candles!!  So mean...

Probably my favorite part...obsessed with this girl :)  (No offense to everyone else who came ;)

Super awesome jacket that Dave got me!!  It's seriously the best. So light, but soo warm. Meant for climbers, so it fits phenomenally well.  And I'm actually wearing it right now!

Haven't seen these people in like forever, but they still came! I was so touched :)
So those are the main happenings of the Rackham household lately.  Stay tuned for a report on our ridiculously insane holiday plans!

P.S.  In other cool news, I changed my name officially finally, Dave aced his first final today, I have been in pajamas all day sleeping studying ;).  Dave got new ice tools, the primary kids finally learned "Stars were Gleaming" without visual aids, and it's snowing!!  Happy days :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On Rejection...

So, my application for BYU's Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy is due tomorrow and I am overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't procrastinated this one.  I have secured 4 excellent letters of recommendations from my favorite professors, I took the GRE more than a year ago, I started my letter of intent about 4 months ago, I've had about 6 drafts of it since then, and my bishop came over to our house last night to interview me for an ecclesiastical endorsement.  I am just struggling to put the finishing touches on my letter and click submit.

Maybe I'm just scared.  It's been a long time since I've done something with so much uncertainty. I really don't know if I even have a shot of being accepted to BYU's program as it's one of the best in the nation.  My GPA is less than stellar, while not horrific, and I am desperately hoping that they take into account that I am an English major and have taken difficult professors but have come out a better reader, writer, and critical thinker because of it.

I think it's just a difficult thing to come to terms with.  There may be a huge rejection at the end of this long road.  I may have to tell all 4 of my professors that I wasn't accepted.  I may have to face the fact that I am graduating with an English degree and no idea what to do with it.  I just might not be allowed to do the one thing I have been so incredibly inspired to do over the last few semesters--help people with their families and relationships.

The problem is, I'm emotionally attached to this.  For once, this isn't just about the degree, or doing something just to keep moving forward.  This is about feeling called to help people and feeling like I have been given a gift to develop and use.  This rejection will be much more to me than just the fact that my GPA wasn't satisfactory; it will feel like the rejection of my hope for my future right now.

Anyway, now that I've procrastinated, I think I better get to work on finishing that letter.  Pray for me please!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Result of Procrastination...

President Thomas S. Monson
Robert Duvall

For those of you who don't know, the above men are probably two of my favorite old men in the world.  President Monson is our beloved prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Robert Duvall I'm sure most of you know, but today we watched a clip of The Road in class and even though his performance was less than 4 minutes long, it left me in tears.

This isn't a blog about their similarities in personality, but rather the uncanny physical resemblance between the two.  (Also, a little tribute to Robert Duvall because I just discovered today that he's one of my favorite old man actors)  I first came across Robert Duvall in the fantastic movie "Secondhand Lions".  He plays a totally awesome old uncle of this little kid who desperately needs a male role model in his life.  It's a hilarious movie and Robert Duvall along with Michael Cain completely steal the show.

Today during class I was pretty sure Robert Duvall was playing the character Ely in The Road which we were watching (A fabulous, tragic book you should read ASAP), and I was moved to search him on imdb to see what else he acted in.  Turns out he was Boo Radley in "To Kill a Mockingbird"!  Granted, Boo Radley doesn't have the biggest acting role in the movie, but he is such a lovable character to me.

Anyway, nothing deep to say, just fascinated by the similarities and a little advertising for Robert Duvall :)

President Monson

Robert Duvall


Today while I was looking through my old blog drafts I found the following:

'Recently I have come to the conclusion that I' 

The End.

Maybe this was some incredibly genius attempt at a Post-modern writing technique.  My stream-of-consciousness was clearly meant to encourage my readers to think about the fact that life is not meant for concrete conclusions.  It's an open book.  I'm a regular Robert Frost.

Yeah, let's just forgo the fact that this was probably an ADHD moment and go with the idea that my subconscious is a literary genius :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Fear of Mediocrity

You know those self-deprecating thoughts of "I won't ever be as good at this as so and so" or "I can succeed, but I just can't ever excel in this" or "Why is everyone else so much better than me"? If you don't, then I congratulate you and cannot relate.  I was talking to my sister today about feeling discouraged because she felt that no matter how hard she worked she would never be able to be "the best" at her specific field.  As I empathized with her I also unintentionally reflected on my own experience here at BYU and in life in general.

It all started when I was little. (Doesn't it always?) I was ahead of the kids in my classes with my shapes, reading, math problems, etc. from about preschool to third grade.  We just liked to read at my house a lot I think.  And the whole 3 kids older than me led to some self-induced learning competition as well.  This led to the idea that if I wasn't the best at something, it was not pertinent to my life.  No adult imposed this on me, by the way.  This was completely all my own faulty logic.

Then we moved to Southern California with its incredibly competitive schools.  All of a sudden I wasn't the best anymore.  Almost everyone in my classes was smarter, funnier, more clever, and more successful than me.  This paradigm shift in my life led to some (who am I kidding?  LOTS of) meltdowns and discovering through trial and error that it was okay if I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.  I could still be worth something even if I was just mediocre compared to my 5th or 8th grade class.

In high school, I always took the honors and AP classes, so I guess that's not considered mediocre, but I sure felt that way.  So much so that I hesitated to make comments in class because my essays never received A's, my comments never led to my teachers telling me they appreciated my input, I always felt that whatever I had to contribute everyone else had already thought about and dug a few levels deeper to come up with some brilliant comment.

When I got to BYU, I actually felt pretty successful at first.  My freshman year of English classes I felt like I could hold my own.  But as I progressed into the 300 and 400 level courses, my self-esteem began to plummet again.  It was like I was reliving my AP English class again.  Everyone had noteworthy comments except me.  Everyone could come to some earth-shattering meaning from the readings lightyears before me.  And everyone received A's with seemingly no effort.

The difference between my university experience and my high school experience is that I stuck with it.  I received so much satisfaction from my Literature classes that I wouldn't dream of dropping the major, but I really felt that I would never be able to measure up to my professors' or fellow students' brilliance.

Fortunately, I started to really get to work and met one on one with my professors to work on my writing and reading skills.  I developed some amazing relationships with these professors and my writing has skyrocketed.  I feel confident in my papers for once (rather than writing a shamefaced apology on a post-it note when I turn it in).  I receive A's or at least high B's on my papers.  And I feel like I can keep up with my professors and classmates when I actually read the novels before class (which is a struggle in and of itself).  I've never felt this way before and I just want to encourage my sister to keep with it.  3 years of not feeling "excellent" but pushing myself to become so has led to the greatest satisfaction I have ever felt from any English classes I've ever taken.  The way I read and think has completely changed and I have learned to value my own opinion as much as anyone else's.

Admittedly, sometimes I wonder why in the world I would want to put myself through a completely different discipline that I have NO experience with next year when I am finally feeling like I truly fit in with MY discipline and can compete.  But I'm just trusting that my new-found skills are transferrable to the social sciences...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This is real life...

I know meta-blogs aren't super interesting to read...but I just needed to write about my London experiences a little bit before I could move on to today's reality.  So now I am determined to keep up with our lives on here as best I can.  I don't promise to be funny, witty, or clever, (yes, those are all pretty much synonymous, I know) but people tell me we'll look back on these days and wonder what happened with our time, so I want to have a record of it.

The problem with trying to record reality is that you have to pick a starting point...Do I start from the day we got married?  The honeymoon?  Start of school?  Moving into the house?  Last month? Last week?  Yesterday?  There's so much.  I just don't know what to do.

I think I'll opt out of the honeymoon...We were in Hawaii, it was incredible?  A generous gift from my parents.  Enough said?

Start of School?  What is there to say...We didn't have a place to live so our first night back in provo was spent in a hotel and I almost slept through the first day of classes I was so tired from driving from California.  But now school is amazing.  Some of the best classes I've ever taken at BYU.  And Dave is struggling to survive with his PhD program and full-time MTC working.  It's taken some time, but we finally figured out that we actually have to do homework at home...We can't just come home and eat dinner and watch TV or work on the house all night.  So now life is better and much more under control.

Our House :)  Can I just say we love our house?  Dave picked it and I didn't even get to see it until after we were married.  He did so great.  It's little and right by the Utah Lake.  We'll probably be there through Dave's whole PhD program.  We are more than excited to paint it as it is seriously lacking that "sparkling clean" feeling.  And we spent the first month of our marriage mostly in furniture stores of furniture runs checking KSL couches and tables out.  At this point, we are done with the inflatable mattress, successfully have normal people furniture, and we love all of it :)

I don't remember the first month to be honest...I think it was traumatizing to be thrown into a real neighborhood with kids and adults and no one in between.  But we have come to really love our ward.  We have yet to make good relationships with our neighbors, but if Halloween spirit and Christmas Lights are any indication of how great our street is, I have high hopes for the future :)
Keep in mind these went up November 1st...
Last week...Let's see...Dave got a concussion (doing laundry of all things), we had a late night ER visit to make sure his head was not bleeding.  This happened only 7 days after he surgically had his deviated septum fixed, of course...No big deal.  I have just been loving my cooking class so whenever I have extra time I am cooking, experimenting, or baking.  My top ones last week were cinnamon rolls and wheat bread with honey butter--Which, I'm proud to say, my family said was delicious.  (I didn't eat more than two bites...I'm not a huge fan of wheat steps?)

I am loving school and turned in an ORCA grant last week.  Working with my professors on finishing my application for BYU's Marriage Family Therapy program.  Really despising my research I embarked on this semester.  I think I'm just spoiled with my English professors.  I always feel so mind-blown when I leave class...This social science research and professor is slightly lack-luster comparatively., I fail at short blogs.  I just can't do it, I'm sorry!  But now I feel mostly caught up, so they should be shorter from here on out.  :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Paris Trauma...

Paris, France.  Romantic.  Lovely.  Quaint.  Delicious.  Eiffel Tower.  The Mona Lisa.  Are these the words and images that come to mind when you hear the word Paris?  They used to be for me, too.  But I have since decided that it only lives up to these expectations if you do Paris right.  a.k.a. In a fancy hotel, with a driver to chauffer you to all the sights, a fantastic camera  to be able to capture the most monumental sights you've ever seen, and plenty of money to spend on the ridiculously overpriced (but totally worth it) crepes.  If you do Paris wrong--a.k.a. In a sketchy cheap hotel, taking the underground everywhere, in the pouring, freezing rain with just a light jacket, and with no one to protect you but the other two girls you're with--it can be incredibly dangerous and scary.

I don't think I've ever had the experience of feeling utterly and completely hopeless and then experiencing the mercy of God and falling to my knees in gratitude--until Paris.

It started on our last day in Paris--Bastille Day.  This is the high holy day in French culture--therefore EVERYTHING is closed.  All things except the Louvre, Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, and other famous sights, that is.  We woke up early to more pouring rain (after three consecutive days) and started on our way to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, of course (how could you not?). We had to check out of our hotel early that morning, so we were all carrying our backpacks, side satchels, and suitcases on wheels.  We hopped on the metropolitan (underground) by our hotel after a quick breakfast of cheap fruit off the vendors on the streets--Delicious!!  (And it was a very Beauty and the Beast experience--"Bonjour!  Bonjour!  Bonjour, Bonjour, Bonjour!")  We were in high spirits as we would be returning to our beloved clean and safe London that afternoon.  (I wish I could say dry, too, but no...)  After our first stop off the metropolitan I realized I had forgotten my purse.  I turned to run back on just in time to see the doors close and watch the train speed off.  I may or may not have uttered a profanity under my breath at this point.  You see, my purse didn't just hold my makeup or loose change.  I was a classic tourist and had my passport, wallet, and camera in there as well.  Obviously my camera was not such a big deal, but it added insult to injury, and can you blame me for catastrophizing everything at that moment?

Now, I don't know if the trauma of the situation is clear yet.  See, we were in France--meaning no one speaks English, everyone hates Americans, and they have absolutely no concept of customer service.  We ran to the nearest Metro station with a lady inside.  We started gesturing and explaining, but before she listened to a full sentence she abruptly stated "Speak French."  And slammed the window shut.  At this point I completely broke into tears (I mean...uncontrollable sobs).  Without my passport I couldn't get into London that afternoon because I couldn't make it through security.  And I did NOT want to spend an extra night or two in Paris--alone.  On top of this, none of our phones worked because apparently AT&T doesn't provide service in France!  Who knew?

Anyway, once I started crying, the lady came back and started speaking to us in English (classic...) and asked what was wrong.  She checked the trains on the phone and no one had turned in a purse.  At this point she was sure to tell us that Bastille Day is the day thieves travel to Paris specifically to pick over the tourists.  She told me there was no hope and I should just begin trying to get new documents.  So we needed to find Wi-Fi to use our iMessages or Skype to get ahold of our directors in London to see if they could help us with the US Embassy.  We walked the streets of Paris searching for a cafe with Wi-Fi, but everything was closed because of Bastille Day of course.  Just my luck.  I was completely catatonic at this point but Suzette (my friend) decided we needed to stop in the middle of the street and say a prayer right then.  I believe I rolled my eyes at this point and thought something to the effect of, "Seriously?! A prayer??  Pretty sure a prayer isn't going to bring my passport and wallet back to me!  How about we just keep looking for wi-fi so we can talk to the US EMBASSY!!"  But, of course, that was all in my head, so we said the most sincere prayer we have probably uttered in our lives up to that point praying that by some miracle things would work out.  (We didn't have the gumption to ask that I'd actually get my purse back.)

We ended the prayer and I felt this incredible sense of relief wash over me.  I'll never forget it.  In such a panic, it was a 180 degree turn around.  We then calmly walked about a block and ran into a cafe with free Wi-Fi with and English speaking, wonderfully generous server who let us stay as long as we needed to figure things out.  I don't know if you can appreciate the miracle of this unless you've been to a foreign country where they really hate Americans, but running into her was a miracle in and of itself.  Not to mention the contact we could make with our instructors over Skype, her getting ahold of the American Embassy and translating with the operators for us, and her giving us contact info in case we needed her help or to come back later to use the internet again.

At this point we had eaten crepes, had water, and spoken to our instructors--we had a plan, and were feeling much better.  The embassy was closed, unfortunately, because apparently we celebrate Bastille Day (what?) even though we're American.  So I couldn't get new documents until 2 days later at the earliest.  So we were going to try to go to the EuroStar station to try to see if they'd let me back to London without my passport by any chance because I was with my study group (kind of).  We went, and it was no go.  They told me to change my ticket for 3 days later so as I went to do so, the lady opened up my ticket and said "Wait, there's a note on here.  Someone found your purse and it's at a police station..."  My jaw dropped about 3 feet and I said, "Shut Up."  She was affronted.  Woops.  She then proceeded to explain how to get to the police station while I wiped my eyes and silently prayed a million thank you prayers in my head.

We headed to the police station in the scariest part of Paris and when we got there we realized we were in seriously dangerous territory.  Homeless people were all over the streets, they followed us three well-dressed white girls like hawks as we walked very purposefully towards a the police station (in reality, we had no idea which way to one spoke English!).  By some miracle we found the station and as soon as we opened the door they held up my purse and said "Eeeyyy!  We have your purse!"  I was so relieved I started sobbing again.  I just had to sit down I was so light-headed so Suzette took it from there.  She asked them how my purse had ended up there, and they said a nice couple on the metro had seen us get off that morning so they grabbed my purse and turned it in on their stop.  It was unbelievable.  In such a dangerous, dark, scary city, the honesty and good will of this kind couple will never be forgotten.  I couldn't believe it.  It was a miracle like I've never experienced.  I was so grateful for these people's honesty.  Everything was in my purse when I opened it.  Cash, credit cards, license, passport.  Everything.  In Paris.  On Bastille Day.  I have no doubt Heavenly Father had sent these people to be my angels that day.

We still had time to make it to Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle, The Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower one last time before we had to head home and it was the first day of sun in Paris.  Such an incredible ending to what could have been the worst day of my life.  I was so grateful to my loving Heavenly Father for watching over us that day.  And for forgiving my stupidity ;)

P.S.  I didn't tell Dave about this until I was safe in London and I told just about this exact rendition.  He was pale as a ghost when I finished and couldn't breathe properly for about 5 minutes after.  Luckily, he was able to overlook this crazy error on my part and still marry me :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

No I am not going to tell a sappy romantic love story...sorry Dave...but you know that's just not "us" right?  I was actually going to say that once upon a time I went to London!!  I studied abroad this past summer with BYU in London.  It was amazing.  Let me clarify...I am not one of those girls who is obsessed with London just because I go to BYU and I'm about 20.  I wanted to go  because I was excited about the Literature class we'd be taking while there.  I didn't go expecting my life to change, and I didn't go because I felt like my life wouldn't be complete without the experience.  Regardless of my not-so-passionate beginnings in London, it actually did end up being life-changing, but not in the way I expected at all.

I have never fully experienced the feeling that the Lord is literally providing for you in EVERYTHING in your life.  While I was in London, Paris, Wales, and Scotland, however, I couldn't go an hour or two without feeling the Lord's hand in my life undeniably.  I had some of the most spiritual experiences while pleading with the Lord for health, safety, comfort, energy, help in finding my phone the numerous times I lost it, honesty of people around me, and excitement for learning while I was abroad.  I don't know if the Lord was trying to assure me that I was in the right place doing the right things or what, but the consequences of his continual intervention in my life was just such an increased measure of trust, faith, and hope that the Lord will provide if we ask in faith.

There are so many stories--Too many for one post--so I will take my time I think over the next bit posting them.  (They're too good not to share)  I hope you can enjoy reading them at least a fraction of how much I enjoyed living them!

I have a husband...surprise!

What's gotten into me?  I want to write something?  I can't tell you how long it's been since I've actually wanted to write something.  I better take advantage of it while it's happening and keep it short and simple.

My husband the other day casually said, "Hey, have I ever made it into your blog officially?"  I pretended like it was no big deal and just brushed it off with a bit of eyelash fluttering and apologies and went on my merry way.  But you know what?  It IS sad that I haven't blogged about Dave.

I know myself and I know that if I get too ambitious with this blog, I'll never finish it, so I'll just start with a paragraph:

On August 17, 2012, in the Newport Beach, CA, LDS Temple, I was sealed for eternity to the best man I've ever known, Dave Rackham.  Hence, I took on the new name, Erin Lee Rackham :)  That only took about 2 months to get used to, don't worry...haha.  But after having over 2 months to adjust I have been left with some reflection on how lucky I am to have married such an intelligent, sensitive, loving, selfless, genuine, charitable, funny, hard-working man.  Life just feels so right.  Even with the move to the part of Provo where everyone around us has 2-8 kids, even with Dave working full-time on top of his PhD program, even with the lack of a bed for the first 2 weeks, even with me taking 18 credits and applying to BYU's Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, even with Dave having surgery last weekend, even with my 2 bouts of the flu in 1 month (how does that even happen??), even with all the struggles and adjustments this semester, I have never felt so blessed, happy, and peaceful than I have since we've gotten married.

I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for guiding Dave and I together and allowing life to just fall into place this past year.  We both feel so lucky and can't wait for the lifetime of moments to come!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The start of the best summer ever. Literally.

So, I am actually journaling (go me!), but I still want a place to sorta combine my pictures and my writing, so I thought I would try to start a severely summarized post with what I've been up to the last 4 months.  So...this is going to be insanely long probably and no one is being forced to feel free not to :)

I started the summer at home living with my parents, working full time with my Dad, and helping my mom plan the wedding.  I say helping because she most definitely deserves the majority of the credit for pulling it all together as I was at work all day and the only thing I'd want to do at night was skype Dave.  This was really rough.  I guess I just underestimated how exhausted working full-time would make me as well as the stress of making a thousand different decisions and trying to keep everyone happy with my vision of the upcoming wedding.  Without Dave there to help keep me calm and provide an outlet from it all, I started to really miss him.  Not to mention he was in Provo working full-time, starting a Phd program, and getting overwhelmed with the details of starting a marriage without me (you we're going to afford food, basic necessities, shelter, etc.).

Oh, I forgot to mention, I was living at home so I could save up for my upcoming study abroad to London!  Why was I studying abroad while I was engaged, you ask?  Well...I had wanted to study abroad just because it's what every girl does at BYU, right?  And my parents offered to help me pay for it, so I was most definitely going to take advantage of that.  I applied, interviewed, and was accepted before Dave proposed, but we still decided I should go once we knew the date of our wedding (6 days after returning home from London...).  One of my most favorite professors was one of the directors so I was thrilled to be taking a literature class from him while simultaneously visiting the sites these great works were inspired by.

So summer came to an end and I got to spend a week in Utah with Dave before I left.  We took engagements and bridals and I got really sad that I wasn't going to see him for another 2 months.  But we parted, and Dave went back to work in Provo and I headed off to London!  He was an angel for being so selfless and continuing to slave away while I started my adventures over here.

So I was going to continue on to London, but maybe I'll split this into two posts...yeah I'm going to split it.  So maybe I'll come back later and post bridals or something to spice this post up a bit...we'll see.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I thought this only happened in movies...

So I realized why I don’t blog very much anymore.  It’s because I have someone to tell everything to.  After having told Dave my stories from the day, there’s little motivation to write them all out again…But since Dave is backpacking in the Grand Canyon this weekend with no cell service, I finally have a story that is just too good not to share.   And he’s not here to tell it to, so I’m finally going to blog.

So…Dave’s mom is a twin.  And my mom is a twin.  And they say that twins skip generations, so basically—we’re doomed.   I’ve never wanted to have twins.  And after this weekend, I feel validated in not necessarily wanting to struggle with double trouble as a new mom.

So there’s these two twins I have been babysitting lately who are 4 years old.  They’re adorable.  They love anything they can do with a ball—soccer, football, I just taught them volleyball, and handball.  But they also love to dance and perform (and scream).  You get the idea, right?  Incredibly high energy, loud, and constantly vying for my attention as I’m babysitting them.  These girls are also very sneaky, however.

You have to know before I write this that I am a pretty attentive babysitter.  I don’t typically turn on the tv for hours and let the kids watch until bedtime, I don’t fall asleep while the kids are still awake, I don’t forget to feed them, I don’t lose them.  And I have never had to call a mom while I was babysitting her kids to ask for help with something.  Everything yesterday was a first for me…

We were downstairs in the family room just having a good time playing with the camera on my phone.  They love to take pictures of themselves and me and flip through them over and over.  We were playing with the phone when one of the twins decided she needed a drink.  I went with her to the kitchen to grab her a glass of water while the other twin sneaked around the corner with my phone. About 5 minutes later I called out to her, “Where’d you go?”  And she came running back oh so innocently showing me all the pictures she had just taken of the stairs.  Looking back, I should have known something was up when she came running back so quickly, but at the time, I thought nothing of it. 

Everything went well for the rest of the night while we played at the park with our bikes, razors, balls, and Frisbees.  We ate dinner and they went down with just 2 bedtime stories and a half-asleep, “Will you come back tomorrow to play tea party with us?”  Once they were down, their mom called and told me I could go because their older son was going to be home to just keep an eye on the house until they arrived home. 

I was happy to have successfully put the girls to sleep and done everything with no mishaps when I walked right out the door to my car, my hand sifting through the contents of my purse for my keys the entire way down the driveway and across the street to my car.  When I got to my car I realized my keys were nowhere to be found.  I shamelessly knelt down and emptied the contents of my purse on the street searching desperately for my keys, but alas, they were not there.  I resourcefully flipped on my “flashlight” app on my phone to search through the windows of my car to see if I’d accidentally locked my keys in there.  But I couldn’t see them so I concluded I must’ve left them on a counter inside somewhere. 

When I went back to the house at 7:30 expecting to find my keys carelessly laid on the kitchen counter, I found a house completely void of my bright blue BYU lanyard attached to my keys.  At this point I started to realize one of the girls had probably taken and hidden them, so I retraced our steps for the day.  I searched the toys in the garage, the refrigerator, the lawn chairs outside, the dress up room, in between the cushions on the couches, the pantry, the dirty clothes, under the girl’s pillows and sheets in their bed; everywhere I thought possible.  I called their mom and asked about secret hiding places, I even splashed the girls with water and woke them up to ask if they knew where my keys were.  I turned that house upside down before my parents called wondering where I was around 8:30.   Luckily, I had a spare key at home in my backpack so my mom came to bring it to me hoping my keys would be locked in the car, but when she arrived, they weren’t there.  At this point I was terrified, remembering the time one of the girls went to the bathroom by herself while we waited for her outside in the garage.  I was convinced she had dug to the bottom of my purse, pulled them out, and flushed them down the toilet.  My mom even stuck her hand in there to check (thanks mom!).  We continued to search the house for another hour until at about 9:40, we ultimately gave up. 

I had decided I must have dropped them in the street and one of the neighbors had picked them up.  I texted the mom and told her I was leaving and hadn’t found them, asking her to check with her neighbors tomorrow.

So this morning, I woke up to a text at 8:30 telling me they had found my keys!!  One of the girls had hidden them in the library of the house.  Unbelievable!  We thought we had checked every possible place, but were still outsmarted by a 4 year-old.  I didn’t know that kids actually played tricks on their babysitters, but it looks like they do!  I think I should take it as a compliment—they hid my keys because they didn’t want me to be able to leave, right?  At least, that’s how I am going to look at it J

P.S.  Last time I babysat, they managed to flood the family room by plugging the bathroom sink, turning it on, and closing the door so I couldn’t hear the water.  Yeahh…This kind of thing happens in reality.  Who knew?

Friday, February 3, 2012


So...the title of this blog auto-corrected to "Sores!" which #1, is gross, and #2 reminded me of the street name Sores and Boils Alley--anyone catch the reference? ;)

Anyway, I promise my life consists of more important things than new windshield wipers and s'mores, but I just can't bring myself to catch the blogging world up to the detailed happenings of my life right now.  I promise that some day in the near future, I will provide an explanation for my ridiculously long absence from writing ;).  Unfortunately for is not that day.  Today you get to read about the college version of s'mores!  (I put exclamation points to hopefully get you excited about a less-than-exciting's a rhetorical strategy, don't worry about it.)

So a few weeks ago, Annie, Russ, Dave, and I went down to Moab to camp and climb some rocks and things (nbd), and we bought an excessive amount of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers for s'mores.  You have to have s'mores if you're going to have a fire, right?  And believe me, we were going to have a fire in 12 degree weather...So once the trip ended (don't worry, I'll write a full blog about the trip itself was full of exciting adventures and slight mishaps), I ended up taking the left-over s'more ingredients and storing them in my apartment.  This was a bad idea.

For about 3 weeks now I have pretty much had a s'more at least 3 times a week.  "How?", you may ask, realizing that it's completely ridiculous to assume I have a full-fledged campfire every time I want a s'more.
Electric stoves!!
I must admit I'm guilty of hating on these old electric stoves when I'm trying to cook something carefully and can't control the temperature nearly as well as a gas-stove could, but for s'mores, they're amazing!  They work just as well as coals--without the smoky taste!

I don't know why I've enjoyed these s'mores so much...whether it's because they remind me of camping--something I love to do, despite popular belief--or simply because their chocolatey-marshmallowy goodness is the epitome of comfort food, but I've been really grateful for these little s'more moments I get to have after long days at work and school the past couple weeks :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hiatus Officially Over...


So, I took a short break from the blogging world...short being about three months...And I don't really have any excuse because last semester was the first semester I haven't worked while I've been here at BYU, so I probably had the most free-time I've ever had during my college career.  I don't know what happened.  My apologies to the few of you who read this...on a more positive note, though...I'm back!  At least for today.  I am sitting in the library across from my roommate and I was in the middle of reading Saussure's deeply philosophical argument about the meaning (or lack thereof) of words and letters in the world today.  But...I got distracted, and now I want to blog.  :)

I was driving the other day in the rain and I realized that one of the best feelings in the world is having suffered through three unbearable months of dysfunctional windshield wipers that leave your window looking like this once they've tried to do their job..

Then driving after you've changed them (or had someone more experienced with car dysfunctions change them for you) and realizing the clarity your life has been missing!

....Okay, so I didn't literally drive by a field of sunflowers seeing as it was a rainy day and I was in Provo, but having a streak free windshield all because of my new wipers honestly felt like a little ray of much-needed sunshine in the midst of this dreary Utah weather :)

Kind of an anticlimactic blog post seeing as it's been 3-months, but hey, it's the little things, right? ;)