Sunday, May 21, 2017

Define Your Dash # 20: Active Goals

I had my big huge list of goals I wrote out in January and I am doing alright with some of them and failing miserably at others. For example, it is hard to exercise with a toddler. I'm still going to get in shape but it is requiring some serious creativity. On the other hand, I have kept up with these posts and am being more social with my ward and finally got up the courage to start my other blog.
So, I want to talk about that for a minute. I started a blog called Mommy Practice which, despite what all of the tutorials I have read recommend, is not a very good niche blog. It is all over the place. But for now that is okay. I purchased the domain and hosting in September and didn't get going forever because I got so bogged down in having everything perfect before I started.
I was obsessed with the idea of monetizing it right away in order to help bring in income. I have calmed down, realized we are okay financially, and am now using it as a learning experience. It has been so fun to write, and take pictures, and learn about graphic design and marketing (something I never did anything with in school). It has also caused much introspection and been a part of the reason I go out of my way to make my days more interesting and eventful.
I would still like to monetize it (or a version of it once I figure out what I am like the most) someday. But for now, I am progressing. I am learning. I have a hobby that I enjoy.
My new goal is to have a decent source of income from the blog by the time my youngest child goes to kindergarten (provided the government doesn't irreversibly screw up the internet).

Define You Dash # 19: First Best Friend

How do you define best friend? I know I have had a handful of people in my life that I would have considered my Best Friend at a given point.

When I was little it was probably Nathan Conder. We were raised side by side and spent crazy amounts of time together. Yes, we are still in contact and see each other at least a few times a year.

I had a best friend in first grade named Michelle Bodkin. I have no idea what happened to her but I do remember her being my first good friend who was a girl.

When I moved to Sandy my best friend was probably Miranda Peterson. We were good friends from second grade until fifth grade when she moved. I remember that being very hard and for a while, I drifted a bit. Lots of acquaintances, no best friend. We are facebook friends I think.

From sixth grade until the end of middle school my best friends were Karin Nizguritzer, Kelsy Jordan, Katy Ogden, Franklynn Stott, and Alisha Larson. The amount of time I spent with each as my best friend and the closeness of the relationships fluctuated quite a bit. I am Facebook friends with them still but I only have real relationships with Franklynn and Alisha at this point.

My best friends in High School were Alisha Larson, Franklynn Stott and Tara Smith. High school was a little bit different though and I feel like I had a wide variety of people that I got along with and hung out with. There were lots of weekend get togethers and Frisbee games. I worked with Franklynn and Alisha though and other than my family I would say I have spent more time with them by choice than any other people in my life.

Towards the end of high school, Nick became one of my best friends. He had been an acquaintance and casual friend for a long time but it wasn't until that last year that I started spending as much (or more) time with him than Alisha and Franklynn. I married Nick (and he is my very best friend), am still in fairly regular contact with Franklynn, and pester Alisha with texts almost daily since she moved away.

The first year of college was tough. Nick went on a mission, Alisha went to Idaho, and Franklynn and I spent so much time together that it is a miracle that we can still speak to each other. After floundering for a bit, I made some good friends in my singles ward, Ashley Kimball and Alicia Anderson (among others). I still see Ashley all of the time.

My best friends now (other than Nick), and they have always been there even if I didn't think of them as my best friends, are my family. I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my Mom the past couple of years and have enjoyed getting to know her as an adult. I also see me dad, brother, and sister frequently and have excellent relationships with all of them.

I feel that I have been blessed with great friends throughout my life and have always had the relationships that I needed when I needed them.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Define Your Dash #18: What I Love Most About Where I Live Now

It is no secret that I really didn't like living in my current neighborhood when we moved in. We came to check out the ward after we put an offer on our house and it seemed great. It was full of lots of young couples just like us. There weren't a lot of teenagers but after growing up in historic Sandy that seemed normal.
It took us a little more than a month to start going to the new ward consistently because we were simultaneously trying to get Grandma's house ready for selling and our house to the point where it was livable. By the time we got there, our names had been read in (on a week we were at our other ward) and we found ourselves with callings almost immediately. Nick was put in the young mens/scouts and I was put into the young womens.
This was difficult for me. I didn't really get a chance to know anyone in the Relief Society because I was with the young women all of the time and I didn't know how to interact with the presidency I was put into. I have been in several presidencies during my life and I honestly didn't know what to do with this group. The communication was unlike any I had ever experienced and I simultaneously felt like a surplus member of the presidency and the overused (no one else will do it give it to Whitney) member of the presidency. As I reflect on the situation several years removed from it, I can tell that I had a slightly skewed view of what was happening and a less than mature attitude about what I was asked to do. In retrospect the whole experience taught me a lot. I also got to know and love many of the women I worked with but that took quite a while.
So, my original view of living in this house was not positive. I didn't particularly like my ward, aspects of my neighborhood scared me a little bit, my house was put together but not my dream house, and I was just so busy all of the time (this didn't have a ton to do with location but I think it made my whole perspective more negative than it would have been otherwise). I went to class Monday, a meeting on Tuesday, young womens on Wednesday, my parents on Thursday, and by Friday I was usually up for half a movie before I passed out. None of these things was bad but all of them after a ten hour work day each day (first year teaching) and my life was not what I wanted it to be.
Since then, I would like to think I have grown up a little bit but it is hard to know for sure since our circumstances are so different now. Five years later, I really like where we live. Our area is diverse socially, ethnically, and economically. This presents opportunities to get to know, serve, and be served by people from a variety of backgrounds.
I have a different calling, that I love, and have gotten to know a lot of people in the ward.

-As a side note, this was not an easy feat. When we moved in, it felt like getting to know people was a task akin to pulling teeth. People would get up on Sunday and bare their testimonies about what a warm welcoming ward we had and I would wonder what ward they had moved into. I'm not sharing these feelings to complain, I am trying to prove a point. We do (and I assume did) have a great ward. But it wasn't until I put forth the effort to get involved, and be the person who goes out of their way to talk to people, and plan stuff, that I made some good friends and started to like it. I think for some people the social aspect of life is easier. Maybe they are more naturally social, or their face says to people "come be my friend", or maybe they just happen to sit by the right people at the right time. I don't know. I just know that in my own experience, my best friends have been made when I am brave enough to leave my comfort zone and find them.

Anyway, I have a calling I enjoy (though I think I would enjoy any calling more now than I did then). I am a stay at home mom, I have a beautiful baby boy who makes me so happy. Nick is done with school and happier, life is just far less stressful than it was (or maybe the stresses are happy stresses now).

So, what do I love about where I live now?

The people I live by, my ward, the neighborhood, easy access to everything, and the fact that I am choosing to live here.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Define Your Dash # 17: What was your childhood home like?

I feel like I had two childhood homes. The first one I remember was a duplex in Holiday. We lived next door to Marge on one side and Lamar Petersen on the other. I think the house only had two bedrooms and one bathroom. The kitchen floor was yellow linoleum. There were fake plants on the way down the stairs. There was a big room and a laundry room in the basement. The laundry room was olive green. I shared a room with Ben and Spencer. I slept on the top bunk in a bunk bed which I fell off of once and then only wanted to sleep on the bottom bunk. My parents room had a wooden floor (gees I must have spent a lot of time looking at the floor because that's mostly what I remember). I used to hide in my moms closet and put on her shoes to better disguise myself. There was a huge stereo in the living room that had flashing lights and a huge speaker. I remember having dance parties in there and crawling around by the speaker.
The duplex was on a corner lot. We did not have a backyard but we had slanty front yard where we could play in the sprinklers. There was also a light post on the corner of the lot that I rode into more than once when I was learning to ride a bike.
We lived really close to the Conders. Spencer and I used to play with Nathan and Sam all of the time. They had an especially magical backyard with a swing set, trampoline, climbing trees, fruit, a compost heap (I don't know I thought that was so cool), and a slightly forbidden wooden play house that we were not supposed to play in but did. Nathan and Sam lived next to the church which had a really cool parking lot we liked to adventure in. Part of it was elevated and very exciting for climbing and riding things with wheels. We also lived near a magical storm drain area that we called the wilderness and liked to explore.
I mostly remember playing all the time and being very happy here.

We moved into my second childhood home when I was seven. It was a mess. I remember sleeping in the living room on the floor once before we actually moved in to try it out. I also recall my mother painstakingly cleaning up all kinds of messes (from crayon on the wall to a shed full of somebody else's garbage) and eating loads of peanut butter sandwiches. I remember moving in and sharing a room with my brothers again. We had all of our beds upstairs and all of the dressers downstairs in the scary room (which later became my brothers' bedroom). The laundry room was especially frightening, so, my mom let us paint an under the sea mural on the wall. My parents still live at that house and it is 1000 times better than when we moved in.
Socially, this was a harder house to live at and lacked some of the "magic" of the first home. Here I didn't have ready made friends and had to work hard to make them. School was tougher and primary was different. My mother was so involved in our lives, however, that the scary stuff wasn't so scary.
I still love this house and associate it with joy, acceptance, and safety.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Define Your Dash # 16: Favorite Childhood Holiday Traditions

1. I loved presents on Christmas, but I really liked our big Christmas breakfast (which we usually still do). It was the only day of the year we got sausage and bacon and eggs and pancakes and hash browns. We also invited lots of people. Our neighbors would come and sometimes various Conders or Nielsens or Fehrs. It just depended on where we were and where they were at the time.

2. I enjoyed acting out the Christmas story with the Conders (I think I grew weary of being Mary but I look back very fondly on the program.)

3. During the Summer we would always try to go to the drive in movie with all of our friends at least once. Take the blow up mats and cards and food and stay awake (or not) until the second movie was over.

4. Cookout in the mountains during the Summer. We often go to Millcreek once or twice because it reminds my mom of my Grandmother.

5. Ice Cream on MLK day (started as a teenager because Aisha and I thought it said milk day on the calendar ( but its been like 10 years of ice cream now. . .so yeah. . .)

6. Fireworks at Dan and Deri's house in Sandy by the park. As a kid this was quite magical. We had lots of sparklers and home made raspberry ice cream and the famous be safe with fire speech.

7. My mom had a big plant in our living room for years that would sprout candy filled Easter Eggs around Easter. I enjoyed having a candy tree.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Define Your Dash 15: Homes and Apartments

1. I believe I started life in a tiny apartment downtown that my parents helped manage. I think it was minuscule.

2. The first house I remember living in, was a duplex in Holiday that my parents rented for super cheap from my Grandpa's friend Lamar Peterson (1932 E Woodside Dr). He was a nice old man who took good care of us and likde to give us random stuff from DI. He often had very stale snacks at his house (for a long time I thought Cheetos were gross then I realized that his were just old). Mostly I remember playing with Nathan and Sam Conder and having adventures at this house.

3. When I was in first grade we moved to 9000 South. The house my parents still live in. I mostly grew up here. My dad drove me back to Holiday to finish first grade then I made some friends over the summer and started second grade in Sandy. I have lots of fond memories of this house (that are still being made). I always wished that I lived in the neighborhood instead when I was younger though. Living on the busy street away from the day to day action made me feel like an outlier.

4. When college started I moved to the dorms at the University of Utah, Chapel Glen 803 to be exact. I started in the party dorm (because that is where they put scholarship kids). It was awful. One of my room mates was promiscuous and drunk and super irresponsible. There was often puke all over the bathroom, boys in her bed, and random friends of hers in my room. So I switched dorms.

5. I was lucky enough to miss a bus one day and ended up talking to a girl in one of my classes who hater her dorm. Her room mate was just to normal and didn't like that she had her boyfriend in her room all the time. So we decided to switch if we could. IT worked, prayer answered. I ended up in a dorm next to some very active LDS girls and that made all the difference. As a plus the dorm was right across from the Heritage Center so the food was close.

6. Moved back home after one year of the dorms.

7. When I was almost done I lived in Phichit Thailand for a summer above Dr Sucharts theparak clinic.(I have a whole blog about that).

8. Moved home for a few months.

9. Married Nick and moved to my Grandmother's basement at 211 East Twin Peaks Street in Midvale. Lived there for a little less than two years.

10. Moved down the street to my current Midvale house.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Define Your Dash 14: Barest Essentails I Would Need to Make A Place Home

Nick and Lincoln would be the essentials. Other things that would be nice are a roof, a bed, food, clean water, scriptures, and some means to continue learning.