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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Baby Lincoln & Life Updates

If you're ever questioning whether or not God is real and is intimately weaved into every detail, hold a newborn baby.

Touch his squishy skin, see how he smiles every now and again without knowing what he's doing. Listen for the little sound that comes after every yawn. His tiny nails - they're growing!

Then look at his mom's face. PURE LOVE.

I went to Arizona this weekend to see Sami, Colt and their newborn baby Lincoln Hayes. I cried when I first kissed his little head. I'm so glad Sami is okay. I love them all.

My mom was there too to help with the baby and Sami, and it's always good to get some time with my momma. She taught me a lot about babies, that's for sure. And she's just the best mom. I already thought this, but after seeing her with a baby I realized again how lucky I am to have her as MY mom. I am really blessed. Plus she's hilarious and sarcastic and loves to wrestle me so what more could I ask for?

My sister Dani was also there. She picked me up from the airport and we talked about her engagement story. Alvaro asked her to marry him recently and our family is real excited about it.

Also, I'm really lucky in the in-law department. I love Nicole, and Alvaro (soon to be my brother-in-law), and I call Colty my bE$t FrIeNd and he's so sarcastic at me and I love it hahah. I got to drop him off at his medical school a lot and we got some great quality time in. He's psyched to be a dad and he's already so great at it.

Dani said as she was driving me to Sami's apartment that this was the greatest form of birth control in all the land, and she was correct, hahaha. I was never around newborns growing up, so this is all very new to me. I love this baby so much but I couldn't imagine handling one of my own yet. I'm not even sure I'm ready for one in the next few years.

(If you comment the whole, "nobody is ready!" thing I will virtually flick you in the face. I know nobody is ready, but I'd rather have a firmer foundation than I do now.)

In other news, school starts tomorrow and it's my LAST SEMESTER. Whaaaa?
I've got a full load as far as weekdays go. This is for informative reasons, not to glorify my full days: I'm either going to be in class or working in the newsroom as the new Opinion editor for the first half of the day, then at my communications internship for the second half.
My internship at the HOSPITAL. Which I'm very, VERY excited about. I even had to get a few blood tests and immunizations done before I could get clearance, and if you know how much I hate needles, you know I've already put a lot into this thang.

Also, on Tuesdays and Thursdays in between class and my internship, I was lucky enough to snag a side writing job for a web hosting company, which I'm also excited about because I love to write.

Basically I'll have three jobs, but will only be paid for two, plus class. SO yeah, I likely won't be available from 7:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. every day and will have homework after that, but it'll be done in four months so I'm gonta put my shoulder to dat wheel or whateva.

Hate is a strong word, but I hate the over-glorification of busy in this society so much. I'm not trying to glorify my busy schedule because I'm not saying it's anything to be jealous of, or talked about all the time, or the only thing I talk about - but I thought I would update any family or friends reading this.

The light at the end of this extra long BYU tunnel is a driving force for me, so I'm just going to push until the end.

Then I won't have to worry about homework or class or extra jobs and will only have to worry about one job, hopefully.
Where that job will be, I'm not sure. But I love the communications field so much, and I hope I end up doing something I love.

K see ya.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I Love You, Kodiak.

One day, I believe it was sometime during my freshman year of high school, I was sitting in my mom's house scrolling through the computer. I heard my mom and Russ come home but kept scrolling until I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I don't remember who was holding him, but there was a tiny wolf in their hands, staring at me. I started crying so hard, I was so happy. I loved him instantly.

The first day with baby Kodiak.

We named the half wolf - half Alaskan Malamute pup Kodiak. There was something about little baby Kodes that I just felt so connected with - eventually I became part of his pack. Whenever Russ or Morgan would play fight me, he would get between us and try to protect me. When I wrestled with Kodi, he would get pretty intense but never ever really hurt me. I loved wrestling him just as much as I loved cuddling him. I'd stroke the fur on his cheeks, right under his ears - that was my favorite part to pet. He was so soft. He shed like crazy, but I adopted the fur as a permanent outfit fixture - lint rollers helped for about a second, but you'd just get more hair on you within minutes so it was worthless. I secretly loved it, haha.

Senior pictures rolled around and Kodiak had become part of my identity by that point, so why not do the obvious? He was a champ for the pictures, and I'm so glad the photographer was willing to shoot the two of us. Me & my wolf dog. My little puppy-ya. I always said that with an accent for some reason, ha. My little puppy-yaaa Kodiiii.

 A personal fave...

 He reminds me of Scooby Doo in this one hahahaha I laugh so hard every time.

 Play wrestling half the time. So much fun.
 Brixton asked me to prom and I had to make sure it was Kodiak-approved or I wouldn't go. He approved, luckily.

 I literally took pictures with him whenever I had to take pictures for anything because he's a star, just look at the lil' guy.

 Dani referred to him as my boyrfriend 98% of the time because I didn't really date seriously at all in high school, but I loved Kodiak so much haha.

When my mom moved to Texas during my first or second? year of college, she took Kodiak and Rocky (my other dog I take few to none pictures with because Kodi holds my heart, duh) with her. I saw him one more time when I visited my mom in Texas, and another when Russ and my mom brought the dogs for a visit to Clovis and Yosemite. Kodiak's metabolism slowed way down and he seemed to have gotten a tumor within the last year and a half, so he was huge. Within the last few months, my mom had to buy rugs because he couldn't walk on the hardwood floors - it was too painful for him. A combination of these health problems led to what my mom said seemed like a heart attack early Saturday morning. She lied with him as he slipped away.

I am so sad I didn't see him again before he died. I'm so angry at myself that I told my mom I was going to visit earlier this summer, but I didn't. I'm sad I wasn't by his side as he was struggling to breathe, and as he passed. I wish I was there for him, I don't know how much it means in the dog world, but to be honest I felt so connected to him and it would've meant something to me to have been there for him. He was always there for me when I was sad, he would sense it and come lay by me and cuddle or just sit by my side. I'm so lucky to have had a connection to an incredibly cool, loving animal. To be honest, I don't think another will ever compare.

Rest in peace my sweet puppy-ya. I love you so much. Thanks for being my boy, Kodiak. I love you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Lone Wolfing It for Father John Misty

On Thursday Night I finally got to see one of my favorite bands/humans perform at the Twilight Concert Series in Salt Lake City. I've been waiting to see Father John Misty for a solid three years, but last time he was in Salt Lake he played at a 21+ venue so I couldn't go. Devastation.

I saw his tour announcement a few months ago on Facebook and realized a specific date lined up with the Twilight Concert Series and was set to take place in Pioneer Park, so I knew he was going to be apart of the series before TCS announced it. I flipped out. $5 to see one of my favorite humans swing his hips, interact with the audience like I've never seen and sing some of my favorite songs? I'm in.

I lone-wolfed it to the concert since Dallon had work, but I didn't mind. After mulling over whether or not to invite someone else, I decided that I'd rather go to a concert with someone who knew the music rather than go and worry the whole time if they're having fun and feelin' it. So I went and a few seconds after I got there, the band came out. Then Josh Tillman took the stage and started it out with the first song on their newer album, "I Love You, Honeybear."

I lost my mind. Seconds into the second song I saw a glimpse of a familiar face pass me by and called his name. Alex Katich let me tag along with him and his pal even though I was dancing and singing to all of the songs, but they were feelin' Father John's hips as well so they were grooving too. I found some random strangers who were as excited as I was when Chateau Lobby #4 began and we sang the entire thing together. That was a highlight of this concert - because there were two headliners, it seemed like a third of the crowd didn't know much about Father John Misty - but two songs into it, he had everyone moving. Father John Misty's stage presence is unreal and everything I had heard of and hoped for. He dances like he knows everyone is watching, but couldn't care less. He uses the entire stage - backbending on one side, letting the audience touch him, grabbing an attendee's phone and performing a majority of "Bored in the USA" selfie-style, or shaking his hips while standing on the bass drum. He's witty, hilarious and his sincerity is undeniable when he sings certain lyrics - "I've said AWFUL things, such AWFUL things.."

Speaking of "Ideal Husband," that was their finale and I loved it. Everyone who knew his music was screaming the ending along with him. "I CAME BY AT 7 IN THE MORNING, 7 IN THE MORNING, 7 IN THE MORNING..."

I left the concert feeling fulfilled.

Sometimes I feel sad I don't ever get to meet and talk to the people face to face whose lyrics influence my entire days or pick me up when I'm pissed. It's weird feeling so connected to someone you've never actually met, and you long to have that connection with people you see day to day - but months of utter vulnerability and sincerity go into each song and I can't expect to feel that level of closeness with just any friend, you know? It's a weird desire that leaves you feeling like someone understands you and you had a really beautiful dialogue concerning how you feel, but you can't further the conversation. Hopeful other people feel the same way, but left searching for someone who can say it half as well so we can keep the dialogue going.

Anyway, here are a few pictures. I ended up getting much closer and centered, even - but listen to "True Affection" by Father John Misty and you'll see why I limited my phone use to a few seconds. I also recorded the first line of Morgan's and my favorite song because we usually scream the first part no matter what mood we're in. And I usually record a little something for him when he's not able to go, or call him during our favorite songs (when he wasn't a missionary).

I found this last picture online, my hands are the blurry ones without a phone, and I'm pretty sure that's what I looked like most of the time - in awe and so, so happy.

K see ya. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Sour Weekend in Shaver Lake

Because of my general dissatisfaction with where I'm at and who I am over the past few months, I was over-the-moon excited to travel to Shaver Lake to play water polo in an open water tournament. I didn't know any of my teammates because I was playing on a friend's team he put together randomly, but I was just happy to have a spot.

I decided I was going the night after I returned to Provo from Master's Nationals last month and bought cheap-ish tickets out of Las Vegas, which meant a six hour drive and quick plane ride and I'd be in Fresno. The long-term parking wasn't going to be cheap, though.

Alright. I just wrote out an extensive overview of what happened, and erased it all. Basically I paid 100 dollars for a flight, 70 for long term parking, and 70 to play in the tournament. A tournament where I babysat 30 sloppy drunk adults and sober drove them in the mountains so they could get pizza, and more drinks. And that wasn't fair to me. A majority of these adults made remarks that made fun of my choice not to drink, and my choice to be a Mormon, yet I was making sure they were taken care of and that they were safe. And I had to pay 70 dollars to do it.

The entire reason I went to the tournament was to do something I love - play water polo. That was the only reason. I wanted to immerse myself in the sport, in the one thing I feel totally confident in, but I couldn't do it because my teammates were too busy finding their next drink. Yeah, I'm frustrated.

I won't judge you for using your agency. I'll be frustrated when you judge me for using mine, then call me names and make fun of me. You don't remember because you were insanely drunk. If you choose to drink, that's your choice, but I've chosen not to do it. What concerns me the most is how quickly the choice to drink influenced the amount of care shown for other people. It made everyone so, so selfish.

I know people who drink occasionally. I also know people who drink quite a bit, but can control themselves. But I've never been around so many people who's main concern was "Where's my next beer?" and who have no concern for other people. There were a few kind gems, two of which I stayed with, and one who shared my name - but goodness. I've never felt so empty and uncared for. I can't imagine a life where a beverage or cigarette is at the center of it all.

At one point we were all in the woods trying to get back to the campsite after we parked the 15-passenger van I was asked to drive (If you know me as of late, you know how anxious I get when I'm asked to drive anywhere in my Corolla. Now imagine my situation). Someone sent a girl in the wrong direction because she was at a different camp than us, but I knew where her camp was, and realized it was NOT in the direction she was sent. After 5 minutes of trying to persuade a drunk girl to let me use her flashlight or come with me so she could light the way, I finally got to search for her. After ten minutes of the same girl I persuaded complaining "Why are we even looking for her? How the hell did you get my flashlight?" and other dumb phrases, I had to quit my search because she turned around and was going to leave me in the woods without a light. I couldn't believe it. The lack of concern for another human who was probably scared out of her mind without a light or an idea of where she was, was incredible.

The second night I started getting really sick with Crohn's symptoms, and it was only getting worse as time went on. After an hour and a half, I decided to leave. It wasn't worth it to play in games where most of my teammates were drunk anyway, or to stay when I was ill, or to stay when I was sick and was going to have to drive everyone around again. It simply wasn't worth it. One of the two kind people I stayed with drove me to Shaver Lake Pizza where I waited until Laura could pick me up again. Goodness, Laura was a saint to drive all the way up there, but I honestly couldn't handle another night. When I was waiting in the pizza place, I saw one of the guys from the camp who had been drinking (and was clearly drunk) park and pick up more beer at the gas station across the street. I couldn't believe it.

Monday before my flight, the guy who invited me to play on his team called and made a bunch of assumptions that were extremely incorrect about me and my intentions on coming to the tournament. I couldn't get a word in, and when I tried to, he assumed something else and kept going in his own little world. By the end of it all I just said alright, alright, alright, see ya and let him believe whatever he wanted. Clueless human. Very frustrating, clueless human.

I'm frustrated I invested so much in a tournament I seem to have only been invited to so I could be the sober driver. Now I know, though. Now I know.