Tuesday, August 31, 2010

in my head

In my head there are lots of thoughts about school. I wonder if I really am on the 9 year track to my associates. I have a lot hate relationship with it. I am excited to be at UVU and with something new and exciting and fresh again.

In my head I think about the temple. I love my temple walks with Veronica! So much fun and such good talks and venting. Especially when we wander into deer :) I think of what it must be like inside. I think of how much I love seeing pictures of when people come out after being sealed and how they never look happier!

In my head I think about change. I think of where I was 2 years ago and where I am now. I think of everything that had to change and what I had to go through to get to where I am today, but how I've never been happier.

In my head I think about Kezy girl. I think of how much I just love her to death and how precious she is. I wonder about where she'll go in life. I watch her kiss pictures of her dad and wonder if she really does understand that he's not here. I wonder if she'll act different towards him when he comes home.

In my head, I think of how amazed I am by Ashlee. I think of how much even I miss Jake and can't comprehend how she does it! I think of how she feels after she talks to him. I wonder how she's able to stay so calm and clear headed because I'm pretty sure if it was me, I'd be an emotional wreck! I have soooooo much respect and admiration for her! Not only raising Kez "alone", not only for being pregnant AGAIN, not only for having her husband on the other side of the world, AND for doing school too! I think of how I've probably never told her this.

In my head I re-live China again and again and again. I think of the INCREDIBLE time I had there. I think of Colin and Paul and Ringo and Matt and Dave and how they could drive me crazzzzzy but give me a hug and it was all erased. I remember how I LOVED the kids and had never loved anything like that before. I think of "dorm life" and all of us together and getting to be so close. I think of board talks and all the dreams that were shared, the secrets that were spilled, the stories that were told and the laughs that literally echoed down the hallway, turning on lights as it went. I think of how I have never been so repulsed by food before. I think of how much I loved hearing 1 little word: "TEACHA!"

In my head I think of Taylor. It amazes me that in just a few months my little brother will be heading out on a mission. I think of the incredible example he is to me, allll the time! I think of how my whole family will freak out if he gets called to Alabama :)

In my head I think of my best friend. I think over and over and over "And I have a whole list of songs to play for you! We'll be listening to it before you know it." I think of how excited I am to put his number back in my phone. I think of how we'll go for rides and go all the way to Heber just to get ice cream and sit in the train. I think of the 3 am runs to Krispy Kreme. I think of how much he's changed and how excited I am to get to know this "new and improved" version. I'm excited to see pictures and hear stories.

In my head I think of St. George and how much I miss the weather there. I think of pool and lake days. I think of how white I've gotten and how my hair probably won't be naturally lightened for much longer. :(

In my head I think of how powerful pain is. I think of how, like friends, it can make you or break you. I think of when one of my best friends said that I can hold a grudge better than anybody that he knew. I think of how I was kinda proud of that but kinda surprised and taken off guard at the same time. I think of how you can take it and accept it and change for the good, or how you can let it sit inside and just destroy you. I think of how I have DEFINETLY had this go both ways for me. I think of how happy I am for the pain I had last semester, because it brought a monster load of change to me, for the good.

In my head I think of music. I remember how many AMAZING concerts I've gone to! I think of the songs that remind me of things or people, which is both a good and a bad thing. I think of how there are still certain songs that I can't listen to now, because they trigger things from years ago. It amazes me how words put to a beat with some instruments can stir things up in me like nothing else can.

In my head, I think of "Wilmur". I think of how far he's come and how far he still has to go. I think of the back and forth with him but how I'm still grateful to have him in my life. I think of the memories that are associated with him and the other boys he makes me think of. I think of late night phone calls. I think of fighting like nobody's business. I think of screaming and slamming doors and drive like a crazy person. I think of laughing so hard I almost pee. I think of him calling just to say hi and texting just to say goodnight. I think of the best phone call of my life. I think of how his word is starting to mean something again. I think of how happy I am for him :)

In my head I think of how I'm happy! I think of how I have great people in my life, no matter where I'm at! I think of how I, like Wilmur, still have a ways to go on some things but the point is that I'm making progress. I think of where I want to go and focus on that. I think of where I've been and the great times I've had along the way.

In my head, there is a LOT of activity tonight

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"feels like home"

Have you ever thought back to where you were a year ago? To the day! How often have you been able to remember everything about it? I mean, everything! One year ago today, was the biggest day of my life so far: the day I left for China.

I remember every microscopic detail of that day. I remember waking up that morning with a little bit of panic that I STILL hadn't packed. I had piles all over the floor but not a single thing actually in a bag. I remember eating chicken and baked potatoes. I remember what songs I listened to. I remember wearing my gray shorts and my "Rebel Recess" shirt. I remember talking to Rachel on facebook saying how excited we were for all of us to meet and just finally get there. I remember Casey coming over to say bye for seriously the 5th time! I remember Brad, Raife and Sam passing the phone around saying bye. I remember Jess and Nicole coming over to say bye and bring me my last Frosty. I remember Adaiza bringing over the photo album she'd made of our year at Dixie. I remember tearing up kissing little Kez bye. I remember Er texting me "Give me hell Chan! Show em how we do in the US of A!". I remember not being nervous or anxious or scared even ONCE for the 6 months before I left, but I can tell you the exact spot on the freeway where my stomach dropped and I almost crapped my pants when it finally hit me that I was going to live in CHINA, BY MYSELF, for FOUR months. I believe "What the HELL am I doing?!" were the words that came to mind.

I remeber Shelley being in front of me to check bags and getting so excited when we realized we were in the same group. I remember meeting Allie right outside the security gates. I remember my heart going crazy telling my parents and Britt bye. I was sooo proud of myself for not crying, even though they were. I remember turning away from our families with All and Shell and this instant, excitement taking over me. I have never felt like that! I remember walking through security and turning to wave at my family (still watching) and tearing up just a little bit when I finally turned to head to my terminal. I remmeber sitting on the floor outside of the gate and starting to get to know everybody. I remember getting on the plane to LA thinking "This is it! No turning back anymore." When the plane lifted off, I had a feeling that I was going to burst into hysterical tears at any second, but I was too excited. I never had a single tear :)

It took us almost 3 days to get there and August 20th didn't even exist because of the time changes. Our first night there, I have never felt more alone in my life. I couldn't call or text anybody and tell them what kind of craziness I was already going through. I didn't have a TV or music to "feel the silence." I was literally on the other side of the world from anybody that I knew. Even then, I STILL didn't cry. I quickly got to know the people I went with and grew to love them. A lot more than I thought I would have actually! I can easily say that they changed my life.

The first of 6 flights to getting home. Yes I have pants hidden in that pillo because my bags were sooooo overweight already


Took me 4 months but I finally got my picture with "Dumbledore"
The last night we went to tuck them in. This is Dave and one of my FAVORITE kids!
Party for Ruth and Shelley's birthdays that turned into a HUGE cake fight
Going through the gates of our first flight. Last time we ever saw Bill, Tim, Wendy and Kelly
Bike riding in Yangshuo. Right as we met the German boys and right before Alba got a bloody nose
I remember thinking I was extremely clever haha Outside the Forbidden City, in Tennemen Square
Birds Nest, Olympics 2008
Hiking 70.000 steps up a mountain. Goobered up with our matching hats and one of the funnest days of that whole month

Cape of Chongshong
RINGO! I love this little boy with all my heart
A typical meal for us :)
First signicant snowfall of Weihai. We walked around FREEEEEZING, singing Christmas songs with 2 weeks before we came home.
HAHAHA funniest day of my life with Niki and I deteremined to get our pizza. "We do shit together!"

Chase...he WILL be a Korean Hitler one day
Water buffalo in Yangshuo. My favorite city that we visited!

ERIC! Um we are still going to Colgne to find him and Tonic. My favorite person that we met. Pretty sure I laughed so hard that I was scared of peeing my pants, multiple times.
Playing in the Yellow Sea
Windows on The Great Wall

Sunsets from our roof
The day we went to hike the Wall, it was POURING rain and it rains harder in China that I've seen in my whole life!
First train ride, going to Beijing

Steve-o! The heart throb down the hall

China is the most incredible and best thing that I have ever done! I have never been hotter in my life. I have never been COLDER in my life. I have never wanted a long, hot, clean shower more than I did at the end of those 4 months. But it was alll worth it. The day we left, we all gather in the Laurens room and we sang "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again" with the other American teacher from down the hall. Not even 4 words out, I was bawling! It was so sad to leave this place that had literally become my HOME in the last 4 months. We said a prayer that we'd travel safe and then opened the door to find good ol Tim and 30 of his students ready to haul our bags down for us. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It was a total feeling of I am never going to see you again. I cried and cried and cried. Even after I got home, I'd randomly cry over seemingly nothing for almost a whole month.
Wo ai zhoungguo! :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

longest post of my life? check.

Things have been crazy lately! As rare as they are, I realized this week I start every blog post, journal entry and missionary letter with that same line but it is unbelievably true! I remember hearing when I was little that the older you get the fast time seems to go by and I could not agree more!

Andy Walker turned 21 on July 14th! Megan, Hilary and I (and of course Andy) went down to Vegas for a couple nights to party it up. I hadn't seen them since March and it was so much fun to catch up and get to be with them again. We NEVER stop laughing, joking around and just having a blast no matter what we're doing. If we're stuck in traffic on the strip, you'll find us talking to people in funny accents in the cars next to us. Andy has always been such a good example to me! When we first met, I thought that she hated me but turns out that she's really just kinda shy at first. Who isn't? For the last year we've gotten way close and I look up to her alot Love you Buttercup! :)
Brie Gutzman. There's been previous posts about her from this last semester but it was also her birthday August 16th where she turned 20 and officially became an adult! Congrats Briezy! I had work and so I didn't get to see her until the day after but again....so much fun! It doesn't matter what I'm doing with her, we have a blast! Living with Brie was the greatest blessing I had for Spring semester. We were on the same page and going through a lot of the same things together so it was perfect. She quickly became one of my best friends and I love her to death!

All summer I've wanted to go to California and it finally happened the last week of July. With 1 week notice, Pierie and I loaded up her little CRV and headed to San Luis Obismo and San Diego. We went to our first drive in movie, the beach, rode the trolley, SHOPPING, swings at the beach and had pizza at least once every single day for a week. We got to be really good friends at the start of the year so it was fun to have one last "hurrah" before I moved back to Provo. It was kinda a chaotic start to try and get everything worked out okay but it was so worth it! We've added learning how to longboard really well to our bucket list of things to do in life after we hit the hills with the boys on our first night. I love roadtrips! You get to see a new perspective to people and of course tons of talking time. And did I mention we met Osama Bin Laden on the way back? Yeah he was hanging half way out the window, waving at us from his semi :) Thank you to Ren for helping us get my ipod fixed and Travis for checking the filters before we left!

;) Good try! Let's just say sometimes I feel like a princess and other times I swear there's a secret contest for "Douche of the Day."

In the week that I've been home, I think I have seen my dad like 3 times! We have compeltly different schedules, I start my night at about the time he goes to bed. Everytime I see my dad I just love him so much! I realize that sounds kinda funny but I really do. Our relationship has come a looooooong ways for the better. He came down with his truck to help me get a load of stuff back which was a huge help for me. He's still the Bishop which keeps him super busy all the time. My mom I also haven't seen much of. She's still busy running around taking care of everybody and helping in any way that she can. Ashlee and Kez are in the process of packing up and moving downstairs while I type this actually. More on them later though. I'm way excited to have a little babykins back in the house! Jake officially left the country this week. :( Sad day but we just pray that he'll be safe. Brittany is ALSO in the process of moving! She heads back to school early in the morning to start her last year of nursing school. Taylor is starting at UVU next week. He's just finishing up his mission papers and I could not be more excited and proud of him! Tanner is going to be a junior which is SOOO weird to come home and have him suddenly driving himself everywhere. Our house is super chaotic most of the time right now. With painting, and moving and people everywhere it makes for a little bit of craziness but I actually kinda like it! It's fun having a full house again and have almost everyone back. Taylor and I went to Tim McGraw July 30th for his graduation present. LOVED it and I hope he did too for his first concert! Tanner cracks me up on the DAILY with the great little conversations that we have. It's been fun to get to hang out with Britt too. I'm going to miss her! I think we do better not being under the same roof, but it's good to have her close.

I went and said goodbye and St. George Care and Rehab and when I got in my car after, I started to cry. Working there was so much fun! I had some great coworkers that just cracked me up the whole time and got to become good friends with some of them. The residents put me through every emotion in the book, but at the end of the day I still love them. I started work up here at a new Beehive Home that's just beautiful and soooo different than what I'm used to but I love it! Definetly a change for the good. My first day of training though I got a text about how 3 of my St. George residents had died and it made me so sad :( As much as they needed to go, I'm still glad that I missed it because stuff like that still just gets me way down.

There still has been so much going on but I'll do a post on our summer bucketlist for more of that. Things are so great right now! I feel like I'm in a pretty good place for myself right now! Still a long ways to go, but I'm making progress which is what's more important. I've taken a couple walks around the temple since being home and it's a good reminder for me to keep everything in perspective right now. Being back has been a big change and still some adjusting to do, but I'm really happy with my decision. I miss St. George like crazy (especially my SUNSHINE!) but I'm happy here :)