Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect

I believe there is a saying that goes, "you only fail when you stop trying," or something to that effect. This might be true in most aspects of life, but I have found one exceptions to this rule for me...GYMNASTICS. I thought I would be adventurous this semester and try something new, so I signed up for a beginning gymnastics class. Note that I said beginning! My entire goal in taking this class was to learn how to do a back flip.

First day, they call role and the teacher explains all the different events we will be expected to learn. He went through the floor, trampoline, uneven bars, vault, and beam demonstrating multiple skills with ease. In my mind I was thinking, "how hard can it be?!" Immediately we start to warm up and he has us start on strength training. This is where I quickly learned that I am not as strong nor flexible as I thought. Neither can I do one single pull up. Following the class, my arms were so sore that I could hardly open my binder in my next class. I didn't dare tell anyone that it was because I was attempting, not even accomplishing,

That is about how the entire semester went. About half way through my time, my goals changed. I no longer was aspiring to do a black-flip, but a handstand. If I was aiming high, I thought I might even be able to accomplish the "pull-over" on the uneven bars. Just look:

Six year old girls can do this trick....ugh! Well, by the end of the semester I still couldn't do a back-flip, nor a pull-over, nor an effective handstand. But let me tell you...I am a champion at somersaults!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Discovering New Love

Yes, it has finally happened. I have fallen in love....with hiking. I know you were hoping that I was going to say a boy, but that we are still working on. As far as hiking goes, I have always gone along for the ride pretending that it was something I truly couldn't get enough of. Truth be known, that was part lie. But over the last month, I think I have truly learned to completely enjoy it. I admit that I still don't love the long up-hills, sore muscles, and inexplicable amount of sweat. However, that all plays a part in the beauty. The best part though? Definitely the company.
A few weeks ago, David and I set out to hike Mt Timpanogos. After my experience on the mountain last year (nearly falling off a glacier covered cliff) I didn't know that I would become a Timp fanatic.

When David and I began the mountain we were prepared to take it on. However about 4 miles up, we ran into snow...sad day! We couldn't go much further without putting ourselves in danger (like last year) so we we descended. Feeling a little like a failure because I had failed to summit my goal, I suggested that we then hike Squaw Peak...and so we did.

Poor David really didn't want to, but for the sake of spending time with his lunatic of an older sis, he came along. By the time we reached the top (another 4 miles up), he was dying...shorts were soaked to the ends with sweat and he could hardly move one foot in front of another.
But we did it and it was awesome! The view was definitely worth it. After coming off Squaw Peak and looking back to it, we had great satisfaction in knowing we can conquered it. Hence my love for it.

This last weekend, my family decided to take on two more hikes in Jackson, WY. Unfortunately, not all of us in prime hiking condition. All did the "nature walk" around the lake and got back much later than anticipated. So the next morning when I still wanted to take on Snow King, mom joined me. It was a great time. It was difficult and a little exhausting and a little like hiking the "Y" with shade on the trail. Again, so satisfying to reach the top and see the beauty beneath.We will see what other adventures await!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Goodbyes to Hellos!

This summer has been quite the AMAZING one. While I am excited for EFY summer job to be over so that I can begin to have my own schedule, I certainly already miss my friends. Here is our family picture. It is neat how quickly you can get to know and love people...all it requires is for you to open your heart. Easy to say, I know. Anyway, now that EFY is over, it is back to the real world for me...well, kind of. Back to school at least and to something that is directly preparing me for my future, whatever it may be. Starting into graduate school is definitely a new adventure...bring it on :-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to Life...of the Provo Variety

Well, I am officially back in Provo. It has been wonderful to get a little break before the return but it is good to be back in someways. At least I am very familiar with the territory and don't have to feel to terrified of walking anywhere by myself. I do miss D.C., my kids, the area. But getting to come home and see my family was definitely worth it.

...DAVID IS HOME...and such a stud! I loved playing all of last week with him. I do admit, he is pretty weird, but I love it. I wouldn't have him any other way. I think I clung to him just as much, if not more, than he clung to me last week. And after many wrestling matches, debates (mostly about science and evolution), and laughs we are still great friends. It is just nice to know that although we grow up (kind of) some things never change.

Now, I am back to BYU and trying something new...research. This could be an exciting experience! I have been attempting to cram as much information as possible into my brain these last few days. I am not sure any of it is sticking but I can't imagine that it is possible that my brain hasn't gotten a few more wrinkles in it. I am extracting DNA from insects and then taking it through a series of reactions until it is ready for sequencing. After that I have to learn to use computers (MACs specifically...yikes!) to break down the DNA and essentially label the parts of it. COOL!!! I am sure none of this makes any sense to anyone but me but if so...I am sure you love it too!

Well, like I said...back to normal life. Wish me luck :-)

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Long Haul!

I feel like the last month has been twice as long as the others combined. My teacher showed up and has been helping out with teaching. I do have to say that now that I am not doing all of the teaching, I am extremely bored. The students even caught me nodding off during one class...we all had a good laugh. I've never thought about myself as hard to please but there has to be a happy medium between planning,teaching, grading, and dealing with students all the time and then observing. I have learned a lot from watching others teach though. I have realized that I love students and really do want them to succeed. They are truly what make it all worth it. Maybe I am a pushover, but beating them down does not seem the way to go when then are dealing with so much else in their lives.

Well, my favorite part of the students is definitely their attitudes. I even catch myself throwing in an accent or phrase every now and then that I never would have previously used. I always knew I could have an attitude but Wilson High School just brings out the spirit in me.

Oh, and I just realized that I haven't mentioned my family coming in town. It was SO awesome. We played, played, and played some more. After being spoiled for a week, they left me and that may be the reason the last month has been so slow. It is hard to recover from a weekend with your favorite people in New York. But now I just have to look forward to the summer and all the fun times to be had.

Well, I know this post is completely random so I thought I would just add in the most random picture I have that incorporates most of the things I have talked with an M&M in New York...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Becoming a Columbian

Washington, D.C. is full of talented, beautiful, smart, accomplished people! Every time I go to church or walk around D.C., I am reminded of the great things expected from everyone who lives here. I was a little worried that I wasn't measuring up, so I have been trying to develop my skills....just look!

Em's (one of my roommates) birthday was this week. For her birthday, I decided to make my debut as a baker. This is the beautiful purple carrot spice cake that I made from scratch! The icing didn't turn out as expected and I actually have no idea how it came to be. It was kind of a failure because Em's only instructions were "not purple!" Oops!!! I will have to keep working on that talent.

Next, is ice skating. This is Holly and she is one of those accomplished people that can do just about anything. I am trying to learn from her and I thought I would start with spinning on the ice.
Whenever I go ice skating, I spend the first two rounds with my chest to my knees just to make sure I keep my balance. After that I feel a little better and am able to skate with ease. So once I had made it past my anxieties of being on the ice, I decided I should do something more. Here is Holly attempting to teach me how to spin. Key word...attempting!
As you can tell from me reverting back to my very flattering chest to knees skating position, spinning makes me nervous. I did get a little better, but once again, I need to keep working on that talent.

I have worked on this talent for awhile. Photography is something that I enjoy. My only problem is that I just like to take pictures of EVERYTHING...beautiful or not. Ben always told me that my talent in this area is lacking...I guess these picture are just further proof.
I do like to capture things I think are interesting. Like here...find the insect! Hint: it is almost smack dab in the middle. I guess that is a talent I have...finding weirdness.

Well, as all can see my talents are works in progress. It will just take some time before I really fit in our here in D.C. As one friend told me, "persistence is the key to getting anything you want." Of course that was in reference to something completely different but I still think it applies.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trying New Things!

Well, since as of late I am all about adventures and exploring new facets of life, I figured I would share two stories from the week that expose me more than I should probably share. However, thinking back on them, I just can't help but smile.

The inability to appreciate art. I have been exploring every Saturday so that I can see as much of DC as possible in my short stay here. It is amazing what I have already done in the short four weeks I have been here. I have seen most the of the memorials, Mt Vernon, all the "important" buildings like the capitol and white house, multiple museums of the Smithsonian, the botanical gardens (indoor of course), the zoo, and a few more things. Until yesterday, I had yet to enter any of the numerous art museums in the area. I had just convinced myself that I was saving them because of my appreciation for their beauty and culture. However, deep down I knew I was just putting it off until the other sites to see where few in number or I had limited time to be there. I figured since I am merely an appreciator and not an expert in art that it would be a pleasant stroll through the museum. And it was...for the first floor, which is really just a half a floor. However, as I reached the second floor, which is where most of the art was displayed, all the pictures started to look the same. There are only so many displays of the crucifixion, the virgin Mary, and the naked body that I could handle. Eventually, I resorted to simply sticking my head in each room just to say that I had seen them. I may have done more but art galleries and I seem to be incompatible. About half of the security staff at one point or another approached me to tell me that I was breaking one rule or another. If you ever want to know what is or isn't allowed in an art gallery, just ask me. But, I can now say I have seen one of the art galleries, and I will probably visit the rest just for the sake of saying I did. Maybe one of these trips it will click that my life long calling is to be a potter. I wouldn't mind except that since my art skills are lacking, I wouldn't be very successful. But then again, they may name me the next Picasso because my art is so different that it is genius. :-) But who am I kidding? Really, the one thing I did "take home" from yesterday's 1.5 hour peruse of the National Gallery of Art was that my favorite forms of art are either sculptures or nature scenes. Both were beautiful to me.

The deep rooted desire to save every penny I possibly can. As of late, I have set a new goal to pick up every penny I find. Half the time I probably look crazy to passers by who watch me quickly walking down the road, coming to a sudden halt, picking up some random object off the ground, and then continuing on with my brisk walking. It has proved to be quite handy. I have used all of those pennies, except for one. But this isn't really what I wanted to write about. On Friday, we had the sister missionaries over for dinner at 6. I got on the metro about 4:45 which gave me plenty of time to stop by cotsco for some of the dinner we were going to make and get home. However, I couldn't resist getting off one stop early to pick up a small Bath and Body Works lotion that was on sale for $1. On my way to the store, in the mall, I passed by one of the booths where the sales people stand in the middle of the walkway with a sample of something and eager to draw anyone in to make a sale. You know the kind! Well, this happened to be one of those stations where they were selling these great organic salt exfoliating hand, face, and body washes. I caught the girl's eye and could tell that she was sure I was her sell for the day. I had hardly time to speak before I was pulled over in order for her to demo to show me how great her product was. She introduced herself as "Debby from Brazil" and started. Knowing that I was not going to buy anything, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my exfoliating hand wash that made my skin SUPER SOFT. Debby was sure she had me after that but was surprised when I told her that "I LOVE this!!!... but I am not going to buy anything today." At this the gloves were removed and the real battle began. She then showed me the lotion and body wash. She asked if I knew how many weeks there were in a year, to which I proudly replied, "52!"Her rebuttal, "this container has 60 you see, more than a year." Did I mention her thick Brazilian accent? It just added to the splendor. Well, seeing that I still wasn't convinced, she asked if I had a boyfriend and explained how wonderful this all would be for him. Then she asked about the condition of my feet, and explained how those can even be soft. After that was the reduction of prices. She was going to give me the originally priced 45$ container of salt for 20$, after I had refused the 30$ and half price offer, plus give me some of the lotion for free. After I still didn't budge, she looked carefully at my face, whipped out the strangest machine which had some sort of camera on it, and stuck it to multiple areas on my face pointing out EVERY blemish that I had. (Side note: this is not a way to make friends) Even after all of this, which I was still enjoying to the utmost degree, she did not have a sell. I told her that she was wonderful, I loved the product, but she had picked the wrong girl as far as impulse buying goes....and that I was a poor college student. I did say I would think about it though, and if I decided it was something I really did want (which I do), that I would come back. She said, "Okay, I give you a card...when you come back, I will give you same deal. But you come to me and can't tell anybody else. I make you my customer!" I just smiled and said I would and almost got away but she had one more trick up her sleeve. She pulled the pity strategy and said that since she had spent so much time with me and demonstrated so many things, that I at least needed to take home some soap for $9.99 (orignally priced $29.99). I just smiled once more and said sorry and RAN!!! I quickly picked up my $1 lotion from Bath and Body Works (my favorite store in any mall), stopped by Costco to pick up the food, and got home just as the sisters were walking into our building. So, while time consuming, I definitely count that worth it. I just might have to stop by that little station again when someone else is working, just to get another free demo that makes my hands super soft! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Washington D.C. Rocks My World!

Wow, Washington D.C. is a wonderful place. There is a just a special feeling about all the places I have been to here so far. I think it is just all of the symbolism and everything this place represents. This week I started school am teaching at the wonderful Wilson High School. Prior to school starting and on the weekends, I have been exploring...I just thought I would post some evidence today!

This is the first memorial I saw, and so I had to take a picture. Turns out that it is someone I had never heard of, but he sure does look official, right?
I definitely recognized this one. I felt like I was in the movies as I stood next to Old Abe just because that is the only place I'd ever seen him before.
And here you have it...from Idaho to Virginia. Two very different places but I love both :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A First For Our Family

The biggest news of the week was Grandpa Fager died. It is the first of my grandparents that I have had pass away. He has been suffering from dementia for a number of years and was finally able to let go. I saw him on Monday and he didn’t look so good. Grandma had called us and told us to come immediately. When we arrived Grandpa was scooting around in his wheelchair trying to get up and grandma was in tears. She said he had been extremely agitated all afternoon and both of them were extremely exhausted. She cried, almost in our arms, while dad calmed grandpa down. They were having issues getting assistance. Well help eventually came and the medicine put grandpa to sleep. That was the last time he was really awake. He passed away on Thursday about 3:30. He passed away in his sleep and had simply stopped breathing. Dad told us and then we just all sat in silence for a few seconds. Grandpa’s passing was a blessing and spiritual in a sense. It is nice knowing that he is finally at rest. The only worry now is Grandma. I know she was ready for him to go but that still does not make it easy. It is good to know that we have a foundation which helps us to stay steady in times of uncertainty.

May 10, 1917-December 30, 2010