WANT!

um. I love this dress. like a lot.

I would wear it someday for my own wedding if I didn’t have certain.. modesty requirements to fill.

feast your eyes on THIS!

I know. you can just say it. I’m a complete wedding geek.

it’s a fact.

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homeless for a night

Friday night was a grand adventure. I slept on the Salt Lake City streets like a transient homeless girl for a night.

my two great friends,
Cambria

and Michelle

were my hardcore street sleeping buddies. they even rode Front Runner/Trax and biked around the city. I met them after I got off work at 10pm.. but I drove there.. because I am not quite as hardcore as them. except I came from West Valley, where I spend all my work days, so I guess you be the judge on the level of hardcore.

I met them at the Bayou where we grubbed. I got the Bayou burger and sweet potato fries. it’s a slightly spicy twist on deliciousness.

then Michelle and Cam hit Chevron for some Diet Rockstar, cranberry juice, Diet Coke, peanut M&M’s, and giant Tootsie Rolls. later, we went back for some face cards we never used. we chilled on our area of grass under a giant tree on 900 South between 200 East and 300 East. it was a perfect spot.

people were milling around everywhere.. the streets were packed. there was a general hum of voices and the occasional outbreak of loud reggae or hip hop music. one of the most special of these moments was when a cholo rode by on a bicycle pulling a stereo trailer. one of the members of his posse called out, “follow the funk!”
yes.

the abundance of Polynesians all around made me both happy and sad for reasons I won’t get into.  across the street there was an ice cream and chocolate shop called Mr. Brain Freeze. it was open all night, but we didn’t go in until the morning to get iced chocolate, a cinnamon roll, and a muffin.

we talked about life and dating and kisses. Michelle is a master journaler and she wrote about us in her book of people. we walked the streets scavenging for a bathroom and ended up at giving in to the port-o-potties. a lady went in behind us with no shoes on. insert gag reflex.

we tried to sleep a little
a very little

but around 4am a tow truck and policeman showed up and announced over the loudspeaker that they’d be towing all the vehicles next to where we were if they weren’t moved immediately. my car was one of them. I stumbled out of my sleeping bag and shoved my sandals on to save my Volvo from certain doom. when I got back from parking another block away, I layed down again, and we chatted a little, and I dozed rather unsuccessfully until the rumble of about 30 Harley and Beamer motorcycles filled the air and a gang of cops drove down the road practicing their parade routine.

what the… really, officers? now?

about 6am we hear cheers and open our eyes to see numbered runners making their way through the street. we were surprised to be about a mile and half from the finish line of a race. it was inspiring to see the folks as they came in. Cambria even saw the leaders.. men from Kenya who looked like they were born for floating down the street at lightning speed.

after awhile we gave up on sleep and prepared for the parade.

my mom and youngest brother, Ethan, met us there to see the festivities. so did Cambria’s parents and her brother, Michael.


the parade was lovely. it wasn’t necessarily different from most parades.. but we made it fun. we were quite popular among the paraders and got singled out often. probably mostly because we were loud. and awesome.

I’ll highlight two memborable moments.

#1 when we yelled “we love you!” to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as he rode by with his darling wife, Harriet, and he turned and pointed right at Cambria. she was so delighted. and I happened to catch it on film. I know. call me amazing.

the second was the moment that Tarzan told me he loved me. I didn’t catch the “I love you” sign language he gave me on camera, but here’s him swinging in his jungle habitat.
then his monkey henchman attacked Cambria. it was quite amusing.

I love July. and these people.

oh hey Santa on a scooter. you’re gonna take us out.

Encircled About Eternally in the Arms of His Love

2 Ne. 1: 15

But behold, the Lord hath aredeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his bglory, and I am encircled about eternally in the carms of hisdlove.

that was the most poignant lesson he ever taught me. my first zone leader and, later, district leader as I opened a new area in the Florida Tampa Mission, Jeff Snelson, passed away yesterday. I felt shaken and emotional as I considered his passing to the other side, and reflected on the moments I spent around him that impacted my life, serving together as representatives of Jesus Christ.

he was bold and assured in everything he did, and 100% focused on his purpose as a missionary. his dry humor was an extra splash of personality that added to the powerhouse that was Elder Snelson.

before his mission, he battled brain cancer, and fought tooth and nail to be allowed to go out and serve a mission, once he was in remission. he started out English-speaking, which he was when I came out as a brand new greenie, and he served as my zone leader, having just been released as Assistant to the President, and later was switched to be a Spanish-speaking missionary. I didn’t see him for several months after my first couple of transfers, but when I was called to train a new missionary while simultaneously opening a brand new area for sisters in Fort Myers, he was my district leader. for those who don’t know much about mission jargon, the mission is broken down into districts and zones and missionaries are called to leadership positions within these smaller groups in order to run the whole mission organization more effectively.

he did the usual district leader training once a week. there were several memorable moments during these trainings. but the most touching instance in which I heard him teach, for me, personally, was hearing him bear his testimony about the love of the Savior, Jesus Christ. this came just before he was to be sent home early due to the return of the brain cancer. my eyes are tearing up as I write this, remembering the Spirit that I felt that day. he shared his favorite scripture, 2 Nephi 1:15, and how he knew that he was encircled about in the arms of the love of the Savior.

I felt suddenly reminded of just how much the Savior loves me, as I was struggling through the most difficult 6 weeks of my mission, and felt grateful for his worthiness and desire to be an instrument for the Lord to speak to me, and I’m sure many others, that day.

Ex-Elder Snelson’s passing yesterday reminded me, again, about priorities, blessings, and just how much the Savior loves me. as I’ve been going through what has been one of the most difficult years of my life (seriously, 2010 hates me) I needed that reminder that he’s there, lifting me up and allowing me to become what he needs me to be. I know I am “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”

he’s the tall, red-headed one in the back, standing next to me.

I know you’re serving as valiantly on the other side as you did in this life, Jeff Snelson.

thank you for touching my life.

only whispers can tell

“Pretend you’re not alone, like you are center stage on Broadway;
’cause when you’re on your own, a little opera goes a long way.”
-Adam Young, Sky Sailing (and Owl City)

the singer from Owl City has branched off to a side project called “Sky Sailing.” the brand new album, “An Airplane Carried Me to Bed,” came out this week and it’s fitting my current life mood perfectly. I have it on repeat in my car. I would suggest checking it out. although its sound is very similar to Owl City, it’s more acoustic guitar-focused than synthesizer-ridden. and since I loved the Owl City album… I’m not complaining.

my review: not much of a change, but don’t fix what isn’t broken. 2 thumbs up.

summa time

well kidlets, since I have no internet access at my new house… and I teach for a living, so I can’t sit and mess around online at work these days, it’s pretty much difficult for me to find time to blog.

quick update:

I moved into a brand new beautiful yellow house with Cambria that she just purchased at the end of June. woot! and it’s fabulous.

also, I love the 4th of July because it rocks at life. I went to 2 parades and like 3 fireworks shows and swimming and bbq’s and all sorts of perfect summer activities.. and the fun has not stopped. I actually just love July in general. it is a rad month full of parties and sunshine and summer love.

I know that was a little bit weak sauce, but you can deal.

I’ll close with a crappy cell phone photo of me singing karaoke from Friday night.

a virgin strawberry daquiri goes to whoever can guess what I’m singing…