Tuesday, February 24, 2009

10 years later...

Wow. It’s been ten years. I’ll never forget February 24, 1999, because that’s the day my family became more precious to me. We were on our way to my Great Grandmother Holmes’ funeral in Mesquite. My older brother had recently gotten his drivers permit, but wasn’t used to driving at freeway speeds. After getting too close to a semi, he over corrected, sending us into a ditch. We hit the bottom and the car rolled 3 ½ times up the other side of the ditch, landing on the other freeway facing the opposite direction from where we came. That scene and the ones that followed will always be in my mind. In some ways it seems like just yesterday, while in others it’s like a distant memory. But that experience made me realize more than ever how much I love my family.

It’s sad isn’t it? Sad that it takes such a traumatic event to remind me how much my family means to me. Equally sad though, is how quickly I could forget such a powerful lesson about the impermanence of life. It’s so easy to lose that sense of what’s really important, and treat loved ones as though I have all the time in the world to right any wrongs, or make my love for them known. It’s easy to forget how close I came to losing them.

The scriptures always teach us to “remember,” I think not only to learn from past experiences, but also to see the hand of God in our lives and recognize how much He has done for us. Remembering can strengthen our faith to endure the inevitable trials of the future and help us to see the silver lining in even life’s most difficult challenges. From that experience I learned to love and appreciate my family, I saw the Christ-like love of others for us, and I learned a powerful lesson on priorities.

“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family.” –Pres. Thomas S. Monson in “Finding Joy in the Journey.”

**If you remember when this happened, please put any memories you have in the comment section. I'd like to know what everyone else remembers. How you heard about it, etc. Thanks!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New discoveries...

I’ve discovered and learned about many things while living in Utah. For example:

Fry Sauce – perhaps the best thing to come out of Utah besides, oh, Steve Young.

The term “Ward” - No, not referring to the geographical boundaries of members attending your congregation, but referring to the actual building you meet in. Like, “FHE is at the ward tonight.” Wuh?

Inversions – apparently you’re NOT supposed to go running outside when one is going on.

That you actually have to pay for parking downtown in most cities besides Las Vegas.

But my newest discovery, and one that has occupied my Saturday mornings for the last few weeks and probably will continue to because I LOVE it…


This, my friends is a new favorite activity of mine. Many of you know that I'm just not a fan of snow. Having lived in Las Vegas my whole life, all I think about when I think of snow is how annoying it is to drive in, scraping off my car and getting snow in my shoes, and slipping on the ice created by the snowplows trying to clear the snow--ugh. But snowshoeing has given me a new appreciation for this type of precipitation. It is absolutely beautiful!! Especially if you're the first one to break a new trail along freshly fallen snow, wow. And since I’ve only recently discovered how close the canyons really are to me, I’m gonna go all the time! Seriously, a ten minute drive from my parking lot and I’m at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Awesome – I know.

My first time was about a month ago with a big group of friends (and some strangers :)). It was kind of funny because 2 of my friends had planned to meet on the same day at the same time, same place for snowshoeing and both asked me to go with them. So when they figured out they were planning the same activity we combined forces and had a big group. It was a night hike so we started at about 8:00pm and hiked to Doughnut Falls up Big Cottonwood. Preston came up from Provo too so it was really fun!

It was almost a full moon that night and it was beautiful! We didn't even need headlamps to see it was so bright. (I got this picture from one of the other people on the hike).

Preston and I before embarking on our first snowshoeing excursion ever! My friend Emily let me borrow her shoes, and Preston borrowed a pair from my friend Brian.

Nancy, Kristin (in white), and Morris.
Morris (the planner of the event)

Brian Shelby

Me going down the awesome butt-slide at the top, and Jamen not hitting me on his way down :)

At the top there was a little cave you could crawl down into and inside there was a waterfall, it was amazing! Here's preston in the cave, but it was so dark in there you can't see the waterfall behind him...lame.

Preston about to put his snowshoes back on after our break at the top.

Oh Brian...

Since that first excursion I've gone 3 more times. This guy at work, Mel, goes every single weekend! Seriously this guy is awesome! He used to work at Zion National Park, so when some friends and I hiked the Narrows and Angel's Landing this summer I asked him for some tips. That started a lot of conversations about hiking and other outdoorsy activities. Anyway, we had talked about going snowshoeing for awhile, but let's be honest, I was a little worried he would totally school me notwithstanding he is, uh, more-advanced-in-years than me. But he invited me so I went. The group included me, Mel, his friend Neil (Mel and Neil went on a bike trip this summer from Kansas to San Francisco--crazy), and Neil’s son Jesse. We hiked to Willow Lake and it was gorgeous. Going with Mel wasn't as hard as I thought either. Jesse and I practically raced up the mountain, but Mel and Neil hung back, slow and steady, but they can go forever! Endurance is key for them apparently, they just bask in the beauty of it all--and I like that :).

Mel, me, Neil taking a break

Mel and I starting back

Mel, me, Neil

The next week Mel, Emily, and I hiked to Lake Mary. I crossed my first frozen lake! Of course, that was after we let Mel go first, don't want to take any chances right?!

Mel and I

This butt slide didn't turn out to be as good as we'd hoped, but it was still fun. This is me and Emily behind.

Me and Emily
Last weekend Mel had something on Saturday morning so Emily and I just went by ourselves. She had never hiked Willow Heights so I did that one again. We didn't go very far though cause Emily had eaten one too many Tim Tams at her party the night before and I was running on 1 1/2 hours of sleep (dumb, I know) so we turned around as soon as we got to the lake and were back down the mountain by 10:45am. Mel came up later and must have just missed us but he could see we had been there and was sure glad we broke trail for him. You're welcome.

Emily taking a picture of her new snowshoes, which I believe she has named Joe--just Joe.
So beautiful! (Emily and the mountains :))
Me in the trees
Mel has already given us some options for this Saturday -- USA Bowl, Bear Trap, or Mineral Fork. So many hikes, so little time...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senior Year

I stole this from Kelley Brasier who posted it on her Facebook profile. I thought it looked like fun might give people a small glimpse into my high school experience, so here it goes.

Centennial High School

1. Did you date someone from your school?

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? Not likely

3. Did you drive to school or ride the bus? Drove (seminary before school and sports after school, the bus was usually not an option)

4. What kind of car did you have? 1985 Chevy Nova (Class of 2004 “Worst Car” award, Yeah Baby!)

5. What kind of car do you have now? ’96 Mercedes Benz

6. It is Friday night now...where are you? Uh…Hopefully out on a date, more likely watching a movie, wishing I was playing hockey

7. It was Friday night then...where were you then? Babysitting (Thanks to the Brasiers for keeping me employed J) or hanging out with friends

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? Babysitting, Latter-day Book, and teaching sports classes to kids at Becker Community Schools

9. What kind of job do you have now? At the moment, an internship with the Church History Dept. of the LDS Church

10. Did you play a team sport? I would say so!! Lot's of them.

11. Were you considered a flirt? Haha, NO

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Nope

13. Were you a nerd? I’d like to think I wasn’t but, I took Calculus.

14. Were you a jock or a cheerleader? A cheerleader? Please…

15. Did you get suspended or expelled? No, I like rules.

16. Can you sing the fight song? Did we have one? “Stand up and shout for Centennial, the Bulldogs will always prevail…”

17. Who was/were your favorite teachers? Fish, Cerrone, Mitch Danger, but I would have to say Mrs. Mays is my favorite because, let’s face it, she’s the ONLY reason I passed the Calculus AP test (which meant I didn’t have to take it in college, hallelujah).

18. Where did you sit during lunch? At a circular table with my cross country peeps (Hey Laura and Melissa, do you have any gum?)

19. Were you a superlative? "Most likely to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated," ya, that didn't happen :)

20. When did you graduate? 2004

21. What was your school mascot? Bulldogs

22. Did you ever TP anyone's house? Oh yes, the Mathews Mafia is well known at Palo Verde High School for a single brilliant TP-ing job (Remember that Mathews cousins?). Oh, and we once got rear ended, ON PURPOSE, by some drunk kids who thought we were TP-ing their house but it was really the one next door (Remember that Ali, Andy, and Preston?)

23. Did you have fun at the prom? what was the song? I sure did! And I definitely don’t remember the song because thankfully Mike didn’t like dancing either.

24. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? Not really, but I saw him at the store in Provo a couple of months ago!

25. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Ya, I think it would be fun. And it will be easy because I still live relatively close.

26. Do you still talk to people from school? Definitely

27. Did you ever sneak out of the house? No way, 1) My room’s on the 2nd floor and I’m a chicken, 2) I didn’t have a single reason to sneak out, and 3) See #15

28. Who was your favorite band? Honestly, whatever my brothers were listening to. They were usually in charge of the radio.

29. What are/were your school's colors? Navy and Carolina Blue

30.If you could go back and do it again, would you? Mmm, I had a good time, but I’m happy to have moved on.

This was the only picture I already had on my computer from high school. Ali and I got our picture in the newspaper along with an article and then the next week we raced Palo Verde in a dual meet. We ran as a pack most of the way and on top of that Ali and I made a wrong turn! Well, one Palo girl beat us and sure enough when we crossed the finish line we could hear people telling the winner, "You beat the newspaper girls! You beat the newspaper girls!" Really?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII

Good game yes, but entirely NOT how I wanted it to turn out.

I did NOT want the Steelers to win. You want to know why?:

1. I always cheer for the underdog (unless they’re playing my team, in which case I want the underdog annihilated).
2. The Steelers just won the Super Bowl in 2006, and I don’t like to see dynasties on the rise (unless of course, it’s my team).
3. I know this is a totally FEMALE comment to make, but come one, the helmets? Can we get some symmetry here? Put the symbol on both sides please!
4. Despite being one of the oldest teams in the NFL, the Cardinals have only qualified for the playoffs 6 times, and have only won 5 playoff games (including this years 3 wins) Seriously, it was time for them to win.
5. The valiant efforts of Warner and Fitzgerald, daaaang.

6. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly - The Steelers win means they surpassed my team for number of Super Bowl wins and…I just didn’t want to see that.

So as we all know, despite a valiant effort by the Cardinals, it was the Steelers that came out the victor. Like one commentator said after the game, “A lot of times it’s not what you do in a game, it’s when you do it.” And the Cardinals just happened to take the lead with just under 3 minutes to play—plenty of time for the Steelers to score a touchdown and win the game. Boohoo.

Therefore, with much regret it seems I will have to say goodbye to the only record that, despite frankly terrible seasons these last 10 years, has allowed me to proudly exclaim my allegiance to the 49ers.

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here in a fetal position in the corner, sucking my thumb and clutching my 49er blanket.