Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Honest Living

Work related projects not in my job description from the last two weeks.So at least I have options if this desk job thing doesn't work out.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Left Footloose

I had a bad dream last night that followed me into my morning. Good thing this remix of one of last fall's best tunes was here for me.

I've been like a little crack addict with this song since it cycled through Pandora last week. If you are looking for a Pandora station that will keep you flipping to the internet to see what sweet, sweet goodness is in your ears, try the "Florence and the Machine" station. Fabulous remixes, so many great covers and a notebook full of scribbles for bands I have to look up.

Lisztomania got me through many a workout last year when my Boston lungs were struggling-I'm hoping it will work some similiar magic today. I may have taken a week off running after climbing Pikes Peak and um...I might need a little extra dose of motivation.

Friday, September 24, 2010


My mom has been putting slides from my childhood onto CD's so I got a whole bunch of photos yesterday I haven't seen since she and my dad would set up the projector in the living room and we'd eat popcorn and watch ourselves on the big screen.

My brother Sterling and I are 18 months apart (I was first, no matter what he might try to get you to believe. A wife and a baby DOESN'T MAKE YOU THE OLDEST!) and then Emily came along about 3 1/2 years later. Ster and I had some good bonding time when we were the only ones in the family and although sibling relationships always have some rough spots, we were pretty good friends all through growing up.

I obviously don't remember this photo because I was probably about four when it was taken but I just love it. I think I do more of the leaning on Sterling now that we are adults.

Don't worry future children-the genes are good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I drove to the top of Pike's Peak twice this summer. Each time I promised myself I would do it right and climb to the top before winter. When my friend Katie asked me about a month ago if I wanted to give it a try, I decided it would be the perfect way to celebrate one year of living in Colorado.

I love anniversaries. They always feel like a natural time to take stock of whatever situation you are in and evaluate if your life is where you want or need it to be. So birthdays, New Year's, seasonal changes, annual events, and other milestones usually get me thinking about what has changed or what should change since the last time I was in this place.

I don't think I've been particularly shy about how great this last year has been. Not just for me, but for a lot of people I care about. There have been weddings and babies and new jobs and houses-it's been wonderful watching so many people I love also progressing in their lives.

Mostly wonderful. I want it to be so crystal clear that I am genuinely and completely thrilled every time I get the "I'm getting married!" or "we're having a baby!" call. I do not begrudge anyone these exciting moments and I don't feel jealous of the good fortune of my friends and family-heaven knows I have way more than my share of goodness in my life. But there are moments, when it's the fourth baby and the fifth wedding announcement in a row when I feel straight up behind. It never used to bother me when I was in my 20's and I was just doing different things than so many of my friends. But now that I'm just about to turn 34, and not only have the lion's share of the people my age but also kids I used to babysit and people born in the 90's gotten hitched or started their families, it's hard not to feel a twinge that maybe I missed a step. I'm just as far from those things as I approach my mid-thirties as I was when I was sneaking up on my mid-twenties. It's bizarre for a girl who has consistently reached her goals to have an area of her life that is relatively impossible to control. I've had to talk myself out of a panic more often than I am comfortable with in the last few months.

Fortunately, a 10 hour hike will give you some time to reflect, even when you do it with six other people.

Some pretty obvious great stuff happened this year. I went to the Olympics. My sister got married. One of my best friends got married and it brought so many of my favorite people to town. We got a new nephew. I went to Mexico for the first time. I had lots of fun visitors. I finally went on one of those big single Mormon trips that always seemed to unappealing and it turned out to be super fun and a great way to meet some great new people. All very good things that this next year will be hard pressed to surpass.

But aside from fun had and excitement generated, I feel like the best part of this past year was all the personal growth I can see when I look back.

I have been keeping a list in the back of the notebook I take to Church of things I would like to do in my life. That list kind of sat there for a few years, mocking me a little bit. So this year I have been a lot more proactive with that list. I bought a ticket to Panama for Thanksgiving because I've never been. My bike basically collected dust for two years in Boston so I made some friends who ride and now I wonder why I was ever afraid of it. I have wanted to learn to rock climb since my brother got into it 15 years ago but just never did. So last week I met some guys who said they'd be happy to take me and I loved it so much I ended up buying equipment and joining a gym. I promised myself I'd spend this non-Games summer exploring Colorado so I hiked and I drove and I weekend adventured. I'd like to say I'm making progress on the list but the fun thing is-it just keeps getting longer and instead of feeling like it's mocking me, it's inspiring me to do more, see more, try more. Something about old dogs and new tricks?

I finally got up the courage this year to let go of a friendship that was not good for me. My close friends, my sister, my mom-they had all told me this was a guy who was never going to be what I kept patiently hoping he had in him. In hindsight, I have no idea why a smart, confident girl with a satisfying life and a healthy network of friends spent so long letting some dumb guy jerk her around. I finally woke up one day and wondered what I might be missing out on because he was taking up too much space in my heart and mind. Truthfully, I'm a little embarrassed that it took me as much time as it did and sometimes the internal dialogue I would run on why it was OK to keep him in my life makes me cringe. I am pretty sure I knew how dumb I was being but I was so stubborn and just wanted to be RIGHT that I held on way beyond all reasonable behavior. But I did finally come around and I've rarely felt as powerful and as in control as I did when I finally said, "enough."

Along those lines, you know I don't go into much detail here about boys but I did let myself get my heart broken this year. He told me at the beginning that I was awfully guarded and so I took a chance and tried not to be. It was short-lived and I am not thrilled with all the ways I handled it while it was happening and especially when it ended. He said some things about me when it was over that were really hard to hear. But with some time and some perspective-he was right, and I feel like I got a crash course in relationships that will be oh so helpful when the next one comes along. My friend Damian once said that a year where you are not in a position to get your heart broken is a wasted one. It's so true I almost want to crochet it on a pillow. As it turns out, getting hurt is not fatal and if you also get to learn a few things, it's well worth the risk.

I have never been great at taking feedback. I like to be good at things and I tend to take it really personally when someone tells me how I can improve. As you can imagine, that can be a serious liability in the workplace. I get almost sick to my stomach when it comes time for a performance review. It doesn't matter if my boss tells me 100 good things, I will fixate on the thing I didn't do well and worry about it and blow it out of proportion and wonder if I am any good at my job. For the last eight years I have been in jobs where you can judge yourself by sales and web traffic and event attendance so you have plenty of impersonal metrics for figuring out how you are doing. Not so anymore. At the end of the Games, a survey goes out to all the team staff, all the athletes, and all the people who worked in your operational site with YOUR name on it and they get to rate you. Then your boss rates you, then the Managing Director weighs in. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people who get to say things about YOU. As you can imagine, I spent February pretty much in a panic. I knew the reviews would be overwhelmingly positive but that for sure there would be criticism. And at first I was pretty worked up about any kind of negative comment I heard or read. It has taken months and months but I have been working extremely hard to figure out how to take the things are true and use them to improve and to shake off the things that truly don't matter. I was out for a bike ride with my coworker a few weeks ago and after about 30 minutes he said, "are you open to some suggestions about your riding?" I looked at him and said, "Todd, I started doing this three months ago-I am not only open, I am DYING for suggestions." As soon as it was out of my mouth I realized there was a life lesson in there. Staying coachable and humble and being open to the knowledge and experience of others is the only way I am ever going to get better at anything. True at work, true in the new hobbies I'm picking up, and so so so unbelievably true-and maybe most important-in all the relationships in my life. I know I can be a better friend, sister, aunt, in-law and daughter if I can admit that there are ways to improve.

I know there is probably no way to feel completely calm about being single at 34. It's that balance I've been trying to get a handle on for 10 years between being thankful and happy with the life I have and the choices I've made while still being honest with myself that I do want a family of my own someday. It's not easy. But if I spend enough time counting my blessings and trying harder to be the very best version of myself, I have little to complain about.

I posted this song a few weeks ago but it's really taken root in my heart lately. I don't mind taking the long way and as much as I like to win-turns out life just isn't a race.

It's been a crazy year. A rewarding year. A scary year. A learning year. A year I wouldn't trade for anything.

Friday, September 17, 2010


OK, so now that I made a list of really terrific albums that show how awesome I am, I'll take Katie's bait and share with you a few albums that I will always love, that might make me look like a dork.

1. Listen Without Prejudice-George Michael
When I lived in Huntington Beach the first time there was a house full of boys who were pretty much "the" boys to know in our singles ward. They were all funny and handsome and had the best music taste ever. I was, of course, completely terrified of all of them. One night I was in the local Tower records and three of them walked in. I froze. I had made a deal with myself that it was OK not to wear myself out at church introducing myself to everyone but if I saw people I recognized out in the real world, I had to work up the nerve to speak to them. And so as the three of them wandered around the store I approached every one of them and struck up a conversation. All of them were super nice and over the years, they continue to be some of my favorite boys on the planet. I still like to tease them that hello-there were THREE of them and ONE of me and yet I had to be the one to make friends first.

Well one of them admitted once that he really, really loved George Michael and it was all I needed to completely indulge a guilty pleasure I had kept secret for years. When he texted me to say he'd taken a special girl to see George Michael in concert, I knew Greg had found his soulmate.

This album is awesome.

2. Cracked Rear View-Hootie and the Blowfish

I really don't know that I need to feel bad about since in the spring of 1995, EVERY ONE LOVED HOOTIE. But like Titanic and President Reagan and shoulder pads-everyone likes to pretend they were too cool. I bought this album with the $20 my dad slipped me when I was going back to school after Spring Break. The computers in the lab all had CD players and I was a brand new internet addict so I spent hours and hours, surfing the net (WHAT was even ON the internet in 1995??) and memorizing every word. I finally saw them live that next summer and Darius Rucker is every bit of amazing live. What a voice.

3. Outside from Redwoods-Kenny Loggins

Again, did you grow up in the eighties? Do you know all the lines to Caddyshack? You loved a Kenny Loggins song at some point and don't lie to me or to yourself. But you probably liked "Danger Zone" or "I'm Alright". I waited until the early 90's when he was in his New Age, environmentalist, uber cheesy years to fall in love with him. This album is live versions of some of his classics and some of his newer (at the time) stuff and I adored it in college. I also used to swoon whenever Peter Brienholt played so you Mormons know what I'm talkin' about.

4. Room for Squares-John Mayer

Oh I looooooooved this album in my mid-twenties. I STILL kind of love this album. John Mayer may be kind of a tool but the guy can play guitar like nobody's business and knows EXACTLY how to write songs that make the ladies swoon. He had a track on the Serendipity soundtrack and I fell pretty hard for it. I bought Room For Squares shortly after I saw the movie and I probably listened to it every single day for six months. It was the year prior to the 2002 Olympics and I loved my job and I loved my apartment and I loved my roommates and I loved feeling like a real live adult. Even now, his voice can take me back to a really great time of my life. I keep buying his albums and they continue to be pretty good-but this will always be my favorite.

5. Greatest Hits 1982-1989-Chicago

I actually feel zero pain about this one. Chicago was responsible for some of the most slow dance friendly music of my junior high and high school life and there can't be a teenager alive who doesn't have some fantastic "You're the Inspiration" moment. My favorite memory of this album was when my friend Jessie's older sister took us toilet papering and we listened to it all the way there and back and thought we were soooo cool and grown up. I've always liked, "Along Comes a Woman". This live version will have to do.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My friend Mandy made a mix CD several years ago entirely composed of songs she had "reclaimed" from the jaws of a bad association. It's actually one of my favorite mixes of all time and I was happy for her that she managed to get all of those fabulous songs back.

I was driving to work today, flipping through radio stations as I do most mornings (radio haters I don't know what to tell you, I still like it.) and I realized that through no effort on my part, a song that was tearing me up just a few short months ago was back to just being good. I'll probably get dinged for liking this but I'm just going to own it.

It got me thinking about how when you are in the middle of something miserable, it just feels like it will always be awful and you hate hearing that time is eventually going to fix it. And then one day you wake up and realize, not only are you over it, you can't even muster up a good, "if he saw me now he's see how totally over it I am!" fantasy because you simply don't care anymore.

Would there be anything wrong with getting that inked on my forearm so I can read it to myself next time I'm crying my eyes out to wistful country music?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Face

Has everyone on Facebook pretty much done the 15 meaningful albums off the top of your head list by now? I made my list but now I'm itching to say something about each of them. The idea was that you had to list them quickly, no searching your iTunes or going through your CD collection to find the best albums-just 15 things that came to you naturally. Here we go...

1. Pneumonia-Whiskeytown
My sister sent me this album when I was lonely and homesick in California in the fall of 2002. Her note said that while all the songs were gems on their own, it was an album best enjoyed in it's entirety. This was a couple of years before iTunes crushed our collective ability to listen to anything other than a playlist so I followed her advice. This album is actually kind of sad but it ended up being an enormous comfort during those months when I was tempted every day to run away. It was also my first introduction to Ryan Adams, a love affair that hasn't cooled over the last eight years. This is a live version of "Jacksonville Skyline" and it's beautiful.

2. The Flaming Lips-The Soft Bulletin
In early 2003 my friend Dave sent me an email that said, "my friend Keith lives in LA. He likes music, you like music. You should be friends." He gave Keith my number and the first time he called we talked for 2 1/2 hours. I probably had a crush on him for about five minutes because that's how I function but we soon settled into one of the sweetest and most meaningful friendships of my life. He gave me The Soft Bulletin for Christmas one year and the more I listened to it, the more I adored him. He is married now and about to be a papa but his is still one my favorite names to see in my inbox. You all know this song but I think the lyrics are fabulous and when I saw The Flaming Lips live at Madison Square Gardens for New Year's several years ago it got me all choked up.

3. Heartbreaker-Ryan Adams
Anyone who knows me or reads the blog knows I'm almost irrational in my affection for Ryan Adams. I think he's enormously talented and there are literally dozens of songs between Whiskeytown, the Cardinals and his solo albums that thrill me right down to my toes. There isn't a period of my life in the last eight years that doesn't have a little Ryan woven into it. Here's a lovely one from Heartbreaker, a perfect album if ever there was one.

4. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-Wilco
Again, a little credit to my sister Emily here. She made me a mix CD that included "Jesus, etc". I have never once skipped this song when it cycles through iTunes, I have put it on every mix CD I make for boys I like, I sang along to this song at that same New Year's show in NYC with a sold out crowd. The whole album is terrific and the story of how it almost didn't happen is worth checking out. But this song will always be the standout to me.

don't cry
you can rely on me honey
you can come by any time you want
I'll be around
you were right about the stars
each one is a setting sun

5. August and Everything After-Counting Crows
Oh the Counting Crows. Oh this album. Oh freshman year of college. A pattern in my life seems to be that I kind of hate the first two or three months of any new and exciting adventure-college, mission, California, Boston...apparently I need to be miserable for a bit before I can really enjoy anything. August and Everything After came out my senior year of high school and I really connected with it. I took the CD to college and played it and played it and played it. To this day, the first few bars of "Round Here" will instantly take me back to my goofy little College Way apartment in Cedar City.

6. Crash-Dave Matthews Band
I was a nanny for a few summers in college and spent a fair amount of time in Chicago with eight kids, three dogs and divorcing parents. It was a zoo to say the least. One of the daughters was only a few years younger than me and we got to be good friends. We spent an inordinate amount of time driving kids around and Ashley had a CD of "Crash" that we would listen to almost exclusively. It cracked us up to teach the little Vasya and Ola the lyrics to all these adult songs. And then I liked to listen to it in the rare moments I got to myself and be glad that I was a carefree college girl and not anyone's mom. There is a Dave Matthews album for my sophomore, junior and senior year of college but this one will always be my very favorite. "Say Goodbye" is a stand out since at any given time I had a crush on one of my guy friends.

7. Give Up-The Postal Service
In the space of about three months, three different people put "Such Great Heights" on mix CD's for me. It happened to be a time in my life when I was reevaluating my tastes in everything from jobs to clothes to music to boys and The Postal Service was a band I might have been too afraid to like before that summer. Keith and I saw their very first show at a little club in San Diego and two years later a boy who would go on to shatter my heart quoted the lyrics "I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images" in a moment that I later managed to settle into a sweet memory.

8. Tracy Chapman-Tracy Chapman
Oh what to say about Tracy Chapman..."Fast Car" came out when I was in elementary school and I would scour the radio waiting to hear it. I wasn't totally sure what the lyrics were all about but I knew it was sad and at 11 or 12, that's kind of your favorite thing. When I was in high school I got the CD in one of those Columbia Records 12 for 1 deals and played it nearly to death. My favorites tracks on this album have changed over the years, it always manages to feel new to me. This is one I used to skip when I was younger but as I've gotten older, find to be incredibly romanatic. I love these lines

Deep in my heart
Safe from the guards
Of intellect and reason
Leaving me at a loss
For words to express my feelings

9. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy-Sarah Machlachlan
Were you a girl in America in the mid to late nineties? Then you have some sort of connection to Sarah Machlachlan. I guess it probably doesn't seem this way anymore since she played the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics but 15 years ago, Sarah was edgy and liking her made me feel like I was growing up (I was 18!). I bought Fumbling Torwards Ecstasy at a record store after-cliche alert!-a boy broke my heart. Years later, Megan used Sarah Machlachlan to track Felicity's feelings for Ben in an episode of one my all time favorite television shows. Mary is a pretty song that still makes me feel better even when my heart is in good shape.

10. Sufjan Stevens-Greetings From Michigan
I don't even know who first told me about this guy. It just seemed like there was a month a few years ago where everyone was talking about him. It's hard to explain what he sounds like, you just kind of need to trust the person recommending him and just listen. I love that he's a religious guy and he's not shy about weaving spiritual themes into his music but he's uber talented enough that it doesn't ever come off as cheesy Christian rock. This song is not from the album noted above but it's a cover of my favorite hymn and it makes me cry almost every time I hear it. He does a brilliant job of making it his own, and the words have always felt like it was written just for me.

11. Florence and the Machine-Lungs
I've already written about this one recently. Great album, been in my ears a lot lately. Reminds me of someone I maybe have a little crush on.

12. Trouble-Ray Lamontagne
I used to participate pretty regularly in an internet message board. It was started by a bunch of my brother's friends from high school and was essentially a cyber hang out for kids who wanted to talk about music and politics and religion and movies and relationships with friends who were spread out all over the country. Everyone kept inviting people and soon we had a pretty active network of folks sharing their favorite albums in the same space they shared their fears about life and questions about their beliefs. It was a fascinating little society and although I don't participate anymore, I made some lifelong offline friends there and got literally hundreds of amazing music suggestions. One of them was from Jeff in Tennessee who might have sold his soul to the devil to get his impeccable taste. He told me if I liked Ryan Adams, I would like Ray LaMontagne and I bought the CD at Newbury Comics on my way home from work that very day. Every. single. track. kills. I think he keeps getting better and his new album has been my permanent driving soundtrack for a few weeks now but I still adore this album. Here's one of the many keepers.

13. Grace-Jeff Buckley
I really can't remember when I bought this album. I just know that Jeff Buckley has a voice that is other-worldly. My favorite song is "Last Goodbye" and the lyric, "kiss me out of desire baby, not consolation" pretty much slays me everytime.

14. The Bends-Radiohead
I almost didn't put this one on my list because I'm sure somewhere on "Stuff White People Like" there is an entry on "pretentious rock bands, i.e. Radiohead". But whatever, this truly is an album that means a lot to me. It took me a loooooooong time to warm up to these guys. I had tried-every single person I trusted would get almost reverent when they talked about Radiohead. But I just never really got it. Then I got a mix (you knew that was coming right?) with Fake Plastic Trees on it. I was letting the whole thing play while I was out for a run on the beach one afternoon and it was like this song just exploded into my head, took root and wouldn't leave. I asked my friend Jayd at church that week which Radiohead album I should start with, he said it was a controversial choice but definitely The Bends and I never looked back. I finally got to see them live with my friend Linda a few years ago in Boston and when they played Idioteque we both nearly fainted.

15. Broken Social Scene-You Forgot it in People
I think I have mentioned this before but for all the wonderful blessings I have in my life in terms of family and friends and jobs and opportunities, I have a pretty terrible relationship record. I was thinking about that the other night-not feeling any particular sadness, just looking at the facts of my age and my relative lack of real relationship experience. So then I started counting sweet romantic moments and thought that perhaps I've had more than my share of those over the years and maybe I'll take them over the series of painful breakups a normal 33 year old ought to have had.

One of those fabulous moments was when all the planets aligned and put me in San Francisco for work on the very birthday of the boy I was stupidly trying to date while living in Boston. It also happened that a band we both loved was playing that night and fifteen of our friends wanted to see them too. So we enjoyed a perfect show, with a bunch of people we loved and then spent the rest of the night laughing and talking and catching up at my hotel. He had brought a couple of CD's for me which is truly the best thing a boy can ever do. One of them included a Broken Social Scene song. People had been CRAZY RAVING about BSS and their self titled album for almost a year at that point and I just hadn't ever bothered to listen to it. "Lover's Spit" completely changed my mind and I became one of those raving lunatic fans as well. I still consider them one of my all time favorite bands, that discovery night ranks pretty highly as well. I saw that boy again last weekend in California and even though it's been six years and we've both certainly moved on-I still feel an enormous amount of affection for him and for what a delight our time together was.

I could on for days with this stuff but I'll obey the meme and leave it at 15.

p.s. Yes, Miss Katie, for sure there are albums that I might not want to brag about that meant a lot. John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Kenny Loggins. Maybe next I'll do a guilty pleasures top 15 ; )

Monday, September 13, 2010


Ah Monday, you are always such a weird day. So here is a delightfully weird song that I fell in love with this weekend. It's totally about a stalker but still manages to be such a fun song.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Twelve years ago at this time I was living in France and working for my church as a missionary. One night pretty early on, a nice American couple in our congregation invited my companion and I over for dinner. The wife promised familiar food and I was really excited about a night of my head not exploding from trying to understand all the rapid fire French around me.

We had a perfectly lovely time and it felt nice to talk to people who could related to some of the things we felt homesick about. Then they started talking about their upstairs neighbors-a Muslim family that they sort of jokingly but sort of not thought might be terrorists. They told us a couple of stories-a knife dropped onto their patio from upstairs once, and those people sure have a lot of visitors and meetings in their apartment-and we politely listened and rolled our eyes after we left but it left a sort of nasty taste in my mouth.

We had some extra time after dinner and before we needed to be home so we decided to knock on a few doors in the building since that is pretty much what missionaries do with any extra time. After plenty of slammed doors we found ourselves at the apartment directly above the American couple. A nice looking Middle Eastern guy answered and said he would love to talk about God with us. He quickly told us that he was Muslim and not interested in converting but he was chatty and we were tired of rejection so we spent a few minutes visiting with him. He was new to the area and it came up early in the conversation that he was pretty sure all his neighbors assumed he was a terrorist because his family was Muslim. I can still clearly remember his frustrated face when he said, "I have a wife and a baby! Do I look like a terrorist to you?" He did not, if fact, look like a terrorist to me. And sadly, he was not the only Muslim I had a conversation with in my 18 months in France and Switzerland who told a similar story.

Being a missionary means hearing a LOT of people say say a LOT of stupid things to your face about your religious beliefs. People told us we were members of a cult, that our religion was just a sect, that we were secret polygamists, that our leaders were evil and trying to control us. People will say things with such authority, as if they know better what you believe than you do. We had people quit letting us come over because they read horrible things on the internet about "the mormons", or their friends warned them that we would brainwash them if they joined us. I knew that people in France weren't going to know much about Mormons but I was still so shocked and disappointed at how ignorant and hateful people could be about something they really knew nothing about.

So although I respect that everyone gets to have their own opinion about some of the current political hot buttons, I feel that same sense of shock and disappointment when I hear much of the public conversation about who should and shouldn't be able to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences. It wasn't so long ago that there was an extermination order out for my very own ancestors because people didn't trust what they might be up to.

Flying back to the United States after a year and a half abroad was amazing. We flew past the Statue of Liberty before landing at JFK and I cried. I loved my time in Europe and I met amazing people, but I'm delighted to be an American. To me this is a country of freedom and of hope and of respect and of understanding. A country where we all get to believe what we want, and talk to God in the way that we want, and gather with like minded folks in the places that we want. I feel like if we all really believed that and acted that way, it would be the very best kind of memorial to those who died nine years ago today.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Give Up

Sometimes I am late to a really great party. So stop me if you've heard this one. Mumford & Sons is absolutely one of the best bands of 2010. I had heard a few of their songs and was decently obsessed but Sunday night, one of the guys at the house was playing clips for people and my heart almost stopped when he got to this one. It's just brilliant. The lyrics, the melody-just listen and make sure you can turn it up.

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I Feel Home When I See Faces That Remember My Own

I'm always a bit sad to see Labor Day weekend arrive since it means saying goodbye to summer. Summer and I really love each other and yet it passes too fast and I never do all the things I said I was going to do and I end up feeling vaguely unsatisfied for most of the weekend.

However, this summer was pretty alright. Races and hikes and trips and fun visitors and plenty of flirting-I am pretty pleased with what summer 2010 brought. Corey had talked me into topping it off with a quick weekend trip to California to hang out in some beach houses our friend Carin was organizing.

I flew into LAX and as soon as Corey and Eliza picked me up we started laughing and pretty didn't stop until I left on Tuesday.

I will spare you the travelogue especially since I posted plenty of silly photos and obnoxious inside joke status updates on Facebook but the trip was pretty fabulous. It was great to catch up with a lot of old friends and to make some new ones. We went four wheeling and saw Hearst Castle and ate good food and I finally FINALLY went on a vacation where I got to dance as much as my little heart wanted. I faced my kareoke fears and got to sing Journey at the top of my lungs. I overdosed on single mormon friends which I don't really have much of here in the Springs. I have said this before and I will say it again-I am ridiculously and embarrassingly spoiled when it comes to the quantity and quality of good people in my life.

Maybe the best part of the trip however was getting a little bit of time in my beloved Huntington Beach. It is not the prettiest beach in Orange County and the city itself is a bit sleepy but I am just crazy in love with that place. My intention all those eight years ago when I packed up my car and drove out to California was to be an LA girl. But the minute I walked into the chapel in HB to go to church with my friend Racie, I felt like I was home home home. Those first six months were rough as I faced the reality of my first adult move away from home without the safety net of college or a mission. I spent many nights in my bedroom on Brookhurst and Hamilton wondering what on earth I had been thinking. I trained for the marathon that helped pull me out of my homesickness in that town. I rebuilt a network of friends, I advanced in my job. I made a scary decision there to leave and start over again in Boston and when I came back two years later, HB was a place to relax and breathe after a stressful East Coast experience.

I know Colorado is the right place for me now and as I'm creeping up on my year anniversary in this place (cheesy blog post on it's way folks), I am the happiest I have been in a long, long time. But Huntington Beach will always make me a little wistful for days when a bike was the best way to get to the pier and sand was the best thing to run on and the sound of ocean waves out my window was the best natural white noise machine. I may be in an adult relationship with Colorado now but it will always feel like a teenage fantasy that HB was my first.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Tomorrow I am headed up to Boulder to hang out with my friend Alex who is finally home after a long summer away and then I'm off to spend a day in Huntington Beach trying to get through Fiesta Grill, TK Burger and Carnitas without getting food poisoning (see: March 2009),and finally Corey, Eliza, Sara and I will head up to Pismo beach where we will sit on the beach for four lovely days and pretend we are the stars of a bad Katy Perry song.

I'm sure I will have much to say when I get home. Happy Labor Day everyone!!