Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On the Mountain

I love the holiday season. Just kind of can't even be reasonable about how much I love it.

Free download from a band I saw and fell in love with this summer. It's really beautiful.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel in New York, trying on several different outfits and stressing about what to wear to my meetings in the morning. But what I'm really doing is missing the stuffing right out of my nephew Garrett.

I got to babysit him last night while his parents went out on a much deserved date. He and I watched Cars, ate some snacks, laughed about stuff, and I let him read approximately seven extra stories because I flat out didn't want him to go to bed. He's polite and he's funny and he's smart and we had way too much fun together.

I get a real sense of dread when I have to leave family gatherings these days-something I didn't really feel in my twenties. But Garrett is going to get cooler and funnier and smarter and four days here and there of giving him a tube of dinosaurs and overdosing on Lightening McQueen doesn't really feel like it's going to be enough.

Confession: I was reading him a Bernstein Bears book that was his dad's (and mine, frankly I did not think through the fact that the first kids to HAVE kids would get all the stuff from Grandma's closet. Damn it.) and I had to stop and get my wobbly voice under control so Garrett wouldn't wonder why on earth Aunt Katie was crying about Sister Bear's first day of school. As we were reading I could actually remember my mother reading that book to me. Somehow the juxtaposition of my little girl memories of the book and the tiny guy in my lap asking me for one more story made for an all too real confirmation that time is just rocketing by faster than five year old me could ever have imagined.  

For now I'll make due with Skype and Facebook and the one million or so photos I took in not very many days. I'm sure your kids/nephews/grandkids are cute and all but man, so far my family produces ridiculously good looking children.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Fair warning internet-if you follow me on any sort of social media, I am spending four days with this guy
And I'm not even going to pretend I don't intend to make the other members of my family jealous about all my neph time.

Last year's beach Thanksgiving with my girls was so perfect. This year a rainy Seattle Thanksgiving with family and friends is sure to hit to spot. My suitcase is full of scarves and boots and colored tights and my Instagram app is all revved up for way, way too much photosharing.

I hope all of you lovelies have a terrific holiday weekend. We all could use it I think.


Five years ago I threw myself a 30th birthday party. The boy I REALLY REALLY liked at the time came and brought his married cousin and the poor guy ended up spending the whole party in the kitchen talking to my mother (who flew to Huntington Beach just to make crepes for my friends) while the rest of us demonstrated exactly why we were NOT married all night.

All that run on sentence is to say that although absolutely nothing happened with that boy, the married cousin in question turned out to be a crazy talented musician that my entire family now adores.  He and a whole bunch of other crazy talented musicians from several Utah based bands have a side project called The Lower Lights where they do great folksy covers of old hymns.

They just put out a Christmas album and it's pushed me right over the edge of my Christmas music rule. Packing for my Thanksgiving trip counts right?

My friend had this little "making of" video up on his Facebook wall and if watching it doesn't make you wish you had an ounce of musical talent and could join this revival, you are probably a swamp monster with no soul.

The Lower Lights: Come Let Us Adore Him from The Lower Lights on Vimeo.

(I was going to say that my friend is the one with the beard, there are a lot of beards in that band.)

Monday, November 21, 2011


"Someone Like You" gets all the glory for being so pretty and pitiful but the song I like best off the last Adele record is "Rumor Has It".

It's delightfully bitchy and way less "poor sad single girl still pining over married guy." Gross. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

'Tis the Season

Last night I had a long Facebook chat with an old friend. The kind that makes you thankful you were smart enough to know college was just as much about building good relationships as it was about going to class. I sure found some good ones down in good old Southern Utah.

Anyway, this morning I was kind of in the mood to listen to Christmas music even though I do have a pretty strict "not until Thanksgiving day" policy. But this is a song that isn't actually a Christmas song but I often put on holiday mixes anyway.

I love everything about this season and this year in particular I'm thrilled to be spending Turkey Day in Seattle with my nephew and parents and my sister-in-law's baby bump as well as getting to visit a couple of my favorite favorite who live there too. A work trip to NYC means a sneak visit with some East Coast friends and Christmas will bring us a new St. George nephew and lots of time off to catch up with so many people I love in Utah.

And today I get to teach six year olds at church! Somebody pinch me : )

Friday, November 18, 2011

Great. Full.

A few experiences in my personal life over the last two months have had me doing quite a bit of thinking about the kind of people I want to have in my life.

There are some guys at work that have quickly become some of my very favorite coworkers. Cool guys. Funny guys. Smart guys. And guys who seriously can't even be reasonable when they talk about how rad their wives and kids are. It was a few years ago when it really hit me that the guys I date can be fun and cool and interesting and smart, but if I can't imagine them teaching my little boys how to be good men and setting examples for my little girls about what a real man is, then I have no business getting attached. And if I have friendships that are clouding that judgement I probably don't need those either.

I may have gotten off target as of late. Made some questionable allowances for shady behavior. Done a few things that are out of character. Nothing awful but just enough off track that I've had to do some serious thinking about where and with whom I want to spend my time and invest my affection. At church on Sunday I made a list of all the people I admire and the many, many good marriage examples I have in my life. It's almost embarrassing how long that list was. It doesn't leave a lot of room for folks who don't bring out my best self.

In my thoughts this week I keep going back to one of the great letters I got for the Dear Me project. It came from an old friend from my idyllic days in Huntington Beach when I took it for granted that I would always be surrounded by cute, smart, surfer dudes who could make me laugh until I cried and were all trying their hardest to be good. Not always succeeding mind you, but sure trying.  I still want all the fun stuff but that trying to be good thing has flown up the charts on my list of things I'm looking for.

So here is his letter. I feel like this is something Coach Taylor would write and as we all know, Coach Taylor is the perfect man.*disclaimer, there is some Mormon specific language in here but I think it's still pretty clear.

Hey, dude. It’s me. Well, actually, you. Just 25 years in the future. I know that sounds entirely creepy, but it’s true. You see, in the future (and this is one of the few things in the future that is truly mind-blowing) there’s this thing called a blog and you’ve (I’ve?) been asked to write something for it. Picture a fanzine but accessible through a computer and available to almost everyone in the world. It’s insane and you won’t be able to remember how you lived without it.

So, yeah, this is you in the future. Knowing how your brain works, right now you are (a) wondering what has become of you and (b) completely questioning the credibility of this. So, let’s just tackle those questions upfront. First off, the future is a bizarre place where you are shaving regularly (well, still only a couple of times per week to be perfectly honest) and having sex (and, even when that is only a couple of times per week, you aren’t complaining in the least). Yes, you actually marry. Yes, you actually have kids. And (shockingly, to be honest), yes, you actually like your job. The future is actually awesome. Look forward to it, but don’t rush it. The ride to get there is plenty awesome as well. Secondly, let’s address that credibility issue. Here you go – 25 years on, you would still take a bullet in defense of “Psychocandy” being the greatest album ever. Oh, yes. Now, I know what you are thinking – “I’m an old man clinging to the past! Argh!”. Don’t worry there are 25 great years of music ahead of you and you are still on top of it. But, there’s still just something about “Psychocandy” that nothing else has been able to trump.

So, I’m rambling a bit (dad’s pet peeve about your writing style to this day; don’t change it man, just keep rockin’ the overdose of commas and parentheticals; it’s how your brain works). Let’s get to the point here – it’s time for some advice. Yeah, I know that sounds all old and stodgy, but, dude, trust me, this is still you. The energy and drive are still there (I’m actually writing this on 3-hours of sleep in an airport heading to a big corporate presentation today harnessing immense game face; lack of energy never becomes a problem). Now, on with the old-guy-to-young-guy stuff. Cool?

1 – Follow the Prophet. Yes, there it is in the #1 slot. There were a lot of different things that I could say here (“live the Gospel”, “obey the commandments”, etc), but “follow the Prophet” is ultimately all you need to know. If there is nothing else you remember from this (and I’m sure you are 84% tuned out already), just remember: follow the prophet. Why? Well, here’s how it breaks down: If there is truly a living Prophet on the earth, sent from God, then that’s kind of a big deal, right? Yeah, completely. It’s a huge deal. So, attach yourself to that huge deal. Listen to what he has to say and follow it. Don’t sweat whether you understand everything or not yet, just follow it. If it’s from God, then who are you to overanalyze it, right? Totally. Focus more on making it happen than on understanding everything in full detail. The prophet will point you to everything else of worth – read the Book of Mormon, live clean, start a family, get a solid education, man up and be a provider, don’t be a deadbeat dad, etc. If it’s important for you to know, than trust me, you’ll hear it from him. So, we got this one? Follow the prophet. Trust me, you’ll never regret it.

(Reminder: Everything that follows below is far less important than what we just went through. So, should you ever get confused, just remember to follow the prophet).

2 – Be humble. Yes, it’s fun to act arrogant to push people’s buttons. It’s an easy one and I’m not sure you’ll ever get over the temptation. But, seriously, while you may jokingly act like that guy, don’t ever be that guy. Just don’t do it. Stay self-aware. The world is a big place and you are not the sun in the universe, so don’t ever think/exude that. Cool? OK. Seriously, be confident, be strong, be bold, etc, but don’t ever be arrogant. If you don’t know the difference yet, figure it out (hint: constant and complete gratitude is a secret ingredient here).

3 – Be mature. Let me make this super easy: Take serious things seriously. Notice, I didn’t say “don’t have fun”. I didn’t say “be serious”. I simply said “be mature”. Notice serious moments and respect them. This is huge.

4 – Be kind. This one is simple – just be cool to everybody. Done. If you are humble and mature, this will come naturally.

5 – Read like mad. I don’t necessarily care what you read as long as it’s clean and at least somewhat engaging to your brain cells. Just read. A lot. And read different things. A lot of your experience and understanding in life will come through reading. You simply can’t personally experience all there is to experience, so at least read about it. This will be a huge asset to you in connecting with other people.

6 – Travel. If you had any idea how much I’ve been able to travel, you’d be really tripped out. Look forward it. Embrace it. But, don’t ever carry a “the way we do things in my part of the world is superior” vibe (reminder: be humble). Keep your mind and eyes open. The world is a huge and beautiful place. Dude, I’m jealous of the places you are going to go. Be grateful for all of it.

7 – “Never lose that feeling”. Dude, nobody will ever know you like you know yourself. That may sound like a curse, but honestly it’s pretty awesome. Don’t do anything to disturb the natural vibe/signal/energy that you have (hint: following the prophet will keep your signal alive). Be grateful for some of the internal blessings that God and your family have passed down to you.

8 – Listen to the Spirit. I’m going to close on this because this is the only piece of advice that could possibly topple “follow the prophet” for the #1 slot (and it’s definitely advice that the prophet will give you repeatedly; follow it). Keep your mind and hands clean. This world has some ugliness and you are smart enough to recognize it. Avoid it at all costs. Be perfectly honest and able to look any person alive straight in the eyes and know that you are good. That’s a very powerful feeling (hint: this is the secret ingredient for confidence). Live by the Spirit. To quote one of your future Bishops: “Once you feel the Spirit, you never want to lose that”.

So, in conclusion, just know this – it may be 25 years in the future (and you may be sitting in an airport pre-dawn in a business suit as you write this), but you are still 100% you. Your face is more wrinkled, your hair is less plentiful (and less pigmented), your waistline is less trimmed-out, and your responsibilities are far heavier, but your joys are far exquisite. It’s a great time and you will love it. Live clean and get there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fear and Loathing in COS

I worried a lot when I was a teenager. About everything. It would be nigh unto impossible to catalogue all of the things my 16 year old brain could come up with to fear.

I worried that I would never kiss a boy, that I would never get to live in my own apartment, and that I had learned to ski and all my friends had learned to snowboard and therefore, I would never ever be cool.

Well, I've kissed plenty of boys-recently even (settle down internet, to call it a fling would be generous and it is already dead), I'm going on two years in an apartment of my very own that I love dearly and as it turns out, in this world there are skiers and there are snowboarders and we can all live in peace and harmony.

I have spent the last few years just tolerating snow and cold and being borderline miserable for a whole season. So I decided that this would be the "Winter of Skiing" and my 35th birthday present to myself was a season pass and all new ski gear. Colorado has this amazing pass for locals that covers three resorts plus ten days at fancy pants Vail and I think just about every one I know without kids got one this year.

So even though I have not been anywhere near a mountain in TEN YEARS, I talked this handsome devil into playing hooky from work and heading up to Breckenridge yesterday. (And again, chill out internet, this is "just a friend Adam". I'm pretty shallow and all my male friends are hot.)

I was halfway to Adam's when up when I realized my critical error in going skiing for the first time in so long with a fearless and slightly crazy male. And you know, all my fears were realized when on our fourth run of the day I followed him right to the top of a hill with a slightly confusing sign that I thought was blue and he knew was black. I wiped out once but falling in full view of the chairlift only served to remind me that falling on skis is actually not that terrible and faster is more fun. There is a reason I've been biking and climbing with boys this year and it's because they will just trick you into doing things you aren't ready for and you get better quickly. They will also laugh at you when you fall but then sometimes they hit an unexpected branch and yard sale and all is well in the universe again. 

It was a beautiful day and although I was completely exhausted by the time we left and still have some brushing up to do, I was ecstatic to be up there. More reasons Colorado and I might never break up.  Here's hoping this winter will be full of photos like this. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm playing around with the new Blogger templates. I'm not sure I like any of these.

You know what I do like though? Being back in Colorado. Getting ready to go skiing tomorrow for the first time in ten years. My brother Logan sending me funny text messages. Dinner with my friends Bryce and Tara. The sound of the dryer in my apartment. Listening to Carole King before bed.

I like home.

Monday, November 07, 2011


So I'm pretty sure that running Team Processing I'm getting a good taste of what being a mom must be like-everyone needs something all the time, almost no one says thanks, you barely have time to eat, and your only alone time is when you sneak to the bathroom.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Shake it

I don't usually like to do two music posts in a row but I simply cannot stop turning up the new Florence + The Machine as loud as I can. Home, car, when I'm the only person on my floor at work. This album is just full of songs you want to scream at the top of your lungs. 

Which I have been doing while packing for my Houston remixed trip. It basically means taking at LEAST a third of what I packed last month, and possibly even a little less. And then getting on the same flight I got on a month ago, checking into the SAME ROOM I was in a month ago and setting up a distribution center exactly the same way I did it last time. 

By this time tomorrow night I will likely be sitting up in the lounge laughing with the transport guys and being ready to it all again. Tonight I'm listening to this song on repeat and thinking I could use one more day in the office and one more night in my own bed.  

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn