Brave New Year

Every year on my birthday I like to get a hotel room by myself and wake up on birthday morning at will, have breakfast, then sit down for some reflection and goal-setting. I didn't do that this year because I could only come up with one goal: learn to make a proper paper plane; and I was with people. Since my birthday I've tried to come up with some goals- a girl does like to move forward- but couldn't really land on much I passionately wanted to do.
Earlier this week I stumbled onto this music video from Sara Bareilles. The song is called Brave and I find it incredibly encouraging - both lyrically and within the concept of the video. And, for where I am in life right now personally, it was a message I needed to hear.

The video also gave me the inspiration for my goal setting: Brave New Year. I will embark on several feats of bravery, hoping to grow and stretch just a little more.

Go a day or two without my phone, several times
Take singing lessons
Run a half-marathon
Eat unfamiliar food that I have heretofore shunned - the dreaded seafood!
Own up to mistakes
Dissent and/or advocate for myself and/or question
Share the gospel with someone, like for real, like giving away a Book of Mormon or inviting them to church
Ask for and accept feedback that might not be flattering; don't wilt; possibly disagree with it
Stop coping in ways that aren't helpful in coping - like TV or surfing the internet for useless hours
Be financially generous
Learn to be handy around my own home
Ask to be mentored
Seriously already, join the bone marrow registry

“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” 
Tom Krause


San Francisco

Kate and I have been best friends for ten years and we've never gone on a serious trip together. It was about time. For our 30 birthdays we organized this little adventure last weekend.

Erin and I flew together, while Steve and Kate drove. Jennica lives there so she just went to work. We decided to try Allegiant Airlines because it was so cheap. This was a bad idea. 

The flight was delayed four hours  for "mechanical problems" so we had to wait for a new plane sans problems to fly in. HRH was not impressed. No food to be found at this airport so they allowed us to search for sustenance in downtown P-Town. Luckily Station 22 is bomb. 

Then one day we boarded a plane. 

And crossed the Bay Bridge. 

And saw Alcatraz from the Pier.

And ate at Ghirardelli Square. It was like we were the ultimate tourists. 

We loved the Palace of Fine Arts. Who knew this oasis of indescribable beauty and classic architecture lurks just below the Golden Gate Bridge? 

And we danced like children of the night. Because this is where that scene from So I Married an Axe Murderer was filmed!

In the morning we ate at the Tartine Bakery, which may have been the best meal of my entire life and I'm not being hyperbolic. It's me, Kate, Steve, Erin, and Jennica. 

This is the bread pudding, made with brioche, with fresh peaches on top. It was heaven in a cup.  I continue to think about it. It was custardy, deliciousness, with sweet fruit and warm, and perfect. 

Some painted ladies by the famous painted ladies (the houses) at Alamo Park. 

But what you really have to do in reenact the opening scenes of Full House.  Ok so maybe they were just picnicking but I like our memory better. 
We only thought about buying drugs. 

We went on a super, super long bike ride through the city, over the GGB, and into Sausalito. That'd be Steve, Kate, me, Jennica, and Erin. We're good looking. 

From the Sausilito side looking back to San Fran. 

And took the ferry back. Out bums couldn't handle the biking. 

And we went to China town where we looked at cheap goods, like we do in other towns. 

After everyone was sufficiently hangry, we finally found a delicious restaurant to restore our good will towards men. 

After church Sunday we took a jaunt through Muir Woods. 

And saw either some sequioas or redwoods. 

And loved each other. 

This is Pacifica Beach-each

And a night cap at Creme near Stanford.

We left bright and early Monday morning. Oh wait, no we didn't. We waited for hours and hours again in the airport, Snowden style, because out plane had "mechanical difficulties" and a new plane had to be flown in. Where have I heard this story? Dear everyone, do not fly Allegiant. 

I'm going to choose to focus on this instead. Best friends are just the best and we are all so lucky to have each other. 



My day began with breakfast with the Masi family, followed by shopping - a birthday should always have shopping. In the late afternoon I met with with Freddie, Kate, and Erin for manipedis then headed for dinner with lotsa friends. Despite the rain all day (prolly the first time it's ever rained on my birthday) we had fun at the drive-in movie where I neglected to take photos.

Oh, and there was a rainbow.


Roaring Twenties

Today is my last day of 20s. I turn 30 tomorrow. I'm stoked about it. I love new things (for the most part) and I think 30 will rock.

But before that day comes I'd like to take a walk down memory lane and review my 20s. This is prolly only interesting to me - sorry about that.

Age 20
  • This was the the year I met my BFF Kate. Lived at BDA.
  • I was an EFY counselor 
  • I graduated from BYU with my BSW (that's code for Bachelor of Social Work)
Age 21
  • I went to the temple. Big family trip to Nauvoo, IL to do it. 
  • Did the EFY thing again.
  • I got my mission call to Frankfurt, Germany and I went to Germany.
Age 22
  • I celebrated 22 with the fabulous Anni K, from Finland. 
  • I was out on the mission for a year, finally had some command of German, and looked really frumpy.
  • Got picked up by my mom and bro from the mission and toured around a bit, including the Sound of Music Tour, fulfilling my lifelong dream and basically ensuring that anything else to come would be ho-hum.
Age 23
  • Back from the mission and in grad school at the University of Utah. I got to live with my grandma one day a week (when I was going to school) which was pretty awesome. But I won't be said if I never see another Marie Calendar pot pie again. 
  • Worked at an RTC (code for residential treatment center) which was basically chill.
  • Did internship at Wasatch Mental Health youth division. 
  • Lived at Old Mill and pawned all of my roommate problems off on Kate to solve. Love you!
  • My niece Grace was born on my birthday. Another lifelong dream come true. 
  • Started a blog - this one to be precise. 
Age 24
  • Graduated with the ol' MSW (Master of Social Work) and passed the licensure exam becoming a CSW (Clinical Social Worker).
  • Began dying my hair - like really, really dark. 
  • Got my first real job, therapist at an RTC (where I still am). Teenage boys are an education. Also worked private practice.
  • Went on my first cruise - just the little one to Ensenada. 
  • Lived at home. I'd like to defend this. I had to move home because I didn't know where I was going to get a job and so I just kept living at home. Then moved out to Deer Haven, with Kate. 
  • Bought my first car. 
  • Went to Anni K's wedding in Finland. Also toured around Sweden and met up wtih Hanna, who was a foreign exchange student with my family while I was in high school. 
  • Saw John Mayer in concert. It was a really good concert.
Age 25
Age 26
  • Saw Michael Buble in concert. Fine.
  • Went blonde. 
  • Took a real trip to NYC.
  • Cruise to Jamaica with the family. 
  • Jennica moved in (and out). But she's a bestie. 
  • Started running. 
  • Got my "L" making me an LCSW (a Licensed Clinical Social Worker). It's a big deal, just go with me on it. And stopped private practice. 
Age 27
  • Discovered Doctor Who.
  • Saw Hanson in concert. Amazing.
  • 10 year high school reunion. I was 17 when I graduated - I'm a summer birthday. 
  • Decided to find my real hair color - a continuing pursuit but I'm close. 
Age 28
  • Went to Maine for DBT training followed by a visit to Milla in North Carolina
  • Bought a house!
  • Trip to Civil War sites in the South. 
  • Taught Abnormal Psychology at UVU. 
  • Joined a legit bookclub. 
Age 29
  • Kate got married. That maybe sounds like her life event, but it's really impacting me. 
  • Trained in Prolonged Exposure. I'm a really good therapist, really, actually. 
  • Another trip to the South (this time along the coast) to check out more war sites. 
  • Couple trips to Cali to present to school districts about "Treatment Resistant Youth."
  • Began working at outpatient therapy and cutting down at RTC. 
  • I'm more me than ever before!

Here's to the next ten years!


Er-rybody be hatin' on the rat

Jennica said it best (in a Russian accent): What can you have for love if not for rat?

Kate got a rat for her 5th grade class this year. Sandy - that's the rat - visited the kiddos' families on the weekends. Sandy's with Kate for the summer but she was with me this past weekend when Kate and Steve went camping.

I posted this photo on the interwebs and immediately got a backlash. Apparently I missed the cultural memo that rats are gross.

I disagree with society. I found Sandy (and other rats I've met) to be very agreeable. She likes to crawl all over you, like a puppy, and is cuddly. Why would I get a dog that is so needy and messy when I can get the same lovin' from this little tike? She is clean. She is low maintenance. She can mind her own business or she can be involved in yours - whatever you want. 

A big complaint is the tail. Yes, it's like a little snake, but it's easy to forget about once you get over yourself. 

Additionally, I felt a little emotional connection to this girl. I think she really loves me and prefers me. Let's hope K and S camp again. 

Give rats a chance. What can you have for love if not for rat?