Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Call Me Crazy.

So... I've been listening to Prince... lately.

I know you never thought I'd go there... I always knew I would.

Especially since the discovery of "Purple Rain" in 2009. Yep, that song for sure started it.

Some lyric gems (this is about 60% of why I listen):
  • From "Let's Go Crazy": (spoken) "...We are gathered here today... 2 get through this thing called... life." haha. So profound.
  • "I Would Die 4 You": "I'm not a woman. I'm not a man. I am something that you'll never understand." Yes Prince. You are. No one will ever understand.
  • "Kiss": "Act your age (not your shoe size)... not your shoe size." If I acted my shoe size I would be 7 and a half. I guess Prince doesn't like 2nd graders.
Anyway, I just thought I would share my current music listening habits with ya'll. I think it's a sure sign that I'm doing well. My crazy music habits are indicative of my well-being, I believe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

... There was a girl named Audrey. She had a best friend named Rachelle.
(look out! This is a really long and cheesy post!)

Audrey and Rachelle first met at the tender age of 14. They were in two straight classes together at Dixie Middle School and bonded daily during their walk to the seminary building across the street. Audrey thought Rachelle was cool because she had a cell phone. Also, she always admired Rachelle's shoes. Rachelle was really smart and did gymnastics, and Audrey wanted to be just like her.

When the two of them were 15 they took a theater class together. Mr. Saxton and the loony drama kids only brought Rachelle and Audrey closer. They competed in the regional and state drama competitions together doing a scene from the "The Odd Couple." It was a really stupid scene. It required Audrey to wear frumpy mom sweats and Rachelle to squelch and scream like an out of control loony bird. Audrey and Rachelle practiced in the basement of the Doxey's house and the squelches could be heard in the upper floors. And when they competed, they somehow found it necessary to carry around like 5 folding chairs and 2 black blocks from room to room as props in their scene. However, dragging the furniture through the hallways at Hurricane High School was nothing compared to the creepy on-looking Hurricane kids. Audrey and Rachelle left the competition with a few mediocre competition scores in addition to confirmed rumors of Hurricane in-breeding.

At the end of their sophomore year Rachelle called Audrey one day with an invitation to go boating. Audrey replied with an exclamation in the affirmative, and Rachelle commented, "I have decided to make you my designated boating buddy, if you don't mind." Audrey didn't mind. She loved spending time with Rachelle, and well, she loved boating.

Several boating trips ensued. Lots of tubing, attempted wake-boarding (on Audrey's part), cliff jumping, more tubing, and an extraordinary amount of merriment accompanied the two.

Senior year, Rachelle and Audrey were in choir and drama together. Audrey was nervous to sing in front of Rachelle because of Rachelle's musical talents ;). Rachelle was somehow able to teach Audrey how to sing alto, and they sat together all year, laughing at the juniors who were really excited about choir and grades (guess who). Oh, those were the days. They also performed in Fiddler on the Roof together; Rachelle playing the lead (because of her talents, of course), and Audrey playing an ensemble role that allowed her to be involved, but still gave her plenty of time to do her homework in the hallway during performances. There was one scene, however, that Audrey and Rachelle were able to participate in together. During Sunrise, Sunset, Audrey and Rachelle always made eye contact and got a little teary when they imagined the show being over, and high school being over, which would eventually lead to their separation.

Rachelle and Audrey also joined each other on several school trips that year, which included the famed Choir Trip, the RASK Urban Experience Trip (of which Rachelle was in charge), and the senior trip to California. Each trip brought the friends closer together. On the Choir trip Rachelle shared her mittens her Audrey. On the RASK trip the friends found a random store in the Trolley Square mall that was selling hourglass sand things that looked really awesome. Because of its fascinating nature, Audrey and Rachelle committed a good 20 minutes of their lives to the device. The California trip was an altogether different bonding experience; Disneyland was a blast, but Magic Mountain was a bust. On the exhausted trip home, Audrey and Rachelle texted awkward and coded messages to Rachelle's boyfriend at the time--messages he still probably hasn't figured out (example: "The moon is bright tonight... with freckles." Rachelle, I hope you remember that one). They thought they were too hilarious for words.

After a year of separation while Rachelle attended her freshman year at BYU and Audey stayed at Dixie State, they decided to be roommates at BYU. Rachelle found them a place to live in Provo, and one day, Audrey took a call and left class to give Rachelle her credit card information to get the contract signed. Audrey had not even officially been accepted into BYU yet; but she wanted to live with Rachelle so bad (and she had no doubt that she was going to get in), that she signed a contract anyway.

...And so began a pattern of Rachelle finding housing for Audrey. Every place that Audrey lived at BYU is credited to Rachelle's finding (and in most cases, Rachelle signed the contract for Audrey while she was away).

It is hard to describe the perfection that was Audrey and Rachelle as roommates, but I shall attempt it in list format.

1) Rachelle helped Audrey function in normal society (example: Rachelle made me stop wearing my CTR ring on my wedding ring finger. Go figure) and Audrey helped Rachelle remember the small but significant details of her life (Rachelle: Audrey, did I pass the AP Bio test? Audrey: Yes, you got a 3. (Audrey distinctly remembers sitting at the Doxey's kitchen counter looking at Rachelle's new macbook and calling the AP Board the moment scores were released)).
2) Rachelle and Audrey live very independent lives. They both have their own plans and like to do their own thing. Their daily activities varied greatly; they were on different ends of campus, they had different friend group outside of the roommates, and they had different time-consuming jobs. Somehow, though, they were always able to meet up at bed time to settle in at about the same time. Never had either person known such remarkable and entertaining pillow talk. It kept the pair of them up for hours and hours, way past their bed time. They would lay there in the dark and giggle ("well that's just FANTASTIC!!"), and their roommates would complain and bang on the wall. In their junior year, when they didn't share a room, they enjoyed pillow talk time in the living room, looking up at the Christmas lights that hung around the room all year long.

3) Rachelle was really good at telling Audrey all of her problems, particularly boy problems, and Audrey was really good at listening and supporting, but never telling her what to do. Audrey just knew that there were some things that Rachelle had to figure out on her own (like the fact that she didn't actually like that one boy, and that she knew deep down that she was going to break up with him eventually). Rachelle was always really good at making Audrey spill the beans. Audrey is really bad at talking about her honest feelings. But Rachelle was really good at giving advice and making Audrey feel secure. Rachelle was very good at making Audrey feel good about herself. She was very supportive of everything Audrey did. After Audrey got a good grade on her first test at BYU, Rachelle made her a cake to celebrate.

4) Somehow Rachelle has always been very good at reading Audrey and knowing what she is thinking and feeling, even before Audrey knows it. Exhibit A: When Audrey decided not to go on a mission (against her life plan, mind you), she called Rachelle to tell her. Rachelle calmly responded: "I know." Audrey: "WHAT?! Why didn't you tell me??!" (telling would have saved Audrey a lot of stress and effort). Rachelle: because you needed to figure it our on your own. But Audrey, why do you think I haven't purchased housing for the fall? Because I was waiting for you." Oh Rachelle, always the smart, intuitive one.

And so Audrey and Rachelle lived together at BYU as roommates-- as an old married couple-- that relied on each other for just about everything.

In the meantime, they also did all sorts of other fun stuff.

Rachelle showing off her mad cartwheel skills
They took a vacation together to Washington, D.C., which was only the dream of Audrey's life (see post #1 of this blog). The two of them ran (literally) around Washington for 6 days, seeing a lot more than the average tourists do on their first trip to DC. Audrey realized later, on her other trips to DC, that after what she had seen with Rachelle, there really wasn't that much left. That's how much they saw. They got really sore feet and were very, very exhausted, but were also highly entertained by the common and not-so-common attractions: tourist families with matching plaid shorts, the chipmunks that Rachelle refused to recognize as squirrels ("Aren't they the same thing?!"), and the many reflective surfaces around the city that served as perfect photo-ops.

They spent a week in Palm Desert, California and basked in the sunlight (and got really tan), went to the gym and worked out for a surprisingly long period of time (yay 0 elevation) played board games, watched Ironman way too many times, and made fun of Joshua Tree National Park. Oh yes, and they also went to Tiffany's and looked at diamonds. Rachelle loves diamonds, and Audrey has been lucky enough to be exposed to the world of diamonds through Rachelle. Thanks to Rachelle, Audrey is very well-versed in diamond language.

They exchanged books, movies, and TV shows. Audrey and Rachelle love to talk about books. Audrey likes to read books and then make Rachelle read them. They also enjoyed watching Friends, 30 Rock, and the occasional Gossip Girl episode together. They tried not to watch Gossip Girl most of the time, but it was too addicting.

They developed a list of rules for their life that include the Rule of the Evil Hour of 6, the "It's okay to be late for most things" Rule, and the "You don't actually have to eat meat if you don't want to" Rule. The most-often broken rule, I think, is the one that states, "Always go to bed when you're tired, and sometimes, go to bed before you are tired." The two of them are really bad at going to bed when they are tired. See this post for the other rules, if you are curious.

Rachelle and Audrey are no longer roommates. They can't be. Rachelle went off and got herself a man. And she married him. Audrey was left with other awesome roommates and more adventures to have on her own, but she misses Rachelle.

The truth is, Audrey needs that Rachelle. She just does. And she is so grateful for her friendship. And for the fact that Rachelle really knows Audrey. She understands.

Quick list of other things I love about Rachelle:
1. She has a snuggie.
2. She is a super hard worker. She is not afraid to put in the effort to get what she wants.
3. She has a fantastic shoe collection.
4. She asked for Star Trek for Christmas.
5. She has a different color of hair in like every picture she's in.
6. She was really good at getting me to go to the gym.
7. She likes all sorts of random music. Sometimes she's in a Ne-Yo mood, sometimes All-American Rejects. Sometimes country. But she always like Billy Joel.
8. She listens to all my crazy stuff and just laughs at me.
9. She totally appreciates it when I scrapbook roommate stuff. She always wants to see the new pages I make. That makes all the work worth it. :)
10. She taught me how to rinse everything completely before putting it into the dishwasher. And how to use plates all time. Especially for toast. She hates it when there are crumbs on the counter.
11. One time we bought a hot pad for our kitchen together. Just one of them. Just because.
12. She let me drive her car all the way to St. George once- she was in the passenger seat. She needed a break.
13. She often goes along with my crazy ideas-- but she also puts a check on them too.
14. She leaves really, really long phone messages that I actually really entertaining to listen to.
15. She likes to make piles of clothes like I do. And she never got mad at me when my side of the room was a disaster area (as it often was).

So happy birthday, my darling. And thanks for being you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I have abandoned this blog lately. So this post is just to announce that yes, I am still alive. Stressed-out? Exhausted? Over-worked? Homesick? Stronger than before? More dedicated? A better person? All yes. the answer is yes.

Student teaching is hard. I can't say that enough. And for most of this time I've been a student teacher I thought it was too hard. There was definitely an extended period of time that I didn't think I could do it-- and honestly, I think that's the first time in my life that I have thought that. I've always thought that I could do anything- in fact, I've been known to say, "they say you can't do it all. But I can." The trial of student teaching made me doubt the foundations of who I am. I wanted to go home multiple times. So bad. Heck, I still want to go home. I've never been more excited about anything in my entire life- including when Harry Potter 7 came out. I can't explain, and don't want to explain what is so hard about it. But I promise that's it just hard across the board. It's kind of a best-kept secret in the education world. Talk to anyone. Very rarely will you find someone that actually enjoyed their student teaching experience.

The good thing is that I've reached the summit, so to speak. Miley Cyrus's "The Climb," comes to mind. I don't love it. There are moments when I like it. And it's become one of those things that you just have to make the most of and get through. Throughout this semester I've gone from a very negative attitude to a hopeful one. I swear, there has been a serious transformation-- an emergence from a very dark tunnel to a significantly brighter afternoon.

So most of the time I'm just too tired to really think about anything, and then I have to plan another lesson or grade another research paper. It's all-consuming. Student teaching becomes life. Which is fine, except I feel guilty all the time, because I'm in this place that I love, but I don't have the time or energy to enjoy it. And I'm counting down the days until I leave it. I hate that. I love this place. It has brought me so much happiness in the past. But now I associate it with the stress of student teaching and I get a bad taste in my mouth. Is that not awful? Last Friday, though, I went to Georgetown for shopping and dinner with my roommate Julie. And it was a warm, sunny day (just about the first one this year). I was so happy. I remembered why I love this place, and I wanted to stay. So conclusion: I still love the city. I still love being here. I just want to finish student teaching and never think about it again. Ever.

So that's the status of my feelings right now. As of tomorrow after school, I will have exactly 3 weeks until I'm done with this. And two days after that I will fly home to St. George, into the loving arms of my mommy and daddy. And my mom has already promised to make me cinnamon rolls when I get home.

And then I'll be in Northern Utah on April 19th. My lovely lovely cousin Nicole is getting married on April 20. And then I graduate. The next day. Wow. Graduation. And then I think I'm going to live in Provo. For the summer at least.

And then that's where the story ends. That's when the plan is over. I don't know what's going to come next. But you know what? That's okay. At this point I can deal with a couple weeks of chill. A couple weeks of no plans and no pressure. I'll get bored pretty fast, I'm sure. But for right now, I can't imagine anything more awesome.