Wednesday, March 31

OKC or Bust

When everything around me seems to be crashing down and coming to a halt, there’s another story in life that’s just beginning. Although its pages haven’t all been written yet, the introduction is beautiful enough to encourage me to keep writing. Keep moving forward. And to keep on smiling, even when the unknown lies ahead. The unknown that’s scary and full of change, change that I wonder if I’m ready to face.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with DC these past two years. I’ve loved everything about my experiences, my jobs, my life, and my many adventures here. But there was part of me that easily found things to hate, to complain about, and to think were just plain awful. All of those things basically had to do with the reality that I had to grow up. I have such a tough life, I know. I was queen of the typical the grass is greener on the other side, type attitude. In hindsight, let me put it rather bluntly, my life has been pretty darn awesome. I should be jealous of my own adventures I’ve had these last two years from being in DC. I, in fact, am jealous of myself and what I’ve seen, done, and experienced. I’ve been living a glorified life, I’ve been rather spoiled, and I’m ok with that. So, although I’m only two years into this post-college life of mine, and expected to be an east coaster for just a little bit longer, it looks like the mid-west is calling my name, and my time here is coming to an end, an April 16th end. My two weeks are now in, and it's official, I’m moving to Oklahoma City to be closer to this one.

If anyone has any connections there, don't be shy, I need a job!!!

Monday, March 29

Here's to a Great Week

I don’t know why I have particular moments in life when I tend to make it hard for myself to be happy. But I have them, probably more of them than I should. I complain, mope around, throw myself pity parties, and think the world is out to get me. No matter how great my life is, I seem to be fully capable of finding something minuscule to get in the way of my happiness. The grass is obviously greener on the other side, right? Well, of course it is, if I don’t want to wake up and face reality. But reality is reality, and there’s no escaping that fact. And reality is this, life is beautiful. No matter if I have a bad day, an off day, a rainy day, a day where I mess up and make mistakes, a day where I say things that I instantly regret, a day that is simply too overwhelming, a day where I just don’t have a brain, or just the opposite, and a day where I think WAY too much. Life is still beautiful, and meaningful, and purposeful, and worth being happy for, no matter what.

This morning I woke up happy—as happy as I can be after waking up—because this is going to be a good week, and here’s why:

1. My travel writing class (yes, the same one that I was REALLY excited for) is finally going to be OVER!!!
2. John comes out to visit
3. General Conference begins this weekend
4. Cherry blossoms are supposed to be at their peak of blooming
5. Easter is on Sunday
6. It’s going to get into the 80’s multiple times
7. Hopefully on Friday the doctor’s will FINALLY have some answers for me and my awesome health
8. Baseball season starts
9. Another four day work week for me!
10. And did I mention he’s coming out to see me?

Not that I have to have a list of things to look forward to in order to make me happy, happiness is a choice, and I can choose to be happy even if thing's aren't always awesome in life. But lists sometimes help, and this week, I like what's going on. So, here's to a good week, a week full of sunshine, nice weather, and a handsome boy coming to visit me.

Wednesday, March 24

An Ode to my Mother

My Mom is one of my best friends.
I call her nearly every day,
just to chat,
to ask for her advice,
to listen to her chat,
or to get a good laugh in,
because I just never know what's going to come out of her mouth.
She always makes time for me,
which can sometime be a daunting task, I'm sure.
She's the most thoughtful and selfless person I know,
and I hope one day I can be half the Mom she is,
because she's simply amazing.
Happy Birthday Mom!
I sure love you.

My Thoughts Exactly...

My dear mother forwarded this to me and my sisters the other day:

"Let me get this straight. We're going to be gifted with a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president who also hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?"

Wow, isn't our government is awesome!

Monday, March 22

From Sea to Shining Sea

From the east side to the west, I've got it covered. California one day, running a half marathon in DC the next...let's just say I waste no time sitting idly by. Ok, not true in the slightest, but it's fun to pretend that I don't have a lazy bone in me.

The West side:

San Francisco twice
Eating loaves of sourdough bread
Burgers a Red's Java House, the best burgers in the city!
Lunch at The Spinnaker...delish!
Ghirardelli Square, a chocolate lovers heaven
Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge
Visits to Sacramento and Oakland Temple
Picnic at the lake
Runs along the river
Sleeping in
Delicious home cooked meals
Late night walks
Sunny warm weather
Spending time with a certain someone
Four solid days of NO work

There's nothing quite as exhilarating as a vacation, I already knew would be great, turning out to be even better than expected. And that's exactly how last weeks trip to that golden state turned out to be. Why is it that life just seems better when I'm in California?

And the East Side:

A brutal 13.1 mile run with my dear old Dad
(Who beat me by 7 minutes...what did I expect?!)

Even if he always beats me at any race we do together, it's special daddy daughter bonding time nonetheless, and I love that it's our thing to do. Thanks for coming out to run with me Dad, I sure love you! And Lisa, thanks for training with me!

Friday, March 12

Spring Break

Last weekend I headed to Philly to spend the day with a good friend, and to make amends for not having visited her since she moved to the east coast back in August. Sorry Steph! I love spending time with good friends. Friends who you don't have to talk to everyday, but you can still pick up right where you left off with the last time you were together. Steph is one of those friends. Which naturally makes sense since, as college roommates, we'd spend countless nights engaged in sing-a-longs as we stalled going to bed. For some reason, that just builds a special bond! Thanks Steph and Ben (her fabulous husband) for a perfect day spent in Philly, and for treating me to lunch AND dinner! Let's do it again soon, but next time it's on me!

(I know what you're thinking, but rest assured, the nasty hippie hairstyle has finally been resolved)

Naturally this weekend I have another trip planned. I should stop calling them vacations, since they've become such a regular routine of my life. Vacations - or what have you - they just make life more exciting. This time, it's off to Sunny California I go, to spend time with this one, on his stomping grounds.

He's been to mine, so I guess it's fair for me to finally make it to his. And if I'm lucky, he'll take me into the city, where my heart never stops smiling.

Upper 60's, low 70's all week, I think I'll be in heaven.

Friday, March 5

Taking Chances

One thing I've learned from the travel writing class I've been taking is this, no one really cares what we have to say, unless it's family, close friends, or a significant other. So, with that being said, and although everyone who reads my blog most likely falls under one of those categories anyway, if you don't feel like reading "deep thoughts by Amy" below, I won't be offended.

Life is hard, it's scary, it's challenging, it's full of ups and downs, and smooth sailing after getting out of, sometimes, the roughest of currents. But through thick and thin, life is rewarding, life is awesome, and life is full of so many opportunities that should be seized upon, if we'd only be willing to take chances.

If there's one thing I've learned in my 24 years of life, it's that no matter what decisions I make, no matter what dumb things I choose to do, and no matter what the outcome may be, good or bad, there is always a lesson to be learned and personal growth to follow. So, why do I still make it hard on myself to make decisions, to take a leap of faith, and to trust in the Lord for what he has in store for me, knowing that no matter what, I'll grow from my decision? "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not fear not" D&C 6:36 It's a simple phrase but contains a powerful message. If everything I do, I do it until the Lord, there's no room to fear, to doubt, to question, to worry, or to stress about the decisions I'm trying to make.

Sometimes I think I'm too good at being cynical, too good at trying to see through things, and find fault, and too good at finding a reason not to do something that I know will be hard. But where does that get me? Except in a miserable and selfish state of mind. Not somewhere I'm particularly aching to be. Yet I do it anyway, thinking maybe I'm protecting myself from hurt and pain, or disappointment and grief. But where will that ever get anyone, if we're always shying away from growing opportunities? A withered up ball of nothingness?

Life is about growth. Life is about serving others, not serving ourselves. Life is about finding happiness, and finding purpose and meaning behind what we do. By not doing hard things, making sacrifices, and taking chances, blessings can't follow, and I don't think we can really know true happiness that way. It's easy to be selfish and to do things merely for our own sake, without others in mind. As the youngest of four, I hate to admit that I've had/have my selfish moments in life. Sometimes I only have myself in mind, and want to know what's in it for me. Where is the good in that? Where is the growth? Where is the happiness?

So, in the words of Glee (who I may be obsessed with at the moment and actually did a remix off of Celine Dion's song)

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say?

It's time to take more chances in life, to make more big decisions (as if moving to DC wasn't big enough), and to take a leap of faith and trust in the Lord, realizing that in the end, good or bad, it will all be worth it. And if you're wondering, NO, I'm not getting married!