Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Mom

My mom grew up on a potato farm in southeastern Idaho. Her and her six sisters worked on the farm, doing the work any boy would do. They'd play softball with their dad. When she was young and single, and one semester short of graduating from Ricks College, she moved to the big city--Salt Lake City. She worked and dated and lived.

When I was growing up, my mom went to all my activities and little events. I might have been an overachiever in elementary school, which meant she had to go to a lot of things, even assemblies where I was awarded with "Perfect Attendance" or something just as silly.

My mom worked full time. She'd come home from work and cook dinner (which was not her favorite thing to do). She'd make sure we did our homework. She played on her work's yearly softball team, where she was the catcher.

My mom loved to take Sunday drives into the mountains, just going without a plan of where.

My mom works hard. She loves being a grandma. She always helps me out whenever she can. She's helped me move across the country twice. I probably don't do nearly enough for her. Sometimes I'm a brat to her. I've  learned a lot from my mom, mainly that I can do whatever I want. Some would call that being independent, which for a girl can sometimes be a bad label. But I'm okay with it because that's what my mom is.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Old Foto Friday

This is my friend Holli and I at her baby shower, Pocatello, ID, Summer 2005. I had just returned from a camping trip near Jackson Hole a couple days before, but made the trip from Salt Lake because Holli is awesome. We met when we both worked at Wendy's in high school. That was fourteen years ago, and when this photo was taken I hadn't worked at Wendy's or lived in Pocatello for almost two years. Holli's daughter, Erika, just turned 8 last week, so I thought this photo was fitting.

Newlyweds Have Disagreements

Of course a day after I gushed about being a newlywed with my job I would have a day where I was super frustrated with it. It seemed all the bad news and blanket criticism was coming not only on the same day, but also in a condensed time period of about two hours.

I do not have a thick skin. I let small criticisms, even those that aren't about me specifically but what I support in general, get under my skin. I feel very intense emotions that sort of consume me for a little while. Perhaps I will develop a thick skin as I progress in my career. Maybe I won't and there will always be days when I want to have a little cry.

On those days, I'll have some ice cream.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Still a Job-Newlywed

I've been at my job a whole whopping six and a half months. You could say I'm in the "newlywed" stage with my job--I still get excited when I see my name printed in something with my job title after it; I like going to conferences and rubbing shoulders with other transit/bike people; I still can't believe people take me seriously as young professional; I'm shocked when people look to me for answers; I get excited when I think about all the things I could do.

And then there's days like today, where it all came together for one pretty awesome event. I'm on a committee that puts on the annual Built Environment and the Outdoors Summit. I was asked to speak, along with the planner from Wichita, about the Topeka Bikeways Master Plan and its implementation. Since I'm a procrastinator, I didn't put my slides together until Monday evening. However, the presentation went great! I don't particularly enjoy being the center of attention, but I don't mind giving presentations--just don't ask me to make small talk afterward with those who were  listening!
My boss snapped this pic of me presenting. Seriously, I just can't believe I'm a working professional who gets to talk about bikes to other people.

After the conference I co-led a Walk Audit through Topeka to Old Prairie Town, where we were having a social for the conference attendees. It was a really great day and night, which helps when I sometimes think "What am I doing in Kansas??".

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ticket Stub Tuesday

I saw Frost/Nixon in New York the day before I left for Salt Lake to work for Sundance for six weeks. I really loved the movie. It was nominated for Best Picture that year but lost to Slumdog Millionaire, even with Ron Howard directing. All the performances in the film are great.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Learning to Spell

My sister sent me this photo of Mo spelling skeleton:


My nieces and nephews never fail to make me laugh with how they see words

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Royals Hunt for October

Friday night was spent at K Stadium where the Royals beat the Rangers 2-1. The game had a lot of hits but not a lot of runs. In the bottom of the 8th, tied at 1 all, the Royals had the bases loaded and the Rangers' pitcher walked the hitter! I really know nothing about baseball strategy, but this seemed dumb. However, I guess it's better than the possibility of a home run being hit, and therefore putting the Rangers behind by four instead of two. This play, coupled with the closer pitcher putting it away in the 9th, made the Royals win the game.  (I claimed in previous posts and to numerous people that the Royals have won every game I've attended, however this only proves that my memory is rather awful--they lost the first game I attended when they played the Cardinals on Memorial Day. So they've won every game I've attended with other people. )

The Royals won the World Series in 1985. Since then, however, they have not made it to the post-season. This year, though, they have the slimmest of chances to claim the second wild card spot. They just essentially need to win every game the rest of the season, and other teams ahead of them need to lose. So I'm telling you there's a chance.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Grandma's Necklace

One time, rather randomly, my grandma sent me a necklace of hers in the mail. I hadn't asked for it. I hadn't noticed it while visiting and commented on it. I actually had never seen it before. But I liked it and was thankful to get it. The necklace is gold with a green diamond. I don't own any gold jewelery except a simple pair of hoops that I bought for the specific purpose of wearing with this necklace.

I wore this necklace today to church, as I almost always pair it with my green skirt because it matches. I like having a part of my Grandma that I can physically put on me. I don't know why one day she decided to send it to me, but I'm glad that she did.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Old Foto Friday

This is my niece Ivy. She's twelve now, but when this picture was taken in May 2010 she was just 9. She was in a performance with a local kids group, and I took this shot of her afterward with her Oscar. Last week she tried out for her school's production of The Little Mermaid. When she didn't get a part, instead of being bummed she told her mom she was  just glad she tried out and that there would be other plays. Amazing, right?! I really do love her so much.

And it turns out that she did get a part--she'll be playing Chef Louis! Now to check flights from MCI to SLC in November....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Where You Want Me

For the closing hymn in church on Sunday we sang I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go. I was feeling rather emotional all during the meeting, and when it came time to sing this song I could barely get through without tears welling up. I've always found a lot of power in hymns and music and this moment was really strong. I wish I could explain what I was feeling and why the song touched a nerve. I'm still working that out myself.

Many times we don't "end up" where we think we will. Did I think I'd be in Kansas? Not ever. But oftentimes it's the expectations we've created that make us unhappy or unfulfilled, when really things are actually quite great. Sometimes we need to go where we're told to go and realize that we can be happy and useful in many different ways.

Monday, September 9, 2013

In the Paper

I've been busy at work organizing Topeka's first year participating in a yearly bike count. I've been recruiting volunteers, organizing those volunteers, then training those volunteers. When I first decided to do bike counts back in June or July, the dates in September seemed so far off. And now here it is and I hope all goes well. (I also hope it doesn't rain on Thursday between 10-2 and 5-7)

The local paper decided to do a story on the city doing bike counts. I did three training sessions, and they showed up at the one where I was least dressed like a professional and took pictures to put on the front page. Perhaps it's better than being on the front page with a helmet? Or worse, with helmet hair. Either way it's me on the front page which means all my co-workers will politely tease me about it, and will probably have it posted on my cubicle wall in the morning.  Just another day at work in Topeka.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Old Foto Friday

For a very brief moment, I wanted to be on stage in a play. Luckily my best friend was an actress and in drama and could get me the hook-up in being in the school play. The drama department was putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream and Lindsay was going to be Hermia (or was it Helena?). I decided I really wanted to be a fairy This is us backstage before one of the performances, fall 2000. I did not catch the acting bug.

Earlier in the week we had been outside at a park, hence Lindsay's sunburn line. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cricket, Cricket

This morning I was standing in my closet a very long time as I contemplated what to wear. It was going to be hot, so I was pretty sure I was going to wear a skirt. I had my hand on a hanger for a while, debating if that was really the skirt I was going to wear. And then my eye saw a black cricket sitting mere inches from my hand on a hanger.

I immediately recoiled my hand and stepped back. Now, if this had been a huge black spider I probably would've gone to work in my underwear. Somehow spiders are a lot more terrifying than crickets. When I see a spider, I immediately assign it the qualities of a villain--an evil thing out to make my life miserable, attack me at my most vulnerable moment, and possibly even kill me. Or at least do something very harmful.

This cricket was more of an annoyance. Why didn't Biscuit find it and eat it? How did it even get in my loft? Why would it want to be inside anyway? How do I get rid of it? I don't know the answer to any of those questions, but I hope it isn't still in here somewhere and starts making it's cricket noises while I'm trying to sleep.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ticket Stub Tuesday

I crossed into New York City on September 1, 2007 via the George Washington Bridge. It cost $12 to do so with the Penske truck we were in. I'll never forget crossing the bridge and entering my new neighborhood, feeling a little overwhelmed and, honestly, a little unprepared. I found my apartment and was greeted by Maria, my new roommate. Then Rosemary showed up with a contingency of people from the ward to help us both move in.

I really do keep everything. Some call it being "packrat" but I prefer the term sentimental.

Labor Day Baseball

Royals game with some friends on Labor Day. There were two Mariners fans in the group, one vocal (to be fair, she's a singer) and one less vocal (to be fair, they're only his third favorite team), and the rest probably indifferent. Except for me. I will note that the Royals have won every game I have attended, so...

We had amazing seats on the first base line in the shade! 


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