Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 2

I've taken yet another blogging hiatus. Writing blog updates is often on the bottom of my to-do list, and I rarely get down that far. (Extra sleep ranks a little higher on the to-do list, and it turns out it's a lot easier to talk myself into sleeping.)

I just finished the second week of business school. May I note, ladies and gentlemen, that business school is a whole new ball game. Now it's not content in your presentations that matters; everyone has good content. Your presentation has to perfect. And funny. And if they professor's mind wanders during the presentation, you can forget about that 4.0. And your resume? It darn well better be flawless. And I mean flawless. Then there's that intimidation factor of being in a school where nearly 85 percent of my classmates are male. Oh yeah - the business school is now the no. 5 ranked undergraduate program in the nation. No pressure there.

And I love it. All of it.

Last night was my coming out party as VP of Marketing for CEO. I planned and marketed a kickoff event for two business competitions, which ended up melding into a much bigger event. I've never planned a campus activity before, so there was definitely a learning curve here. In the end, 250+ people showed up. In resume terms, that's a 66 percent increase in attendance over a comparable event last year. Go me!

I'm admittedly really glad that the whole thing is over. (Also, my thought processes are a little warped by resume writing write now. Sorry.)

It remains to be seen how the rest of the marketing will go. Right now I've got a team of nine students who are helping me with a bunch of marketing projects that seem to take up every last bit of free time I've got. It's been a lot of fun, though, and I'm working with some really cool people.

Sometimes I wonder how I got myself into this position. After all, I was supposed to graduate in four years. I was supposed to get a degree in clinical laboratory science, and then I was going to work at a decently paying job in a hospital. I was going to get married and have gorgeous, amazing kiddies. I planned on graduate school in some health-related field, and then I was going to live happily ever after. End of story.

Something changed somewhere along the way. I honestly can't pinpoint when things started change, so I can't even really say how it happened. Regardless, the plan shifted, and I can't begin to predict where I'm headed within the next few years. I know better than that now. There are a few things I'd still like to do. I'd like to live and work in a third-world country. I want to get involved with social entrepreneurship. I wouldn't mind trying my hand at a few professional marketing jobs. Eventually I'll get married, and I'm still going to have gorgeous, amazing kiddies. At some point I'd like go on a mission or two. In the meantime, it's fun to not know where I'm headed. I'm always up for an adventure, and this one is turning out to be pretty good.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Country Roads

At the beginning of this summer my roommate ML and I revived a long-standing college tradition that Munn and I began during our freshmen year. Occasionally when we had some free time, Munn and I would take long meandering drives in the areas south or northeast of Provo. The goal was usually to get ourselves good and lost. Whenever we got sick of exploring, we’d eventually get ourselves back to civilization and familiar roads. We were usually out for two or three hours, and some of the funniest and best talks we ever had were during those drives.

Last summer Munn left me for bigger and better things, and ML moved in. I told ML about all the drives Munn and I had been on, and we finally got around to trying it out earlier this summer. I guess I wasn’t technically lost this time. I’ve driven out that way so many times that I actually recognize a good chunk of the farms and roads in the area. I couldn’t tell you town names or even the names of streets, but I’m always able to navigate my way through.

It was on this drive that ML discovered my lifelong love affair with dilapidated out buildings. I particularly like old stables on the verge of collapse, but I generally take a liking to any wood structure that seems to be nigh unto toppling over. (See below)

On this particular drive, I also learned that ML is rather afraid of cows. I was much amused.

We also found a favorite spot of mine on the southeast shore of Utah Lake. We were there after the sun had set, but it was beautiful just the same.

I guess the drive tradition didn’t actually begin with college. I remember one night in high school when I just wanted to get out and clear my head. I drove from my house up to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and just sat in my car in a little turnout for a while. Then I came down the canyon, watched some fireworks from Wasatch Blvd, and then looped my way through Sandy. Three or four hours after I began driving, I met a friend of mine in a random, poorly lit parking lot out on Redwood Road. We ended up taking her car out to the Great Salt Lake, and we parked at the water’s edge somewhere out by Tooele or Grantsville. Wherever we were, it was pitch black, and there wasn’t any moon. The edge of the lack was inky black, and we really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. That’s actually one of my favorite memories of L.

Then there was the time that L., A., E., and I drive up to the area near Top of the World Drive and found the Neff’s Canyon make-out spot . . . er. . . parking lot. We brought a garbage bag full of popcorn and laughed at all the other people around us. The view really was gorgeous. (I guess that’s the reason for the reputation.) That was a fun night.

Another of my favorite drives was even earlier. C.’s mom volunteered to drive a carload of eighth graders way out past Delta for a weekend science field trip. On the way home, C.’s mom was a blast; a little bit into the drive she took us out for a bunch of figure eights on some salt flats just off the road. We laughed and got sick, and everyone had a great time. I’m still friends with every girl who was in that car.

I’ve been on dozens of other memorable drives – too many to list off here. These pictures are just a handful of the scenes I’ve captured during these drives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Never Too Old

I've cleaned house for an 86 year old woman for over two years. She has her ups and downs, and there have been several times when she has quite literally seemed to be upon her death bed. However, she seems to have really perked up lately. Last week I discovered her secret:

She has a boyfriend.

This week, I had to tidy the guest bedroom because boyfriend had a sleepover. Apparently they are chatting marriage.

The whole thing completely cracks me up.

Is that bad?

Monday, June 29, 2009


So it's been a while since I've posted . . . again . . . . Here I was thinking I was going to have all this free time once I finished my calculus class. No such luck. At least I haven't been sitting at home doing math all day long!

Here's a random list of happenings, in no particularly order.

I'm interning at Omniture. Sort of. It's rather expensive to have a non-paid internship that's a forty minute drive away, but it's definitely good experience. I got off to a bit of a rocky start, but things seem to be going a lot better now, and I get to work with some really talented people.

I've developed a new and highly irrational fear of creepers. I'm talking about the kind of creepers that would grab my ankles from under the bed, or something like that. I make my brothers check every room of my floor at Grandma's house when they come to visit. I also kneel down and check under the beds every night before I say prayers. Nevermind the fact that the beds are technically too low to the ground and impossible to crawl under. For some reason, my visions of creepers always involve people with icky clown masks from "The Dark Knight" running around. Moral of the story- if you ever hide out at my house and jump out at me at night, I probably won't speak to you again. Ever.

Grant got home from his mission late last Thursday night. It was so fun to pick him up at the airport. I was in charge of bringing Grant's two best friends. Half the family was in PJs and half asleep. The other half of the family could hardly stand still. It was actually pretty thrilling to see him come down that escalator. He's adorable and fun. It has been a blast to have him home. I'm proud of him for serving a mission. It sounds like he did a lot of good.

I'm putting together a marketing team for the Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization. The whole VP thing has been nothing but stress for the last month, but I'm getting really excited now that I have a few team members on board. I'm having a ridiculous time trying to find graphic designers, though. Apparently there are none to be found at BYU right now. Either that, or I'm just looking in all the wrong places.

Here's my favorite bit of news: I am going to be a research assistant for a doctor who is studying global health systems, particularly in the developing world. ( ) I'm super excited about his project. I'm also really hoping this could lead some more international travel. We all know I have a thing for ghetto third-world countries. It looks like there are some definite possibilities there, so fingers crossed!

In between all those things there has been hiking, grandma time, weddings, seeing old friends, and all that stuff.

So that's it, folks. Update adjourned.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I officially have my life back! I feel like I've been in a black hole for the last four or five weeks. Life in the black hole consisted of a solid month of 8-12 hour days of calculus problems (with virtually no breaks). I kind of brought this unfortunate situation on myself, but that didn't make it any less miserable. However, I am officially done with calculus as of 5:13 PM on Tuesday. One of these days I'll get around to posting about everything else that has been going on. For now, I'm just happy to have spare time again!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I don't fancy myself a photographer, but these are some of my favorite portrait photos from my Madagascar trips. I was last in Mada a year ago, and I have been feeling quite nostalgic lately.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

To the One Who Started it All . . .

We've known each other for nearly a quarter century. In a way it feels as if we've grown up together. I have come from infancy to young adulthood. You have come from brand new mom to experienced and wise mother of nine.

It's hard to detect changes over the years, so maybe you haven't changed all that much. Maybe you have always been just as beautiful, wise, kind, and caring as you are now. Maybe I've only noticed your wonderful qualities as I've grown older. Either way, I feel like you deserve a bit of a tribute today. Afterall, it's your day.

Have you always been as patient as you are now? I call you incessantly to talk about boys, school, faith, my day, my future plans, and everything in between. I call you when I've aced a test. I call you when I've bombed a test. I call when I'm happy, sad, excited, disappointed, heartsick, elated, or miserable. Somehow you are almost always available to talk, and you never complain about the length or time of the call. Nevermind the fact that eight other children need your attention, too. I'm lucky to have such a patient mother.

I always feel better about life after I've been around you. In your quiet way you make me feel beautiful, smart, and funny. After we talk I often feel completely full of confidence. I can do anything, or be anybody because I know you believe in me and you believe in what I can do.

You have also brilliantly accommodated my fiercely independent streak. It may have felt like a bit of a curse to have your most headstrong child come first. I know I've been a rough case from the start. However, to use the old cliche, you have definitely given me wings to fly, and strong roots to help me along the way. All I can say is thank you.

So here's to the one who started it all. You are practically perfect in every way.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My New Digs

After a week of nearly full-time cleaning, I finally have an apartment (of sorts) set up at Grandma's. Here are some of the pictures.

I think this is actually the first time I've had a double bed all to myself. So what if the mattress is 20+ years old?

Another view of the room. Note the lovely green, orange, and yellow flowers on one wall, and the most excellent yellow and orange plaid on the other.

Vanity and window shot.

This is my home "gym." This lovely machine maxes out at a whopping 8.0 miles per hour. It actually showed its first signs of life this Friday.

This was Dad's personal touch in the room. I'm most delighted with the decorating.

This bathroom is great. I especially enjoy the seedy looking shower. If you don't breathe too deeply it really isn't half bad.

I had to flip the light off for the full effect of the red shower light. The first time I saw the shower it immediately reminded me of the lovely bed that Tess and I shared in Tana (pictured below).

I know you're all supremely jealous that you haven't slept in a bed with a red light fastened to the top. Oh the delights of third-world accommodations!

It's great to finally be a bit more settled in. It's also great to be rid of the black layer of dirt that covered nearly everything in the upstairs (where I'm staying). Gotta love 409!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


7:00 Alarm goes off
7:01 Ponder life and say half-awake morning prayer
7:02 Jump into shower
7:09 Get out of shower and dress
7:11 Run downstairs and unlock the door for Sarah
7:12 Give Grandma Ensure, and visit for a few minutes
7:15 Make bed, throw hair into bun, and put on makeup (minimal)
7:20 Eat breakfast
7:30 Weed flower bed by wall and patio
9:00 Watch "What Not to Wear," and wait for Grandma to come get breakfast
10:30 Start cleaning with Dad and Sarah
12:30 Count out pills for Grandma's week
1:?? Run to DI, then pick up lunch with Dad and Sarah
2:00 Visit with Eileen, Dad, and Sarah
3:00 Work upstairs in the musty, filthy back room; make about twenty trips down the stairs out to the cars
6:00 Go to DI again with Dad
6:30 Eat large serving of vegetables
7:00 Make dinner for Grandma and visit
8:00 Finish second (or third?) load of laundry for day
8:15 Help Grandma with mail
9:00 Ish? Help Grandma get ready for bed
10:00 Ish? Collapse on bed, too tired to actually put on PJs or brush teeth
10:30 Ish? Read scriptures and try to stay awake the full hour . . .
11:30 Finish getting ready for bed and fall asleep

This doesn't include the many times I have come running to answer to the doorbell that rings in my room or the small hand bell used to summon me on the main floor. One of these included a ghost bell ring when Grandma was sound asleep. Maybe the house is haunted?

This is what my life has turned into. In a matter of 24 hours last Saturday my summer plans changed completely unexpectedly. Maybe this day doesn't look so tiring, but yesterday was worse. (I cleaned pretty solidly from 9:00 to 8:00.) After the last three days, a weekend at my apartment sounds like pure bliss!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I like reading blogs. A lot. I've got a handful of blogs that I read regularly and another few blogs that I check up on every now and again. So after years of blog-stalking and blog-envy, I've decided I should probably just start writing my own.

The tagline for this blog actually came from a clipping from one of the Jehovah's Witnesses' pamphlets a few years ago. One of my friends mailed the clipping to me from his mission, just after I had returned from my first trip to Madagascar. The article was actually about a coffee bean, but oddly enough the featured bean and I have traveled to many of the same places. Maybe it's a tad pretentious of me to call myself the "Bean Who Traveled the World," but I figure it's still a work in progress. More on that to come.


School just ended, and this week I ended up going into a reading frenzy. I read over a thousand pages in the last six days alone. (Yes, I had a lot of time on my hands.)

I've enjoyed every one of these books, but I've been particularly fascinated with The White Man's Burden by William Easterly. If anyone ever fancies a discussion on foreign aid and emerging market development, I'm your girl.

The end of school also means more time visiting with the familia. This week we went to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. It was splendid.

Other random tidbit: my hermana has inherited two ducks. They are the most spoiled pets I have ever seen.