Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The End of Courtship... No wonder so many of my friends are still single

So I just want to say that men are confusing... I'm sure none of you have ever had that thought cross your mind. Although in men's favor I will admit that woman are confusing as well (thanks mostly to a constant roller coaster of hormones and emotions linked to our favorite "friend"). And to be totally honest I am probably one of the most confused hard to commit people out there. In my defense I have been doing something right because I have been on *several  **dates in the last six months. And finally I'm beginning to get some kind of an idea of what attributes a "keeper" might have... Currently it would take far to long to explain any of my prospects or hopefuls because... well the jury is either still out or the suitor has already been deemed a no go and I would just be wasting my breath... err energy in typing... 

... Anyways as this article from the New York times entitled "The End of Courtship" explains it seems why moving beyond dates... (which I'm counting my blessings that I have at least been on) and worse than that beyond "hanging out" and "conversations" via text messaging and facebook seems to indicate "commitment"- a foreign concept- to the majority of the 20-30 something group.  

I think it's an interesting read.  However I do want to warn you that this is written from the perspective male/female relationships of a typical 20-30 yr olds in America so sex and drinking are mentioned.  Yet again two signs of what has happened to our society.  However I think this clearly answers several questions brought up in conversations I've had with my friends who are single and searching for "Mr. Right".  And feel free to leave a comment about what you think about the article.  

*meaning with multiple guys and with a handful of them on repeat dates
**dates referring to guy ask girl meeting the 3 P's- Planned ahead, Paid for, and Paired off.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Define "Love" and why am I hyperventilating?...

Side note this is a post I started the weekend before Valentine's Day.  So the details are actually not referring to last night anymore, but I don't want to have to rewrite everything!

So I don't know if it's the 2 hour drive home from Boise I had last night with a top 20 list of 70s love songs; or various discussions that I've had as of late including but not limited to "what are you looking for in your 'Mr. Right'" (also part of the Boise car ride) and my favorite- just because of the fact that this question was posed by a guy in the foyer after church among a group of socializing singles- "how do you you want to be proposed to?"
Throw in the whole post mission awkwardness and the sudden realization that I am in the dating game for real this time.  Prior to my mission I always had in the back of my mind the thought of "Well, I know that I still need to serve a mission, so there really isn't a high probability of this date going anywhere beyond a few dates." Now (unfortunately???) it's not like that. Right after my mission a friend that I had gone on a date with just prior to my mission came home to IF from North Dakota and took me out the first week I was home and then a couple more times later on when he came back into town for my homecoming talk and then I just kinda started to well for lack of better terminology... internally freaked out.  I realized that this guy was serious, HE DROVE HOME FROM NORTH DAKOTA 2X! and we had "gone out" 3X as well as an interesting experience where my parents invited him to join me and my extended family for my homecoming dinner (no other friends were there, I had just wanted family!) - and well I had been home for 3 weeks and well hadn't even thought about the guy in anything other than a friendly manner, and my parents were already planning on having him over for dinner etc.  And I realized that I had never really seriously considered what I was specifically looking for in a significant other.  Obviously, I needed the "basics"- Active in the church/ converted to the Gospel, RM or equivalent (life experiences leading to solid conversion) etc.  However it was with this guy that I realized the he met these basics, (is it sad to say that many guys that I've gone on dates with in the past didn't meet the basic level?) and then I realized, well there obviously must be more to wanting to be with someone than those alone and being able to have a conversation with someone because here I am HYPERVENTILATING!

And I would have to say that somewhere up the ladder of church hierarchy where they make assignments for General Authorities to speak at firesides someone was inspired... I want to say President Monson makes these assignments, but I'm not positive! Because as I'm coming to terms with the fact that although this guy meets the basics for some reason I'm not seeing myself with him the way the rest of my family already is! Anyways--- Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy comes to speak at a YSA fireside in IF.  Which was interesting because he had spoken in my mission while I was serving as well so apparently I need to fully hear and apply what he has to say.  One of the topics that he discussed in his Q& A was about love.  Both the Christlike kind that I'd learned so much about as a missionary and the romantic love that I was so perplexed about.  And he talked about how "Falling in love" and how IT DOESN'T EXIST.  We do not fall in love.  We choose to love and be in "love" and that this develops over time and that it really is a decision that each of us makes.  After serving with various companions I can definitely attest to this.  Somethings kindness and love come easy, other times you have to learn how to love and choose to love.

Well I have so much more that I want to say, but I am going to have to pause and just post what I've got right now.  I've taken a week hiatus already in this post and if I wait any longer its not going to make sense! Stay tuned though because this is just the tip of my relationship iceburg...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Of Treasure Hunts and Future Plans

Remember when you were a kid and going on an adventure to find a treasure was as exciting as being allowed to eat ice cream and cookies for dinner or getting to stay up past your bedtime. Perhaps there'd be a map with a dashed line leading somewhere with a GIGANTIC "X" marking the spot. 
Or maybe there were individual clues that led you to the final treasure.  Oh! the excitement that radiated through your bones as you embarked on The Ultimate Treasure Hunt grasping a plastic compass and a paper-towel roll "spyglass", because you knew there was the coolest treasure where "X" was.  Half the joy coming from solving the mystery of just figuring out what the treasure was going to be at the end.  And to be honest sometimes the treasure at the end was kind of dinky compared to your expectations (Although in reality are you really going to find a Leprechaun with a Pot of Gold, a Space Alien Time Capsule,  or Pirates Treasure with Authentic Spanish doubloons).  In the end, however, it was the thrill of the adventure and the excitement of the unknown that made the whole experience worth it! 

Now flash forward a few years and your childhood treasure map has been converted into a life map so to speak.  Various obstacles and achievements dot your map.  Photo albums, scrapbooks, and boxes of loose photos have documented life's adventures.  Perhaps you can even add a few trophies, passport stamps and diplomas as evidence of life's adventures.  Each picture and memento marking a step in your journey.  Tears have been shed and lessons learned as you forge ahead towards the "X"- that Ultimate Goal.  And upon reaching the goal you jump and you scream and you declare to the world that you have conquered and you now have achieved success. But after reaching this goal are you content to set up camp or do you start to wonder- what's next? Surely this can't be the end of my journey? Yes Hollywood tends to draw the movie to a close around this point, but haven't most of us asked, WELL WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? and then we're left to wait for the sequel to come out or we have to come up with our own continuing story.

In Life, unlike the movies, we unfortunately don't get to wait for the screen writers to come up with a new plot for the next movie. Nor does someone draw a map for us like when we were kids.  Instead we smack straight into those really big X's in our lives.  Maybe the rest of you are a little more coordinated with the whole Life "X" thing than I am, and don't smack into your "X"s.  But lately I feel like I've smacked so hard into my last "X" that I got vertigo and my head is spinning as I try to plan my path to my future "X."

Now in the umpteenth attempt to write about what I've been experiencing lately I think I've finally been able to, in a way, summarize my current perplexities with life. I honestly did't know what I was going to be writing about, but I just started writing and I'm figure it out as I go, and you've been blessed to come along for the ride. I don't think I've bored you to much, at least I hope not! I've noticed, however, that my blog is in a way my free psychologist--- so at times I'm sure you feel like you're holding a notebook and saying "Ah huh.  Tell me about that... How does it make you feel?.. etc" And right now I have to admit that at the moment I'm in a funk.  Probably brought on by several culprits, PMS probably being one of them, but a lot of it is just I feel like I'm at a really awkward moment in my life, the feeling brought on by my last head whacking with my last "X" and the ensuing vertigo it's left in my life.  

I guess now I'm headed into a monologue  "Each of us have those really big milestones in life that cause us to reflect and ponder and go, WHOA! WHERE AM I HEADED???
 Then we set dates, adjust plans, or reinvent our vision of the future and then continue along with Life. Moments like these can be classified as Wake Up Calls, midlife crisis', or Graduation.  :) These moments are often associated with tears both of joy or sorrow, sometimes whoops of excitement or even just a blank stare at the wall.

Well for me, stepping off the plane and leaving "Mission Life" and reentering "civilian" life has left my head spinning as I try to figure out my future.  I remember in college someone mentioning how important it is to have something concrete to come back to when you return home from a mission.  Go back to school, to work, whatever.  Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the way my life post mission ended up.
I got my BS degree pre-mission and I had worked for over a year and I really liked my job, however upon coming home there have been some big changes in the field I was working in and it isn't really possible to return to my former position.  And really once I got past my week of "I'm not going to think about work and my future" I thought about my possibilities.  Plan A- get a job in a similar position, with the same company or different company, Tried looking into possibilities and they just didn't feel right. So I started thinking about Other Plans. Plan B is a job offer I got in Twin Falls, part time, but I could live with my cousin Jenn and get a fresh start. Plan C go back to school to see if I want to become an Occupational Therapist, the idea's been there since I was an undergrad, but timing has never felt right. Or Plan D- Work Full time somewhere or Plan E- Vege in my Parents Basement, and actually why not throw in Plan F- Get married.
Well Plan A had been eliminated, Plan B- The idea of moving to Twin Falls piqued my interested, Plan D- didn't really know what I would do.  No dream job caught my attention, Plan E- was kinda what I was doing post mission and it didn't have any future potential and Plan F- well I don't really see that as a "near future" option.  So that left Plans B and C. Plan C well  it was the middle of October by that point and in regards to Plan C- hard to start classes in the middle of the semester.  So I started to look into potential options. If I were to become an Occupational Therapist I would need to get into a Grad School Program, but in order to do that I have to take all those fancy science classes I didn't have to take as an Education major including Anat. and Phys. & Chemistry.  As well as Statistics and Speech.
Being post-grad and no longer having a scholarship to cover the cost of my tuition I started looking into my options for the undergrad courses I still needed- ISU where the Grad Program is $300+ a credit, BYUI ~$150 a credit, and CSI $100 a credit and they charge your county $50 if you're not from a neighboring county.Well knowing how much I will potentially be paying for Grad School I want to keep these classes as cheap as possibly.  So ISU out.  And being 26 and going back to school and not wanting to live in "BYUI" approved housing , nor drive a half hour to get to school each day or deal with Honor Codes (hence no BYU option) has led me to CSI and Twin Falls.  Which works in conjunction with Plan B.

And so I moved to Twin Falls just before Thanksgiving. I really like it here.  I moved into a YSA ward that's for 24+ cap kinda at 30, but not really.  I think I know more people over 30 than under... I've made friends, been to a couple of birthday parties, went to the Idaho Potato Bowl and I've been on a couple of dates.

Classes start Tuesday and I have to be honest, I'm kinda intimidated. I haven't been in a lecture since 2009 and I'm not signing up for any fluff classes and after seeing the initial cost of my textbooks from the bookstore $679.00 it has been very tempting to back out.  (Thankfully half.com has saved me again!) Taking these classes has been something I've thought about, probably since I was a Sophomore or Junior in college, but part of me has rationalized saying it's going be several more years of school, yuck! Why put yourself through that torture? A BS degree is enough.  Go earn some money! It would be nice if Life's map would just place a gigantic X saying "Hello Dee! Do you see me, this is what you need to be doing!"

But now here I am, post mission and really after "achieving" so to speak all of my former goals or "X"s, BS degree, mission, go to Philadelphia and D.C., the thought of working the rest of my life just doesn't sound appealing. I know that the answers are there and that Heavenly Father is very aware of my needs and concerns and what my future will be, but unfortunately/  fortunately this appears to be a time that he's going to let me decide what I want my "X" to be.  I haven't got a yes/no answer.  Instead I get reminders of "I trust you. Keep doing what you're doing and if you are going to do something stupid I'll let you know." Okay, so the answers are probably phrased a little better than this, but that's the general idea.  

And so I try to figure out my life, even as my head swirls around with the confusing of to many options.  Someone once asked me this question and it's obviously stuck with me.  He said- "At night when you look at yourself in the mirror, can you say that the work that you do makes a difference?" And I think that work can be replaced with whatever thing we're taking part in in life.  Lately I've been thinking a lot about this question and trying to picture myself in 10 yrs and figuring out where I'll be and if what I will be doing to make a difference.  As a missionary I could say that no question I was making a difference, although I wasn't really doing the work the Spirit was. And pre-mission I definitely felt like the work I did made a impact on the world.  However, considering where each of the options I currently have would take me in 5-10yrs being an OT seemed to be the one to make the most difference. I guess I should add that of course marriage and motherhood will also make that difference, but there really isn't a whole lot you can do about those until the opportunity presents itself.
 And so given the options that I've presented and most of my rambling thought process , for the here and now, Grad school Prep sees to be my current "X". And I just realized that I've talked your ears/eyes off and I need to get to sleep.  Goodnight! Hopefully I'll be able to update you much sooner about how classes and work are going.  Thank you for taking the time to be my pseudo therapists.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zoom... zoom...

So I'm still not in the habit of blogging. Probably because it's hard to blog when you're still trying to figure out the details of everyday life.  I'm excited to say that I finally made up my mind about a car.
I'm pretty sure that I visited every dealership in Idaho Falls, and several in Eastern Idaho and logged several hours on KSL and Craigslist and I still wasn't finding something that I loved.  Finally I decided to open my price range some more.  Initially I'd wanted to get a car that I could pay for from my savings and be done, but I decided I wanted to get a car that's more reliable and that can last for well ever!  So I decided it was worth it to pay car payments now so I wouldn't have to worry for several more years about buying a car.   Not to mention that I can still have some money in savings for the unforeseen stuff that always seems to come around. I got an incredible interest rate and so it would actually cost more for interest potentially with student loan than my car loan so I figured it was worth it. Also the picture below is the same make model and color of my car.  I bought a Ford Fusion that's black and I'm still searching for a name that fits it.  So if you have any ideas on what this poor nameless car should be called.  I've accidently called it "Marty" his older brother's name (aka my last car), but it's like when your go through the list of family members trying to figure out who you're talking to.  He needs his own name and it needs to be a masculine name.  So Black Beauty is a no go...  Marty's name totally fit.  It was a gold color and I named it Martinelli since I bought it on New Year's Eve, but so far I haven't figured out an acceptable name.  I've thought about Indy in honor of my mission, or Andy in honor of my last area Anderson, my Dark Knight just because it's a dark color, but none of these names really seem to fit.  So if you have any ideas for my attractive ride please feel free to comment!

2011 Ford Fusion 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Welcome Back... TO REALITY....

So I think I've now been back on Idaho soil for a grand total of 3.5 days... guess it means that I should update my blog.  Thankfully this still seems to be mostly the way I remember it.... Although I was somewhat surprised when I typed in my email and hoped to see my blog on my dashboard and discovered no blog... I apparently started this blog with my old email address.

So being that it's late I'm just going to do a quick bullet list of all the wonderful "joys" that come with a return to reality aka post mission life.

*Our plane flying out of Indianapolis was delayed an hour because one of the motors couldn't independently start. Took an hour for them to get the paperwork done and an external motor thing to start the motor so we could fly out.  Making everyone on the flight super delayed for their next flights.  I had 15 minutes to get to the next concourse (sp?) and catch my flight.

*Which was also delayed when they were about to take off when a warning came up on the computer inside the plane and computer tech people had to be called and figure out what the problem was.  We thankfully only got delayed 30 minutes and arrived actually pretty close to on time.  Apparently it's possible to take shortcuts and speed in airplanes.

*Technology has advanced a lot. Why can't you just pick up a cell phone and dial anymore? You have to go through menus, slide/swipe your finger, wiggle your nose, and say a prayer, and hope that the number you just clumsily dialed still belongs to the person you intended to dial.   (The result of also getting your contact info from  an ancient address book you saved in your computer 2 phones ago)

*Did I mention that sometime in the last 18 months my old cellphone went MIA?  It's also chosen to hold all of the numbers it's gained over the last 4-5 yrs hostage as well.

*I've gotten at least 1 nose bleed a day due to the lack of humidity...  Not to mention I now have skin that's starting to look like a Crocodiles!

*Getting back into the social swing of things... I did go to Institute this week... however awkward that may have been... Nothing like having a huge pause everytime you try to introduce yourself and having to rethink what your name is... (No, not Sister Taylor, Deanna or Dee, remember no more name tag) As well as Brother Toone addressing you in the middle of class and asking you how long you've been home for and your mind going blank for a second and then saying "Uhhh, 2 or 3 days..." These are probably going to be very minor in comparison to the rest of the fun that comes with coming back... the approaching 1st post mission date... (imagine being alone in a car with a boy... I haven't even been alone in a room with a boy for 18 months!)

*The reality that I'm going to have to get a car.  Which also means that you have to get a job to pay for the car.. or at least the gas etc. that goes into the car after you buy it.  ANd then there is the dilemma of do you wipe out your savings and pay for a car flat out or get a loan and get a better car and keep paying for it and still have some money to live off of in case of an emergency.

*AND the biggest Question of All... Now what??? What do you want to do with the rest of your life???? And where?  Just work? do prereqs for Grad School??? Idaho Falls??? Go somewhere else??? 

Thankfully as much "joy" as all of these things have been bringing me, they are all part of the opposition in all things that's mentioned in 2 Nephi 2:11.  There are good things I'm home, I'm with my family, and I have a testimony of the Gospel. So with those questions on my mind, boy am I excited to have General Conference this weekend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me in the City of Philedelphia

So as a Birthday gift to myself (a week early, but still a very good gift if I say so myself) I went on vacation one last time before I enter the MTC.
I went with my cousin Jennifer first to Philedelphia and then to Washington D.C. area to visit my cousin Derek and his family. (Washington D.C. pictures to follow in another post)

In Philedelphia we went to to Independence Hall

Birthplace of The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution

(The seat at the front of the room is the Sun Chair that George Washington sat in)

This room is also in Independence Hall and it's a courtroom and the iron barred area would be where the accused would "stand trial."

It was really an amazing feeling to be walking in the same rooms that so many "Greats"- Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, George Washington, had walked and where the documents that founded our nation were literally written.
Also following in the footsteps of these great men we went to Christ Church which was just amazing to consider the workmanship that went into this place.
This is an outside view
And a view of the interior
This is the symbol of the English King and it was hung over the pew that he used to sit in when he came to the Church. The pew below later became George Washington's.
Really this building was amazing. These pictures do not do the building justice and it's over 400 years old!
And of course we had to eat some Philly Cheese Steak since of course Philedelphia is home to the original.
But that was not the only good food we had. We also ate at
The City Tavern
a restaurant that still uses authentic Colonial recipes including those from Martha Washington and others
This was my yummy chicken!!

But we couldn't always be eating cause there wa a ton of stuff to see in and around Philly.
We also saw the Liberty Bell

And We visited Valley Forge the place where George Washington and his troops camped outside of Philedelphia during the winter of 1777-1778

This is a recreation of one of the cabins the troops would have built there. The picture on the right is an example of the beds they would have slept on. Notice there's 3 levels... I don't know about you, but I don't know many people skinny enough to sleep on the middle bunk, not to mention grown men!

A view of the area in Valley Forge, not a whole lot of trees, so not a lot of protection in the winter time, especially when you think about how many cabins they had to build.

This is a monument that Congress had built in honor of those who were at Valley Forge.
There were wreaths surrounding the monument, each representing the men who were there.

And a deer that we came acrossed while we were walking there.

Inside the Valley Forge Park was a Chapel dedicated to George Washington

There was beautiful woodwork and stained glass inside all in tribute to George Washington.
We also went to the Betsy Ross House where our first flag was created (and apparently a lot of musket balls!)

It was an awesome trip! And that's only what we saw in Philly! Hopefully I'll get D.C. pics up in the next week or so.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Announcement.... Announcement... Announcement

Sorry I've been really bad about keeping all of you my faithful readers up to date... The news I'm about to announce has probably already hit the rumor mill, but time wise I just haven't had the time to sit down and do a blog post... at least not a meaningful one. In fact I ran into someone the other day and we were talking about what was up in our lives and what we were doing and this coming announcement came up and she was like "Seriously??? How did I not know __________?" So don't feel alone it not knowing, I'm just a poor publicist... It's a good thing I didn't go into advertising because I wouldn't be very good at announcing my products.

But this goes out to all of my peeps that I haven't forgotten, I'm just really slow with updating my blog...

The following is a map...

A Map of the United States... go figure... I bet you never would have guessed that....

And I'm a going to tell you a fabulous story that is going to lead you to a place on that great big map of the good ol' United States. .... It will describe a place that's nestled below the Great Lakes and Michigan, To the East of Illinois, and to the West of Ohio and North of Kentucky.

Okay I'm going to give you a moment to scroll back up and look at that map and see where I'm talking about. Do not read ahead until you find the place on the map....

Good job... I'm very proud of you! You survived the geography assignment. And I promise that is the only time I'm going to make you think that hard about United States geography.
Now that you've found this place you're probably going... ummm okay.... you've lead me to Indiana.... why am I looking at Indiana???





I want to make sure you know where you're going to be sending me letters for 18 months!! :0)

I've been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Indianapolis Mission.

I will be entering the MTC on March 16, 2011.

My "farewell" will be in the St. Leon 2nd branch at 1 pm. on March 13, 2011.