Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reason For My Blogging Absence

Remember this post about giving up a great opportunity for the chance to follow my dreams? Well, it seems that I made the right decision!

I was just accepted into grad school at the University of Denver and will be moving to Denver in March! I will be getting my M.A. in International and Intercultural Communications with an emphasis in human rights. I couldn't have found a more perfect program since it's a hybrid between their communications school and their international school.

I'm slightly overwhelmed with everything I have to do before I go, but I'm very excited to see where 2010 will take me!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Who's on First?

Me: Hi Danette, I have a question. I’m reading this book, and it says it’s a novel, but then it has a preface by the guy it’s about, and he says it’s a true story. Aren’t novels fiction?

Danette: Yes, that’s weird. Let me look it up. What’s the title?

Me: What is the what?

Danette: What is the title?

Me: What is the what?

Danette: The title!

Me: What is the what?

Danette: THE TITLE! What is it?!?!

Me: The title is What is the What?!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Am Still Here

Sorry for my absence. I have been in LeaderLuncheon Land which means I've been working insane hours for the past couple of months. The luncheon was Friday, and it went pretty well, so I'm just starting to recover. For now, I'll leave you with a few pics...

A few weeks ago, Nic and I hiked to the top of Granduer Peak during the full moon. This was the view of the city (although night pictures never turn out nearly as amazing as the view is).

Last weekend we took the tram to the top of Snowbird....

...the view was beautiful...

...and then we ran/walked down the mountain. I'm going to be sad when winter comes and we can't hike anymore...I guess that's what snowshoes are for!

I just got this new phone, which I am totally and completely in LOVE with! The best part is that I got it for FREE! T-Mobile rocks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


...I gave up the opportunity for more money, good experience, and a great have a slight chance at following my dreams.

Here's hoping it was the right choice. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sister's Weekend

The Science Museum of Minnesota had a huge Titanic exhibit that I really wanted to see, so over the 24th Nic and I flew out. I've spent quite a bit of time in Minnesota over the years visiting Danette. This time, Robyn and Dejan decided to drive down so we could all spend the weekend together. I hadn't seen either sister in a year, and we hadn't all been together for two, so it was great to spend some quality time together, especially since I spend hours on the phone with both of them each week! Hopefully the boys didn't get too bored. :)

PS the Science Museum of Minnesota ROCKS! I could go again every time I visit and never get bored!

Robyn and Danette

Nic examining my eyes at the science museum

Cute Robyn and Dejan taking a break from bowling

This is what I will look like in nine years :)

Danette showing off her bowling skills

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Illusion of Safety

I flew to Minnesota this weekend to hang out with my sisters (more on that in a future post). On the way back, I was stopped at airport security because I had accidentally left a partially filled water bottle in my backpack. Oops!

I wouldn't have been as annoyed about this if I hadn't gotten through security on the way to Minnesota with mace in my carry on. This means that the last two times I have flown, I have carried mace on the plane (accidentally both times). Within the last few years, Nic has also accidentally carried his leatherman knife on a plane.

I understand the necessity of security at airports. I understand why they want us to go through metal detectors and X-Ray our bags. However, I don't understand why they have all these "security measures" (take off your shoes, no water through security, etc) when they can't even catch mace or a knife.

Maybe TSA should start thinking of security measures that are actually efficient and effective instead of just an illusion of safety.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Never a Good Thing...

Might have to get used to this look for a little while.

...when the optometrist looks into your eyes and tells you that your contact looks like a petri dish….a petri dish that’s been growing bacteria for weeks.

It seems I didn’t make it back from Africa completely bacteria-free.

Luckily (and hopefully!) all it will take is a few days in glasses, a new set of contacts, a new contact case, and some allergy drops (because apparently, my eyes don't like whatever bacteria stowed away in my contact case).

This does nothing to help my irrational fear of optometrists.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Utah Couple Survives African Slums, Safari, and Streets Only to be Attacked by the Orange Tabby From Hell in Salt Lake City

Yeah, looks cute, huh? It is cute...and first....

After a nice long hike, we arrived at my house. I was inside, and Nic ran out to his car. I heard him saying "Hey! Hey!" sort of angrily. When he came into the house, I asked what was going on. He said that an orange tabby had attacked him. I was skeptical. There are a lot of cats around here, and I have never once been attacked. Once his leg started bleeding, I realized he was telling the truth.

I figured we should find the owner and let them know they had a vengeful kitty. I went outside with bare ankles and feet (obviously not thinking) and saw a really cute, fat, probably pregnant orange cat out by Nic's car. I saw that it had a collar, so I called it over to try to see whose cat it was. It rubbed up against my leg and purred. I started to pet it as I thought Nic was crazy because this was the friendliest cat ever (and I know cats...we had bunches of them growing up).

All of a sudden, everything changed. The kitty came at me with teeth and claws bared, hissing. It got one good swipe at my ankle before retreating a little bit. It started to charge again, but I used my hand to block it's attempt at another attack, pushing it aside. I ran as fast as I could inside the house as it started to follow. We still have no idea whose cat it is, but we both have blood on our ankles from the crazy kitty.

Is the kitty pregnant? Maybe....

Is the spawn of satan inside its womb? Definitely!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Congrats, Nic!

Nic just found out that he passed his PE exam*! He took it four days before we left for Africa, so things were a little hectic, but he pulled it off! I'm so proud of him and knew he could do it.

You can tell how smart he is from looking at the photo above...he can read! :)

*For those of you who don't know, the Professional Engineer exam is 8 hours long, and is necessary to become a certified professional chemical engineer along with 4 years of experience.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Okay, so I've updated my photos. First are Kruger National Park, then Cape Town, then our safari in Maasai Mara, and then our time in Thika. We have a TON of photos, so I tried to just grab a good sampling.

Disclaimer: There are photos inlcuded which contain babboons mating, a lioness eating a wildabeast, and a lion eating a giraffe. Consider yourself warned. :)

Annalisa, I included multiple warthog pictures for you. I have many more. :)

Thanks to Dejan for letting me borrow his Flickr account since it has unlimited space.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Last Day Here!

I can't believe it is our last full day in Africa! Five weeks has gone by so quickly!

Kruger was really cool, although we were pretty spoiled after our safari in Kenya. We were able to see some different animals close up, though, so that was cool. It was about eight hours of driving every day which was tiring, but it was still really cool. We went on a night tour, which was really cool. It was pitch black, and then we had five spotlights that we would shine around looking for animals. We ended up finding a lion who had just killed a wildebeast, and our driver got us really close, so that was neat. We also saw a HUGE owl and a hyena that was circling the truck.

On our way back to Johannesburg, we went through Blyde Canyone Reserve. It had a lot of beautiful rugged geological formations. It was absolutely gorgeous and had amazing views of a canyon. It made me miss the mountains back home since we haven't seen a whole lot of them here. We also stopped at God's Window which is supposed to be pretty cool, but we were so high up, that we were in a cloud and couldn't see anything but white.

Yesterday we met up with the Cannons (Nic's friend's parents who are presidents of the MTC here) and they took us to lunch and shopping. It was great to see them and spend time with them. They were great to show us some of the city because today we are going to try to drive in alone. We are hoping to make it to the Apartheid museum which we hear is really sobering, but great.

Well, I guess that's it for now. We are going to head out and enjoy our last day here. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Time Flies!

I can't believe we are already flying out of Cape Town today! This trip is flying by! Cape Town has been a really interesting place. It's pretty much Euro-San Francisco, with slums everywhere right outside the city. It seems there's no middle class, just the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor (at least in the areas we've seen). Unemployment is almost 25%!

The first day here we took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. We ended up hiking all around the top and then hiking down the mountain instead of taking the cable car. We figure we did about 6-7 miles, and we still look like old people while going up and down stairs because our calves are so sore (and it was three days ago!).

The next day we went down to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. It was a little difficult hiking around because we were so sore, but the views were amazing. We also saw some ostriches, penguins, and baboons, so that was fun. After that we drove up to wine country which was gorgeous! Unfortunately, the light was awful, so the pictures will never do it justice. We had a nice dinner at a little restaurant and then came back to Cape Town.

Yesterday we took a boat out to Robben Island and took a tour. Nic and I both agree that we need to read more about Nelson Mandela. Our tour guide was actually a prisoner there because he and some others set fire to a building (in an attempt to destroy some files having to to with apartheid...he didn't give specifics) when they were 18. The court called it sabotage, and he was sentenced to 7 years (he served 5 1/2). It was really cool to hear about it from someone who was actually there, even though he missed Mandela by about four years.

Well, I guess that's our Cape Town update! We are flying to Johannesburg today, and then heading to Kruger National Park tomorrow. We don't really think we'll have access to Internet, so it could be about a week before I am able to write again. I hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greetings from Cape Town!

We are in Cape Town now, and it seems we will have no problem with fast Internet or downloading photos (although I'm not sure we'll have time to do it today).

We left Thika Monday afternoon and headed into Nairobi. We were dropped off at a house where other volunteers are staying, and then we took a bus into downtown Nairobi. It was weird to see so much diversity, especially so many white people. We went to the Nairobi Gallery to an exhibit called Kenya Burning. It was a photojournalism exhibit about the clashes last year after elections. We really wanted to see it because we had talked to people who had experienced it, and we had seen burnt out homes and IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps where victims are STILL living in tents because they were chased away from their homes. The exhibit was very graphic and hard to look at, but it was really moving. That night we went back to the house and met some of the other volunteers, including two guys from Kaysville...small world!

Tuesday morning, we caught a taxi at 5 am to the airport. We flew to Johannesburg, then Cape Town. I was pretty sick all day (worst cramps of my life), so it wasn't a fun flying day for me. Once we arrived in Cape Town, we got our rental car (VW Citi), and after a few wrong turns and an hour and a half, we found our hotel (The Fritz Hotel). We definitely miss Thika and Kenya as Cape Town is pretty much like San Francisco, rather than "Africa," but we must admit that it is nice to have a "real" shower, "real" bed, and fast internet. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Leaving Thika

Our time in Thika has come to an end. Nic and I are very sad about it, and wish we could spend our remaining two weeks here instead of going to South Africa. We have made so many great friends and can't wait to come back again!

This week has flown by! Through Family Health Option Kenya, we were able to continue to visit different parts of Thika this week and learn about more issues/problems here in Kenya. Our last couple of days were spent setting up a food program for a primary school. We visited 4 or 5 schools, and they all had feeding programs except Kisiwa. The kids who go there are VERY poor, and probably don't get much of a chance to eat at home. Then they have to go to school and try to learn while still not being fed. All it took was a few bags of food to start the program up. They will charge a small fee (like 2-5 shillings) a day, and that money should be able to sustain the program. It's crazy that it took something so small to feed so many children indefinitely. We also were able to get a few bikes for FHOK. They travel so far every day (some days we walked over 20 km!), often without lunch or water, and they only have time to visit a few clients. We are hoping with the addition of bikes, they will be able to visit many more clients each day. We are really going to miss our friends at FHOK!

Last night, our family and friends all came over, and we roasted a goat (well, a quarter of one). Everyone is so surprised that we don't eat goat back at home, and I must say that it was really tasty. We might have to start a new movement. :)

We are off to Nairobi today, and South Africa tomorrow! We are hoping we have more internet access and can post some of our pictures, but we don't want to get our hopes up too high. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back from Safari!

Hello, everyone! Well, we are back from safari. We have tons of great pictures and videos...too bad none of these Kenyan computer labs have USB ports...we're still hoping for South Africa.

The safari was really cool. We went to Maasai Mara for the first few days. Pretty much the only animals we didn't see were a crocodile and a leopard, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Our guide, Mike, was so great and really tried to make sure we saw everything we wanted to. In fact, we only missed a leopard by about 10 seconds, but we did see the antelope it had killed and dragged up a tree. We got really close to all sorts of animals, including lions. We even saw a lion eating a giraffe, so that was quite the experience. On our last night there, the Maasai people came to do some traditional dancing and teach us all about their culture. Cassi even did the marriage dance and got married to a Maasai man...sorry, Nic! :)

Lake Nukuru was more safara-ing. We saw thousands and thousands of flamingos which was absolutely amaznig. We also saw rhinos and many other animals. We really liked the baby babboons and wart hogs (note to Annalisa...they don't have pigs here, so I'll get you a wart hog something or other :)).

We pretty much spent 4 days in a van (and many times on VERY bumpy roads), but it was well worth it, and I can't wait to post pictures! We were all really excited to get "home" after our long weekend journey. It's odd to think that in a week, we will be in Cape Town, and won't be seeing our home or family again. We are definitely planning a return trip!

Anyway, I better go since Cyber is slow and I have some other things I need to do. I hope everyone is well!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mambo? Poa!

Hello everyone, hope all is well in your big super rich, comfortable, luxurious homes back in the states! We toured the biggest slum in Thika yesterday, it's called Kiundutu and is just a mile or so outside the town center. About 100,000 people call this place "home" and the houses probably aren't fit for animals back in the states. Pretty bad is an understatement. No water, no electricity, no sewage, just stick and mud huts built from scraps that go on and on. muddy streets with human waste all over... and kids, soooo many kids, everywhere (oh yeah, we were told that this is the cleanest slum in Kenya actually, wow!)

People here live on like $1 a day. So don't yall be complaining about life back in the states ok? :-) We've been learning about the local organizations that are working to help the people and vulnerable children living in the communities in these slums. Most of the effort is done by volunteers as the program cannot afford to pay very many staff (they have 2 people).

We're heading back to Nairobi tomorrow morning (way too early though) for a weekend safari through the Masai Mara and then Lake Nakuru. Don't know if we'll have internet access for a few days... it's pretty spotty right here in town. Yall take care and we'll be in touch!

P.S. This was Nic's first official post on the blog...didn't he do a good job? :) P.P.S. Moms, we will try to call you on Mother's Day, but since we haven't figured out exactly how to do that and may not even have electricity or running water on safari, we may not be able, an early HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you!!!!! 

Monday, May 04, 2009

Greetings from Thika!

Hey, everyone! Sorry about the double post. The computers here are from the 1980s and the Internet isn't that reliable. :) That's also why we will not be posting any pictures until we make it to South Africa (hopefully).

We're still here in Thika. We start our volunteer project tomorrow, since there was a slight change with our placement. We will be out in the community working with AIDS victims in their homes. We will also be working with a community group that plays drums and puts on plays for kids teaching them about AIDS.

The water here in Thika is good, so despite all of the warnings from the states (and many of you), we are drinking it (well, we haven't convinced Katie to drink it yet) and haven't had any problems. Everyone can relax because we have an Aussie doctor living in the bunk below Nic. :)

Yesterday we fed some kids and took a walk around town. We saw Thika's "mansions" which are about the size of the average home in the States. We saw our first white couple, and found ourselves pointing and calling them wazungu. We started laughing because that's how everyone else reacts when they see us. :)

Tonight is our night to cook (we will do it once a week) "American food," so we are making tacos. They'll be slightly different since we are having a hard time finding all the correct ingredients, but it should be an experience for our family. :)

Other than that, it's hot and sweaty and the people are super friendly. :) I hope everyone is doing well, and we'll try to write again soon!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

They are alive! Again!

Danette here.  Cassi sent me the following and asked me to post it.  Most information seems similar to her previous post, but being the dutiful sister that I am, I will post it anyway.  Can't get enough of Cassi and Nic, right?  :)  And now a few words (although many are repeated) from Cassi:

Okay, so I have now spent 30 minutes typing up a blog post three different times, but either it won't post or my Internet closes itself. I'm really sorry I can't give you more of an update...maybe in a few days.
We spent our first night in Kenya in a Nairobi slum. We weren't really able to go out, but had a great time getting to know some of the other volunteers. Friday we went to volunteer orientation and found out what our placements would be. We then did a bit of shopping, and were split into groups and were sent to our placement.
We are in Thika for the next two weeks (about an hour outside of Nairobi) doing our volunteer work (supposed to be HIV/AIDS at a hospital, but we may also work in a school for severely handicapped children). I am attempting to get used to all of the critters (mice, misquitos, spiders, and cockroaches), but we really did get a great house (we have a shower...some didn't have running water or electricity!!!) and host family (Ann and her daughters Maggie and Lucy). The girls took us to our first Kenyan club last night which was fun, too. We were quite the hot commodity since we were the only white people, and my favorite pickup line was "you are different...wanna dance?"  LOL  Luckily, I had Nic there to fend them all off.  :)
We have only seen one other white person in this city of a million, and Nic and I are loving the diversity. Our favorite looks are from the little kids who don't quite know what to think (most of them haven't seen a white person outside of Nairobi), so they just stare. :)
Anyway, my time is up.  :(  Next time I will try to find a more reliable computer.
Hope everyone is doing well!

We are alive!

Well, we are alive! I just spent 20 minutes typing up a post of everything going on, but this computer shut itself down. :(

Now I'm running out of Internet time. Here are some of the highlights:
-We spent our first night in a house in one of the Nairobi slums. We couldn't really go out, but enjoyed meeting a bunch of the other volunteers.
-Driving here is INSANE! No lanes painted on the roads, so it's just up to 3 or 4 lanes of traffic driving wherever they can fit.
-We were taken to our placement in Thika. We are staying with a great family and we are lucky enough to get a house with a shower (some didn't have electricity or running water).
-We are settling in, although I'm having to get used to lots of critters (mice, misquitos, spiders, and cockroaches). It'll be a great home for the next two weeks, though.
-Ann, our house mother is really great. Her daughters, Lucy and Maggie, are a lot of fun. They took us to our first Kenyan club last night, which was a lot of fun although we got a lot of looks because we are white. The best pickup line was a guy who walked up and said, "you are different...wanna dance?" LOL
-We have only seen one other white person in this city of a million people. We love the diversity, and all the looks from the locals are pretty good, too (most of them don't ever see white people unless they go into Nairobi, an hour away). :)
-We are planning to attend a Kenyan church tomorrow, which we hear is really cool.
-We start our volunteer work on Monday. We are supposed to be doing HIV/AIDS work in a hospital, but may switch over to working in a school for handicapped kids...we're thinking of trying to do half of each.

I sincerely apologize for how short this is, especially since I have no idea when the next chance I will get to write will be. We also had pictures ready to upload, but these computers don't have USB ports to do that with. Oh well, that's life in Kenya. :) Once we hit South Africa in a couple of weeks, it should be better. :) I hope everyone is well!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Made It!

Well, we made it to Johannesburg after only 26 hours of traveling. Tomorrow morning we will fly to Kenya. We would write more, but we've had about 4 hours of sleep in the past 50 hours, and it's time to go to bed (yay, a real bed instead of a plane seat).

Monday, April 27, 2009


...we're off!

(well, we will be at 4:45 tomorrow morning, but you didn't really think I'd wake up even earlier to blog, did you?)

kwa heri, baadaye!! [goodbye, later!]

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Downtown Nairobi, Kenya

Things have been so busy lately! Since I haven't had time to write, I figured I'd give a quick list of things that have been going on:

  • The countdown to Africa is on! We leave in a little over two weeks, and I can't believe it's almost here! I have been spending a lot of time getting things ready to go.
  • I got new contacts and glasses. This is noteworthy mainly because I have a huge irrational fear of optometrists. However, I found some glasses that I absolutely love, so that made it worth it...almost. :)
  • I received my last vaccination this week. I didn't even keep count of all the shots I received, but I'm hoping they'll prevent me from coming home diseased.
  • The YWCA had a ground-breaking and a 5K this week. That has kept me ridiculously busy at work this month, in addition to trying to get everything done for the 5 weeks I will be gone.
  • I saved a life by donating blood. While there, I discovered that the blood in my right finger shows a very low iron level, indicating anemia, but the blood in my left finger shows a very high iron level. Apparently, this is not something to be concerned about...
  • I've been thinking about continuing education options and trying to figure out if I really want to go back to school, what program I want to do, etc.
  • I've been spending a lot of time reading. It seems like my list of books to read keeps growing at an amazingly fast pace.
  • I've discovered some great things lately: The book The Middle of Everywhere (about refugees who are relocated to the US, more specifically Lincoln, Nebraska), the movie Seven Pounds (saddest movie I've seen in a long time, but very good), the movie Haunting in Connecticut (SCARY, and based on a true story, although I would like to research how much of it actually happened), and K'Naan's CD Troubador (he's a Somali refugee poet/rapper...very talented).
Well, those are some of the things that have been eating up my time lately. I am hoping to keep up on posting while we're in Africa, at least so people know we're still alive. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lost Generation

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted. I've been really busy putting on a big fundraiser for work, preparing for my trip to Africa (I can't believe it's only 5 weeks away), and learning how to embed videos into my blog.

Danette sent me this video, and I've watched it over and over again because I think it's so cretive as well as inspiring. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Happy Square Root Day, Everyone!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Square Root Day (3/3/09...3*3=9, get it?)! Apparently, this only comes around a few times in a century, so I figured it was a great day to celebrate! I hope you spent it well because it won't happen again until 4/4/2016, 5/5/2025, 6/6/2036, etc....

Although Nic says according to the Myans, the world is going to end in 2012, so this may be the last one. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where Do These Salt Lake Men Come From?

Yesterday, I was walking home and talking to my sister on the phone. Up ahead, a car was pulling out of a condo building’s parking lot in front of me to get to the street. The driver was probably in his early 30s and was dressed in a white shirt and tie. At a glance, he seemed like a decent, normal guy. As he pulled directly in front of me, he rolled down his window. He looked at me as if he needed directions or something, so I told my sister to hold on for a second. He then said, “oh baby, oh baby” and made gestures with his hands as if he were grabbing my chest. He drove off. I must admit that I was sort of in shock for a minute. Is this behavior acceptable? Does a nicely dressed man in his 30s who is responsible enough to have a nice car and a condo really think that’s appropriate behavior or that it will get him anywhere?

I’ve had a few other odd experiences with men on the street since living in Salt Lake. Once, a man in his 50s was walking behind me on the sidewalk. I scooted to the right to allow him to pass. As he walked by, he ran face first into a tree. As if this were not awkward enough, he turned around and said, "I turned around to check you out and the tree jumped out and hit me." I gave a nervous laugh and just slowed my walking so he would get ahead of me more quickly.

Then there was the time I was proposed to by a stranger on the street (also in his 50s). I simply said, “not today” and kept walking.

I think this has less to do with my looks than the fact that these guys are so desperate. Men, take this hint from me. You will not get girls by making lewd gestures or blatantly hitting on girls 30 years younger than you on the street. Try a nice social setting like church....or a least then the girls will (hopefully) be drunk enough to appreciate your pick-up tactics.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Power of Chocolate

“Hello, this is Cassi.”

“Hi (man who sounds like he is in his late 20s or early 30s). I was just wondering if you were going to have that chocolate event that you had last year.”

“Chocolate Carnivale? No, we actually decided not to hold it this year.”

“Really? That’s disappointing because there's this girl in California and the only way that she’ll come out to visit me is if I take her to that event.”

“Sorry, we decided to change the event. Instead of Chocolate Carnivale, we are going to have a Young Women’s Leadership Summit. It’s a half day event with speakers and –“

“But I can’t go to that.”

“Well, it is only for women, but it’s a completely different event. We won’t even have the chocolate.”

“Oh, dang it because the girl said she would only come out here if she could go to that event.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I don’t have the looks or the money, so I have to do what I can to get the ladies.”

“Well, sorry I can’t help you out...”

“It’s okay. I have three ex-wives, so I’m used to rejection.”

Monday, February 02, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I wrote 25 random things about me for facebook, so I figured I would post it here as well.

1. I’ve broken my left wrist three times.

2. My brother ran over my ankle with a car when I was in 5th grade….twice (I hopped out of the moving car and tripped. He ran over it, and thought he was still on it, so he backed back over it). Nobody at school believed me because it didn’t break.

3. I am terrified of going down (ladders, hills, etc)…and spiders.

4. I got my Bachelors degree in three years.

5. I would like to work for the UN someday.

6. I grew up with a lot of pets, and loved them, but I never want to have pets again.

7. Throughout the past few years, I have gained an incredible sense of smell (I get it from my mom). It drives me crazy because a lot of smells are overpowering and make me nauseous now.

8. In all honesty, I don’t really want a wedding…I would much rather elope.

9. I also don’t ever want diamonds.

10. I don’t own a TV and sort of hope I never do again.

11. I hate most vegetables, but force myself to eat them in the hopes that someday I will learn to like them.

12. I feel I’m a good public speaker and would love to give inspirational speeches for a living.

13. I am very goal oriented and have to have something to be working toward.

14. I typically get along with boys far better than girls.

15. I have a horrible memory.

16. I used to love cooking, but now that my kitchen is the size of a closet, I never do it anymore.

17. I keep waiting for the day when I’ll feel like I’m an adult (I’m 26).

18. I hate making decisions.

19. I have an unexplained hatred for U2.

20. I make my bed every morning, and then when it’s time for bed, I pull those blankets off and use other ones to sleep with. When I don’t make my bed in the morning, it drives me crazy all day long.

21. I love shoes (especially heels) and have way too many pairs.

22. I like sushi, but only if I cut it up into smaller pieces…otherwise it makes me gag.

23. I have never mastered the skill of using chopsticks even though I’ve tried countless times.

24. If I laugh too hard or too long, my jaw locks up.

25. It has taken me HOURS to come up with this list (although to my defense I am busy doing other things as well).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Which of These is Not Like the Others?

Which of the following headlines from the Salt Lake Tribune is not like the others?

-Consumer confidence darkens further in January
-Corning cuts 3,500 jobs as 4Q profit slumps
-Utah officials expect annual count to find increase in homeless
-Millcreek planners weigh new rules for McMansions

It's ironic that in a time when many people are losing their jobs and homes, other people are fighting for their rights to build huge mansions. How did things get so out of balance?

Monday, January 26, 2009


I, along with most people these days, am feeling the effects of the tight economy. Luckily, I still have a job and have been able to keep up my standard of living while also paying for my trip to Africa in May.

However, it’s hard to see things getting better any time soon. Today at work, someone mentioned the movie I.O.U.S.A. (we run social programs, so federal funding greatly impacts us), and I checked out the 30 minute version online. It’s really great in that it explains the national debt in an easily understood way. It's frightening, and I wish they would have offered some sort of opinion on potential solutions instead of just pointing out that we're all screwed, but overall, I thought it was really informative.

You can check it out here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Reflecting on 2008

As I was looking through my old resolutions yesterday and trying to decide what my new ones should be, I reflected on 2008 and all that happened. I can’t believe how quickly the last year passed and how much my life changed (new job, home, etc).

Some highlights from 2008:
• Traveled to Mexico
• Got a job at the YWCA
• Moved to Salt Lake City
• Got a new nephew
• Traveled to Boise for the first time
• Traveled to San Antonio for the first time
• Traveled to Pocatello a few times to spend time with family
• Traveled to Sand Hollow
• Hiked to the top of Grandeur
• Paid off my car
• Got a visit from Robyn and Dejan
• Read over 30 books
• Planned an event that 1,000 people attended
• Took the GRE
• Started learning Swahili
• Bought plane tickets to Africa

2009 is already shaping up to be a big year with the Africa trip and the possibility of me going back to school to take a few classes. I just hope it’s as great as 2008.