Wednesday, August 31, 2011

After a leave of absence :-)

Well people,

It's been just over a year since my last post and I was thinking to myself as I wait for my next class to start, "I miss journaling my thoughts in some way. I need to revive my blog." Not that the blog was much ever to begin with, but part of my new schoolyear resolutions this time is to chronicle the times and happenings here in P-town USA. There have been some major developments in my life and more yet to come, so I figure I better get cracking.

First and foremost, I am engaged to the girl of my dreams, miss Tierra Jean. I love her dearly and couldn't imagine a better future wife and companion. We are to be married 11/11/11 (catchy, I know), along with every other person and their dog that day. We joke that it's so I won't forget, yet there's probably a lot of truth in that statement (the memory never was so good). Plans are under way, we have the venue, we have the colors and theme (Black White and Olive for those of you who wanted to know). Lots more to do. We'll be married in Mesa, AZ where I'm from in here. I'm gonna be the 4th generation married in this temple (at least), talk about tradition people. I'm sure I will post more about this later.

As I glanced back at my previous post (more than a year ago ha!) I reminisced at the fact that school has started once again. I'm now a senior at BYU, and a little shocked by the fact that my stay here is almost over. I plan to graduate in April with a degree in Sociology (yeah, I know what do you do with that?) with plans to attend Law School next fall (ahhh you say, there's the moneymaker). T and I have no idea where we'll end up but we look forward anxiously to a new adventure. 3 years of busy awesomeness. In other news I'm a little bit sad about the fact that scheduling does not allow for any choir/music this year during school - last year was riddled with performing groups and opportunities. The fact is, there just wasn't time, or space in my schedule, and I have a required class scheduled right in the middle of choir too. PLUS I would have to be missing a couple concerts and such because of THIS:

Yep, you guessed it. This summer my bro's and I recorded our first album: Faith & Freedom. It was such a blast to make and the story of it's creation (which I will tell another day) is of epic and miraculous proportions. As such, we have been performing all over the place in AZ, both in sacred and community settings. From restaurants to political functions, we have begun to make a small name for ourselves. It's quite fun, and we cherish every moment we have together until I get married and until my brother Jamyn leaves on his mission to Guadalajara, Mexico in October. From there the group's future will be determined, who knows.

You can find info on the group on our facebook page - here, or in the near future on our website here.

For now that's all people, off to a criminology class, but very excited to be back. Can't wait to hear comments and get some followers in the near future and join the great blogosphere out there.

For now its Cougars and Criminology classes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

BYU Baby! Woot!

Once upon a time, a measly 5 YEARS ago, I remember as I finished my senior year how excited I was for the upcoming adventure of being a college student at my university of choice, BYU. I was so nervous and excited being a wee 17 yr. old (mind you I was still 6 ft. 3"). Anywho, it was the super coolest, most adult feeling ever to be leaving home and starting things off on my own. Well I went on up there, my mom and awesome Aunt Allyson VanPatten navigating us there and hauling a butt-load of clothes, bedding, household and kitchen items up in her car. I love that Both years that I went up to the Y before my mission Allyson found herself along on our trip. I mean, both times it was so last second too that we asked her if she would come. What a champ. 

Well, we made quite the team us 3 as we shopped and prepped my dorm and living situation. We were quite the bargain shoppers and we did so in a snip-snap sort of fashion. Another wonderful thing about the Dana Rodgers/Allyson VP team is that they have like this skill to "Design on a Dime" and do "Extreme Makeover's" on rooms. I mean seriously people, we walked into Target and went out Champions for the cool stuff we found. Allyson even had this great idea to make pictures on the wall of these postcards of Paris and they were such cheapie stuff, but in these affordable chic frames looked absolutely great. I tell you my dorm was the envied one up there.

Now BYU was an amazing experience before the mission. I absolutely loved the classes (even though many were challenging), the environment, the people, etc. It felt so RIGHT to me. The best part of my experience was my choir experience. I HAD to do a choir because if my life doesn't have some sort of musical portion I spontaneously implode. Well I auditioned my freshman year and got into the Concert Choir. Take that world, 1 of 4 freshman in the whole choir of 100+ people. The director's name was (and is still) Sis. Rosalind Hall. Sis. Hall hails from the country of Whales in the UK and I tell you, she is one of my absolute favorite people in the whole wide world. I think everyone should have the opportunity to get to know her, observe her, and participate in one of her rehearsals. She had such a gift to make choir experiences spiritual experiences and teach you things about more than just music. Concert choir was training for life, and the relationships between sections and friends made it feel like one big family.

Interesting facts about Sis. Hall.  1) Received her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from the Oxfard School of Music. 2) Decided to get her Master's degree in choral conducting from BYU to learn how to be a better Ward Choir director 3) Replaced Mack Wilberg when he left to take his post with MoTab 4) Directs the BYU Concert Choir and Men's Chorus (largest men's choir in the world - 250+) 5) ONLY shops at Nordstrom 6) Is one of the best groomed/dressed people I know 7) Genuinely loves her students and music and strives to be her best at all times 7) Memorizes all her music before we even begin practicing a piece 8) Has THE BEST quotes and stories you can imagine.

This woman changed my BYU experience and I will forever be grateful to her. I may be auditioning this upcoming year for Vocal Point (a 9-person a capella group), but if it does not work out I will for sure be participating in Concert Choir once more. I will say that I was not a perfect student but I didn't do poorly. I did try my hardest though. I had a 1/2 scholarship which I promptly lost my second year around because I had like a 3.62 and you need like a 3.9 to keep them (ridiculous!). Oh well, I was grateful to have it for the short time I did.

I worked at one of the best places ever. I worked in the athletic building locker rooms. I actually kinda got the job not knowing what I was getting into, but all I knew is that the hours worked perfectly for me. I was responsible for checking out clothing, equipment or lockers, etc. to students. Now, I know what you are all thinking. A locker room? Uhhhh lame, gross environment, dumb job. Yeah I know, BUT, consider this. I was allowed to do homework in my work when there was no one to attend to. We always had 2 of us on a shift and it never got TOO stressful. I worked the busiest shift of the day, and I was never TOO overwhelmed. Anywho, chill environment where you mostly sit and do homework, while getting paid = great job. Didn't pay much but covered my expenses.

I never really chose a major back then, I was too indecisive, too fear-driven to choose. I did mostly all generals and got a lot done. I think I have now about 80 credits. 42 of those credits came from AP stuff I did before my mission (Those tests totally paid off!). 

Now here I am 5 years from where I started headed back to the Y. I am SO excited to finish what I started and make my future. I have decided to pursue Psychology for my undergrad and from there possibly pursue a JD-MBA (Law degree and a Masters in Business Administration combined). I can't tel you exactly why I chose these things, but I just feel like it's right. I remember when I was on my mission in my last six months, I was so worried about not knowing what to do after my mission, but I trusted that the Lord would fulfill his promise and help me if I served. Well I remember 2 distinct occasions where I felt a strong prompting that I should, 1st, study Psychology.

Remember those tests when you were little and were about your likes and skills and told you the careers that were most suited for you. Yeah well, mine always always came back that I was best suited as a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. I thought, Me? pshhhhh. Why would I want to hear all about people's problems and meet the crazies, thus in turn giving me depression from all their crap? That was my mentality. BUT after serving a mission, I could see myself doing it. In a sense, being a missionary has many parallels to psychology and I indeed enjoyed it.  So that became my plan, Psychology. And then, one Sunday, I remember having the strongest impression right in the middle of church that I should go to law school.

HUH? Law school? I began to 2nd guess my motives and why this thought would appear randomly in my head. The money? what? What could it be? Well nothing stood to reason and I just accepted the fact that somebody a lot higher than me had given me the answer that I had long searched for. Now I'm not saying that I could not be successful in, perhaps, music or something. BUT I do believe that the Lord showed me a possible path I could take and be successful in, thus achieving many of the other life-long goals that I have.

So, here I go. I'm supposed to be packing right now and I am procrastinating the torture of it all. Tomorrow at the butt-crack of dawn we are pulling out and heading to Provo. The nice part of it this time is that my little bro. and best friend Jamyn (18 yrs.) is coming up to the Y with me. It'll be so great to have family up there. I'm living off-campus in the Riviera with a missionary friend of mine, Murphy Randle. It's going to be an awesome year. I'm a wee bit nervous about the financial situation of things. I'm responsible for almost everything this go around and I will have to pay for insurance and car stuff, etc. Everything depends on me getting a decent job. I'm actually training myself on some programming and basic web-design right now to get one of the higher-paying on-campus jobs. Here's praying that I can learn this stuff quick. Everything depends on it.

Well, off to pack now. The next update will be Utah style. Can't wait!

Cougars and Creameries,


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Glasses and Stomach Flu

Well hello there blog world. I must say that this week has not been what I had expected it to be. I began well, finding random work opportunities and working hard to get things done. I was going along strong, using every possible minute to be productive.

Oh yeah! I had to tell you. So I have been stressing about my job situation and the money front for when I head to BYU. I seriously need help like every other poor college student out there. Well, I went to a wedding reception of a good high school friend of mine and ran into some other best friends of mine. I was asking them about possible work opportunities for work up at BYU and my good friend Jonathan Hipps mentioned one opportunity. He works as a PHP web design programmer (I hope I got that right), and he offered to teach me and guide me through the process of learning. Apparently it's a kick butt job that has ULTRA flexible hours and pays GREAT to start off. Thus, I could not ignore such a proposal. I was so relieved to hear of an opportunity like this. Meanwhile I am doing tutorials and small practices online to gear up for my big debut. I am determined to get this job and have the opportunity. It's hard, I'm not gonna lie, but at this point I am to desperate to not let it pass me by.

SO, half my days I have been spending on the laptop, perusing these training guides online. It's slow going and tedious, but well worth it. Tuesday I was running around doing some work for my uncle Eric for his Global Dental Arts company. I had just finished an interview with a dentist and I TOTALLY spaced it that I had an appt. with the optometrist at 5:30 (mind you it was 5:20). I called them and told them that I was still coming and would be a couple minutes late. WELL let's just say that I hauled A and got there as quick as I could. I mean for a good portion of the journey I was dropping dimes, hitting every single green light cuz I'm lucky like that.

THEN the skies decided to rear their ugly head and sprinkle. And for those of you who know AZ driving, you can't POSSIBLY drive at a normal velocity if the sky is dropping liquid. Oh no, not possible. Thus every Joe and his car slammed on his brakes as I was within 2 miles of the place. So I arrive slightly behind (5:40 PM) and the receptionist ladies are not too happy with me. Apparently they were already double booked and trying to squeeze every person possible in before closing time, and me arriving 10 min. late threw the whole world into chaos. I thought, "Oh brother" and sweet-talked my good friend Lucy the technician into letting me anyways (she and I go way back :) she's been my technician for like 6 or 7 years). Anywho, the eye doctor was telling me that I wear my contacts too much (Ha! big surprise) and that I need to only wear them from like 8 to 5 and then take them out. Apparently I have like swollen blood vessels near my cornea and that could be a problem in the future.

Now in all honestness, I seriously have been TRYING to be careful with my eyes. Before my mission I didn't take good care of them, but whilst in Argentina I was WAY religious in putting them in just before we left at 10:00 and then taking them out at 10:00 at night when I got home. I mean, COME ON people! What more can I do. SOOOO to resolve said problem, I am going to buy some sick glasses that I do not HATE to wear like current Pieces glasses that I am currently sporting. Thus I will be able to go even days without using said contacts because of the pride of new glasses I will purchase. Unfortunately I will have to buy those up in Utah because we are so close to our departure date for Utah that they would not be able to order them in time for us (takes 7 business days to arrive and we leave Tuesday). 

Well the skies opened up and poured when we left and there was a wonderful electrical storm over our side of town. My dad offered to take us to Rubios after our appt. Jay and I agreed. Well, we ate Rubios, and I INSTANTLY felt it not sit well with me. I'm telling you, that chipotle salsa or the spicy, not sure which, was like bad. I KNEW in that very moment it was gonna cause me problems. I went home and was feeling sick thereafter, and was very nervous because the following day I was supposed to speak at an early morning breakfast for the Priests and leaders of our ward. No pressure.

I wake up... Not good. At multiple times of the night I was in the bathroom. Now I am just saying a silent prayer, "Please have no incidents in this breakfast".  The breakfast goes well, 5:30 as you know is very early to be talking about spiritual things, but I pull my mind together and share some mission experiences and my plug for all these teenagers to go on missions. Upon finishing, you can be sure I made a beeline for home and spent the rest of the day on the potty. No fun for sure. OH! not true. I had breakfast with my friend Taylor Morris *aka talented member of Barrage - You should look them up and watch them on YouTube, not even joking*. He got home from China a month or two ago and is about to head out on tour once more to Europe. He's such a famous fiddling rockstar now, always on the go. Well, lucky me he found a block of time that we could go catch up after 2 years and have breakfast (on this of all my stomach days). BUT it was still enjoyable, we went to the Farmhouse in downtown Gilbert. Quaint and delicious I might say. Very busy though. I braved part of a pancake and a fruit bowl down, more I could not do. All in all, so great to hear of my friends world travels, and we exchanged opinions on world cultures, based on U.S. and other nations, etc. We felt all cultured and in the know as you can imagine. Thanks Taylor for the awesome time!

SO! Here I am, day 2 of stomach flu, but this time feeling slightly better. I wasn't the most productive yesterday. I had moments of productivity with my PHP training, but you can only focus so much when your stomach is killing. I spent the majority of the day in bed sleeping. Probably just what I needed.

Today I think I might brave leaving the house once more. Have SOOO much to do before Tuesday when we embark to BYU. I'm procrastinating packing and organizing my life in boxes. I hate that so much. Ughh... IN the meantime, life is good, love my family. And I am using my crappy glasses to give my eyes a rest. So if you see me, lie to me and tell me how much you love my glasses. 

Yours truly, Spectacles and Immodium.

aka Bryson

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Melvin Lee Jones

Hey fam and friends,

Well as promised I wanted to post about a very special man named Melvin Lee Jones. Melvin passed away 2 weeks ago. He was my grandpa. He left such a legacy for me and my family to follow in.

Grandpa Jones to me is sort of the iconic Grandpa that any child might wish they had. He loved to spoil his grandkids in any way possible, be it taking them lunch, slipping them money, buying them things. He loved making his grandkids happy. It was such a privilege to spend the night at Grandpa's on a weekend for us. Memories of bedtime stories of Grandpa's life experience clutter my mind. Be it known that they were probably all only half true, and 100% exaggerated, but we LOVED them so much. We laughed and laughed and occasionally screamed in the occasional scary story. Saturday mornings he would get up and make us a good old southern-style country breakfast (100% unhealthy - yet SO delicious) full of "hotcakes" topped with not only butter and syrup but peanut butter too, eggs and hashbrowns, and the occasional gritz too. We would usually go visit Saturdays to many less-fortunate families or people who were all alone and had no one to visit them. Many times he would make me sing a series of songs or play them a song on the piano if there were one handy. The people loved it and he always looked to see if he could do something for their needs.

For any who knew him, my Grandpa Mel Jones was a notorious jokester. He loved jumping out and scaring you, making you jump. He would never be caught dead without his handy dandy comb on hand. You name it, a wasp, bee, bird, or what have you, Mel Jones would have his comb out and come up and buzz the person in their ear with the comb so as to induce a nearly pants-wetting reaction. At his funeral they mentioned a time when a man was plugging in a cord and he came up behind him and buzzed the man. The man was SO scared that he fell promptly to his rear, fearing an electrical shock. Grandpa was also notorious for pretending to be asleep and if you dared come closer and putting your hand near him he would come alive and snap your fingers nearly clean off with his teeth. Then of course you can't forget about his "Tests". He would have you lift your hands up saying, "Now keep them up high. This is the test to see [insert phony test name here ... i.e. test to see if you are a little girl, or test to see if you are a grown up, or test to see who is the strongest, etc. You figure it out.]" He would proceed to jab at your ribs and tickle you till you broke down into laughter. I swear the man had an uncanny ability to detect the EXACT rib and prodding motion with his finger so as to produce an immediate machine gun laughter from us. Incredible!

He was such a revered man by many. At his funeral, one of the things that was highlighted was his ongoing question, "What can I do for you?" Even in his last week of life and bed-ridden state he was ever concerned for the well-being of others. I can remember distinctly how he never missed his home-teaching families in a month until he was forced to stay home. Even then he would assuredly make his routine phone calls to all his family, friends and hometeaching families to see if they were doing well. I'm serious, as if on cue he would call once or twice a week, usually in the morning, just calling to see if we needed anything or tell us a joke or to hear how our week was going. Sometimes it seemed so annoying when he called, but now that he's not around we find it all the more quiet, wondering why no one calls in to check in on us like before. I miss picking up the phone and hearing, "Is this Bryson Davis Jones who broke his bones?" *note: he would interchange any name here and end in "who broke his bones" as some kind of rhyme - not sure why*

He lived a life of service as a father, brother, home-teacher, bishop, mason and more. He was a hard worker an example of righteous living, a man without guile. He will be missed by all. My aunt Brenda at his viewing commented to me, "I thought, 'Gosh Dad! You left us such big shoes to fill! It's going to take ALL of us to fill even one of them.'"

I had hoped to be able to report back to him when I returned home from my mission, but I know that he had a time to go and it was selfish of me to expect that he would wait for me. I'm grateful at least for the opportunity to have been able to sing at his funeral and be with the family. On the positive side, all the family members who otherwise would not have been able to attend my homecoming and open-house were able to be there. Just like Grandpa Jones, alway thinking of others.

I love you Grandpa. Now I'm going to have to report to him one day a little bit more down the road. I know the reunion will be equally sweet, and I anxiously await it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back in the U.S.A.

Hey family and friends!

Well as you have read from the title of this post, it is great to be back in the U.S.A. For those of you tuning who didn't know, I am just recently home from serving a full-time mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina. First off I say it was the experience of a lifetime and I absolutely loved every minute. The experiences were life-changing and I would definitely say that I am a different person because of it.

As in any returned-missionaries' life, it was initially a shock to arrive home, not knowing quite how to react to certain situations or how to act in certain company. Heck, I still feel really weird at times, as if I should be out doing some important work, clapping houses (yes they clap, not knock, houses in Argentina) and helping people. Fortunately these last 10 days have been especially full of fun activities and things to keep me busy. I really have enjoyed the reunions with family.

Funny story, I arrived in Arizona early on my flight, but I was the very LAST to get off the plane. I thought to myself, "Well, it's barely even 9:40 which is when they are expecting me. Do I wait and give them some time before I go charging on out there?" Then I thought to myself, well of course they would be out there already. This is a very special day. I would be on time, and even early. NOW, other fact, my entire family on my mom's side (Including her and my siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents) were not going to be there. I remember walking out of the security part of the terminal and I see my Dad and an uncle. My Dad looks a bit out of it and no one else seems to be around. My uncle says, "There's your boy".... and that was that. I gave my Dad a hug, and looked around. No one there. It was really funny because apparently, Dad had had a hard time sleeping the night before and my stepmom had given him some sleeping pills. You remember that scene on Father of the Bride II where George takes the Vodnik? Frank goes, "He took them both?! Two Vodnik is like 'Goodnight George, see you next Thursday!'" Yeah so that was my dad that morning. Comatose. So my stepmom is frantically trying to get him coherent and out the door on time.

Next at the airport they arrive and drop him off with my uncle to go wait for me at the gate. Not long after meeting up with my dad, here come the rest of the group. I can hear the herd running through the tunnel much before they arrive. It was a sweet reunion with my Stepmom Allison. I can't tell you how much I love her and my dad. They are just so supportive and amazing. Pretty soon here come all Allison's siblings and their kids in tow. The welcome home banner flying behind them, still freshly painted. All in all, an unconventional welcome home. But since when are we conventional in any form? It was so great to be on American soil, and quite strange to hear people speaking in English in a public setting. I remember the first visit to the restrooms in the airport and was quite shocked #1 with the cleanliness, and #2 with the futuristic nature of even the bathrooms. 

We had a fabulous first day home with lunch and visiting time with Dad and Al. I was released that afternoon by Pres. Bluthe. I tell you it was a really sobering thing having him ask me to take off my plack. I wasn't really prepared for that one. Missionaries identify SO MUCH with that plack, what it says, what it stands for. You really want to be better because of it. It's a sort of protection.

Well the next morning of being home I found myself waking up bright and early head to Greer, a small mountain town in the beautiful white mountains. My mom's side of the family has this awesome tradition that every summer we get together for a week in Greer in a few cabins and we enjoy time together. In any such week you can be sure to find us playing a ridiculous amount of games (including Hearts, Nerds, Boggle, Scrabble, Signs, Crossword puzzles, and many more), eating delicious food, holding Biggest Loser competitions, taking mass amounts of pictures, and now Kareoke-ing (a new family favorite). All's I can say is that this week is one of my favorites of the year.  I met my Mom and her husband Adam in Payson and we drove together the rest of the way. The coolest part of the trip was as we arrived at the cabins. Imagine a cabin on a hill and an inclined driveway. The family all grouped with welcome home signs, screaming and cheering the whole time as we climb the hill in our car. My mom was emotional, I was so excited. I jumped out of the vehicle and was engulfed in hugs from my siblings and everyone else. Pictures were taken, brief hello's were had. Such a special experience. The rest of the week was so relaxed and I remember thinking at times, "What do I need to be doing?" A missionary is not at rest having so little to do. 

Sunday was the day I had to report in sacrament meeting at church. I am not a fan of speaking in church, and found myself the night before up late pondering what in the world I could say to the ward. You see, it is so different here speaking to members who have been so all their lives. #2 it is so weird for me still to speak about gospel topics in English. YET everything seemed to go well. Our ward hasn't seen such attendance in quite some time, they had to open all the overflows and we quite filled up that building. I am just so grateful for so many family members and friends who came. I was amazed at the quantity of people from all 4 sides of the family that came out to support me. My brothers AND Sister and I sang the song, "I love the Lord" - an arrangement of Be Still My Soul with a new text *so cool*. My talk went well, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. 

That afternoon we had my open house at my Dad's. Such a cool setup Allison and her sister Caroline DeCesare did at our house. It truly felt Argentine :) We had a great turnout and I think a good time was had by all. Highlight of the open house, flooding from the upstairs bathroom. Gotta love it. Good thing it was about the time that everyone had left. 

Monday was a sad day for the family as we had the funeral services for my Grandpa Melvin Jones ***see upcoming post for more details***

Since returning home I have had the great opportunity to see friends of mine. I had a fantastic time with my good friend Lindsey Ishikawa. I was so happy to see that being around her was just like old times. We were best friends in high school, and it seriously was a huge relief to see that 2 years hadn't changed our friendship.  The same goes for all the others I have had the opportunity to visit with and catch up on old times. Last night was way fun to go to the Hipps house and have a singing night with all my brothers and Jonathan and Zach. Way cool to sing stuff in 6-part harmony.

Anywho, just a glimpse into the life of an RM, weeks 1 and 2 of being home. Now I prep to head to BYU in less than 2 weeks and begin the next major chapter of my life. I am so grateful that my little bro. Jamyn is coming up there with me this time. Will be a blast I am sure! For now I continue packing and prepping for the transition. Thanks again to all those who came out and supported me these last couple of weeks. It's been so great to see you all.

Best friends are best!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's July!!! And that means Shopping.

Well friends we made it through June and the summer workshop extravaganza at MCC. I will say it was one of my favorite years helping with all the great songs, kids, and good times that wer had. I am so lucky to know the many talented instructors who I got to watch and work with in this last month. I learn so much from them.

In other news I now have time to actually get shopping done for my mission preparations. Countdown, 30 DAYS TILL I LEAVE! I can't believe we're so close and I have this much left to do. There's simply oodles of things you need to buy and not so much space-wise to put it in so we're going to have to be oober creative in the packing process and way choosy on what I actually purchase here in the States. Sure you can buy stuff there but the question is what? I know hardly anything about Argentina and what it's like. I'm going to be talking with my g'pa and cousins who've served there and know more about it, who will hopefully let me know the scoop. I did speak with a gentleman who's family is from Argentina and had visited it a few times in his life. He confirmed my fear that it's pretty humid down there year-round. It doesn't get quite as hot as Arizona but it feels worse with the wet factor. He also mentioned that that is why so many people get sick down there... because with the moisture it's a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the like. I'm bracing for getting sick at some point based on what he said.

So today, we're going to map out a game plan and timeline of what all needs to be accomplished first and so on for the clothing/supplies/etc. Certain things are obviously more time consuming and time-sensitive. I've only got a couple more shots too!

I also headed back to the gym today after a few weeks off with the workshop going and all (and a few weeks of eating crappy fast-food). It was a sharp reality that I need to be hitting it up WAY more often and getting my butt into gear/losing a few more pounds FO' SHO'! I was way more tired and worn out this time than I last remember. Thank goodness my trainer Greg is way patient and supportive. I swear he's always happy and just glad every time you go. His philosophy is not to get down on yourself about the missed times but be glad for the times you go and use that positive energy to drive you to do more. I swear the days that I most REALLY don't want to go I feel the best after and I am sooooo glad I did. Great life lesson!!! Now if I could just tattoo that to my brain to remind myself more often.

Well that's it for now... this weekend is obviously the fourth of July ANNNNDDD GREER begins this Saturday (Hooray Hooray Hooray!!!!). Wow that was a lot of caps and exclamations for today. Until next time, Tootles!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Sleep Clock is Off!

Well friends I'm up tonight b/c my sleep clock is all screwed up and I can't seem to sleep at the right times so I thought since I'm up and all I should check up on all my favorite blogs and update my own for all you's people out there who are kind enough to stop by and read.

Well life's rolling on with Second Session of Workshop almost half-way completed. We're much better prepared and feeling way more comfortable teaching the kids. If only we all could get them to sing for reals and do their homework memorizing stuff! Oh well, what can you do? What happens happens and we'll make it all work out I'm sure. Here's hoping that my lovely group of ladies will all be super fantastic for my number. It was really cool that the main producer of this kids workshop let me have a number all to myself. It's been fun to have that responsibility and the chance to let the creative juices flow. Not sure if it's as noteworthy number compared to others, but in my opinion it's a pretty stinking cute number and I stand by it :) 

In other news, we are sad and yet excited that Breckyn leaves for college at BYU tomorrow morning bright and early. We're all proud of her for making it this far and having the determination to get out and begin living and experiencing life away from home. It's really sad though. I remember that the night BEFORE I actually left home was the absolute hardest for me. Once I got to school in Utah, I was too busy and in a whole world outside of my comfort zone to be at all sad or homesick for a good while. But really, that last night having to pack up all my stuff and leave "my room" and "my home", etc. was really difficult. I don't think I slept much that night. I hope she has a great learning experience and only misses us a "healthy amount". Also i just want to publicly say how much I love her, admire her spirit and good qualities, and will really miss her when I leave on my mission. Being the next oldest under me has meant a lot of good times and a lot of bad times. But I mostly remember the good ones when we got along, and would hope she felt the same.

Finally, I'm REALLY trying to get back on the gym/trainer bandwagon and make a final push before the mish to get my eating and exercising plan in order so I have a good plan of attach for when I'm completely on my own out in the big wide world. It's such an up and down battle. Food is my enemy right now, and making time (or rather forcing myself to go) to work out is such a fight. I hope that things will get easier in that dept. like it's been for me at other times since I came home from the Y. 

This next week will mark the beginning of the major shopping extravaganza for all things mission-related. It's going to be crazy getting it all but I'm way excited to do it at the same time. It brings a sort of finality to all the preparation and I really begin to catch the spirit of this next big adventure. I hardly know anything about Buenos Aires or the people there, but I can already tell I'm going to love it. From what everyone I know who's served there has said, it's "the Jackpot as far as missions are concerned" (thank you Drex). 

So until next time, I bid everyone good night!