Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

My decision to serve a mission felt like I got broadsided by a 2X4 (God works in mysterious ways). Below is the intro to my two farewell talks regarding my decision to serve a mission (but I have added more details.  Random sidenote: so would this be considered a Clifford's notes version? i.e. the long version or opposite of "Cliff's Notes" haha.  That's probably not even funny, I am just super sleep deprived due to thoughts about my fast approaching mission keeping me awake).  I apologize for those who had to suffer through one (or both ) of my talks and are thus bothered with redundancy, but I felt the need to memorialize my decision to serve here on my blog: 

On February 17 of this year I found out that the Lord wanted me to serve a mission. I remember this date distinctly because it came as a big shock. I was visiting my parents for the weekend and was attending a session of stake conference with them.  During the meeting the impression came that I should serve a mission.  Now, normally I am pretty good at suppressing these kinds of crazy thoughts that pop into my brain.  However, in this instance even though I knew the thought of me serving a mission was insane, I had never had an impression hit me that hard before, and I knew that it was the Lord's will. And I started to cry. Profusely and uncontrollably. My poor sister sitting next to me kindly handed me tissue after tissue to help stem the Niagra Falls of tears that I was producing.  (On the plus side she thought I was really, really into the speakers, so that was good.) 

After the meeting I went to a private area and I prayed and turned to the scriptures to see if this crazy notion was indeed what the Lord wanted me to do.  At the suggestion of my wonderful mother, I had been participating in a 30 day "take a daily question to the scriptures challenge" from the book Change Your Questions, Change your Life, by Wendy Watson Nelson.  On that particular Sunday I was almost done with this challenge.  I felt the Spirit confirm to me after my prayer and study that I was to serve a mission, and then I read through my journal entries from the past several weeks of doing this challenge.  And the answers that I had received from the scriptures regarding questions I had about school and work and relationships, all pointed towards a mission, something that I, in my thickheadedness, had not noticed until that the prompting came in that session of Stake Conference.

After reading my scriptures and past journal entries, I went downstairs to tell Mom and Dad concerning the Lord's desire for me to serve a mission.  Once I saw my mother, I started bawling again.  Upon seeing my blubbering my Mother's face was one of pure panic.  I am not sure what was going through her mind, but I am pretty sure that she was in the beginning stages of cardiac arrest.  I was able to choke out that the Lord wanted me to serve a mission and that I was scared. Mom lead me into the living room and she held me as I cried. I told her how the impression had come to me during Stake Conference and how I had prayed about it and felt like I got a confirmation.  I didn't really talk too much because I was crying so hard and honestly it was such a shock.  After a while, I asked if we could pray together and we went into the other room and told Dad and asked him to pray with us.  Mom offered a prayed for me to have confidence in the promptings I had received and to have comfort and peace.  This prayer was answered, and has been numerous times since as I have prepared to serve my mission.

I contacted the ward clerk that night and set up an appointment with the bishop that week. This was done so quickly because I wanted to show the Lord that I would faithfully act on the promptings He gave me, and also I was hoping that my bishop would talk me out of this whole crazy mission idea. At the beginning, everything I did in preparing to serve a mission, including meeting with the bishop and going to the stake mission prep class, I did with the intent to be talked out of going with a mission--that never happened. In fact, these preparations only confirmed to me that I should serve a mission. 

Although I had received a confirmation of the decision to serve a mission, I still had concerns and worries and a lot of doubts.  I knew that the Lord wanted me to serve a mission,  but so many things seemed to argue against this fact, like I didn't want to go, I am a few years older than the 19 year old missionary,  I have a mortgage, I have a job and a life here,  and I try to avoid people rather than seek them out and share personal experiences with them. And included in this unending list of reasons why I didn't/couldn't/ or wouldn't serve a  mission was the fact that I really didn't want to give a talk in church.  Of all the concerns this was indeed one of the more ridiculous ones, but it was a very real concern.  God has a sense of humor though, first of all because I never had any desire to go on a mission and somehow he's gotten me ready and excited to go out into the field, and also because I not only have to give a talk in church, but I get to give two, in my single's ward and in my parents' ward.

The decision and preparation to serve a mission has been filled with trials and blessings.  It's been a rough road, but the Lord has been on my side and has strengthened and supported me.  Also, my wonderful family and friends have been such an amazing source of support, encouragement, and love.  I have been very blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and the people of California Rancho Cucamonga in T-minus 14 days!!!


I love cupcakes. They are yummy. They are cute. They are just all around fun.  And now they are an object lesson:

I Want to Be a Cupcake
I was tasty batter, that wanted to be free,
Free to be myself, and make the most of me.

"What do you want of life?" My maker asked of me.
"A yummy, yummy cupcake is what I want to be."

"You must have some guidelines, ' that's what I was told.
"For you cannot be a cupcake, unless you have a mold."

What? Live within the bounds of a simple paper ring?
Oh no, I"ll be a cupcake by doing my own thing.

"It's a lot of nonsense, " I told of friend of mind.
"I can live outside the mold and I will do just fine!"

"You may need those rules and laws, to be what you should be.
But I'm a better batter; those rules weren't meant for me."

So, the others started rising; so light, so round so neat.
While I oozed and dripped and fell apart; I couldn't take the heat.

And now the others are frosted, with pink sweet happiness.
I want to be a cupcake...for now I'm just a mess.

I am so grateful for the commandments that the Lord has given me for my protection.  They are such a blessing to me!

(I came across this poem as I've been packing up by apartment in preparation to go on my mission.  This poem was shared in my ward last summer. I don't know who the author is, and my attempts to discover the author have been unsuccessful.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Science and Economics of Snow Cones

I recently hung out with a group of friends and we decided to go get snow cones.  The particular snow cone shack was chosen because it always had a line and lots of people sitting at tables outside of the shack. Little did we know, that that was not a positive thing.

We waited probably 10 minutes in line before we were able to place our orders.  Part of the hold up was that this particular snow cone shack had a rewards program.  Really, it's a snow cone shack. I think that the cheap price and the fact that they are only available 3 months out of the year would be arguments against having a rewards program.  After I placed my order, I was informed that it would be a 15 minute wait (yep, you read that right).

The 15 minute wait (and it was indeed that long of a wait), was inexplicable considering that there were 4 employees in that shack, and of course due to the fact that the product is snow cones.  Admittedly there were options to have more than the typical two ingredients that comprise snow cones (shaved ice and flavored syrup), such as ice cream and sweetened condensed milk.  However, these additions could only have added 15 seconds to the preparation time.

This snow cone shack could not have been running more inefficiently or stupidly, which is ridiculous because they are snow cones NOT rocket science.  That comparison is ineffectual, it's too broad, but I am not going to even try to come up with better comparison because that would be more work than making a snow cone (probably would take less time to think of one though than to make a snow cone though, haha!)  They were making snow cones, there's really no margin for error because there's no possible way to err in making a snow cone (although they for sure tried their hardest by being so slow).  I failed to see the purpose of 4 employees, because they certainly weren't expediting a 30 second process, in fact quite the opposite.  The biggest slow-down was that they only had one shaved ice machine--but I didn't know how to kindly suggest that they get a few more ice machines and get rid of the extra staff.

Not only was it a super long wait for little payoff (I mean snow cones are good, but not a fifteen minute wait good), but I paid a pretty penny for that stupid snow cone.  They definitely have a high profit margin, although I guess they would need a high profit margin to pay for all the extra useless staff.

More Facebook Woes

Did you know that people can just add you into groups on Facebook, without your knowledge and/or permission?  This is something that I recently discovered by being added to two different groups within the past month.  At first I was okay with it, but then I started getting 100 updates from said groups. Per hour.

I feel like it is the real-world equivalent waking up to 1,000 strangers in your living room, having been invited there by one pseudo-friend. You have something in common with each of them, like say you're all going to be sister missionaries, but at the same time these people are still strangers, they are invading your personal space, and every 15 seconds someone says something really long-winded, pointless, and attention-seeking (I know, you'd think that these would definitely be my kind of people, but they are not).

It is, in a word, annoying.

I guess what these so-called friends are saying when they add me to some stupid group is that they don't want to be friends with me on Facebook anymore.  At least that's the message that I am getting loud and clear.

I'm not sure which is sadder, the fact that I am too lazy to figure out how to get out of this new group (I already removed myself from the first group to which I was unwillingly added to) or the fact that being added to these new groups hasn't chased me off of Facebook.

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's a Mall World After All (i.e.Awkward and Confusing)

I am going to serve an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and my wardrobe needs to abide by certain standards. For example, the skirts that I will be wearing need to cover the knee while sitting and standing.  Now this is a tall order for anyone in this teeny-bopper style world that we live in, but it is an  even more difficult feat for someone over 6'0" tall, like myself.

Last week I went to the mall to see what I could find in the way of modest clothing. I went into a large department store and scoured the entire women's and junior's departments for suitable clothing for my mission.  I actually found some really cute things which were all on sale. I was pretty excited; so far this one store had proved more fruitful than a lot of other places I had visited.  Despite having thoroughly searched the entire department, I realized that I hadn't seen a dressing room.  Soon after this realization, one of the store employees came up to me and asked if I needed any help. I asked if she would direct me to the nearest fitting room.  I just wanted her to point, but she kindly led me to a fitting room, and I thanked her for her help.

After trying on my purchases, I walked out of the dressing room and there was a check-out counter right outside. I informed the new clerk that I needed to have a few items put back on the rack, and placed other items on the counter for her to ring me up.  She asked if anyone had helped me, and I said, "No."  She looked at me quizzically and asked again, and indicated in the direction of the first clerk who was about 50 feet away at a different register.  I informed the clerk that the first clerk had shown me to the dressing room, but had not helped me with finding clothing. She then proceeded to ring up my purchases.

Here's where the nightmare begins:

The original clerk came storming over to the check-out counter.  Her entire demeanor was viking-like; stern, scary, and in-your-face.  She asked, "Can I help you?" The words were nice, but her face and rigid posture indicated otherwise. The poor clerk who was checking me out, was obviously scared. She started saying again and again that she had asked me if I had already been helped by someone else.  Seeing that I had, (very unintentionally, I might add) caused some problems, I spoke up and said that the second clerk had indeed asked if I had been helped, and I had responded in the negative.

The first clerk/bully then stood right next her co-worker, stared me down, and then asked who I wanted to have ring up my purchases.  Now, it should be stated that I was not in a right state of mind due to lack of sleep and also a reading of this blog will show that I do not do well in awkward situations, which this most definitely was quickly becoming.  I didn't want to cause more problems for the second clerk, so I told the bully she could ring me up.  If I had known what would happen next, I would not have responded that way.  Because I had chosen to have Bully ring me up now, she had to take me halfway across the store to her register! It was beyond ridiculous. I was feeling so awkward that I didn't even think to ask for a manager, but I really regret not talking to the manager because Bully was completely out of line. Her customer service was horrible.

I do not normally shop in higher-end department stores like that ine, and was thus not aware that I couldn't just have anyone (i,e. the closest and most convenient person) ring me up.  On the other hand, I don't feel like Bully really went out of her way to earn commission off of my purchases (I didn't realize they worked off of commission until this unfortunate situation arose). I did appreciate her help in showing me to a dressing room, but if I hadn't need that aid, would she still have been bullying me and another clerk and claiming my sale as her own?  I think she probably would have.  I really hope that the second (and nice) clerk did not suffer any repercussions because I inadvertently made it look like she was stealing Bully's sale (which I really did all I could to clear up the confusion).  Despite my lack of knowledge regarding how higher end department stores function, I, as the customer (and also just as a human being), should not have been placed in that awkward situation of choosing who to check me out (I had thought I had already done that by going to the closest clerk...).  And then to have to walk 50 feet away to be checked out, when that process had already been started by the nice clerk was ridiculous.

So, I decided that I am not going back to that store anytime soon. (Unless by some miracle I am able to remember Bully's name, and then I am heading straight to a manager--it would definitely be worth the drive down to the mall just for that purpose.)

I was so frustrated that I walked out of the store to my car ready to go home.  Deciding that I really don't get to the mall too often and should see if any of the other department stores had modest clothing at decent prices (desperate times call for desperate measures--finding skirts that are long enough has been very difficult). I drove over to another department store and went in.  Amazing, I only encountered great customer service (which I personally account for the fact that these individuals do not work off of commission and thus don't have to have a piranha-like personality with coworkers and customers). I then wandered the mall in search of more great deals.

Other than the snafu at the first store, this shopping trip was wildly successful, that is until I decided to head home.  I completely forgot where I had parked! I had gotten so turned around in the mall (and did I mention I was lacking a lot of sleep?).  I was all alone, my phone was conveniently located in my car (not that I would have known who to call to help me in that particular situation anyways...), and I was exhausted and not thinking straight.  I remembered where my original parking space was (outside of Bully's store) and knew where my car was parked in location to that.  So, I had to navigate my way back to Bully's store and rush through it in an effort to avoid seeing her (because at that point I still wasn't thinking to talk to a manager.  Plus, I still felt so awkward and horrible about the whole situation.) and also because I had spent probably 20 minutes trying to find the correct mall exit to locate my car (I am a genius, what can I say?).  I then had to walk across the Siberean Desert (Ok, most people would call it a "parking lot" but at that point in my day it was just as large and as hot as the Siberean Desert).  Towards the end of my long, arduous journey, a mall security officer drove up in his vehicle (complete with lights), and asked if I needed help.  Mortified that I appeared to be in need of assistance (at which point I most definitely was not, because I could see my car two rows in front of me), and also because I figured he had probably seen me on security cameras in a tired, discombobulated, idiotic-like stupor trying to figure out how to find my car (Let's just say that in my attempts to find my car there was a lot of backtracking and some murmuring to myself, so there was no way that I could have appeared sane.).  Red-faced (from heat and embarrassment) I informed him that I had lost my car but I could now see it and he kindly went on his way.

So now I am really, really not going to the mall anytime soon (because that's the kind of footage that gets shown at mall security Christmas parties.)

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Yesterday I introduced myself to a new employee. His trainer was standing nearby when I did this,  and  decided to let the new guy know that I was single.  I had issues with this for a couple of reasons:

1. That particular day my appearance was a lot closer to a "Before" picture of a makeover than an "After" shot. Working with mostly women and special people and married people (and sometimes a combination of all three), there are not a lot of eligible men for me to be scoping out. So, admittedly I've gotten to a point where I don't particularly care about my appearance and probably resemble mug shot pictures while at work. To be fair though, I can't really do hair anyways, so even on my good days, things are not looking so good.  New guy was probably scared to death by the attempt to be matched with someone with stringy, fly-away hair and large bags under her eyes.

2. It's irritating for someone to assume that you are flirting with them, when  in reality you were just being nice and simply asking someone what their name is.  Perhaps this actually is flirting--it definitely would explain why none of the guys in my singles ward deign to talk to me.

3.  I cannot emphasize this one enough: Being single is not the only characteristic to take into account when attempting to set people up! I don't understand why so many people fail to  understand this.

4. I have working relationships with most, if not all, of my coworkers.  Thus, I do not feel like it was my coworker's place to be matchmaking.

5.  This matchmaking attempt was out of the blue and unexpected, probably because of all the reasons listed above.  I was not prepared to be singled out in this manner and so my eloquent response was "yep" whilst turning a beautiful hue of carmine, and then avoided eye contact with both matchmaker and my fellow victim of matchmaking for the rest of the day.

Unsurprisingly, this matchmaking attempt was unsuccessful.  Hopefully this will prevent my coworker from trying to play cupid again.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy April Fool's Day!

Do you want to know what the joke this year was?

The Weather.  

It was a downpour.  

Which normally I love...but guess who was the fool (as a result of the joke)..

Yep. Me. I'm the fool. I did a a downpour.

It was cold, but really fun!

Please note the use of the verb "did" instead of "ran." I ran a little bit...walked more...gasped for air the majority of the time...prayed to make it up hills and to soaked to the bone...discovered I have arthritic knees---and yet did it all in a downpour, so I feel all hardcore (even though I mostly walked).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Girl

Today my coworkers surprised me with a lively rendition of "Happy Birthday" and yummy cupcakes. (It was even more of a surprise because its not actually my birthday--I'm taking the day off of work from my birthday, so we celebrated early).  I was even more surprised by how young everyone thought I was. Most people guessed 22, which I was pleased with.  (Not that I feel like being 24 is old, but I feel like sometimes people think I am older because I am tall. Not that height corresponds with age as much as it does during childhood, but I think some people still think this way; and it was nice to have people guess that I was younger than my age).

While I was being tortured, er...sung to, my boss came out of his office.  After the song was finished, he asked if I was now old enough to vote. It was unexpected from him, which made it even funnier.

Usually I hate celebrating my birthday when its not actually my birthday---but today was really fun and its been a great day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Physical...Physical...I want to get a Physical Examination

It is apparently a tall order to get a physical examination from a qualified medical professional. I've needed to get a physical examination for about a month now...and its been quite the journey.  I don't have a doctor in  Salt Lake; I'm young and healthy and haven't needed to see one.  Upon learning that I needed to have a physical, I sought out a list of healthcare providers that accepted my insurance. I became highly discouraged after calling one doctor's office and finding out that while they are accepting new patients, as listed on their website, they were only accepting new patients who were referred by other patients.  This discouraged me on my hunt for a doctor, and I gave up. After several weeks had passed and I being reminded of why I needed a physical, I resumed my search.

I decided that the weird "only accepting referred patients" rule was probably in an effort to combat drug abuse and patients who are doctor shopping in order to get multiple prescriptions.  So, to prove to the world that I am not a drug abuser, I decided to get a referral. I asked a few people for the names of their doctors.  Even though I had been referred (to a different doctor's office this time), I was informed that to become a patient I had to fill out a health history form, submit it, and then the earliest appointment time for a new patient would be in eight weeks. Eight weeks!  Thank goodness I don't have the flu, or the plague, or my ever recurring sinus infections; or I'd be really out of luck and miserable. I thought that was ridiculous. I am very grateful that I didn't need to see a doctor for a pressing, but non-emergency issue. So much for preventative medicine! I especially loved that I couldn't set up the appointment then and there, but would have to wait to fill out the form--possibly extending my first visit even later.

I was growing beyond frustrated with every attempt to see a doctor. I finally decided that  eight weeks was too long to wait.  Then I did what I should have done in the first place: I called and set up an appointment with the  doctor that I have gone to all throughout my childhood.  He's amazing AND he's not making me wait two months to see him, so even though I no longer live in the same area where he practices, its worth the drive!

This has been such a frustrating experience to even get in to see a doctor, that I can't help but be (more) scared by the shift towards socialized medicine. Waiting times are already absurd (2 months!!!), but those waiting times would jump dramatically if the system were to be bogged down by every hypochondriac or freeloader wanting every wart or scratch or bruise checked on the government's dime.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Valentine's/ St. Patrick's Day!

This was originally supposed to be a Valentine's Day post, but time has been flying past and blogging has not been a priority. Recently I've been crafting more and trying to actually finish all of these projects so that I can blog/ brag about them has proven harder than I anticipated. I am great at starting projects, but about halfway through I lose all motivation. Making holiday-related crafts has helped, because it gives me a nice deadline to finish projects by (the St. Patrick's day craft shown below was finished a little about 11:30 pm last night, otherwise it would have been at least another year before I thought about completing it).

Look what I made:

Valentine's Day Banner:

Valentine's Day Wreath:

Idea found here.
I love argyle!  And I ended up liking this wreath so much I decided to make a shamrock one for St. Patrick's Day:

The wreaths are a little misshapen because I used some foam tubing instead of a wreath form  and it didn't work as well as I had hoped. I got the idea from Pinterest; and it worked well enough, plus was certainly a lot cheaper than a wreath form.

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day (and I hope your Valentine's Day was great too!)