Friday, December 31, 2010

I Love my Friends

Maybe one day I will be better at writing about events when they actually happen, until then I will just have to put the date that I actually wrote the post.

Written December 21, 2010

President Kimball has said that answers to prayer can and usually do come through our interactions with others (now of course this isn't a direct quote because although is a great website it takes forever to track down a quote.) This past year I have been blessed with amazing friends that have altered the course of my life forever. A couple of weekends ago I was reminded of what amazing friends I have made and how much I love them.

I know this probably is not a news flash to anybody who has talked to me in the past 4 months (and I am a little embarrassed to admit this) but I have slowly let my motivation to be social and look presentable fly out the window. This was blatantly obvious when I spent my first two weeks in Utah laying on Brittany's couch, going to job interviews, crying at least once a day, feeling sorry for myself, eating about 300 calories a day, and wondering if I had made a wrong decision to move to Utah. While I still find myself weeping at various times throughout the week, a new leaf has turned (and I only know that because I ate three solid meals today, showered, did my hair and my makeup, AND went out to see my China girls.)

What inspired this change of heart you might ask? An amazing trip to Rexburg on December 17th and 18th as well as seeing my China friends for the first time in 10 months!

On December 17th the new student center was dedicated and my friend Ryan asked if I wanted to go with him and his sister up to the frozen tundra they call Rexburg. I of course said yes, packed my things and reluctantly made the journey up north. I was not the most excited to go because as previously stated I had let myself go and was in no condition to see all of my friends who viewed me as this confident, put together girl.
Ryan and I on my last night in Rexburg. July 2010
I know that everybody says that you should not rely on other people to make you happy or determine your self-worth, but I do, so sue me. My attitude quickly changed as I saw my dear friend/roommate Ashley. I have not lived with Ashley since last winter and I forgot how hard she makes me laugh. I forgot how good it feels to have a roommate I can stay up until 2 in the morning with playing “would you rather”, or talking about the temple and where our lives are going. 

The rest of the Thursday night was full of surprising friends (like my dearest Samantha, Annie, and Scotty D), as well as seeing friends from the ward at a little get together.

Girls Night June 2010 (we're still sorry about that one Scotty D)
I feel blessed to be able to go to the dedication on Friday. I have seen that building be built; after all I remember when that area was a field and a parking lot. After running into a few familiar faces I was able to hear the words of the Apostles as the counseled the faculty and students. My most favorite part of the entire program was when the choir and symphony played “Come Thou Font.” It literally brought tears to my eyes. During the day I was able to see a few of my favorite teachers, friends, and co-workers. It was such an amazing feeling to be in a place where I felt so comfortable and confident. After a rough couple of months I seemed to have forgotten how much I am loved, and how much I can love others. Literally one of the best experiences I could have had at this point in my life.

Then just a few short days later I was able to go to my sweet Heidi’s wedding. She is the first one from China to get hitched and she looked beautiful! I love living in Utah and being able to attend these little get together. I love those China girls more than anything and I love seeing how much they have grown and accomplished in just one year. (Picture to come)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Big Move

So for those thinking that I have fallen off the face of the earth... or moved back to China, I am here to clear up those misconceptions and publicly announce that out of all the places I could have moved in the world I decided to move to... UTAH.  I have been semi-secretive about this move for several reasons, the first being it's Utah, the second being that I had no plans (aka a job or a place to live) so to tell people I was moving to Utah would mean that I would get the "so what are you doing there" question for which I didn't have any answers.

On November 18/19 I made the pilgrimage back to the mainland and showed up on my families doorstep (they didn't know that I was coming). I spent exactly one week in Minnesota saying hello to old friends, having my first Thanksgiving home 6 years and packing up my belongings to make the 20 hour, 1273 mile drive from Rochester, Minnesota to Salt Lake City, Utah (and for anyone who does not believe in hell, all they have to do is drive through Wyoming, and they will quickly change their mind).

Some of you might be asking, "Well why in the heck did you move to Utah." Let me tell you the decision to move was just as much as a shock to me as I'm sure it is to anyone who knows me. I was planning on spending the next couple years teaching English in Taiwan and American Samoa. This decision was made several days after I passed my certification exam, while I was still in Hawaii. After several hard weeks I came to the realization that it doesn't matter where I live, what matters is that I am close to people that I love, and while I could make friends anywhere, the icing on the cake was the fact that it would be really hard to seriously date if I keep moving around. 

So here I am. I have been in Utah for exactly 2 weeks, I recently got a job working at an Autism treatment center with my friend Brittany (whose couch I've been sleeping on for the past two weeks). I looked at an apartment yesterday in Taylorsville (so cross your fingers that everything will work out). 

Really this move was a giant leap of faith into the darkness. I felt this strong urging to get out to Utah as soon as possible, even though my brain was telling me how silly that was because I didn't have anything planned out. So I put my entire trust in the Lord and as a result I have seen many tender mercies unfold in my life. There have definitely been some hard days and I'm sure there will be many more to come but at least for now this is my next big adventure! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seasons of Love

Now I'm not normally one to use song lyrics to make a point, but thanks to the two annoying drunk guys on the Haleiwa beach I was inspired to look up the song lyrics to Seasons of Love from Rent. After all that I have been through in the past year I thought these lyrics were appropriate,

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear

Five Hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure-measure a year?
In daylights-In sunsets
In midnights - in cups of coffee
In inches - In miles
In laughter - In strife
How about Love
Measure your life in Love''

I had 94 sunsets over the Pacific Ocean
I traveled 1248 miles to and from work
I laughed so hard I wanted to cry 3 times
I went in the ocean 6 times
I went through the temple open house 3 times
Played 14 hymns for sacrament meeting
Prepared 3 lessons for the Relief Society sisters
Donned snorkeling gear 1 time
Saw polynesian dancing 1 time at the Polynesian Culture Center
I commemorated the men who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor 2 times
I don't regret any of the 137, 235 minutes 

I am now making preparations to leave Hawaii in 4 days and I am so sad. After a rough beginning I have just started making friends who I will be so sad to leave. There are some pretty amazing people down here and I will miss them so much. I have experienced a lot while I've been here in Hawaii...and I would never regret those rough days because it was during those days that I have learned the most about myself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Final Countdown

1 more monday
2 more days of cooking
3 more days of art
4 more days of work
5 more SOAP notes to write
7 more days until I have to play the piano for church
9 hours of sunlight I need so I don't look pasty white when I go home
11 more days until I leave Hawaii
12 more days until I arrive in Minnesota

I am sorry this post is lacking wit or media (pictures, youtube video, funny stories, etc...) but I am falling asleep and don't have time for that right now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Walk Down Memory Lane

It's days like today that make me miss China...
I miss hearing "hello teacha" a million bajillion times
I miss waking up to the sun and enjoying a leisurely morning
I miss squatting
I miss the adventure of it all
I miss serving the girls
I miss the nude pajamas
I miss the laughter
I miss the inservice meetings
I miss teaching
I miss the orange man
I miss the cheap food, especially the fruit
I miss going down town
I miss having movie night at Abby and Brooke's
I miss bundling up because it is so cold outside
I miss the street vendors
I miss getting locked out of my room
I miss feeling confident in my skills and abilities
I miss being stared at and pointed at by strangers
I miss sleepovers at Sunday and Heidi's because I locked myself out of my room
I miss being secluded from the world
I miss trying to communicate in another language
I miss playing the fun facts game
I miss the hugs
I miss the darling kids personalities
I miss sitting in on the teachers and seeing how amazing they are
I miss the train rides to church
I miss the walk to the market
I miss the rice
I miss our holiday parties
I miss getting pushed/pushing to get on the bus
I miss the e-mails that would make me laugh
I miss the boys in Nanjing
I miss doing my laundry and getting water all over the floor
I miss the smellsI miss eating oatmeal with chopsticks every morning
I miss those girls like crazy
I miss President and Sister Yu
I miss playing "pick their type" with my darling Jessica
I miss the dumplings and fried rice
I miss sharing a twin bed with 5 other people
I miss laughing because of a pair of black panties
I miss the relationship I had with my Heavenly Father
I miss the holidays in China
I miss the growth that came from that experience
You guessed it, my nude pajamas curtosey of King. This is when I had the swine flu/bronchitis... I was so miserable.
Thanksgiving in Nanjing!
Oh Merril how I miss you!
KTVing at the Christmas Party
Waiting for the train for the last time!
Our last Sunday together after church
Making dumplings with Andy
What a character!
Saying goodbye! I think I'm more sad now than I was then.
Oh Elvis, you couldn't speak any English but you sure were cute.
Our classroom hearts
My bed... I miss you!
My squatter
Me and Brookie on the Great Wall of China
Our first family photo
Halloween Party!
The group at Tiananmen's Square
Church in Beijing
Thanksgiving Dinner at the street vendors
Our Last family photo with the guards protecting us against the swine flu
yeah for 26 hour train rides!
Doing laundry
Eating oatmeal with chopsticks
It's crazy to think about what I was doing a year ago today... A year ago today I was laying in bed with the swine flu feeling like I was going to die, even thinking about those memories makes me writhe in pain. I couldn't get out of bed to answer the door or go to the bathroom, even rolling over made me want to die. I would be nauseous all day and  all night and would wake myself up multiple times coughing. It took all the energy I had in my to crawl next door to ask Abby to by me some pop, I eventually just started leaving my key in my door so I wouldn't have to get up and answer the door. All I could eat was apples and drink sprite, I literally laid in bed for 72 hours and couldn't move a muscle. I had a fever that was easily over 100 degrees, and I was so delusional, I would talk to myself for hours and hours during the night because in my mind if I talked to myself I wouldn't be able to cough. I still can't believe how sick I was and I still didn't go to the doctor (all though I'm sure it doesn't surprise my roommates), and yet at this moment right now I would give anything in the world to be there rather be there than here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I am thankful for moments where I laugh so hard I can't stop, and the harder I try to stop the more I laugh.

There are a million bajillion quotes about laughter out there and most of them are corny and a little silly but I am a sucker for them anyways. A few ones I found were
"Laugh as much as you breath and love as long as you live"
"Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at"
and finally
"Always remember to be happy because you never know who's falling in love with your smile."

Today I laughed harder than I have in a long time, all because of this character:
Although both make me chuckle I'm talking about the character on the left

Her name is Brittany Bly and she can make me laugh harder than anybody I know. We have had a lot of memories together from high school orchestra and early morning seminary, to mishaps while texting and summer daycamp. I love this girl to pieces. Today she had me laughing so hard I got a case of the giggles and just couldn't stop. I love those moments, the moments when my ab muscles are sore because they have been contracted for five solid minutes as I have been trying to compose myself. It reminded me of the time we did laughter yoga in my Theories to Therapeutic Recreation class. For thirty minutes we sat in a circle and we looked at each other and just laughed. It is amazing the power of laughter, you should try it.

All of this laughter reminded me of my all-time favorite game, which happened to be recorded during my Rock Climbing class field trip and has become one of my favorite videos to watch. I thought for sure I was going pee my pants. (Thanks Daniel for being such a great sport!)

I guess it is really true, laughter is the best medicine!

P.S. I know this is a weird confession but I on my IGoogle homepage I have two pet turtles for some reason it makes me feel more domestic and caring even though logically I know that there is no purpose for them. I often play with them before I go to bed and make sure they get enough exercise. Perhaps it helps me reminisces about the days of my youth when I had a monkey giga pet and I kept it alive for 32 days. The turtles are 10 times better though because I don't have to feed them and when I am tiered of playing with them I close my laptop. Just thought the world would want to know about my abnormal obsession with my two pet turtles. I haven't named them yet and am open to suggestions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life is to be Enjoyed

As you might have guessed from the last post and the change in the title I am going to change the tone of this blog from one of pessimism to one of optimism. Instead of using it as a free therapy session where I talk about all of the things that are going wrong in my life I am going to focus on things I am thankful for, big or little, significant or insignificant. After all life is to be enjoyed not just endured.

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

I have erased the beginning of this blog almost 100 times, the reason.... I'm trying not to let negativity cloud this blog. There is enough negativity in the world, I don't need to contribute to that. So I have spent all day trying employing various strategies to help myself keep a positive outlook. This week has not been a good one, my internship has been challenging, I have gotten in trouble for something that I didn't do, it's been hot (and therefore I've been miserable), I looked at a picture from China and thought, "if only I can look like that" (those who have been to China can understand how sad that statement truly is), I have looked through pictures of Spring Summit and realized how much I miss it. I have forgotten what it feels like to be in such a loving, caring environment where I have the opportunity to be so physically and emotionally close to Heavenly Father's creations, I have gotten sudden waves of sadness as I think about my life and friends I have left in Idaho, I get even more sad when I think that just a year ago I was in China with 10 girls who love me and who I love dearly, and most of all I have felt more alone and isolated than I have ever felt in the past 8 weeks.
Today's activities have included a lot of positive self talk, a conversation with a good friend, some pondering, watching any Mormon Message video that have the word "trial" or "adversity" in it, a few tears, some Josh Groban, and lots and lots of sugar.

I have found myself frequently watching this video by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. Even though it won't take away my trials and adversity, it does give me hope that there are good things to come. I love when he says "every one of us has times when we need to know that things will get better. My declaration is that that is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us especially in times of need." Being here has put my newly acquired testimony to the test. I have spent much of my free time reading the words of the prophets and apostles as well as communicating to my Heavenly Father, because I need to know that there are "good things to come." This quote found at the end of the video is what has kept me going through the hard times I have been faced with, Elder Holland states, "Don't quit, keep walking, keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead, some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ they come. It will be all right in the end, trust God and believe in good things to come."

I watched this video a million times today, reminding myself that I have much to be thankful for. 

There are many lessons I can (and have learned) while being in Hawaii and I will never regret the decision I made to come here. I have been able to meet many wonderful people and I have had the opportunity to solidify my testimony and grow closer to the Lord through my trials. As Elder Oaks says, "Let us give thanks for what we are and for the circumstances God has given us for our personal journey through mortality." 
And just when you thought I would make a whole post without making a list here is a list of events I am thankful for that have helped me become who I am today

1. I am thankful for Tim and Virginia and their family. For all of the support and opportunities they have given me to grow. I think of them as a 2nd family. Words cannot adequately express how much I love them. 
2. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to be the group leader of 10 amazing girls in Changzhou, China Fall 2009. These girls were so patient with my shortcomings as a leader and they allowed me to grow so much. I love each and every one of them. 
3. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to live in Changzhou, China. It was here that I had a mighty change of heart that is spoken of in Alma. I learned about the principle of sacrifice and the blessings that can come from it. I sacrificed to go to church, I sacrificed my time, I sacrificed resources, I sacrificed sleep, not because I had to but because I love the children, I love the girls and most of all I love my Heavenly Father. 
4. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to go on Spring Summit. This experience (combined with China) has made me who I am today. This gave me confidence in myself and my abilities. It also gave me 14 wonderful friends who have all had a hand in shaping my life at one point or another. These wonderful people know me better than anybody else in the whole entire world know me, they've seen my good days and they've seen my bad days, they have seen me succeed, and they have seen me struggle, they have been there for me when I wanted to give up and just when I didn't think I could make it any farther they were there to give me the strength and confidence I needed, and at times they have even saved my life.  They know what I am capable of and they are constantly pushing me to be better and I love them with all of my heart!
5. I am thankful for my career choice. There have been many tender mercies throughout my life that have led me to Therapeutic Recreation (none of which I realized at the time),  nevertheless I am grateful for every single one. 
6. I am grateful for the wonderful teachers I have had at Brigham Young University-Idaho, they have all been wonderful and have helped prepare me for the "real world" I am grateful for the many unseen sacrifices they make and continue to make so that I can be successful in life. 

Elder Oaks states, "God offers us opportunities for blessings and blesses us through our own adversities and the adversities of others we can understand why he has commanded us again and again to thank the Lord thy God in ALL things."

I don't know why I am here in Hawaii, I don't know what I am supposed to learn, I don't know why I have had to struggle so much, but I am so grateful for the people I have met, the lessons I have learned, and the opportunity I have had to grow close to my Heavenly Father.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Here I sit in the warm humid weather of Hawaii, just wishing for a snowy day so I can sit all bundled up and listen to Christmas music all day while smelling the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. So I figured I'd make a list (because after all that is what I'm good at) of all the things I love about the Christmas season.

Favorite Christmas Movie:
I was introduced to this movie last year at Christmas time and it has forever changed my life! I don't know how I went 22 years without watching it. 

Favorite Christmas Album:
I remember that this CD would always be playing at our house during the Christmas season. 

Favorite Christmas Memory:
Our Christmas Tree
Last year I was able to spend the Christmas season with 10 girls who I loved so dearly. The weather in Changzhou was much colder than any of us could have ever imagined and we were always cold, no matter where we went. On the first weekend of December we hosted a Christmas party and invited our friends from the ward. Jessica and Brandon (who also invited his friend Luca) were the only ones that came and we had a blast!! We played Christmas jeopardy, had a white elephant exchange and then went to KTV. I even made cake in the rice maker for dessert! I love those girls so much!!!
The gifts
Some of the recipients of the white elephant gift exchange

The cakes made in the rice cooker... not too bad!
Favorite Christmas Song
Sarah McLachlan: Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas

Here are some other christmas joys that didn't make the list....
Miracle on 34th Street,
Drinking hot chocolate while laughing with roommates,
Making Christmas crafts,
Looking at the ornaments in the Christmas isle at target,
Hearing Christmas music everywhere I go,
Christmas morning,
Pumpkin Pie,
Decorating the Christmas tree,
Wrapping presents,
While You Were Sleeping,
Making snow angels,
Josh Groban Christmas album,
I can't wait until Christmas!!!

P.S. For those wondering I have 5 weeks left here in Hawaii, I'm going to miss it but I'm ready to move on and be close to those I love!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What a Wonderful Day

Reasons why today was wonderful
I passed my Therapeutic Recreation certification exam allowing me to become a CTRS at the  end of the semester,
It was a beautiful cloudy, windy, rainy, autumn day,
I got to talk to many of my dear friends (thanks to the fact that I passed my test),
I laughed so hard with my bestest friend Brittany over a silly voice message and the fact that I am plucking my own eyebrows (a job she is usually enlisted to do),
I talked to one of my good friends for the first time in 2 years,
My roommate bought me a pie to celebrate,
I am halfway through my internship,
and I discovered this song....

what more could I ask for

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I know I'm getting a little crazy... two posts in one day but really the last one was from a couple days ago, I just posted it today!!
Life has definitely been an adventure!
here are the happenings from the past 6 weeks
I've tried playing Rugby
I realized that I don't really like Rehabilitation medicine as much as I thought I would
I have forgotten that I actually know things
I became FIM certified at REHAB hospital
I've remembered how much I love working with children
I've talked to one of my best friends after a month of phone tag (love you Jess!)
I've realized how much my friends on the mainland love me
I've gained a million pounds (as embarrassing as this is to admit it's true and I thought you should all know it)
I went to the Laie temple grounds
I've missed autumn season
I miss China even more
I miss being cold and wearing warm clothes

Here are is what I am looking forward to in the next 6 weeks
Finally taking me NCTRC exam on Monday
Finally being able to go to the beach
Finishing my internship
Graduating from college (FINALLY!!!!)
Seeing my friends again
Getting a big girl job.
This is what I wake up to every morning, really pictures don't do it justice.

Tender Mercies

I am such a slacker... but I have purposely not posted because I was waiting until I decided what I was going to do after my little stint in Hawaii is done. I figured the "I'm busy" excuse could only go so far. And despite my natural tendencies to whine and complain about all the different things that could be going better I wanted to share a neat experience I had last weekend. 
The whole time I have been here it has seemed as though anything that could go wrong... has gone wrong, despite the fact that I was reading my scriptures and praying everyday. As you may or may not know I have really struggled with making friends (among many other things) here in Hawaii. Until now I have never ever felt like I have had no one to talk to or confide in (even as a group leader in China, which until now is when I felt the loneliest). Now keep in mind I'm disclosing some information I wouldn't normally disclose, because let's face it who wants to admit to the whole world that they don't have any friends, but it's an integral part of the story and one of the biggest challenges I have had here. Well a couple weeks ago Amanda, a girl from the ward asked me if I wanted to do something on Saturday. Of course I said yes to her face but then I thought, "bless her heart, I probably won't call her." Well don't worry, she tracked me down and despite all of my excuses (my typical "I'm studying") I decided to meet up with her after work on Saturday. I was a little distraught because I had just done poorly on the practice test for my exam (which is now in 3 days!! YIKES!) A lot happened and all of a sudden I was crying in her living room explaining how lonely i felt and how the hardest part is that I knew that I was supposed to be here and I just don't know why. Well imagine my surprise when instead of saying, "but you're in Hawaii you should be enjoying it" (which is what everyone else says) she said, "I know exactly how you feel." We spent the rest of the night watching the Relief Society Broadcast (which was an answer to prayers!) and talking. It seriously feels like Heavenly Father placed her into my life to answer my prayers. She is getting married in a couple weeks so I won't be seeing her as often, but just knowing that she is there is an answer to prayers. I left her house humble and so grateful for the love the Lord has for me. As President Kimball said Heavenly Father does answer every prayer, but it is usually through another individual (and not always the way we want!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Week in Review...

This past week I've....
Ran on the beach three times
Signed up for my CTRS exam in October
Sent in my application to teach English in the Marshall Islands
Left the house by 6:45 so that I could walk 20 minutes, ride two buses, and arrive at work by 8:30am
Got told I looked like I was 17 years old
Eaten my body weight in food everyday (something I am slowly working on)
Made my bed everyday
Fallen in love with two of the patients at the hospital
Spent a lot of lonley nights missing my friends
Gotten a calling as the 4th Sunday Relief Society teacher
Played the piano for Rita almost every night
Not completed my goal to take a picture everyday
Started looking for jobs on the mainland
Read my scriptures everyday
Swept the driveway
Gone hiking
Collected beach glass in my backyard
Come to the realization that there is more to life than living some place "exciting and exotic," what matters most is that I surround myself by people who love me and who I love.

I realize this is a really bad picture of me, but it is the only one that I have of me with Hawaiian scenery. This is me in my backyard.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I grudgingly boarded Northwest flight 357 on my way to San Francisco to pick up the 10 girls I would soon be leading and living with for the next 4 1/2 months. I was reluctant to leave me new found friends in Rochester and was not sure about why I signed up to go to China again, after all I had already seen the sights and experienced the life 2 years before, and in my opinion that was enough for me.
After a LONG and sleepless flight to Taipei, and eventually Shanghai we would soon arrive at the Tsing Ying School in Changzhou, China where a NASTY "western meal" would be waiting for us (which I regretfully made the girls eat the next morning... I am SO sorry).
Our teaching builiding
Here is a brief list of things I miss about Changzhou, China (not in any particular order):
1. The dumplings
2. Hanging out with the girls
3. Getting to see all of the girls grow through their experiences in China.
4. Going to church
5. Riding the bus
6. The street vendors
7. The time I had to relax and refocus my life
8. The chaos and randomness of every day life

Compared to my first trip in China this second trip was amazing and it has everything to do with the 10 amazing girls I went with. I could not have asked for a better group. They did everything I asked of them (even when it was ridiculous and I changed my mind a million times) and NEVER EVER caused drama amongst themselves. I seriously love them all so much and couldn't imagine what my life would be like without them in it. I have learned great important lessons that have been instrumental in changing my life for the better.

P.S.: Clearly I didn't post a picture a day. I apologize, life has been crazy since my internship started and I am still trying to get into a routine. I'll hopefully start posting them soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Let the games begin!

Tomorrow is the start of my internship, which could be postponed until I feel ready... but I don't know if that day will ever come. It could wait until I feel rested... but I don't know if that day will ever come. It could wait until I feel more grown up... but I don't know if that day will ever come. So I guess I'll have to suck it up, wear my big girl panties and try not to look completely disgusting on my first day of work (which is hard when all my hair wants to do is look like I stuck my finger in a light socket).

In other news, upon finishing a conversation with a dear friend I realized that I am living in one of the most beautiful places on the earth and I am taking this opportunity for granted. So I decided that in order to stop and smell the flowers (literally) I am going  to post a picture a day. My hopes are that these pictures will give you a little taste of what I get to see when I look out my window or walk out my front door. However I am NOT a professional photographer, in fact I am not even an amateur photographer so if you are going to critique and judge these pictures because of the lack of professionalness you can sop looking right now.