Thursday, April 23, 2015

Goodbye, California

When I was a little girl, my dad would ask my siblings and me questions about nothing in particular—questions to get to know us, I guess. "If you were stranded on an island," he'd say, "and you could only take one thing with you, what would it be?" "If you could only listen to three records for the rest of your life, what would they be?" "If you could only read three books forever, what would you choose?"

And this one: "If you could live near the beach or the mountains, which one would you pick?" I hated that question. How could anyone choose? How, how could anyone choose the beach over the mountains or the mountains over the beach? I've asked myself this question over and over again in life, and sometime in college, I finally decided on mountains. Then I started getting involved in water activities (e.g., kayaking, paddleboarding, rafting, rowing), and I thought, "Well, if I'm going to live in the mountains, I at least need a river or a lake nearby." I thought it was the perfect combination.

And then I moved to California.

I realized my dad had created a false dichotomy. In my mind, you could only have the beach, or you could only have the mountains. You could not have both. But you CAN! You can have both! And it's called California! You can hike AND stroll along the beach in one day! It's wonderful. I feel like crying tears of joy just thinking about it. I mean, look at this:

So why, then, am I leaving this beautiful state? For a job, that's why. It was a tough call, but I decided that this new position in Salt Lake City was a good career opportunity. I'm anxious and a little sad and will really miss my friends (and Santa Cruz!) when I leave . . . I didn't expect to love California, but I do now. It may be my soul state. (I'm holding off on that judgment until I visit all the states, though. Still. I have a feeling.)

At any rate, this is my goodbye post. Goodbye, California! I love you and will try to visit often! Don't forget about me!

Thing I'm thankful for: my small group of California friends, especially the Googlers. You know who you are. I love you all.

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day is "bicoastal," an adjective that relates to living or working on both the east and west coasts of the United States. Here's the example sentence:
Richard and Laura had become a bicoastal couple, often shuttling between their primary home in New York and their vacation ranch in San Diego.

I imagine that Richard and Laura lead lives of opulence. The high cost of New York and California living is no match for them. Richard graduated third in his class from Harvard Business School and is now an executive at Deloitte. Laura graduated with honors from Stanford Law, and works as a consultant for various digital design firms in New York. They met on a double date with mutual friends and lived together for six years before Richard popped the question. He bought her a 2.5-carat diamond ring from Tiffany and proposed during a luxurious vacation in the Cayman Islands. They've been married for seven years and thought about having children once, around Year Five.

Richard plays basketball twice a week with his HBS buddies, but his right knee is giving him problems. Laura makes him take daily vitamins and natural supplements. She encouraged him to buy the ranch, as an investment in his health. They've picked up golf and play together when they're in San Diego. After golf, Laura makes green smoothies, and they answer work email. They go for a walk on the beach in the evening, and sip mai tais at dinner. Laura recently registered for a bread-making class.

Thing I'm thankful for: conversations with Todd

Monday, April 06, 2015

All Those Opposed

Since everyone in the world cares about my opinions on trivial matters, I've decided to weigh in on what happened this weekend at the 185th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I'll give you a brief summary: When President Uchtdorf asked for an indication of those who opposed the sustaining vote of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a small group of people raised their voices. Take a look: The Sustaining of Church Officers.

Now, I will be honest and tell you that I actually wasn't watching Conference at the moment this happened. When I read about it online, though, I immediately found a video of it and watched with curiosity and quite frankly, surprise—surprise that the voices of dissent were not louder. From everything I had seen on Facebook that afternoon, I was expecting it to be a large section of the audience. Instead, it was probably just a handful of people.

But that handful of people caused such a ruckus. Such a ruckus on the Internets! And here's what: I say, let them oppose. When I heard their voices of opposition, I was proud to be a member of a Church that cares about what people think. These were President Uchtdorf's exact words on Saturday:
Brothers and Sisters, it is proposed that we sustain Thomas Spencer Monson as prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Henry Bennion Eyring as First Counselor in the First Presidency; and Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf as Second Counselor in the First Presidency. Those in favor may manifest it. Those opposed, if any, may manifest it.
Sooo he didn't ask to see a show of hands; he just told the congregation to manifest it. And manifest it they did. In this context, it's understandable that people would use their voices in opposition—after all, it's a gargantuan conference center! (It holds over 20,000 people!)

Do I think what this handful of people did was inappropriate? Offensive? Reprehensible? It doesn't matter. What does matter is that it's important for people to have an opportunity to be heard. It's important to the leaders of the Church and it's important to God, and we know this because the proposal to sustain is included in ALL Church meetings where people are being called into offices of the Church.*

I'll close with a comment I posted to Facebook the other day:
[Church leaders] could easily leave this part out or say something like, "We're just asking you for your votes, but we don't really mean it. If you disagree with these sustainings, don't bother saying so because we aren't really going to listen. We're just going to say you're being inappropriate." To me, asking for an indication of those who oppose—and not being shocked or offended when people actually do—is evidence that leaders aren't just saying these words in vain. They actually want to know whether people support or oppose their decisions, and if nothing else, it gives them an idea of the general tone of their followers.

*For more on this topic, see Dissenting Votes at Conference: Everything You Need to Know.

Thing I'm thankful for: Evelyn, Sophie, and Brenda

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Gretchen and I moved to Austin within a day of each other. I can't even remember when we met, except I think it was on my first Sunday at church. Although the specifics are unclear, I always remember my time in Austin beginning with my friendship with Gretchen. Austin and Gretchen will always be tied memories.

What made us click right away? It wasn't just that we found ourselves in similar circumstances . . .* We also have similar tastes and ideas. She was with me during my first SXSW concert (See SXSW, Part 1.), and she was with me on the trip down to the Blue Bell factory (See Touring an Ice Cream Factory.). In fact, I've done so many things with Gretchen, that you can do a whole search for her name in my blog, and there are at least a dozen results! (Oh, look! We took an archery class together! And we saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert! Wow! We have done amazing things together!)

My point is that Gretchen is the best. She's an amazing friend and one that I never tire of being around. She's one of the smartest people I know, and she's funny, fun, and easygoing. She's also a great cook, an excellent writer (Check out her blog, Gretchen Alice in Wonderland.), and has wonderful fashion sense (though I prefer her fashion to include a pixie cut!).

If you don't know Gretchen, you should make it a life goal to meet her. I'll even fly out of my way to introduce you.

*Huh. The more I think about what it is exactly that I like about her, the more I am reminded of my childhood friend Kelly, and I dunno . . . Something about that seems comforting.

Thing I'm thankful for: rest.


It's sort of impossible to tell you about Kynslie without telling you about Taylor.

Taylor is one of my all-time favorite people. I love him so much. He is tall and blonde and has a goofy air about him at all times. He is quite possibly the friendliest, smartest, and most informal people I have ever known. We first met at a speed-dating thing, and then a few months later, he moved to Atlanta to go to Georgia Tech. Taylor and I threw the awesomest parties, and he made me laugh more than anyone ever has.

You can imagine that I was pretty particular about who he dated/married. When I found out about Kynslie, I immediately stalked her online. Taylor told me she had a blog, so I read every single post. And here's what: She was funny, too, and completely transparent and informal, just like Taylor. All signs pointed to them being great for each other, and I was really happy about that.

Since then, I have gotten to know Kynslie a bit more, but mostly, we know each other through our online presences. There are two things about Kynslie that I've learned through keeping up with her blog: 1) She is so, so loving, and 2) She is crafty! Here are some of the crafts I've loved to learn about from her (and I've even tried some of them!):

Basically, I like Kynslie. She's funny and fun and nice and crafty and interesting and honest. I could see how anyone would've been particular about who she dated/married. :)

Thing I'm thankful for: Google Search.