29 June 2010

Golden, CO

As hard as it can sometimes be to be away from home (the uncomfortable mattresses, meal-after-meal of junk food, etc.), I've really been enjoying vacationing this summer.  Being free from work for the summer is great, but I have a hard time functioning without a routine.  The exception to this is when I am off on a vacation somewhere.  I was raised to believe that when you are on vacation, it's okay to have no plans and to be free to do whatever you feel like doing.  Being out of town has made it much easier for me to live freely, which I appreciate.

This last weekend I found myself in Golden, Colorado.  My cousin got married on Saturday, so we all made the journey to the Denver-area to celebrate with her.  I have always loved Colorado, and Golden is a great little city.  In the hours before the ceremony, my parents and I explored downtown Golden, stopping at a farmer's market on the way.  We also found time during the weekend to go to downtown Denver.  We wandered up and down the 16th Street Mall and had dinner at a brewery across from Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play ball. 

Hopefully it won't be too long before the next Colorado trip!

23 June 2010

I'm Kind of a Big Deal

Okay.  This post is going to make me seem incredibly vain, but I felt the need to share.  Sitting on my sofa this morning, watching music videos, drinking coffee, and checking my email, I decided to do something I haven't done in a couple of years.  I googled myself. 

There are a lot of people out there that share my name, which I always think is kind of cool.  I would love to actually meet one of these people some day.  Anyway, I discovered that my twitter account is fourth in the search results.  As you can imagine, I feel pretty important.  (Nevermind that my account was nestled in between myspace pages of people with the same name.)

Of course, being the sort of person that prefers anonymity, I'm thinking that it might be time to look into privacy settings for my account.

21 June 2010

Bear Lake

Since before I can even remember, I've been going to Bear Lake to vacation with my family and their friends.  Bear Lake is a gorgeous lake on the Utah-Idaho border and is famous, in Utah at least, for it's delicious raspberries.  Last summer we never found the time to make the vacation up there, so I was happy to find myself at Bear Lake this last weekend for a couple of days of summer fun.  Isn't the water the loveliest shade of blue?


17 June 2010


One perk of having summers off, is that I have a lot more time to visit friends in faraway places.  Okay, I guess Provo isn't THAT far, but it does take some time to get there.

Today I took the 45 minute trip to Provo to spend some time with my friend, Libby.  We ate burgers, played with her little boy, and honed our skills at a new hobby.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be the proud creator of a stylish new scarf.

14 June 2010

Let's Do This

About a year and a half ago I went through a phase were I watched House a lot.  It was frequently on TNT or USA or one of those stations that replays old episodes of popular shows over and over.  One night, while watching, Dr. House said something on the show that really struck me.  He was talking to Cuddy and said something like, "You're not happy unless everything is perfect.  This means that you're good at your job; but it also means that you'll never be happy."

When I heard that I had one of those moments where I felt like the universe was speaking to me through my television.  It might not seem like it, but underneath the surface, I am a perfectionist.  While this can be good in some aspects, it can be really negative in others.  My tendency toward perfectionism makes me give up when I shouldn't.  Sometimes I won't even try at all just so I don't have to deal with not being able to achieve at the level I expect of myself.

Enter my blog. 

I have a really hard time really committing to writing on my blog.  I'm not the greatest writer and many of the things I write about are totally cliche.  Several times in the past, I've seriously considered getting rid of my blog all together.  This might not seem like a big deal except that I really like having my blog.  I like being able to tell stories or vent about life or express a profound thought (hahaha).  Why would I give up something that I actually really like having?

I decided that I'm going to put myself out there a little bit and stop worrying about the fact that my blog isn't as creative or well-written or interesting as others.  I'd like to write on my blog more regularly and not worry about being judged by readers.  I'd like to find a niche for my blog because I think that having a focus would really help me.  And I would like to revamp the look of it.

This might seem silly, but I've really been inspired by some of the blogs I subscribe to.  They are the sort of blog that make me feel happy and positive about life.  I'd like to have that with my blog, too.  Not necessarily for others.  Rather, I'd like it to be a source of happiness for myself.  When I started this blog, I did it for me, so that I would have somewhere to express myself.  I want to get back to writing for me without worries of what other people think about it and without being scared off by perfection.

09 June 2010

A Passion

When thinking about ways to spend the summer, one of the first things to pop into my head is to read more.  I love reading, but have a tendency to get lazy during the school year.  It's so nice to have the extra time and energy during the summer to catch up on the books I've been wanting to read.  The book on the top of my list this summer is The Golden Compass.  This is a hard book to find in public libraries in Utah, probably because of the author's atheistic viewpoints...a discussion for another day.  But in my quest to acquire this book, I got to thinking about how much I love reading children's literature and how I would like to work on whittling down my list of kid-lit books I've been wanting to read.  And then I started thinking about something else.

A couple of months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about what kind of business we would start if we had the business know-how and finances to make it a reality. I think this is a very important question for people to ask themselves because it can be very revealing of their passions in life. We were at Barnes and Noble at the time, hunting down a book we had read in 6th grade, The Cay. We had been talking about how that book had really resonated with us at the time. That was when we decided that, if we had all the necessary ducks in a row, we would open a children's book store. This book store might also feature a cafe that served things like cupcakes and hot cocoa. And naturally we'd be tight with J.K. Rowling and she would do readings of Harry Potter, like, all the time. Teen lit would have no place in our bookstore, as it is usually mind-numbingly lame. (I didn't even like it when I was a teen. I spent my teen years reading Star Wars novels in between required reading for school.  True story, Andy.)

It sounds silly, but children's literature is sort of a passion of mine.  I didn't know it until I read the Chronicles of Narnia, but kid-lit can be really smart.  In fact, some of these books probably offer more to adult readers, who can identify underlying themes, allegories, and plot devices, than they do to kids.  (If I had a nickle for every time Amy and I discussed the themes of racism and censorship in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix...).  Plus, I'm a real sucker for happy endings and the triumph of good over evil.  Sometimes grown up books end in a really depressing or unsettling manner that I don't always need in my life.

I guess I kind of have the perfect job for a person who loves reading kid books so much.  I spend about 10 minutes a day reading aloud to students from children's books that I love.  It's fun to find how timeless some books are.  For example, both years I've taught I have read The BFG and Because of Winn Dixie.  Both years my classes have loved them.  I also use my class as a barometer for new books that I haven't read yet.  After I've read a new book to my class, I know whether or not I'll read it to future classes.  I realized The Magic Tree House was a winner when my whole class started checking those books out from the library after I read the first one to them.

As usual, I don't have a very sophisticated way for closing this blog entry.  Maybe my loyal readers (all three of you) wouldn't mind sharing their favorite kid-lit book.  I wouldn't mind adding a few books to my list!