Dinosaurs, Dragons, Denver, and Yard Sards: An adventure story

You guys.

I never go on vacation. I just don’t. But last week I did.  And it was magical. I might be sold on the idea of using my vacation time at work for things that are actual vacations. It’s shocking, I know.

So, I went and stayed with my new friends the Krumholz family. They’re pretty darn cool–and their house is also. It’s 103 years old! Lyssa and Katie and Thomas were so nice to take me on a drive-around tour of the giant art of Denver which included things like the Blue Bear, the dustpan, the horse on the chair, and the naked dancers.  They also introduced me to the concept of the Yard Sard.

Which, if you haven’t figured out is this:

 yard sard

Katie found yard sards the most hilarious of anyone, and I think we can safely say that this applies to her life:

yard sard meme

I don’t know why yard sard is sooooo funny, but I giggle every single time I see a yard sale sign now.

While I was with the Krumholz family, they took me to really cool museum.  You want proof that it was cool: UNICORNS AND DRAGONS.

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After hanging out with them for a couple of days, they decided to leave me behind and go to Utah.  But, instead of leaving me high and dry, the  left me with my best friend Kelsey and her cute baby Ava.

Side note: As all babies do, Ava loves me. But she loves me more than most babies do and more than she loves all the other people. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.  🙂

We hung out in real life for all the days. We went to the grocery store and to a park and to a train museum.  THERE WERE SO MANY TRAINS AND YOU GUYS I’M A FOUR-YEAR-OLD BOY AND I WAS IN HEAVEN WITH ALL THE TRAINS.  There were trains that you could go inside and trains that you could just look at and trains that you could read about and a giant model train in the basement.  SO GIANT.

And then Kelsey and I ate buffalo meat.  That stuff is good.  And then we hung out some more.  We talked about all the things and played with her adorable baby.


See how cute they are?

Then I flew home and there may have been some tears because going back to real life is hard and leaving your best friend in Denver is even harder.  When I got home, I was supposed to take the Green Line of trax back to my house. BUT YOU GUYS. As my luck would have it, there was police and caution tape everywhere. And signs up saying there was an exercise underway.

Turns out, there was a terrorist attack drill–and they only had one of the three entrances to the station open.  And it took me 20 minutes to find the opening.  But then all was normal and well and I made it home safely.

But, I really did love the whole thing and I want to go on vacation again right now.


On Depression

I usually only like to tell you the funny personal details of my life.  Because the world and the internet are dark and gloomy enough as it is.  But, sometimes, you just want to put all your feelings out there into the void and hope that someone is listening and that what you have to say on a topic is helpful to someone somewhere.

So, here we go. Things are about to get very real.

I have depression. Not the suicidal kind, just the get-blue-and-not-want-to-do-anything-but-sit-on-my-couch-in-the-fetal-position-wrapped-up-in-a-blanket kind.  I hate having depression. I’m not telling you this because I want sympathy, or I feel like I have a soapbox, I’m just telling you what my life has been like recently.

I kind of disappeared from a lot of the things I love because I just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING.  I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to watch tv. I don’t want to sleep, but I do want to sleep all of the times.  I don’t want to read. Or bake. Or play the piano. Or get dressed.  EVERYTHING SEEMS OVERWHELMING.

Even things like microwaving taquitos.

Sometimes, it feels like I am a fly stuck in one of those nasty tape fly traps. Where I’m sitting there and everyone else is having a good time and I’m just stuck there, watching.  Sometimes I cry for no reason. I cry when I have any sort of emotion. I cry when I see touching commercials. I cry when I hear good news. I cry when I hear bad news. I cry in the shower. I cry in my car. I cry at work.  *Which, for the record, is super embarrassing.

A few days ago at work my boss asked me a question and it was all I could do to not burst into tears.  I’m grumpy and little dumb things make me grumpier.

And the worst part is that most people don’t get it.  When I was in my first year of college, I had some very noticeable symptoms of depression.  My roommates told me (they had good intentions, I think. Based on other things that happened that year, I might be mistaken about those intentions) that if I just served more, or read my scriptures more, or prayed more, or was more spiritual, I would be happy.

While those things definitely do bring joy and peace, when you have depression, that isn’t the cure. It’s been said time and time again–you wouldn’t tell someone with appendicitis that if they just prayed more they would get better. Or that if they weren’t so worried about themselves they wouldn’t have appendicitis anymore. THIS IS NOT A REAL MEDICAL CURE.

That’s the hardest part for me: Depression sometimes goes away and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is actually a chronic illness.  I want to be happy; I don’t want to be sad. But, I have a condition that, while it is treatable, causes me to be sad some of the time.  In fact, lately, it seems like a lot of the time.

The thing about depression is that it doesn’t look the same for any two people.  When I first started telling people I had depression, they didn’t believe me. They told me I was too happy for that.  Truth be told, sometimes I just know how to glue a smile on.  Like everyone, I laugh because things are funny. But sometimes those funny things aren’t funny enough to fight away the demons battling in my head.  (The demons are actually in my head, you know? It’s not like –oh, you’re crazy, it’s in your head; but there is an actual chemical imbalance causing me to have demons in my head. Note: Not actual demons. I do not need an exorcist; I repeat. I do not need an exorcist!)

But, sometimes I am actually happy.  And sometimes I am giggling one moment and sobbing uncontrollably the next.

It’s awesome.

But not really.
The thing is this: It’s hard and scary and sometimes I am probably dehydrated because of all the tears coming out of my face, but everything is going to be okay.  That’s how life works, I hear. Sometimes crappy stuff happens and then it all works out eventually. So, don’t worry about me.  Because it’s going to be fine. But, I just wanted to give you an update.

The time that rice and beans could fly

And I’m not talking food fight style.

Today, I was eating lunch. YOU GUYS. SALT LAKE HAS BEEN SO LOVELY AND WARM LATELY. (Also, yelling the world “lovely” feels weird. Go ahead, try it.  Tell me it doesn’t feel weird to you.)

Because of the loveliness of the whole universe, we (we being Jessy, Emily, Victoria {these are my coworkers and friends}) decided that eating lunch outside was in order.  So we headed right on over to the Food Court at City Creek (which makes it sound much fancier than the City Creek Food Court) and bought some food. And took it outside.

It was warm, but not super warm.  And the wind was blowing like a toddler blows on food to cool it–fast and in gusts (don’t worry, no spit though.)

Victoria’s chips blew off her tray before she ever made it to the table we were sitting at.  I lost napkins, a straw wrapper, and a receipt. Finally, I gave up on keeping all my trash on my tray. I bit the bullet and threw it ALL away.

When I got back to the table, I made some comment about I how I wasn’t going to litter anymore. And Victoria replied that she was going to keep littering. And on me.  (Which was true, if she littered because the wind would blow her garbage at me.)  FYI: This is what she had eaten (well almost, because she had a taco.)






Well, not five minutes passed before a giant gust of toddler spit wind blew through again. In a split second, the silver tray that had previously held Victoria’s Mexican food was flying at my face. Literally, the second was long enough for me to think “That’s going to hit me in the face”. But not long enough for me to react and dodge it.

Well, good news:

It didn’t hit me in the face. It hit me in the neck.  Rice and peas and carrots and corn and taco grease. The rice and peas and carrots and corn (WHO PUTS THAT IN RICE, BY THE WAY???)  got all over me. But, the taco grease–which I thought was salsa for a really long time–stayed mostly concentrated at my neck. On my shirt.  Fun, right? I was laughing so hard I was nearly crying, and for a while I didn’t really see the full damage because of laughing.

When I finally got enough control, I determined that I probably needed a tide-to-go pen, or a shout wipe, or some kind of stain remover, so we went to the pharmacy right over by the Food Court at City Creek. (I had no idea that store had two floors, for the record!)  Where a nice man who we now call Ginger Jared helped us find a tide-to-go pen and basically bore his testimony of how it saved his white shirt from chocolate ice cream on his mission. (Sidenote: It was at this point that Victoria whispered that I should marry Ginger Jared…)

So, we got back to the Church History Library, you know, where I work. I used the tide-to-go pen. And, yeah, if I were a normal person, this is where the story would end.

But we all know that weird things happen to me.

So, this clearly isn’t the end.

And, just in case having someone’s lunch leftovers launched at you by the wind isn’t weird enough, I got a weird rash from the tide-to-go pen. (Because you probably shouldn’t be wearing the clothes when you use it? I don’t know how the magic behind them works.)

The end.

Goat thermometer

Last night I had a dream that my family and friends and coworkers joined some cult where we participated in role playing games. There aren’t many specifics from this dream that I remember, which is kind of unusual for me.  What I do remember is that Sutton Foster kept trying to make me eat bread with ketchup.

Everyone was wearing headpieces.  Mine was a floral arrangement/blindfold combo.

There was a giant bald eagle that was going to swoop down and kill us all.

But, the highlight for me was that one of the tasks that was forced upon me in this role playing cult was taking a shower with a goat.  The goat would attack me if the water was too hot or too cold, and BY NO MEANS WAS I TO LET THE GOAT OUT OF THE GLASS SHOWER BOX.

I got attacked many times by that goat while I tried to make the water the right temperature. And it bleated and bleated and bleated (Do goats actually bleat?)

And then the giant bald eagle came and landed on our feast table, and spilled all of our ketchup coated bread..

And then we were all eaten by a black bear.

I’m a weirdo.


Sometimes during the winter, the flu happens.  And it’s miserable and you think you’re dying and all you want to do is cry and sleep and barf and curl up in a ball and die.  These are facts, people.  In my last round of the flu, I learned some other facts that I thought might be helpful to you as well.

1.  Even though it has “insta” in the name, instacares still have long waits. Like 2 hours sometimes.  DECEPTION.

2.  Barfing is humiliating.  Barfing in public is even more humiliating. Barfing in public in the instacare parking lot is also pretty darn humiliating. (ALSO: WHO DESIGNED THOSE OUTDOOR TRASHCANS WITH SUCH SMALL OPENINGS ON THE TOP?!?!)

3. If they offer you an IV, you should probably take it.  THAT MEANS YOU’RE SICK.  Or dehydrated. Or both.  You probably shouldn’t just go home and try to drink away your dehydration. I mean, it might work, but you sure will feel waterlogged.

4.  There really isn’t anything netflix can’t make better (except maybe your academic scores… I think we have all been there before…) Even if you fall asleep during your second episode of something, it’s okay.  Netflix was the cure.

5.  If you get barfy at the instacare, they’ll give you souvenir barfbags. WHAT. A. TREAT.

The great news is, it was a short bug. And now all I want to do is eat all the food in the whole world (which is a major step up from where I was before I picked up gastroenteritis).

THUNDERSTONE BOOKS! and Chinese New Year!

Ireland (217)Let me tell you a story.  First of all, this is my adorable friend Rachel Noorda.  (Formerly, the Miss Rachel Chase.)  Once upon a time, Rachel and I knew each other in the first grade.  You should see us then. We were adorable.  One time, at lunch recess I tied Rachel’s coat to the fence (not maliciously, mind you) because we were playing house and she was being the naughty baby and so I determined that was the appropriate punishment. Unfortunately, when recess ended, I couldn’t untie her so I had to go tell my wonderful first grade teacher, Miss Leaver,  that I had tied my friend to the fence.  (Can you say mortifying?!)  We stayed friends until I moved in the fourth grade.

Well, as it turns out, Rachel and I studied the same thing in college. And we rekindled our friendship on a lovely study abroad to the United Kingdom. Which, coincidentally, is where Rachel lives now with her lovely husband Rob.

Rachel is amazing. She is 25 years old and working on completing her PhD in Publishing. In fact, Rachel and Rob have recently started a publishing company! It’s called Thunderstone Books.  They specialize in picture books that help children to develop bilingually. Isn’t that the coolest?

Rob speaks Mandarin Chinese because of (I think) his LDS Mission. (Fun fact: His speaking of Chinese was the reason he and Rach met. He was her TA at BYU!)  So,  Mandarin/English books are their main focus.

Currently, the have 2 books available: Picturing Chinese and Monkey Gains his Powers.  And you guys, they are cool!

Picturing Chinese  is a basic introduction to some Chinese characters. The illustrations are wonderful–they show how each character is similar in shape and form to the word it represents.

In Monkey Gains his Powers, they’ve taken an old Chinese legend–a monkey named Sun Wukong–and added graphic novelesque illustrations, as well as a simplified version of the story. And the best part is this: THE STORY IS IN ENGLISH AND MANDARIN!

So, my friends, you should really check these out! Especially since it’s CHINESE NEW YEAR! WHAT BETTER WAY TO CELEBRATE?????  I can’t think of one.  Well, maybe you could eat some Chinese food too, but this way is probably better for your brain. Happy language learning and Chinese New Year!

Inside the Criminal Mind: A Review

If we’re being totally honest here, I’m probably not the best at reviewing books. I want to make everyone feel good. I don’t want to be another one of those lurkers on the internet who hates all the things. And then shares my negativity with everyone. I understand that an author took the time to write this book. I understand that part of the author’s soul is in that book.  And, authors are people too. They deserve kindness and caring and happiness. So, my reviews tend to focus on the good in the world–even if I didn’t love it.

This review probably isn’t going to come across quite as sunshine-y.

Truthfully, I just couldn’t get into this book.  I tried. I tried hard, even.  And then, I tried again.  I made in 106 pages into it (it has 330, not including the bibliographic references and index), and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I’m sure there are people who like this book.  I just wasn’t one of them. (Which, by the way, is weird, since I kind of am fascinated by serial killers and the like.)

After reading the first four chapters–I concluded that I should be afraid of all children everywhere. All the children, based on my understanding of the chapter, have potential to become dangerous criminals.

I took a small break at this point from this book. I thought, maybe this is just too much information. Maybe if I come back to it later I’ll appreciate it more.

I wish I could say I had been right. This book just wasn’t for me.  And I’m sorry.  I’d have to give this a mere 1 star.  I’m sure the topic is interesting to someone, but right now, I’m not that girl.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books.