Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Not So Bummer Summer: Part...Something

School House Rock

This summer is the first time I have had a break since I came home from my mission. And how needed it was. I took of the first block of summer school off so that I could enjoy my trips and weddings and  have some much needed R&R. I literary spent two weeks sleeping and reading. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure that Marnie's family thought I died since I only resurfaced for food. It was probably a little extreme but seeing as it is the only real me time I've had in a very long time I've decided to not feel guilty about it.

Summer school restarted for me the end of June. It was a strange feeling getting that nervousness on the first day of school. I have been going nonstop that I haven't had a first day of school in a very long time. The classes I took this semester were math and a deaf cultural studies class. I was worried math would be really hard for me since I stink at math, but I was blessed with a wicked talented teacher who made it really simple. I passes both classes with a solid A.

I feel that I learned a lot this semester and began to understand why some people enjoy summer school. Its not half bad when your not cramming 18 credits in. I had a lot of decision making this semester as well. About a week before the semester ended I missed out on the wait-list. It was consecutive interpreting and I really wanted it to feel more proficient in interpreting...what I want to do if I grow up. So I felt it was a sign and went into a three day tailspin about what I was now going to do with my future. It can be a very confusing time in a young girls life trying to plan for an uncertain future. I decided that I will be an institute teacher. I at least plan to apply when I graduate and see where it will go. I also plan to take mentoring lessons with one of my old professors to try to get me up to par for the interpreting certification and see if I cant pass that without taking the classes I should be taking. I feel blessed to have made some decisions and to feel good about them, but it was probably one of the most stressful times of my life.

The upcoming semester should be a really fun one for me as well. I will have 18 credits. 3 of which are racquetball,  aerobics, and American social dance. The other 15 credits are your typical senior core classes. I also was awarded work study this semester. Which means I will be working 40 hours. I know I'm crazy to be doing this to myself, but everything seems to be working out too well not to give it a try. I have an interview on Monday to see if I will be a language tutor. How cool would that be to be a tutor for ASL. I hope that I get it and that I can do it! As crazy as my schedule will be next semester there is a small part of me that is excited and sees it as a challenge. I want to prove that I can do it. Nothing is impossible with the Lord right?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Not So Bummer Summer: Part three

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Dating this summer was a lot harder then I remember it being. Maybe because this summer was my first experience with actually dating. I can admit that I am a very late bloomer, but better late then never. I've worked a lot on my self confidence this summer, worked out, lost weight, achieved some balance to my life. With the help of the spirit I've really tried to "put my self out there" as they say and the response while confidence boosting has been much harder to deal with then I could have imagined. 

The Good
In one day I had two dates. The day started with institute and class then I met up with Travis at Zupas for lunch. It was great. It always is with Travis. We had great conversation and he even admitted to me that he is a slow mover. I'm still not sure what the meant, if he was just confiding in me because were friends or if he was telling me he likes to go slow and to give him time? Any who it was a great lunch date casual with not strings attached. The date that night was with a guy named JJ who I not only liked but from everything that had transpired apparently liked me too. We went to brick oven and then ended up talking in his car forever afterwords. It seemed to have been a good date. I was finally dating boys I was interested in.

The Bad
I'm pretty sure there are several scriptures that say opposition in all things. After the last day of institute a boy asked me out. At the time I didn't think much on the fact that this kid only showed up on the last day of class. Ah well, it was pretty cool to be asked out. I gave him my number and we made tentative plans for Friday. Now he wont leave me alone. I think I'm going to have to block his number from my phone. My mom is pretty worried about the whole thing and thinks this kid is a class A creeper. I think I have to agree. Tomorrow I have a second date with a kid that I'm not very interested in. He lives in Logan and that has bought me some time but this past month he has tried to text and call a few times just to chat. I try to put myself in his shoes and I guess I would do much the same if I was interested.

The Ugly
So I've had the good, I've had the bad. I'm now chest deep in the ugly. I have to try and tell this kid tomorrow that I'm not interested. I'm so scared of it but felt it was important to do in person and as kindly as I possibly can. I have to cancel and somehow extract my number from creepy institute boy. All the dates with good boys have lead to absolutely nothing. I don't understand why this mutual attraction thing is so difficult to find. 

For someone with prescription grade commitment issues this has been overall a successful dating season. Yes I wish dating were not so hard, and yes I wish the boys I did like were the ones filling up my missed calls list, but important lessons were learned, experiences were had and overall I'm very ready to be done dating. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Not So Bummer Summer: Part the Second

Anyone Up For A Road Trip?

I spent more time in a car this summer then I have my entire life. But its all been for a good cause. So just like most sane people wouldn't choose to run 26.2 miles just for fun, we add a good cause to the mix and all the spots run out. ha ha get it "run out"? just a little marathon humor there to get us rolling. It started with flying home to LA so I could see my brother and his family. My mom and one of my sisters was there to see my oh so talented but much to humble sister in law in her leading role of Marin in the Music Man. At least I think that is why they were there...I spent most of the first 10 days home from china sleeping so its all a little blurry  What I do remember of California was very nice and enjoyed by all. The drive from Bakersfield to Salt Lake began my summer love affair with the road. 

Shortly After returning home from Bakersfield I left for Portland Oregon to witness my best friends wedding. I have never been to Oregon and must say that it was beautiful. I heard once that it was the original destination of the pioneer saints. I'm not questioning God on this one but after seeing it I'm starting to wonder if Brigham Young was sure about the whole "this is the place" thing. I have never seen so much green in my life. Everything is so alive and smells awesome. Me and my friend Cherie left Thursday morning and drove the twelve hours there to be there Friday and Saturday and left Sunday morning. Heather and her husband Jason come from very good families. They were both so nice and inclusive. We both felt like we were part of the wedding party being invited to take part in all of the activities including the wedding lunch. On the drive up we had listen to an audio version of Jane Austin's North Hanger Abbe. In it there is a line "going to a wedding brings on another." Me and Cherie thought it was pretty funny in and of its own right, but it sure made flirting with the boys at the wedding much more enjoyable. While the trip was much too short for my liking it was such an honor to be there and be a part of such a special day for my friend. I also felt like the lord was handing out tender mercies to me the whole trip. Jason's family is from Flower Mound Texas one of the cities in my mission that I served close too. The sealer was Brother Wooley, definitely a relative some how, and the coolest one was that on the last night talking with Heather's family we discovered that my Uncle Art had been her dad's mission president. How cool is that.  

About a week after coming home I drove down to Vegas to witness the sealing of my sister and brother-in-law. What a neat trip that was. Merilee and Mark were able to be sealed for time and all eternity on their fifth wedding anniversary. It has been such a long road for them with many bumps but they have weathered them like champs and it was a beautiful thing to witness. I have been to about 6 temple sealings now and this was the first one for a family member. What a neat experience to be in that room for your own family members and see the miracle of how God gives us each other to take care of and love. Many of the sealings I've been to were for good friends, life long friends, but this was the first where I felt the eternal connections that these wedding provide us. Definitely one of the top moments of my life.

Not as far as Vegas or Portland, but this last weekend I drove to Manti for the wedding of my childhood and life long friend Ashlee Jack. This sealing had very special meaning to me in that I never thought it would be possible just 5 years ago. Heck just 2 years ago. After I moved back to Utah from Vegas, I found my friends lives in very different states then I remember leaving them. My Friend Ashlee had wandered and lost part of her testimony of the gospel while I had been gone. The next three years saw much heart ache on my end and struggle on hers. While we tried to keep our friendship, active I felt like I was living the song "How to Save A Life" by the fray. We were going down different paths. I was preparing for a mission and building my relationship with Christ while Ashlee was doing basically everything the complete opposite. I came home from my mission and found things in much the same state. Ashlee was trying to turn her life around at this point but with few inroads. As happens with life we had little contact after our initial catching up when I came home, so I was a little surprised when I had a message from her saying she was getting married and wanted me to meet the guy. Ashlee and I have the relationship where we will always be best friends. Sure we didn't talk for over a year but she is still my best friend, and it was important to both of us that I meet the guy before any rings appeared on any fingers. I had to give my approval. I was floored when she told me they would be getting married in the temple! This from the girl that I was not even sure would be alive that year from the life style choices she had been making. I was so ecstatic I cried for about an hour. Ashlee found a good one. They are so perfect together, and such a strength together. Now Ashlee made all the right choice on her own, but I like to think that at least a tenth of a percent of her change was owing to my example and friendship. I have so much respect and love for her that to be at her wedding was possibly the highlight of my summer, such an honor. It was gorgeous and she was radiant! I think I can die happy now after that event. 

While I stated above that much of my diving has been for good causes, and with the events listed above you can see what I mean, that hard part of all my driving this summer has been the commuting. I moved to South Jordan this summer to be with family and save some money. Committing to Orem for school and work has been a beast this summer. The extra time with family has been greatly cherished, but I hate driving two hours a day, its just too much for me. I often use driving as my time to think, a little bit of "me" time if you know what I mean. So by now I should be a genius with as much think time as I have had. Sadly that is untrue and all I have added is more miles to my car and more money to the gas fund. I love my family but I will be very happy to be done commuting the end of this summer. It is time for me and the road to break up.

The Not So Bummer Summer: Part the First

China: Land of Many People

Since the only people who read my blog are my family, who I stay in touch with anyways, I've decided to not feel guilty about not writing on my blog for several months. However, since my blog is the only form of journaling I do I've decided that it is far past time that I repent and update my "journal". People keep telling me that my kids will care about this one day...we'll see...
At the end of April I made my historic trip to china. Traveling was uneventful, thank goodness. However I would suggest that the next time you plan on taking a 13 hour flight, you do so with a buddy. Not because of the reasons you may be thinking, but because when you have been sitting next to a big sweaty Asian man for over 10 hours and his shoulder begins to look real comfy, you know your in trouble. After arriving safely on the opposite side of the world, I felt pretty lucky that they even let me into the country. When the man at customs looks at your entry visa with a quizzical look you start to panic. I had not completed the entry papers they give you to fill out either. Without my sister-in-law to tell me where I would be spending the majority of my visit, or what my hosts contact information was, I was left to doodle in pictures of a stick-figure family and a miniature picture of china with a star in the general vicinity of the lower right half. I guess China really must be improving its foreign relations (or just getting really lax) because they let me in! I feel pretty bless to speak the one language the rest of the world thinks is the bomb.com because there was enough English in the airport for me to find my luggage and the terminal that my brother and future sister-in-law would be coming in on. After happy reunions were made I was introduced to Evelyn's mother and we made the two hour drive to her apartment in Wuxi (pronounced woo-she).

The first thing that Evelyn's Family took care of was to feed us. They never stopped. If you think I'm kidding let me give you the fact that in the two weeks I was there I gained almost 20 pounds...no joke. After about 5 days there, Evelyn's mom commented on how I had gained a ruddy glow to my cheeks from such healthy eating. It makes me giggle to think back on it and remember how hard it was to be polite and continue eating all that was given to me when I first got there. By the end I could have given any sumo (yes I know I'm making a Japanese reference in a post about china, get over it) a run for his money. Boy the food was good! I finally understand what all the RMs are complaining about when they say that american chines food just isn't the same. My favorite thing there is this dumpling like things that is unique to the area we were in. They are similar to a wanton wrapper around a ball of some kind of seasoned pork meat, but you bite a small hole in the bottom and drink the juice from the cooked meat inside before eating the meat and pastry. Oh it makes my mouth water just thinking of them. They rocked! You cant go to china without trying some of the weird and disturbing things they call delicacies. Some that I am great-full to have tried but pray I never come across again would include:
-chickens feet
-black chickens feet
-Pigs feet
-any kind of animals feet
-squid on a stick
-other assorted aquatic animals best left in the ocean

We had the chance to see some pretty cool sites including a Buddhist temple and an old water garden of some emperor from some dynasty. The rest of our time was spent shopping and preparing/having Matt's and Evelyn's wedding. I mean that is why we where there in the first place! The night before me and Matt had to leave to a hotel. The reason being that the promenade of the groom to get his bride is a big deal. The photographers, both still and video, met us at the hotel and many shots were staged...I mean taken...Matt had to put a corsage on me and me on him. The ceremonial bedspread and decorations had to be arranged. If you look at the photos or the video it looks like I did a lot more work then I did. I love getting credit for things I have nothing to do with! After there were 6 black, decorated luxury vehicles at the hotel to take us to Evelyn's house. I'm pretty sure they hired professional stunt drivers, because as the photographers in the other vehicles wove in and out of traffic on the other side of the road (quite a feat in china's traffic) to get their shots of the car me and Matt were traveling in, I swear I could see a glint of a smile in the other drivers eye as he narrowly escaped death several times. As the angles on the other side made feet of free air magically appear were there should by reason have been no free air around the cars, We all arrived safely to Evelyn's house to have our presence announced with fireworks of the loud variety. It was at that moment that I began to understand the party and extravagance that I was in for at this wedding. Oh yes this was going to be fun! From there I watched Matt bargain his way through the doors. Bargain, bribe its all the same right? he had conveniently been given gift money to bribe his way through the doors by Evelyn's mom the night before. For some reason I still don't understand they excepted his shoulder shakes as dancing and his Barney "I love you" as acceptable singing to gain access to his bride. He did it wedding over...J/K. Next came the tea ceremony and the name changing ceremony. Matt gave tea to his in-laws and called them by their new names "Father" and "Mother" respectively, much picture staging...I mean taking was done and we left for the hotel were Evelyn performed the same ceremony to me. The grooms "family" had a lunch and by traditional Chinese wedding standards we were done. 
Lucky for us, this never ending post and the day, was just getting started!

Let me just say that Evelyn's mom sure knows how to through a party. The Western style part of the wedding began on the docs of the local lake. The entire thing was hosted by the same guy who does Iron Chef, at least I think it was the same guy. When the announcing of the brides mother coming to make a speech sounds like a Chines version of  Bob Barker announcing that your the next contestant on the price is right, it can get pretty confusing for us Americans to know when it is appropriate to laugh or be serious. I got it wrong several times. After the appropriate speeches and pictures were staged...I mean taken, we all climb into this beautifully decorated yacht. Matt walked down the aisle waving and confident. That was until he called for his bride to come and meet him at the "alter." Much silence and awkward cricket noises (provided by yours truly) greeted his profession of love and calling her forward. All hope was lost, it appeared that I was to be the sad witness to my brother being left at the alter. But wait, what is that in the distance? A large luxury boat with similar decorations is speeding strait to us. Some one is standing on the bow, who could it be. It's Evelyn and here father racing towards us, all to the soundtrack of my brother professing his love in the microphone calling her to him...appropriate pictures were staged...I mean taken. It was much like being in a movie. Evelyn got on our yacht and walked down the aisle. Vows were exchange with the help of Iron Chef man and kisses were given to seal the deal. The next part was the best because it was here that my speech was given. I gave it a lot of thought and decided that this would be one of the few times that I could express my love and well wishes to my brother on one of the biggest days of his life. My speech started like this, "Marriage, marriage is what brings us together today. That blissful arrangement, that dream within a dream..." I'm sure you can fill in the rest of my speech yourself. Yes that is really the speech I gave. Looking back on it and the tone I've used to describe the day I probably should have taken it all a little more seriously. But Matt enjoyed it and thought it was great and no one else there had any idea I was shamefully quoting a movie to be funny, if they even understood me, which 99% did not. Besides if the host gets to sound like a game show announcer why cant I quote a movie for my speech? Well after that it was eating and more eating until the boat landed and we got to go home. If I thought watching my brother potentially getting left at the alter was awkward imagine my red face was I rode back to the hotel with the newlyweds, and up in the same elevator, and walked to the door next to theirs. Ah the good moments in life.

Other grate moments from china include seeing Titanic in 3D, being stared at the entire time and not understanding completely why until it was about 10 days in that we finally saw other white people there, buying a pair of running shoes for 15 bucks, seeing a truer side of daily chines life then most tourist, being hit on by all the photographers at my brothers wedding, learning how Chines families potty train, and many more. There is no way that I can remember or relate all that I saw and experienced in China, and I'm sure this post is far too long to begin with. It truly was a wonderful experience for me and I cant even express how grateful I am to have gone. There are few indicators in my life that suggest such experiences will be common or even existent in my future life but I would love the chance to go again and hope that other trips and other countries (minus jet lag) lye in my future. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

All the Bitter Sweet Lemons

I tried to go on the master cleanse this week. It calls for drinking a special lemon aid and lots of water for a week. I made it a day. Ya, it was intense. In my own defense I did it six months ago and made it ten days. So I felt that I’ve done my duty to the master cleanse and we can part as friends with no hard feelings. The problem is that when we broke up, it left a terrible mess in my apartment in the form of 200 lemons. What do you do with 200 lemons? What do you do with one lemon? I’ll tell you what, you invite as many people in your singles ward that are willing and host an Iron Chef showdown. It was a blast! We split up in teams by apartment and had an unveiling of the secret ingredient. Each team had exactly one hour to make an appetizer, main course and desert. I chose to use the lemon as a curdling agent and make buttermilk biscuits. They were pretty good. Me and my roommates made a baked lemon noddle dish and lemon syrup for crapes. Can you believe we still didn’t win?  In a surprising turn of events a boy apartment swept the competition with muffins, chicken, and lemon bars. I guess you can’t compete with the classics.

This week marks the end of my adventure here at Alta. One whole year of living the life here in Provo. I am going to miss a lot of it, my roommates, living so close to campus, the social life, etc. I am not going to miss paying rent I can’t really afford, living so close to the BYU stadium, the social life, etc. It has been a bitter sweet day reflecting on all that I have loved and learned about life this past year. I will miss it. On the other hand I’m excited to spend the summer with family and the adventures that await. Another bitter sweet occurrence of the day was attending my last presidency meeting for relief society. I learned a lot with this calling; however I would be more than happy to go back to being a vising teacher district leader or something.

One more week and I am done with this semester. I have exactly one year left! Yes! (Dancing in the street may commence)!!!  It has not been too bad actually I’m just very overdue for a break. The last few weeks have been the only really bad time this semester and most of that was due to a world conference my department was hosting. It was really neat to meet some deaf celebrities and deaf people from all over the world. My favorite was the German man who kept slipping between German sign and ASL. I understood about 10% of what he said. There were ASL students from all levels volunteering and helping with things around the conference. It was a great confidence boost to realize how far I have come in studying this language in two years. I feel so blessed to be doing something so cool with my life. I LOVE DEAF STUDIES. Without a doubt ASL is the lemonade of my life. The trial that continues to test and try me but taste so sweet when I get a glimpse of the end. 

As so many endings are leading to new beginnings I have learned that when life gives you lemons you can make lemonade and it will taste pretty sweet, but I cant drink lemon aid for four more months so I will live it up to the best of my ability and have an iron chef adventure instead. cheers to all your crazy cook offs!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

just a few ramblings

I've decided to be a photographer. I will go in and change my major on Monday. I spent all day Thursday  taking photos for my final projet of ASL tehcnology. Way fun. I even enjoyed spending the two hours it took to edit and format my qictures the way that I wanted them. I really like the idea of learning lighting and contrast and all the elements that make up good photography. My dream came to a halting crash when I realized the good cameras came cheapest at about $1200. Oh well, all I really wanted was to look cool with a camera around my kneck. I suppose I will have to settle looking cool with my hands flying in a secret language.

The semester is almost over. I have exactly two weeks to finish all my projects, test, assighnemnts and move out of my apartment. It is a little sad. To face it all. This time in my life coming to an end. I have loved being with my roomates and living so close to school. I plan to live down here in the fall but I know it will not be the same. I have loved my roomates and my ward. I have truly been blesed to be among such awsome people.

So my little brother got married yesterday. Well he got married on paper but not in spirit. Its weird and complicated but because they plan to get married in China, in order for it to be legal they have to be married in America first. We just tacked it onto the end of our family Easter celebration. You know, "Who ever finds the most eggs gets to be the flower girl after dinner!" eat some deviled eggs, have a wedding, your typical Sharp family celebration. And since everything is about me I thought I should note that there nuptials mean that I am the only one in my family that is single. In a family of eight that is quite a feat. I have never been the "only" in my family for anything! so ya for me. No but seriously congrats Matt and Evelyn.

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot. Happy Easter! It has been a good a fairly good day. I went to church, did some family history, made dinner, enjoyed said dinner with roommates and Jordan Mitchell. Talked to some long lost family members, and now updated my blog. Now you see why I only update once every month.

I have accomplished one thing on my bucket list this week. I rode on a motorcycle this week. So amazing. Its like flying but with power! I think I need one, I just cant ever tell my mom that I have one. Whelp now that I have told you all absolutely nothing, I think its time for bed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


So I’m going to china this summer. In exactly one month to be exact. This is how the story unfolds…
My brother Matt and his girlfriend got engaged about two weeks ago. Very exciting news.
Matt “oh but hey the weddings in china…”
Me “Oh”
So that ruled out any possibilities of any of our family being able to attend. I was pretty upset about it to be honest. It is hard to face the fact that you are not able to go to one of the biggest days of your best friend and brother’s life. I was somewhat resolved to the whole situation when in the temple Mom asked me if I would like to go to China for the wedding. WHAT! Was she for real? How could I do that? Well it turns out she was for real. Many factors were preventing her from being able to go herself, and we all liked the idea of someone from our family being able to go and represent us over there. It was fate that I have no ties or other responsibilities that would prevent me from going. I was thrilled at the chance. And so the adventure of applying for a visa and buying the plane tickets began.
Did you know that traveling internationally is one of the number one causes of headaches in melodees? It’s true while I’m grateful for the experience this is giving me I do not look forward to doing it all again anytime very soon. The most difficult part has been trying to make sure that I have done everything properly. Much of this can be avoided by the use of an agency but in the necessity of making this as cheap as possible, I’m doing it myself. In purchasing my plane tickets I spent over an hour just researching the cheapest flights. I was able to find one for $800. A steal, I added the traveling insurance for an extra $100. One of the reasons it was so cheap is that I plan to make my round-trip from Los Angeles to china. I have plans to go see plans in Bakersfield before heading home to Provo. So then I needed a one way ticket from SLC to LAX I was able to find one for $100, a steal or so I thought. When I was reading the confirmation email I realized the reason the ticket was so cheap was because it was going to Long Beach and not Los Angeles.  After waiting on hold for 40 minutes I decided to look into ground transportation instead of changing my flight. Hurrah, I found a van service for $30. So all told my transportation to china will cost just over $1000. A whole 200 dollars cheaper than if I had just bought the first ticked I found and saved myself two hours of trouble. You decide if it was worth it.
The plane tickets should have been a fore shadowing of what was to come. I am currently in the process of figuring out the visa issues. So far it has not been too bad, however, I have a lot of questions that I feel are unanswered. Even printing the forms for the visa turned into an hour adventure on its own, but that’s a whole other story.
So I don’t like to complain (*chough cough this is where you nod your head in agreement), but as awesome as the chance to go to china is, it’s really messing up my life plans for the summer. Ok really it’s not Chinas fault and I should give the country a break. All of the summer classes I was planning to take are no longer being offered (a week before registration is when it change, convenient huh). So I have to reassess my whole plan. Do I take no classes this summer and graduate a semester later? I I’m in china I really can’t take first block which leaves second block. But if I’m in school second block to I stay in my apartment the whole summer so that I’m not commuting. Do I live in my apartment at all this summer, or should I move home before leaving for China? What can I afford, what do I want to do, what are the pros and cons to all of my options? My life feels more in the air than it has in a long time, and it’s never really reach solid ground for a while. Oh what a joys time of life. I’m positive it will all work out in the end. The question is how do you find end?