Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm a lucky girl

Today's a WIN.

I worked all morning and finished my project for my folklore class and turned it in with plenty of time.


Yup, headed to the motherland.  Why?  I'll tell you.  My mom is involved in (actually, she's the token president of) a family non-profit organization  that connects the descendants of John Blackburn who immigrated from Ireland around 1700.  I have no idea how she found it, but for the last five or six years she's attended the reunions held every other year in different places related to the family's history including Ireland once before, Gettysburg, PA, and Salt Lake City.  It's Ireland's turn again.  Last time she went I really wanted to go, but it was the summer before my senior year of high school and I'd already planned out all my camps for that very same time frame.  I'm glad I'm going now instead of then though because I'll appreciate it a lot more.

Wait, what about Italy?  Glad you asked.  Once I convinced Mom it was a good idea to go back to Ireland and take me with her, I suggested that since we are spending all this money go to clear over to Europe, we might as well take some time and see a few other places.  She agreed with my logic, and said we could go other places if I planned it.  GAAAK!  Can you say dream come true??  I was paralyzed with indecision for months, but this last week I went and talked to a BYU travel agent (anyone can use them, and it's free!) and she helped me figure out realities. I did more research over the weekend and we finalized the flights today.  We start in Milan, make our way south for 10 days, hop from Rome to Dublin, spend a week in Ireland, then head home.  


I'm sooo excited for this trip, especially since I took an art history class last semester that covered the Renaissance.  I'm a study abroad nut remember.  All the best vacations are educational.  The should be called eduvacations.  Or veducational. Ha!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Splash n' Dash

I splashed.  I dashed.  I did not win, but I did not die.  I think that deserves some kind of congratulations.

I am referring to my participation in BYU's annual Splash n' Dash Biathlon and 5K event.  The biathlon is a swim/run of varying distances corresponding to the different divisions: beginner, standard, and elite.  There is also a straight up 5K run.  Money raised goes toward other student events on campus.  I did the beginner division which was a 1/4 mile swim and 3K run.  It was a perfect morning for a race, the kind where you feel spring is in your bones and you can't help but be out in the world.

I am currently in a beginning swim class.  I thought it would be fun and good exercise because I'd never done swimming for exercise before.  It's HARD.  It's the hardest exercise I've ever done.  It is way easier for me to run 5 miles in my grossly-underconditioned body than it is to swim 10 laps in a pool.  I have felt improvement--ever so slight--over the semester, but it still kicks my trash twice a week for 35 minutes.

I decided to do the biathlon for the exercise, and to apply what I've learned in my class.  We had swum (is that a word?) 1/4 mile and more in class before so I knew I wouldn't die.  I haven't run at all lately except for a 30 minute jog last weekend when the weather was nice and I got inspired.  But I know I could run the 3K no problem even without proper conditioning; it's less than two miles.  Running used to be all I did for exercise.  I still have the endurance of strength in my legs, just not in my lungs.

So, yeah.  I did it.  Very slowly, but I finished.  The swim took a lot more out of me than I expected it too, so my run was quite under par, but I didn't walk or anything.  I have a lot of pride leftover from my ol' cross country days where I'd NEVER let myself walk in a race no matter how miserable and exhausted I was.  Danny came and served as my lap counter at the pool, then proceeded to follow me along unsolicited most of the running course on his motor scooter since it mostly wound around campus roads.  It was cute.

I actually feel pretty good today.  I expected to be really sore like I was after last weekend's run, but I don't feel any worse for the wear.  For those of you who need a picture or it didn't happen, here's one Danny took with his phone afterward.  That's my friend Janae's little sister, Laurel, on the left.  She did it too.

Please don't bother making jokes about how white I am. They're still not funny and still don't make me feel bad.   I'm fully aware of my fair complexion and it doesn't bother me because it will never change.  If it bothers you, that's a personal problem and I'd rather not hear about it.

I don't know what my time was overall.  I don't really care either.  If I'm not in condition to be competitive, I cease keeping score.  I'm satisfied that I did it, and that's enough.  Go me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Sorry about the tirade last post.  It never lasts long.  I was over it by that evening when I rebounded with a free meal at my favorite restaurant Tucanos.  (If you join their birthday club you get a free meal during the month of your birthday.)  It was my last official birthday acknowledgement.  The friends I went with made sure I got sung to and my free dessert and everything.  And then I went to the BYU vs UT game in SLC last night and we dominated.  Everything's good.

Especially today.  I'm a member of the BYU 15th Stake and tonight all the women were able to attend a special Relief Society meeting with Sister Julie Beck, LDS General Relief Society President.  I don't know who pulled the right strings because she doesn't often do this kind of thing locally, but I'm glad she made us an exception.  She gave a few introductory remarks, then opened it up for questions from those in attendance.  I really respect Sis. Beck.  I always feel invested with confidence after listening to her.  She never apologizes for teaching truth.  I took extensive notes, but here are some of her main points and other favorite tidbits.

  • If you don't have faith to succeed, you'll act in ways that will prevent success.  If you go forward with faith, you will make things happen for yourself because God will feed your faith and reward your righteous desires.
  • Making covenants doesn't insure success.  Keeping them does.
  • Never measure yourself against anything but your relationship with Christ.  If you're square with him, you're a success.
  • It's not worth it to mess around with our identity.
  • The number of dates we go on isn't a measure of the steps we are taking towards motherhood.
  • Always choose the choice that will take you toward eternal life.
Of course, no RS meeting is complete without a bookmark handout and a treat.  I wish every meeting concluded with Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Sticks!
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