Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So I have an issue with dating. It's a necessary evil so I don't end up all alone with 3 million cats who eventually eat half my face, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Not to toot my own horn, but I'm a pretty confident girl. Put me in a crazy costume or make me do something silly in public? I'm there will bells on and I will probably be singing a bad 80's tune. Tell me I'm a French woman who is being attacked by aliens and put me on a stage? Eh hoo hoo, I'm a French woman being attacked by aliens. Tell me to read a paper in front of a class? No big deal. Reason with an unruly patient or their angry family members? Piece of cake! Point out body parts on a cadaver? Sign me up.

But put me on a date where I have to be confident, understatedly sexy, funny, and smart girl standing in front of a potential suitor? Suddenly I'm a doubtful, over-analyzing, nervous wreck who can't string two words together in a remotely intelligent factor. I hate that dating does that to me. I hate that it saps me of any positivity concerning myself.

Suddenly I'm debating wardrobe choices for hours, obsessing over the state of my eyelashes, begging and pleading with my unruly hair to cooperate, and forgetting what a fantastic person I am. All I can focus on is how completely fabulous my date is and how I will never be in his league. I hate that a person who believes that playing Madden 09 all day gives them athletic prowess (read: SWEEPING STEREOTYPE) makes me a quivering, bumbling fool. Here's the sad thing though....the dudes? They don't notice have of the crap I worry about for far to long.

If I have a pimple on the side of my face or a stray eyebrow hair, chances are guys aren't even going to notice. That is unless I point it out. Of course, because I feel like I look less then perfect, I obsess about it and everything I say the whole time I'm on a date.

I'm a person who likes things to be black and white. But when it comes to dating there are so many stupid factors that go into whether someone is into you or not. "Did he hold your hand? Well for how long? Was there inter-digitation? Oh no inter-digitation? That's a bad sign." or "Did he hold your hand or did you hold his? Did he let go or did you? Was there inter-digitation? There was? Oh, that's a bad sign." Geeze, and that's just when it comes to hand holding. There is also factors of how close your faces got, whether he opens your door or not, the awful "goodbye" situation (was it the awkward ass-out hug or a full body hug?).

Why are we perpetuating this terrible over-analyzing? It's driving me INSANE! Yeah maybe he put his hand on the small of my back, what does it matter? Just because he touched my shoulder for 4 seconds instead of 5 doesn't mean he doesn't or does like me.

I blame the men frankly. It's all their fault. Yeah, fellas, I'm blaming you. So what if I blame you and there's nothing you did. I can do that as a woman, just like you can suck all my self-esteem out of me because you are a man. There you go, turnabout is fair play.

Friday, October 23, 2009


As some of you may or may not know, I'm a photographer. I'm not a pro and I never will be. But inside of me has been this long sitting love affair with photos and what a photo can convey. I actually can pinpoint the exact moment when I realized I was a photographer. It was October of 2006 and I was intent on taking pictures of my family's trip to Yellowstone that year. I just started taking pictures of things that seemed important and I haven't stopped since.

After saving for and purchasing my own digital camera, I was hooked. Juno (my point and shoot) and I were nigh inseparable and I quickly became the girl who always had her camera. Juno and I spent 2 years shooting easily over 5000 pictures. Juno has since been retired and put on the hall of fame shelf.

For the first two years I explored what kind of photographer I was. I remember being fascinated by pictures of sports stars in triumph or in sadness. One of my favorite pictures to this day is a picture I took of a girl on my sister's swim team right after she looked at her time on the scoreboard and came to the realization that she was the 11th fastest swimmer in the state in breaststroke. At the time I thought it meant I was supposed to be a sports photographer. But as I evolved I realized those were the first stirrings of trying to catch the essence of humanity on film.

I always had been attracted to people as my subject manner, but in a quiet non-posed way. A simple kiss on a cheek, a pile of girls painting their toenails, or an athlete celebrating at a personal triumph (or loss). I like taking pictures of simple things that everyone can relate to. It's hard to do because 1) you pretty much always have to have you camera nearby and 2) you have to be sneaky.

Most people instantly either tense up or ham up when you pull out a camera. I myself am a ham/tenser. I do both. That is why I prefer to be on the other side of the camera for pictures. But if you are correctly sneaky (as I am trying to learn to do with a larger camera) you can catch beautiful moments of humanity. It makes me grateful to be able to see the world in this way. Some photographers only see pain or anguish. While others choose to only photograph perfectly poised models in man made light. I choose to let humanity shine through my photos.

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate other photography styles for what they are, amazing art that I could never create in my wildest dreams. I could look at photos all day everyday if I could. One might go as far as saying that I would like to see every photograph ever taken. You know, obviously striking out anything that is pornographic.

I actually now dream in photo shoots. It's a magical process of how I create a shoot in my head. Something catches itself in the web of my brain and I cultivate it for a day or so and then I sleep on it. Generally the whole thing comes together in a dream and then I spill the whole thing to Rachel who is really good at putting it in words (something I'm terrible at). Seriously that is where my motivation comes from most of the time. The cool thing about looking at pictures all the time is I often have a reference point to make an initial example of and then to run with it in a somewhat parallel direction. It's fun!

For instance, I work up one morning with my hair all kinds of crazy and my eyeliner from the night before smeared with like 20 blankets on my bed so it looked like a cave and the next night I had a dream about what I wanted it to be and this morning I verbalized it to Rachel and voila! I have a shoot in the works.

It should be fun to just work one on one with Rachel again, we haven't done that in a while where it's just me and her. The last few shoots have been punctuated with other people. It will also be fun to finally shoot in a more artistic style with Reid (my new camera!) I have yet to shoot a single "artsy" thing with him yet!

But what I think is the most important thing about photography, more important than my style, more important that my models, or the subject matter, and even the finished product it who I become when I pick up a camera. When that camera is in my hands, I feel like a great historian for those small simple moments that are so easily forgotten. By capturing a moment like my neice and nephew sitting on the lap of my younger sister I prove that all three of them existed in a space of time together and that they all obviously love each other. Things happen and there will be a time that all three of them don't exist in the same sphere. By clicking my camera for that split second I conquer the fear of a fading memory.

I'll finish up this soul-searching blog with two of my favorite quotes about photography that adequately explain why I love it so much.

"You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it."-Unknown
"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams

I'm never going to be a perfectionist when it comes to my photos, because life isn't perfect. Life is a mess.
In my opinion though, that's what makes it fun!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dear October, I love you, here's why!

Halloween Decorations!

The trifecta of Halloween cerealsOrange flowers
Seeing my old friend Greg. It was so much fun!
Black Hair!
Visiting Black Island farms with my awesome Family

And Sheet Tents!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday+No Sleep+Lot's of Downtime at Work


Happy Saturday folks! Ready for another round? You know I am!

Dear Hair-
I'm glad that you and I could get back to being friends and living a calm symbiotic lifestyle. Who would have thought that putting a little black dye in you was just the ticket to get us back on track.

Dear Village Inn-
Good food, good feelings? Why yes, last night it was! I love you, I've never had a bad time when I come to visit you. Plus bringing on a drinking game based on things I do? GENIUS!

Dear Blake-
A 40 minute long conversation? Dang I didn't think there were people on this earth that talk as much as me. You sir, have proven me wrong!

Dear Family of Deer-
Someday Karma will get you back for trying to kill me and Rachel last night.

and it wouldn't be Open letters without....

Dear Rachel-
Awwww a deer....Ooo more deer.... *high pitched scream*

Dear Stephen-
I hate you, okay so actually I think you are pretty fantastic guy. But I hate you. SHOT!

Dear Bailey/Garcia family-
Thanks for all the fun last night. I love you guys. The family that Bowls together, stays together.

Dear Goosebumps-
Go away, I'm tired of being cold.

Dear Warm Blankets-
You are the devil's creation because you are so fantastic. All warm and cuddly. CURSE YOU!

Dear Hormones-
I thought I fired you last week, why the crap are you still hanging around. I fired you, in a big way. That means NO SEVERANCE, NO UNEMPLOYMENT, NO HOPE OF REHIRE. Go away before I call the cops on you for loitering.

Dear Halloween Costume-

Dear Count Chocula-
Thank you for choosing to come stay at my house. You are promoted to head Vampire. Edward can kiss it!

Dear Franken Berry-
I can't begin to explain how happy you make me. Here's to a long happy life together.

Dear Boo Berry-
As far as cereals go, you and your fellows represent everything that is good about humanity. May your children's children be plentiful so my children's children can experience your awesome!

Dear October-
You are the best, never change. I love everything about you.

Darkily yours-

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Saturday Morning! And You Know What That Means!

Yes, ladies and's time for another round of open letters. I really enjoy writing these, and the response from them is pretty good. They are much easier than crafting well written antecdotes in was that is pleasing to you, the reader. So this might just become a regular occurence on Saturdays.

Dear Skin-
Oi, why are you breaking out so bad right now? I hate you.

Dear Riley-
It was fun to make fun of you this morning. You really are a creeper and you had my drink made long before I even ordered it. It couldn't be due to the fact that I pretty much have been ordering the same thing for 4 months, it's because you are a stalker. But that's okay, stalk me all you want!

Dear Blue Dress-
Why can't I find you, each day I don't the more I worrry I won't get my costume done in time. How hard is it to find a short blue dress that I won't feel guilty cutting apart?

Dear New Coat-
I love you, no really.

Dear Rachel (I think you are going to make it into every one of these)
Thanks for letting me be exactly who I am. Thanks for letting me cry when I need to, build sheet tents when I need to, and for letting me watch corn-tastic chick flicks when I need to. You are the best.

Dear Office,
Is all the chilliness necessary? I'm currently cuddled up to the space heater, awkward positioning and my skin is on fire. Thanks

Dear Pam and Jim-

Dear School-
I'm not speaking to you. Yeah, I went there.

Dear Hair-
Seriously what has been up with you lately. Did I do something to make you mad? You and I aren't agreeing on anything and that makes me sad. I though you would always be my ally, but you are fighting me tooth and nail. What up?

Dear Red Wristband-
You aren't coming off even if I get gangreen or some gross rash, I WILL WIN!

Dear Cozy Bed and Jammie Pants-
You can stop calling my name, I can hear you all the way over here and there is no way I'm going to get back to you until the workday is over.

Dear Raspberries-
Thanks for being there :)

Dear Hormones-
You are fired, like in a big way.

Dear Inexplicably Always Sore Calf Muscle-
That goes for you too.

Dear Large Pile of Laundry-
Are you feeding off of something in there? You seem to get bigger everytime I get home! I mean do you have a small child who's lifeforce you are sucking away, it's like you are the Audrey II! Are you eating people I love to get stronger?

and on that note-

Dear Little Shop of Horrors-
YAY! I can't wait to see you. Jacob awkwardly kissing girls? Count me in.

Dear Extroverts-
We make up 75% of the population, yet 75% of my friends are introverts. WHERE ARE YOU? The introverts are sucking my lifeforce from me, I need you to feed back my energy.

Let me make sure I covered everything....cold, no lifeforce, large laundry pile, school, messy hair, sleepy, hormones. Okay, I think I covered all I wanted to today.
Dear Reader-
If after all this time you are still with me? Thanks to you.

Shiveringly yours

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Influences (23 of them!)

I was over at Stephen's blog and I was reading a post in which he wrote about the 25 people who influenced his life. He picked 25 because he's 25 so I'll only do 23, because I'm not old like him.

1. Diane Bailey. Hands down this woman has shaped my life in ways I'm sure I still don't even understand. My mom was the person who instilled a love of the medical field in me. She's probably more than half the reason it's my calling in life to take care of the sick. We never used to get along, but now, she's really my best friend. I hope to even be half the mother/human being that she is.

2. Ron and Jeff. They come as a pair. As I've become an adult and started to realize who I really am, I can see so much of who I am comes from them. Ron showed me a side of life where I don't have to be anyone but me. If I love superheroes and video games more than real living boys/men then I'm still an okay person. Jeff really was the first person to introduce me to the rock music movement and teaching me that music isn't' really music until you make it your own. The two of them were good stand-ins when my own dad was a disappointment. I hope the man I marry and my sons have some of their great qualities. I know that they will always claim me no matter what I do.

3. Wendy and Lindsie. They also come as a pair. Wendy and Lindsie are fab sisters, hands down. Lindsie is/was my little partner in crime and was always there to let me cry when I was sad. Wendy was the quintessential "cool big sister" and now that we've become more peers than little/big sisters I love spending time with her and acting like an adult (or actually like children). They have always been my champions and I don't know what I would do without them.

4. Jean Brown. My harebrained wonderful maternal grandmother. She taught me to knit, which is gift enough. But she's also shown me what true, unbiased, unconditional love is. That woman has always made it clear that she will always love me no matter what I do in this entire world. She will always want to know what's going on in my life (even if it's dull!) and always has little gifts for me!

5. Emma Smith. This woman is truly amazing. She's everything an educator should be in this entire world. If all teachers were like this woman, then there would be no one in this earth that could be considered "stupid". She taught me physics, but it was so much more than that. She gave me the springboard into science as a whole which led to me realizing I wanted to be in the medical field. She's now become one of my best friends and a person I can ALWAYS
talk/complain to about anything and everything and she will give me good sound advice.

6. Gus Bolos. My boss at Ogden Regional, what is there to say about him? He was the first adult male besides my family members who made it clear he was concerned for my future. He would council with me on what I was doing with my life be it boys, school, etc. He always wanted full reports of the guys I dated, the classes I took and the things I did with my spare time. He would help me study for my anatomy class and saved my poor sprained ankle when I did serious damage to it for the second time in my life.

7. Dorothy Hooton. My "adopted" grandma. When we lived in California, she lived across the street. My mom was really sick while we lived there and most afternoons she would take me and my little sister to her house to play/eat/nap so my mom would have some time to just be sick without worrying about us little ones. She (and her husband Uncle Bob!) were the most generous people I have ever met. They were pretty much gajillionaires because they were extremely frugal and saved every penny they had ever earned in their entire life. They never had a problem giving money to anyone who needed it but they never spent a whole lot on themselves.

8. Rachel Rowan. My roommate/confidante/ninja bodyguard/partner in crime/best friend. I do not know where I would be without this girl. She puts up with all my crazy on a daily basis and doesn't even bat an eye. She's a person who encourages me to be my best but doesn't fault me when I mess up and become a crying mass sitting on a floor of clutter. She just picks me up, hands me a Diet Dr. Pepper, and says "heart you". She's proof God is always looking out for our well being and loves us.

9. Charlene Dolbow. Easily one of the classiest ladies to walk this earth. She was another one of my "adopted" grandma's and she always loved me and my siblings like were were her Grandkids. I kills me to think she's all alone in a nursing home in St. George slowly losing her memories, but she wanted to stay there, and she was a woman who got what she wanted. I hope to be a spicy and feisty as she is when I'm older.

10. Calista Jones Fowkes. My guardian angel. The first time I met Cali was in 2nd grade and we became fast friends. I lost her to cancer this year, it was pretty tough. She was my age and had already been battling cancer for many many years. She was a trooper who never ever lost her faith. She knew that her cross to carry from Heavenly Father was to have cancer and she shouldered that cross without batting an eye. I miss her but I know she's always watching out for me and she's keeping the porch light on for me until I get back to see her.

11. Sydney Jean Garcia. This little firecracker re-affirmed my faith in God. She came into the world 6 weeks too early and from the minute she was born she fought to stay alive. My little niece had a lot of trouble in her first 40 days of life having things done to her that some people never ever have in their entire lifetime. Every time I look at her I am reminded of God's presence. There is no way that a little thing like her could exist without the reality of God's plan.

12. Luke M. and Jack Bailey. They also come as a pair. These two little nerds in training are proof that prayer and faith works. Neither of them, according to a doctor should even exist. My sister-in-law was told that she would never have children. Luckily she and my brother didn't listen and prayed and fasted and did the Lords work and what do you know? They were blessed with not one but two babies within 11 months. Nothing gets me happier then seeing their two little smiles and hearing Luke make Yoda noises.

13. Mrs. Howe. She was my elementary school music teacher. She made a complete and total fool of herself everyday to teach kids about something she loved: music. Without her early tutelage I probably wouldn't love music the way I do now.

14. Gae Fransen. She also instilled my music love patiently teaching me piano for many, many, MANY years even though I'm still to this day not good at it! She taught me more than piano though. She showed me I can be a strong, independent woman who takes care of things that need to be taken care of and still be a stay at home mom and wife. I also know that I should never settle for a husband who anything less than adores me.

15. Kent Ripplinger. He was my photography professor in College. He taught me everything I wanted (and didn't want) to know about taking pictures. Without him, my greatest passion would have fallen by the wayside. He and I were very different types of photographers but he helped me realize the kind of photographer I am. He also had a memory that rivaled Dory from Finding Nemo so he always made me laugh.

16. Jenny Underdown. That woman welcomed me into my new department at the U with arms wide open. She has always been my friend and always puts up with my yo-yo moods. She's not one that believes in dwelling on the bad. She always sees the shinier side of the coin, the bright side of the moon, and a rainbow in every storm cloud. I would have quit this job without her.

17. Barry Axelrod. He's a stiff millitary man, and I don't really talk to him much because we have Zilch in common. But I would be remiss to not put him on this list. He has influnced my life in ways he will probably never know. When my parents divorced, he stepped up to the plate as the "Man" for our family. Whenever we would go to Bear Lake with his family, he would always be right there helping us do the manly stuff. Granted, we didn't always need his help, but we let him help us anyway. It's sweet to see the way he always makes sure we don't need "man help". We weren't helpless women, but we let him do what he felt to help us be successful.

18. Bishop Davis. I'm gonna copy Stephen and put my home ward bishop and my singles ward bishops. Bishop Davis was everything a leader should be. Kind, fair, loving, patient, and Christlike he exemplified everything that a man of God should. Not only was he very strong in the Gospel, he was a wonderful human being. His door was always open and he was always very giving. Not only that though, he was fun to be around! My most fond memory of girls camp was getting him to sing "Father Abraham". It was too funny for words.

19. Bishop Miller. In my first singles ward he was the bishop. He was only the bishop for 2 months of my time in that ward but in those two months he taught me so much about who I was as a daughter of God and how to more fully recognize Gods will in my life. He was everything a singles ward bishop should be. He was supportive and not pushy when it came to the inevitable "marriage talk". He actually would counsel people to wait until they were at least 25 to get married and told the boys to stop dating girls so young. I loved him, he was a little bit of a spitfire.

20. Mandi Bailey Cawley. This girl will always be in my life. I dont' think I could get rid of her if I wanted to. She and I have been close friends since 6th grade and we've gone through quite a few things together. She is forever my cheerleader and one of my best friends. She keeps a level head when I'm flying off the handle. She's a beautiful person both inside and out and I hope to be as fierce as she is someday.

21. Kirsten Kemmer. We spent an amazing/frustrating summer together as camp counselors. She was always there when the work of the day became too much and she would let me cry on her shoulder. That woman's shoulder is probably soaked with so many of my tears, whether it was over frustrating little girls or Dumbledore passing away. She was also my first foray into missionary work and even though I wasn't always the example I was supposed to be, her conversion from across the county re-arranged my belief in the church for the better. I spoke at her baptism in Florida without actually being there. She's basically amazing.

22. Andy Davis. Now for those of you who know who this is I'm sure you have thought....why him. You HATED him. Yes, Andy treated me like dog poop on his shoe. Yes he made me cry on a daily basis. Yes he made high school a living hell for me. Yes he got away with all of it because he was a football player. But if it wasn't for him treating me the way he did, I would have never learned compassion and love for the people around me. I don't want anyone to ever feel the way I feel! I would have never gotten thick skin, either.

23. Jeff "Duffy" Knowles. He was a really frustrating boss. He was the Gus (number 6) counterpart. All the things that were good about Gus, he was the exact opposite. Regardless of that fact, that man taught me more about Physical Therapy than anyone else I've every worked with in the field. Everything he did when I was in the room he would explain to a really good detail. I owe so much of what I know about physical therapy to him. Just don't talk sports, politics, or you know anything but PT with him.

I really am a lucky lucky person to have such a varied, amazing, group of people in my life. I love them all so much.