Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Psh....Netflix Who?

I like to reward myself. I need incentives to keep me going, and so I would hook myself onto Netflix shows, and then reward myself with watching a new one each time I did something like homework or housework. 

Well I haven't watched a show for about 2 weeks now, and I'm feeling so much better. But trust me-I didn't just quit cold turkey, I started a new addiction.

PODCASTS.

It started with Serial. A story told week by week about the mystery of Hae Min Lee's murder in 1999. If someone had told six-year-old me that one day waiting for the next episode of a public radio show spinoff would feel like waiting for Christmas morning, I would probably have given up on life sooner.

But i'm obsessed! And waiting for "next Thursday" is the hardest part--I want to just binge on every episode right now. If you haven't listened to it, it's free and I highly suggest you download it. 

If you have listened to it, what are your thoughts? I think Jay is guilty-I side with Adnan, he didn't kill her. But where is the motive in any of this!? Let me know what you think. And sorry (in advance) for getting you hooked.

Another podcast show I love to listen to is "Stuff Mom Never Told You." It's great and informative, and talks about lots of different women's topics from rape and sexual assault to why we have diamond engagement rings. Erron doesn't really like it, because it's just two girls talking to each other in a studio, and he keeps asking me "what their credentials are" But I enjoy it, I've learned so much already. 

What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Absentee

I was absolutely absent from my life this last week. I try to think about what I did and all I can think about was the sorrow in my body. It was hard. However! I am so excited to get back into the kick of things! (: Yesterday was the first day since Monday that I really felt alive and functioning, and today was even better!

Don't you absolutely love Sunday's? I mean it's a day completely chill. If you are religious you get to attend a sermon, and if you aren't religious you get to just kick back and relax all day. (Unless you work, my condolences.) In my case, since I'm LDS I get to attend what we call "Sacrament Meeting." Basically it's a one hour long meeting that we focus our thoughts and testimonies to Christ. 

Today when I took the sacrament I felt so amazing! It was like I was completely clean and pure of everything. I couldn't help but cry as I was silently praying, because I was so filled with gratitude that my Heavenly Parents delivered me from the awful week I had experienced. I was also so thankful that I had somebody who could fully and completely relate to my experience. He is the only being that could comprehend the pain that I felt, and that alone lifted a percentage of the burden.

I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel. It isn't always easy to be LDS, but it's always worth it. When we were at Carissa and Jimmy's house on Friday I told Erron, as I glanced around the house at everybody and their beers, that all I wanted to do was drink. And he understood, to an extent, how I was feeling. The reason I enjoyed drinking my freshman year of college was because (I now understand) I was numbing the pain I was experiencing. But as hard as this last week was and as sad as I was feeling on Friday, a shot of something strong wasn't going to fix it in the long run. I'm sure it would have made my night better & probably a heck of a lot more fun, but it wouldn't have fixed anything. And I'm all about fixing and healing wounds! (:

I'm excited for tomorrow, and hope that I can kick butt in school this week! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Pit

It was nothing new, but it was still so dark and deep.
It physically made me ill. 
There was no pain in my heart, there was no pain in my mind. Just in my stomach.
It twisted, a reminder that it had never really left.
Although I had treated it in the best way I knew how, the treatment I used was only temporary.
And the true wound was back, in it's original state.

I tried to push it away.
But the harder I tried to make it leave me, the deeper it penetrated my heart and my mind. 
The only two places where pain could bring me down.

I didn't ask for this. 
In fact, the book was closed.
Locked even.
And I had thrown away the key. 

But the book was taken off the shelf, by somebody else, and opened to the chapter that, though locked away, was still burned into my brain.
I cried. 
I had known it all along, but couldn't admit it to myself.
I was angry. Angry at so many different forces. The force that found the key and opened the book, the force that wrote the terrible chapter, and the force that was within me-that hadn't allowed myself to think clearly about the matter. 

Initially I was going to run away.
I didn't need to think about it.
Not again.
There was no purpose, in my mind, to relive it.
And then my heart led me to understand why this was happening.

It was for the better.

I turned to those around me that I trusted. 
They had no reason to understand why I had locked the book, but they did. 
They understood that even though I wanted to leave it shut & hidden, I needed to treat the wound properly.
What I had doctored up before was adequate, and worked for a time. But since it wasn't the correct fix, I needed to understand what it would truly take to close the wound. I needed to, once again, suffer the pain from that horrible chapter in order to receive proper healing.

That was yesterday.
This is today.
And the pit in my stomach is still here as it was there. 
It has followed me through a full 24 hours.
And it sucks.
BUT I know that because the force that had found the key and opened the book, despite my resistance, I would be forever thankful. I would know the true feeling of recovery.
In time, it would be something that I wouldn't regret. Rather, it would be something that I endear.

The past is dark.
Dark because it is hidden behind you.
Everything has already happened in the past. 
The sun has set, eternally, on it-and will not be rising again.

The future is bright.
It is before your eyes. 
It's still hidden, but nothing is finalized. 
It's open and free.
The future is full. Full of hope and joy. Full of radiance.

I cannot wait for the future.
Even if it means I have a pit in the present.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

His Hand

I have a testimony that our Father in Heaven loves us and cares about every intricate detail of our lives. 

I just experienced such a tender mercy, with my schooling. Starting on Sunday night I have checked every night at midnight to make sure that it wasn't time yet to register. (You can only register if you have a certain amount of credits.) Finally, Tuesday night I looked up which day I would need to register with my amount of credits. It told me 10/30/2014. Since I was used to the midnight routine I *brilliantly* thought: "Alright! Thursday night at midnight I will make sure to be one of the first people on the system.

Did you notice the problem? C'mon Chels... *facepalm* 10/30 starts on WEDNESDAY night, not Thursday!

However, about ten minutes ago I was awaken. (Which is pretty unusual for me lately.) And I checked my facebook out of habit. One of my friends had mentioned in her status something about not being able to log onto the university system. 

And instantly I realized that I had dropped the ball and hopefully even though it was already 1:30, I could still be admitted into the classes that I had previously chosen for spring semester. While it may seem insignificance to many, I've really had to struggle with one of my classes this semester as I didn't register on time and got the short end of the stick. 

I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Parents and for the love that they have for each and every one of their children. I'm so grateful that even with something as dumb as needing to register for junior year classes, that they care enough to give me the head start that I need. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mexico 2014--Part 10

"Wow Chelsey, you still have stuff to say about your Mexico trip in May?!?

Heck yes I do. (:

We decided on about Wednesday that we wanted to spend time in Playa del Carmen as a whole family. Bobby, Mandy and their family headed up with Erron and I to the city at about 10 that morning. We were committing to spend the entire day there. I had loved it when we went before-so I was excited. 

When we first showed up we decided that we wanted to take a trip to Walmart. The sweet rush of cool air as we walked through those doors was a present to my face. I've never enjoyed Walmart more than when I was in Mexico. We strolled the isles, Mandy picked up some sippy cups for the girls, and we looked through the alcohol isles (which was one of their largest sections) and then headed to get some junk food. As we passed the bakery the smell of fresh baked bread compelled me to take a peak. This Walmart had a legit bakery! Rows and rows of fresh baked good just sat out like at a farmers market. No plastic boxes or cellophane wrappers. Just mounds of baked bread. While I didn't want to buy any bread it was delicious to just stand there and enjoy the smell. 

I bought something a lot more culturally authentic.....Okay, I bought oreos. It was pretty much my drug of choice throughout the trip. I became known as that girl who ate probably hundreds of oreos within that 2 week span. 

As we walked through the streets, leaving the Walmart & heading towards 5th avenue (yes, Playa has a very elusive "Fifth Avenue" but there is no Saks, for those wondering..) the little girls were so incredibly miserable. The heat was really taking a toll on their tiny bodies. Mandy and Bobby picked both of them up which helped stifle the whining for a bit.


I found this beautiful car on the side of the road & just HAD to stop and snap a picture with it! It was the second cutest car I had ever seen! (The first was a white VW bug back in UT, covered with Hello Kitty). How come all the cute cars are bugs??


We then dropped off at a cheap, but delicious taco stand that Erron and I had discovered earlier in the trip. I think you could get 3 tacos and a drink for like 20 pesos, so it was a steal! They had a these delicious fruit drinks as well. My favorite was watermelon, but they also had pineapple and mango. They came in these huge waterbottles & I'm pretty sure they were just straight up fruit juice. Ahhhh it was so refreshing!







After dinner I held both of the girls, Lion King style, up to the fan that they had stationed in the corner. Their little faces were flushed red & they loved to feel the breeze on their bodies!







We walked along 5th avenue and ran into a man that would let us play with his monkey. Mandy had previous run into him & didn't realize that you couldn't take pictures without paying, so we only got a few low-grade pictures for our peso. This time we wanted the girls to play with the monkey so we all pulled out our cameras and prepared for the cuteness that would ensue.








Kaila definitely handled it better, Miah looked a little bit nervous throughout the whole ordeal. Who wouldn't be!?


Kaila also decided to get a beautiful fan as one of her souvenirs. Sadly one of the needles broke shortly after purchasing it!





And Erron attempted to take some awesome group shots of us walking through the city. We weren't too surprised that they didn't turn out too well:







We then approached a store that was selling liquor and whips. For a small price they let members of our group try out the whip. None of the girls wanted to try it out, but Bob, Kit, and Erron all tried to crack the whip. If i'm remembering correctly only Kit was able to snap it and make the authentic "whipping" noise. It was L-O-U-D!







As the sun started to set Kit, and Mandy & Bobby's families left for home, while we hung out with Bob & Kate to treat them to dinner. We had given them a "night out" for Christmas, and they hadn't cashed it in yet-so what better of a place than in Playa del Carmen? We surveyed the menus at multiple restaurants, most were highly expensive and very formal, which we didn't feel we fit it well there. We finally found a place called 100% Natural, which featured a score of entrees that were completely fresh and natural. 

We first ordered decedent drinks, all of which came in beautiful big glasses. We then moved on to the appetizers. We ordered chips and salsa and a unique cacti dish. It featured cooked cacti, along with various dips to enjoy.






After enjoying our appetizers our entrees came out and we truly feasted. Kate had a dish with shrimp that was served in a PINEAPPLE! 


I had an order of vegetarian fajitas, which featured cacti (which isn't as good as you would imagine) and other various veggies. Mmmm. Bob and Erron had some sort of meat dish, I think Bob had some chicken and Erron had some fish, but I can't recall specifics. 

After we were completely stuffed, we wandered the town chatting and looking for souvenirs to bring home to our families. I found some blankets that were dirt cheap and SO warm. I wish I had gotten one for myself, they are amazing!

I wanted to find a Cuban cigar to bring back to my daddy, because I knew that he would laugh at that. (He does not- nor ever has smoked.) But Erron had to explain to me, because I obviously don't understand basic laws, that the United States has an embargo on trade with Cuba. And then it hit--that's why Cuban cigars were such a novelty. Since I didn't really want to be pulled to the side by security making my way back into the US of A, I decided against it.
Yeah, I couldn't think of a good souvenir for my father, so sadly he didn't get one...

After our shopping spree we decided to go out for ice cream. They had a Haagen Dazs just down the street and so we popped in and ordered two cups of ice cream. Each couple shared, and while we kicked back eating our ice cream with our tiny spoons in the warm weather, it dawned on us that our trip was almost complete. We shared stories about our favorite moments of the trip, and let the happy sink into our minds.


On the car ride back, looking through the van windows at the lights in the blackness outside I was filled with sadness. I never wanted to leave this tropical paradise, I wanted to be on vacation forever! As we reached our stop, we paid our fare and hopped out, on the long walk home we talked about the great night that we had enjoyed with one another.

As we reached our condo Erron and I were hot and tired and decided to run and jump directly into the lit up pool. It felt so good to be surrounded by cool water, and just float and have fun. Everybody in our group was out in the pool and we spent over an hour just playing and laughing with each other while listening to the waves crash upon the dark shore next to us.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another Day, Another Dollar

...Except I don't make any dollars this day.

I just need to rant a little bit about my Poli-Sci teacher. Oh my freaking heck he is terrible! 

This is him, and he basically stands (or kicks back) at his computer the entire class reading off of a slide show he made consisting of text taken directly from the textbook. 

It is so hard for me to show up to this class. I feel like I could stay home and read the textbook another time and get the same amount of knowledge from it.

He's old and crazy... He just told us he has heard about "flash mobs" which are effective ways to get a group of like-minded people together and quickly trash cars and start fires. I'm dying right now! We all know what flash mobs are, right? Please Google it if not.

The other thing that drives me nuts is the fact that we have to take a quiz (online) before class starts, and it's on the chapter that we will be learning about in class. You would think that would be different, that he would want us to listen to his lecture before taking the quiz, but no way Jose! 

But whatever. I do love this class, just not the teacher. He seems like a great guy, but the train stops there. 

In any case I have been waking up excellently lately! I have had issues getting up in the morning, even if I get a full 8 hours of sleep! So I downloaded this app called "Sleep Time." And it's incredible. I don't know if it's just mind over matter, but I really think it helps me wake up at the most optimal time in my sleep cycle.

Here are the last two nights:

The yellow represents time spent "awake," the green is a period of "light sleep" and the blue is a representation of my "REM cycles."

 I really have been happy when I wake up rather than my alarm often-times interrupting my REM cycle. I made Erron try it last night, and he woke up at 6:11, but then went back to sleep. So I'm probably just a crazy person (;

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Leave of Absence

Tuesday was my last night at Target! 

At least for awhile. I am currently on a leave of absence and happy to be done with work and to be able to focus purely on my schoolwork for the rest of the semester! 

The nice thing about Target, which I've raved about to so many of you, is that Target offers you the option of taking an LOA in which you can basically take 6 months off (for family or educational reasons) and only have to work at least 1 time in those 6 months in order to keep your employment status. I really like this model because I can focus on school but when my semester is over I can work for the holidays and then continue my leave when school starts up again.

The only stipulation was that you have to work for Target for at least 90 days in order to receive a leave, and so I had to wait until just last week to obtain my leave. Which made me nervous, but I DID IT. (:

And I am still plugging away with all of my 14 credits! I was nervous starting this semester that I would be overloading myself and thought that I would have to drop a class for sure, but with the help of my family and the Savior I am able to calmly take this semester one day at a time!