Saturday, September 24, 2011

On the road again

I'm the nomadic type, it's a truth that I'm happy to accept.

After Brenna's wedding I had the chance to spend a couple days with my dear friend Alexie Lawson, who I love with all my heart. It had been way too long since we had seen each other! So we caught up in the best way possible. We went to Disney World, saw all the glamourous sights of Belleview, Florida, laid in hammocks, ate yummy food, thrift store shopped, laughed, and lounged. It was so very nice.

Then I had to take her back to the airport, and within 12 hours was on the road again. I went on my first ever solo roadtrip. Truthfully, it wasn't that exciting. I wore out all my music, all of Pandora's music, a couple podcasts, talked my mom's ear off, and got a lot of thinking done. If I were driving to see sights maybe it would have been more enjoyable, but as for now I feel that solo roadtrips are a terrible life choice.

Before reaching Utah I got to visit Manassa, Colorado. The little town that my mom grew up in and where I still have quite a few family members and lots of good memories. I spent a couple days relaxing there and catching up with all the family I hadn't seen. I even had a chance to visit Nana's cabin. It's absolutely beautiful up there. No cellphone reception or city lights to distract or confuse you. Just nature, peace, beauty, and quiet. I love how small and yet so important I feel every time I'm up there.

Anyway, I picked up a couple of my cousins in Colorado for the last stretch to Utah. And now I'm in Provo. I guess I live here. It's the first time my bags have been unpacked in months, which is fantastic. Though, I'm wildly aware that this is just a temporary living situation.

It's just strange being a nomad. I visit and stay in some of the most amazing places on earth. I meet interesting people who all have differing views on life. I see family, and I make new friends who feel like family. It's a good life, but one day I hope to have somewhere a little more permanent. Somewhere to house all my memories and adventures. Somewhere to make memories and to feel secure. Because, let's face it, as fun as adventure is "there's no place like home."

In other news, today is my last day as a 21 year old. Which my brain is having a hard time accepting. 21 and I have had our disagreements but overall it's been good to me. I'll be sad to see it go. Especially since 22 still needs to get its' act together; we have internships, graduation, world travels, and grown-up decisions to conquer.

In honor of my 21st year, I give you 21 highlights:

1. Birthday tea party with mandatory fake accents
2. Pack saddle with those beautiful yellow aspens
3. Family Cruise for Thanksgiving
4. Brenna surprising me at the new year's bonfire
5. Making money and learning how awesome my dad and mom are
6. Everything working out for me to live with Christine
7. Late night talks with Nick and Roelien
8. Advice from Christine
9. Piano playing and extravagant dinners at Christine's
10. Phantom of the Opera birthday party
11. Baking cookies at the Alexander's
12. Riding a motorcycle for the first time
13. In South Africa making pancakes when it rained
14. Solo trip to Cape Town
15. Kruger National Park
16. EFY 2011, all of it
17. The internships, those blessed, wonderful internships!
18. Brenna's wedding
19. Eating chocolate and talking with my family on my parent's bed
20. Family trip to Panama City Beach
21. Realizing that I've completed all but one of my "do before I turn 23" goals

So 22, bring it on. You've got a lot to live up to.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

Allow me to introduce you to this girl, Brenna Richardson. She's one of my very best friends.

We met at youth conference in the summer of 2006 (I think) and both worked on a youth council during our Senior year. I guess you could call us acquaintances; despite the fact that she thought I was obnoxious and talked too much, and I thought she was a snob. Which interestingly enough were fairly good assessments.

Thank goodness for BYU-Idaho with its bitter winters which gave us the perfect opportunity to bond over hot chocolate, Craigo's pizza, and a mutual hatred for the negative degree weather and those horrible bells that would ruin afternoon naps at the dorms. We've been nearly inseparable ever since.

Over the years our friendship has gotten a little ridiculous, I'm not gonna lie. We've rocked matching sunglasses and tie-dye. We've road-tripped from Florida, to Idaho, to California, and to Colorado. We lived together and once, while brushing our teeth in the morning, decided to take an impromptu trip to Vegas instead of going to class. We sing car karaoke and talk about our imaginary futures. I used to be her personal hair dyer. And somewhere in there we may have set a kitchen on fire.

I love Brenna, she is like family to me. She's my bosom friend, "an intimate friend, you know--a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul." (Shameless Anne of Green Gables reference) And I love her dearly.

When I was in South Africa she would stay up really late some nights to chat with me in the mornings my time. In the midst of our conversations about Lady Gaga, Africa, and BYU-I culture she'd squeeze in bits like "I think I like Ryan, I told him that..." which eventually led to

"Yeah, I might have to make it official eventually, dang it."

Then later "boy decided to drop the L word. Yep. I took it fine. But I'm only kind of scared and I think it's the good kind..."

and eventually she caved and said it back. Gross.

It was funny hearing all the stories in stages from my far away place, though I missed watching her fall in love.

Her wedding was a dream complete with a back yard reception and twinkle lights. Her new husband, Ryan, is so perfect for her. I could not have given my little Brenna to anyone better, even if his last name does mean "dead stuff."

It is amazing to me how much she's grown and become since Ryan has entered her life. More loving, more patient, more determined, and more happy than I have ever seen her before. We can still stay up late talking about our imaginary futures and random silliness, but a change in her is evident. I have always been inspired by the strength and confidence she possesses, and that sentiment has become more true as I watch her take on the new challenges and joys of marriage.

I am always excited to watch where life takes my friends and know that Ryan and Brenna are destined for greatness.