This Is Water

Whatever you are doing right now, stop.

I’m not usually into sharing stuff I find on the internet. But I had to make an exception today.

Take 10 minutes. Watch this. Then take 10 more minutes (or 10 days!) to think about it.

It gives me so much hope.

And is such a good reminder.

A Little Earthquake Love

imageToday at 5:49 AM was just like any other morning. I was getting ready for work, thumbing through bright colored scrubs and deciding that I was too tired for mascara or make-up. I could hear Ryan’s phone alarm clock buzzing and beeping – he has one of those nerdy alarms that make you do a math problem to turn it off. Seriously. But then again this is the kid that won college math awards, so it’s really not surprising.

Then at 5:50 AM it all changed.

I got a call from my dad.

It was short and not-so-sweet. There had been a pretty big earthquake in the Philippines. Cebu to be exact – the very place my baby brother began his mission only 7 days ago. A lot of people were hurt and killed. The mission president called to say Brent is ok. He is alive and accounted for. But that is all we know.

My dad had to hang up real fast. I must have started sobbing because the next thing I remember is Ryan holding me and pulling me into bed. He wiped my eyes and listened to me ugly cry, and then he held me tighter when I asked.

When the tears dried up, I spent a few minutes allowing a slideshow of childhood memories and warm fuzzies to wash over me. I concentrated on each family member and let the love shine through. I hope they felt it, just a little.

I’m so grateful for forever families. I am so very relieved that I know that my brother will always be mine. I am glad that he is out serving the Lord and the people of Cebu. I am grateful for a husband that knows how to comfort me.

As much as that phone call rocked my childish view of the world and made its tragedy a little more familiar, I am grateful for it.

I have never loved my family more, and that gives me courage.

Much A-Do About Nothing

Yo. It’s been awhile.

I’ll be honest, I just haven’t felt like writing. It just so happens that funks continue and they ain’t all that easy to break out of. Write that one down.

But a decision has been made. And moved forward on. And life is weird and happy and strangely good. And also scary. Really scary. Think your scariest monster-under-the-bed moment scary and you’ll get the idea.

Because we haven’t shared all of the details with those closest to us yet (or really anybody except our immediate families, for that matter) I will spare you the details for now. But just know that a house is in the mix and we are excited and I nearly vomit everyday thinking about paying a mortgage. Why is that so freaking terrifying?!?!?! It’s just money, right?

I probably should apologize for neglecting this blog, especially since this whole writing thing started out as a project for my sexy husband when I found out that he is genuinely bummed that I don’t believe in scrapbooking. Me = not creative. But I guess he knew that before we sealed the marriage deal so no backing out now, Ryan!

Forgive the tangents. I’m sitting on the couch on a Friday night second guessing our decision and hoping that writing things out with a more than slightly sarcastic tone will make me feel better.

For the record, it is. Kinda.

And now because I don’t want to forget this date night that happened a month+ ago, here is a photo dump. IMG_3885

Background: I can safely say that one of my very favorite people in the Bay Area is a certain Peyton Jones. She gets me. She makes me laugh. And she is super model pretty without acting like she knows it. Basically her husband Blake scored, big time. A few weeks ago Peyton and I decided that we needed to step up our San Francisco game and take our honeys out for a night on the town. So we hit up the less than virtuous show Beach Blanket Babylon and laughed until I developed a six pack. Seriously so much laughing.

IMG_3891If you are in the area and don’t mind a little crass/potty-mouth humor, hit it up. And maybe grab some fabulous pasta before; after all the show is in the Italian district.  Afterwards head over the hipster side of town (aka the Mission/SoMa) and grab some creme brûlée from The Creme Brûlée Cart. While I didn’t partake myself, I hear it’s basically what the celestial kingdom is made of.

On your way back to the East Bay stop at Treasure Island, act like a couple of teenagers and engage in PDA with your spouse in front of the new Bay Bridge. Admire the light show and take 500 pictures hoping that just one of them is Instagram worthy. (Side note: when it is rainy and windy none of those carefully posed pics will make the cut. But you won’t really care anyway.)

Then laugh all the way home and send prayers of thanks to the Heavens that you have such good friends.


P.S. While we were out we drove past the Opera House and saw all these gentleman and ladies in white-tie digs. Floor-length ball gowns, furs, ropes of diamonds, tuxedos with tails…you get the idea. Right there on the spot I decided that I am not allowed to die until I get Ryan into a tux and rent a dress and go to the opera. I have a feeling I’ll cry because its so beautiful and Ryan will snore because he is so bored. But that is one opportunity in life that I am NOT going to miss out on. So let it be written, so let it be done.


Elder Wright Takes the MTC

IMG_4029One morning when I was five years old I woke up to find my Mom’s friend Colleen in the place where my mom should have been. Understandably, I was confused. And frightened. It was school picture day and as a kindergartener, I was terribly nervous. It turned out that my beautiful, pregnant mother’s water had broken during the night and being only a few months along she had rushed to the hospital.

As the months progressed, she remained in critical condition and my sisters and I moved to southern Utah to stay with my grandparents. First came Halloween; I was Mary Poppins. Then Thanksgiving. A few days later we got the call – I was the ecstatic big sister to a teeny, tiny one-pound baby brother.

IMG_0022Now, 18 years later, he defied the odds. He is a genius, terribly witty, ridiculously handsome and has had absolutely no complications since leaving that NICU in Walnut Creek, California. Our family was unbelievably blessed. Needless to say, I adore him.

Almost a year ago our Church announced that the missionary age was changing. Instead of waiting until they were 19, young men were welcome to serve at the ripe old age of 18. While that was a magnificent day and the masses were overjoyed, my stomach sunk a little. Because I know my brother and I knew he was already itching to leave. The smile on his face when he found out was priceless. Magical, really.IMG_0026_2

Now here I sit, a week to the day from when he entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) as a man set apart to take the divine knowledge of the gospel to the city of Cebu. The people of the Philippines have no clue just how lucky they are.

While I could go on and on about him, it is enough for me to say that he is one of the greatest examples of love, determination, kindness and positivity in my life. He inspires me every day to do a little more, try a little harder and give just a little more. My poor heart literally exploded when we dropped him off at the curb and he walked away into a sea of white shirts, dark slacks and black name tags. Two years is a loooonnnnngggg time. But I can’t imagine him in any better place.

(Afterwards my family drowned our sorrows with Cafe Rio pork salads. It seemed like the only appropriate thing to do. But seeing as we sobbed all the way through the line, we definitely made an impression on the cashier. Leave it to us.)

You’ve got this Elder Wright.IMG_3861

Don’t Read this if You are Looking for Something Light…or do. Just Whatever.

IMG_3790Lately I have been swimming in the middle of the funkiest of funks. Its been a couple of months of high waves, low depths and a fair mixture of annoyingly boring middle ground. Big decisions are weighing heavily on my mind and I have let them eat away, bite-by-bite, at my attitude. I have been quicker to snap, slower to love and more inclined to the negative. Lovely, I know. I’ve been an absolute peach to be around lately, obviously.

Realistically, I know that I have absolutely no reason to be feeling a little miffed about my life right now. The decisions that I am facing are actually happy decisions (I need to remind myself of that on a daily basis, so indulge me in doing so here). Either outcome will bring a fairly even mixture of joy, worry, excitement and loneliness. And let’s face it…my trials and worries do not even compare to the majority of lovely people that I know. But they are my trials. So there.

My problem is that I sometimes always tend to rush. I make up my mind and I go. One thing that I know very well about myself is that I am not patient. And to be honest, I hate that. With a capital H.

After talking to the wisest women I know (thank you, mama!) it has come to my attention that the only thing I can do is make specific daily decisions to be happy. I need to do the things I know will make me feel more joy even when those things are the last things in the world that I want to do (or have motivation to do)!


Anyway. The other day I had this crazy transcendental hippie experience that convinced me that if I made an outward change, an inward change was bound to follow. So I finally did it. I chopped my hair. 10 inches of it! Freedom! Hosannah! Gloria!

And you know what…it’s starting to work. I feel sassier, wiser(?) and in general I am doing my hair more often so that can only serve to be a positive thing, right? Anything that motivates me to get ready on a day off of work can only be divine intervention, that’s for dang sure.

Wanna know something else? Just writing this all out on an empty screen has already made me feel better today. Good vibes are headed my way.

Over and out.


Camp Rucker

Earlier this spring an unfamiliar number showed up on my caller ID. As I usually do, I let it go to voicemail…call me suspicious but I just like to know who and what I am dealing with when I answer. You feel me?

Well lo and behold It was a member of the stake high council asking me if I would be available for a week in July to be the girls’ camp nurse. I’m pretty sure my first thoughts went a little something like “oh h-e-double-hockey-sticks-no. A week of camping? And sick young women? And dirt and bugs and campfires?”. As I am sure you have put together by now the great outdoors are not my forte – and most definitely not for anything longer than a 48-hour time window.

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While all the terrors of mountain living were prancing across the stage of my mind and laughing at the knot in my stomach, I vaguely remember hearing myself answer “well, yes! Of course! Count me in!”. It would appear that I am my mother’s daughter – no just isn’t a commonly used word in my vocabulary.

As the months passed and my dreadful fate loomed on the horizon…I started to actually get a little excited. I mean the girls in my ward are awesome. I love chatting with them and soaking in all of their teenage-girl enthusiasm and gossip. Who doesn’t love a good love-triangle drama? Especially when it isn’t their own?

IMG_3666 IMG_3664 IMG_3663Then July 22 came and I found myself packing tin cups, bug spray and other unfamiliar camping paraphernalia. We met at the stake center for a little debriefing and lice-screening (seriously) and then we were on our way to Rucker Lake. Three hours, a bag of peppered jerky and a cliff bar later we arrived. Sky-high trees, a lake of the deepest blue and framed cabins made me feel a little like I had traveled back in time. This was no ordinary camp ground…it reminded me an awful lot of the camp in the Parent Trap. Quaint as can be.

Well the week passed without too much of a hitch. Two trips to the hospital, a couple hundred bug bites and an unfortunate break-out of head lice were the most serious incidents. The food was fabulous – the kitchen staff aka “cookies” slaved away and my hips are about 10 pounds happier. Early morning dips in the lake earned me the “polar bear swim” badge. But the best part – getting to know the girls and women in the stake. All in all it was pretty fantastic. My testimony was strengthened and my moral batteries were recharged.

Shockingly, I have already volunteered to go again next year. What can I say, I value unpredictability. IMG_3658IMG_3660 IMG_3659


In Which New York Steals Our Friends

IMG_3921The very first friends we met when we moved to the Bay Area were Dale and Elyse Beard. They invited us to Six Flags one weekend and even though my crazy shy side was nervous as can be and really feeling uncomfortable/nauseous about spending a whole day with people I had never even met, it turned out to be pretty fun. We got to know each other over amusement park pizza (gross) and bonded because of our mutual appreciation for the boss that is J.K. Rowling. The rest, as they say, “is history”.

IMG_3916Over the past two years we watched them become friends we consider special. Vivian was born and I observed and learned as Elyse became a wonderful mother. She listened as I cried about struggling to find a job. Dale and Ryan commiserated over long work hours and the various random that is Deloitte.

We explored San Francisco together, ate way too much food, shopped a lot and they even taught me to enjoy camping. While we didn’t always get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked, they were the first ones to make us feel at home here.


Now they are moving on to bigger and better things in New York. Before they left a bunch of us had a little going away bash for them…complete with food, friends and an awesome polka dot photo booth.

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D and E – We are so excited for you guys! Go show those east-coasters what you are made of. But know, you will always have a place here.

Love you guys!