Lessons Learned

Dear Dad,

It has officially been 8 years since you last hugged me. 8 years since you told me to have a good day at school and that you loved me. 8 years full of questions without answers.

I know you were sick and struggling with a lot of things, and I also know you thought what you were doing was right and best for everyone. But you were wrong. You choosing to end your life was the worst thing for all of us.

You’ve already missed so many things. You never got to see any of your kids get their drivers licenses, graduate, or get married. You’ll miss out on your children-in-law, grandkids, and grand-dogs. You weren’t here to disapprove of my first tattoo… or my second, third, or fourth (2 of them are in your honor). You weren’t even there to dance with me or my sister at our junior proms. You’ve missed so much already, and there will only be more.

For at least the first few years, I blamed you. I’m not proud to admit that, but it’s true. I didn’t understand why or how you could leave your wife and 4 kids without any warning or explanation. We all had to grow up and adjust way too quickly — the instant we heard what had happened.

Now I understand that it wasn’t you who made that irreversible choice; it was the various disorders you were trying to deal with alone, going untreated. The alcoholism, insomnia, undiagnosed anxiety, and apparent depression. I wish every day that you had gotten help, that you were still around to shoot the breeze with, but losing you also taught me some valuable lessons.

I learned to be cautious around and weary of alcohol, often times being the designated driver. I didn’t even drink at all until after I was 21 and could legally do so. I learned to deal with my feelings when I’m anxious and talk about it instead of internalizing. And the most important thing I learned was that, no matter what’s going on in my life, no matter the circumstances, if I’m ever feeling overwhelmed and like there’s only 1 way out, I will seek help.

I’ve never felt the way you must have, and I hope I never do, but I also refuse to ever be the reason that another person would feel the way I was feeling for so many years.

Every day I miss you. I miss our talks when you would drive me home from school, the debates we would get into about current events and politics. I miss your smile and your goofy personality. I miss having someone to hug every single day, and I even miss that damn Cryptkeeper mask you would scare us with every chance you got.

I just wish you were still here.

Miss you and love you.


Half-Year Update!

Oh my god, you guys! The year is already more than half-way over! YIKES!! So far, 2018 has been very eventful and has flown by!


FB_IMG_1532884074825In mid-January, I went on yet another vacation! My October trip was spent with my family at Knott’s Berry Farm, UniversalFB_IMG_1532884079924 Studios: Hollywood, the beach, downtown LA, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with a brief stop in Sin City. The trip in January began with my first airplane ride!! The views were breathtaking, but my stomach did not appreciate the turbulence at all. It is much faster than driving though, so that was a bonus!

We just let ourselves settle for the rest of that first afternoon, just relaxing at our hotels.FB_IMG_1532881755542

The next two days we spent at Disneyland and California Adventure Park. I really liked the Radiator Springs Racers ride in California Adventure Park.


On Sunday, we got to spend another day at Universal Studios: Hollywood, which might be my second favorite destination (after Yellowstone National Park).


Our final day was spent back at Disney. We only spent half of the day there so that we had time to make it to the airport for our flight home.


In February, I moved from my first apartment in the small town of Helper, Utah to a different apartment complex in the equally small town of Wellington, Utah, about 15 minutes away. It went from a very very small, 1 bedroom apartment (like, literally 3 rooms total: bedroom, bathroom, and a combined kitchen/living room) to a 2 bedroom apartment (closer to 5 total rooms). And while my first landlord had a zero tolerance policy on animals, our new complex allows up to 2 pets, within reason.

So, since patience is not a virtue I was blessed with, within the first week of moving in, I adopted the cutest little pup. He was born on New Year’s Day and was just barely 6 weeks old when we brought him home. Our boy is 1/16 Chihuahua, 7/16 Yorkshire Terrier, and 1/2 Toy Poodle, making him either a Chorkiepoo or a Chorkiedoodle. His name is Maddox, pronounced as “mad-ocks” (as it is spelled), but I have since learned that the “correct” pronunciation is “mad-icks,” which I absolutely HATE. lol.


Unfortunately for us, one of our best friends, Jolynn, moved 13 hours away to Sherwood, Oregon, right after our move: at the end of February. We keep hoping that she will miss us so much that she will just up and move back. 😉


Back in December or January,  probably, I had started playing Dungeons and Dragons socially with my group of friends. Our meetings were irregular and sparse until around April when we buckled down and started meeting once a week to once every-other week on average. And boy-o-boy am I attached to my dragonborn warlock with a dash of fighter. She has a blue guard drake as a pet, and she’s kind of a badass. Of the 7 players/characters, at least 4 have pets, so we have minis for them all. It’s pretty great!


At the end of May/beginning of June, our Jo came back to visit! I ended up calling out from work to go with our friends to pick her up from the airport. I had previously told her that I wouldn’t be able to come since we couldn’t get work off. So we ended up surprising her since she didn’t expect me. It’s like the Leslie Knope quote from Parks and Recreation, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”

glittercardsI’m going to preface this next set of pictures by saying: I may have a slight obsession with Cards Against Humanity. I own every product on their official website, including the newly released Pride Packs, with and without glitter. I have to say that the one with glitter was much more fun that the one without.



Just this last week, I almost got another puppy: she’s 1/4 boxer, 1/4 catahoola, and 1/2 husky. My mom’s dog had puppies back in May, so they had been calling this one “Lucky.” I even brought her home for the afternoon before realizing that I was not ready for another puppy right now. But, oh lord is she a cutie! Just look at those EYES!


Anyway, that’s about it other than an update on the progress of growing my hair out again! So far, I’m much happier with how my hair looks and feels!


As always, thanks for reading. I greatly appreciate it!


P.S. I know that it’s been a while again, and I haven’t posted anything during that time. I’m not happy with any of my drafts, and I haven’t written anything new either; I’ve sort of hit a wall creatively. I’m stuck. So! If you have any ideas/suggestions for what you’d like me write about, drop them in the comments. Hopefully inspiration will strike!


The “Happiest” Place on Earth

Let me first preface this post by explaining that I do not have fond memories from my first visit to Disneyland/California Adventure Park. The summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I took a week-long trip to California with my dance company. Unfortunately, no one else from my actual class chose to go on this trip. I ended up having to room/spend the week with 3 girls that I barely knew and did not get along with. They were all friends with each other, so whatever they agreed upon doing/riding is what we ended up doing.

We spent all of the last 2 days of the trip at Disneyland/California Adventure Park. Following their every whim was exhausting, and I was miserable. So my feelings about Disneyland were relatively negative after this experience.

ANYWAY! Back in January, I took my second trip to Disneyland/California Adventure Park. This experience was much better than the original; however, by the end of the first day, I was already done and ready to go home. It’s not that the company was bad or the park wasn’t fun, but I just don’t think it’s worth the money, distance, time, and effort to deal with crowds, lines, wait times, and having to pay even more money.

I think we only rode an average of 6-8 rides per day the whole 2-and-a-half days we were there (there are over 60 rides and attractions at Disneyland and 34 at California Adventure Park!). Which means we rode, at most, 1/4 of the total rides in the parks.

I will say that they have excellent coffee, croissants, and soft pretzels though. The pretzels almost make up for everything else, almost. I read a quote by Paul Beatty a while ago that really resonated with me. He said, “If Disneyland was indeed the Happiest Place on Earth, you’d either keep it a secret or the price of admission would be free.”

I whole-heartedly agree with this quote because I know for a fact that the Happiest Place on Earth is at home, in my cozy apartment, cuddled up with my pup after a long day.

Past Ambitions

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I haven’t been entirely slacking. I have actually written/started 6 other posts that are just saved as drafts right now.

I have LOVED writing since the third grade when we learned to write poems. I was by no means good at poetry, but that didn’t stop me from writing the required poem and 3 extra-credit poems. Since I was already in love with reading, my 9-year-old mind was made up that I was going to be an author when I grew up.

In 2006, when I was 11, I submitted my first story to a writing website that I was a part of. A poem called, “Santa’s Reindeer,” was my first cringe worthy publication:

When Santa goes flying with his sleigh,

Who does he trust to lead the way?

His nine noble reindeer,

Have been waiting all year.

He calls them by name,

Just like it’s a game.

First Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, and the most famous reindeer of all: Rudolph.

Rudolph leads the others,

They are all just like brothers.

The reindeer  are the reason we have presents on Christmas day,

They don’t complain even in May.

That’s who Santa trusts to fly his sleigh!

Over the next 6 years, I submitted 10 more stories and poems to this same group. And in the six years since my last submission, I have only let one person read these atrocities. Only the last two submissions were even close to good.

Since 2012, I haven’t really written anything other than essays for school and the posts on this blog. It’s always in the back of my mind though, and I often wonder if I am wasting my potential for personal growth through composition of creative ideas.

Maybe one day I’ll get back into writing creatively, but, until then, I will try to write (and post) more on here!