Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I take that back....a year later might be too late :)

May 2013: Since moving back to Salt Lake, I’ve attended a family ward, the Garden Heights ward.  I met so many great people and had the opportunity to serve with the Young Women, which I love.    But I came to a point, when I just felt like I needed to have more opportunities to meet with people who are currently in my same boat and since my workplace is not necessarily the hotbed of available LDS bachelors, changing up my church venue was an easy way to remedy that.   I definitely put a lot of thought into it before making the switch.  The thing is being single at my age, I’ve already experienced a Single’s Ward, 3 or 4 times, intermixed with periods in family wards.  I love the experience of both but I had been getting little nudges here and there and the last couple of times I visited the ward before switching my records, I really felt so welcome and that this was the place for me. My new ward, the Parley’s 7th (all 700+ members) was a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s so great to be surrounded by so many on the ball, amazing people.  We have the most amazing bishopric and advisory couples who are superhuman in their abilities to be present and make everyone feel loved.  I guess the biggest surprise of all is how much I get spiritually from the ward.  It’s a shame that sometimes Single’s Wards get a reputation for being all fluff.  Every Sunday I leave feeling that I felt and heard things that were specifically meant for me.   Ironic that on my first Sunday there I would meet someone who I would end up dating for a few months.  He was a great guy and had a lot of great qualities, but just not a match for me.

June 2013: Love June here in Utah!  It’s so beautiful and so fun to see everyone out just enjoying the beautiful weather that we’ve waited so long for. J  What’s not to love about June when it also signals the beginning of vacation!!  My niece Taylor graduated from High School and is headed to BYU in the fall and it was definitely bitter sweet!  I kept having flashbacks of seeing her as a little girl sitting on their front porch then seeing her walk across the stage and accept her diploma.  How did this happen that all my nieces and nephews are getting so big and becoming such amazing young women and men.  Makes me so proud and lucky to have such a special relationship with them! 

July 2013:  My mom, dad and I had all talked about our desire to travel to the British Isles, so we decided to take our 3rd annual father/mom/daughter trip.  We took a 12 day cruise around the British Isles including some pretty amazing stops: throughout Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England.  It was such a great trip, filled with great memories.  Some of the highlights for me were: Guernsey (always wanted to go there after reading the book) and Victor Hugo’s house and our accompanying tour were amazing!, Cobh, Ireland:  Green, green everywhere green and love the Irish humor,  Orkney Island, Scotland: beautiful, quaint little town and history everywhere! And Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Ireland.

August 2013: For some odd reason, I seem to have a knack for winning things on the radio, believe me, not complaining J  My score this month was for 2 tickets to the Sara Bareilles/One Republic concert: love both of them so much!!  But, further score, a day after winning, another radio station emailed me to tell me I had won 2 more tickets including meet and greet passes!  The concert was up at Deer Valley and was hands down one of the most amazing concerts: perfect weather, perfect venue!  Amber and I went along with my friend and her date.

October 2013: My friends Misty, Alison, Elizabeth and I decided to hit up the Washington DC Midsingles Conference, which was so much fun!  We met so many great people and in between events tried to hit up some of the DC sites.  My cute friend Craig offered to let us stay at his house in Arlington and was the greatest host!

November 2013: The big 3-9!  It was such a great day!  Amber made me the sweetest DVD filled with family members saying one word to describe me.  Dangerous to watch….bawlfest!  I do not hide my emotions well!  It just made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have my constant, encouraging, loving family around me!  Love them!  My cute friend Misty pulled the grand surprise, flying in the night before to surprise me for my b-day.  I was out on a date at the symphony and she was with a group of my other friends who were there, so at the end of the performance looked over across the lobby and saw here there, huge shock!  And great surprise! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Never too late....

Part I:

So, I’ve decided to come out of blog retirement J  I’m embarrassed that it’s been so long since I’ve last updated, but I’ve kind of just been enjoying life the last year.  It reminds me a little of an experience I had on a trip Amber and I took to Asia.  We were in Cambodia, walking in the ruins of Angkor Wat.  Apparently it’s a sunset not to be missed, so we scurried up the hill and I was set to take plenty of pictures (since those who know me, know how I’m all about taking pictures: oftentimes much to the chagrin of my friends and family).  So I pulled out my camera and found that my battery had died.  I’m not going to lie, I would not drop it and was so incredibly bummed that I wouldn’t have any proof of this great sunset, but then I decided to just enjoy the moment and make mental memories and it really was one of the best sunsets ever.  On that note, I did want to sum of a few of the fun, memorable moments of 2012:

January: This was a month of mixed emotions, early in the month I had the opportunity to attend one of my best friends weddings in L.A.  Chrisi was a great friend of mine who I met when we both worked at BYU Info and years later we reconnected randomly to become roommates in Santa Monica.  She has always been such an awesome friend and so supportive in every way.  It was such a beautiful day and leave it to Chris to pull of the wedding in such style.  Very clear from the beautiful reception that she’s a designer.

The end of the month was bittersweet as my amazing Grandma McLeod passed away.  It’s weird how time and love and loss can make you see the perspective in things.   After my Grandpa McLeod passed away 11 years before, I think Grandma surprised us all with her strength to carry on alone.  And to be honest, that was a great lesson that she taught me.  Grandma was truly one of a kind: she relished her role of being a Mom and Grandma, was honest (sometimes painfully so J), thoughtful, funny, appreciative of life and where she was at, up on the trends (from Dancing with the Stars and the Bachelor to dressing to the nines for family dinner) and unabashedly in love with chocolate: sometimes 3-4 runs a week for Lindt Truffles.  I love my Grandma and miss her every day.  Every once in a while I’ll still make cookies and have extra and think to run them over to her and realize I can’t L  I am so proud to be a part of the legacy that my Grandma has left and see bits of her and my Grandpa in every single member of the McLeod/Pulley bunch. 

February:  Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  Someone left this cute note and bag on my car.  Was a great lesson to me to remember the little things, it sure made a difference for me!

April: As long as I could remember in the back of my head I’ve thought, “it would be pretty cool to be able to run a marathon”, so I signed up for the S.L. Marathon several months prior.  Well, all was fine and dandy, except for the fact that even though I was running and felt great, those long runs went the way of the wind and before I knew it the day of the marathon snuck up on me.  I can’t lie I really did go back and forth as to if I would even be ready.  If this is any indication, when I went to the registration fair, one of the volunteers upon hearing how little I had trained said “you know, you can always switch to the half”, but then I started thinking about it, Amber told me to just go for it and that she knew I could do it and I decided yes!  The next morning I woke up to a total downpour and almost had to laugh.  What an incredible experience though and one I’ll never forget!  Can I just say?  There is no way I would’ve crossed the finish line without my family and friends.  They are amazing!  I ran the first bit by myself, then Amber joined in with me and we ran several miles until we passed my parents house where my whole family was standing out with signs, bananas, cheers, etc…  I felt so loved!  Then Ky picked up and ran with me (total trooper considering his non rain appropriate gear J)for several miles, then we met up with Jen and again Jen ran with me for a long stretch then I connected with my friend Lisa from work who ran with me and kept my spirits up.  The last few miles I was joined by Am, Ky and Tay and we laughed, hurt, chatted and celebrated until the last mile where they left me to finish out where my cute mom and dad were waiting for me there at the finish line.  It was seriously a memory I’ll never forget.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!!

It was a great Christmas this year! It started off with Christmas Eve at my Mom and Dad's house. Everyone was there except for Mitch, Ali and the kids, Ky, Hales and their kids and Mike and Mindy (who poor babies, had to spend the holidays in Hawaii :) Beck and the kids were able to come up which made it that much more fun. We had a great dinner, then did our White Elephant gift exchange, some talents from the grandkids and then the Nativity story. We woke up to tons of freshly fallen snow. So beautiful, especially when you don't have to go to work in the morning. After talking to a friend of mine who doesn't have a relationship with her family, it made me realize how truly lucky I am to have such a caring, fun family and extended family...love them more than they know!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Moroccan Thanksgiving!!

My friend Misty and I just got back from a truly unforgettable vacation to Morocco. Precursor to the photos, yes wearing practically the same outfits day after day after day, because part of why it was so unforgettable is that they lost our luggage....for the entire vacation!!! The situation went from hopeful to frustrated to comical in trying to communicate with our French/Arabic speaking friends how 5 days wearing the same thing is no fun! Fortunately, both Misty and I had a change of clothes in our carry on bags and I did have my toothbrush and toothpaste. I kept trying to see any parallels in why our bags were lost and if anything it made me very very thankful for all I have, but it also made me realize how little you really need to get by. Part of what made our trip so great were the other people on our tour. They were so incredibly sweet and generous, offering to lend us any clothes, their adapters, chargers, etc... Our tour guide even bought us 2 caftan looking things because he felt so bad for us by the 4th day. However, saying a lot that even in a clothing pinch, I wouldn't wear it. Anyway, aside from the baggage issue, Morocco was a very cool, completely different place than I've ever been. We traveled through the whole country and the architecture and countryside were so pretty. We started off in Rabat, the capital. This was probably my least favorite city. It felt like just another big, dirty city to me. Then we made our way to Fez. I loved the old walls surrounding the medina in Fez. The medina was like a maze with narrow winding alleys filled with all kind of things: spices, metal shops, people leading donkeys, mystery meat hanging from windows (pretty sure there was a dead cat in one window), etc... There was so much to see I almost couldn't keep up. We also went to see one of the oldest tanneries in the world where they make and dye leather. The smell was overwhelming...so gross! And talk about back breaking work, made me feel for all those workers, what a tough life! After Fez, we headed to Marrakech. This city was by far my most favorite. It was a great combination of the new, modern city alongside the old city walls and ruins. Lastly we ended up in Casablanca. It was another big city, reminded me a bit of Rabat, except Casablanca has the Atlantic Ocean and a very cool shopping mall called the Moroccan Mall, with an enormous fish tank in the center and more stores than I've ever seen in my life. It was a great trip and so glad I went. I will say though, each time I fly home I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to live in such a great country as the U.S!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Sounds of Summer...

My sister Amber and I went to the Train, Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer concert at the Gallivan Center downtown last week. So...much...fun!! I had never been to a concert there and loved what a great venue it was and of course always better outdoors (We noticed plenty of onlookers from guests at the adjoining Marriott (not too shabby, I'm going to have to copy that idea :) Everyone sounded great, even better in person, but my faves were Andy Grammer and Mat Kearney. I have been obsessed with that song "Runaway" by Mat Kearney and he sang that last and by that point everyone was up and dancing. I was telling Am that it's so funny because sometimes I'll pass up a certain event, thinking oh, it's a lot of money or effort to get there, but those times I go, I don't regret for a minute the experience and memories you always have after.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Skyline Eagles 20th reunion!!

Never thought I would be at a point when I would be celebrating my 20th high school reunion!! Crazy! I'll be honest, I went back and forth about whether or not I should go to it. Don't get me wrong, I loved high school and have such great memories of the great friends I made there, I think I was just a little hesitant wondering how it would be being single among 90% of my friends who are married with families. I ended up going with 3 of my other girlfriends who are single and I am so glad I went!! The first night was an alumni night they held in the courtyard of my high school. Then Saturday night they had a big party at this lounge that one of our classmates had recently bought. I was worried I wouldn't be able to recognize some people, but amazingly everyone looked pretty much the same. Something that I loved about it was the shared bond we all had having shared so many memories, that even those who you may not have been close with in high school, we could recognize wow! fun opportunity to get to know someone better that we might not have known then. It also made me realize how varied the challenges that people face are...One of my friends lost her brother to suicide 2 years ago, another friend lost her husband to a rare heart condition, leaving her to raise 4 kids alone, a few of my friends remain single, another few of my friends are suffering through divorces right now. It really opened my eyes to the needs of other people, some right before your eyes and some hidden. It also made me realize what an awesome bunch of people I had the opportunity to go to school with and learn from. Can't wait for my 40th!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reason to celebrate...

So, apparently it’s been such a good 6 months that I’ve completely forgotten to write ☺ Just got back from St. George where we met up for a family reunion to celebrate my mom and dad’s 50th anniversary (the actual one is in January). With a family our size, you always feel lucky to even have a majority, but it was amazing that everyone was able to be there! First off just have to say how amazing my parents are and how they always have been and continue to be such great examples to me. All throughout the reunion, I kept thinking, how did I get so lucky to be born into this great family? I’m so grateful to have parents who always made me feel loved and special and who exemplify everything they taught us. We were all set to roast this weekend, but amazingly we had the best weather, a little rain when we were indoors and nice mild temps when outside. We packed a lot in: rounds of golf, pool time, dance offs, a family dinner to celebrate my Mom and Dad, seeing “Aladdin” at Tuacahn, a family temple session followed by lunch at Brick Oven and family pictures at the amazingly beautiful Red Rocks. The time went way too fast! One of my favorite things was seeing how all of the cousins just couldn’t get enough of each other, there were spying games, sleepovers and lots of tears when we all had to say goodbye.