Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 11th

There is so, so much to do in the city and it has afforded me so many opportunities. This past Thursday was the 13th year since the Twin Towers fell. The memorial was only open to family members of victims for most of the day. They opened up the memorial to the public around 6 and I took a couple friends down with me. When we first got there I saw a man placing flowers on a name and it made me cry. To suffer such a sudden loss and then share it with an entire nation cannot be easy and I am sure it is a difficult day each year.
I really enjoyed my experience that day. So many of the people at the memorial were not American. They may not have any personal connection to what happened but everyone respected the area appropriately.  There was very little talking. People were calm, quiet, and respectful. The only noise was the water from the pools.
Dinner with these two- so grateful for their friendship!
 Backing up a little...at the beginning of September Brittany and I wandered down to Greenwich Village to soak up the local culture.
 We ended up at some burger joint called Umami Burger and it was the best burger I have ever had. And the atmosphere is so much fun! We also ordered fries with truffle oil and aged cheese and those were also yum. If there is one thing that has been consistently good in NYC it is the fries. These people know how to make French Fries. 
 Burgers were followed by gelato. Super yummy as well.
 We walked, and walked, and walked until we got to Bryant Park. Some kids were playing with what looked like glowing sky dancers. Remember those? Google it.
Anyway- I got all sucked into the magic and I bought one and then played with it. I felt like I was 7 years old and I was okay with it.

Oh and Fashion Week happened. My internship is that tall building behind the Mercedez-Benz sign so I got to see all the drama go down. It was very fun until I tried to move. Getting on the train, getting off the train, getting to my internship, leaving my internship. Those were all very difficult activities with roughly 1 million other people trying to do the same thing.

Here I am standing at the memorial with one of the pools in front of me and the two beams for the two towers in the sky.

When we were walking home I turned around to see if I could still see the beams and the view took my breath away. It was tragically beautiful. The beams of light were so strong that it made the clouds glow. While the city was so alive and busy there was this strong, beautiful reminder of what happened. Being in New York on this day was so special for me. Words cannot describe the power and unity I felt and it is an experience I recommend to everyone.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Have a Title, and it's a Long Title Too

That was a vague movie reference. Anyone?
I crochet now, so there's that.
I may not do it well, but I do it.
I also did a bad thing where I made a comment during Relief Society a couple weeks ago. And then I spent too much time with some of the the people in the presidency so (naturally) I was asked to teach. I had a weekend-long series of mini heart attacks each time I thought about teaching. I haven't done that particular activity in my entire life so it was a little nerve-wracking. But it went fine. I feel a calling coming on.
I officially started my internship. I work in the Fordham University School of Law Family Advocacy Clinic as a Master's student intern from Columbia University (official title). I don't have official Fordham ID yet so I have to check in at the security desk every day.  The guard makes me say my whole title every time. And then he laughs at me. Every. Time. What are friends for?
I work on a legal team with real-life lawyers, LCSWs, and law students. It is quite fun. I am getting two educations for the price of one really, really expensive education or 8 relatively affordable educations. Yesterday we (the students) had to explain our chosen field "terms" in street language. Instead of saying things like "PTSD" "Autism high-functioning" "PDD NOS" "IEP" or any other social worky term I had to say the full name, and explain it like they had never heard the term before because they hadn't. Um that was HARD.  I didn't realize how indoctrinated I was. The law students had to explain terms like "standing" and "motion" and "classification" and such. At one point the professor tried to get them to explain the phrase "file a motion" in layman's terms relative to the situation. Basically she wanted them to explain that clients don't say, "I am going to file a motion!" they say, "I am going to sue!" and they couldn't do. It was hilarious.  And that is what happens when you go to school for the same stuff for too many years.
Classes are back in sesh at Columbia and I have really great professors. I think I chose the most perfect method (specific area of practice) for me and I can't wait to see where it takes me! In medicine you can choose to be a general practitioner or a specialist.  You can do the same thing in social work at Columbia. I have chosen the general practitioner route.
And now that you have read every detail of my life, I will reward you with visual representations of the rest of my life!

 Funny story about this next picture. I went to Fishs Eddy and shopped for a little bit. When I left I realized I had like a bajillion texts so I sat down in this cute courtyard to respond to all of them. After a few minutes I left and crossed the street. I realized that there were tons of people around me staring up into the sky. I was like What? Is someone gonna jump?! and I turned to look at BAM! Just the Flatiron Building. Only one of the most iconic buildings in NYC, Jenna. C'mon! Look around!
 This is from the southeast corner of Central Park. It is gorgeous down there.

 Fashion week is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. In this next picture I happen to be standing outside my internship. Those white tents across the way are the tents they have set up for fashion week. I get to watch fashion week from my window. For being so reluctant to actually come to NYC it sure is turning out to be fun!
 When I found my apartment the girl let me know that the kitchen was fully stocked so I didn't need to bring anything. This was a huge relief because it meant I didn't have to pack nearly as much stuff.  I decided I would only bring my very most favorite cookie cutters. They were the most beautiful blue and they were double-sided so you could cut a straight edge or a scalloped edge. Somehow I lost them in the move and I was devastated. Somewhere along the way I lost a box with my cookie cutters, the square version of those cookie cutters and all my tea and hot cocoa fixings. I went to Home Goods like 2 days after I realized the cookie cutters were gone and I found these. They are not as pretty but they are the same other than that. I was so happy!
 This is Brittany. She is also going to Columbia. She is great. We go places together. We eat food together. We wander the park together. NYC BFF!

Friday, August 15, 2014


I have started to settle in and it is a relief to feel some sense of normalcy again. My life has been so consistent for the past several years that this new adventure really threw me off. I cried for days leading up to my departure and I cried each night I got here. The crying has since stopped (thank goodness- amiright?!) and I have started to feel comfortable. A couple weeks ago grocery shopping seemed like a daunting task- too much to handle and it took what I believe is a modern-day miracle to get me out of my house. I googled how to get to the store and how to get home, I googled about three alternate routes, I checked to make sure my purse had my metro card and keys about three times. And then I went grocery shopping. And I didn't die. I tried to find a bakery I had heard about but I couldn't find it so I scurried back to the train and went home.
But when I got home I was a little more confident, a little more secure. So I ventured back out the next day to find that bakery. I was bound and determined. And I found it! And I was so happy that I found it that I didn't even mind waiting in line FOR 20 MINUTES. Ok-I minded a little. But it was divine!
Now that I am more comfortable I have really gotten into a routine. I take the bus to school in the mornings to give myself a little time to wake up and then I get to walk home. I try to take different routes home so I can get to know Harlem. However, the first time I walked home I walked past the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. It is the 4th largest Christian church in the world and it is beautiful! Oh- and a 5 minute walk from my house. I have yet to venture inside but I think that is next week's activity.
Funny signs outside the church grounds (mostly just that last one):
An train stop above ground. It smells 100% better than those underground nasties.
 Lunch with some of the people in my cohort. We went to this great little Italian place in Harlem called Lido. It was divine. And-Bonus!- it was restaurant week!
 This beautiful building is on a different way home. I love the ivy!
 Met up with an old coworker for dinner one night at Jacob's Pickles. You read that right. I, Jenna, went to a pickle place. Cam ordered some spicy fried pickles that were actually quite tasty. Never thought those words would come out of my mouth. I think it was the spicy that sold me. This place had such a fun atmosphere and dining Al Fresco on the streets of New York? I could do it for every meal!
 This really great bridge connects two sides of Columbia campus and offers a really great NYC view.
 Another grounds shot because I just love it so much. Seriously. I love UVU and everything but...they got nothin' on this place.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

New, New, New

Here I am in a new apartment in a new city! The city of choice is New York City! I am here to further my education at Columbia University.  My apartment is teensy (as expected) and the city is HUGE. Apartment pictures to come. I have to finish cleaning everything first- it is kinda filthy.
While I haven't been here long I have still gotten a feel for the city.  Here is my favorite scene: an empty subway platform and car, respectively. From this angle it all looks fairly clean but if you look down on those tracks it is absolutely disgusting.  Just don't look down and it will be okay. Isn't that what they say?
This little ditty is on my walk to/from school every day. It is absolutely gorgeous and I love walking by it slowly to take it all in.  It is actually quite huge, this is just one part of it.
 Here you see the world famous Empire State Building (or as I kept telling my dad: the Eiffel Tower!)
I haven't gotten any closer to her than this. I will have to wander down there someday and get a closer picture.
 New York Times (obviously):
 Look! I am official!
 The first night in my new apartment I basically chopped my finger off.  It doesn't look as bad as it actually was.  That skin was flapping around for a few days.  Then the skin dried out and now it catches on everything (VOM).
 This is currently my favorite building that I have found. It is so regal looking.  Dontcha just love it?
 The classic Time Square: I got some bummer news while we were wandering and then I couldn't really get into it. Sorry about the lack of good pictures, Dad!
World Trade Center Memorial. Sobering. Loved it.

 Aaaand...I ordered Chinese food because isn't that classic NYC? I had it delivered to my door and everything. Dreams really do come true, kids.
 The beautiful Manhattan Temple:
 I live quite close to Central Park. And by quite close I mean a 1 minute walk. I haven't explored it much but believe me when I say I will.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The End of an Era

First things first- I saw a shooting star tonight on my drive home. It was so bright and quick and I just really love shooting stars.

Second things second- I graduated from college.  College is now a "been there, done that" on my list and I couldn't be happier.
I have a quote on my headboard by Neal A. Maxwell that says "Faith in God includes faith in his timing." And these past few years have really shown that to be true.  I may have mentioned this before but my the past few years of my life have been all about faith.
I first started college wanting to go into nursing and ended up finding a job that led me to pursue a social work major.  Two months after I made that decision UVU opened a social work program.  I applied, got in, and graduated last week.  I graduated Friday morning at 8.  That same day at 11:20 I had a job interview.  I got a call Saturday afternoon with the job offer and started work this past Monday at 7:45.  That is not the usual college grad story. I have been so blessed to have my life turn out this way.  I could not have planned my life better and that just goes to show how much the Lord knows me.
And not to be that person, but guys- I didn't even get ONE day of "summer vacay".  Not. One. Day. I didn't even get one sleep in day.
I love my new job. I get to work with my same clients as before but on a more intensive level.  And I get paid more which is why I did that whole "college thing" in the first place.

Now that I only work 8 hours a day I will have more time to blog.  And I know I have said this before- but I will do better with this li'l blog here.  Graduation pictures will find their way onto this blog along with other memorable moments from the past few months.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


September was boring.  Let's move onto birthday month (aka October)!

October brought birthdays for pretty much everyone I know.  It is birthday month in my world.  And sadly, I haven't a picture to prove that I actually had a birthday.

Among the birthdays my sister married her bff Joseph.  Again, I haven't a picture because I am a lame-o.  Well- I have pictures but they aren't professional because they are from my phone.  And somewhere between the wedding, the luncheon, and the reception I ran to Wal-Mart and decided to shop for nail polish?? So here is the picture of the polish I want:
If anybody is looking to shower gifts upon me, this would be the one to get me.  Thanks.  If you need an address just let me know!
I made 6.2 million of these
I filled their getaway car with these. HA