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

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


My last post was like:

This post is a little way lighter.  Let's go back to August and work our way to the current date (at my rate that may never happen).
In August my fabulous cousin Joliene got married and my family was able to attend the wedding in wonderful San Francisco! The wedding was absolutely beautiful- check out their beautiful day here.
After the wedding my family stayed for a few more days and explored the city.
We biked

Found this gem on the coast

(it was a little windy)


...and of course this guy. Can't go to SanFran and not see him!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Too Many Emotions to Handle

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This past weekend was huge for me.  I got to do something that I have been planning on for as long as I can remember.  I got to go through the Draper temple.  This moment that I have dreamed of since I was a little girl finally became a reality.  But there was one stark contrast between my dream and my reality.  I was missing the man that had always been part of my dream. The LDS temples are sacred houses of worship where people who attend "are taught, make covenants, and are promised blessings" (for more info on temples visit Marriages also take place in temples and that is where I was lacking.
I always dreamed that I would go to the temple with the man I loved where I would be endowed and we would be sealed for time and all eternity as husband and wife.  It wasn't until about a year ago that I realized my dream might not happen in reality.  I might go through the temple before I met the man of my dreams.  When the day finally came to prepare for the temple I was so excited.  My bishop gave me the okay and I started reading, praying, and preparing to enter such a holy and sacred place.  I was so excited and I felt like it was the right thing for me to do.
As I interviewed with my stake president I might have teared up when we talked about temple sealings.  I knew this would not be part of my temple experience at this time. My stake president is a wonderful man and he said all the right things to comfort me (Yikes! Crying female!).
As the day came closer I had very mixed emotions.  I was so, so excited to go through the temple.  I knew it would be a special and sacred experience for me.  I also felt sad knowing that I was not going with my future husband.  Each of my married sisters had gone to the temple right before they got married.  I felt like I was missing a huge, important step in my journey through life.
Thursday night ( the night before I went to the temple) I really struggled with my emotions.  I was so happy and so excited and so sad.  As Friday night approached I became nervous.  I didn't know what I would feel inside the temple.  Would I feel peace? Would I feel inadequate? Would I still feel sad on what should be such a wonderful day? I honestly didn't know. The drive up to the temple was stressful for me and I felt like I wasn't much of a conversationalist (or a good driver-sorry Mom. Aren't you glad we didn't die?).  My thoughts were consuming me and I didn't know how to express them without unleashing a river of tears.
As I entered the temple I was overcome with peace.  The stressful drive was immediately out of my mind and I felt right.  My family was meeting us there and as I walked into the room where we would be I saw my sister Alyssa and her husband waiting. Just then the others that would be joining us walked in and I knew this was where I needed to be. I had the support of my family and that was what I needed.  As I sat in the quiet temple my thoughts were my own and I was able to sit silently and think. I knew, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be.  I was doing what was right for me and even though it didn't include a husband, it was still perfect.  It was such a spiritual experience for me and I am so glad that I got to experience the temple for myself.  I went in with so many confusing thoughts and I left with a clear mind and a comforted soul.
I am grateful for my experience and for the support that I had.  It was the best day ever and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

The beautiful Draper temple:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

AHEM....This thing on?

I. Am. Back.
I am blogging.  This is more epic than the Lord of the Ring Series*!
My life has been cray-zay this past quarter (because it has been a quarter since I posted).  I don't think I have enough brain power to post everything that has happened since I last posted, but I will do my best to catch you up.  Let us rewind allllll the way to June. My bff Kate got married.

Happy Wedding to Kate and Ryan!
July was all about the 4th which posted about.  So...on to August.
In late July another bff, Jordan, and I decided to go to Sand Hollow.  It was going to be a glorious weekend of sunbathing and lounging.  Instead it rained in Sand Hollow so we decided to go to Zion NP and hike around.  We stopped at Cedar Breaks and it was absolutely breathtaking.  There was a nasty storm coming in (probably the same one Sand Hollow was experiencing) so the contrast between rock and sky was amazing.

 This trip ended up being a huge comedy of errors and turned into Zions: A True Story of Survival.  We had planned on camping at Sand Hollow.  When we decided to switch to ZNP (Zion National Park) it was too late to get a reservation so we had to drive to St. George to find a place.  We tried to sleep in the car but it was literally 95 degrees in the car.  Sleep was not about to happen.  We found a sketchy motel in St. George, snagged the last room, and ran inside for some air conditioning.  Turns out the "air conditioner" was just a window unit attached to the highest window in the room.  There was no air flow and the beds were just as hot as the car.  So in a moment of desperation I ripped my bed apart, dragged my mattress to the floor in front of the AC unit, and spent the rest of the night trying to cool off.
The next morning we opted to sleep instead of try the continental breakfast.   Once we felt rested we hopped in the car and headed back to ZNP. It was bloody hot in the park so we decided to do the easiest of the hikes- Emerald Pools.  Apparently even easy hikes are hard in hot weather.  We almost died and in all seriousness I think we both were experiencing heat exhaustion.  But I am not a quitter and I foolishly pushed us to finish.  Once we got back to the car I chugged two water bottles in under 5 minutes and I think Jordan did about the same.  I was a little hyper-focused on me to notice what she was drinking.
August deserves a its own post because it involves a wedding and  a vacation and a baby.
School started at the end of August and I thought it would be a good idea to run for the president of my social work peers.  In a shocking turn of events I won and I am now the president of the Social Work Student Association here at UVU.  I am currently working, going to school, doing an internship, and participating as president.  It has been busy around here.
September was full of the aforementioned items and I have settled into a routine.
Stay tuned to hear more about my life if you honestly have nothing better to do!
And here is a picture of the baby I mentioned:

*I have never seen any of the LOTR movies, but I hear they are epic.