077. Reread a book series

On my original 101 in 1,001, I had made a goal to reread the Harry Potter series, but somewhere in the 2.75 years I had, I never quite got around to it! Harry Potter is my favorite book series, but since I don’t have a whole lot of time to sit down and read, I never got around to reading them all consecutively.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out the day I flew home from California, and so I paid twice as much for the copy at the airport until waiting until the next day to pick up a copy from Costco. I read the book in about 2 days, and I was still hungry for more Harry Potter after that, and it was then I decided I would purchase the whole series on audiobook as well.

It took me about 2.5 months to listen to the entire series from start to finish, and now that it’s over, I feel a little sad about it. If you have any good recs for me, please let me know!

061. Anonymously donate to a GoFundMe cause I believe in

I’m still kind of working on my 101 in 1,001, but active goal setting has definitely taken a back seat to everything else for the time being. Unfortunately, an opportunity arose for me to be able to complete this goal.

About a week ago, one of my childhood best friends died in a motorcycle accident because another driver thought they were above the law and drove while under the influence.

A GoFundMe account has been set up in her memory to help with her funeral expenses and to help with extra funds to raise her 6-year-old son. When I had originally made this goal, I had every intention to donating to a fund that didn’t affect people I know personally, but since Maggie’s accident, I am sharing her GFM here if you care to donate as well.

Maggie had a beautiful soul both in childhood and adulthood. I treasure my friendship with her. Rest in peace, Maggie.


What if I’m wrong? What if Mormon God does not support the way I try to live the gospel and not the church? What if, despite my best intentions, I didn’t hit marks A, B, or C, and therefore I cannot live with my family in the Celestial Kingdom?

What if I’m wrong? What if Christian God does not believe Mormons are Christians? What if I am damned to hell for the rest of eternity because I happened to be the wrong sect of a religion?

What if I’m wrong? What if God is not a Christian God? What if God belongs to another religion entirely? What will happen to me then?

What if I’m wrong? What if there’s no God at all?

What’s up with me // SEPTEMBER

It’s been almost a month since my last blog post. This was not intentional; although, it never is. I’ve got a couple of blog posts I’ve been thinking about and would like to write, but I have not had a second of spare time since the semester started a month ago. That’s not quite a literal statement, but it’s so close to being literal that it feels a little bit painful.

Since I started posting regularly in my blog in May 2010, I have never missed a month. We’re six years in now (seven to my blog’s existence), and I’m not about to let that record go to waste, so I’m going to try and bust this sucker out in twenty minutes. I apologize in advance for this update to not be my usual literary masterpiece. (sarcasm)

In August’s post, I mention the guy I had been dating on again and off again for the previous five months. Well now it’s six months and we’re off again (again), so I’m kind of over it at this point. However, I will admit that is definitely not the first time I have said that, so who even knows.

In the past month I started dating another fellow named Kyler (as usual this is not his real name, but I record the first letter of these guys’ first names in my blog for posterity’s sake) and I have since ended things with him. Kyler was absolutely one of the nicest people on this planet, but I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship with someone who’s predominate quality is “nice”. (This makes me sound like a terrible person, but here’s my reason: I’m a bit of a bulldozer even though I have the best of intentions, and so I need someone who can match my bulldozing-like tendencies. Nice people, while absolutely wonderful individuals, are not a good fit for me relationship-wise.) I ended things with him just before my birthday.

Speaking of….I had a birthday! I’m now 25, and everyone tells me “oh, that’s not old!” which is how I know that’s definitely old. I’m not super thrilled about it or anything, but being 25 is certainly better than the alternative. Additionally, I’ve decided that mid-twenties is far too early to worry about aging because odds are I’ve got a good 60+ years left, and I’ve got all of that time to worry about that later.

I found out yesterday that one of my childhood friends passed away in a car accident. Her name is Maggie, and she was my best friend in 6th and 7th grade. As we got older, we found separate cliques to suit our individual needs, but we kept in touch over Facebook. She is survived by her 5-year-old son, and I am mourning for him and for the rest of her family– specifically her mother, who has lost two of her young adult children unexpectedly in the last 18 months.

School………………………….. It has been the bane of my existence for a long time, but this semester is hands down the most challenging semester I have lived through. People are generally impressed when they find out I go to school full-time and work full-time, but in the past I have found it’s mostly about time management skills and nothing particularly difficult. That said, this semester  has put me through the ringer, and it’s not because of the schedule– it’s the homework. We’re in our fifth week of the semester now and I have never once felt “caught up” with homework. I have no “easy” classes– only classes that are “less difficult” than other ones. On top of that, somehow I have been sick twice in September– once around Labor Day and I’m currently on the tail end of something else I caught mid-last week. If I had known what I’d be getting myself into at the beginning of the semester, I don’t think I’d change anything, but I am definitely pushing the limits of my personal capacities. I look forward to  Christmas vacation more than anything.

I do find some solace in my audiobooks. A lot of my time is spent in transit from point A to point B, so that’s where I tend to make my phone calls (my car allows me to plug in my phone and make hands-free calls), listen to music, and play my audiobooks. I think most people would be surprised how much time you can squeeze out while multitasking this way.


All right, I think I’m done for now.


So what’s up with me // August

The guy that I’ve been dating off and on for five months now is still someone I’m dating off and on. I got upset with him last week over something, and I ended up calling him out on it. I was expecting him to get angry at me in response, but he surprised me and said that my expectations of him and our relationship were fair, and those expectations were something he would be willing to meet. After the conflict was resolved, I realized that it had been the first time I had ever brought up my upset feelings with someone I share a romantic relationship. Typically I’ve ghosted people or I’ve swallowed my anger because I’ve been afraid that they will take that chance to leave if I ever bring it up. The fact that I willingly confronted him about something I was upset about I think is, weirdly enough, a tell on how much I trust him. It was an interesting experience, and we ended up resolving the issue.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I love reading, but my absolutely insane schedule makes it so I don’t really have a lot of time to sit down and physically read a book. I heavily rely on Audible for audiobooks that I sneak into my day whenever I find time. I usually listen while I’m getting ready in the mornings, while I’m driving in my car, and typically I’ll put the sleep timer on for 8 minutes as night, and I’ll fall asleep to the story too. My subscription isn’t terribly expensive– $22/month– but I’m not sure it’s something I’ll be willing to continue one I graduate and finally have more time to read books.

Annnnnyway, right now I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books as read by  Jim Dale. I own the hardback set as well, but listening to them has been a fantastic experience. I’m a very fast reader to a fault, and I often miss small details in stories because I either skim over them or don’t commit them to memory. I’m about a quarter of the way into Order of the Phoenix right now. I rushed through the first four books, but now I’m trying to savor them. The fifth book is my least favorite of the bunch, mostly because Harry is so angry, but recently someone told me the reason he’s so angry is because he has severe PTSD from watching Cedric’s murder only two months before his fifth year started. I have so much more sympathy for him now, and although we just met Professor Umbridge, I am totally looking forward to reveling in my hatred of her too.

Right before I started Harry Potter, I briefly started Something Borrowed. It seemed like an easy, fluffy read, but I really loathe the main character, so I’m not sure I’ll pick it up again after I finish Deathly Hallows.

I also just started reading Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. I have to read it for my Public Relations Case Studies class, but I’m really enjoying it. If you like reading about business, or if you really like Starbucks, I say have at it. It’s written by the CEO, and it’s not a dry read at all.

My job is as busy and demanding as ever, but they are working around my school schedule so I can still get my 40 hours/week and keep my salary instead of switching to hourly pay. I originally thought I would have to work part-time my last semester of school, but it’s looking now like I’ll work full-time throughout my entire UVU career.

I suspect this will be the most challenging four months of my life, as far as balancing multiple important priorities goes, but I’m up for the challenge. I think that’s a good marker that I haven’t overdone it– I’m still feeling optimistic about the semester, and I’m feeling like I will end 2016 tired, but rewarded.

I’m also doing my best to have a semblance of a social life this semester. I’m trying to be that outgoing, bubbly girl in my ward and in my classes. Being outgoing and bubbly is not a foreign concept to me– it’s very easy for me to slip into that persona most of the time. That said, being bubbly and outgoing with large groups of people I don’t know is absolutely exhausting and takes a lot out of me. Being naturally bubbly and outgoing is the biggest reason why I didn’t realize I was an introvert until I was 21, but constant interaction with people is draining, so I’m doing my best to manage my emotional needs of now with my desire to have a bunch of friends in my ward later on.

It’s that time of year where I star getting delusions of grandeur, and decide that I’ll take on writing a novel in November. I know I said last year that I would not do it again, but it’s such a fun challenge, and I don’t think I can help myself. This year I’m planning on writing a memoir instead of a novel, so I think it will be easier. I’ve gotten out of the habit of regularly recording my life, and between writing in journals and writing in blogs, I’ve had a fairly in tact record of my life up until this point. So look out, kids! I’m probably doing NaNo again.

So what’s up with me // School edition

I started school on Monday, and even though it’s only been a week, I am already up to my neck in homework and projects, and I’m not super thrilled about it.

Originally I was planning on taking 21 credits, but ultimately decided that graduating four months sooner would not be worth the significant sacrifice to my quality of life, and so after meeting with my counselor and talking to my parents, I felt that it would be best to take 15 credits (5 classes) this semester and then the remaining 6 credits (2 classes) in the spring. I’m still pretty grouchy about not graduating at the time I was supposed to, but I am still able to work full-time while taking 15 credits and would have had to significantly cut my hours at work to make the 21 credit thing work. Because of that, I can still pay for this semester out of pocket. Also, it’s pretty telling to me that the the sheer volume of work I already have with 15 credits means that I’m not sure I would survive if I was taking 21 like I had originally planned.

In the past, I have been a pretty big supporter of paper planners, but I decided to switch to online calendaring for this semester to see how it does for me. So far, I absolutely love it, because not only can I visually plan out my days, but I can also put due dates for readings, quizzes, tests, and projects, and I can easily move them if necessary. my schedule

That’s what my schedule looks like for the following week thus far. I’m anticipating that this semester is going to ask the most of me, so here’s to hoping I don’t kick the bucket before December 17th.

I also live and die by my to-do lists, and so right now I’m playing around with the best way to keep a running list of the assignments I have to do mixed with my own personal, non-school to-do list. I keep my work to-do list completely separate, and that tends to work best if I write things down as they come to me. I’m playing around with the Tasks feature on gCalendar, and I’ve also been playing with the Any.Do app on my phone and on my MacBook.

Media Ethics // Okay, first of all, I was on the waitlist for this class since April 14th of this year, and I was only able to add it literally 2 hours before the first class of the semester. I wasn’t quite panicking, but this was the only section this class offered, and other class I could take in its stead would have been at a super inconvenient time for my work schedule. But I was able to add it, and I’m so excited! I suspect this class will be the most difficult of the five, but I find the concept of what is or what is not ethical and why to be absolutely fascinating, and this professor promotes a lot of discussion.

Theories of Communication Culture // I still don’t know really what this class is about, and I’ve never had this professor before, but she’s spoken in a couple of my other communications classes, and I absolutely love her. I actually specifically chose to take this class MWF instead of TTh so I could take this class from this particular professor.

Communication Research Methods // When I saw that I had to take this course to graduate, I wasn’t super psyched about it. I took a research class before, during my time at BYU-Idaho, and it was dry and did not leave a lasting impression on me. For that reason, I chose to take this class from a professor I had in the spring who I really liked. I could have taken this class TTh as well, but I also chose to take this MWF so I could take it from a more relaxed professor with whom I already have an established relationship.

Public Relations Writing // I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be my second-hardest class during the fall. The professor has straight-up admitted that he’s extremely tough about grading our papers, and I am absolutely psyched about that. I’m am a great writer already, and in the last six years, I have not had any classes that assign writing that I really struggle with, and I have not had any professors who make me stretch as a writer. I think the class might be a little boring, but if the professor is going to tear up my writing as much as he says he will, I think that’s fantastic.

PR Case Studies // This is my only online class this semester, and it’s going to be a ton of work. I actually was originally signed up to take this class last fall and I panicked and dropped it last year, so I jumped on the online class train as soon as I saw it was available. I’m okay if this class asks a lot of me, because I don’t have to commit to the 3 hours of class time on top of everything else.

So there we go. You’re all invited to my funeral if I die.