Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 !@#*%^!#*

2013 has been my hardest year yet, and I never want to forget what I did. In 2013, I...

Completed almost 500 hours of therapy with individuals, couples, and families
Felt the magic of Disney World
Showed my true lack of navigation skills when I made us miss our flight out of Orlando 
Rode a horse bareback
Learned more about myself than ever before; the good and the less good
Proposed a thesis 
Thought about getting a PHD and quickly dismissed that crazy idea
Stressed, I keep saying this two year program has taken at least 5 years off my life
Loved on my cats and still let Pearl suck on my ears at night
Went to a cabin with my best friends and played murder in the dark for hours 
Also drove a four wheeler over awesome mud puddles and felt really adventurous
Wrote a paper and submitted it for publication to get my scholarship
Relied heavily on my best friends (my cohort) and my husband
Got depressed for a while at the end of summer
Became baby hungry for the first time
Discovered Swig cookies
Ran more miles than ever
Deliberately lost weight (more to work on for 2014)
Said goodbye to my sister for 1.5 years
Cussed with clients and cried with clients
Got 9 cavities filled
Went to the Atlanta temple and Orlando temple
Did the vegetarian thing for a month
Idolized a few of my professors
Ate a penis shaped doughnut at Vudoo Doughnuts in Portland
Listened to a lot of Tegan and Sara, Elvis, Eminem, and Mariah Carey
Binge watched TV with Ed
Took Ed's spin class (he's the best teacher there is)
Got some clients really mad
Helped some clients get really happy
Developed a love for doing puzzles with Ed 
Took my first ballet class in 4 years
BYU football games
Watched "The Man With the 150 Pound Scrotum" with my mother-in-law and laughed our heads off
Cried silent tears, public tears, ugly cried, held back tears, ALL THE TEARS 
Learned to "be still" 
Felt really inadequate and honored to be so many people's therapist 
Strengthened my testimony of God's love for me and all his children tenfold

Thank you, 2013 for making my life Hell on Earth some of the time so that I could grow. The only title appropriate for this post was the F word in all caps, but I knew I would offend too many people. It was really hard a lot of the time, but I also experienced some of the most special moments that will stay in my heart forever. My friends are the best I've ever had and I know they are the friends I will have for life. I realized how absolutely lucky I am to have Ed as my sweetheart and saw him do great things this year as well. It's always better looking back, so now that it's over, I can say 2013 was rewarding and worth it. I'm usually really nostalgic and never want the year to change, but hey, I hate 3's, love 4's, and I'm ready for a new theme aside from the F word! Bring on 2014!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

oh dear...

9 cavities. 
Marriage has officially ruined me. I haven't been to the dentist in 4 years and I guess that's what I get. But also, thanks a lot Utah, I obviously need fluoride in my water. 
I'm going back next Friday to have my entire mouth numbed and drilled into.
As for now, I will eat as many sweets as possible on Thanksgiving to get more of my money's worth with these cavities. 
And what's worse? Ed only had 3. Not that I wanted him to have more because all together this is costing over $1,000, but I am definitely embarrassed especially since he is the cavity king.
I realize there could be way bigger things to complain about concerning health, so I'm pretty blessed to only have 9 cavities and otherwise be healthy.

But seriously, pure panic when they told me. I was hoping to not have one.
Luckily, they promised me laughing gas, so that should be fun.

One other random note, who has watched Dexter? We finished the 4th season last night and we are so torn up about it with no one to talk to. 

First world problems right? I love life and I'll be less whiny from now on.

In other news, a kid in Alabama killed a wild boar weighing 1,050 pounds...I love my country.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Please no cavity

I'm literally freaking out about going to dentist tomorrow morning. There are a lot of reasons why I'm scared, but I just needed to write it down somewhere. I may have my first cavity and the thought of the numbing shot makes me want to shrivel up and hide. I have this thing with shots and needles, like I'm gagging right now. If I have a cavity, I will most likely cry. And fabulous, I have 4 clients after that. 

In other news, we are going to Georgia for Christmas and I can't explain how happy that makes my heart. I haven't been back to my home since I started the MFT program! I'm practically a new person now and I've just gone through one of the best/craptastic years of my life. It's all I can do now to not give up on life and just lie in my bed waiting for the day that my plane leaves. Of course, I will have to come back, but it will be the easiest semester. Maybe the most stressful because of the big question of employment, but overall easy in comparison. I'm so excited, I'm even skipping over Thanksgiving in my mind. I need to sit in my bedroom, I need to play on my piano, and I need to see my family.

Hey, I proposed my thesis and I passed. Now to write the rest of it and be done with academic research papers forever!

Nothing else is new. I love my clients. I love people's problems. I love people's personalities. I especially love loving clients who I didn't expect to love so much. 

Okay goodnight. Praying for no cavities.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rambly journal entry

Kona hurt her leg :( The vets don't know if it's a torn ligament, sprain, strain, etc. but she is healing now. The poor girl probably thinks she is stuck limping for the rest of her life and I wish I could tell her it's going to be alright and she can run again eventually. It hurts my heart to watch her limp around, but she's getting more mobile every day. She was wandering too far from our lawn outside, so I told Ed to throw her back onto the lawn. I didn't mean for him to throw her from where he was standing, but he was apparently following really good directions that night and threw her from where he was standing, which was way too far. She landed weird and that's that. Ed felt horrible and guilty, but it was a genuine accident. Although, I did whisper in her ear that night, "I would never throw you that far, ever."

Ed took me on a great date last Friday night. He bought me beautiful flowers, wrote me a love note, took me to the canyon and taught me how to make a fire. We cooked foil bakes and roasted s'mores. Then he took me to a late movie that was so intense! The movie is called Prisoners and I was holding my breath the whole time. Ed really is good at swooning me when he wants to. The next night we rode our bikes to the BYU game and stopped by Costa Vida for dinner on the way. We lost the game, but it was fun night nevertheless.

We have been working out almost every day together. Two weeks ago I ran 9 miles and last week I ran 12 miles! That's more than ever in my life. It's a slow process, but I really want to keep getting better at running. I won't mention my pace for those 12 miles, but let's just say Ed can walk next to me. Granted, he is freakishly tall, but I am also going tortoise pace.

It's getting cold here now and I broke out the hot cocoa last night. Usually every winter Ed and I drink hot chocolate every single night. It's a fun tradition and it makes my tummy warm and kind of hurt, so it puts me to sleep quicker. Does anyone else get a tummy ache after drinking hot chocolate? A good kind of tummy ache?

Tess is still on her mission in New York waiting on her visa. She's loving it, but anxious to get to Brazil. She's a great example to me and I'm so proud of her! I'm missing my parents lately so much. I never realized until now that when I'm super stressed and overwhelmed, all I want is a hug from my mom and dad and to sit down at my piano in Georgia while my dad bakes a pie. Homesick much? Yes, pretty much 100% of the time now.

I've decided what my ideal life will be like: Being a licensed MFT and doing about 20 hours of therapy a week in private practice with all couples. Teaching ballet at a studio that is not too serious, but serious enough that it reminds me of ABA back home (no teaching little ones either...teenagers only). And then having about 4 kiddos of my own, a big dog, a fenced in backyard, and a modest home that is comfortable. Also I must go on some type of vacation every 6 months, even if it's just a day trip to the city or something. This is me dreaming as realistically as I can. I really think all of this could be possible and it's exactly what I want. Ed and I like to dream a lot and we often dream of traveling the world together and not having jobs, responsibilities, or kids, but honestly that would get old and I would feel like I had no purpose. 

I was feeling pretty low in July, August, and some of September, but I can feel myself pulling out of it. Thank goodness because I was freaking myself out with how mopey I was being. I could probably label it as a depressive episode, but I'd rather just call it "feeling blue". It sounds less permanent that way and I kind of hate diagnoses. I could go on a rant about that, but I'll spare whoever is reading.

I'm currently loving school. My classes are interesting and not too hard. I have great teachers and I'm interested in most of the material. It's the extra stuff that's hard on me right now. Clients, thesis, intake work, and coding PLUS class and schoolwork is just hard to juggle. Luckily I'm at about 350 hours out of 500 of therapy, so I'm on track to graduate in April. I'm also about to propose my thesis in October and then I can finish that up. This stuff is freaking hard! The last year of my life has the been the hardest, but the most rewarding. I'm just trying to hold onto the good parts right now instead of the hard and emotional roller coaster parts. There is no way I could have survived this program without Ed's amazing support and the friendship of my sweet cohort.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


You know those times when you start crying for non-obvious reasons and your husband says, "what?" and then you're crying more and can't say anything because you might start gasping if you tried to talk, and your husband is starting to hug you (which makes you cry more), and everyone's confused, even you, and then you try to pin down what's making you so sad and weepy. Luckily this time your husband is genuinely trying to understand when really he's thinking, "what the heck? I guess I'll just hug her?". And still, I haven't pinned it down completely. I could write it off and tell myself it was just a fluke, but people don't just cry for no reason (I'm not pregnant if that was your next question)...I have a few legitimate reasons to cry right now. Who doesn't? Crying is therapeutic for me. I really do feel better now. My process is that I'll feel an emotion strongly but push through it without being very aware and then all of a sudden (a week later, a day later, a month later), it hits me with tears and I realize how sad/stressed/overwhelmed/crazy I feel and then I'm much better for at least being aware of it. That's what has happened to me since middle school. I think I need to meditate more or journal. I think we should all shed tears sometimes. Everyone; dads, husbands, even strong women will do better if they can just cry a little sometimes. Anyway, I'll get off my soap box. I start up life again tomorrow. I'm buckling down for the hardest semester of my entire life, but the silver lining is that it's the second to last semester ever. No PHD for me!

Oh ya, we got a ticket today. Actually two. F the police. And I literally almost said that to the cop as he walked away from our car to let us leave. And I regret not saying it.


(I wrote this last sunday and forgot to post it) (I'm back from Idaho now)

Someone that I met last night told me, "I'm glad we got to talk, you make me feel jolly for some reason". It may have been the best compliment I've ever gotten. It made my week. I wasn't doing therapy and I wasn't trying to be charming or make anyone feel "jolly". In fact, before she said it, I was thinking the same thing about her. I love when you meet people and you just click for some reason and meeting that person makes you want to be better yourself. Sometimes I feel like I give a lot and I never know what my impact is on people. It's nice to know that something about me was good in that moment with that stranger.

Another thing made me jolly last night: seeing my niece, Ellie. She is truly God's little creation and I love her with all of my heart! And she knows my name now, which makes my heart jump a little with excitement.

Today was bittersweet at church, Ed was released from his calling in the Bishopric of the single's ward. I thought I would be rejoicing a little bit more, but I'm actually more sad than anything. I think we will always look back on the last year of our lives and say, "Oh...the single's ward....(sigh)". And that phrase will be said with a tone of nostalgia, thankfulness, and relief.

We could look back on the last year and say a lot of things. The F word would be fitting again, but also so many good words. I've never felt more stressed, and I've never felt more blessed.

I'm in a good mood today, I need to write a final and then we are off to Idaho. It is a much needed break from reality. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

F word

The "F word" is making a consistent reappearance in my dreams lately...

...and that's the best update on my life I could possibly type right now. 

Lately (in my dreams) that word is perfect for when sharks are biting off my legs (Shark Week correlation), when my best friend Janie won't dye her hair dark and I want her to, and when I'm in the dressing room in my studio in Georgia and all my leotards have been strewn about on the ground. I'm laughing as I type now, but in the dreams, I am so seriously stressed out it seems like my eyeballs will pop out of my head. 

But really, I do love my life and feel extremely lucky to be doing what I'm doing. I'm blessed to have met the amazing people I've met in the last year and had the experiences I've had. I've learned more about life and myself in the last year than I have in my lifetime. Let's just hope I can make it until the end! I will. I'm fine. I'm convincing myself. 

Now I've got to go laugh my head off to America's Funniest Home Videos on Youtube with Edweirdo. Hopefully that will give me good dreams?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Time wasting...


Amanda and Ed (left)

Amanda and Michael Jackson (right) 

I can't even count how many combinations of faces I just made....I obviously have no life, or no motivation to do what I'm supposed to be doing. Oh well, it's Monday night and I'm getting ready for a busy week of therapy and the last week of classes for spring term. Bring it on! Grad school is hard. Today I was supposed to be working on my thesis and I feel asleep for almost 3 hours. Yikes! I need a vacation. More like 3 vacations. I'm halfway done with my masters degree! Here are some normal pictures to explain what we've been up to lately without having to write a novel.

97% of my time is spent believing that going to grad school was the best decision of my life and 3% of the time I wish so deeply that I never started. Normal? Maybe grad school is just turning me into an alien, a therapeutic alien hopefully. It's turning Ed into a superstar of sorts.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I blogged

It's been a while. So let's be random about we're up to lately:
  • watching hours on end of Duck Dynasty and COPS when we should be doing homework/thesis/cleaning house/working out/anything else remotely productive...
  • blasting Macklemore until we can rap the songs and loving Alabama Shakes right now.
  • guacamole and chips for dinner + oreos.
  • sleeping horrible for two weeks straight.
  • stressing to the point that I'm sure my health is in jeopardy.
  • screaming the F word at people in almost every dream consistently....stress dreams? 
  • giving the cats much needed baths.
  • planning dates for each other (rare in this marriage) 
  • Ed doing guided imagery to help me fall asleep - "You're on a beach, listen to the waves crashing, feel your shoulders sinking further into the sand........"...it's bliss falling asleep to that.
  • whitening our teeth
  • Pearl is still sucking on ears
  • Ed is bishopric-ing the singles
  • Contemplating a PHD at UGA for Ed?
  • I'm second guessing my crazy idea to do grad school in the first place while at the same time being exponentially grateful that I'm doing what I'm doing.
  • Ed's is sponsored by Pearl Izumi - what a stud
  • Seasonal depression curses for the whole state of Utah should be leaving soon. Please, oh please be spring!
  • pumping iron at the gym together and seeing results :) 
  • my new goal is to get financially stable enough to live in a smallish house, but go on vacation every 3-6 months. can you tell I'm wanting to escape life in any way that I can right now? 
  • #$@% the landlord. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

ahh Sylvie, you are my idol

So I'm on a ballet kick. I'm always thinking of ballet, but sometimes I get in these funks where I stay up until 3 in the morning watching my favorite primas on youtube, watch documentaries that I've already seen multiple times, read interviews and try to put personalities with the dancers I love, and choreograph some of my own stuff in the kitchen. It's awesome. You can't be on a ballet kick like that all the time or you won't have time for anything else, so when it happens every once in a while, I love it.

Anyway, my absolute idol is Sylvie Guillem. I've talked about her before, but I'm intrigued all over again and I want people to know what makes her so great. I am even naming my first girl after her. Not only is Sylvie one of the greatest dancers that has ever lived, she's also a total diva. Lots of people view her as difficult to deal with, rude, or a rebel. This is because she's always done things her way and if someone has a problem with it, she just goes and finds what she wants. I actually love that about her. She doesn't stand for anything that's not up to her standard. She's a diva because she can be. She's one of the best in the world! I hate stuck up people, but when you're actually "the best" I think there is a small allowance for a little bit of that princess attitude. She's peculiar and different in all the right ways if you ask me. There is just something different about Sylvie, the first time I saw her in a video I was seriously in love. I have never seen anyone dance the way she does. On top of her spunky personality and her amazing technique, she's drop dead gorgeous. If I could live another life, I would be Sylvie Guillem. I would be a prima ballerina and a diva just like her. I would have amazing feet and out of this world extensions and prance around like I owned the place. I think I love her so much because I have that spunk in me that always wants to say, "hell no" and other obscenities to people, but I don't have the guts to do it.

Lately I've been having a lot of doubts about if I'm capable of going through with the pressure of becoming a licensed therapist. I keep thinking "wow, first semester was so incredibly awesome, but I think I'm done." It's just my fear blocking me, but in the back of my mind I think, "should I just have a baby or something? so I don't have to face some of these really scary situations?" but then I know would regret it for the rest of my life. Anyway, this is my favorite quote from Sylvie about why she still dances even though she has wanted to quit so many times:

"It’s because when finally you achieve something, then you are alive and you did something that only you can do. And if you don’t do it, if you don’t push yourself to do it, and look for the best way to do it, then you don’t wake up"

I think that's how I will feel after I've accomplished this big goal. I will feel like it's a part of me that I need in order to keep waking up because I pushed myself so hard for it. Sylvie, you're so smart! These are my favorite portraits of her: 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

an amazing break

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
It's been forever since I've posted and I don't even know where to start. This extra long break has almost been too good because now I'm really feeling the anxiety of starting a new semester. We have had so many fun adventures in San Diego, Burley, and even in Provo, but the greatest part about this break was the people we got to spend our time with. California with Jeff and Hetty was hilarious and comfortable. We made so many great memories and we will definitely be going on more vacations with them. Burley with Ed's parents was also really special. It was just the four of us, which is a rare opportunity because of the many siblings and grandchildren who also love to be around Karen and Norvel. On Christmas Eve we ate Karen's famous clam chowder and rolls and watched several sweet Christmas messages together. I even attempted to whip out some Christmas carols on the piano. Ed and I secretly set up eachother's stockings and feasted on treats for hours into the night. Christmas morning we opened presents, ate a delicious breakfast, and went to see Les Miserables. On the way home we ran out of gas on the freeway and Ed and I pushed the car for about a mile. Although it was a surprise for Christmas day to be running down the freeway pushing the car with my in laws riding in it, it was a pretty hilarious and a great workout. Then next day we made it back to Provo to hang out with my parents. It was great to chow on cheese fondue and watch them laugh their heads off at the movies we watched. Seeing my dad play lego star wars on the xbox with Ed was also priceless. Finally, we spent New Years Eve with the Christenson clan so of course there was lots of food, fireworks, and a fair share of political debates. Ed's family has the full spectrum of political outlooks and they just love to talk discuss them. Usually it drives me nuts hearing it, but I think it was good this year for Ed to get it out of his system. Now we are back on the bandwagon of healthy eating and attempting to accomplish the annual goal of getting fit. Today at Costco the check out lady even asked us if we were on a healthy eating kick because our whole purchase was fruits and veggies. Hopefully we can stick with it. Tonight is documentary night...we are on our second one of the night and will probably try for one more. I'm trying to soak up every last minute of possible relaxation before the semester starts because it's going to be busy and super duper stressville.

Life is just normal lately, Ed's my best friend and the cats are our everything. We are on a Boggle kick and we fight over the comfy spot on the couch every night. Kona is our panther and Pearl is our hyena. We plan to keep our Christmas lights up until we're sick of them because we like the glow of them. Provo is getting to be freezing right about now and I'm dreaming of being on a beach. Oh Utah, I love you and I hate you. That's all for tonight.