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the main reason i didn’t blog was because i was working at the church. i just love to curse once in a while on the blog and working at the church made me feel like i needed to be more careful. maybe i should take myself more seriously and be careful all the time, but man, once in a while, it just feels good to say dickweed.

dickweed. isn’t the real term dickwad? or is there no real term? these are things i should look up to be more culturally aware before i post something, but i don’t care enough. hahaha.

this year the church leaders who run the corporation (or whatever — p.s. it’s 12:33am) allowed women to finally wear pants. it’s funny when these things happen. when i first applied for the church, the pant thing didn’t bug me too much. there were days i was a little peeved. like when i was late, and i saw men running to their full capacity, and i’m running with my skirt bunched in my fist, making sure no one sees my hoohah. yeah, that’s when feminism kicks in for me. promotion? pay raise? psh, who cares about that, i just wanna skip three steps at a time going up the stairs!

but anyway, when we could finally wear pants, i was really pissed off. haha! like, FINALLY. it only took them THIS long. i was more angry once they gave us the pants than anytime before they wouldn’t allow me to wear pants.

my job is craaaazy right now! i sort of got plopped in to a project right when the final edits were due and there is serious work to be done that i’m in charge of, and i don’t have any clue what i’m doing. everyone has been super patient, though, and i’ve been staying late to try to get the hang of it.

i have not seen barclay for a few weeks now. i freaking love her. she makes life so much fun.

i had breakfast with ana on saturday and she brought her four month old baby, blaire. i got to hold blaire while we ate pancakes. she fell asleep in my arms!!! she has these huge brown eyes and black hair.

i’ve been breaking down a little, and i know what i need to do. i have to stop teaching english. i’ve been teaching for four hours every weekend for the past two years, and for two years before i’de been teaching for two hours every weekend. and i got a new calling at church. i’m the relief society activity committee chair. so i have to come up with a party/some sort of activity for the women in my neighborhood with a committee every month. i totally love it, but it is exhausting. you know me. i have to hide for awhile. and a once a month party is just… it’s a lot.

at the beginning of the year i also had writer’s group on saturday mornings and was writing a ton. and then i was focusing on photography with barclay. and then i was working on wanderplan. i just get excited about so many things that i don’t want to sacrifice one of them.

and right now spencer has this terrible work schedule so that if i have ANYTHING i have to do besides work the last two hours, i won’t see spencer until the next day. it is the freaking worst.

so, for the past two years, i’ve worked every single friday from 9-5 or whatever, and then 6-8pm teaching english. then on saturday i teach again from 6-8. and then on sunday i go to church for 3 hours. so saturday HAS to be cleaning/family administration stuff, and then there’s no time to play. so then i’m cramming wanderplan/writing/photography/seeing friends into random hours i could find and ignoring spencer.

anyway. i gotta get rid of one and it’s gonna be english class. i just love those boys so much. sooo freaking much. it’s going to be the worst.

my life is not “the worst.” i’m super excited about life right now. i’m just busy :).

done, done.

updates.

i have a new job. miss my friends at the gsc. two years in one place and moving to different teams makes you get to know so many awesome people. i hated saying goodbye.

speaking german every day for two full years. it was wonderful. but i am extremely concern for one brother in leipzig who may completely freak out when he realizes i am gone. he tends to stick to one person. i hope he’ll be okay. i should have written him a letter to ease him into the change. but i needed to worry about my own changes.

my team at the gsc was all international. for a lot of my time, i was the only american, or the only white person. in the middle of utah, i found this little building with so much diversity, but who all believes in god, jesus christ, the holy ghost, priesthood blessings, miracles, and this crazy spiritual power in the book of mormon. how funny the world is.

i’ve moved to a job (outside of the Church) with better pay and better opportunities for growth, but it means no more german.

i finished my first week at my new job. there are people who have MFAs and encourage others to get MFAs. my team introduced themselves to me with the question, “if you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with your spare time?” 90% of the room said they would write.

and no one looked at them like they were funny.

on the second day of my job, my project manager told me we’d be flying to new york city for a design workshop with one of our clients.

i am going to new york city.

what else? wanna hear about wanderplan?

i finished planning a three-week trip for two clients going to London, Rome, and Paris. it was the hardest i’ve worked on anything since school. it was amazing and treacherous and amazing. each day i get updates on how they’re doing–them in front of the colosseum, in front of big ben, and i know exactly what tube and what streets they walked on to get there.

i’m working on the website. my goal is for it to be up and running by the end of the year.

my brother, maxwell, is getting surgery in both of his eyes. he has a genetic disorder called FEVR, which is like, this creepy thing where blood vessels or whatever are, like, making holes in his retina. it’s so rare that the eye doctor has been traveling throughout the U.S. to all these FEVR specialists to figure out what the heck to do.

since it’s a genetic disorder, the doctor wants to see all of us and make sure we’re not all some fringe event.

i thoroughly enjoy my brother, so please pray for him, won’t you?

i’ve been on anxiety meds since 2015. it’s been a game changer. there’s pros and cons. i think i don’t write on my blog as much because i’m not really fretting, and not really needing to “get things out.”

but the pros are that i feel sane. my brain is calm. and that’s good.

spencer meditates everyday. he’s been doing it for over a year. he is super impressive.

my doctor said he thinks we should up my dose of anti-depressants. i said no, let me me try working out again for the next three months. he said it was a deal. i know i’m more depressed because of my weight. i’m almost at 155 pounds. most of my life i’ve been at 130.  that’s still normal for my height, but it’s strange how this mass is poking out of my stomach. it’s not evened out throughout my body, or anything. it’s just poking out. and i can’t stop playing with it. i sit on the couch and just poke at this mass. poke. poke.

i started gaining when i graduated from school. more money, more food, more work, more sitting.

spencer’s work schedule is seriously the most terrible thing ever. we never see each other. and when we do, one of us is exhausted, and the other one is ready to play. it sucks, sucks, sucks.

i miss my grandparents. they’ve been gone for almost a year in canada.

i lost my harddrive. i will not go into detail about what that means. but it’s huge. and i have spent many days bawling in my closet about it. have to move on, though, or i go into a hole thinking about it. let’s just say my whole life was on that damn thing. ugggg. move on, move on.

okay, what else? i think that’s it. i’m swimming through my brain and can’t find anything else to talk about. so that’s it for now. goodnight.

Money Tree

My grandparents moved to Nova Scotia last fall and gave me their plants. My grandma knew how much I loved them. Earlier in the year, I asked her where she got her money tree.

“It’s not a money tree,” she said. “It’s a Schefflera.”

“Really?” I asked. “I thought those trees were called money trees.”

“I’ve never heard of a money tree. Maybe it’s the same tree. But mine is definitely a Schefflera.”

I googled it. The trees were different, and hers was definitely a money tree.

A week later, she left me a voicemail, “Anne, I had a surprise for you, but it won’t fit in our car. It’s a money tree. Go pick it up at Cactus and Tropicals. It’s under my name.”

At Cactus and Tropicals I said, “I’m picking up a money tree. It’s under the name Louise.”

The employee flipped through the manila folders. “We have a Louise, but it’s not a money tree. It’s a Schefflera.”

I laughed. “Yeah. That’s the one.”

Our schefflera in our old cinderblock home (P.S. Can you believe we lived there for four years?)

For a while we had both of those sweet trees in our new apartment–the Schefflera in our bedroom, and the money tree in the living room. But the Schefflera got sick and we kept finding wormy caterpillars on the floor from the soil. We could have saved it, but we were too grossed out by the bugs. I had failed as a human being. A little dramatic, I know, but I can’t believe how sad I got when we took that tree to the dumpster. So, so sad.

This weekend we re-potted my grandma’s money tree. Then we trimmed the long branches and used them to pot two new money trees. Cross your fingers it works!

I keep this giant calendar next to me at work. I use it to keep track of things in the office. You can see how organized I was in January.

And pretty good in February.

And okay in March.

And then boom! Lollipops and eyeballs and shooting stars and squiggles. I laughed when I saw this, because I’m feeling extra nutty this month and my calendar shows it. Maybe because it’s snowing in April. Maybe my Steppenwolf is coming out. Maybe there’s a method to my madness. Maybe I’m just drawing lollipops.

I make paper flowers in my spare time. We have a table big enough to do things like this. My calling in church is to plan monthly activities for the women and the committee chair asked if I’d be willing to make these giant flowers (below) to decorate a room for a tea party. I put on a brave face and said yes. When I told everyone at the activity how easy they were to make, they said, “I’m just not a crafty person. I could never do something like that.” Am I a crafty person now?

When I showed Barclay, she gave me her crepe paper and instructions to make peonies and roses. We spent an afternoon at my house watching Rogue One and making these.

I’m almost done with the peony bouquet. Afterwards I’m gonna buy different colors of crepe paper online and make daffodils or something.

Who knew I could do stuff like this?


I bought these sunglasses for $80. I’m trying to buy nice things in hopes that something will trigger in my brain and tell me to stop treating my things badly.

I also bought myself this swimsuit for my birthday. It’s minimalist with some spunk. And it doesn’t make me look like a balloon around my hips and stomach. 

I asked Mom to buy me this Michael Kors coat for Christmas. The gold zipper! It’s warm and not poofy. Remember my green, moldy brown-colored coat I wore for years and years? I suddenly feel a whole lot cuter in winter.

Time for an update, no matter how small. See above? That’s what I do with most my time. Along with watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. This isn’t even the worst of it. I also draw these monster doodles during church so that children will give me attention. Mamas have their child’s heads leaning on their shoulders who have little whimpers and wet faces and boom! Look little child, here’s a monster I made! And they smile and laugh and their parents look back and I pretend I’m just another face in the crowd.

This is me. Barclay (@likeabarofclay) was playing with her camera and put the film in wrong, and it did this. I like me when Barclay puts the film in wrong.

I also like Barclay.

My cousin Rian showed me a few doodling apps (because why stop at triangles and monsters?) and this one is my favorite. It’s Mira being all sassylicious.

The color coordination in these pictures is so fantastic that I must stop here.

Kiss kiss.

The hardest part about riding the train is knowing where to look. Staring out the window is your best bet, unless you’re crammed in a middle seat. You could look at the floor, but the man sitting across you begins twitching until he puts his backpack on his lap. No, dude, I wasn’t staring at your lap. You could look far ahead of you, but now he’s worried I’m staring into his eyes.

I’ve stuck with my iPad mini reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, but when the train is full, people get nosy. Like on Monday I’m reading a chapter called “Hooking Up Is Confusing” and the thirty-year old man sitting next to me wearing a plaid shirt and beanie looks at the chapter heading and chuckles. As if a friend just told him about the craziest night with some random chick and he’s like, “Oh dude, I’ve been there.” 

A couple days later I finished Mindy’s book, so I thought I’d read Ether from the Book of Mormon, which is 15 quick chapters . Then some blonde girl sitting next to me begins hovering. I realize she’s reading with me, but the thing is, she starts reading faster than me. So she reads, gets to the bottom of my iPad, sighs impatiently, and looks out the window. When I scroll down to new text, she straightens up and hovers again. Like, dude, get your own damn word of God!

Or the old man this week sitting across from me, who said “It’s a fine day outside!” And looks at me for a response. I ignore him blatantly and continue reading. The nice girl sitting next to me does a quick “Mhm.” There’s only a small pause before he says, “Kids these days. They sit around and stare at that plastic all day. No care in the world to actually look up and talk to people.

I see Nice Girl’s cheeks turn red. “Mhm,” she says again.

For a second I wonder if I should look up and apologize. Or look up and smile. Or explain I’m reading a book and not youtube-ing “babies see shadow first time” (which I highly recommend watching). But I decide against my need to please and remember I didn’t want to talk to the pervy man in the first place.

He continues his speech about “kids these days” until the train slows and he gets off.

I’m big and getting bigger. I’ve just stopped running. No hopes of running in my life right now. Yeah, yeah, I know you awesome active people looking at me with no sympathy. I KNOW. Just do it Anne, just just… Blagh. I’m too bummed and my tummy is getting bigger and so I just keep drinking more Dr. Pepper and feel happy for a second.

Okay, I’ve never been a soda addict until the last year. I mean, yeah, when we go out I’d get a drink, but never would I buy soda for the house or stop by 7/11 in between grocery days. But people, I’m a Dr. Pepper addict with the occasional Mexican Coke.

Have I already complained about Fringe to you? Fringe is not on Netflix anymore. I’ve watched all of Friends, Stranger Things, Sherlock a million times, but I just want my Fringe. I want my Olivia Dunham and Walter Bishop and sexual attraction and sci-fi. No, I don’t want some crap Gilmore Girls.

Tonight we drove around Salt Lake City. It was blue in the sky and yellow on the ground. The leaves in front of our home have turned gold. It’s the first fall in years that I’ve noticed stink bugs flying around. We spent the day driving down the street to the small toy store and grabbing hot chocolate and a caramel apple spice steamer at Starbucks.

Now about our home. We have been lucky enough to not have ant infestations or serious mold problems. Yes, we’ve heard the occasional loud sex or bi-monthly neighbor scream-outs, but overall it’s been a peaceful and (relatively) comfortable place to live for the past four years.

But the last six months has been dreadful. We have neighbors who really like hookah. For a day, it was kind of nice. It’s sweet-ish. But there’s no circulation in our buildings. And it’s taken over our house. It. Will. Not. Go. Away. I opened my drawers to get out my winter clothes and HOLY MOTHER OF HOOKAH it smelled.

I hate hookah. I hate it. I know it’s the dumbest thing to hate, but I hate it. It reminds me of the time I almost got raped. Not that it was the hookah that I blame the whole thing on, but it’s all those dumb pipes and smoke that I remember.

The best thing about living here is this bunny. He showed up when we started thinking about getting a rabbit. This bunny lives down the hill by our parking lot. He’s always chewing on something in the grass when we walk down to our cars in the morning. When he sees us, he hops off to the bushes nearby. I haven’t seen him for a week, though, but Spencer saw him yesterday. He is grey-brown with a perfect cotton ball tail.

I decided to blog today because we were at Barnes and Noble and I was reading the first two pages of a new book by Maria Semple and Regina Spektor was playing and for just a second, I felt completely me. I won’t try to explain it further. But I felt me, and I really loved me.