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(as of April 12, 2015)

1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

2. Alaska

3. VW Bus road trip down the United States west coast, from Seattle to San Diego

4. Macchu Picchu, Peru

5. Japan

What’s your top five as of RIGHT NOW?

Adventure is Out There

 

Image via CreativeMarket.com

I was exhausted during my Morning shift this morning (4am-10am). On my 8am “lunch” break I lay in my car and slept for the whole 30 minutes. It was slow during work, so I put my headphones in one ear and listened to the general conference talks I missed over the weekend. I listened to Elder Uchtdorf’s from the priesthood meeting because I heard how wonderful it was (and it really was), and to the Sunday morning session talks, which were also beautiful.

When I got home a little after 10 I watched two episodes of Hart of Dixie and scoffed at everyone’s enhanced spray tans this season and checked out the before and after pictures (clothed) of Rachel Bilson’s new nose and boob job. I know it’s a stupid show, but it’s the last season and I have to watch it.

I then fell asleep for two hours having missed my Zumba class. I got to my nutrition class, luckily, and got the participation points for the day which I desperately needed. No matter how much I study, I end up with a 74 out of 100 on the test. Have I told you how much I hate multiple choice tests? Give me a pencil and a blank paper and I’ll blow your mind. But with a multiple choice test, I always get C’s. If I show up though, I can get a B.

Speaking of tests, I have my first test from History this Thursday. He has given us all of the questions, but I am very nervous. I’m in a daze today and can’t seem to focus on any school work. I just want to go back to bed. I wish someone could sit with me for eight hours and help me focus. I need a robot.

Yongzhen and I are reading Harry Potter together. He now comes over three times a week for English class. On Easter evening Yongzhen rang our doorbell, holding a bag of warm dumplings for us. I love his mother Xiaoyan, who has become my dear friend. She wrote me an email last week saying she knows God introduced us together. How often do you get an email like that? Really. People can be so nice and thoughtful.

I bought a new bikini for my summer trips. I feel so cute and comfortable in it. I drove all over the valley to get the right sizes because they were out of stock online and in the stores nearby. Totally worth it. It’s this one from Target.

What else? There’s always more, but I’ll leave it here. Bye, friends.

I didn’t really enjoy women’s conference. I enjoyed being with my family and spending time with sister part. But other than that I didn’t have all that great of a time. On the car ride home I tried to untangle the knots in my brain that come about when my life stops making sense and I have to sort things out again. I spoke out loud to Spencer. If I don’t jive with stuff that is said at the conference pulpit, then what can I depend on? Oh yeah, Jesus and God. Well, okay, if I can depend on Jesus and God, then why do I need religion and church and everything? Can’t I just live my life praying and doing good deeds and trying to be a better person? Why do I feel like I have to jive with the stuff I don’t really wanna jive with? No one can mess with my relationship with God, so why don’t I just work on that and do something else for three hours tomorrow?

I haven’t wanted to go to church for a while now. I don’t know what it is. I go in and out of phases. It just feels hard to get there and I feel like I have to like meditate before I get there. Also it’s like I don’t feel like I have friends at church and I want to have friends, but then I just want to sit in the back and not talk to anyone. I love a lot of the women in my ward, though. And I’m busy and everything, but I want to bond with people and maybe I don’t know how to. Like my home is always a wreck. So having someone over for just an hour is like a three hour process cause I have to clean the house. I don’t have three hours. Cooking for someone? OMG no. Taking someone out? Well, sometimes I have money for that, but not always. If I go over to someone’s house I worry I’m taking up their time. I mean really the most ideal hang out is wearing pajamas and having them get in bed with me and watch a movie. So then maybe I should just only hang out with Spencer. Damn, back to square one. WAIT, but that’s all I did before I got married! Hung out on a friend’s bed and watched movies with a bag of kit kats! Why can’t I do it now? Is it the sex thing? No one wants to sit on a sex bed? Do I need to get my own “bed to sit on for watching movies with my friends” bed? Is that creepy? Yes? Okay I’ll stop.

People, just tell me the rules of being a married woman so I won’t ask these questions anymore.

Is it just the age/my current life situation that I feel completely not social? What about the church thing? Why is it that sometimes I’m all up for going to church but lately it’s exhausting? Maybe it’ll get better with time, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jessica isn’t even in our ward anymore and my heart hurts so much that I didn’t try harder to be her friend before she left. I adored her! And Amber moved today!

I’m fine with being alone. And then I get lonely. And then I want to be alone. And then I get lonely.

Heyyy.
What are you thinking about tonight? Are you up?

I’m thinking about alcohol and how I’ve never had it. I’m twenty two and have never even had a sip. Isn’t that funny? I’m thinking about how proud I am of that. I don’t know why, really. I guess we all have these moral commandments for ourselves, whether they’re religious or not, and we all tend to break them because we’re humans and everything. I just like that I’ve kept that one at least this far. I guess it just bothers me, the whole alcohol thing. People love talking about it. For, like, ever. It’s boring as hell.

But I talk about TV shows all of the time. Like I can’t stop. And I’m comparing that to the way people talk about their oh so unique but so totally not unique cup of coffee or their glass of wine. What is it about it? I don’t know, I’m too tired to come up with something.

For me I feel I’ve been numbing myself with TV and I’m not telling you this because I think I need to change or I think it’s bad, it’s just how it is. I don’t want to work on anything after school and work. I just want to be sucked into a virtual life so I can get through this.

It’s time to sleep and I don’t want to, because when I go to sleep it means when I wake up it will be Thursday and I will go to work and then run around finishing everything I need to before class at 6.

While I’m with Megan in Europe, I get to see Loira in England and Marina in France. I can’t wait. It makes me so happy, this trip.

I don’t know if I want to go to grad school. Part of it completely freaks me out and I keep thinking I won’t be good enough. I don’t remember thinking that way at the beginning of my undergrad. Did I? Was I nervous? I can’t remember. I just remember packing up my clothes, hugging my mom goodbye and driving to Jeff and Stacey’s.

I never went back to my parents after that. I had no idea I would never live there again. I moved everything out, my room was taken and everything, and I was gone. Isn’t that weird? I don’t remember visiting often either. I didn’t go back on the weekends. I went with my cousin Bryant to church or skipped church and studied. I guess I was busy. Oh yeah, I was working at Zupas on the weekends too. I was probably exhausted on Sundays and I was worried about gas money and stuff. And I loved hanging out with my cousins.

Anyway, about grad school. I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do. It sounds long and hard and terrifying. I don’t feel like writing essays anymore. But I know I will want one. I know I want one now, I just don’t want to do it. And part of me just wants to be at home. With a baby, yeah, sometime, but also like I just want to be at home in a bed and never leave and wear sweatpants all day and eat Ben and Jerry’s. I think a lot of it is fear and I’m sick of working hard. I just don’t want to work hard at anything for a while.

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New art on the wall! This is what I wanted to show you the other day. It thrills me to have something above the bed. Don’t stare at them too long if you’re OCD. I have to go back and straighten them out. You know when you’re so excited about art and you hurry and hammer it in? I need to get out of that habit before I move to an actual house, or whatever.

Which one’s your favorite? Mine is the Iceland one.

Mom gave me these for my birthday. I think she knows I go a little cray cray when my space isn’t pretty.

We’ve lived in this space for two and a half years. Can you believe it?

Photo on 3-6-15 at 4.54 PM

 

Heyyyyy.

I made the bed.

I wanted to show you pictures of the art on my wall, but then I felt like taking a selfie.

I’m breaking out. My hair is dry and thinking about it makes me breakdown, so I’m not going to.

I think Photobooth makes me look fat.

I have really cool eyes.

Even though I haven’t plucked them, I have pretty good eyebrows.

I’m trying out leather and I like it.

I don’t know if I look like a sexy person.

As much as I scoff at Jennifer Lawrence for posing with a snake naked, I secretly want to be that awesome.

I think I look really innocent. Sometimes I wish I looked more fierce.

I’m taking Zumba and it makes me dance all of the time.

I laugh at myself all of the time because I’m the funniest person in the world.

I want to be the photographer and the model.

I’m too embarrassed to be either right now.

I should wear lipstick more often.

Hi peeps.

Nothing exciting to say. I’m tired. I want to go back home and watch Once Upon a Time. I want it to be Maxwell’s birthday again so I can be with my family. I want the freeway light posts to turn into palm trees.

I got some hard things done, like turning in my graduation papers with a late $25 fee. But since I have two majors, I’ve paid $50. But it was a given. I never could have turned it in on time.

I also wrote out a check for $55 with an application to be in the National German Honors Society. It was $45, but I spent $10 extra to get the honor chord in the color of the German flag. You know what I’m saying? You know, the tassel thing you get to put on your graduation hat.

It was all for the tassel, people. All for the tassel.

I love my husband. He’s going to get everything he wants in this life. You know why? Cause he’s a good egg.

I’m also buying a 52 dollar scarf because it has pockets in it. Yeah, yeah, I know, I could have just gotten some fabric, gotten out my sewing machine and made a pocket. Put no no, really, no, when in any life time would that really happen for me?

“It really bothers me when you say that,” I said to Spencer at Target over the weekend.
“Say what?”
“When you say, ‘why would we buy that when we could make it?’ When have we ever actually made something that we wanted to buy? Never. We just didn’t buy it.”
“We could make it over spring break.”
“That’s what we said about the headboard. Two years ago.”
“Oh yeah.”

I sigh a dramatic sigh and walk out of the isle.

If you didn’t get it from the title of this post, I AM GOING TO ROME. The tickets are bought! Megan and I are spending two weeks in the summer running through Italy and PARIS and LONDON. This is the first time going to Europe for fun!–without having to be at school or work (I know, such a spoiled thing to say, right?).

I’ve been holding off on telling you this news. Megan posted it on her social media platforms and I quietly untagged myself. You know why? Cause I was embarrassed. I felt guilty. I was excited, but I felt that everyone else would think I was this selfish married girl, not taking money or her husband into consideration.

For three years I’ve had to learn again and again that I love what I love, I am who I am, and I cannot be Anne if I don’t feed my spirit the things it so selfishly wants.

When we were first engaged, I listed in my head the things I’d have to sacrifice in order to marry Spencer. How would Spencer be Spencer and Anne be Anne together? How would we be able to accomplish dreams and future goals when they seemed so different?

I decided in my mind that I would have to be the one to sacrifice the most. My dreams were too farfetched. Unrealistic. Too fantasy-like, too childish, not productive enough, not “money” successful enough. I watched people ask us what we were doing with our lives and as I told them my dreams, I felt their eyes quickly pass over to Spencer’s where he told his solid, five-year plan. It would be me that would have to settle down and fit into the good-girl, good-wifey life, I thought, and cheer on the side as I followed my husband in his dreams.

Of course, none of this was Spencer’s perspective. We had been dating for almost a year and he was always excited about my goals and my future. He listened, without scoffs or eye rolls. He took me seriously. And when the “marriage” word popped up, and when I let him know of these worries, he told me we would always find a way for both of us to live joyous lives. Together. I clung to his words, hoping he meant them.

It took a few breakdowns and prayers and fights to get this idea out of my head. And it still pops in once in a while. I don’t think it’ll ever go away completely.

Because even though Spencer loves me unconditionally and prays for my dreams as much as his, and hugs me so tight when I get a job interview or an acceptance letter in the mail, I can’t stop validating my decisions to everyone else. “Yeah, I’m going to Hawaii. I don’t spend a lot of money, and we’ve been really good with our budget, and I really just needed it, because I’ve been kind of depressed and… yeah.”

“Yeah, I’m going to Germany for four months and leaving my husband. Yeah, I have to do it for school though, and I’ve been really good at saving for the past months and Spencer’s going to visit so I’ll see him.”

All of the time, people. And the truth is, I just wanted to go Hawaii, dammit. I just wanted to go to Germany. I didn’t have to go to Germany. I got that international studies double major when I got back. But can I say that? No, I’m too embarrassed. How can I help it? I worry what other people think of me. I worry people think I’m a bad wife. Do you know someone said this to us when we were dating? That because I’m “this way” I won’t ever be able to make Spencer happy?

But I don’t have to have a Plan B life. I can have Plan A life all of the time. Even though this fear pops into my head every few months and I have to fight it again, that fear isn’t winning. I have received more blessings in the past two and half years with Spencer than I have in my whole life. Every question to God has been answered. Every answer has been better than I expected. And this year, we are getting huge blessings for both Spencer and me. Next month something huge is happening for Spencer. We both feel it. I’m so excited.

So, back to the point. I’m going to Rome with my best friend and I am dying of excitement.

I am completely head over heels in love with my sweet, hard-working, forgiving, hilarious, ridiculously good-looking husband. Spence, I love you. I’m so lucky to be with you.

Happy Valentines Day.

550872_3912829735201_1350339462_n(Sorry, not sorry, Em… And Sara. Hahahahahahahaha.)

It was a long and lovely winter break. Emily came home from her mission and I bawled like a little girl as I watched her at the pulpit and as I sat in the ward I lived in until I was eleven. I ran my fingers through the patterns carved into the wooden benches, like I used to when I tried to keep my eyes open during sacrament meeting. I thought about Grandpa coming to our ward and showing me how to read the hymns, even though I already knew how. I remembered when I ran up to sing the last verse of some song during the primary program and Nathan Brown tripped me on the way up. I remembered Melissa getting confirmed in Sacrament Meeting after being baptized and at the time I had no idea she had a little sister with whom I’d become best friends.

After church we went to Marlies’ house because we couldn’t get enough of Emily and Marlies and Jerry. We met David, her now fiancé, who is a total sweetheart. I searched for Libby, who lay underneath the table in the kitchen licking her paws. I made kissy noises and rubbed my fingers together like I used to, and sure enough she walked out from underneath the table and said hello to me.

“So are you pregnant?” Emily asked.

“No.”

“Are you trying?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Em! Because!”

“Can I be in the room when you have your baby?”

“WHAT?”

“Can I be the Godmother?”

“Hahaha”

“Can I cut the umbilical chord?”

“HAHAHAHA”

“Anne do I need to give you a conference talk on having babies?”

“EM!”

Hahahaha.

And then later.

“So are you gonna marry David?” I ask quietly with a cookie in my mouth.

“It seems that way,” Emily hides a smile.

“When’s the wedding?”

And my mom in a loud voice, “WAIT! DID I JUST HEAR THAT RIGHT? Anne, did you ask are you getting married and Emily, did you say it seems that way?”

Well, yeah, I mean, we were trying to keep it cool, but, yes Mom.

Em and I were born three days apart–me on February 23rd, and her on February 26th. We are both 9 feet 10 inches. Both of our middle names are Louise. We both have the same size feet. And we both equally loved Aqua’s Aquarium album, the one that has the “I’m a Barbie Girl” song on it. See? We were meant to be soul sisters.

Anne and Megan, Temple Square

And then I got to see Megan. The day after fall semester ended, Megan called me and asked if I wanted to go to a jazz game with her. Yes! We sat at City Creek for more than two hours catching up on life and then walked to the Energy Solutions Arena and stayed there for maybe 30 minutes before we bailed and walked down Mainstreet and in Temple Square, jumping up and down and giggling as we dreamt about our lives. We spent around five hours together. I never get that much time with my friends anymore. Heaven.

Anne and Bruna, Natural History Museum Anne and Bruna, Bruges Waffles

Then Bruna came to town. It’s her first time being back in America since her foreign exchange in high school, where we all met each other. Bruna is the most laid back friend I have. She is cool with doing whatever and when she sees me getting stressed out, she just yells “ANNE!” and rolls her eyes at me. She is also a friend that gets you to do the things you want to do–like buy leather leggings. And a leather jacket. And a white blouse. And A floral dress. We went ice skating and ate at Bruges downtown and went to the Natural History Museum and shopped at Park City. We had sleepovers with Megan and bought cheap crap at Wal-Mart. I felt like I was seventeen again.

Ana had a baby

And then Ana had her baby. Yesterday Megan and I stopped by her and Jake’s house and we both held baby Jace. “Okay aunties, look over here!”Ana said as she took a picture. Megan and I both repeated what she said and squealed. “Auntie Anne and Auntie Megan! Auntie Anne! Auntie Megan!” Ana texted us as she was at the hospital. “The doctor says the baby could be here before 5!” Megan and I texted back, “PUUUUUUUUSH!” I love Ana. She makes me laugh, she sends me packages, she responds to my text rants. When I was in Germany in high school, she figured out how to call my host family (at four in the morning, hahaha) to wish me a happy birthday. When I told her personal things in high school that I felt sad about, she just shrugged and said, “You’re Anne. You’re going to be okay.” She has always been a wonderful friend. I’m so happy for her and Jake.

School has started and my brain is having a difficult time getting back into studying. I come home from school and watch Once Upon a Time, which I got hooked on over the break because of Bruna and Megan.

There are exciting things happening for me this year. But I’ll save it for another post.

I’m grateful for friends. I only have a handful of them and I don’t get to see them all of the time, but they are enough and I love them and I’ll have them forever.