Life is Beautiful

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's been 1 year, 6 months, and 13 days since I've last written.

I haven't entirely decided how that makes me feel. In some respects, it makes me sad because I know I will forget all the things that have happened in this past year and a half, the changes both significant and minor.

In other respects, I've come to peace with it. I've always wanted to write, but on my own terms. And I can still do that. Just elsewhere.

I believe this will be farewell, not because of you, dear friend, but because of me. I want this blog for memory reasons, but I shan't be updating it anymore.

all the love,


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I have always had a deep love of animals.

I believe this stems from my childhood, in which I was blessed to be surrounded by many furry creatures who I loved more than life itself. From surprisingly young until far too old, my pets were (are) my best friends.

Dogs have always been my happiness. Growing up, I had Cocoa and Frisky, two german short-hairs who were my best friends. I spent countless hours running around my backyard with these dogs and loved them with all my heart. This led to some confusion about my species as a child, to which I'm sure my parents initially thought was cute, but eventually became a little concerned that I thought I was a dog until I was almost 7.

When I was 11 and Cocoa (who outlived Frisky) was 13, my family decided that it was time for Cocoa to be put to sleep. I was devastated. I didn't know how to cope with the loss of my best friend and because I was too much of a chicken, ran to my neighbour's house while our Bishop (who was coincidentally a veterinarian) came over to put Cocoa to sleep.

After Cocoa died, I felt a void. and like any reasonable 11 year old, I started what I thought was a convincing campaign for another dog. I needed to fill that void. My dad will describe this period of his life as the best 3 years of his life because for the first time in quite a while, there weren't dogs barking 24/7 in his backyard (my room was in the front of the house and as far as I was concerned, my dogs didn't make a peep).

However, a man can only handle so much and so, after countless petitions and out of the goodness of his heart, my dad let us get Slick. Slick came from a friend of ours whose son temporarily shelters washed-up show dogs. He was 3 years old and from the moment I met him, I knew he was special. There was never a happier dog than Slick. When his humans walked into the room or out to the backyard, Slick was THERE AND HE NEEDED TO SEE YOU NOW. His tail would wag, his eyes would light up, and like the true herding dog that he was, he would push against you until you acknowledged that he was there.

For obvious reasons, Slick quickly became my new best dog friend. He was the first dog that was allowed inside the house (proof that my dad is a saint) and he was the first dog that I could actually take on a walk.

Slick was always my shoulder to cry on. As weird as that sounds, Slick was the best listener. Even though he hated hugs, when Slick knew I was sad, he would stoically sit still while I hugged him until I felt better. I remember one particular moment in which my high school boyfriend had left on his mission. After I had cried my eyes out and felt like I couldn't cry anymore, I went to the backyard and in true fashion, Slick came running to see me. When he realized I was sad, he sat down right next to me and just waited until he could tell I felt better. He was always there when I needed him most.

Until his last days, there were two things that Slick loved more than anything: when you would hold his paw and when he was allowed into the house to be with his humans. Once Slick was finally allowed into the house, he went into Ninja Mode and I firmly believe he wanted us to forget he was there so he could live in the house forever. Often times, he would go 7+ hours, lying quietly on his bed, and praying that no one would notice (unless there were treats or scratchies involved). Slick was such an integral part of my adolescent years that I even published an article in my high school paper about him.

When I left for college, one of my favourite parts about coming home (aside from seeing family and friends) was seeing Slick and he was usually first on my list of things to love when I came home.

Today, Slick is 13 years old and like before, my family and I have decided that his precious time with us has come to an end. And just like my 11 year-old self, I can't imagine my life without him. I'm blessed to have Sadie and Tilly still, but Slick is truly an irreplaceable spirit. Being away from home has made this experience different than in the past because unlike my 11 year-old self, I feel like I'm finally mature and emotionally stable enough to be present when he passes. But rarely does life happen when you're finally ready for it. Although it's sad and real now, this Christmas will be the first one in 6 years that I haven't come home to Slick. And I don't know how that's going to feel.

When Cocoa died, I was an avid journal keeper (those were the days...) and that night, I wrote a special journal entry just for Cocoa. I remember asking God in my prayers that night to have Cocoa come down with an angel so that the angel could read Cocoa my entry and let her know how much I loved and missed her.

Tonight, as childish as it seems, I've written a similar entry and I'll be saying a similar prayer.

To my Slick: thank you for being my friend. I can't describe how much your happiness, love, playfulness, and goodness has helped me in my life. I'm sorry for the times I was mean to you. I'm sorry that as you got older, I wasn't around as much and that I didn't spend the time with you that you deserved when I was home. You are my sweet little love and I'm going to miss you so much. But I know that some day, when I come through those pearly gates, I'll see your ears sticking up outside the kitchen window. Your tail will start to wag and you'll bark until I open the door. And even though you're so excited to see me, you'll sit patiently like you always do so I can give you a big hug.

I look forward to that day and I can't wait to see you on the other side,
Old Bear :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I'm not one to feel spiritual promptings all the time. I mean, I know the Church is true and I love the gospel, but I have very few spiritual experiences where I've been prompted to do something, you know? Call me unrighteous, call me whatever you want (just don't call me late for dinner!... i'll show myself out..), but that's just not how my spirituality rolls most of the time.

So today, I was driving home from my best friend Cait's bridal shower and I was straight-up on EMPTY. This happens a lot because I suck at filling up my tank (ask Casey. it drives him insane). So given said state of gas, I decided to get off an exit earlier than usual so I could stop at the Maverick to fill up. 

I'm driving like I do and I passed this woman who was walking near the freeway overpass. She was hugely pregnant and ps guys- it was hotter than hell outside today. And I felt this tingly feeling in my chest and I knew I had to pull over.
Here's the thing about spiritual promptings: Usually when I get them, it's frequently in a situation where I think, "WHAAAAAAT??? I DON'T WANNNAAAA". Rational Brain was like, "Kristin. Think about this. You don't know this woman. She's probably an escaped convict from Chateau d'If. This is an unsafe situation. Repeat, UNSAFE." But Spiritual Brain was like, "Just do it. You need to do it and it's the right thing."

Today, I listened to Spiritual Brain and I pulled over. I had barely rolled down my window when the woman said, "Oh my goodness! I was hoping someone would help me!". She climbed into my car, we stopped to fill up my gas tank, and I drove her to the nearest Frontrunner station. Turns out, her name was Brandy, she lived in Salt Lake and was down in my town visiting a friend. She was totally lost and had no idea how to get back to SLC. She was also 8 months pregnant and in extreme discomfort because she had been walking for the better part of an hour.

Imma be real with you: I was scared and often in situations like these, I listen to Rational Brain because Rational Brain is way louder and bossier than Spiritual Brain, even though I know Spiritual Brain is right.

I was really grateful I listened today. This woman really needed help. She told me she has social anxiety (which I totally relate to) and that she wasn't sure how she was going to make it home. If I hadn't stopped, I'm sure someone else would have, but I was really glad it was me. I felt really good afterwards. and that was nice :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Sometimes, friends, I have the tendency to get anxious. I get this feeling that feels like little fuzz balls are running sprints in my chest and they all really want to win first place so they keep sprinting and sprinting, but nobody ever wins the race.

Along with The Fuzz Ball 500, I also get horrible heartburn, The Super Jitters (I cannot sit still to save my life.), the urge to yell spontaneously (not actual words, more just like loud noises... which is awkward), and I tend to go into Hyper-Kristin Mode, meaning I talk faster, laugh louder, and the regular aspects of my personality act like they are on steroids. I'm also prone to mini-breakdowns, in which the smallest things can really upset me to the point of not being able to communicate. There's also lots of tears involved and it is always ugly crying.

Things that trigger my anxious moments include, but are not limited to: new jobs, new environments, meeting new people, things that scare me, certain people, certain places, phone calls, driving (not all the time, just some of the time), surprises, and when I don't know where I am or where I'm going (not in the philosophical sense, but in the literal sense, aka I AM LOST.).

This past weekend, I attended the reception of a dear friend of mine (so much happiness and love) and I was in a situation where my anxious feelings shot through my body at record proportions, so much so that I had to run to the bathroom to throw up because I was just that anxious. Obviously, this wasn't fun. Ain't nobody who likes to throw up, especially when you're at a wedding reception. No bueno.

The rest of the night passes relatively uneventful and things went so much better than I expected. Today, I had a similar experience where the second I arrived, my heartburn kicked in, the Fuzz Balls started running, and an overall sense of, "I WANT TO DIE NOW. RIGHT THIS MINUTE." kicked in full-swing. Thankfully, I kept everything in this time, but the anxiousness never quite left me until about 4 hours after leaving said event (it's kinda back right now while I'm writing about this... imma pretend it's not because I'm at work and I don't want to be known as THAT coworker).

While driving to meet up for our friend's baby's 1-year birthday party (which I didn't know was a thing people did... is that a thing? I might be ignorant...), I thought about this whole experience from last night to today and even though I don't have answers, I've determined 2 things from this that I want to share with you lovely people:

(1) Soda does not make things better. As much as I want Dr. Pepper to save me in my time of need, it realllllllyyyyy makes the heartburn BURN THROUGH MY SOUL.

(2) There are people in this world who really care about me and love me exactly for who I am. These people mean the world to me. I've been so incredibly blessed to have people who genuinely care about my well-being, who want to know what's new in my life, and who love me. After these experiences, I felt so angry with myself, that I let something get to me in such a way, and I felt sad and hurt about everything. But then I thought about it and I realized that a) pity parties are for stupid faces; and b) I was going to an event (said baby birthday party) where the people there love me, want to spend time with me, and would bend over backwards to help me. I'm lucky to have these kinds of friends in my life, I'm lucky to have their love and support, and I'm lucky to know that no matter what happens, these people will always love me.

When I start thinking about these wonderful people, my anxious Fuzz Balls start to run slower, the heartburn slowly goes away, and Normal Kristin comes back.

It's nice to be loved :)

as always, I have so much ish to write about that I haven't been writing about but I don't feel like it right now. annnnd my shift is almost over and I get to go home :)

nighty tight peeps. sweet dreams and feels about people who love you :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I know it's been a long time. and I know that there's probably some other shiz that I should blog about.

but guys.

this has to be blogged about ASAP. (also please ignore the late hour. Things happen and I stay up late.)

I've never really been good at Hair Stuff and/or Girl Stuff in general. I didn't start wearing make up until high school, I didn't own my own straightener until my sophomore year of college, and the blanket statement, "Kristin sucks at making herself look presentable" could easily have been made until maybe my junior year of college. I just did not care about stuff like that. I was happy with baggy jeans, my hoodie, and letting my hair do whatever it felt like because it didn't matter to me.

so. fast forward to college when i realized that this was a little bit of a problem. thankfully, i had girl roommates who knew how to do Girl Stuff. I watched them like crazy (ultra-creepy style) and learned how to do the very minimal Girl Stuff. This included, but was not limited to: straightening my hair, how to use bobby pins, mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, not dressing like a dude, and headbands.

This has sustained me until present day so that people recognize that I am in fact a girl and that I can at least give the impression that I care about how I look and know what I'm doing with my face and stuff.

Until tonight. Guys. My life has just changed.

In the wee hours of the night, I tend to waste my time on Youtube. And for whatever reason, I felt like youtubing sock bun hair tutorials. I like the look and was curious about how it was done. (side note: i had no idea that you actually used a sock or donut to do those... blew my mind). So while watching this creeper lady demonstrate how to do a sock bun, I happened to see on the side margin a video called 'Beach Wave Tutorial with a flat iron'*.

A light bulb went on.

I have a flat iron. 
I could do this, dammit!

I watched the tutorial and it was super simple, which is totally my speed because ps- i have no idea how to curl my hair with my straightener (tried watching a tutorial on that... did not compute), and I also have no idea how to use a curling iron, so all signs were pointing to, YES-YOU CAN DO THIS.

The only thing left to do was try it. I went to my bathroom, plugged in my straightener, watched the tutorial again to make sure I knew what to do (honesty time: i was nervous. Hair Stuff makes me nervous), and went to work. and guess what?


it was like magic in that baƱo, like straight-up magic. Initially, it wasn't working like I thought it would and I was a little discouraged. but i though of my girl Sonja (who I am obsessed with) and decided that it was okay to fail at this. but i knew I could do it.


my hair is now luscious and curly and looks glorious. granted, it is almost 3am so the only person who's going to see this glorious mane is Tilly, but still. I FRIGGIN DID IT. I also only burned myself twice, which is a major accomplishment considering that when I straighten my hair, I usually burn my fingers at least 4-6 times.

this might not seem like a big deal to you all, but this really is friggin huge for me. I've always wished I was better at Girl Stuff and Hair Stuff, but it's never been a strong point for me. This was the first time that I actually tried something and it worked. and it was a really good feeling, one of those, "I CAN DO HARD THINGS" moments.

So. take-home message: always try things you're not good at or things you find difficult because you might surprise yourself. and it's nice :)

* if you decide to watch this video, you've been warned: this girl's voice is kinda (SUPER) annoying. just so you know.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mind's Eye

Sometimes, I get freaked out by how quickly time passes. I feel like 2012 was just 11 days ago and now it's already 2013.
seriously though, last year went by so quickly. I always have those existential moments when a new year starts: did I really live a whole other year? what did I do with my life? did I do everything I wanted to? was I good to people around me? am I a different person this year than I was last year? am I a better person? did I really eat all of the christmas fudge?

i know, you're jealous. this brain is a deep one. but honestly, I wonder about these things (especially that last one) and i think about what I want to do different this year than the last, what I want to be better about, and what I want to keep doing. i'm super pro-new year's resolutions and although i haven't outlined them to a T yet, here's a quick list of what I want to do this year:

(1) lose weight. this kid has gotten fat. this is not me throwing a pity party for myself. this is truth. in that sense, marriage hasn't been good to me. Casey is my #1 partner in crime when it comes to eating yummy things.

(2) exercise. this kinda relates to #1, but it's also a thing I want to do for me. this semester, I'm taking 17 credits and working about 25 hours a week annnnnnd i've got to do about 60 hours of volunteer tutoring/observations for school so life is gonna be a little crazy. i'm hoping that exercise will be my happy time. Cait and I found a free yoga class at school that meets twice a week. you bet your bottom dollar i'll be there.

(3) church stuff (attend the temple, love my calling, and be involved). i loved my last ward, but the calling i had kinda kept me out of the loop of churchyness. we were in that ward over a year and our last sunday, someone approached me and asked if i was new... which was no bueno. SO. I'm going to be more active in my ward and really become a member of my ward family.

(4) love my family and friends. the other night, i was driving home and very suddenly, i had this little breakdown thingy. it wasn't a bad breakdown; it had actually started out as a prayer (sometimes i pray while i drive. i don't know how to drive in snow so good so this happens a lot. you should give it a try sometime.) and turned into a small happy-tears cry fest, in which I thanked my Heavenly Father for all of the wonderful people in my life. after this experience, i realized that i really want my family and friends to know how much i care about them, how much i love them and that i'm someone they can count on. God only blesses you with one family so you might as well love them. you get to choose your friends and they need to know why you love them too.

(5) do stuff. "oh, good one, Kristin. how did you ever come up with that?" Here's what I mean: i want to do fun things with my life this year. As a student, it's easy to forget that life is supposed to be fun because there is SO MUCH STUFF YOU HAVE TO DO ALL THE TIME AND IF YOU DON'T DO IT, THE WORLD IS GOING TO END AND EVERYONE IS GOING TO HATE YOU. don't worry, imma do that stuff, but i also want to enjoy my life and have fun too. i want to explore utah a little more, go fun places, do fun things with friends, and make sure that i don't just get bogged down by all the not so fun stuff. make sense? "yes Kristin- you're a genius!"  oh, you're too kind ;)

and that's that. i feel good. it's gonna be a good year :)

other random thoughts:

- there is way too much snow outside my house. way. too. much.

- we moved recently and there's this magical gas station close to our casa where you can get really cheap drinks AND they have flavours you can add to your drink. i'm currently drinking a cherry-vanilla Dr. Pepper. it's fabulous.

- this one is kinda sad: remember my guinea pig, lloyd? well, the move ended up being hard on lloyd. after the first snow, we noticed our heat wasn't working and it got really cold in our house (50 degrees... it's a lot colder than it sounds) and lloyd got a cold. he got over the cold, but just wasn't the same after and died on Christmas Eve. i had been telling Casey that he was going to die on Christmas because you could just tell that he was miserable. i cried. it was really sad, but i'm okay now. lloyd was a good little pig and i hope he's not our last (this is a debatable topic as Casey was not lloyd's biggest supporter, although, for what it's worth, he said he missed Lloyd's 'feed me' squeaks).

- i've been listening to Eve 6, Unwritten Law, and Wolfmother a lot lately. I feel like these are bands that are highly underrated. i like them. you should too.

- i've seen The Hobbit 3 times. it's amazeballs. if you haven't seen it, GO ASAP. it's just a really beautiful film and the muuuuusssiiiiic. oh my goodness. it's beautiful and lovely and awesome. just listen to 'misty mountains'. you'll see what i'm talking about.

- i also saw Les Miserables and i loved it. i know a lot of people have disliked the movie. to them i say, "shut up, you're stupid. it was amazing". okay, so i would never really say that, but hear me out: i think a lot of people went to the movie expecting it to be like the play. this was silly. i think that's like expecting James Earl Jones and Elijah Wood to read the Bible the same way. silly. the movie should be different than the play because it's a different media with actors who are acting. they're also singing, but they're predominately actors first. Does Hugh Jackman have the range and musical talent of Colm Wilkinson? of course he doesn't. but did he bring the emotion, power and integrity of Jean Valjean? absolutely. Is Russel Crowe the best Javert ever? probably not. Did he express Javert's inner conflict and self-loathing because of the choices he's made in his life? beautifully yes. so yeah. it's a good movie. go see it. cry your heart out and enjoy it :)    embarrassing story: i went and saw this movie with my mama because we've long loved Les Mis and the last 30 minutes of the movie is just super devastating and we were crying a lot in the theater. like ugly crying where you sob uncontrollably, make ugly noises and people stare at you. good times. no regrets.

and now, imma go to bed. nighty tight :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Soooo it's been a while. a long while. I've been meaning to write for some time, but life has literally been crazy. Some people use that expression too much, things are "literally this" or "literally that", when they're really not. I try not to use it too often, but if this is one of those situations where it is the straight-up TRUTH.

I'm not gonna go in to detail because confidentiality is a real thing, but imma sum it up in one sentence: some people in this world have serious problems and there's only so much you can do to help them before they need to help themselves.

During one of my many breakdowns (total breakdowns in 1 week: 5.), I happened to be in one of my classes talking to a friend (god bless this friend. she is amazing) and another lady in the class, who I respect mucho, turned to me and gave me some seriously sage advice: "You can't fix other people's yards; you can only fix your own".

Analysis: our lives are like our own little front yards with grass, trees, flowers, weeds and gophers. Sometimes our yards are Better Homes and Gardens quality and sometimes, they look Death Valley. Thankfully, because of agency, we can choose how/if/when we want to fix up our yards and we can choose what we want to do in the future so that our yards don't suffer again.

Sometimes, though, we look in our neighbour's yard and realize that their yard is dire need of some love, care and help. The neighbourly thing to do is to go over and see what you can do.
HOWEVER, there comes a point when you are doing too much for your neighbour: you're pruning, weeding, planting new trees, calling the gopher guy to get rid of the gophers, and watering the yard every day so that it will grow and be healthy again. You've gone from helping the person (which is good) to fixing their yard/living their life for them--you're doing too much (which is bad). And you know that once you stop doing these things, the person will just let their yard die again because they aren't willing to make the changes or help themselves.
SO. in summation, we really can only fix our own yards: our families, our financial situations, our jobs, our relationships, our school efforts, our health, whatever. But we can't fix other people's yards. That's something they've got to do for themselves if it's going to be a permanent change.
the end.

alright. i'm done being preachy. just thought i'd share :)

other than all that crazy stuff, my life has been pretty amazing. school is great, it's finally winding down and then i'm freeeeeeeeeee! this will be grand and I will be celebrating accordingly by seeing "The Hobbit" tomorrow (I'M SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!)

I also just realized that I never wrote about the Mika concert, partly because I've been busy, but also because I still can't believe it happened and I actually went. I started a post about it so hopefully, I'll finish that some time soon and y'all can read about my surreal experience. Until then, you should prepare for the magic by listening to Mika's new cd, The Origin of Love. I've had it on repeat since the concert and as cheesy as this sounds, it's really helped me through these past few weeks. like i've had select songs on repeat and blasting them in my car. it's been real. you should listen :)

and now imma study. I wrote an 8-page paper last night in 3 hours (almost a personal best). today is my last final. and imma celebrate :)