Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Card

This past year my life-flight brought major travel delays caused by extreme changes in weather, destination of arrival, electronic failure, unmitigated distrust of the catch my drift. What seemed to have been a good tail wind, carried me over, under, and through some of the most turbulent air space I have ever experienced.

BUT, I am happy to report that despite all the turbulence, I have had the opportunity to see the sun on the
horizon. In reflection of this year, here are some of my 'sun on the horizon' experiences:


This year t
he fam and I went to Houston for Thanksgiving. There is nothing like spending time laughing so hard, that tears flow from our eyes. I love that we laugh at the kinds of things that no one else understands. We postponed Thanksgiving this year to wait for my bro to arrive. It was the first year that Jamie was able to break out her China and 'do' a Thanksgiving table. It was very fancy and quite pleasurable.

We LOVE food in o
ur family...and LOVE leftovers. It's true. Even though we had tons of Turkey left for meals on end, my dad would prepare new food items daily. We finally had to do a leftover day, mixing it up.

This year, and I hope for years to come, it was all about Allie. She is so old and amazingly cute. My favorite was when she was crying, Jamie said she could go to her room if she was going to cry. She would stomp by all of us, crying on her way, and would shut the door to finish her tantrum. It was amazing. Then she would stop and come out and play. I loved it! We were also able to celebrate her 2nd birthday, even though she was born in December. She received so many amazing toys and had to play with all of them at the same time.....and no one could take any away from her.
We had such an awesome time playing cards, board games, and taking walks together. It was a rather lazy visit, but I think it was just what we needed. I was also able to reconnect with a great Utah State buddy (HOLLER MARCUS) for his wedding. It was amazing to see him and his new are gorgeous.


  • God values my agency, and expects me to make mistakes so that I can fully understand what I need to learn. That is WHY He provided a Savior. He knew that sometimes the only way I was going to learn was through my experiences, mistakes and all. As long as I look to Christ, I will be able to recognize that I can learn through my experiences and mistakes. God does not have a checklist saying stuff like "Lindsey went to DC, check" or "Lindsey went to Utah State just like I wanted" or "Lindsey married that one specific guy I had for her." His checklist consists of making sure I am following Him, and how I deal with life's circumstances...and if I am taking care of other people. That is what He cares about the most.

  • When I am going through some tough life circumstances, it is important to reach out to others and get outside myself. I also realize that doing so is easier said than done. Over the past year, I realized that is important to give myself time to heal, and be OK with that space. I would get down on myself for not wanting to reach out to others immediately. I realized that Heavenly Father does not expect perfection from me, and just asks that I do my best. Sometimes my best is cuddling up on my couch and resting from everything I could be doing. Just as long as I don't get stuck on the couch, I'm good.
  • Cognitive Distortions: A good friend of mine, Burtie, shared with me some thoughts on cognitive distortion, which is defined as exaggerated and irrational thoughts presented in this book called The Feeling Good Handbook. Along the same lines of making sure that my 7 paradigms are are balanced (7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey), we talked about how we actually have the power to control how we react when our minds create cognitive distortions, or rather we can restructure how we perceive and react to information "cognitive restructuring." The power we have really is amazing, and it is all because of the access we have to the Holy Ghost.
  • I recently discussed my 'life is turbulent' thoughts with my ecclesiastical leader. I remember being so frustrated that I couldn't deal with situations as gracefully as I thought I should. I mean, really, how many years of practice do I need in order to react in certain situations with grace, right? The point he made is that once we face and 'deal' with certain situations, there will always be more that we will have to face. It is cycle of life. I argue that my cognitive distortion is that these circumstances are 'hard.'telling him that they really aren't. His answer was 'yes they are.' His point was that I shouldn't downplay how I feel about situations. I just need to be aware if I stay in that space of 'its hard', it can become a cognitive distortion. I can be present with how I am feeling, and recognize that it is hard. But then I have to step out and start recognizing what I do have without feeling guilty for not recognizing it before. Then there are other steps I need to take.

    The circumstance of 'dealing' with things will always be there. It is a sign of progression and change. Even if we don't feel like we are 'dealing' with things very gracefully, b
    eing able to recognize how we are dealing with them is one way we know our faith is alive and well.

I love having great girlfriends!

Myrtle Beach: This year I was able to hang with 9 of my tightest girlfriends from SLC, and two dudes. From touring Charleston
to hitting up the main drag at black bike week, my favorite times surround our beach days. Some highlights:
  • Angie's family....hilarious and so welcoming. I hope to be like them when I grow up!
  • Speeding tickets on Sunday, not so funny at the time, but a little bit now :)
  • Finding the crocs at the plantation
  • Seeing Heather beat other bike girls with her bootie shake
  • Bouncing up and down on the, what was it called...whatever, but it was used for courting couples back in the day. I guess if you sat on opposite ends and then bounced, you would eventually end up together...and then that was when you could get married.
  • Being blow-horned in the middle of the night, again...not so funny when it happened
  • Being set up with third cousin's
  • 9 girls sharing one bathroom
  • Taking pics of Sara jumping over people
  • Having water thrown in my face, and triumphantly not crying because of it...most of you know how I LOVE pranks ;)
  • Playing with babies
  • Trying to find the perfect shirts on the boardwalk...didn't quite find one
  • Having a crush on the acoustic guitar player at the restaurant on the boardwalk
  • Being so hungry, it didn't matter what we got, just feed this ornery bunch!
  • Having paper and candy flung at me during church
  • Good into-the-night chats with people I love
  • Leaving at 6 a.m. to make an interview at 4 p.m. the day after Memorial Day
  • Taking walks on the golf course
I have gotten to know some girls from church and have loved our crazy adventures. Some of my faves include:
  • Eastern Market: A group of 8 of us went to the Eastern Market in DC to have their incredible eggnog French Toast with apple cider syrup. Oh my goodness YUMMERS. 5*'s for me. We met this painter from Bosnia who showed my Georgian friend and I where to find fellow Georgians. It was awesome to hear the language and find a connection for my friend who misses home so terribly.
  • Musical Love: I have written all about the musical below, but I just have to give a shout out to my Matchmaker ladies. It was awesome to see them every week for a month. I am MISSING it. I found that I was the goof off of the group. I had no idea that I would be the one to receive backward glances from the director, but this group of ladies just brought it out in me. RASCALS....all of you!
  • Hat and Dumpling Night: Jen made these amazing dumplings that are a fave in her fam. We invited some close friends to share this with us. I suggested that we all wear random hats and gloves, and served our 'tea' or rather, our hot apple cider that enhanced our sugar-filled evening. Next time I will probably require that we all speak with accents.
  • Foodie for a Roomie: I LOVE and EXTRA HEART my roommate. Not only do we share a love of Veronica Mars, and cleanliness (except our bedrooms), but we have this insane love of food. She makes me the best soup ever, and I try to make up for it by making other dishes that don't really compare. We have been able to dine at some fab restaurants, some of which I listed below in the "Food" section of this post.
    Others include (and by my rating scale):
    1. Ichi Ban Sushi 3.5*: Everyone in McLean seems to know about this little joint, but the sushi combos were bland compared to others I have had, but the fish was fresh.
    2. McKeever's Pub 5*: I had their blackened salmon...Irish pubs always have the best salm
    3. Meaza International 5*:
    This was a fabulous Ethiopian restaurant we went to for my birthday. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, except Mike...he likes American cuisine the best.
    4. Viet Bistro 4*: This was a Vietnamese fusion-type restaurant. I wasn't sure what to get, so I asked the waiter to choose something for me. It was this incredible pork that had been slow-roasting all day in a Vietnamese sauce. It was delectable. Jen's dish was actually better...but I don't remember what she got.

    Living with Jen has been uber fun...and we have our little and not so little laughs. And even though our apartment hallways smell like left over Indian cuisine and wet dog hair, and we don't have parking spaces for visitor's, I think we like where we live enough to stay for a while.
The Musical
This year was the first (and hopefully) annual, amazing production of Club Langley: A Love Story. With at least 170 hours put into this one-time production, our cast of 22 raised the bar from the regular single's ward "Talent, no talent night" to create a ward musical parody of single life in the
2000's, but based in the 1940s. Don't worry, it is not as confusing as it sounds.
With the help of several people in the ward, we helped design and create all props and backgrounds. We made a city sky scape all around the cultural hall, with lit buildings, and lamp posts. It was also set up like dinner theater. We had a Turkey dinner for all attendees who sat at white-linen covered tables. In the middle of each table was a decorative glass full of water, sparkling paper and an underwater light. The room looked amazing. Everyone came glammed up in their 40's garb.

The play was a humorous love story that following a couple through different stages of dating.

Scene 1: Princess Bride: Where Buttercup discovers Wesley is the Dread Pirate
Roberts. The narrator then begins to take us through the love story...of how it all began.

Scene 2: Matchmaker. I was a chorus girl in our version of how matchmaking should work in the Christian world. We danced and sang and generally had a BLAST during this first musical scene.

Scene 3: Going Courting. From Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, three of our lovely and talented ladies showed 7 of our boys how dating should be done. Dancing and frivolity was
the rue of this scene.

Scene 4: All I ask of You. Opening with two of our Spanish sisters singing an incredible version of a new-age Spanish melody (name I forgot), in this scene there are two couples, one of which the girl is coming on strong, and one where the boy is coming on strong. Along with some meant-to-be awkward scenes with the two couples trying to seal the the end the most forward of
the two have doors slammed in their faces, only to discover each other from across the distance. The end of the scene focuses on the two singing to one another and ending with a foot pop....from the guy

Scene 5: Kiss the girl. A rather funny rendition of what happens when two rather timid people have their first kiss, or experience an epic fail trying to kiss when they bonk heads. Don't worry, he seals the deal later.

Scene 6: A little blurb about girls being ready to marry guys after the first week of dating

Scene 7: Come What May. The grand finale featuring one of the best love songs of all time. I was a dancer for this scene and did a cool modern dance choreographed by our amazing Laura Erikson. Yes, the couple finally hooked up in the end, and all of us were on stage to commemorate it!

The musical was such a smash that the Bishopric asked us to do it for the Stake....which we did! I have to admit though, our first performance went off without a hitch.

I love food. There are so many incredible places to eat out here. Some of my
5* personally-rated restaurants include:

1. Cafe Tatti: ***** This place is a charming, family operated French Bistro. I
ordered this divine filet Mignon that had been slow roasted and slightly grilled in a red wine reduction, served with creamy buttered red potatoes with a lemon-garlic sauce. The meat fell apart in my mouth and the potatoes could have easily been mashed, but the way they were served complimented the side of asparagus. AMAZING!

2. Cee Fine T
hai Dining: ***** My roommate Jen, Andrea Vasquez and I walked in this joint and heard singing. We discovered that Cee has live karaoke every Friday night with a piano player named Tom. Everyone in attendance has been going there for years, most for 10 years. Everyone was so seasoned I thought we had entered a private singing club or something...I was wrong, they just get up completely uninhibited and sing their lungs out...and it is gorgeous! They all came up to us, introduced themselves and got me and Andrea to sing in front of this crowd. I ordered Pan Dang, which had just the right amount of coconut milk to saturate the spice. We also ordered sticky rice with mangos. The atmosphere alone deserves the 5* rating.
3. Northside Social:***** I was introduced to this coffee shop because of my love of hot chocolate. Thank you Wendy! The atmosphere is very chill, totally hipster, and the kind of place that you bring your apple products, sit beside fellow apple fans and sip a cup of hot something. Try the hummus sandwich when you go...I promise you will be incredibly surprised at how the citrus blend of the basil leaves combine with the lemony-savor of the hummus. EVERYTHING you order there is incredible.

On this food note, over the past year, I have met some amazing people who also share my love for food. Every once in a while we get together and do 'iron-chef' and are given one ingredient to embellish and make a plate with. It has been a huge blessing to meet people who enjoy cooking new things, and discovering great food (whether at a hole in the wall, or a nice-fancy restaurant). Thank you Diana!!


  • I found a vinyl record store by my house. You have no idea how much this excites me. My plan for 2012 is to have jazz appreciation nights at my house, sip hot something, and slowly jam to some of the best classics on vinyl. Oh, vinyl....that riveting, raw sound has never been so good!
  • Thanks to my amazing date, Chris, I was exposed to the lavish and exquisite sounds of French 1920s swing music by Le Chauds Lapin. Being a fan of this music anyway, I have been limited in my music selection, and was happy to find another talented and incredible group I could commune with! With classic melodies from the early 1900's, I was struck by the frivolous tunes of banjo, cello, violin, trumpet, and voice. I loved the light-heartedness of the music so much, I bought the CD.
  • Jason Walker "Down": Such a downer song, but shoot, it covered exactly how I was feeling for a while.
  • Singing in the choir. Laura Erikson who choreographed, directed, and and helped with most of play (along with her 4-5 counterparts) directs our church choir. We have been able to sing some great hymns, and her direction along with all these incredibly talented voices make the music ring true! We just sang during our special Christmas sacrament meeting. Kirby Hansen (our other incredible musical director) put together an incredible musical program. It was amazing to hear Christmas music performed by our talented ward members. There were violins, cellists, organs, brother and sister duets by seasoned operatic vocal performers, incredible pianists, group songs, and narration. It was truly an inspirational meeting that allowed us to focus on Christ and His birth.

One thing about being unemployed for so long, was all this spare time I had. I was able to volunteer doing all sorts of crazy stuff:

  • Tutored this amazing 15 year old hoodlum ;) well, she likes to think she is, but she's not.
  • Youth leader: teenager's who attend our area's congregations (a stake) put on a Road Show every year, a 15 minute skit around the theme "A Fire is Burning." The kids in our group were hilarious and used all this teenage vocab that I am totally hip with now.
  • Relief Society Activity day: I was able to help out with our Service day, where we worked with community members to bring certain services. I manned the book station, and tons of people donated books for low-income schools in the area. I am always impressed by the generosity of so many people. I was also able to head up the station to write notes to our troops. I think the goal was 900, and we got 1200 or something. It was amazing. I loved it so much and as luck would have it, have been called by the church to do it again next year.
  • YEP-DC: I am a volunteer membership ambassador for the Young Education Professionals of DC, a non-profit organization that brings new education professionals together and creates events that engage young leaders who want to be involved in the education world.
  • Internship with National PTA: I worked as a volunteer intern for this organization where I helped with grassroots outreach around a campaign for Family Engagement. It gave me some unique insight into the policy world, and I loved the people I worked with.
  • Munch and Mingle: Every Sunday, I have the opportunity to feed 80-100 people who attend our congregation. Generally, this is known as a calling. I accepted this calling, and have a wonderful committee who helps me every Sunday.
Other Highlights

  • Beach trips with friends. Loved going with peeps to Rehoboth, Ocean City, and Virginia Beach this year. 'Twas lovely to swim in warm water!
  • Family Reunion 2011. I think I hit this in an earlier post, but I just have to reemphasize how awesome it was to see the Blau side in August this year. We celebrated the 60th wedding anniversary of my Grandparents, and my Grandma's 80th birthday. It was amazing to see all siblings from both sides of the spectrum. These amazing grandparents of mine are the salt of the earth. I love that I am a part of this incredible legacy.
  • Dating. Love it. It is great.
  • Moving Day: This happened in October. My amazing friend Luke brought out all my things from Salt Lake City. We moved all of my stuff (which is way too told to me on several accounts) into my place in 48 hours. Without going into excruciating detail about the emotions associated with this trip, I will just say that I love Luke. I love all those strong boys who helped me move in: Trevor, Mario and Dan. Special shout out to my Aunt Eva and Uncle Steve, Camille, Jen, The Tiptons (Melissa, Shane, Will, and Noah), Eric, and Ben (for helping me hang pics).
  • Being in DC is just a huge highlight in and of itself.
  • The Riverboat cruise. My girlfriend Laura and I took to the seas with a bunch of LDS and other Christian peeps for our grand tour of the Potomac. I was so excited that we were on a a REAL river boat with paddles in the back and everything. I danced and danced and danced some more. I didn't mean to ditch Laura all the time, but I couldn't stop rockin' it with my fellow rockers. It was amazing and beautiful, and everyone on the boat was so incredibly nice.
  • Reunions: I was able to meet some of my peeps from High School in VA this year. It was so good to reconnect with people from my past. I have had some pretty remarkable connection stories that you should ask me about sometime. I am a pretty lucky girl to have such wonderful friends and to have been raised in such a great community.
  • My job: I work with some great people who inspire me to be better and to laugh at my mistakes. I think I am supposed to be learning that about life. It is good to be here. I also still LOVE my job as a lifeguard and work with some major crazies who make it fun!
My Testimony
More than anything, I know my Savior lives. I know He came here to live a perfect life so that I could make mistakes and become perfect, even as He is. He died for me so that I might live like Him, and with Him. He is my Redeemer and my friend.
I have also come to realize that God loves me and is so patient with me as I try to figure things out. I have such respect for Him, and have come to realize how much He values my decisions and values my ability to choose. He is so forgiving and so full of love. I have experienced His love so much this year and I am so grateful to feel Him in my life. I am also so grateful to have answers to my prayers through family, friends, and even strangers. We are all connected out there in this big world. And that makes me smile through my turbulent moments.
Thank you all for being my sun on the horizon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rejected by a dating service

Ok, so maybe I am over exaggerating on the whole 'rejection' bit, but I just had to share this hilarious email I received after having signed up to go on a date with someone from another ward. (Ward being what we call another congregation in our does not refer to the 'crazy' ward).

First, let me premise that I have been very anti about "social dating services" that the single's congregation provides. You know, I have been in several single congregations that try to encourage dating amongst our peers. People in the congregation are actually given callings (which are kind of like volunteer positions where you are responsible for certain action items in the congregation.) I have listed some of my favorite and not so favorite ways my single's ward has tried to help daters and non-daters alike.

8 at 8

One of my ward did a dating service called "8 at 8." In this dating activity, there are four couples that meet at 8:00 and go out to dinner, or do some kind of awesome activity like bowling, skating, etc. It is a good way to have fun with peers who want to go out and get to know one another on a date, but also a little more casually.

Date Box

I have also been privy to the 'date box' where those who want to participate can fill out a piece of paper either connecting two people they think should hook up, or anonymously putting in their own name with someone they have been wanting to go out with.

The 'date box' committee (planners) then call both parties written on the piece of paper to see:
a. See if they even want to go out without disclosing the name of the other person
b. If both parties agree to go out with the anonymous date, the member of the date box committee gives the lady's contact information to the gentleman.
c. The date should only last about 30 minutes, and is not meant to break the bank.

I actually had one date from this activity. Yes, I put my own name in. Thank you Dave for the hot chocolate and cheese fries!

Incentives Plan

I also had several friends in other single's wards who were EXTREMELY encouraged date to the point where their Bishop (priesthood leader of the congregation) would offer them incentives like:

a. Basketball tickets to NBA finals with the Jazz (these tickets are hundreds of dollars)
b. Symphony tickets
c. Cabin retreat day package, complete with four wheelers, lunch, and other provisions. Not for an overnight stay, but sort of like a day pass.

Speed Dating

Oh, and let's not forget all those amazing speed dating exercises. These activities allow me to talk to a person for 3 minutes, just like I would at a crazy single's party! Just enough time to see whether or not they can be my eternal companion! I jest, but you catch my drift....and I am sure have figured out that speed dating is not my fave activity.


I admit, I was one of those girls who thought the idea of being lined up by other church members who didn't really know me, was dumb. But, I made a clear resolution (before New Year's) to try out new ways of meeting men. So, not only was I resolved to meet men at the grocery store who happen to select the same exotic cheese as I do, but I would also give set up dates by the church a whirl.

I was excited to get to know other single's from another ward in my area. My hand shot up before the announcement was even over. The date entailed that 5 or so of us girls meet men from the other ward, and 5 or so of men in our ward would get to meet women from the other ward. It was supposed to happen this Saturday night.

The Email

Alas, alak. I guess it just wasn't meant to happen for me. It kind of reminds me of this job search journey a little...sheesh. I got this email this morning:

Thank you for signing up for our date night with the DC 2nd ward. Unfortunately, we were unable to get enough men from their ward to sign up, thus not everyone who signed up will have a date that night. However, here are some options:

- If you would still like to participate, we will do our very best to find a date for you on that night. We may match you with someone in Langley (we'll even take special requests).

- If you would no longer like to participate, we will keep you at the top of our list for our next dating activity should you choose to sign up.

- If you don't care about having a date but would still like to see the show, we will keep a ticket reserved for you.

Please respond to this email by 10pm on Wednesday, 12/14, with your preferred choice and we will do our best to accommodate you. We are so sorry that this activity has not turned out as planned so far. We hope you join us for another activity in the future.

Thanks for your understanding!


Hilarious, right? To tell you the truth, I am pretty confident that 2012 will be my extreme dating year ;) So, bring it on single's have one more year to work on it. And up!

Friday, December 9, 2011


At DMI's prop shop, we have daily writing assignments. Going off of the 'practice makes perfect' mentality, we participate in a series of assignments that often involve prizes! Today's assignment allowed us to be a little more creative.

Our assignment was to follow the classic poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. We had to change 90% of the words, using a technical and/or management theme. I didn't follow the assignment exactly, but you have to give me credit for what I did come up with!


‘Twas a sunny, bright day at DMI

And were this just a normal day: Moving steadily through eBuy

The unexpected change from bright to gray

Beware the deadlines, my dear!

The midnight oil burning, hard work only heaven knows

Beware the looming length, and do not fear

The ultimate wait from technical pros

I took my smiles and wit about

Confident to defeat this foe I sought

To complete on time, I could not doubt

“We will defeat this deadline” I heartily thought

I did not lack the poise to fight

The Deadline looming overhead

Came creeping up that endless night

Were it not for my team, I would have fled

Burst, Draft, Edit, Review! And through and through

Could we make it work in time?

And to printing, we went sprinting

Defeating our foe! Oh how sublime!

And hast thou defeated the Deadline?

From the executives we did hear

Horrah and horray says I! Way to go Team DMI!

And all who lived gave one big cheer

‘Twas a sunny, bright day at DMI

And were this just a normal day: Moving steadily through eBuy

The unexpected change from bright to gray

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lunch Break Tears

My former Co-Workers at The Summit Group know me well enough to say "Of course you would..."

During my lunch breaks, I like to catch up on the latest and greatest news. One of my favorite things to do is peruse the online news sites for stories that are the pearls hidden amongst the chaos. These are the same stories I always try to look for when I am having a rough day, when I am watching a movie, when I choose a Presidential candidate, or even when I choose a sports team to's true.

My pearl this morning was listening to the Sting Pandora channel and hearing Seal bear his soul in Kiss for a Rose, and the memories it brought back...oh, how I giggled when I heard him this morning. A great start to my day! What a pearl to have.

My pearl when choosing a sports team is seeing the good sportsmanship of one team member toward an opposing team member. People make fun of my swaying loyalties, but I am most certainly a fair weather fan. Ask me about the men's world cup 2006 one day....I will fill you in.

I like the stories when I see people playing nicely with others. If you treat people rotten and rag on the integrity of others, you will not get my vote.

There is this terrible movie that I absolutely do not recommend, but provides an interesting perspective on finding good.
SPOILER ALERT: In the movie with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly The Day the Earth Stood Still, the main point I took away revolved around this idea that amidst the chaos in a dying world, that good will always prevail. Sure, I could have referenced other or similar stories like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Pride and Prejudice, my journals....whatever, but you get my point....good prevails every time.

You can imagine how I felt when I saw one of the news articles on yahoo this morning: 2011's Year in Review Video. Even during those dark moments, there was light.

And that is why I was bawling in my cubicle today during my lunch break.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Doing What I Love

I am working as a proposal analyst in the IT field, something I never thought to consider during this journey to change the world of education through policy and governance. Sometimes I feel like I failed myself, settling for something I just happen to be good at. But after being in this position for a while, I can’t help but see the benefits of having a great job, working with great people, learning new skills (you should ask me about Illustrator), writing and editing on a daily basis, feeling satisfied by a great product, directing and managing processes, and much more. It is humbling and exciting. BUT that doesn’t mean my dream should disappear. So, I am putting a call out to the universe one more time. Read my purpose statement. Link to my resume and see my qualifications.

I am ready education world….take me in and let me prove to you what I am capable of.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

She did it again!!

Mama Blau did it again people!

You can now get her sheet music FOR FREE on her new website! Pretty much, my mom is amazing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Thank you to Steven Beckstrand who inspired me to copy and plagiarize his thought on what it means to be a post-grad. Since I am here once again, I can't help but laugh at the fact that I thought it would be any different.

Taken from Steve:

I have to admit, my wanderings weren't totally my fault. The job that I had expected to be stapled to my diploma wasn't attached. I had thought that, as part of graduating from college, you got a job. It was like the decoder ring that you would get when finishing the box of cereal. However, this box didn't contain an awesome prize. I actually had to go look for a job. On my own.


My addition: And even when the prize comes, it may not be what you expect. Just like my prize that I got in my box of Resees Pieces Peanut Butter Puff Cereal. The flier thing did more crashing than it did flying. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I have known for a while now, but realized I haven't shared with my readers. People, I discovered how sexy my ankles are! Since this discovery, I have taken on such great heights, figuratively and literally. With my new found discovery, I have been experimenting with all different heal types, including my new faves: my gray and while, snake scale, pointy-toe stilettos. I can't help but look at my full figure in the mirror and say...."Dang, those are some sexy ankles!"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Public Bathrooms

I hate using public restrooms with less than 10 stalls. I get a little gun shy using a restroom with less than 10 stalls particularly in office buildings where I happen to work with people who use those same restrooms. It's true. Case and point, a couple months ago it was rather embarrassing to use the restroom and run into the person who was interviewing me for a position in the restroom beforehand. We ended up chit-chatting as we washed our hands together. It was AWKWARD.

I mean, using the restroom in movie theaters, airports and museums doesn't really bother me. Because the more stalls there are, the more persons can't identify where certain smells, or noises are coming from.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My tapestry is amazing!

For those of you who know me well, you understand that this journey into the unknown has been probably the most exhilarating, exhausting, troubling, exciting, concerning, spiritually intensifying, healing, depressing, gratifying experiences of my life. I cannot begin describe the emotional roller coaster I have been on. Right now, I am not at a point where I can admit that I would do it all over again....I am not quite there. But for now, I am curious - indeed, curious to know why I am still here in Virginia.

After 7 months of unemployment with wonderful lifeguarding, substituting and internship training, and after months of working my tail off to find a job in education policy, I got a job somewhere unexpected....and am curious to see where it leads. The fight between passion and skill survives in my heart. BUT my survival instinct, recognition of divine intervention and my crazy propensity for challenging situations proves victorious....nay, undeafeatable (just go with this new word).

And so, this is where I am. I am bruised, but not broken. And here are some things that have struck me on the way to healing and growth:
  • In order to focus on progression in the eternal sense, and besides the gospel of Jesus Christ, there are four things one needs: water, clothing, shelter and food. If you don't have these essential elements, you will be so worried about surviving that you won't have anything else to focus on, including those other things that Heavenly Father really needs you to focus others.

  • Spoiler Alert: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The leader of this young, brilliant boy isolated him throughout his learning experience. The explanation was perfect for what I have felt during my isolation/growing experience. I found some interesting similarities in my trial by fire, just like Ender did in his....but also realize I am no Savior, just a girl who is healing from her little personal Gethsamane.

    "Graff had isolated Ender to make him struggle....It made him a better soldier than he would ever have been otherwise....I'm hurting you to make you a better soldier in every way. To sharpen your wit. To intensify your effort. To keep you off balance, never sure what's going to happen next, so you always have to be ready for anything, ready to improvise, determined to win no matter what."

    "All he had to do was watch the game and understand how things worked, and then he could use the system, and even excel....It was waiting and watching that cost the most. For during that time he had to endure."

  • From Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein: "Can the flowers decide not to bloom or the birds decline to sing again because the winter was harsh? No. But I don't know how they do it-how they keep growing."

  • From the Kings James Bible by God, Acts 20:22 Paul speaking to the Ephesians: "(22) And now behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (23) Save the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

  • Agency and self-reliance are intricately connected.

  • Elder Hollands talk, An High Priest of Good Things to Come:

    "I know some of you do truly feel at sea, in the most frightening sense of that term. Out in troubled waters, you may even now be crying with the poet:

    It darkens. I have lost the ford.
    There is a change on all things made.
    The rocks have evil faces, Lord,
    And I am [sore] afraid.

    No, it is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm."

    "My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.” 3 It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo’s reach, we say, “What light through yonder window breaks?” It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. 4 To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His “more excellent ministry” with a future of “better promises.” He is your “high priest of good things to come.”

  • Yesterday at church this woman spoke of her experience at the National Art Gallery in DC. While touring with her mother who is a docent there, they came across a painting that seemed to her to be big blobs of paint that looked like they had been splattered on the canvas. The woman said that at first she didn't like it, but when her mother described its meaning, she felt differently about it. From first glance, the painting looked like one big, destructive mess. While it looked destructive, the artist conveyed the force and impact of its creativity, thus why it looked the way it did. Its design also depicts the intricacy and delicacy of its creation. During this talk I couldn't help but draw some similarities to my own canvas of life.

    There is this familiar and typical Mormon comparison that most of what we on earth can see of God's plan for us can be likened to the bottom-side of a tapestry, with all the threads meshing together to look like one jumbled mess. In this description God sees the top of the tapestry and sees its development and intricate detail that makes up a complex and beautiful piece. I remember joking with a friend that my tapestry must look amazing from God's perspective.
These are only a couple things that have struck me on this journey. There are so many more....and for that I am grateful.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One-Way Street

As I thought about this next post, I laughed. Such a metaphor for life.

Today, I turned down a one-way street (amazing right? It was my first time doing this in DC, not bad...), in order to get to the Pita restaurant. I followed another car who was immediately honked at. I quickly corrected my error, as I am sure people around me were wondering what in the world I was doing.

All I have to say is the pita and baklava were totally worth the trouble I went through in order to get it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Difference between inquiry and enquiry

I applied to a job today and received a message that said "Thank you for your enquiry...." I was confused since I applied to another job the other day with a similar message, but different spellings of the word 'inquiry.' So, I did a little research, meaning, I asked google...cause who doesn't? And here is what I found taken from the site

"These days, the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. Enquiry means to ask a question, and inquiry is a formal investigation. Yet another difference lies in the etymological source of the prefixes ‘en’ and ‘in’. ‘En’ comes from French, and ‘in’ from Latin. Inquiry has a formal and official ring to it, while enquiry is informal in its connotation.

In general parlance, it is understood that enquire is to be used for ‘asking’, while inquire is what constitutes ‘making a formal investigation’. In reality though, enquiry is preferred in British English, whereas the Americans are more comfortable with inquiry. As a matter of fact, it is only in British English that any attention is paid to the distinction. In US and Australian English, inquiry has, for all practical purposes, taken over."

As a side note, I did notice that Word and also my Blog spell check do not recognize 'enquiry' as being spelled correctly.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I have never understood why some people put their knives upside down (sharp-side up) in the dishwasher. I can understand that people might want to prevent the knife from going through the bottom and poking through, but doesn't it seem more dangerous to have them sticking up where anyone could grab them while trying to put them away? Luckily, my dishwasher in Utah has a silverware holder on the door, so any amount of poking can be avoided.

Letter to Universe

Dear Universe,

I am following up about a letter I wrote to you in March about what I was hoping to gain by putting out ideas and energy in order to obtain my dreams. Just as a reminder, here are some highlights of my hopes and desires.

  • I wanted a job in education policy where I can influence policy. I need the job before April 2011. Since our last correspondence, I have been working hard by going to networking events, applying to multiple jobs online every day. My job of looking for a job is a full time job. BUT, I have been hired as an intern with the National PTA. While I am not being paid for the position, I am grateful for the opportunity and have learned so much from wonderful mentors. I have also had the opportunity to make wages substitute teaching 2-4 year olds. This has been a huge highlight for me, and I love those kids!
  • I would like real interviews. Since the letter, I have had at least 12 interviews. I am grateful for each one of them and thank God in heaven for this and all other opportunities and blessings.
  • I want to be married to a man who respects and loves me, but who loves the Lord...and someone I also love and respect. Ideally within the year of 29. I have come to realize that dating is all about perspective. I am confident this request will be realized. I am not too worried.
Regardless, I would like to learn and grow through joyous experiences. Please help me see that this process is joyous and not excruciating the way it sometimes feels. Help me create this new life and develop an understanding of timing and patience. BUT please help me to not be destitute in the process.

With Hope,


Friday, May 6, 2011

And then there was Arthur

Hi, my name is Lindsey and I am a worrier. From worrying about where in the world I am supposed to take my life, to worrying about not being late to an event, it happens. I admit it. I am also fully aware that worrying doesn't help anyone. I have been aware of that fact for quite some time....and yet I persist. Before I came to DC, I knew that I would be trying something completely out of the ordinary for myself - having no plan other than coming out here to get a job. I knew I would be testing my faith....and doing it on purpose. I believe my exact words to the Lord were "Bring it on." Lesson 1: When you challenge the Lord, He will say "Challenge accepted." ;) And so here I am 4 months later...and no job. I am sure you can imagine how I feel.

The first month was all about the excitement of striking out with only faith and my footsteps to guide me. I felt good about the decision to come, and I was excited to get started. So much, in fact, that I didn't do anything else during the day from 9-5 except look for a job. I read all about companies I wanted to work with and current education issues. I met with some really great people who got me on the right track. I also met with the church employment office to get my foot in the door there.

The second month was all about learning the rules of the education policy game - who was connected to whom, where was the best place to find a job, who should I be speaking with in order to network. Networking, networking, networking. I also started my education policy blog so I could keep up with the issues and not get stale as I was looking for a job.

The third month I started getting nervous. I wondered if I had made the wrong decision and questioned my motives. I looked at my finances and knew I wouldn't be able to make it much longer without having something. The third month was all about persistence and keeping up my full time job of looking for a full time job that I wasn't going to settle for. I was not interested in working for free. I had some terrible experiences working for free before and felt that I was too qualified to do it. So, I hung on to the hope that I could do this without working for free and that someone, somewhere would value my work and qualifications enough to help me get my foot in the door. The third month was also all about the emotional roller coaster. I would be sky high one minute and then break down the next. I hereby deem month three as the Lindsey bi-polar month. My poor friends and family who had to deal with it, I am so sorry!

The fourth month has been - without a doubt- about humility. During this journey, I have tried to stay humble, or at least teachable. I thought I was doing a pretty good job at it. I started recording my blessings, so whenever I would hit the roller coaster, I could look at my list and remember how lucky I really am. But sometimes, the list didn't work and I would just break down anyway. I haven't been mad, or upset. I have been tired, and anxious.

There was a point where I couldn't sleep. I even tried praying and fasting for specific jobs...and thinking that if I had faith enough, that something would work out. The fact is, it hasn't....BUT that doesn't mean that it won't. I firmly know that things will work out. I just have to keep enduring and pushing forward and allow things to happen in their own course and time. That has always been a challenge for me. I have been one of those people who doesn't slow down enough to let things happen within the time they are meant to. I am just SO excited for the next step that it is hard for me to deal with when I arrive first, but the opportunity is running late.

This fourth month is reminding me of that very point. The reality is that if I keep working at honing my skills and keep doing what I am doing, with a little breather time, it will happen.

I took an internship at the beginning of April. I am working with the National PTA where I realized that I don't know as much as I thought I did. It has been incredible to work with some brilliant ladies who are tutoring me in ways I don't think they realize. I am also doing some substitute teaching for little ones. It is my favorite gig. I am also looking at becoming a lifeguard and start my training in June. I am sure some of you are thinking, WHAT? Yup....I have always wanted to do it. I spoke with the rec center peeps who want enroll me in training classes so I can start teaching little kids how to swim. How AWESOME is that? So, things are moving along slowly, but surely.

I still can't think about what I am going to do with the apartment in Salt Lake City, where I could live here without a steady income, how much longer my aunt and uncle have to put up with me, etc., without getting worried. So, I try not to think about it.

In the meantime, I need to keep up with my list of life's blessings so I don't freak out so much. And here it is:
  • Seeing random people dance at the metro, and not for money but just because they feel the urge.
  • Going on field trips with friends to museums and free exhibits just to get my mind off the hunt.
  • Meeting incredible people at education events and talking for hours about this issue and their passion and pursuits. It is nice to be surrounded by people who also love this work. It is infectious and makes me want to hold out all the more.
  • My church calling. I am the Munch and Mingle co-chair and get to feed 60-80 people a week. It has certainly provided some incredibly hilarious moments with my other co-chair. We often describe our relationship to that of being married. Within the first week of our union, we fought over money and rice. Once we learned communication styles, it made it that much easier to work together and now sometimes we call each other just for fun.
  • Meeting people who know where Sierra Vista is.
  • Knowing that I have family who loves and cares about me.
  • Having friends who are praying for me....and who love me even though I sometimes don't feel super stable.
  • Living with my family. My aunt, uncle and cousins have provided so much for me. I couldn't have done this without them. They have also taught me to love spicy food, vegan cooking, flowers, animals, quiet time, the arts, environmentally friendly food and items, and going to bed early.
  • Going on dates with great guys.
  • Being able to teach and be with children who say things like: "Underwear is for tooshies, not for heads," or "What do I look like, an ABC machine?"
  • And then there was Arthur who was playing incredible saxophone tunes on the steps of the American History museum. We chatted for a minute and he talked about his dreams and where he has been in his life.

    All these things make me grateful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden must have been in Virginia...or at least near it. Case and point.