23 December 2012

My Favorite Quotes

One of the great blessings that come with writing a blog is that you really get to develop your own voice in your writing. Every word I type on this blog, I can say that it is exactly how I would have it said. 

As I do every once and a while, I took sometime this evening to skim over my previous blog posts from the end of the previous school year on. Several things I said stuck out to me, and I really wanted to share them with you again. 

If you want to see any of the quotes in context, you can click on the images to see the blog post the originated from. 

18 December 2012

Highlights of A Lifetime

It's been my philosophy to use this blog as more than just a day planner in retrospect. I think in previous posts, I have called my blog a sort of Online Journal. And I think that this is what best describes my blog. Being a journal, it has a two fold purpose: Firstly to keep record of significant events and observations in my life, and secondly, but infinitely more important is to show how these events and observations shape me as a person. 

I'm clearly not the 14 year old boy who sat down on July 2nd, 2009 to make a blog that might entertain himself over the summer. And for reference, here is that first post: 

Take a moment to read over it, if you could. 

I've come quite a ways since then.

So where am I today? 

Well, for starters I'm in snowy Utah. However with the looks of the forecast, it doesn't seem too snowy. All the stuff that manages to come down melts pretty quickly. Even for one who hates snow and cold, I am ready for there to be a nice blanket of white on the grown. 

Consequently, when you are driving home after spending a lovely evening with a new companion, distinctly visible landmarks become less visible in heavy show fall. This is the Bountiful Temple at a very close distance. While this edifice is normally seen from nearly every part of the county, on this particular evening it could hardly been seen even this close.

Apparently, debaters have the tendency to write in foreign languages upon their arms during class.
Allison has written on her arm, "حَبيبي" which in Arabic literally means "My beloved". It is a casual form of endearment used from children, to spouses and employers. On my arm I have writtern, "Esse Quam Videri" which is Latin for "To be rather than to seem".

My inspiration has returned! I'm not sure what it was about the past month or so, but I've been dead when it comes to thinking up new designs for buildings. But luckily I've got back in my designing streak, and I'm at it again.

These are my AP Stats notes. Take note at the amount of public transit and Arabian-inspired buildings.

I really, really do love each and every one of you.

27 November 2012

The Liebster Award

My dear sister Catherine recently nominated me for the Liebster award, a sign of appreciation and encouragement for bloggers with under 200 followers.  As part of the nomination, you're supposed to answer 11 questions they post for you, nominate 11 more bloggers (although I won't be doing that many), state 11 odd things about yourself, and post 11 more questions for those people to answer!

11 Questions from Catherine!

1. What is your favorite color?
Either Burgundy or Maroon.
2. Cookies, cake or pie? 
Cookies. Without a doubt.

3. Summer or winter? 
Summer. Duh, I hate cold.
4.What's your favorite thing to do when you have no other responsibilities? 
Sketch buildings, or read random article on Wikipedia.
5. What's your favorite food?
I am rather fond of red velvet cake, crab and most sea food.
6. Do you like animals? If so, what's your favorite?
I really like turtles and tortoises!
7. What's the best trip you've ever been on? 
This summer, my 4 week trip to Virginia, North Carolina and California.

8. What's your favorite book?
Either the Book Theif by Markus Zusak or Life of Pi by Yann Martel

9. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?
 Argentina. No idea why, but it sounds super appealing right now.

10. Do you have a favorite tv show? If so, what is it? 
Ah hem.... probably Glee. Or Arthur.

11. What's life all about? 
 Finding out who you are, and how to best fulfill your position in life.

My nominees: 

Giselle from Mesmerizing Writing

 Robyn from Robyn in space 

Alexis from A Thousand Miles

11 Random Things About Me

1. I am far from being a stereotypical .... anything. 
(If curiosity is calling you to what I am referencing here, see my twitter!)

2. I am a closet nerd. I love learning, reading and solving. Just not in front of people.

3. I am a child of the east coast, and all I really want to do is eventually end up back east.

4. I have 11 pairs of shoes, 20 ties and 0 sweat pants.

5. At some point in my life, I want to own a studio apartment in downtown Baltimore. 

6. I am bad at paying attention for long periods of time, especially during AP classes.

7. I want to be an architect. Really badly. And if I don't manage to go into architecture, I want to go into landscape architecture.

8. I really like using mass transit. Mostly that just means commuter rail, light rail and airplanes.

9. I'm really proud of who I am becoming as a person. 

10. I miss the ocean. And forests. And rivers and creeks. And North Carolina.

11. I know City Creek Center like the back of my hand.

Questions for my nominees:

1. What is your dream job?

2. Who, if anyone, would you like to meet?

3. What country would you like to visit and why?

4. What are you most proud of accomplishing thus far in your life?

5. If you could choose one exotic food to try, what would it be?

6. Do you prefer phone calls or hand written letters?

7. What is your favorite park to go to?

8. What is your biggest inspiration?

9. What is your favorite place to shop at?

10. Do you have any siblings?

11. What is your favorite class in school?

17 November 2012

Bunnies and more Bunnies!

And McKinley is awesome!

Today Viewmont is hosting the Viking Clash debate tournament, and as the host school, we get to run around monitoring hallways and look pretty sitting at tables.

This would be Kim, McKinley and Alli

Also of notice, last night Tad and I got the amazing opportunity to watch Legally Blonde the Musical at the Salt Lake School for the Preforming Arts. 

It was honestly one of the funniest musicals that I have ever been too. Every song is now stuck in my head, and the quality of the acting was really phenomenal. 

In other news, not only did I get Tad to take a photo, I managed to catch him laughing in it!!

I am close to falling asleep at this tournament. I am ready for the Chinese food to arrive. 

I love each and every one of you!

12 November 2012

Life is more interesting when Lofted

This is the creating of my today. 

I'm rather ashamed of myself, I've rarely let such a long period of time go in between blog post.

Blah blah blah, personal disappointment, blah blah blah, I'll do better, blah blah.

Presently, I'm in my Intro to Engineering class, and I'm just having a blast and a half. But not really, because it actually takes a lot of trial and error, and even more patience. 

Tad and I!

Recently, I've noticed how much older I am not only beginning to look, but also how much older I am beginning to feel.

Who would have though that the boy below would be the boy I am today. I'm rather happy so far with how I am turning out, I must admit. 

That is me approximately several years ago.

Also of notice, this has been an exhausting few weeks. After two debate tournaments, I feel very satisfied with my ability this senior year, and I am super happy to have Kim as my Public Forum partner. At the Portia Douglas tournament, we came in 3rd place for open Public forum out of 17 teams, and at this past week's Speech Arts tournament, we placed 9th in Junior Varsity Public Forum out of 20 some teams. Kim is a Sophomore, and I am a second year debater, and I think we are doing quite well for our experience level. (I think I get a trophy or something for being in the top quarter at this last tournament.)


Ogden High School, the school hosting Portia Douglas

I best be getting back to work.

Ta ta for now!

29 September 2012

A Different Kind of Baptism

The first being a baptism of white paint, on the highest point overlooking our little valley.

The second being where we cleans our selves of the white paint by taking a swim in Farmington Pond.

And this is how I become a senior of Viewmont High School.

     As of recent, my post have been a bit more on the contemplative side, but I hope that this post has a bit more levity in it. (But knowing me, it will probably be contemplative as well).

I suppose if it is to contain some serious material in it, I might as well get it out at the beginning. :D

I don't really get homesick for North Carolina anymore. As fantastic and wonderful as this past summer was, I think it got to me that I can blossom where I am planted, and that while Carolina will always be a special place to me, it's not really my home anymore. 

That being said, there are nights like tonight where I certainly wouldn't mind being there. 

Onto part less-serious of my post,

A certain best friend of mine chopped off all her hair. She is as adorable as ever. :D
I was pretty much squealing with excitement the entire time her hair was getting cut.

Because of such a momentous occasion, we went (as always) to City Creek Center to go take pictures, and more importantly to go to all our favorite stores and not spend any money. 

Nights like last night remind me what it is I love about living on this part of the Wasatch. 

I really love that urban environment. I can't even explain the thrill of energy that you feel each time you are there. 

On to some less glamorous pictures, but equally exciting events.

One Viewmont mattress sale went rather well, however tiring it may have been.

I just remembered something! 

I had a rather elaborate dream last night involving a meeting in a fancy room overlooking the canals of Venice, starting a new school with old friends and deciding to paint the accent wall in my room Tiffany Blue. 
And during a larger part of the dream, the song "My Life Would Suck Without You" was playing.
For the life of me, I can't get it out of my head.

So go listen to it, and think of Tiffany blue accent walls in a Venician palace.

I love each and everyone of you! 


22 September 2012

Inexplicable Satisfaction Found in Brevity

This really has been a nice start to my Senior year. I have to say that it is such a different feeling being a senior. For the first time, I really don't have to worry about being socially below someone simply due to age. Especially after working to find my niche last year, this year I got to skip all that awkward working my way into established friend groups. I'm learning to love the journey a bit more, and be myself more honestly.

In terms of life news outside of my self contemplation bubble, this week was homecoming week for Viewmont. Today was our homecoming game, and our Homecoming parade. The debate team put together a float, and we harassed the innocent children by bludgeoning them with candy on the streets of 400 West.

And for the actual inspiration of this post and it's title...

It happened tonight at the end of the football game, as everyone was heading down from the stands towards the stadium exit. I ran into a guy I sort of knew, but wasn't friends with.
He told me that he had heard something about me from another girl.
I told him that it was true.
His response was, "Well that's awesome. That made my night".

There are good people out there, and I'm very much blessed to say that I know several of them.

I love each and everyone of you.

And I hope you can say something similar.

31 August 2012

I Am Ready

As a note: I have only written a total of 4 blog posts this summer. This will be number 5. Honestly, I'm a little appalled that with this being by far my busiest and most fulfilling summer yet, I have written about it the least. 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

I think I am approaching the point in my life where I can see what my immediate purpose is. I believe very strongly that my Father in Heaven put me here for a reason, and that everything happens for a reason. 
Why I am I in Centerville, Utah?
After much personal thought and prayers, and having some truly beautiful discussions with my friends, both old and new, I think I've come closer to an answer than I have ever before.
I think that I am to be the change that I wish to see in the world.
Maybe that is a principle that should be universal, and I believe it is. However, I think in my specific circumstance, it is the primary reason for why I am where I am today.

In other news, I went with my family to the Brigham City LDS Temple open house yesterday! I enjoyed it very much, both from a religious perspective and an architectural one.

I am also working (maybe not as hard as I should be) on my AP summer reading list. While it is only two books, between work, a massive month long vacation and visiting family, I haven't had much time to work on it. Consequently, I am trying to make progress on getting through these books. In order to do so, I have taken my studies outside, into my backyard. I set up my litter reading chair in a nook between bushes, and began to read and type. 

It actually has a rather nice view! The greenery is so very comforting.

I love each and everyone of you. And that, I honestly believe, is my sole and only purpose to be here. To learn to love each and everyone of you as unconditionally as possible.

Good night, and toodles!

17 August 2012

For the First Time

In a very long time, I can truly, honestly and sincerely say that I am happy. In nearly every aspect. 

In the past month, I have traveled more than I ever have before in my life. On July 31st, I traveled 2,384 miles, from Greensboro, North Carolina to Victorville, California. In the period of just a few weeks, I was in the states of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. I traveled several city down towns, I walked through half a dozen woods, I played in 3 creeks, traveled over 5 rivers, spanned 4 time zones, played in one ocean, saw one sister get married, attended EFY for my last time, and rode 4 different airplanes. 

And I became a different person.

I can't even begin to describe this transformation. In retrospect, I think I changed far more internally than I first realized while it was happening. 
My capacity to love and understand has increased. Questions have been answered, in ways that I still don't understand. 
I am different. Yet, I am me.

And here, in just a few weeks, school is going to start up again. This time, it will be my last, as I will be a senior. I'm very exited to start my senior year classes, get involved in debate, apply to colleges, work hard and decided how I am going to launch myself into the real world after high school.

I am honestly dumbfounded when I look back to when I first moved to Utah. I can't even fathom what my reaction would have been if I could have seen who I'll become. Or how happy I am.

Because above all else, that's what I am right now. 


There is still plenty that is troublesome and unresolved in my life. I have so many questions, about the my future in regards to relationships, schools, classes, residence and a whole score of other topics. My life feels just as uncertain as it did before. But I am happy. I don't feel burdened by my lack of knowledge. Rather, I feel almost glad that because I am so unsure about my future, it must mean that I have all the more options to come. 

Here I am again. 

The Page is Turning. 

My life is again about to start a new chapter. Although this one is a little scarier. This is the last one that has been outlined before hand. After this chapter, it really is up to me to write what happens next. 

Honestly, just typing those words terrifies me. I'm 17. What on earth do I know about making my way through the realities of life? How can a 17 year old make such big decisions that will have such a lasting impact?

Yet after all of that, I am so freaking exited.

I have this amazing excitement to get on with my life and forge ahead at full speed to make my life all that it can be. 

And I guess that is why I am so happy. 
My life is up to me. 
And I am going to make the most of it.

So here it goes!

I'll make the most of my senior year, 
I'll forge ahead to do what I was meant to do.
I'll make everything that I need to create, 
and I'll write about it every step of the way.
I am becoming, 
I am creating.
I am persisting,
and I am learning
of who I am, and what my course is to be.
Above all else, I've learned to trust
in the single truth that I constantly overlook. 

I am me.

15 July 2012

A Little Plane For A Very Big Trip

I am a few days behind on blogging, yes. I am now in North Carolina! Tuesday morning, I left Centerville not to return for a month. Two flights later, and I arrived oh so happily at PTI airport to be greeted by several friends. 

My second connection was on a tiny little delta connection flight. Despite being much smaller than what I had  experienced on the flight before, where I had gotten bumped up to comfort class, I was still happy as I got a window seat this time. And as I was looking out of the window, I saw what any other person would see in the south. Rolling hills, trees and farms as far as the horizon. 

And then I noticed something rather familiar....

This is the intersection of Robinhood and Meadowlark, in Lewisville! That's where the Harris Teeter is. 

Needless to say, I was very exited. This was the first real moment it occurred to me that I was really coming back to North Carolina.

And it didn't stop there. I saw many other very recognizable locations.

Forsyth Medical Center with Hanes Mall in the back right, and the Toys-R-Us shopping center in the back left. 

Forsyth Medical Center. (Where I was born!)

Hanes Mall!

Where I-74 meets I-40.

I am going to take a break for now, but I still have 5 days of Carolinian goodness that I need to catch up on. 
My friends have in fact kept me busy, and I have lots to report on.

For now, toodles! I'll see you later in Carolina! 

27 June 2012

In which I spike my hair, and a House becomes a Home

My life is rather incredible right now. I think this summer, more than any other before, will be a distinct cross road of my life. Part of this cross road is that in 13 days I am leaving for North Carolina. 

(Woo Hoo!)

To be honest, my motivation for going has since changed significantly since buying the plane tickets last fall. 
My original and only intentions when I pressed the purchase button was to leave Utah. I was sick and tired to the sheltered atmosphere, and I was craving my southern home, and southern friends. I didn't understand why anyone would want to live in a valley filled with mormons, and furthermore, why they had no intention of leaving. 

Then as my life began to change, and I slowly started to understand the way of life here, I didn't want to leave as bad. I said that this place would never become a permanent home to me, but this experience was something I wouldn't trade for the world. I still most certainly wanted to go back, but I want to go back so that I could relive for just 3 weeks the first 16 years of my life. So that I could remember what living in the old south felt like.

And again my life shifted. This one would be more dramatic possibly than moving across country in the first place. With out detail, my life is not the same as it was before, but regardless of the change I am happier than ever to know who I really am. These past few weeks are driving me crazy.

For what ever reason, when driving down the high way leaving work, or walking up to my friend's house, I take a look up at the mountains and at the glorious orange sunset upon the clouds and it enters my mind that I am about to leave this place for a month. 

And then I get sad. 

Which has never, ever happened to me for the past 10 months of living here. Suddenly all my emotions of annoyance and disdain for the beehive state have turned into some form of love. I really don't know what changed.

Possibly it may be this girl:

Miss Aerielle Barlow. The girl whose name I couldn't spell for a month. I can't even begin to explain how much this girl has changed my life. I have formed a love for her that I simply can't explain. Certainly not romantic, but as much as I call her my sister, I don't think that cuts it. She is truly a best friend of the highest degree. Someone I can love and trust more than any other. I simply cannot imagine my life without her.

I have no idea why, but this place feels like home. 

My mind is continually boggled.