Friday, July 29, 2011

BYU Magazine Contest Entry

I wrote this article for a contest that the BYU Magazine was holding. It didn't win anything but I was proud of it and wanted to share it with you. Let me know what you think if you would like.

While we like to focus on the high-flyers here at BYU, I personally like to remember that with a campus of 30,000 students there are bound to be a few regular people just like me, trying to find their place in the world.
I have friends who have always known what they were going to do. Three of my friends wanted to be nurses and they did it. I know musicians who are chasing their dreams, dental hygienists who love it, and teachers who can’t wait to inspire youngsters. Even my own husband has loved animals since he was a toddler, and guess what, he’s going to vet school. I, however, have never been this way. I’ve definitely had ambitions; I wanted to be a classical pianist, a pediatrician, and various kinds of teachers. I even wanted to be a theoretical physicist, but I’ve never had one thing that I knew was my calling.
I came to BYU as a declared psychology major. I took general psychology and knew right away, that was not and never would be for me. I had had a great psychology teacher in high school but I soon discovered that the theories I would have to memorize were not nearly as interesting as the cool little tests we had taken and the movies we had watched. So, I had a quarter-life crisis seven years early and cried to a roommate about my frustrations with not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. As we discussed this, I told her how I really liked the cognitive process involved with learning and using a language. She then suggested I look into linguistics. “If you like language so much, you should spend time learning about how it works.”
So, I did. I declared the linguistics major, took the introductory class, and loved it. I had found what I had always been looking for. If I had known myself better then, I would have stuck with it but I let my logical brain recognize the flaws in this plan and talk my heart out of it. I was thinking too much about the future and what my career would end up being with a degree in linguistics. Did I really want to be a computer programmer or a translator or a CIA agent? No, not really.
So, I once again examined my options and decided to get a German teaching degree. I had taken German in high school, continued it in college, and really enjoyed the language. But after another year and a study abroad in Vienna I decided that I wouldn’t enjoy teaching German. I had gained a broader world-view, and a confidence in myself; but not in my German skills
I was at the end of my wits, and my junior year, when I ran into that same roommate again on campus. I told her about my irritation with German and how much I wished I could justify studying linguistics. She told me about her friend who was in the English language program and studying to become an editor and, once again, my eyes were opened to my true passion. I found the program that would let me study linguistics but that would also prepare me with skills I could use in a future career I would actually enjoy. My heart and my brain were finally reconciled.
I think my experience is not uncommon at BYU. We frequently hear about those that know what they want and how they are going to achieve it and, I say, good for them. But for those of us who aren’t so sure, it might just take a good roommate to help us figure out what we really want to get out of this wonderful experience called an education. While we are intended to learn as much as we can about the world around us while we are here at BYU, I had to learn the long and hard way that it’s most important to take the time to learn about yourself and what your desires are.
Enter to learn who you are so you can go forth to serve those who still need to find themselves.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My first time with Write On Wednesdays

During one of my recent blog perusals I happened upon inkpaperpen a lovely blog which holds a weekly blogfest called Write On Wednesdays. Most of the people that participate submit some creative piece, but I've never been much for creative writing. However, I do like to write and thought I would take this weekly opportunity to share a memory based on the prompt. Personally, I'm interested to see what I come up with each week.

The idea behind Write On Wednesdays is to set a timer for five minutes and just write what first comes to mind based on the prompt. I like this exercise and thought I would make it a weekly segment on this blog about our life. I'm going to try to get Cory to participate as well, I think it would be fun to see what he comes up with.

Anyway, this week's prompt is based off of this photo:
taken by Kristy of House of Prowse

Well, here goes.

Trees are so important to me. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and loved every inch of the greenery. Living in Utah makes me sad sometimes with how brown it is here. One day I’ll make it back to the trees.

The house I spent most of my young childhood in had the most lovely yard. At least, that’s how I remember it. When I was really young there were tall trees that lined our property. I think they might have been elms or birches (it’s hard to remember what they were exactly) and I used to play around them and in the tall grass that they stood in. I made up all sorts of games and stories and had so much fun. I don’t know why but one day my dad decided that the trees needed to be gone. He spent a whole day chopping them down and clearing out that portion of the lawn. I was heartbroken. Those trees were my friends and I had had so much fun with them. My family has moved several times since, yet I always remember that little spot where my imagination took flight and the sadness I felt at losing my trees.

Write On Wednesdays

Thanks for your comments on my short piece. I'm really excited to join the Write On Wednesdays movement and look forward to many more fun opportunities to chronicle my memories from these prompts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pioneer Day Classic 2011 5k

I ran my first race, since last Thanksgiving, this Saturday in honor of Pioneer Day. It was a lot of fun and I did fairly well. I'm not a very fast runner and I placed last in my age group but at least I did it. Cory wasn't able to come because he had to take the GRE that morning, it was the last day he could take it for his vet school applications (slacker). He was sorry to miss it but I had Nicole there with me for moral support. I woke her up really early for it too, she's such a trooper.

 I did it!

I love you Nicoley

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ah, the Brits

I have a soft spot for everything English. And I don't just mean the language and literature. I'm talking about that wonderful country across the pond. I love their food (well mostly just fish and chips) and their humor and their television and their accents. I mean, come on! They came up with Monty Python, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who, of course they're wonderful people.

Recently, I found a youtube channel run by a British kid from Bath. His name is Charlie McDonnell and he's hilarious and talented. I highly recommend checking out his stuff. It makes me so happy to watch his videos and every time I watch one I spend the next fifteen minutes thinking with a British accent.

Cory is applying for veterinary school this fall and I'm working heavily to convince him that he needs to get into the Royal Veterinary College so we can live in London for four years. Wouldn't that be awesome? I've been kicking myself that I never went to England while I was in Europe and I think I need to make up for it somethin' fierce.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anniversary Adventures

This year our anniversary fell on a Sunday and since Cory was gone at scout camp the weekend before all we could really do was go out to dinner that Saturday after he got back. We went to P.F. Chang's and got their P.F. Chang's For Two deal. Cory had never been there before and he absolutely loved it. That might be our new special occasion restaurant since the last one we had made him really really sick. We rented I Am Number Four that evening and just had some nice quiet time together.

Cory bought me roses the next day to put in my new vase that he got me as a present and they are beautiful but starting to wilt. Luckily I got some pictures the first day when they were still fresh.

 Pretty, right?

Since we couldn't go anywhere super fun the weekend of our actual anniversary we decided to do our fun stuff the next Saturday which was this last weekend. We were going to get up early and hike to the hot pots up diamond fork canyon but we didn't go to bed early enough the night before to wake up in time to beat the heat so we decided to spend the day at Kiwanis Park instead. We threw around a frisbee and played card games and took along a picnic and just talked in the sun. It was nice and I wish I'd taken some pictures but I forgot (even though I remembered to bring the camera). We went to Harry Potter that afternoon and boy howdy was it good! I'm kinda sad that it's all over but, I think, the movie definitely did the book justice and redeemed some of the earlier movies too.

It was nice to spread things out through the week. It made the celebration seem that much bigger. I'm so glad I married Cory and that we have been happy together. The last two years have been interesting and trying and wonderful and hilarious and the coming years will be filled with many more equally exciting adventures.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Yesterday was my dear mother's birthday.

She's beautiful, isn't she?

Patty Lynn Furgason Hopper is kind and thoughtful. I'm constantly hearing from other people how selfless my mom is. She thinks of everyone else before herself. She loves her family and is such a good sister. She takes care of Nicoley and me even from far away. She loves my daddy. She has such great style and she is simply hilarious.
She's recently lost a lot of weight on a great program and is now helping others reach their weight loss goals by being a health coach. Check out her website and see just how amazing she is.
My mom is patient and loving and I'm so glad that she's mine. I couldn't ask for a better mother. She's been through a lot and she still smiles all the way through. She is so faithful and strong and such an inspiration to me.
Happy birthday, Mommy. I love you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog design

I've been trying to learn how to make our blog unique and fun. So, there will probably be a lot of changing going on over the next few weeks. Sorry if it gets confusing but hopefully I'll find a style I like. If any of you have tips on how to customize a blog I would love some ideas and feedback. I've looked at some free templates and things but I can't find one I like and I want to do my own thing but I'm not sure how to. Any help would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sister Weekend

Four years ago I did this:

This weekend I did this:

Okay that's a gross picture and it's hard to see but that piece of hair is now purple.

Nicole's is way cooler:

Needless to say we had a fun weekend. Cory was at scout camp so I spent Friday and Saturday with Nicoley at her apartment. We went out for lunch and rented Megamind and took the bus to the mall and got cupcakes. It was way too much fun.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What the heck!

I've decided I need to start taking pictures more often. It would probably make this blog more interesting and then I could work on those digital scrapbooks I've been wanting to make. If I'm gonna do that I'm gonna need pictures first, right.

I've also decided that I need some sort of creative outlet. I'm gonna give songwriting a shot (Shh, don't tell my band). I need to have something that I can occupy my time with other than movies and facebook. Can I just tell you how much I hate the internet. It sucks me in and won't let go.

Along with deciding some things I've also realized another. This blog says Cory and Kristen in the title but really it's just me (Kristen...obviously). Cory doesn't really get into it. Not that I do either. But I feel kinda weird having a "family blog" when all I ever do is talk about myself. Well, I guess I do talk about him also but it is mostly me and what I'm thinking and feeling. I guess I just haven't quite figured out how to write about both of us without it turning into, "we did this and then we did this and it was fun." I don't know about you but, for me, that can get really old really fast. Let's just call this blog a work in progress and one of these days I'll figure out what it is I'm actually wanting to talk about.

And now for the what the heck. I have had a couple weeks full of epic fails. I scraped up the side of our car real bad trying to park in our garage. I got the starting time of the 5k I was supposed to run completely wrong and missed it. I've been misreading and forgetting things left and right. I've been having some weird sort of depression that I just can't get out of (and not being able to leave the house sure doesn't help at all). If five pregnancy tests hadn't already told me otherwise I would say I'm suffering from my pregnant brain. Gahhhhh! I wish I could think straight.
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