Writing

Yosemite

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A couple months ago our neighbors mentioned in passing that they were going to Yosemite for a weekend. Brock and I over-enthusiastically mentioned how much we had always wanted to go there. They said, “You guys should come!” We booked it soon after, eager to see what all this national park mumbo jumbo is about. I’m still not convinced it wasn’t a pity invite, but I have no regrets because Yosemite was AWESOME.

First, there are mountains. Cliffs, really. It feels like you are stuck in a giant rock maze, but in the best way possible. It was cold and crisp most days. And guys, there was fall. I got to experience a season that is nonexistent in Southern California. The leaves actually crunched and there were colors. So. Many. Colors.

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Brock and I stayed in a little cabin in Curry Village, where all the hard-core campers come to brave the weather and live off the land (not us). We decided to forego the tents and take residence in cabin 5B. It had two small beds and a teenie tiny bathroom. I felt like I was at summer camp all over again, except this time I wasn’t in middle school in a cabin full of screaming girls (score). We cranked up our tiny heater and I sat right on the floor in front of it during the night while we played games. I am the reigning Connect-four champion. I’m putting that on my resume.

Each morning we would apply about a hundred layers of clothing, yet it was still shocking when you took that first step out into the cold air. However, the scenery quickly stole the show and the temperature was an afterthought. Did I mention the colors?

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I spent a lot of time doing this. How could you not? IMG_1797 IMG_1800 IMG_1812 IMG_1850 IMG_1982

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I mean, look how cute my husband is climbing up to Yosemite Falls. Natures looks good on him.IMG_2010

We spent the days exploring and hiking around Yosemite. And by hiking, I mean walking. We were all in agreement that vacation doesn’t include any more exercise than necessary. Once the sun sank behind the cliffs, we would go back to Tom and Rick’s room to play game after game after game. All I know is 4 adults can totally have fun playing Jenga and Clue. Even if we don’t always know all the rules. We decided that diets and healthy eating are only for non-Yosemite residents, so bring on the chips and Hostess treats. Which then lead to another game of is-that-cheeto-dust-or-zinger-frosting-on-the-jenga-pieces? We are still unsure.

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Thanks to a very confused German man, we have no group picture of the four of us. He insisted that he look at least 5 pictures of us, however there were none to be found. Just imagine us all together in front of Lake Mirror, which actually isn’t a lake at all. So imagine us all in front of a sandy field. A glorious sandy field.

This was one of the most fun mini-vacations Brock and I have ever had. Thank you Tom and Rick for allowing us to tag along on your vacation. We hope to impose on many more in the future.

Writing about Writing

I always feel weird telling people I have a blog. It makes me feel like I am some lemming that follows the trends to try to be cool. Well 1. I am not cool and probably won’t ever be so we don’t have to worry about that and 2. Writing has always been a big part of my life.

I remember the first time I wrote something that was important to me. I was in my 5th grade D.A.R.E. class (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Of course, I had already written plenty of stories before then. In first and second grade I wrote short stories with illustrations and everything. My teacher even laminated some of them so I could keep them forever (since they were created on scratch construction paper, they weren’t exactly top quality). Of course, I’m surprised my teachers didn’t call emergency meetings with my parents considering one of my little books was named “Blood Steps to the Door,” and another one was about a giant evil rabbit that was shot down by tanks. I was a delightful little child, clearly.

Anyway, 5th grade was the first time I wrote about my feelings. The D.A.R.E. program had meant a lot to me. The officer who taught it had really taken time to invest in me and make me feel special. Who knows, maybe that’s why I never did drugs after all. I did live in the meth central of the U.S. so that’s really saying something. Toward the end of the program, we were told that budget cuts were being made and the D.A.R.E. program was ending that year. I remember being so sad because I genuinely wanted other kids to experience what I did. I wrote an essay about it that I was so proud of. I talked about all the reasons it would be a mistake to get rid of the program. My teacher liked it and had me read it in front of my entire school, parents, and the D.A.R.E. officers. That’s also when I learned that I enjoy public speaking. Of course, I remember standing at the podium and reading my essay with confidence and ease. I’m sure if there was a video of it, you would see half my head struggling to appear above the podium and me mumbling my words into the microphone was that a foot taller than my head. But that’s not the point, because I felt amazing. That memory reminds me of how important writing is in my life. Even at a young age, it was the best way for me to understand my jumbled thoughts. 

From then on, I continued to write in many different ways. In 8th grade I wrote a first person short story about Joan of Arc. That was the first time I was ever sent to the principle’s office. I got a note in class and by the time I got to his office I was drenched in sweat and had probably pooped my pants. Turns out my teacher had given it to him to read and he wanted to compliment me and I wasn’t getting kicked out of school after all.

In high school I was the Editor-and-Chief of the school newspaper, The Pony Express. For the record, I wanted to change the name but apparently it had years of history and yadda yadda. Somehow I have zero copies of the paper, which is a little sad. I wrote articles about anything and everything in that paper. It was a really great experience for me.

Fast forward to college. I turn in an average of one essay a week. I used to stress over writing four pages and now I can pound out a 15 page paper in one sitting. I have written about social media, Disney, corporate business structures, Shakespeare, global economy, and probably everything in between. The problem is I rarely have any time for writing about the important things, like giant rabbits being killed by tanks. So now I’m making time for it because it’s fun and cathartic. It’s like my diary (except this time I can’t tear out the pages in embarrassment years later). So yes, I blog. If that makes me a lemming then so be it.