let it be known

We've been watching home videos all week while here at my parent's house.
And here are two things I've noticed:
1. My brothers were THE LITERAL cutest things in the entire world.
2. My brothers are STILL the literal cutest things in the entire world.
I have been so blessed to grow up as their older sister.
Words can't even begin to describe how much I love and admire them.
All I have to say is Mckay and Ty, you are the bestest.
Now here are some amazing photos for you to appreciate.




And our most recent picture.
Forever goobers.
My favorite goobers.

a manifesto

One of the requirements for my advertising portfolio was a personal manifesto.
As I racked my brain for weeks, I realized I didn't really have any concrete thoughts in this regard.

Basically just a bunch of goals that equated to:
"I want to be a good person."
The end.

And so, after A LOT of time
(seriously it's embarrassing how long it took me to come up with this....)
Here it is.
And I'm not going to lie, I'm more inspired by it than I thought I would be. 
A great exercise if you're looking for a way to give yourself some concrete direction in life!

I want live life powerfully.
My actions guided by love.
Love that moves others,
lifts them up.
I want to make my spot in the universe exquisite.
To take what I've been given,
my relationships, talents, circumstances,
and make the most of them.
I want to live with my entire heart.
I want to be void of laziness, and full of powerful conviction.
Conviction that I can be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend,
leader, athlete, artist, musician, and whatever else I want to be.
And not just do it.
But do it all powerfully.

And there you go.
A dose of inspiration.
Cheesy and cliche inspiration,
but inspiration nonetheless ;)


as if I needed another reason to love being home

I get to be kooky, AND play the piano as much as I want!
And everyone thinks I'm awesome at it!!

17 years later and my talent is finally being appreciated.


oh here I am

Not blogging in over a week feels strange, and also....
WAY good.
So I'm going to send out a general warning that this will probably be a trend for the next few weeks.
(At least until we get ourselves back across the whole stinking nation to our home in Utah.)
You see, dividing our time between our two families gets very busy.
And let's not kid ourselves... it's also TONS more fun than blogging. 

Until then, I will let these pictures do the talking.
I give you:

Our last night in DC. 
Complete with trip to Founding Fathers, the US Court of Appeals, and the national Christmas tree.

Aka.... larger and grainier pictures than you ever wanted to see of us! Y'welcome!


and the award goes to....

So, sometimes things like this drive me crazy.
I mean, the whole blogging world drives me crazy sometimes.
I adore Maddie and her cute blog, and thus I am running with this. 
I have been nominated for the Liebster award!
(discovering new bloggers!!)

here are the rules:
a. list 11 things about yourself
b. answer the questions the nominee created for you
c. choose 11 (or so) of your own favorite blogs to nominate
d. create 11 questions for them (or use the previous questions)
e. let them know they've won

a. about me:

1.  I am really good at the game Mad Gab. As in... don't even ATTEMPT to beat me.
2. I am really good at drinking water lightning fast.
3. I am really good at yelling so loud, and at such a decibel, that your eardrums MIGHT start bleeding.
4. I am really good at accents. Particularly as a New Yorker.
5. I am really good at eating things with sugar in them (AREN'T WE ALL?!)
6. I am really good at playing O Holy Night on the piano. And it only took me about 5 years!
7. I am really good at sleeping in.
8. I am really good at being an over enthusiastic Zumba-a-holic.
9. I am really good at dying my hair. Especially if there is red in it.
10. I am really good at being obsessed with Josh Groban.
11. I am really good at making really good lists. Har har.

b. questions for me:

1. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Oh man. We have always gotten new pajamas on Christmas Eve, and I LOVE that.
But the best part is when we all race to go put them on and I lose every time. 
I don't know why I act like I can beat my brothers, but after 13 years I'm still trying!

2. What color best fits your personality?
I would like to think yellow.
Yellow makes people happy, and that's something I try to be good at.

3. Do you like mustaches?
I mean.... this whole mustache craze that has taken over like, the WORLD?
I just don't really get it.
Like, it's not that funny to me. 
And trust me, I'm a hilarious person. 
So no. I guess I don't like them.

4. What is number one on your Christmas list?
Honestly, I want nothing more than this gorgeous nail polish.

5. N*SYNC or Backstreet Boys?
If you had asked me this 10 years ago,  I would have gone to my grave saying NSYNC. 
However seeing as how I have become an avid Backstreet Boy listener since my high school days
(are you kidding me?! Never Gone was SUCH a great album!)
I'm going to have to go with the latter.

6. What is your favorite physical trait?
Well... in others, I really appreciate someones smile. And teeth. 
In myself, I guess I like my hands a lot. Hence my obsession with nail polish.

7. Hot chocolate or apple cider?
Am I allowed to say Starbucks caramel apple cider? Because that stuff is like straight up crack.

8. If you could drop everything and go anywhere, where would you go?
Spain. No question.
Or if for some reason I didn't have a passport or something.... I would hurry my buns back to DC as fast as possible.

9. What is your favorite movie?
Since I think this is a terribly difficult question, I'm going to break the rules and tell you all the movies tied at number one. You've Got Mail, Shawshank Redemption, Little Women, Hot Rod and all the Lord of the Rings.

10. Who is your biggest role model?
Also a tough question. My mom is an amazing resilient, talented, beautiful and hilarious person. She has shaped my life more than almost anyone. But my sweet husband is a huge role model for me as well.
A day hasn't gone by in which he hasn't left me wanting to be so much better.

11. What is your favorite picture? (share it)


I know I'm biased, but come on HOW GORGEOUS IS THIS PICTURE?!

c. And now here are the blogging ladies I nominate!

d.. My questions for YOU!

1. If you could eat lunch with ANY famous person, who would it be and why?
2. If you could have any career, no strings attached, what would you want to do?
3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
4. Google or Apple?
5. What is one thing you have learned about yourself in the last year?
6. What is one of your hidden talents?
7. Spring or Fall?
8. If you could be any animal, what would you be?
9. Beach or mountains? Why?
10. If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be?
11. If you could be an Olympic athlete in any sport, which would you pick?

And there you have it. 
Thank you to Maddie for this silly, 
albeit sweet and fun,
"discovering new bloggers" blogging award. 

I guess all I have to say is cheers to having less than 100 followers! 


also this happened to me yesterday....

The most epic biff of my life to date.

The funniest part is there were 2 people standing near by, and neither one of them acknowledged my awkward display, OR ask if I was okay!

What has humanity come to?!

Also, it was these artistic skills that won me second place in a national art contest when I was in second grade.
I know. 


here at the end of all things, DC version


We are leaving on Saturday?!?!?!?!

This is crazy talk!
While we are super excited for the time we will get to spend with our families in the beautiful sunny Florida, it's also horribly depressing. We have fallen completely in love with this city, and the thought of leaving is sort of gut wrenching. 

The next few days are going to be insanely busy.
Along with the usual packing and cleaning the accompanies a move, 
I will also be filming my advertising application video
and trying to squeeze in any last minute shenanigans.

Until next time....

It's been real, DC. 
We love you!


Tales from my childhood: the playground

When I was in 4th grade, my family moved to Arizona.
It was at my brand new school that I had one of the funniest experiences of my life

Sadly it was at the expense of another....
...but he used to call me Big Bird and the Jolly Green Giant, so I actually don't feel all that bad.
Consider this my revenge.

This school had a really sweet playground with one of those tube slides, that everyone loved of course. 
One boy in my class, a rather chunky fellow whom we will call Kevin, loved it a little too much. 
When it was time to go inside, we got in our line, and looked around in search of the one missing student.
You guessed it.
It was Kevin.

And there was no sign of him anywhere. 

Then in the distance we heard a quiet plea for "heeelllpppp".
After scouring the area, we found Kevin....

....Stuck in the slide.

I am so serious right now.
I don't remember much of what happened at this point.
I'm pretty sure my teachers ushered us away, while they commenced the task of retrieving Kevin from the jaws of the tube slide.

After about 10 minutes they succeeded, so naturally I led the class in a thunderous:
(Little did everyone know, I was cheering because the big mean bully had been stuck in the slide for so long, NOT because I was happy he was free.
This was back during my darkest days, OBVIOUSLY)

That went on for about 30 seconds before we got our Harry Potter reading time revoked, and we had to go to lunch late.

And yes, it was completely worth it.


a few things

- Here are some snapshots from our weekend, mostly because I don't feel like detailing it all. 
But just so you know, it was a GREAT 5 days off of work.
Fur vest courtesy of some insane Black Friday shopping. 
Now I will be able to dress up like a polar bear if ever there was an occasion!
Here's a secret: 
I ABHOR these kind of olives. 
Each time I try and eat one, I'm pretty sure the salt is going to make me shrivel up and die.
But because I love my husband, and he loves these olives, I am trying so hard to learn to love them too.
Sacrifices people.
Also, 2Amys is the BEST food we've had in D.C. so far.
And that's saying something, because there are some great eats here!
Cool picture with some plants at the Botanic Gardens.

Obviously enthused by my hamburger at Good Stuff Eatery.
If you are ever in D.C., you must try their toasted marshmallow shake.
Weirdly delicious!

-Speaking of work.... today I went to Michaels with the mother of the girl I nanny, the grandmother of the girl I nanny, and let's not forget.... the actual girl I nanny. 
Sometimes I wonder why they pay me to just hang out with them all day.......

- I think I have food poisoning. 
Almost definitely.
Christian and I ate some VERY questionable fish on Sunday
(don't ever eat fish if it's been sitting in your fridge for over 3 days.... let alone a WEEK. I know. We're sick)

- Today on the bus, I saw a man writing imaginary things on the window for a good 20 minutes.
One thing I love about D.C. is all the colorful people. 
"Colorful" doesn't even come CLOSE to accurately describing things sometimes. 

- And finally, as sad as I am to be leaving this amazing city NEXT WEEK
(soooo crazy!)
I am mega pumped to be with our families in Florida for almost a solid month. 
The weather is going to be amazing, and let's not even talk about the unadulterated time with our loved ones.
It's sad that the Showalter side doesn't live in Mesa anymore, but Florida isn't a bad fall back.

Until next time, 
peace and blessings!


cranberry relish and a life lesson

So I'm just going to get right to the point and tell you that what I'm about to share is the literal BEST thing you will ever eat at Thanksgiving. 

Also maybe in your entire life.

I give you my mom's most famous and delicious holiday recipe:


  • 2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 blood oranges, or navel oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, juices reserved
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled to remove strings, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped


  1. Place cranberries in food processor, and pulse to chop coarsely, about five pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Add onion, jalapeno, lime juice, orange sections and juice, ginger, sugar, and celery; mix gently. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Just before serving, add mint and toss to combine.

I doubled the recipe, and it fed about 25 people, with leftovers.
(So Christian and I could eat spoonful after spoonful, of course!)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

And now I have some words of wisdom to impart.

Notice how the recipe calls for jalapenos.
Well this girl doesn't work with those bad boys enough to remember not to touch the seeds.

So there I am, ripping them out with my bare fingers, and COUGHING because the peppers were so hot that they were asphyxiating me.

And about 20 minutes later, I'm like:

Seriously I started crying.
(Christian doesn't know this because he was at the grocery store. So there you go.
The embarassment is out)

So then he gets home and I'm all:

So I tried washing my hands about 20 times.
(Which only made it horrifically worse)

Then I tried rubbing lime juice all over my fingers, which helped for a hot *pun intended* 4 seconds.

Then I tried SOAKING my fingers in the lime juice, which only helped for a slightly longer period.

Then I tried using rubbing alcohol, which failed miserably.

Then I resorted to soaking my fingers in milk, and thankfully it worked some amazing magic.

And THEN, I mixed the lime juice with the milk, which turned it into a bad version of sour cream and it was unbelievably gross because it was sort of sticking to my fingers, but it was nice because then I didn't have to just leave my fingers sitting in a bowl of milk. 
Which is like my worst nightmare because I ABHOR milk.

And so, about 3 hours, 2 tylenol, lots of grumpies, and 1/4 gallon of milk later, the pain was finally subsiding.
And I went to bed with wrinkly milk-soaked fingers that smelled like I had been eating mexican food and ice cream for a week straight.

Next time, wear gloves.


happy weekend from ours to yours

Thanksgiving always fills my heart to the brim.

I was worried this year would be different, as it was my first one away from my family
(except for my darling husband of course)
but was pleasantly surprised.
This is what our day looked like:

I had a little moment while we were eating dinner that opened my eyes and made me so thankful to just be alive.

There Christian and I were,
surrounded by a throng of people so similar and yet so different from us.
All from different walks of life, 
here together in Washington D.C. for this 3 1/2 month period of time.

Everyone made and brought food to share, 
and with it came so much LOVE!
So much happiness and so much love.
Honestly, it felt just like I was there with my family, and I couldn't have been more grateful to be with the people from the Washington seminar program. 

That's what is so wonderful about this time of year. 
With the spirit of Christ that is so prevalent, I end up feeling a MUCH deeper love and connection with people. Some who are complete strangers, and others I've known for forever. 

And so, I'm making a goal to take the happiness I felt on Thanksgiving and channel it into my daily actions for the next month.

Because everyone deserves to feel that!

*thank you to Matthew Martin for the amazing video!*


thanksgiving, of the blissed out sort

As I've mentioned before, Christian and I met our freshman year at BYU.
Through the years of our friendship, brief dating, all the mission letters, my family was WELL aware who he was before meeting him.
(Let's be real, I've never been one to keep my feelings for someone a secret... especially where my family is concerned!)

Well, when he got home last summer and we started dating FOR REAL, I knew he was going to have to meet my family eventually. 

Queue Thanksgiving. 
the one picture we took ha!

My family was living in Arizona at the time, so our trip was just a 12 hour drive south.
By this point, Christian and I were head over heels for each other and I knew he was going to have
"the talk" with my dad while we were there

Poor Christian was so nervous! 
And admittedly the first few days at home were ROUGH.
Fitting in with a new family in a high stakes situation certainly isn't easy. 

Thankfully the trip came and went, he had a nice long discussion with my dad, and I learned a few amazing things:

Seeing Christian mesh with my family made me fall even more in love with him than I could have imagined.
(I used to think phrases like that were SO cliche... and they are. But they're cliche for a reason...)
And knowing that he loved me enough to ask my dad if he could marry me was just unbelievable.

Let's just say our drive back to Utah was one filled with lots of hand-holding, cheek smooches and MEGA mushy discussion. Honestly, my heart had NEVER been so full.
Full of love and admiration.
Full of happiness. 

So basically this time of year holds a special place in my heart. 
A proverbial "beginning of the rest of my life" 
With my one and only darling dearest sweetie sweetest sugar plum toes!

And so, to quote my favorite movie EVER....

Happy Thanksgiving, back!


who really reads this anyways?

So when I write on this blog, I usually feel like I am just saying stuff to the empty internet.
And I guess my husband, as well as my small circle of friends.
And mostly I just do it so I can come back and read it again later, because let's be real....
I think I'm hilarious.
(hang on a minute while I deflate my head....)

But through a couple recent conversations, I have come to realize that a lot more people read this than I realize. Which honestly makes me a little self concious....

But also super curious. 
I would really like to know who my audience is!
You know, so I can filter myself a little more?
Or less?
Or maybe tell more jokes?
Or anecdotal stories?
Or share what few pearls of wisdom I have?

Anyways, if you read this silly blog, you should leave a comment or send me an email or something so I can start getting to know the people who know all about my life already ha!

But really. 
Starting like now.

That being said,


strangest weekend ever

It's been like a 3 day weekend from weirdy-ville over here.

Friday we took a tour of the Capitol building with some friends
(Which I definitely thought was going to be the most boring thing ever, but it was awesome!)

 Those are what I fondly call my Asian eyes.

ate dinner at We The Pizza, which has become one of our favorite places here in DC,
(but definitely NOT because I come away from there smelling hard core like smoke.
I sort of dislike that.)
and then celebrated all the Barlow Birthdays in November with a dance party, brownies and ice cream.

It was then that I was reminded why I only like having dance parties in our apartment with Christian.
My inner Michael Jackson feels much more comfortable letting loose, you know?

Then on Saturday we slept in, like, all the morning long.
Went to Trader Joes and bought THESE,
so good, you could seriously die.

And then babysat Christian's cousins in the evening.
A great reminder that I am SO not ready for my own babies, thankyouverymuch!

Then today, tragedy struck.
In a frantic attempt to make it stake conference on time
(Which we weren't even that late for, mind you!) 
we ended up waiting for a combined 30 minutes at 2 Metro stations,
on top of another 40 minute wait at our last Metro station for a "ride" that never showed up.
So then we decided to just forget it and just come back home.
3 hours and 14 bucks later, our pointless journey came to a close.

Then we played Ticket to Ride for like 3 straight hours, all while laying in bed.
Which was seriously so much fun.

Basically not one of our most normal weekends, but a fun one nonetheless.


little love letters

Dear Imagine Dragons,
I really can't stop listening to you.
If you're looking for a power song to add to your workout playlist, listen to Radioactive.

Dear gym,
It's great to be seeing more of you lately.
I would hate to publicly admit how long I avoided you since coming to DC...
*cough the whole time we've been here cough*
and speaking of the gym...

Dear N.O.xplode,
You make my workouts so much more bearable!
Sad to say, but I'm probably addicted.

Dear Christian,
Every day, you teach me something new about being an awesome person.
I love you so much for that.

Dear Roti,
Why has it taken us 3 months to discover your Mediterranean goodness?!
No worries, we made up for it by 2 visits in 2 days.
We love falafel!!!

Dear blogging world and crazy bloggers,
Sometimes, you make me want to stab forks in my eyes.
And that's all I'm going to say, before something comes out that I regret.

Dear hand and wrist and everything inside,
You are sincerely killing me, like every day.
I'm about ready to perform carpal tunnel surgery myself.
(Has anyone else ever had this problem?! Aka sympathy please?!
And Abby, I would love any advice you have to give me!)

Dear Thanksgiving,
I had literally NO idea that you were next week, until a few days ago.
My whole world has been turned upside down,

The end.


beauty product win #2

I don't know if I am the only woman in the world with greasy eyelids...
(Try not to barf as you read that. 
Also try not to picture me with bacon grease dripping from my lashes...)

But for the LONGEST TIME I hated wearing eyeshadow because it would be completely gone by the end of the day, or completely smeared into my eyelid creases.
 Blerg I hate that so much! 

Then one day about 5 years ago, I came across the gem from Sephora, and it changed my make up wearing routine forever.

I give you Urban Decay's shadow priming potion!
(Cue magical music)

It's unreal how unreal this stuff is.

You've probably heard of it already, but I'm here to be your personal witness that the stuff works miracles, and it's totally worth the 20 bucks.

So head on over to your nearest Sephora, buy a bottle, and prepare to party until 2 am...

Because that's how long you will look amazing, courtesy of this stuff!



- Doing a kidney cleanse
(mega headaches, LOTS of celery and parsley, and a couple gags later, I'm a new woman!)

- Listening to lots of Christmas music
(the David Archuleta, Country and Nsync stations are our current favorites.... 
Okay so maybe Nsync is more of a "Brooke" thing...)

- Firmly decided that Christian and I love art museums more than anything.
(We are the nerds that sit and analyze the lighting, flow and color choice of all the paintings. 
Never knew we had that in us, but I love it!)

- Saw Lincoln
(due to Christian's high expectations of he movie - he's a Lincoln enthusiast- we didn't enjoy it as much as we hoped. Soooooo political. Which we are soooooo over.)

- Went to a performance of the National Symphony.... 
took the grainiest photo evvvveerrr, while getting photobombed by Andy Bernard....

.....and saw this guy.
My classical-music-loving-heart was beating out of control all night!

- Anticipating our month long break in Florida with our families.
And our tropical Christmas gettaway with the Showalter side.

- Anxiously awaiting our return to beloved Utah.
We miss it a great deal, surprisingly!
(I think that's just our need to settle down speaking out)
Also, I get my old job back weeee!
I can't wait to be back in the Hinckley building!

- Decided that I definitely have carpal tunnel syndrome.
I am being totally serious about this. 
Stay tuned for a true diagnosis.
(No but really. I'm going to the doctor like.... this week. I don't think you guys understand how serious I am)
In the mean time, I have to tend to my very tingly, weak, and painful wrist and hand.

- Aaaaand enjoying my week long hiatus from work!
Hence the reason why I'm blogging twice in one day. So much time!
I'm sure I will be going nuts-o by Friday, but for now, I'm lovin' life.
Truly, I am destined to be a stay at home mom, because nothing makes me happier than being a hermit all day.
Which I can't decide is good or bad, but for now I'm going to enjoy being in my own little bubble and NOT invading someone else's all day long.
(Oh the trepidations of being a nanny!)

"the gospel in action"

What a beautiful and inspiring video.
This IS what the Savior taught, and how amazing to see it being LIVED by those helping with the hurricane relief.

This helps me realize how much acting out of LOVE can make a difference in people's lives. 
And I don't know about you, but I do want to make a difference!
A line from a Josh Groban song keeps playing through my head as I write this:
"It's up to us to be the change..."
So I'm going to let this video inspire me to be better, take the words of this song, 
and do just that.

I'm so thankful for good people in this world. 


a wittle wuv story

So last week was our 6 month anniversary.


It's so strange to me that we've been married for half a year now.
In the big scheme of things, 6 months is NOTHING.
And even compared to how long we have actually known each other, and been in love, 6 months is nothing.

We met at our freshman ward opening social, 4 YEARS AGO!
Haha sooooooo typical!

We started spending gobs of time together, pretty much from the beginning.
I was all about the cute blonde boy who wore glasses, moccasins, and Jimmy Eat World t-shirts, let me tell you.

I'm glad things have gotten better with your hair situation Christian.

So our second semester, we took a Book Of Mormon class together
(again, soooo typical ha!)
and that was when sparks really started to fly.
Nothing like a religion class to really turn up the heat in a relationship, amiright?!
Anyways, towards the end of the semester we both confessed our feelings for one another.
Went on a few pseudo dates, 
and decided that we weren't going to let things get too serious because:
a) he was going home to FL, and I to AZ. Helloooo long distance!
b) he was also going on a mission. Hellloooo longer distance!

that lasted a hot 4 days.
Then Christian decided to call me from the airport on his way home and it was all down (or rather up!) hill from there.

We spent hours on the phone, every day, for the next 6 weeks.

Before he left for Uruguay, we left it at: 
"Let's write letters, you serve the Lord, I'll date other boys, and we will see what happens in 2 years"

So 2 years, an almost engagement (slash an almost dear John!), and LOTS of letters later, he came home!
(This was last July)
And even though we didn't admit it from the start, we both knew where it was going to lead eventually....
*hint: starts with "m" and rhymes with "larriage"...*

And so we dated for about 5 months,
all whilst getting our feet on the ground as a couple,
fell back into a giddy, happy and new kind of love,
got engaged, 
and then 4 months later, we were married.

And now here we are. 
4 years after it all began.
And well.... really couldn't be happier.


a few things

Sorry I've been all sorts of serious lately. 

Here are just a few things about life right now, you know, to REALLY spice things up.

-I'm home sick today.
Now you're probably thinking 
You were sick so much this summer!
And now you're sick again?!
What's wrong with you?!"
Trust me, I'm thinking the exact same thing.
I guess when you are a nanny, and the whole family you work for gets super sick, you are bound to contract it as well. C'est la vie.

- So since I'm sick, I'm laying in bed and blogging while listening to the David Archuleta Christmas station on Pandora. 
It's seriously so good.
*this is a judgement free zone, so you can wipe that look off your face like, yesterday*

- And also since I'm sick, I'm probably going to watch an entire season of Felicity today or something.
look at Noel's hair hahahahahahaha
Do I have any fellow Felicity lovers out there?
Seriously, SERIOUSLY. That show makes me so emotional.
Also, Javier is probably my favorite character from a tv show in the history of ever.

- Also, here are some nice things that people have done for me lately. 
Yesterday, I found out I lost my debit card. 
And then I got on the bus and my smarttrip card wasn't working.
Also, I had no cash or change. 
So basically I was about to be stuck at Union Station with NO WAY of getting any money.
Also, I felt like I was going to die because oh wait I was also in the throws of getting sick.
So then when I tried to get on the bus, the nice driver was all
"Just give me whatever you've got!"
(Which was a meager 30 cents by the way)
And then he let me go home!
I was very thankful for his generosity last night.

- Then when I got home, Christian had made dinner already AND done the dishes.
So then we ate, IN BED. Which was awesome.
And then he started a bath for me!
And THEN we watched Lord of the Rings!
So basically even though I felt like crap, he made my night happy.
*internet hug for my sweetie*

- Also if you were ever wondering how crazy DC gets when Obama wins the election, I will tell you.
Like we had to bust out the earplugs last night because the screaming and honking was incessant.

Basically that's all.
And now it's time to get my Netflix on.


on education

*disclaimer: this is long.
But it's taken me a long time to even HAVE these thoughts.
So articulating them is kind of a big deal.
Anyways, read on at your own risk*

I never struggled very much in school.
Then I went to BYU.
Where every person I met seemed to have a plan.

And not only did they have a plan, they STUCK with the plan.
And not only did they stick with the plan, but they all did really really really well at the plan.

And then there was me.
I'm not a failure, by any means.

But it has been a real struggle figuring out what I actually want to study.
And then sticking with it.
First, I was an English Education major.
(Teaching! YAY!)
Then, Spanish Education.
(Because everyone needs a little Latin flair right?)
Then Advertising.
(This will be cool, and maybe even a little easy!)
Then Marketing.
(Maybe I shouldn't have taken Econ, Math, Accounting and Family Finance all in the same semester...)
And then back to Advertising.
And not only all of this, I haven't even stayed at BYU this whole time.
I spent a semester at BYU-Idaho.... well..... just because I felt like I should!
How's that for breaking the mold?

Are you as out of breath reading that as I am typing it??

Then in January, I decided to only go to school part time.
I was working two jobs, being a fiancee, planning a wedding, and an impending move across the country.
All of which took my attention very much AWAY from my education.

Then summer came, during which I spent much more time working, getting my feet on the ground as a new wife, daughter-in-law, battling a mild bout of depression and a slight adjustment disorder, and lots of other things.

And now here I sit during a regular fall semester in which I would NORMALLY be at BYU.
But I'm not.
I'm here in Washington D.C.
Not going to school.

Needless to say,

I've been at such a cross roads, and it's been

I've felt so inadequate, and left behind, and just...... DISTRAUGHT I guess....
Because I haven't been living up to this invisible bar, and invisible timeline, that I've felt the rest of the world has set for me.

I've been so worried about not moving forward fast enough that I've completely forgotten what this phase of life is about. And also what it's NOT about.

It's not about doing the exact same thing as your peers.
It's not about picking some degree and cruising through college, JUST BECAUSE.
It's not about getting the bestgradesinthehistoryofever, especially because you feel like everyone else is.
It is about learning. Both in the classroom on campus, and in the classroom of life.
It is about figuring out who Brooke is, and what Brooke wants out of life.
It is about discovering my place in the world, and finding where I can make the biggest difference.

And it's especially about learning to

You guys.
4 years.
That's how long it's taken me to learn all this.
4 years of banging my head against countless walls.
4 years of taking classes, and feeling like they "haven't counted" towards any major.
4 years of panicking because I knew I wasn't going to graduate "on time"
4 years of feeling like a "failure" because I don't have a 4.0 GPA
4 years of crying big, fat, ugly tears over stupid assignments and tests that are now insignificant.
4 years of constant worrying about not measuring up to this invisible bar and timeline I somehow thought the world had established for me.


And I'm tired of being a nervous wreck about school.
I'm going to get my degree.
I'm going to do it in the time frame that works for ME.
And I'm going to love it.
I'm going to be grateful that I go to an amazing university, and that I can actually get an education.
I'm going to relish in every class I take, not because I'm getting it out of the way, but because I'm LEARNING.
I'm going to stop caring about everyone else and their "plan".
And I'm NOT going to regret everything I've had to do on my path towards my finish line.

I have been doing my best, and I will continue doing my best.
And that's as much as I can expect from myself.

And gosh darn it, if any of you are struggling with similar feelings of inadequacy,
IN ANY REALM OF LIFE, not just school....

Please learn from me, and my epic 4 year struggle, and STOP.

The world may seem to have standard established for you to meet, but you can set it for yourself!
We all know in our heart of hearts where our bar needs to be set.
So let's stop comparing ourselves to everyone else.
Stop feeling inadequate.
Stop being discouraged...

And learn to just be happy with where we are and where we are going.

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