Monday, December 16, 2013

I made it!!

Is anybody out there? Can anybody hear me? It's been a llooonnggg time since my last post, so for all I know nobody actually checks this anymore, but that's no one's fault but my own. Oh well!

As I sit here tonight, I'm happy to report that I'm only two papers away from being done with my first semester of grad school. Yay! What a wonderful feeling that is. I'm a little exhausted, a little burned out but very pleased with myself for this decision I've made. And I've learned a lot already. For example, I now understand the basic principles of accounting, something I was worried I would never get. I have safely ruled out anything in accounting as a career, but I've still learned a lot.

I have met many wonderful people, classmates who have become friends, who have suffered through the same assignments I have and have also worked very hard to do well on all class assignments. I have built a strong relationship of trust with a team of four other people who are very different from me, background and belief wise. In fact, three of them aren't even originally from the U.S., yet we've found a way to pull together and get things done. And I feel like they're people I have built a relationship of trust with, which also feels good.

This whole year has felt like such a journey to me. The first three months were spent intensively studying for the GMAT then taking it, then applying for grad school, doing interviews and finding out I got in. I spent the summer taking a GMAT math prep course and before I knew it school started.

I was so scared and intimidated that first day. I walked into my first four-hour lecture (something I had never experienced before) of accounting and was stressed how I'd ever make it through. I didn't do as well as I might have hoped, but I did make it! And I made it through my three other classes too: Teams, Marketing and Managing and Leading in Organizations. Each has taught me new things and helped me learned more about myself. I still have a long ways to go, but I'm officially on the path.

As this school year officially closes this week (when our last two team papers are prepared and submitted), my hope is to see myself enjoy my three-week break and then prepare to continue on my grad school journey.

One semester down, five more to go. But a nice break to look forward to now!

Friday, July 19, 2013

There just aren’t words . . .

I think it’s interesting to note that even for a wordy person like myself, there are still times when the words run out, and I just don’t have anything more to say.

Tonight I find myself in that place.

It’s truly been one of the longest and most exhausting days I’ve had in awhile. My emotional and physical selves are completely depleted, and as a result, my words seem to have disappeared too.

In the midst of sorting, packing, boxing up, loading, unloading and then organizing and unpacking, I’ve kept myself extremely busy today, a significant day in my opinion. So busy that I haven’t had time to feel and remember as I would’ve wanted to. That frustrates me because today is significant since it’s the day our beautiful angel would’ve turned 16.

Just look at that beautiful smile. So happy!

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I’m not sure exactly what I would’ve wanted to do today if I weren’t completely occupied with moving. What I do know is that I wanted to take a minute to find some way to honor her, to remember all the things I loved about her and still cherish. And there just wasn’t time for that. Man, it was all I could do to gather some friends and even go see Despicable Me 2 tonight because I insisted on doing something fun.

And, even with all the laughs in the movie (it’s excellent, and I highly recommend going to see it), tonight I still find myself completely out of words to express what I want to say and how I very much wonder what she would be like at this point in her life. Would she have lots of boys after her? Would she be interested in them? Would she be a talented piano player accompanying the school choir or playing regularly in Young Women’s? I just don’t know.

Instead, she’s our beautiful angel in heaven, doing important work on the other side.

I suppose I can sum it up by saying that I still love and miss her very much. I know she watches over our family, and I’ve felt her close many times, with more times to come.

Once things settle down I’ll find a way to remember her in my own way.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Doubts … and Faith

It’s late right now, and I should’ve been asleep about an hour ago. And, yet, I find myself troubled by Sunday night insomnia once again. So, instead, I’m going to write a quick post about an important lesson I learned this week.

As you know, grad school is coming up fast. I’m down to less than two months before it starts. A brand new requirement this year is for all incoming students to complete an MBA math course to help prepare us for the “rigorous math curriculum” we’ll be doing in the program.

Well … math isn’t my strong suit anyway, and it’s been about 12 years since my last math class. So, I was more than a little stressed when I got the email telling me I had to take the class. However, I decided to put my head down and go to work.

The class has five different modules: Excel, Finance, Economics, Statistics and Accounting. A lot of it has to do with learning how to use Excel to do this math. While I know Excel basics, it’s been good for me to learn more of the math functions in the program. So, in that respect, the class has been good for me already.

This week I officially hit a low point. I came to a concept which wasn’t explained well, and I was absolutely not getting it. My plan was to find any way to understand it enough to pass the final quiz and call it good. However, my colleague, who is already in the program, told me it’s a concept that comes up all the time, so I knew that option wasn’t going to work.

Then I started thinking … if I can’t get this concept, how in the world am I going to complete two years of vigorous business classes? Can I even do it? Am I going to be successful? If I’m going to put this much time, effort and money into something I certainly don’t want to fail.

And, my doubts took over, making me question if this was truly going to work out for me. All week long I’ve been struggling with this concept in particular, but worrying if I could handle the program as a whole.

Yesterday I learned that I truly can!

I had a family party in the evening and after fulfilling some obligations in the morning, I had limited time to work on my homework. While still working through it, I ran into a computer problem I couldn’t figure out how to solve. I was so frustrated I almost started crying.

However, after saying a little prayer, I was not only able to fix the problem, but I also discovered why my formula  wasn’t working. I continued my homework, and eventually, successfully finished it with an understanding of how this concept works.

In doing so, I realized my faith was being tested, my certainty in knowing this is the right decision for me. It was confirmed to me once again that grad school is absolutely the right choice. No matter how hard it’s going to be, I can do it because that’s what Heavenly Father wants me to do. I just need to have enough faith and humility to always ask for help as needed, and He’ll bless me.

It was a powerful lesson to learn, and I’m going to need to hold onto it, especially when things get tough, as I’m sure they will.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Discovering Utah treasures!!

Utah has some wonderful treasures right in state, like five national parks. Last week I got to discover two of them for the very first time. Aren’t they beautiful?



In company with my brother and sister-in-law, who are moving to Texas for the summer, we spent a couple days exploring Moab, or, more accurately, the national parks around Moab: Canyonlands and Arches! Canyonlands wasn’t as exciting as I hoped it would be, but it was still beautiful.

This is Dead Horse Point. It’s separate from Canyonlands, but it’s an interesting feature to see.


We only visited one side of the park, the one known as Island in the Sky. The other side may be a little more exciting. Someday maybe I’ll get to check it out. In any case, here’s a few more images.


The next day it was on to Arches! I was super excited to see this park, especially because it has one of Utah’s most iconic images in it, and of course that’s what I was anticipating the most: Delicate Arch! And we sure made the trek.


In case you’re wondering, the hike to Delicate Arch is very challenging. The app on my phone said it was moderate, but I think it kind of lied. You walk straight up the side of a slickrock mountain for 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile. It’s crazy, but very fun to see such a Utah icon! Here’s where I made my error in judgment: I thought it we did the hardest thing first everything else would be easy afterwards. Well … it was easier, but I didn’t take into account that we’d also get tired and be sore after the hard hike and less likely to do other ones. Oops! Oh well! We made it and enjoyed ourselves, and that’s what’s most important anyway, right? Below is the slickrock trail you hike to get up.


Other fun arches we saw include Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch, Skyline Arch, Tunnel Arch and Pine Arch. I love the unique geology involved with these features!



Hands down my favorite arch was Double Arch. It looks so cool! And when you walk up to it, it’s really awe-inspiring how massive it is. See the tiny ant-looking people in the picture? LOVE Double Arch. Smile


Finally, here’s the Windows and Turret Arch. See if you can tell which is which. Winking smile


There’s some pretty awesome rock formations throughout the park, like Fiery Furnace (it’s called that because of how it looks when the sun shines on it a certain way, which I didn’t see because I wasn’t there at the right time) or these cool-looking rock formations. My sister-in-law and I thought one looked like a horse and the other a lion. Did you know there’s a Y cave in Arches?


Despite the sunburns and some exhaustion after a hot strenuous day of hiking … a completely worthwhile trip. I’d definitely recommend Moab as a place to visit. And we barely scratched the surface of all it has to offer. Arches and Canyonlands are Utah treasures for sure.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dance Revue 2013

Last weekend before trekking to Moab with my brother and sister-in-law, I took a journey to my sisters’ houses in Northern Utah for my beautiful nieces’ dance revue. I haven’t been able to go for a couple years, which is sad to me, so I’m glad I got to go this year.

As always, they did a wonderful job! Kitty Kat and Bumblebee both LOVE dance and are very good at it. They did well both being on competing teams this year too, and their mom spent many hours taking them to practices and to the competitions in Malad and Tremonton.

Here are the pictorial highlights of the event. I hope you can see them okay. My iPhone sometimes does wonky things at events like this that require some adjustment. I just realized I don’t have any of the regular numbers on my computer. Dang it! For the sake of time, I’m not going to worry about it.

Their finale this year was a big Alice in Wonderland number that involved a whole lot of costumes, even more makeup and each company representing a character in the book. Kitty Kat’s team were Tweedle Dee and Dum and Bumblebee’s was Alice. This is them together and the whole family.


A sampling of the other costumes in the production:


They did a great job! So glad I was able to see them perform.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Southern Utah Market Visit

Okay, bear with me for a couple posts. This is my attempt to catch up a few of the posts I’ve missed writing lately. I’m going to start with Southern Utah.

Just a couple weeks ago, my supervisor and I made a three-day market trip to Southern Utah. The purpose of the trip was two-fold: to visit businesses in the area which we will now feature on the radio program and for her to do a presentation. In three days, this involves visiting around 15-20 businesses, and, of course, it’s my job to coordinate all of that.

It’s a lot of work, as you can imagine, but is very worth it. Here’s a sampling of some of the businesses we featured (which I happened to also catch on film):

This is a gentleman who spent years as a farmer and created a machine to put dew on his hay for a better harvest. I’m from a farming community, but I’m not familiar with the process of harvesting hay. Apparently, you need natural dew to form in order to get the best harvest, and this particular year, it wasn’t. So, he created this machine. His company is doing well too.


Here’s the room of masks at the office of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Pretty cool huh? These are masks the founder, Fred Adams, has collected over the years from all over the world. We had a great meeting with the education director.


One evening I had some time to myself so I visited the St. George Temple. I love how historic it is! I saw this painting in the Bloomington Country Club, and I think it’s stunning, so I took a picture.


This is Tuacahn Amphitheatre, a place I very much want to go now that I’ve seen it. I’ve heard plays there are pretty awesome, so I’d like to check one out. And this is some cool rock formations in the neighborhoods on the way to the amphitheater.



Finally, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, definitely one of the highlights of our trip. This is the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the world. It sits on 3,800 acres and has up to 1,800 animals they’re taking care of at any time, from dogs and cats, to horse, pigs, birds and even wildlife. I fell love with it and the work they’re doing.


Finally, a cute little bed and breakfast we stumbled upon right before we left town. We’re also going to feature them on the program.


It was a very busy few days, and I was exhausted by the time I got home, but we had some wonderful meetings and found great business. It’s also fun to get out of the office, even if our days outside the office are sometimes longer than the ones in. It’s all good.