Monday, September 22, 2014

Note to Self: Take 2

Remember that blog I wrote a while back about the ridiculous things I'd done in the past month or so? It was full of a bunch of tips to myself so I could possibly, I don't know, be a little less awkward? Yeah. Guess who didn't take those suggestions and is still Awkward, party of Jensen. Why am I such a hot mess? Why do I not learn from my embarrassing mistakes? Why Jensen?

Note to self: If you're going to eat something messy, put a napkin in your lap. You're generally a clean eater; however, the one day that you are wearing light colored clothing, and you choose to eat something moderately messy you will spill all over yourself and have to walk around all day with a massive stain on your shirt and shorts.

Rule #9495: If you're going to walk close to door openings, make sure you don't get your belt loop caught in the door jam. Your pants may just rip, all the way down the side.

Warning: Hiking the Y will just about kill you. You may think you're in better shape than usual but you and Utah elevation don't get along. You still are used to the below sea levelness of California. You will be out of breath after 4 switchbacks. Pro-tip: YOU HATE THAT HIKE SO DON'T DO IT AGAIN.

Note to Self: Walking is not your expertise. Don't forget that if you stop focusing on your feet, the only place you'll be going is flat on your face, in front of a huge crowd of people most likely.

Rule #1299: Don't say you'll go on dates with complete strangers. Blind dates are fine, but complete strangers? You may have a cute, pink bottle of pepper spray but that does not make going on dates with strangers acceptable or safe. Just say no. Or else they will continue to text and call you until you pick up your phone.

Note to Self: If you decide to not wash your hair in the morning, make sure that you don't have any feathers in your hair when you come up to campus for the day. No one will tell you that you have some extra decorations hiding in your pony tail.

BEWARE: The custard machine has a vendetta against you. Clean up yourself after it explodes on you, or else you'll look stupid with spots of custard freckling your face. Pro-Tip: Don't bother wearing make up on custard night. It's that bad.

Note to Self: When you put ID cards or even your ROC pass in your back pocket, it will fall out because your skinny jeans hate you. This will cause you to have a minor panic attack as you scramble around trying to find missing card. Pro-tip:  Put the card back in your handy dandy wallet to keep from losing it.

Rule #3488: STAY AWAY FROM FLOOR AIR VENTS. THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND. Unless you want everyone to see your underwear on Sundays, just steer clear of them.

Note to Self: If a cute boy is flirting with you through the drive thru. Don't egg him on. Seriously, he doesn't need a confidence booster. He probably flirts with any food service cutie. Shut him down. It'll be more entertaining, for you and the others that are on the headsets.

Warning: On that note, the drive-thru windows go both ways. Everyone can see you dancing if you're jamming out while taking an order. They will comment on your sweet moves once you take their payment and you will turn bright pink in embarrassment.

Note to Self: Your lisp is going to get a little worse when you're nervous, that'll make it difficult for you to flirt, be charming, or better yet be normal. You're more likely to be just more awkward.

Rule #1904: If you're going to have a crush on someone, don't tell people that have a tendency to tell everyone everything. Pro-Tip: Tell no one.

FYI: Your phone enjoys sending SnapChats you don't want sent, so just face the facts that your ugly faces are going to be everywhere.

The universe enjoys making me look like a fool. Whatever. Makes life a little bit more interesting when I have a story to tell. I loving being able to laugh at myself. Hope you find my ridiculousness as entertaining as I do.

62 days til CA (:

P.S. If there are tons of errors, blame Blogspot not me. Sometimes it doesn't publish my most recent, proofread draft. I mean, I'm terrible at English but I'm not a complete idiot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Not So Little Brother

Oh Siblings? Those individuals related to you. They make you laugh, cry, drive you insane. They even break your pinky fingers from time to time. Or maybe that's just mine?

This is my younger brother, Colton, at a whopping 6'3 which I'm sure has changed since June. He is my complete opposite. Besides the fact that we have the same genes, we're both into sports and injuring ourselves in the process of playing them. We're different people.

He's the Redneck. I'm the All American girl. He can fix your car. I can fix your computer. He'll build a potato cannon from scratch. I'll make chicken noodle soup from scratch. I was in Student Government. He participated in FFA. I'll tutor your kids in any subject. He'll coach them on their Pee-Wee football team. He's got his music with plenty of bass. I've got my indie playlist. He just bought a huge truck. I want a Prius (even though my parents threaten to disown me).

We never got along growing up. Of course there were moments, but they were few and far between. Clashing personalities and interests made it difficult to want to be friends. I mean I was the annoying Older Sister, and he was the obnoxious Little Brother. We may have gone to the same school but that didn't mean we acknowledged each other more than to irritate the other. Especially when he liked my friends more than me, and vice versa.

To say we didn't like each other was sort of an understatement. Forced family photos. "Hug your brother." "STOP FIGHTING" "Leave your sister alone." Phrases often used in the Krause household. But as we're gotten older, and especially since I've moved out to Utah, we've gotten closer. Weird how distance does that. And now as I reflect, I guess we do have some more things in common.

We love watching and playing football; he's better at playing, and I at cheering. I did kill it in Powder Puff and he's done a few cheer routines for Homecoming. We have distant music tastes, but will bond over our love for country. We love going on vacation, especially to the cabin in Lake Tahoe. We bond over food: Dutch Bros, Teriyaki, Taco Trucks. We have the same SnapChat faces. We both agree that Marley is the best dog in the world. Best of all, we both think that our parents are crazy.

I guess he's pretty cool. He does stuff like strike poses in our formal family photos. (See Above) He's got a pretty cool new truck, even though it's a complete beater and I don't think I'll be able to climb into it because it's so tall. He tells me about the guys that I should be dating (You should be picky, you'll find the right guy) and I'm always there for advice (Gift ideas especially).

Sure, we fought a lot growing up. I backed over him while driving a toy car (Sowwy Bubba!) and he BROKE MY PINKY.(Noooo, I'm not bitter about my even more, severely crooked pinky) But now, we are decently civil. I mean I still embarrass him, and he still drives me crazy but we had a decent conversation over text last night. And it lasted liked two hours. NO LIE.

Moral of the Story: I'm writing this blog because last night made me realize that, I'm not just homesick for CA, and wishing I had reached out to my family more during my rough summer...Buuuuut. Are you ready for it? I miss my brother. He drives me nuts. We will probably fight more than talk the whole time I'm home for Thanksgiving, but I miss him.

There I said it. Now go ahead and tease me. I know the comments on FB are going to be entertaining. But I felt like it was a neccessary thought to share on my blog. 70 days til I'm home. And I cannot wait. Dutch Bros. on me once I get home, Bubba. Now be safe at your crazy job, and don't make too many stupid decisions in that gigantic truck of yours.

You're Not So Big Sister,
Jensen Leigh

P.S. You're probably not going to read this, but hey. Now you can't claim I never say anything nice about you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

This is a creative writing assignment that I wrote Junior year of High School. It is my favorite piece of writing that I have accomplished so far. It's not amazing, but to me it captures exactly how I felt as a child, who knew nothing about the actual importance of the events that day in time.

Familiar yet rushed, footsteps came down the hallway. I heard sounds of the TV coming from the living room. It was six.  Twenty minutes before my mom was to come wake me up. Thirty minutes before Dad had to leave for work. Two hours before it was time to go to school. I couldn't possibly be awake this early. Maybe I was dreaming. Maybe my alarm clock was wrong.
            Tense whispers came through the wall I shared with the room next to mine.  The whispers stopped as the TV was turned on to the same channel as in the front room. They echoed each other. I heard mom’s voice as dad rushed back down the hallway. The living room TV turned off.
            Fifteen minutes passed, I turned the light on. Dad left early without making sure I was awake. He didn't  give me a kiss. He didn't say goodbye. He wasn't even running late. I didn't like this. He never forgets to make an appearance before school. Maybe he had to get to work early. Maybe there was traffic he had to beat because of an accident.          
            Like him, I decided to have an early start to the day also. I was already awake. I got out of bed, set out clothes, grabbed my towel, and turned the light back off.  I would get ready early and get done sooner. I started to get excited that this might be a great decision. Maybe then mom would make me breakfast. Maybe she would take Colton and I to Starbucks for hot chocolate.
            Twenty minutes later, I got out of the shower, dressed and made my bed.  I had plenty of extra time, enough to even check the weather on TV. Though the news wasn't on, just the program that dad hates to watch because of the politicians. However, they weren't arguing today.  They were almost silent. They lacked the enthusiasm they usually have. I switched to the Weather Channel. The lady predicted sunny with the possibility of clouds.
            Colton stumbled out of bed at about seven. Mom still hadn't left her room or gotten in the shower. No warm breakfast today. Unfortunately, soggy cereal was the only thing on the menu. We both poured ourselves a bowl of Froot Loops. Colton began to ramble on about wanting to watch cartoons instead of the weather lady. “She’s annoying” he groaned in between bites, “is SpongeBob on? Or maybe Tom and Jerry?” He kept insisting I change the channel. He didn't care about the weather. He was going to wear his favorite t-shirt today, rain or shine.
            I changed it to Nickelodeon so he would stop whining. Truth was he was the annoying one, not the weather lady. Even though I had switched the channel, I still thought of her face. Her expression seemed off. Usually weather people have to smile and be cheerful, even if there was some major weather disaster going on in the world. Maybe she wasn't feeling well. Maybe the possible clouds were getting her down.
            Thirty minutes to eight, my hair was a mess. I didn't feel like fixing it myself. I decided to walk down the hallway to my parents’ room. The door was locked shut. I knocked, no answer. I knocked again, a quiet sniffle came through in reply.
            “Who is it?” The voice came out weak.
            I quickly replied with my name and that I wanted my hair to look pretty for school.
             “Hold on, Jaybird.” Mom blew her nose. The door clicked and was opened. “Come and sit on the counter.”
            I climbed onto the counter. The TV was low, the murmur of voices was all I could hear. Mom began to slowly brush out my long hair. I stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her face was red and puffy. She looked like she did when she found out about Grandpa being sick. Maybe she was sick herself. Maybe she and dad got into a fight. Maybe that's why he left without saying goodbye.
            She finished putting my hair into a smooth braid. She told me I looked beautiful and kissed my cheek.“Go and help your brother finish getting ready,” She asked as she reached for the remote, “I’m going to finish watching something on TV, and then I’ll take you to school.” She ushered me out, telling me not to forget my lunch and to pack Colton a snack for her. The door was closed again and locked.
            I stood by the door a while, trying to listen in on the TV. Everything was so mysterious. Something big was happening if she had to lock the door. I wanted to know, but it was being kept a secret. That wasn't fair in my book.
            I helped Colton try to match a pair of shorts with his favorite t-shirt. He packed his backpack with his snack. I slid my lunch contents into my purple lunch pail which I put into my backpack. Colton continued to watch cartoons as I pretended to read. I wanted so badly to know what was going on. Mom came out with her eyes still red.
            “Mommy, are you okay?” Colton hugged her knees. “Do you need me to stay home and take care of you?” He looked up at her, his toothless smile making her grin.
            “Nice try. I’m fine, sweetie,” she picked him up and looked at me, “let’s go so I can come home and rest.” We got into the car and drove to school. The car ride was silent. Mom refused to turn on the radio and gave us no reason as to why. I didn't question it. I gave in figuring it had something to do with this big secret. Maybe there wasn't good music on today. Maybe she had a headache.
            We made it just in time to line up on the blacktop for roll call. I walked Colton to the kindergarten side then ran over to the opposite side of school for the second grade classes. I found my class pointing at the clouds in the sky.
            “I think they are from the buildings” said Jimmy. He looked at me as I walked up and explained that the clouds were actually smoke. “You know, from the buildings that the plane crashed into?” I didn’t know.
            “Yeah! Both the buildings fell in New York and caused so much smoke that it came all the way here,” Allison was staring straight at the sky as we walked towards our classroom. "And that's far because California is a long ways away from there..." She walked on, continuing the conversation with other kids who knew things about the buildings and planes.
            “Pick up your warm-up sheet from yesterday and start to work on the problem on the board,” Ms. Dell said softly. She looked the same but had red, puffy eyes like mom. She pointed to the board with her eyes still glued to her computer screen. “Please stop your discussions about what happened this morning. We will talk as a class later.”
            Kids still whispered on about the things they saw on the news before school and what their parents had told them. I was the only one who seemed to be totally clueless. Mom and dad couldn't be this upset about a plane crash. Bad things happened on the news all the time. Dad hated watching that politicians argue about  all of them. Maybe somebody in my class had made up a story. Something else must have happened that was making all the adults so upset.
            “Jensen, what have you heard?” Michelle looked at me. She looked as confused as I did.
I went to answer but Ms. Dell shushed us as soon as I opened up my mouth to respond.
            “Class settle down,” Ms. Dell turned on the overhead projector, “Please, let’s just work on our warm up. What do we always write on our papers?” She waited for a response from the class but silence only filled the room, for the first time this morning. “Jensen, what do we write?”
             Finally, a question I could answer. Something I actually knew about today. Something that had nothing to do with buildings and plane crashes. Something that wasn't secret. I could get this question right. No problem. The weather channel always has the date in the corner by the forecast. “Our name and the date,” I said with confidence. “Today is Tuesday, September 11, 2001!”



I may have only been 7, but I could feel that something about that day was off. I didn't understand completely at the time, though as I've grown up, I've come to learn why 9/11 was so significant. I am proud to be an American. I'm so grateful for all those that fight, or have fought for my freedom. Today is a day to remember. Where were you 13 years ago? Who do you know that's fought for our freedom? Never Forget.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What I Believe

This is my blog, so it's about me. And those that know me, know that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a.k.a Mormon. I usually don't touch on my religion too much. But recently a man named (Elder) David A. Bednar spoke on the power of Social Media, and how the church needs to use it wisely but to our advantage in spreading our beliefs! You can read and even watch the talk here! So I'm taking the challenge that he extended and sharing with you a little of...

What I believe.
I believe in God, his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, a companion that I am blessed to have. I believe in the scriptures. The King James version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine, Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. I love them! They're a little hard for me to understand but they are full of great insight and hope. I believe in prayer, and am so grateful for it! I believe that Christ atoned for my sins so that I could eventually return back to live with my Heavenly Father. I believe that families can be together forever. If sealed in the Temple, I can be with my family through eternity! I believe that the Temple is the Lord's House where I can make covenants with him. I'm going there someday! (:

I believe that I am a Daughter of God and I have a divine purpose. I was sent here to be tried, to learn and to become the individual that my Heavenly Father would have me become. In that journey, I have chosen to be a Special Educator because I see a special light in those students which I am to teach. They are such wonderful Children of God that have a sweet spirit that will just make your day! Why not make teaching and helping them a career so I can be around that spirit all the time?

The Church is True! The Book is Blue! I may not be a missionary, but every member a missionary! Oh and to conclude I've been challenged to share my favorite scripture with all of you:

"Search Diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted." Doctrine and Covenants 90:24

#BecauseOfHim I am happy!

Learn more at Mormon.Org or Lds.org

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Complete Bliss

I've been trying to write a stinking blog for the past week and a half. I've been struggling to put all my thoughts into words. I wouldn't say it's been writer's block that's been cramming my ability to let my words flow as usual but more because I have too much to say, too much energy flowing.

As I write this, I'm having the hardest time sitting still. I want to jump up right now and dance around to the song I'm listening to. (Elevate by St. Lucia, listen here. If you are Adriana, you will probably not like it, it's "weird".) Anyways, let me paint you a picture in effort that it will get you to understand why I've been having such a hard time...

In movies, just before they roll the credits, you sometimes see the main character look on and smile as the scene in front of him/her portrays the resolution to a conflict, or a happy ending. The camera zooms in on their face and they just look happy and content with all of the events going on around them. Then the screen dims, leaving the audience smiling too, feeling just as happy they too can see that the character has found or is settled in what seems to be what they were searching for. Are you with me so far?

With that poorly described image in your head...Is it too bold to say that my life feels like a movie? Only the credits aren't going to roll as soon as I have my moment. Life continues, and honestly, keeps getting better and better.

I've had these moments where I've reflected on all that's been going on lately and simply been speechless, left smiling stupidly. I am blessed. I can say that I am the happiest that I've been in years. I feel good. I'm stoked for the school year. I've got a fearless attitude that has got me probably a little too confident. But hey, if being too positive is the only thing that I've got against me right now, I'd have to say I'm doing pretty good.

I mean the universe still works against me at times. Awkward moments haunt me: having my skirt blow up because of floor vents and tripping on non-existent cracks in the floor. My inner clutz makes regular appearances: cutting myself on everything sharp and dull, and slipping 10 times on the way down from the Y-Hike. Not to be counted out either, though manageable, my anxiety likes to make appearances every now and again. Life may be good, but that doesn't mean I'm not living without trial.

That said, those things are all okay with me, seeing as there is no cure for awkwardness, being uncoordinated, anxiety, or trials in general. Currently I have 5 bruises, 4 cuts on my hands, 3 scraps on my legs, and a nice long scratch/bruise on my hip to my rib bone from pool ball, I'd say I should win a prize for being a human scab but I don't think that's exactly an achievement I'd like to place on my resume. I'm me, just with a fantastic new attitude and outlook on life: Onwards and Upwards my friends! (:

My ward is great. My jobs are great. My new classes seem awesome. (Side note: I am so excited to be a Special Education Teacher. Not a lot of people get to say that they love going to class each day because they have found a major and career path that truly makes them happy, but I am proud to say that I can, and I LOVE saying it.) I feel like I'm living in complete bliss. 

After a period of trials and a summer of recovering, everything is falling into place, and all I can do is smile. I am so grateful! God has blessed me with so much: a new apartment with great roommates, in a wonderful new ward full of loving people, two great paying jobs so I could earn money while still in classes, a scholarship to enable me to pay for school mostly by myself, all the while save money for a car, friends to keep me sane/(a bit crazy too), a class schedule with all my necessary courses that worked out perfectly with no wait lists to worry about, and of course family that continues to support me even though I'm what seems to be like a million miles away.

The new semester has given me a sense of a new beginning. I'm taking all opportunities handed to me, within my means of course. I'm trying new things, and keeping up with the old as well. I'm meeting new people, and being social. I'm diving head first into what feels like my freshman year all over again, which is probably because I was a group leader of New Student Orientation. I'm not going to let my trials get in the way of what I want to be my best year at the Y yet! 

In summary, I've been too darn happy to be able to write a blog. It's hard to sit still when all I want to do is go out and be busy with all that is going on in life, away from this laptop screen. Hopefully some of my happiness radiates from this blog and rubs off on each of you! 

Wow, this has to be one of my least sarcastic entries yet. Enjoy it while it lasts. I'm sure the sarcasm will return soon.

Here's to the happiness that is a new school year!
Staying True here in the Bubble,
Xoxo