Wednesday, August 24, 2016

oh, hey {round two}.

alright, I'm back. for real this time. for two reasons:

1. I don't journal. I {sadly} even gave up journaling halfway through my mission, so that's not an option. plus pictures make everything better.

2. Laura, Kayla's mom, told me I should start up the blog again and I agreed! {thanks Laura!} Even if only my mom and Kayla's mom read my blog... good enough. Also... in case you all didn't know, Laura once sent me the greatest package on my mission, full of cereal and all. so. you know. not only did I luck out in the parents department, but so did my best friends. Long story short, I like her.

bonus reason {so I guess there's really three reasons} I want to put my pictures somewhere from my hikes and atv rides this summer. So hah, here I am.

I've officially moved back to BYU, as an update. I live with Kayla and Cady from freshmen year and we've already spent the last 72 hours randomly exclaiming "oh my gosh, we're together again!!". It seems like yesterday that we were standing in the Provo airport saying goodbye to kayla after freshmen year {so, this was in about April of 2014}, bawling our eyes out, and repeatedly telling each other "fall 2016 isn't that far away!". But we made it! And we're here! And it's been a fantastic couple days and school hasn't even started and the best is yet to come.

more updates: I feel like I'm not as weird or awkward as at first, so that's a plus. I still miss my mission a whooolllleeee lot but I've come to terms with the fact that life moves on and let me tell you, I am pumped for it. Also, I've gone on a post mission date. so, you know, progress. I'll be normal eventually. {once again, I still love the word 'normal'}

other updates, I got a job! and I decided on accounting as my major... first I have to get in the program. talk to me in a year about that one. and yeah. there you are, more than you even cared to know about my life!

let's talk about Colorado for a minute, shall we? It comes as no surprise to you, I'm sure, that I love Colorado. so very much. Here's some of my summer adventures:

These pictures are from a couple different ATV rides with my parents, my new favorite hiking place that Lori showed me, and Animas Forks {a way cool ghost town in Silverton}... I love my home.

yes it rained and yes we were soaking wet by the end.

Then on top of that, I got to go to California for a couple days! It was my mission trainer, Laura's, wedding! She and Keaton were sealed {married} in the San Diego temple. Oh my land, people, it was gorgeous. Everything about the wedding. I loved it so very, very much.

picture taken by Kaylee Barlow... the wedding photographer. She did a wonderful job!

this is Kayla Stockwell, she was my companion right after she was Laura's sooo you'll be seeing a lot of her. She's great.
This week some mission friends and I made borsh! Plus one of our friends from Moscow is here in town before he heads up to BYU-I. Oh, borsh is a russian soup. Try it, it's actually good despite what you read on the ingredient list.

And I spent the first couple days in Utah staying with my sister because I couldn't move into my apartment quite yet. We went to a pool party,

And that, my friends, was a very condensed version of my summer. Fear not, BYU posts are up and coming! Woot woot!

Friday, August 5, 2016

oh, hey.

alright, I'm back {sort of}. I actually decided not to blog anymore, but then I was standing in the kitchen with my cousin Barb at our family reunion and she turned to me and said, out of the blue, "you have to keep up your blogging!" and a few weeks later, here I am.

almost every time I run into someone the conversation goes something like this:

them: "welcome home!"
me: "thank you!"
them: "how was it?"
me: "incredible"
them: "how is the adjustment?!"
me: *how the heck do I answer this????* "it's ok!"
them: "what are your future plans"
me: *silent freak out* "I'm going back to college soon!"
them: "what are you studying?!"
me: *more silent freaking out*
...and so on.

here you go, I'll be honest to the world... the adjustment has been pretty weird. at first it didn't even seem like an adjustment. I got home, spent time with my family, started working at the movie theater again, got back into running, and enjoyed a little more freedom in my schedule.

that lasted a couple weeks.

and then I really started missing it. it actually hit me like a brick wall. one night I was driving home with Zach and I just started sobbing {this is me being really honest, haha}. I remember judging RMs so much for wanting to talk about their missions or for saying they missed their missions or for talking to anyone that would understand them in their language mission. I formally apologize to all of you. it makes perfect sense. I loved my mission, I spent 18 months pouring my heart {not to mention every waking moment} into the work and the people, and then all of a sudden I woke up in a bed in America. now I can't just turn to the person next to me and tell them about why I'm happy {in Russian}, and that is actually surprisingly sad. I've spent a night or two just looking through pictures and feeling sad. but I also understand that missions end and life moves on. and it's actually a little exciting! It's also a strange feeling because the mission I left is very different than the one that is there now. here's an article about the new law in Russia. {my MTC companion and mission president are quoted in this!}.  but I think it will have a positive impact, actually. or so my friends there say!

long story short, there have been ups and downs. lots of them. but life is good!

but here I am! I've spent the last couple weeks falling back in love with Colorado, third-wheeling my parents, skyping lots of people, and figuring out what I'm going to do with my life. so, it's been a productive couple weeks, I would say.

we spent Pioneer Days with my mom's family, like usual, and it was just as great as I remember. so we spent a week or so there. and other than that, this summer has been pretty normal {ATTENTION: the word "normal" is my favorite word and english speakers need to start using it more often. WHY DO WE NOT USE THIS WORD??}

and so that's it. that's all I've got for you. I'm impressed I wrote this much & thanks for the inspiration Barb (:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

дома {home}.

well, my friends. 18 months later and I'm home. I got back last friday night. If we're being honest here, I actually didn't think I would continue blogging once I got home, but I did a lot of thinking and decided that if I struggled to keep a journal on a mission, I doubt I was going to get better after a mission. So here I am.

My mission was incredible. I think part of my heart is still wandering around Russia without me. The people I met, the experiences I had, the things I learned... priceless. When I was being released my stake president asked me "if you could describe your mission briefly, what would you say?" That's a tough question. A really tough question. But I decided on "life-changing". Because that's what the last 18 months have been. And I'll be sticking to that.

It's been really nice to be home, but of course I miss my Russia. My family is the best and I came home to decorated signs and blown up balloons and 'welcome home' posters and... well, the whole works. It was fun to spend a couple of days with my nieces and nephews and have a couple days to relax. My parents recently moved so it was fun to come home to a new house!

Well, that's all I've got now. Of course this won't be the last post about my mission, but this is just a short and sweet little post saying I'm home and happy! я вас люблю!