Friday, January 29, 2016

the waterproof mascara days

If you know me well, you know that I can cry at the drop of a hat. Happy movie, boom. Tears. Something sad happens in life, more tears. Someone gives me a cookie, floodgates open. Okay, I'm exaggerating on that last one, but you get the gist of it. When Brandon came home last weekend to help me pack up the house a bit, I knew that it was the start of an emotional nine days. Once we started taking the decorations off the wall, the house didn't quite feel like home anymore. I started crying, and I'm pretty sure I haven't stopped since. And thus the waterproof mascara days were born.

It has been relatively easy to not be sad about the whole move, because I just don't think about it and then I'm fine. And luckily, I have been busy enough with packing and running errands and social events that there hasn't been much time to think about it. But I'm starting to let myself think about it more and more, and I feel like I can justify being sad because I have been really good about keeping it together. But it sucks, I can't lie. And for some reason, during all these social things I have been doing, I find myself (multiple times) breathing in the reality that it's probably one of the last times I will be doing that specific thing. It's a bittersweet feeling, because I sit there smiling, realizing how lucky I am to have these people in my life, and then I just start crying because I don't want to leave them.

The whole process has been like slowly ripping off a Band-Aid. We found out six weeks ago that we would be moving, so I've had six weeks to slowly, very slowly, say goodbye to our life here. Even though Brandon had to leave earlier than I did, I envy the fact that he just got to leave. We had his last day of work, we packed him up, and then left the next day for Salt Lake. I have been saying goodbye to my coworkers, my family, and the house for a long time now, and I am honestly just ready for it to be over. I'm ready for one last, big cry, so that I can just start the grieving process and let the feeling of missing people slowly start to fade.

A few things.
-Last week a friend at work sent out an invite to the entire staff for a going away mourning/celebration on my behalf. So many people showed up, and it was one of those times that I just kept thinking about how lucky I was, and how much I am going to miss all my co-workers. They have taught me so much, and have helped shaped me into the "professional" (if I can even call myself that-because also I spelled professional wrong the first time I typed it) that I am in the school system.

-I said goodbye to two of my coworkers yesterday, and it was terrible. One just kept telling me not to cry, which almost made it worse, except he's a big, scary cop so I decided to listen to him.

-I finally got a girlfriend in Boise for a little bit, and said goodbye to her and her husband last night too. We had bachelor nights for the last few weeks, and are already planning to Skype as we watch it through the rest of the season.

Today is my last day working at Lewis and Clark, and I am so sincerely sad. The people here are some of the kindest, funniest, hardest working people I know, and I am so lucky to have had the chance to work with them. I can only hope that the next chapter of my life provides me with people who are as wonderful as the ones here.

Monday, January 11, 2016

On 2016 and moving to Utah

This post is two-fold: a combination of my goal(s) for this year and my thoughts on this new phase of our lives. Bear with me, as this post is probably going to get deep, and a lot little emotional.

We hadn't planned to go down to Salt Lake this last weekend (together, that is. Brandon was planning to move down on Sunday) until halfway through the week. On Wednesday last week I got a call about a job interview on Friday. On Thursday, the day we were leaving to drive down, they called and scheduled my interview earlier in the day. Then later, I got a call about another interview just a little after the original time of my first interview-it wouldn't have worked out had the first interview not been moved. Talk about good timing. So we drove down Thursday night, made it barely before the snow, and woke up early the next morning for my interviews. Brandon was the sweetest guy and drove me all around and hung out in the car while I was inside. The first interview was at 8:00, the second at 10:30, and then we had an appointment with a realtor at 12:30. We got a little lost, and at 12:30, we weren't at the meeting spot, but the phone rang, and I was offered a job at the first place I interviewed at (more on that later). I literally started crying when I hung up the phone because everything just seems to be falling into place with this whole move.

Brandon had applied for more than 300 jobs in Boise since the time we moved here, and was offered two of them. He applied for just one in Salt Lake, and it was offered to him. We put our house up for sale after only living in it for seven months, and it sold within a week. I interviewed for three jobs, and got the one I was most excited about. And the job is in the area we liked the most (even though it wasn't the most logical choice for Brandon's commute), so that allowed us to look for a house in an area we loved. We house hunted all day Friday and Saturday and were feeling so defeated, like nothing was going to work out. The very last home we saw was one we had forgotten about, even though when we originally looked at the listing, we were SO excited. Like, I texted Brandon in all caps and multiple exclamation points when I saw it for the first time. And it did not disappoint. We have a tendency when apartment/house hunting to sit down in the place we feel most comfortable. After twenty minutes of us sitting on the floor, I pointed this out to Brandon, and we went and put an offer on the home.

People keep asking how I am doing with this whole thing, and my answer is typically "if I don't think about it, then I'm fine." And that is true for the most part. When I start thinking about things, like how I won't get to hang out with my family whenever I want, and how much I am going to miss them, and our cute little house, and all the people I work with, I get sad. And then I cry. My goal this move is to shed as few tears as possible. I hate change. I love trying new things, but I hate situational changes. I don't cope well with them. I'm not sure where the issue spawned from, but every time a major change happens, I feel like I'm going to lose something. For example, every single time Brandon and I have moved, I feel like he won't be moving with me, like we won't be married anymore. I know it is a crazy thought to have, but it happens every time. When we were moving out of our first apartment, I cried every time I packed up a picture of us. This time, though, even though I'm saying I'm just not thinking about it, I mostly just feel a weird sense of calmness. Like something is telling me that it's not going to be easy, but that it's going to be okay.

I lived in Utah (Logan) for four and a half years before moving back to Boise, and for probably three and a half of those years I was severely depressed. It's not something I talk about a lot, because I hate to think about it, but it influenced my life in a lot of ways, both good and bad. My biggest hesitation with ever even considering moving to Salt Lake was that it would end up being very similar to my time in Logan (I was nervous about the negatives, obviously, not the positives). I think a lot of people were quick to jump on my back about not wanting to move back to Utah, because being from Utah or having lived so many years there, they loved it and couldn't see why someone wouldn't want to live there. No one needs to know every tiny detail of what made up the dark years, but I can tell you that it's hard to imagine living in a place that sucked every desire of being alive straight from my body.

People will say "good things happened too, focus on the good things!" Trust me, I've tried. I recognize the good things, I really do, but a mind molded by depression doesn't always work that way.

Luckily, Brandon's interview process was a long one, and that gave me plenty of time to come to terms with the fact that this was probably going to happen, and also to flip my attitude from nervousness about the move to excitement for Brandon. And I'm slowly getting to excitement for myself. The job opportunity itself is too great to turn down, but this is going to be a fun new chapter of our lives together, too. We will be in a new place with friends, finally, and I am so excited about it. I have felt a lot of peace knowing that on the hardest days I will have at least two friends I can turn to, two friends that helped me through the hardest days and that I know will love me unconditionally no matter what I feel.

I'm feeling extremely blessed to not be feeling the anxiety I thought I would experience. Like I said before, something is just telling me that it may not be easy, but that I'm going to be okay.
On our drive to the airport yesterday, I decided I wanted to make a sort of New Years resolution for 2016, but specifically for the move. I'm feeling all sorts of good about it right now, but I know there will be days where I miss every single thing about Boise and just want to lie down and be miserable. So my resolution/statement for the upcoming change is this: embrace the new with optimism. or at least try.
I was thinking about all the fun things we will get to do-Real games, hiking, Jazz games, Park City whenever we want, exploring different areas of Utah, and being closer to places we weren't able to go as often as we wanted as students-and I was thinking about how much I want to love all those things as much as my friends do. I formed my resolution knowing that sometimes, I won't want to enjoy Utah, because I'm stubborn and I hate change, but I at least have to try. A long time ago my dad went through some training thing at work and their mantra was "act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic." It even came with a fun little dance to do while you said it. Brandon, if you read this, force me to do the stupid dance whenever I'm being stubborn.

I don't feel like I'm setting myself up for negativity every day. I actually am really excited for our new jobs, our new house, to be by friends, and for all the things we get to do (I am compiling a list already). But I'm writing this post now to remind myself that on those rare days when I'm not excited, it's okay to just try and be optimistic. Because leaving things behind is hard, and it's okay to be sad, but it's not okay to give up and write off all the opportunities that are placed in front of me.

All that being said, this move is not just about me, and I hope no one thinks that I think that just through reading this (here, on this blog where I write, and even though it is titled B&C, we all know that I'm the only one that writes and the opinions on here are solely my own). I am super excited for Brandon, who started his new position just a few hours ago. This job will allow so much room for him to grow, and hopefully it will challenge him on a daily basis. And I appreciate that throughout the interview process, he dissected the aspects of the job and the prospect of moving to make sure that it would be good for both of us and our marriage as a collective whole, and not just for his professional life. And I also appreciate that every time I cry about missing my family, he apologizes unnecessarily (and incessantly) and says that he is willing to drive or fly me back every weekend if that's what I want. He's the best husband, and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

If you are reading this last sentence, congratulations! You have officially made it through the most emotional post I've ever written. Also, sorry. Because sometimes emotional is not fun. But thanks for letting me have this little corner of the internet to shout my thoughts into. It's therapeutic.

And finally, I am constructing a Utah bucket list. If anyone has anything they think should be on the list, let me know!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Paris was an absolute dream! We ate so much delicious food, saw everything we could for the time we were there, and are already making plans dreaming of going back! I'm going to try not to write a novel about this trip, because I know I could, so forgive me if I write too much! If you don't want to read the entire thing, here is a shortened version:

Got to Paris a day late, ate lots of food, saw lots of things, took way too many pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

Trip stats:
Weather-great, low fifties, only rained when we were inside
Favorite part of Paris-the architecture
Favorite part of the trip-wandering Paris at night and in the morning before the city woke up
Favorite food-almond croissant and all the eclairs
How was the language-great, basically everyone spoke English, and I knew how to say bonjour, merci, and chocolat. So, the important things.
Was is safe-very! policemen everywhere

If you want more info, you will have to continue reading!

Saturday, Day 1.
The day after Christmas we slept in, ran to the store to get last minute things, finished packing, and then waited. I swear, it was like Christmas all over again, waiting to leave for the airport. Finally at 12:30, my parents picked us up to take us to the airport. We were afraid it would be busy, so we wanted to get there with plenty of time to check out suitcase and get our boarding passes. Flash forward to 1:10-we are through security and waiting at the gate. So we overestimated the number of people we thought would be there. We grabbed some lunch about thirty minutes before we were supposed to board, then got notice that our flight to Salt Lake had been delayed about thirty minutes. No big deal. Thirty minutes later, and our flight had been pushed back from 3:30 to 4:30. Our flight from Salt Lake to Paris was supposed to leave at 5:10, so at that point, we had would have missed our connection. Brandon got on the phone with Delta and reserved us two spots for a red-eye from SLC to JFK. Come 4:00, the flight had been delayed again, but this time they weren't sure when we would leave. We debated renting a car and driving down to Salt Lake to make that connection to JFK, but decided to wait and see if our flight ended up going out later.
It didn't.
Eventually, the flight was cancelled and we were put on standby for a 6:00 flight from Boise to Salt Lake, which would have still allowed us to make that connection to JFK. We made friends with a gentleman who lives in New York, and we got really excited about the idea of having a ten hour layover in the city. Not surprisingly, we didn't get on the 6:00 flight. So they put us on a flight out of Boise at 5:30 the next morning, and we left to go pick up our suitcase and go home to sleep. When we got to the Delta luggage claim, we were informed that our luggage had left with the 6:00 flight, and would go to JFK and then to Paris. It wasn't a big deal, because it was one less thing that we had to take home and bring back in just eleven short hours.

Sunday, Day 2.
3:30 Sunday morning, we are back at the airport after a short night's rest at home with the kitties. I was happy that our cancelled flight at least happened in Boise where we could go home to our own bed! Some lady in line at the ticket counter told me I was pretty-I told Brandon I thought she was on drugs because no one is pretty at 3:30 in the morning. We got our new boarding passes and got through security and made it onto the plane with no issues!! This flight took us to Minneapolis, where we had an eight hour layover. Once we got there, we left our carry-ons in a locker at the airport and took the subway to the Mall of America! It's huge! There is are roller coasters, a movie theater, restaurants, mini gold, and tons of shops. Like, multiple Game Stops and Victoria's Secrets, that's how big it is. It was a great way to get us out of the airport for a few hours. We walked around for about three hours, then went back to the airport to replan our days in Paris, since we were short a day now. The gate we were at had nice booths to sit in, so it didn't really feel like we were just sitting at the airport, which was nice. Finally, we boarded our flight to Paris! It was a long eight hours, and neither of us really slept, but we watched Midnight in Paris and got so excited for everything we were about to see!

Monday, Day 3.
After years on the airplane, we finally landed in Paris! We waited in line at customs for just over an hour, then went to the luggage counter to get our suitcase that should have arrived just three hours before us. Apparently, checked luggage is not allowed in the country until it's owners are there, so our luggage was still at JFK. Thankfully, we had packed almost everything in the two carry-ons we had with us, and the only things in the checked bag were our scarves, extra jackets, facewash, and my conditioner. They took down our contact info and said they would send the luggage as soon as it arrived!
We had a shuttle scheduled to pick us up the day before, so we had to find someone to call the shuttle service for us. We learned very quickly that most everyone in Paris spoke English (at least the people at the airport) and also that they were very friendly and eager to help. Our shuttle came to pick us up a short while later, and finally finally we were at the hotel! Hotels in Europe are smaller than they are here, so while the room wasn't overly impressive, the view most definitely was! If we stepped out onto our tiny balcony, we could see the Eiffel Tower!!!

-We hurried and freshened up, then went straight to the Louvre! It was amazingly huge. Because we were short on time, we went through and saw the big things in an hour. We saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory. I could have spent weeks in there studying all the art!

After the Louvre, we got some lunch. Brandon had an omlette, and I had a croquet  went to the Pantheon. The Pantheon used to be a church, but now just serves as a sort of homage to those who are buried in its crypts (Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Descartes, and Louis Braille). The Foucault pendulum swings in the Pantheon, which was an experiment done by Leon Foucault that demonstrates the rotation of the Earth. He hung the pendulum and it started swinging and hasn't stopped!
From there, we went to Notre Dame. We weren't able to go up to the belltower because the workers were on strike, but the cathedral itself was beautiful! While there, we ran into our friends Alyssa and Jake! It was great, because they didn't have easy wi-fi access like we did (we rented a hotspot for the week) so who knows if we would have been able to contact them! After catching up on the travel events, we walked over to Shakespeare and Company, where I bought a tiny book of Shakespeare's sonnets. Fitting, right? Afterward we went to Point Zero, the very center of Paris from which everything is measured. It is just a piece of metal in the ground, but still. Then we went to the 58th floor of the Montparnasse Tower and got a beautiful view of Paris lit up at night. While we were up there, we saw the Eiffel Tower glimmer for the first time! It was great! We found a cute little creperie down the street from Montparnasse and ducked in for some warmth and yummy food! I made a rule that we had to have at least one crepe and one dessert every day, and the crepe could not count as the dessert! It was the best rule I have ever made. Then we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up in the dark. It was beautiful! After a long 36 hours of traveling, we went back to the hotel and got a good nights rest!

Tuesday, Day 4.
We woke up bright and early to maximize our time in Paris! We went to Jake and Alyssa's hotel for breakfast, then stopped for an éclair before heading to Versailles. We waited in line outside the palace for about an hour and a half, but there was so much palace to look at just from our spot outside that it didn't get old even for a second! Versailles is grand, that is the best word I can use to describe it. Everything is huge and ornate-gold plated, painted, covered in drapes...I can't even describe it well enough to do it justice. The palace itself was amazing, but I still can't get over how expansive the grounds were! They cover almost 2,000 acres! The crazy thing is, that part of the grounds are just open to the public, so there was a guy canoeing on the water, people riding bikes through...and that is just life for them. It's just no big deal. It was the coolest place I have been in my whole life.
The line to buy subway tickets back to Versailles was incredibly long at the end of the day, so we wandered the streets and found a patisserie (got another éclair and some macarons!) and then we found a tapas bar. We got some cheese and bread and ate our desserts and it was magical! Also warm. It was chilly for most of the trip, so we layered up, but at this point we still didn't have our luggage with warm clothes, so we did the best we could! When we got back to Paris, we strolled around in the dark. We went to the love lock bridge, which doesn't have locks on it anymore, but there was a little lookout area with tons of locks on it still. We didn't seal our love with a lock, but we kissed there, so that counts, right?
We were hungry after that so we wandered until we found a café that was still open, and I got the most amazing crepe of my entire life (see pictures). It was seriously so good. Then, because it was almost midnight, we walked to St. Etienne, the church where Owen Wilson gets picked up in Midnight in Paris. Jake, Alyssa, and Brandon were troopers to walk through the cold with me just so I could sit on the church steps and wait for the car!!
When we got back to the hotel that night, we were hoping our checked suitcase would have arrived, but it hadn't. It was well past midnight, and I was telling Brandon how badly I wish it would show up, but he said it probably wouldn't because it was so late. Five minutes later, the phone in our room rang, and our suitcase had arrived!!! It was a post-Christmas miracle!

Wednesday, Day 5.
Brandon and I got up early and put on all the warm clothes we could (and I finally got to use all the bathroom products I had packed-yippee!) and headed toward the Eiffel Tower. The street our hotel was on was still fairly quiet, but there was a long line of people waiting to go to the top of the tower. We went all the way up to the very top and it was windy! It was crazy to see Paris from so high up; it just goes on and on forever! It was cool to see all the streets cutting through the buildings that are all relatively the same height. We took lots of pictures from up high. They definitely don't do it justice. We had some beignets and hot chocolate while we were up there, stood on the glass floor, and I think realization finally hit that we were actually in Paris!
After, we met up with Alyssa and Jake and took a river cruise on the Seine! I loved getting a different view of the city, and I will never get over how beautiful the buildings are. We stopped for a bite to eat (I got another croquet monsieur, I couldn't get enough of them!), then Brandon and I went to Saint Chappelle and saw the most beautiful stained glass windows I have ever seen! Each window depicted a different story from the bible. They have been restoring some of the windows; in the pictures you can see that the right side has been cleaned and restored while the left hasn't. Then we went to the Conciergerie, which used to be a prison. This is where Marie Antoinette was held prisoner during the French Revolution. We only got to see a very small portion of the Conciergerie, but it was very interesting!
From there, we went to the Catacombs, but they were full so we went the Arc de Triomphe and climbed up all 284 stairs to the top! The view from the top was neat, but the arch itself is incredible. The tomb of the unknown soldier is there, topped with the eternal flame. It was just a really neat experience.
We went and got pizza before heading to our two-hour bus tour around Paris. At some point, I kept falling asleep every time the guide started speaking French. I felt really bad, but it was the first time I had been warm all day and I was so tired! After the tour, we went straight to the hotel to sleep!

Thursday, Day 6.
Thursday morning was my favorite morning. We woke up while the sun was still rising and walked the quiet streets of Paris to L'orangerie. There was no one out, and the city was just peaceful and beautiful. We were able to go into the museum as soon as it opened and see eight of Monet's Les Nympheas (water lilies). They are beautiful. Totally worth waking up early for and standing in line out in the cold. The floor, walls, and ceilings are white, so the oil paintings stand out as the only color in the room. I could have stayed in there forever.
Brandon and I went to get tickets for the catacombs, but we had to return later, so we got some breakfast treats while we waited for Alyssa and Jake. We had this almond croissant that was amazing! We still think about it every day! Then we went to the Opera Garnier, but had to go back later for our tour, so then we went back to the catacombs and finally were able to go in! The catacombs were the weirdest, coolest thing I have ever seen in my whole life. There are approximately 6 million Parisians buried (I don't know that that is the right word, but whatever) in the catacombs. We went through a very small portion of the 200 miles of bones, but it was nuts to think that the tunnels just go on forever. We learned that before the catacombs had electricity and before they blocked off a majority of the tunnels to the public, one family got stuck down there for three days. There is a black line drawn on the ceiling in some parts that will lead you to the exit, but the family lost the black line and was stuck down there! So scary!!
We went back to the Opera Garnier, and were finally able to take a tour. It was beautiful!! The Phantom of the Opera is based in the opera house, and I can see why! It is beautiful and majestic, but there was almost a haunting feeling to it that makes you wonder what secrets it is holding. This article is really interesting in comparing the events in the novel to facts about the Opera Garnier. I'm obsessed with it. Alyssa and Jake left us for dinner in the Eiffel Tower, so Brandon and I took the subway to the Grand and Petit Palais. We couldn't go inside, but I had wanted to see them, so we went anyway. We then went out to Montmartre, saw the famous steps (didn't walk up them, too tired) and went into Sacre Couer. I know it's not right, but the interior of Sacre Couer sticks out more in my mind than the interior of Notre Dame. There is a dark picture of it amongst all 505 pictures of our trip. We weren't supposed to take a picture, but it was so grand and beautiful that we just had to.
For New Years Eve dinner, we found a little Italian café in Montmartre. One thing that blew my mind about the whole trip, was how pretty much everyone we talked to spoke English. A couple from the Netherlands sat next to us at dinner, and their common language with the waitress was English. I'm grateful that English is my first language, but I wish I knew more!
We went to Champs Elysees to see all the New Year's Eve madness, and ended up just people watching while we ate eclairs. Around 9:30, we took the subway back to our hotel (we thought it would be better to be safe in our hotel, just in case) and watched shows in bed until midnight, when we got up to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle from our balcony. And also we shouted "Bonne annee" from the window. It was great! Definitely a New Years I will never forget.

Friday, Day 7.
We woke up early on Friday to have dinner with Alyssa and Jake, then took the subway to Disneyland! As lame as it sounds, I was most excited for Disneyland out of anything on the entire trip. Disneyland Paris has been on Brandon's bucket list for a while now, so it was fun to cross that off! It is mostly the same as Disneyland in California, just smaller, and their rides are a bit different. We went on Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain: Mission 2, and Indiana Jones et le temple du peril. When we finished off everything we wanted to do in the Disneyland park, we went over to Walt Disney Studios and rode Ratatouille, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and the backlot tour. We went back to Disneyland to do some shopping, had one last croquet monsieur, and got a crepe! We were super tired, and needed to finish packing, so we headed back to the hotel just before the park closed, and tried not to cry at the fact that we had to leave the next day.

Day 8 doesn't really matter. Our flights went well (no delays, no cancellations, and no lost luggage) and we got home all in one piece. I want to go back to Paris already! Every day I crave bread and eclairs and the French music. It was amazing, I recommend it to everyone!

To see a full collection of our photos from the trip, click here. Photos also available on Facebook.