Saturday, February 25, 2017

Here's to the fools who dream.

The movie that's sweepin' the nation.  We finally got to see it.  To not be a spoiler... I won't even go into the movie besides saying it's about two aspiring dreamers in Los Angeles. I felt the movie ended with an emotion that previously could only have been created by watching (500) Days of Summer and Roman Holiday back to back.

But it definitely got us (My dad, Jason, and I) talking about dreams.  I smile as I see the advertisement of La La Land, "Here's to the fools who dream."  Are dreamers fools?  It really is a pretty impressive question when you think about it.  And absolutely shocking to me..... there are people out there that didn't/don't dream!  Maybe people who don't dream are happier because they aren't disappointed?  But of course it got me thinking back through out my life, what have been my dreams? Maybe I haven't been a dreamer!?!  I certainly am not off chasing some dream in Los Angeles or New York.  Now I had to prove to myself that I have dreamed.  So here is the list of all the dreams, accomplished and not, I have had.  Because sometimes when I get sucked in the grind of my day to day life, I wonder.  So here it is, the list of all my dreams past and present.

Become a teacher.
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This is probably the first real dream I can remember having.  Well besides maybe my last dream on my list.  But being a teacher was a dream from my earliest memories of school.  Whatever grade I was in was the grade I wanted to teach.  One Christmas I got a white board and dry erase markers for my "classroom"  I created worksheets and made Craig and Chad do them.  So basically it's because of me they are both medical doctors.  (I kid, I kid)

Attend Ricks College.
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Living in Rexburg and attending Ricks College was a dream that started when I was in high school.  My Parson family has pretty much ruled Ricks.  Even my mom taught at Ricks for a few years.  When I was in high school it was a dream I had to work for because of the small size of the college it was almost as difficult or possibly as difficult to get into as BYU.  Sadly......... I never officially got to attend Ricks College even though I was accepted.  President Hinckley made the announcement of BYU-Idaho the April before I attended.  Luckily my freshman year there were still was the competitive sports program that made the Spirit of Ricks so fun.  Some of my fondest memories of life will always be those college years in Rexburg.

Have an annual pass to Disneyland.
When I was probably 8 or so we went to Disneyland and my mom's good friend and son came to join us.  They had an annual pass.  I was amazed that such a wonderful thing existed.  Like the golden tickets of all golden tickets.  I knew from that moment on my life would be complete when I got an annual Disneyland pass.  This picture is something that can only happen when you have an annual pass.... favorite cast members.  This man was hands down my favorite.

Be an aerobics instructor.
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In college, working out became a huge part of my existence.  I wish I would have perused that training more while I was there.  But oh well.  I attended the 6:30 am step classes from my sophomore year on.  So when I heard of a job opening my senior year teaching Step and Pump at 6:30 am I applied and tried out.  I got the job with no formal training.  What I would give to have a video recording of one of my classes now.  I am sure it was TERRIBLE.  My favorite memory of that adventure was we had to wear our Blue athletic instructor t-shirt every time we taught.  But we only got 1 shirt.  And I taught 3-4 days a week.  But I only did laundry once a week.  I'll let you use your imagination from there.

Work for Glenn Beck.
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After going through multiple mid-twenties crisis' because my real dream in life hadn't happened... I tried to figure out what I really wanted to do.  Working for Glenn Beck was the dream of all dreams.  I even applied once, obviously, it just wasn't in my cards.  His loss... right?

Live in California.
Let's face it.  California is cool.  No matter how much I hate to admit it because of how arrogant Californians are... it is just cooler.  I have been lucky to live this dream twice.  And who knows, maybe someday I'll live it again. 

Have a group of friends like Saved by the Bell.
Growing up as I religiously watched Saved by the Bell I dreamed of having a group of friends like that.  A group that would do anything for you.  Like when you are a half a credit short to graduate they put on tutus and perform in Swan Lake for you kind of friends.  I have been lucky a few times in my life to have friends like that.  But this group is probably my favorite.

Now of all the places to find this group an office building warehouse was definitely the least suspicious. Especially when it started in the basement of some home school classroom. Who would have guessed that this group of people that are all possibly as crazy as me could possibly ever become my best friends? Whether it’s the prejudice white guy in the Peruvian body, the band geek with a tuba spray-painted on top of his head, the snob who refused to use the microwave, the Utah artist who claimed to have never heard of Del Parson, the funny guy who actually dared to bring up Kevin Costner’s bare buttocks in faculty meeting, the walking trivial encyclopedia, or the fanatical grammar Nazi that can’t spell; no one would have ever suspected what would come from this group. Although this is definitely a rough time of life for a single 25-year-old Mormon girl, for the past two years I have had a place to go where I knew I was accepted, appreciated, and even loved. And to those dear friends I just want to say, Thank You.

Be a professional public speaker.
Probably since my years at EFY I have dreamed of being a public speaker.  Besides my years in front of 40 kids and a couple speaking gigs for my Dad.... I am still holding out for this dream.

Be a cheerleader
Long story short, I chickened out and didn't finish tryouts and it will go down in history as the regret of all regrets.  (this picture was taken probably 10 years after I chickened out.  Obviously I probably won't have made a very good cheerleader)

Work at Disneyland.

After my time with an annual pass at Disneyland, I had so many questions about Disneyland.  So I dreamed of working there.  And working there was a dream!  Someday I kind of dream of getting a real job at Disneyland.  Like a paid job.  Like a professional job.  But for now I will be satisfied with my 5 weeks of selling ice cream.

Live in Italy.
Although this dream was very different from what I expected, I am so glad I got to live my dream for a month.  Next time I'll dream of living on the beach of Italy in July.... not a hot hot hot busy medieval town.

Get a Masters Degree.
Both of my parents have at least a Masters Degree.  I knew this was something that I wanted.  I probably also dream of getting a Doctorate.  But I HATE education so unless I go into a completely different field the idea of going to more school to talk about education makes me want to bang my head against the wall.  But Dr. and Dr. Braithwaite.... doesn't that sound cool?  Although I wanted to start on my doctorate the year Jason and I got married so for one year it would be Dr. and Mr. Braithwaite.... but oh well.

Run 5 miles without walking.

I smile that I dreamed of this.  Despite what my current PE class probably thinks, there was a time when I dreamed of running 5 miles like it was an unattainable thing.

Write a book.

This is another dream in the making.  I've started a few books.... but I figure this will happen after I have been on my public speaking tour for a while. (Wink)

Weigh less than I did at the beginning of my Freshman year of High School.
This was another dream that I thought was completely impossible.  I probably dreamed of this.... actually I probably never even dreamed of weighing this little because I thought it wasn't even possible.  But sure enough..... this Christmas I jumped on the scale and it happened.

Travel all over Europe.
I've been lucky enough to live this dream 3 times.

Become an administrator at a school.
I love solving problems.  Putting out fires if you will.  And with my experience, that is exactly what a school administrator does all day every day.  Maybe someday I'll be a school administrator.  But for now, I think I am okay to let this dream die.

Like to eat vegetables.
For the moment I was born I hated vegetables.  My mom says she tried and tried and tried.  I thank this caprese salad from Disneyland for changing that.  This salad started my love for tomatoes.  I still hate most cooked vegetables but I have learned to love a lot.

Start my own school.
Another big dream in the making.  It kind of goes along with being a school administrator.  But I recognize there is no money in education so I will only really consider this possibility if it'll benefit my own kids.

Be a college professor.
I tried to become a college professor once.  The possibility was so exciting.  I would LOVE to teach education classes because currently 99.7% of them are worthless.  But alas, although it seemed a job being a college professor was right at my fingertips, I didn't get the job.  And it rocked my world.  But someday I hope this will be in my cards.

Change the world.

I think this is probably the dream that the most people can relate to.  The idea of doing something that will give you a reason for living.  The idea that the world is a better place if for just one thing because you were apart of it.  The reason that you aren't a waste of carbon.  Of course I am always scheming and trying for this one.  I am trying to change the course of kids' lives all day every day.  It is quite the task and a lot more difficult than Freedom Writers or any other stupid teacher movie makes it look.  But with a few rare examples I think I did it.  I think I really helped change the course of a kids life.  And that is a very humbling dream.

But really the two biggest dreams of my life, the two that I worked hardest for, prayed about, worried about, have been accomplished.  And for that I will always be so so so grateful.

Marry the right person in the right place at the right time.

Be a mom.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentines Day

The history of my hate of Valentines Day probably started in middle school.  Let's be honest.  I think all of our deepest, strongest irrational feelings probably started there.  What a terrible time of life.  The smells.  The insecurities.  The awkwardness.

Being the good little Mormon girl that I was, of course I didn't have a boyfriend.  Although this had less to do with my faith and more to do with the fact that there were no boys interested in me.  I remember watching Saved by the Bell in my early years.  Every girl watching in the early 90's wanted to be Kelly.  I mean what girl wouldn't dream of having Zach and AC fighting over her?  Amazing.  But here's the crazy thing.  I was even jealous of Lisa.  Sure, it was Screech.  But the idea of having a boy madly in love with me,  what a dream.

I remember watching girls around me in middle school with such jealousy.  Roses, teddy bears, balloon, chocolates, the works.  I was so incredibly jealous.  If there was a girl version of the Christmas Story ever made, I think every pre-teen girls' number one fantasy would be a dozen roses delivered to her homeroom.

Even as I am writing this I am dreaming of sending all my girl students roses.  From a secret admirer. Wouldn't that be the best?

But anyway, back to Valentines Day.  By the time I got to high school I tried to make it a happy day.  I remember making sugar cookies and spending all Valentines night driving them around to all the town.

There's been a lot of drama in the years of Valentines since then.  Lots of drama.  And sometimes it's fun to look back at that drama.  I had a conversation with a parent last night at Parent Teacher Conference.  She explained that she feels that often times we go through hard things to learn empathy for others.  And I'll tell you what, every Valentines I feel for every girl in my class that I know is dreaming of having the door open and a dozen roses delivered on her desk.

But now I can't believe how lucky I am.  The love I feel every day in my little family is way better than any romantic gesture on February 14th.  And as I think back to my 13 year old self, I don't think I ever thought that would be possible.

*Update - I obviously couldn't give every girl in all my classes roses, so I just gave them to my 15 yearbook staff. :)

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Funeral

I have grown to love the perspective that funerals bring.  So often I feel like we get caught up in the rat race of life.  And I love how funerals make us stop dead in our tracks and have to remember there is an end to the cycle of day to day life.  And hopefully it is all for a reason.  

Saturday was an absolutely wonderful, beautiful, tender day.  I will start with my favorite moment, possibly one of my favorite moments of my life.  My little brother Craig is currently doing his doctor internship in Denver.  He text me Friday morning after he got off his all night shift in the ER.  He was trying to figure out if he, his wife, and their darling 18 month old boy that hates the carseat should drive the 8+ hours to the funeral.  My mom had of course already told him to not come.  There was a storm they'd be driving through.  It was only for 1 day.  My mom is very practical like that.  So Craig asked me.  Here was my response, "That is so hard..... of course if you ask Mom she would say don't come.  But I do think it would mean the world to her if you did."
And it did.

My sweet Grandpa.

So everyone but Chad and Maddie (both in Med School in West Virginia) was able to make it to the funeral.  My mom gave a rockstar talk and I was asked to give the closing prayer.  (Probably because they wanted to keep the basket case (me) for last)  It was a wonderful beautiful day.

At least we got all 3 to look in one direction.... too bad it wasn't at the camera.

All 14 Parson Grandkids.

It has been cold and miserable in northern Utah this winter.  The inversion has been terrible.  Until Saturday.  It was warm!!! and sunny!!!! and had just rained so perfectly clear and beautiful.  Brad got to test out his new sunglasses!

It was a beautiful, wonderful day.