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Monday, January 17, 2011

My new toys

Photoshop and a Nikon d7000 = AMAZING. I am having so much fun playing around with my new toys!
(each picture below is put in "before photoshop" and "after photoshop" pairs so you can observe the wonderfulness of photoshop :)

I'm the only person who currently sits still long enough for me to practice picture taking, so that's why all the pictures are of me. I'm hoping to convince my roomies to take pictures with me soon so I can practice some real photography. I love it! It's so fun!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top Ten of 2010

As 2010 comes to a close and a new year begins, I have been reflecting on the events of the past 12 months and realizing exactly how amazing this last year has been. I decided to compile a list of the “best of” or the “top ten” of sorts of events or adventures that I experienced this year, mostly simply to remind myself how wonderfully blessed I am. Here it is:


I was fortunate enough to be able to live in London for nearly two months. I saw seven West End productions, two plays at the Globe, a Scottish rendition of Peter Pan, and Eurydice, the weirdest and most quotable play I will ever encounter. The food - best chocolate, wonderful fish and chips, and Magnums galore – was amazing. The friends I made I will have forever. Serving in the Wandsworth Common ward was a wonderful experience. I got to see so many historical and cultural sights, I found the TARDIS, and I fell head over heels in love with British children. The best part, however, was probably the independence I gained. I grew up a bit in London. I travelled to France afterwards and saw so many amazing things, and then continued the adventure in Washington DC visiting my brother Mike and his family. What an adventure!


I discovered the power of friendship this year. My friends bring adventure to me, cheer me up, teach me how to be a better person, and simply provide a shoulder for me to cry on when life gets to be a bit much to handle. Special shout-outs go to Sam, Brad, Rowdy, and Trevor for providing me and my roommates with so many adventures; Peter Alden Larkin for letting me sob all over him and for giving me a pep talk when I wasn’t liking myself very much; Dustin Homer (spider slayer) for selflessly entertaining and caring about me and my roommates; and my roommates themselves – Stephanie, Bonnie, Katelyn, and Kristie – I don’t think they know how powerful a force they are in my life. They inspire me to be better every day.


Family always makes my top ten list of anything. My mom is super woman and my best friend. She loves me even when I’m lost and lashing out at anyone and everything near me. My dad can fix anything, from broken shelves to broken hearts. My brothers are my biggest fans and perennial bodyguards. My sisters in-law give the greatest love and advice, even when I don’t deserve it. My nephews and nieces encourage my goofy, crazy side, which is refreshing, especially when I feel like so much of the world is telling me I need to grow up. I loved getting two new nieces this year too; both are beautiful. Also, this year has been yet another year of realizing that my brother/Irish Twin Josh is my other half, and when he is gone I get lost for a while. I will always be grateful that I have had him to grow up with.


I have adored Hale ever since I was in the summer performing arts class in like seventh grade or something. I still have the t-shirt. This year I had season tickets, and Santa just gave me season tickets for next year. There are several male performers I’ve seen at Hale that I definitely wouldn’t mind dating. I was inspired with several story ideas for screenplays through my Hale experience and even though I saw so many Broadway caliber plays this year, some of the plays I saw at Hale stand out as equally memorable. I adore it there.

#5 - MY HERO

This past fall semester I was able to work as 1st Assistant Director on the set of a student capstone project entitled “My Hero.” I learned so much from this production. I learned that I know so little about many aspects of filmmaking. I learned that 10-year-old children are awesome. I learned that I love my fellow film students – it’s amazing how close you can get in such a short amount of time when you’re working on a film set. I learned that I have a lot to learn and I sincerely appreciate the patience of those around me in dealing with my lack of experience. I love being on-set, though, even if I’m completely clueless. I also learned that I can do hard things. My favorite moment from this production was when I got to yell, “That’s a wrap!” I’ve waited my entire life to officially say that on a real set.


I was able to participate in a screenwriting class developing short scripts to pitch to BYU Broadcasting for their Writer’s Block TV series. I learned so much about story and screenwriting, made a bunch of new friends, created a leading male character that I absolutely adore, and realized that I love screenwriting more than anything else I’ve done in the film program. Yes, I love being on set and directing, but screenwriting is my biggest love. Unfortunately, I just found out that BYUB won’t be using my script. Bummer. But the experience of being in the class and working with 7 other very talented students and a professor who really knows what he’s doing was a wonderful experience.


Okay, I know this might sound lame to have a TV show on my top 10 of the year, but seriously I loved following the Doctor this last year. It was the first full season I was able to watch as it was actually airing. I was in Britain for half the summer, which made it more meaningful. I feel like it has been a long time since I was truly a fangirl of a TV show and followed it regularly. The feeling of anticipation and magic of great entertainment was nice to have back in my life, even if it was just for a show. But, as you know if you’ve read a bit of my blog, Doctor Who is no ordinary show. Watching the Christmas Special on Christmas Day was an experience I never had before and will definitely be a tradition for me from now on.


I’ll be honest and say that this year was the hardest year I’ve had regarding self-esteem. I spent many a week/month not liking myself very much at all. I saw so many imperfections in myself and no way to get past them. Thanks to a supportive family (especially my Mom), friends, and God I made it through. I like myself now. I know I’m not perfect, but that’s no reason to forget everything good about me. This struggle is not over either – I will continue to have a hard time with this. But I have the help I need and I will make it.


This year I acquired my MacBook Pro named Gareth and my Nikon d7000 named Gregory. Yes, these are investments in my future that I plan to make money using, but they are also marvelous playthings that I have had a lot of fun with so far. Perhaps it is kind of lame to list material items as one of my top ten best things about 2010. But it is true – it’s been a big year for big money purchases.

#10 – MY JOB

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Man, I love my job! I have learned so many skills and made numerous best friends simply by going to work, not to mention the fact that I get paid to do it. My boss is incredible. My coworkers are more than just buddies. I have learned how to better use Final Cut and After Affects and several other programs that I might never have tried on my own. And everything I learn at work I can use in my future experience, from editing to people skills.

All in all, life is pretty darn wonderful. 2010 was a year of ups, downs, money gained, money lost, friendships gained (hopefully none lost), and learning a bit more about life. Now on to 2011!