Friday, March 30, 2012

Counter-Terrorism Simulation

I had a ridiculously awesome opportunity today.

I got the chance to travel down to the University of Utah S.J. Quinney Law School this morning and participate in their fifth anual Counter-Terrorism Simulation as a journalist.

The simulation consisted of three-and-a-half hours of constant phone calls, press conferences, news stories, interviews, changes, aggression, stress, confusion and hands on learning.

Overall, the simulation challenge's the law students of Professor Amos Guiora's counter-terrorism class. They are challenged to face mock-terrorist attacks and become important decision makers, who are constantly being nagged and prodded by the press. That's where I, and my fellow colleagues come in.

We were a part of the news network UNN. Similar to CNN, but for our simulation. This was a fully functional news web page, which we were updating constantly throughout the simulation. I don't think there was a moment that at least three of us weren't on this page editing and writing stories, while others conducted interviews and phone calls.

We were able to challenge law students who have been learning about terrorism throughout the semester. It was a challenge to us both – quick decision making and prioritizing information quickly and efficiently.

I was able to work with two fellow colleagues from my class, and also two upper level students. We created a pretty awesome team, if I do say so myself.

Overall, this experience, hands down, was one of the greatest learning experiences that I have been lucky to be a part of. Yes, it was incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking, but I think that's what kept our drive going. :)

Also, can I tell you how much respect I have for my professor?
That man knows his stuff.
Thanks, Matt!

P.S. If you want to learn more about this, head to this site. 
There are videos of past simulations and information about them.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Sometimes, I just don't want to go to work.
Sometimes, I don't want to go to class. At all.
Sometimes, dating sucks.
Sometimes, my hair looks gross.

BUT, sometimes-- 
I have really wonderful days at work. Actually, quite frequently. I work with some quite incredible people, who are genuine, fun, hilarious, and dedicated. I get opportunities that I never even expected from working in a restaurant business, and it continues to amaze me. I love my roadies, and where they've put me today. So, thanks. :)

AND, sometimes-- 
I sit in class, feeling quite tired. But, then something is said that inspires me to become what I want to be.  A quote is said, or an argument is made, or even a sly smile from a fellow classmate, that refuels my enthusiasm and reminds me of why I am still continuing to be a student. That being said-- Utah State University, and all of the friendship, learning opportunities, employment, service, and involvement that it has given me is beyond what I ever would have imagined graduating high school and coming to college a year or so ago. So, thanks. :)

WHILE, sometimes--
Dating can be rough. A simple crush can be nothing, or you can want a simple conversation to be everything. But, it's fun. I feel like sometimes, that's all that I need to remind myself. It's scary, thrilling, nerve-wracking, difficult, exciting-- and I love every minute of it. Whether it's a relationship or a simple date, I'm grateful for it all. I am constantly learning aspects that I want in a future spouse. Plus, I am creating some amazing friendships along the way. So, thanks. :)

UGH, sometimes-- 
My hair looks gross. Plain and simply. Or, my mascara is being weird. Or maybe my outfit isn't exactly how I had imagined it would be. But, that's okay. Whether my hair is long and curled, or spun up into a mess on the top of my head, whether I'm in jeans and a tee-shirt, or sweat pants and a sweatshirt, whether I've had a hard day and my makeup is all over my face, or I've decided to get dolled up and throw some eye shadow on, the people who love me, will still love me. My amazing friends, family and co-workers, are there for me every step of the way-- whether it's sharing an accomplishment, stressing about an analysis paper, or delirious from lack of sleep-- Those true people in my life are still there for me. Fancy that.

So, thanks. :) 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spiritual Sunday.

Church today was one of those, "Yeah, I definitely needed that" kind of days. 
The day didn't particularly start off the way that I would have wanted it. For some reason, my head was planning on thinking around one million miles an hour, while my body just wanted to rest. Not the typical good morning that I would have liked, which was definitely a change. Having slept over ten hours, this all just didn't make sense, since I usually can "sleep on things" pretty well. I drug myself out of bed, into the shower, got ready, and went off to church. Still though, not feeling 100%, which is a bummer way to enter the Sabbath day. Today though, I had brought not only my scriptures, but also my less-touched journal and a book by Sister Elaine S. Dalton called "A Return to Virture". I have real liking for Sister Dalton, and her book really stuck out to me when I bought it a few weeks ago. My head was not letting me focus, which was not only exhausting, but incredibly frustrating. I took out my Dalton book, and just began to read. I found myself smiling without realizing it, which, with the way this day was going, was splendid. I pulled out my journal and began to make a small checklist of things that I want in a future spouse, which was to my surprise more fun than I had expected. It was like creating my own Prince Charming, and myself knowing that I couldn't get all of these things, it is a nice base to have. Our bishop then taught our Sunday School lesson, which seemed to be one of those "Hey, this applies to you" moments. He talked about making the gospel a priority in our lives, now. And making things happen in our lives, now. Not tomorrow, not next week, but today, at this moment. He told a story about wanting to start a diet tomorrow, and followed by telling us not to let our lives be another "diet" story by saying "Oh, I will do that tomorrow", but to make things happen TODAY. "Not yet", usually means "never". 
Yes, I have goals and aspirations.
I intend to reach them, too.
But, I guess you could say that this was a little kick in the butt. Those times where I think that I'm "bored", I could really be pushing myself to better myself in one way or another. Towards another goal.
It was a wonderful, necessary Sunday at church today. I've got my smile on, a skip in my step, and I have a little bit more kick now. It starts today. Don't start your diet, tomorrow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blogger countdown.. Yep, I did it.

After reading my dear Lakin's blog, and re-reading this and loving it, I decided that I wanted to do it.. I know, I know, everyone is doing it. Hush :) 

Ten Things I wish I could say to 10 Different People

1. I absolutely adore you and your friendship. Thanks for being there for me so much this summer, especially. You are one of the most respectable people that I have ever met. 
2. You are such a strong woman and you deserve the absolute best in your life. I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished.
3. I was extremely intimidated by you at first, but now you are one of my best friends. I absolutely love you and you always make me laugh. 
4. You are beautiful, inside and out. Who couldn't love you?!
5. I'm straight up lucky to have a friend like you in my life!
6. You have shown me that there are guys out there who are still old-school chivalrous, nice, and can still be a best friend. Thank you. That means more than you can imagine to me.
7. You are a magnificent person. I'm so glad that I got to get to know you as close as I have. 
8. You're a hardcore player. It's kind of entertaining to a lot of people. 
9. ... seriously? 
10. Just because we're in different cities, doesn't mean I still consider you one of my best friends. 

Nine Things About Myself

1. I have a passion for tumbling and cheerleading.. still. Mainly the stunting aspect. It puts me on a personal high. 
2. I have a really, really hard time being genuinely mean. 
3. My hair is naturally curly [or, just a mess.]
4. I want to travel international within the next year. 
5. I actually like to work out.. I just need to be better at pushing myself to do it. 
6. When I move into my own house when I am married, it will have those cute little quotes EVERYWHERE. 
7. I stress about the future way more often than I should. 
8. I love temples. Absolutely love them. 
9. I love food! 

Eight Ways to Win my Heart

1. Take me on a walk and just talk with me. 
2. Don't try to kiss me on the first date. That just screams hook up. 
3. Show me your talent. Guitar, singing, backflip, sports.. anything. 
4. Be true to who you are. 
5. Watch a Disney movie with me :) 
6. Respect your family. They do so much for you. Show me that you can do that. 
7. Defend me, but also be able to insult me jokingly. 
8. Be able to be a kid with me. The zoo, aquarium, a day at the park.. those scream perfection to me.

Seven Things That Cross My Mind A Lot

1. The future. Next week, next month, next year. All of it.
2. She's just an adorable person. I want to be like her.
3. I hate you I hate you I HATE YOU.. okay, no I don't.. I'm sure there's something awesome about you.. Crap. I just want to be mean but I can't.
4. How did I get so lucky?
5. Can't you just make a decision? You should know that I am incredibly indecisive by now.
6. I miss being as artistic as I was as a child.
7. The flirty, dumb-girl thing got old in high school dearie. We're in college now. Let's get serious. 

Six Things I Do Before I Fall Asleep

1. Brush my teeth :) 
2. Wash my face. Always a refresher.
3. Dive into my scriptures. 
4. Have a little or long chat with Heavenly Father.
5. Check my alarm. I am always scared that my alarm won't go off.
6. Drink a cup of water. 

Five People-or Groups of People- Who Mean A Lot To Me

1. My family, all the way.
2. The A-Team 2011. 
3. Nikki Lives and Ariel Lether. 
Even though I'm not in the same city as you, please know that I still adore and love you!
4. The SigEp boys. Like my brothers. 
5. My roadies. 

Four Things I'm Wearing

1. "We Win" USU basketball shirt
2. CTR ring.
3. Navy blue running shorts.
4. Bobby pin. 

Three Songs I Listen To Often

1. Remembering Sunday - Secondhand Serenade
2. A Little Bit Stronger - Sara Evans (Lakin.. great minds think alike!)
3. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey 

Two Things I Want To Do Before I Die

1. Get married to a man that is everything I've ever wanted, have children, and 
raise my family according to the Gospel. 

One Confession:

 I honestly am scared to grow up. But, it's all in this adventure we call life :) 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ode to summer!

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the 
shore for a very long time."  
~André Gide

The summer of 2011 has been a tid bit different than any other summer that I have gotten to experience. This summer, instead of being home in Taylorsville, I am living up in Logan, in beautiful Cache Valley. This wasn't particularly by choice, but now that it is happening, I honestly wouldn't have had it any other way. This decision all started with a little thing called the:
Applications for this position/job came out last November, and the opportunity honestly terrified me. None of my friends wanted to apply with me, so, therefore, if I was going to apply and if I got in, I would be living in Logan during the summer by myself, or, so I thought. But, this was a shot I was willing to take. I applied, and mid-December found out that I was one of the people chosen for it.
 A-Team: The group of current Utah State students who help with New Student Orientation, running a program called SOAR during the summer months.
But, when I found out about it, I was nothing but happy. A job being employed by the university, pretty awesome, in my opinion. Things got off to a good start, but, weirdly, I was a tad shy at first. Our welcome banquet was a blast, although, I was particularly quiet. Unlike me, very much. Our training classes started to really kick things into play, along with our retreat to Bear Lake. Fast forward a few months, right before spring semester ends, one of the girls on A-Team, Stephanie, and I decided we were going to do something together for the living situation during the summer. We decided to go with a few of the guys from A-Team to go house hunting, and to our surprise, we found a cute little (terrible adjective use, it is actually a pretty decent sized house) house not far from the university. We settled it. We were all going to create an A-Team house, guys and girls, girls downstairs and boys up. Each with their own bathroom, kitchen, and rooms. We all get along amazingly, and this is truly such a blessing to me. The men in our house are truly some of the most remarkable people that I have ever had the pleasure to meet, let alone call some of my best friends. They're honestly all like brothers to me, they watch out for me, joke, and are always there to talk. I'm a lucky, lucky girl to have met such amazing people. Steph and I are usually the only girls here, since Brooke works in another state when we aren't doing stuff for A-Team. Steph, simply phenomenal. She is an amazing girl and so much fun to live with :)  
Overall: I went from being terrified to not be with my longer-known friends, to living the absolute ideal life that I am right now. I wouldn't have had this any other way. A-Team, overall, the most amazing group of people that I have ever met. I get paid to be with people I love, what could be better?

So, on the summer note, this summer has already shaped to be the best summer that I have had in a looooong time. 
Trips: Moab, Park City, Manti..Vegas and Hawaii to come.

Working with the A-Team running SOAR

Who knew this could be so much fun? Just have to go for it.

Small town festivals :) 
[Summerfest 2011]

Late night walks around Logan and on campus. 

Sunday Night Waffles @ A-Team house

Sunday night dinners :) 


I've made so many great friendships this summer. I've gained more ambition and will, and I am definitely more spontaneous. I reached out of the box that I had myself trapped in and I have never been happier. I also took a shot to pick up another job and I now work at Texas Roadhouse, too. Dancing, dress up Mondays, great people..yeah, I think I have really found my place :) 

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life
-One Republic "Good Life" 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The end, and the beginning :)

Yadda yadda yadda.. SCHOOL is out for SUMMER! Woo hoo!
This semester was a beast, and I majorly slacked.. oopsie.
It's time to get the ball rollin' with summer and the promise to myself that I will do better come this next fall semester.

These past few weeks have been a doozy! Busy, but super fun. Let's see..
The Friday of finals week I had my last final as a freshman, woo! It just had to be history.. super stressful, but thank GOODNESS it is over with. The rest of this Friday was spent cleaning, and actually had a good amount of adventuring within it as well. Nikki and I spent the night cleaning, doing drink runs to Sonic, gathering needed items at good ol' Wallyworld, and visiting our loving Oakridge-ians who hadn't left yet. It was a bit sad to see it all go, that place had some good memories! But, we had a fun night. It was a never-ending night of fun, filled with guitar playing/singing, good chats, trying to decipher Andy and Matt speaking Spanish, and some much needed sleep.
Saturday (after an almost restless night it seemed like..), I got to go to my first USU soccer game. Brandon and Jordan did awesome! We were a tid bit late, but we did get to see them play. Way to be, guys! I FINALLY cleaned the rest of our little apartment, and then retreated to help some friends clean and pack up theirs. It was a service-full day! Followed happily by a lunch trip to Mandarin Garden :) a magnificent way to spend the day :)
Sunday was a lovely day spent celebrating my amazing mother! She sure is wonderful and I cannot thank her enough for all that she does for me. I know I am a bit stubborn sometimes (alright, sometimes more than a bit..) but, thank you mom! :) After a lovely lunch, the departure to MOAB started! YAY YAY YAY! I couldn't have been more excited, aside from the four-hour drive that I had to do by myself. I guess the nice police officer who pulled me over made it a little bit more interesting, thank you, sir. But, since I was a "good daughter for spending Mother's day with my mom", I was let off with a nice smile and a "you can speed once you get past the town areas". Splendid advice.
The Moab trip.. absolutely beautiful. Moab is a wonderful, great, warm place. :) A couple of glorious days of hiking in Arches National Park, even with the wind, rain, hail, sun.. yadda yadda yadda trying to stop us, we had a GREAT TIME! Here are some lovely pictures of the trip:

I honestly couldn't have asked for a better trip to end the school year. And the group of people that went along, sheerly amazing. I love you all! Man, I love my A-Teamers (and of course, the ones who tagged along who aren't on A-Team!). Aside from the hiking, we did lots of hot tubbing (to soothe our sore muscles), eating at local restaurants (Eddie McStiff's..priceless), witnessing Moab trying to kill Charley, and laughing our heads off constantly. It was a great trip!

Now, being about a week later, I am missing that trip like crazy! But, we are officially moved into our summer house, the A-Team house, as we all call it. Twelve people, under one roof. Only ten or so will be here for a good amount of the time, so it won't be too crowded ;). Steph and I highly enjoy having to only share the downstairs with two other lovely ladies, aside from the guys upstairs who have a little bit more of a task. BUT, the house is really coming along! We still have so much to do before our big dance party Saturday, but it will all fall into place. We are all highly addicted to the Kinect that the guys set up in the living room upstairs with the projector. Thou shalt play Dance Central upon entering the house. Yep. Embarrassing as it is, it is one of the house commandments (or so we say..). This summer is starting to hit it off just right. 

Ah, I am incredibly blessed. Truly, this week especially, has been a roller coaster of events, and it has truly helped me acknowledge those amazing people in my life. So to all of you, thank you for blessing my life with your incredible selves. :) 

Summer 2011 week one: accomplished. I can't wait to see what else this summer has in store :) 

And now, bedtime. I am supposed to go running in less than five hours..yikes! 

P.S., Elder Huston only has about eight more months out! Rockin'! :) I love this feeling.

Friday, April 22, 2011

There's a miracle in every day.

Today is just one of those days that I am so grateful for all that I have :)

First of all, I am so excited for the newer opportunities that I am receiving.

A-Team is so awesome. Some of the best friends and co-workers that I could ask for! This summer is going to be such a blast. I am too excited!
USU Special Olympics! I get to help coach the track portion. I am so so so enthusiastic about this position.
USU HURD Committee is going to be a blast. I can't wait to start getting more into it. Plus, I got Utah State long socks. I am a sucker for long socks.

This semester is coming to an end quickly. I am still in a bit of a shock that I am moving onto my sophomore year in college. It's just weird to think about. I love college, though. What isn't there to love about it? Except..some of the classes. I can't wait for history to be over..blah!

May will be an adventurous and fulfilling month. Finals, moving into the house for summer, Hawaii, lots of working, maybe California, EJH SBO reunion..lots of fun to look forward too!