2014 Family Photos

There are probably only about a small handful of people who read this blog that won’t already have seen these on Facebook, but some of them happen to be pretty important people (like my mom.  and dad.  and facebook-hating brother who might just be the only 27 year old I know without a facebook account) so I wanted to post them here anyway.  Sorry for the social media overload of our faces if you’ve already seen them!


My brother-in-law Jordan took these during our family vacation in Eden, Ut in June.  Tanner has a full beard, I’ve got myself a baby bump, and Camryn has those curls (I never go anywhere anymore without a stanger or 10 commenting on “those curls!”) I always wonder, will these family shots be as hilarious to us someday as my family’s old photos? You know, where we can’t believe how young mom and dad look and how huge Jessica’s bow is and how fat Andrew was as a baby?  And we poke fun at everything from the lace and bangs and shoulder pads to the blue swirly studio backdrop? I can’t help wondering how these photos will look to me in 10, 20, 50 years and how far our family will have come!  Thanks, Jordan, for freeze-framing a little bit of this time in our family.  You did a great job, we love them!

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How the Wasatch Front destroyed my sense of direction

Now that I’ve lived here for a handful of weeks, my number one and pretty much only complaint about Kansas City is her lack of mountains.  Not a huge surprise right? The skier, camper, hiker, and outdoor enthusiast that I am, I knew I was going to miss them big time. (I’m pretty sure the first thing we googled after we were accepted to KCUMB was where the nearest National Park is. it’s in Arkansas. 7 hours.  boo.)  But besides those obvious reasons (and the gorgeous views!) I’m missing the mountains mostly because I never have any clue where the heck I am.

For 100% of my life until now (ok, since obtaining a drivers license), I have always known which way I’m going because:  the Mountains are East.  Period.  Then Never Eat Soggy Waffles from there, and you know which way is what.  Even if I was lost or didn’t know how to get where I wanted to go, I at least knew which direction it was in.  It also didn’t hurt that there is one freeway that runs North/South almost without exception and that the streets almost all adhere to the grid system.  That Brigham Young, he knew what was up (and what was North and what was South. . . )

The first time I had the disorientating experience of driving somewhere that isn’t Utah, I was with my roommates in Huntington Beach.  I’d been there half a dozen times and I could name all the streets, but for the first time being the driver, I realized I had no idea which ones would lead me to the coast and which ones ran parallel to it.  I asked my friend (who is from Huntington) how I’m supposed to orient myself and she pointed “well, you know the ocean is that way, so that means this street is running North/South.”  I said “But how do I know the ocean is that way?”  Her reply was “I don’t know. You just know.”

Which was nonrational and unacceptable.  You know the mountains are there because—

yhike2oh hi mountains, hello.  There you are.  Thanks for being big and huge and visible.

So, here in Kansas City I’m having an extraordinarily difficult time creating a map in my mind and putting all of my places on it. I can get to Target, church, the grocery store, downtown, a couple of friends houses, but I have no idea how to get to target from my friends house without going home first. I can’t plan errands based on convenience of what area I’ll be in. I cannot wrap my brain around where things are relative to each other.  There are tons of different freeways and none of them are straight lines, so even if you got on I-35 Northbound, you might now be traveling West on a freeway that is not I-35.  Once (ya, actually, way more than once) I exited the freeway and was about to turn the wrong direction when Tanner had to correct me.  I was positive that home was left.  But home was right.  And I was confused.

This is really frustrating for me because, people, I am intelligent, competent, and capable, and this should not be that hard.  It’s just that growing up along the Wasatch Front prevented me from ever developing a sense of direction.  I have a friend (Heather) who is a very right-brained artist and I remember finding out that she could not tell time on an analog clock.  “Well” she said, “I can, it just takes me forever so I never do it. I have to stare at it for a long time.”  My mind was blown and I started interrogating her. I asked something like “so, if it’s 1:15 now, what time will it be in 50 minutes?”  She didn’t know. “What’s 23+42?”  Couldn’t do it.  She closed her eyes and screwed her face up and thought and thought really hard, and I think eventually came up with the right answers, but I was thoroughly amazed at how long it took because I know Heather to be an intelligent person and my analytic mind could come up with those answers almost immediately. Her brain just didn’t work that way. I keep thinking about this when I’m in the car trying really really hard and stretching my brain to answer the question “what direction are we going dana?”  My brain tries to make the map and put all the dots in the right places and think, ok, if Antioch runs North/South and then we turned Right and then Left, and the sun is setting that way. . . Tanner thinks it’s funny to watch me struggle so hard and then answer wrong and be like “what?? how is that possible??”

I don’t know if I’ll ever quite get the hang of it unless Kansas City grows some mountains, or I get a reliable gps, neither of which I see happening anytime soon.  Until then you can find me on googlemaps several times daily partying like it’s 1999 aka writing down directions on scrap envelopes!


Medical School: Day One

The beginning of an era, folks.  Today is Tanner’s very first day of medical school!!  AHH! Feelings.  Lots of feelings.

Mostly I’m just really really proud of my man and extremely grateful for the opportunity that he has to receive this education and become a doctor. I know there are horrors coming, but right now we’re both pretty pumped.  We’ve had an entire month together just to hang out, relax, explore the city, put our house together, team up on parenting the little lady, and talk about what’s coming.  We’ve been anxious to just start already, ya know?  His white coat ceremony was on Friday and I loved it.  It was exactly like a graduation, except at the beginning (which is weird) but it pretty much just affirmed in my mind how proud I am of Tanner for being the smart ambitious guy that he is, for making it into medical school in the first place, and what a great doctor he’s going to be. It’s much easier to be supportive when he’s so sure that this is what he wants to do and I’m positive that this is what will make him happy. (happy husband, happy life, right?)

I’ve been sucking up tons of advice from other med school wives which has a way of both comforting and terrifying me at the same time. It’s a combination of “this is going to suck so so so bad–but you can do it!” Basically the way I would sum things up is that I just need to develop a really thick skin.  Emotionally, I will just need to let things go, not take things personally, not be needy. Chill out, calm down, lighten up, be flexible and laid back. Just do things without stewing resentment that Tanner never helps or that he never gets up with the baby or that he hasn’t helped with Camryn in weeks. I’m going to need an enormous reservoir of patience and understanding for both Tanner and my babies. I’m going to need the sense of humor to laugh at things that really, truly aren’t funny (which may result in many a sarcastic blog post because that’s kind of how I do that). I’m going to need to not harp on things that don’t matter, so that when I do have time with Tanner, it’s good, happy rejuvenating time for both of us instead of bitter and resentful. That’s what I’ve gathered.

I’d consider myself a pretty emotionally stable person, and all of those things are things that I know I’m capable of. . . but on the other hand, my 2 year old seems to have super powers and it is mind blowingly unreal how fast one temper tantrum can break human’s spirit.  Even a person who has just had a month long vacation with 24/7 help and support, let alone one who’s been parenting solo for a while.

Mostly what I’m trying to say is that any of you are welcome for a visit ANYTIME!! Kansas City is the bees knees. I offer free room and board (read: queen sized air mattress on my living room floor) in exchange for adult company and conversation. I also accept sympathy gifts of all kinds. If you’re struggling for ideas there, you can never go wrong with a massage gift card along with $ for a babysitter.

But really for now, I’m doing great.  People have been awesome, I’ve made tons of friends. I have people. I recently read The Fault in Our Stars and wrote down this quote:  “WONDERFUL NEWS:  you are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet”

That’s pretty much how I’m feeling and its feeling pretty wonderful.