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Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Photographic Journey Through the Undergrad Years

Last Saturday I finished my last final as an undergraduate, and Friday I walk. I thought I’d do a reflective blog post, since that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. As much as my ego wants to believe that you’d all read volumes about my college experiences, I somehow suspect that isn’t true. So I’m mostly going to rely on photographs to do the trick. With just a touch of snark and sentiment for me.

Ready? Here we go. Jump in the time machine and head back to Fall of 2010. AKA my freshman year…

Living on my own

laundry dayPerhaps the rudest awakening when it came to living on my own was the discovery that dryers in most college apartment complexes are worthless. This left my roommate and I with a lot of dripping clothes. But we were nothing if not ingenious. Luckily we had some rope with which to hang the clothes across our ENTIRE bedroom. Between that and a lot of time with our blowdryers, we got our clothes dry.

Getting locked out

breaking in

Most people get locked out of the apartment at least once. And if you’re lucky, you can easily climb in a window. And if you’re slightly less lucky, that window requires climbing preciously over some railing and hoping you don’t fall down a story. And if you’re slightly less lucky than that, all of this will occur on a date.

Decorating the apartment

tree 1


superhero wall

My apartment has never been as decorated as it was freshman year when I lived with an art major. We built and painted our own Christmas tree, made an entire wall dedicated to superheroes, had a life size poster of Jimmer, and made some pretty epic snowflakes. I regret to say, we failed to make a photographic record of the time we used a hair straightener to burn lemon juice in the name of art. The smell, at least has stuck with me ever since.

Not getting disowned over a basketball game

SDSUMy dad said he’d disown me if I didn’t go watch Jimmer play against SDSU. I had to wait in the snow for a grand total of 8 hours to get in. But it was totally worth it, and I still remember the names of the people I stood in line with (Matt, Spencer, and Becca). It was a bonding experience.

Blue Foam


Not much commentary on this. We slid around in blue foam. Because why not?

The birth of Super Kyra

superkyraSome super heroes have really epic origin stories. Mine mostly has to do with needing a Halloween costume that I could throw together super fast.

Accidental demon cookies


Some friends and I got together to make sugar cookies around Christmas. It turns out I should stick to cookie cutters. I kind of think he’s cute though…

Capturing the essence of finals week


I don’t want to say I enjoy finals week, but there is something to be said about the camaraderie of shared suffering. Which is probably why this picture of my roommate (captured at 6 am) is so relatable to so many people.

The Ugliest Sweater

ugly sweater

I made the ugliest sweater (vest) for my friend Paul’s Christmas party. It’s actually hard to make something that looks that bad in only 15 minutes. What can I say? I’m brilliant.

Over anticipating Katniss’s braid

katniss braid

In the book Katniss’s braid for the reaping was described as intricate, so Melissa put together the most intricate braid she could for my Hunger Games opening night costume. Turns out we way out did the movie version.

Lois Lowry

Lois loweryMiss Lowry was actually only one of the many authors I was privileged to meet in my time at BYU. Others include Rick Walton, Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, Lisa McMann, James Dashner, Dan Wells, Shannon Hale, Meghan Whalen Turner, Marie Lu, Cinda Williams Chima, Angleburger, and Jennifer Nielsen.

A Literal Blind Date

blindcookiesMy friends and I were set up on a blind date where we blindfolded our dates and we had to give them directions to make cookies. My date managed to get Crisco smeared all over the kitchen.

We didn’t start the fire…jk. We did.


On the bright side (ha, pun), it was contained and did not set all of Vivian Park ablaze (President Monson style). It was just a lot of good times with good friends.

We are the champions! 


After a FHE film sophomore year that can best be described as horrendous, my beloved FHE family pulled together a spectacular film that won first place at the ward film festival. I’d like to pretend it was due to my awesome guidance as FHE mom, but it was just them being awesome.

Playing it sultry as Ms. Scarlett

scarletWe had a big party when Psych had the Clue themed episode. And since I never pass up an opportunity to dress up, I just had to attend as Ms. Scarlett.

Poetry Reading

fox in sox

We decided to do a poetry reading. I chose to read Fox in Socks because I rock at that book.

That time I went to Europe



Platform 9 3:4


I took over 1000 pictures while I was abroad, and they can’t do justice to experience. So certainly the four I posted here are inadequate, but I wanted to limit myself. In order: Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland.


withdrawlsI’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I got super close to the other students on the study abroad with me. We had to have a Google chat a week after we got home, because we missed each other so much. A week, people! Katie couldn’t get Google Effects to work, so she made her own crown out of a Post It.

Rent A Puppy


Yes, you can actually Rent A Puppy. I’m one of those heartless people who’s fairly indifferent to puppies, but that little fellow Coach was pretty cute. And this is the last time we got to see our dear friend Nicole before she embarked on a mission to teach the people of Chicago about Christ and His love.

Cleaning Checks


A summary of the cleaning check: Midnight, cut an entire bag’s worth of hair out of the vacuum so that it’ll work. 1 am, Realize that cleaning the stove top is, in fact, futile. 2 am, go to Smiths to buy hydrogen peroxide to clean stove. Buy a Christmas tree as well, because why not? 3 am, make and devour a pazooki. 4 am continue to clean stove, and decide it’s a bad idea to try to clean stove top while oven is on self clean. 4:30 am, go to bed.

Couch nest

couch nestThe study abroad cohort never ceases to find new shenanigans to participate in. We decided it would be fun to build a couch nest and cuddle while watching a movie. We were right. It was fun. For the first 15 minutes.

Lights at Temple Square


I somehow managed not to see the lights at Temple Square until my senior year. What a beautiful reminder of how beautiful the world can be.

Thesis poster


honors dinner

My thesis for University Honors ended up being about 260 pages double spaced. The defense was actually quite fun. Afterward, I was able to present my thesis at the poster session followed up by a lovely dinner with these handsome devils (more study abroad friends). I felt so accomplished!

I’ll wrap it up there before I get all nostalgic on you. It’s been a great four years, but I’m excited for adventures to yet to come. Onward to graduate school! Hi yo Silver! Away!






There’s a First Time for Everything

Once upon a time I entered the Like a Virgin pitch contest. They asked me a bunch of questions about first things. I answered them here.

1. How do you remember your first kiss? We were in the middle of nowhere Wyoming. It (the kiss, not Wyoming) was definitely wetter than it should have been for a quick peck. He used chapstick all the time, which is probably why my lips felt like cherry wax after. I guess I liked it though, because we did it again.

2. What was your first favorite love song? I’m told I could sing every word to Alan Jackson’s “Tall, Tall Trees” at the age of three. I also knew “I Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” Not love songs. Apparently I just liked cowboys.

3. What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day? Turn on some tunes and check out my Pinterest board for the given WIP.

4. Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer? I don’t actually know. I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember.

5.Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with? Ha ha. Ha ha ha. No. The first chapter has been rewritten at least 15 times.

6. For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot, or setting? Yes? Probably the plot. It’s hard to remember, because it’s all changed so much.

7.What’s the first word you want to roll of the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing? I’d really rather that they be so overwhelmed by the awesomeness of my writing that they would be unable to form coherent sentences. But if it must be an actual word, I suppose brilliant would suffice.

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