Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Last week(¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡!!!!!!!)
I found myself feeling lethargic. 

I think it was a combination of:
1. colder weather (hello 30° !!!), 
2.weeks months of one too many crazy Sundays , 
3. coming clean to a friend about something that had made me feel d e e p l y vulnerable at the beginning of the semester (I cried all during graduate student donut days & it wasn't just because they were out of cake donuts!), 
4. a mild case of unrequited love  like, 
5. the stressful realization that the semester is coming to an end (gulp, final projects. econ midterm, double gulp). 
6. My roommate/one of my greatest friends moving out. :'(

Literally every day last week I woke up feeling tired and not my usual happy/refreshed self. I tried combatting it with my time proven regimen of getting a priesthood blessing, serving others, thinking out loud with my Mom, calling my bishop (thanks Tomasso!),pouring over conference talks, hitting up the temple twice, fasting, having more lengthy personal prayers, feasting on scriptures, etc.

So, I was more mad than anything really when I woke up Monday morning and found that I STILL wasn't feeling back to normal. Why wasn't my usual talk-myself-out-of-it-with-positive-thoughts routine working? & then somehow, Monday night when I was sitting on my favorite brown little couch it happened. 

Happiness crept back in. 

I'll attribute it to everything mentioned previously but also add in the magical properties of a feel good episode of Jane the Virgin (obsessed!), a trip down 90s-00s music video lane (we're talking Britney, Mandy, and even a little bit of Center Stage clips), some leftover cupbop, perusing my secret Pinterest board of highly motivational quotes (TRUST THE TIMING OF YOUR LIFE),  and a hot shower with my nostalgia playlist as a soundtrack (a little bit of lauryn hill, early beyoncé, S Club7, and Janet Jackson). 

& as I showered it all came back. My life is really good! I love my new grad program! (all exclamation points very necessary! <-- including that one). 

When people ask which grad program I like better, law school or the MPA, I feel something akin to what a mother must feel when asked which child is her favorite. I love them both equally for very different reasons! They both appeal to different aspects of my personality.

My classes for the semester are:
1. Quantitative Decision Analysis—learning how to make excel do some REALLY cool things
2. Administrative Environment—A MPA intro course if you will
3. Econ Decision Making for Managers—the Econ 110 course for grad students
4. Organizational Behavior—learn how to work really well in teams, a crash course in leadership skills
5. Communication in Public Administration—A review of my undergrad + twists
6. Lecture Series—hear from some really great people about the really great things they're doing with their degree!

I have been blessed to just "know" exactly what I needed to study in school. I think it was around my Sophomore year in college when I saw online that there was a joint JD/MPA degree program offered at BYU and it immediately felt like the right decision. I didn't really understand what a MPA was, but I just knew it was what I had to do. I have loved my experience so much so far in the program. Rather than explain what having an MPA degree means, I'll share this video the program just finished that sums it all up perfectly.

& here are some LONG overdue photos from our MPA retreat at the beginning of the semester!

^^This is my team for the semester! We work SUPER well together. (L to R) Esteban [he's from Uruguay/Argentina], Kelly [we're practically next door neighbors! & I love her so much], Courtney [funny story, she was actually my MTC teacher! too small of a world], and Kate [she's so passionate about making the world a better place and is President of BYU's Anti-human trafficking club]
^^We had an outside of school gathering last week! It's something I've missed about law school. Dinner parties with friends. 
^^School break at Slab pizza

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween & Día de los Muertos

I love holidays! I think part of this festive spirit can be attributed to my culture, but I also love holidays because of the traditions that surround them! This year Angela & I dressed up as piñatas. 

We purchased dresses from the clearance section at Forever21, party streamers, foam cones, and headbands. The costume cost us about $20 each. I spent the weekend before Halloween cutting party streamers and gluing them on the dresses and had the X-files playing in the background while I worked. 
I spent Halloween at my family's 'Witches Brew.' There's a sort of magic that being around children adds to the Holiday. We had delicious food like pumpkin shaped pizzas, pumpkin vomiting guacamole, and because we're Mexican—elotes!
On Sunday, Nicole, Kyra, and I made sugar skull cookies with some Día de los Muertos themed cookie cutters that my mom had sent in my Halloween package this year. I hadn't baked in a long time and it was kind of relaxing to be in the kitchen baking with friends.
^^I have no idea why, but I just really love this picture of Me & Kyra! (Good work Nicki!)^^
Our FHE group went through quite the traumatic experience; we were told we were being broken apart because there were no leaders for our group. We all cornered brother Swartz on Sunday and begged not to be broken up. He told us that if someone was willing to get a second calling, then we could probably stay together. I think he was a bit taken aback by how many of us were willing to get second callings just so we could keep our group!

On Monday, we decided that we'd go to a local Día de los Muertos celebration as an FHE group. I would be lying if I said I grew up celebrating day of the dead, but as I've grown older, I've appreciated the beauty behind the holiday. 
^^I wanted this nativity scene so bad! Not only does it feature the birth of Christ, but it also has Joseph Smith's first vision!
FHE family portrait.