Friday, January 1, 2016

2015—Not a Whimper, But More Like a BANG.

I love the holiday season, from Thanksgiving all the way to New Years.  Everybody's spirits are high, families and friends are brought together, and we are reminded of the miracle of Christ's birth, ministry, and Atonement.

I am also a believer in the vigorous following of Christmas traditions.  I listen to Christmas music early and consistently throughout the season.  As I flipped through radio channels while driving to a conference in Salt Lake City, I heard the creamy voice of Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" and settled happily on the station—mind you, it was only the first week of November.

When my family lived in PA, one of the radio stations had a daily "Best Christmas Ever" giveaway.  One of the giveaways included a trip to Disneyland.  When I was 16, I rushed home from seminary and listened to the radio with three cell phones and one home phone at hand, ready to call the moment the giveaway jingle sounded.... every single day. There was not a doubt in my mind that I would win.  When my mom was a teenager, she always won radio giveaways and received popular records like Eddy Grant's, "Killer on the Rampage." Victory was in my blood.

I never won.  I told my mom this story as we strolled around the Riverwoods shops.  She laughed and asked, "Well, what does that make you?"  My response, "Diligent? Determined? Persistent?"  She said, "Nope. A loser."


This Christmas was really special.  I have a brand new nephew! My sister, Kylie, had her first baby, a perfect little boy named Alex.  Normally, I think newborns look squishy, grumpy, and alien-ish.  Alex, on the other hand, is so cute.  He is a really good baby, too—he just sleeps forever.

Kristin, Jon, and Theo came to stay with us during Christmas.  Theo is adorable.  He is just starting to walk, and he is fun to play peek-a-boo with.  He showed a lot of interest in his new cousin:

This Christmas, I was proud to present Theo with a pink grocery cart full of plastic food.  My grocery cart was my absolute favorite present that I received when I was a little kid, so I felt impressed to break the gender norms and give the cart to Theo.  But don't worry.  My mom also bought him a noisy lawn mower, so I guess that evens things out a bit.  We tried to find toys that would encourage Theo to walk more.

It has also been snowing a lot, which makes my dad happy.  He was convinced that we would be drinking sand and dirt last summer because the drought was so intense.  But we had a white Christmas, and it has been beautiful.  For the most part, I enjoy the long as I don't have to drive or walk around in the slush that somehow manages to stain the rear of my pants, so it looks like I sat on a dirty snowball.

Ta-Da!!! You can even see my dad's cool, white truck.


Now, on to the new year.  Do you know what the best thing is about New Year's resolutions? I generally keep mine.  But there is a secret to my success.  I create resolutions that are intentionally vague, so I can never fail.  For example, last year, my resolution was to get better, which can be interpreted in a billion different ways.  

And you know what? I did get better and made remarkable progress.  I'm better spiritually, physically, and emotionally...especially emotionally.  I feel more confident in myself, I am quite pleased with my nutcasey-ness, and I have accepted that being me is pretty darn wonderful.  I have changed so much in one year, and I cannot believe my progress.  

2015 was, without a doubt, the best year of my life.  It came and went with a bang.  With the start of last year, I was living with my family in Ephraim because I graduated from college.  For the first month, I was absolutely miserable and bored.  I had no clue what to do with my life, I thought Ephraim was weird and too small, and I felt like I was running away from my pain and problems in AZ.  

But things got steadily better, as I met the wonderful people in my family ward and neighborhood.  I got called as an Activity Days leader, and I often played the piano for the Primary—I love the kids so much! Everybody is so nice, and my neighbors seem genuinely interested in my life, especially my dating life.  I am currently the 25 S street project — find Bekki a date, then a boyfriend, and then a spouse.  Is it slightly embarrassing? Yes.  And perhaps a bit fruitless for a mere 21-year-old? Certainly.  But I think it's funny.  In short, I love the people that I've met in Ephraim, and now, I love coming home.  

In February, my mom and I went on a cruise and visited Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. 
In March, I started teaching a writing class at Snow College.  
On the same day I started teaching, I was accepted into BYU's MA program for English.  
After I finished teaching at Snow, I enrolled in my first graduate class at BYU over the summer.  
My parents purchased a Provo condo for me to live in while I attend school.  
Renovations took over 4 months.
My family vacationed in California in August, and I visited my grandparents.
I discovered that FRIENDS is a fantastic show that makes me happy.  
I officially started my program at BYU towards the end of August.  
I started teaching WRTG 150, which is BYU's freshman composition class.  
I attended a new YSA ward, which is held in a building with a swimming pool.  
My mom started plotting a million ways to kill my dogs.  
The blueprint for my future is looking clearer and clearer every day.  
I feel confident, healthy, beautiful, and so unbelievably, wonderfully, and amazingly happy.  

And so, this year, I cannot wait for the new adventures, lessons, and exciting things that have yet to come.  My 2016 New Years resolution? To get better.  Again.  And even more.  I figure that I will find ways in which I can improve, and I hope the results will be as wonderful as they were this year.  I don't mean to boast, but after such a great year, I feel awesome.  And I'm not ashamed to say that I am.  

Have a happy new year!!!

 Brigham wasn't smiling—I fixed it.

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