Sierra's View: July 2011

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In Kenya, Of All Places, I Realized That Nice Guys Win.

Hamisi. A cheerful smile and a good sense of humor can brighten anyone's day.

Mwambeyu. My family is sponsoring him now! He worked so hard. He loved his family so much.

Fredrick. A gentleman.

Dennis. He loved basketball SO much. he played every single day after school for hours at a time. He taught me that being passionate in something makes you stronger.

There is no correlation between Kenya and realizing that nice guys should win. (However, above are some men that taught me about what it means to be a good person.) I just finally pinpointed that WHILE in Kenya. Some amazing insights occurred while I was there. Some which were currently happening in the village, relating to the people and my life--and some other lessons that were taking place at home. Funny how removing yourself from a situation helps you completely clear your head. So for this, I dedicate this to you GOOD guys. Thank you.

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion is that girls often overlook what is right in front of them. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks.I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to make out with this complete jerk now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The problem is that old behaviors tend to override those wants that we truly need deep down.
I have this problem. I am guilty of it. I like Mr. Social. I like Mr. Non Committal. I like good guys, they just are "not ready for a relationship." it amazes me that as I go back and read throughout my journal entries, I notice the trend of a new boy after a new boy after a new boy. And although I may be doing something wrong, it is mostly because they are not the "nice guy" that every one of us girls need.

So, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming. Now...if I could just find you, that'd be great.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things I have Realized/Learned From Being in College...

Nothing sucks more than that moment when you are in an argument and you realize that you have officially lost.

I totally take back all of those times when I didn’t want to take a nap when I was younger.

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

I will do almost anything for free food.

I don't care how hot you are. If you are a guy, and you continue to act like you are God's gift to earth--I will continue to ignore you. On the other hand, if you are a gentleman...I don't care how different we are. I will go out with you.

Map Quest really needs to learn how to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

I don't care if you don't even know each other, have a fling, are dating, engaged, or married...DO NOT make out in front of me while I'm sitting in Cafe Rio trying to eat a delicious pork burrito.

I can’t remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

It actually is really not that difficult to lift your hand slightly to put your turn signal on.

Looking cute does not help you pass your classes. Pretty sure I only get ready half the time, and I'm doing just fine in school, thank you. And no, that guy still has not asked for your number because you got up at 5 am to curl your hair. (However, I do fully understand that its nice to get ready. Do not get me wrong. But EVERY SINGLE DAY? really?)

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work or school when
you realize you are not going to do anything productive today. And that’s okay. Stay strong.

Sometimes you can BS your way through a class. Hakuna Mutata.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes next after Blu Ray? I really don’t want to restart my movie collection…again…

I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my 10 page essay that I swear I did not make any changes to…

I hate it when I miss a phone call by the last ring, but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and then goes straight to voicemail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run into the bushes?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance on that day. Waste of my time to get ready and actually put make up on.

Sometimes I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was a little kid and suddenly realize that I had no idea what was going on back then. And then I wonder why my parents allowed me to watch it in the first place…

I would rather try to carry 10 over loaded plastic bags in each hand than to take two trips to bring the groceries in. Walking up the stairs TWICE? No thank you.

How many times is it appropiate to say “what?” in a conversation before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t understand what that person said…?

I love the sense of teamwork when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk who is tailing you to cut in front. Stay strong, my fellow Utah drivers!

Is it just me or do high school students get more dumb and more skanky each year?

It doesn't matter how exhausted you are, it is nearly impossible to fall asleep before midnight.

It sucks watching everybody around you getting married. It sucks. I don't care who argues that.

Dressing up never gets old:
(Exhibit A. At Harry Potter premiere)

Life is AWESOME.

What have you learned from college?

Monday, July 18, 2011

arry potta

(That was my attempt of writing "Harry Potter" in a British accent if you didn't catch the title)
Okay, so...I am not a Harry Potter freak like some people (excuse me, "Expert", is more of a politically correct term, right? I don't want to offend anyone. Because you know, I'm a nice person). I have gone to some midnight showings, I have read the books, and I envy those Hogwarts kids. BUT. This last movie has, quite literally, changed my life.
I'm not sure if it was just due to exhaustion from the midnight showing or the emotional state I was in (oh wait, isn't that always?) but I absolutely, positively, completely fell in love with the last movie.
I thought the quality of the movie was fantastic. The cinematography, the acting, the whole "film-ography" aspect of it was marvelous. It's too bad that all of the other movies weren't up to that caliber.
But what I thought was even more incredible was all of the connections to the gospel it possessed. I haven't read the book in a very long time, but my dear friend Allie said the book contained even more connections. (Guess that means it's time for me to re read all of them? Who's in for a book/movie marathon this summer? Guess it ALSO means I now need to buy all the books and movies.)

I think I cried three times through out the movie. And got chills probably 79 times.
Especially, and not only, during the parts where the gospel was so strongly yelling at all of us.
Parts that specifically stood out to me:
-When Voldemort had his huge group of followers and they were about to attack Hogwarts. I got chills because it made me think of the war in heaven. This moment when all of the characters stood together in pursuit to defend Voldemort was so powerful. They all worked together, they put all of their past behind them, and fought against evil. Just as we, today, have to fight against the powers of Satan. It's amazing how powerful a pure, honest, strong, group of righteous defenders can be. (Go Christians!)
-When Harry Potter sees his mother in the "Resurrection" part. Just as my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, believes--that we will one day see the people we've lost in heaven. At one part Lily, Harry's mother, says to him: "We will always be with you." Despite the slight cheesiness of this part, I completely lost it. Because it is true. The people that have past on, are with us on a daily basis. They are giving us strength, teaching us things, and being our biggest cheerleader on the other side. And when Harry realizes that he has to die, he is okay. Just as we should be okay as well because families are forever and eternal life is forever.
- When Voldemort finally dissipates (awesome special effects at that part btw) and Harry Potter finally wins in the end. Motto: Good ALWAYS wins over evil. Always. The Lord always wins. There is something so triumphant and inspiring when the evil eventually loses. You want to stand up and cheer. Just like in life, when we do not allow Satan to take control, we feel empowered when he finally leaves us alone.
"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity." I just realized how huge this Harry Potter culture has been in my life. I read the first one in fourth grade. And this phenomenon is my era--it has continued on until two nights ago. It's okay, you can make fun of me. I still love it.
Oh, and J.K. Rowling will be getting baptized soon.
AND. The part where Hermione and Ron make out--so perfect. And still so weird to see. Nevertheless, the timing was startling and AWESOME. I'm all about kissing. (So weird to see them many years later too. Nice job on making all of the characters look old!)

On another note... Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) is all grown up and is hot. I already covered this, but I thought you should be reminded that he is still good looking from the last time that we saw him. I STILL call dibs too. See for yourself here.

P.S. Pictures from the midnight showing coming soon...if Meredith sends them to me...cough cough.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yes, Please.

Both of these songs are on repeat.

Ryan Adams: Come Pick Me Up

Helen Stellar: This Time Around (IO)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I'm not the kind of person who loves trendy radio music, but...
And I don't care who knows it.
[life story song]

These Kids Reminded Me Why I Want to be a Teacher...

This picture breaks my heart. This little girl could not see and she couldn't afford glasses, so she sat in front closer to the chalkboard. I love this photo because it also shows the classrooms in Kenya. Dirt. Smoke. So poor.

Their little british voices when they read are so sweet. "Good mahning teachuh!"

Kids in Taru: Thank you for reminding me of what I really want to do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

some super students.

(three points for alliteration)

Some of my students at Bahakwenu.
Salim & Ken.
They taught me about what it means to have a true light. Their countenance was so pure and kind.
They were both painfully shy. But very bright. (no pun intended).
They hold a special place in my heart.
It helps that they are so dang cute as well.
I love these boys.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I recently asked my sister, Mckenna, why I often feel irritable or frustrated towards other people. I have a big heart, but I find I am constantly just getting flustered by others around me. Maybe that's exactly why. I feel so deeply, I love so fully, and I give everything. So when others don't reciprocate it, and most times they don't, I feel a lack of connection.
She explained and helped me realize that I idealize everything, particularly my relationships. Which, unfortunately, leaves me disappointed with how things are going because nothing in reality ever correlates with my imagination. I value my relationships more than anything, so I give a lot. But that also means that I expect a lot. Others are not wired that way, particularly men. Sometimes I feel alone when I'm sitting in a big crowd, perhaps even a "follower" because I am "getting left out." But in reality, it's simply that most people (especially college students) don't include people or are as aware as I tend to be--or my natural wiring leads me to act. That is not their fault, but perhaps mine for reacting a certain way. Just because I treat people one way, doesn't mean that others do the same. My life is governed by emotion (negative and positive), so I am more sensitive and complicated emotionally, which is ESPECIALLY difficult for others to understand. We are all wired so different. So, to be fair to myself (and others?) I made of list of things that I try my hardest to live by--things that make it okay when I'm down. Things that are important in my life. You may disagree. You may agree. But you know what? That's the beauty of all us: our lists all contrast so much, and none of them are particularly perfect.

1. Never stop dreaming. Never stop analyzing. In the car, in your bed, at church. The ability to be able to know yourself, to truly know yourself, is a gift.

2. Stare into space blankly and don’t mentally punish yourself for doing it, even if it is for that split second. If you have a problem with staring blankly, think of it as daydreaming.

3. A cold soda sometimes tastes SO good. It won't kill you to have it every once in a while, particularly a Dr. Pepper. Those who never drink soda only miss out on the sweetness of a little rebellion.

4. Everything is going to be just fine. Even when you feel like it isn't. Tomorrow is gonna be alright. Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

5. Don’t be afraid to talk about anything. You shouldn’t be afraid of reality. Be in the moment. If you are going to be there, be 100% there.

6. Everyone is a hypocrite. That doesn't mean that they are bad people.

7. Every time we see a picture of ourselves, we immediately think about how it would make everyone we know feel if they saw it in a slideshow at our funerals. (I save voice mails from all of the people I love dearly, in case I need to hear their voice on a down day.)

8. Do pointless things. Don’t actively restrain or hide yourself from the redundant.

9. Stop rushing. Shut up and embrace the sound of silence. I am quiet often. (Shocking, I know.) Make time to be still. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.

10. Religion shouldn't be forced, it should be found. No one should tell you what to believe except you.

11. You are loved. Simple as that. Follow your heart.

12. In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer- Albert Camus

13. Talking to yourself is healthy. Is there anyone that you have more in common with?

14. Ever since I started studying psychology, my friends have turned into experiments. Good experiments, though.

15. The way to get what you want is to be grateful for what you have.

16. I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.

17. Every now and then take something that you see everyday and try to see it in a different light. Renew its existence.

18. Be happy, but don’t force it. Be more. Happiness is when what you say, what you think and what you do is all in harmony.

19. Life is too short to listen to bad music. Music describes what words can't. It is the best healer. Music is the only thing that makes sense anymore.

20. We are all crazy. Every person you read about in the history books had some kind of ‘disorder’, they just knew how to use it.

21. We are all about as similar as we are different. We all want to love and be loved, simple as that.

22. Ideas are important. Be creative.

23. It's sweet when someone remembers every little detail about you. Not because you keep reminding them but because they pay attention. listen. truly listen to others.

24. Words will always be just words. Love is just another four letter word, only the feeling is real.

25. Ask a child for advice. They may not know much, but they know what is important.

26. Prove you’re alive. This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. Remind the world who you are.

27. stop being unhappy with yourself. you are perfect. stop wishing you looked like someone else or wishing people liked you as much as they like someone else. stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you, stop hating your body, your face, your personality, your quirks. Love them. Without those things, you wouldn't be you, and why would you want to be somebody else? Be confident with who you are. smile. it'll draw people in. if anyone hates on you because you are happy, the stick up your middle finger if your heart desires. our happiness does not depend on others. This is who you are no. nobody said they had to like it. Never sacrifice yourself because somebody has a problem with it.

28. When I get sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead. True story- How I Met Your Mother

29. Life will continuously teach us lessons that we have no desire to learn. Shut up and learn.

30. never give up on anybody. miracles happen every day.

31. Apologizing: does not always mean you are wrong and the other person is right. it just means you value your relationship more than your ego.

32. Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.

33. Sometimes your patience runs out, and you will punch someone in the face. very hard. and you know what? oh well. Sometimes keeping calm is overrated.

34. Being alone doesn't mean that you have be lonely.

35. I've learned adventure is the best way to learn.

36. Girls, stop trying to convince yourself that a guy likes you. IF HE LIKES YOU, HE WILL PURSUE YOU. It's that simple. Why do we (I) try twist my mind into giving him excuses? Here's the brutal reality: it sucks when you like a man and the feeling is not returned. It sucks. And every girl can attest to that.

37. Be Kind. Speak kind words. They can be easy. But their affect can be forever. Be kind because you never know who is fighting a harder battle.

38. Never grow up. Only learn how to act in public.

39. Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

40. Write. It is the best therapy in the world. "I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still."

41.Stop talking about it and start doing it (I DEFINITELY need to work on this)

42. Daisies make everything okay. Flowers put a smile on your face. Do they not?

43. " We have been created for greater things, not to just be a number in the world, not to just go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and be loved." Mother Theresa

44. If you can get a good nights rest, you can cope with any problem. Waking up in the morning after a wonderful good nights rest helps you realize things.

45. Recently everything I've learned is from the Kenyans: be simple, be nonjudgmental, see the best in every body. They taught me the real reason why I want to be teacher.

46. Do things that make your heart beat faster. You only live once. Leave room for surprises in your plans.

47. Go after your problems. You'll feel better. Realize them. Accept them. Fix them.

48. I wish people could know that others admire them from afar.

49. When i was five years old, my mom told me happiness was the key to life. When i went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I wrote down "happy." They told me that I didn't understand the assignment. I told them that they didn't understand life.

50. When I give you my time, I am giving you a portion of my life that I will never get back. So use it well.

51. It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

52. There are billions of people running around in this world. Some are lost. Some are evil. Some are kind. So many souls...and sometimes all you need is one.

53. My cabin and the beach keeps me from hating humanity year after year.

54. You gain strength, confidence, and character by every experience in which you truly stop and look at in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have survived this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing that you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

55. There are some questions that cannot be answered by Google.

56. Pretend you a mermaid when you are swimming. It helps. Really.

57. Discuss ideas, not people.

58. Your choices at the moment will be good ones. Trust yourself. Trust life.

59. "I don't know where I am going, but I promise it won't be boring."

60. Be big hearted. Improve something. Everyone has a different story they are dealing with. Be patient with them.

61. Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.

62. Flowers. lace. colors. Animals.

63. Wanderlust: A desire to travel, to understand one's very own existence. Go somewhere at least once a year that you have never been before.

64. Cry. Just do it. Don't keep it in.

65. Draw a line. Live above it.

66. Much (if not all) of the world's drama is caused by impatience. Impatient people run on assumptions. Taking the time to understand someone is righteous.

67. The expected is what keeps us steady. It's the unexpected that changes our lives forever.

68. Mistakes of the past don't define you, they refine you.

69. You're going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, its always their actions you should judge them by. Its actions, not words, that matter.

70. The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all.

71. Everyone says love hurts, but that isn't true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain.

72. "I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the very end." Abraham Lincoln

73. God doesn't give you the people you want, he gives you the people you need to help you, to hurt you, to love you, to leave you; to make you the person you were meant to be.

74. In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

75. How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.

76. I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he'll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade" (The Holiday)

77. Nobody said it'd be easy, they just promised it'd be worth it.

78. The gospel. Music. Friends. Family. Education. What else do you need?

What do YOU think?


Can we please take a break from Kenya pictures to talk about Harry Potter for a second.
No, not the movie.
But...NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM. (Real name: Matthew Lewis). I was skimming across one of my favorite sites Go Fug Yourself (best fashion critique site ever btw. so honest. so raw. SO funny). And as I was taking a gander through the characters, I was taken aback by Neville. Who knew he had become so handsome?!

Some people just grow up, eh? He beat the odds. He is not the awkward, large, rather unfortunate little character anymore.

P.S. TOTALLY seeing the last Harry Potter at midnight with the girls. And dressing up, too. Judge me, I dare you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Mrembo: beautiful. (swahili)
For the next little while, I will be posting photos of these gorgeous Kenyan children and people I got to spend with. Be jealous.

Sombo. Little boy in class 3. He's brilliant. He knew the answer to every question. His light was undeniable. He exuded pureness and kindness.

I miss them dearly.
I think I am going to adopt Kenyan babies now.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I need to get this out. This is scattered, so bear with me.

It's been extremely difficult being back in the states, particularly Provo. I am doing fine now, but for awhile there, I was hating being back. I think it's a mixture of a bunch of different aspects.
I get frustrated when people complain about the mundane circumstances of life.
I just had this experience where people are fighting to stay alive, to survive on one meal a day, so when people complain because when they got a B- on a test, I want to physically hurt them.
It's difficult to come back and have everything changed. I have many friends getting married, the rest are in relationships or are out of town. I have new roommates (who are wonderful) but it's still a difficult change to come back from this experience and not really have anyone to share it with.
I am an idealist. Sometimes this is a blessing, but right now I feel like it's a curse. I thought I would come home, meet some hot boy, have a group of friends and live the summer dream. Instead, I find myself alone a lot and doing math. Which is okay. I have learned to become very independent. And I am very grateful for my education, especially after seeing how those kids ate every word up in the classroom. I have so many thoughts. So many things going on in my head, sometimes it's easier for me to just be alone and take it all in. I find that I cry at least once a day--missing Kenya, missing the people, taking in all of the experiences that I went through.
When people ask me "How was Africa?" How in the world am I supposed to respond?! 5 weeks of difficult, heavy, amazing experiences--how do you sum that up in one word? This may sound ridiculous, but I almost feel like I went on a mini mission. I was literally away from everything I knew. It was hot. I was walking a lot. I had these experiences that are difficult to talk about because the feelings that were emulated in Kenya cannot be exemplified here.
But life moves on. I take this experience, change the things I want to, and keep going. After all, that IS what the Kenyans would do :)