~ because not all who wander are lost ~

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Begin Again

Hey there, everybody! So... it's been a while, I know. Welcome (back) to my blog, Wonders of a Wanderer (aka "Wonder Sofa Wanderer." LOL). 
Wonders: random thoughts or interesting ramblings poured out of my head and into a post. Feel free to comment and get a discussion going. Come with me as I explore the quirks and treasures and struggles of this crazy ride called life. 
Wanders: Sometimes I go on grand road trips or awesome vacations. But mostly, I've found amazing things between whatever here and there I'm at. Some days, my thoughts cover much more ground than my feet or bike tires.

I left off this 30-day photo challenge partway through two years ago. So much has changed -- especially me -- that I've decided to start over at Day 1. But feel free to explore older posts- I've sure learned a lot (and laughed a lot!) looking through them. I can't promise a post every day, but I can promise that things will happen. And it will all be better than okay. :)

Day 1: A Picture of Me with 15 Facts
(This isn't the best picture ever, but it's the most recent. I was sleepy, but hiking, at the time. :)

            1. I like to sing, I like to run, and I like to write (something that will become more obvious the longer you read my blog. lol).
            2. I love the dozens of baby plants growing in yogurt cups and egg cartons in my windowsills, watching them grow and change almost imperceptibly.
            3. I like to freeze things to save them for later (and my husband mocks me for it- especially tomato sauce in ice cube trays or any kind of bread/dessert).
            4. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love it not only because of the instant community all around the world, but because of the strength and foundation it gives me to know that I can be better and live with my loved ones forever thanks to our loving Savior’s atonement. :)
            5. I don’t like the feeling of my fingertips just after I cut my nails. Or anything else that overloads my sensory system: milkshakes that are too sweet, sauce that is too salty, juice that is too strong, music/noise that is too loud, light that is too bright, water that is too cold, anything sudden that causes a rush of adrenaline that hurts in my fingertips… wow, this list makes me sound really picky and fragile. Don’t worry, I’ve learned to adapt to or tolerate pretty much all of the above (which may include putting in earbuds without actually turning on my iPod, watering down juice or soup, and wearing sunglasses everywhere… but hey, I’ll try pretty much anything food-wise. And when it comes to beautiful, delicious, or soulful things, I feel like this overactive sensory system of mine allows me to participate in life at a much deeper level. Even if it means I tear up and laugh out loud because the tree blossoms are so bright and cheerful and fresh that I can hardly bear it.)
            6. I can’t snap my fingers or swallow while looking up. Both are great things to attempt when my husband needs a laugh ;)
            7. I’ve read my scriptures in Spanish every night for almost a year and half. Twice now, I’ve randomly made friends with little old Hispanic ladies who spoke very little English and needed a ride home. (I wish my Major were as handy as this almost-Minor!)
            8. I have a hopeless addiction to Chex Muddy Buddies (or Reese’s Puffs, which have a strikingly similar taste!) and I LOVE Indian, Thai, and Mexican/South American food. (probably because vegetables abound and wheat is scarce on their menus, and the tastes are so rich and different…)
            9. I go crazy without “outside time” (school + cold dark Provo winter = tough!)
            10. My digestive system can’t handle wheat and does not approve of my eating large amounts of meat, milk, eggs, cheese, sweets, spicy/acidic food, or anything deep-fried. Good thing I love vegetables and rice. :)
            11. I like browsing garage sales and outdoorsy stores, but typical shopping just reminds me of how bewildering the world’s fashions are becoming, how little I understand about “style,” and I get overwhelmed by all the mass-produced non-necessities. And spending money is painful… which is why Warren often gets the groceries these days. ;)
            12. In spite of #11, I went shopping for clothes recently because I’m shrinking (no, really, I’m like an inch shorter and a dozen pounds lighter than when I graduated from high school). But it’s pretty much just muscle mass disappearing… hopefully now that I’m feeling better and have time and nice weather to run in I’ll take advantage of that. I like being in shape and feeling strong and capable, but it’s been a while since I had a race to train for or a job/hobby that was a workout in itself.)
13. As of the past few weeks, I can’t sleep in past 7:00 am. But I love mornings - the only downside is that I married a night owl. lol.
            14. I’ll admit it, even during Finals Week: I like school. Not counting “just for fun” classes like bowling, aerobics or guitar, my favorite classes at BYU have been: Intro to Geology, Religion and the Environment, Intro to Bio-Organic Chemistry, Intro to Spanish Literature, Conservation Biology, Scientific Writing, Intro to Soil Science, and Plant Physiology. Participating in the BYU Honors Program gives me an excuse to indulge my non-scientist side in art museums, plays, foreign films, and classical literature. I’ve earned mentored research credit in four of the seven departments in the College of Life Sciences, and more than a dozen professors know me by name. I’ll be going on my second Study Abroad trip this summer. But don’t get me wrong- I’m far from a perfect student. I’ve failed (or barely passed) tests and forgotten to turn in homework assignments and skipped class and ignored the textbook and put off papers until the night before they’re due. In fact, I should be studying for my Plant Physiology final right now… But I like to learn, and I’ve been blessed with a sharp mind and lots of great opportunities that make up for some of my shortcomings.
            15. I’m not the same person I was the last time I posted in this blog, and I’ve been having a hard time with that. This is the first step on a written journey to rediscover who I am and understand myself better.  ~ 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 20

A picture of something you wish you could forget.

Actually, I don't mind remembering how much it hurt to get this bruise. Because of it, I felt "hard core," earned bragging rights, and learned to let go of the rope sooner. It's one of those painful things that I wouldn't want to go through again, but all the same I'm glad I did.

Really, I just don't like forgetting things- even the times that are most painful or embarrassing. If I forget, I'll forget the lesson. Besides, these are parts of my life- if I were to blot them out of my memory, it would be less complete, less varied and expansive.

I used to think it wasn't fair that we remember our sins after we've been washed clean through repentance while Christ remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34). Why couldn't we all just forget and have them disappear completely?
That would miss the point. Repentance is a path toward changing, growing, overcoming. By remembering we keep ourselves from falling back into old habits and we can be gentler with others going through similar tough times.

Found this on someone else's blog, and it touched me. An interesting perspective.

Not because it was bad.
Not because I wish it never was.
Not because it wasn't a precious time with good people.

But because it's something I find myself missing so much.
If I could forget the loss, remembering would not be so difficult."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 19

A picture of a place you'd love to travel

Costa Rica! Beautiful turquoise water, warm sunshine, Spanish, national parks, whitewater rafting, colorful cultures, incredible biodiversity- let's go!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 18

A picture of something you'd never leave home without

Okay, so I kinda cheated on this one. My "one thing I wouldn't leave home without" happens to be so valuable because of all the little things it contains. See the small white rectangle in the corner? That's a little bag I call my "micro-mini," and everything else in the picture goes inside it. I can't leave home without it because it helps me be prepared for whatever might come up- be it splinters, a burst seam or an unexpected sleepover due to a snowstorm. Even packed to the bursting it's a great size to toss into a purse, ammo can or backpack. At the last count, here is what it contains:

loop of string
fruit leather
big bandaid
nail file
travel toothbrush
fun-size toothpaste
ballpoint pen
cough drop
mini first-aid kit (random small pills & ointments & band-aids)
travel sewing kit
safety pins
rubber band
dental floss
fingernail clippers
toiletry products
spare car key
spare camera batteries
pocket knife
bobby pins
hair ties
pocket mirror

And the funny thing is that I've used them all before: tried & tested essentials to being prepared for anything. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 17

A picture of something that's recently had a big impact on your life

My car! I'd never had a car of my own until this February. I have since discovered that a car means freedom and independence like I've never had before, but also comes along with new things to learn like how to check oil, how expensive gasoline is, how pointless a left turn during Jeep Safari is, etc. It's quite the adventure- and quite the ticket to plenty more! I plan on getting good use out of my National Park Pass in the next year :)

I guess I haven't really taken many pictures of my car yet... but I thought this one was cool. How many lucky numbers can you get in a row? 13-42-42! Affectionately nicknamed "Cori" by Holly, this little Toyota corolla and I have seen thousands of miles go by together already. She's kind of gutless when racing semitrucks to the top of a hill, but gets good gas mileage and handles well. And she's purty!

Funny story: Stephen, one of my coworkers, sold his car in February. His small white gold-bottomed Toyota corolla. It turned out to be the same car! Talking to Stephen, I soon solved the mysteries of the blank left bumper, crack in the windshield, and replaced engine. He's known around here as "Megamiles Steve" because he occasionally takes off to Las Vegas, Tuscon, or Montana for the weekend. Apparently Cori was quite the world traveler in her youth!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 16

A picture of someone who inspires you.

My mom! This is an especially appropriate post considering the upcoming holiday: Mothers Day!
I don't know how she does it. Seven kids, her own business, a big huge house, a whole branch of young adults, a book club, preschool classes, and so much more... and still looks fantastic in her skinny jeans! ;)

She inspires me mostly by her example, but also through good advice and challenges. She's fun to talk to and knows a whole lot about everything. We may not agree on everything, and I know neither of us is perfect, but we learn from one another. I guess I realized how much she means to me when I left home two years ago and she wasn't always there when I needed her recipes or advice. I had no idea how much work it takes to run a household until I was on my own! Like I said, she's amazing, and I want to be a mom like her someday :D

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 15

A picture of something you want to do before you die.

Halfway through! You know, I think I'll just post a few of these every day for now on. The summer's almost here!

Anyway, for a list of things I want to do before I die, see the bucket list on the right side of the screen. :)

For a picture, see below: I'd love to see the Northern Lights. It just doesn't seem real in photographs or films. I want to know for myself that the spectacular ghostly lights are real- and I can imagine that the experience is nothing you could recreate in any way besides being there.

(Picture courtesy