I have been so very blessed in my life to have AMAZING girlfriends. I think if I am ever a mother of a girl that’s one of the things I would pray for her to have…amazing girlfriends. I can only imagine that my mother has had her hand in facilitating some of these friendships. From my college roommates, to my mission companions, to my Arizona girlfriends, to my “return to Utah” girlfriends, and now, my New York girlfriends, I just can’t imaging that my mother isn’t looking down on me and thinking how glad she is that I have been so very blessed.

As I’ve thought about how much I’m going to miss these girls when I move away, I have also begun to think about the possible friendships that await me on the other side of the world and I am excited. Just as I can’t imagine my life without any of the relationships I’ve had, I’m sure there are relationships I will have about which I will eventually think the same thing. 
And with that, a few pictures (because I’ve got some fun ones) of these women I love so much!

dear you…inspired by the events of the last month (a whole month sans blogging? wthh)

Amanda, our waiter, Kelly, me, and Sarah J. at Graham Elliot
in Chicago for Kelly’s birthday!

Dear besties (all of you),
Thank you for being amazing friends. Thank you for being the types of friends I can see after a week, a month, a year, or a decade, and being able to pick right up like no time had passed. Thank you for not judging my choices. Thank you for always being supportive and having my back. Thank you for listening to get excited about a new boy (and then understanding when I need to talk about why it didn’t work out). Thank you for giving me so many fun memories throughout my life.
P.S. the rest of this post is not so sappy.

Dear Girl Scout cookies (particularly Samoas and Tagalongs),
With much regret for the number of you I’ve consumed in the past two days,
My arse
Dear Delta Airlines,
I understand why it takes so many trips/miles to get Medallion status, but that doesn’t mean you should board your planes in the MOST backward way possible. It’s faster for everyone if you just board the plane from back to front. Also, your terminal at JFK sucks. I mean, water catches and hoses to deal with a leaky roof? If I make Medallion status this year, it will be worth it, but only by a little. 
P.S. I’m only doing this because I’m hoping to move far away in the very near future and think it will be worth it since my company uses your airline.
P.P.S. Do your flight attendants really let people paint their nails on the plane and then ask me if I’ve said anything to the woman when I complain about the smell? Isn’t that what they are paid to do?

Dear lady painting your nails on the plane,
Seriously? Il y a des limites, quand même.
A girl who takes personal maintenance seriously, but realizes there are limits

Dear college band on my flight Sunday,
Was it really necessary to travel in your matching outfits on a red-eye? A RED-EYE?! And your outfits…not super attractive. And why were you all so chatty? Thank goodness for noise canceling headphones and Tylenol PM.
With hopes that you don’t bug other people as much as you bugged me,
A normally pleasant traveler (okay, maybe not lately, but Delta and their stupid boarding and ghetto JFK terminal make me mad!)

Dear 55+ year olds currently hitting on me online,
You are all old enough to actually have sired me. Yes. That word is gross. And that’s why I’m using it. It’s gross that you are hitting on me. You have children old enough to be my siblings and none of you have enough money to make me consider marrying you for it. What I’m trying to understand is how it is you think that I would actually be interested? Especially since I’ve clearly stated on my profile what the upper end of my age limit is in terms of a potential future spouse, and you are well outside that range. You like to say that age doesn’t matter, but when was the last time you went out with a 76+ year old woman? And I think I’ve made my point.
Thanks but no thanks,
A woman who still feels anything over a six year age difference is inappropriate
P.S. For those of you paying attention, there was a boy…there no longer is a boy (by mutual decision)…so it’s back to the drawing board (or internet, as it were).

Dear Spotify,
I’m pretty sure I’ve written you a letter before, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to adequately express to you just how much I love you. I LOVE YOU!

Dear Broadway,
Thank you for giving me a reason to love you once again. Seriously, it’s been a very dry year, but a few weeks ago, when the lovely Sarah J. (Sare, that’s your new nickname, btw) and Co. were in town, I got to see both Newsies and Once. I realize that Newsies is kind of a silly show, but oh how I loved it. So entertaining. And so fun to see some of the great Broadway dancers from SYTYCD. And then there was Once. I was worried I would not love it as much as the movie. I was worried that no one could be as good as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I had no reason to worry. Wow. Just wow. I can’t wait until I can see it again. 
With a song in my heart and a smile on my lips just thinking about you,
there are a number of things I would change,
but not bad for two hours start to finish

Dear Art Studio NY,
For many, many years I have believed that I have very little artistic ability, so finally, I decided to conquer my fear and just take a painting class. And while I definitely don’t think I’ll be winning any art competitions any time soon (are those even a thing?) or selling a painting, I had a fabulous time learning a little bit about painting and feel pretty good about my two hour painting. Hopefully I can find the money to take some more classes in the near future.
The girl who is so happy she manages to find 20 seconds of courage to sign up for things that scare her

best pea soup ever

Dear Graham Elliot (and Kelly),
Thank you for what was probably the most amazing dining experience of my life. I knew I was in for something special for Kelly’s birthday dinner, but I had no idea just how amazing it would be. And with the best company in the world (Kelly, Sarah, and Amanda) how could it not be enjoyable. But the food. Oh, the food. Fourteen glorious courses and several adult beverages (mine were of the virgin variety, but still pretty special) and I am forever changed. 
With much love (and much higher expectations for future tasting menu experiences),
A wannabe foodie

dear you (brought to you by the fact that i haven’t posted one of these in way too long),

Dear Instagram,
Thank you for helping me stay connected to people through photos. While my blogging has been rather neglected recently, I still have documentation of my life because of you. And thank you for making it so easy to post photos to Twitter and Facebook, too. And finally, thank you for enabling me to take a selfie that made me look so great. Pretty much, you are my favorite app ever.
I love, love, love you! 
P.S. In case you had forgotten since yesterday, here’s the pic I was referring to.

Dear body,
Thank you for somehow managing to deal with the sleep deprivation currently being inflicted upon you. It came to my attention last year that your ability to function without sleep had deteriorated significantly, and yet somehow, over the past few weeks, you’ve hung in there like a champ. I think the late nights might slow down eventually because even I know this isn’t sustainable, but thank you, thank you, thank you for pushing through. 

Dear obnoxious lady at the laundromat last week,
Yes, I did know that I set the dryer for 56 minutes. In fact, I set it for 70. And the reason I know that is that I put the quarters into the dryer to set it for 70 minutes. And the reason I set it for 70 minutes? Because I go to this laundromat every week. Because I wash my own clothes so as not to have them thrashed by sending them out to be laundered. Because I dry them on low to preserve the life of my clothing. Because I had towels in the load. Not that it was any of your business, but there you go. And when I explained that all to you (much more succinctly), you acknowledged that it was none of your business. And I agreed. 
With hopes that you learned your lesson, but suspicions that you did not,
The woman who’s been doing her own laundry since she was 10 years old
You have made it so I don’t think I can happily live anywhere but NYC as a singleton. And it’s not like I use you that often, but just knowing you’re there makes me happy. And tonight, you came in so handy. I’m knee deep in cleaning (um…and blogging obviously) and I don’t have any desire to leave my apartment looking the way I do and all I have in my fridge are applesauce and myriad condiments. Until one has experienced the convenience that is food delivered from just about any restaurant in a 20 block radius, one just cannot understand how easy life can be. 
I thank you and my soon-to-be-clean apartment thanks you!
Dear Julie (and Greg),
Thank you so much for letting me come hang out with you last weekend. It was exactly what I needed. Life has been a little stressful and chaotic the past couple of weeks and I just needed a break. I love my family and the new babies and helping out with them…which is why I just needed to reset. Because I had been helping out with them. And it is so nice that you now live in Boston and have a lovely home where I can just chill for a weekend. Thank you for the wonderful trip to the Finnish sauna and for allowing me to not do anything else the whole time I was there besides talk your ear off about a boy, eat ice cream and caramel popcorn, watch movies, and sleep. I’m so happy to finally have you on the east coast!
Love always,
P.S. Your home is dreamy! 
You can see why it would be so easy to just chill all weekend.
I’m not sure how you became The Bachelor, but somehow it happened. Thanks to you, this season has been, quite possibly, the most ridiculous one to date (I admit, this is based on my limited experience–I’ve only watched four seasons) and yet I can’t help myself. A few words of advice once this whole thing is over and we all find out that it didn’t workout with whomever it is you chose to propose to because I’m guessing you’re just dumb enough to choose Courtney. Cut your freaking hair!!! There. I said it. And now, in case you want to know what’s so bad about it, I give you this picture.
Best of luck,
A girl who actually hopes you find love eventually, which is why I gave you the advice I did
Dear Primary kidlets,
I adore you and I was so excited to see you after four weekends in a row out of town. Thank you for being so good upon my return and so excited to see me, too. And tomorrow I have a special treat for you. I’m bringing salt dough. It’s going to be so much fun! I can’t wait to see you. 
Sister Andersen
What a perfect season finale. Thank you for being such a joy to watch and having such interesting and complex characters. Thank you for proving that good entertainment doesn’t have to be crass or edgy. 
Until I decide to start watching you on Netflix again,
Dear soccer,
Thanks for making me feel so tough even though both my teams are relatively crappy this season. There’s something about having a ball shaped bruise with a hexagon imprint on my quad that just makes me feel really good about myself.
With hopes for a better season to come,
See the lovely hexagon. This was the night it happened.
And three days later there was a bruise showing exactly where the ball had hit.

back on the island

After 19 days (with a 4 day stop at home in between) I am finally home in NYC. It’s always this weird, bittersweet thing. I love New York, but I also love my family and the new babies and I’m already feeling withdrawals. But, back to reality. I’m actually super excited to go to work tomorrow (weird, I know) and get back to soccer and The Bachelor watching with my girlfriends, and lots of other stuff. But I will miss my family, and a car, and Sonic Diet Coke, and having munchkins wake me up asking for “wowwy-powwy pancakes”. It’s too bad I can’t have it all all the time, but I guess that’s life. Until I figure it out, I’ll just appreciate that I have so many places I can call “home”.


So, I decided this year was the year to send out a holiday card. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of years now (inspired by my friend Anne who sent one a few years back), but just never got around to it. But this is the year that I am totally embracing my life as a fabulous singleton with an amazing life. Growing up in a culture that revolves around families (and rightly so, I think), I always hoped I’d be married with babies by this point in my life. That’s not to say that I thought I would be (I’m what I like to call a late bloomer). But hoped. Such is not the case (and thankfully so, given the person I was thinking of marrying at one point in time). That said, I am just tired of feeling like there are certain things I can’t do until I’m married. Not because anyone has said as much, just because I believed as much. But this is the year that all changes. And what better way to start it off than by sending my own holiday card with my own “year in review” update.

So, here’s the card (if you didn’t get one and you think you should have…I’m sorry, send me your address for next year) and a copy of my “year in review” letter. Exciting things are on the horizon for 2012 (so exciting that I’m kind of dying to see how it all turns out and to share bits and pieces as I can) and with any luck, next year’s letter will make all of you insanely jealous. Because that’s the point of these letters, right, to make you all wish you were me? Wait, it’s not? I’m so confused. In any case, enjoy!

Happy 2012 New Year’s
Click here to browse Shutterfly’s holiday card collection.
View the entire collection of cards.

The Letter:

This year has been full of blessings, trials, adventures, and lots of flying from one end of the country to the other. I have been loving my life in New York (where I’ve been working at [a big bank–trying to keep my work life and personal life separate here on the interwebs] since I finished my MBA in the spring of 2010) and this year it has definitely started to feel like home and I’ve really been enjoying all the city has to offer with the help of my wonderful NYC friends.

Some highlights from the year include having lots of visits from many of you (some of whom I hosted in my itty-bitty Upper West Side apartment), lots of travel to see family (specifically my seven—soon to be nine!—nieces and nephews) and friends, spending hours riding my bike along the Hudson and throughout Central Park, visiting museums, going to the theater, playing soccer, lots of time at the beach, eating out (there are so many great restaurants here!), dating adventures (even when the dates aren’t so great, they still make for fantastic stories), weekend trips to Rhode Island, Boston, and D.C., and teaching the 5-year-olds at church (this is a highlight now, but six months ago?…let’s just say we had a bit of a rough start).

While this year has definitely had its ups and downs (yes, there have been downs…but who writes about that stuff in a note like this?), I feel very blessed for my family and friends, my faith, my health, and a job I absolutely love. And I hope you can all say the same!

Wishing you all the best in 2012,