November 20, 2017

I Climb Mountains.

RIM TO RIM

5 AM was cold and the sun was hours from making an appearance. I was nervous and excited as I pulled on a second pair of socks then squinted in the bright flash of the before picture.


It felt like it took forever to get light. Hiking in the dark was fun for the first minute or two but then it made me nervous not seeing more than a couple feet in front of me. Slowly, as the sun woke, the magic of the Canyon came to life.
It. was. breathtaking.
I have visited the Grand Canyon many times now but being inside it felt different. I did great the first 9 miles and highly enjoyed chatting with my in-laws. Well before the half-way point that I began to feel tired. A cliff bar at our first rest stop and a bag of cheez-its through the long gorge worked wonders in giving me more energy. I was continually amazed at the human body. I didn't train (big mistake), I didn't prepare well sleep or hydration wise (also a mistake) but I asked my legs to work and they did. Our bodies are far more capable of extremes than I often recognize.
I was grateful for the chance to hike with Matthew and Clarissa. We talked books and movies, Harry Potter baby names and for at least 2 miles of pizza. There is a lot to discuss when comparing pizza places. Hungry Howies will forever have my heart.


We took a short detour somewhere in the first half to explore ribbon falls. Those couple extra miles are well worth it in my opinion. The bridge is pretty sketchy but the waterfall is phenomenal. An extra couple of miles didn't seem like a big deal when we were already hiking over 2 dozen. One thing you can't tell from the tourist viewpoints of the Grand Canyon is how green it is down there.


It was fun to watch the scenery change from rocky to green to bridges over the Colorado River.


I found the view stunningly beautiful hiking alongside the river. The second half of the hike really is incredible. However, my post lunch hiking was not as enthusiastic as those first 13 miles. My muscles ached and my head hurt. A blister had formed on my toe and negative thinking filled my head. We were all less talkative and focused on keeping a steady pace. Daniel and Stephen had run a marathon the month before so their speed was far faster than ours. We didn't even try to stay with them.

I can easily separate the hike in half. The first half was exciting, adventurous and fun. The second half was a struggle. I don't think I will ever hike it again but if I do I will be sure to prepare better. I would still be in the bottom of that Canyon if I hadn't been hiking with Thomas. Everyone dreads the last 4.6 miles. I had been told many times about the switchbacks. I was anxious about my ability to get up the South Rim but the truth of the matter is- you have to get out. There is no way of avoiding it. Our goal was to get out before dark. I REALLY didn't want to hike out after dark. We were slow but kept moving. Thomas would switch between placing his hand on my back and lightly pushing me and holding my hand to pull me. I was so grateful to have him.

If we look exhausted it is because we are.
I ran some wicked track workouts back in the day but my legs have never burned like this. Every step hurt. I didn't stretch cuz I'm a baby and it hurt too bad. Those last couple of miles were harder than the rest of the hike put together and it felt like it would never end.
It did end. We made it out right as it was really getting dark. Total time 13 hours. We weren't speedy by any means. I marvel at the people who do Rim to Rim to Rim. I can't imagine turning around at the top and going back.
As we made our way up the last and longest switch back Thomas pointed out Daniel, his Dad and Stephen. When he didn't I couldn't help myself, I started to cry. I was just so ready to be done and so relieved that we had actually finished.

The days to follow were humbling. I hobbled around as my muscles took their sweet time to recover. They eventually did and I'm sitting here writing this grateful for the experience.
Oh what a wonderful world. Oh what a fantastic place I live. I'll miss it. I can count the days on one hand until we move and it's surreal.

October 30, 2017

Fill in the blank

Things are finally slowing down here at Jacob Lake. With newfound free time I am itching to start writing again. Before I do so I might need to fill in the half a year gap here for my posterity.

A lot has happened since I last wrote.

1. I got married



May 6th 2017 was everything I ever dreamed it would be. It was a fairytale wedding. The kind every little girl dreams of. I will forever be grateful for my mom and mother-in-law and all who assisted them in bringing my dream wedding to life.


2. I moved to Arizona



After a glorious honeymoon to Orlando we packed up and moved. We aren't too far across the state border but boy this is so different from home. We live in the beautiful Kaibab National Forest. I guess technically it is a town but we are the only thing for many many miles. Bad cell service, limited internet and a group of college kids working sometimes long hours. It is a unique and wonderful place.
Our original plan was to spend a few months of the summer here. As time came for us to go back to school there seemed to be just as many reasons to stay as there were to leave. I struggled with the decision and while I have missed many things (family, friends, college, sports etc.) At the same time I am very grateful the Lord prompted us to stay.
We only have a month left and I know that I will really miss it here. I have gained so many skills and confidence in my ability to problem solve and work hard. However, I'm pretty excited to have a weekend again.


3. Michael left on a mission




New Zealand sounds like a dream mission but in the 2 months he has been out that young missionary has dealt with more responsibility and hard situations than some missionaries face their whole 2 years. He is obedient and hard working and I could not be more proud to be his sister. I love Elder Frodsham. I miss him.

Before he went we took a cruise to Mexico. The sea sick Frodsham's had a good time!

4. I went on MANY adventures




Living where we do has given us the opportunity to see spend over our fair share of time in some of this part of the world's most spectacular places.
Some of my favorites have been:

Grand Canyon North AND South Rim
Bryce Canyon National Park
Zion National Park (old time fav)
Cedar Breaks
Horse-shoe Bend
Lake Powell
White Pockets
Sand Dunes
and lots of Southern Utah (there is no place like home)

We are gearing up to hike Rim to Rim next week and I'm nervous but can't wait.


5. I fall more in love everyday


I knew I loved Thomas pretty early on in our relationship but what I didn't know was how depended upon him I would become. I crave his presents and he brings a sense of security to my soul. I am a very  very lucky girl! It has been a magical 6 months!

Unplug

The easiest way to determine if you are addicted to something is to take it away and see how you do without.

My addictions include:

Microwave popcorn,
Dr. Pepper,
Q-tips,
and Crest 3D white toothpaste.

I don't function well without them. Those addictions I'm okay with (maybe a little guilty about the soda but I've accepted it).

For the first few months we lived in the Kaibab we had no wifi and for those months I used all the data on our family plan. I would drain my phone battery waiting for things to load and missed out on some beautiful summer afternoons outside. I knew I was a typically millennial who loved their smart phone but I didn't want to be addicted.

We now have spotty wifi so I don't hog the data but I certainly didn't learn to do without when I was given the opportunity.

I love tasty videos. Instagram pictures. Snapchat stories.... the works. And while it isn't necessarily evil it sure doesn't strike gold on the good-better-best scale.

I know it.

I know I could do better at being present, being productive and being proud of how I use my time.

So here I am putting it in writing because as the saying goes-
a goal not written is only a wish.

[and yes I recognize the irony of posting it on the internet]

March 16, 2017

no more 'BUT's

I learned a life skill that I would like to attempt to share with you.
It involves removing the word "but" from your vocabulary. Who knew the difference three letters could make to a statement.

It isn't a big secret that I harbor some hard feelings towards my time as a full-time missionary. I struggle when conversations of mission stories roll around at social functions. I find myself caught between wanting to be honest and not wanting to come across super cynical. I will never discredit the value of missionary work.
my responses have traditional been
"My mission was hard BUT I am grateful I went."
"I'm glad I served a mission BUT you couldn't pay me enough to go again."
"I loved being called as a Spanish speaking missionary BUT I don't speak very well."
Almost every single time my responses include a but.
I credit it to my attempt to be true to both the good and the bad. I always want to be honest.

Turns out it has been doing some rotten things to my emotional well being and I was taught a way to do it better-
replace all the buts with an and
My mission was hard AND I am grateful I went.
I'm glad I served AND you couldn't pay me enough to go again.
I loved being called as a Spanish speaking missionary AND I struggled with the language.
Both parts of those statements are true. However, it feels different to say AND instead of BUT.

I'm working through all the things that stop me from living my life with no regrets AND it is hard AND healthy AND scary AND liberating.
In life it doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both, and in my opinion most times it is.

I imagine motherhood to be wonderful AND hard.
I know school is overwhelming AND enlightening.
Losing a loved one can be the right thing AND heartbreaking.

So how about that.. no more buts. Try it- I dare you!

February 28, 2017

Remember me?

Hey there Blog of mine,
I'm still here, promise. I feel sad that some of the most memorable moments of my life have resulted in such a busy feeling that I don't visit here to document them.
I get frequent questions about being engaged. Is it hard? Do I think my engagement is too long? Am I failing all my classes?
I have a hard time answering any of them confidently. I remember being told it was hard and that I would struggle in school. And it is and I am but it's also magical and wonderful and happy!
I think for the most part people have painted this really negative image of the engagement period of a relationship. It is challenging and I'm 100% positive marriage will be way better than this but at the same time our relationship is growing at such a fantastic rate.
Planning a wedding is harder than my Pinterest boards and I thought it would be. In all honesty though when this thing is all over Mom gets all the credit! She is so patient with me and so organized.
As silly as it sounds I've struggled the most with picking a cake flavor.. I know.. of ALL the decisions that go into planning a wedding (and there are way more of them than I thought there were) that cake got me.
Poor Thomas.
He is really good at having opinions when I ask for them but every time we start talking about the cake I turned into this really grumpy/emotional bride to be. I DON'T KNOW WHY!!(and I really don't want to be that). We pick colors, talk about DJs, food, decorations and I'm fine but over and over again I would have weird break downs about that stupid cake!!! I'll eat one bite of it and that's it. I was frustrated because I could rapid fire a list of things I didn't want but could not make a decision.
We still haven't finalized that little detail haha BUT I've learned a couple things.
1. We can't make decisions when I'm hungry.
in the words of T's brother "Megan, you are not yourself when your hungry."
Hanger is a real thing.
2. I really am marrying the person who would do anything to make me happy. He is kind, patient and thoughtful. He understands me. He knows when it is better for me to just go to bed, how to motivate me to study and makes me laugh when I feel sad. He reminds me that as long as we are sealed in the temple the rest of it is just extra stuff.
3. If I don't manage my stress the unhappy Megan comes back. Thomas says it is a 95% to 5% ratio. But that 5% got really bad. I guess it didn't go away like I thought. There are still things I'm working through. I made a therapy appointment then canceled it. Started running consistently then quit. Bought healthy food from the grocery store then ate more chicken nuggets. It's daily and most days that 5% stays were it should but on days that is doesn't I'm extra grateful for Thomas. I'm extra grateful for Mom and Dad.
I had a complete melt down of insecurity trying to pick something to wear for our engagement pictures. I emptied my closet more than once, made myself sick and then on that day I was extra grateful for a kind, understanding sister. Haley not only helped me feel pretty but also took some wonderful pictures!
4. Life with Thomas is going to be so fun!(although I think I already knew that) Wedding prep is well on its way, our honeymoon is planned and we are so excited for all of it!
2 months 7 days and 16 hours :) :) :)
5. Growing up is a little scary. While I am sooooo excited- I'm also nervous. I've seen my life change drastically. My decisions are no longer my decisions- they are ours. My plans for the summer, next school year.. life!! They all now involve someone else. Our conversations and plans have hit me hard that it will never again be my money, my apartment or even my family. If there is anyone in this world I would want to share EVERYTHING with it would be Thomas.
and not just things- every vacation, every hope/dream, all of my concerns and worries as well.
I'm in an eternal families class this semester and if I have learned anything there it is that I'm so grateful it's Thomas!!!
So when I look back on this post next year and want to tell people that being engaged was so hard and long remember this: it is hard in some ways but it is wonderful in just as many!

January 24, 2017

EEEEEEEPPPPPPPP ENGAGED!!!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL- THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!! Part of me feels like I should write this whole post in all caps because I am beyond thrilled! I'm engaged to the most wonderful man, the boy of my dreams, the love of my life! May 6th is going to be the most magical day but we have so many magical days before that day and a life time of magical days after.

January 20th was a REALLY magical day. I have to hand it to Thomas he was really chill all day. Most of what we did was my idea so I wasn't expecting him to propose. Had I been wishing and hoping for weeks that he would?- yes, but I didn't think it was happening that day.
I called him after class and told him I need some time to finish some things before we headed out for what I thought was a low key night at Jayne's apartment in Salt Lake (Jayne is Thomas's sister who lives right down town. He was wasn't suspicious at all suggesting we go to Zupas. Then I had suggested running to the mall on our way out. Turns out Thomas faked a headache and went back to his house for Tylenol just to waste time. Really I was lied to sooooo many times that day haha and from a boy who is always honest with me I was so trusting. He said lying that day didn't count.
Again it was me that suggested we visit the state capitol while in Salt Lake. We wondered around and I was so happy just being with him. We sat and talked for a long time. He did pretty good a killing time and avoiding my suggestion to just go hang out with his brother at Jayne's apartment. After what felt like hours (oh wait it was hours...) at the capitol we headed over.
The moment I thought "well maybe he is gonna propose" was when he told me to leave all my stuff in the car and that we would come get it later. I had told my self not to expect to get engaged because if it didn't happen I would be sad instead of enjoying a fun weekend in Salt Lake. He told me he wanted to show me the view from the roof. You would think that was a dead give away but I just had convinced myself that it wasn't happening. He had me close my eyes and actually ran me into a pole LOL. He tells me that he was distracted by the set up.
When I was allowed to open my eyes the person I love most in this world was down on one knee. It is the moment that as a girl you dream about. I had wondered what it was going to feel like when that moment came and it was more than I could ever have imagined. I made some ugly crying sounds and I think I said a yes in there somewhere. The view from that roof top really is great and I was able to appreciate it for what it was the next morning covered in snow. But that night I didn't even look out at the city. I had two other things to look at. 1. the 'perfect in every way' ring that now lives on my left hand and 2. the face that I'll get to wake up to every morning in a short 102 days.
yes, I'm counting.

I love Thomas! I can't wait to be Mrs. Rich! He brings an unexplainable peace and reassurance to my soul. He makes me feel beautiful, capable and safe, I've never been so happy!


Photo credit to my sneak sneak roommates! It was fun to have them and Daniel there. They are a blessing in my life.
Thomas's family members were waiting down in Jayne's apartment and just like any normal Rich family get together we ate pizza and watched a Jazz game. It was fantastic!
I called home to St. George in a pretty emotional state. They of course all knew it was coming. I stayed in that kind of surreal state of mind through the pizza and celebratory cake. I've also never felt more popular as social media comments and text messages drained my phone battery in about an hour. It was fun.
I actually don't think I have come down from the OH MY GOSH WE ARE ENGAGED high yet. I'm struggling a little paying attention in class distracted by seeing how my ring sparkles in the different classroom lights. hehehe


Anyway.. There is the engagement story for ya. It's pretty joyful!!!! So in love! So happy!

January 17, 2017

Baby Brother

Hi blog.. I'm back again, which means I have something to say that I can't really put anywhere else.

I have a younger brother- he gets under my skin in mere seconds but boy I'm one proud big sister. It's funny because no one can put me in a bad mood faster than that 18 year old kid but he will never ever know just how much I respect his opinion. One of my greatest and kinda secret desires is for Michael to think I'm 'cool'. This last weekend I was able to attend one of his High School basketball games.
Watching Michael play is more exciting to me than any college or professional level game. I'm so emotionally invested in the handsome young men on the court. These boys now tower over me but it hasn't always been the case. I've watch the same group of once little kids run up and down a court since they could dribble a ball. I've always liked going to games and missing an entire season made me feel more homesick than most things while I was on a mission.
To help put things in perspective there are a few background details you should know.
It was Mom who told me about how the bottom of every pair of his basketball shoes have a sharpie written "MTB" on the bottom. She asked him one day why that was.
His response...
"Make Them Believe."
He reminded her of the time in the 7th grade he was placed on the "B team". It was that year I remember him spending hours a day at the church by himself shooting. Michael isn't the tallest or the fastest. He is athletic but doesn't have NBA future skills. What he does have is determination and the best attitude I have ever seen. He told my mom that his goal starting then was to 'make them believe' that he could do it. He could be the kind of player he needed to be to succeed. His hard work has been consistent since.
High School sports are hard. Athletics can teach us such great lessons of dedication and hard work but never did I put the kind of time or energy into running. Maybe it is because Michael loves it more but I think a lot of it has to do with the person he is.
He is the youngest and always expected to be the fun one or the funny one or responsible or is compared to his older siblings or expected to be a certain way as the Stake President's son. He is going to High School in an environment I believe is far worse than even just a few years ago when I was there. I consistently hear about him leaving parties or being the one to hold his peers to higher standards. He isn't a glory seeker- not socially or athletically. He is just good.
I watched him this last weekend walk to the middle of the court as a captain. Both teams were still warming up and almost no one watched him and his best friend shake hands with the refs but my heart skipped a beat and I thought
"Michael.. I believe"
He may still be working his tail off every day to make his coaches believe with every minute he gets on the court but he could not play another minute all season and the effects of what he has done thus far would be immeasurable.
He inspires me not only to dream but to do something about those dreams.
#12