Friday, October 4, 2013

Wherein I update the reader on my life, complain a little, and count a few of my blessings.

Things started getting busy at work, and for some reason that pushes things like my blog to the back-burner. I'm even too tired and distracted to do a lot of crocheting when I get home. "But, Sarah! You love to crochet! How can you ever be too tired?" I KNOW!

I won't go in to any kind of detail about the insanity that is my workplace at the moment. Suffice it to say, this Fall was the worst semester start-up I've ever experienced. Thinking about it makes me tired all over again. And not just tired: frustrated, cranky, and on the verge of tears. It was awful. It's over now and we're finally caught up, so I'm starting to feel a little more human at work, so that's good. I'm now able to focus on learning my new responsibilities (oh yeah, I've "moved up" in the world of financial aid to the position of Default Prevention Manager... I may have forgotten to mention that to some of you... Mom and Dad in particular. haha oops). So I'm doing a lot of reading about my new job: things I should know, how to format certain reports, which students to contact and when, etc. It's interesting, believe it or not.

When we were in the "new member" meeting the first week we attended our new ward, the bishopric asked, almost in desperation, if anyone had musical abilities, specifically if anyone played the piano. Jana and Tana pointed at me. I've been called to the music committee. Right now, that just means I'm kind of floating, doing whatever our chairperson asks me to do, whether waiving my arm or playing piano/organ. I actually love being on the music committee in any ward. I love the hymns, I love to sing, I love to play, so bring it on.

As for my what's happening in my personal life, there's not much to report. I've actually been on more dates recently than I have probably in my whole life up to this point. No, I'm not being hyperbolic. It's the truth. I've met some guys and have actually gone on dates with them. I know, hard to believe. This perma-single has been dating. The waters have moved back to stagnant again, but hey, for a couple of months, I was going on dates. As was made somewhat obvious by the paragraph above, I've moved again. Just across town, so still in Provo. And I moved in with Jana and Tana, so that's also new and fun. I've made some new friends recently--trying to be more outgoing and actually talk to people rather than living in my little shell. It's hard for me to put myself out there, but I'm doing it.

Really, what I'm trying to do with this blog post today is fight back the depression that's creeping into my heart right now. I know, not the cheeriest of thoughts. I turned 31 a couple of weeks ago. I usually enjoy my birthday: I love the attention, love celebrating with family and friends. I got to play with an adorable puppy named Coach for a couple of hours, which was pretty much the best thing ever. (Isn't he cute?! See, even though this part of the post is less-than-happy, at least you get to see a cute puppy held up by the cute Tana.) I talked with my parents, received texts and Facebook greetings from lots of wonderful people. And though my birthdays don't usually make me think about my age or how much I'm missing, this year was different. Coach was only a distraction for those couple of hours we played. The rest of the day, as well as the days before and the days after, I kept thinking about the things I don't have. Getting older and still being alone, feeling stuck in this perpetual state of singlehood... Going on dates, getting to know different men, and having it lead to nothing... Don't get me wrong. I'm having fun. I'm single and fancy-free. I love that I'm not tied down: if a friend calls and says, "Hey, let's go do this thing right this minute," I can hop in my car and go do this thing right this minute. I love that I can spend my money how I choose without needing to check with a spouse to make sure it will fit in the budget. I love that if the baby I'm holding starts to cry, I can pass him along to his mother. But when it's over and I go home to an empty bed, it's a giant punctuation mark signaling that I'm alone. Sometimes it's just a comma, and I feel like it's only a pause and soon I'll be moving along. Sometimes it's a period, and if feels final and it's not so bad because life is good. But recently it's been an exclamation mark, yelling at me from every direction that I'm alone and I'll be alone forever!

Also, I'm stuck in a job that, though most of the time is interesting and keeps me busy and makes me stretch my brain muscles, sometimes feels overwhelming and I don't love it, and shouldn't I be doing something I feel more passionate about? Shouldn't I feel good about going to work, instead of sometimes dreading it? (Again, it's not a bad job... maybe it's just not for me?) I keep thinking, in the way back of my mind, that I should go to (shudder) grad school, but I dismiss it because I really didn't like school the first time around (high school) and I didn't like it the second time around (Associate's) and I didn't like it the third time around (Bachelor's), so why put myself through (shudder) grad school? But if I don't, will I be able to find something that pays decently and will be something I enjoy rather than tolerate? I'm stuck.

So, let's count my blessings, yes? Maybe it'll make me feel better?
I'm alive.
I'm healthy.
I have an education and a job and a house and food and clothes and shoes.
My family loves me, no matter what.
My friends think I'm kinda fun to have around.
I have a car--a freedom in and of itself.
I have a smartphone--endless hours of entertainment, plus the ability to communicate.
I have talents that I love to share, and I hope they enrich other lives as well as my own.
While I may sleep alone, I don't live alone--it's nice to have roommates again.
I have a limited understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through it I believe I have a Heavenly Father and Mother who love me and want the best for me, a Savior who atoned for me, and a Guide to help me.

Really, what more do I need? (Pizza.)

Monday, June 24, 2013


Hanson. Guys, I just can't help myself.

I bought this today:

Yep, my ticket to see Hanson at The Depot on September 20. They seem to know to come to Utah for my birthday. It's so sweet of them, really. This will be my fifth time seeing these guys. And I'm so happy to be going to Mallory and Megan! Yay for friends! :)

I've been listening to Anthem over and over again. Great stuff.

Also, I'm leaving for San Diego on Wednesday morning. I can't wait for the beach! Waves, wind, sand, sun! And, of course, spending some time with my family. It's gonna be awesome, guys. I will be going here:

This is gonna be a great week. I can feel it in my bones!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Family Reunion!

All righty. Here's the plan for Family Reunion. There might be a change to the Temple time (we may decide to go to the 8am session... I'll keep you posted.

Much love, family. Can't wait!

UPDATE: as you can see, the flyer has changed. Please download the new version. Love!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Gotta write it out before I forget too much.

Skydiving. Holy crap, it was amazing.

Earlier in the week, I started to get nervous. On the three-hour drive out to Moab with Heather, Jana, and Jacob, I wasn't nervous anymore. Signing my life away, my hand started to shake. Walking to the hanger, I calmed down again. Watching the "safety" video, I got butterflies. Dressing in the overalls, I was excited. Watching other skydivers jump from the little plane up in the sky and then land in the dirt, I was giddy.

The plane. Guys, the plane was... tiny and old. And the interior was really being held together by duct tape. No joke. Not that I thought the plane would fall apart or anything; I really wasn't too nervous about it, except that it looked pretty... haggard. It was dang funny. I mean, here I am, getting into this tiny little ghetto plane that looks like it's gonna fall apart with the slightest touch. I promise, the plane was the scariest part of this experience. So much turbulence. There were a lot of slight drops in altitude and those scared me more than what I was about to do. I kid you not. I had to keep telling myself that if the plane fell apart, at least I was strapped to a professional, experienced, trained skydiver with a (hopefully) working parachute. Now that the scary part has been told, let me tell you about the dive.

I got in the plane with my legs toward the rear and the expert (Ben) climbed in behind me with his legs straddling me. There was a solo skydiver in the plane with us, and he jumped from a lower elevation, so I got that "cold gush of wind" when the door opened for him. Then the pilot tipped the plane sideways to bang the door closed. Holy. Sh*t. (Remember, this plane is scary.) Ben went over the brief jump-training I'd had on the ground (three times by three different people, including the expert to whom I was currently strapped--so yes, this is Round Four). He asked if I was ready. I said, with a little quiver that I hope was covered by the noise of the wind and the plane, "Yes." The pilot pushed the button to open the door, Ben swung out one of his legs, instructed me to swing both of mine out one at a time and to perch on the edge of the plane with my feet resting on this tiny little itty-bitty rod, then he swung out his other leg, yelled in my ear, "Here we go, 1-2-3," as fast as you just now read it, and we were falling. (In the photo below, we're the white dot kind of in the middle.)

Falling...falling...falling. My hands were up in the air, my heart was beating hard, I couldn't catch a breath, and it was a thrill. SO. EXCITING. Way too much fun. We dropped for about twenty seconds, but it felt like five. Then Ben pulled the chute and our decent slowed. He pointed out different sights, let me "control" our direction by pulling each side of the chute so we spun left, then right, then sailed. I couldn't stop grinning and whooping for joy. Woooooohooooo!!!!!! "I can see why you'd want to do this everyday," I said. "Yep, not a bad job," Ben replied. And we landed (on our feet, I'll have you know.)

Jacob came running toward me with a grin on his face (and with missing his two front teeth, let me tell you, that grin is the best thing in this world) and said that he and my sisters could hear me yelling from up high. He then challenged me to run over to Heather and Jana, saying he'd bet he could beat me. I laughed and said, "I know you could. My legs feel like jelly and I can barely walk!"

I bought the video and photos. I'll try to get them posted as soon as I get them.

This experience was amazing. The rush, the sights, even the jelly-legs when we landed. So much fun. And I'm so glad that Heather, Jana, and Jacob went with me. It was good to have them there to support me and cheer me on (if "You're crazy" and "I hope that plane can hold you guys" are considered cheering me on...). It was also super nice to not have to drive all the way to Moab and back by myself, so thank you very much for being my buddies today!

Mom, Dad, Marie, Grandpa and Grandma Chinn: Thank You!!! This was the best Christmas present ever!!!

By the way, Mom found this deal through Groupon. The company is called Skydive Canyonlands. And even though the plane was a little scary (and really, none of those little planes looked a lot better--they're just so small), it was a really great experience. These people know what they're doing, are super friendly, answered all of my questions, were no-nonsense but totally laid-back. I recommend Skydive Canyonlands to anyone. Way fun.

UPDATE: Here are a few more photos. Enjoy!

Scary Tiny Plane

About to Jump


Back on Solid Ground

Monday, February 25, 2013

In other news...

I bought a car!

His name is James. He's named for all those amazing musicians... Taylor, Mercer, Brown, Morrison. My car is a rock star.

2010 Hyundai Elantra GLS

I'm still having a bit of anxiety over this whole buying-a-car thing, but I'm super happy about the freedom it affords. I'm so grateful for family and friends giving me rides everywhere, for a bus system that (until recently) was easy and affordable, and for my own to legs getting me from point A to point B. But I'm SUPER happy about having wheels of my own.

Many thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts and opinions as I searched!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blogs...Are they dying?

Mine is. How very sad.

I'm not going to make a "New Year's Resolution" to post more. Mostly because I don't really see the necessity. But I will post more... probably.

Things I will do this year:
Look for a new job. Not that I don't like the one I have now. I've actually grown to somewhat enjoy what I do. I don't like the ornery students who yell at me and think I'm doing everything I can to make sure they don't get their money. And I really don't like the start of each term when things get so crazy busy that I can't get one piece of paperwork done during my regular hours, so I have to stay late (with no overtime) to get things accomplished. But I do like getting things done. I like being busy. I like the students who don't feel entitled, who do what they're supposed to do without complaining, who thank me for my help. The main reason for the new job search is that... well... I've got a Bachelor's degree but I'm making about as much as a high school graduate could make. This is not OK. If it were up to my supervisors, we'd all be making more than we are, but it's not up to them. The school has no money. The state has no money. We won't be getting any more money any time soon. Therefore, no one will be getting any kind of raise in the foreseeable future (at least, no one in staff positions from my director and her counterparts in other departments, down to the peons like me--I'm not sure what's happening with faculty and the "higher-ups"). There's a position open at U of U (exactly what I do at UVU) that pays $4000 more than I make currently. I think I'll be applying for that one.

Buy a car. It's time. I've been relying on public transportation, my sisters, and my friends to get me where I need to go for the last... it'll be nine years this coming May. I've done my duty to the environment. I've saved myself thousands of dollars (not that any of it is in my bank account). I will have the money soon (new car projected to be in my possession sometime in March). So, yes. Sarah Heywood will finally own a car again. I know all of you who have been my chauffeur at one point or another are saying, "It's about freakin' time."

I will get in shape. I'm doing a Weight Loss Challenge with my family this year. We all want to get in better shape, but most of us suck at trying to do it on our own. We decided to do a family challenge to help encourage each other to actually get it done this year. We've got money on the line. Whoever does the best by family reunion (in late June) gets the pot. We're talking a pretty large pot, too, so I'd really like to win. I've been doing really well so far, but it's still early in the year. I hope I can keep it up!

I'll look into grad school. I know I said, "It'll never happen." But it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. I've been thinking (and only thinking, not acting in any way whatsoever) that it might be fun to do a Master's in library studies, and work in a YA/Children's section. Anyone who knows me knows I really love YA literature. I love books in general... the feel, the smell, the weight of them in my hands... and I would love to work in a place where I could be surrounded by them. But if I could be surrounded by YA literature, that'd be heaven. (If you question the validity of YA literature, please see me. We'll chat.)

These are the things I will do. Notice I didn't say I WOULD get a new job. But I'll look. And I didn't say I WOULD go to grad school, but I'll look. I don't like to set my goals too high (haha). I hate disappointing myself and making promises I can't keep. Who knows if I really will be able to find a new job? Who knows if I can really afford grad school? We'll see... We'll see.