Monday, February 28, 2011

Double Wide

I used to live in a trailer. I lived in a trailer with my deadbeat of an Ex-boyfriend, his grandma, great-grandma (for a short period,) sister, mother, nephew, and two dogs. I lived in a place that I hated, with someone I didn't like, and I was turning into a miserable person. Finally, after two and a half years of back and forth, I left. I left my beautiful dog, took my mattress and moved out.
The Ex was left with his pile of mounting debt and his shiny Hummer in the driveway (the driveway of a trailer, mind you). I have never been happier. I have grown up so much in the two and a half years after my departure.

Saturday night I was in the area with Ben for a housewarming party, and we decided it would be fun to drive by the old trailer. I assumed that the family had moved on, but as we pulled up, there it was. The grandma and mother had their old cars in the driveway, and there was a shiny new Cadillac in one of the carport stalls (reminder, this is in front of a trailer that the person doesn't even own!) As we drove by the front door swung open, and the Ex walked out! He walked out to smoke, and we drove off laughing.

If I had not left, I would still live in a trailer with someone I didn't like, becoming a person I couldn't stand.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I have a confession: I like lists. Scratch that, I love lists! When I discovered "Stickies" and "iCal" I was on cloud nine (thanks Macbook)! I like to plan, and budget. I carry a budget in my wallet that has my money tracked from now until July, it's semi-neurotic. I book back-to-back plans with friends, and each day I run from work to school, run back to work, run to the gym, run home to cook, and then study until I can't keep my eyes open. I never thought my lifestyle was a problem, but I'm beginning to realize it is. I have HUGE goals, and that requires a lot of planning, and better time management. In honor of my confession, here is a list of my current "to dos" and projects:

1. SLC Half Marathon on April 17th
2. Get my blue belt in jiu-jitsu (this one is huge!)
3. Work 40 hrs a week
4. Attend 9 credit hours of school (and my current non-credit internship)
5. Volunteer with Equality Utah
6. Volunteer with the Inclusion Center
7. Work on the "blogging for girls" project I have undertaken
8. Work on a longitudinal study with Dr. Brinkman (this one is still in the works)
9. Pay off my debt
10. Get a raise at work
11. Maintain social life

Basically, I don't sleep. I am officially empathetic towards all college kids that abuse uppers, not that I'm endorsing that behavior, but I totally understand it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sons of Perdition

Last weekend we went to see "Sons of Perdition" at the Tower Theater, and I was so touched by the movie that I can't stop thinking about it. Sons is a documentary that follows three members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), and documents their journey as they escape from the community which has trapped them and countless others. The FLDS community is led by Warren Jeffs, who is a sadistic, narcissistic, and completely disgusting person. One google search will lead you to current tales of his indictments on charges of atrocious crimes such as child rape. The movie features a picture of a pregnant thirteen year old girl from the community, which caused any neutral feelings on the issue to be quickly dispelled. Any group that condones the practice of rape is deplorable, and I hope Warren Jeffs spends his life in prison fighting off attackers.

Tyler Measom (Director) does a fantastic job of introducing Bruce, Joe, and Sam, three boys who escape from Colorado City, Arizona. The documentary highlights their story of failed escape attempts, loneliness, drugs, and eventual success. I literally can't put it into words how touching this movie was. Watching the boys experience something as simple as Mother's Day is astounding; they literally have no concept of the outside world. One of the scenes shows the young men in The Cathedral of the Madeleine in downtown SLC. One boy asks, "So, Catholics believe in Jesus?" When someone provides an answer in the affirmative he innocently responds, "sweet." Such an innocent question, asked in earnest naivete immediately opens your heart to the young men (while making you want to punch their parents for sheltering them.)
Each year boys are exiled from the community in Colorado City, or "The Crick," and they have no money, no education, and nowhere to go. Public education was banned when Warren Jeffs took the community over, and boys that are forced out of the area are barely literate, and can't find a way to get into high school, because they don't have permanent addresses or previous education. Depriving a child of education is one of the worst abuses that a parent can put them through, and the entire community should be ashamed of themselves.

We were lucky enough to go to a screening that ended with a Q&A session with the director, and the three boys. The young men were met with a standing ovation from the crowd; everyone should be as brave as these young men. Knowing that they wanted to achieve more out of life, they left their friends and family to embark on an amazing and terrifying journey. They walked into a world that they had been taught was filled with sin and the presence of the devil. They went through more struggle with their decision to leave than most of us will ever know in a lifetime. After seeing this movie I want to go to St. George, Utah (where most of the boys end up,) and adopt a fifteen year old...I am not joking.

I'm pleading with all of my heart that you go to see this movie! You will not be disappointed, and this issue is extremely prevalent for all of my friends in Utah because we have the gift of proximity when it comes to helping these exiles.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day we skipped cards, flowers, chocolates, and any typical trappings. Instead of the typical date, we ate panang gai (red curry chicken) and Gaeng Kieow Waan (green curry chicken). We washed it down with Thai Iced coffee, and some mango sticky rice. I highly recommend checking out Mekong Cafe, it is on 7777 South State Street. You will not be disappointed in a single dish that this mom and pop restaurant serves. Everything they serve is delicious, well, everything I have tried that is. This picture isn't from the actual place, but it is very similar:

I love date nights. We have so much fun. I love having our usual spots. It was a great Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Chelsea!

I turned twenty-three on the ninth of this month, and it was the best birthday I could have imagined. Ben surprised me by putting together a party at The Pie, in South Jordan. All of my coaches, and some of my dearest friends came. We ate pizza and a delicious cake (the cake was provided by VTS.) I had no idea that he had planned the party! I was under the impression that we were going home after an arduous workout to eat tacos. Ben said we needed to stop at the store, which is in the same complex as The Pie. I asked what we were doing when he bypassed the store and he replied, "we're going to your birthday party." I almost cried in the car; no one has ever planned a surprise party for me. We walked up to the door and through the window I could see my favorite little man, Jarom running in the lobby. I almost broke down when I saw that little guy and his beautiful sister Sofia.

Ben is amazing, I seriously could not ask for a better companion. In lieu of my new age, I figured it would be fun to compile a short list of the major things that happened during my twenty-second year of life:

1. My 1st Half marathon!!! (I'm particularly proud of this one)
2. Dirty Dash 10k
3. 2nd place at the Utah Grappling games
4. Trip to Maui
5. Trip to Arvada, CO for NAGA
6. Trip to Boulder, CO for my first Aesop show
7. Trip to Reno, NV for my second Aesop show
8. I made the Dean's list at the University of Utah,
and my personal favorite...
9. Ben and I made our relationship "official"

I have some serious work to do, because each year must be better than the last! Bring it, 23!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


My favorite baby in the whole world turned ONE on February 4th!
Her fabulous parents threw a party (on the 5th) at So Cupcake in Holladay. I tried the "So Hanky Panky Red Velvet" cupcake, and Cam gave me a bite of his blueberry cake; both of the cupcakes that I tried were great. My camera from my phone doesn't do this beautiful baby justice, but here she is:
She parties like a rockstar, double-fistin' some cupcake goodness!

Here is one of my favorite pictures that her mommy had done professionally:

I love you, Miss Sofia!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Things have been hectic and wonderful for the past little while. Spring semester started, and I'm working on a great advocacy project with the Gender Studies department. We're currently ironing out the details for a community blog writing project that focuses on the subject of girl-on-girl bullying; as soon as more details are available, my blog will be bursting with posts that direct everyone to the site. I'm so excited for the experience-it is the first time I have worked on a project from the very beginning.

The gym has been absolutely fantastic. Our fantastic professor, Rob Handley flies Grand Master Flavio Behring to the U.S. twice a year. While he is here, Master Flavio conducts a seminar, and each year it exceeds my expectations. I literally cannot stress the importance of this event. Master Flavio is the embodiment of Jiu-Jitsu. He is a walking, talking, ass-kicking piece of history, and contemporary genius. He looks like a Brazilian Sean Connery, and has the best wink I have ever seen. If you are interested in self-defense or sport jiu-jitsu, check out his site:

The seminars are a great learning experience, and they are the time of year when everyone receives their due belt promotions. This year, I am so proud to share that Mister Bentley received his PURPLE BELT!! For those of you that don't know, the belt progression is as follows: white, blue, purple, brown, black. The purple belt is the "halfway" point. If a person works really hard a black belt can be achieved in ten years (give or take, depending on your skill-level, and your Professor, etc.) Ben has worked so hard, and he deserved this promotion (he has been doing jiu-jitsu for 3 1/2 years now.) Ben has won numerous competitions, and puts in so much time on the mat. I am so proud of him, I literally can't put it into words. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures for now, I'm going to ask my lovely coaches for some copies, and post them if they allow me to.
Ben wasn't the only person to receive a promotion, my best friend, Camrann Pacheco was promoted to a BROWN BELT! Such a monumental occasion! Cam is amazing, and he really deserves the new belt.
I have made myself the promise that I won't be a white belt forever, it's time for me to put in work to earn a blue belt!!