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Friday, September 18, 2015

I. Can't. Run.

I have mixed feelings about planning this wedding. Some of you may be saying, "Planning a wedding? Whitney, you still have ten months to go. Chill out!" By some people, I mean my fiance named Boyfriend and my stupid only friend/non-friend Emily. They might simultaneously be my favorite and least favorite people on the planet.

I love to plan things, but I hate to spend money, have attention on me and long drawn out processes.
So far, the planning really hasn't been that bad. For me. Emily and Zach need to tell me about 15 times per day that things will work out just fine and that I should stop stressing and that I'm a dummy head (Emily). So, they might have a different story to tell you about "how bad" it's been. And the good news, is that I can throw the "you still have ten months" comment in their faces because guess who gets to listen to me for those ten months????? Um. Yeah. 

In other news, I have a half marathon next weekend. I'm not ready. The last half marathon I did was a bust. A big fat one. I went into it already bored and not ready to run. My running partner and I split up pretty early on in the race, I wasn't going to hold him back. This is the first race I didn't finish. Ever! 
I thought maybe it would feel like a big deal, but I really didn't care. I still don't. I quit the race 10.5 miles into the 13.1 mile race. I just got to a point and said, "I'm done." and walked off the path. Since it was a midnight half-marathon, I needed to call Boyfriend to come pick me up, which he did! He got up at midnight, to come pick me up in the middle of nowhere-Centerville and followed my horrible directions that resulted in multiple wrong turns. Guys, he still asked me to marry him AFTER this. I should make sure he doesn't read this blog so that he isn't reminded of this ... 

This pathetic event got me back in the gym and I've been doing such a good job and feeling GREAT. But, it hasn't gotten me back on the track/road. I don't want to run right now! It is incredibly foreign to me. I've always been able to say, "I'm a runner." and now, I just say, "meh."
Whenever I think about running it makes me cringe inside. I don't go for a lot of mumbo-jumbo, but I think it is a psychological reaction. I ran a lot during my divorce, the last days of my marriage and throughout other, recent hard times. Lately, whenever I've finished a run I'm filled with rage. Just ask Boyfriend. One time he said, "How was your run?" And, I replied "WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THAT? DON'T ASK ME THAT!!!" and then I stomped off. It was psycho. 

So, running. Not a good thing right now. I'm still going to do this half marathon, but I'm going to take my time and do whatever. I love the upcoming race, I've done it every year since its creation. It goes down through the canyon and I get to see all of the fall colors, so I'm going to try and enjoy it. But other than that running isn't for me right now. I am enjoying my time on the elliptical while watching the Mindy Project and the old guys who play racquetball in the morning ... ohlalala! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Practicing Good Behavior

First, I want to thank everyone for being awesome. We're very happy and pretty psyched to be getting married! Now, we get to start planning the wedding (even though I not-so-secretly wish we could elope)!

It's going to be a little weird to just jump in and write about other things, when what I want to write is: We'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarried
We'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarried. For about 17 pages. But! I'll refrain and have a little bit of regularly scheduled programming. To ease the transition, I've uploaded this Kitty video.

video

This semester I'm taking a seminar through the MBA program called Leadership Through People Skills. It has been really interesting. While I've loved the MPC program, it hasn't had any management or leadership training*. So far my classes have focused mainly on marketing and public relations, which is good ... since the majority of us work in some form of marketing. But, I imagine quite a few of us want to continue to move up the ladder and will need to improve our management skills to do so. It isn't easy.

The seminar is rewarding, even if it is on Friday and Saturday, but emotionally draining. We have to go through multiple practice role plays with difficult personalities. During the role plays our classmates film us, and then we have to sit down and shut up while they critique us -- usually ripping our attempts to shreds.

Me pretending to be Q1
for a classmate to sharpen his skills
In the last couple of sessions, I think I made actual improvement in dealing with some of these different situations. And, of course, I want to be able to apply it in real life: at work and at home. This means that Boyfriend is now my live-in lab rat. The first weekend our teacher told us to go home and ruffle someone's feathers, and then try to use our Q4 skills to manage the behavior. Fortunately, I'm so good at being annoying I didn't even have to try to frustrate Boyfiren

I think the point of all this is that I would like to make my life and relationships better. As we go through class and watch the videos, most of us get rated as "Q1" behavior, which you want to avoid. When this happens, it is eye opening, but scary because I think this is how people perceive us all of the time. One guy in class pretty much outright said I'm a difficult person. I was trying to show restraint during the role play and he gave me credit for not being as mean as I normally am...

After sizing myself up in the seminar I think I fluctuate pretty regularly between Q1, Q2 with Q3 masking. Essentially, I'm bossy, then dismissive and if all else fails, I'll be chipper to smooth it all over.
Trying to manage a real-life case
with my classmate playing a Q3
Through this all, we come across as only wanting to stick to our own agendas and we don't have time to listen to others. It takes a lot of tearing down and intentional behavior to avoid this. It leaves me wondering if I have what it takes, or would I rather just revert to old habits?

Reverting to old habits would certainly be easier, but then will I get the same old results? And, like I said, not just in working relationships, but my interpersonal relationships too. I'd like to make an intentional shift, especially as I start a new transition and as Zach and I are merging our families. Maybe, this will make a difference or help me.

If you want to check out the seminar I've been working through you can go to this site or check out this book!

* To be fair to the communications program, I think some of the electives that I haven't taken did focus on management and leadership roles.   

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another Yellowstone Adventure

Boyfriend and I went to Yellowstone again this weekend. It was a short trip because I'm taking a Saturday class. Per usual, our trip was outstanding! Every time we visit Yellowstone we experience new things and as soon as we leave, I start planning our next adventure back.

This trip, though short, had a few distinct highlights. The first was our hike on the Howard Eaton Trail to the Lone Star geyser. When we got to the geyser, the sign said it erupted every three hours. We decided we would wait for about 15 minutes before turning around and hiking back. Almost as soon as we said that the geyser started to bubble and erupted, shooting steam and water 30 feet into the air.

It was really cool! And honestly, when we started Howard Eaten we didn't know we would find a geyser at the end. We just saw a sign near the trail that said, "Lone Star Geyser .3 miles." Since it wasn't far we continued on, I'm so glad that we did.

After the Howard Eaton trek, we jumped right into another adventure. We walked the Fairy Falls trail to get a better view of the Grand Prismatic Spring, by far one of the most amazing, non-wildlife, sites in the entire park.
Found this Boy in a tree! 
Oooh!
Aaaah!
Awe <3 comment-3--="">
Beautiful bird's nest!
After our two hikes, which probably totaled a solid 10+ miles, I was ready for something a little bit more low key. We went to the Midway Geyser basin pullout and walked along the river for a little while. About ten minutes into our walk I wandered off to show Boyfriend something by the Madison River, I was a few steps ahead of him when he said, "Maybe, show me when you have this," I ignored him and kept walking until I realized he wasn't walking anymore. I turned around and there he was, standing, then kneeling with a ring in his hand. Can you believe it?? I really couldn't. A little bit of me still can't! After he asked me to marry him, I made a really, really bad joke and said, "No..." he just stared at me. I told him I was teasing and bad at jokes and of course "yes!" and then after  some hugs, kisses and crying, we just sat and watched the river. It was so perfect. Just the two of us, nothing fancy and in our favorite place.

When we got back to camp, we got out a bottle of wine, now dubbed "engagement wine," and passed it back and forth (we didn't bring cups on this trip), while sharing what we were most looking forward to about our future. 

So....yeah. While nothing could top this, we did wake up early the next day to fulfill our lifelong dreams of seeing the wolves in Yellowstone. We have tried on multiple occasions to succeed in this task, but every time we try one of us (maybe me) gets really angry and scary in the mornings if you try to wake them up. This time we actually did it though! We were out of camp by 4:30 and into Lamar Valley by 5:50, plenty of time to scope out a spot. We waited for about an hour and a half before seeing anything. It was a freezing 25 degrees while we waited, but it was worth it once we spotted our first wolf. While the wolves we saw were far from us, we could clearly see 4 - 5 of them bedded down and starting to move around for the day. Based on their positions, I assume that they had been right under our noses the entire morning.

While small, in the following pictures, you can distinctly see the black wolf making its way up the hillside. The were bedded on the hill and near its base and one-by-one made their way up and over the top, where we think they had a kill, since each time a wolf walked over the hill, a flock of magpies would fly away, circle around and head back.



It was a wonderful trip. The wolves were amazing, but the best part was of course, the proposal and agreeing to marry my awesome boyfriend. I was shocked that he proposed, which made it even better. He even talked to my parents without me knowing and planned everything in secret. I still say, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" every time I think about it. Boyfriend is great and we have a lot of fun together and of course, we love each other very much, even though its sappy and gross. Oh! And to clarify, I am still going to call Boyfriend, Boyfriend even though he is my betrothed. On occasion, maybe I'll call him Boyfriend Level 2, or BL2, since that sounds cool ...