arrested development, skittles bowling, + the first-ever TRAIL RAGNAR.

hello, again! october was a crazy month filled with way more than i can fit all in one post without totally overwhelming everyone (myself included). so here's my recap of just about the first full half of october.

ready for a photo overload?! if you answered no, then i strongly encourage that you exit the browser immediately. after all, that's what just about every post on this blog is all about. (; here we go!

what better way to start off the month of october than with one word: KARAOKE. me + my testing center amigos are quite big fans of this.


justin timberlake (dan)

will smith (justin)

alicia keys (janeen)

+ none other than britney spears (yours truly)

naturally, i couldn't find a way to lighten up the above picture (sorry, mom!). so to compensate, i uploaded the video my lovely co-workers took of me breaking it down, BS-style....all twenty seconds of it. (;

love these kids. too bad we didn't get a picture before a handful of the rest of them left...but you get the idea. (:

october also marked the month i re-joined the netflix brigade(!).

...for no other reason that the ability to continue watching my favorite show, ever...

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT! eeek. my best beatles friends from sophomore year dan +  jared introduced this lovely show to me (my sophomore year, obviously), and we finished the first season that year...but then i hardly watched any eps after that. and then junior year (last year), jared was still living out here so we watched a few eps of season two. earlier this past september, we (jare + i) watched a few more eps, but then he left me to move back home to seattle (boo.). + so i figured, YOLO, right? (totally kidding, don't worry ;)

but seriously. now that it's senior year, i'm determined to finish it up!

+ now on to more randomness, october also meant hanging out more with my favorite freshman year roommate, macey ann!

many-a-night was spent making/eating delicious goods,

and having late-night drives + talks in the car.

also of note: i started my big mouth puppet!! which already proved to be way more work than i expected it would be...

lo + behold, a working mouth!

also of note in october = having awesome english professors who look out at the class, decide that everyone needs a little break, and turns off all the lights in the classroom + plays the us olympic female swim team's version of "call me maybe" on the big screen for the entire class to sing along + dance to. winner winner.

+ the vid itself, for those of you who want to see it for yourself (as if you hadn't already!):

fall is beautiful in utah, just in case you didn't know. love me those mountains! can you spot the Y?

numerous trips to yland...i think that goes without saying. (: bonus points if you can figure out which one is mine!

also, i continued to love my roommates. mostly because things like this appear on our kitchen table more often than not:

(i'm so sorry for the randomness of this entire post...i'm basically just going through my life based on the photos i took, in the general order that i took them. bear with me :) i saw this online and couldn't resist...i want one of these in my house. or at least in close proximity to my house, someday. anyone wanna start building one with me?!

october marked the end of the show i was working on as an assistant stage manager, byu's "a second birth". i think technically it ended right before october rolled around, but it ended nonetheless. and photos are fun to look back on (:

our beautiful cast, in full costume:

cast + crew:

the way most rehearsals went...

(: loved that cast. although, i have to admit, most nights i'd come home from rehearsals/shows with a burning desire to chop all my hair off. it didn't help matters that by tech week, i was the one person in the cast/crew (literally) with the longest hair...by probably about a foot (no joke!). all the girls in the cast/crew either already had short hair when we started production, or made the decision to chop all their hair off (the only wigs used in this show were wigs to make their hair look longer). so, one night, i just did it! i chopped my hair all off, all on my own.

just kidding. but i definitely flirted with the idea on more than one occasion (: i'm too in love with my long locks right now to think of cutting them all off. so thank goodness that show ended so i'd be away from all that temptation (;

+ also thank goodness that show came to a close, because another show was just about to get started...the show i'd be assistant directing the next semester: "the servant of two masters"!!

wheeeeee. but in between the insanity that comes with working on shows, i did manage to enjoy myself a wee bit. like by seeing jenn blosil in concert with my bff elliot.

+ i managed to see my favorite bassist, aaron mcmurray, playing along in her band. (:

bffs since freshman year, word.

+ of course, no elliarah hangout would be complete without eating some kind of delicious food...namely, in-n-out. obviously.

also throughout the month of october, i managed to keep in touch with my two eastern-side-of-the-usa bffs...via voicemails. thank goodness for modern day technology, right?!

i also enjoyed painting + painting and + painting my life away every monday/wednesday night from 5-7pm in the depths of the fine arts center. just preparing to paint my own sets as a high school drama teacher, all in a day's work. (: ps this is a weathered barn door...and arguably my favorite board i painted all semester. i promise, there's no actual wood on there, just paint. so neat what a little highlighting + shading can do. (:

reasons why i love the hfac #43728: so many beautiful + art-related things always going on. like random choir concerts in the middle of the main area. love it.

i gave into one little craving in particular this month: these little miniature german pancakes! thanks to the recipe from ruth. (:

in the oven:



the process, via pic-stitch + instagram (:

+ what my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks looked like for the next coupla days...

yum.. not even ashamed. (: they were positively delish. thanks, ruth!

also, i continued to keep up on my favorite tv show of my ever life...arrested development. seriously, can this show get any more hysterical (in a good way)?! SO. FUNNY. i can't wait until the next season + movie come out...!!

alas, the puppeteering continued. this time: making a beach ball out of foam head!

makinsey (bff from my major) helped to showcase my hard work + finished product...for the time being.

also, i had arrested development (franklin!) to thank for motivating me to make my own big mouth puppet. i knew watching this show this semester would pay off somehow. thanks, gob!

something i was definitely in love with the entire month of october (okay, let's be real, more like just always)? braids. and my ohio state buckeyes (okay okay okay, nothing really new there either. my bad.). not so much in love with taking photos in public bathrooms, but i couldn't help myself this day. #braids

also on the list of things i was in love with this month: opening a book i only half-finished during the summer and finding my favorite fruit leather, perfectly wrapped + sealed in the back cover!

i hadn't been able to find anywhere that sold these in the entire state of utah at this point. suffice it to say: that fruit leather is no longer with us. + my day was made. (:

skittles bowling. it's a real thing. madison (sister's cousin-in-law) + i enjoyed it for my first time this month...and needless to say, it wasn't easy. but it was mega fun. highly recommend it. you put all the skittles in a cup, then each time you get up to bowl a frame, you pick a skittle, eat it (obviously), and + then proceed to bowl as directed via this sheet:

pro-bowler stances:

proof that i did, indeed, probably eat more red skittles than was probably fair:

madison always getting green skittles (shakes fist):

purple skittles! i think these were my faves (and i actually scored decently on these, surprisingly enough)!

the final scores (three rounds of bowling later...!! my arms were only a wee bit tired after that...)

so fun. especially getting to eat skittles. letsbereal. (;

bff future-missionary micaela + i continued to stay in contact via texting, too...which sometimes always lent itself to some of the most interesting conversations...

lo and behold! as my puppetry class continued, i finally glued my head + mouth together and even added a tongue (and + uvula!). just cut a hole in the bottom and i officially had a real, life, moving big-mouth puppet head! mega exciting. big day for me. for sure.

(that sweatshirt again...i swear i don't wear it everyday or anything. i just always end up taking photos of myself when i do wear it?) (also...#braids)

among the highlights of this first half of october: filling up an entire tank of gas. FOR LESS THAN $30. i kid you not. i even took just about a million photos to prove that my fuel rewards > yours.

proof positive:

also, my love for mcd's was solidified when i saw this cute little ad in poster-form in the middle of the restaurant late one night. let's just say great minds think alike, and leave it at that (apple juice is the only drink > chocolate milk, true story).

ps remember how october is the month of HALLOWEEN!? even though that was still a ways off, i enjoyed perusing the greeting card section of smith's and, lemme tell ya, it was a hard decision between which of these two would be a more terrifying card for my siblings to receive from me in the mail...

option #1: the biebs.

or option #2: mr. devil goodie-grabber.

...i'll let you decide.

alas. marking the end (of the first half) of october was the exciting experience that was running in the first-ever TRAIL ragnar relay race!! but more on the actual race later in the post...for now, i'll start by taking you through our process of physically arriving at the resort where the race would begin. lemme just begin by warning you: this ragnar, from start to finish, was nothing short of an adventure.

i met up with my team at the marriott they were staying at here in provo early friday morning, and we all (six of us, two other team members were meeting us at the race because they were driving up from arizona) piled into the van and set out on our journey to the zion ponderosa ranch resort at zion's national park in orderville, utah, just about 4 1/2 hours southwest of provo (where the ragnar was to start!).

first stop: a gas station (connected to subway - aka where we got lunch/dinner for friday). favorite sighting there: the world's largest (probably) gumball machine. + i know what you're all thinking...but unfortunately no, i am sorry to say that i did not win a 25 cent i-pod.

also sighted en route to the resort: thunderbird restaurant. which legitimately is the alleged home of the "ho-made" pies. in case you were wondering, yes, you are reading that correctly. if you need further clarification, check out the photo below (don't worry dad, i promise we didn't go inside).

alrighty. as if that wasn't enough excitement for us already, we ended up driving through the craziest weather i've ever seen this side of the mississippi! seriously though, it was kind of scary looking out at the blizzarding/freezing rain pouring down all around us as we were zipping through mountains and around bends...the temperatures dropped, as well, and all that was running through my mind (no pun intended) was how i would literally be running in these conditions...through the night...in a matter of hours...on TRAILS. aka not roads that just get wet when it rains/snows, but literally national park dirt trails that are prone to getting muddy/slick/freezing over...hmmmmm...

don't worry though, we had the windshield wipers going the whole time. and laughing about our present state (and future state after we'd be running through all of this), our spirits were lifted. plus, it's a ragnar, we're talking about here. it'd be no fun if it was easy, right?! (;

needless to say, we eventually arrived at the resort + made our way to the expo tent to pick up our race info + bibs! team #38...just two numbers off from my lucky number. that was a good sign at least, right?

we also got the maps that detailed what our routes would be like. basically, there are three trails. green trail (#1, easiest) was 3.9 relatively easy miles, with a big decline and steady incline. yellow trail (#2, intermediate) was the largest incline of the three trails, but only 3.8 miles long. red trail (#3, hardest on the course) was the most difficult: 7.2 hilly miles.

check out the elevation profiles below (as always, click to make any of these bigger):

basically the way this worked was that we had eight people on our team (and all the other teams had eight people, too, unless they were crazy ultra runners - which i think there were two teams of just two people each?? crazy. (awesome!)). the race would start and the first runner on each team would put on a wristband and run the green trail. then when they finished, they'd hand off the wristband to the second runner, who would run the yellow trail. then the third runner would run the red trail. the fourth runner would run the green trail. and so on + so forth, all through the night, until every runner had run each of the three courses on the map.

needless to say, when they were explaining all of this to us, it made perfect sense in my mind. sure, the ground seemed a bit damp, but at least it had stopped raining for the time being...ish...right?!

getting excited at the race start (:

besides, how bad could the race be...if they were offering free s'mores (favorite treat of all-time) at a huge campfire by the race start!?

posing with the ragnar truck:

to say i was getting excited by this point was kind of an understatement. because this was the first-ever trail ragnar, only 50 teams had been invited to compete. this wasn't just a regular ragnar where you sign up online. luckily, i have a great family friend (thanks, brother sloan!) who is an avid ragnar-ian and invited me to be a part of his team, along with some of his children + other friends. so it was a pretty intimate thing...and plus, we were literally being trail-blazers for the first-ever trail ragnar! AND, to top it all off, this was MY first rangar, ever! wheeeeeeeee. whee. whee. whee. so so excited. even if i was cold, wet, + freezing...and hadn't even yet started to run. (;

but no worries, that time came soon (er...eventually) enough! bro. sloan (our team's runner #1) started off on his first leg i think somewhere around 5-6pm. and i was runner #7 of 8...so although i was projected to run i think sometime aroud 7pm (based off of a spreadsheet that bro. sloan had compiled with our average race pace times...the man's an organizational genius)...i didn't run until sometime after 10pm. and, lemme tell ya, it was the hardest 3.9 miles of my life. and i was on the green trail!!

post-running, soaking wet + covered head-to-toe in mud:

long story short, everyone's runs ended up being wayyyy longer than anticipated (mine took just under an hour, crazy), because (quite honestly), trail running should just not be done when you experience the kind of weather conditions we were experiencing. haha. with being the first-ever trail ragnar, although it is mega exciting, it's also very experimental, if you get what i'm saying. people were running through the darkness and some people even got seriously lost and had to run/walk a handful of extra miles due to unmarked trails (because the markings either washed away or couldn't be seen through the thick of the trees in the forests we ran through or because it was just so dark out with the cloud cover).

the morning after: check out those looming dark clouds!

i think the biggest issue (for me, at least) was the fact that i literally could not do any of the up-hills on the trail. even the small, 5-foot hills. it was way too slick + slippery, that there were many times that i just had to either go off the trail into the shrubbery a little bit, just to help pull myself out of the mud...which was a problem in + of itself. it was IMPOSSIBLE to run. haha. literally! your shoes just got stuck in the muck and i was audibly praying my thanks a few times that i had felt like i should make sure my shoes were extra-tight + double-knotted before i started running my leg of the race, otherwise i probably would have lost my shoes for good. i have never felt as slow of a runner in my life...especially because i was putting so much energy into running through the mud (literally) and still hardly felt like i was going anywhere. the best moments were probably the few times i literally could NOT run up a hill because i kept sliding down it (and promptly falling on my bum), and someone from another team would come running/walking/sloshing along + we'd take hands and try to support each other climbing up the hill...and we actually made it! this was a pretty rare occurence though, mind you, as at any time of the night during the race, there were only 50 people "running", one from each team, each spread out between three different trails. so i only saw other people for maybe 1/8th of my leg of the race overall. suffice it to say, it was a miracle i got through those 3.9 miles + made it back in one piece! (:

our team the morning after, proudly displaying our medals:

thankfully, however, with all the problems of people getting hurt, taking too long on the trails, getting lost, + continued bad weather through the night, the ragnar staff called the race sometime around midnight (right around the time our final runner had finished her first trail!) and assured us all that we'd get our medals for simply making it through.

finally a true ragnarian!...kind of (:

we eat took a nice, hot shower, then climbed into our little cabin beds + promptly went to sleep until morning (ps did i mention that most teams of runners were sleeping in tents outside in these wet + cold conditions? we would have been doing the same thing, but luckily we were one of the first teams to arrive, and the race leaders informed us that they were going to allow us to stay in the cabins on-site for no extra charge: first-come, first-served. they weren't heated, but they definitely kept us much warmer than those who braved the night outside!). when the sun finally came out to play, we packed up our bags, (anti-climatically) picked up our medals, said our goodbyes, and piled back into the van to make the return drive back up to provo.

"trail experiment", indeed. (:

the clouds were doing all kinds of crazy things on the horizon as we made our trip back. it was definitely a warmer day than the day before, and we kept commenting on how we wished the race could've started this day instead of the day before- but mother nature clearly had other plans for us, which is totally fine. everything happens for a reason, right? (:

an hour or so into the drive, the skies really started to clear up. just love looking out at this beautiful landscape that = utah. so so pretty!

boy, oh boy. ragnar: the trail experiment 2012 was definitely an experience, an adventure, and a really fun time (even being cold + wet majority of the time...but at least i didn't go hungry! we definitely over-packed on the snack-side of things, thank goodness ;). i definitely want to do a "real" ragnar again, sometime...but (1) this ragnar, as it was an "experiment", was only $50...and (2) we found out the next morning that when they actually launch a real trail ragnar series, they estimated that the cost per runner would be upwards of  $300...EACH. wowzers. someday maybe i'll have money to run one...fingers crossed. but until then, i've got the memories of being a ragnar trail blazer! i walked/ran/slid/sloshed my way through those 3.9 miles, and i am proud of it.

plus, i had an AWESOME team to run + talk with through the entire day + a half that we spent together...thanks again brother sloan for inviting me to run with you all!!

moral of the story: i am now officially a ragnarian. and that will never, ever change. (:

next post...general conference weekend! + all the excitement of hiking camping, attending, + cousin-visiting that came with it. stay tuned. (:

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