Snapshots on Sunday

When I was home, I had the awesome opportunity to take some photos of my littlest sister, Katie and her BFF, Elaine. We went to one of my favorite locations to shoot; the Hampstead Conservation park. This field is just pure magic, and in the late afternoon summer sun, the lighting is perfect and the colors are vivid and you really get lost in the environment. I had so much fun trying out a few new tricks and poses and now I'm having a ton of fun learning new editing techniques as I work on the photos. Here are some of my favorite shots!



The incredibly talented Piano Guys came to BYU-I on Thursday and I got to go on a Best Friend date with Symone and see them! AND IT WAS AMAZING! Check out this gorgeous African translation to Coldplay's Paradise, that I got to hear LIVE!

Random Rambles

Rexburg is a college town, and when that college is on a summer break, Rexburg is empty. Parking is easy to come by, roads are easy to navigate and the line at Costa Vida takes 5 minutes, tops. The town quiets down, minus the constant sounds of hammers and drills at the various construction sites around campus.

I'm in a new apartment complex and have new roommates. New photos hang on my wall, my student's cute faces beaming at me. They remind me of the person who I became while I was in China and the person I want to be. I think about them often; wonder how they are and what trouble they are making. I miss them.

My hair is practically unmanageable these days because it's getting so long. I don't even know how to style it anymore. But I love it. It's a physical, tangible reminder that my past is my past and that I have nothing but a bright and shiny future ahead of me. I am cancer free.

I did almost nothing worth while today. I mailed a package to Dustin, cleaned out my car and took it through the car wash (which didn't do anything to the bug guts splattered across the front). I started to watch the olympics, but then I fell asleep and dreamed about walking in the streets of China hand in hand with my best friend. And I know where my heart lies.


i know, i fail

but i'll write all about my road trip and being back in Rexburg soon, I promise!


Teacher Beth

There are times when I miss being a teacher in China so much that it takes everything I have to not start crying. 
I miss my students. I miss their little faces and hugs and giggles and constant shouts of "Teeeecha Chelsieee." I miss the way they would light up when they saw me coming to tuck them in or play with them on the play ground. I miss working my tail off in order to give them the best education I could.
I miss being a teacher in China.

And my head teacher posted this photo today of one of my favorite students, Beth. This was one of the last days of teaching and I let her wear the apron and be "Teacher Beth" for the day. She was ecstatic, and so incredibly helpful! She kept on telling everyone else "English Only!" and wanting to give out strikes to those who spoke Chinese.

And I saw this photo and felt a physical ache in my heart where she, and the rest of my second graders are supposed to be.

Being her teacher (and sometimes letting her being the teacher) was one of the greatest things I've ever done. And I'm feeling pretty lost without my students these days.


South Dakota

Oil lights
hail storms
and post cards to home.

we wander through black hills and I think of you.



you made fighting easier for me.
and touched my feet without gloves on your hands.

I don't think I have ever said thank you until yesterday.
and I'm sorry.


Back to listing

1. I decided that the word "catalog" looks weird and consequently, is tricky to spell.

2. I downloaded an app that has a bar-code scanner and will tell me how many calories are in something that I scan in; and keeps track of my daily calorie intake. I've never EVER counted calories before; but since being home, I've noticed an extreme difference in the way I feel after eating over-processed American food as opposed to relatively fresh Chinese food. So, I'm trying to be better about what crap and how much of it I put into my body.

3. I go in for my six-year scans and blood work this Thursday. I'm a little nervous, as always. But, after I get that over with, I get to take engagement photos of a dear friend I grew up with around the grand city of Boston. I'm excited!

4. It's official: Monster's Inc. is my all time favorite Pixar movie.

5. Dad and I are leaving for the great out West on SUNDAY!


There is no place like home.

I don't know how to blog and not talk about China, so I haven't written in what seems forever; especially on here, at "Into the Wild". It's weird to look back at the time where I wrote here regularly; before China, before my students, before I lived abroad. It's weird to remember how I viewed life then and how differently I view it now, after seeing the other half of the world. It's all just weird.

I've taken my week to adjust to America and being home and not teaching every day. Granted, I still accidentally say 'thank you' in Chinese half the time, I've almost run a few stop signs while trying to remember how to drive and I don't know what time of day I should be sleeping or eating, but all in all, easing in to life in America has been as smooth as I could ever hope it to be. There are times where China seemed like a dream, a little blimp of time that passed all to fast and doesn't seem real. And there are times where the vacant spot in my heart where my kids are supposed to me aches so bad that I have to stop and collect myself. I miss their cute faces and their hugs all the time.

But being home has been fantastic. I love New England in the summer time. I love the way the lightening bugs light up my backyard and the way the cicadas sing to me during the day. I love the way the roads wind around giant trees and follow little brooks and bend around ponds and lakes. I love the way the thunderstorms roll in during the late evening; the way everything smells of fresh dew and incoming heat during the morning. I love my family and serving at camp and spending full days at the beach with Julianna like the good old days of our high school summers.

New England sets my soul on fire. And while half of my heart will always be in Weihai, there truly is no place like home.