Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Wedding Toast

May 25th, 2012.

Below is the toast I gave at Wes and I's wedding reception in Oakland, California. I wrote this sitting in the backroom right before the reception began, typing as quickly as the iPhone will allow. This is exactly how I felt in the middle of that perfect day. 

Thank you all for coming here tonight, Wes and I love that we are able to share this day with the most important people in our lives. So many of you have traveled far and put countless hours into making this day memorable. This is a kindness that we will never forget. 

For those of you who know me well, you know I'm a big journaler. If you have any questions about what happened Easter weekend 2009 in Vegas or the 8th grade dance, they are sure to be detailed in my journals. I tease my dad a lot for "starting" my journaling "career" - back in 1996 he cheated in a game of yatzee, thus spurring the first entry I ever wrote - "dad cheats at yatzee" scribbled in dark green crayon inside a mini diary with cats on it. So naturally when Wes and I started dating, I pulled out my boxes filled with journals and searched through them. 

It was during this massive reread of my life's history that I came across a story I want to share with you all tonight. 

When we were 15, we went camping with our families following our annual mother's day tradition. Except this time it was November and we played a massive game of soccer instead of hiking. One evening after sitting around the fire, a few of us girls (all of who are here tonight) decided to walk into the middle of the field adjacent to our campsite to look at the stars. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Wes following us, and since I was awkward, 15 and had a massive, seemingly unrequited crush, I decided to flirt the only way I knew how. I sat down I a bench, sighed and said "I wonder if my future husband is thinking about me right now" and Wes walks up behind me and quietly says "I'm thinking about you, Hannah". The rest of the night is a blur. Whatever happened next was probably to embarrassing to mention anyway, I am almost certain I ran away and didn't talk to him for weeks sending our 15 year old love into a downward spiral, but none of that matters anymore.

Point is, I love Wesley Panek. I did when I was 15, I do now at 23 and I will for eternity.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sometimes I get a little jealous of friends and acquaintances; their fancy jobs and crazy travel schedules, changing the world and finding success in their careers.

But then I remember that in the last year I've truly begun to understand what it means to love and be loved in return.

Therein lies the victory.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"He missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomach ache. He missed the castle, with its secret passageways and ghosts, his classes, the mail arriving by owl, eating banquets in the Great Hall, sleeping in his four-poster bed in the tower dormitory, visiting the gamekeeper, Hagrid, in his cabin next to the Forbidden Forest in the grounds, and, especially, Quidditch, the most popular sport in the wizarding world. But more than anything else Harry missed his best friends."
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I remember when I started college, my mom told me that over the next four years I’d constantly experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. She promised that even though the world feels like it’s ending today, tomorrow everything will be better than it has ever been before. That’s just the nature of things, the rollercoaster of being a young adult.

It’s interesting now, as a 20 something, how much my emotional rollercoaster has leveled out. Trust me, I am by no means out of this rocky transition phase, but the highs and lows are less dramatic and come less often. Instead of every single day being miserable or the absolute best, every day is good. Just good. Maybe this is what it means to be an adult?

I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it actually feels like to be an adult. I walk into my office every morning at 9:00on the dot in my pencil skirt and blazer, hoping nobody else thinks I look as phony as I feel. I sit in on meetings and lunches and spend the whole hour making sure I don’t spill on my lap or slouch too much. I go to the gym most nights and read the newspaper on the metro. Most of my friends and acquaintances are coworkers and our outings consist of the occasional happy hour (where I chug glasses of diet coke and lime while my peers sip on sangria) and work related texts over the weekend. I’m engaged, I’m settling down, and I have baking pans that were not purchased at Walmart.

A lot of the time I feel like everyone can tell that I’m really just faking it. It’s like I’m waiting for someone to come up to me and say “you know what Hannah, you gave it a nice try but now it’s time to fly back to Provo, Utah and watch March Madness instead of going to class, ok?” Like everyone is suddenly going to figure out that I have no idea what I’m doing. Because isn’t it obvious? Doesn’t the woman at the bank know I’m just a kid? But nobody has caught me. Except the guy at the gas station around the corner from my house who had to teach me how to use the pump a few months ago – that guy definitely knows.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like soon enough I’ll be able to pull out my iPhone to schedule appointments without feeling pretentious, because that’s what everyone does right? And I’ll get used to having my own health insurance and discussing 401ks won’t feel like having a conversation in Japanese. Handing out business cards won’t be embarrassing, and eventually I won’t remember how many months it has been since I graduated college because nobody will ask. I'm excited. This rollercoaster life my mom described to me all those years ago will continue to even out until the next phase when I’m thrown for a loop again.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours, but she will always come back to you. She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are." - Date a Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An update, of sorts.

I will never have a cute blog.

I don’t take enough pictures. I don’t use any cute instagram filters. My outfits are never put together enough to be shown off on the internet. My recipes are nothing out of the ordinary and never my own. I don’t own a house to decorate with frames and wallpaper. I don’t have any kids to recount silly stories or a horrible boss or my own business to promote.

Instead, my blog will be plain. And most of what I post will not be interesting. And it will never have a fancy header or a pretty background. I’ll post every few months, each entry becoming more vague than the last. My family will continue to be the majority of readers, my best friends will comment out of pity and all my opinions incredibly biased.
But, this blog will always be mine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Double Deuces

Tuesday was my best friend Melissa Dean Connor's 22nd birthday.

I knew for a while that I wanted to write a blog about Melissa, but I wasn't exactly sure what to say. How do you sum up the best of times (and the absolute worst of times) with a few perfectly placed words and quotations that everybody can understand?

Well, it turns out you can't.

If I had to sum up Melissa and I's friendship in one way, I'd tell you this story: A few weeks ago we were both super grumpy, neither of us having a good day. I was all the way out here in Washington DC, and she was in LA. During my lunch break, I texted her to complain. Work is blah, I'm tired, so and so is annoying, I hate everybody, etc. And I don't know whose brilliant idea this was, but somewhere along the conversation one of us decided to list all the people we hate. So we did. For over and hour, Melissa and I texted back and forth names of all the randos in the world, and both our grumpy moods were instantly cured. What does this say about Melissa and I? Well, a lot of things. Go ahead and judge the fact that we both really need to at least pretend like we like people, but that's a different story. To me it's the ultimate act of friendship. What would I do without her?

There are thousands of other stories like the above, and most I would not be able to get though without laughing. As I thought about Melissa's birthday I thought a lot about all the things we'd done together, and I made the following list. These are 22 things that sum up my favorite part about Melissa and I's friendship:

1. "I need to stop, I've done enough telesital stuff for the day"
2. Once we called our friend to take us to get McDonald's ice cream at 3:00am. After he took us through the drive thru, he asked what we wanted to do next. We told him to take us home and we ate ice cream in our beds with the lights off.
3. During our freshman year at BYU, Melissa took BIO100 at the same time all of our friends went to lunch. She ended up retaking the class a few semesters later.
4. Melissa met a boy in a hot tub and we rewrote the song "Baby" by Justin Beiber to describe their relationship. I will never sing the original lyrics again.
5. We were hiking in Yosemite and one of Melissa's shoes fell off the side of the cliff. She hiked the rest of the way down in one sock like a champ.
6. She almost always orders fettuchini alfredo when we go out to eat, but nothing beats her homemade recipie.
7. Melissa knows all the words to Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind" and will rap them on the fly.
8. The two of us commuincate via dolphin noises.
9. In order to marry Melissa you must take her to Burger Supreme at least once a week.
9. We once googled "men in pulka shells."
10. Melissa has created some genius nicknames that include but are not limited to fairy girl, the white witch, beeker and the villian.
11. People don't like to hang out with Melissa and I because we have our own conversations on top of whatever everybody else is talking about.
12. One time Melissa and I were convinced that all the Chili's had been closed and we almost broke down.
13. Melissa loves Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She calls MoTab her "jam"
14. Once Melissa used my little sister's baby pictures for a presnetation about her own life because she couldn't find any of her own.
15. Melissa Dean Connor knows every single word to Aaron Carter's "Aaron's Party" and can sing them without missing a beat.
16. We both say "sorreh" like Gilly.
17. Sophomore year we made up a dance for the ward talent show. Ask Melissa about the Reindeer Click.
18. We once attempted to create a blog called The Legit Blog where we discussed topics of variying legitimacy including Heidi Montag, Twilight and Hawiian shirts.
19. Senior year, Melissa found a long green sock in her bed that didn't belong to anybody we knew. She threw it in the hall outside our apartment and it stayed there for weeks.
20. Melissa and I know more about Vegas than you do, and are more than willing to discuss our adventures in ~da club.
21. My junior year at BYU I was completely in love with a boy I studied with. One night I came home and found Melissa making a PowerPoint slidshow presentation which displayed his best pictures and were synced with the song "SuperStar" by Taylor Swift.
22. Melissa is Jay Z, and I am Kanye West.

If you could please convince her to drop out of school and/or graduate school early and move to DC that would be much appreciated. I can't go on for much longer without my best friend.