Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Back in Paraguay!

I don't know if anyone reads this anymore, but I thought I would take an opportunity to share this blog post that I wrote for the Elevate Interns blog. I am back working at Elevate English in Paraguay, and it is so amazing to be back :) I really do love Paraguay.

This post is about our recent trip to Iguazu Falls! Iguazu Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world, and it is breathtaking.

You can read my post here: Elevate Interns Blog

Leave a comment if you read this :)

Monday, December 28, 2015


Life is too short to sit and watch Netflix all the time, play crossy road, and scroll on Facebook all day. Even though I do enjoy these activities, I want to do more.

In today's world, we have so much time on our hands. It's hard to know what to do with it, and it's easy to waste these precious hours.

It's so easy to let our time slip away in meaningless pursuits. We all have dreams, but often we don't put the effort into achieving them. Instead, we let our days pass us by in a monotonous fashion: always scrolling, always pinning, feeling good about the "likes" we got for that cute picture:

People mourn about the goals they don't reach, and the things that they don't have. What we need to realize, is that we have the potential to do anything. If you want to write a book, you can. If you want to invent a cure to cat allergies, you can. If you want to write songs, you can. If you want to do well in your field, you can.

All it takes is time set aside each day, or each week. Discipline and concentration. Instead of wishing you could do something, just do. 

Stop dreaming, and do. 

I want to write. I decided that I wanted to write today, so I sat down and prepared myself. I didn't let any distractions get in the way. It amazes me how much I can accomplish in a few hours. And it feels good to create. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride in the things you can create yourself.

Instead of ambling away my time, my goal is to create. This includes creating memories. Life is better with a project-with purpose, with goals.

So, here is my bucket-list of some things that I want to do. Some of them may seem silly, but imagination makes life more exciting.

1. Have a chocolate day
2. Run through a field of flowers
3. Eat ice-cream for breakfast
4. Visit London
5. Write a book
6. Start a folk band
7. See the floating lanterns
8. Have a spontaneous holiday
9. Spontaneously fly somewhere for a weekend
10. Film an episode of a "cooking show" with weird ingredients
11. Collect nativities from all over the world
12. Buy someone's meal for them at a restaurant
13. Eat alligator or crocodile
14. Go backpacking
15. See the northern lights
16. See the zodiacal light
17. Eat in the Space Needle restaurant
18. Cover the library or the school in army men
19. Swim with dolphins
20. Teach English in different countries
21. Walk on the beach in the moonlight
22. Go to Yellowstone National Park
23. Be in culture night at BYU Hawaii
24. Learn Spanish
25. Have a midnight feast
26. Make a Pride and Prejudice dress
27. Go to a legitimate concert
28. Learn to do a turn while roller-skating
29. Crochet scarves for the homeless/panhandlers
30. Surprise random people with flowers
31. Be in a movie
32. Walk in a marsh in Scotland
33. Eat chocolate in Switzerland
34. Go to a castle in Germany
35. Make paper cranes from good memories and hang them on the ceiling
36. Host a fancy dinner party
37. Have a tea party
38. Learn to make a daisy chain
39. Watercolor at the beach
40. Attend a Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
41. Make good food sculptures
42. Have a teddy bear picnic
43. Go on a roof or up high, and drop candy or paper flowers down to the people below
44. Take pictures in the Salt Flats
45. Create a good board game/card game
46. Learn how to become good at archery
47. Go shooting
48. Find the best root-beer in the world
49. Learn to tango
50. Make a really good scavenger hunt, with a background story

Stop dreaming, and do. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Paper Planes

I used to love school, and I'm sure I still do. But for the most part, I just love learning. There are many ways to learn. You can sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher at the front.  You can do research and read. Or you can go do. 

I love traveling and I can never get enough. Ever since I graduated high school, I move around frequently.  I want to see and experience and to know and to grow.

It's hard to go to school when I want to be in Paraguay teaching and applying what I know. It's hard to be in school when I just want to be paid to go to South Korea.

I am doing amazing things now. I'm in Hawaii,  and I have an amazing job tutoring students and writing English content for a big project. I'm excited for the experience and for the opportunities that will give me. But I'm also excited for the next time I get on a plane.

Life is big and life is full of potential.  It's amazing how I got to be here in Hawaii, with a new husband. It's nice living with your best friend who loves the things you do and supports you. Now let's get ready for our next plane ride, Mikey!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Get Out There and Go

Ever since I was a little girl, I fancied the idea of traveling the world. Me and my best friend planned our trip to Ireland, and from there, the next place I wanted to go was London. After that, it didn't really matter the order of the places I went, I just wanted to go. I was excited to see the world and all the different people in it, and once I even planned how I would run away from home and go to London to join the royal ballet school. And I thought I would go to a university in Ireland, of course.

Well, life happened. I didn't run away. A new best friend and I planned our dream trip to England, and were all set to go, until the royal baby was born and somehow made it impossible for us to get a standby flight to the UK. We went to Washington D.C. instead, which was still amazing.

I didn't go to school in Ireland, but I did go to school in Hawaii. That was an incredible adventure I never imagined I would have. Being white, I was suddenly the minority, and I loved becoming a part of a new culture. And now I am going back to BYU Hawaii just next month!

Something I also never thought I would get to do was go to Paraguay to teach English. I cannot describe to anyone my love for Paraguay and the experience I had there that changed my life. I learned so many things there that I don't know how I would have learned any where else.

Walking in the streets of Asuncion, I could wear whatever I wanted, I didn't have to style my hair, and I didn't have to wear a lot of make-up, but I still felt beautiful. The thing that mattered was the kind of person I was.

My students looked up to me, and I looked up to them. We helped each other. It is an incredible feeling to go into a classroom every day and inspire learning. I miss my students so much. I love being a teacher.

It doesn't matter what the classroom looks like or the materials that are used. What matters is if the students know that you care about them. I learned that if you care about a person, nothing else matters. If you truly care for them, they will feel that, and anything you do because of that love for them will help them.

I went half way across the world and found myself. I learned that I want to be a happy person, and that there is a certain pattern to assure my happiness. That comes with being proactive with my problems, putting all my efforts into helping other people, and in learning to laugh at the things that aren't dire. Sure the doorknob fell off. We sometimes were too tired to make more than popcorn or oatmeal when we got home. Chocolate milk became a prized possession. We were exhausted a lot of the time. But learning to laugh all the time felt so good.

My students taught me the importance of family, and made me more grateful for my own. They are so loving and supportive of me, and were all for me to go to South America. Family is the most important thing, and anything else comes second.

I gained confidence in myself, and learned independence. I learned that even when you are tired, you keep going. I learned that helping others is of high importance. I learned that I have to go to church every Sunday in order to get through my week; there was just no way I could skip it. God taught me that His plan is the happiest plan, and that if I put my trust in Him, even when I don't understand, I will be happy.

Teaching English in Paraguay wasn't easy, but for all the things I learned and the experiences I had, I wouldn't trade anything for it.

Traveling and doing good wherever you go makes you a better person. You come in contact with other cultures and learn to love, and learn what is important. You grow and learn to find confidence in yourself. If any chance to travel comes up, take it. You never know when it will come again, and you never know how much you will learn and love.

I wish I could paint words the way I see the pictures in my head. I have a montage of rooftop days and nights, music, and sunsets. I miss the music in the streets, and the noisy trucks in the middle of the night. I miss the patchwork of sidewalks and the bright tropical colors, and the humid breeze blowing through my hair. Most of all, I miss the people.

I can't wait to get out again, and do more good in this great wide world. I can't wait to learn about new cultures and discover myself, again and again.

Of course, my trip had other benefits as well. Paraguay is where I met the fabulous Michael Morton, who I am getting married to THIS TUESDAY. In three days, I will be Mary Morton. This is going to be the greatest adventure of all!

We met in Paraguay and now we are going to school in Hawaii together. We have quite the story. I love it.

Thanks Mikey, for deciding to discover yourself too, so that we could discover each other :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Travel: The Lizard Chronicles

Everyone has their hobbies-painting, photography, writing, Disney princesses. And I have lizards.

As I am aiming for this to be a travel blog, let me share with you my prided Lizard Chronicles from around the world!!! I'm on a world tour to find more lizards. I hope I get to go to somewhere exotic again soon.

Lizards are just so great. How could you not love them? So tiny and lithe on their feet.

I remember one afternoon in Honolulu, trying to catch geckos in a back yard, but I'm sure that the one lizard I did catch went and told all his friends that I was on the hunt. But I just wanted to be friends, and love them! I told them that, but they still ran away. No matter, because I've gotten to hold lots of lizard friends since.

Lizard Chronicles:

                                                                        Laie, Hawaii

St. George, Utah

Asuncion, Paraguay

You know why I love lizards so much? Cause they eat bugs, that's why. What noble little creatures. If you have a lizard story, picture, know where to find cool lizards, or have a cool fact about lizards, please share. I'm sure it could benefit everyone. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Words in the Velvet Night

I sit outside as the storm rumbles around me. I am in a bubble of music. It surrounds me, and the world cannot touch me. I am in my personal eye in the storm. I don’t think about the words, I just let them flow. I feel as if the water cannot touch me here, though I can feel it heavy in my hands. The air is heavy with wetness, and it wraps itself around me. The droplets cannot touch me, however. Sometimes I just want to sit and watch the shadows pass forever. I wish that I could make life pause, and just sit and ponder in the velvety night. The night sky is comforting. It is soft, a multi-layered fabric of purple hues. The lightening plays across the sky, lighting it up in dazzling flashes. I wish I could capture this moment, and stay in this bubble of time. The music surrounds me, even as the humid air and the calm of darkness is all around me. I want to feel the music. I want it to carry me away with it. I want to capture the night and stay in it forever. I feel so free at night, like I own the world. It is for my quiet contemplation. I can do whatever I wish, with no eyes watching and judging. Everything is softer without the light of day. Nothing can hide from the day light. I love the storms. They wash everything clean. No one wants to go outside, except for me. It is my element, my world. My soul wishes to speak with feeling, but my words are always trapped inside of me. I overthink every word, and they come out gracelessly. My soul longs to speak with music, like never before. I want to be full of feeling and soul. I want to pour my heart out into song. I want to create. I want to paint pictures with my words. But my words fall into my palm, dead and useless, one by one. I wish I could sit here and endlessly watch the clouds float by in the sky. Nature is beautiful and majestic. I will never see something as majestic as God’s creations. I am fascinated. I want to travel the world and witness all of God’s beauty and creations. I don’t know everything, but I do know that God loves me. I don’t want an ordinary life. I want to experience. I want to travel and see. I want to witness the creations and the people. I want to be raw and beautiful.