Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's been a while...

Life has kinda been flying by recently, and I don't know how I feel about it.

I've finished my first semester back at school, and I feel pretty good about what I accomplished. Although I don't know what my final grades are, I feel like I did my best...especially considering the circumstances. It's not easy working 3 jobs and going to school full-time. But I some how managed. I've never felt so positive about school....and I think it's because I'm really determined to actually start a career. I so look forward to teaching and hopefully helping high school students as they begin to think about what life is all about. I finally just feel good about the direction I am headed with my career, and nothing can stop me. I will be applying for the History Teaching program before I leave for London........fingers crossed. If I'm not accepted, well, I'll figure that out if I need to.

....speaking of London...I leave in 9 days. I can't believe that the time is already here. It seems like just yesterday that I didn't even have London on my mind... just planning on staying in Provo winter semester until I was accepted into the teaching program. BUT life kinda takes me by surprise sometimes and I couldn't be more excited. I've never been outside of the United States (except for 2 hours when visiting the Canadian side of Niagra Falls). I'm excited to experience the culture in London on a more deep level than if I were just to visit for a week. I will be going with a group of about 40 people through BYU's study abroad program. We come from all different types of families and backgrounds and I'm excited to get to know a new group of people. I look forward to learning about the History of London and surrounding areas. I'm ready to be there. Now.

Christmas this year came and I get older Christmas time around the Morrell household continues to change....I don't like it, but it comes along with being the youngest of 7. But I really enjoy this season and all it stands for. I am forever grateful for my family and close friends who help me on a daily basis. I wouldn't be the person I am today without the influence of those closest to me.

what else is new? bought a new camera for London....something I've wanted for a long time, so London was a great excuse. hopefully I'll remember things I've learned from past photo classes and can produce some nice photographs while traveling the world.

what better to break a camera in with than a self portrait:


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


****disclaimer....this post is mostly for personal therapeutic reasons.... but hey... feel free to read if you want.****
thinking about granny....

Cora Elizabeth Bower Vavricka....or more lovingly known as Granny 4/11/1918-11/4/1998

Dear Granny,

I've been thinking about you a lot. It's been 12 years, tomorrow, since you went away. I never really had a chance to express my feelings to I hope you have internet access up there. Gramps, you can stop watching those "naked women" on TV and read this too if you'd like. If not...I understand.

You taught me more than I ever thought you did. It's only been recently that I realized the impact those summers on the farm had on me. You were always so patient and loving. After all, I was just a kid and didn't know any better...... and you understood that. You always paid special attention to each of us in the "morrell bunch" and we all valued time spent with you. You had an uncanny ability to open your arms and heart to everyone you knew.

Some favorite memories of you and me:
-The countless times you spent reading "knots on a counting rope" to me. I'd be sitting on your lap before bed and each time you would patiently read through my favorite book of yours.
-Playing "go fish" with me while the big kids played poker with gramps. Even after I learned how to play with the big kids, I still preferred playing with you.
-Coloring in your sewing room while you were working on a craft project of some sort. Probably for someone else, because you rarely took time to do things just for you.
-Waking up in the morning, and walking into the house from the cabin or bunkhouse, only to find you diligently reading your scriptures, or writing in your journal in the sewing room. you never missed a day.
-Taking a ride in the back of the truck to "smith and edwards" or "country boy dairy" just to get a little treat to reward us for all the "hard" labor we did on the farm. You always let me get the "bubble gum" flavor at country boy dairy.... even though you preferred prailines and cream. or pistachio every now and then.
-That one summer where we spent 3 months on the farm.... you gave each of us $100 at the end to reward us. At the time I didn't realize what a sacrifice this probably was for you.... but looking back, that $100 was probably a large chunk of your life savings. I wish I had known then so I could have done something nice for you.
-Picking out ceramics to prepare, paint, fire, and glaze. You always allowed us to be creative.
-Your amazing grilled cheese sandwiches that were made with your homemade wheat bread, and just the right amount of cheese. And of course, you never forgot the ketchup on the side.
-Shelling peas in the kitchen.
-Weeding the carrots as "punishment"
-Walking into the house with the aroma of fresh baked bread, knowing that butter and homemade raspberry jam were close by.
-The day you let Tom and I come to the Library at the school.
-Your magic way of knowing when the light was going to change by the Golf Course as you drive into Brigham City.... you complained that the light was always red. And until recently, i never knew how you knew it was going to change to green in "3....2.....1".
-That time the ranch dressing bottle (yes, homemade ranch because it tastes WAY better) fell out of the fridge and shattered all over the kitchen floor and you exclaimed "Oh Lordy"...and when Tom repeated the same words you got mad at him.
-Going out in the morning to see if the chicken's laid any eggs.
-Going to get flowers and letting me pick which kind I wanted to plant in your garden.
-Frosties and Popcorn every night. Without fail.
-Picking raspberries by the bucketful.
-Learning how to make Monkey bread. my favorite.
-Doing laundry in the old machine (with the 2 rollers and the big wash bin) and getting my finger stuck in between the rollers. You made sure I knew my fingers would be ok.
-Going to garage sales and finding hidden treasures.
-Going to the bower family reunions, and making sure that I got something I wanted from the "family auction"
-Taking us to the blacker's to swim....and never allowing us to go on a full stomach (you have to wait at least 2 hours after eating to go swimming....perfect time for a nap right?)
-That time I had to take antibiotics and I couldn't/didn't want to take my pills because i had never swallowed them before. You forced that pill down my throat like it was nobody's business..... and because you saw how hard it was for me you came up with a solution: grind the pill up and put it in some juice in a spoon and swallow the spoonful.
-Riding in the car with you to church, while gramps and the other boys walked.
-That one time i forgot to bring my blankie with me, you so willingly gave me a spare one to use... I still have that one cause I liked it more.
-Dressing up in your clothes/hats and putting on a play in your living room.
-and of course....the kicking incident. I still haven't forgiven myself for this one. I'm glad that my siblings words didn't come true "Granny's gonna kill mikey!". I learned my lesson that day. Don't Mess with Granny.
....the list could go on and and on granny. My last memory of you was the trip I took with malissa to visit you guys in August 1998, before school started. It was on this trip that you taught Malissa and I how to quilt. I remember giving you a hug while leaving and you said "Love you Mikey. I'll see you soon, say Hi to your folks"

Unfortunately, soon was too soon. A few months later around 4 in the morning Mom came into my room. She told me the news. I cried for hours, although this wasn't uncommon for me, this was the first time i really felt it. My granny was gone. You were my best friend, and biggest cheerleader. Fortunately, through the years I've come to realize you are not completely gone... you taught me lessons that I'll never forget:

-No horsing at the table.
-Always finish what is on your plate. (even if I'm full for dinner but hungry for dessert)
-No matter how tough life gets, keep going.
-Fresh food ALWAYS tastes better.... especially if you plant it, nurture it, weed it, pick it, and cook it yourself.
-Sometimes, a little pushing doesn't hurt.
-While it's good to get out of your comfort zone, sometimes all someone needs is a little bit of acknowledgment for doing what they are comfortable doing.
-Less TV. More creativity.
-and finally (and I don't know who to give credit to, you or gramps for this one...but I can at least hear you saying it in my head) "No worky, No eaty"

You always took me under your wing when the other kids were doing the "manly hard labor" with gramps, and still made me feel welcome and loved.

I wish I had been able to spend more time with you, but I know you're watching over me.

Miss you granny, I hope I'm making you proud.

With all the love in the world,


Sunday, October 31, 2010


I'm really missing this place.


I'm doing it. Ticket Purchased.

I couldn't be more excited.

I leave January 4th. I come back April 14th.


Friday, October 22, 2010


...that i MUST see in concert before I die:

brandi carlile. her sound is so raw and wonderful. i will definitely travel to see her someday.

...i've seen a fine frenzy live before....and I cannot WAIT to see her again. just watching this video makes me smile. she is perfection. and...she was super nice when i met her.

who wants to join me?

Friday, October 15, 2010


i need help.

London & Debt?


Provo & Savings?

i've been accepted to go study abroad in london from january-april....but i'm having a hard time deciding if it'll really be worth going slightly into debt over.

I think it would be an AMAZING experience....but i'm so scared about student loans. anyone out there have some thoughts? suggestions? let me know.....your comments are appreciated.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


i'm starting to remember why i left utah.......

winter time is knocking at my doorstep.

don't get me wrong, i love fall and all of it's beauty.....but it only means that 4 months of miserable life is about to begin.

I don't love the cold and snow and the lack of sun....and it's around this time of year that i start to seriously hibernate. I find myself not wanting to go out and be social...i'd rather be in my room watching tv than braving the cold to meet with friends and family. i resort back to my "old self" and tend to lose the "happy go lucky" mike that i can be sometimes.

so i apologize if between now and spring i've lost my "chipper" personality.....just slap me in the face and tell me it'll all be ok...

......maybe i'll just move to london for a few months.

Monday, September 13, 2010


the root of all necessary evil.

it became apparent after living/working in the outside world (.....outside of the utah bubble....) that as much as you could prove yourself by actions in the working world...if you don't have that little 10 point font on a resume that says you've completed some sort of degree, you will never make as much as you are worth.

so here i sit. avoiding my homework like the plague. even though i'm enjoying this semester more than any i've had the privilege of suffering through up until this point in my life. I'm learning things..... problem is....i don't know if i'm learning the right things. i guess i won't know until i start getting tested. (that sounded like i was going to the doctor to get tested for some disease....i'm not diseased.)

But i really am feeling like i'm at least on the right path as far as my major is concerned. The idea of teaching history really really excites me. And history excites me. I just hope i'm smart enough and that my brain can handle all of this information that is being thrown at me. I'm reading more than a human being ever should... at least in my opinion.... but hey. at least i'm reading and at least i'm going to class... so far. I shouldn't jinx myself seeing as it's only the 3rd week of school. but i'm trying to keep this motivation up. so bear with me.

I'm finding it more difficult to transition back to life here in provo than expected. It was much easier to move out of this place than to move back into it. But ... again... i'm learning how to cope and only pray that the next year and a half go quickly. I figure the more busy I am, the faster things will go. hence me working 2 jobs on top of the 14 credits i'm taking. Would i LOVE to not have to work both jobs? yes. would i be productive if i didn't? no. i find that the more free time i have.........the more i use that free time in unproductive ways. you know what i mean?

my living situation has been less than ideal..............i don't really want to talk about it. at least not now. maybe once things are resolved i'll feel ok about it.

......... i haven't been grocery shopping since moving here. i'm far from skinny. other than my wrists of course.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


life is full of them.

i recently made the hardest one of my life.

Stay in California. or. Move to Utah.

.........................Here I sit in Provo, Utah.

This was the first decision i've made in life where i was completely and utterly torn. My heart wanted to stay in California....but my brain told me to move back here. It just made sense. now that i'm here? i'm ready to leave again....but that stupid bachelor's degree is standing in the way.

I made the move based on faith. and believe me....i'm putting a lot of faith in this decision because it definitely was not what i wanted.

so what exactly am i doing here? studying to become a high school history teacher. This was my original intended major, and i kinda strayed away from it for a while..... but now that i'm back in the groove i feel like i've made the right decision for my life. In the 2 weeks i've been back at BYU i'm motivated and actually learning things. shocking, i know. I have the end in mind....even though it could be as far as 2 years away...and it's keeping me going.

I moved into a condo in provo with complete strangers instead of moving back home with my parents. Something i vowed i would never do.....yet here i am. i'm growing up a little bit i think. kind of scary. I'm hoping this new view-point helps keep me motivated.

I left behind so many things in California.... A job with a promising future, family, best friends, delicious food..............

it'll all be worth it........right?

Friday, June 4, 2010


i somehow managed to lose my camera battery charger. this is sad for me. you know why? cause it's brought me to a decision point in my life. i hate making decisions. i might even venture to say.... i despise making decisions. ...... so what's the decision? here it is.

do I:

A) Buy a new charger

B) Buy a new camera altogether (..........i'm trying to convince myself that losing this charger is a sign for me to get a new nice camera...something that i've wanted for a long time now.....but am having a hard time rationalizing)


C) Don't spend a dime on any camera equipment so that i can fix my sad little damaged car door (don't ask.... )

thoughts? impressions? ...... really i just want someone to make the decision for me....... and then fund the decision as well. ok? is that too much to ask? i think not.'s super hot here. i felt like i was sitting in a sauna all day at work today. my complexion is lovely if you're wondering.

also.... i didn't eat dinner tonight cause i was trying to figure out my math homework..... if i continue on this trend, i fear i'll never eat again because still, after 4 hours, i have no idea what to do.

also..... i really wish that my neighbor wouldn't start their motorcycle right outside my window at 4 AM every day...... and then leave it running for 15 minutes before pulling away.

also..... i'm bored.

also..... i had a cheesecake filled chocolate cupcake today. yep. you're jealous.

also..... i love "toddlers and tiaras." (you know you do too......)

also...... when i discovered my fresh strawberries had become frozen in my fridge this morning, i almost had a melt down.

also...... i'm going home in 15 days. haven't been in utah in almost a year. things i miss the most? friends. family. cafe rio. kneaders. zupas. mountains. memories. BYU (did i just say that?!). grass.

also..... i'm done.

sometimes.... just gotta admit it.

if only they made this in big boy sizes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


what's the meaning of it? well..i'll tell you what i think it is. I think that the meaning of life is for EVERYONE to be HAPPY. isn't it so hypocritical (or maybe ironic..i dunno) when someone finds joy in making other people sad? i just wish we could all step outside of our selfish little boxes for a second and realize that no matter what our background; white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, gay, straight, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich, poor, etc. etc. we all ultimately want to be happy. As cliche and stupid as it may sound, don't you think the "golden rule" (do unto others as you would have others do to you) really is the solution to finding world peace? .....

i don't know many people who:

-love it when someone makes fun of the way they look, whether it be the color of their skin, their weight, the shape of their nose etc.
-want to be killed.
-enjoy being judged negatively based on religious affiliation
-like being stereotyped
-Love being hated based on their sexual orientation. (gay or straight...)
-plead with people to argue with them
-want to be dirt poor.

do you?

I just wish people would stop voicing their negative opinions and just live their own life in happiness. if you disagree with something? that's fine....but there's no need to lash out in response in negative and offensive ways. just acknowledge the fact that you disagree, and move on.

If pointing out what you feel is someone else's flaw makes you happy, i ask you to reconsider. find happiness elsewhere. go enjoy nature. go eat your favorite burger. eat a whole gallon of icecream. (apparently i like eating...) laugh with your friends. watch a movie. play with neices and nephews. crochet. do whatever it is that makes you happy as long as it doesn't include putting yourself "above" another person/race/religion/lifestyle/etc.

i'm going to put my small little reputation in jeopardy here and reference a movie that i may or may not have seen a few times...***cough cough highschool musical cough cough***... by saying..... "we're all in this together" let's make the best of it. if you don't want people saying offensive things about you, then stop saying offensive things about others. if you want to be happy? make someone else happy. catch my drift?

does anyone else agree with me?....or even understand what i'm trying to say? my thoughts are rambled....but they are very sincere. i'd love to hear yours.

what made me happy today?

beautiful california sunshine.

Monday, April 12, 2010

i just...

am ready to do something productive with my life. any ideas? this whole working 2 jobs and then coming home and being too tired to do anything except watch reality TV is kinda getting to me. The weather is so up and down out here too.... i just want to go out and enjoy nature and the sunshine. (not that i'm complaining, cause the climate here is MUCH better than utah. ie, i haven't seen any snow all year long :)) ...... can anyone out there relate? like...i've just reached that point of, i want to do something good for the world or for even just one person. i just want to make a difference. is that so much to ask? i'm sick of working pointless (no offense to my current employers) jobs. i'm very grateful for what i have, don't get me wrong, i've been very blessed w/ employment..... but really, when you think about it...... retail and banking are pointless when all is said and done. what matters? putting a smile on someone's face who hasn't had one in days. months. years. i just love when i'm able to do that. anyone need a smile?! let me know what i can do for you, and i'll do my best to accomplish that. really though....i just want everyone to be happy! ... myself included sometimes. but i'm doing better! amazing what having a positive outlook can do. and a little sunshine.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

the latest

suuuure my blogging has slowed quite a bit....but aren't you glad that i'm here now?!

so... life in california. where to start? I feel like all i ever do is work, with a few spurts of fun activities here and there.......

Bank of the west: I'm feeling more comfortable here each day...which for me is kind of scary in the job world. Once i get comfortable i get kinda bored and am ready for something new. I love the people i work with.... for the most part. there are definitely those days where being surrounded by women can get a little......intense?.... but by the next day things are fine :) vague...i know. The last couple weeks have been spent "getting ready for the audit"....which in my mind defeats the purpose of an audit.... shouldn't we be following these procedures always? and if we're not then..well... the audit will show. BUT...i just do what my manager asks and don't complain. for the most part :) Will i stay in banking forever? i really really hope i don't have to. but...for now its a good job that pays me enough to keep me there.

Banana Republic: i'm finding it hard to juggle these 2 jobs. I work m-f at the bank from 8-5 and have to squeeze in banana between there. so i'm either there at 5 am or staying there til 9 at night..making for some very long days. Recently i've been scheduled at 5 am 2 mornings and then working 2 weekend i feel like i never have time to just...relax. which for me is kind of a big deal. but i guess that's the price i pay for wanting to live in this....wonderful (??) state. I enjoy my coworkers there.... and the job is fine..... but again, i'm getting comfortable and am ready for something new. buuuuut dont have the luxury of being able to do that at this point.

Spurts of Fun-

I had the chance to go down to southern california to spend some time with my brother and sister-in-law one last time before they move up this way ....and of course through their complete kindness got to spend some time at Disneyland....which i always love. It was a fun time had by all....not so much the rides......but the people watching and of course the CHURROS! ugh...i could eat those everyday for the rest of my life and be completely happy. Of course, it was the weekend of the crazy torrential downpour in southern california...nothing like masses of wet smelly people. :)

(love the kids face behind me)

Let's see.....a couple weeks ago i went with my roommate and some of his friends to the Maverick Surf Competition at half moon bay ...i guess this is a pretty big deal in the surfing world...which...i'm not even remotely a part of....but it sounded like a fun activity for a saturday with nothing better to do. i don't know if any of you heard about/remember hearing about a group of spectators getting swept out to sea for a bit of time at a surf was at that same competition. No, it wasn't me that got swept away, nor did i see it happen....but that's my latest claim to fame.

I've done a little bit of hiking out here....shocking i know....but when you're living here in this people-infested state you kind of just need some time to get out and be in wide open spaces. i'm learning to just really love and appreciate nature and how good it feels to just take some time for yourself.

Had a very low-key birthday celebration this year....had to work the weekend before and the weekend after and had to work on my birthday so....just went out to dinner to celebrate and ate a cupcake or two. or maybe it was three............mmm....could've been four. they were delicious.

Only other blog-worthy thing i've done recently is make a visit to San Francisco State University (i think this is where i'll end up going to school) to see what i needed to do in order to attend school there. after meeting w/ a nice lady named Collette (who sat at a cramped little cubicle that i had the joy of squeezing into to discuss my potential future....) i discovered i need to take a few more classes and apply and then be admitted hopefully to start school next january (i know...seems like forever away...but you gotta do what you gotta do). i think i have (once again) changed my mind with what i want to do for a career....and have landed back where i started when i decided in highschool that i wanted to be a history teacher. I love history....haven't always excelled in it...but i love it. and i feel like being a teacher fits me well. May not be the highest paying job in the world....but for now, it'll do. I'm just ready to get my education done for the time being and head down a career path. I think i'd like to do something w/ photography on the side....but i'm still figuring all that out. Might be nice to have a decent camera one of these days....i'll take donations :) so...yeah. that's life in a blog-shell.

time to finish making granny's homemade wheat bread. hope it turns out ok!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


....i love this city.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


i've recently come to realize that i ask that question alot....

why do i have to work at 5 a.m.?
why did i just sleep through my 5 a.m. shift?
why do i have to work 2 jobs just to barely scrape by?
why do i have to work at all?
why am i sad sometimes?
why is there a girl in elders quorum today?
why did a homeless woman have to point out the fact that i have zits and she doesn't? ...she failed to mention the fact that i shower and she doesn't but still...
why do my feet hurt?
why can't i take 3 naps a day?
why haven't i blogged in what seems like ages?
why can't the holidays always be the same no matter how old i get?
why can't i eat everything i want and not get fat?
why can't i afford school?
why do i love reality tv?
why can't every day be a vacation?
why can't i afford an apartment that i really love?
why did i have to hurt my brand new car? (...still a touchy one...)
why did a rock have to chip my windshield?
why do i have to be responsible?
why do i have to do laundry?
why haven't i been to chili's since august?
why did all IMAX 3D showings of avatar have to be sold out this weekend?
why don't i have a nice new camera that i can just take a million pictures with?
why are my lips chapped?
why do i have trials?
why do i unintentionally hurt people i love?
why do people i love unintentionally hurt me?
why can't i keep any plants alive?
why is my room a mess?
why does my smoke alarm continue to beep every 3 minutes and 17 seconds?
why didn't i have cash to pay for a toll bridge fee resulting in a $25 bill being sent to me in the mail?
why am i not living closer to the city?
why is In-N-Out further away from where i live now, than it would be if i was still living at home?
why do i always long for something more?
why is the sky blue?....

.....ok i'll stop rambling. but you get the point. the sad thing is, i know the answer to every single one of these questions....i guess the problem comes because i just don't like the answer. so i guess as my new years resolution (cliche, i know) i'm going to stop asking "Why" and just accept things the way they are. there's no point stopping and asking "Why", because by the time you ask it, there's nothing that can be done to change the answer. all you can do is just accept things the way they are and move on with your life. simple enough for me :)

anyways.....all is well in california. i survived an earthquake. my first ever. just call me superman.