November 7, 2011

I've just realized I'm using the mountains as a substitute for any and all male suitors....Uh oh.

Wow, in all sincerity I'm not exactly sure how to just dive on into this pictoral novel I just technologically barfed up. I went ahead and did it again, I waited 5 or so months before I decided my life was worth documenting. Pardon my french, but dammit, eh?  Oh well, I suppose it is the flu/cold season, and say that you feel that terrifying itch in your throat, that preemptive ache surging through you skeletal system, deep into your marrow and you fraudulently try and reassure yourself by saying, "no worries, I went and got that paralyzing flu shot. I'm free sailing." We both know it's a lie. So, nevertheless, let's say this unfortunate hell is creeping upon you and you all of a sudden start taking inventory or your movie/book selection. Rats, you've already exhausted all seasons of Parks and Recreation and you're too heavy-laden with pride to pop in Twilight or Gossip Girl for another go 'round. You've found yourself in a sad state to say the very least, and your tan is fading fast, to add one more check on the wrist-slitting list. I know, I've made you feel like you just emerged from a 2 hour George Orwell stint. But, alas!! I'm here to help! I've gone ahead and written this blog that will take at least 4 tissue boxes, 5 herbal teas and 47 cough drops (if you're like me and suck at sucking on the lil buggers). So, I guess what I'm trying to're welcome:). I'm going to try, yet again to do minimal explaining and just let the pics say the words. How often have my fingers allowed my typing voice to be hushed? I can't think of one on the spot. So, hur goes.

As per recent tradition, I am going to give you a glimpse into what is going on. Right now. In this very moment this is how I look and what I want to portray to the world. 

Also currently, I have my annual cough again!! Let me see your 'whoo whoo' hands! If you have known me for...really any period of time over a few months you have probs been introduced, rather brutally and abrasively to my cough. I get it nearly every year (I had a 3 or 4 year hiatus, for which I am very grateful. I'm pretty sure the church was truer during that time). Anyway, it's annoying and loud and there is no cure that I am currently aware of. Docs are baffled. I'm sore and the rest of the world is unified in annoyance.

Current cough drop of choice

Daylight saving's time came without warning and without preparation on my part. I already have a struggle sleeping in on the days that I so eagerly prepare for it.  Come Sunday I found myself bright-eyed and bushy tailed (where does the bushy tail-ness come in to all of this? Is a woodland creature, the only creatures I can think of with bushy tails, really demonstrating an extreme amount of happiness through a bushy tail? I've yet to see my many dealings with the squirrel population). It was around 7 am and it was snowing outside. My plans to go for a walk were dashed. Then it just happened. I got online and I bought things. I haven't the means for this kind of impulsion. Curse you WorldWideWeb. Curse you. 

I bought this print. I love this local artist. I've been eyeing her stuff for a while.

Pretty sure I've already gone berserk about this woman's original version of this book I found at a yard sale. This is the revised version. Considering the first one was published in 1990, I fig it was a good idea to update my lit'rature.

Oh and I finally found my future ranch/farm. I love this new blog treasure:

Now we start from the BG, or beginning as other humans call it. Back over labor day me, judy, lee, lauren getch, tierra D, jake phillips, catfish (caitlyn), and bridger all went up to kolob and played. It was a magical trip. This pic signifies one of the many happy moments on so-said trip. We did the cabin/music/s'mores/good convo/rapping thing and then the next day we went to Zion and hiked the Narrows and then ate amazing food. 

Epic night of bike riding, long boarding, slurpees, and individual interpretations of yoga. Gash I miss warm nights.
Bridger just let go of my bike, I'll not have my hard work go unnoticed and pretend he was just 'keeping up.' Heavens no.

Just a phenom pic of lee. It literally says everything you ev need to know about her. Describes her perfectly.

Lifestyle shot of me, bridge and catfish.

Ok, I'm just going to warn you. I have a deep, passionate love-affair with the mountains. We love each other and unlike Rose to Jack, I will never let them go. So, while one or two mountain excursions would seem plentiful to document, I have documented quite a few. I have also left quite a few out. But if I'm going to be accurate in how I've been spending my time then this flood of nature-lovin is more than justified. Pardon my defensiveness....but you'll see why.

I love where I live. I love Utah. I didn't always. I always loved Hurricane and how I grew up, but I always ached to live elsewhere, greener places, more water, things like that. But as I get crazy mature;), I realize that I could live here forever. I hope to live other places and travel till I'm cremated into a nice pot on my offsprings mantel, but I love Utah. I think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth and has the most diverse surroundings out there. I was driving home recently and I sincerely started getting teary-eyed at how beautiful every single new turn was. No, I'm not pregnant. Just touched. And grateful. I love the mountains, sorry if I sound redundant. Every time I think I need to show myself that I love myself, I take myself there. I feel like I give my soul a hug when I'm up hiking. I think we need to work on doing things that make us feel embraced by ourselves, loved by this person who is consistently judging our every move, thought, idea, sense. Sorry, tangent. Anyways, I've found what does it for me and I hope not to forget too soon.
Hike up East Canyon.

Judy is my usual go-to adventure buddy. I love having a gamer around all the time. She's the only person who is similar enough to me to say yes to stuff. I love just being able to say, "judy, hike?" or "Judy, dance party?" and having her say, "of course." She will be the funnest, happiest and most intellectually stimulating wife for someone someday. Sam, you're a luck SOB.

Random hike up Big Cottonwood
There were this huge, weird dry dandelion looking things that made me feel like I was in a Dr. Seuss novel. It was less horrifying than I'd imagined.

Speaking of dance parties. Dancing is another thing that makes me feel like I just gave my soul a massage. This is pic is so great for so many reasons. Here is where our inspiration for this night came from:

Lamb's Canyon. Little secret treasure on the way to Park City. We were about 2 weeks too early for leaf change-age, but it was still amazing.
My name is Catfish Ellis. And I'm a Mormon.

Judy sketching

Best roommate sitch yet to be discovered

Trip to Bear Lake:

We decided to up and bike around Bear Lake. I had just bought my new bike, which I LOVE. Yes, I'm an pesky slc biker. Not the legit kind who is way good or anything, but I love biking, so much. I can't wait till I'm done hacking my intestines out my esophagus so I can bike around the city again. Anyway, we woke up at the anus of dawn, after all of us forgetting to get any sleep, and loaded up. We met catfish's friends awesome spencer and his gf up there.

Awesome spencer and his gf had serious bike issues the whole way. Poor tykes. 
One of...nay, who am I kidding, THE BIGGEST motivator for us finishing was the raspberry shakes at the end. They did not disappoint. 
Catfish says so much here. 

Back when it was warm we were hitting up quite a few concerts, many of them in the great outdoors. This one was amazing and in a beautiful location. It's a little trail I run up in the Harvard/Yale area. Luke's band Mateo played and Libbie Linton, of whom I'm a new and ever-growing fan.

Kristen and Kylee. Disgustingly pretty, right?

Bub's Wedding

Ol bub, aka Abby went ahead and got herself hitched. It was such a perfect day for a wedding and the venue was beautiful. It was somewhat hilarious because, no offense to my avid Enoch city readers, but the road to this beaut was not exactly romantic. We passed a 'BULLDOG'S MEATS' right before the turn. On their honor they will grind what you hunt. Can't ask for a better deal, I'd say.

Bub looked so pretty. I often think when girls get really gussied up they actually end up looking worse (i.e. proms, weddings, quinceneras, what have you). But she honestly looked stunning. 

The ring bearer. He was just happy cause he got to walk up the aisle with a gun. 

My main man Gus and Gramps. He is so tiny and so bloody cute.

What?! Another mountain? Weird. This has never happened before! My uncle Kelly always says that when he flagellates. "Oh my goodness! I've never done that before!" It sucks that I laugh at that dumb one every time. Enabler.

Millcreek is one of my very favorite canyons. I run Pipeline trail quite a lot and this is one of those glorious trips. I love it cause it's a fairly trying run, but you don't notice it. Then you stop and hike a ways and you get major pay off. Maybe it's just the 'STOPPING' part that I like. Jury's still out.

Neff's Canyon:

Bridger revealed this little jewel to me and I will not, cannot admit my gratitude to him. It's too painful. Bridger is our apartment boyfriend by the way. We bring him around when we feel like the apartment is either low on testosterone (let's be honest, we aren't exactly the definitions of feminine so that is rare), or we are dying to talk to someone else besides each other about menstrual cycles and cute fellas. Poor Bridge.

What?! Did I just sneak a little Montana into this scene?! That's right! Tan tan the miracle man is home and kicking. I'm so happy to have all the Blerma gals back in the same state. We have hung out quite a bit actually and we are getting more and more elitist about our friendships. We better get married soon....we are way too close to marrying each other and moving into a big house decorated only with Gryffindor memorabilia.  

Millcreek Take 2: Autumn version
My good buddy Jeni is easily one of my favs to exercise with. We have a lot of fun and like to work out about the same intensity/amount. It's nice to have a counterpart in that realm. Way convenient.

What's the meaning to life chelle? Don't worry tiny feather, all in good time....all in good time. 

See what I mean? She's great. Also disgustingly pretty. I've got to get new friends.

Mona: An Excursion of Epic-Ness

During one of those magical weekends when Me, Tan, Er, Lee and Judy were all in the same place, classy ol eric decided we should go to the Mona swings. This was not too long ago. I mean, fairly recent. I remember it like it was yesterday. What I'm trying to say is that it was cold. Shaving your legs was a useless heartache sort of cold. But it was seriously so fun. Once we actually got in it wasn't that bad. Tan is still the best thing that's ever happened, but that mish toughened her up a bit and the once scared of her own shadow Jolley is now this new, "I'll try it!" machine. It's amazing and I'm way proud of her. She has the best heart and funniest disposition of anyone I know.
Because it was Eric's idea, we were all allowed to be B's about everything and make her do all the hard work. 

Judy braved the tallest platform. Tan nearly bawled as she did it. I felt no fear. Who knows, maybe I secretly want Judy dead. Oh well, eh?

Work cinderella, Work! The stick was our hopeful way of the rope without getting into the freezing water. It was mildly successful.

Right after lee braved the plank.

I wish you could see this pic better. Tan's face is worth every dollar I never earn. She was so scared but she did it. That tiny cowboy did it. 

I'm seriously friends with all those cool girls. I promise I bribed someone in heaven, so don't feel bad. I'll pay sorely later, I'm sure. 

The first video is mostly worth watching for the dialogue going on in the background. oh, and sorry about the noisy wind.

My whole family. That's right, the whole slew of Ballard breeding was at home recently. Kip, Alli, Bringhurst crew, Wilsons (minus Adam...I knew we there was something more attractive about our bunch ;) jk adam), The Scotts, Kyle/Em and Gus, Tyson and Veronica and insy, weensy ol me. I just kept going from room to room, recounting everyone, not way sure if it was real. I love my family and being the youngest can only vaguely remember the times when all of us were around.

My mom has more energy than a meth-induced hyenia. Fact. Tossing around babies like they are a hot potato hacky-sac is one of her many characterizing traits. The kids love it. Now that we are older and seeing how she flips them around it's funny to see the looks on the sisters faces as their offspring barely escape death.

Linnie, Melissa and April's two girls came up and played with me for a day and a half. We had a ton of fun. Those girls bossed us into anything and everything they wanted. They have a gift. Sent from which source is the question....

We went up to Park City and went wanted to do the big slide, but instead there was a rollercoaster. I figured it would be bootleg, but it was tons of fun. The tinies win again.

Best pre-big drop face ever

My parents are building a cabin in Blue Springs. It's very exciting and ol Brucey boy has found his reason for taking in life-giving oxygen. Those boys have been working so hard and they have pulled off an insane amount in a short amount of time. I swept the floors once, so I figure they'll prob insert a yoga studio inside just for me. I don't think I dream too big, I dream with purpose we'll say. 

Look at ol Bruce, the definition of manliness.

Little Cottonwood:

Last mountain memoir, promise. This was my most recent meet-n-greet with mother nature, before mother nature took a wintery dump on us. Eloquent much chelle? Yes, I think so. It was everything I could have ever wanted.

Sam and Judy

Too bad myspace is basically out of biz, once I get the kissy mouth down I would be so golden.

I can't help myself, I already posted a lot of these on fb, but I love this progression of pics. Judy was trying to cross the river...for the ump-teenth time. We decided trails were for the less than Jeremiah Johnson of us. She ran into a pickle.

They debate the prospects, their inevitable dilemma

They try stuff


What self-respecting polygamist gentleman wouldn't be chopping down the forest to marry these lil lass's. I know, I'm shocked at the void as well. 

Other things I have been filling my time with:

Campus Garden:

I started helping harvest at the campus gardens and I loved it. Amazing humans run the thing. And the free produce didn't suck either. I'm a sucker for free produce. I fear what I will one day compromise for free tomatoes.

Judy's art work


Could it be my blog if I didn't talk about yoga? It really is all I do. I work for Reporters Inc part time and the rest of my life is dedicated to this 500 hour certification. It's just us 4 gals now, Emily and Michael who were in the 200hr in the beginning of the summer only come on Thursdays now. I feel inadequate to talk about how lucky I am to be doing what I do every day. We better our bodies, discuss thoughts, go on excursions, make vision boards, cry together, laugh an insane amount together and eat phenomenal food every day. I love these girls with all my heart and if I think about how it's all over in January I will and always do cry. This training and Yoga has changed my life. I'm a completely different person and I have no idea how it all happened. I have to write a bio for some teaching I'm doing and I was having a hard time, so I just started word vomitting in my notebook. I kinda wanna share what I wrote. It's pretty intensely mushy and bawl-city, but it's very honest and I think it explains how I feel a tad.

My vision board. Not quite finished. 

Prenatal yoga
Pool yoga. I know, we fight the man, and we fight him hard.

My teach. Natalie. She's way cooler than I could ever write. She's helped me and pushed me more than anyone I can remember. 

These are the gals I spend 5 hours most days of the week with. They are so fun and we care about each other so deeply. 

I'm starting to volunteer
Fyi: Yoga with kids is the funnest experience you'll yet have.

Anyway, here is my little novel on yoga:
Yoga has changed the way my mind works, the way my body experiences the world. Before, my feelings and emotions were closely monitored and heavily judged. Now, my mind feels, my body explores, driven by curiosity and desire to explore my own perceptions. I studied exercise and sport science and nutrition at the University of Utah. Being active and playing have been my passions for as long as I can remember. I began doing yoga about three years ago to become a better athlete, as a means to an end. I wanted to improve my flexibility and general athletic capacity. I felt no spiritual urgency, no need for healing or for a savior, but I understood that my energetic, playful nature could use some sort of “Zen-like” activity. So I started at square one. I have gone down some rocky roads with myself, slowly getting to know a few harsh realities, some of these made present simply by breathing. Add movement, visualization, and mantras to the mix and you can imagine the beasts I faced. But I smile, take a breath or two, and do it again the next day. Yoga helps me find peace within the raw thoughts, curiosities, and emotions of being one of these humans. Yoga asks me to sit with myself, to be honest, to speak, to be silent, to be peaceful without expectation, to listen to the beauty of expression, no matter its form. And in the end some postures are still flat-out hilarious, but as I laugh, yoga heals me, and I didn’t even know I needed healing. Yoga saves. I believe it and I trust it and that’s why I want to share it.


Summer said...

WOW! Fabulous post. Utah really is a beautiful place, especially northern Utah the past few months. At first I was not exciting about moving to SLC, but I really loved living in SLC for 3 1/2 years. I've learned though, that it's not necessarily the place, but the attitude of the person living there. If you get out and discover what your city has to offer, you're bound to love it. It's nice to see what you've been up to and read all your B.S.

-Kyle and Emily- said...

Well two years and 7 months later I finished your most epic post. I don't remember anything because of all the verbiage, but pictures say a thousand words right?

I want to bike Bear Lake when it gets warmer. k.

Juje said...

Your way of writing always makes me laugh--I love it so much (I'm a little jealous, too). This post makes me wanna BE you. Take me to your mountains and teach me your yoga ways, please.

Juje said...

Weird, I just saw your comment on my blog. Jinx! I guess the world wide web likes me better.

kylee said...

once i went for a walk in salt lake and guess who i passed? okay stop guessing. i'll just tell you. hue & hum themselves. as in the fictionist guitarist and his artistic wife. plus their dog. after we passed them i turned to my friends and did sort of the whsiper & point thing where i ask if that was who i thought it was. it was and i felt super cool inside. maybe i should have said hi. millcreek take 2: gorgeous.

kylee said...

its about time!!! love your posts as always

Jessica said...

This post makes me feel 12 different things. All of them very quantifiable and contained, naturally. I'll start naming a few:

1. It sucks that I'm moving out.
2. It sucks that it's winter.
3. We (especially you) did really well being outside this fall. It was one of my goals, coming back from Europe, to take advantage of my surroundings. You helped me do that so much more than I would have myself. I don't often write down goals like that, and even less frequently fulfill them. So thank you.
4. It is so bizarre to me that I don't know your yoga partners. You spend so much time with them and I don't even know them. T'will probably stay that way. I'm not sad, it's just bizarre. I guess it was the same with me being in architecture school.
5. You are so pretty. I know I tell you this every day, but I can't get over how in love with you I am. I love the two pictures of us in little cottonwood. So much.
6. I don't know if we have many pics of the four of us roommates, but that one that bridgster took of us is killer. Like sooo good. Can we keep calling me 'one of the four roommates' even though I'm leaving? Kthxbai.
7. The last three months have been really, really great. Sure, this post mostly only hits on the highlights, but it has probably been one of the best three-month periods of my life. It's weird that a new page is being turned, mostly my fault. But good in a million ways too.
8. I really appreciate our friendship. K? k. Great.
9. The last few on this list are too emotion and mushy gushy to be posted here. But you know what I'm feeling. Love ya.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is the LONGEST post I have ever read. :) It looks like you are having so much fun though. Glad to see that you are happy and well (except for the annoying cough). Love ya girl! :)