Thursday, March 31, 2011

it's been fun

i love them far too much.

once you tacos al pastor, you never go back.

you should visit it someday. put it on your bucket list riiight now.

I nearly lost my torta on this ride.

five-star hotel room in Mexico City (complete with an autographed headboard)

this is Teo, our stake president, my second father in Mexico, at our favorite taco joint (where I ate that tear-inducing salsa)

yes, I actually jimmy-rigged a bandage for my missing toenail incident. Just be glad I didn't post the picture without the bandage.

March is pretty much over. Shoot that was fast. A little too fast for my liking.

We always count down to something big, something we're looking forward to, and before we know it, all of the little things {the most important} have sped by and we're left with a date on the calendar like the 31st.

Time is so cruel sometimes.

in the month of march,
*I got over sun poisoning, just in time to get the turista (you don't wanna know)
*I lost a toenail, which I must say looks pretty ridiculous painted over
*I decided to go home a week early and thanks to some serious generosity, I will be home soon (add an extra day to sunday at midnight my friends)
*I rode a roller coaster for the first time and almost lost my insides
*I slept underground in Mexico City on a small bed with a slab of concrete for the box sounds sketchy because it is
*I walked through two beautiful cathedrals
*I ate too many delicious tacos. I wish you could all partake of their deliciousness. Taco Bell=never again.
*I shed more sweat than I knew was possible. And then decided to never move to Arizona.
*I finished Alma and started in on Mosiah (I'm not reading it chronologically this time)
*I registered for my classes...senior year. Psyche.
*Chelsea left on her mission and I didn't get to say goodbye.
*I played more soccer and got kicked/hit with a soccer ball/shoved while doing it.
*I ate tacos filled with sesa (pig brains, remember), barbacoa (sheep), cactus, and salsa so hot it made me cry.
*I taught my Mexican children mine and Chelsea's super-secret-handshake, which isn't so secret anymore. It'll be all over Mexico soon, I'm sure.
*I killed 50 zillion cockroaches. Blurgh.
*I packed my stuff, then kinda unpacked it again, then packed again. What is going on with my emotions here?
*One word: freckles.
*I created a new holiday: Jesus Bracelet Wednesday (you'll see soon enough).
*I accidentally got on and all of a sudden I got excited to cook for myself again. Like, real bad.
*I prayed for rain.
*I sent three postcards.
*I said "No speaking Spanish" 1,543 times.
*I washed all my clothes with a tub and a bar of soap.
*I visited the zocalo and it's amazing, you know.
*I fell even more in love with Mexico. It's been good to me.

And now, here comes April, yet another month full of surprises and goals being accomplished, and countdowns to the next thing. Only this time, I'm only counting down to tomorrow.

"Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality."
Abraham Lincoln

Monday, March 28, 2011

thought process







contemplation is a favorite word of mine. and currently that's what i'm experiencing: lots of contemplation. lots of thinking about mexico, and leaving mexico in 12 days.

today i thought about what i'll be doing on the plane. probably crying.

i also told my kids i had two weeks left with them, so they'd better listen. to some, it wasn't so much a threat as a reason to celebrate.

but others said, "ohhh're going to return, right?" i wish they wouldn't do that sometimes. i just can't stand the thought of leaving them.

and then there's the teachers. yesterday i spent all day with kaitlyn and her family (her entire family, which translates to a lot of mexicans). i felt like i was at one of my own family reunions. it was a surreal feeling. i had to remind myself that i was in mexico; but i have to do that a lot.

i have grown to love this place more than i thought i would.

i have become a different person, but i think i'm still the same kenzie. just with more pieces to my puzzle. make sense? and those pieces will always belong to mexico.

last night i made a list of all the things i'm going to do in the next 12 days.
it's pretty small.
mostly it says to be patient with my students, teach them all i can, and then somehow tell them goodbye, in my regular, kenzie fashion.

what i really wish i could do is take all my favorites back with me and then we could all live on the same street together. and i would see them on the weekends, and we'd play soccer together, and eat pizza, and i would teach them funny phrases in english.

and the teachers, we would be best friends for the rest of our lives.
today i told my friend/fellow teacher sara that it doesn't feel right to me that we're all leaving now. i said, "it's like we were a band, and now we're breaking up...and it's just not right."

i just want the music to keep playing.

and to never end.

yep, this song was on the "bucket list." it's not my fault there's coincidences all over the place.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

what if

reminds me of this song

i know someone who looks like that. mm-hmm.

what i desire for breakfast

utah. soon, in the flesh.


what if...I started packing a few days ago to clean up the clutter in my room. and what if i started packing because i'm kind of excited to go home?

what if...I saw that "unknown" movie (liam neeson kicking trash again) last night and it wasn't near as amazing as the first subway sandwich i've had in 3 months?

what if...I miss my parents more than I can even say. That was cheesy, but I don't care about being cheesy anymore like I did when I was 18.

what if...I see pictures of myself when I was 18 and I wish I still looked like that. And what if I have to start working out extra hard again to deal with the aftermath of Mexico? Do you know what I mean by aftermath? Heheh.

what if...I am counting down the days 'til I go home but I also don't know exactly when that will be right now.

what if...I can't decide whether to keep my hair long or chop it off again.

what if...I read my friend Jessica's mission blog and think about going on a mission. Again.

what if...I wish that Chelsea was going to be back in Rexburg when I return.

what if...I'm secretly scared to speak Spanish with native speakers and that's probably why my Spanish-speaking skills aren't as good as they could be.

what if...I'm tired of having cereal every day for breakfast (to everyone who knows me this is huge).

what if...I can't go to bed with dirty feet, without brushing my teeth, or without my iPod in my ears (that last one is just a Mexico thing because I have a night-owl roommate).

what if...I am so excited for General Conference and I wish it was more than twice a year. And what if I miss watching it with my family.

what if...I am stoked to live in Rexburg again with my bro, my friend Amy who is moving closer to me, and my new hammock. Ahh, new hammock.

what if....I like receiving letters and getting one yesterday was the best surprise of the month.

what if...I miss waking up to the sound of my mom on the telephone. It's such an interesting thing to wake up to, but I miss it.

what if...I miss talking on the telephone.

what if...going to the mall here in tehuacan made me feel like I was in Orem, and then, upon stepping outside of it, I said out loud to myself, "Oh, back in Mexico."

what if....I prefer blog-stalking over facebook-stalking. And what if I want to delete my facebook account? I think the world will keep on spinning if I do.

what if...I leave half of my clothes here in Mexico because 1, I don't have luggage space for them, 2, they are falling apart anyway, and 3, I have a goal to revamp my wardrobe style and I'm going to accomplish it. No more graphic t-shirts, boring flats, and lifeless skirts. I have a style, I just need to wear it.

what if...I can't wait to cook for myself again. Or have my mom cook for me, be it for a week or 3 days. sigh.

what if...I sometimes wish I was a millionaire so I didn't worry as much as I do. Then again, I would probably find something else to worry about if I was one. I take it back.

what if...I think about going back to my childhood all the time.

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

dear mexico


dear mexico, I have a few things to say to you. I need to get them off my chest before it's too late.

dear mexican sun that beats down on us every day, you have taught me to appreciate you all year round. Second to the people and the food, I will miss you the most.

dear bathroom that i really do hate, i cleaned you for the last time tonight. dead cockroach and all. you make fern ridge reservoir look more sanitary.

dear miss vicky's, thank you for giving me free fruits and veggies when i buy junk food. that little nudge reminds me of my mom.

dear squeaky bunk bed + lumpy pillows, you have given me more knots in my back than ever before. I'm looking forward to my next massage.

dear miss tere, thank you for cooking for us every night. I'm gonna crave that fresh juice you make for the rest of my life.

dear salsa verde, you are so delicious. why can't I have an I.V. of you running into my body at all times?

dear futbol, remember when I was afraid of you? Remember when I was always worried about getting kicked in the shins or hit with a ball? Well, now I know that's just a part of the game. I'm glad we are best friends now.

dear water heater which I have to light with a match and wait for 20 minutes before you make the shower water boiling hot, you make my life more complicated. and i like it that way.

dear ghetto washing machine, you turn all my undies pink. i don't really mind though. makes me feel girly on days when i don't do my hair (uhh, like every day).

dear mexican machismos who think you are the stuff even if you are 50 years older than me, you are the reason I have said "fool" so many times in the past 3 months.

dear techno music that is always blasting no matter where i am, you make me feel like punching walls. and i'm not a violent person. honest.

dear children that make me laugh every day, sometimes i just wish i could take you back to school with me, so we could chill on the weekends. i feel like we're friends.

dear mexico city temple, thanks for reminding me that the church is true wherever you go. I am in awe of you.

dear mexico, thank you for teaching me to be more grateful for the little things, making me realize how much I rely on the Lord, helping me to love and appreciate my parents more, helping me figure out the kind of person I am supposed to be, and being so different from anything I've ever experienced before that I had no choice but to fall in love with you.

i can't believe there's only two weeks left. where did the time go?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a list created to induce smiling

(how I feel about Mexico)

That's right, 'tis time for yet another happy list.

By the way, I have taken my sweet time updating this blog because, well....I was really getting used to seeing Wentworth Miller every time I opened up my page. Shameless, I know.

1. A musician known as M. Ward. Discovering new music is always a happy thang.

2. Being in charge of the FHE lesson every week. You wanna know somethin? I usually (9 times out of 10) make up a lesson either 10 minutes before we start or on the spot, going off of a quote or a scripture. Tonight I used about being one of the wise virgins from my trusty Spencer W. Kimball book. Then I ended up talking about preparing for General Conference...which I wasn't really planning on. Guess the Spirit had something else in mind.

3. Talking to old friends, making new friends. I'm sort of nervous for next semester because all (and I mean all) of my old posse which I have known since my freshman year will be gone. But I think I've got this friend-making-bidnez down. Right? Right.

4. Missionaries. I think I've mentioned them before on here. But man, I love 'em. I have so many friends either on missions, going on missions, or returning from missions. In other words, I have really good friends, folks.

5. OK, this is more awkward than happy: when people post on facebook the weekend after they get married. Hello, do you really want us to comment on that status about waking up with an elbow in your face? Oy.

6. Dating advice from Spencer W. Kimball that actually makes sense.

7. We get to play soccer not once, but two times a week now. Did you know I love soccer now? Oh. Well I do. Even though lots of people get hurt, including myself (last night it was a soccer ball to the ear and a lovely kick in the shins). That's just how we roll.

8. We're goin' to the D.F. (Mexicans' nickname for Mexico City) in 2.2. days! (I say .2 because we're leaving at 2am on Friday morning. Psyche.)

9. Apple-Cinnamon candles.

10. Turning the song "Wheels on the Bus" into a rap so my kids will wanna sing it. Success.

11. Did you know that National Geographic actually re-created the floating house in Up?!!! Yeah, they totally did! Because they're National Geographic and they can do whatever the heck they want. Geesh.

12. This video. Please watch it and laugh 'til you cry. Thanks...and have a nice day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

friday list: currently diggin'

Um. Guys. I accidentally started watching prison break. bad idea. because guess what, wentworth miller is the bee's knees. he's only a genius, trying to save his innocent brotha from the electric death. oh yeah, and he makes paper cranes on the side. what the junk? can my future husband please be really manly and yet make paper cranes on the side? thanks. awesome. (that was on the off-chance that my future husband reads this blog. hah.)


AND plus when you watch the show you learn all of this sweet prison lingo like "shank" (a homemade knife) "fish" (the MTC equivalent of "greenie"), and "bust your grapes" (not sure what this one means yet but it's kinda funny).

oh...and it also makes me really grateful that I'm not in prison. Which I won't be anytime soon, unless taking mexican chocolate across the border is illegal.

Sooooo you guys know I like lists, right? Right. I should probably go to some kind of rehab for it. What would we do at this rehab exactly? Maybe they would force me to write all of my separate thoughts into one giant paragraph. Ugh. That would be torturous. I hate huge, long, never ending paragraphs. {yet I am an English major. Analyze that please.}

Anyway. I have conjured up another list of awesomeness for you, to congratulate you on making it to Friday. Not only is it Friday, but according to my calculations, it is almost spring! For all of you who do not live in Mexico (I promise I'm sorry for you), especially in Rexburg, you're probably thinking, "Geesh, when is it gonna be sunny already?" Or, if you are a glass-half-full person like myself, you are thinking, "Geesh, when it is gonna be sunny already?!"

Oh wait.

Those sounded exactly the same.

Guess it needs to be spring already, huh. I'm pretty sure when I get back to the USA in less than a month, it will immediately start acting like spring. I'll bring the Mexican weather back with me for you guys. You're welcome!

On to the friday likey-list. Saying "likey" makes me feel like I'm 7 again, p.s.

1. books. i have a very small library here in mexico. it consists of spencer w. kimball's teachings (good book but not when I wanna just plop myself in bed and read all night long, ya know?), a runner's book, and "1001 pitfalls in spanish." i'm dying. i have a few gagillion things on my must-read list when i get home. guess what, i'll probably finish them in a month. guilty as charged.

2. polaroids. just look at these beauties.




ahhhh yeah. call me shallow.

3. places i would rather be, a.k.a. a photographic "happy place," for those days when I just need to get away. but don't have any monayyyy.


4. the D.I. is so cool. I literally cannot wait until I get to go visit one of these again. Is it weird to miss a thrift store that smells like old books and musty clothes? Yeh. But I am the epitome of weird, soooo. Yeah. No me importa.

5. getting up early!!!! Once upon a time I wrote a journal entry and it was all about how much I wanted to be a morning person. I was tired of being the one who slept in and missed the good pancakes (or the good earthquakes for that matter...urgh). Then a miracle happened. I got up early for scripture study and everything else about my day was better. Guess what? Russell M. Nelson agrees with me. It's for real, folks.

6. funny things my kids say/do

(this is benji in a wrestling belt he fashioned out of his notebook. classy)

today i asked them, "do you guys know what happened in japan today?"
benjamin: "Oh I know!!! A SUSHI! A SUSHI!"
me: you mean...a tsunami?
benji: ohh..yeah...a tsunami.

i think he and grandma bonnie would be friends.

alejandro, when he walked into class today: "Today I am happy, teacher."
me: "Cuz it's Friday?"
him: "No, teacher, cuz I live."
me: "Because you're alive?" [as you can see I have to correct them a lot]
him: "Yeah, because I'm alive."
Always a good reminder.

I read to them from James and the Giant Peach today. The pictures are a little bit...unique. I opened to this page to show them what James looked like. First words out of Alejandro's mouth: "Whoa, he's very ugly, teacher. Verrry ugly."

These girls aren't in my class, but one of them (on the leftie there) is famous for a few lines:

"Some people in the world think that Justin Bieber are gay, because Justin Bieber are gay."

or, a really sweet one that she uses when Teacher Kaitlyn exasperates her:
"Aww, teacher, you are so injustice!"
Dontcha mean unfair sweetheart? Yeahhh.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

kinda like the disney vault, only not really

with great anticipation (or is it trepidation), i give you a few gems from the journal of mcfrenzy.

November 26th, 2010
"Today didn’t really feel like Friday because I’ve had every day off this week. All of the days are starting to blur together. For the record, I had a super-weird dream last night. Basically, Yo-Yo Ma was my roommate...what the junk was Yo-Yo Ma doing as my roommate? I sort of remember thinking in the dream, “I can’t believe I haven’t told my parents about this yet! It’s so cool! Yo-Yo Ma is my roommate! Ka-ching!”

November 27th, 2010
Oh yeah, and did I mention that we decorated our Christmas tree tonight?! I am starting to get concerned about the amount of ornaments that hang from that thing. Seriously, we didn’t even use all of them, and that thing looked like it was about to tip over. Mom said to me, “If you and Ike ever get married, the tree will be lighter.” I said, “IF we get married?! Sheesh, you better hope we’re not living in the basement 20 years from now or that thing will tip right over!”

12/21/08-Caleb asked mom during sacrament meeting, “Should I yell ‘gun?’”

12/21/08-Caleb asked me before family prayer, “Should I pull my pants down in a restaurant?’”

12/18/08-Ellie said this in family prayer: “Please help Kenzie not to get drunk.”

June 27th, 2010 I walked into the office with the cookies and it was like I had opened a lemonade stand in the desert. It’s so funny to feed boys sometimes. I dunno why.

July 19th 2010 @ the nursing home
The next lady I talked to was named Iva. She was fiddling with her dentures the whole time we were talking but I didn’t realize what they were until halfway through the conversation when she opened her mouth and popped them in. When it was time for us to head to the ward BBQ, I gave her a hug goodbye and said I would be back in the Fall. She looked so hopeful and sweet, how can I not come back? When I gave her a hug she held me tight and said, “I love you!” Oh man…I honestly love old people. LOVE them. Hope this doesn’t sound weird to me 50 years down the road…

July 21st 2010-Chels, Lori, Ash, and myself went to G’s and got the Holy Cow Platter. When we got there we discovered that it was 13 scoops. We figured we could eat half there and save the other half. Too bad we just ate it all in about 20 minutes. I’m still disgusted with myself. I felt so gross afterwards… The only way I could justify eating that thing again would be if there were 4 more people with us and if I was pregnant. The end.

from the best night of our lives, october 16th, 2011
We decided to go exploring by the AF Ampitheatre because there were a zillion cars parked all around it, and the only way that that many people would gather in American Fork on a Saturday night ( I thought) is if Sarah Palin was giving a speech there or something. And it was 10 o’clock at night, so I decided to rule that out. When we first tried to ask people what was going on (lots of people were walking up the hill), they looked at us like we were crazy. Correction: they looked at TP like she was crazy. Allie stopped her van to ask some people, and TP could only get out the words “Ummmmmmmmm…” They stared at us like we were on drugs, so Allie gunned it. I thought I was gonna pee my pants cause I was laughing so hard.

“You know what I just realized? I am…mean! I am bitter about love.” –Chelsea Ann Bedke on December the 5th, 2010

December 7th, 2010
Today I might have done a little bit of mango research. Do you realize how weird that last sentence sounded? Court and Chels were making fun of my awesome mango knowledge. I don’t even like mangoes. This is sad. And funny, right? Please tell me it’s funny.

I was in the middle of a dream about Liz and her fiancée, only this time it was Nick, not Mark, and they were getting engagement pictures taken in the McKenzie River...weird. I guess that was my subconscious mind's way of telling me that I'm still not adjusted to the idea of Liz getting married.

At 3am the morning crew came in and apparently they decided to dress up for work [in honor of Halloween]. One girl was walking down a dark hallway towards me and her face was painted. So...I couldn't really tell what I was seeing. Because I was so stinkin' tired, neither the flight nor the fight response was working. As she walked by me (I was frozen in place) she said "Good morning!" and that's when I realized she was human. The boys could not stop laughing at me. Oh, and I totally biffed it on the rug on my way out the door as I was leaving. I was so tired I just laid there in the middle of the hallway.

Tonight at Institute I sat in my desk before class, just thinking/stewing/pondering. Mostly about Mexico. And how scared I am, worried that I am disappointing people, and feeling like I am somehow "cheating" by doing this instead of a mission. Negative Nancy, right? Then Proverbs 3:5-7 came into my mind out of "nowhere." We all know it actually came from the Spirit. The Lord is always ready and willing to answer our prayers when we let Him in!

Spanish class was just funny; all of those crazy R.M.'s have really grown on me. Hermano Alba decided that we should start doing a good news minute before class, but the name "good news minute" was "too femme." So he changed the name to the "gnarly news." Ha! Then all of the news we had from a few of the guys was about girls in their lives. So much for avoiding femininity.

Note to self: attempting cartwheels on the lawn at 12am doesn't make my chances of actually being able to do one go up. It just gives me fat bruises.

8/9/2010 (this is the entire entry)
15 hours in a too many.

Ike's birthday partay and dinner were fantastico--homemade tomato soup+homemade rolls. Ellie was really hyper during the opening of the presents (when is she not?). She gave Isaac a book she bought at some garage sale, called "Cupid Explains it All." Caleb said, "Ellie, Cupid's just a false god, so you shouldn't be giving that to Isaac anyway." What da?!

As for my first race, this is what I learned: you should learn to eliminate the word "can't" from your vocabulary when you set a goal if you really want to achieve it.

11/16/2010 *the day I wore a shower cap to the grocery store cuz I lost a bet*
It wasn't really that first I was really embarrassed when I put it on, cuz I could feel everyone staring at me. I guess I know how people with physical deformities feel now. A little empathy never hurt anybody. After awhile it was kinda fun to do my shopping with a straight face and an ugly shower cap on my head. When the cashier checked me out she asked how I was doing. I was temped to say, "Oh, I'm feeling very clean, thanks!" Ha! But I didn't.

Today my eyes were opened and I had the biggest a-ha moment evah. I feel like a new person, and it feels really good. Yesterday was kind of yucky, not gonna lie, but there's always darkness before the sun comes out, right? This new Kenzie is going to be assertive. She's going to love herself and not apologize for it. She's going to serve someone every day, even if it's just little things. She will pray with sincerity and hope, believing in the plan that Heavenly Father has for her. She will keep smiling, keep being a friend, keep being confident in where she's going. She will find joy in the little things.

12/2/ 2010
I was sitting at my desk, in front of my computer, minding my own bidnez, when one of those red-vested librarian dudes walked by. He tripped on my computer cord and simultaneously winked at me! I think everyone saw...and I was weirded out. Some people are too generous with their winks. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

one month from now, i'll need to borrow some kleenex

benji is a creeper...

i go crazy after teaching all day every day, clearly. but i like it.

this is my "what the heck are ya doin' now?!" face.

me trying to stop them from demolishing my computer. oy.

Today is the one-month mark. Already?!!

How this happened, I'm not quite sure.

Yesterday when I told my kids my last day of teaching was April 8th, the first words out of their mouth were "Aw teacher" and "party." Mexicans know how to throw parties. But this one will be happy/sad. Mostly sad. I'm afraid they will probably see their teacher cry. Not like they haven't seen that before, right?

If they didn't say such cute things, it wouldn't be so hard to leave them.

If the food wasn't so delicious, I might have an easier time leaving that, too.

If the people weren't so generous and kind and smiley, maybe I could get on that airplane without leaving a piece of my heart behind.

Oh Mexico, what have you done to me?