Sunday, December 31, 2017



January started, as it sometimes does, with a medley of films at the Sundance Film Festival with my childhood friend, Melanie, and teacher-buddy, Rachelle. We intended on going to the Women's March in Park City, but that night the snow collected on the earth like popcorn on the floor of a horror flick. We couldn't get up the canyon without chains--which our rental did not have--and we were forced to represent, instead, in SLC by wearing pink pussy hats and giving the finger to rape culture. (Thank you, Roni Jo, for the hat. 😘)

My favorite film of the weekend was Whose Streets?, a documentary about the events in Ferguson, Missouri following the murder of Mike Brown. It's powerful and heart-wrenching. If you haven't given to a cause this year, I recommend it.

Most of our films were at Sundance or various theaters through out the Salt Lake Valley. 


This was a bittersweet month for our family. My husband and I decided to get divorced. We signed papers and, after fifteen years, it was over by May.

My 2017 Valentines. 

Also, after three months of training, I ran my first ever half marathon with my buddy, Trevor. We'd only ever done 5Ks before (and one 10K), so it was a vast change for both of us. I mean, we went from 3 miles to 13! It was something like 45 laps around the Olympic Oval in Kearns, UT. We got to watch speed skaters glide around in circles for nearly 3 hours, and fortunately, because of the ice, we didn't get hot. My time was an embarrassing 2 hours and 46 min. Still...I did it. I ran a friggin' half marathon.

I had my first publication of the year come out in Bloody Key Society.
  • "Lamb," Bloody Key Society, issue 2, (Feb. 2017). 
    • At twelve, I was in a car accident that resulted in the decapitation of a man.


Gavin turned 9.
I brought him the fondant head of a hedgehog! 
Shopping and chilling with my kid! Love her. 


I went to Vegas with friends and Capitol Reef with my kids.


Mother's Day brought snuggles in bed and cute drawings and cards by my favorite bugs.

My grandmother passed away at 98 years old. Family came from all over to celebrate her long and fruitful life. She will be missed.


When school let out, the kids and I packed up the car and took an impromptu trip to Canada to see Lisa, my bestie, in Okotoks. It took two days but we had fun visiting sites in Banff, Calgary, and Lake Louise.
Lake Louise
We rode a gondola up to Samson Peak.

A week after returning, we loaded the car again and headed to Colorado to visit my other bestie, Melissa. We went to the Rocky Mountain National Park and white water rafting. On one bend in the river, Gavin and I jumped off a 30 ft cliff into the ice cold water. Why? Because we're crazy!


Two pretty incredible things happened in July. 

First, I got my first article accepted in the Washington Post. The article bounced to two other publications before the week was over, and it landed me a freelance position with the WaPo Talent Network.  

My next one was published in autumn.

The second thing? 

I signed up for OK Cupid. There were a few duds to begin with--see this post--and then I came across a profile that made me laugh out a good way. (Any man who can make pop-culture and literary references in the same witty post is a man I wanna meet.) We went out a few times, and a month later he was "boyfriend." 

Meet Boyfriend, a talented photographer and NOC engineer with a penchant for marketing. 


I visited Melanie in Portland. We went to an art festival on the river, this book reading at Powell's, and hiked all over the area. I continued, even while on vacation, to train for my half marathon scheduled for the week after I returned. Melanie and I drove to Astoria and Seattle. We hiked on coastlines and through a smattering of waterfalls, and chowed on some amazing seafood. I also had a chance to meet up with two of my cohort peeps from grad school. Hi, Amy and Mark!

My second, but certainly not my last, half marathon. My time: 2:20:24!!! I killed it! 


I started another school year at SHHS and UVU. Sigh. I'm a single mom with two jobs. I don't need to describe how hard that is, but I do need to mention that I love life. Things may be hard at times; however, I am happy.

I took Gavin to Comic-Con. This is the light saber version of the GoT throne. 
Gavin is Scarlet Spider and I am Gwen Stacey. 
Had to see Faith (Eliza Dushku), and we took the train to avoid traffic. It's always fun this time of year. The train cars are full of hobbits and wonder women and batmen galore! Also, note that the host on the left is wearing something from my brother's t-shirt company,



We spent the fall working and hiking whenever we had the chance.

Guess who loves hiking? 



Guess who likes to run?

Boyfriend ran two 5Ks with me this season! 

Actually, this one was a four-mile run. And he ran it with a 10 lbs. turkey that he won on the course! 

Boyfriend is handy. He made this for me in the mudroom.
We've been together for 6 months! I can't believe it's been half a year! Crazy how life is like that. Sigh. I love him. 


We spent part of the holiday break in Capitol Reef. It sure was nice to hang with family and to get outdoors. The weather was beautiful. A perfect winter break.
Hiking in Capitol Reef with the littlies.  


Eclipse Day.
And...looking to the future. Who knows what 2018 will bring? 
Hope you all had a wonderful year. I have a feeling that 2018 will be a big one. Lots of life changes. Maybe I'll start another grad program. Maybe I'll run another half marathon. Maybe something unexpected will flit across my horizon. Either way, I know I'll be writing, and the kids and I will be traveling.

Love your guts,

Rena, Layne, and Gavin.

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