A Big Week of Firsts

There comes a time in every recent returned missionary’s life where they have to face a lot of realities. One of which is that they literally have nothing in order as far as the world goes. There’s this rosy perception in your last few weeks as a missionary that somehow you’ll come home and all of your carnal affairs will be in order.

… Wrong.

So, because I’ve just now started to get my life somewhat in order, I’ve had a lot of first experiences with certain things.

1. Bought my first Mac.
Granted, that’s not a necessity. Other computers suffice, hopefully. I’ve purchased a computer in the past. But it had terrible issues and was so unreliable that I decided to play it safe and go with a MacBook Pro and I am so very pleased with my decision. #hatersgonnahate

2. Bought my first CAR.
So.. That’s a bigger one in all honesty. I was kind of just flyin’ solo down here in good ‘ole P. Town for a while. Honestly it was really difficult for me to feel a loss of a sense of freedom. You’d think anything would feel free after being bound under specific and intense rules and regulations while a missionary. But I found it to be quite frustrating to have the opportunity to have freedom but no means to do so. Anyway, say hello to my first car!

2005 Volkswagen Jetta. 5 Speed Manual Transmission. Never been in an accident. Super cute.


3. Today, I went to Shoots with my Nana. (Actually just quick shoutout to Nana. She is the best. Today she took me to get my haircut from my favorite hair stylist, Bethany. She took me to lunch. Then she insisted we go get our nails done. And, even though that’s not super my thing, I was super thankful for her pampering me. Aaaaanyyyywwwaayyyyyy). We were ordering our food and “Hot Garlic Chicken” sounded really good to me. But what was that? A little icon indicating that it was, in fact, “spicy?” … Did I dare? What if I just hated my whole meal after that? What if it was painful to eat? What if I walked out with burning red lips and an upset stomach?

… But GARLIC CHICKEN. It sounded so good.

So, for the first time in my entire life, I intentionally ordered something spicy from a menu in a restaurant.

Big deal people. Really big deal.

A few other less significant firsts for your enjoyment: first time being caught up in my Twitter feed in two weeks, first time missing my Doctrine and Covenants homework because of an intense group project, first time seeing The Count of Monte Cristo musical (actually it was everyone’s first time because it was the world premiere at BYU!), first time hearing this great band called Bear’s Den (look up “Above the Clouds of Pompeii” … thank you Josh Rasmussen), first time seeing a handful of people I haven’t seen since I got back… And many more.

It’s pretty neat that I can just have a whole slew of first time experiences in one week, isn’t it? Man. There’s a heck of a lot to look forward to in this life. So here’s cheers to firsts!

A Big Week of Firsts

The Natural Order.

When I was little, I was positive that the desire to run home and cry because I was “being left out” would disappear once I was older. If I was a dishonest person, I could tell you that this is exactly what happened. But I’m not, so I can’t. Being left out happens. Some things that I (as well as many others, I’m sure) have felt left out of in the past year have been: relationships, marriage, missions, plans, hang outs, dinner groups, family, common ideas, friend groups, internships, getting good grades, and so much more. But it happens.

Being quite frank, I have felt out a lot this year. I was an adjustment to move from a ward where I knew EVERYONE to ward where I knew NO ONE, as it always is. But it was different this year when that status didn’t change in 48 hours like it had in the year previous. In fact, it didn’t even really change for months. I knew my roommates. I knew a few people in my relief society, and the 8 guys I had met and become friends with in the ward.

When I was growing up, and all the way through high school, there was a peculiar phenomenon that would happen. I realized I am really good at making friends initially. I can make friends quickly, genuinely, and have a lot of fun with them. That goes along all fine and dandy for a while and then there is a breaking point. Either I would introduce those friends with some of my other friends, the two groups would merge and leave me behind, or I would just get kind of forgotten as everyone became good friends without me.

That was hard, but since I turned around and made other friends fairly quickly, it was never too paralyzing. Just mostly a bummer.

That happened to me even some this year. Friends outside of my ward from other areas of life would hang out with me for a little while, we’d meet some new people, and I’d become the forgotten friend. To be totally honest, I have been so incredibly busy this semester and last semester that it hasn’t had a huge effect, but still just made me feel kind of.. off.

But, I FINALLY feel like I’m needed in my ward. I got a new calling that has given me the opportunity to get to know so many more people. I started making friends with a select few that are really involved. And I’m starting to feel known, welcome, and wanted.

My friends, that is one of the most priceless feelings. Feeling wanted. Feeling cared about. Feeling needed.

And whether it comes right away, or far later down the road, it is most definitely worth waiting for.

The Natural Order.

“We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists!”

Well, through all of Dr. Wilson’s classic lines, all-nighters with Brock, Haley and Jessica, and the most studying I’ve put into any one test in my entire life, I achieved my goal:

“Dear McKann Hanseen,

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the Public Relations program in the Department of Communications.

Department of Communications”


I am so thrilled and so humbled to have this chance! Rumor has it that over 70 applied and only 40 were accepted. This program is in the top 5 in the nation for Public Relations! I’m feeling so blessed.

Thanks to all who listened to and prayed for my fretting and worrying about tests, papers, projects, case studies, and applications!


photo (8)

“We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists!”

Am I Dreaming?

Currently I’m about as relaxed as I have been in a while.

After having a brutal beginning of the week (including 13 hours of school, laundry, minimal sleep, being sick, three midterms, 18 hours of work and about 8 hours of full-out study time in the library), I ventured up to Park City with my Nana and two sisters, Nyia and Gillian. Somehow my Nana is just a miracle worker and she managed to get us free ski passes and an overnight stay at the Canyons Resort, so we’re taking full advantage.

We checked in to our room with a full kitchen, dining room, two bathrooms, and incredibly comfortable beds, and went straight to the outlets. I usually hate shopping, but somehow I managed to find quite a few good finds for my mission, which was a huge relief seeing as I’ve been quite stressed about how I’m possibly going to find eight outfits that are all interchangeable and will last for 18 months. Then, we went to eat at Main Street Pasta & Noodle Co. and it was delicious. BBQ wings, veggie pasta and Santa Fe chicken pizza. And unlimited hot chocolate.

Wrapping up the night, we came back to the hotel and Nyia and Gillian quickly changed into their swimming suits to go enjoy the outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. As is typical, I forgot my swimming suit in my car at home and decided to take a hot bath. Aromatherapy bubble bath with Ed Sheeran on the iHome (provided by the hotel, of course).

Now, I’m sitting in a lovely plush chair next to the fireplace, drinking a steamer in my terrycloth robe, writing a blog post and thinking about a beautiful day on the slopes tomorrow.

Pure bliss. I could get used to this.

Am I Dreaming?

It’s Idol Season, Y’all.

It’s been a while since I religiously watched American Idol. In fact, I think the last time was probably sometime when I was in elementary school and I watched all the shows my parents did like Survivor and The Amazing Race when we were all home after dinner. But after I spent 12 hours on campus today doing everything from hating Biology to interviewing for my admission to the Public Relations emphasis in the COMMS department and then realized I had absolutely no clean clothes left for the week, I knew it was time to do laundry. I packed up clothes that seemed endless even though I swear I never have any clothes when I’m trying to get dressed in the morning, and I headed to my house about a mile down the road. The plan was to do laundry and catch up on The Bachelor but when I turned on the Direct TV list of recorded programs downstairs, American Idol showed up.

I watched everything from some freaky weird lady with a surprisingly good voice to people with horrible voices that you feel sorry for because you know they’re purposely making America mock them.

But the last one on the episode seriously got me teary. I know that’s so ridiculous and pathetic but THIS KID.

Born in Cuba. Started having a huge stutter at the age of six that made him totally isolated from any chance at friendship with kids around him and continued struggling with the stutter.

Walked in. Stuttered his way through an introduction. Sang Bridge Over Troubled Water as beautifully as you can imagine. NO STUTTER. Not even a stammer. Or a hint of hesitation. He cried, they cried, I cried. He’s going to Holllywood.

There are some pretty inspirational people in this world, my friends. Even if it’s possibly exaggerated for the sake of television. I like to believe that that kid was just as sweet and sincere as I saw him on the screen. And if that’s naive, I’ll take being naive. There’s a lot of joy in life that way.

It’s Idol Season, Y’all.

Thoughts on Sick Days.

When I was little, I remember wanting desperately to be sick. Not because I wanted to actually be physically ill, but because I wanted to stay home from school, have food made for me, lounge around in my pajamas and watch movies all day.
When you’re sick in college you can stay home from school, eat yesterday’s leftover PastaRoni, lounge around in pajamas and watch movies all day… But there’s just major guilt and stress on your shoulders.
You either stay home and wallow in your guilt-ridden self pity, or brave your classes with the plague. Today, I did the latter.
What do I have to show for it? Lazy notes, and tired eyes.

And I still came home, instantly changed into pajamas, cooked some ramen, and watched two movies in a row.

Thoughts on Sick Days.

New Beginnings.

A new year and a new semester allow for many new happenings in my life. And because I like lists, here we go!

  • New classes: BIO 100, Marketing Management, Intro to Advertising, The Living Prophets and Susan Easton Black’s Church History class–Joseph Smith and the Restoration.
  • I’m applying to my major this semester. Starting next week, to be exact. First part of the application to the Public Relations major is due next Friday. That’ll be an adventure.
  • New apartment! In a spontaneous moment of discovery, I realized that there was an open spot in an apartment of girls that are some of the few girls I’ve actually become friends with this year in my ward. I quickly made the switch, and I’m now living in a slightly bigger, much cleaner apartment with my new roommates Megan, Jessica and Ellen. All different. All awesome. I’m really excited.
  • I’m getting sustained into my new calling tomorrow. That will definitely be a big, big change for me. Nothing I can’t handle, but definitely a little bit more time consuming than FHE Mom.
  • Sarah and I made some new friends in our Marketing class. They live in the Riv. They go to dance parties and act ridiculous. We’re definitely in the beginnings of a beautiful semester with those boys. Not complaining. (SHOUTOUT–Torque, Nitro, Blinker, and other names I can’t remember!)
  • New scheduling at work. I’ll get to work with mostly the same people on Tuesday/Thursday mornings, and then some different people on Tuesday afternoons. Definitely excited for some fresh faces and friends to work with.
  • Something that is the newest and most interesting beginning in my life is just about to begin this week. I’ve got some very important documents being sent to me in the mail, and I’ll be sure to keep updated on that!

There’s something about a new semester that just revitalizes me. It makes me excited and ambitious and optimistic about everything.

And I like that.

New Beginnings.