the rest of march

continuing on from last post because not all the fun of march could be jam packed in!

march was a stark contrast to the rest of life for the last two years. i didn’t start my job until the end of the month, so i had a LOT of time to myself. i mean, i’m pretty good at wasting time, and i had a room to decorate, so it worked out alright. also, utah has great hiking, so i spent a lot of days outside… and driving around in a CAR! i have the crappiest car in the history of cars…. but let me tell you, any transportation after having none to call your own is a luxury i am NOT taking for granted. 1997 toyota corollas with faux wood paneling forever!!

i also was graced with the presence of friends and my sisters to salt lake, which made me feel a little less alone in this new city. i mean, i’ve lived in utah before, but salt lake is a bit different- a great different.

also, guys. i turned 25 in march. i went to dinner with my dear high school friends to celebrate. we tried to copper onion, which was pretty good, but the real highlight was harmon’s gelato. yep, the grocery store. it is everything good in this world. utah’s best kept secret is a grocery store! with couches! on my actual birthday, my family came into town, so we spent the weekend hiking, getting pizza, brunching outside, and just hanging out playing with face swap. it was a great way to begin 25. i’m optimistic for a great year ahead.

at the end of march, some family stuff happened that none of us were expecting. it is amazing how life can change in the blink of an eye. sorry to be vague. anyway, i guess what i am trying to say, is that i am very grateful i had the foresight and opportunity to move closer to them. dc is a fabulous place and i miss it each day, but living close to family is something i will never again take for granted.

anyway! photos!  i think you can click on them to see a stupid caption i wrote. it is like a scratch n sniff sticker! but less smelly!


march was a huge month of change, in a multitude of ways, but mostly because i drove thousands of miles across the country to my new home in utah, with my dear hailey clements at my side. hailey, you’re a true pal. in all honestly, the trip was a blur. driving all day, stopping over in a tiny, usually laughably pathetic cheap hotel at night, and then doing it all again the next day. don’t get me wrong, the trip was great and the company was even better, but man… i was excited to get out of that tiny hyundai accent after at least forty hours clocked inside. did i mention it didn’t have cruise control? LOL

we stopped over in philadelphia, cleveland, chicago, and cheyenne. it was a blurry blast.

i wrote captions under each photo if you were like, “what the hell is this a photo of and what is its significance.”

in other news, HEY UTAH, you and me are gonna be friends… or at least cordial roommates.





back to DC for one final stint.

i spent most of february in DC. replacing school with work left me time to actually enjoy the city, which was a nice change of pace.

we did all the things! i went to my favorite museums, the botanic garden and the national gallery of art.

i ate my favorite things! good stuff eatery, donburi, rasika, founding farmers, le diplomate (even though they let me down and it wasn’t actually good. ugh)

and i got to do a lot of cool things: josh ritter concert at the 930 club, hanging around my friends, karaoke, the botanic gardens, hiking, museums, and eating stuff. any better way to spend a month? NOPE

it is now unapologetically 2016

i came back. i now live in utah. i don’t have a valid utah driver’s license. i work three days, which means that if  you do the math, then have four days off a week. honestly, it is jarring to have this kind of leisure time. i have not had this much free time since i was fifteen years old! i know, POOR ME.

anyway, i’ve got things to talk about so let’s get this ball rolling.

in january i went home to idaho for the month in order to prepare for my nursing boards, which went well, thank the heavens above. living at home was great. i would wake up and study for 8-9 hours a day, then go to yoga, take a walk with my parents, eat dinner, watch movies, read books, and let’s be honest, find myself on instagram in the middle of the night neck deep in feeds i had no idea how i had found? will someone take my phone, please?

anyway, this is what time in idaho looked like.

alyssa ball BSN, RN

IMG_0236yesterday i made the call. THE call to see if i had passed my nursing boards. we were on the chain bridge coming back from a jaunt to see the top of the washington monument. i had missed the turn to our house, on account of being a little preoccupied with my impending fate. i had taken the NCLEX the day before. my test had shut off at 75 questions, which meant i had either done very well or very poorly. i felt… okay, but to be honest, my thoughts oscillated between confidence and sheer terror. i mean, it was only what i had been working for two years for, right?

i was advised to call after 10 am, and it was 10:33. we were stuck in traffic and i couldn’t stand it any longer. i shakily dialed the board of nursing and overeagerly gave my social. there was a silence as the receptionist looked up my information and had me verify my identity. and then, just as the light turned and i made a right onto clara barton, the words “congratulations, you’re a registered nurse” came rolling through the speaker. !!!!!!!! feelings of relief and euphoria. i did it.

and if that isn’t enough, this week i also accepted a job offer in salt lake city, utah. yes, i am moving back. and yes, i am just as surprised as you are.

(the above photo is from my weekend in utah and my new home- helloooo inversion-induced beautiful sunsets!!)

november good times

another post! more photos! gee are you sick of me yet?

a lot A LOT of studying and work happened in november. i honestly don’t fully know how i made it through the semester and actually had time to do these fun things, too? maybe this is why my grades were so mediocre? heh

the highlights of this month, as evidenced above, the hightlight of this month was seeing sufjan stevens in baltimore with friends. i didn’t know if i was going to be able to squeeze the show in because i was going to be putting on a health fair the entire day and giving a presentation on stroke in spanish (ha. oh gee that is a story itself!) but i bought the ticket anyway, and it was worth it. completely, utterly. if you get the chance to see him live, do it.

a new, well, actually old-but-restored, gallery opened up in november near the white house, so we went to check it out. i actually went to it three times, but the first time was my favorite. the renwick does not disappoint! happy to have friends in my life who enjoy looking at dead bugs, marbles, and twine!

my friend works at npr, and this month i got my own personalized tour! the place is like disneyland for news junkies. i loved it. i got to put on 30,000 dollar headphones and talk and listening to my voice was like 100x better than when i have to listen to myself in my head. thanks, lee! you’re a gem!

also you’re probably wondering what those two pictures of tables are? like, alyssa- what are you doing with so much food all the time? WELL november means thanksgiving, and you better believe i helped cut all those pieces of pie for my calling at church. yes, my calling involves preparing food and putting whipped cream on 300+ pieces of pie. not mad! speaking of thanksgiving, i worked the holiday, which was actually pretty fun considering it was a holiday. after all the customers left we had our own thanksgiving celebration with all the leftover food and drink. a happy thanksgiving indeed!

and that, my friends, was november 2015. isn’t playing catch up FUN??

when mom came to town

amid studying and trying to finish out the semester, mom came to dc for a weekend for my nursing school pinning. since i am a really great tour guide, we hit all the great stuff we didn’t get to do when she was here in the spring  with my dad…. because if you recall, my dad isn’t really into shopping, art, or cupcakes. so this time around, we went whole hog! left nothing out! so here’s some pics and everything we did.


thursday night, we went to see the lights at the dc temple and got “redirected” when we tried to look at the nativities backwards. mormons and their rules! geez! afterwards we went to thai x-ing for dinner, which is one of the best meals i’ve ever eaten. and mom loved it! operations “get kris ball to eat curry and like it” was a success. then we went to the zoo to see the zoolights, only it was almost over and there was a beer fest going on? huh? anyway we rode an intertube down a grass hill and then went home.

friday i had to go to school, so we went to founding farmers for breakfast, and then mom went to do her own exploring. we met up after class in georgetown and went to sprinkles, and don’t let the cuteness fool you, baked and wired is about one thousand times more satisfying. we shopped around georgetown some, then went to 2 amys for the BEST pizza this city has to offer. afterwards we went home to get fancy, then went to kennedy center to see the national symphony perform with the one and only ben folds! it was great.

saturday was pinning day! after pinning we took advantage of the amazing weather and walked down to the white house for lunch at old ebbitt grill followed by a tour of the wonder exhibit at the renwick gallery. we then hopped across the river to alexandria for boat lights and shopping around alexandria. we ended up sneaking into a boat club party in order to get a better view of the lights… you know, since we are rebels. i introduced mom to the deliciousness that is ted’s bulletin grilled cheese, and then rolled home in a cheese-induced food coma.

sunday mom’s flight took off pretty early, and just as fast as the trip had come, it was over. guess that means it is time to plan another trip? yeah?