28 July 2008


I just learned that I missed two of my very favorite bands in one of my very favorite venues, and I'm really sad about it. I hope none of my friends that knew how much I loved these bands didn't know about this, because if they did, and forgot to tell me, I'll be even more sad. (That's not a threat; just a fact).

Not to mention that I missed another favorite singer at a way sweet outdoor stage in Park City.

All in July, and I let them all pass by. Sorry to whine. I'm trying not to have a bad attitude about it, but for now, I'm really bummed. Oh well, maybe in my next life...

25 July 2008


Scanned negatives of photos captured by
Ashley Baker Knudsen:

18 July 2008


It may be silly, but I'm trying to take advantage of my last name. Mostly just at work--everytime I answer someone's email I sign it "Olivia Juárez", and I make sure to put the accent on the A. I don't know why it's a bigger deal to make sure I do that, now that I only have a few more weeks with the name, but I it is a bigger deal & I do make sure to do it.

I also make sure to pronounce it the fancy way--the 'real way', any time anyone asks. Even though I know I'm just going to have to say it the 'gringo' way to clarify, it still is worth it to me.

I remember sitting on my dad's lap on the game-table chair as we talked about me growing up. He told me I'd become a teenager & I'd hate him. I'd fall for it every time: "No, Papá! I love you! I love you! I love you! I won't be a teenager and I won't hate you!" Those conversations instilled a certain dread to becoming a teen, and it is why I hated it when I did hit those years, and Papá led the family in teasing me, "...it's because she's a teenager now..."

I also remember a similar conversation, also on my dad's lap, when he talked about how one day I'd get married and I wouldn't be a Juárez anymore. That freaked me out just the same, and I'm sure he relished in my reaction. But I also distinctly remember him saying "you don't have to change your name." Which was a confusing surprise, "huh?" "Yeah--nobody's going to make you change your name. You can just tell your husband you want to keep your name." In my child-mind, that kind of meant that I wouldn't be married, but his statements stuck with me through the years, and I seriously considered keeping my treasured Juárez name.

It wasn't until a BYU religion class that I stopped considering the unconventional option. It was a teacher I really respected: he'd grown up as Greek Orthodox, learned about the LDS church as a young adult & converted against his family's wishes. Just before coming to teach at BYU, he'd been living on my mother's old stomping grounds and often had great things to say about the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, and Stanford. He happened to mention bring up the issue, just on a side-track, that there is a slow-growing trend of the wife not taking the husband's name. I don't even remember what he said exactly but he related how it was a sad diversion from tradition, but also a break in the unity that comes from sharing a family name--perhaps something about a weirdness in the extra-independent-ness of the woman... I'm not sure. But it was then that I realized its deeper symbolism, kind of.

What confirmed my decision, however, was to hear a comment from Ben. We'd never discussed the issue at all. He just brought up randomly one day--not in any super-romantic setting or anything--that as he booked our honeymoon cruise, it kind of hit him that my name would soon be his name. He just said that it was kind of scary--"Oh my gosh, she's taking my name." And he mentioned that it's kind of big thing. That made me realize even more that it really is kind of a big thing. Getting married is huge.

Anyway, bottom line: I'm sad to lose my Juárez. But I'm o-so-sure that I want to be Ben's Knudsen, above any of the other risks or 'scary' factors.

13 July 2008


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04 July 2008


I consider it to be one of the very best things about Provo. I LOVE it. I have since I was little. I love that Independence Day is a big deal in Provo. Fireworks! Who doesn't love fireworks?

I love camping out for a parade spot, and enduring the sun during the parade.

I love the fact that there's a Freedom Run--I've never done it but I will before I die.
I love the Balloon Fest. It's still a favorite memory--my dad waking me early by wrapping me in my blanket & packing us all into the car. We got there and watched the balloons inflate from on top of the roof of our car.

I love even the program that comes in the mail. I've always jumped at being able to flip through it first.

I love that there's a baby contest. I even got to design the logo one year.
I love the flag.

I love the carnival-like atmosphere downtown. The booths & the music & the cultural art.

I loved 4th-of-July Eve with high school friends.

I love the Stadium of Fire hype--even if I never got to go as a kid--(but I will tonight-go Miley!)

I love that Haycocks always used to come and visit for the 4th.
I love the many various & memorable observation spots through the years for watching the big firework show: the lawn outside The Riviera, a parking lot on Carterville Hill, our front yard at 572 W 1800 N, Knudsen's roof... to name a few.

I love the traditions--Ben's ward's 7am flag ceremony & breakfast, complete with a band at Uncle Bud's park is the epitome of good ol' long-time tradition.

I love our freedom. It sounds cliché, but I didn't know I loved this country so much until I was away. It's weird, but it really does work that way.

Hooray for America's Freedom Festival at Provo!