Friday, May 28, 2010

I heart San Francisco

Two weeks ago, Alison, myself, and our friend Tim took a roadtrip out to San Francisco. Knowing that I'm moving to DC and the east coast, I wanted a final fling in the Golden State and to see my Steffers! It was a super quick trip, but included San Francisco, Ghirardelli Square, Palo Alto, a beach house, sand castles, and the Pacific Ocean. What more could you want from a California trip!! (well maybe some warmer weather and warmer beaches, but it's still Cali and it's still beautiful.)

Thursday: Al, Tim, and I left Provo around 2pm ready to embark on the long 12 hour drive across Utah, Nevada, and California. We made a stop at the SLC airport to pick up another passenger, Carlo. The trip was quite long, but luckily the travel companions made the voyage bearable and we rolled into Palo Alto around 1am.

Friday: SAN FRANCISCO! After sleeping in just a bit, we drove into the city to see the sights! We went down to the wharf, walked along the "boardwalk", meandered through some hilly streets, visited Full House Street, drove Lombard Street, and headed back down to the Bay for some Ghirardelli ice cream!

I LOVE my girls!!!

And did I mention that I LOVE ice cream, especially mint chocolate chip...YUM!!!

That night we drove to Capitola, a beach town about 40 minutes south of Palo Alto. We stayed there for the night.

Saturday: Capitola--We headed to the beach in the morning to go exploring and watch some surfers (in full body wetsuits. Pretty sure I would have wanted a dry suit and I have a high tolerance for cold water). That afternoon we joined a YSA activity where a professional sand castle builder was teaching singles how to build sand castles. I didn't see all the instruction, but the results were pretty amazing! We ended the night with a bonfire on the beach.

Check out the San Fran skyline!

It was a fantastic trip and I really do love being with my best friends Al and Steff. I'm glad we got a last hurrah in before I head out east. Now we really will be coast to coast.

Goodbye West Coast. I'll miss you. Wait for me, I promise to come back!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AED: Center for Health Communication

With graduation a month ago, I've been putting a lot of time into finding a job. Well the hard work has paid off and I will be starting an internship June 7 at AED Center for Health Communication ( It's a 4 month paid internship with a possibility of being hired after that time. The internship is survey and evaluation research on a government funded project to figure out how to create better jobs to help low income people break the poverty cycle. The work involves data entry, data cleaning and analysis, survey collection, report generating (super exciting and glamorous stuff--but hey, we all have to start somewhere). It's actually quite miraculous how I landed this job, here's the story...

A professor emailed me about 2 weeks ago about an internship opportunity in DC. She knew the contact of the person looking for an intern and since it was in DC, she forwarded it onto me. I went ahead and emailed the originator of the email and attached my resume. Last Thursday I got a phone call from a lady at that organization that had seen my resume and wanted to talk to me about an internship. It's not exactly public health, but the organization does work on lots of public health projects and different departments are more public health focused. The internship is in the survey and evaluation department. The lady, Rose Ann, gave me a ton of information and pretty much offered me the job on the spot. I was leaving for San Francisco later that afternoon and I told her I was going out of town and would be back on Monday.  She asked me to decide by Tuesday if I was interested. 

The weekend was super fun and relaxing, but I spent a lot of time thinking about the internship and if I should take it. I've wanted to go to DC for awhile, but this was a lot faster than I was expecting. Well, I came back from California thought some more, and Tuesday I accepted the job. Since then I have been madly searching for a place to live in DC and to sell my contract here in Provo. It's been a miraculous past 2 weeks and I think I have a place to live for the summer and I sold my Provo contract yesterday! I found places to stay before I can move in and everything seems to be rolling along. It really has been incredible and it's amazing how fast everything has come together. My head is still spinning and I'm excited and nervous and busy and trying to get my Provo life wrapped up, but I know it will all come together.

Countdown until the move: 10 days

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just call me Master Brea

I did it! I finished my Master of Public Health degree and I'm officially a Master! I would like everyone to address me by my appropriate title, Master Brea (or Master Breanne or Master Didenhover). Graduation consisted of a two day event. Day 1 was Thursday April 22 when Commencement Activities kicked off in the Marriott Center with Elder Christofferson as the keynote speaker. The speech was short and inspiring. Afterward, pictures and a cohort party followed to continue the celebrations. Day 2 began early in the Marriott Center where I graduated from the College of Life Sciences. As a master's student, I got front row seats and received my diploma before anyone got tired. I made sure they read my name correctly by repeating "Didenhover" 2 times before walking across the podium. The rest of the program is blurry and I don't think I paid too much attention. At the the end of convocation, I met up with Mom, Dad, Kurt, Alisa, and co (who all attended) and we met Laura at Los Hermanos for some tasty lunch.

MPH Cohort 7

Alisha, me, Camille (swimming and late night lab buddies)

As graduates, we now have wings to fly. Check out those robes!

Best Support Crew

The Hoods! Welcome to Hogwarts.

Alisha, Lauren, Me, Camille, Dr. Cole (professor in charge of the Cape Town Hygiene project)

Brea and Alison:  From Carroll Hall to MPH

Thanks Mom and Dad and everyone else who was so supportive during this adventure. I accomplished a lot and there was no way I could do it without you. I love you!!!

p.s. The hood is salmon not pink!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Moab #5


On March 20, 2010, I ran my 5th half marathon. All five races have been in Moab at the Canyonlands Half Marathon. I started my long running races way back in 2003 when my roommate Annie inspired me to start running. I ran cross country in high school, but those are 3 mile races and even in training I had never run more than 7 miles at once. Annie convinced me that I could do it...and I did. At that point, I got a little bit hooked and I have run that same race 4 more times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010). All the races have been pretty good, but 2010 was exceptionally fun. No, I didn't have my best time, the weather wasn't all that great, and I got terribly sick during and after the race, but somehow I still had a blast. And I'm pretty sure I owe it to this girl--Traci Garff! (picture below)

Here we are just before leaving Provo on Friday afternoon. Traci is holding a picture that I tore out of a magazine as my training inspiration. It's a picture of a very lean athletic girl out running. I figured if I trained hard enough, I would look just like her. Ok, so not really, but it was a fun inspiration anyway.

Traci was my running buddy and training partner for all the training leading up to the big race. We ran all our Saturday long runs together. Long runs can be, well long, but when you put two wacky girls together who start in North Orem and run to South Provo, you get quite the spectacle and enjoyable time. In training, we would save all our stories from the week to share with each other and of course stories would be interrupted by random bursts of singing that led to more endorphins and good times. Some of our favorites were: Empire State of Mind (Traci is actually from NY), Bon Jovi, Eye of the Tiger, and random Disney selections.

Training runs prepared us for the big day and we made it--13.1 MILES!!! And don't worry, we kept the singing and story telling alive all throughout the race and I think as we inspired each other, we may have even inspired a few others along the way.

2010 marks the end of Moab Half Marathons for me....But here's a sneak preview of my next big racing adventure.....

That's right, I'm putting all those half marathons to use and finally running a full marathon--26.2 miles. Saturday November 13, 2010 in Richmond, VA.