Saturday, September 26, 2009


I'm experimenting with new blog titles. I don't love the one I had, so I'm trying on new ones for size. It's likely that my blog title will change many times in the next several days. I doubt that I'll want to keep this one, which I thought of because I was singing George Gershwin's "Summertime" in my head after midnight as I was getting ready for bed tonight. We'll see.

A real update coming tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Loving a half-done Post-it

I wrote this post on Monday, but the internet hasn't been working very well, so I couldn't get it up. We went to the New Globe Theatre to see Shakespeare's As You Like It, but I just wrote this about the journey over to the theatre. I was so impressed by how beautiful everything was, and I felt a bit like a sponge, soaking in the beauty of the evening and feeling so grateful to be here.

We started off by getting off the tube at the St. Paul’s Tube stop. I love getting off at St. Paul’s, because the station is just behind the cathedral. So, you walk up and around to get out of the station…and BOOM. There is St. Paul’s Cathedral, in all of Christopher Wren’s ingenious glory. No matter how many times I walk by, I can’t help but stop for at least a few seconds and stare up at it. Tonight, it was especially magnificent; we arrived right during sunset, so the clouds created puffy-looking streaks across the sky, in varying shades of violets, blues, and greys. (I’m in Britain. I’m spelling grey like a Brit. “Gray” is American and so much less refined looking, I think.) I cannot walk past St. Paul’s without singing the song, “Feed the Birds,” from Mary Poppins. So, I always inevitably have that song going through my head for the rest of the day or night whenever I walk past that lovely edifice. I love St. Paul’s.

(Picture stolen from my roommate, Caitlin. She's the middle one. Roommate Whitney is the one on the right.)

After walking past St. Paul’s, we had to cross the street and walk over to Millennium Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge only (I did not know this) and is also in several movies, including a scene in the latest Harry Potter movie where it gets destroyed. On the bridge, I naturally got distracted again and we paused to take many, many pictures of ourselves and other girls in the program, taking full advantage of what Dr. Soper (the Humanities professor) termed “the golden hour” when we were learning about basic principles of landscape photography the other day. It’s that hour just before the sun sets when it casts a golden light over everything and in which everything looks more vibrant and beautiful. I love that kind of light. But I am a little bit vain about why—someone told me once that my red hair looked really lovely in that glowing, golden light of the setting sun…and I was narcissistic enough to believe it. So I love being in that golden light, unfortunately because I’m a silly, vain little girl sometimes. Not to mention it makes everything pretty. Oh well.

The play was excellent, but I guess I was a little wrapped up in the simpler things tonight. I think I tend to forget to pay attention to some of those things as I hustle and scurry around to get to the next thing. It's easy to feel that way in London. It's easy to think of and hear about all the fabulous things there are to do and to realize that you probably won't get to see or do half of them, even though you do try to go out and take advantage of your location at least (and often more) once a day. I'm very much a list-maker--almost nightly for the past couple of years, I have made a to-do list (Generally on Post-it notes. I'm obsessed with them.) for the next day...and the highlight of any week is looking at a completed post-it note list at the end of a day. I list things that have to be done, things that would be nice to get done, and just things I want to indulge in because I'd like to do them. (There are a lot of that last category on my London Post-its.)

But tonight I remembered how beautiful it is to rejoice in the doing of my Post-it items, because though the item on the list was "Go to As You Like It," I think I learned just as much from the journey as I did the play itself and the completion of the task. Reminds me of President Monson's "Finding Joy in the Journey" talk from October 2008 General Conference. It's nice to stop and smell the roses. Even if I don't finish all the things on my daily to-do list, I'm remembering to enjoy the process. If I can learn to "suck the marrow" out of this experience, as Brother and Sister Shuler advised, and truly live in the things that I do accomplish, then I might even learn to revel in my half-done Post-it note.

Because really, by doing less and living more, we don't lose that much after all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's been one week since you looked at me...

...or, in some of your cases, a little longer than that. But, that doesn't fit very well with the BNL song, now does it?

Now, for an update. I'm just going list the things I'm thinking, as connecting them all with enough words to make them flow would just be a longer post than any of you are interested in reading.

1. I flew over the Atlantic all on my own, sitting next to a nice Muslim Bangladeshi man who often visits Chicago (where I was) and lives in Saudi Arabia and has a Mormon colleague from Utah. Random. He was a really nice guy though. This is my first view of London. At 6 a.m. It was beautiful. :)

2. I arrived at number 27 Palace Court last Wednesday at about 9:00 a.m. London time. I met up with 8 other girls in my program at the airport, and we took a shuttle bus to the London Centre. I sat by a very, very cute Scottish boy (with an even cuter accent) and our driver was a wonderfully charming old man who narrated for us the neighborhoods of London as we passed.

3. By Saturday, I had seen Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye (only I'm not going ride it--its 17 pounds! And everything that I would see from it, I can see myself. As Rachel said, it's a rip-off.), the Thames, several houses of state, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, all around my neighborhood, and also Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament from a distance. I had also visited the British Museum and the National Gallery and been to Phantom of the Opera. (Phantom was amazing. We had an absolutely excellent cast. Mostly because the Phantom was incredible. I loved him.) :) Woo-hoo!

My roommate Nicole and I in front of the British Museum.
I saw the Elgin Marbles! Gaaahhh!!! :)

4. Sunday, I went to church. I attend the Mitcham ward, in an area of London waaaaay south of the main city (about 1 1/2 hours one way) and there are only 6 or 8 people in the ward who are white. And 4 of them are missionaries. Most of the people are from Ghana, I think. I work in the Primary, and it is going to be so cool! :)

5. Monday, classes started for real. I like them already, and the faculty especially.

6. I am almost done with my English Teaching Application. I'm emailing it to my mom to send in on Thursday, and when I finish, it will be cause for GREAT celebration. It's been kind of an ordeal to get it all done. I worked on it almost all day today, and finally after dinner tonight I took a break and went to Gelato Mio with a couple of my roommates. It was lovely to get out.

It's been fabulous so far. I'm so excited for the rest of this week! But more on that later.... it'll be a surprise.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This is it. What I've been waiting for since the age of ten.

I'm flying to London today.

And I can't even articulate real words or real thoughts to attempt expression of how I feel.

I'm so excited. Oh boy. :)

:) :) :) :) :)