Thursday, December 23, 2010

Return from hiatus: The Home Edition

Texting conversation between Erik, Sharon, and later, me. We were all in the same room at once.

Sharon: You so fine you blow my mind.

Erik: You so fly I say oh my.

S: You so bodacious I less efficacious.


L: You both so weird I feel afeared.

S: You so weird I am endeared.

E: You so proper I feel dopper. (dapper)

L: You so hip you make me flip.

S: You so golden I am beholden.

E: You so coo you make me poo.

L: You so whoppin I soon be droppin.

E: Is that a fat joke? You so mean I eat lima beans.

L: You so lean I gonna scream.

I love my family.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Michele sent this to me.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.
— Jane Austen


Monday, September 27, 2010

Email psychology

Every time I check my email, about once every hour, all day long, I find about 5-10 new emails...of lists of things to do, questions to answer, assignments to finish, work to catch up on, etc. And it's getting to the point where I'm just afraid to check my email--especially if it's been three or four hours (heaven forbid!). I feel like I have anxious-avoidant personality disorder--you know, that one in basic psych textbooks where the child is afraid to talk to the parent because the parent has hurt his or her feelings so many times? But the child still wants to talk to the parent, in case the parent changes his or her behavior?

Yeah. That's me and Gmail.

I used to get happy, nice emails from my family and friends--"used to" being, you know, yesterday. Now I just get scary ones that give me lots more things to do. And that's not even including the ones that aren't from real people! How depressing. (Actually, that's not true. I got an email from my sister today. One email out of forty-something for the past twelve hours. Shiver shiver.)

According to Wikipedia, children with my same problem are characterized, among other things, "by avoidance of social interaction."

Clearly. Why do you think I'm on my email so often anyway, huh Wikipedia? And now even nonhuman communication is turning against me and making me fear it. But true to anxious-avoidant form--I can't stay completely away. I have to keep checking it, because WHAT IF I GET AN EMAIL FROM MY FAMILY? WHAT IF MY EMAIL DECIDES TO LEAVE ME SOME HAPPINESS? WHAT IF IT STARTS LOVING ME AGAIN?

Guess I'll take my chances.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's finally happened.

I first learned about the meteorological habit of naming tropical storms/hurricanes in first grade. I remember sitting on those two by three foot carpet squares in Mrs. Copeland's classroom as we watched a video about hurricanes. It was relevant because there was a particularly large hurricane that year, and I was worried that some people would go to work and come home and not have a house. I was concerned.

And then I learned that they differentiate between storms by naming them according to the letters of the alphabet, but alternating genders. I did some quick thinking and realized that even if they DID get all the way to the letter L, it would be a boy's name. I despaired. Because not only were hurricanes and tropical storms dangerous and scary, and I was afraid for the people living in their paths, but there was no hope that one could ever share my name. Though frightening, it would be pretty cool to share a name with such an awesome weather pattern. I made a wish right then and there using my lucky magic number that someday I would be able to share a name with a hurricane or tropical storm.

My friends, the day has come. Meteorologists have name the twelfth tropical storm this year, and her name is Lisa. Boom bam, baby. First grade wishes have power.

Oh, and by the way: my first grade lucky magic number? Number 12.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Should be writing a paper...

 ...but I have no idea what to say.

Should also be writing a letter
or reading a book for class
or cleaning my desk
or taking a shower
or getting ready for tomorrow
or going to bed.

How I wish I were doing those things. Mostly the last one.

Why is it always so hard to get everything done early enough to go to bed at a decent hour?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Adventures with Hop on Pop, or, how I became a reader

I've loved words for as long as I can remember, and  since, as a preschooler, I sang the ABCs song 47 times before 10 a.m. every day, my mother decided it was time for me to stop chewing on the refrigerator's magnetic alphabet letters and learn to do something useful with them. My parents taught me to read shortly thereafter via the Dr. Seuss book, Hop on Pop (which accounts for Timbuktu and Constantinople still being two of my favorite words). I quickly became one of those kids who brought books along on play dates, just in case playing with the friend got boring.

Reading for me was a kind of game. As a child, I liked to puzzle my way through the meaning the letters and words made together. I worked my way through the ranks of books my teachers gave me, from Dr. Seuss to the Boxcar Children to Newbery Award winners. Finally, my teachers pushed me on to more erudite echelons and began giving me classics, which provided even more meat for my baby reading teeth to chew on. I liked them--reading dense Dickens and Dumas was like heavy lifting for my adolescent mind, and though sometimes painful, I generally enjoyed the workout. I always followed these workouts with several rounds of literary Gatorade, in the form of retold fairy tales and fantasy stories, YA adventure lit, or Harry Potter.

As an English major now, I've had to reread many of these books I read as a young girl, classics or no, and I've found that there is always much, much more to the story than I ever understood back then. The older I get, the more I learn that following the plot or even understanding the author's intentions with a text, is only scratching the surface of real reading. Now, my English major brain tells me to look for evidence of creative wordsmithing, literary theory, cultural insights, and my own personal application in the literature I read. As a reader now, I care less about adventurous plots or tough mental gymnastics, and more about the thematic and creative genius that lies at the heart of great literature. And since for so many years I read for the thrilling rush of it, learning to slow down and see those things my English major brain is looking for is an entirely different kind of reading--one that I'm still learning how to do. I don't always know how to quantify the meaning that I know is there or how to interpret my own responses. Reading now evokes a more cautious kind of glee within me, because I feel much more wary of my abilities to read and understand every secret passageway through these literary mazes. But I guess that's why I keep reading. The more I read, the less I know, and the more I want to. The more I read, the more I learn about myself and my world.

With my first book I went to Constantinople and Timbuktu. Now I read to learn what other miracles that these books can do.


Self-esteem booster?

"Nobody's a good writer. It's just a matter of whether or not they like what you write anyway."
It's okay, Jen. I still love you. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First days

When I was younger, the last couple of weeks of summer always had a certain feel of anticipation and excited anxiousness to them. It always started about two or three weeks before school started, when we'd go to the school to get registered and figure out where my classroom was. The week before school started, we spent our time getting all our school supplies--pens, pencils, folders, paper, notebooks, post-it notes, and the occasional box of crayons or markers. Some kids took trips to Target or K-Mart to find these gems, but we usually perused my mother's home office first, then went on an office supplies rampage throughout the whole house.

Then the last couple of days before school, the last few days of summer, I always played desperately. I always had one last adventure in the sprinklers and our backyard stream with my little brother. I always read my last six or seven library books, furiously trying to finish them before the new year started. I always spent several hours on our trampoline in our backyard, alternating between jumping or flipping and laying down to look at the flowers and impeccable Idahoan sunsets while listening to  backyard crickets chirping away. I always wandered a little farther in the fields next to my house, climbed a little higher in Grandpa's mulberry tree, and waited a little longer before coming inside for the day.

Tomorrow is another first day of school. And sadly, though I'm thrilled to start my new classes and work and volunteering and stuff this semester, it doesn't feel nearly as special as it did back then. Maybe I need to go back to elementary school. But...the prospect of cracking open my brand new books, opening brand new notebooks, using brand new pens as I take furious notes on brand new material is much too exciting.

Hello, school. See you in the morning.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate. This lovely lady, who has been my roommate for two years now, moved out of my apartment yesterday to go home to Alabama before she leaves on a mission.
(By the way, I'm pretty glum about her leaving. I've never been at college and not lived with her. I've never not had her around, and I'm not quite sure that I'm going to be very happy about this new development. But I'm happy she's going on a mission--she'll be awesome. She'll take the world by storm. In Spanish.)

Anyway, she had a lot of stuff. And my new roommate, this lovely lady,
brought all of her stuff here today. And she has less stuff that the other lovely roommate (which makes sense, because Kate had lived here for two years. More time to accumulate.) but she still has a fair amount of stuff. (By the way, isn't Jen--today's roommate--hot? I took this picture and I'm so proud of it. She'll probably shoot me for posting it. :) Better, she's just as awesome as she is beautiful. I know, hard to believe it's possible, right? Having Kate leave would be a lot harder if I didn't like Jen so much. Thank goodness for awesome friends.)

But back to what I was saying. Seeing the moving in and out of their stuffs made me think about my own. And how much of it I have. My sister always says that if everything has a place, you can keep things clean. But if you don't have a place for everything, that's when it gets easier to be messy and disorganized.

And it's true. After a few months of living someplace, stuff sneakily materializes in your room, and you decide that it would be a good idea to reorganize everything and switch to the other side of the room before the new roommate comes. Not to mention the fact that it will give you an excuse to go through everything--moving seven times in the past year just isn't enough for you and you might as well move again, even if it is just four and a half feet to the left. And then suddenly you find yourself on a Saturday evening with your belongings strewn all over both sides of your shared room, trying to figure out where on earth all of this stuff came from, and whether or not you actually need it all.

But then you find all those things you were always, always looking for: NINE (yes, nine) partial pads of Post-it notes, sixteen pens and pencils that decided to resurface from the abyss of the desk drawer and behind the bed, four quarters that will enable you to do laundry once again, a pair of shoes you could never find, your virtually brand-new packet of Sharpies, because they disappeared shortly after you bought them, and of course, an assignment that you thought you lost and had to redo...a week and a half after the semester is over.

But in the process of making all these discoveries, you feel sort of like a conquistadora--exploring new vistas, determined to conquer the unfriendly, treacherous wild, and when at last all is completed, you want to proclaim to all the world that you have claimed and conquered, trounced and triumphed, and that the STUFF is roped, lassoed, and hog-tied. Or something. (Conquistadoras love mixing metaphors with cowboys too.)

And you know, your room ends up looking something like a blend of this

and this. Minus the vase of white tulips and the acoustic guitar.

So I'm feeling pretty good about myself. You can call me Brunilda the conquistadora.

Now if I can just keep it this way.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm no Rubenstein, but...

*Note: the following is nothing more than word vomit. So if you're expecting good writing, maintain those expectations at your own risk. 
Thank you,
The Management

On Friday, I accompanied my friend Julene, who I met in London, as she sang a vocal solo at BYU's College of Humanities graduation exercises. It was cool to be asked to do that, and it got me thinking about some things that have been on my mind for a couple of weeks now, and still am not quite sure how to verbalize. But I'll try.

All through high school, I did music the way jocks do sports--all the time. I was that nerdy girl who often wouldn't go out with her friends unless she'd practiced piano for a couple of hours first. I was really cool... And I'd play/sing/whatever in every circumstance that I could, because I loved it so much. I'd even get excited when I'd get asked to play hymns for the congregation at church meetings. Then I went to college and decided not to major in music after all, like everyone expected me to. And no one there knew me or my penchant for pianos and violins and employed vocal chords, like at home. So, since I wasn't a music major and since everyone and their dog at BYU plays thirty-seven and a half musical instruments or sings like like a rockstar (a good one, I mean) or has been in 49 musicals since they were fifteen, those music talents I had in high school weren't quite as unique or needed as before. And since everyone could do it, what's the big deal?

So for the past couple of years, I have kind of stuck to playing the occasional musical number in church, playing occasional hymns for church meetings when my roommates (who know I play) happen to be in charge, and wishing that I could play piano and violin like I used to. I have had the amazing opportunity for two and a half years to sing in BYU Women's Chorus, an incredibly talented 180-voice choir, which has satiated my music bug a little. But whenever I come home to visit and people I knew before ask me if I'm majoring piano, choral ed, or violin performance, I just shrug and say, "No...I decided to go the English route." And of course, I don't regret my decision not to major in music at all. I LOVE my major--am such an English nerd, but I always felt a little twinge of sadness that I've let my love/abilities for music go so unpracticed for so long. I haven't really tried to keep it up--I've convinced myself, "Oh, it's really hard for non-music majors at BYU to do much with music...there's not much I can do about it..."

What a dumb thought process. Here's why: a week or so ago, I stumbled on this blog post by my good friend Daxson, and it got me thinking a lot. I have all this ideals about how I'd like to be and what I'd like to be good at (music and writing being two of them), but I rarely practice or consume the kinds of music and writing that I want to be good at. Lately I haven't been listening to a lot of music, especially not the kind that I want to be able to play/sing, and I haven't been reading the kind of writing that I would like to do myself. And I've been feeling all uncultured and stuff. Yogurt that is still milk. Or something. And reading that post was like, "DUH! If you want to be good at something, you gotta DO that thing!" Something about practicing, or something. But creating yourself is more than half the battle. A couple weeks ago, I started hijacking my roommate's (fairly decent, fortunately) keyboard and singing/playing in my apartment when few or no people were home. And my goodness, the relief that came just from creating my own music, even if it's what someone else has already written, was beautiful and cathartic in a way that made me never want to stop.

So for the past couple of days, I've been trying to reform. I'm listening to more music, and I'm reading good writing. But more importantly, I'm trying to do those things myself. I hung out with my mama's grand piano for an hour or two tonight, and though he was a little wary of me at first since I hadn't spent real time with him in so long, by the end of our evening, we were making beautiful music together. And really, that's what I miss about music. I don't need to wait for other people to ask me to play/sing. I can do it myself. I don't need an excuse to make music. I'm not very good. I don't have much to offer. But it's what I can do, and it makes me happy, and I want it, and it's a good thing to want, so my goodness, whatever was holding me back in the first place?

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before...As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

Feels like springtime in that "world within [me]." Time to start blossoming, I think.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yum, summer.

I am feeling so good right now. I found out today that I get to live with Jen, one of my very best friends from London next year. Like, share a room with her. WAHOO!! 

Tonight was my dance final exam for 180, and I dressed up and felt like I looked cute. Nice feeling sometimes, whether it's true or not. Danced the cha-cha and triple swing and foxtrot in a twirly skirt. 

We had our end-of-the-summer Relief Society activity, which I got to help a lot with, and we had homemade shish kebabs with fresh peppers, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and marinated chicken. (Oh my gosh, they were so good.) 

I met a whole bunch of awesome new people. I went knocking doors to guys’ apartments in our ward to recruit them to eat our leftover shish kebabs because we made about 100 of them. (Did I mention they were delicious?) 

I went night swimming with a Brazilian girl who lives upstairs and her visiting friend, and she taught me about some of the cultural differences between Brazil and here, and I taught her how to dive. 

I came home and am listening to my “I miss England” playlist and feeling all nostalgic. 

I only have 6 HOURS of Spanish class left. Three days. Oh baby.
I am writing some missionary letters to people that are very important to me. One of them is this lady. (By the way Michele, I like what you did with the blog.)

I will be at home on one week from Friday night. Oh boy. 

I'm sleepy and content and it's summer and I love life. 

P.S. This song has been running through the heads of many in my apartment for the past couple of days. It's apt, given recent events that have been going on here. I also think that the video/song feel very summer ish. Cute. Except for the poor guy at the end.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I think that God must have an awful lot of fun up there in heaven. I mean, tonight, He painted a western sky so golden that even the mountains in the east couldn't resist the glow. Then to shake things up a bit, He threw a couple of stone-gray thunderheads in right above them, so that the golden warmth contrasted with the storm clouds above and left me wondering if we were getting a sunset or a thunderstorm. Turned out to be both. I walked out to the street to a get better look, and almost right before my eyes, He added streaks of gold, pink, and green--unusual color for a sunset.

On top of the apartment complex behind me, some tenants had climbed up on the roof and reveled in His handiwork as well, by shouting at the top of their lungs, "LOOK AT THIS! IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL!!!" I agreed, naturally, though they couldn't hear me murmur assent.

I looked at the sky again, and this time, faces I love came into my head. And you know, God is good, and there is an awful lot of beauty in the world around me. Each mountain is unique, each forest feels different, and the ocean changes from second to second. And yet each human soul has more depth and potential and individuality than each of them. Each soul is a miracle--a masterpiece.

That, my friends, is true artistry.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If only all midwestern towns were still like this...

Tonight is my last night in Chicago, for a pretty long time, most likely. I'm more than a little bit sad. To celebrate the wonder of bygone midwestern days and the continued charm of small midwestern towns (not that Chicago is--but we've been to/through several small towns while I've been here, so you get the idea).

If you haven't seen Robert Preston play the Music Man, then do it right now. Here--I'll help.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This is the song I kept thinking of while I was thinking about this:

When I first got back from my semester in England, virtually every person that knew where I'd been said similar things. The conversation invariably went something like this: 

"You got to study in England? Wow! You are so lucky! How was it?"

At which point, I would usually say some vague, all-encompassing phrase like, "Oh, it was so great. I just loved it." Which was, and still is, true. But I always felt a bit like I was cheating my experience to sum it up in one trite word or two. After all, my near-four-month stint in England did more to help me see and understand myself than anything else in my had. And I'm calling it "oh, so great?"

"So great" doesn't say anything about the breath that flew out of my lungs when I first saw St. Paul's Cathedral, silhouetted against the sunset, with streaks of pink, gold, and orange bursting from behind it.

It doesn't describe the love I felt for the people around me when I sat in Tube (the District Line heading towards South Kensington, if you were wondering) watching the young couple across from me play with their son and ask him to "give Mummy a kiss" just because "she loves you so much."

Nor does it explain the gratitude I felt as I stood next to Benbow Pond in Herefordshire, thinking of the hundreds (literally) of my ancestors who became members of the LDS faith there in England in the 1800s and who sailed over to America to join other members like them.

This time, when I went back with my family, I wasn't sure if it would be the same. My sister and I talked later in the trip about how we weren't sure if it would be such an overwhelmingly wonderful feeling all the time, the kind that lives deep in the soul, like it was before. But then  we arrived, and I found myself feeling the same comfort and happiness as before--the way you feel when you've been gone doing hectic, unpleasant things for weeks on end, and then you finally get to come home. 

I enjoyed the whole trip, naturally. We spent the first four days in London, and then we rented a car and drove up to the north of England for the last four days. It was all beautiful, and given how happy I was to return, it was even better to be there with my family and have the opportunity to show them all of my favorite places and re-experience with them so many familiar things and savor new opportunities as well. But I think I realized why being in England makes me feel so happy and myself when we stopped at a church in a tiny village called Farnworth, on the borders of Widnes township. This village has a church that was built in the 11th century, under Norman rule, and my ancestors, the Rathbones, lived in Farnworth in the 1500-1600s. They were christened and (some of them) buried there at that darling little church that has been there for almost 900 years (see below). I stood there and thought of them, where they came from and where they had been. And then I wondered what they would have said if they could have see almost 500 years into the future and known that one of their great-great-great-times-a-big-number granddaughter would have flown over the ocean, driven to this tiny town to stand there where they worshiped, and stood thinking of them, wishing to meet them.

For me, the best thing about being in England is having experiences like that—standing in a church where my ancestors walked, socialized, baptized their children, and worshiped God. They lived too! The British Isles are more than just lands with lovely countryside, rich history, and excellent literature. Our identities are wrapped up so tightly in our heritage and where we come from, that when I go to England, I truly feel as if my soul is coming home. And then, on top of this extraordinary kinship with my ancestors who lived there, the connection I feel to England is so much more solidified because so much of what I like, what I study, what I think about, and what is beautiful to me is found there. That’s not to say that I don’t find those things elsewhere—certainly not. But the culture, history, and beauty England just feels so inextricably a part of my roots and a part of my soul, that how can I help loving it as I do?

Though a tree's roots aren't always seen above ground, the tree wouldn't stand without them.  The roots are the lifeblood, the stability, and the strength of the tree. 

I'm glad to have found mine.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Traveling to London today STOP to visit the queen STOP
Cannot wait to see this again STOP

May never come back STOP

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heaven scent?

The other day I was running in a nearby neighborhood, when I suddenly smelled a very strong odor of marijuana. Mmmm. It's this sickly sweet, rotting kind of flavor to the smoke, for those of you who are so unfortunate as to never have smelled weed before. When I was a senior in high school, one girl who sat next to me in choir used to go and smoke weed at lunch every day...and she told me so. So she felt every day, and I got to smell the aftermath. And, since choir was right after lunch and our chairs in choir had to be touching each other...I got to know that smell very well. It was so nice to smell that lovely smell that brought back so many memories when I was out on my run the other day. So....nostalgic? 

I ran faster so I could get away from it. Ick.

I wish you all a very scentsual day. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

You can call me Grace.

from me!

Whenever someone asks me what my pet peeves are, I always say the same three things: people clapping in between movements at classical music concerts, grammatical/typographical errors in printed material, and going to bed when the kitchen is still dirty.

But the other day, I thought of a pet peeve that I'd never really realized before--one that the only culprit is me. I realized this after I had physically run into three different people in the grocery store (all within about five minutes of each other), after I had accidentally stepped in front of my sister as she was trying to walk through a door with her arms full, and when I realized that I had forgotten to do two or three different things for work that I should have taken care of a few days earlier...and that it had inconvenienced several people. 

I hate being in the way. Whether I am actually physically in someone's way, or if I am causing someone an inconvenience, or even if someone does something that inconveniences him/herself because of me, it's all the same. They all make me feel like I am "in the way." It's funny, because I often try really hard to change my behavior so that I am not in the way, but often, that ends up being even worse. It's so difficult, when you are trying to organize your father's books and magazines to surprise him, and as it turns out, all those stacks of magazines that looked messy to you were actually organized already in piles to give to different people in a few days. Or when you are with the man of your dreams and he tries to woo you with champagne...and ends up sitting on the champagne flutes. Whoops. And you feel terrible, because if you hadn't been there, he wouldn't have done that, obviously! 



Or, like the other day when I tried to run into the room and clear a space for an armload of stuff that my sister was trying to put away, and I just ended up running into her and knocking over a suitcase and a stack of books instead. Oh bother. I'm a real lady, with poise to burn. Obviously.

You know, you'd think that since I dislike it so much, I'd figure out how to be less in the way and more accommodating. Or at least handle it a little gracefully, like Julia Ormond does. I mean, she has the nerve to slap Harrison Ford just a few minutes later! Brave woman. I'd probably just trip over his shoe.

Oh well. Guess I'm just a slow learner. And after all, someone has to provide the slapstick comedy. Maybe I'll try the Donald O'Connor tactic. Because who doesn't like him? (This video had embedding disabled. Sorry.)

Meanwhile, sorry if I, uh, knock you down or something. I'm probably just trying to get out of the way.


Friday, May 21, 2010


I want to be this person to another person.

That would be living.

(Oh, and by the way, the images of Ron and Hermione are cute and all, but I'm talking about the song. It was the only version I could find that used Jason Robert Brown's real version--just listen to the words.)

Real post coming tomorrow or the next day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Make a wish into the well

I wish for a lot of things, like anybody does. But mostly, I'm pretty content. But, oh for the few things I wish I had done when I had the chance.

I wish I had become better friends with a couple of people that I really appreciated in high school. Of course, I didn't realize how much I appreciated them until after high school was over. Of course.

I wish that I had written to my friends on missions (and my siblings, when they were gone) better.

I wish I had learned how to be spontaneous a little sooner in my life. I wish it were still not so hard for me to be spontaneous.

I wish I had bought that bottle of wine at Whole Foods on my 21st birthday (yesterday), even though I don't drink. I was going to use it for cooking, but I didn't get it. It would have been really fun to say that I, a Mormon girl, bought wine on my 21st birthday. :) But of course, it was a spontaneous thing, and I'm still working at that.

(That's what I'm wishing most this right now. Bummer.)

And at 4:30 tomorrow morning, I'm going wish that I had gone to bed sooner. But I will not wish that I had stayed in bed when I am running on the lake path around Lake Michigan at sunrise.

That I will not wish.

I guess it's a balancing act, figuring out which wishes to keep wishing and which wishes to let go.

I wish I knew how to do it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To do:

1. Break right index finger. Preferably while running late to a meeting, making brownies, attempting to remove the beaters, and pressing the button that violently turns the beaters on instead of the non-violent one that pushes them out. Find out that your finger will be crooked for the rest of mortality and that it may be close to a year before it stops hurting. Then tell the story with pride and laugh a lot, because it's a really stupid and funny way to do it. 

2. Say goodbye to the best living situation imaginable, especially for a single Mormon girl. With these beautiful women.

3. Visit home for a few days at the end of the semester. Introduce a PC-oriented family to the joys of Mac Photobooth.

4. Plan a family trip with these people (except for the guy on the far right, unfortunately)...

to these places.

5. Move to Chicago.  
6. Start internship, with this lady... your boss. Talk in stupid voices with her, make delicious food, meet all her friends and cause them to wonder about both of your sanity levels, live up Chicago life, and sleep in a really, really good bed for more than two nights.

6. Absent the blogging world for a while.

7. Leave for family trip in less than two weeks.
8. See this play with the sister. Also, take lots of goofy pictures like these ones with her as well.

9. Finish reading these books.
10. Return to blogging world, count your blessings, and summarize Important Things in My Life for the Past Two-Three Weeks on blog.

Oh yeah, and #11:

11. Post really goofy/potentially blackmailable pictures of self on blog. Shrug it off.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I stand by this. I can't say it nearly as eloquently or convincingly as Elder Holland can, but I can tell you that I know it's true too.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I've had this picture in my inspiration folder on my computer for a while now, and I'm not sure where I got it, unfortunately. Gorgeous, no?

This semester has been one of the hardest I've had since being at college, and for several weeks, I have felt like I had been trying to swim and/or tread water...without ever taking a breath. I've been figuratively holding my breath...and with the end of the semester and moving out, I finally surfaced on Wednesday night as I drove home in torrential rain.

So I haven't blogged because I've been sleeping, reading, exercising, family-ing...oh, and planning our family trip to England. :) I haven't been able to write a whole lot because I feel so intellectually and emotionally fried. Especially having left these beautiful women:

I'll probably return to the blogging world in another day or two. Meanwhile, I'm just enjoying the air above water.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm flattered.

There is this blog that I follow, called I love it--the posts are generally not too long, whimsical, well-written, funny and/or meaningful without saying too much, and always clever. Lots of people follow it, and it's often as fun to read everyone's comments as it is to read the posts themselves, because it attracts a talented, educated, Christian (especially LDS) audience, and everyone is so insightful and good at what they do. On Fridays, they have a guest post, and this week, they decided to use one of my previously written posts. 

I'm very flattered and really excited about it. You can see it here. But you should probably go to the blog to read all the other things posted, because there are lots of others that are much better written and more beautiful. And funnier. Especially yesterday's post. But it's a lovely confidence booster all the same.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Julie, the yellow flowers are forsythias.

My smart and good-writer-ly/good-dress-er-ly friend Julie posted on her blog today about one of my favorite things about springtime. My dad used to say that you can always tell when spring is near, because the forsythias are the first thing to bloom. As soon as I see them start (generally in the second or third week of March), I begin to get excited, because it means that springtime-and-butterflies-and-flowers-and-rain-and-good-smelling-things are nearing.

I've learned a lot of life lessons from these guys.

Forsythia bushes have some of the yellowest yellow flowers I have ever seen. Against the backdrop of a whole lotta gray, they make a difference like you wouldn't believe.

But forsythias are really brave little guys too. I also know every year, when I see them start to bloom, that it will snow a few more times before they're done...but they do it anyway, every single time. And they beam, brightly brightly through the wet, freezing snow, in spite of themselves.

And when they're finishing up, which is what they're beginning to do now, their goldenness melts into green--not anything too ostentatious. Just a soft, pale, kindly sort of green. Kind of like the background of this blog. The forsythias leave just enough of a hint of the gold blazing against gray there within the green to remind themselves of what they can become, but their day is over, for now. Their job was to lead out--to remind the world of the glory it can become, just when it was beginning to think it was too gray to do it. They last just long enough to give all the other flowers the courage to begin blossoming...and then they pass the baton and stay in the background, a foundation of quiet strength for the other flowers, all the while reminding them to follow their example and be bold in their bloom.

But after their time, they're happy to retire to simply being green, a backdrop for the other flowers to let them shine.

I'd like to be a forsythia.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

For the next five days...

...till classes are over, I am writing research papers. And no matter where I look and how much I read, I feel like I'm always searching for the "right" book. I keep trying and trying...when really, I just need to get writing.

And this is a little bit what I feel like.

How glad I will be when next Tuesday is over.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"It's beautiful Persian poetry!"

Okay, it's not really, but I just really, really like that scene. (Name that movie, by the way...)

But these two poems are the two that I am deciding between to use for my final paper for Dr. Siegfried's class. And they're both lovely. Any preferences on which to use? They both fit the requirements I need them to fit, I think. I'm leaning toward the first one, but we'll see.

by John Donne
STAND still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, Love, in Love's philosophy.
    These three hours that we have spent,
    Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produced.
But, now the sun is just above our head,
    We do those shadows tread,
    And to brave clearness all things are reduced.
So whilst our infant loves did grow,
Disguises did, and shadows, flow
From us and our cares ; but now 'tis not so.
That love hath not attain'd the highest degree,
Which is still diligent lest others see.

Except our loves at this noon stay,
We shall new shadows make the other way.
    As the first were made to blind
    Others, these which come behind
Will work upon ourselves, and blind our eyes.
If our loves faint, and westerwardly decline,
    To me thou, falsely, thine
    And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day ;
But O ! love's day is short, if love decay.

Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his short minute, after noon, is night.

by John Donne
            WHEN my grave is broke up again
            Some second guest to entertain,
            —For graves have learn'd that woman-head,
            To be to more than one a bed—
                And he that digs it, spies
A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,
                Will he not let us alone,
And think that there a loving couple lies,
Who thought that this device might be some way
To make their souls at the last busy day
Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?
            If this fall in a time, or land,
            Where mass-devotion doth command,
            Then he that digs us up will bring
            Us to the bishop or the king,
                To make us relics ; then
Thou shalt be a Mary Magdalen, and I
                A something else thereby ;
All women shall adore us, and some men.
And, since at such time miracles are sought,
I would have that age by this paper taught
What miracles we harmless lovers wrought.

            First we loved well and faithfully,
            Yet knew not what we loved, nor why ;
            Difference of sex we never knew,
            No more than guardian angels do ;
                Coming and going we
Perchance might kiss, but not between those meals ;
                Our hands ne'er touch'd the seals,
Which nature, injured by late law, sets free.
These miracles we did ; but now alas !
All measure, and all language, I should pass,
Should I tell what a miracle she was.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On Guilt Trips for Neglect:

I always was a weird little kid. I had a rather overactive imagination. Think Anne Shirley--no really, I used to name different trees and walks that I especially liked and dream of a more "romantic" life. Le sigh.

Anyway, in this rather overactive imagination o' mine, I imagined that nonliving things had feelings and imaginations, in the same way that I did. Obviously, my dear stuffed animals Fluffy Kitty and Best Teddy felt and thought and dreamed like me, or else what would be the point of confiding in them or showing them all my secret hideaways as I did? Of course, I didn't confide in people who weren't important. And judging on the number of my five-year-old secrets that Best Teddy and Fluffy Kitty knew, they were the most important people in the universe.

Because I cared so much about what various nonliving toys, objects, and abstract ideas thought of me, I always especially tried to treat all of them equally and fairly. If I played a lot with one particular stuffed animal on Monday, I'd play with a different one on Tuesday, cycling through all of them before I played with Monday's child again. I wanted to be a very, very good and fair mother to all of my little charges, and this desire to be fair and equal with my attention-giving crossed into my treatment of everything in my life. If I couldn't give equal attention to all things that I felt were important, I was obviously doing something wrong or bad or cruel. Obviously.

I don't feel that way anymore. I've learned that sometimes, you just can't get to everything. And sometimes, certain things get neglected.

In the case of the past few weeks, it's been my blog. I'll try to do better at playing with my stuffed animals more fairly. But sometimes, certain ones just get neglected. 

Sorry, Best Teddy. Sorry, Blog.