Saturday, June 30, 2012

lesson Two...

God understands your tears just as well as He understands  your words. After all, He gave you both.

If you have read anything that I have ever written, or talked in person or on the phone with me, you will know that it is rare that I am ever at a loss for words. Yes, I'm actually a shy person, but once you get to know me and the walls come down, the flood gates open and out come thoughts, dreams, jokes, laughs, and more.

There are times, though, when I can find no words to express the thoughts and feelings inside my head and heart. There are times when I find myself cradling broken fragments of memories in my fingers -- snippets of conversations replaying in my ears, flashes of faces in my mind, scenes of love and loss stuttering like an old film in front of my eyes -- those broken fragments are often hard to hold. A forgotten moment can have an edge sharper than a knife when it is brought again to light. Even with the times of joy mixed in, the bite of shattered hopes lingers longer than the reminisces of happiness. Finding words can be as difficult as finding peace.

I am a person who must express what I'm feeling and thinking in some way or another. My first choice is through words, be they written or spoken. I have to get things out. Not doing so results in sleepless nights or nightmares, and withdrawal from others, among other not so healthy coping methods. And so the times when I can't find words, when I can't express how I feel...those times are very hard.

Today has been a day of no words. It hasn't been a bad day by any means, but there were things festering inside of me that I was too afraid to look at, because I knew that if I looked, it would hurt. I pushed those things aside -- I've probably been pushing them aside for a few days. But those things will not stay buried for long. Soon I got too tired, and almost too curious, to not look. And I did.

It was one of those moments when I saw much of my life -- where I've been, where I am, where I'm going -- and it seemed as though I was nothing. No matter what, I'm not good enough. Yes, I've accomplished things, but I'm not good enough to be really worth something in others' lives.

I thought of the older man at my sisters' workplace who was fired shortly after he began working there because he couldn't do the work well enough -- he'd needed a job so badly.

I thought of the friend whose parents are upset at her for things she couldn't control -- she would have kept her word if her car hadn't broken down, and if she'd had the money to fix it.

I thought of all of the people who have lost homes in the fires, all of their belongings and possibly pets -- they couldn't forsee that the places they lived in would be in the path of a monstrous wildfire.

I thought of the girl who has become a good friend in a short amount of time, who got in some trouble with a boy and when she told him she was pregnant, he left her, and when she lost the baby he came back and told her it was all her fault -- she deserves so much better than that.

And then the thought came to my mind -- 'you are not enough. Your writing center job, your associate's degree, your high honors, your house, your life -- YOU -- are not enough to help any of those people.'

My heart aches for these people, and it aches more that I can do nothing to help them. It is a literal ache, one that hit me so hard that I doubled over and did the only thing I could do: I began to cry. I leaned against the wall for what seemed like a lifetime, crying and crying because of the pain I felt in my heart for these people and my inability to help them. And another thought came: how could I believe in a God who let things like this happen to people, especially to those who don't deserve it? And why will He not make me enough, when I have constantly tried to give everything to Him?

I then began to berate myself for worrying about things I can't control and for questioning the Lord. I remembered that everything happens for a reason, and it makes people stronger if they will learn from it. You shouldn't doubt, and anyway, you should be praying rather than crying, a not-so-kind voice said in my head. Mid-sob, though, I was hit by something that I'd never thought of before. I was so surprised that I stopped crying. And another voice answered saying, The Lord understands tears. He hears those just as He hears your words.

I was stunned. How had I never thought of that before? All of those times I'd avoided talking to the Lord because I knew that I would have no words to say and I would merely cry -- He gets that. He understands that there are times when I will be unable to speak, to voice the things that are inside of me. And it isn't just when I'm sad, either. He understands the tears of joy just as well as the tears of sorrow.

Tonight the pain I felt has not been assuaged very much. My doubts are not as prevalent, because I'm trying to step back and remember the "big picture principles." I still ache inside for these strangers and friends, and I will not lie and say that the tears have ceased completely. However, I do know that it is not weak to show the Lord my tears. He understands them -- He gave them to me as a gift, a way to express feelings when I cannot explain them through words.

God understands your tears just as well as He understands your words. After all, He gave you both.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I remember the day
you told me you always associated me
with the color brown.
You were so flustered by my reaction
(which I recall was one of confused laughter)
that you reminded me of the dress I wore
on our first date (to Homecoming). It was brown,
"like your hair."
We were almost the same height then.

How things change.

I remember the night
that you took me to a concert at the college.
We got bored after awhile,
so we found stairs up to the roof and danced
around and around.
No music but our laughter.
You were wearing green that night.
It brought out your eyes.

I remember the day
you were three hours late picking me up
for the dance.
You were always late -- it's the only thing
we ever fought about. But fighting with you
wasn't really fighting.
It was more like I would pretend I wasn't mad,
and you would guess that I was pretending. Then,
we talked about it.
You were never more than five minutes late again,
and I learned to be patient.

But I remember one other time when we fought.
It was backstage during the dance concert.
You found out a secret -- my only big secret.
It was a quiet fight,
each of us standing our ground without saying a word.
You left. I thought our friendship was over.
And then, you came back.
You found me crying because of the secret,
and because I was afraid I'd lost my best friend,
and because of that other boy.
That was the first time you held me,
and when you said that you loved me, I believed you.

I remember running through sprinklers,
dragging you shopping with me,
riding roller coasters and sharing curly fries,
harmonizing to Journey while you played with my hair,
sitting on the porch that night two summers ago,
watching Old Spice commercials on YouTube,
hearing you ask from the back seat of my car if I was happy.

I remember battling in water fights and Nerf gun wars,
forcing you to do your homework,
listening to you read to me when I was struggling,
watching you spin the ring you always wore,
eating the "mandillas" you were obsessed with,
repairing those silly moccasins you loved,
dancing and spinning while you sang the words to "Faithfully."

I remember how your little sisters adored you,
how your little brothers copied everything you did,
how you looked up to your older brother,
how well you treated your mother and respected your father,
how everyone loved you -- everyone.

I remember having you on my side through it all.
The good, the bad, the everything.
You never let me down -- I don't know how to repay that.

I remember you -- I never want to lose those memories.
In my heart I hope that someday, more will be made.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

it finally happened...

You have all heard of the girl who walks through a door expecting to find the familiar layout of a women's restroom. Striding forward, she is suddenly confronted by a strange assortment of faux porcelain that is, at first glance, unrecognizable. After a few confusing moments, it dawns upon this girl that she has not found the women's restroom. Instead, she has accidentally wandered into the realm of maleness. Completely out of her element and absolutely horrified when the realization hits her, she freezes in panic.

She is saved by the fact that there is no one in the room -- she spins on her heel and beelines for the door, only to hear the unmistakable voices of teenage boys in the hallway. She stops dead in her tracks, pressing herself against the wall, praying that they'll keep walking in the opposite direction.

Nature has not called their names, and she begins to breath again as she glances cautiously around the door. There is no one looking her way, and tip toeing as stealthily as she can, she edges out of the men's room and into the hall, clinging to the walls like a rabbit trying to hide on the fringes of a thicket.

Peeking around again, she makes a mad dash and a scramble across the hall, launching herself away from danger and into the safety of a realm she knows. Her heart stops pounding, her breath comes easily, and she thinks to herself, Well. That could have been embarrassing. I'm never doing that again.

And then with a jolt, she realizes...she has become that girl. Oh. Oh, dear.

into the fire...

Taking wrong turns. Drawsome. Scones. Protestors. Nephites. Lamanites. Prophets. Ancient records. Pioneers. Founding fathers. Volcanoes. Temple. Impromptu photoshoot. Cartwheels. Round-offs. Smart Phone constellation app. Ghost hunting app. Gullible not written on my shoe. Incredibly genial McDonald's man. Wrong turn. Wildfire. Smoky moon. More wildfire.

You know you have great friends when they make the (almost) two hour drive down to a little tiny town in southern Utah to watch the Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant. While some people call this pageant cheesy and silly (after all, isn't the word 'cheesy' included in the definition of 'pageant'), this event has been one of my all-time favorite summer adventures. I used to go every year with my family, and I always looked forward to it. My family couldn't go this year, and so I am extremely grateful to Ann, Brianna, and Matt for making the trip with me.

I love going to this pageant because despite the script and voice recordings that are older than I am (I remember hearing the same words and voices when I was five), it's something from my childhood that hasn't changed. I love the familiarity of the words, and the dramatic music, and the motions of the actors. But most of all, I love the feeling that I get. When I listen to the story of Joseph Smith; when I see the stories of the Book of Mormon played out on the side of the temple hill; when I watch as the man portraying Christ calls the people to him, and then as all of the little children run to his outstretched arms.

For me, it isn't just a pageant. It's more than that. Yes, it's cheesy, and I'll admit it, I had to keep from laughing a couple of times (the script really does need a little help). However, the peace that I feel and the utter longing that enters my heart when I see the Savior wrap his arms around the children...that isn't something I can laugh at. Sitting at the base of the Manti Temple and feeling tears on my cheeks because of the witness I receive from the Lord is real, not humorous. It's one of the few times during the year that I can recognize the Holy Spirit working on me without any doubt -- it's one of the times where I can receive promptings and reassurance without wondering if I'm confusing my own thoughts and desires with the Lord's whisperings. And for that, I am so grateful.

Another successful adventure, I believe. The fire of the wild before us, and the fire of the Spirit within us.

I take pictures of random things. It was the light and the colors that caught my eye.

Beautiful Manti Temple

Shortly before the pageant began

Ann is adorable.

This photo should be a Christmas card.
"He sees you when you're sleeping...and so do we. Merry Christmas from the Calls! Love, Brianna and Matt."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

in a right state...

So get this. Today I am actually hungry. Do you have any idea how rare that is? Some of you do, but for those that don't, it's rare.

I was all excited to eat breakfast this morning. I thought of possibilities while getting ready for work. Visions of cinnamon toast crunch (mmm), eggs, bagels with cream cheese, peaches, and other tasties floated through my head. With these ideas in mind, I reached for my toothbrush, applied the paste, and began brushing my teeth. Then it happened. I almost threw up.

Not a great feeling. I skipped breakfast, deciding I'd drink some water to try and help the naseau go away. As I made my way back home from a ca-razy shift at the writing center (4 tutorials right in a row, all opinion editorials -- the door opened and we got slammed with freshmen writing students), I pictured things I could make for lunch. Leftover pasta, or a salad, or tuna fish, or something. But each potential meal brought a bad taste to my mouth and a sick feeling in my stomach. I gave it a whirl when I got home, tasting just a granola bar. No go.

Come to think of it, this has actually happened quite frequently throughout the past few months. I'll be hungry, or somewhat hungry, but the mere thought of food makes me gag. It's particularly bad in the morning. Perhaps it's a good thing that I swiped the Coke Zero that I bought but left at my parents' house. After all, I did pay for it, so...I just took it back.

And before anyone gets any funny I am not pregnant -- that would be impossible. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

order of the day (but not particular)...

first. OW. But not as bad as usual. Yay pain killer.

second. Fettucini alfredo is delicious, even if the noodles are a little too hard and the sauce isn't quite creamy enough.

third. I voted today. Go me.

fourth. The King of Attolia is just as good the second time as it is the first time.

fifth. Also, Hawksmaid is really good, too.

sixth. I want to watch Real Steel. Never seen it. Want to. I don't have it. Shoot.

seventh. Sleeping after 8:30 is starting to become impossible.

eighth. Sometimes, I would like a hug. Then when someone hugs me (even when I want one), I feel uncomfortable and wish he/she hadn't. Weird.

ninth. The only place in my house that isn't hot (even with the air conditioning on) is my bedroom. WIN.

tenth. On Sunday I wrote letters for four hours. FOUR.

eleventh. I called three people a mean name in my head today and felt horribly guilty for it -- but only for about two seconds because my coworker told me that she'd used the same word in her head, too. Some people's children*!

*because every grown-up is somebody's child

twelfth. I miss Parker. A LOT. A LOT, a lot. And I miss Brianna. A LOT. BUT I get to see Brianna tomorrow, and Matt and Ann. So that will be very good.

thirteenth. Do you ever have days where your bra just does not fit right? One of those days.

fourteenth. Craving sugar like crazy. Boo.

fifteenth. Rent for the month = $70. That was a relief, considering my textbooks for the upcoming semester cost $135 (and I still need to buy about 8 more).

sixteenth. I've had six tutorials this week at the writing center so far. I get so many personal essays for pre-professional applications, it's insane. Maybe I'll be a part-time essay consultant. Oh, wait...

seventeenth. Seventeenth is a very strange looking word.

eighteenth. Poor little Makay broke his elbow and had to have surgery on it last week. His mom told me when I visited him that he hadn't smiled as much that whole week as he did when I was with him. That made me feel really good, and it made me happy that I could help Makay feel better. I took him a small gift bag full of fun toys from work, and tied a "mini" bouquet of balloons onto the bag. I'll make another one and take a picture of it to share, because it is so stinkin' cute. It could be on Pinterest (but it was my idea, so -- I'm just awesome).

nineteenth. Do you have any idea how freakin' happy I am being single? I will post more about it once I force myself to sit still for half an hour and write it.

and now, my favorite:

twentieth. I have been asked three times today if I am a Democrat or a Republican and who I voted for. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembered -- Captain America t-shirt on voting day. Right.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

how to be perfect...

In honor of post number 900 (wow -- where does the time go), I am supplying a list of how to be perfect.

Okay, so these won't make a person perfect, but I do like them. I read these in a post from distracted by shiny objects over at A Tidings of Magpies, and I copied down a few of the items on the list that I liked.

Excerpts from How to be Perfect by Ron Padgett:
  • Get some sleep.
  • Be friendly. It will help make you happy.
  • Hope for everything. Expect nothing.
  • Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room before you save the world. Then save the world.
  • Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.
  • Plan your day so you never have to rush.
  • Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you have paid them, even if they do favors you don't want.
  • After dinner, wash the dishes.
  • Calm down.
  • Don't expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.
  • Don't be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.
  • Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don't do anything to make it impossible.
  • Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go to another one.
  • If you feel tired, rest.
  • Don't be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even older. Which is depressing.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • If you burn your finger, put ice on it immediately. If you bang your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for 20 minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of ice and gravity.
  • Do not inhale smoke.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Do not smart off to a policeman.
  • Be good.
  • Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.
  • Do not go crazy a lot. It's a waste of time.
  • Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to drink, say, "Water, please."
  • Take out the trash.
  • Love life.
  • Use exact change.
  • When there's shooting in the street, don't go near the window.

There's some good advice in there (particularly that last bullet). If doing some of these don't make you perfect, they'll at least help you feel happy, right?

And a personal "how to be perfect" from me: notice the little things, for the little things can hold more beauty than the grand.

Friday, June 22, 2012

painting the Roses red...

 or yellow, pink, and white.

I was originally going to post more photos now, but the Roses are all so beautiful that I thought it wouldn't do them justice. Instead, look for more Rose posts in the future, for rest assured, there will be plenty of these beauties appearing soon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

lesson One...

Worry less about how your life looks to others and more about how your life feels to you.

There are a lot of trends I'm seeing lately that have started to concern me. I see people documenting their entire lives on the Internet through cell phones, web cams, blogs, Facebook, twitter. At first I thought, oh hey, that's cool! I want Instagram! Then I can show what I'm doing and be cool like everyone else.

But then I started to think more about this sort of thing, this instantaneous documentation and the ways I project myself to the world. I began noticing my motivations, and what I saw made me unhappy with myself.

The event that stemmed all of this thought seems a ridiculous catalyst. It all started with a hamburger. I was at my professor's home for an end of term class party. I'd spent the majority of the time playing with his son, Cade, and I finally got Cade to eat a cookie so that I could have my own dinner. As I stood in line behind my classmates and other students from my professor's classes, I noticed that each of them created similar hamburger ensembles:  bun, burger, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard, ketchup. They then got guacamole and chips, lots of watermelon and cantaloupe, and for the most part skipped the cookies and shortcake, choosing just to take the strawberries.

My heart sank as I saw each person follow this pattern. I don't really like lettuce, I generally avoid tomatoes, I think dill pickles are gross, mustard is evil, and guacamole just looks yucky to me. However, I felt that to NOT have all of these things was to be too different, and that people would criticize me in their minds for being unhealthy and picky. And so, I copied the pattern I saw and forced it all down.

Looking back, I recognize that those people probably weren't paying that much attention to what I put on my plate and what I didn't. In the moment, though, I was absolutely terrified that they would judge me and mentally call me names like fat and immature. But why was I worried about that? Because those are the names that I called myself. I called myself unhealthy, picky, fat, immature, and projected my own thoughts onto the people around me. I forced myself to eat what I thought people wanted me to eat. I was so worried about how others would perceive me that I forgot the most important thing: how did eating food I don't like make me feel?

As I thought about that experience, I realized that this happens with more than just food at a party. What I pin on Pinterest, the status updates on Facebook, my pictures that I take and post, the things I choose to talk about -- so much of this has been to make people believe I'm a certain way. I was trying to be what I thought they wanted me to be. But if the me I really am and the me I pretend to be don't match up, then does that mean that I am going to spend my whole life pretending?

My answer?


I'm not saying that virtual documentation and distribution of life events/outfits/meals/things is a bad thing! Honestly, I kind of wish I had Instagram because then I could have something like a photo journal. I actually think that and other things are very good, but only if the motivation behind them is correct. I feel that if my motivation is to put on some face that I think others want to see, then my motivation is wrong. If I'm wearing a particular outfit to show that I'm in style, but I'm horribly uncomfortable, then WHY the heck am I wearing it? If I'm working out to "fit in" with society, but not because I want to be healthy, WHY? If I'm eating a certain way to assuage the fears of imagined rejection, but I hate what I'm eating, then WHY am I eating it? If I tell a close friend who I know I can trust that I'm doing great, but I'm actually falling apart at the moment, WHY?

Life isn't about the appearance, and in this case I mean more than the physical appearance. It includes the appearance of how you're living, and why you're living. If how you're living and why you're living are not comfortable or happy or the way you really want to live, then why are you doing it?

And so I say, to myself just as much to anyone else:

Worry less about how your life looks to others and more about how your life feels to you.

Because why be someone you're not truly happy being?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

the House...

Guys. Guess what?

I am officially moved into my new House, complete with awesome roommate Natalie and All-American dog Kala.

And yes, I did say House. Not apartment. House. Meaning there is an upstairs, a downstairs, and a basement. Four bathrooms, one unfinished at the moment. Three bedrooms upstairs (one being used for storage) and two in the basement (also being used for storage). Washer and dryer. Garage. The kitchen has tons of counter space, lots of cupboards, a dishwasher, fridge/freezer, microwave, oven/stove, pantry -- it's actually a kitchen. I mean, it is a House, after all. H-O-U-S-E.

Wait. It gets better. I have my own bedroom, and my own bathroom. The closet in my room is epic. I have my own shelf in the pantry with my own food, a shelf and a drawer in the fridge, and orange juice in the freezer (courtesy of my dad).

I've a ten minute walk to PartyLand. It's about four minutes more to the library. The parks are either five minutes or fifteen, depending on which direction you walk (unless you go to the neighborhood park, then it's two minutes tops). The other park and the gym are about eight minutes away. If I were to get a bicycle, I could reasonably get to the grocery store without needing a car as well (Natalie has one though, so carrying groceries back will be much easier).

But those things aren't the best parts. The best part is this: I am OUT. I'm on my own, answering to myself. I'm living well because I want to, not because I have to. And it feels so. Good. I have a friend who is more eloquent than I am, so I will use his words to describe this feeling:

"There is honestly no more affirming feeling than the one you get when you know your time is invested rather than spent... It's not that you have more freedom, (which you do) but it's that you have more liberty. By this I mean that you're able to do the things your parents would have wanted you to do in the first place, but now it's because it's what you want."

This is a dream come true, in more ways than one. Literally. I'll give you one example. Ever since I can remember, I've always dreamed of having the means to live in a house, rather than an apartment. Everyone (or almost everyone) always said I was crazy and naive and "good luck with that, sweetheart -- you'll get your wake up call soon enough."

Well. I woke up in a House today. Let's just say I skipped the apartment and went with the House instead.

Friday, June 15, 2012

the Move...

It happened. The day I never thought would come. The day of the Move!

Things I learned:
  1. I have too many clothes
  2. I have too many shoes
  3. Scratch that. You can never have too many shoes
  4. More boxes = Less weight to carry all at once
  5. It's a good idea to have a friend who has access to a truck
  6. Organize from the start (DONE)
  7. Food shopping is stressful, but I did it
  8. Make sure your jeans are dry before you move out (oops)
  9. Eat before you start lifting boxes and walking up long flights of stairs (...oops)
  10. The easiest things to forget are the ones you use everyday (like your toothbrush)
  11. Always do the dishes
BIG shout out to Ann, Brianna, Natalie, and my sisters for helping! You gals made it a lot easier.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Things I learned today:  
  1. Given a choice, a 3-year-old will always pick the chocolate chip cookie over the hamburger
  2. It is possible to be "wiped out" by being hit in the face with a flower
  3. Answering to the name Mater can become second nature very quickly
  4. When allowing a 3-year-old to play with your phone, it is a good idea to delete your recent call history (oops...sorry, friends) 
But most importantly:
     5. There are no hands or faces more beautiful, or hugs and kisses so sweet, as sticky, dirty,  chocolate-y ones

Oh, and that little boys rock. Although I already knew that one.

Monday, June 11, 2012

little sure shot...

ACTUALLY I'm not talking about me. That name has been taken by Brianna. Holy smoke, kids, that girl is handy with a pistol. I do not recommend meeting her in a dark alley if you have funny business in mind.

As you noticed, I went to the Summerfest carnival with Brianna and Matt on Friday night. It was so much fun -- some people don't like going to it very much, because it's loud and you get some interesting characters there. I for one love it! The people that you see, the lights on the rides, the sounds of laughter and music, the smells of cotton candy and scones, the whole thing is absolutely enjoyable. It's something I look forward to every year. Later in the evening, after taking copious pictures of the ferris wheel, the merry-go-round (love), and the lovebirds, we headed off to Sonic for chili cheese tater tots (strangest and surprisingly good combination of food), mozarella sticks, cherry limeade, and brownie bite-cookie dough shakes (genius).

Now the first paragraph will tie in. After that wonderful start of the weekend, Brianna and Matt took me shooting with them. Up until Saturday morning I had never shot a gun in my life, let alone held one. Matt taught me how to load and fire a couple of pistols (the first is Brianna's gun, a smaller pistol and the second is Matt's, a self-defense pistol that was terrifying), a .22, and his 30.06 (aka a really big rifle built in 1940 that was recomissioned for sporting by the NRA).

Guess what my favorite gun to shoot was? If you guessed the little pistol, guess again. If you guessed the big pistol, well, I hinted above that I didn't like it (seriously, so scary). The .22 was fun, but...the 30.06?

LOVE at first sight (because it had a scope on it -- you know, for sighting -- get it?). The first time I shot that thing, it nearly knocked me over! Once I was able to adjust to the kick, dang. That gun is a total blast! I finally figured out how to use the scope, and I exploded a couple of soda cans (because both Matt and Brianna don't like Diet Dr. Pepper so we used cans as targets) and did fairly well with the other targets, too. It was just so much fun! The 30.06 is a bolt action, so after each bullet you pull back the bolt and the shell ejects, then slide it back into place to fire again. I felt so cool! I think part of the reason why I liked it so much was because of that particular feature (I'll admit it, I kept imagining the scene in Captain America where Bucky takes out the Nazi whose got his sights on Steve). That and the sheer power of the gun -- wow. Absolutely thrilling. I haven't had that much fun in a long time! Kids, you got yourself a convert here. I like guns! And the giant bruises on my shoulder and arm are totally worth it because they also make me feel cool, unlike the bruises I get from falling when I go ice skating -- those just make me feel clumsy.

The rest of the weekend was just as grand. I was able to walk in the parade with some of my LDC friends, and afterwards I got to watch the fireworks with Brianna's family (because my family decided they didn't want to go). Sunday followed up with a fun Primary lesson, a nap, four papers, and Peaceful Warrior, which really is incredibly inspiring. I've been trying out some of the things that the main character learns in the movie, and they work! It'll take practice though (as will rifle shooting -- really, though, it was so fun).

Monday has been pretty grand as well, what with practicing new ways of thinking and spending time with my dad. I drove him to the airport again so that he could go on another business trip, and we got lunch at Zupas and talked for a little while. On the way home I stopped at Gardner Village and picked up a couple of things at Anastasia's Attic. If you haven't been there, GO. It's the cutest, sweetest, blingy-est, beautiful store. All of Gardner Village is great! And the candy sticks at Sweet Afton's are the best. Sweet Afton's Candy Shop is the Honeydukes for Muggles. Seriously, Gardner Village is like Utah's  Hogsmeade or something. So much fun.

A most excellent weekend, my friends. Most excellent.

peaceful warrior...

A friend recommended this movie to me. I wasn't able to sleep tonight, so I put it into my laptop and gave it a try.

Dan faces incredible odds after a life-changing accident.
With Socrates and Joy, he learns the way of the peaceful warrior.

One word: WOW.

Two words: WATCH IT.

More words: I never thought I'd be glad that I couldn't fall asleep.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

light skies and lighter hearts...

fireworks = the thing I look forward to the most during the summer
(although that can be debated)

Matt and Brianna are two of my favorite people in the world. Here they perform a scene from the low-budget production of Titanic,
in which DiCaprio returns to haunt Winslet for not making room on the "tiny" raft
(which, as demonstrated by the following photo, was not that tiny).

from a friend's Facebook post

ps I've never seen this movie...I only knock it because all of my friends do

when the saints go marching...

Technically, I'm no longer a member of the Orem Institute of Religion. I'm a BYU student and all that lovely jazz. HOWEVER...once a member of Institute, ALWAYS a member of Institute. Which is why I wanted to walk in the parade with my friends. And it was AWESOME (despite being one of the windiest experiences of my life -- 45 degrees in June with a wind chill of about 15 degrees -- yup,  it was cold)!!

HURRAH for Institute!!


I love these people (Amanda, Matt, Sean, Charmaigne)

Laura, Brittany, and Shelby -- LOVE these girls

Geraldine, Sean, Preston, Lane, Chris, Carolyn

We're just waiting for him. No big deal.

Kevin -- one of the funniest people you will ever meet.

Joseph Smith = One of my heroes

Laura's long hair + WIND STORM + no hair tie + duct tape + ingenuity = duct tape hair tie for Laura's long hair during a WIND STORM
(one of my more genius ideas)

Friday, June 8, 2012

in love with love...

A preview of what's starting off to be a fantastic weekend:

I'm obsessed with these two. Really.


proud member of Club Unicorn...

There are many, myself included, who know people who are homosexuals. Watching these friends be teased, bullied, and tortured by people in their schools and even their families has always made me upset. What makes me more upset, though, is that when these friends have come to me asking for help and advice, I never know what to say. Telling someone to shut up is easy. It's offering comfort and help that's hard for me. All I know how to do is put my arms around them and tell them I love them, then suggest a random adventure to take their minds off of things.

I won't lie and say that homosexuality doesn't bother me sometimes. It's been something that has been really hard for me to deal with, too -- my friends, like me, are LDS and some of them discarded their testimonies in favor of saying, "Well, this is just how I am and I'm going to do whatever I want because if God loved me, he wouldn't have made me this way." That has been very difficult for me to accept -- God made you that way because he loves you, just as he made me a depressive perfectionist with suicidal tendencies (there -- I said it). The challenges he gives us are meant to turn us to him. He gives us these struggles because he knows exactly what we need to teach us and to make us stronger. For if we take our weaknesses and our temptations to him, he will strengthen us and get us through.

Balancing my love for my friends but my dislike for the lifestyles they choose -- it's really hard. A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook this afternoon that I happened to notice because of the title (rhetorical strategies, people -- they actually work). It's an article titled "Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary."

I'll admit -- I was expecting some confession to ten years of lies. However, it was completely the opposite of that. And I am so grateful for it. This is such an example of courage and faith -- an example that can be applied to anyone who struggles, be it with acceptance of sexual orientation and reconciling that with personal beliefs or with the temptation to throw it all away.

While I do not have these attractions, there are people who I love that do. After reading this article, I feel that I have something to say to them when they need help. And so, I am proud to say that I am a member of Club Unicorn (and now a follower of The Weed).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

i killed the Beast...

theory: Connecting the Concepts

Check it, yo.

1 hour, 38 minutes, and 41 seconds...

dear Friend,

I don't know how you can get me to spill secrets and dreams and worries that I never, ever planned on expressing to anyone or anything but my dog and the walls of my bedroom. I don't know how you can tell from the initial "hello" that something is wrong, how in 1 minute or less you understand I'm holding things back.

Somehow you always have time to listen. Despite your busy life, you make time for me -- me, of all people you could make time for. You never judge me, you never put me down, you never disregard my thoughts and feelings. Somehow you always have advice and words of comfort. And no matter what, you're there for me.

During and after such conversations, I often marvel at the fact that you're still here in my life. Even though you know about my issues -- and you truly do know more than almost anyone else in my world -- you're still here. I don't know if I can express my gratitude adequately. You're still here -- even though you see my dark side.

I don't know how you do it. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. You're remarkable. Truly.

And, just for the record, I've really must be a super hero.

all my love,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


In my personal opinion, one of the most uncomfortable and unsettling feelings in the world is the one that has been described as "butterflies in your stomach." This feeling is often paired with words like love, twitterpation, infatuation, crush, and others of the like. I, unlike many, disagree with these pairings. It's laced with too much fear and uncertainty. That and the image of little gem stone creatures flying inside me is quite horrible, particularly because their delicate, beautiful wings are probably being ruined by each tickling brush against my stomach walls, the fluttering flickers frantic -- trapped.

Trapped inside me like I myself am trapped by this feeling.

There is nothing lovely about this feeling. For me, it's a feeling of nervous energy, of anxiety. It lodges itself in the pit of my stomach and the center of my heart, causing tiny, continual disconcerting twists and turns. It's this weird combination, one that feels like warm water running through my body and dropping 100 feet on a roller coaster. But the water never turns off and the drop never ends. My whole self is stuck in this uncomfortably warm free-fall, and rather than my mind racing along, it's often blank.

An incredible sense of awareness comes from this. Awareness of the usual things I observe (almost everything) is replaced with awareness of what my body is doing -- awareness that my heart is beating, that my lungs are breathing, that blood is moving through me -- I'm aware of it because things aren't normal. They're irregular and strange and warm and jittery. Clumsy, too. Or clumsier. Extremely absent minded. Unable to speak clearly or think quickly. My mind is slowed down while the rest of me races, unchecked by thought of proper sequencing.

Monday, June 4, 2012

May top 10...

1. If I Knew Then -- Lady Antebellum
2. If I Saved My Heart For You -- Carrie Underwood
3. Summer is Over -- Jon McLaughlin ft. Sara Bareilles
4. The Vision of Love -- Kris Allen
5. Lullaby -- Nickelback
6. Unapologize -- Carrie Underwood
7. Dancin' Away with my Heart -- Lady Antebellum
8. City -- Sara Bareilles
9. What Makes you Beautiful -- One Direction
10. Taking Chances -- Glee cover

Sunday, June 3, 2012

weekend recap...

So looking back at my posts and journal entries from the past 8 days, it was a hard week. Everything has been so stressful and scary, with the Move and the Beast and the internship. Then there's been all of the weirdness that happens in my own mind...I worry a lot (no way!). All of those things put together with being alone a lot of the time made for a rough few days.

HOWEVER. This weekend was absolutely the most wonderful weekend I've had in a long time.

...went to Brianna's apartment for the first time and it was a bit of an adventure finding it...I was close though! Three doors down from the right one close.
...Brianna and I played with Misty and Molly for half an hour or so when we got to my house. The puppies love her lots! She's super cute with dogs -- I think she needs one.
...after playing with the dogs, we went through a bunch of stuff in my room. I don't know why it's easier for me to make decisions when there's someone else in the same room, even if we're not talking much. I guess it comes back down to being alone vs. being with a friend. We got rid of so much stuff! A whole box full of books, clothes, shoes, old toys, and other things went to DI, and a big garbage bag was tossed into the bin outside.
...shout out to Brianna -- she's the best friend a girl could ask for. Seriously. I don't think I've ever met a kinder, more generous, helpful, loving person in my life. Love you, pretty lady! Choir-chica-sistas for life!
...Ann came over too! And since it was National Doughnut Day (see? there are so many awesome, random holidays -- remember June 2), we braved the crazy Krispy Kreme parking lot and the even crazier line to get a dozen doughnuts. In honor of the day, the store gave every customer one free doughnut. I saw one with red, white, and blue sprinkles and, well...I had to have it. And by the way, if you ever get a chance to try a key lime pie doughnut, DO IT.
...doughnut purchase was followed by Del Taco purchase. Um...way better than Taco Bell. It actually tastes good in your mouth and not just in your imagination.
...Ann received a new nickname. She's Churro Snob, because she'll only willingly eat a churro from Disneyland (where she's going next week for her birthday -- lucky duck).
...Muppet Treasure Island watching began. Ann and I sang along -- we both know almost all of the words to every song. And all of the lines. Is that sad or epic?
...shout out to Ann -- she is such a fun, adventurous thing, and I'm so lucky to have her in my life! Carrots forever!
...found out that Parker would be in town for the weekend! And it was HIS idea to do something before he left. Not mine. SO. EXCITED. It was dumb how excited I was, but who cares. When one of your closest friends is 5 and a half hours away and you haven't seen him in over a month, it's okay to be silly and giddy.

...though I didn't get to bed until 2am, I fell asleep!! Until TEN. So great.
...$22 in tips at the snow shack. One guy came with his girlfriend and his girlfriend's 4 little siblings, and he tipped me 25% of his bill and thanked me for being so patient. They were probably the least problematic customers I've ever had! They were all so super nice. Then another lady recognized me because I look so much like my mom, and she tipped me nicely too. And another guy who only said what size he wanted and the flavor tipped me well also. It was a pretty good day.
...almost literally ran into Taylor Otteson outside the snow shack. It's been forever since I've seen him! Wow...home from his mission and running his own landscaping business and going to the Y. We're all growing up.
...the new clothes that I got fit perfectly! Two skirts, a dress, two lacy blouses, a sweater (I told myself I wouldn't buy anymore sweaters, but it always ends up happening -- I should never shop when I'm that's going to ever happen), a flower print top, and a white peasant blouse with blue embroidery. Happy girl! outfit yesterday night? It was pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
...the play that I went to with my family was kind of boring, but the costumes were really cool. I got to talk to one of the actors after the show, who I've met before through a mutual friend, and we talked about LDC and stuff. I dunno if I should go back next year...
...met up with Parker, Roland, and their friend Emily at Yogurtland, and then Parker told me that I'd have to see The Avengers 8 times instead of 7 because that's what we were going to do. And so we did.
...watching The Avengers with someone who hasn't seen it is so much fun. Parker was laughing his head off! He's great to watch movies with, because his reactions are hilarious. It was really great to hear him laugh and to see him smile so much. He looks a lot happier than he was before he left.
...may I just say that I hate saying good-bye? But this good-bye wasn't so bad. Being wrapped up in a giant hug, hearing somebody else say that he misses you, and you can tell he means it. Then being reassured that you'll get to talk soon, and that he'll be back in a month. And then, as you walk away, he looks back at the same time you do (that's never happened before -- it was really cool). That's not a bad good-bye. That's a happy good-bye. More of a see ya later.
...shout out to Parker -- I am SO grateful to have him as a friend. My coworkers often comment on what an odd pairing we are, but you know, we really aren't that odd. We just love each other. It happens sometimes.

...I slept again! Yes!
...helped teach the music in Singing Time today -- it was kind of fun to stand up in front of all the kids and help them learn the song. class was AWESOME today. They were so reverent, and so helpful. I had two classes, mine and another teacher's, so I had ten children in all. It was absolutely wonderful. I haven't loved teaching Primary as much as I did today. They were just so GOOD. They're always good, but today was amazing. I love those kidlets.
...Regan, one of the little girls, came up to explain her picture that she drew. Here is what she said:

"I have a friend named Nick, and we love each other, but it won't work
out yet because he's 15 so we made chocolate pudding and he loves me."

Regan, my love -- you are five years old. Don't try to grow up too fast, okay?

...3 hour nap, blueberry bagels, lack of useless stuff in my room, yay!
...played with Molly and Misty for a little while. Here is Misty's status update (yeah, my dog has a Facebook -- it's a long story):

"So this one time I was just laying on the floor in Georgie's room,
minding my own business, and out of NOWHERE this other dog flew off the bed
behind me and landed right on top of me. I swear she did it on purpose. #ughSOMETIMES..."

It was hilarious. I almost think that Molly aimed...

...Kelly Clarkson's song "Dark Side" = OH. EM. GEE. It's almost like she took my life and wrote a song about it. Guys...Kelly must read my blog! Haha, just kidding.

I'll admit it. This song brought me to tears. And all I can say is...

This was a bit of a long recap...and no pictures. If you made it this far, you are awesome. If you didn't, you're still awesome -- you just don't know about it because you're not reading this. Heehee!

Great weekend. So grateful.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

so glad we have a radio at work...

So once upon a time I said that I didn't like Katy Perry's music. Then "Firework" came out. And then came "Part of Me." But let me tell you, this song has made me a believer in Katy Perry.


And then there's this other song by Alanis Morissette. Um...holy cow.

I'm basically in love with these songs. Good heavens, I don't know what I would do without music!

PS Currently working on a weekend events post...seeing as the weekend isn't over, it's a continual work in progress. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

can't help but notice...

I know they (whoever they are) say to never compare yourself to others (they also say never say never). Comparison is bad! It's a killer of self-esteem and self-confidence! Don't do it!!

That, my friends, is much easier said than done. Much easier.

One of my biggest faults is comparing myself to others. I constantly notice the differences between me and other people. It's not helpful. Not at all. I've tried not to notice, but it's kind of like trying to omit the word "like" as a modifier of every word. As soon as I notice I'm saying "like" all the time and I try to remove it from my conversations, I say it more. It's a similar thing with comparing myself to others. As soon as I realize I'm making comparisons and try to stop, I do it more often.

This is particularly difficult in the writing center (as opposed to where it isn't difficult??). Every time I see another intern do a tutorial, I'm amazed. They have such confidence, and they notice so many things about students' papers. They're excited about what they're doing, and they easily guide discussions with the students about the papers. Their sessions last 30 to 40 minutes each. They're great at tutoring! It comes naturally to them.

Then there's me. When I tutor, I'm completely on edge. I get tongue-tied and lose my train of thought, especially if I notice that the tutor observing me has written something on my evaluation sheet (which I'm always painfully aware of). Finding anything to discuss with the student is an ordeal each time, and I feel as though I'm grasping at straws to find at least one issue to help the student with. There are a few times where I make it up, just to find something. Getting a discussion going is so hard, too -- I feel that I never have anything important or helpful to say, and I constantly auto correct my speech to form questions, rather than "you could" statements. My tutorials barely last 25 minutes, and I frequently fight back tears.

So there's them, the other interns, super excited about their job and engaging students in detailed, information packed tutorials. And then there's me, trying not to cry while praying that the student will go away.

Try as I might, I can't help but notice these differences between myself and the other interns. I jokingly voiced these concerns at the tutor table a few minutes ago, as I've been watching one of the girls tutor. Brad and Tom told me not to worry about it, and that I'm doing just fine. "Everyone has something to contribute, be it with enthusiastic discussion or quiet feedback," Brad told me.

Perhaps he's right.'s hard not to compare.