Wednesday, October 31, 2012

check us out...

I took a chance this Halloween. I tried on a costume that I normally would have shunned like the plague -- not just because it's a tad bit scandalous for me, but because it's tight. And I don't do tight.

But you know what?

I'm skinnier than I thought I was.

Say hello to Black Widow

Off for some lame-sauce grown-up trick-or-treating: Walmart style (because sisters had friends coming over, and the [still current] headache was a bit too intense for legit t-o-t'ing).

And may I say that wearing a skin tight black leotard with boots and pistols is not the way to go if you want to be inconspicuous. Although the number of complimentary (and a little uncomfortable) elevator looks and cheers for "GAH, go Black Widow!" were kind of nice. Validation -- great costume, and I look better than I thought I did. Score.

As for our trick-or-treating...

Candy much? Yes. And yes, those are Avengers sugar sticks.

Kalista, Andrew, Amanda, Alex, and me (Alex was very excited about my costume -- he's pretty fantastic)

This family is in my ward, and they are AWESOME -- they even have Hawkeye!

Happy Halloween from the nerd, Black Widow, Katniss, and the model!

And let's not leave out the zombies, either -- lookin' good, Brianna! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

back at it...


Thursday, I woke up with a major headache. I missed class and barely made it through work.

Friday wasn't much better.

Neither was most of Saturday.

Sunday continued in a similar fashion.

As did Monday. Except on Monday, I fell asleep at 4:30pm and was awoken two hours later because of the headache.

That got me worried. The last doctor I saw told me that if a headache woke me up, I would need to call my regular doctor (or all-purpose doctor, as I like to call him) as soon as possible. But I didn't call that doctor yesterday because I figured the headache would go away. It couldn't possibly last for 6 whole days. Right?


Another appointment at another clinic with another doctor, slated for Thursday at 2pm.

Right now I'm really wishing that it were possible to fall asleep on a textbook and absorb the information through osmosis.

That would be stupendous.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

real intent...

The young teacher studies the faces of her three students, certain that they are bored with the material and are only being quiet due to the promise of a treat at the end of the lesson. She recites the principles of the lesson she has studied from the manual, asking questions of the children, trying to read in their eyes if they're getting it.

This isn't working, she thinks quietly, I'm not saying the right thing.

And so she lets go of the plan -- the manual no longer matters. Her topic no longer matches the outline, and the tie-in to the lesson plan is a stretch.

But it works.

She bears her testimony of the Holy Ghost, sharing stories of when she has been protected, guided, comforted, even corrected -- that "if we keep the commandments, and promise to remember the Savior, we will always have the Spirit to be with us."

She watches as each child smiles, saying nothing. They look at each other, and back at her.

"Does that make sense?" the teacher asks the children, praying that something clicked.

"Yes," the three children say together.

To demonstrate her understanding, one of the children brings up a time when her parents where helped by the Holy Ghost to make a decision.

"Exactly!" the teacher responds, "That's exactly right."

They got it, she thinks, ecstatic, they got something.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the little girl in the class clears her throat.

"You shouldn't get married yet, teacher."

The teacher is surprised at the out of nowhere statement, and asks, "Oh? Why not?"

The children look at each other for a moment, and one of the little boys answers, "Because you need to go on your mission first." As he speaks, the other two children nod in agreement, silently but emphatically seconding his reason.

Still surprised and wondering how this came about, the teacher asks a second question, "A mission? Really?"

All three students say, "YES," together, firm and clear.

She is puzzled -- her students telling her she needs to go on a mission. Why would they think that? she wonders quietly. And in her curiosity, she timidly asks a third question, bracing herself for whatever response will be given.

"Do you think I'd be a good missionary?"

Again, the children look to each other before answering. The little boy who spoke before shrugs and says, "That depends."

The teacher laughs a little, "Depends on what?"

She is met with three solemn stares, gazes serious and sincere. Her eyes are caught by the little girl, who studies her face before speaking.

"Depends on why you're going."

Friday, October 26, 2012


Sometimes people ask me why I write on a blog. Others ask me why I write at all. To both, I respond by saying that I love to write -- especially about life -- and that if I don't write, my head will get more confused and my heart will burst with held back emotion.

Lately I feel as though I am adrift in a tiny little boat on a large, cold sea, surrounded by dark skies and wet spray. No map or compass guides me; I couldn't steer even if I tried, for I have no paddle. There isn't even a lantern or a flashlight. The way is unclear and uncertain. On and on I float, a barely stifled panic creeping through my soul as I wonder where I am going with no end in sight.

In my metaphorical life boat, I ask myself questions. 

Where are you going?
What are you going to do with your life?
Who are you?

What is your purpose?

My answer for each question is the same: I'm honestly not sure.

October marks my 5th year of blogging. Today marks my 1,000th post. You would think that after all that time of writing and discovering, I would have a clear answer for each question.

I don't have much. What I do have now, though, is more than I had before. That matters

Where are you going? 

What are you going to do with your life? 
I am going to do good.

Who are you? 
I am a child of the Most High God, daughter of a King. I am a daughter of good parents, a sister to two amazing young women, a friend to as many as I can be, a hard worker, a diligent student. A person with a bright future, though I may not know the way to it at this time.

What is your purpose?
To be the best person that I can be -- to look back at these years of writing and see how far I have come and realize that I can and will improve.

I am braver than I believe, stronger than I seem, and smarter than I know. My little boat heads for the horizon, my face eager for the rising sun, my heart waiting for the future.

I am not perfect. But I am not without faith.

photo by Parker Nelson

Thursday, October 25, 2012

always there...

from Do More With Les via Pinterest

might explode...

Why is it so freaking hard for people to just take care of themselves? Why is it so FREAKING hard? If a doctor gives you a medication, TAKE IT (no one can call me out on this one because I have not missed a day in over two months, and even though it's NOT working, I'm STILL taking it because the doctor told me to). If you're hungry, EAT SOMETHING. If you hurt yourself, TAKE CARE OF IT THEN, not when it gets worse. If what you're doing is going to get you into trouble, STOP DOING IT.

In short, don't be stupid. Stupidity is bad for you, and it's bad for everyone else in your life. I mean, you do have a brain. So use the dang thing.

I guess if this was just a one time thing, I wouldn't be so upset. But EVERY TIME I turn around, different people in my life have done something they shouldn't have or not done something they should have done, and it screws life up for them and everyone involved. I mean, come ON, people. How hard is it to think? And not just about how what you do effects yourself, but about how what you do effects others.

Think. Think before you act, or don't act -- contrary to popular belief, life isn't "all about me." Each of us must first do our BEST, and I mean VERY best, to meet our personal needs. It is not fair to expect other people to just drop everything and be there because we have something in our lives that we don't want to take care of.

Friends can only go so far. There comes a point where people can do no more.

That's just the way it is.

Phew. Got that out. Now I can go back to being normal (whatever that is).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Remember that zombie music video I was a part of?


It's done.

Awesome, right?

By the way, I'm the zombie in the purple striped sweater 
(aka the one on the left side of the screen before you click "play" on the video). 
Dunno if you can see me, but I'm in there a few times!

Pretty epic to be a part of this. It was a lot of fun, and the finished product is really funny!

Monday, October 22, 2012

chalk the block...

Once upon a weekend, Parker and I went to the grocery store in search of a kite because it was the perfect kind of blustery day.

No kites to be found -- I suppose we should have remembered that most people don't fly kites in October. Instead, we found a box of chalk sticks. At $4.49 for 52 sticks, it wasn't a bad deal. Parker jumped on the idea when I pointed the chalk out, and after making our purchase we headed to the nearby park (by way of the railroad ties that crisscross the town -- dream come true for me, to walk through a town balancing on the railroad tracks).

Object of the game: the first person to take a turn with the chalk draws some random lines, squiggles, circles, whatever they desire. Then the second person looks for a picture in those random lines and "shows it" to the first person by drawing the whole picture.

Let me show you a few of our masterpieces.

Parker is the big man in this town.

Frieda the Elephant and me on the borders of Parker's Gulf of Mexico.

He did a pretty good job on this one -- my favorite of his pieces.

Favorite of the ones I drew.

May I say that this was one of the most fun things I have done this whole semester? Possibly the whole year?

It's very possible that I will be introducing this game to my own neighborhood. I've got a fair amount of smooth asphalt in front of my garage -- time to pretty it up a bit.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

what I just realized...

dear Friend,

I told you last night that I don't want to go home.


"Everything in my life is back there. School. Work. Responsibility. People I'm scared of. I don't want to go back to all of it."

You reassured me about it all -- I appreciate that a lot.

I didn't tell you everything though.

Driving down the country lanes, stopping at random to take pictures of the sunset, taking turns choosing which direction to go at crossroads, telling stories about past adventures, dreaming about the future -- being together like that made me realize something.

"Home is where your heart is."

I've always brushed that aside as a silly cliche, one overused like "the grass is always greener." But you know something?

As cliche as these little sayings may be, they can be horribly true.

Which is also funny, because you said that this morning. When we said good-bye.

Perhaps I shouldn't say it. Perhaps I shouldn't think it. I wouldn't do those things if I could help it -- the thought came unbidden, unexpected -- they're random thoughts and you just happen to be in them.

And then, as usual, you're the one who voices the thoughts I don't say. Like we're on the same brain wave or something.

It's a little scary. And at the same time, it's not. It's comforting.

You still have my heart. Try as I might, I can't get it back. Because if you asked for it, I wouldn't hesitate in giving it to you forever.

I don't want to go home because you're not there.

At least I got to see you for a few days. You really don't know how much that meant to me.

all my love,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

dumb kid...

Sometimes it hits me how much I don't know and don't understand about the world, about people, about myself.

Especially about myself.

Here I sit at a table in a kitchen-in-progress, staring out the window at the trees being slapped around by the gusts of wind, and I ask myself, "How do you feel?"

It's a perplexing question, one that confuses me about as much as it confused Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The question comes again and again, a tinny computer voice asking "How do you feel? How do you feel? How do you feel?"

Well, computer voice -- I don't know how to answer that question.

Parker would say, "That's not an answer." To which I would respond, "But I don't have an answer. I can't figure one out."

"So talk."

I don't like talking about things that I can't make sense of.

"How do you feel?"


In a lot of ways, I feel out of control. I feel sick inside, because I don't know what's going on in my heart. I don't know what I want. I don't even care half the time anymore.

I don't want to go home. I don't want to go back to everything that's there.

But I don't want to stay.

Friday, October 19, 2012

what the Idaho?

I've been to Idaho before. But I don't remember it being the way it is today.

Granted, I don't even remember that trip to Idaho because I was, liiiiiike...two? Maybe younger? All I remember of that adventure comes from the stories people tell me, and the abundance of photographs in the basement showing me talking to a bronze statue of a little boy.

Funny how stories and photographs can become memories in our heads of events that we participated in, but don't actually recall.

But that's beside the point.

Idaho is, in my opinion, a weird place. The main reason?

There are no mountains.

Seriously. Compared to the real mountains at home, these lumps of rocks are tiny. There's so much open space here, so much so that I actually feel uncomfortable. As I sat in the passenger seat of Ann's car, she laughed at me because I scrunched myself up in a ball and said, "It's just so open." Really, though. I'm digging my little bedroom because it feels safe. Not only is it about five times warmer in here this morning than it is outside (yesterday was surprisingly warm -- Provo was colder), it also has walls and a ceiling and a door.

Safe. Loving this room.

Just for the heck of it, I did a Google search, which led me to agoraphobia: "a condition where the sufferer becomes anxious in environments that are unfamiliar or where he or she perceives that they have little control. Triggers for this anxiety may include wide open spaces, crowds (social anxiety), or traveling (even short distances)" (Wikipedia).

What the heck -- that definition describes me so well it's a wee bit scary. As in, three for three.

Anyway. Idaho is grand. But I'm very glad that I'm not here by myself, and that Ann likes my company. It'll be a good weekend.

Can't wait to go back home.

Monday, October 15, 2012

it's been a day...

I have discovered that if I get to campus 45 minutes before my classes start, I can get a parking spot near the bell tower, which cuts off almost half of the walk to my building from the parking lot. Which, all things considered, is very helpful for me right now.

My professor handed back the exams from last week. I got a B+. Considering I was praying for a C, I did fairly well.

Did 8 tutorials today -- which is a lot less than I usually do during a four hour shift. I've learned that if you take longer with a single student, you can explain things better for them and you do fewer tutorials throughout a shift (no crap, Sherlock). All the same...this job is exhausting.

Mom took me to lunch at the wrap shop on campus. Strawberry Fields wrap equals deliciousness.

There's a(nother) dress at the book store that I want. Note to self: stay away from the clothing sections in the book store. Or, stay out of the book store period.

Anthropology was a silent affair. Literally. Sat there for 39 minutes with no one speaking, and then one person timidly commented on something from the reading. Nothing for another 4 minutes. Then a second timid comment, after which the professor got up and left. The Quakers' practice of silent meetings is really getting to us.

2 hour study group after school and work for the next American Studies exam on Wednesday. Karina and Nelly are fantastic.

Bad and frustrating news from doctors -- I really dislike this whole mess.

My sister took me to Cafe Rio with her tonight -- such happiness. We talked about how stupid and confusing boys are. It was therapeutic. We both enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Going to Idaho on Thursday this week. Watch out, Rexburg. Gonna party all weekend long...with my textbooks and sleeping pills.

Oh, and I got stuck in the elevator today. Tried to walk out and found myself slammed into the back wall. Yeah -- my backpack strap had gotten caught on the handrail. Whatever.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

can you keep a secret...

You may be asking yourself why I'm putting a secret on the Internet. Well, most of the things I put on the Internet are my secrets. They're different kinds of secrets -- they're not the ones you really can keep wholly to yourself. But they're the things that you wouldn't say to certain people, or the quiet thoughts that people can see on your face, but have no words for because you don't share.

I have a secret. It's a secret a lot of people know about me, which is that I have a lot of white traits in my personality, and my reaction to change or difficulty is often to pull away. I avoid conversation or interaction, mostly because I want to be alone and people won't let me when I ask or tell them I'm busy. Or, if there's conflict, or if I feel afraid, I intentionally isolate myself. That's one of my secrets.

How can it be a secret if people know about it, you ask? In a nut shell, it's a secret because though people see the behavior, they don't know why I do it. The secret isn't the action -- it's the motivation.

I'm not a great communicator. I could be if I forced myself out of my comfort zone, but I get so afraid of offending someone that I end up just agreeing to whatever the person says and go back to door mat status. Or I know that I'm right, but I don't know how to express it. If I were able to argue with someone by writing a paper about it directed at the problem, I'd win every time. Talking about problems, on the other hand? The other person always gets their way, even if it's completely wrong of them, because I get so confused and so flustered that I often can't remember what the original reason for the conversation was in the first place.

And so I shut up. Literally, I shut my mouth and I shut my bedroom door. I turn off my phone, I clean my house from top to bottom, I get ahead in my studies, and I go to bed early. 

Granted, it's not okay to say, "this is just the way that I am -- deal with it." I know that this isn't exactly the best way to handle stuff. Believe me, I'm working on it. Sometimes I just need a break for awhile -- I need to be alone. I need to be away from people. I need to be able to choose when I talk, who I talk to, what I talk about, where I go and who I go with -- being truthful, I get sick of being a door mat after awhile. 

So. There you have it. Another secret courtesy of Georgie. And because you're going to be kind enough to keep it (at least, I assume that you will), I'll even tell you a joke:
A British man and a Swiss man were sitting together in a cafe. The British man, who was preparing to go to Switzerland, asked the Swiss man, "What is the best thing about your country?"
The Swiss man thought about it for a few moments, then replied, "Well, the flag is a big plus."
Pardon me while I snicker to death over here in the corner.

Wah, wah. Peace out, girl scout.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"um...what was that about eating your dust?"

My friend Roland called me up the other day and asked me if I would like to go race go-karts with him. Seeing as I am still the little girl who (while forever in love with all things princess and fairy tales) has a secret dream to be a race car driver, saying no made absolutely no sense to me. Especially after Roland replied to my exclamation of "I'm excited!" by saying, "Yeah, me too -- especially when I get to see you eat my dust!"

Oh. Oh no, he DI-int! Z-formation finger snap with a sassy head shake, I replied, "Uh...s'cuse me, but I believe you will be eating MY dust."

And it was on. The great race took place last night, and -- well. See for yourself.

Yes -- I know the spelling is rather sad (I mean, look at my name -- never seen anyone get that creative before).
But it's the numbers that are important! Particularly that little "1" right there. Importante, amigos.

WASTED him. By a whole half of a lap.

Yeah. That's right.

By no means was it easy. He got ahead of me in the first lap, and it took me two more to catch up and get myself around him. But I figured it out, and it was glorious.

Best part about it wasn't that I won, but that Roland didn't say anything like, "I had to let you win because you're a girl" or "you only won because you weigh less." I can honestly say that while racing around the track I started wondering if I should let him win. Often times I hesitate to compete with guys because I get responses like the ones I mentioned. Which I hate -- I often feel second class and like my skill in the game wasn't really skill in the eyes of the guy I was competing with. That I was less than him from the start, you know?

Not so with Roland. He was totally cool with it -- and his response was so great that I didn't even laugh until five seconds after he said it because I had to process the fact that he wasn't upset that I'd won.

"Well. If I ever find myself in need of a getaway driver, I know exactly who to call." much? Yeah -- he impressed me. And we also had a hilarious conversation about what would happen if he actually did need me to be a getaway driver, where I ended up being faster than the Jimmy John's Sandwich man.

Yup. Good time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

exams don't wait for life...

This semester is probably the most frustrating I've ever had in my entire life.

Yes, I have a lot more homework than  usual, but that's not what is stressful. I actually feel like I've got a handle on the Game of College. It's basically a study in selective listening. Listen for what the professors are looking for, and then spoon feed it back to them, repeating their own words in essays and exams to make them feel awesome (accuse me of being a suck up and I will wholeheartedly and unabashedly agree with you). Keeps them happy and gets me good grades. Easy as that. Bam.

No, what's stressing me out is that life happens so frequently that I can't stay caught up. Readings get put off in favor of sleep because I can't comprehend what I'm reading. Studying gets pushed aside because people are more important than grades. Classes get skipped because I literally can't get out of bed. Essays and papers are written at the very last minute because stuff just happens.

But school isn't going to slow down so that you can focus on cleaning up the mess suddenly dumped in front of you.

For example. I have another large, ridiculous exam tomorrow morning (at 7:45am, no less). Have I studied for it? Well, if you count doing all of the class readings throughout the semester and attending as many lectures as possible (health problems -- they rock), then yes. I've studied. But if you count actually preparing for the exam?


Once again, life keeps getting in the way. 

Time to hit the books in a big way. Peace out, Girl Scout.

Monday, October 8, 2012

56 minutes, 23 seconds...

dear Friend,

That's the longest we've talked in weeks -- maybe a whole month.

After we got off the phone, I realized something. I wasn't in pain anymore. For the first time in four days straight, I didn't hurt. No headache, no back pain, no muscle cramps or anything. I didn't notice until I was making dinner ten minutes after we hung up. All of the sudden, the lack of pain caught my attention.

Maybe it's because you make me laugh so much -- laughter is, as they say, the best medicine.

Maybe it's because I know that you still care.

The pain is back now, but it's a bit easier to bear. Probably because I have your words to remember. You said some things that were quite timely. It's nice to know that you think I'm awesome, and strong, too. And now I have something to look forward to this weekend -- can't wait for Friday!

Anyway. I just wanted to say thank you. You probably still don't know how much you mean to me. Just know that you mean quite a lot.

all my love,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the worst kind of heartbreak...

Disclaimer: all of what I have written may come across as selfish, childish, and ridiculous. It's honest, though. Straight from the heart.

For almost four years, I have set my eyes on serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was one of the only girls in high school who was considering it. Many of my friends would say things like, "wow, good for you -- a mission is so not for me," or "I'm so not interested in serving a mission." Some of the girls would think me a little strange for my desire to go, and many of the boys said things like, "yeah, you'll change your mind when you get into college -- girls don't have to go."

As I grew older, I still desired to serve a mission. Often times that desire was put down by other people (I've written before about what many male friends have said to me concerning my goal). Words like "it makes me sad that so many girls are serving missions -- they're needed as wives and mothers, not missionaries," and the ever present "you'll change your mind when you meet that perfect guy" were thrown at me a lot. It made me so angry -- I didn't want to serve a mission because I wasn't dating (quite frankly, I care more about the status of my kitchen floor than I do about dating -- I hate dating). It also bothered me because the general authorities have encouraged women to serve missions, saying that women are able to reach people that the men can't. A woman who wanted to serve a mission because of a desire to serve the gospel was totally in the right, according to church policies. That's why I wanted to go. It's why I still want to go.

This summer, I began to feel that the timing of a mission was not right for me yet. I received a "no -- not right now" answer from the Lord twice, once in my bedroom and again as a confirmation of that answer in the temple, when I went to "double-check." I felt impressed to focus on my schooling, because I am more than halfway through with my degree, and to get as many educational experiences through BYU as possible.

Never have I been 100% satisfied with the "no -- not right now" answer. I say that I am, and I try to be, but it's been hard. Often times I've prayed for patience to follow through based on the answers I've been given, but it's been difficult. That difficulty was increased exponentially due to the announcement President Monson gave yesterday morning, right at the beginning of the first session of our General Conference.

When I heard that the age for worthy sisters had been dropped from 21 to 19, I was surprised. However, I didn't feel upset -- or not super upset. I felt a little bothered, but nothing important. As the day went on, though, and as I got text messages from friends asking me if I was going to go this year, I began to feel an overwhelming feeling of sadness and disappointment. Most people don't know that I have put my mission plans on hold, almost indefinitely. I haven't told very many people -- around here, many people automatically assume that the reason a person is no longer going on a mission is because a big mistake was made. I didn't make a mistake -- I just got told to hold off.

Those feelings of sadness increased as I received news from my younger sister that she will no longer be applying for college for next year, but will instead begin work on her mission papers in January and leave as soon as she turns 19 in July. I felt even more disappointed when my 16-year-old sister texted me that she is going to go on a mission as well in two years (she turns 17 in January), and that she was so excited to receive that answer from the Lord. I turn 21 in January, but no mission papers will be sent this year to Salt Lake with my name on them.

Getting on Facebook made it even worse. Countless status updates, pictures, and other posts met my eyes, each from young men who are moving up their mission dates and from young women who had never before considered missions (and some who have even criticized me for my desire), each expressing with enthusiasm and delight that they were scrapping their college applications and working on mission papers, or altering their goals to include a now possible mission.

I scrolled through my news feed until I could no longer see the screen because of the tears falling from my eyes. My entire being felt shattered, left out, even let down. I began to pray, asking God to change His mind, not really expecting Him to do so. I told God how upset I was -- how all of my life, everything that I have ever desired with my whole soul has been taken away from me, or I have been told to wait. I have watched both of my sisters receive every desire I've ever wanted and was never given -- leads in the school musical, positions on the choir council, relationships that have lasted more than four years, more attention and recognition from my parents, dates with good boys every other weekend -- I can honestly say that almost everything that I have ever desired has never been given me. And I was angry -- I was angry and heartbroken, and I told God that.

The more upset and heartbroken I began to feel, the more I tried to force myself to think of all of the good things that have been given to me, instead of the things I wanted. I got into BYU, even though I didn't think that I would and didn't really care to. I received an internship and a job that I didn't even know existed. I've been given friends who, though they have only been in my life for a couple of years, have been better friends than most of the people I knew when I was younger. No, I don't get to be in plays or in choirs, but I get other things.

But it has still been so hard. All day yesterday, and most of the night, found me in tears, frustrated and devastated because of my "no -- not right now." I recognize that it isn't a "NO" answer. It's a wait and be patient answer.

Being told to wait is one of the hardest things the Lord has asked me to do -- and that is what He asks of me the most.

This, for me, is the worst kind of heartbreak, because it's another time in my life where a righteous desire of my heart has been kept from me, and I've had to watch people who were never interested (or sometimes less qualified) receive those opportunities. I'm not saying that a mission is totally kept from me -- but not given to me when for so long, I have felt such an overwhelming desire to go and serve. What is hard is watching the people I went to high school with, who had no desire to serve a mission, suddenly take off and leave two months after making their decisions. What is hard is knowing that my sister, who is two years younger than I am, will be going on a mission before me, when she had little desire to do so in the first place, wanting to focus on school and see what happened as she got older.

What is hardest is to continually be told, "be patient," and nothing seems to change -- not with my health, not with my friendships, not with my family relationships, not with anything.

I will be patient. I won't give up. I'm not going to distance myself from the Lord (for as someone said in conference, moving away from the Lord when faced with a trial is like leaving the safety of the underground shelter when a tornado is in the field next door). I know that this will be for the best -- the Lord told me to wait for a good reason. Everything that He has done in my life has been for a better reason than I ever could have seen.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths."

I will do it. He'll take care of everything.

Speaking honestly, though...that doesn't mean it doesn't break my heart.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I often write when I think of you.
Amid the notes and to do lists
scribbles of ink form
pictures on paper,
disjointed words and phrases paired
with drawings and figures that make no sense
to an outsider.

Capturing these thoughts is hard now.
Or, to be honest, harder than it was before.
Thoughts spin so fast that
sometimes I can merely feel.
It all seems silly and childish --
this strange loss.
Because, really,
you're not lost --

you're just not here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Every once in awhile, I really dislike my job. Yes, tutoring gets tiring sometimes (so much so that I dream about it), and it's frustrating to see a huge line out the door, knowing that people are bored and impatient and mad that they have to wait for so long. However, the days when I dislike my job the most are the days that we're not busy and some sort of discussion begins at the tutor table, discussions that leave me feeling isolated and uncomfortable.

Unlike the majority of my coworkers, I do not fall into the category of "American liberal." My political, intellectual, and social leanings are more along the lines of "American conservative." At the same time, though, I don't like lumping myself in with the so-called conservative crowd. I don't think the same way that a lot of them do. I disagree with them on many issues. I disagree with the liberal crowd as well. The reason why, I believe, is because I try not to affiliate myself with any type of group through name alone -- I want to find a middle ground. Some may call it "going with your gut" politics -- that's what I try to do.

For me, if something doesn't feel right, then it's wrong. If that makes any sense. An explanation is difficult, but I'll try my best. Basically I believe that there is truth and there is not truth. No one person has all truth. Therefore, no one group has a monopoly on all truth, either, because groups are made up of individuals who lack full, complete truth.

At my work, many of the people believe one way and will see no other point of view. Or they pretend to see the other point of view, but in their acknowledgment of the opposing side, they slip in a low-key remark about the intelligence of the different group. There are some who honestly don't care about personal political preferences and when a discussion starts, they comment once or twice and go back to their books, satisfied that they've contributed their statement of agreement with what everyone else is already saying. But it seems as though there isn't anyone who is interested in hearing from the one person who thinks differently -- and if they do hear, they don't listen. Even if they do listen, they look at me strangely and go back to talking with the people who already agree with them. Once again, I'm no longer encouraged to participate.

Countless times I've been blown off or shut down because I think differently. Many times I'm not even invited to join the conversation -- I become an observer from one side of the table, and when I try to interject my point of view, I'm talked over or ignored. Then, when someone does notice me sitting there, listening but not included, the resulting comment I'm asked to make leaves a sudden awkwardness in the air. And that's usually when the discussion ends or moves to a new topic.

Perhaps the awkwardness stems from the fact that I don't affiliate myself wholly with one group or person. I believe that truth can be found in all places, and if one asks to find it, that truth will be given. Some things just feel wrong to me -- much of that has to do with the influence that my faith has on my perspective of the world. God grants us truth if we ask; I ask for truth on a daily basis (no joke -- it helps with school a lot).

One person has called me out on not thinking for myself, of letting my church tell me how to think and who to be. They're wrong. I do think for myself. I make my own decisions. "Separation of church and state," someone said today (not to me -- they were discussing the presidential debate of last night and the reaction of students), "Stop bringing up the church, for crying out loud." Yes, I can see how saying that all LDS people should vote for Mitt Romney because he, too, is a Mormon, is probably not okay. But it's when the person took it a step farther, saying that using religious principles to formulate personal political beliefs is ridiculous, that I got a little bit bothered.

In discussions that I am included in, I don't bring up the church very often. I bring up true principles that I have a testimony of, not referencing them to the church at all. I bring up things that I know to be true. Yes, the church teaches these principles. Yes, the church revolves on the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the principles can be applied to anyone, inside or outside of the LDS church. Asking me to separate church and state in my thinking is silly to me, for how can I be the same person if I allow my thinking and action to be different when engaging with seemingly separate groups? No, I don't force my religion down people's throats. No, I don't condemn others for thinking differently than I do. No, I don't think that difference of opinion is a bad thing. I do think it strange to tell a person to separate faith from thought about other aspects of life -- telling them how to think -- particularly after slamming someone for letting the church "tell you how to think."

How can I be an example of Christ "at all times, and in all things, and in all places" if I don't live the same way in all times, and in all things, and in all places? How can I speak and act in one way at work, and then in another at church, and another in class? Why be two or three or four faced in my dealings with people? And how on earth can I separate my ways of thinking when my faith is so central to my life? No, I won't say things like, "Well, the church says this, and since you're different, you're bad." But I will say that telling me to think in certain ways or not think in certain ways is out of line -- as soon as that happens, those people begin to do exactly what they profess to hate: being told how to think by the LDS church.

Contrary to popular belief, the LDS church doesn't tell its members how to think. It doesn't tell us how to vote. The general authorities come right out and say that civic action is a duty of all citizens, and to vote according to our consciences using the information we have discovered on our own to make informed decisions. Never once do they say, "vote for so-and-so." No. That happens in isolated places and meetings because people are not perfect and are every once in awhile out of line, but it is not a church policy to do this.

I never ask anyone else to think different ways. I don't ask them to split themselves into different people according to who they are with and what they're talking about. Telling me to think for myself, and then telling me in the same sentence to stop letting my faith influence me, is completely contradictory. They call out the hypocrisy of LDS church members, but then they do the same things. That, to me, is absolutely frustrating. It is also a warning to watch myself, so that I don't fall into those same habits.

Truth will out in the end -- I'll find it in my ways, and you in yours. As for now, I will return to my book and sit quietly at the tutor table. I've learned that often the strongest argument is that of silence.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

my Dana friend...

I had to share this because it is too cute to keep to myself.

My friend and coworker Dana drew this picture for me -- I for one don't find this giraffe ugly at all, and he is now hanging on the wall next to my calendar. He makes me happy every time I look at him. Dana totally made my day!

(And by the way, Dana is the one who named him Steve, not me. She knows me well.)

awful nice to eat...


When I first heard of The Awful Waffle, I admit that I was quite skeptical. I mean...a food joint that has the word "awful" in the title? I questioned the rhetoric of that one big time (the writing tutor in me never goes away -- I still haven't told you about the time I woke myself up doing a tutorial in my sleep -- but that's a story for another post). Who puts "awful" in the same sentence as a food and then tries to sell a product?

Well. This girl was first curious about this place (which is probably what they're going for), and so decided that she would at least give it a shot. Not to mention that it was the venue where the hip, adorbs (yes, I just said adorbs) Sierra's party of happiness and blogging joy was going to be held! Two birds with one stone: check out the waffle-awfulness and see Sisi at the same time? I think yes.

Brianna and I headed over together, and she assured me that The Awful Waffle was the opposite of its name (leading me again to wonder if the name is meant to bring in curious people like myself).

I was quite impressed with the building, the interior layout, and the design. It was a vintage-modern hodge podge collection of chalkboard topped tables, ceramic deer heads on the walls, pink and blue and mint and white and red aluminum chairs, and bird cage covered lamps. It was old and new all thrown together -- quite trendy and appealing to the current "in" crowd of young single and married adults. Which categories Brianna and I may or may not fall into (yes, we being young, me single and her married). Either way, we both liked the way everything looked! And another thing that we liked...

One word: cupcakes. That's how the party started -- cuppies courtesy of Cupcake Chic -- very excited about that one 
(especially because mine was red velvet with a little heart on top)!

Fact. Nothing awful about The Awful Waffle. Especially because the menu included the specialty topping option of Creamy Smooth Peanut Butter. Um...can you say excited? An on-the-house Liege waffle topped with peanut butter and bananas, made fresh right there made me one happy little girl. AND Caroline was there, whom I have not seen since Brianna's wedding (5 months ago -- that's nigh unto forever). I love Caroline. She's beautiful. Disney princess beautiful. Really.

We were pretty happy girls. Different than most of the bloggers who were there -- I definitely gained a new perspective on the "blog world." But it was fun, and I know that I was happy. And, I must say, you would probably benefit from a visit to The Awful Waffle. Yum. Yum, yum, yum. That waffle was awfully good (I'm so funny)! You should go get one.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ran across this tonight...

While looking through old photos on Facebook, I ran across my video folder and found this little gem from over a year ago.

Once upon a time, my sister Amanda and my best friend Jordan decided to have an orange juice chugging contest (at my suggestion -- but I didn't think they'd really do it).

I miss that kid.

9 months to go (SO freaky weird)!

September top 10...

  1. Catch Fire -- Joel Aldrich (listen to this one -- DO IT -- because my friend wrote it)
  2. Miss Me -- Andy Grammer
  3. A Team -- Ed Sheeran 
  4. One More Night -- Maroon 5
  5. Never Ever Getting Back Together -- Taylor Swift
  6. Sad -- Maroon 5
  7. If I Saved My Heart for You -- Carrie Underwood
  8. Good Girl -- Carrie Underwood
  9. Vision of Love -- Kris Allen
  10. Call Me Maybe -- Carly Rae Jepsen

Monday, October 1, 2012

i like America...

As an American Studies major, I think that stuff like this rocks (ah ha ha).

Sorry, George. It's just too late.