Monday, December 31, 2012

my 2012...

I survived 2012.

No, that's not an apocalypse joke (though I won't lie and say I didn't worry about it a little bit). It's actually a true statement.

This year has been hard. Lots of heartbreaks, lots of challenges, lots of new things to overcome. I lost several close friendships, began dealing with the pain left behind from abuse, watched my dad begin a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer, saw my sisters get hurt by boys and shattered dreams, tried to help a friend who had some awful stuff happen to her, was diagnosed with some of my own health problems, faced seemingly insurmountable challenges in school, changed jobs multiple times, met people with opposing perspectives that shook my world, moved out on my own for the first time, saw life-long dreams put on hold indefinitely, and, as always, wrestled with the darkness that comes from depression and anxiety. I've felt myself being molded and shaped into something new; that shaping and molding hurts.

This year has also been incredibly wonderful. There have been countless miracles, small and big. I gained greater closeness with the people who are my real friends, took steps necessary to heal, received the news that dad's cancer is in remission after only three months of treatment, watched my sisters band together against the unkindness of classmates, learned that tough love is sometimes necessary, humbled myself enough to go through treatments that have improved my health exponentially, pulled a shocking 3.9 GPA despite all of the difficulties, did well in all of the jobs I had and made connections for future opportunities, made wonderful new friends and new insight about life and people, gained greater independence from living as I desire, and, as always, still wrestle with the darkness that works its way into my mind and heart. I have been molded and shaped into something new; that shaping and molding has been worth every bit of pain -- I'm happier than I ever have been in my entire life.

I've done things I never would have done before. I'm taking chances, making mistakes, getting messy in life -- I even let the dishes sit in the sink overnight now, rather than staying up late to clean the entire house because one little thing is out of place. I'm living my life -- I'm not letting memories and fear live it for me.

I'm still scared. I'm taking risks that a week ago I vowed I would never do. I'm considering new, big, exciting, terrifying things. And, I like it.

2012 has been full of ups and downs -- the downs were hard. Really hard. I'm not perfect, and I'm not complete yet. There's still a lot of shaping and molding needed. But I've learned this year that fear really is the opposite of faith. With faith, anything can happen. Literally anything. Dads who are given two to three years to live can suddenly be faced with fifteen to twenty years after only three months of cancer treatment. Finances can suddenly fall into place perfectly, with just enough left to hold over until the next paycheck comes through. People who are complete strangers can, in one conversation, say exactly what was needed to help heal a broken heart. Family and friends can stay close and get closer, no matter what happens. And girls who have been damaged, inside and outside, by guys can find themselves swept off their feet by good men in a matter of days.

Miracles happen. Fun happens. And mid all of the tears and sorrows, laughter happens. It happens a lot more than we'd think, if we let it.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Guess where this girl will be tomorrow night?

His house. 

Because he invited me.

First New Year's Eve away from home.


My mother is going to kill me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

lore of the folk...

Yesterday I finished my first folklore collection project. Three days of sorting through computer files full of dates, names, and beliefs about different diseases, injuries, and ailments...voila. Complete.

I learned a lot of interesting things. Mostly what not to do. For example, one belief advised treating a burn by covering the affected area with turpentine and then holding the limb over a hot stove. Mmm...false. Turpentine is flammable. Pretty sure that's not going to help.

Or this one: to cure frostbite, stand barefoot in the snow. While snow can help warm up a frozen limb (because the snow is actually warmer than the icy skin and helps draw out the cold [thank you, Boy Scouts]), standing barefoot in the snow is a bit ridiculous.

Or how about eating a mouse to cure a toothache? I'm sure that's fool proof.

The really fun thing has been all of the Google searches that have led me to new, weird, and interesting bits of information regarding many of the "cures" and "treatments" I've been sifting through. Some actually work. Like ginger tea for menstrual cramps. Or raspberry tea for a stomachache. Who knew? Others don't work (see above). Such as vinegar on a sunburn (ow). The acid makes it worse.

Google is awesome.

Anyway, it was a long, rather boring process, but it's finished now. Yay.

However...that assignment was a bit preferable to the one I'm currently working on. Get this: my new project is all of the files containing folklore relating to love, courtship, marriage, and other such topics. Currently, I'm going through all of the beliefs about dating: what to do, what not to do, what to eat, what charms and incantations to use to get someone to fall in love with you. Not that I'd ever do that. Silly. And wouldn't work. I mean, after all...remember what happened with Tom Riddle and Merope Gaunt? Not happy.

Dating files. Advice from clear back in 1886.

Fitting, no?


Thursday, December 27, 2012

heaven help me...

Oh, boy.

He's adorable

I haven't had butterflies this badly in months. And it's odd, because we barely know each other. But he's adorable. And funny. And smart. And all of this other wonderful stuff that I don't know what to do with. Especially that smile. Good grief.

And on top of all of that, I've had hiccups for two hours. Nothing I've tried has worked. It's getting really annoying.


Monday, December 24, 2012


What do my sisters and I do on Christmas Eve?

I sit on my couch coaching them both through Order of the Phoenix levels on the Xbox 360, rolling my eyes as they get their characters stuck running in circles and laughing as they both shriek in panic when the red caps pop out of the ground and attack them in the Forbidden Forest. They have the time of their lives figuring out the game and squealing with fright as the Lego creatures come after them.

Seriously, though. Every time a red cap pops out of the dirt, they scream and jerk their whole bodies around while maneuvering their little Lego Luna and Harry.

It's the holidays at the House.

Happy Christmas, everybody.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

a taste of the outdoors...

I love the smell of pine trees. Which is one of the many reasons why I'm still glad that Chelsea and I got a real tree for Christmas.

First, we stopped by Mater and said hello. We just like him for his body. And then, we found our tree! Beautiful, isn't it?

All ready to go!

Happy Christmas from the girls in 83!

PS Thanks to Jeff for taking all of the pictures, for helping us get the tree standing up straight, and for helping tie it to the car.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I'm saying no.

No to butterflies.
No to dreams.
No to wishes.
No to one name playing in my head over and over again.
No to having one person being the first and last thought of my day.
No to blushing and giggling and everything else.

No, no, no.

Monday, December 17, 2012

holding my tongue...

Have you ever felt so angry that you wanted to break something? Smash something, demolish things into little tiny pieces. Make lots of noise, scream, curse, and shout at the top of your lungs. Let out all of the hurt and anger and sadness. Big and mean and scary -- bigger than ever.

Unfortunately, that's not an option. It's not healthy, and it's stupid.

What I wouldn't give to be able to tell the truth to someone. Especially the people who need to hear it. I wish I could just loose control -- give people a piece of my mind. Make them understand how awful I feel inside. I wish I could let it all go, loudly and irrationally.

Is it weird to want to be unkind? To say everything that's on your mind with no restraint or thought for another person's feelings?

Honestly. I have and always will try my hardest not to do that. It's immature and selfish. And it doesn't help anything, either. At all. 

I hate feeling so angry. I hate keeping so much secret, having no one to tell things to because there are things I can't say and shouldn't say. You know? Because if you can't say something nice, you shouldn't say anything at all. And what I want to say shouldn't be said. Ever. Not fair. Not kind. Not okay.

More sleep would be a good thing. More sleep, more fun, and more focus on the good things in life. Because there are a lot of good things in life. Many, many good things.

Proof, once again, that I am far from perfect, and that I have much to learn. Exciting thought, in some ways, that there is always something better ahead and that personal change is always an option, if you're willing to work at it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


We have a saying in the Writing Center that it's better to show readers through words than tell them. I'm just going to skip the words all together and provide physical evidence of what I did today.

To do list, you've been DONE. Mostly. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

no, I am not drunk...

Did you know that going without sleep for more than 16 hours impairs functioning in ways similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.08? Long periods of time without sleeping has the same side effects as being legally drunk.

According to these studies and statistics, I'm drunk. I never thought that would happen. But, after 34 hours without sleep (one hour of sleep last night due to the ER adventure and staying up to finish my last term paper), I think it's affecting me. Sleep deprived drunk.

And I'm not even 21 yet. Way to get the party started early.

ER, anyone?

At 10:00 tonight, I got a call from a friend informing me that another friend was in serious trouble.

So I called a different friend with a car, and we kindly forced the troubled friend into said car. And then drove to the emergency room. After which, we spent 30 minutes trying to get her out of the car and into the ER.

Finally, she agreed to come in. Very reluctantly. I pretty much pushed her across the parking lot.

At 1:00 this morning, Chelsea came and picked me up because the migraine I had this morning started coming back. And I have a 12 page paper to finish that is due at 8:00 this morning.

So. That's taken care of for now. Not the paper, but the friend in trouble.

Never taken a friend to the ER before.

Never pulled an all-nighter as a BYU student before, either (and school is out tomorrow...what?).

Never thought I'd like a Christmas song featuring C-Lee and the Muppets. NEVER.

Now to write 3 more pages. And maybe get some sleep. But after two 20 ounce bottles of Coke Zero, that might not be happening. We'll have to see.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

almost made it... the end of the semester without another migraine.

It's been liiiiiiiiiike...a month since the last one? And then BAM! 

Sneaky little devil. Was not expecting that. Was not expecting the migraine prevention medication to make things worse, either. I don't think I'll take it anymore...every time I've tried it, the headache is worse than if I stick with Coke and aspirin. But luckily things are looking up. The last hour has been a lot better. Hopefully it'll continue in that direction -- I've got a paper to write before tomorrow morning. Sorta snuck up on me.

Actually, it didn't sneak up on me. I just haven't wanted to write it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jack didn't build this house...

After a weekend of studying for finals and a Monday of one monstrous exam followed by studying for a second, I was worn out. So when Jeff and Chelsea called me and invited me to make gingerbread houses with them and Jeff's family, I didn't even think about saying no. To heck with studying! Let's have some fun!

Fun it was. Lots of fun! We came away with some graham cracker masterpieces, blistered fingers from a hot glue gun (at least in my case), and sugar overload because of all the candy that ended up in our mouths instead of on the architecture.

Chelsea made a beautiful Eiffel Tower, and I made a replica of my favorite building on BYU campus, the Hinckley Alumni Center.

Happy girls, happy houses, and Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

heaven forbid...

Resolved, if I am ever a college teacher/professor (ugh), things will go like this:

I will not be vague about what my students need to know for exams.
I will hold them accountable for the work/reading assignments by having discussion-based lectures.
I will not return papers/exams without any comments.
I will expect students' work to be their best, taking into consideration that students are human, not super heroes.
I will not insult them or treat them like children.
I will have accessible office hours, respond to emails, and provide detailed syllabi that I stick to, not change at whim.
I will not lecture them the whole class period.
I will give homework that is actually worth doing (granted, worthwhile is an opinion thing), with no hint at the term busy-work.
I will not be the stuffed-shirt, eagle-eyed professor who goes by Doctor wherever she goes, choosing instead to connect with my students and others on a person-to-person basis, because I am not my degree (particularly on my children's wedding invitations -- seriously?).
I will encourage higher thinking and incorporate many types of presentations because students learn differently and will enjoy learning something they love in a style they understand.
I will not be the professors I had this semester (or most of them). I will guarantee that.
I will be warm and approachable, helpful, yet demanding because I know students can and will do a good job if they know what is expected of them

It'll be like teaching Primary, except the students will be bigger and I can wear pants. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

finals weekend...

I'm dying.

Not literally dying, but metaphorically dying. As in my brain cannot seem to function and my eyes want to stay shut forever.

How is it possible for me to have so much to do, yet be so bored?

Honestly, I do not know how I'm going to retain all of this information. All of it is familiar because I discussed it (or listened to my professor drone for an hour every other day) in classes three times a week, but really. I don't know how I'll write good, solid mini essays on events/people/books when I am required to prepare for 41, but only need to know 10. So much information.

Not to mention that same professor, who I have two classes with, told my entire American Studies class that we are "terrible writers" and that "some of your essays are so bad that I just read through the first paragraph and wrote 'I quit' on the top, then gave you a C. If you'd spent time on your essays, and actually attempted to do a good job, I might have read all of it. But really -- it's not like you're freshmen. Really, just awful. Awful."

If I didn't need a good grade, I would write, "I read the first question and it was so bad that I realized I can't take this exam because I don't have enough time to actually attempt to do a good job. I quit."

Temptation. Plagues me to no end.

Friday, December 7, 2012


I was in bed for 12 hours.

Kid you not. I went to bed at 10:15 last night, and didn't get out again until 10:15 this morning. Sleeping pills are magic. When they work. And it for sure worked this time!

My first look in the mirror, however, was not magical. The face looked fine, the circles under my eyes a light gray color instead of the usual almost black. And the eyes were brighter, too. But the hair...

Good heavens. Now, I often wake up with a head of curls, because that's what happens when a girl has curly hair. This particular morning, though, was less pretty and/or cute curls, but a Medusa-like tangle of twisting, twining springs.

No way am I brushing that beast out. It'll frizz up like a Pomeranian in the Amazon.

Curly hair problems: it does what it wants.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

a little note...

Once upon a time, I woke up from an unexpected nap on a bench at school and found this note on my laptop. I don't know who it's from, but he or she is fantastic:

Then, one time this afternoon, I fell asleep at the tutor table during my shift. I awoke with a jolt from a rather graphic nightmare. Chloe, sitting next to me, asked if I was okay and kept shooting glances at me while I pretended things were fine -- the images were rather disturbing.

When I returned from a tutorial, I found this on my books:

The top half of the note says, "You can do it! One more week!"

There are a lot of nice people in this world. I'm lucky that I call some of them my friends (because I'm pretty sure the person who gave me the anonymous note is a friend -- I just don't know which one -- after all, whoever it was did write my name on the note!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

worst shift ever...

I do not exaggerate when I say that I had my three worst ever tutorials yesterday. All right in a row.

The first one was awful because a student came in who had a huge statistical analysis research paper due the next day at 5 p.m. She spoke nothing of the writing in the paper, and wanted me to evaluate the observational study she wanted to do that afternoon. I have a little bit of statistical knowledge, but nothing like what she wanted. Stats 121 was the bane of my existence last semester. I didn't know what to do, and I tried to help her as best I could. Plus, she was an international student from China, and she barely understood half of what I tried to explain. 

She was super stressed out about the paper, and kept saying she didn't get what I meant and that I wasn't understanding her assignment. Huh. Imagine that. I'm a writing tutor, not a stats TA! We didn't read any of her paper, and she wanted me to give her all of the answers for writing her thesis, saying "Write what you would say for me." No. Do you want me to lose my job? Because I don't want to.

Tutorial number two was only awful because of the subject material. The guy was great. He's a Women Studies minor, which surprised me so much that I actually stared at him, thinking it was a joke (there are a lot of good guys at BYU, but I find that many of them have a 'women are second class' mentality, even if they don't come right out and say it -- it's a subconscious cultural thing here). But he was serious. I was excited to work with him, until I read his thesis. It was an analysis of the impact that popular literature has on girls' perceptions of the ideal relationship, using the Twilight novels as the basis for his observations. 

I had to hold back tears the whole time, because I kept seeing myself in the paper. After what happened on Monday night -- I've been a bit of a nervous wreck (as my coworkers and room mate can attest to). His paper was really great because it did an excellent job of pointing out instances of abuse, male dominance, and how victims come to behave. But it was really hard to read -- he noticed and asked if I was okay. I sort of shrugged it off and just said that it all sounded familiar. The look on his face was so kind and compassionate. Worst tutorial ever -- not because of him, but because I could barely hold myself together. Mom said I should have given him my number -- yeah, right. Although he was really cute.

Third the worst. I kid you not, it was the worst tutorial ever. The lady who came in for help was probably in her mid-sixties, and she was the rudest, meanest person I have ever met at BYU. She brought in a 59 page paper and wanted me to do all of the citations for her, in Chicago format. I've never used Chicago before, and no one else in the Center uses it. We all use MLA or APA. When I told her that, she got so upset at me, and started bossing me around and telling me that I was unhelpful. "You don't know this format? Well, are you a writing tutor, or aren't you?" Um...yes. And last time I checked, you aren't, madam. 

After spending ten minutes trying to help with handouts, the Internet, and a manual, she handed me her 59 pages and told me to read it. I'm not supposed to read students' papers without them -- they read them aloud and I follow along. We're also not supposed to read all of long papers -- especially when we have a three hour wait (yep). When I told her those things, she snatched her paper from me and said, very loudly, "So you can't help me." I was so shocked that I just sat there, stuttering that yes, I could help, but that I had to follow the rules. Then she snorted and said, "So. You won't help me."

I was absolutely stunned. Of course I would help her, but I have to follow the policies and procedures of the Center. I even tried to explain to her that I had to be available to help other students, and I pointed at the line out the door. She just glared at me and said, "Will you help me or not?" I didn't know what to do at that point, and because she was older, I couldn't tell her off like I can a student. And so, for 60 minutes, I sat with her while she read her paper, criticizing me for all of my comments and telling me that I didn't get it. Duh, I didn't get it. She wouldn't tell me about the paper, shushing me when I asked her what the assignment was and saying, "I am reading." She wouldn't listen to anything I said, and if I so much as moved in my chair, she'd stop and glare at me, "You're not paying attention. Listen."

Dana and Chloe saved me. They were watching, and I saw out of the corner of my eye that they were just as stunned and unsure as I was. Eventually, Chloe came over and stopped the tutorial, pointing to the line of students needing help. I was so relieved; I'd been trying not to cry the whole time.

Chloe, Dana, and I have now developed a system of signaling each other if something like that ever happens again. Chloe taught us the ASL signs for "help me" and "do you need help." I'm going to memorize that for future semesters.

Good thing today is not yesterday. Just a bit nervous...the lady is coming back today. I swear, if it's my turn to tutor, I'll fake sick or slip Chloe a note to pull the fire alarm at 20 minutes into the tutorial. Not that we'd ever pull the fire alarm. But it is often a muttered sentiment as one of us leaves the table to help particularly infamous writing students. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

sometimes I'm dumb...

I've often imagined what it would be like if confronted with my worst nightmare. Usually I end up heroic, speaking eloquently and powerfully, standing up for myself and leaving with a firm, final statement that ends everything and turning on my heel, leaving the room with a metaphorical bang.

In reality, I ran as though chased by a horde of Mordor orcs and hid in a bathroom stall, sobbing. And then sobbing at home on my couch with my room mate and friend. And then crying in my room. And then staying up all night because I couldn't sleep.

My nightmares came alive last night -- and it was awful. More awful than I imagined. I was pathetic. I panicked and ran like a child. I cried and cried, so hard that strangers stopped me and tried to help.

I was so stupid. So stupid, stubborn -- Miss Independent, thinking she'd be fine on her own, that no way would anything happen, that I'd be left alone. So many people, odds in my favor. Psh. I'm an idiot

I wish I was braver. I wish I'd been able to stand up for myself and tell it like it really is. To end it, once and for all.

But I couldn't do it. Chelsea and Kenna told me that running was good, and that it was even brave, because I got out of the situation. They were so nice to me last night, letting me cry and sitting with me. They even let me say what I was really thinking, and they didn't judge me for it (I used a couple of words that I save only for certain occasions -- funnily enough, I don't feel guilty). 

I want to sleep. I'm so tired -- this day has been so, so hard. Thank goodness it's almost over. But, I'm glad to be at school. 

Nobody can find me here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

salt of the oats...

After two minutes of wondering where I went wrong with breakfast, my taste buds figured it out.

I put too much salt in the oatmeal.

Now I have a joke for you:

How much brown sugar does it take to eliminate the taste of salt in oatmeal?
When I find out, I'll let you know -- if I don't end up in a sugar coma first.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November top 10...

  1. Who You Are -- Jessie J
  2. Catch Fire -- Joel Aldrich
  3. Cryin' on a Suitcase -- Casey James
  4. Too Close to Love You -- Alex Clare
  5. Try -- P!nk
  6. Between the Raindrops -- Lifehouse ft. Natasha Beddingfield
  7. Unapologize -- Carrie Underwood
  8. One More Night -- Maroon 5
  9. Once Upon Another Time -- Sara Bareilles
  10. Let it Rain -- David Nail

clearly I am not left handed...

If I had a camera, I would take a picture and show you, BUT seeing as mine has been commandeered once again by my mother, I will just tell you about it.

I finished another paper tonight (and Jeff was kind enough to read it, as was my dad, both of whom said that it looks good -- banking on them being right). Chelsea, Jeff, and I turned on the TV because we can, and then we realized that it was three hours earlier than we thought it was: 7pm instead of 10pm. Chelsea and I had time to do our nails!

Given that it is now December (and pouring rain outside so hard that my dog started barking), I decided to paint my nails red. And then...I got creative.

'Tis the season, right?

Let's just say that the green stripes on my left hand look much better than the green stripes on my right hand.

If you can even call those stripes. Good grief. When I get my camera back (tomorrow -- or else), I may take a photo and show you. Perhaps you'll think it as funny as I do. And by funny, I mean funny looking.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Warning: ranting follows.



There is an incredible amount of hyper energy coursing through me, and none of that energy is applicable for writing papers. Nor is it any good for cleaning. Running through my  house chasing my dog keeps happening, and Kala thinks I'm crazy.

I just want to scream at the top of my lungs.


Virtual scream. Won't scare my dog and won't alarm the neighbors (even though they have no trouble screaming at each other late at night -- makes me glad that Chelsea and I solve conflicts in a calm, rational manner -- then again, we've never really had a conflict).

The Big Bang Theory is ruining me, by the way. Or, more like my new knowledge and mastery of the remote control has ruined me. I'm no longer intimidated by all of the buttons. I wish I had a time machine because I could go back and stop myself from learning how to use the remote. But...if I didn't know how to use the remote, I wouldn't have watched the Big Bang episode about the time machine, and then I wouldn't have had the idea, so I wouldn't have been able to think of getting a time machine to go back in time and stop myself from learning how to use the remote, meaning I'd be in the same quandary I'm currently in, therefore no paradigm alteration would occur anyway.

Good grief. I spend too much time with Sheldon.