Thursday, November 27, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I love my house. It's very cozy (which is one of those polite ways of saying really, really little; then again, there are three people in my family. Little works.) I just love being here. And since I've been into making lists lately, here's my list of reasons I love my little house in the country:

-the SMELL! I walk in to my house & it smells like apples (we have boxes full of apples from our orchard all over our basement), my mom's lotion (Amber Romance), and a tiny hint of woodsmoke from our fireplace. Today it smells especially amazing; there's a blackberry pie in the oven, we're working on stuffing & turkey, cranberry sauce, and orange rolls. It. Is. GLORIOUS.

-my Mommy. She loves me. She's funny. She makes yummy food & lets me sleep in & makes me laugh. We cook yummy things together.

-my Daddy. He's hilarious. He's decided that he wants Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" to be played at his funeral-not that he's planning that anytime soon. Maybe he's got a slightly twisted sense of humor, but I love him. He really gets into Thanksgiving - he's been reading up on turkey prep techniques for weeks. Who knew that gravy was so scientific?

-the music. As you may have noticed if you have spent any time around me, I'm a big fan of music. I have crazy tastes all over the billboard charts. It's genetic. I've spent the last few days blasting everything from Jimmy Eat World to Eva Cassidy, Michael Bublé to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Don McLean to Flight of the Conchords, Switchfoot to Sara Barielles, Eve 6 to Colors, & about 100 other bands. & my parents like it just as much as I do. We all sing along, even dance on occasion. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

- my friends. I have so many wonderful friends that love & support me & make me laugh - mostly my Kristen Elise. I don't know if she realizes how much I love her - she's such an awesome friend & she just blends right in to the crazy Holloway family dynamic. & loves it. She puts up with my sappiness & picture love, wrestles with me, and speaks my language. Seriously - she understands all the weird phrases and quotations. It's amazing.

-the stars. I cannot even express the sorrow that the sky in Provo infuses in my soul. It's so dull. I LOVE the stars here. I practically had a seizure driving home late Tuesday night when I realized I was out of the light pollution & spent the next hour with my forehead pressed up against the window in awe. The stars here make me feel so small, and yet so special. I know that sounds odd, but it's an amazing feeling to realize that amid all of THAT out there, my Father in Heaven, "who rules among the stars," still cares about that minuscule speck labeled "Kelsey."

-Love. I feel surrounded by love here. My bright green-walled bedroom with white eyelet curtains & pale blue bedding = Love. Kristen bringing me pictures, tackling me, and making slug breadsticks and pumpkin pie = Love. My daddy shaking his non-existent butt & singing along with the Chili Peppers at the top of his lungs = Love. My mommy hugging me, speaking with me in funny accents, and making all sorts of amazing delicious things = Love. This house = love. Having this Thanksgiving together when so many years ago we thought it would be our last = love. All of my photographs plastered on my closet door of so many memories = Love. All the music I grew up listening to = Love.

Being here with the people I love, surrounded by good smells and warm memories - I don't know if I could be any happier at this moment or more grateful for my little family in our little house in (well, 8 miles outside of) our little hick town.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just Wonderin'

I think that BYU is a bit...peculiar. =) Here is my short list of reasons why:

-People randomly burst into song on campus all the time, especially around the Holidays.

-Tons of people sleep on campus (including myself). Apparently this is not normal college behavior?

-A lot of the students are married/have kids.

-Disney music is totally cool.

-The library is full of Christmas decorations. There are Christmas Trees on every floor, garlands on the banisters, and random piles of wrapped packages in various locations. Will someone please tell me if this is normal? I have no idea. I kinda don't think so.

-People tend to smile.

I think I like all of this weirdness, but it is a bit different. But who ever wanted to be exactly like everyone else? I think it's awesome. Slightly ridiculous at times, (c'mon people, let's at least wait until after Thanksgiving to play Christmas music constantly) but it keeps life interesting. & happy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life is Beautiful

I find myself saying this a lot. I know, I know, it's very cliché, but it expresses my sentiments very well. I don't mean to say that life is always rosy or that every day is happy. That's not it at all. I think we learn to take the good with the bad, the joy with the sorrow, the laughter with the tears. Opposition in all things. But I feel like that balance of positive and negative is really crucial. It always seems like the little things that I probably wouldn't even think about are just absolutely wonderful when I'm dealing with something not-so-beautiful.

There are so many kinds of beautiful. There's the natural beauty of a tree, the human beauty of a pretty face, the pure beauty of a newborn baby, the affecting beauty of a piece of art, the beauty in the movement of a dancer. And then there's a sort of heart wrenching beauty of something so sweet, so perfect, and so amazing that you want to somehow be connected with it, to reach out and touch it, so see if you could somehow affect such beauty. I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes something lovely and why we all like such different things. What would the world be like if we all liked the same things? Boring? Perfect? Peaceful? Contentious?

So, this post doesn't really have a purpose or any deep meaning, it's just me rambling a bit. But on occasion I like to fling my ramblings out into the void, just to see if they come back or hit anyone along the way. *fling!*

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Best of Bad News

Isn't it funny how sometimes even bad news can seem totally
wonderful? I was the blessed recipient of such news yesterday
- my daddy's cancer is back, but it's the same cancer it always
has been. Now, that sounds like awful news, but we were
expecting SO much worse. This truly is such a blessing and I
want to send my thanks and love out to all of you who were
pulling for him and my family all over the world, whether in
India, Chile, the East Coast, or right here in Utah. There is
power in prayer. This truly is miraculous news. I am so happy,
so grateful, so relieved, and very hopeful. My mother wrote a
great letter to many of our close friends and family that I'd like
to share.

Dear Friends and Family,

We have been so blessed by your love and prayers. We have felt
your loving arms around us in spirit and in person and we so
appreciate it.

We saw Ken's doctor today for the final results on the tumor biopsy.
Ken and I were very nervous as it has been a busy and stressful
couple of weeks. We received the "BEST OF THE BAD NEWS" to
quote Dr. Kushner. (Ahem - no, that was me that said that.) The
lymphoma has NOT changed into an aggressive type (as was
anticipated) and Ken will be treated with the same type of chemo
as he had 3 years ago. This treatment is much more tolerable
and makes his own immune system fight off the cancer. Ken will
receive 4 treatments, 1 each week the next four weeks with the
first starting tomorrow morning. It is a 6 to 8 hour infusion starting
at 7:30am. This news from Dr. Kushner today was quite different
from what he told us 2 long weeks ago. He initially felt very
strongly that the lymphoma had changed and had laid out a whole
different plan for Ken which included going through bone marrow
transplant. So today’s news was, we feel another miracle in our
lives (I hope we haven't used up our allotment). We still have
challenges ahead with the treatment that Ken will receive but we
feel greatly relieved not to be facing the BIG stuff.

So with this news we send our heartfelt gratitude to each of you
for your prayers, love and concern. We also recognize the blessings
of the Lord's hand in each step that we have been through now
and through the years. We are truly blessed and have learned to
greet each day with thankful hearts.

With so much love and thanks,
Corrie & Ken

There is always a silver lining. Daddy will be done with chemo
before Christmas. I think that, and still having him here with me
after all these years, is the greatest gift I could have this year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cutlery in the Road

Sometimes we come to a fork in the road. Other times we don't realize that something significant has changed until we look back and see the new direction our lives have taken. Sometimes the decisions we think are huge don't actually make that much difference. And sometimes a lot of forks seem to present themselves at once.

Today is one of those days.

I feel like I've got a whole pile of cutlery in my road right now. This isn't necessarily a bad thing...just a lot of decisions to be made - big, small, school, life, love, family, serious, and silly. Wa-bam. I was looking for a bit of change, a few new opportunities, a new direction - a new fork. I got the whole utensil drawer. And a can opener.

Today is decision day. My daddy has an appointment with his doctor this afternoon to find out what sort of cancer monster we're dealing with in Round 3. If it's the same lymphoma that he's had in the past, he'll probably start an amazing new type of chemo, the same type of treatment he did in Round 2, today or tomorrow. It won't be fun, but it will be better than our other option. If the cancer has morphed into a more aggressive lymphoma, then he'll yet again experience the joy of CHOP chemo. And when I say joy...well, let's just say I'm being a bit sarcastic.

Knives, forks, spoons - everything is out on the table today. I've been a lot more bold than I usually am in many ways. I'm also feeling very blessed, despite all of these decisions. Just the fact that I'm making all of these choices shows me how many totally incredible opportunities and experiences I've had in my life. I have wonderful friends who care about me. I find comfort (see verse 18) in the scriptures (verse 12) and am soothed by wise words in the lyrics of my favorite songs. I am also having a lot of fun with hyper-link. Lots of good stuff. If you haven't heard these songs, do yourself a favor and give them a listen. ("Hope for the Hopeless" should be playing now - see playlist at the bottom of the page.)

I'm staying positive and looking forward with hope. And if that's the best I can do right now, I feel like that's enough.

Also for your viewing pleasure, slightly amusing description of monoclonal antibodies - like the type used in the first treatment option.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hope & Comfort

I'm one of those people who really like to mark up their scriptures. You know the people I'm talking about - their scriptures are covered in that signature "LDS Scripture Marker" red. I think I've inherited this tendency from my daddy, whose scriptures are virtually unreadable in some places. I take it even a step further. My scriptures look like a multi-colored quilt and every color has an assigned meaning or time period. (I'm currently in my blue period.) I'm constantly writing notes and important happenings in the margins. Some of my friends think so much color is sacrilegious. I think it's awesome - I love looking back and seeing what scriptures meant a lot to me three years ago or where I was reading when so-and-so got their mission call.

Why the discussion of my polychromatic study habits? Well, there's one scripture in John that has reached the unreadable level, but it doesn't much matter, because I have it memorized. It has been one of my very favorite scriptures for a very long time. In it, Jesus Christ simply states, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you."

When I was younger, this scripture brought tranquility when I woke from a nightmare in the middle of the night. When I was a little bit older, it meant peace when girls were mean and I was lonely in those awkward junior high years. During my sophomore year of high school, it took on yet another meaning when my daddy suffered a relapse of his Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I thought I was strong enough to deal with it on my own, and I hated to have people watch me struggle, so I told almost no one. I was really good at putting on a happy face, but I wanted so badly for someone to call me out, to realize that I was fighting for control of my life and my emotions...and loosing. But even then, I found comfort in the scriptures, knowing that I had an Older Brother and Savior who loves me deeply and personally. "I will not leave you..." That intimate phrase seemed directed right for me - my Savior was there by my side when I needed Him most.

And so that brings us to today. Commence Round Three. That little Lymphoma monster that has been sleeping for four years is back. We're still playing the waiting game with test results right now, but the tentative plan is for Daddy to start chemo within the next week. However, the tests that he's been doing for the past 2 weeks have given us many things to be grateful for and there are many treatment options that weren't available just four years ago. (For my good friends that are hearing about this for the first time through blog, I am so very sorry. I'm still not very good at telling people.)

In the last round, I refused to let my friends in when so many of them would have been more than happy to help me through a hard time. But I'm not going to hide behind a facade this time. Sometimes I can't keep my happy face, but I always keep my faith. I believe in the power of prayer. Already we've seen so many miracles and there is much to be grateful for. But my daddy could use your prayers and your positive thoughts.

Also, I know there are many others out there who are fighting similar battles. I'd like to help. I've been through this a few times now - sometimes I handle it really well, sometimes I don't. But I've learned a few things that I'd like to share:
-you can choose to be happy -your attitude is totally up to you
-there is always a silver lining

-hugs and friends are wonderful

-just knowing that people are pulling for you is very powerful

-miracles happen everyday
-laughter is the best medicine

-happiness can be shared

-Our Savior loves each of us and knows how to help us through any trial

-prayers are often answered through people - let them in!
Well, friends, now you know. A few of my blogs have already been about all of this, and I'm sure that many in the future will be, just so you know where I'm coming from. I love you all. Thank you for your support and prayers. Be happy - life is beautiful.

Monday, November 10, 2008

False Advertising Much?

I saw this ad earlier this morning & I just had to laugh.

From Flab to Fab in 2 Weeks!

Sounds good & it's gotta work, right? I mean, they've got pictures!

But a change in skin color a typical reaction to this diet?


Beware of advertising, people. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Can make for a good dose of humor, though.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Mama Told Me...

"You can either laugh or cry." Here's my pro-laughter list:

-crying makes my eyes itchy and red.

-crying also makes my nose run.

-laughing is good for your heart.

-laughter is contagious, in a good kind of way that brightens everyone's day and occasionally incapacitates those around you in brief moments of pure hilarity.

-laughter burns calories.

-therefore, laughter allows me to eat more cookies/brownies/batter thereof.

I choose to laugh.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ponderings = New Random Blog Post

If you meander over to the right hand side of your screen, you'll see a list of blogs I love. Reading all of your posts makes me excessively happy and occasionally ponderous. So here are some random thoughts that I'd like to send out into the void.

-I have a wonderful family full of love. They make life rich and are always there through hard times. I love you all.

-I have really boring hair. I never do anything exciting to it. So...what does that way about me? Is my personality stagnant? Goodness, I sure hope not. Maybe it shows that I am a steady person, content with my surrounds and the appearance of my head. Maybe it shows that I'm a little afraid of taking risks and making long term commitments; I'd rather release my inner ADD through music. Maybe my affection for my long locks tells everyone that I'm a tad old-fashioned as well as part hippie. Anyone wanna help me out here?

- If - holy crap, that's now three people that have called me in the last 15 minutes. Wow, I must be loved. ;D Sorry, y'all, I'm in the library - shhh zone. But thanks for the cheerful messages!

-If you are what you eat, I must be spicy. It seems like I put salsa on everything these days, justifying this picante addiction with this rational: Salsa is made up of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers and is therefore, a vegetable. Since we have established that salsa is a vegetable, and everyone knows that vegetables are good for you, salsa is therefore good for me. I must also be relatively high in carbohydrates, as I mostly eat cereal, sandwiches, beans, rice, baked potatoes, and pasta (with salsa on everything but the cereal). I also must be a savory character, as I put salt on everything, even, on occasion, toast.

-I have a dilemma: I really want to go to this absolutely amazing concert (ft. Secondhand Serenade & Cute Is What We Aim For - two of my favorites!)... but it's the night before Thanksgiving. I want to get home ASAP... but I'm not leaving Provo until Wednesday afternoon... it would just be a few more hours...decisions, decisions.

Alrighty, well, that's enough rambling for this evening.

Keep your smile.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proposition 8

I'm usually not one for political bashing and I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been the most adamant follower of the recent election or the debate of Proposition 8 in California.


I was reading a few news stories this morning and tripped on to a few websites that appalled me. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon Church) has been brutally slandered by the campaign against Prop 8. A commercial has been aired that show two LDS missionaries breaking into the house of a lesbian couple, taking away their rings, and shredding their marriage license. Where do you people come up with this stuff?! NOTHING could be further from the truth. The LDS Church does not support gay marriage, but this is just ridiculous.

These hateful attacks are just that - pure hate. We have shown respect for those we disagree with, and they have returned that respect with lies, false accusations, and slander. Talk about intolerance.

How could there be goodness in a movement fueled by so much hate? I will freely admit, the LDS Church isn't free from problems. It is a massive religious organization run by human beings with human faults. Leaders make mistakes. People do terrible things. But the poor choices of a few Mormons does NOT make the entire Church evil! We have our flaws, but that is what makes us human. I'm sure that I could find criminal cases involving lesbians, but I'm not going to pin that on the entire gay community.

Let's show a little respect for each other. We can disagree without such hate and cruelty. As I learned in LDS Primary as a child, "Kindness Begins with Me."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sometimes It Rains

I've had a lot to think about on this rainy day. I love rain. I makes me pensive, but in a good way. Rain is oddly comforting, especially today. It makes me want to curl up with a comfy blanket and a good book, or maybe cozy up with a friend for a reflective chat, or even just lie on my bed, stare out at the clouds, and let my mind drift where ever it will.

Today I'm drifting around slightly melancholy thoughts. I think I'm headed toward some rainy days in my life right now. Just like the rain, it makes me introspective. The ways of the world seem a little less important than they did yesterday when the sun was shining and the news was blaring about the upcoming election.

But still, as I look up at the cloudy sky, I see a glimpse of blue. That little speck of blue has been growing for the last few minutes and I think that the sun will be making a cameo appearance any time now. Even behind the clouds, there are always blue skies. Which brings me to my theme song for the week, "Why Worry?" courtesy of the wonderful 80s band Dire Straits.

Baby I see this world has made you sad
Some people can be bad
The things they do, the things they say

But baby I'll wipe away those bitter tears

I'll chase away those restless fears

That turn your blue skies into grey

Why worry, there should be laughter after pain

There should be sunshine after rain

These things have always been the same

So why worry now?

Baby when I get down I turn to you

And you make sense of what I do

I know it isn't hard to say

But baby just when this world seems mean and cold

Our love comes shining red and gold

And the rest is pushed away

Why worry, there should be laughter after pain
There should be sunshine after rain

These things have always been the same

So why worry now?

I'm hopeful. I'm strong. I'm okay with rainy days.

Plus - the rain gives me the chance to show off my fabulously girly new umbrella. It has polka dots & a ruffle.

Bring on the rain.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All Better

Cley was able to leave the hospital and go home yesterday. Hopefully he'll be back to his chipper little self soon!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Little Cley-Man

My little man at our big family Christmas Party last year.

Cley is my buddy. He is my cousin Tiff's little boy and pretty much the cutest thing ever. But he's sick right now. His little belly has been very mad for a few days, so he's now in the hospital here in Provo. He's been on my mind and in my prayers a lot lately.

Get well, soon, Cley-Man! I love you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I've had quite a few comments on my "Going Under?" post, both on facebook & on my blog, so I wanted to write a follow up on a slightly brighter note, although I did not mean that post to seem melancholy.(if you're a facebook follower, please check out the real deal -

I loved reading all of your comments, and I am so glad that I have so many awesome friends, but I just wanted to give a little clarification: I'm really incredibly happy! A few of you seemed a bit worried about me - don't be. Life is good. In fact, life is GREAT. Life is crazy, insane, busy, and slightly sleep deprived, but I'm having the time of my life. *hums that great song from the soundtrack of original Dirty Dancing - my mom still has that tape stashed under her bed*

Keep your smile. There is something beautiful in every single day, some days you just have to look for it. Today isn't one of those days for me. Today was one of those mornings when you just wake up happy and things only get better.

Here is my list of top ten reasons for being deliciously happy:
1- I have great room mates. They love me a lot. We have a great quote wall of endless joy and amusement.

2- I love my classes, even if they keep me up studying past midnight. I think I have the most interesting/amazing/fascinating/cool/random/useful, yes useful! major ever. I could keep slashing for ages, but I'll restrain. I've decided that when people ask me what I'm going to do with a Major in Humanities w/ English Emph. & a Minor in Editing, I'll say, "I'm going to be awesome, brilliantly knowledgeable, teach my children to love the arts, and be totally content." If they ask me how I want to make money, well, that's just entirely different. (& I know a few answers to that question too.)

3- I recently discovered that you can fit 4 roommates into one XL Monopoly shirt. 4 roomies + one shirt + a lotta love = best midnight photoshoot EVER!
Sadly, Jess was asleep. :(
4-The sky is a gorgeous shade of blue and the leaves are gorgeous in their yellow and red glory.

5- I have a Savior who loves me and cares for me individually, who answers prayers and comforts me, whether I'm bothered by grades, illness, sadness, silly boy crap, or worrying about my family. Doesn't matter. He is always there for me, I just have to let Him in.

6- I celebrated my Halloween with my best friends as almost the entire cast of Peter Pan & Jason Bourne/James Bond, 'cause famous literary characters like ourselves need someone with two itty bitty toy handguns to protect us.Jas. Hook(Jason), Smee(Sae), Peter Pan(Carrie), Tiger Lily(Jess), & Wendy(me!) -
Not pictured - Bodyguard/Jason Bourne/James Bond (Michael)

7- There is a BYU Hockey game tonight versus the evil university of utah. (so bad it doesn't even deserve proper noun status)

8- I have goodly parents who love me so much it's ridiculous.

9- I slept in this morning. yum.

10- YOU! You make me deliciously happy because you are reading my blog!

Have an absolutely glorious day!

(I think I'm going to go buy the soundtrack from Dirty Dancing now - rockin' awesome combination of eighties slow jams and sixties pop. So good.)