Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Sounds

This post kinda no longer applies... cause my blog is now featuring my Christmas Playlist 2009 for the rest of December. But you can listen to the other playlist here.

I've been on a new music kick lately, changing up some things, putting away some old playlist that were played to often, and looking for something new.

This first song goes out to Martha, who is the best psychiatrist ever. & she's really cool.
I look bald in this picture. I swear I'm not. This was like the second time I saw Martha. Already, there was a spark of destiny.

The second song is... strange. But I kinda love it... in a strange way.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Peace Unto Your Hearts

Author's Note: I wrote this essay for a religion class at Brigham Young University. It's really really really long. But I felt like it was worth sharing, so here 'tis.
At some point in our lives, I think each of us have felt lost or bewildered by the decisions we face. Confusion, uncertainty, and fear creep in and make us wonder if we are heading in the right direction. Everyday we make decisions, some big, some small. Often we do not even realize how the decisions we make that may seem small can greatly affect us. When facing all these choices, how can we gain guidance and direction from our Lord?

This question has often been on my mind during the past few months. I have recently realized that as a junior at Brigham Young University, I am facing many big “grown-up” decisions. Between deciding if I should apply for an internship, go on a study abroad, spend my summer in India working for a non-profit organization, I have had a lot of questions to face. Ending a happy relationship, trying to get back into the dating game, and starting to think about putting in my mission papers have only added to my feelings of uncertainty and my need for the Lord’s guidance. We have been promised that if we keep our covenants, we “have every right to a positive outlook on this life and on the next.”1

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we find many examples of the Lord explicitly and purposefully guiding the prophet Joseph Smith and the many others who were vital in building the foundation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As these great men and women faced new challenges and questions, the Lord blessed them with guidance. The founders of the Church truly were taught “line upon line, and precept upon precept…” (D&C 98:12). As they moved forward, reestablished the Church, and delved deeper into doctrine, they were taught and guided by Heavenly Father and our Savior. By searching the Doctrine and Covenants and the teachings of prophets, apostles, and other wise scholars, we can better understand the ways in which Joseph and his companions received the direction that they needed and emulate their example.

In D&C 112:10 we are instructed, “Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers.” I believe that this instruction to be humble requires two steps. First, we must humbly acknowledge that we need the Lord’s guidance and direction in our lives. We must seek his counsel through studying the scriptures and the teachings of modern prophets as well as offering prayers in faith. Second, we must display the humility to accept the direction that we have received. This second part is something that I have greatly struggled with as I have received answers that I am not ready to accept. I now recognize that I was lacking in faith like Martin Harris and, to some extent, “set[ting] as naught the counsels of God” (D&C 3:13). When we repeatedly disregard the guidance the Lord has given us and return to him with the same question, He allows us to make our own decision. “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’ ” 2

We must remember that the Lord will not make our decision for us. We must first “study it out in [our] mind[s], then [we] must ask if it be right” (D&C 9:8). Once we have carefully considered the matter and come to a conclusion, we should ask our Father in Heaven to confirm our decision. “Revelation is an active, not a passive, process requiring a combination of spiritual sensitivity and intellectual exertion.”3 Bruce R. McConkie further states, “It is not, never has been, and never will be the design and purpose of the Lord—however much we seek him in prayer—to answer all our problems and concerns without struggle and effort on our part.” 4

At times, it seems difficult to separate our thoughts and feelings from the impressions and directions given to us by the Lord. Fortunately, we can learn much from the experience of Oliver Cowdery as he sought guidance from the Lord, who said, “Behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart…” (D&C 8:2). Robinson and Garrett give further illumination:
The Lord works with both systems—the mind—our intellect—and the heart, our feelings… Revelation is neither emotion devoid of sense nor intellect without feeling, but a combination of both faculties working together in harmony. Because the Holy Ghost is a revelator, his presence will enlighten the mind; no truly spiritual exercise can ever be “mindless.” The Holy Ghost, however, dwells not in our mind, but in our heart—we will feel his influence rather than deduce it. While the Holy Ghost speaks to our minds, he speaks from our hearts. 5
Personal Revelation does not come separately to the heart or mind but to both simultaneously. We receive intellectual enlightenment and guidance and feel a sense of peace. Again, we can learn from the words of the Lord to Oliver in Section 6, “Cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart…Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?” (D&C 6:22-23) Furthermore, “There is no surer testimony than that of the Spirit of God.” 6

Conversely, our prayers are not always answered by a confirmation. When discussing personal revelation, we often hear the term “stupor of thought.” But what does that mean? The Oxford American Dictionary defines a stupor as “a state of near-unconsciousness…” But a spiritual stupor is “a sense of anxiety and being uncomfortable, not being able to relax with the decision.”7 The Lord does not always give a negative answer by a stupor of thought.8 Sometimes we may not receive any answer immediately. We must cultivate patience and faith, as instructed by Elder Scott.
Have patience as you [perfect] your ability to be led by the Spirit…Sometimes the impressions are just general feelings. Sometimes the direction comes so clearly and so unmistakably that it can be written down…I bear solemn witness that as you pray with all the fervor of your soul with humility and gratitude, you can learn to be consistently guided by the Holy Spirit in all aspects of your life…the Savior can guide you to resolve challenges of life and enjoy great peace and happiness. 9
When we feel like our prayers have gone unanswered, we must keep our faith strong and believe that the Lord will guide us. “Doubt not, Fear not” (D&C 6:36).

At times I have found myself on my knees begging for an answer that did not come. In those moments, it is easy to feel discouraged, alone, or even forsaken. But I know that even when the answers do not come in the way we expect or the way we would like, our Father in Heaven never forsakes us. “Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.”10 Our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to find happiness. When we have made a decision and turn to Him in faith and humility, He will guide us as he guided the young prophet Joseph and the first leaders of the Church.

Works Cited
1- Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine & Covenants. 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000) 2: 245
2- C.S. Lewis. 2.
3-Steven C. Harper. Making Sense of the Doctrine & Covenants. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company. 2008. 45.
4- Bruce R. McConkie. “Why the Lord Ordained Prayer,” Ensign January 1976. 7.
5- Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine & Covenants. 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000) 1: 62-63.
6- Hyrum M. Smith, The Doctrine and Covenants, Revised Edition. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1950). 37.
7- David Walch. “Joseph Smith Lecture” Devotional address at BYU-Hawaii. 21 March, 2002.
8- Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine & Covenants. 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000) 1: 67.
9- Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign November 2009. 9.
10- Deiter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign November 2009. 21-24.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Internet is Amusing

I have a new favorite tech trick - taking screen shots of the funny or wise things I find on the internet. Okay, so it's actually not that tricky... but I just figured out how to do it a few months ago, & I still think it's cool.

Anywho, for your viewing/procrastinating pleasure, here are some of the latest & greatest I have found. This is so ridiculously true. Watching a chick flick when you're lonely is like eating a chocolate kiss when you're starving - it makes you feel better for about 3.6 seconds, then you realize how much you're missing out on.
The above was on my facebook... I'm not really sure why I find this so amusing; perhaps it's the juxtaposition of an ad about black men & an ad about Michael Jackson. Yes, the juxtaposition.

I just like this rather a lot.People, unfortunately, do not usually take well to graphing.
I really do believe there are many girls out there who now believe that their problem isn't finding the right guy, but rather finding the right part-human mythological creature.

Oh, Dr. Seuss. He really did say so many wise things. Like "fish wish dish!" (Also - what was he a Doctor of?)
This cartoon is actually based on a true story- the story of the way Jess' alarm clock has behaved since daylight savings time. It's possessed.
Yes, Google, you are right, I'm pretty sure Edgar Allan Poe used "the color fred" as a metaphor all the time.

And last, but definitely not least:

If I have to look like this to qualify for a Pell Grant, you can keep your free money. woosh.

In case you can't see the expression/disturbingness of this guy's face, here's a close up. My appologies to your eyes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I will write a blog on the topic of choice of whoever becomes my next follower. I don't care if it's mashed potatoes or belly button lint.

I've been hovering at 24 for far too long.

& I want to exercise my random skillsssss.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Everybody gets distracted & lately I've needed a few things to keep my mind occupied. Here are some of my favorite anti-study/think things:

- So, I've been reading my blog from last November and it's been a good reminder of how much I have been blessed. I think I did some of my best writing then, probably because my focus wasn't just me. Also, *this* is just really amusing... at least, to me it is.

- The new John Mayer album, Battle Studies, is just amazing. Thank you, Mr. Mayer, for writing my what my soul is feeling. (You're currently listening to one of my favorite new tracks; there will be more as they become available.)

- We used this Dave Barry article as an example in my grammar class today. You might not want to read it with your mouth full, for various reasons.

- I adore Kazooisms - it makes me pray that I will have witty and amusing children so I can blog about their awesomeness.

And my fellow bloggers (see blog roll -> thataway) - many of us were actually together, in person, last night, and what did we end up talking about? Our blogs. And how they say a lot about our personalities. It's kinda shocking how transparent we all are when we just thought we were blogging...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just an Observation

For those of you out there who have started wearing tights or leggings instead of jeans, just in case you haven't noticed

It is winter. (See the snow on the mountains?)

You are in Utah. And...



I don't care if you have super toasty boots with those little fluff balls dangling off the sides. You cannot possibly be warm.

Please go home & try again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Courage to Let Go

If you've talked to me at all in the past few months, you probably already know that I'm taking Beginning Gymnastics here at BYU. Despite the bruises and my tragic inability to bend in half backwards, it's quite possibly my favorite class. I thought I'd learn how to do flips and handstands. But I've learned so much more than that.

I now have a lot of experience with falling. Falling hard. I've landed on my face, my back, my butt, my shins, my right shoulder, my pride, and, on rare occasion, my feet. But I've learned something very important - you can't go into something halfheartedly. If you try to do a vault "gently," you just end up skidding across the vault table on your stomach and planting your face in the mat. Trust me. I have done this. You have to gather your courage and go for it all the way. You run, you jump, you fly, and you stick the landing. (sometimes) If you fail abysmally, well, at least you know you gave it your all. And the bruises are impressive testimony to your epic nature.

Then there are bars.

In my class, we do this thing called a death drop, where you sit on the high bar with your body straight, then slowly lean backwards until you're almost upside down, then push off, flip through the air, and land in the foam pit below.

When you're sitting on that 1.5 inch bar in mid air with 10 feet of nothingness between you and the squishy safety of the blue foam pit, nothing feels right about letting go of the strong bar that your hands have been anchored to. You feel like if you just hang on a bit longer, postponing that moment when you drop, somehow it will make the fall shorter and the landing softer. But the longer you cling to the bar, the weaker you get. It only gets harder to lean back and start the rotation you need to be able to land on your feet. You know that if you balk and hang on too long after you've started to fall, you're likely to tweak a shoulder before your hands rip loose and you land on your face.

So you breathe in, find the courage to trust yourself, and lean back. Then, finally, you let go and feel the rush of air and the glory in the free fall.

slips, trips, grips, dips, flips...

There are so many things rushing through my head that I want to say, so many metaphors, so many memories. But I need something to fill up this blank box & the blank spot inside of me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Little Bit of Poetry

It is a lovely autumn day out there - if you haven't yet, go outside & breathe. You might even want to dance in the leaves a little bit. I would suggest it.

Beating myself up a bit in gymnastics class always puts me in a good mood; it's just ridiculously fun to use all your muscle to swing up to a high bar, swing through the air, let go, & land with a ridiculous flump in a pit of giant chunks of blue foam. They call this a death drop, but it's rather fun. I would suggest trying that as well.

All in all, this put me in the mood for poetry. (Don't question - it just does, okay?) First, a poem by my favorite - Mr. Billy Collins. & then a little ditty of my own from my freshman days here at BYU.

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to water-ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Monday (even though today is Tuesday - I know this. It's just a title.)

Author's Note: Cerusa is a character from Greek drama. I was writing an essay about her & ran out of story so... like any good writer with a stagnant character, I killed her. I'm not really a morbid person

Today I am a ribbon,
Just floating on the breeze.
Not quite sure where I’m going,
but just doing what I please.

I write a silly sonnet,
wait for a boy to call.
Decide to kill Cerusa,
leave a message on a wall.

I try to make decisions,
give my life a place to go,
but today I am a ribbon,
softly drifting, falling slow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just a Glimpse

Today I found myself standing outside an art exhibit that I had been planning on going to see since I found out about it this past May. Every time I had thought about going earlier this year, there was some reason why I didn't. None of them are very good reasons.

Today was the last day of the exhibit. I stood alone outside the barrier and watched for glimpses of some of the paintings as they took them down and packed them away in boxes. I didn't see much.

I had wanted to see those paintings for months, but I let myself get distracted too many times. What I wanted in the moment overshadowed something that would have meant a lot to me. Seems like that happens all too often, doesn't it?

Why did I wait? Was it the idea of a better time, a better place, someone to share that with? Yes.

But in the end, all I had was a glimpse.

The Sweetest Thing

I love fall. I love the vibrant colors. I love that crisp feeling in the air. I love the chill mornings and sultry afternoons, though those are pretty much gone here in Provo.

But maybe most of all, I love fall foods. There are all sorts of freshly harvested veggies and juicy apples, which are perfect for apple crisp. And everybody knows that along with the changing leaves comes a desire to cover everything in caramel - apples, popcorn, ice cream, fingers (ahem, Keaton)...

And so, my dear friends and readers, I present you with a heart-warming (and taste bud-satisfying) tale of adventure.

AKA - The Creamiest Caramel EVER

  • 1 (or 4) UNOPENED cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 big pot of boiling water
  • about 5 hours of patience
Basically, here's how it works: You get a few cans of sweetened condensed milk & take the labels off - but DO NOT open the can. Then you find a really big pot, put the cans in the bottom, and cover them completely with water - make sure you have a couple of inches of water above the tops of the cans. I've been told they can explode if you don't keep them covered with water, and I really don't want any lawsuits, okay people? A lid is also a good idea, but a large frying pan will suffice in place of a traditional lid if you cannot find a lid that fits your pot.

Then you boil. And boil. And boil some more, making sure that the cans stay covered with the water. I turned my cans over a few times during this boiling process, though I don't know that that actually did anything. If you decide turning is a good idea, use a set of long tongs & remove the pot from heat - otherwise, your bubbling boiling water will splash on you - not fun.

After about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, remove the pot from heat and take the cans out of the water. Let cans cool completely (I set mine on the counter for about 40 minutes, then stuck them in the freezer for about 15 to speed up the process). If you open the cans before they're cool, you'll have a boiling river of caramel flowing over your hands & countertops - also not fun.

When the cans are cool, open them up and BEHOLD! Sweet, creamy, caramelly goodness. YUM. We thinned ours down to the perfect ice cream topping consistency with a bit of cream. Perfection.

Back me up, here, all you people that experienced this miracle last night - it was amazing, no?

Friday, October 23, 2009


Author's Note: I found this the other day as I was cleaning out some old files on my computer. I had been meaning to post it, but sort of forgot. It's a true account of one morning in late May this past summer. I was a tiny bit sick & my mom had been doing some paint stripping in little house. The fumes were crazy strong, so I went outside, laid on the grass for about an hour, thought up this little diddy, & typed it up while still slightly high on paint thinner. So. Voila.

Also - I'm not sure why I wrote it in third person. Thoughts? Is it distracting? Would it be stronger in first person?

Lying there on the freshly shorn grass, gravity didn’t feel like such an enemy. It no longer seemed to pull her down, making the earth tilt and sway, no longer made her stumble dizzily. With the earth firmly at her back, gravity seemed rather like a friend, pulling her securely to the ground, stabilizing her heavy head, and holding her steadily. The summer breeze blew across her face, pure and fresh, untainted by the paint fumes that had driven her outdoors, away from the overpowering smell that only added to the swirl of her lurching stomach and already whirling mind.

The night before she had stayed up fussing with old essays, finding distraction in ads for cars she would never buy, and pretending that she wasn’t waiting for him to come online to say hello. She had stared at the screen for hours, only finally settling into bed when the house was completely still and she was too exhausted to think anymore. But that plan had its faults, for she was still capable of dreaming.

She lay very still, trying to dismiss the funny dizziness that had accompanied her all morning. One arm stretched across her face to shield her eyes from the brightness of the sun. If she peered through her fingers she could see the massive clouds trailing through the sky, some brightest white, others a dimly threatening grey. But for now, the sun held sway, lighting every blade of grass and slowing drying the lingering drops of morning dew.

The breeze played with the strands of hair that had escaped her loose ponytail, tugging gently upward, inviting her to forsake the pull of gravity and float away. The sun’s warm rays chased away the leftover chill of the night, the heat tightening the skin on her arms and bare shoulders. The light seemed to have a tangible weight, adding its pressure to gravity’s and wrapping her firmly in their grasp.

Small blades of grass pushed through the fingers of her outstretched hand. She pulled against them absently, feeling their frailty and remembering the strength of his fingers laced through hers. That steady strength seemed to be far out of reach, and the newly imposed silenced made the distance seem far greater than the miles. A blurred rush of memories pushed through her thoughts; some faded like a often-read letter while others were colored in the strange tones of dreams. She turned onto her side, trying to quell an ache that had nothing to do with paint fumes.

Overhead, the clouds continued their journey through the vast blue of the summer sky, now rolling themselves flat and drifting away like puffs of cotton on the wind, now building up into towering mountains of white and grey. Her skin began to cool, prickling a protest to the light chill in the breeze. She rolled to her back to gaze up at the largest of the grey clouds that had covered the sun. With her head tilted back, she waited for the first drops of rain to fall.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shards of Pain Become Pearls of Wisdom

There are times when you're faced with decisions that you just don't want to make. But the only way to move forward is to make that tough choice. But even if it is the right decision, it can still hurt.

It's called "heartache," but every part of me hurts today. (Maybe I just have Swine Flu & don't know it yet. Oh, the irony.)

Today in my English usage class, we were talking about collective nouns & the first part of this short essay by Dr. Rachel Naomi Kemen was used as an example. Never have I been so grateful for a written example of usage. It was just what I needed to hear to soothe this ache inside. I just really hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws by posting this. It's kinda long, but definitely worth the read.

"Pearls of Wisdom" from My Grandfather's Blessings by Rachel Naomi Kemen, M.D.
(Riverhead Books, 2000)

Some of the oldest and most delightful written words in the English language are the collective nouns dating from medieval times used to describe groups of birds and beasts. Many of these go back five hundred years or more, and lists of them appeared as early as 1440... These words frequently offer an insight into the nature of the animals they describe. Sometimes this is factual and sometimes poetic. Occasionally it is profound: a pride of lions, a party of jays, an ostentation of peacocks, an exultation of larks, a gaggle of geese, a charm of finches... and a parliament of owls are some examples. Over time, these sorts of words have been extended to other things as well. One of my favorites is pearls of wisdom.

An oyster is soft, tender, and vulnerable. Without the sanctuary of its shell it could not survive. But oysters must open their shells in order to "breathe" water. Sometimes while an oyster is breathing, a grain of sand will enter its shell and become a part of its life from then on.

Such grains of sand cause pain, but an oyster does not alter its soft nature because of this. It does not become hard and leathery in order not to feel. It continues to entrust itself to the ocean, to open and breathe in order to live. But it does respond. Slowly and patiently, the oyster wraps the grain of sand in thin translucent layers until, over time, it has created something of great value in the place where it was most vulnerable to its pain. A pearl might be thought of as an oyster's response to its suffereing. Not every oyster can do this. Oysters that do are far more valuable to people than oysters that do not.

. . .
Disappointment and loss are a part of every life. Many times we can put such things behind us and get on with the rest of our lives. But not everything is amenable to this approach. Some things are too big or too deep to do this, and we would have to leave important parts of ourselves behind if we treated them in this way. These are the places where wisdom begins to grow in us. It begins with the suffering that we do not avoid or rationalize or put behind us. It starts with the realization that our loss, whatever it is, has become a part of us and has altered our lives so profoundly that we cannot go back to the way it was before.

Something in us can transform such suffering into wisdom. The process of turning pain into wisdom often looks like a sorting process. First, we experience everything. Then one by one we let things go, the anger, the blame, the sense of injustice, and finally, even the pain itself, until all we have left is a deeper sense of the value of life and a greater capacity to live it.

So I have a new goal: I shall be like an oyster. A wise man once told me, "Nothing worthwhile is ever easy." I'm hoping that I can take this rough spot & make it into a pearl, that I can gain wisdom, that I can discover the value in the hurt & the worth of that grain of sand. Challenges like these define who we are.

One other thought - Have you ever seen inside the shell of an oyster? I have. That inner lining is also pearlescent. & I love silver linings.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I don't have any great insights today or any astounding travel stories to share. I just feel the need to write something on here. So. Cue the ramble. (But it will be a nicely organized ramble - with bullet points. chya)

1- If you hadn't notice, this here blog went & got itself a new face. Okay, so actually, I gave it a makeover. The blog just passed its first birthday & I felt like it was time for a slightly more mature color scheme. Incidentally, the photograph is one of my own, from a lovely Sunday afternoon spent in the park.

2- I should be writing a grammar paper right now, but I'm still looking for a thrilling topic. (not likely) Yes, these are real issues, courtesy of Quirk's A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language.
  • The intensifying use of coordination- Just gets more and more boring. blah.
  • Adjective and adverb homomorphis- What the heck!? Are the adjectives unhappy with their gender? What's next- surgery?
  • Complex transitive complementation- For some reason, all I can think of here is that awkward fumble for the right words when you basically want to tell someone that they look hot, but you want to say it discretely, cause you wouldn't want them to think you're too forward. But then, you want them to know you're not just BSing either, so you have to be genuine with your compliments. See what I mean? Complex complementation.
  • The relation between focus and new information - Now this could be useful - a study of why I zone out in class once they start talking about the same things again. Unfortunately, this has something to do with sentence structure & adverbials.
3- My capacity for wit is obviously somewhat deminished today. I guess I'm just a bit mopey. Recently, I've been on an awesome streak of destruction. I've hurt a lot of the people who mean the very most to me. Hence the slightly melancholy undertones in the recently re-shuffled blog playlist.

4- I miss simplicity. I want it back. I miss the pre-school bliss where right was right & wrong was wrong. But it doesn't work that way. It seems like anything worthwhile comes with some challenge. But maybe sometimes you have to take a dose of the bitter so you can appreciate the sweet. (see vs 20-21) Maybe you have to let go of something and wait for it to come back to you. If it doesn't come back, then you deal with that, let yourself hurt & heal, then just let it go.

5- One last thought - The idea of forgiveness has been on my mind a lot lately. I think this is one of the most difficult things we are asked to do - it requires compassion, empathy, & humility - none of which are always easy to come by. In LDS General Conference a few weeks ago, one of my favorite messages was from Dieter Uchtdorf of Germany, who spoke about love, healing, forgiveness, & following our Savior.

You can watch the talk or the entire conference HERE at

Or in parts one and two on youtube. Yay, internet.

My dear readers - thanks for listening.
Have a great day.
Enjoy the final flings of the fall foliage.
(I think I just scored 500 bonus points for alliteration. bam)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

down from the ceiling drips great noise

The little bits of creativity commonly known as "word verifications" never cease to amuse me. Maybe it's cause I like words so much. Maybe it's cause I like made-up words even more. Maybe I'm just really easily entertained.

Top winners for today:

scucka! - Okay, the exclamation mark is added - but doesn't it just feel necessary?

pishatang -I feel like this could be a name for an epic fish tank or a really cool scarf, likely neon.

dioink -This is now the official name for the like flick I sometimes give to the forehead of my dear ones who are behaving ridiculously.

pastshag -A little piece of hilarity shared by an unknown comrade on Martha's blog.

Also, I'm taking a cue from Martha's awesome blog, which I stalk diligently, & naming this post with a lyric from a great song by Mum. I first heard this song on a video for Rising Star Outreach made by the awesomely bearded Matt. I was smitten. With the song. & my little ones.

Speaking of Rising Star, our 5k Fun Run was a great success last Saturday! We raised well over $1,000 for the school in India. Much love & thanks to everyone who came to the run, donated, sent out facebook invites, or helped me out with flier distribution. You guys are the best!

Monday, October 12, 2009

This One's for Gooj

Today is my mommy's birthday! Cue the cake with lots of candles & a chorus of raucous happy birthday singing. But because she's kinda far away from me & I can't bake her a cake & jump on her, I thought I would do the next best thing - a photo essay of why I love her so much, complete with a couple of her favorite songs. yay!
She's so pretty - who would think she's turning 50?
& she can totally rock the pashmina.

She loves me even though I'm a pest & always takes me "The Way I Am."
bother bother bother bother bother!

She still holds me, even though I'm kinda big now.

She comes to see me at football games.

She poses ridiculously with me in front of nature's wonders.

She's got GREAT legs. *whistle* Foxy even at fifty.

She loves my daddy after over 30 years - she'll always be his "Brown Eyed Girl."
& they have really cool hairstyles. :D

She keeps our family from going totally insane.
I love my Gooj - she's so much more than just my mommy. She's my confidant, my late-night editor, my nurse, my head chef, & my bestest friend. We have our on language of movie quotes, silly quips, & old sayings. We are Goojah & Boojah. We have awesome dance parties & look at our reflection in the mirror as we "Sway." We sometimes we sing harmony with "Hallelujah" & sometimes we just sing out of tune. Gooj is the queen of silver linings; no matter how tough the going gets, she always finds a bright spot among the clouds.

They say your mother is the most influential person in your life - I know that's true for me. She taught me to walk (I still get pointers on how to walk in heels). She taught me to talk, which is why I say "market" instead of "grocery store." She has taught me how to love & how to forgive, how to be fearless & how to accept my limits. She taught me to swim, & she taught me how to stay afloat when it feels like everything is sinking. She taught me how to cook without paying much attention to recipes. She taught me how to be a duck. :) She taught me how to be me.

Much love always, Goojah!
Happy Birthday!
Cake date later?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Running for the Stars

Rising Star Outreach, the non-profit organization that I worked with in India, is hosting a 5k & breakfast to raise funds for the school in India. The run will be on the morning of October 10th in Timpanogos Park, just off the highway in Provo Canyon.

All money raised with go to support the kids in India.

This site has a great article & I link to the poster I designed - check it out!

You can also join the facebook event HERE!!!

If you like running, walking, super cute kids, or eating breakfast ( & who doesn't like at least one of those?!), this is the charity event for you! Please be there!

send an email to to register - only 10 bucks to run & that INCLUDES breakfast!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fashion Frenzy

I am not fashionable. Really, I'm not.

Today I am wearing my jeans tucked in to a pair of flowery rainboots. This is not a fashion statement. In fact, I think I look a bit ridiculous. But it drives me crazy when the hems of my pants are all soggy, so, you do what you gotta do. (I'm not sure whether the fact that I'm wearing a fabulous Jones New York scarf is saving me or just making me look more absurd - probably the latter, unfortunately.)

Typically, I can dress myself & look fairly decent, but I rarely do anything daring (aka bizarre) enough for anyone to call me a "fashionista." I don't read fashion magazines. I buy things on sale - which means most of my clothes are last season. My favorite jeans are four years old. & I'm not so good at the whole accessorizing thing.

So... I probably have no right to pass judgements on the "creations" of the great designers.
But seriously.

These looks are just ridiculous. & so funny that I just could resist sharing.

Haven't we all at one point found ourselves standing in front of the mirror on a Friday night wearing only tights and thinking, "Gah! I have nothing to wear with these awkwardly baggy tights! Alas!" Well, fear no more - you now have a very fashionable solution - simply steal a few doilies from your grandmother's linen closet, tuck them into a tank top, & wrap a belt around yourself. Voila! You're a vision in... fake lace.

Another example of the ever-fabulous doilie dress.
The hair really just makes this ensemble, doncha think?

There's no better way to stand out than by painting your face white & wearing MC Hammer's pajamas paired with the sailor coat. Obviously, the only thing that could make this look better is the wonderful placement of the satin bra ON TOP of the shirt. Genius. Pure visual genius.

LOVE this look - it's like... 1950s airline stewardess, sin pants.
And again, the hair! So fabulous - why did I never think of wearing my shower scrub poofy thing on top of my head? Where have I BEEN?

I must say, this look is very practical. I mean, if you're going to spend a lot of money on retro satin underwear, you just HAVE to show it off. Wearing your "dainties" on top of your clothes only makes sense.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Ninja ____ Freakin ******* RAD
Spiffy +++++++++++++++++++ Jeebie Weebies
Seriously?!_______ Tool ---------goo!
o rly? ............face! face face face
***************nifty -+-+-+-+-+-+-+NCMO
player/playa shitake

Slang is SO COOL. ( < that's slang, too, typically used by Chloe) Just look at the color & interest it adds to this sentence.

"Whoa, man, that is one freakin spiffy ninja!"

Translation - "That is a really impressive person." blah.

Thank you, slang! And many thanks Pherd, Scott, & Amelia for their supes ( < CVD slang) wicked awesome ( < Jess slang) verbage( < Kels slang).

What are your favorite slang words? Or just favorite words in general?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This is why I'm studying Humanities - not to be a lighthouse keeper, specifically, but because it's something I love.

Yeah, so the formatting sort of cuts off half the comic - sorry about that. Check out the real thing HERE.
Or you could just click on the image for the full size effect.

I have about a hundred ideas floating around in my head about "what I want to be when I grow up" (whether I will ever really achieve that "grown-up" status is still a topic of debate). These ideas stretch from teaching high school English & Literature to working at a museum in the publicity department to owning my own antique bookstore/bakery (My Kneads). A wise woman (okay, it was Oprah) once said, "Find your bliss. Once you've found what makes you blissful, find a way to turn it into a career."I don't have a solid plan. Yet. Someday I will. But for now, I love what I do. I learn, I cook, I blog, I love, I flip, I dream, and yes, on occasion, I think seriously about my future. I'm not sure what it holds yet, but I'd like to think whatever it is will be surrounded in a hazy cloud of happiness.

In conclusion - listen to this song - Life is beautiful - sometimes you just have to look up & see the beauty that surrounds you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Aaaaaaaaaaand... I'm done with the Taylor Swift as the first song on the blog. Toldja it wouldn't last.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Sometimes I go on these wild quote binges. It starts with thinking of a quotation that I've heard, but want to get exactly right, so I look it up. Then there are always a few other quotes on the page... which often are linked to more pages, sometimes even organized by SUBJECT. sweet. It's like Pringles - you just can't stop.

Here are some of the gems from my latest quote binging accompanied by some of my favorite paintings.

If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth. -- Mitsugi Saotome

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. -- Mother Theresa (this seems like it should be a slogan for Rising Star Outreach)
My Ajay. :)
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. -- Margaret Thatcher

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
--Ingrid BergmanHave courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. --Victor Hugo

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. --Erich FrommYou may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don't trust enough. --Frank Crane

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. --Buddha

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. --Ursula K. LeGuin

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. --Henry Miller

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. --John Keats (also used in "Mary Poppins" cool. )

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. --Rachel Carson

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When Words Fail, Music Speaks

Author's Note: I stole that awesome title from little Miss Julie - thanks for sharing!

I feel like the fact that the first song on my blog could be classified as part of the "country" genre needs a bit of explanation (& it will probably last...hmm... three days). So here's the explanation:

I like music. A lot. & I'm all about the lyrics (please see every other post on this blog even remotely related to music for more evidence). Also, I like taylor swift kind of a lot. shhhhh - don't tell. This particular song is awesomely fitting in my life right now, in a sort of ironic happy ending way. If that sounds vague, it's supposed to be - I'm learning that a little ambiguity isn't such a bad thing after all.

So, for all of you out there (*ahem* Jason H. - you know who you are) who listen to this blog more than you read it, give me a shout out opinion on the new country-ish additions & let me know what you want to hear more of. If the lyrics are good, I just might give it a spin.

& now I've got to
run, baby, run & finish my D&C assignment. You don't understand how helpless[ly distracted] I get.

Author's other note: I dunno what's up with the font size on this - it's being stubborn.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Turning Twenty at the Taj Mahal

I should be working on Spanish homework but... this is also worthwhile, right? Here are a few more of the many photos, with short captions. (Short because if they were longer I'd feel a bit more guilty for neglecting my homework.)

India is definitely the best place to turn twenty - here's why: our tour guide greeted in the lobby of our hotel around 6 am with a beautiful Indian pashmina (aka super amazing scarf). Then we traveled about three minutes by air-conditioned bus to the Taj Mahal to watch the sunrise. This experience really can't be described in words; the beauty of the Taj Mahal is ethereal and graceful, changing in the different hues of the early morning light. My twentieth birthday continued in its amazingness, but here are a few images from my first few hours as a twenty-year-old.

The inner walls of the Taj Mahal complex - I can't see it, yet!
But aren't the gates beautiful?

The gates of the Taj Mahal aren't lauded as much as the
mausoleum itself, but they are stunning. And so HUGE.
Those walls are definitely a forceful yet
beautiful guard for India's lovely lady.

My first glimpse of the Taj Mahal... I may have shed
a few tearsof happiness and gratitude at this point -
I really could notbelieve I was actually there,
seeing such a magnificent structure.

One of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen.

Kimbo, my love, & me showing some early morning lovin'.

Fact: There are actually two main domes on the Taj
Mahal - the outer dome,which you see here with the classic
Indian "onion shape," and the inner dome,which forms
the soaring and unsuported ceiling above the mausoleum.
Our amazing tour guide, Nithan, told us that between the
two domes therewould be enough room to for twenty
elephants or something crazy like that.

Fact: All of the designs and decorations on the Taj Mahal
are madeof semi-precious stones inlaid in the white marble.
The marble used for the Tajis slightly translucent, giving the
building its soft glow as the light penetrates the surface.

Fact: The Taj Mahal has a beauty all her own. Go there. You'll see.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rosemary's Birthday

With over 160 children living in the hostels at Rising Star Outreach, sometimes it's a bit too easy to get lost among the masses. But each child gets one day to be special, one day to put away their normal play clothes and dress up, a day to give out candy to every other child, one day to share their cake and be the center of attention.

One of the first birthdays we got to be part of was Rosemary's 6th (? RSO-ers, help me out here) birthday. With her slightly mischievous smile, gold dress, & orange runners, Rosemary stole all of our hearts & a large portion of our memory cards. These pictures are some of my favorites.

The birthday girl, Miss Rosemary. (The shoes, oh how
I love the shoes!)

Cutting cake (yum!) with the help of her daddy. Having her

dad there was a special treat itself, as the children live at
the school for most of the year & only see their parents on

certain visiting days a few times during the school year.

Mariadas was pretty excited for his piece of Rosemary's

massive heart-shaped cake. (From Left to Right: Ajay,
Jabstin, Mariadas, & Peter)

We started a tradition of taking awkward pictures of Jared,
our sole boy volunteer, throughout the trip. This bashful
picture with our pretty little Rosemary is one of the best.

Nothing better than swinging on your birthday.

Getting To Know You

We made it! After about 32 hours of travel, we finally arrived in Chennai! Then we just had to survive the two hour drive to Rising Star.

The beginning of "the longest bus ride of our lives." We were all a bit tired by this point.

After our late night/early morning arrival, we got up early to make the 2 hour trek back into Chennai for church in the local branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the next morning. We were still a bit jet-lagged, but the spirit in that small gathering of people was incredible. Their gratitude and enthusiasm for the Gospel was contagious - there were 4 new converts welcomed into the congregation that day. Those people love the gospel with every part of their soul. They make great sacrifices to attend church, hold meetings with flickering power, an old piano, & battered hymnbooks, but there is nothing lacking in their faith.

All the hours on a plane & driving the streets of India at night were worth it - that afternoon we got to meet the most beautiful children in the world.

Satia & me on the playground - yes, they definitely know how to do bunny ears in India.

This sign came to mean we were almost home over the next three weeks.

Boys will be boys - they love spiderman and posing for pictures worldwide.

My first day in the colonies - this beautiful woman lived in this colony in order to take care of her mother, who was a leprosy patient.