maybe it's the cold??

I had a pretty stellar day yesterday: home by 3, made new blog banner while watching Gilmore Girls (which banner I don't know if I'm going to keep), did some scripture study, read for class, went grocery shopping, went to FHE, made dinner (Parmesan chicken and rice), was visit taught, did a lot more reading for class, went to bed at a decent hour. It was a good day--lovely and productive. I was wearing a way cute outfit and just felt good about life.

So why should my day today be so weird?? I got to sleep in a little bit, because my classes didn't start until 9:30; I relaxed during the forum and made flash cards for my Islam midterm, visited Brooke in the physics department, ate lunch, and went to my editing class. My day started off fine, but around noon a funk settled in. I feel tired, lacking in motivation and energy, and filled with a complete desire to skip out of work early and go home to watch one GG episode.

I'm hoping that a scheduled phone call with Mom, dinner at Cafe Rio with Katie, and a gym excursion with Katelyn will kick me out of this.


colored background or white background?

What's your vote?

**Addendum: I'm not such a fan of this look, so it's out. Don't worry--I'll fix it. Later. But, yea or nay on the banner photo? . . . I have other photo possibilities.


the wonders of twenty-first–century technology

I had to get a crown today at the dentist's. A few weeks ago one of my molars was hurting me really bad, and so I went to a local dentist's office. I was told that one of my fillings was wearing away and that I had two fracture lines on the same molar; thus, I needed to get a crown. (Too bad crown doesn't mean something with diamonds. . . .)

Today was the day. I didn't bring my camera with me on purpose, because I did not want to document a Novocaine mouth. My appointment took about two hours from start to finish, and it went over without much of a hitch. Sure modern dentistry is top notch--I can't imagine not having such fixing procedures; however, today I was most grateful for another piece of twenty-first-century technology:

my iPod.

After the Novocaine settled into my mouth, I put in the ear phones in, turned up my Josh Kelley playlist, and tried not to focus on the various instruments being shoved into my mouth while the dentist drilled away.

I would turn down the music a bit when he wasn't drilling, because I didn't want to not hear anything he might try to tell me about my mouth; however, when the drill whined, I pumped up the volume and tried to drown out the scary sound of that drill. (I also closed my eyes the whole time so I wouldn't have to see anything that was being used to crown my tooth--ignorance is bliss when it comes to dental procedures.) Thank you Josh Kelley for distracting me from what was going on behind the Novocaine.

Acknowledging my gratitude for modern dentistry and mP3 players, I'm even more grateful that experience is OVER!


Climb Every Mountain . . . and Every Mountain after That

Yesterday's conversation with my home teachers:

HT: So tomorrow a bunch of us are going to Antelope Island. You should come!
Me: What exactly is Antelope Island?
HT: We're not sure, but you should come!
Me: You know what? I think I'll come! Is it okay if I bring a friend? [Brooke came, and I am SO thankful for her encouraging company]
HT: Sure! We're meeting at our apartment at 8:30.

In that very brief dialogue did you see any clothing advisory? Any hint of what would ensue following said excursion to Antelope Island was not given. If you'd never heard of Antelope Island (an island in the middle of the Salt Lake), what would first come to mind? My first thoughts were antelope, followed by a touristy, kitchy site. Wrong and wrong.

Welcome to Antelope Island.

When I headed over to my home teachers' apartment, Tyler asked me if I could hike in the shoes I was wearing. Thinking that this would be a little hike--because any hike of significant proportions would naturally merit a warning--I said, "Yeah! I can hike in these shoes." Reference photo below.

Now reference above photo of Antelope Island. Are two and two not making four? You are correct. My math was severely off. Also note in my self portrait that I am wearing my red peacoat. And a headband. And large, trendy, chocolate earrings. Good grief.

This hike was supposed to be 3.25 miles. Okay, not so bad. The guy heading up this "little" adventure said that we should be back in Provo by 1:00. Great! We get up to Antelope Island around 10:00, hike for an hour, then drive back--ShamWow!!

That was a lie--a big one.

So after over four hours--four hours--of hiking and way more than 3.25 miles of rugged terrain, foot-deep snow, and wet feet in not-hiking-friendly shoes, we finally made it back to the car. In our hiking, we'd make it up one huge hill--huffing and puffing, but no verbal complaining I might add--and then they'd say, "Just one more!" This happened several times. "One more time" became meaningless to me. Once we finally ascended the highest peak (well, probably not the highest, . . . but maybe), I was under the impression that we would at last be able to turn around. I then ended up staying at this particular point while most of the others climbed this:

Anneli stayed back too, and I do admit to verbal complaining here at this point.

Around 2:00 we finally started heading down. One of the more experienced hikers (that's what the sign to the trail specified--experienced hikers aka not me) decided to take a shortcut that led us down a rocky, steep mountain of almost certain death. Let's be glad that was almost certain death. The guys in our group helped those of us who needed help down said rocky slope, and then I was in between the hardcore hiker group and the not-so-hardcore hiker group walking by myself for the last little bit, which gave me time to grumble, roll my eyes, and fight angry tears. And I fell a few more times.

But I did it. And I did it in those shoes. Don't let the bows on my shoes fool you. But I don't intend on doing it again anytime soon, if ever.

Now I'm safely back in my apartment, freshly showered and am currently writing this post, eating Kraft Mac and Cheese, and watching "Gilmore Girls."

Needless to say, I am not going to the gym tonight.

back with Jack

The season 7 premier of "24" was on last week, and it was a two-night event: two hours both Sunday and Monday nights--talk about back with Jack! I wasn't able to watch the premier when it was actually on, mainly because I don't have real TV in my apartment (much to my TV-addict chagrin); however, Emily and I devoted our Saturday night to Jack.

We kicked off our night with a quick jaunt to Shade, where they were having a 25 percent off sale on everything that was already on sale--ShamWow score. Emily bought a few items for great prices, and I purchased a really cute hoodie sweater for only $11.98!

We then headed up to her room, set up camp on the bed, pulled up the episodes on the internet, and got started. I brought over my leftover pizza from Friday night, and we finished off the pizza (with the help from some Coke Zero, Oreos, and carrots) on the coolest paper plates ever: Arthur plates.

We started the show but soon realized that the monitor would still go to sleep if it the touchpad wasn't touched on a regular basis. We were watching on the bed opposite Emily's with the computer perched on Emily's bed, so the dilemma of the dimming screen was a definite problem. Emily and I put our brains together and came up with a reaching stick composed of the rod from her broken closet towel bar, a sock or two, and one of her faux gerbera daisies. It was supposed to work like this:

But even though the device applied the proper amount of pressure, we realized that the touchpad also needs heat. . . . Reaching stick=failure.

So we ended up putting the computer on our laps, which actually worked better because it was easier to hear and see. Ha. We should at least get points for trying the reaching stick, though, right?

This one is for you, Mom:

It was just a hermit Saturday night, so it's really not a big deal that we wore unseasonal and, in my case, unmatching socks. We got a call or two soliciting our social presence, but our response was simply, "Sorry, I need to catch up with Jack." I love hermit nights with my number one pal, Emily. :)

Till next week, Jack.


Friday night with the girls

My roommate Katie just turned in her grad school application this week, and in celebration, we decided to go out to dinner. However, right after Katie pressed the "submit" button, she was overcome with a nasty cold; so Friday night we didn't go out to a restaurant as planned, but rather ordered Pizza Hut and watched "August Rush," which Katie had never seen. (?!)

Pizza Hut was having a 5-5-5 medium pizza deal, so we each got our own medium pizza!! Ah! It was delicious :) We also picked up cheesy bread and cinnasticks from the nearby 5 Buck Pizza (or as Jessie and Timm so affectionately call it, "Slutty" Pizza--it's cheap, fast, and easy). We sat at the kitchen table with our oh-so-healthy meal and had a deep and meaningful discussion about several gospel topics. It was so great! I love being able to discuss such important topics as these with my friends and roommates--the gospel is just so uniting and binding.

This is a picture of one of the pizza boxes (they all looked like this). We thought it was actually a pretty cute pizza box!

We then put on the movie, which Katie loved. By the end we were all so emotionally involved and were just sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for Lyla, Louis, and August to finally be reunited!! It was a very satisfying movie.

This picture is of me and Anneli, with The Pickwick Papers standing in for Katie; she didn't want a closeup picture of her given her red nose and overall illness-face.

Girls' nights are just so much fun--we had such a great time being together as friends and roommates. What a great way to spend a Friday!!

**Quick note: I've been feeling that most of my labels lean toward the dull side, so I'm going to be switching it up a bit and making new labels for old ones. "Halleljuah it's Friday" I think will replace my too-banal "weekends" label. I credit Mom for inspiring more creative labels.


lighting the way

I guess when I make specific goals--especially for personal development--I'm put right into the line of fire. This week has just been kind of blah. I'm adjusting to my new school schedule, which is significantly different from last semester's; dealing with a bit of homesickness, which isn't nearly as bad as last year's; and feeling frustrated because I can't see the whole picture.

I feel that I'm at a place in my life where there are so many things I don't know. I'm living the way I'm supposed to, and I'm proceeding with my life plans that are in my control; that's just about all I can do right now. Sometimes I just feel out of control of so many things, and most of them aren't even really a big deal. And I don't feel out of control in a bad, downward-spiral way, just a frustrated way.

I like to know what's ahead, and I like to know what to expect. I inherited from my mom an affinity for plans--if there's a plan, I'm good to go. Regarding my life right now, however, I know there is a plan--I just don't know it all now. And that's been frustrating me. I just want to know!

I was reading the blog of one of my sister's friends, and this friend wrote something so profound:

"But God is talking. When you listen, he talks, and he has smart things to say. The pain of growing up is nothing compared to the pain of staying inside a self that is too small for you. Christ looks after us at every instant. The small price we pay in return is to trust that he will not let us fail."

Tolstoy, in War and Peace, articulates another insight:

"No, nothing is certain, nothing but the nothingness of all that we can understand, and the splendour of something we can't understand, but we know to be infinitely important!"
**To that I add my opinion that we can understand some things in this life that are in no way insignificant**

I can only be certain about a few things in this life, the most important of which being that my Father in Heaven loves me. He knows me for me and loves me for me. I was listening to the newest Hilary Weeks album this morning and felt so intensely the manifestation that God loves me and knows of my current frustrations. I wasn't given a sudden revelation detailing out the rest of my life, and my mind wasn't put to rest regarding any of the specific situations that have been frustrating me; but I was reassured that I am so intensely loved--a splendor of something that I can't fully understand or comprehend--and that I need to trust my Father to light my way.

This is one of my first challenges for my word this year; God will light my way, even if I can't see the whole way. I just have to keep pressing forward, trusting that as I move forward there will still be light.


glimpse of a Thursday

Here's a quick glimpse of a Thursday. . . .

  • I bought the books I need for my contemporary criticism class. Grand total for today: $109.50. For books for one class. One class. Thankfully I won't have to cough up any more money for books this semester.
  • I went with Katie to turn in her graduate school application.
  • I grabbed some donut gems and some one percent milk from the vending machines for breakfast before my literature and film class.
  • I got to leave literature and film early because we just had to figure some stuff out for a group project; after we figured things out, we left!
  • I read more of War and Peace for my Tolstoy class; we're reading War and Peace for the first two months of the semester! I'm looking forward to adding that read to my list of literary accomplishments.
  • I hopped on over to the physics department to say hi to Emily and to borrow her meal plan: lunch from the Scoreboard Grill, courtesy of Dining-Plus-generous Emily.
  • I went to my magazine editing class. We pretty much decided on a title for our magazine: Whisk. (We're making a cooking magazine--this ShamWow topic must wait for its own post, though.)
  • I went to work where I proofread the typeset pages for the next issue of The FARMS Review. Check out this last issue of the Review:

    See any particularly awesome name in the acknowledgments? :)

In about an hour, I'll be headed back up to campus for orchestra, and then I'm going to the gym. This isn't a too exciting post; however, it is a part of the minutiae of my life, so there you have it.


I scream, you scream, Katie and I scream for ice cream

How do you combat 2 1/2 hours of critical theory on a Wednesday night? With the promise of Cold Stone, of course! Katie and I are both in a contemporary critical theory class this semester that meets once a week for 2 1/2 hours. Good thing the teacher is phenomenal and the discussion stimulating; otherwise, I think I'd die.

We left class feeling deconstructed and left Cold Stone feeling semi-rejuvenated. And the cherry on top: I ordered a small, paid for a small, and received a medium. Oh the joys of getting the boy employee. :) I wanted to have my camera with me, but forgot it on my way out the door before class. Next time, I suppose.

On to other quick matters, this semester will be a good one. I'm actually pretty excited for all my classes. (Yes, that includes my contemporary criticism class--it will be really interesting, just also really confusing, but in a good way. . . .) My capstone editing class will be so awesome (I'll write more on that later), my literature and film class relatively easy and pretty interesting, my Islam and the gospel class interesting and short (it's a block class and one credit hour, so twice a week through February, and then I'm finished!), and my Tolstoy class absolutely ShamWow!!!! This semester will require a lot of reading--a lot a lot a lot a lot of reading--but I think I'm in for a pretty fun ride.

And when it may not be so fun, I have the boys at Cold Stone to supply me with free ice cream upgrades.


I'm looking forward to . . .

I was texting Mom tonight and was feeling a little melancholy, so she suggested we play the "I'm Looking Forward To" game. Here's what I came up with for this week:
  • my plans to go to the temple on Tuesday
  • Elder Holland's devotional this week
  • finding out the staff organization for our class magazine in my capstone editing class
  • my Tolstoy class, in which last class I didn't even think to look at the clock and was thoroughly disappointed when the bell rang
  • the pages of my page-a-day Eats, Shoots & Leaves calendar
My week is looking a little better :) Thanks, Mom :)

Anything in particular you're looking forward to?


what the heck?!

Why in the world do advertisers think that I would like to see a giant zit on my computer screen?! And what's up with the cross-eyed person squeezing their swollen and grotesque boil?! EW! I refresh my screen every time this ad comes up. I want to petition hotmail to remove such unsavory ads. This is as bad as hearing fart noises on TV commercials.

PSA: Pandas

This poor guy should have known. . . . Remember the chimpanzees?


2009 word

I thought of my 2009 word about two or three months ago, and I kept it a secret up until the new year. I wanted to surprise everyone and really articulate my thoughts about it. My new word for 2009 is . . . . . . . . . . . . .


I think this builds on become from last year, because as I become, I let more light into my life. One of my favorite quotes I found when I was deciding on my word is from President Spencer W. Kimball:

I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart,
a hungering after righteousness,
a forsaking of sins,
and obedience to the commandments of God,
the Lord pours out more and more light

until one finally has power to pierce the heavenly veil
and to know more than man knows.

One of the insights I've had about light is that wherever there is light, there cannot be darkness. Darkness must recede when there is light; they cannot coexist in the same space. And ultimately there will be light everywhere and darkness nowhere. In my life, I can strive to bring in as much light as possible. This year, I want to have light in my life.

I want to have light in my life in several ways:
  • I want to have the light of Christ shine in me
  • I want to live in such a way that allows the Lord to light the way for me, even when I don't know where the road will lead
  • I want to live my life so I can be a light for others, whether that be through service, listening, a friendship, a smile
  • I want to live in a way that exudes light; that may sound kind of weird, but I've seen people who have a light about them that is simply a part of them--I want to reach that state, or at least make progress toward that state
  • I want to better understand the light of Christ and how that is so crucial in my identity
  • I want to build the strength--through the Savior--to light up my moments of darkness
  • I want to use my talents as a light for myself and others
  • I want to help others see and find the light for themselves
  • I want to "walk in the light of His love"
  • I want to further grow in my identity as a daughter of God and more fully become a child of light
So there's my word. From what light I've experienced in my life, I've realized how full of joy light really is. Learning how to walk in the light (as per the primary song) is one of the purposes of this life, and building on the concept of becoming, light is where and what I want to be.

Mac to the Max

For Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa gave me a Macy's giftcard, and before the break was out, I went out and used it! Macy's isn't usually a place I go to shop, but when you have gift money, go all out!

I wasn't sure what I wanted to get; I didn't have any specific clothes I was looking for but decided that if I found a clothe I liked, I would go for it. On our shopping excursion, I didn't see anything that pulled at my fashion heartstrings, and then I got the idea to check out the makeup. . . .

So Mom and I ventured over to the Mac counter. I hadn't bought new makeup in at least two years, which is a really long time when I think about it. I didn't really have an idea of what I wanted, so I let Mom aka Makeup Guru guide me in my cosmetic quest.

I came out with (drumroll please. . . . )
  • 3 eyeshadows: Shroom, Sable, and Sumptuous Olive
  • 1 liquid eyeliner (this is my first foray in the realm of liquid liner--I'm liking it): Dress Khaki
  • 1 lipgloss: Viva Glam V--is there a better way to rock a look?!
It was a good day, and my makeup has totally been rockin' ever since (thanks in large part to Mom, who did my makeup the day after our shopping day). I am loving Mac to the max!

New Year's Eve a week late

So I didn't celebrate New Year's Eve a week late--I'm just posting about it a week late, mainly because I couldn't upload any pictures. I'm not really a New Year's kind of person; really I find New Year's somewhat of a pointless holiday that isn't too exciting. As I've iterated in previous posts, I hate January, and so why would I want to celebrate a holiday that rings in January? . . . My New Year's celebrations of late have consisted of ordering Chinese with my family, watching a movie, and going to bed at 11:30. This year, however, was different.

Emily and I had a bunch of friends over for a donut night! What better way to ring in 2009 than with a whole of calories! (On the facebook invitation, I called the event "The Holes Don't Count"--it's my way of rationalizing.) Probably about twenty to twenty-five people came, but by the end of the night, there were only about eight of us, which was perfect.

After donuts, we all headed down to the family where John had set up Guitar Hero World Tour on the big TV, and we all took turns playing the drums, the guitar, the bass, and vocals. I think my favorite performance of the night was my friend Ben singing "Beat It."

Most people left during or after Guitar Hero, and then we headed upstairs to round off the night with a rounds of Nertz and Scattergories. We rang in the New Year and said goodbye at about 1:00 a.m.

Despite my general aversion to celebrating New Year's and my abhorrence of January in general, this New Year's Eve was fun.


back to Hogwarts

Technically I'm going back to BYU, but given the fact that I will be listening to HP for at least the next week, I think it's safe to say that Hogwarts is my real destination.


reflection on becoming: 2008 word

My word for 2008 was become. Really this could be a word for this life and the life beyond this one, so I could easily go without ever picking another word on which to focus my personal development, because in reality, becoming is the whole point of our existence. However, I do better with some change in focus, and I'm more motivated to keep working when my focus slightly changes. (My 2009 word I think falls in line with the tenor of my 2008 word, but that will wait for another post.)

I loved this focus. I loved altering my perspective to encompass my potential rather than what I am. I grew closer to my Father in Heaven when I remembered who I am destined to become--viewing life through this lens altered how I saw myself, how I saw others, my decisions, my mentality, my reactions.

I better realize that becoming requires an eternal perspective, especially given that in this life we won't ever be what we're ultimately supposed to be in the eternities. When it comes down to it, God only cares about who I am--not about the mistakes I make. Of course I can't become who He wants me to be by making poor choices, but those choices are only a means to what our Father really cares about--who we are in the end.

I've made the conscious decision to live in such a way that I like myself. I want to love the person I am and so consequently strive to act accordingly. I'm definitely not saying that I've succeeded 100 percent in these efforts, but by being at least aware of this desire, I feel that I can eventually reach that place.

I've seen that when my primary goal is to become more like my Savior and when I surrender my will to my Father's, God empowers me. I had a significant experience this year where I realized that I am much more on my way to becoming than I thought I was. In said experience, my most important concern was doing what the Lord wanted me to do. This trial drew on for months, and despite the pain involved, I came out victorious, realizing that my primary concern of acting in according with Heavenly Father's will made me become more of the person I want to be, without me even recognizing it at the time. With that desire, I am changed even when I don't see it immediately.

This was a remarkable year for me. I've had several life-changing experiences, and I've learned so much in my relationships with family, friends, boys, and most importantly, my Father in Heaven. I come out of 2008 so much more aware of people and how we can be instruments in God's hands, helping others become in our own becoming journeys.

I've tried to see each of my experiences as a chance to become. This mortal life is the only one we have, and we are meant to have joy; the best (and really only) way to that joy is through becoming like our Heavenly Father. None of my experiences have to be pointless--I can learn something in everything. I've realized that becoming is so much more than I ever thought it was. This really could be a lifelong word, and I'm hoping that my subsequent annual words can build on and tie into each other.

I love my life. I love who I'm becoming. I love the person Heavenly Father sees in me, even though I don't always see her.

2008 Summary: RETROSPECT

I was reading my friend Emily's blog and loved this; so naturally, I borrowed it for my own blog :)

I RUINED or lost:
several receipts
a spatula
the blanket for my bed--blasted USPS

I EXPERIENCED for the first time:
Guitar Hero World Tour
Drug den job
Brian Regan
my first ever violin recital (I was a bit surprised that this year was the first time I actually played in a violin recital. . . .)

does Broomfield count?. . .
Stars Hollow via all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls

I READ (and loved):
The Friday Night Knitting Club (Kate Jacobs)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer)
Middlemarch (George Eliot)
Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
Persuasion (Jane Austen)

a "big girl" drivers' license (in CO, when you're twenty-one, your license goes from vertical to horizontal)
two pairs of hot boots
the cutest dog created by the hand of God
More books than I'd like to admit

P.S. I Love You
Prince Caspian
Arrested Development
Twilight (yes, I'll admit it)
High School Musical 3
potential in those I love, even when they didn't see it
my first opera, Don Giovanni
my brother in a tux

"You're a Part of Everything" Josh Kelley
"Faithfully" Journey
"Take Me Away" Lifehouse
"Crush" David Archuleta
"Dancing on the Perimeter" The Actual
"Shoot the Moon" Norah Jones
"Pop Game" Josh Kelley
"This Time" Jonathan Rhys Meyer
"Can't Stop the Rain" Cascada
"All We Are" OneRepublic
"Africa" Toto
"That Thing You Do" The Wonders
"You Found Me" The Fray
"Hanging by a Moment" Lifehouse

I EARNED money at:
BYU's Physics and Astronomy Department
the drug den aka EZ School Supplies
great day at Sashco
the Maxwell Institute

a cute apartment that can be a sanctuary away from home
sweet dance moves
essays and essays and essays
more scrapbook pages
new friends and better friendships with existing friendships

I was TAUGHT/learned:
the wonder of punctuation
that I'm placed in specific places at specific times for specific reasons
art history
dog pee definitely stains the carpet and smells like crazy
reading my scriptures before doing homework makes my work time so much more effective
that literature can connect and bond people
how to edit
the need to and the freedom in submitting my will to my Father's
a budget is always a good idea


Hello 2009!

The welcome of a new year always enters with anticipation, excitement, waves of nostalgia, and a bit of post-holiday reluctance. I'm trying not to dread my return to reality, because I have to remember that I actually do love my life, both in Provo and in Denver. I just happen to love Denver more :)

Also, I hate January. Hate it. It is my all-time least favorite month. So I'm trying to alter my perspective this time around.

That's still a work in progress.

I'm also hoping that this January won't be as bad as last January--remember that emotional disaster?

I'm trying to focus my coping efforts this year around my new word, which I will post about later. :) I'm hoping it will help me have a better January than the last one.

I'm excited for the year itself, for the new people, new experiences, new TV episodes ;), but I just have the hardest time bouncing back from a completely responsibility-free vacation. I don't want this post to sound cynical and depressing, because I do have a beautiful life; it's just that jumping back into the cold and gray of January after the cozy and family-filled Christmas isn't too inviting on the outset. I'll get over it, but just not today. (It is only the first day of the year.)

I plan on writing a much more uplifting and encouraging post about the new year, because I'm really not such a grouch. I'm just blue that my time with my family is so short this time of year.

At least for the first three days of January I'm still at home. I still have two more days of avoiding reality. Still two days.
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