Saturday, December 31, 2011

Current obsession with The Script...

Show your scars- that's who you are.


"I believe there is a devil, and here's Satan's agenda.  First, he doesn't want anyone having kids.  Secondly, if they do conceive, he wants them killed.  If they're not killed through abortion, he wants them neglected or abused, physically, emotionally, sexually.  Barring that, he wants to get them into some godless curriculum or setting, where their minds are filled with pollution.  One way or another, the legions of hell want to destroy children because children become [our] future adults and leaders.  If they can warp or wound a child, he or she becomes a warped and wounded adult who passes on this affliction to the next generation." Randall Terry, Time, October 21, 1991. 
Image Detail 
Harold B. Lee said, "The most important of the Lord's work that you will ever do will be the work that you do within the walls of your own home."
Likewise, I believe it could be said that the most harm we could ever do is within the walls of our own home.  

Children are precious.  
They are sacred.  
And they are our future.

For Heaven's sake, Love the Children.

Friday, December 30, 2011


I've always loved the rain.  The way it makes the earth smell.  Sounds of the trees as they move in the wind.  How it makes everything feel clean and pure.  The cleansing feeling of human tears surrounded by tears of the heavens.  Magical.

Something about being in the rain always helps things come into clearer focus for me.  Thoughts that have been wracking my brain suddenly mesh in a way that allows clarity to emerge.

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows exactly who and what I need.  And today, I needed the rain.

Monday, December 26, 2011

love, gradually

I've been angry at socialization lately for convincing me that romantic love happens immediately and with intense force.  This idea was largely been responsible for the struggles I've had in the past few months, and I'm nowhere near done fighting to change my mindset.  But today I stumbled across this bit of writing by a husband of a friend that I think exemplifies how love can be a process, a journey, and a choice.
Allow me to digress to make a point. I like sunsets. But when I was little, sunsets had no appeal to me. I didn't see what the fuss was about--they weren't that pretty, not compared to other stuff. But over time, I began to appreciate a truly beautiful sunset when I saw one. I began to see why so many were in awe of the way the colors combined and swirled. They weren't just reds, oranges and yellows; they were scarlets and crimsons, tangerines and peaches, dandylions and marigolds. It wasn't that the sunsets changed, just my perspective. I remember well the day that I spent 45 minutes photographing a sunset on a campout in my socks in the snow while the rest of the scouts ran around throwing snowballs and riding ATV's. Obviously my perspective profoundly changed. But it was a gradual change. 

So it was with Jess. When we met, neither one of us had anything on our mind except for getting done with our lab assignments as quickly as possible so that we could run off and finish whatever else we had going on in our lives. Little by little however, I began to see so much more that just a pretty girl. I started to see a woman with many sides to her--an intellectual, a pianist, a homemaker, an interior designer, a medical doctor, a clown, a dreamer, a realist, a disciple, a mother. So many other hues than what first met my eye. She is now everything I have ever dreamed of in a woman, and she's my wife. I love her more than I thought I ever could, just like the little boy who never thought he could find the beauty of a sunset. I love her with all my heart. I never thought I could love this way. And I'm as I grow older, I will appreciate still more sides of her. Most of all, I love the way that she has given me eyes to see still more sides of my own life, and love in ways I never knew I could. As I reflect on our beginning, I realize that if it is any indicator of things to come, our relationship will certainly continue to color our lives and bring more joy to the both of us than what we possibly could ever have imagined.
I believe that love is possible, but I believe that the strongest, longest lasting love grows slowly.  And it keeps growing, forever.

I intend to

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."
The Fellowship of the Ring

...with compassion, diligence, hard word, and constant love.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Potential Rant

So here's the thing.  Not everyone is good at everything.  But there are the things that are most important, and there are things that can be learned.  And the most amazing thing about being human is our capacity to change- IF we have the desire.  I believe in change.  Not only do I believe that my life is a constant process of becoming more what others and God need me to be, but I believe that others are on a similar journey.  Every day we do a little bit better, and then before you know it there's a world of difference between who you are and who you once were.

But the major problem here is that sometimes we don't let people change.  We pigeonhole them into this teeny-tiny little box of what we know about them, and then act as though that's the end.  But IT'S NOT.  Not even close.  People can change and improve and learn and grow in a million ways that we never dreamed possible.  But we have to let them.  We have to believe in them.  For every time we screw up or forget or just plain do the wrong thing, we have to allow ourselves to believe that we can be better.  And the people in our lives who aren't quite what we wish they would be- we have to love them for their potential.  We can choose to see our loved ones not as failures who stumble into the right thing every once in a while, but as good people who make mistakes and have faults.  When we love someone, we believe in them.  Not only in who they are, but in all that they truly have the potential to become.

I believe in my friends and family, and I believe in myself.  Around this time I'm reminded of the all the glorious attributes of the people I love.  I'm astounded by their sacrifice, kindness, creativity, and strength.  I love them, and their love for me is manifest in their words and actions daily.  There have been a lot of people that have passed in and out of my life, and right now I'm so grateful that I've held on to the very best ones, the ones who build me up and believe in my potential.  And THAT is love.

Friday, December 16, 2011


They are what I love most about my life.  In attempting to wind down from the craziness that was finals, the joy in my life has been found almost exclusively in those people I surround myself with.  From the short snippets of talks that are oh-so-needed with my roommate to the nerdy intellectual discussions about empiricism and rhetoric with my sister and brother-in-law, these are what bring me joy.  And on days like today where I have so little to do that is productive that I begin making spreadsheets of the cheapest way to buy my books next semester...I so appreciate the people in my life who make it worthwhile.  Like yesterday's secret agent mission to get a picture in temple square with my boyfriend.  Or this morning (okay, let's be honest-afternoon) watching a semester's worth of YouTube clips with my brother.  Or nerd-ing out over Paul Eckman and the last half season of Lie To Me.

I love the people in my life who keep me safe, happy, and sane.  And I can't wait to see the rest of them over the next two and a half weeks- even if it means being away from my Provo family.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lesson Learned:

When I stop taking offense and worrying if others are upset with me,
I suddenly have the time and energy to feel compassion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Patience young padawon

It is so hard not to jump ahead when things seem perfect.  It is so hard to be patient.  But I know that it is patience that will stand the test of time, and patience that will prevent me from making the mistakes I so deeply fear repeating.
And so I will learn patience, Jedi Master.

Spiritual hodge-podge

Today I am grateful that there is an eternal plan.  I feel so blessed that when we finally learn how to pray for what we actually need, God doesn't waste time in giving it to us.  The ability to write down my thoughts and the resources to do so enables me to remember the insights I have when times are difficult, and for this I am eternally grateful.  I was reminded during Sunday School today of some of my favorite promises in the scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 93:28 (those who keep the commandments receive truth and light until they are glorified in truth and know all things), 101:32 (the day will come when the Lord will reveal all things), 88:49 (the day will come when I shall comprehend even God), and 88:58 ("And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their Lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season.")

In Sacramento meeting this morning we sang "As Now We Take the Sacrament" a hymn I have only recently come to appreciate.  The music is simple, and the words are profound.

As now we take the Sacrament, our thoughts are turned to thee.  Thou Son of God, who lived for us, then died on Calvary.  We contemplate thy lasting grace, thy boundless Charity.  To us the gift of life was given for all eternity. 
As now our minds receive the past, we know we must repent; The way to thee is righteousness- the way thy life was spent.  Forgiveness is a gift from thee we seek with pure intent.  With hands now pledged to do thy work, we take the Sacrament. 
As now we praise thy name with song, the blessings of this day will linger in our thankful hearts, and silently we pray for courage to accept thy will, to listen and obey.  We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.  We'll walk thy chosen way.
This is a beautiful piano arrangement of this hymn and "There is a Green Hill Far Away" 

I also had the opportunity to sing in our ward choir this morning.  One of the songs brought so much peace to my soul: "Still, Still Still".  Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's version.

More so than ever before, I am at peace.  I am being humbled and made aware of my many weaknesses, but in such a way that I am not discouraged; instead I am instilled with a desire to become better, and the assurance that I can and will progress.  I am constantly astounded at the love of those who surround me- the silent and profound example of my roommate, the gentle strength and patience of my boyfriend, and the overarching love that my friends and family members convey to me daily.

I am grateful for the struggles in this life that allow me to slowly work toward perfection.  And more than that, I am grateful for the knowledge that allows me to be at peace as I work my way through the journey of this life.  God loves us, and he intends for us to have peace, hope, and joy.  What a wonderful Father He is.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I found this short video today from the MissRepresentation campaign.  (See the original video about MissRepresentation and by post about it here.)  Women truly are many of these things, and so are men.  What I wish for my children and for the world is the ability to be what they know they need to be, and not confined to the boxes that society would put them in.  My favorite quote from the clip was this:

"Our greatest power is our ability to change."

And it is so true.  The most significant negative impact society has is it's ability to tell us we must (or can't) be a certain way.  Who is society to tell us what are we?  Who is society to define what we will become?  The most amazing thing about people is how much potential we have to be always changing, progressing, and moving forward.  The people in my life who succor me and lift me up- they do it because they believe in my potential, not what I currently am.  If all we saw in people is where they are in one moment, we miss the big picture.  One moment cannot capture a person's soul.  Only looking for their divine potential can do that.


If you find a girl who reads, keep her close.  When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her.  You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you.  She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.  Date a girl who reads because you deserve it.  You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable.  If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. 
-Rosemarie Urquico
I don't know that I completely agree with this quote, so don't take it too seriously.  But I think to large extent it captures the feeling of why I love to read so much.  The way that a story can envelop a soul, how characters become your intimate friends, and the fervor with which you read and can't put it down.  The best books are incredible.  They can be an escape from everything.  They can be your best friend, or your greatest rival.  They can fulfill in you desires that you didn't even know existed, and give you insights into yourself and the world around you.

I don't require that everyone love books, but I do.  And I mourn the loss of passion and opportunity that those who don't read miss.  Books are friends, not homework.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For those times when I feel like I just can't do it anymore, it's really good to know that I don't have to do it alone.


It's something I struggle with.  Although I'm not entirely certain why (I'm sure it has something to do with how deeply I value others' perceptions and don't trust my own), I have a hard time being committed to things.  I've gotten a lot better, but it's something I've been trying to work on.  This Sunday, with commitment weighing heavy on my mind, a quote from President Uchtdorf's talk "Brother, I'm committed" was shared.  I love this talk, and want to share some of my favorite bits!

Commitment is a little like diving into the water.  Either you are committed or you are not.  Either you are moving forward or you are standing still.  There's no halfway.  We all face moments of decision that change the rest of our lives.  As members of the Church, we must ask ourselves, "Will I dive in or just stand at the edge?  Will I step forward or merely test the temperature of the water with my toes?"
There is a difference between intention and action.  Those who only intend to commit may find excuses at every turn.  Those who truly commit face their challenges squarely and say to themselves,  "Yes, that would be a very good reason to delay, but I made covenants, and so I will do what I have committed to do." 
In some way, each of us stands at a decision point overlooking the water.  Is it my prayer that we will have faith, move forward, face our fears and doubts with courage, and say to ourselves, "I'm committed!"

I love the bit about the difference between intention and action.  When we really, truly believe in something, we don't accept excuses.  When we know and feel that something is right, nothing can sway us.  Really, it all comes down to whether or not we are committed.  This is something I'm going to work on.  It's a huge idea that my blog was based of off: taking the plunge.  I'm often hesitant to jump all the way in, but it's the only way to really experience and learn what God needs from me.  So I'm going to do it, and it's going to be very wet and cold.  I just have to trust that it will be worth it.


I watch hours of data for work, and sometimes it can get really boring.  Occassionally, however, there are little nuggets that inspire a thought or provoke an idea.  Today's was a question:

What is the best advice anyone's ever given you?

But really, what was it? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"Integrity is a purity of heart, an absolute honesty with God, ourselves, and our fellow man.  It is choosing the right, not merely because God requires it, because because our character demands it."
Today Elder Tad R. Callister gave a BYU Devotional on Integrity.  This is a concept I have struggled with in my life, as I've faced a rather inordinate amount of situations that make black and white look like shades of gray.  This week I made a choice to stand up for my integrity in a way that had the potential to compromise one of my most important relationships.  I am grateful for the influence of stalwart friends who help me with their examples of unshakable honesty. In discussing a "gray" situation with one friend earlier this week, one thing he said stuck out to me: "What really matters is if it feels right."

Thoughts from Elder Callister's devotional:
Does my integrity have a price? And if it does, is it really integrity? 
How can we be humble if we are not honest about our failures and mistakes?
The faster we admit our mistakes, the faster we can move forward.  
Part of preserving our integrity means protecting the integrity of others. 
Integrity makes decisions based on eternal implications.
"It is not grades, but godhood that is our destination." 
"Somewhere, somehow, we must face the wall square up and climb it." 
We trust people who we know have nothing to hide.   
"If I were bound only by a written contract I might find a loophole.  There are no loopholes in my word."  
"This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man" -Shakespeare (Polonius, to Hamlet)

And my favorite thought, as it defines perfectly my change of perspective this semester:

Repentance is not a temporary change of a behavior, but a permanent change in nature.  With the Lord's help, we can change our behavior to be consistent with our nature.  

For the moments I Feel Faint

Today I am grateful for music.  
Sometimes it is difficult to find the motivation to push forward and live up our potential.
Music helps me to remember why it is worth it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Sometimes life is so precious that I want to freeze time.
Sometimes it is so full of people who lift me up that I can't believe how much I'm being pushed forward.
Sometimes the things that should break me become challenges I can easily conquer.
Sometimes the superficial things melt away and only what is important remains.
Sometimes walls don't fall, but are torn down brick by brick.
Sometimes love doesn't happen in an instant, but is built so slowly that you didn't even notice it happening.

Sometimes life is so good I wonder if it could possibly be sustainable.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Trust your feelings, not your doubts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I love about Provo

Dazzling sunsets every night.

Streets that are each conveniently 1/10 of a mile long.

Plato's Closet and ridiculously cheap coats.

Gorgeous November weather that is just chilly enough to make you grateful.

Red/Orange/Brown/Green/White Mountains. 

Being close to the people I love who keep me happy, safe, and sane.

On Modesty...revisisted

I am slightly ashamed.  I posted a clip awhile back about Modesty, and while it had some valid points and interesting comments, it misrepresented the results of a research study.  So, in an effort to present both viewpoints (neither of which I agree with completely), I credit Celeste with finding this response to the video: My response to the "Should Christian Women Wear Bikinis" Video.  I advocate giving credit to the valid points by both authors.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Happy

Not in the midst of crazy highs and lows, just happy.  Pleasantly content.  Nothing major to fix or a problem to overcome, life is just good.  This is not a feeling I'm used to.  But I think I could get used to it.

Also...I love Christmas music. (But ONLY after Thanksgiving.)  I will probably post more about it in the future, but lately I was introduced to this song, and I just can't get enough.  It makes me feel so good!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some days

some days feel right.

some days are just too good for words.

some days the people in your life are not what you thought you wanted, but exactly what you need.

some days you realize that you're living your somedays, and that you are building your castle in the clouds.

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.
~Thoreau's Walden


Emotional abuse is a big deal. It's a HUGE deal.  And I hate that most people can't understand how big of a deal it is.  Just because there aren't bruises or visible scars doesn't mean it doesn't affect the victims in a very real way.  In fact, research has shown that victims of both sexual and emotional abuse say that the emotional abuse was the worst past with the most long-term effects.  It hurts, and it matters.

And because emotional maltreatment doesn't leave scars, it can be very difficult to feel justified in the pain it causes.  This is something I know all too well.  It can require constant reassurance that yes, it was a big deal, and yes, it did really happen.

And it's why I feel like such a hypocrite when I realize how insensitive I can be to other people's experiences of emotional pain.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

All good things come in threes

 God's ability to make the direction we need to take transparent amid chaos and confusion is amazing.

A song I found today and love:

On change:  
In my high school yearbook, I had so many people tell me "don't ever change".  And today I was thinking about how sad that is.  Life would be so stagnant and pointless if we never changed.  We act as though asking someone to change means that they aren't good enough- but really, I think it implies that we want to invest more in them.  Change is not only good, it is essential.  I want to surround myself with people who help me change for the better.


Yesterday was my very first Thanksgiving not spent at home with my family.  It was rough for me to be away from them, but I am so blessed to have awesome friends in Provo who are willing to share their friends and family with me.  We spent the afternoon in Sandy with a beautifully large family.  We ate, played basketball, jumped on trampolines, played house, and ate some more.  I especially enjoyed playing with Matthew, a spunky little boy who killed me with his laser gun dozens of times.  It was so nice to give thanks in a place where I really truly was grateful for the blessings of friends and family.  And it gave me cause to think of the many other things I have been blessed with in my life.  Namely...

My immediate family.  I don't know what I would do without all of them.  Even when we don't talk much, they mean the world to me and keep me sane.

My close friends.  They are scattered across the country and even the world, but they understand me.  I am grateful for the ways that they welcome me into their lives and allow me to share in their joys and struggles.

Words.  This semester I've made an effort to read more books that aren't for school, and it has been an excellent escape.  I appreciate people who share their words with us.  (Especially, of late, the Hunger Games series.)

Scriptures.  I don't have the words to describe how daily scripture study has changed my life and my relationship with my Heavenly Father, but I am so glad I have made the effort to make this a crucial part of my life.

Warmth.  I despise being cold, and I am grateful to live in a time and place where I can turn on the heater, heat up some hot chocolate, and cuddle up in a blanket.

Delicious Food.  An abundance of it, all the time, even as a college student.  Mimi's, Guru's, apple pie, juice, colorful salads, cottage cheese, blackberries, honey bunches of oats, tomatoes, soup, tea....

Good Finances.  I have been so much more financially blessed in the past few years than I ever could have imagined.  The way in which Father takes care of our needs when we are faithful is astounding.

Fun!  College is crazy, hectic and stressful, but I love that I am surrounded with people and opportunities that allow me to let loose and have fun at regular intervals.

Running.  I almost cringe as I write this one.  Running has not been a favorite (or even slightly preferred) pastime for me, but I've come to love and appreciate it this semester.  I appreciate that I can afford good running shoes and apparel.  And mostly, I am so grateful for a strong, healthy body that allows me to run far and fast, climb mountains, and explore.

Mountains.  My love for mountains may be irrational and seemingly silly, but mountains are often the source of greatest sanity in my life.  At any moment, I adore the ability to look up and be overwhelmed by the majestic beauty of the Mountains.  Whether they are covered in the green of pine trees, rainbow of falling leaves, or lines of pure white snow, they fill me with joy.

My life is so full.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mockingjay *spoiler warning*

"What I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred.  I have plenty of fire myself.  What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again.  And only Peeta can give me that."
We talk a lot in Social Psychology about the difference between "opposites attract" and "birds of a feather flock together" when it comes to romance and attraction.  Research shows that we tend to like those most similar to us.  But when it really comes down to it, I think perhaps what we need is the person who can balance us.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Modesty

*A note to readers: See an updated response to this post here.

I stumbled across this today and found it highly interesting.  There are many times I wish I could wear things I might consider more "attractive", or just plain more comfortable.  (Off-the-shoulder blouses being high on the list...)  And while I don't think that women should have to take the full responsibility for the way that men think, we should be aware of the messages we are sending by how we dress.  We really do teach men how to treat us by the way we choose our apparel.

"When a girl covers herself up, she reveals more of herself to us, because you reveal to us that there's more to you girls than just your bodies."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Here's to caring more about what's important to me than other people's perceptions.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Words are important to me.

They always have been.  Ever since I was little, I enjoyed reading.  I wrote my first short story when I was in fourth grade.  And by my junior high I had started a binder of all my favorite quotes.  I recognize bands not by their sound but by the nature of their lyrics.  I talk a lot because it is important to me to convey the words of how I feel, what I need, and of my concern and love for others.  I listen because I need words to understand that I am loved.  Actions are important and meaningful as well, but it is the words of others that I replay in my head in the quiet moments.  It is those words that help guide my thoughts down paths of happiness or despair.  The wrong kind of words, or a lack of them altogether, is something I don't handle very well.
For out of the overflow of his mouth his heart speaks. Luke 6:45
I need words because they are the concrete manifestation of feelings, thoughts, and actions.  In words lie the secret to intangible motives, ideas, and desires.  The ability to communicate through written and spoken words is perhaps the major advantage of the human race- and it is something not to be taken lightly.  I believe that we have this gift because we need it.  Because, as humans, we need to understand things on multiple levels.  Words allow us to convey not just the imperfection that is our actions, but the pure intent behind what we do.  With words, we are able to explain just what someone means to us, even when we fall short in our ability to show them perfectly.  It is said that words mean nothing if they aren't tied to actions.  And for me, actions mean very little without the reassuring words that accompany and explain them.  Because unless you give me a good reason not to, I believe words.

Sometimes we don't have the words.  But just because we can't convey things perfectly doesn't mean we shouldn't try.  We only learn through practice.  When I have an experience that is too inspiring and beautiful to fully capture in words, I still write it down as best I can.  Because words are how we remember.  When we have words, and when those words are tied to actions, we can create a more complete understanding.  And the more complete our understanding, the greater our capacity to give and receive love.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A day in the life of a very blessed girl

Everything about the past twenty four hours has been beautiful.

This time yesterday, I attended an amazingly insightful lecture in my LDS Perspectives on Psychology class on homosexuality, including thoughts from an address Elder Bruce C. Hafen gave at an Evergreen conference.
The Lord giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint..."waiting on the Lord" is a special invitation to become an active, consecrated disciple of Christ.  It isn't to sit back passively and just wait on your hands.  I was moved to make changes in my daily pattern so I could "wait" with much more intense spiritual initiative.
Over the course of the evening I had the opportunity to serve a number of individuals in various ways.  It was amazing how wonderful it felt to help others, even though I'm fairly certain I benefited infinitely more.

This morning I went to the Provo temple with an old roommate.  I couldn't find my recommend, so I sat in the waiting room and by the fountain waiting for her to complete ordinances.  It was the perfect quiet time that I needed to just listen.  And all the while, I was blessed to witnessed the world's most incredible sunrise.

My group's presentation for my 304 class went off without a hitch, and I managed to get some clarity and studying in very quickly afterward.

In meeting with my favorite psychology teacher, he gave me much needed counsel on life and career, as well as offering me a job as his TA or research assistant for the semesters until I graduate.  While I loathe having to make decisions, I am so grateful that I have so many opportunities in my life.  These are the types of problems I would prefer to have!

After a nice chat with my dad, I came home to my new running shoes!  So I strapped them on, intending to go for a nice two mile run.  When I got to my halfway point, I just kept going.  My head turned toward the mountains, and I knew I needed to be up there.  So I ran.  And then I hiked.  I couldn't find the trails I was used to, so I climbed up cliffs and skipped switchbacks, finally finding the trail I wanted.  But along the way, I had multiple opportunities to stop and take in the beauty of this world and commune with my Heavenly Father.  The views that I witnessed and the conversations I had are indescribable.  All I know is how I felt, and for those moments, I felt infinite.

Life is amazing.  So many amazing things happen to us so quickly that we don't even have adequate time to appreciate them.  My life is full to bursting with opportunities, scary choices, and mostly blessings.

When life is too beautiful to keep to yourself, the only thing to do is pay it forward.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

not quite...happily ever after

sometimes I hate fairly tales for the lies they have fed me since childhood.

why can't we focus on real stories, instead?  
why must we train our children to have unrealistic ideas of and expectations for love?

Savion Glover, or: Why I Chose Tap Dancing over BYU Basketball

Last night I had the opportunity to watch Savion Glover and his group Bare Soundz perform in the DeJong Conert Hall in the Harris Fine Art Center on BYU's campus.  While most of the other students were filing into the Marriot Center for BYU Men's Basketball (which I love more than most things in this world), I was heading to the HFAC.  It had been a stressful, sick day, but from the moment we walked into the auditorium, nothing else mattered.  Three simple wood platforms, three genius dancers on taps...and one amazing evening.  It's something you have to see for yourself.

And while I'm in the mood of amazing tap dancers, this is possibly my favorite clip from from favorite old-school tapper.  Thank you Gene Kelly, for being amazing.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

hidden blessings

Coming into this week I was stressed and overwhelmed.  I had too much to do and not nearly enough time.  And then I was forced to slow down, with assurances that I will be able to complete everything this week that I need to.  Nothing like a Monday bout of food poisoning to put life in perspective.

Sometimes we experience setbacks for reasons other than our own failures.  Yesterday and today I've been able to feel the great love and compassion of roommates and friends, garner a greater appreciation for the power of the priesthood, and learn more about how to treat my body.  I also promise never to take for granted normal digestive processes again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I love:

Breathtaking mountain sunsets
Daily hugs
Starry nights
when those I love are happy
Beauty and the Beast
breaking rules
People who believe in me

This week will be a challenge.  I've never been this behind in school and work, and somehow I've got to find a way to make my shifting priorities fit into the 24 hours I'm given each day.  I'm grateful that Father knows what he's doing with my life, even if I have no clue.

What I need to remember this week: Perspective.

Goals for the week: Daily scripture immersion and acts of service

What I have to get done this week: all my hours of work and a neurobiology research paper

Who I am grateful for today: (and everyday) Celeste, my daddy, and all of the people who smile at me when I pass them in the hallway

How I will survive this week: prayer and scarves

What I want to do this week REALLY badly, but won't: eat all of the cake sitting on the counter.

What I shouldn't do this week, but probably will: buy a new coat and boots at Plato's Closet

People I miss desperately and need to call: Hannah and Nicole

The light at the end of the tunnel: Thanksgiving break and my map art project

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Because life goes up and down, in and out, through, around, under, and over.  But it always goes.  Enjoy the series of beautiful messes and learn everything you can from them.  In the end, the only things that really matter are the lessons you learn, the relationships you build, and your personal ability to discern and follow Father's will.

Study, ponder, pray, think, learn, and understand.  Then go LIVE.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


"Take a breath and take your time."

I'm not a very patient person.  I get frustrated when things don't go as quickly as I want them to, or in the right direction right away.  So many things have come easily in my life that persistence is one of the traits I still very much lack.  I don't seem to have the innate ability to slow down and be okay with quiet and simple changes.  In times like this, what I need most is the faith to be patient.  It's not that this is too heavy, it's that I have to carry it for too long.  

Tonight I fought quiet and calm for hours.  I stayed on campus as long as possible, and when I was finally able to drag myself home I quickly jumped into several hours of cleaning.  If I hadn't promised to be safer, tonight would be an ideal night for a run.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011


In my moments of weakness, despair, worry and anxiety, the worst part is that I can't remember how it feels to be right before God.  Today I want to give myself something to remember.  Today everything is beautiful- the mountains, my relationships, the salad I'm eating for lunch, the warmth of my sweatshirt, the colors of the leaves...and while I don't have all the answers, I am at peace.  I know that I am on the right path, with an upward trajectory.  I am learning more every day, and becoming more confident in what I need to be doing.  And I have some answers.  It is those that I will strive to remember as days get dark and hope seems scarce.

I had an experience this morning that reminded me how worth it adversity is in our lives.  This past year I had to go through copious amounts of paperwork to prove my parent's income and taxes, etc. It was quite stressful, and I was concerned all the while that BYU would end up taking away my financial aid anyway.  Then, this morning, I received a message that the result of the audit was an increase in my federal financial aid.  Sometimes when we have to do hard things, it's because God wants to give us something better.  Most of the time, actually.

Friday, November 4, 2011

From theory to application

less talking, more doing

(thank you, Home Depot commercials)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


My biggest pet peeve about this time of year is how in a rush everyone is to get presents that they skip over the ONLY holiday dedicated to being grateful.

Courage, Determination, Committment

God has promised us the right to receive personal revelation.  He has, in fact, commanded us to do so.  
And right now, that's the major thing I'm focusing on.  Thanks to my lovely roommate Celeste, I read a wonderful article this morning that reminded me of the importance of sticking with decisions and pushing forward.

Commitment is important, with ideas, actions, and especially people.  Just because our passionate determination wavers does not mean something is wrong- it simply means we need to remember what we once knew and try harder.

A few lines I specifically needed this morning:

The reminder is that we cannot sign on for a moment of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight--a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless.

If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now.

Revelation almost always comes in response to a question, usually an urgent questions--not always, but usually.  In that sense it does provide information, but it is urgently needed information, special information.  

You will need information, too, but in matters of great consequence it is not likely to come unless you want it urgently, faithfully, humbly.  Moroni calls it seeking "with real intent" (Moroni 10:4).  If you can seek that way, and stay in that mode, not much that the adversary can counter with will dissuade you from a righteous path.  You can hang on, whatever the assault and afflication, because you have paid the price to==figuratively, at least--see the face of God and live.

After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, "go forward."  Don't fear, don't vacillate, don't quibble, don't whine.

Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened this dispensation.  It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going.

Take home message:
1) Revelation comes when we recognize how desperately we need it, and when that desperate desire urges us to look to God.
2) Once we have received answers, we must act on them immediately and continuously, without waver or doubt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

what happened when I Googled a term for neuro...

1. Anti-Defamation League
2. Adults Defecating in Laundromats
3. Advanced Distributed Learning initiative
4. Adl; an Arabic word meaning justice
5. Animal Defense League
6. Arthur D. Little- Linking Strategy, technology, and innovation
7. Activities of Daily Living


Just in case you were thinking up acronyms for your booming new organization, club, or cult, ADL is already taken.  Like a hundred times over.

This post could also be titled: 
why Americans need to work on their creativity in regard to acronyms
why English needs more than 26 letters

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I loathe how much I care about other people's perception of me.  I hate that in making decisions for my future, I have to constantly fight against what I think others' perceptions of my choices will be.  And the funny thing is, I play into it.  I worry that others don't take my major seriously, that they don't believe that what I'm studying is important and valuable- and yet I constantly demean it myself.  And it's not just in my education that this is an issue.  I am acutely aware of how little the world thinks of mothers who stay home with their children, so while that is one of my greatest desires in life, I often feel that it's not enough- or at least that it won't be enough for others.

But here's the thing:
If it's enough for me, and more importantly, if it's enough for God, then why should it matter?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This I Know

I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and who gives me direct counsel and guidance.
The Priesthood is powerful, and I can receive it's blessings personally.
It is only in following God's plan that I can fulfill my full potential.
All of this requires intense trust in Him.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Want to know what success looks like? 

 It looks like standing up to your boss and completing an ORCA grant at the last minute.  It looks like an epic Murder Mystery party despite countless setbacks, and a toga costume.  It looks like tons of delicious leftovers, a non-sleep headache, and the ability to look back on the week and realize that you somehow got everything done that you needed to.  Most of all, it looks like your little brother standing up for himself in front of a judge, creating the opportunity for loads of strangers have wholesome fun together, and the slow yet steady process of understanding how God speaks to you.  Sometimes success doesn't involve all of the answers you want, or being certain about everything in life- but it's the ability to find happiness within the mayhem, to feel at peace with yourself at every step in the journey.  Tonight, success is the moment just before I fall asleep, when I understand in utter exhaustion that it's all worth it, and the joy that consumes me in realizing that I get to begin a new chapter in this adventure every morning.


A great example of why it's so important to give people the opportunity to shine.
I firmly believe that opportunity is the best thing we can give others.
And boy, did he take it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

space case

I'm not the most organized person ever, but usually I do alright.  Recently, though, I've been majorly spacing.  Proof:

1. Yesterday I had a loooong day and huge work meeting as well as a research study I was proctoring, all of which I needed my laptop for.  Guess what the one thing I forgot to bring to school was?

2. Tonight I remembered that I had to sign up for classes.  I checked my registration date, and it turns out I could have registered two days ago.  Rock on.

I've been so overbooked lately, and this weekend is not going to make life any easier.  I need to figure out a way to lessen this craziness, or I'm going to explode into tiny little pieces.  Although that might be amusing, now that I think about it...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Elder Busche, 1996

You may think it's cheesy, but these are the idealized words I need to remind myself of every day.
My boss and professor showed us this in class this morning, and it really touched me.

Simple truths, simple lives.

closing time

i used to be really good at writing papers at 1am.

maybe it's the fact that i've already re-written this paper twice, or that it's a lot harder to fake your way through a neurology paper than an english one...or it might have something to do with the last hour and a half i spent formatting my references page.

the point is, i'm out of motivation.

which is why i'm downing ben & jerry's and staring at a blank conclusion page for a paper that was due an hour and a half ago.

when i finish, i'm going to reward myself with running shoes.  FACT.

Friday, October 21, 2011



ice cream
test scores
Five Guys
ice packs
alarm clocks
future plans
grad school
and the realization that most of the time, I'm the one to blame for my misery.

I have so much to be grateful for, and so much more control over my destiny that I usually want to admit.

On relationships and running shoes

A thought from a friend's blog that blew me away:

"The ultimate thing you can do with your agency is to love someone enough to belong to them."
-Eric d'Evengee

In other news, I got my first running injury this week!  And not even from a cool story, but the result of a slightly too long run and worn-out shoes.  I woke up Wednesday morning with my foot aching, and then decided to go to tap class anyway.  Moral of the story: when your foot is injured, let it rest.  Otherwise, you may not be able to walk very well.

Upside of the injury?  Expert advice from Celeste and Megan (with some epic boy talk thrown in), the discovery of ice cups, and my maiden voyage to the 26.2 store!  

The possibility that I may be becoming a runner is simultaneously exciting and horrifying...but I actually geeked out about running shoes today.  This MUST be what the end of the world feels like.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A concept I want to understand:

"Just because something cannot be done in steps, it does not follow that it cannot be done at all."
-C. Terry Warner

Lately I've been trying to wrap my mind around Slife's idea of non-linear time...and this seems to fit somehow.  Yet my Greek educational heritage is pushing back with tremendous force.
How does one change their view of a paradigm to include things never before considered a possibility?


My tap teacher showed this to us in class this morning, and presented an interesting perspective.
Most of us are not away at war, few of us will ever have to worry about contracting a serious disease like malaria.  The sacrifices we are asked to make are very different, but not any less important.  Perhaps the sacrifices that we make now are not in laying down our life or going off to battle, but in the daily choices we make to live consistent lives of truth.  We talk a lot about sacrifice, but not much about it's purpose.  It seems to me that the purpose of sacrifice is to help others be able to go home- home to our Father in Heaven.  When viewed from that perspective, the seemingly small choices I make on a daily basis suddenly have much greater weight and significance.  

So maybe that's how this is worth it,
and how sacrifice finds purpose:
When we give our life so someone else can live.
So someone can go home.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lessons of Late

1. Update budget often.  Otherwise, you'll realize that dozens of five dollar trips to the grocery store add up quicker than you thought.

2. The testing center CLOSES at ten.  Meaning that if you're in the line of epic proportions waiting to turn your test in when the testing center's clock strikes it's pumpkin hour, tough luck.

3. Sometimes thinking through things too much makes my head feels like it's going to explode, and I don't get any further toward a logical conclusion than when I started.

4. Running can be an excellent way to relieve stress, and sleep is necessary for happiness.

5.  Sundays are Heavenly Father's way of forcing us to remember what's important, and that usually consists of some variation on "slow down".

6. When it comes to cookies, making a double batch is always the right choice.

7. Life comes and goes.  Laugh, cry, and hide when you have to.  But never give up, because it all happens, and it all passes.

Keep on keeping on.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

"The Lord uses a scale very different from the world's to measure the weight of a soul."

How different is my scale?  
How do I measure the worth of others?  
How do I measure the worth of myself?

Friday, October 14, 2011

why i'm not ready to be a parent

One of the hardest things for me is letting people figure things out on their own.  Even little things like baking and cleaning, if I know how to do it I would rather just take charge than explain it to someone else or let them struggle to figure it out.  But when it comes to things like people's critical life decisions, sometimes you really have to let them flounder a bit.  I so wish I could jump in and safe everyone and fix everything, but that's just not the way life works.  The times in my life I've grown the most and become the woman I am today have been because I had to tough it out on my own- and with divine help.  It takes trust in someone's abilities and potential to do that.  Guess I need to work on trusting others more.

The song I've needed today:

stop and stare

Last night when I finally got home from campus in the wee hours of the evening, I collapsed on the grass outside my apartment, sinking into the ground and soaking up the breathtaking sky.  That deep into the night, the sky was a brilliant shade of deepest blue that seemed to be glowing by the light of an almost full moon.  The same moonlight that lit up the tip of an aspen tree, reflecting the many hues of reds, yellows, and oranges that strike meaning into life and fire into my soul.  And just above me was my protector tree, a strong silver-tip pine, determined, and yet gentle with the purest brightness and it's scent reminding me of home.  Music blasting in my ears and thoughts weighing on my that moment, I felt encapsulated in Father's love.  In His plan.  In the beauty and magnificence that is this world.

I'm grateful for a moment like that.  Just as I'm grateful for the girl I met in the temple this morning and was able to give a ride home, the stress relieving runs that allow me to prove how strong I am, and the inspirational friend who has shown more spiritual growth than I ever thought possible.  These are the moments that make life worth living.  Notice them, hold onto them, and live them.  Otherwise, we'll miss out on what life is really about.