Monday, January 30, 2012

Books and Lives

Thank you, Sadek.

Monday Thought

No one can succeed unless given the opportunity to try.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


In church today we talked about the talk "Desire" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  It's a really good talk, and in reading it this afternoon, I realized this:

There is a difference between repression and changing our desires.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

night of undulations

two people I love dearly

a tension-filled car ride

delicious chipotle

mildly disconcerting texts and a dream I don't know what to do with

an amazing and contemplative theatrical production

invigorating discussion on the ride home

disjointed attempts at resolution

unanswered questions


sunsets, granola, and girl's choice

Today I was going through my camera and realized I never got around to sharing this amazing sunset with the world.  I did, however, get to share it with my amazing friend Hannah.

And now with you!

 And my granola turned out fantastic!  

Just in case you're interested, here's what I did:

First, I covered the counter with these wonderful ingredients:
  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2(ish) teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1(ish) tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
I combined all of those lovely things (except for the cranberries) and then spread them on a cookie sheet and stuck them in a 300 degree oven.  Every 10 minutes or so I stirred things up, just to make sure there weren't any massive clumps.  After about 45 minutes I took them out, stirred in the cranberries, and viola!

Aren't you jealous?

Also...last night was the girl's choice Winter Ball.  After some serious contemplation (er...procrastination), I finally decided to ask my fantastic boyfriend.  And then my wonderful roommate snatched this picture of us:


I love my life.

Hopes, Dreams, and Reality

There are dishes littering the counter right now, stained with remnants of blueberry chocolate chip pancakes and reminding me of the amazing friends I have.  An aroma of maple syrup and vanilla is wafting from the oven, and I'm anxious to find out if my attempts at making homemade Granola was a success.  My brain may not be working super well today, and I may be fairly tired- but both are reminders of how blessed I am to have people worth being with into the wee hours of the morning.  I may have had awful dreams again last night- but I am grateful for the contrast between dreams and reality, and for the people who help and hold me through the parts of reality I am not yet ready to face.

I am loving how my hopes and dreams are starting to mesh with reality.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Because I'm feeling fantastic and want to share!

"By becoming the answer to someone's prayer, we often find the answer to our own."
-President Uchtdorft

Words of Mormon

verse 7
And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me.  And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things, which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me according to his will.

Sometimes I forget that the guidance and direction that comes from deity is not merely good advice.  It is not something to be taken as an interesting thought that I might incorporate.  It is guidance from a Father and Elder Brother, who love and care for me more than anyone else ever could.  It is their pleadings with me to take the path that will best the best in the long run.

When I remember the source, I remember how important it is to listen.

Worth It

Sometimes I have to remind myself that if life wasn't difficult, it wouldn't be worth it.   If we didn't go through hard things, we wouldn't learn anything.  We wouldn't progress.  

And what is life, if not an opportunity to learn, grow, and progress?

Monday, January 23, 2012


Mondays don't make sense.  They make me feel like I skipped a part of life.  I'm in favor of starting the week on Tuesday, and just tacking Monday on somewhere in the middle.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


"The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go Home, but that we can feel at home there."
-Bradley R. Wilcox

Friday, January 20, 2012

On Motherhood

My wonderful roommate sent me this article today that has been jumping around my brain for the past hour, and I just need to get some thoughts out.  They aren't perfectly developed or very well articulated, but it's where I'm at right now.  This is something I'm still very much developing my feelings toward, and I find that writing out how I feel helps me understand things a little better.  So here goes.

It's not that I don't want to be a mother- I do.  I long for the days of playing with my children- long hours of make believe plays and stories, tedious moments of fingernail painting, and arduous hours of shoelace tying and bike riding attempts.  And not just the fun parts, I want all* of it.  The knock on the door just as I'm falling asleep from the little one plagued by nightmares, the struggling to learn algebra, the parent newsletters from school, the scraped knees and hurt feelings and temper tantrums and runny noses and dirty diapers.  The fights with teenagers and long nights praying for their safe return home.

It's not that I don't want all that.  I want it so much.  That's precisely the problem.  I want it so much that I'm afraid to want it.  I want it to be the mother that children look back on and remember with fondness and laughter.  I want to be my children's confidant, advisor, and friend.  But I am so afraid I won't be able to.

My life has not followed the conventional method thus far.  Growing up, my home was often not the way it ought to have been.  My life has seen it's fair share of struggles and setbacks, many in ways that make me believe I can't have the traditional family I so strongly desire.

And so my recent emphasis has been on education.  Because that, I can control.  I can push forward and prepare myself to enter a challenging doctoral study program- I can network and maintain great grades and work way too many hours a week.  But I don't really want it.  Don't get me wrong- I want to have an impact on the world.  I want to learn more and influence others- but I could do that in much easier ways than the one I've chosen.  I'm not doing it because it's the easy way out, I'm doing it because I feel like that's what I'm supposed to be doing.  Because I don't think God would give me all these opportunities unless he intended for me to use them.  And because I don't know exactly how I'm supposed to use them yet, I'm working as hard as I can to open as many doors as possible.  My hope is that in opening those doors, I'm not unintentionally blocking off access to other, more important ones.

*One important caveat: I don't particularly want to endure childbirth.  Pregnancy, sure.  Raising children, you bet.  But the 24+ hours spent actually delivering said child, that I'm not looking forward to.  That said, I recognize that childbirth is a necessary component of the whole process, so I'm willing to overlook it for the moment.  But I should mention that I reserve the right to change my stance on that at any moment during the labor itself.

The reason I will consider Boston College

"The tragedy about academia is that so many people use the freedom they are given to do the research everyone else wants them to do."
-Spencer Harrison

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How I take kindness for granted

I found a  quote today from an article that I very much appreciated. (I don't agree with all of it, for the record, just the general sentiment.)
"It is much easier for us to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of our wives, our female friends, our girlfriends, our female employees, our female colleagues, than for us to impose them on the shoulders of men."
Today I am grateful for the people in my life who don't do this to me.  I am quite literally crazy about some things- childhood trauma does that.  I'm very cognizant of this fact, and I routinely make fun of myself for it.  But here's the thing:

No one else does.

All of the people in my life who I really love-  my best friends, my boyfriend, my family -they never tease me about it.  They never use it to excuse their own behavior.  And they are usually very, very patient with me.  I have such wonderful friends.  I am so blessed to be surrounded by gentle people who understand that behind my stalwart front is an often fragile girl who needs love and respect.

Thank you.

By your side

Please don't fight 
these hands that are holding you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

phrase of the day

"intellectual inbreeding"

...also possibly the reason why I have so many friends that are engineers.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I think it's funny my last post meant something entirely different on Sunday than it does today.  Sunday it meant pain.  Today it means hope, determination, and a reminder to slow down. letting someone help you can be scarier than just enduring the pain.  We humans are quite silly creatures. we get so caught up in knowing everything, that we can't see what's right in front of us.  

How did I get 20 years into my life without learning so many of these vital lessons?  I guess that's why we have so much time to learn, discover, and improve.  It's all about progression.

Tonight, I'm grateful for so many things.
People to serve.
Love strong enough to heal.
Inspiration and epiphanies.
Being silly.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

why I love what I do

Ideas are powerful.  
The way we think about something often constitutes what it is- or at least what its reality is to us.  If you want to change everything about someone, change the way they think.  There can be no greater impact on a person or society than to change a fundamental idea.  This is why seemingly minor shifts in the way the world views the family, beauty, and success have the potential to have such a destructive effect.  It is also why teaching a few principles of true doctrine can cause a person to turn their entire life around.  Ideas are so much more powerful than a handful of words.  They are always at the root of change.

This is why I study ideas.  They aren't just fun things to play with.  The right ideas, the right way of thinking about things, in the right hands, will change the world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This I Know

God answers prayers.  He even answers questions that don't quite seem like prayers.

Love is the most important thing.  In fact, it is THE thing.  And there's a reason why the first 2 Commandments happen in the order they do.  

The best way to put life in perspective is to spend some time serving others.  When the universe isn't just revolving around me, things make more sense and life is easier to handle and prioritize.  

Laughter IS the best medicine.  But sometimes you don't need medicine in the traditional sense, but rather the kind that coats your insides with peace.

I will sing my children to sleep.  If they wake up with nightmares, I will let them crawl into bed with me.  If they can't sleep, I will stay by their bedside to remind them they are safe and loved.  My home will be a place of hugs, music, and reading.

It is okay to be quiet.  
Sometimes it is just time to listen,
even if that means listening to the silence.

(And a random plug for my favorite violinist.  Best music for getting to sleep.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


You know what I do sometimes?  I focus on the negative.  I take for granted all of the hundreds and thousands of amazing things about my life and focus on the couple that aren't perfect.  And you know what the irony of the situation is?  I tend to focus on the negative most when my life is the best.  How do I know this, you ask?  Because right now, my life is downright amazing.

Largely due to the events of the past semester, I'm in a place in my life where I really feel like I'm on the right track.  I'm learning more and more how to be on the same page as my Heavenly Father, focusing on what He knows will be best in the long run.  I'm learning to be okay with taking a few steps (or running a few miles) in the dark, because I believe that as long as I'm constantly seeking, course changing direction will come when it's right.

I'm LEARNING so much!  In school, personal religious study, and about relationships and the world at large, I am learning.  And I LOVE to learn.  Every day I learn new things, and often big things.  Last night I had a major realization about the nature of the Godhead and our relationship with each of it's members.  All week I've been getting more information about future plans that will allow me to be best prepared to open a lot of doors, and then make informed decisions that are best for me and my family.  The incredibly wonderful and patient people around me help me learn more about myself and how to best approach relationships.  And I am attending a very good university, working a great job, associating with helpful and compassionate mentors, and being constantly blessed with the funds to get through it all without financial stress.

My apartment is a SAFE place.  Every day I come home to a place where I feel comfortable, safe, and loved.  Even when it's messy, I can always feel the Spirit in my apartment.  It is an environment where talking about spiritual questions, insights, and concerns is encouraged.  Where words of affirmation are constant, and hugs and back rubs happen often.  Where food is shared, laughter is had, and ukulele playing and singing are common occurrences.  It is a place that I want to come home to.

The PEOPLE in my life are amazing.  My roomates are beyond wonderful- silly, sporadic, insightful, inspiring, and always loving.  I finally feel like my family at home is in good hands, and I'm not worried about them like I used to be.  I have great friends in my ward, at home, and across the country having adventures that I get to share in to different degrees- all of whom inspire me to be better.  And, I have an amazing boyfriend who, despite his own stresses about school, graduation, grad school, and real life, always manages to find the time to be the loving and stalwart support that I need.  I'm very glad that God is choosing to bless me with a lot more than I actually deserve.

My HEALTH is largely intact.  Heavily due to the influence of a wonderful roomate, I'm more healthy than I've been in ages.  I'm making efforts to exercise on a regular basis, and feeling stronger every day as a result. (Well, almost every day.  Thank you lactic acid.)  Food is something I'm developing a more healthy relationship with, as I learn how to eat in a way that makes me feel good.

My life will always have challenges, everyone's does.  But if all I focus on is the challenges, I lose sight of the beautiful things that make life worth living.  Like the sunrise run in the snow I took with Celeste yesterday.  And the security I feel every time my boyfriend holds me.  Or the rush of excitement I can hardly contain when I get a new idea or figure something out.

These are the things that matter.  
And for them, I am grateful.

Oh, and this movie comes out this year.
I take that back.
This movie comes out NEXT WEEKEND.
Not that I'm excited or anything.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


The best part of life is the ups and downs.  I am a firm believer that we can only feel joy to the extent that we feel sadness- that all emotions have an equal and opposite pull.  I am so grateful for the sorrows in my life that allow me to feel such a great depth of joy.  Such emotions have no words.  They just are.  And I am grateful to be human if for no other reason that I get to be part of the mess that is love.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


i love being busy, it helps me maintain sanity.
i appreciate people who think about things I do, and who understand the importance of being passionate about ideas.
long days are worth it when coming home means safety and peace.
things that seem perfect at first are never nearly as beautiful as those that you patiently watch develop.

oh, and pomegranates are yummy, but can tear up your mouth almost as bad as sour patch kids.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


So many
too many
too much
not enough
wrong ones
right answers
right ones
wrong answers
right one.

broken bits wound up together
tying, stretching, bound by tether
grasping, hoping in the dark
blindly shooting at a mark
hope beyond hope the shot is straight
hoping more hope won't come late

confusion blackens my attempt
for clarity without contempt
clawing out and breaking walls
doesn't seem to stop the falls
a wish a dream how it could be
when answers mean my safety

too much
so much
too many
can't win
can hope

when the answers that I think I want
are so far away
blind steps into the dark
are what I do today

Monday, January 2, 2012

Here's to a year of Sunrises

This morning I woke up after a very, very short nap with very mixed feelings about this day.  Today means leaving my biological family in the care of my earthly and heavenly parents, but it also means reuniting with my Provo family that I have missed so dearly.  It means a long day after a week of very little rest, and the beginning of a semester that will undoubtedly be full of many such days.  And yet, it also means the return of intense learning, passion, and the opportunity to build my life.  It means a return to the rapid spiritual progression I've come to expect these past few months.  Most of all, it means breaking down walls, building relationships, and moving forward.

It was insanely difficult to get myself to the airport this morning.  I cursed myself for scheduling such an early flight. And yet, with all my grumpy morning feelings, once in the sky my perspective slowly changed.  As I put my headphones in and was serenaded by the beautiful voice of Josh Groban, I watched the most breathtaking sunrise out the airplane window.  It was such a slow, beautiful process.  And throughout the process, I realized the simple metaphor of it all.  I am hardly ever ready for the morning to come, but as it does my worries fall away in the overwhelming beauty of new experiences.

I'm ready for a whole bunch of new experiences.  
Let's do this.