Saturday, December 31, 2011

It seems silly to say 'time flies', for various cliche reasons - none of which are worth mentioning here, but indeed it does. Another year gone and we're still kickin' on! 
Now that I've gotten that out of the way...
This is usually the part where you put down all the wonderful things that happened to you this year, followed by all that you're going to do next year. But if you really cared about that, you'd call me up and ask me to tell it to your face, instead of just reading it second hand on some automatic post that will appear eventually on my facebook timeline. And what's more, I don't care much for telling you, as I have already written this all down in my private journal and my hand is starting to cramp up from the process. Ah, look at me - the new year's not even begun and I'm already finding things to complain about. 
Hands
Paper
Pretzels
^ All things I'm thankful for, and am now telling you so I can avoid looking like a jerk.
I will, however, tell you those pesky new years resolutions I've drawn up. I figure it'll be my contribution to the holiday, as I'll be spending my evening doing what I do very often on new years...no, not partying...yes, that's right: babysitting. Go ahead and look at me funny, but I don't mind - I do it a lot. And someday I'll need to steal some girl away from her family to watch my crazy kids, so I'll even out the universe then.

#1) Don't be such a slob Maddy!
I've been known for most of my life as the messy slob of the house, never quite having what could be considered as a 'clean' room (even when I moved out of it), and somehow never managing to exit a room without leaving some trail behind. This has been a work in progress for the past 20 years, and I'd like to think that I've accomplished something since I graduated high school, but unless learning how to be more creative with how I hide stuff counts as organization, than I'd be wrong. It's time to pull out the 'prized boxes' of junk and bring in the trash bags! Theoretically, the less stuff I have the less mess I'll be able to make.
Theoretically...what a beautiful and weird looking word.

#2) Project: MONEY SCRIMP AND SAVE
I  have to major events coming up this year - both of which will cost me big in the money department. First, I have London in the fall, where I have applied to study abroad with the BYUI English department. The first $500 deposit I've paid for, but I've still got a long ways to go before I've covered the rest of the expenses. This has been on my plan list since I was 12 though, so I'll do whatever it takes to save those pennies.
Another 12 year old dream that just happens to coincide with my travel plans this year is a mission. The 17th of this month will mark my 'year away' point. I've been preparing for this one for years as well, but unfortunately the 12 year old mind doesn't think in fiscal terms...nor does the 19 year old one, apparently. While I have little currently set aside for these two events, I do have some, and that some will soon become enough so long as I learn that lesson I should have learned when walking came into the picture: 
budgeting. 

#3) Read, read and read. Then write.
As always, my reading list has grown to substantially great heights, and it's time to tackle it once more. With the time I don't spend these next few months working for money, I will be hacking away at that monstrous list and hopefully leaving it behind with a noticeable dent. 
Than I'll do what every aspiring writing does: I'll steal their ideas and write the next great novel!

#4) Don't wait until New Years to make resolutions!
I've never had much trouble with this - I'm very good at coming up with plans.
I suppose it's the doing part that I'm skimpy with. So let me revise that beginning statement to read: 'Don't wait until New Years to start acting!'
I love that line in I Am a Child of God: "teach me all that I must do" - what an inspired change, from 'know' to 'do'. If I have one wish for this year, it is that I will finally learn when to stop thinking and start acting. There is much still I have to learn, but I have long since passed the point where idle observation is acceptable.

So I suppose the real motto for my new year should be: 'MADDY! GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND DO SOMETHING TODAY!'

Ah, what a wonderful message.

Happy New Years to you all! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rats

Heels touch the ground like
A battering ram on a dam wall:
Applying just enough pressure to
Spill out the wet river
Of dark red and black.

Swimming in inflamed
Tears of blood, splinters around my toes
And feet make me add salt to the flow.
Oh my poor damaged soles:
Never again whole!

The sun dries the flood
Of color on my feet, but it does
Nothing to end the knowledge of sleep -
Deprivation ahead.
And my sores now think -

All this from a little midnight snack?

an app for that?

I realized today, while doing some life pondering in the shower, that I don't look at people when I talk to them. I have a real eye contact problem. I mean this seems to happen no matter what!
Someone will ask me a question, and I'm like "all eyes on you!" but then when I go to respond my focus will wander from just them, to everything around them, as if the tree to their left has an opinion to offer up as well or something. I always feel bad about this stupid issue I have, but never enough to stop looking at the tree, or the piece of fluff in the air right by their ear. Sometimes I do this weird skipping around thing, where I'll look at the tree, then their nose, then a cloud to the right, then back at their nose again - never quite directly in their eyes, and before I know it I'm dizzy in the head and can't remember my train of thought or anything I just said and I begin rambling on and on about something that I think might answer their question, but then I get off on this long tangent like I am now and before you know it I'm ending with an "and, like...yeah..."

Friday, December 2, 2011

Snapple

When I wake up this morning, I feel like Alexander - sure that it will be a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, and VERY bad day. No real surprises there - that's normally how you feel after a rough night's rest and a late start in the morning. And it had been a very rough night.
After waking up, I make the brilliant decision to stay in bed for a few more seconds, you know - so I can "plan out my day", and all that jazz. Two seconds later and it's now 11. I'm to meet with some classmates in 10 minutes to run over our lines, so I roll out of bed, throw on a sweatshirt and jeans and run out the door. It quickly proves to be colder than sweatshirt weather, but I'm already late so I decide to just cut through buildings and tough it out. When I reach the library to print off my lines for class, I find the only available computer shut down. So I reboot it and decided to order a breakfast from the library cafe while I wait. I figure it'd be smart to get something in my body.
I try to mentally let the lady behind the counter know how much of a hurry I'm in, while also glancing precariously at the computer screen booting up, hoping to see the words 'log in' appear.
But they never come.
I walk back over and do the silly 'hit random buttons and shake the mouse' dance we all do when we're desperate for something to change, but it only makes things worse - so I just shut the whole thing down again and move over to the one next to me (the girl there having just left). She seems to have shut hers down too, so I push the reboot button then shuffle back to the counter to pick up my bagel and ice cold strawberry kiwi snapple drink: you know - the drink from heaven? The one I've been dreaming about all morning? I place it in my drink pocket - knowing I'm in a hurry and wont have time to sip until later.
Coming back to the screen I find it still loading - and I'm now five more minutes late for my meeting, so I give up and run out the door. Luckily my class is in the building right to me, so I'm only out in the snow for a few seconds before reaching the warm hallway: just enough time to note how pretty yet cold it looks outside.
I start climbing the stairs, and next thing I know I'm on the floor - something shattering beneath me. Snapple drink is quickly decorating the stair way, and I groan as I realize I've tripped over my feet again. I've become rather adapt at that.
Just when I'm about to sink back down to the floor, the girl nearest me immediately stops to help. Saying something beautiful like "I'll go grab paper towels", she runs back up the stairs and disappears. I'm still staring at the floor when no less than four more girls offer to help. I politely decline, saying someone's already gone for towels, but a few of them stop anyway, and set down their bags. Three more disappear for towels as I begin picking up the broken pieces of glass. Another helps me guide people around the mess and on through the stairs. Every single person, coming up and down, offers to help or - if in a rush like me, gives an appreciated look of sorrow. Feeling an enormous love for these strangers, I thank them but show them we're fine, and begin to pick up even more bits of broken glass. That's when I see the blood running down my hand. Apparently picking up glass with your bare hands is not the way to go.
Some more girls appear with paper towels, and I grab one to stop the bleeding. I'm still feeling so grateful for these awesome strangers when another shows up at the bottom of the stairs with a towel and says she's called the janitor and he'll be here in a minute. She starts cleaning up what's fallen to the bottom floor, as the first girl turns back to me and says something beautiful again - something like "Are you late for class? Why don't you go get that finger cleaned up and we'll finish up." I want to run and hug this angel, but they kept telling me to go, and I know the rest of my group was waiting for me outside of class. We only had two minutes now to run over our lines before presenting.
I walk into the room with a bloody hand and a destroyed meal - but a grateful heart.
Realizing, however, that I still don't have my lines, I momentarily panic - whipping out my computer and planning on simply reading from the screen if needs be. But then my professor saves the day by deciding to start class with a review - giving me plenty of time to copy my notes onto note cards before we begin.
And then another girl in my class makes my day even more amazing by whipping out a bag of snickerdoodles and anouncing that she had made treats for us all to share.
And then my teacher lets us out early to get started on our final papers for next week.
And then I walk down the stairs and see the cleaned steps and I wanted to hug everyone again.
And then I go outside and its no longer snowing.
And then I go home and log on my computer - ready to start my mountain of papers. But even then - with the prospect of hours of homework ahead - God will not let me mope! It seems he is determined to remind me how pointless sorrow can be - and how crucial a good attitude.
I log onto my student e-mail to see I have a message from the financial aid department. Thinking it's merely some more fees I owe, I switch over to my awards page to see the amount.
$500.
$500 in my account. Wait...what? In? Yup! Right there - next to the amount is the word 'award' - Faith Aagard Gormley award - $500! I have NO idea what I did to receive this grant, NO idea how the money got in my account, by I'm secretly hugging every single person in a ten mile radius, and thanking whoever Faith Gormley is for being the most awesome human being on the planet right now. Then I google her and find out she's dead - which I should have guessed simply because it's some award - so I thank her for being the most awesome person in Heaven right now.

So, sitting here, typing with band-aids on my fingers and an empty stomach, I can't help but be glad.

Rexburg is a beautiful place, no? While I still have four papers to write, a film to watch, three tests to study, six chapters and one book to read, I am grateful to find myself surrounded by people just as busy as I with such generous hearts. This school is remarkable, and I am thankful every day to be a part of it.

I don't know what it is - but God has something great planned for me. He has something great planned for all of us - and I'm grateful I've finally wised up enough to stop trying to get there myself.

He knows what he's doing, even if I don't. He knows what I need - broken pieces of glass and all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

musings on a minute

Often, we think in increments of time.
It is only natural, as this is how we were born into the world.
I, for instance, was born at 8:48 pm, on the fifth day of the third week on the seventeenth day in the first month in the year of 1992.
That's a lot of numbers.

We act through what we know, and what we know is time: clocks, watches, sundials, programs, calendars, bells, schedules, alarms - these set the standard for our daily activity. We move in and out of action based on this thing called 'time'; in and out of days, in and out of weeks, in and out of years, in and out of lives...

But what does time profit a man?
A little order to chaos?
Oh, how 'little' that order may be; when we claim to lose time, claim to need time, claim to never have enough time...It's all foolishness really, for time was invented for structure and demand. Time was invented for mortal minds.

We cannot see this thing which is nothing.
So why let it cause so much pain?

If time is for man - a temporal purpose at best - then let us use it for such a cause.

Do not let impatience cloud God's work.
His clock runs different than ours.
Wet
(Sheep Falls on The Henry's Fork)

Battered, bruised, broken;
I cannot move for pain.
Thousands undivided:
Pressing down on my skin
Damp jaws devour my flesh,
Guiding bits on with their moist
Saliva and blood.
The torrential battle forever
Raging on: the force consumes me.
Those below scream for help,
For benevolence.
Friends now enemies and enemies
Friends as each tattered break
Moves us closer toward eternity's end.

Some call me endless -
A base, a foundation, a rock -
But here I am, wounded,
Water's oppressed foe.
Droplets a battalion
Ending my everlasting soul.

Time and pressure plague all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11

Today I am thankful -
It may not be much -
But today
I am thankful
For love and such.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the most wonderful time


I love November. It is perhaps my favorite month of the year (next only to January and December). This three month span is by far the happiest for me, regardless of circumstances in life. It doesn't matter what's going on in the world, I am almost always found with a smile on my face. The crisp air is part of it, to be sure - but the wonderful music, happy people and addictive holiday spirit all play a part as well. And of course there's the food...
I don't necessarily have a specific reason for loving this season so much, but love it I do, and love it I will.

I embraced the designer in me the other day and redid my entire room - starting with the bed. Since I have no roommate I decided to push the extra bed next to mine, creating one huge, brightly colored and totally bounceable bed. It totally opened up the entire room, and for some reason seeing it look so pretty has motivated me to not only make my bed each morning (something I have never done in my life...ever), but to also keep things in their proper place. I've been getting better at the whole 'keeping your room clean' bit since college (partly because you can get thrown out to the streets for a messy room here) but now I actually want to be in a clean room! I know I'm a bit behind on this - but really, I've never felt so accomplished before - having such a clean and spacey room! It's spectacular.

I've also been cooking more: making homemade meals instead of eating frozen foods, and eating three meals a day! (That's a new one for me too - I hardly ever eat breakfast.) Even though I don't have class till 11, I've started waking up at 8 each day, and today I even did it with a smile on my face - no grumbling at all! I've been saying my morning and evening prayers without forgetting, running much more frequently than I used to, and I've even found time to practice - something I've been missing out on for a long while now. And I can't even feel my achy arm anymore because I'm just happy I can still play! It makes me wish I had a piano in my room - but I suppose the walk is good for me, even in this windy weather.

I'd like to credit these changes to my spectacular awesomeness as a human being, but I know it has got to be something in the air, because I've always wanted to be this person I've become and it hasn't happened till now. The desire was always there, but the action wasn't, you know? There's just something about this season that finally provoked me off my lazy butt - and boy am I grateful.

It's only the 2nd day of the month, but so far - November rocks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Semi Indifference
I hear nothing as I step from the wreckage and glass, feel nothing as I scrape spent feet across the road, taste nothing but the linger of sleep in the air, and it’s as if I’m floating through time – time that does not exist.
There is no time here.
Family fragments the road – brothers here, a father there, my mother unmoving; small.
Confusion seeps through the air. Confusion I can’t breathe in, and a ringing fills my ears now – a ringing that won’t stop. It numbs the world and I fight back, screaming in my head for the sounds to be heard, screaming for feeling to penetrate those walls of nothing clouding my mind.
People are moving and words fills the air: air I cannot breathe –air I’ve replaced with vomit as the unmoving time spills from my empty lungs and the ruined meal hits the pavement.
I try to suck in something other than death, but it seems to thicken and dampen the sky. Unpleasant and dry, my damaged soles fumble to greener sides – to the patch of grass not far from here.
And then voices stream through my mind: People are talking again, fragmented words penetrate my lungs, replacing the air I’ve procured.
“Quick! Move!”
“There’s fire under the car! You need to get out of here!”
“What happened? What’s going on?”
“Are you alright?”
“Someone call for help!”
I want to breathe, all I want is to breathe, but the air will not come. I do not wish to speak, but I must before nothing reigns: I must be heard.
“Can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
I think someone hears but I shut off my mind and focus on the air around me: focus on the struggle to let it in; to allow it to break through the iron clad shell that has sprung up around my chest.
Someone is shouting: words are spoiling the air, but I stop them as they turn toward me; stop them from colliding with my already damaged body.
Then I see it – the looming giant. A shadow of a childhood dream; the nightmarish monster cloaked in dark. It’s the cause of my heaving chest and blackened soles: the cause of the pain I wish to feel, pain masked by the echo of youthful fright.
Memories and fears from a childish brain seal my leaking lungs and trap the hungry search for air inside.
I feel the dark shadow begin to extend – see it flowing from the monster like a whispered spell of night. Everything it touches turns to silence. Everything it clouds turns to death. I turn back toward the giant, unmoving and still. Indifferent, hardhearted, cold – he does not care for our fear. He does not care for our suffering.
I’m struggling for air, struggling to pull breathe from the hellish nightmare before me when the words come once more:
“B-breathe! I can’t breathe!”
It comes as a croak, the darkness filling my lungs like smoke from a cigarette, slowly eroding my life from within.
Will no one hear? Will no one stop the night from coming?
The unfeeling shadow is near me now. I see its fingers reach toward my unguarded soles, grasping my feet and the clasp of death dragging me down…down…
And then light fills the silence of fear! Light breaks the firm hold on my soles and I’m standing once more!
A man appears in my sight and lowers me to the ground. He’s strapping something around my neck and I feel the cold plastic harden my resolve. Something is placed in my mouth, then my nose, then round my arm and finally I breathe! I feel the cold life seep through every pore; through every crack in my shell and shatter the remains of death. My body is lifted on the bed of defense and we speed away from the threatening nightmare – away into the morning light.
Breathing in normal again, familiar, as if it never left. The tubes flow round me like an encompassing blanket, a comforter of hope. For a moment I’m peaceful, for a moment I’m calm.
A small voice brings me back, lost and confused.
I see my brother, Jim, on a bed like mine: his neck braced in a protective glove of plastic. Questions fill the air once more.
“Where am I?”
“An ambulance.”
“Why am I here? What happened?”
“You crashed.”
“What do you mean? What happened?”
“Don’t you remember?”
“No.”
He seems to be asking the same questions over and over again. Unsure of where we are or what has occurred. I respond this time.
“We crashed Jim. We crashed. We were hit by a semi.”
No comprehension floods his face, as it so often does when a jokes been explained. He seems to be grasping for the punch-line, waiting patiently for a sensible man to answer his query with logic. Searching for reason as I searched for air.
The man begins to speak again, and this time he’s filling the questioned silence with stories and I smile, listening to the hopes of life fill the air. But then I’m gone and he’s smiling in the distance as they roll me through the welcoming doors, and an acrid smell fills my lungs – the smell of vinegar and cotton swabs and death and I’m scared for a moment that I’ve forgotten how to breathe. And even though the machine pumping air into me is still whirling with life I hear death, think death, see death, feel death…
A scream.
A dreadful scream punctures the air as they wheel me into a room and I see my mother, shattering the sky with more fear than a lifetime can procure and her echoing sounds of pain reverberate off my momentary resolve and extinguish the light.
Before I find time – before I can panic I’m surrounded by faces in coats and they’re poking and prodding me, removing my layers of comfort and restraint, replacing them with thin layers of nothing and then wheeling me out to begin their tests: wheeling me into a dark closet of a room.
There’s another monster in here, filling the dark space in a huddling mass. I know it will tell me nothing good, so I squirm a little as they wheel me toward it. It whispers words in my ear as it fills my eyes with light…The words grow louder and louder, the lights faster and faster until I can no longer distinguish sounds from sights and sights from sounds. I feel my heart turn to living muscle and it’s beats synchronize those from above as I close my eyes to the noise. Colorful dots cross my lids and I hear them eat through my body like a parasitic bug.
Finally my heart slows, turning back to dust as the monster calms and I’m pulled away, back into the room with Mom. There’s silence in the air.
Silence.
She’s quiet now.
No time passes once more till the coats are back, telling me I’ll have to leave, telling me I’ll have to go north for help and they’re wheeling me away before the answers come and I see a line of brothers in the hall, waving goodbye as we flock through the exiting doors and into the back of yet another car.
I feel nothing, until we move.
This ride is bumpy and shoots pain through my lungs. A woman is speaking to me and I find myself longing for the nice man and his stories, longing for someone other than this irritating coat. She keeps asking me how I feel and I can’t seem to make her understand that I don’t. These pains aren’t the problem, I think as she quiets, and I look again for something to fill the emptiness inside.
Time is still missing, and before I can find it I’m on a ground floor of another hospital – in a temporary room filled with indifference. I think momentarily of the still monster on the road as they place me on a bed now, a real bed. I see the remote placed next to my head. Eyes finding the screen, I click it on and see tennis. I watch the ball move back and forth…back and forth…back and forth…and then the nurse is back, and finally I know why I’m here.
Internal bleeding. Damage to your spleen. A tear – weeks of recovery.
The words are foreign to me. She talks more, speaking the words as if she’s rehearsed them a hundred times and I shut her out as I search again for that hole inside.
I find I’m looking for emotion, some kind of relief or dread; fear or joy…but find nothing instead, nothing slowly carving out my organs, destroying my heart – hollowing my body and eating everything inside.
I stop the search. There’s no reason to look anymore.
The hardest emotion is the feel of indifference.
I turn back toward the screen, my unfilled shell sinking into the folds of the bed and I watch as the ball moves once more.

Monday, September 26, 2011

write away, I say!

"There are moments when time stands still: Breath halts in the air, wind ceases to blow, emotion dies in the heart....Right now is one of these moments. Right now I feel nothing."

I've been working on my creative non-fiction story for next weeks assignment. We've been asked to submit something to the pre-professional conference next month, and rather than be creative and come up with something completely new I've decided to submit an edited version of the story I wrote for last weeks assignment. I've just found I don't have the time to come up with something completely new, seeing as I spend all my free time working on a novel that is nowhere near ready for submission, or staring off idly into space thinking about things also non-submission worthy...
But last week we were asked to tell a story of a difficult experience we've endured, something painful that we find hard to talk about. The first thing that popped into my mind was the car wreck 5 years ago, so I decided to write about that. Truth be told, it wasn't very difficult to write. I found the details of that even come back to me with surprising detail and a sad lack of emotion, so I was able to write everything down just as I remembered it - doing my best not to embellish. 

It probably took me a total of twenty minutes to fill 8 pages. It was the editing down and refining that took longer. I spent hours weeding out unnecessary details and pruning ugly words until it flowed to my liking. I still have to have a few people peer edit it for me before I turn it in, but when I'm done I'll post it here for you all to read, if you'd like. I'm not usually one to post my personal work - but I guess I need to get over that fear sometime if I ever want to be published in anything...

While I was writing however, I was struck, as often occurs during the pursuit of a creative tale, by the ideas and thoughts of others. Thousands of stories I've heard and read and pursued over the past few weeks seemed to all come crashing together in the same shocking moment, and I found myself struggling to get them all down before they escaped from my memory. I've never typed so fast in my life!

I made major headway on my novel today, the one I've been working on for a few years now. It was wonderful to have all those half formed ideas come into sharper focus and lay themselves out before me in such a neat and orderly fashion. Usually I find myself struggling to fit together the pieces of my puzzled mind, but today the words seemed to simply fly from my finger tips and onto the page! It was awesome!

The only downside to having your creative juices fly on overload is that you tend to forget everything else happening in life at that current moment, and sometimes you miss important events because of it - like school, or homework, or sleep...

Luckily today I found my mind only wandering during one class - and my homework just happened to be my creative writing assignment, so no harm done! Now if I can only remember to eat some dinner and go to bed on time...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the middle

Life passes: sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

Presently I find myself in a stage of uncertanity. I cannot decide whether I would like thing to speed up or slow down. I desire what lies ahead, enormously - desperately, even. I want it beyond any dream at all. And yet I feel unprepared and frightened: frightened that without proper concentration and experience, my future will not be the future I desire. This uncertainty has left my brain in a jumbled mess.

In the morning I'm staring at a blank wall, seeing everything while seeing nothing: my imagination bumbling around in my head. Then I realized there are things to be done in the world, so I go out and I do them, and suddenly time stands still. A second is an hour, and an hour a day - and there's a never ending supply of things to be done, and never an end to each day. Hours spent in action with no correlation to my thoughts, which usually leads to even longer hours of correction and 're-action'. With my mind ten light years beyond my current position, more mistakes are made than not.

And then I find myself back in bed, and it begins again. Hours spent not in sleep, but in transfixed contemplation: again staring at the wall, again not seeing the wall...

My mind will not shut off. It runs day and night. I feel there are thing to be thought, things to be learned, things to discover, things to read: things that cannot happen in the hours of the day nor when chaos subsides...I feel and see and think and hear all these jumbled mismatched thoughts and I try desperately to put them aside. To place them in files or bags: to write them down, to scribble a note, to do anything and everything to keep them for later - to lay them down before the thought subsides: for it is foolish to think it will linger for long.

To find the balance between hours of creative thought and hours of actual labor has become my greatest challenge.

I tell people I'll be an author; spending a life publishing books. I tell people I'll be a wanderer; never laying rest to the world. I tell people I'll be an aider; helping those I can, and those I can't. I tell people I'll be a mother; 5 girls and a man by my side. I tell people I am a Latter-Day Saint; a Child of God, a Mormon.

I tell people over and over again all my hopes and dreams, all my wishes and desires...and then I go off and become those things.

But sometimes I forget the future. Sometimes I think in the now.
And sometimes I forget the now. Sometimes I think in the future.

Over and over and over again I find myself struggling for that happy medium, seeking for that equilibrium, searching for that peaceful middle.

So here I am, pondering away...looking for the beginning, yearning for an end, and getting lost in the middle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

14 things that I adore:

1. Weather:



                                                   

The gust of wind as it lifts you off your feet.
The gentle fall of a flake as snow comes into being.
The pounding touch of rain as it claims your senses and ensnares your soul.

2. Imagination. Dreams:


Our ability to see beyond the boundaries of reason - the rules set in place by mankind. To look into the mind and unlock its secrets. It's a scary thing, filled with worlds of the unknown, waiting to be born. A scary, but altogether extraordinary thing.

3. Books:



4. More specifically - Stories:

If I could meet every soul on this planet I would. Past, present, future...Meet them and speak with them. Be best friends with them - just to hear their story. 
And yes, even Hitler.
Everyone has something spectacular within them - something completely their own. Even if spectacularly horrible - it's still something worth acknowledgement. The chance to see what lies within each human soul...that's what I would adore.

5. In a different genre of specification - Words:
I adore words.
In stories, in books, in film, in speech, in life...
When strung together by the simplest of threads, they can pierce through the human heart.

6. Music:

Something so extraordinary, it speaks to our entire being; touching the hearts of every living thing.
I do not see Music as our universal language, nor even a universal feeling...but rather a sort of understanding we share: an understanding in its beauty and power.
We may all react to a sound, a medley, a tune... but not in the same way. What's powerful and moving to one may be dreadfully dull to another. And yet...there's hardly a soul alive that does not recognize it's importance and ability to change a life - perhaps even forever.

7. Smiles, Tears and Laughter:






A child's laugh. A toothless grin. A drop of joy as it trickles away. Even the thickest of souls can be torn to withering shreds by a sentence of tears, a chorus of laughter and a slight curve of the lips.

8. Love:

I don't know much about love, for I've only experienced a chapter in the book, but someday I will have begun to live it all - and I look forward to the day that new life arrives. For now, I will simply live in what I have been given to enjoy.

9. Prayer:

The chance to speak with the ultimate giver of Love.

10. Travel:





The one thing I would be happy spending the rest of my life doing. In this instance - pictures definitely speak louder than words.

11. The World:







So much to see, so much to offer, so much to experience. I don't think a single life is enough to explore it all, but luckily we've been surrounded by thousands who have experienced the parts we cannot. Which is another reason why I love books and stories so much.

12. The Moon:

For a very long time, I was terrified of space.
Eternity. The vast unknown. Never ending skies...the idea of continuing on and on forever is one that has scared me often.
And yet...recently, very recently in fact, I've begun to view life through a new lens. A more... permanent one: one so life altering that it has not only turned this fear upside down, but placed within me an undying desire - one I'm afraid may lead me to exciting and new discoveries.
And yes...I'm afraid.
(Sorry if that made no sense. I do that often...)

13. The Stars:


Twinkling lights. The windows to the universe. Beauty beyond beauty...words cannot explain...

14. The Never-ending Skies:


One word. Phenomenal.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

There was an event that occurred today in church, during our Sunday School class. A man I know and respect (in fact, one of the greatest men I know) gave a simply remark that caused offense in another. It was something small, a comment to which most would simply laugh or push aside. However, this particular man took great offense – storming out of the room, only to reenter at classes end to grab his companion and leave once more, this time less reserved in his emotion. He allowed his anger to release some irritated and troubling words, placing blame where it did not lie. It was clear that the gentlemen’s words with whom he had taken offense was in no way responsible or to blame for the explosive event. Yes, such things are troubling to watch, and guilt is usually is a side effect when we cause another pain, but we cannot control the actions (or reactions) of others. There was most certainly underlying doubts and concerns that had caused this particular man grief before. As his shouts died with his growing distance to the church, a disconcerted silence fell in the room, but order quickly ensued and 3rd hour commenced.

Yet my mind was unsettled. I could not understand why such an event would trouble me so. After all, this man had no direct relation to me. His offense was taken from the words of another, his anger not directed openly toward me. But this singular event was causing me much pause – filling my thoughts entirely, so much so that I had to remind myself to take part in current conversation throughout the day.

Later, when left to my thoughts, I had the opportunity to examine them more closely – so as to find the cause of my distress. There I found the man – his hurt face before mine – and I felt the strings in my heart break once again as I heard his words ring again through my mind; “I’m never coming back! Never!”

Loss of faith - from a small, jesting remark. At first I may have been a little shocked, a little offended that he would blame such an innocent quip for his doubt and disbelief, but as my emotions calmed I began to examine my suppositions; turning away from assumptions and assessments, and turning instead to heartfelt thought and prayer. A few simple answers followed:

Faith is a fragile thing. If not properly tried and tested, it cannot grow. Likewise, however, if we do not properly cared for and nourish our faith, it can and will break at the seams. It has taken me 19 1/2 years to build up the testimony I have today, and even mine is not perfected. There will be more events, more trials, more ‘jests’ that will someday try my faith in the Gospel, even my faith in my fellowmen. If I am not properly preparing every moment I can, I too may fall to blame and retreat.

I do not know this man well enough to know what led to and from this incident. I do not know him well enough to judge him at all from this event. All I know is of God’s love. I know that it is extended to all – even this hurt and upset man, the very same man who stood before the congregation a week prior and bore testimony that we should “Love everyone.”

That is enough for me – enough to hope and pray that like all of us, he did not give up when broken. We all will break, probably multiple times throughout our lives. And we all can be put together again, through the strength and guidance of our Heavenly Father and the Atoning sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ.

However troubling today’s events were, I am grateful. It caused emotions to rise within me, emotion of grief, emotion of sorrow, emotion of doubt…It was an opportunity give to me by the Lord to find my own pin-pricked holes in my faith; to find them and fill them before a straw of upset or disbelief could bring width to my fears.

But most of all, I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me, and who loves us all, and for his Son, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice he made for me – the Atoning sacrifice that allows me to rise again when I fall.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

♫♪♫

I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos recently – specifically ones of people singing. For instance – today I picked popular songs, such as Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” or Demi Lovato’s new “Skyscraper” single, and typed the titles into the search box. Then I’d click on random covers people have done and listen to them back to back. It’s been amazing really – hearing such unique voices from all over the globe sing the same tune, same words, some notes…and yet the videos were so different and so personal to each individual singing! Each one made me happy to be alive. I saw so many beautiful souls in each of those video – unique individuals from all over the world – and instantly I wanted to befriend all of them. What’s Connie’s story? Where did David learn to sing like that? Has Hannah ever had lessons? Who is Emma singing to? She must care for them a lot. I wonder why Tyler picked that song – and what does Stephen want to be when he grows up? Is he going to be a doctor, or save lives through song?
Music is so powerful. It doesn’t matter where you are, how you sing, what style you bring to your voice – music is music and it always touches a part of your soul that nothing else can.
People say it’s the universal language, but I don’t think so. I don’t even think music can be described as a universal feeling. That suggests that a medley or song means roughly the same thing to everyone. We all speak and feel in different ways; Think, dream, imagine, create, learn, explore, experience, understand, love…we hold each of these in different esteems, use them in different atmospheres, react to them in different means…
And yet – it can unite us like almost nothing else.

If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

extraordinary

I've always found 'extraordinary' to be a funny word. It doesn't seem like it should mean what it means, but then again that's the majority of the English language. Words a funny little conundrums, aren't they? And yet I love them. Hence my major.

I wonder if anyone else out there thinks or feels or acts the way I do? I don't mean in the general sense, because we all have things in common with each other. I mean - another human being who is just like me. Someone who likes the same things I like, someone who thinks the same way I think, who loves the way I love...We're all so unique, I doubt there is a single person exactly like another, and yet - I've never met someone with whom I cannot relate in someway. Most I can even connect with in almost every way, but there's always something that sets them apart. Something that makes them unique or different.
It's beautiful really, how we can be so similar yet so exceptionally diverse.

It's extraordinary :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

strength in numbers

We are human. We are imperfect.
These two qualities connect us more than any other, but they are also the very lines that pulls us apart. Our inability to understand the imperfections and human tendencies of others is what creates conflict and strife.
We seek for understanding – we yearn for someone who will tell us that what we feel, what we think, and what we do is not abnormal; that we are not strange. We seek for empathy, not sympathy; reception not acceptance. We seek for love.
And yet…when we come across someone who has felt what we’ve felt in some way, or done what we have done, we cast them away. We view them as mockeries to our pain, or even an aching reminder of the brutalities of life.
We build walls around our pain, our suffering, our mistakes…We hide behind stones of concealment, because we are sure we alone know; We alone understand what it feels like – what it means to be us.
This is the hard truth of it all:
There is only one who knows. Only one who understands. Only one who can even comprehend the logic and reason behind each action – each choice we make.
And it is not us.

How often do we fail to recognize our own behavioral instincts, until it is too late? It is one of the very reasons we slip up. It is the core to our imperfections.
We rely too much on ourselves.
It is not wrong to place faith in our own ability to choose right from wrong. Agency is the greatest gift ever given to man, and our free will is what makes life on earth possible. We have strength and power beyond anything we could ever imagine, but even those of us who recognize this are scared. Afraid to act, afraid to reach that potential…afraid of success. We are more scared of our ability to do good than our ability to do evil – because it is the harder option. More opposition, more strength, more desire… Our human nature is to take the easier path, so most of us do.
And when we do, we begin to look down upon ourselves, because we know we can do better. Deep inside of us we know there is the ability to stand on our own two feet. We know because we’ve done it before.
We have all chosen the harder path. It was a decision made long ago, when we chose life on Earth, when we rejected Satan’s plan…We set ourselves apart from the rest. We chose a mortal life – an opportunity to learn and to grow. An opportunity to feel, sorrow and pain – yes, but also joy, happiness, relief…love. We chose this!
And we can chose it again.
But not alone.
Never alone.

                I’m pretty sure I’m just rambling now, but I do believe firmly in the power of companionship. The power of friends and family – the power of just being together, as a team. When we work alone, no matter how strong we think we are, or how strong we really are, we will always be more prone to pain, hurt, anger…sin. All of Satan’s tactics work stronger on the separated – the individuals.
As painful as it may be to seek a confidant, find someone to rely on – it is the only road that leads to perfection.

Separate, we are human. Separate we are imperfect.

But together – together we are children of God.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I seem to be living my life in reverse. I was born a girl - that much is certain. I've got pink baby dresses and buckets of dolls to prove it. But growing up in a household of boys quickly altered my personality. I played with ninja turtles and power rangers much more than barbies and house sets. In fact - I didn't even own my own barbie till I was 11, and I think I played with it twice. I never wore makeup, except when playing "pretend". I never wore dresses if I could help it. I changed my favorite color from blue to pink when everyone else said their favorite was blue (I wanted to be different), but almost as soon as I did that I switched it again; pink was much too girly. I switched from violin to cello, because violin was a "sissy" instrument, and for most of my life my hair has never been long enough to touch my shoulders. These may seem like silly things, but nevertheless they made me much less a "girl" than the rest of my female friends. I have distinct memories of girls in elementary school getting mad at me for hanging out all the time with the boys they liked. I had no problem talking to them; if I wanted to play kickball with the boys during recess I would, instead of worrying about if they liked me or not, or if I made a fool of myself. I never understood why the girls were upset with me for "hanging out" with guys until middle school. I didn't even have a real "crush" until middle school. Scratch that. I didn't really like guys till High School, and even then they were friends first, and "crushes" next. 
When I go back and look at my journals growing up, I have entries before my mom was pregnant with both Luke and Joe. Both times I remember writing about wanting a baby sister, and how much fun that would be, but when two boys followed I never complained or wished otherwise. I don't think I've ever regretted being the only girl. It has perks - my own room at 11, my own clothes (at least for the most part), my own 'unofficial' bathroom. I love all 5 of my brothers (haha, jk. All 6), and I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had with them for anything.
But I'd be lying if I said I've remained the same. I'd be lying if I said I was happy still, being alone in the mix.

It's almost laughable how "girly" I've become.
Obsessed with fashion, art, boys, chick flicks, romance stories, make up (even though I still don't wear it), dresses, 'feelings', fairy tales, drama, naming children, watching children, playing with children, children in general, crafts, housekeeping, design, colors, flowers, scents, beauty...I mean the list goes on and on! I get embarrassed every time I think about it, because it just seems so out of character to me. I've even grown my hair out these past few months. I think it's the longest it's ever been.
And just today - I was overcome with the strongest desire I've ever had...the desire for a sister. Someone to talk to, in my own family. Someone to tell secrets to, and giggle with. Have sleepovers with. Someone to help me dress up and someone to talk to about boys. Someone to cry over cheesy movies with, and create murals for my wall with...it was such a strange and foreign desire to me; it made me cry. Seriously, have I become the leaky faucet of the century? I almost wanted to slap my eyes silly when I felt tears falling. It's the one thing I don't think I'll ever be okay with, being a female. How much I cry.

But as I was thinking about all these strange new emotions I've been dealing with, I realized something even more unusual...something that should have been obvious from the beginning...I AM A GIRL! 

I mean, obviously, I've got some body parts that have never changed - so I've always been a girl, but I mean that I've always been a girl; always, deep down -These emotions aren't new, they were just suppressed for years, and while it may have mad growing up a bit easier for me in some regards - it's making it worse for me now, cause it's like these feelings are double what they should be. I think I feel twice as hard as I should about some things...and sometimes it makes me an emotional wreck. I'm sorry if you've ever been on the receiving end of that. I promise I'm working on mastering my mood swings. I think I've made progress this semester.

And while I've now become an odd mixture of the two - I think the one emotion that has taken strongest hold is the desire for a sister. A real, flesh and blood sister. And I'm really a selfish person, so for me to say I want someone to share everything with is saying something...

I can't go back and change time. All I can do is keep working toward a brighter future.

I don't even remember why I started this blog post now. I don't think it was to vent about being female...but that's what it turned into! Sorry...my heart and brain aren't quite on speaking terms right now. Brain wants to be finish up the semester; heart wants to watch bones and eat ice cream. Alas, the choices in life!

If you actually read this through to the end - I just gave you a cyber high five for being awesome. Pass it along. (The high five, not the rant).

Friday, July 15, 2011

simple joys that bring my soul to life

  • drawing pen across paper
  • looking at the moon
  • wind
  • music that sparks memories
  • laughter
  • children
  • staring at something beautiful
  • stories
  • life/earth/the world

Post-Potter Depression

Not only was the film everything I hoped it would be and more, it was ... more. So much more.
Tears rolled down my cheeks for most of the film, and the warm spirit of happiness I felt within never left - from the moment we stepped in line to the moment we collapsed on our beds I was happy. It took me even longer than usual to fall asleep. It was a film that played over and over again in my head; music that kept me thinking for hours; cinematography that had my eyes never wanting to close...

I woke this morning expecting to feel some sort of sadness, or loss and the end of such a brilliant series.

All I felt was drained.

I am not sure if it was because of the last nights events, or simply because I slept for less than 4 hours, but I was so physically (and emotionally) drained that I honestly had no desire to do anything. At all. Hannah and I drove back to Rexburg today and I have yet to accomplish anything with my day.

As I was sitting on my friends couch, trying to think of what I wanted to do, I began to recycle through a few of the old overused ideas - Play a game. Eat. Do some weekend homework. Study. Watch a movie. Talk. Sleep. Read a book.

I kept standing up and walking around trying to decide what to do with my day. I would finally sit down to do something, and 2 second into it I knew it is not what I really wanted to be doing. Finally, after getting up after a failed attempt at a nap, I realized that what I really wanted to do was grab my ipod. Music sounded good. I would listen to something peaceful. Maybe I would be able to sleep after that.

Of course, the first thing I thought of listening to was Harry Potter.
Not the music - the book.

Figures that is all I would feel like doing - sitting on a bed, listening to Jim Dale's beautiful timbre of a voice retell the stories I love...

But not tonight. Not today. That will have to wait until after school - after the semester ends. I will just make it through this week, and then I can start over again.

But you know, even after last night - I do not feel sadness - not really at all. I am not even upset that this was the final film (probably because they did such an amazing job with it), because for me Harry Potter will never die. Harry Potter will never be complete.

And not just Harry Potter - but stories in general. This is what I have chosen to become my life - for the rest of mortality. For the past 7 years I have been planning on a future where creating life - sharing worlds of words - is my day to day existence. Stories are what I live for, and for me I feel they have no end.

Harry Potter will forever live in my heart, and I pray that someday there will be another 6 year old girl, eagerly sitting on her father's lap, listening to the words I have penned just for her; the lives and the images I have seen - the hopes and the dreams I have envisioned - and that this girl will someday grow, too, into a creator of worlds and and inspirer of dreams.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today is not going very well. In fact, this whole week has been a hard one, and it's only Wednesday!
Monday started with the usual dump load of assignments - teachers saying "My class is the most important, so forget your other studies and do 1291029 hours of homework for me", or others saying "I'm leaving town this week, so I'm going to leave you tons of busy work. Have fun." My favorite was "If you don't like this subject, you're daft. In fact, everyone should study this subject all day long, so I'm going to force you into groups and you'll research together outside of class - cause I know you all just have bucket loads of time."
Of course, none of my teachers actually said those words, but they were heavily implied. I know they're doing they're job, and helping us learn (I've certainly learned more in these past few days than I ever thought possible), but that doesn't make it any easier. Work is still work, and no matter how much it needs to be done - you can't quite force yourself to enjoy it.
After you're done - after you've received the grade - you usually get this wonderful feeling of accomplish, and you leave with so much added knowledge that all the hours of pain and struggling are worth it - and the summer of sleep to follow makes up for all the nights of unrest. Unfortunately, I have yet to reach that point. Right now I'm still struggling to stay standing.

I had a huge test in German yesterday. I spent lots of the weekend reviewing for it, but only lightly. It was more like skimming through it - because I really wanted to get more work done in my online classes this weekend. So Monday afternoon, after all my classes were done, I sat down on my couch and began to study for real. After a late night of various homework assignments and German review, I went to bed, only to wake up again early in the morning for my 8am Shakespeare class. After that class I immediately found myself a secluded corner of the library to finish my German study. 4 1/2 hours later I left for class and took the exam. I felt prepared - not only had I studied heavily, but most of these chapters I had learned in high school, so it was just a matter of returning to previously learned material. I took my time and felt pretty confidant when I turned it in that I had at least managed a B. Today, I signed online to check my score - 70%. I literally felt my heart fall to the floor. That was NOT what I was expecting at all. I was hoping it would at least be higher than an 80%. Luckily, I know my German Professor lets us look over and correct our own tests so we can raise our grade at least 1 grade letter - but I was planning on being able to use that grade letter to raise my 80 to a 90. I will most likely still pass this class at the end of the semester, but I'm not at this school to pass classes. I'm at this school to do better.
I have another short vocab quiz in my German class today that I am not ready for at all, because I spent all weekend studying for the other test, and the rest of the week doing the things I'm about to tell you more about.
Oh yes, there's more. That was just one little test.
In my Humanities class I freaked out all evening over a photo project I thought was due before midnight Friday night, even running to various stores to buy equipment to fix my memory card so I could turn in the assignment on-time, only to find out that the teacher had canceled the assignment during the one day of class I missed that week, and that he had failed to update his syllabus online so I had no idea about it.
Then he proceeded to announce that there was a video project due this Friday before midnight, and that since I was gone when they assigned groups that I someone else put me in one. This girl is really nice, and the other partner in our group I would assume is as well, but I don't know either of these girls well - because they NEVER come to class. And I mean almost never. Their seats are right behind mine and they're almost always empty. Granted, I've missed quite a few of these lectures too, but I always talk to the professor about it, or ask someone in class what I missed, and I haven't missed even half as many times as these girls. And now I have to do a project with them. To make matters worse, today in class he told us that it is now due tomorrow at midnight. I haven't even had a chance to talk to these two girls in person about the project yet, let alone meet with them (their seats were empty again today). So I told them (via text message) to meet me tomorrow in the library so we could start and finish this project. Hopefully they'll show, and the one girl I have met will tell me what the topic is for our project, because I don't even know - as she picked it the day I wasn't in class. Otherwise I'm just going to make something up on my own and turn it in.
In my Shakespeare Class we've been working on our own film adaptations of any of his plays - that was going well for the most part, until I hit a major road block in my story development, and had to redo the whole project from the beginning.
In my Book of Mormon Class my teacher signed up to be in the Nauvoo Pageant for the next two weeks, so he left us a TON of work to do while he was gone. I love learning about the Book of Mormon and all (in fact, I love all these subjects I'm studying) but I really have no time for it, especially since it's the end of the semester and ALL my teachers are giving us more and more to do.
So for this Book of Mormon assignment, we have to read 3 Nephi 24-25 and literally analyze everything about them. I've looked up every footnote, followed almost every topical guide reference, read the chapters in the Institute manual, and the Seminary manual - plus both teacher manuals for each of those classes. I also uploaded the Sunday School lessons on them, and found cross references, bible dictionary sources, hymns, quotes, talks and other various media linked to the chapters - and I still have about 10 more of his "study skills" to go before the paper is done. His sample paper was 7 pages long, I don't know how I'm going to make mine under 10 pages at least! There's too much he wants us to look into. I've already spent hours on this paper and I've got hours to go. It's due tonight at 7.
To top it all off - I have a group presentation for this same class today at 4:30. Luckily it was a group thing, and unlike my Humanities class, I got placed with some of the top students, so we were able to finish the power point relatively fast on Monday. We even had a weird topic - translated beings - but we conquered it like pros so I'm not too worried about this one.

So, on top of those 4 classes I'm supposed to be doing my online classes, which average in at about 4 hours a chapter. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. I even slept on my couch last night, because I stayed up so late doing homework that I didn't even make it back to my room. I may sleep there again tonight - it was really comfortable.

Last complaint - I promise: to add to the ball of fun this week has been, I've been doing all these homework assignments and projects on a computer with a broken screen that need to be periodically taped to keep from blacking out - and likes to randomly flicker just to keep things interesting. A computer for which I do not have the time or money to fix, so I'll just have to live with for the rest of the semester.

Also, I ripped by jeans today. My belt buckled accidentally got caught in the door on my way to class.

I'm sorry this post turned more into a rant about my life instead of something fun and uplifting - but I needed to let off some steam, so I can make it through the rest of this week. I know that when I am done (in just 3 short weeks) that I'll be able to embrace that welcomed rest and enjoy my 7 week break, but until that time I'll just keep working.

Time to go back to my Paper. I'll end on a happy note.
3 DAY WEEKEND AHEAD!
That'll give me time to practice and make headway in my online classes! Which I am, believe it or not, looking forward to. That and movie night on Friday, which my brother will be having with me whether he wants to or not. I could use the break, and the pizza.

Monday, June 27, 2011

a letter to a friend

Dear Friend,
Life is hard. Life is painful. Life is...life.We go through it day in and day out, struggling to survive. Some days, everything seems to come against us. Some days we feel as if there's nothing out there worth waking up for. Some days we crawl back into bed, and wait for the hours to pass us by.
Some days...
But life is also sweet. Life is also beautiful. Life may be life, but it is also birth. beauty. creativity. power. imagination. dreams. knowledge. hope...love. We are so often blind to the wonderful things life has to offer, because they are so frequent, so destructive, so...strong. We allow them to overpower us, make us feel weak and broken. It is so easy to crawl back into bed and forget the beauty that surrounds us.
But when we wake it is a new day! When we step out into the world it is a new chance at living! Every second of every minute of every day is a new chance! We were sent here to learn and to grow. To experience life! To live each new day to gain moments - moments of pain, moments of pleasure, moments of growth, moments of understanding...
There are few things I believe to be true - and even fewer that I know are true. I know that the world is full of more beauty than not. I know that there is no soul greater than another on earth - that we are all human. But most of all, I know that God loves you, that his son died for you, and that you are his beloved child.
Please, if you never learn anything else in your life learn this -
You are a Child of God. You were sent here with a divine purpose. With each new day you are given a chance - a chance to start anew. We are not perfect, we are not meant to be. We are only meant to try. If you try every day to be a little better, live a little wiser than you were the day before, then you will have lived a life of progression; you will have lived a life of perfection. You will have lived. Do not pass through life without living.
If I could wish for anything in this life, it would be for you to know how special you are; for everyone to know...If I could wish for anything - it would be for you to taste the joy and happiness I see every day. I am not perfect; I am not even close. It is only through the divine love of God and his son Jesus Christ that I find happiness in life. It is through them and it is through you, his children, that I have reason to live.
God loves you. Please never forget that.
He loves you, and will never leave you alone.
- Madeline

Sunday, June 26, 2011

steve and the chili bowl

So I planned my funeral today. Everyone is going to wear white, and tell funny jokes about me. I want tons of smiles the whole day. I don't like sad people. And there'll be lots of ice cream and everyone's getting a free sunflower. Funeral potatoes are a must - with extra cheese, and if there aren't children there slurping jello then I'll consider the whole evening a flop.
I hope we get to watch our funerals from Heaven. I'll be the one sitting up top on a bean bag, watching the show - throwing popcorn at anyone who isn't celebrating my life.

.......

I gave a talk on forgiveness today (or yesterday). It's been a while since I've talked in sacrament, but it's not been very long since I've last spoken. I'm pretty much a master at never letting my trap shut - so it was quite simple filling up the 10-12 minute slot, in fact I think I went over a few minutes (though it's hard to tell in the Chapel these days. They still haven't fixed all the clocks on campus since that thunderstorm on Friday).
I love how you always get picked to speak on the topic you're terrible at. It makes you feel like a complete hypocrite the whole time you're preparing it. What makes this worse was I got to pick my topic - and I still picked the one that I failed at. But I learned a lot in the process, and the talk went well - at least, I didn't see anyone dozing off, though that could have just been because my face was plastered to my notes the whole time...

In other news - I spent the majority of my day today going through all the photos I took in the past few months. I'm really good at taking thousands of pictures (of the same thing) and then storing them away and never looking at them again. I figured if I'm going to stick with my goal of never doing homework on Sundays, I might as well spend the day doing something productive. So today I started editing and deleting - and I made it through a huge chunk of them! Who knows, someday I may even start scrapbooking! :) Haha, yeah right. I wish. I'd never have the time for it now, and life only gets busier.

I have started cooking a lot though, and if any of you out there have killer recipes that you'd like to share with me I'd love to hear them! Granted, I'm still a vegetarian, so if it has meat I'll have to substitute, but I doubt I'll be a vegetarian my whole life, so any recipes is okay by me! And I love making smoothies, so especially if you have a great recipe for a fruit smoothie!  I love my new blender. His name is Steve.

My mom promised me a family cook book months ago, but she keeps forgetting to give it to me, and whenever I'm home I forget to pick it up. So for now I'll have to keep looking things up online and inventing recipes of my own. It's quite fun actually. Anyone who's ever seen me cook knows that I like to improvise when it comes to spices. I made a chili a few days back that left your mouth watering, but BOY was it good. Actually, that was the same day that I was literally scared by my own shadow. I almost dropped said chili bowl when I turned around and saw it. Crazy.

I got two surprise phone calls this week from my two favorite girls - Kay Shaeffer and Acacia Farnsworth. It was so wonderful to talk to each of them, and both phone calls literally turned my day around. Not that they were terrible days or anything before, but it made them 10000 times better regardless. Both Kay and Acacia are like the sisters I never had, and I'm super lucky to have them in my life.

God really does answer prayers. I'm so thankful to have such a loving father in Heaven looking out for me. He keeps me smiling when life gets hard, and I'd never be fully dressed without that smile.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

impulse shopping

I learned a very, very valuable lesson today (well, now yesterday).
Never - EVER, go shopping with me when I am in a bad mood. I will literally try to buy everything I see.

Being female, I am prone to mood swings, and on occasion they can be pretty crazy. I know most people think I'm happy all the time - and while I do try, I still have momentary moments of weakness. I like to call them my 'shut up and eat ice cream' moments. On rare occasions I'm so desperate I turn to chocolate chips and goldfish...though, not necessarily together, or in that order. Today (at about 9:14pm) I had a moment. It was a sad moment. A very sad moment. I wont go into details, but I was having technical difficulties, and being the girl albeit very childish me that I am, I threw a fit. Luckily the fit was mostly on the inside (mental punches to the head that rendered me speechless for sometime), so no small children were harmed in the making of this breakdown. Unluckily for me, however, I have recently entered into 'sugar-free' negotiations with my mother (we're not even touching sweets until Sam's wedding), so I was unable to turn to my trusted friend, Mr. Ice Cream. Instead I turned to my not-so-trusted brother Paul, and my very-much-trusted friend Aubrey.
After much driving around and talking to a few nerdy (yet attractive) men, my problem seemed to be solved. They sold me the device that would fix my mishap - and for only $13! - but I was still in such a weird mood that they probably could have handed me the same object and told me it was $30, and I still would have bought it. As I walked out of the store I almost stopped to buy other pointless items, including a Justin Bieber Poster, dangley ear rings, and a Harry Potter sticker book. We stopped at Broulim's before returning home to buy some fruit for a smoothie. I walked out of Broulim's with fruit, humas, yogurt, new plates, tp, some biodegradable tupperware, Q-tips and a new blender. I almost bought a bridal magazine and a pack of bobby pins while waiting in line, but was able to restrain myself.

It is now 1 am, and I am still in a very weird mood. The smoothie was great, and I love my new blender, but I think I may have felt better if I had bought the sticker book and bridal magazine. Better yet - a sticker bridal book. A Justin Bieber sticker bridal book! Do they even make those? That would be awesome.

Woah. The girl spending the night on our couch is already asleep! Crazy! She just got here like 10 minutes ago! I wish I fell asleep that fast...and now I'm just stalling, cause I don't want to go to bed, and I know I'll need to when I end this post.

Ugh - Goodnight world. Thanks for still turning - I appreciate the gesture.