Andrew Whitman

The more I attend school the more frustrated I get with ignorance, especially my own.
So much on my mind. But for now, Happy Friday.

Sinner's Sonnet by Andrew Whitman on Grooveshark


President Uchtdorf

"Today is not different from ages past. The Lord does not love the people of our day any less than in past times. One of the glorious messages of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ is that God continues to speak to His children! He is not hidden in the heavens but speaks today as He did in ancient days.

Much of what the Lord reveals to His prophets is intended to prevent sorrow for us as individuals and as societies. When God speaks, He does so to teach, inspire, refine, and warn His children. When individuals and societies ignore their Heavenly Father’s instructions, they do so at the risk of trial, torment, and toil."                                          -President Uchtdorf

Join us. 


Lindsay Woolf

I only have a few weeks left in the EFY office. There have been times that I have been DESPERATE to get out of this office but there are also times I really love it here. Like today, Student Appreciation Day!

Today we ate ice cream sundays, looked at blogs, learned to fishtail braid, checked pinterest, went out to lunch and watched this video:

Oh, and did this:

I love my coworkers and I am seriously going to miss them.


Scuba Ted

Nail polish.
Don Draper.

All things that happen while husband is out late at Scuba class.
Four hours per class, two days a week for three weeks.
I don't even know what to do with that much alone time (so what, I'm obsessed with my husband).

Because reading, research and writing are silly things to do with that free time.

Only 11 more days of class and only 25 days until graduation!


Jayme Dee

Loved the Hunger Games. 

I'm so happy it did not disappoint!And I will say I actually liked Peeta (to my surprise). But it was a dang late night since we met Selaina and Jason up in South Jordan and there was terrible construction traffic on the way home so we didn't get in until late, late, late. Needless to say I have been a zombie all day. But tonight is the Jazz game with the Catts clan, Real Salt Lake tomorrow and little Kate's birthday on Sunday! 

Love this song from the Hunger Games soudtrack!
No Grooveshark version so instead we get the ghetto YouTube version.

Happy Friday!



I'm pretty excited for Hunger Games tonight, like the other 5.82 billion people talking about it. I still feel like Peeta looks way too young next to Gale and Katniss so I hope it doesn't seem weird once the movie actually starts rolling.

Gale is to Katniss what Britt/Selaina are to me (in the whole best friends do anything for you kind of way rather than the love triangle kind of way).

Anyway I may be more excited to get to hang out with Selaina and Jason tonight then to actually see the movie. We always do midnight movies at the District since it is the halfway point between us now. We start it off with Red Robin to do bottomless fries for two hours (the waitresses really love that) while we wait for the movie to start.

Brittan and Jake couldn't come this time which stinks but Selaina and Jason didn't get to come to the HP premiere this summer (at which point Jaron & SJ came bahaha) so I guess things even out. I talked to Brittan on the phone for an hour last night and found out she is staying with me for a month and  a half!!!!!! She has her internship in Provo from mid-May through June so she is going to stay in our spare bedroom Monday-Friday during the internship. Our poor husbands. But we could not be more excited. It has been a really long time (almost 2 years!) since we have spent more than an evening together.

So here is to midnight movies and best friends! Woot woot!



Blood is thicker than water.

I have heard this before. In books, in movies, in magazines but I never really thought about it. Some of the closest people in the world to me are not blood relatives. I grew up in a community where several families acted as surrogate aunts/uncles/cousins etc. We went on family vacations together and they came to all of my "things" (ie: baptism, YW medallion, school play, graduation party...). I love them. But recently I have been struck by the power of blood connections.

When I was maybe seven or eight I went with my Nana Joye to Soda Springs, Idaho. It was one of my favorite drives back then especially when I was with Nana; she would let me put on her lipstick and tell her all the silly things a seven-year-old has to say and she would take them very seriously. I will always love her for that. Anyway on this particular trip there was a small, blue, plastic swimming pool strategically placed in the back seat. You know, one of those two feet tall "pools" you fill up with the hose and sit in for about five minutes before the sprinklers catch your attention. The pool was a gift for cousin Jamie. When we pulled up to the Godfrey's house Jamie and Jade came running out to meet Nana's car. Nana hoped out and pulled out the swimming pool. The girls were jumping around and super excited about it. Then Nana said, "I have another special birthday surprise for you!" and I jumped out from behind the car. Both me and Jamie started screaming our heads off because we were so excited to see each other. I remember being so happy that Jamie was happier to see me than to see her new swimming pool.

As all of us grew up our individual families grew closer together and our extended families grew apart. I don't know why really. I have thought about it a lot these past few weeks and I really don't know what happened. I'm sure it was largely growing up, going in different directions, making new friends, and finding different interests. I think there was family drama between families that I was too young to really know about or understand. But in the end we started seeing less and less of each other and Christmas parties became more of an obligation than a party, and the numbers at the cabin started to dwindle until there were only a few of us left. It's sad looking back now and realizing how disconnected all the cousins have become.

Like last week cousin Jamie designed a graduation announcement for me! I had been worrying about what to do because me and D are graduating at the same time but I didn't want to send out some weird second wedding announcement type thing. Jamie had designed a logo for Bri not too long ago so my mom encouraged me to reach out to her. She did such an amazing job, I LOVE them but I also loved just chatting with her a bit and reconnecting with her. Even after too many years have passed with out me and Jamie being very close I appreciate how I still feel like I can reach out to her.

Now that we have all moved out of our teenage years I've seen us slowly reconnecting with each other. I hope that continues to be the case. I learned a lot about reconnecting with people and how much those blood lines tie us together. Because really, blood is thicker than water.


Nathan Pickett

My sister-in-law is getting married and June so I have been spending a lot of time looking at wedding things. We spent Saturday at the bridal fair at Thanksgiving Point and then went on a search for bridesmaids dresses. Why are dresses so hard to find this time of year? Anyway sister wanted to look at my videographer so when looking at his website today I searched stumbled upon this little clip of my video. Happy making!

Best day ever, even with the April blizzard. 

p.s. don't you love the shot of Grammy in this?


Uncle Scot

We finally have graduation plans. Permanent, bought the plane tickets kind of plans!
12 whole days on the beaches of Kona, Hawaii.


We are beyond excited. For a while there we didn't think we were going to get to vacation at all this summer. But my Uncle Scot called and invited us to stay with him in Hawaii. He will be in Kona for 6 weeks so we will be crashing there for 2 of those weeks. 

I'm so excited for D to finally get to go to Hawaii and I'm excited to get to go back. When I graduated from high school I went to Maui with my best friend Brittan and our parents and had such a fun time. I'm excited to get to go back again with my best friend D and live on the beach like on our honeymoon in Mexico (I can't believe our 2nd anniversary is so close!). Hooray for graduation vacation!



Birthday lunch with Bre
Flowers and a redbox left from hussband
Getting an "Excellent!" from the testing center TV
Bridal Fair with sisters
BYU baseball and a cougar tail
St. Patricks Day!

This song has been stuck in my head all day.
You know it is a good theme song when you randomly start singing it while cleaning even though you haven't seen an episode in weeks.

New Version of You by JJ Abrams on Grooveshark

Happy Friday!


Dave Waddell

Graduation is so close I am paralyzed with excitement. This paralyz-ation is beginning to cause problems. For instance, I have never had a 'W' on my transcript...and now I have two. The problem with this is not necessarily the W's but the fact that I do not care a bit about them. Not even a tiny bit. Once I finished my pages for Creative Writing this morning, I made this "Final Push!" list:

Pioneers & Persecution
Midterm 2
Final Exam

Global Church History
Final Project/ Extra Credit
Final Exam

Utah History
Online response #7: A Mormon Mother
Writing 4: Rough draft
Writing 5: edits to peer draft, 1 page response
Online response #8: 19th vs. 20th century Utah
Research Paper
Final Exam

Creative Writing
Exercise #11: Setting
Exercise #12: Text/subtext (workshop)
Exercise #13: Experimental
Final Project: Short story
Poetics Essay

Sadly, I have not started a single thing on this list. Once I added this to-do list up it equaled over 1,800 pages of reading (not including the reading that is not directly related to a grade) and over 70 pages of writing. And I only have 16 days left of class. How can graduation be so close and yet so far?


M.S. Milliken

We had a Mexican themed dinner on Sunday and it was delish. I made my mom's chile verde and had tres leches for dessert. It was a beautiful combination of both my mothers influences. My mom's chile verde and Margo's tres leches. 

When I was maybe seven or eight my parents would load all of us kids into the minivan. My dad would always make the mistake of asking us where we wanted to eat. Each of us would begin screaming out places to eat and often times it got narrowed down to El Matador. I would scream about how much I hated Mexican food (this was the stage that I would only eat spaghetti or chicken nuggets) and then would spend the evening pouting and pushing my rice and beans around on the plate. 

I don't know when the transformation happened but slowly I started to become neutral about Mexican food. And then my father's prayers came true when D and I went to Cancun for our honeymoon. We found this hole in the wall place that made the BEST GUACAMOLE in the world and tacos to die for. Since that experience I had been obsessed with Mexican food. We spent that first married summer eating guacamole and tropical punch koolaid every night for dinner while watching all the seasons of FNL. Good times. 

Anyway, here is my madre's Chile Verde recipe. You won't regret it. 

Chile Verde
  • 3 pounds pork*  (remember that huge piece of pork from Costco? Sweet deal!)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can of green chilies
  • 2-3 jalapenos, seeds removed, and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large can of canned tomatillos 
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
1. Season the pork meat generously with salt and pepper, lightly flour. Put the s&p, flour and your cut up pork in a Ziploc bag and shake it up until all the pork is coated. Note: use a slotted spoon to get the pork out of the bag so you don't have tons of extra flour in the pan. 
2. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well in small batches, on all sides. Lift pork out of pan and place in a wide soup pot.
3. Discard fat and place the onions and peppers in the same skillet and sweat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapenos and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
4. Add the Sauteed vegetables, blended tomatillos**, can of chilies, dried herbs and cilantro to the meat, cover with the chicken stock and bring up to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.
Whip together some rice (I always use Vigo, that comes in a bright orange package in the Latin isle) and heat up some Costco tortillas and you are set! 

* This recipe makes A TON of food, so you can half it if you like. Or you can freeze half like I do, this is an easy recipe but it takes some time so it is worth making a huge batch and then freezing it. 
** throw the can of tomatillos (drained) into the blender. I was being dumb and trying to cut them up so luckily my mom called and explained I was being dumb. 


We talked about this commercial in terms of story today. It was wonderful.


Mumford & Sons

Sometimes the world is so loud; so loud I feel like I can't hear myself.
Busy makes things loud. Worry makes things loud. Hate makes things loud. Social media makes things loud.
The last couple of days I have been up to my eyeballs in work.
Mostly writing work.
I think the hardest part about writing is just turning of the world and tuning into yourself.
15 pages later and I finally feel quiet.

Awake my soul!
 Happy Friday!


Gloria Steinem

Gaslighting*, I think we all do it at times. This stereotype of women being "crazy", "over sensitive", "too emotional" all play into it. I pay lip-service to it and even do it to myself when I get upset. And while it has never bothered me before, maybe because it has not been blatant until now,  I can see traces of it in my memory. Those times I felt dismissed and small because of a person's reaction, to my reaction, to their bad behavior. 

Let me be clear because sometimes the vagueness of a blog leads to the misplacement of the topic. I have a dear, sweet, loyal kind of a man for a husband. He does not have this problem, if there is any gaslighting going on in our home it is due to me being critical of my own emotions, which in turn D helps me see are not "crazy" but valid ways  to react and feel. I adore him for that along with a million other reasons. 

As a married woman I encounter gaslighting largely in my circle of married friends. It happens plenty with single women as well, especially in roommate and dating problems but I never really noticed it until I was married. For instance, I have a friend (we'll call her Susan) who is amazing. Seriously, she is so impressive to me with the way she balances her insane schedule and hectic life. Even with her limited time she is the first to volunteer, the first to show up and the last to leave. Now Susan has a husband that has a huge issue with gaslighting and sadly Susan doesn't recognize this in him at all. We will be with a group of women and she will tell us a "funny story" about a little bicker between her and her husband. Soon this leads to the group of women laughing and saying how "crazy" they are and how "emotional" they are and how annoyed their husbands get with their "crazy" behavior too. I have participated in these conversations several times; they seem to be a kind of conversation that makes you part of the married wife club.

 A few weeks ago Susan was telling us a story that threw this gaslighting problem right in my face. Susan's husband had said some really, really terrible things to her and her reaction was to cry and be upset by it. Of course Susan's husband made her feel small by saying he was kidding, she is too serious, too emotional. The group of women laughed and laughed until my heart hurt. Susan was not "crazy" she wasn't "emotional", she was right. And I realized all my lip-service with this group in the past was actually a huge diservice to all my dear friends and to myself. 

A second and single friend (we will call her Felicity) recently had a pretty bad dating situation. I will keep it brief. But the guy of interest lead her on, I'm talking blatant and open leading in the plain view of anyone with eyes, for several months while dating another girl in separate circle pretty seriously. In the end it lead to some what of a heart break, disappointment and confusion. Then it happened. After the truth of it all came out he walked into a party and acted as if nothing ever happened between them. GASLIGHTING! Felicity is not insignificant, what happened was not insignificant and somehow his behavior made her question herself rather than him. As if she misread all these signals and advances by him, as if she was "crazy".

A better writer than me wrote this article about the gaslighting issue, check it out. In this article he uses Gloria Steinem quote, "The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." Gaslighting is a behavior that I need to unlearn. I think it is a behavior many women need to recognize and unlearn because we are adding to these stereotypes that then get used to make us small and less significant. We don't need to be like and react like men to be strong. These emotions are part of us and a valid form of expression. 

*This is an issue that has been on the forefront of my mind since I discussed it with a few of my American Studies/Women's Studies pals. Today Meg  wrote about it on her blog and led me to the links I shared. Thank you Meg for validating our feelings on this!


Carly Backlund

Ya, ya here comes one of the pass along blog list things. I generally hate doing these but when Jordyn initiates it, I have to participate. 
    1. Post these rules.
    2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
    3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
    4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
    5. Go to their blog/twitter/facebook and tell them you've tagged them.
    (Good old times when I spent the summer in the sun...I miss my long hair and tan)
11 random things
      1. I was assigned to district 6 - 
      2. Transportation. Danny got District 3 - Technology...he is so much cooler than me. 
      3. I forgot how rad girls nights are, I'm glad to have been re-exposed this past weekend. I was crazy grumpy the next day from staying up so late, it was a throw back to my high school days. 
      4. I really, really, really want to go to Washington D.C. this summer. 
      5. I rediscovered Explosions in the Sky a few weeks ago and I can't stop listening to them. 
      6. Last week we completed our life goal of ordering the "usual", thank you Two Jacks!!
      7. I thought Hugo sucked. Sorry Academy. 
      8. I am on page one of a 15 page character sketch due Thursday. 
      9. Bohnanza is the best game ever. Buy it. 
      10. Baby Porter can not come soon enough! (Tara's baby, not mine)
      11. I want to have a Hunger Games party and use these invitations. 
      12. SLG is my favorite baseball stat. 
    Jordyn's questions
    1. What song on your iPod is the most embarrassing when it comes up on shuffle in public? High School Musical's "Gotta Go My Own Way", I still know every. single. word. Go ahead, judge me. 
    2. Who is number two on your celebrity crush list? Jude Law. I have a thing for blue eyes and men that say "lovely". 
    3. If you were a Jedi, what color would your lightsaber be? Green. I have no reasoning behind that decision. 
    4. If you had one, what color was your retainer? Blue glitter with stars on it
    5. What is your favorite comic strip in the Sunday comics? Love me a good Calvin & Hobbes snowman scene
    6. Of what skill of yours are you the most proud? My french braids are pretty bad ass.
    7. What is your go-to song when you're feeling angsty and depressed? Jason Mraz, "Sleeping to Dream", it always calms me down and warms my heart up a little. 
    8. When you were in middle school, which piece of clothing was your pride and joy? My light wash jeans with the sparkle stripes down the sides of my legs or my clunky baby blue Vans. 
    9. Would you rather be Hallie or Annie from the Lindsay Lohan The Parent Trap? Annie. Pearls and a British accent would be my dream come true. 
    10. You are getting a new car and the only model you can get is a VW Beetle. You can get any color. What color do you choose?  Black, and the first thing I would do is throw the flower in the cup holder out the window. 
    11. What (secular) book has had the biggest impact on you? I Wish I Were a Butterfly, for the children's books category; A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True, made a huge impression on me; A Separate Peace has probably been the most influential because it made me fall in love with words. 

    11 new questions
    1. What was your favorite food when you were little? 
    2. Whats the #1 played song on your Ipod? 
    3. If  you could choose anyone as your mentor, who would it be? 
    4. What would you name your autobiography?
    5. What is your weirdest habit?
    6. There is a new release from your favorite author, do you buy it online or rush to get it in print?
    7. Were you named after anyone?
    8. If you could meet a fictional character, who would you choose ?
    9. Two things within arms reach:
    10. What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
    11. Coke vs. Pepsi?


Travis Barnes

It is amazing how people can open you up over and over and over again. This was one of those weekends. D and I tend to be on the introverted side of things most of the time. We are perfectly content to stay at home and watch movies and play bananagrahms or read HP together. But this weekend I was reminded that it is a life full of people, in the simplest weays.

At work Friday (whilst listening to Pandora extremely loud) Nat tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention. Her husband was working really late in the library that night so she wanted to have a girls night. I quickly agreed and then text Jord, obviously. I then went to pick Danny up from campus and let him know I would be abandoning him for the night. It was my first sleep over with girlfriends since I have been married and oddly enough I was really nervous. Even though there was no logically reason to be nervous. Anyway we spent a lovely evening up at the cabin, eating treats, painting nails and talking much too late into the night. I was reminded to take my own advice and make more time for me and D to have girl/guy time.

I got home around 11 on Saturday to a wonderfully clean house with several loads of laundry done. My husband is that guy. That night we drove out to Lehi to spend time with my cousin Becca and her husband and adorable son. Me and Bec colored with Bryant, while D and Travis worked on the pizzas. After Bryant went to bed we talked with Bec and Trav for a long time and then we watched Hugo (what a bust!). It was one of those experiences that reminded me how important family connections are. I have never spent a lot of time just being friends with Becca and I regret that now. She is one of the beautiful women I know and I was inspired by her incredible strength. I can't wait to spend more time with her and her family.

Then last night we spent the evening playing games with Mallory and Paul. I was so excited when I heard Mal was moving to Provo but this is only the 2nd time I have seen her since she has been here. Mal is one of those friends that no matter how much time passes I will always feel comfortable with her. I was somewhat of a mess from being in bed most of the day and had it been almost anyone else I would have panicked, but since it was Mal I didn't attempt to get ready at all. She showed up in sweats. I love her. And I love that our husbands get along so well.

While she was over Cath called and I got to talk to her for a minute. Cath is on this amazing internship in New York and walks through Time Square everyday to get to work. While I was on the phone with her she said something that really struck a chord with me she said, "I could never be content with my old life now. This experience has been scary but it has forced me to grow, so much that I could never be happy where I was before".

Things are changing. We are about to graduate and while we are staying in Provo for a year, things will be different. Med school challenges still lie ahead and sure there will be more trials to come. But this weekend reminded me to hold on to people. Strengthen relationships and refuse to let them go. It is so easy to let go of people even when you aren't intending to. You get busy and life gets hard and then all of the sudden time has formed this huge gulf between you and people you love. It is a life full of people, a good life.


Chris Hrasky

Blessings, blessings, blessing and a fun weekend planned.

Happy Friday!

A Slow Dance by Explosions in the Sky on Grooveshark

These guys are playing at the Venue on April 4th if you like what you hear.
And no, don't wait for the vocals....they aren't coming. 

Explosion in the Sky consists of three electric guitars and a drum set (an occasionally a bass).
All of their songs are completely void of vocals.


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