4.30.2012

D

Some days I dream of small apartments with wooden floors and lace curtains.
Of cherry blossoms and old buildings. 
New places, new people, new foods, new experiences. 
Learning French and writing in my notebook late in to the afternoon. 
Riding my bike down cobblestone streets on a regular basis. 
Sipping on honey-lemon tea and taking weekend trips into the city. 
Not knowing a single person in the state (minus my D, obviously).
Light shades of paint and white, fluffy sheets. 
Being desperately uncomfortable and creating a new space for myself. 
Of change. 

A beautiful thing about being married is that I am more anxious and more prepared for drastic change. Because everything can change; my house, my job, my friends, my location, my schedule, my lifestyle...but D will always be the same. He will love me the same. He will be there the same. I can count on him the same. I find confidence and peace and beauty in that.

Two years ago (yesterday) I married D. I loved him then but I continue to realize how that day has deeply impacted every part of my life. Sometimes I struggle with that. I wrestle with it. I have to  fight off my selfish impulses and realize that I am not the most important part, nor am I the least, of our marriage. The balancing act of marriage has come naturally to me in some ways and not so naturally in others.

I learned a lot about myself while I was single, I feel that I knew myself quite well when I got married. D knew himself too and I think that is where much of our success has come from. But marriage is the most wonderful education I could have ever imagined. Because you learn from mistakes and you learn from successes. You learn from the frustrations and the angry moments and the sad moments and especially the moments you see the pain you caused your spouse. You are both the student and the teacher and so is your spouse. I can be terribly unkind to myself at times, but D is so incredibly kind to me that we find balance.

Over the past two years I've learned a few things. Though I haven't necessarily perfected the things I've learned, I have greatly improved. I have learned to apologize, but more importantly I have learned how to apologize (and mean it) for things I didn't originally think I needed to apologize for. I have learned to speak up and I have learned to force myself not to speak (this can be very tricky). I've learned to look at the little things that make our marriage wonderful and make my husband amazing. But I have also learned to look past the little things and look at the grand perspective. I've learned to laugh uncontrollably and cry uncontrollably and be comfortable doing both. I've learned to have breakfast for dinner. I've learned how to find interest in things that never interested me and then become incredibly passionate about those things. I've learned to forgive and learned to forget. I've learned to pause, which may be the most difficult lesson of all. I've learned to love deeply. I have learned what great blessings come from being whole hearted and how marriage is what allows me to be that way on occasion.

I've grown. I've changed. I've become. And I don't know what could be much happier than that. 

4.25.2012

George

For FHE on Monday D and I went out to East Bay to spend some time on the driving range. D loves to golf and I have always loved the idea of golfing. You know, driving of carts, sunshine, preppy clothes, classy club houses...these are all things I like. So we decided this should be the summer I learn how to golf.

We got a large bucket of balls and made out way out to the range. I watched D hit for a little bit and tried to remember everything my friend Kelsey taught me three summers ago. I picked up and iron and D taught me the basics. I took a couple practice swings that felt pretty good and I was high with the love of sun and summer.

Then D put a ball down....and I spent an hour swinging at air or chopping at the ground but mostly just swinging at air.

Golf is actually really frustrating. Because it looks easy. I understand that actually playing golf is different than the driving range and there is a lot of skill to it. But most sports, you can just play a little pick up game and even if you aren't good you are at least doing something. I'm not super athletic but if the fam is out playing soccer or basket ball I can jump in and play. When D and I go to the park I can throw the ball pretty accurately, and catch it and even hit pretty decently off a fast pitch machine. But golf....I cannot swing a golf club.

After about an hour and a half we were about out of balls (they last a really, really long time if you can't hit them) and getting ready to head out. During my last few swings I noticed an older man watching me out of the corner of my eye. This made me even more embarrassed so I hurried to put my clubs away. The man wondered over and comment on D's swing and chatted for a bit and then kindly asked Danny, "Sir, may I instruct your wife?" He smiled at me, told me to pick up and iron and motioned me forward.

George was probably in his late 60s and he had been playing golf for over 40 years. He had been teaching golf for a long time and he was actually there with another student that was in his mid 30s. He loved the game and I could tell it hurt his soul to watch me swing a golf club. But he worked with me very patiently for 40 minutes. Breaking down all the motions, making me think through each piece and practice it perfectly before we put it all together. At the end of the lesson I hit our last few balls and they arched out deep into the field beautifully, straight as an arrow.

And suddenly, this perfect stranger became an influence for good; teaching me to swing, to be patient with myself and confident in my own abilities.

4.23.2012

husband

Maybe one day I will feel like writing about graduation and the beauty of beginning a new chapter. But today is not that day.

Today I am reveling in the happiness that comes from being up all night with food poisoning (hooray for graduation diner!). Food poisoning, generally, is not a happy thing and frankly I was MIS-ER-A-BLE! But my sweet husband made a bed on the floor while the world spun around me. And he brought me big cups of water; one with ice and one without just so I could have my pick. And he brought me a hairband for my hair. And he brought me cool washcloths. And he sat on the floor all night and rubbed my back. And even though I never looked in the mirror, I know what I looked like. But he looked at me with those sweet eyes of concern like I was the most important thing in the world. Because to him, I am.

So today I'm just reveling in the happiness that comes from being married to my best friend; who makes guacamole, and sleeps in on Sundays, and watches Frozen Planet, and plays badminton, and eats too much Mexican food, and holds my hand, and moves things for my mom, and drives while I sleep, and kisses my head even though I'm a sweaty, messy-haired, smeared-make up, barfy girl at 3am sometimes.

Because he is mine.

4.13.2012

Rose

Yesterday I spent the morning searching videos on YouTube writing my research a paper. Then at 3:15 PM Danny and I decided to take a little nap...four hours later we woke up in a panic. But then we were hungry....so we went to El Gallo Giro. Then we came back to the house at 8:00 PM, full of caffeine determined to do our work, but then we got curious about what was going to happen next on Prison Break so....we watched just a few episodes. Around midnight we finally got our butts in gear and worked until about 2:30 AM. I only have 1 1/2 pages left to write (and a whole lot of revision)!! That should only take an hour or so....unless things go like they did last night.

Best of luck on finals! Here are a few little videos to keep you distracted from actually working.



(This video is not really 6 minutes long, the girl just has an annoying interview with herself at the end)


Happy Friday!

4.12.2012

Professor Fluhman

Yesterday was the last day of my college career. Crazy. I'm glad it ended on a good note. I had two classes  and they were both taught by stellar professors. Some people hate the end of semester round of applause for professors but in both cases yesterday I was really thankful for that tradition.

So here is a post dedicated to the best and worst teachers over the past 17 years. Lets start with the worst and then try to stay upbeat for the ending. 

The Worst

Honorable mention: Professor McNamara (open your eyes!!), the Professor that taught Geography at USU and Ms.Vogt.

5. Professor Cho, BYU Religion Department*: Good intentions, terrible teacher. Fluffy, fluffy, fluffy. 

4. Professor Stot, BYU Religion Department: Again, good intentions, terrible teacher.

3. Ms. Stott, Fremont High School: Mean, manipulative, rude, condescending, hateful....stop me. Please someone stop me.  I really don't know why this woman decided to be a teacher (especially in Utah), she hates children (especially LDS children).

2. Professor Cope, BYU Religion Department: She is far more interested in proving to the class that she is the best professor and most interesting person alive. Rather than focusing on the material it was always about her amazing experiences, meeting famous people (major name dropper), how much harder she worked as an undergrad than anyone else in the history of time and how awesome having a PhD is. She also reminds me of that girl you hate in high school,you know the one with the false smile that is trying too hard and that is constantly giving you back handed compliments? That pretty much sums up Rachel Cope.

1. Professor Dorius, BYU Religion Department: Don't even get me started on this guy. I will give one example of the "Gospel of Dorius". In one particular class about marriage there was a powerpoint that had "President Hinckley's Eight points of a Great Marriage", Dorius read them word for word and then spent the last 45 minutes on the "Ten Points to the Best Marriage by Brother Dorius". Enough said.

The Best

Honorable mention: Professor Brown, Professor Lyons, Professor Holt, Miss A, Emily Dyer (grad student), Elizabeth Smith (grad student), Mr.Rogers, Professor York, Mrs. Marler and Brother Peterson.

6. Professor Taylor, USU Political Science Department: To this day I do not know if he is a Democrat, a Republican or something else. I don't know if he is a Mormon, Catholic or religious at all, maybe he is an Atheist. I think it is rare to find a professor that doesn't insert his opinion and agenda into the class lectures. I felt challenged all the time in this class, we were dealing with heavy material and Professor Taylor forced us to look at the material in new ways and get past our knee jerk reactions.

5. Professor Black, BYU Religion Department: She is probably the smartest person I have ever met. She has a photographic memory and a bucket full of degrees. She is an awesome lecturer and I appreciate how passionate she is about everything she teaches. This is a class that inspired to continue to learn past graduation. Sister Black is inspiring because she knows so much and even though she should be well in to her retirement she is still learning and still considering new ideas. I never want to stop learning and I never want to become complacent in my education. 

4. Professor Holt, USU English Department: I wrote several 4-6 page papers for her class and then one huge paper and she spent a remarkable amount of time on each of them. I have never made as much progress in my writing as I did in her class and that is solely because of the effort she put in to feedback. I'm not talking about notes on the paper that gets handed back to you, though there was always that as well. She would type up huge paragraphs about each section on the rubric making notes about your previous papers and how this paper had weaknesses/improvement/strengths/connections to your previous work. I'm convinced our whole class could have turned in papers with no names and she could have graded them and given them back to the right students. She went above and beyond and in return so did the class. This was the course that got me hooked on writing, research and rough drafts.

3. Professor Fluhman, BYU History Department: I dreaded taking Utah history but I have never been so grateful for a class. I appreciate Professor Fluhman's willingness to frank about a really hard topics. He looked at our history as members of the church in a professional and academic way. He forced us to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly in our history and hold those contradictions in our hands and really look at them. I honestly struggled in this class and had to face a few things and appreciated so much Professor Fluhman's willingness to meet and discuss things one on one and give me resources and let me figure things out. I was asking really hard questions and Professor Fluhman validated those questions and made it feel not just okay but important for me to be asking those questions. I think sometimes we get afraid to face our history and to ask questions about it and I'm grateful for strength I have found from his course this semester.

2. Professor Sedarholm, BYU Humanities Department: Passionate about his material, sincerely concerned about his students, incredibly intelligent, hilarious beyond belief and always pushing boundaries. Professor Sedarholm redefined culture for me. I don't think he was ever trapped in the "Mormon Square" and he made it okay for us to question everything. My world view was greatly expanded by his courses. If you didn't take a class from him at BYU, you missed the BYU experience. He is that good. Seriously, take his class. Take every. single. one. of his classes. 

1. Professor Rudy, BYU Humanities Department: I cannot say enough good about Professor Rudy. I have never had a Professor be so invested in me and my success. She pushed and pushed, even when I didn't want her to. I was stretched and forced to grow every time I was in her classroom. Mostly, she was avidly interested in everything her students said. Our opinions aren't just important for class discussion but honestly fascinating and insightful to her. I don't even have the words to share my thoughts and gratitude about my relation ship with Professor Rudy. 



I'm very happy to conclude I had a lot more AMAZING teachers than I had terrible teachers. There were a handful of mediocre teachers in there but largely I had amazing luck with instructors. 

*anyone notice a theme here? BYU Religion Department....get your crap together. 

4.10.2012

Thoreau

I can't believe that tomorrow is my last day of college....ever. There have been some hard times over the last five years but there have been a lot of really amazing times too. Let's look back shall we? Or I will, because this really won't interest anyone but me...and maybe Brittan.

Freshman Year

I graduated from high school, went to Hawaii with Brittan and our parents and then headed up to USU for Freshman orientation in August. My first year of college. I lived in Brentwood with Brooke, Brittan and crazy Carmen from Louisiana (she caught a peeping Tom outside our apartment window...gross). All the guys from high school started leaving on their missions. We spent the majority of our time with the boys next door and being nervous about being the youngest people in the ward. I was an English major my first semester and then an Elementary Education major my second semester. I fell madly in love with Logan that fall, and that has never gone away. Though me and Brittan had been best friends for seven years at this point, Freshman year was the year we became sisters. I also applied to be an EFY counselor this year and accepted to work in Provo for seven weeks. I had no idea what I was getting myself in to.

Sophomore Year

I said adios to Brittan for the summer and headed to Provo for an adventure that would last longer than I ever could have imaged. I ended up working nine weeks. I loved spending time with the youth, learning from amazing peers and getting out of my comfort zone. I fell in love with Jill & Jon's team, polos, lack of sleep, fake life, "Secret Kitty" peeps, pirates and princesses, sleeping on Hayley's floor every Saturday, Disneyland and everything that comes with counselor summers. 

  

I headed back up to Logan, back to Brentwood and back to Brittan. That year we lived with Laurn and Jackalope and had the quintessential college experience. We had lots of dance parties, photo opts, movie nights and spent unbelievable amounts of money on concerts. Matty J and Jeremy were a huge part of life and the other half of me and Brittan's duo. Lots of IWA events where we met a lot of amazing friends. I met Katie Brammer at EFY and we ran into each other at "Day on the Quad" and became inseparable after that.  Katie got us heavily involved in university activities and we had a blast painting the streets, paint dances, running Mr.USU, participating in the Howl, Mardi Gras and Poetry & a Beverage. We also started a monthly Counselor Dinner Group and I got more and more involved in the EFY scene. In February I got drafted on to Team Algae which would have far reaching affects. I also met Mal & Cath this semester and the spent too many hours watching the OC, having BDPs and driving to Las Vegas. I also found my home in the American Studies program this year.

 
 
 
  

Junior Year

I spent the summer in EFY comma, obsessed with my Algae family and completely unaware that real life was happening elsewhere. B.Dahlin became a huge influence for good in my life and introduced me to many things (sushi, recycling and confidence just to name a few) broadening my view on the world. SJ and big spoon became best friends and me and Katie continued to be obsessed with each other. I was stoked to be on Jill's team and she introduced me to her brother with fiery red hair that loved dogs, baseball and baggy shirts. I had some of my most trying experiences this summer and it changed me and stretched me and brought me closer to the people I love and my Heavenly Father than ever before.

 

 

I talked to Danny everyday for the rest of the summer and drove 4 hours to Fruita, CO for our first date. September came and I headed up to Logan and he headed to Provo. I spent the weekdays in Logan living with Jaclyne and Brittan at Grey Stone, watching all 5 season of Lost with Nat and SJ at Eric D's house, taking drives with Katie and sleeping through Political Theory. I spent the weekends driving to Ogden where I would meet Danny and we would stay at my parents for the weekend. Dating was really easy, really fun and really perfect for the first time. After having my heart broken in the past, I finally understood what real love was like. What being in love with your best friend was like. We fell hard and we fell fast, too fast for those around us watching it unfold. I applied to BYU in secret, got accepted and with a heavy heart I left my best friend, my beloved Logan and headed to BYU in January. I got a job in the EFY office as an office coordinator where I met Dicksy and Jordyn. D and I spent winter semester skipping classes, exploring Provo, hanging out with his best friends and planning out wedding. Then in April school ended and we had the best day we will ever have.

 
 
 
  
 

  

Senior Year #1


We spent our Honeymoon in Cancun laying on the beach, in the swim-up bar during "happy hour" where virgin drinks were $1, on a ruins tour, finding hole-in-the-wall places to get the best guac and flying first class. We came home to live in our first apartment, the "Riv", where we managed for EFY that summer. I loved it because I got to spend time with B and SJ, Danny hated it because of all the 14 year olds lighting things on fire. When school started we moved into the "white house" and spent lots of time fixing it up and cramming all of our stuff into a one bedroom. We had some classic newlywed moments here that I would not trade for anything. I lost tons of credits from the transfer to BYU and so I spent the fall retaking THE SAME classes with altered names on them and tried to get over the fact that I was an Aggie in cougar town. Brittan followed me and Laina's examples and got married in September. I spent my first Christmas away from home and went with D to Colorado. In January we got the job at the Fleur-de-Lis and we moved for the third time in just eight months. I spent the rest of the year going to El Gallo Giro with Jordyn, getting deeper and deeper into the American Studies program and getting in the groove of married life. We fell madly in love with our ward and spent plenty of time with Spencer & Sydney, worked on getting Danny prepped for med school and dreaming of graduation.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Senior Year #2


I spent the summer working EFY and D spent it studying for the MCAT and filling out med school applications. We also spent some time at baseball games, 7 Peaks, gardening and did a road trip to Colorado. I chopped my hair off for the first time and regretted it a few months later. D took me to Les Mis for the first time and we spent our 1st anniversary at the lodge in Snowbird. In the fall I was eyeball deep in research for my senior capstone, which was the best academic experience of my entire educational career. Danny spent time interviewing at medical school and I got to go to Chicago with him. D broke his leg in that stupid intramural football game and spent the next 6 months in recovery. It was a really hard time for us, its times like that I know I married the right man. We leaned on our families, our closest friends, each other and especially our Heavenly Father. I pulled away from a lot of people during the struggle and said goodbye to a few dear friends. Trials have a way of revealing what is most important and what people will always be there. We got together with old friends during Christmas and Danny spent his first Christmas with my family. I spent a whole lot of time with Jordyn who quickly became a life line for my life in Provo. We spent a lot of time going out to dinner with Evan trying to get him to marry Jordyn so all out dreams could come true. I spent winter semester trying my hand at creative writing which was a really great experience for me. Danny got more into his research and even got published. I spent the majority of the semester skipping class, and going on road trips to Disneyland (the jury is out on if I will actually graduate or not). But mostly Danny and I grew even closer and through the trials of everything, we are stronger than we were last year and our marriage is stronger than ever before.

  

 

 College has come to an end. I have been dreaming of this day for the past two years, begging time to move faster, counting the hours, checking off the days, and now it is here. It is so bitter sweet. The best times of my life happened during college. I'm a totally different person then when I started. I loved being a student. I loved to learn, to read, to write, to ask questions. I loved the late nights, the parties, the lack of sleep, the crappy food, the freezing winters, the cramming, the stress, the growth, the challenge. I love the way education opens your eyes and moves you outside of yourself. It forces you to look at old things in new ways and hold the contradictions of history in your hands. I have met so many amazing people and found a deep love and appreciate for the way our relationships with others influence and change us. So many dear friends I have loved and will remember.So many memories, so many moments, so many snapshots of my life now come and gone. But mostly, I loved college because I found myself. I have come to accept my weaknesses and I have found my strengths. I discovered how to change, to adapt, to be faithful, to forgive, to ask for forgiveness, to love, to push, to speak up, to be silent. I have a long way to go but I'm so thankful for where I am now and for all the things that brought me here.

I would say of college what Thoreu said of the woods:

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.” - Henry David Thoreu


This is more true now, than ever before. 




4.06.2012

Paul Cardall

“In our hour of deepest sorrow, we can receive profound peace from the words of the angel that first Easter morning: ‘He is not here: for he is risen.’”


He Is Risen by Paul Cardall on Grooveshark

Happy Friday! Happy Easter Weekend!

4.05.2012

Mrs. New Mommy

I think it is time for a Facebook intervention.
Particularly for new mothers*.

If we are FB friends you can bet I want to see your new baby, I want to see how fat you are, I even like to indulge in some of the cheesy "My baby is as big as (fill in the blank with some type of fruit, vegetable, device, baked good, baby animal, etc) today!". I appreciate women that will put up pictures of themselves looking nasty with smeared mascara, messy hair and pale skin; that is the reality of motherhood. I love pictures of you and the new dad and little baby. I'm your FB friend for a reason, I want to creepily follow the details of your life!

What I do not want to see is your boobs or large portions of the boob.**We get it, you need to feed your baby (we sincerely don't want little newborn to die) but we don't need to see it on the internet. I never want to see your legs in the stirrups from any direction.  Zero thigh, I repeat ZERO THIGH! I don't want to see a status about disgusting details of the birthing process. I don't want to see bare-skinned photos of your ever enlarging baby bump, particularly the outy belly button as they really gross me out.

Let us all remember that social circles are not a thing of the past. I will get all of the nasty details about birth from my real life BFF in the flesh. I will take plenty of pictures, some doomed to be nasty, of my own children being born but I will leave those pictures off of the interweb. My dear family will see me at my worst (mums the word, right fam?) during this time.I will glory in my baby bump and take pictures of my ever growing belly (fully clothed, I have no desire to even photograph my own bare belly).

Here is what I propose:
1. Rent out a large auditorium
2. Fill said auditorium with all of the accused mother's FB friends
3. Put said accused new mother up on the stage, shine a spotlight on her
4. Put the accused in front of a microphone
4. Begin the large slideshow of all her recent baby picture she uploaded to FB
5. Have said accused mother read all of her status updates to the large crowd
6. Watch said mother die of embarrassment

I think this intervention would help these new moms and society in general. Some people needed to be reminded that they are not speaking directly to close friends and family. When you put up these photos and statuses you are exposing yourself to a large group of people, the majority of which don't want to see your vagina.

Please and thank you.

*there are plenty of other categories we could talk about but I feel particularly grossed out today about birthing pictures/statuses 
**If I ever post pictures of this nature on FB, please move forward with this intervention!

4.03.2012

Julie B. Beck

I loved conference. Like always, I'm obsessed with Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf. But I would give a shout out to President Monson (he i so funny), President Packer, Brother Hallstrom, President Eyering and Sister Beck.

Speaking of Sister Beck, I was basically heart broken when she got released. I have been obsessed with her since she became the first counselor in the Young Women's presidency. Aside from my mother, Sister Beck is the role model whom I hope to pattern my life after. Largely because Sister Beck can throw down doctrine with the best of them. She has this insane knowledge of the scriptures and she teaches boldly. There are a lot of women in the church that teach by the spirit and share sweet messages and those messages are wonderful and they have their place but Sister Beck spells it out for us and doesn't sugar coat gospel principles. She is a powerful woman and she empowers women in the church to be strong and knowledgeable leaders of the church and of the world.

Here are just a few of my favorite Julie B. Beck moments:



or this, or this, or this.....


One of my favorite quotes reminds me of Sister Beck, Margaret Nadauld said,

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” 

4.02.2012

President Samuelson

Peace out...in just 18 days or 8 more days on campus. 

Until then I will be trapped in the LRC, typing at lightening speed in hopes that I do not have to make a retraction for this announcement. 

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Thanks to Jamie at The Letter 4 for designing this for us!

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