Queen Amidala

The thing about Halloween is...I love it. 

I know once you are over a certain age you are supposed to move on to witty/sexy/no Halloween costumes but I didn't. My family has always been pretty in to the holiday and my costumes were always about ten times more intense than all the other kids at school. My mom's true creativity and sewing skills come out the week of Halloween. When everyone was a store bought Power Ranger in Kindergarten, I was a handmade, modest, personalized Belle. My costumes have ranged from Belle to Lydia (from Beetlejuice) to Queen Amidala.  

Now that my family is in the grown up stage but pre-kiddos we have started doing a haunted house at my parents. The neighborhood likes it and it is fun to be crazy with my siblings for a night. A hear people say that they are too grown-up for Halloween or dressing up is from kids but I say get over it! Have a blast, because you can bet we are having a blast over at the Godfrey house!


Charlie Matheson

Something I have realized about our generation is that we are dead meat.

That is, if the end of the world comes. Sure other generations would have struggled but only recent ones and not nearly to the extent that we would. My sister-in-law had a bag of beans the other day and we had no idea how to cook them. I'm pretty competent in the kitchen but I have only ever used canned beans. And that is just the beginning of what I don't know. College-schmollege. Having a degree in "American Studies" won't start a fire.

If I got involved in a time warping accident back to say, the pioneer era, I would bring no value to them. Sure, I could brag about my cars, ATM machines, modern medicine, TVs and cell phones but could I actually give them any of that? It still makes absolutely no sense to me how the internet or fax machines or electricity for that matter, actually work. Seriously, I would not even know where to begin to give these people an advancement at all. I imagine the conversation going something like this:
Me: "Woooah! You guys are cooking everything over a fire? Haven't you ever heard of a microwave?"
Them: "No."
Me: "It is like a super oven that uses waves or something....to cook food in minutes. It is great."
Them: "Great, can you make us one?"
Me: "Sure. I just need....plastic....and some metal....and I'm sure something electronic....actually, have you ever heard of matches? That might be more doable."
I would be a great author though because I pretty much have Harry Potter memorized. And plagiarism laws wouldn't exist yet. 

Maybe this is why dystopia movies, novels and TV shows have become to popular. We are obsessed with the dependency this era has on modern technology that we have no idea how it works. Anyone watching Revolution? Ok, it sucks because the acting is horrible but the concept is cool! What would happen to the great US of A if the lights suddenly went out? I think you get my point.

So in short, if the world goes crazy I hope you have more than a bag of beans that we don't know how to cook in your food storage. 

Or maybe, I should watch less TV.


Connie Britton

I have been obsessed with Connie Britton ever since Friday Night Lights. When I saw the preview for Nashville I got so excited because I have been missing Tammy Taylor. Then to my surprise Lennon & Maisy  showed up on the show as Connie's daughters. Happy! Anyway here are a few songs for your Friday!

Hayden Panettiere's song that I really like.

Then the little cuties. These sister are the cutest thing ever!

Happy Friday!


Bexar Bexar

There are few things that I love as much as hot bread. It seems like every country has its own type of delicious bread, one thing we all have in common. Focaccia, Naan, Pita, Tortilla, Fry, Irish Soda, Corn.  I would love to tour the world eating nothing but cheese and  bread. It is certainly a craft of its own as bread-makers create art via flour, sugar yeast. 

p.s. D and I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower last night. It was gorgeous.
(though if you haven't read the book be warned it is a little scandalous at times)


Elizabeth Barrett Browning

When you get married you don't lose yourself, but you learn to consider more than yourself, you become more than yourself. Your decisions, your schedule, your goals, your dreams, they stretch and change and you find new balance in the family of two. The balance can be hard to manage. 

Early on, if I would be irritated with D or vice versa we were usually out of balance. And most of the time both of us were leaning toward ourselves. We  would consider our own hurt feelings, our own needs not being met or placing blame on the other party. These times are easily recognized, though we don't always want to admit what the problem is. As we have grown together we have had times we are perfectly in-sync. Those times are generally short lived, not because we don't have a strong marriage (in fact I believe we have the best marriage in the world! I hope you feel that way about your own marriage. It is a gorgeous feeling.) but because we are human. But recently, I've discovered the other end of the balancing spectrum. 

In marriage sometimes we begin to lean too much on each other, depend too much on each other. I'm sure plenty people with disagree with that statement and conclude you can never lean too much into your partner, but I disagree. This end of the spectrum is as unhealthy for a marriage, and the two individuals in that marriage, as the opposite end of leaning toward oneself. Leaning too much in to each other causes complacency. You pick up each others bad habits, you stop changing, you stop progressing and those really important parts of the individuals that make the marriage so complete, begin to dim. 

The hard part: this side of the spectrum is far more difficult to recognize. For us at least, this end is still happy but a lower version that what we have experienced before. We aren't picking fights or distant or even discouraged. We are actually spending a lot of time together and time that is precious and fun and wonderful. But we are less of ourselves, less thrilled with what the future looks like and less determined to be the best version of ourselves. We are in a place that is comfortable and easy and no one is pushing us forward. Simply, we are complacent.

We recognized this pattern several weeks ago and I'm grateful. We looked back to graduation and thought, what is different here? What is better? What is improving? How is our marriage stronger? How are we better as individuals? I didn't necessarily see digression in any of those departments but I didn't see improvement either. What we discovered was that leaning too much on each other means creating excuses for ourselves based on the idea of service/consideration for the other. 

So we sat down. We took a good hard look at our life and where we wanted to go from here. We each made a list of our personal strengths and in turn made a list of what we considered our partner's strengths to be. We then created our "value" categories; categories that simply make our life beautiful. Then we made family goals and personal goals in each of those categories. I'm convinced that setting goals and consistently following up on them within a marriage is crucial to the health of the marriage. 

When we got married someone told us that marriage is based on three parts: wife and husband, the marriage itself, the couple with God. All of the parts have to be healthy for it to function properly. I didn't understand then how the husband and wife was a very different part than the marriage itself. Now I considered "the marriage itself", the balance. The balance has to be carefully watched and adjusted as life pushes you in different directions. 

Being balanced in marriage allows me to feel free. I feel myself. I feel myself progressing and getting better in my value categories. I watch D change and my heart bursts with love and gratitude. I find myself feeling the same way I felt the morning after our wedding. Sitting in a booth at Denny's in a world far beyond what this world has to offer. The day literally looked brighter and I didn't hear a thing from any patron in the place. We laughed the whole way through breakfast but probably only said two or three words to each other. It is honestly more than I can describe but it is so vivid in my memory that I still smell the faint trace of coffee and see our car out the glass window, still covered in paint and Oreo crumbs. And I'm happier than I ever have been, over and over and over again. 


Marc Russell

A beautiful craft movement today: canoe making. 
It is amazing what people can do with their hands.

Another reminder to spend life doing something you love.


A Girl in Salt Lake City

Last semester I had one of my favorite classes of all time (though it ended in a sort of disastrous way but that is a story for another day). Some people hate having grad students as teachers but for the second time I found myself completely obsessed. Emily was lovely and inspiring and one of those people you want to be when you grow up. In her class I felt totally inadequate because I was surrounded by  brilliantly creative people and I had never been in a "creative" sort of class before. I was comfortable in history, political science and debate based courses but certainly not creative ones.

During this creative writing course I not only fell madly in love with short stories and writing daily, I also got to be a part of one of Emily's projects. Now, she is doing another project and you my dear friends have the chance to be involved! Lucky you! Check out the project, you might recognize it if you live in Provo. I know of few of you specifically commented on the last project (though you didn't know I knew exactly what you were talking about). It was such a fun experience for me because it is amazing the way people I knew and people I didn't know, reacted to it even though they had no idea what it was. On walks home from school I would see an individual or a group of people stopping and reading the posters and getting sent to the links. In short, I think it is amazing the way a single thing/person/artwork can touch so many. At the core of things, we really are all the same.

If that is not enough to catch your interest then here is the topic of the art project: acceptable reasons to cry in public. Have you ever cried in public? Where have you cried in public? I have been making a list in my head of all the times I have cried in public and I'm not proud to admit how many times it has happened. Some of the time I had good cause, some of the time others were crying as well but in those few humiliating times I was the only one crying and I was doing it in that hideous fashion Emily describes.

So join up. Share your experiences. Get in on the project! I hope you love it as much as I did.

Also you can head over to Wives, M.D. and check out the books I picked for this week's celebration of National Book Month!


Sister Missionary

The Mormon world is abuzz with the news of the change in missionary age. How hilarious were the audience faces? Can you imagine the mothers around the world having a panic attack? Obviously, I had to join in. 

What a blessing! As D and I have been non-stop talking about what the changes mean we realized what a dramatic impact this announcement could have not only on missionary work but on our culture and church programs. 

For the young men, not a huge change but a HUGE change. I think of my dear guy friends that were so prepared to leave but had to wait a long and discouraging year for their summer-time birthdays. They struggled through a year of college and found it more and more difficult to focus on school knowing that they would soon serve missions. And then two years later, returning to school and no longer having the base of knowledge they gained in that year before their missions. Not all will leave at 18 and I am so glad they now have a more personal decision on the timing so that they can leave when they are prepared, rather than rushing to be prepared by their birthdays or having to wait for their birthdays to come. 

Can you imagine how different Freshman year will be in Utah not to mention BYU? BYU might as well switch 90% of those pretty dorms over to women's housing because I imagine far less men will be attending Freshman year at 18 and 19 years old. And how many missionaries at 20-21 that have lived in apartments and houses across the world want to return to tiny dorm rooms? Maybe I'm wrong, but Freshman year could be a largely estrogen affair. 

What does this mean for the Young Women's program? I grew up in a time where the emphasis was on missionary work being a back up option to marriage and not at all required for women. I never even considered going on a mission. Maybe that was just the wards and stake I grew up in but I don't feel it was something we were preparing for or making goals or even considering. I hope this means the Young Women's program will adopt missionary work as a value and that the young women will spend more time in the scriptures, time in Preach My Gospel and on learning to teach the gospel while maintaining the goodness already found in the program. But mostly I hope this means girls preparing to go on missions are making the decision based on personal and spiritual level rather than the disappointment of not being married. 19! I can't even believe it!

I think about my life at 19-years-old. I had just switched majors from English to Elementary Education (what?) and had no idea what I wanted to do. Later, I signed up for a semester in China teaching English (though I didn't end up going). Would I have served a mission? I can't say for sure but it would have been a heavily considered option. I imagine I would have been more focused on a mission than preparing to be an EFY counselor. By the time I was 21 I was engaged and getting married just a few months after my birthday.  I'm grateful for my life and they way it turned out but it is crazy to think of how much this change could have changed the direction of my life.

Lastly, this is a revelation that makes me ponder on the importance of being prepared now. Would I have been spiritually prepared at 19 if the call came like it did today? Out of the blue with me not expecting it at all? Am I prepared if the call comes tomorrow for young married couples to serve? I hope the answer is yes for us all. But I know there is work I need to do to be more prepared for all the calls coming my way!

It is weekends like this one that make me thank my Heavenly Father again and again for continued revelation and living prophets!!


The Avett Brothers

Fall, in particular, makes the banjo sing to my heart.
It makes me want to lie down in a river.
D says that makes no sense.
I think it makes all the sense in the world.

Pretty Girl at the Airport by The Avett Brothers on Grooveshark

Happy Friday!



Paul Nielson, D.D.S.

Today I feel like a real life grown up. We have been running around all day to appointment after appointment. I got fed up with my list of to-dos, so I scheduled them all on one day that I knew both of us were available. This seemed like a great idea but let me warn you, it was busy, busy, busy!

First up, the dentist for both of us. Just a cleaning thank goodness, but still I am a member of the "I hate going to the dentist" club. I won't give you the cavity count (or tell you how many years since D or I went to the dentist) but I will say I came out the winner! Meaning D had more cavities than me. Go me!

Then we went to the optometrist to get me a new prescription for contacts and glasses. I got a year supply of contacts from my mom for my bridal shower (I was thrilled!!) and have made them last over two years. I hear this is bad for my eyes but hey my eyes feel fine and it is better for my checkbook. I mostly got this appointment because coastal.com is doing a free pair of glasses and lenses right now (AMAZING!). I can't wait to get my new specs in the mail!

Next, D went off to the surgeon to get a final check up on that broken leg of his so he can get the final OK from the Air Force docs. D broke his leg one year ago and it is crazy how much it changed our path. I'm excited to see where we go, if we go to a school we didn't apply/interview at last year and see where our path has taken us.

Lastly, we went over to Gold's Gym to get memberships since they are running the $10 month-to-month contract with no sign up fees again. Can't miss out on this deal with winter, holidays and pumpkin treats headed our way. Not to mention D needs to bulk up a little for the Air Force (but don't tell him I said that).

Appointment day comes close but not quite breaking the bank on a load of health bills that have been put off for far too long! So here is to a day of grown up appointments and a day out with my best friend. It was a lot of "firsts" for us today which was really fun. He is a keeper, that one.


Wilford Woodruff

Maybe the thing that struck me most on my family trip to Nauvoo is how loooong everything took to make. We watched demos on making shoes, making bricks, making guns, making candles, making wagon wheels, making thread and then making clothes, etc. Everything took so much patience it amazed me. They saints saved everything, nothing got thrown away. I can't imagine living during that time period. It was back breaking work to only still live in really difficult circumstances. 

It makes me feel lazy on a whole new level. I have a laundry machine, a dishwasher, an oven a microwave oven (just in case I don't have time to wait for my oven)! What took them weeks would take me a single day to accomplish and yet they worked from sun up to sun down and I spend a lot of time...not working. 

We spent our first morning taking tours of Nauvoo and listening to the patience of the people, the faith that they had and the incredible sacrifices that they made. From the streets of Nauvoo you can see the steeple and statue Moroni sitting on top of the temple. And it hit me. How did these people possibly build that temple? It is so detailed, it is a piece of art. They had nothing, and everything took an incredible amount of effort to make. And yet, they built this incredible, giant, perfect building literally with their bare hands. I was nothing short of amazed. 

And then the second thought hit me. How did these people possibly leave this temple? After the years of effort. The long hours, the incredible amount of sacrifice and tears that went in to a single building. How could they leave it? They are more faithful than I am. I can't imagine walking down Parley Street and crossing the Mississippi River looking at the steeple knowing you would never see it again. Yes, they left their homes. They left their lives and they knew them. They were being run out of town. But I don't think I ever really understood their sacrifice until I put it in terms of that beautiful temple. 

But what a joy to build it. To dig your hands into the work and come home exhausted, muscles sore from creating a house of the Lord. What a blessing. What a sacrifice.


Aimee Anderson

Gooooo! I am so disappointed. Sometimes KSL makes all my dreams come true and other times it dangles my dreams in front of me and then someone snatches them away from me. Like last night.

I have been checking KSL every, single day for the last few months looking for a great deal on a new living room set. Our set is a nasty, old leather couch, mismatches chairs, a glass coffee table set from my mom's relief society president and my old hope chest for a TV stand. Sounds really chic, right?

So I'm on the hunt to get new furniture before we move (where oh where?). Last night the PERFECT set came up. A chocolate leather couch and love seat with the really gorgeous wood coffee table set and lamp. For how much you ask? A whopping $200 bones. Only $200! And the couches didn't have a scratch or stain on them. It was a rich lady in Sugar House that just bought new furniture for their mother-in-law side house. I was ecstatic! I set up a time to check it out today but lo an behold a Sunday goer beat me to it.

I hope they spill hot coffee on it...not really...but seriously.

Anyway, this is my sad post about my lost living room. First world pains.

Anyone out there have a gorgeous couch they want to pass on?


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