13 December 2010

Ooh boy!

T-minus 49 hours 'til I'm on my flight home... I can't wait! It'll be a very merry Christmas, indeed!

30 November 2010

I'm learning that sometimes the path from "I can't" to "I will" is not an easy one. And I usually get stuck and start spinning in circles right around the "I can, but I won't" stage.

But I've done hard things in the past, right? And nothing's changed for the worse since then, right? I can still do hard things. I will still do hard things. Because that's what I'm here for. That's what we're all here for. Learning. Growing. Accomplishment. Progression.

20 November 2010

I spent half of my Friday night grading. Are you even serious? I feel like such a nerd... But, on a much brighter note, I'm now finished with all my grading for the next week and a half. Bam!

I'm driving up to Oregon for Thanksgiving. And I'm so beasty excited for it. I made a few calls today to finalize plans. I'm heading out on Monday, and I hope traffic and weather don't make driving TOO horrible. I've got 3 guys riding up with me, and 4 coming back. That'll make for some good conversation, I think. And J-Ram Fergie gets to experience a holiday with the Steele-Forrest-Ayotte families... He's in for a real treat! I anticipate [and I'm sure you do, too, J-Ram] a hilarious time and unforgettable memories.

I saw Harry Potter last night with some friends. Lots of fun! And although my sleep schedule this past two months week has been extremely crazy, I didn't fall asleep during the show like I was afraid I might (we went to the 12:01 showing, so I guess it wasn't TOO late).

I get to see Z&S and L and K next week. Within a week, even. Like, 4 or 5 days from now. I can't wait!! They've been gone for 3 weeks, but it's felt like a lifetime!

And guess what else! I'll be home in 26 days. I'm so excited. There's something so refreshing about family. There is something so irreplaceable about being around people who you can love so completely [and who reciprocate] [even if you're the weird older sister and sometimes feel like the Old Maid of the family] [at 23-freakin'-years-old?! How does that figure? I need to get out of Provo...]. I'm looking forward to curling up on  my bed the living room couch and cuddling with Huntman, heart-to-heart talks with Wizzer, late-night rounds of Settlers with Remi, running ['til we puke...? Haha] with Rosie, talking/baking/cleaning/cooking/serving/laughing with Momma, being crafty and fun with Madi, laughing at with Dad, spending time catching up with M&E and their cute little family, and so much more. It's bound to be a good break...

Anyway, I'd better go get some studying done and get some sleep. Just thought I'd swing by here and spew out some random things that've been on my mind. Maybe one day I'll publish a post or two with some actual clarity and focus. Perhaps even some depth... Haha. Probably not. But let's not rule out any possibilities, eh?

06 November 2010

Ode to Daylight Savings

So.... 4 hours from now, it'll be 3 hours from now.
And 3 hours from now, it'll be 3 hours from now.

My mind is officially blown.

05 November 2010

Rainbow Sunsets

Yesterday in a stressed, exhausted, half-crazed state, I decided I'd had enough of reality for awhile and texted  my most favorite Heaven Twin, B. Funk. When she was finished with teaching for the day, I headed up to PG and met her at her cutie-patootie little kindy-garten classroom. It was so darling! Something about it just made me itch to be back in the public schools... Soon enough I will be.

We chatted for a bit while she finished up some work. When she was done, we headed out to grab Cafe Rio and chill at her place. Typical awesome evening, right? But it turned out to be so much more... I was following her to the restaurant, and we were driving west into the sunset. However, this wasn't just any old pretty sunset... There was a haze on the horizon, which combined with the sunlight to make a spectacular rainbow shimmer sunset. That's the best way I can think to describe it. It. Was. Gorgeous. Honestly, I was little concerned about driving because I couldn't take my eyes off it! Sometimes the beauty of Heavenly Father's creations is just breath-taking, and all I can do is pause and admire.

It got me thinking... At B. Funk's place we started talking about feeling beautiful, about believing in ourselves, and about being worth it. I shared with her this piece of work, which I've been thinking about a lot lately. We listened to this and to this. Later in the evening, with my roommates, I continued to ruminate on self-esteem and feelings of self worth.We talked about how we know some of the most beautiful women in the world who still struggle with feelings of inadequacy. How do you get past that? How do you come to truly know that you are beautiful? That you are enough? That you are worth it? I don't know. I don't claim to even begin to know how to answer any of those questions... But, dang it, I do know that feeling beautiful and believing in myself and being worth just so much is something I want. I want to feel like that rainbow sunset. I want to sparkle and shimmer. I want to soak up the light. I want to feel like I could stop traffic because people cannot take their eyes off me. I want to take someone's breath away.

And, for the time being, I think I'm on my way to feeling that way. It's slow, of course. Nothing so important comes immediately or without dedication and work. But I really do feel like I'm making some progress. It's interesting how things work... I feel like that's the message I'm supposed to be feeling this week. That, no matter what, I can be strong and successful because of who I am. Not because of who I thought I was or who I want to be, but because of who I am and who I have always been and who I will always be.

Maybe right now I am a decent sunset, pink and everything. On a really good day, perhaps I've got those shocks of orange and silver-fire clouds. But, mark my words, one day I'll truly shine. One day I'll shimmer in the light. One day I'll be that rainbow sunset...

01 November 2010

Happy Birthday, Wizzer-Butt!

Oh my heavens, how in the world is it already 2010 November??! Time is flying by and I feel like I have no time to breathe, let alone keep track of what's even happening in my life... Yikes!

Anyway... The fact that it's November means it's my darling sister Elizabeth's birthday! I can't believe she's 22 already. How did that happen? Elizabeth is a wonderful sister, and I'm sad I'm not in New York to celebrate with her on this special day. She is and has always been a gorgeous, talented person [which, admittedly, I've envied. A lot.] who I look up to and cherish. I'm grateful for her example and support in my life. I miss having her in Provo - we would sometimes have the best discussions [er....I don't know if you could call them that, necessarily, as it they followed more of a scattered talking-laughter-talking-bawling-hysterical laughter-talking-crying-reminiscing-laughter-talking pattern rather than just a straight-up discussion. Whatev.] and she could provide me with comfort that nobody else could. I love her, and I'm grateful that she is my sister.

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth! I love you!
We look like such ragamuffins. I love it!

28 October 2010

What the what?!

Anyone who knows me fairly well knows that I absolutely adore my family. My parents are my heroes. My siblings are my examples, my stalwart go-to guys with whom I can [and do!] share anything and everything. My nephew and nieces are so stinkin' cute. Because I love them so much, my family is my greatest source of joy. For the past 5-something years that I've been living in Provo, I've had at least one of my siblings out here with me. It's been great for those days when I'm so happy I could explode and I just have to run and share my excitement with those I love. It's also been a wonderful relief when all I want to do is run away and forget the world...

But, on Saturday, Z & S are moving. All the way to Seattle, dang it! I'm so happy for them. Really, I am! They're moving on to bigger and better things than the oddity that is Provo. They are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and they're excited for it. [Plus, I've always wanted to visit Seattle - I kind of have a secret crush on the Northwest...] But, dang it, I'm going to be all alone! Until next August! What the what?! [Okay, okay, so I still have the most wonderful cousins and the best friends and roommates in the world here, but still. There is just something about immediate family...]

 Anyway, I've been able to spend some good quality time with L and K lately as Z & S have prepared themselves for moving. We went to the BYU Homecoming Parade at the beginning of October, and took these gems:

And, I love this picture. Haha. It reminds me of the picture Elizabeth took of K, when she was a few weeks old, laying at the base of an old stone staircase looking mildly abandoned but oh-so-beautiful.

I love this next picture, too. L is making such a humorous face, and I'm rockin' the Steele squint-eye [which, admittedly, sounds like a disease...] hardcore. We make a good-lookin' bunch.

Yesterday, we all went up to Temple Square. Z & S wanted to do a session at the Salt Lake Temple before they skipped town. Their friend was in town visiting, so I played tour guide/babysitter while they were in the Temple. We were able to go to the Visitors' Center, the Conference Center, and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, as well as just walk around the Temple grounds and enjoy the beauty.

I just love that family, and I'm going to miss them terribly! I'm grateful for their love, support, and laughs these past few years. They're wonderful!

Anyone know what teaching availability is like in the greater Seattle area?

14 October 2010

Closing Time

I have a one-way ticket home.
To New York.
To family.
To Christmas.
To hugs and kisses and cuddles.
To happiness.
To love.

December 15th could not come fast enough.

Unfortunately, I also have a one-way ticket back. I'm sure my almost 3 week break will have seemed plenty long enough by the end, but I'm already dreading January 4th. I'm a little bit terrified of the class they're expecting me to teach next semester. I get really frustrated with Provo in the Winter. And it also means I have to actually figure out what I'm doing with my life... You know, because I'll be graduating [again] and all... Maybe.

So... now that it's October, I finally finished all my Easter candy. Mostly it's just been sitting on the shelf in my office begging to be eaten as I've been on various sugar fasts and out of town and up and down and in and out... Finally today I gave in. That means I had bright pink sugary stale Peeps for dinner. And you better believe I loved every second of it.

I was talking to a friend last night about an upcoming date she has. We got on the topic of guys, and laughed and laughed for about 5 minutes. We decided we need to get together and swap horror stories. Then write a book about it. I've written in my journal every night for about 3 years now. I've got TONS of stories just begging to be told. I don't quite know if the world is ready to hear. [That, and I don't know who exactly reads this thing. I don't want to include TOO many incriminating stories just yet... Because, as I told my friend, the stories will have "names not change to uncover the identities of the skeevy, sketchy guys."]

Man, it's late. I'm tired. It's just been one of those days, though. You know... I'm ready for another vacation. I'm thinking Vegas. Or Oregon. What say the masses? Where should I go, when, and for how long? I think I'd love more than anything to go to Brownsville/Corvallis for Thanksgiving. Z & S are moving to Seattle [I'm happy for them, but admittedly a little depressed that I'll be alone in Provo...], and might be driving down to Corvallis for Thanksgiving. I want to be there, too. I don't know how feasible that'd be. But it's oh-so-tempting.

And, before I run off to go work on my midterm and pretend to get some sleep [or...is it the other way around?], I just like to add that there are 72 days until Christmas. Is it too early to put up the tree? And start humming those blessed carols? And wear a pretty scarf and make gingerbread houses and sip cocoa by the fireplace with a cute boy my sweet roommates? I'll hold off for now because I know I'd get crusty looks... But I'm still feelin' it in my heart!


08 October 2010

Fast Car

I ran away to Arizona over Conference weekend. And guess what? I fell in love. The weather down there was gorgeous. The company was phenomenal. And it felt SO good to get out of Provo. Now, don't get me wrong. There is a very, very special place in my heart for Provo [and, in fact, I've quite fallen in like with  Provo over the past few years, rather against my will]. But, shoot! Arizona? I'm sold! Hook, line, and sinker. Done and done. Can I be done with school and move there, umm, right now?

14 September 2010


Do you ever dread going to sleep because you know you have to wake up and face a day you're not quite prepared for? I get that way, sometimes. Quite frequently, recently. For the most part, it bites. But at least I'm getting some quality time grading and preparing lessons and blogging. Right?

Life's been busy lately. But what else is new? I've come to accept the fact that my life will probably always be busy. And if it's not, Heaven help me! I thrive under pressure. I find some sick, twisted joy in pushing my limits, testing my strength. Making last-second deadlines is my lifeblood. Go figure!

A few weeks ago for FHE we hiked up Rock Canyon a bit. The sun was setting, which made for some spectacular views. And, of course, my eyes were rockin' in that light. I climbed up some rocks to catch the last of some bright rays, and Jenni snapped the following:

And... My darling sister Elizabeth sent me what has quickly become my new favorite t-shirt. She was quite cryptic about what it was, telling me only that something was going to arrive in the mail for me, it was olive green, and I would love it. She was correct on all counts! Isn't it just wonderful??!

As you can see in the picture, I shod myself in my olive green Chucks and totally rocked out. Yes, that is my own foot... My roommates say it looks like I'm holding someone else's foot up, but it's not true. Anyway...isn't the shirt just perfect? I love Love LOVE it! I may have started dancing around the kitchen when I opened it. :D It's got formulas and figures from geometry, algebra, calculus, and who knows what all! Truth be told, I don't recognize all of them. But that's what Wikipedia is for, right?

...I just realized that I look slightly crazed in both of the above pictures. Things happen. Don't judge me.

I need more sleep. But, frankly, I don't want tomorrow to come. Where's the pause button?

07 September 2010


Is it bad that some of the emails/comments I receive from my students make me want to go punch the math lab TAs in the gut?

Answer: Probably yes.

Second answer: I don't care.

Wake me up when September ends?

I can't believe it's September. And a week in, to boot! Are you kidding me!? When did that happen? Shoot... When did it even become 2010? Time is a funny thing, sometimes....

Do you guys realize what last Thursday was? 9/02/10. I know, right? Pretty awesome! My roommates and I set fake goals at the beginning of the year to get married in Beverly Hills on 9/02/10. That failed miserably. But even so, we had high hopes of hosting a small [but wonderful] Beverly Hills party that night. Unfortunately, that didn't work out, either. With the start of school and about 17.35 million different things going on that night [I had class, and Relief-Society-activity-formerly-known-as-Enrichment, and an open invitation to go salsa dancing (That...didn't happen. And might not ever. We'll see.), and, most importantly, Dad and Remington were in town on their way to Idaho!], the pressing need for a rockin' party quickly ebbed and that idea was moved to the back burner [and then off the stove completely].

I went to the football game on Saturday. We won 23-17. It was an exciting game, and a good way to start the season, I thought.  I have seats with Kelly, Jeramy, and Owen. There were a few people in the seats directly behind us who were Huskies fans, and they weren't quiet about it. Not that they were obnoxious or annoying at all, they just had team pride. I thought it was great! There were two small boys sitting in front of us, and the one kept turning around and looking so concerned that there were Huskies fans in the BYU seating. Kelly and I were cracking up...

And... We had our 3rd Annual Labor Day Breakfast at the Honey Shaq this morning. It was great! We had eggs and pancakes and fruit and sausage and french toast and bacon and more bacon and even more bacon. There were about 25 people total [give or take], and I think [I hope!] everyone had a good time. Though our apartment STILL smells like bacon. I wonder how long it'll take to get rid of the stank...

This evening, I accidentally signaled some creeper guys to follow me when I was on my way to Zac and Sarah's place. It was kind of creepy. [Just kidding... It was REALLY creepy!] They were stopped next to me at a light, and I could tell they were looking at me but I didn't pay them any attention otherwise. When the light turned green, I pulled ahead. They caught up with me and were driving right next to me for a little ways, then sped up and pulled in front of me. They didn't have their lights on, so I flashed my lights at them. I then realized I needed to turn, so I put my blinker on. As soon as I did that, they braked. I turned the corner, drove a little ways to Z&S's place, and parked on the street. I could see a car in my rearview turning onto the street, so I turned off the car, and turned off my dome light. The car drove past [It was totally them! I was creeped out!] and braked a few hundred feet after passing my car. I hopped out and ran to Z&S's door and let myself in [and, apparently, locked their door behind me out of both habit and fear?]. Nothing happened after that, but I was sufficiently creeped out. In hindsight, I probably should have pulled into their parking lot and drove around the building before parking, but I wasn't thinking straight. Oops? At least there was no harm done, right?

23 August 2010

Ward Campout

This past weekend, we had our ward campout up at Bishop's cabin near Stinking Springs on the Strawberry Reservoir. It was a TON of fun! I love camping, and I love being outdoors, and I especially love spending time with and getting to know other people in my ward.

When we first got to the cabin, we prepped food for making tin foil dinners over the fire. I just love Lauren and Jenni!

I let the Beckster be in charge of my camera for awhile. She tried to be artistic and take pictures through the window... :) I sure love my roomies!

My job was to help wash and cut the potatoes. I have no idea why I'm standing on one leg in this picture. I just like to mix things up a bit, I guess... :)

Once we'd prepped all the food, we went outside [where the coals were nice and hot for us!] and assembled the dinners. You can see Beck's bandaged finger nicely in this picture. That was the result of my wielding a sharp knife and Beck reaching underneath my hand as I was slicing potatoes... Sorry Becky!

We had a fun time rocking out and enjoying the campfire and good company while our dinners got nice and toasty! Tin foil dinners, when done correctly [you know, where the meat isn't terribly raw in some parts and burnt to a beasty crisp in others, and the vegetables are a sweet tender-crisp (or, passionate-crisp, as you will)], are one of life's greatest joys. That's an eternal truth, too. I think it's in the scriptures somewhere... I'm sure Jenni would agree.

So, at one point during the evening, there were no open chairs so Beck came over and sat on my lap. Funny thing, though, is whenever she does that my legs start bouncing uncontrollably [hehehe....] which makes Beck start laughing uncontrollably and things get out of hand real quick. Later in the night, she told me her lap was available if I needed a seat. She tried to bounce like I did, but her dinosaur calves are no match for my buns of Steele [Seriously, though? That joke never gets old. I laugh, everytime....] and hilarity ensued.

We also enjoyed some tasty tasty s'mores. Jodi is loving the perfect marshmallow Becky roasted for her, and Jenni's just enjoying her s'more in the background.

Adriane showed up a little later. Isn't she rad? I have some awesome friends and a fantastic ward! It's going to be a fun year...

After we'd had our fill of meat 'n' potatoes and sugary sweets, Bishop led us all up to the magical water tower [Though, I'm not sure what kind of magic really happens when the whole party treks up there... I thought fireworks were only supposed to happen with couples meandering up there on their own. Whatev.]. Nathan enjoyed taking a few pictures of Lauren, Jenni, Becky, and I. The view was great [even if the moon was super bright] and I saw [and wished on] a shooting star!

Later that evening, we went back to the campfire and enjoyed hearing embarrassing or funny stories, and even some accounting jokes [that went over all of our heads...]. Eddie taught us some salsa dancing, and we had fun rocking out. I'm sure my technique was seriously flawed, and my hip action a little questionable, BUT I had so much fun! And I was able to dance the night away with Eddie, James, Nathan, and Seth. I love me some 156th ward boys...! It's too bad I didn't get any pictures of that [or, perhaps, that's a good thing...].

That night, we slept cozily in the cabin. Although, I didn't sleep THAT well. Jenni, Becky, and I shared a bed. We read scriptures and played a little Skip-bo before falling asleep. My night was pretty restless, and I woke up maybe every half hour either to move or because I heard the mice skittering and squeaking. I finally woke up for good around 6 [after ~4 hours of interrupted sleep.... Dear my body, ARE YOU FOR REAL?!], and got out of bed around 6:30. I got ready and read and waited and read and waited. After 8, I went outside where some people were stirring, and helped start a fire [Let's be a little bit honest with ourselves, though... I pretty much watched as Holly and James and Troy started the fire...]. I enjoyed the fire with friends until breakfast was ready. We dined in true southern fashion with biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, and fruit. It was delicious! Bambi and his friends showed up, and enjoyed some of the breakfast, too.

After breakfast, I enjoyed some time in the hammock before heading down to the reservoir.

At the water, we went canoeing [and my bum got SOAKED!] and enjoyed the sun. Tyler brought his sailboat and took a few people out on that. I didn't go, but I enjoyed how awesome it looked from the shore!

Jenni and I also caught a cutie little crawdad. We named him [Steve or Ralphie or Roger or Herbert or something... I don't remember] and marveled at his buggy little eyes before throwing him back in.

Eddie showed up on Tyler's sailboat completely soaked [He'd gotten knocked in by the sail when a gust of wind blew it... We all wished we'd been there to see it!]. He decided, since he was already drenched, he'd swim out and try to tip Betsy's canoe. She was able to sweet-talk him out of it [He still dunked her later, though...]. Here they are in the water after Betsy had worked her magic:

And...here's some of the crew with Bishop Allen... I just love my ward! We have so much fun!

Nathan commandeered Seth's camera [from which half of these pictures were taken] and snapped a few fun pictures. This was among them.... Isn't it a beautiful day at the lake? [Please disregard my camping hair...]

Overall, we had a fantastic time! I love summer, and I'm not looking forward to the cold months ahead. I guess I'll just have to soak up the sun the next few weeks while I still can. School starts in a week and I'm feeling both mildly freaked out about classes and majorly excited to be TAing again. My schedule's about to get a million point seven times more crazy, but I find that's when I feel the most fulfilled. Maybe I live for stress?? Hmm....

This week I'm doing NSO again. It'll probably be my last time, unless I can manage to swing next summer [because I'll probably still be around finishing up my thesis]. I really enjoy hanging out with the cutie freshies and helping them become more comfortable with their new life at the Y. Plus, I'm really hoping I can get one of those BYU planners for free. That'll help tame the madness, I think....

Birds and Boating

So...a few days before Becky up and moved out of out lives [...because when you're in Provo and everyone and their mom's dog lives in your backyard, Draper seems like half an eternity away...], I was sitting in the living room and heard rustling in the fireplace. I'd heard something a few days prior, sounding like it came from upstairs or in the wall, but hadn't thought much of it. However, after hearing rustling and fluttering a few times in about ten minutes, I decided to check it out. I went and peeked in the fireplace doors and something flew past! I jumped [but held the scream in - be proud!], then ran upstairs. I told Becky I thought there was a bird in our fireplace. She grabbed a box, and we ran back downstairs. She was able to get the cute little guy out [I wouldn't touch it!] and we set him free. Isn't he cute? He seemed a little drunk and disoriented when flying away though, so I'm not sure how long he was in there...

And.... as an update on my leg, I think things are finally [mostly] back to normal. It still feels tight when I try to cross my right leg over my left sometimes, but I don't have any pain anymore! Hallelujah! I'm going to try to go running tomorrow, and hope that things work out for the best! :) Anyway, here are some picture of Kelly and I from the boating adventure:

As you can tell, it was a pretty beautiful day! We both had a rockin' time, and I'm glad I went [I was seriously considering not going for awhile there...].

19 August 2010

On Flirting...

I realized recently [or, rather, RE-realized] that I flirt WAY too much. Especially when I'm not interested in a guy. It's just so easy. And way too fun. And, honestly, it's flattering when they flirt back. So...maybe I perpetuate some of the negative feelings guys have about girls and mixed signals and whatnot [Though I've got stories up the yin-yang about guys and mixed signals... Enough to make you cringe, if not assume the fetal position in horror]. Maybe I'm okay with that?

I was talking to my former home teacher [and really awesome friend!] about this the other night, and he agreed with my assessment. He was like, "Yeah, you ARE really good at flirting, and a LOT." Something like that. [Thanks, Eric! Love ya! ;)] He reminded me of the time when I had two guys fighting over me. Not seriously angry fighting, but they literally began to wrestle in front of me [Each trying to prove their strength and manliness or something? I don't know...].

A good friend always jokes with me about how I have the guys next door wrapped around my pretty little finger. He tells me I can pretty much get them to do anything for me. All I have to do is bat my eyes and ask sweetly and they're like butter in my hands. I try not to take advantage of that [at least, not too often], but it's nice to know.

I'm trying to test an idea I have. In my experience, using a person's name can be really effective. I LOVE when people use my name when they're talking to me. It just makes everything so much more personal. I don't think I do it often enough, so I'm consciously trying to do it more. Especially when talking to guys. Everytime I see a guy I know, I'm trying to go out of my way to say "Hi John!" [Or, you know, whatever his name is.] with a big smile instead of the ever-typical "Hey" with a goofy grin or [worse] grunt with a head-nod. My new efforts are being well-received so far. What I'm testing is whether or not any of the guys will start to initiate. I think they will. And, despite my level of interest in the guy, it's always nice to have that sort of friendship and connection.

That reminds me of a few years back. I had a friend who I'd always say hi to. Once we became better friends, he asked me about "the time I was interested in him." I was confused at first, but he told me he thought I really liked him because I always seemed so happy to see him. I wasn't at all interested in being more than friends, but it certainly got me thinking.

Anyway, I flirt a lot. It's fun. It's exciting. And I'm not sorry about it [for the most part, until some people go on and on about my being a heart-breaker. Psh.]. Anyone have any good new tactics or advice for me? :)

Talking to the Moon

I woke up with Talking to the Moon in my head yesterday morning. It made me miss Pageant and home. We listened to that nearly every day on the way to or from the Hill. That, and Your Love is My Drug[Hey, so I got a question. Do you wanna have a slumber party in my basement?] ...Which brings me to another point altogether. I moved to the basement last week! We weren't sure if Beck would be staying with us or not [she didn't], so I signed a contract for downstairs. That way Melissa and I would at least have each other [how tender...].

The room is a tiny bit smaller than the one upstairs, but I don't have THAT much stuff. I actually prefer this new room. And a change of scene is always nice.

We got two new roommates. They both seem really fun, but we're all gone a lot so we haven't seen too much of each other. One is from Utah, the other from Ohio. One is going to BYU, the other just graduated. They are both LDS. I think we'll get along just fine. :)

I had a dream last night, however, that one of them LOVED Christmas. Like, to the point of having several (about 20?) decorated trees of various sizes that she absolutely insisted we keep up in the apartment all the time. It was overwhelming, and I remember being filled with very-much-NOT-Christmas cheer.

In other news, I bought a vacuum. It's nothing super-wonderful-fantastic, but it does the job. It makes me feel....experienced and responsible [That's code for old, but I'm not allowed to use that word].

In other other news, I dyed my hair. Again, nothing super-wonderful-fantastic. Just a little darker. I always have a hard time, though, because I feel like it always goes too red. I'm really looking for a rich chocolate brown, but what I usually get is more of a cinnamon brown. At least, that's what I always think. I'm okay with how it turned out... See?

...I tried to go water-skiing on Saturday. We had a department outing for the graduate students. Only three of us showed up, in addition to the professor (whose boat we were using). It was a lot of fun [and my first time, that I can remember, on a small boat!] However, on my first attempt at skiing, I yoinked my leg pretty badly. I think I strained one of the muscles in the back of my left thigh. It throbbed for the rest of the day [Driving home was a nightmare! I winced every time I had to use the clutch], and it's still a little sore. I still can't cross my right leg over my left, I have trouble shaving my leg or putting lotion on it [because of the movement involved, not sensitive skin or anything], and driving is still somewhat uncomfortable. Hopefully it gets better soon. I've wanted to go running several times this week, but haven't been able to. And we played soccer for FHE on Monday, but I couldn't move well enough to feel comfortable playing. They stuck me as goalie with another girl. It was a lot of fun! But still painful when I tried to go after the ball. And my knee feels really weak and almost gives out sometimes [especially going down stairs]. Any advice on what I could/should do to make things better?

Oh, and so I'm not SUCH a Debbie Downer, the rest of the day on Utah Lake was a lot of fun. We chilled in the boat, and Kelly and I tried our hand at tubing. We loved it!

08 August 2010

I just made a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. At 1 am. Because when I'm especially anxious about something, I bake. Or go shoe-shopping [I'm still in search of the perfect pair of black flats...], but that's beside the point.

Earlier this evening I made some cream cheese blueberry muffins at Becky's request. They were yummy, but not like my momma's. Gosh I miss my momma's blueberry muffins.

Anyway, you can tell that things are getting just a leeeeeeeeeeettle bit stressful 'round these here parts. I'm baking up a storm. I've done all the dishes. My bedroom looks like my closet threw up everywhere.... It's not a pretty sight.

And I lie awake at night thinking. And waiting. And wishing. And dreading. And then it's 4 am, and I don't know what I'm doing with my life, and I feel like I've rehearsed things in and out and upside down but nothing is making sense anymore anyway and can I please just have a decent night's rest? Just one?

Sometimes I don't want tomorrow to come. I feel like I'm unprepared to face another day. That I'm inadequate somehow, not living up to the potential I have in me. I feel like school is slowly sucking away my soul, turning me into some unfeeling robot, some hollowed shell of what was once me.

I'm ready for fall semester to start, so I can be teaching again. I love teaching. I love helping my students to come to an understanding, and to feel confident in their ability to do mathematics. I love the moment when realization dawns on them and you can see it in their eyes. It's a very rewarding experience.

But until then, I just feel a little lost. A little like I'm wandering aimlessly. I don't like to live my life like that....

I'm defending my proposal on Thursday. I don't think it's a HUGE-normous deal, but it's still got me more than a little nervous. Pray for me?

28 July 2010

Well, hello there!

Hmmm... Lookie here, I have a blog! Who knew? Haha... It seems to be about that time that I start updating [again...] and telling all y'all about the wonderful fantastic things I've been doing with my life. And, you know, it's 1 am. Figures.

July once again had the ever-familiar siren song of Pageant calling me home. I skipped town for three whole weeks, a much-needed break. The weather was glorious for casting that first night. And it felt oh-so-wonderful to be on the Hill again. It truly is sacred ground, healing ground. 
My cast team [S7, represent!] was spectacular this year. It was great to feel so connected so quickly. And the lack of any drama really helped me feel the spirit of Pageant. I met Bridgette, and we hit it off right quick. We became instant friends, and noticed our quirky similarities. We decided we must have been twins in Heaven. :) She was a great companion for welcoming the audience in the bowl prior to each performance, too. I feel like we did some good work out there, and I'm grateful for the people who came and the experiences we had.
It just so happened that we both had the same part, too! We were Processional Banner Carriers, which was a neat experience. Our director likened our role to that which is described in High on the Mountain Top. We were also Noah Citizens, which means we got to be wicked and cheer for the burning of Abinadi. It proved to be an interesting experience, as Abinadi has always been one of my heroes. In the scene, there was a young boy who stood near me and Bridgette. He would make the most hilarious comments during the whole scene, keeping us quite entertained [especially during long and HOT rehearsals...]. We quickly grew to love and appreciate his presence, and we took a fun picture with him one day. Don't mind the concerned look on his face. We showed it to him afterward and he thought it was hilarious.
Additionally, we were Destruction Victims. The destruction scene has always terrified me a bit, so I was a little hesitant [and a lot excited] to finally be a part of it. I loved being a part of the action, with fire and water and rock cannons going off all around me as I ran up and down the stairs and screamed my head off and finally died... The two girls who entered with me played my little sisters, and we had a nice little storyline worked out. They ran ahead of me, and then we all ran to one side of the stage to save another friend, Clara. Sadly, Clara had a pillar topple on her and died, so we ran for cover on the other corner of the stage. A fire started below us, and a rock cannon burst, and we all died there. It was epic. A few of the nights, some of the rocks actually hit me while I was "dying," which was pretty sweet. Every night, right before our cue to enter, we'd be waiting crouched halfway up the stairs. I'd look to the girls and say, "Break a leg!" and then we'd all laugh and  say, "But not literally!!" We had some good times during destruction.
And, finally, it was just wonderful to be home, back in the cradle of the Restoration. We toured the church sites one afternoon as a cast team. It was great to be back on that lovely land, listening to the Spirit and receiving witness of the marvelous events that took place there. The day after Pageant was over I went to the Temple with some friends, and took some time to go wander in the Sacred Grove by myself afterward. It's so peaceful in there. :) My favorite.
Aaaanyway, now that I'm back in Provo, things have returned to fairly normal. I miss Pageant and being at the Hill. I miss my family something fierce. I'm about THIS ready to be done with school. [Oh, PS, I passed my Master's exam! What a relief!] I'm going crazy with my thesis/proposal. Like always, I wish I had a little more direction, but I guess that's what faith is for [Have I said that before on here? I feel like I'm ALWAYS saying that...Oh well. It's true.].

Oh, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life post-graduation. Any suggestions?

18 June 2010

Because why not?

It's 3 am. I'm so ready to be asleep. To be done. To be rid of this stress.

I'm busy plugging away at my Master's Exam. It's coming along so slowly. Spring Term has provided a sort of relaxing hiatus from writing a lot, but it's hurting me a little now that I have to write so much in such a short time. And I just needed a break, so I decided to blog...? Yeah. Figures that I would take a break from writing to write. But it's such a different sort of writing. I feel good about this... [Mostly because it's just word vomit. Mmmm!]

Remember how I said the other day that I was feeling better about life and things? That all came crashing down on me this afternoon. It's more detail and politics than I should go into here, but things kind of took a nose-dive. Things are crazy. Things suck. Sorry for the ambiguity, but that's about all I can include here...

I wish I weren't so stressed. Does anyone know a cure? Like...how can I stop caring so much about things that don't matter? I wan't to be a good person, and I want to feel validated in my talents and abilities. But sometimes I'm left to wonder, who really cares?? Mostly with my schoolwork. I want to do my best, but for whom? For myself? I guess, kind of. Because I know if I don't do my best I'll be disappointed in myself. But who else cares, really? Like, why can't I let myself be mediocre and be totally OKAY with that? I feel like my inner obsessive overachiever is causing me undue stress and, therefore, is negatively affecting areas of my life that shouldn't be affected. I don't know. I need to stop thinking. [And sleep. It is 3 am, after all.] [A time when everybody and their mom's dog should be fast asleep and enjoying dreamland...] [Speaking of dreams, what does dreaming about teeth mean? Isn't it something to do with stress? I've had two dreams in the past week about teeth. In one, my teeth were crumbling and falling out, and I couldn't do anything to stop them... It was painful and disgusting. In the second dream, I had to go get my wisdom teeth removed again. But they could only find one (go figure!). I had four gaping holes in the back of my mouth where the doctors had dug around trying to find my wisdom teeth... Also a painful and disgusting dream. Left me feeling quite unsettled.] [I also had a dream about a colon cancer epidemic - apparently it was highly contagious, and one of the most telling symptoms was that your mouth tasted like grapes. Who knew?]

Anyway.... Sorry to sound like such a Debbie Downer. Life really is pretty good, aside from the few crazy stressors. But in one of the papers I was reading tonight it said something along the lines of "Growth comes only from challenges to the body or mind." So... if I'm being challenged, then there's the potential for growth, right? That's always a good thing, yes? Growing and learning and improving? I think so.

I go home in 11 days. Halle-freakin'-lujah! I can't wait to see my family and give them all big hugs. And relax! :)

Now, back to my papers, and hopefully some sleep... wish me luck!

15 June 2010

What it is..

Just a quick update --

Life's going well. Staying as busy as ever, but feeling positive about it. I haven't had any strong desire to quit school and run away from my life for a few days now, so we're doing good. :) Let's see if I can keep this attitude up for the remainder of finals week/Master's exam/proposal defense....

I'm reminded daily to keep an eternal perspective on things. It takes a lot of faith, for sure, but I'm learning to trust my Heavenly Father more and more. As it turns out, He knows what's up. Who knew? [Don't answer that. I'm completely aware of many who knew. See, for example, the Bible...] [Really, though, click that link. It's a good one.] [Doooo it!]

It's fun to look back on my life and see the hand of the Lord, and how those instances and ideas I thought were of little or no consequence have led me more perfectly to where I need to be today than anything else. It's wonderful. Really.

Moving on... (in random fashion, a la my brain...) I went to Vegas the weekend before Memorial Day with Kelly. Lots and lots of fun, and great to see family. I'll put up pictures soon(-ish...) [I'm busy, remember? Rocking out nerd-style and living my life to the fullest in my little office without a window...]. AND, while we were down there, we hiked Icebox Canyon in Red Rock Canyon. Lots of fun! :) On Memorial Day I hiked Stewart Falls with my friend Scott. Also lots of fun (and WAAAAAY pretty, to boot)! The next weekend, I went camping with Scott and his roommate and a few of their friends. We went down to Capitol Reef and set up camp on the government lands right outside the park. I have a picture or two of our campsite, but I haven't uploaded pictures recently. They'll come soon, I promise. Anyway - we had a campfire, and we could see the stars SO WELL, and we made s'mores, and there was a beasty little rock digging into my leg all night, and I smelled like campfire smoke the whole day (I really do love that....), and...yeah. It was wonderful! We went hiking again the next morning, this time up Chimney Rock in the park. Again, lots of fun!

Anyway, this is turning out to be longer than I expected. Whatev. It happens. Two more things: Check out Jon's mission blog. I've updated it to include his most recent letter (which means it will be out-of-date within the next 12 hours or so when he emails again...). I'm just so proud of my little brother. It's weird - I remember when he was born, and now he's all grown up and a missionary man half a world away.

Aaaaaand, I have to give a talk in two weeks. On this. Yes....that is the prophet's talk to the Priesthood. Awesome. Any insights would be great! :) Considering the title of the talk itself, I feel it would not be in my best interest to just wing it. ;)

Bahaha. I'm funny. And exhausted. Whoo - time for bed!

23 May 2010

April - Easter and My Birthday

April started with a bang (actually, it started with beasty snow on April Fool's Day morning...). The first weekend was both General Conference AND Easter! What a treat! :) We had a fun Easter dinner on Sunday afternoon with a few friends. I was in charge of making the rolls. I mixed them up right after the first session, then left them to rise while I visited Z&S. Upon returning home, I found this beauty, which, of course, inspired a resounding chorus of "It is risen, it is risen, let the whole wide Earth rejoice!"

A few weeks later was my birthday!! We celebrated by throwing a rockin' party - SavannahPalooza! Aren't the cupcakes cute? I had a lot of fun making them with R (who came to visit for two weeks! Love that kid!!). At the party, we set up Rock Band and projected it onto the side of our house. We also had glow in the dark croquet, old school Nintendo, and lots of snacks. I had a great time. Thanks to all my friends who came (or who were there in spirit)! You are all fantastic!
On the morning of my actual birthday, I hiked the Y with R, M, and J. It was a lot of fun, and it was a beautiful morning for hiking! Here is a picture of R and I when we were relaxing at the top. We were enjoying the view of Provo, seeing the Temples, and trying to find our apartments.

Here is M reenacting a near-disastrous stumble he took on the way down. It's dangerous, that hill. This was before he started playing "The Climb" on his phone. Haha, we had a good laugh at that. :)
On my birthday afternoon, I treated R to lunch at Tucano's, which was lovely. I love their garlic sirloin and the grilled pineapple. I think R enjoyed himself, too.

Other March Happenings

The rest of March, after our Vegas trip, was a lot of fun, too. Pi Day was the next weekend, and you'd better believe I celebrated! We made four pies: chocolate chip cookie, French silk, raspberry cream, and peach cream. I love baking, so it was a fun afternoon for me. And then I went to a few different parties that night. :)

Also, I got to babysit for Z&S while they went to J's sealing. We were up in Lehi, at my cousin's place, and we had a family luncheon/party afterward. It was one of the first times that Miss K didn't scream at me! Look, she almost looks happy even:
And L, of course, climbed in the dog cage and immediately began acting like a dog. It was classic. And the best part was that he was terrified of the actual dog! I love this boy!!
And, finally, the last day of March was B's birthday. We had celebrated with a fun party, but I don't have any pictures from that unfortunately. Here, you can see that we live it up classy in Provo... Everything from the balloon crown to her fuzzy slippers to the fact that she's eating the cake from the pan with her fingers. :) I love my roommates. We have too much fun.