Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family Pictures

Today, my family had pictures taken. For the first time in over 3 years. I don't know if you people realize what that means. It means many things.

  1. This is the first official family picture we've had since before my mother was even pregnant with my youngest sister.
  2. The last family picture we had taken (besides the self-timer for the Christmas card) was when I was a senior in high school.
  3. 3 of my siblings have passed my in height since then.
  4. And everyone looks a lot older.

Taking picture was really fun. My family is awesome. After we got a few good ones (Do you realize how hard it is to get 10 people sitting still and smiling at the same time, especially when one is an 8-year-old, always grumpy boy and another is a 2-year-old crazy girl?), Elizabeth, Rebecca and I took some fun ones. Like Charley's Angels. And "DON'T EAT REBECCA!" pictures. And then my mom wanted some of just me so that she can hang one up in the girl's hall that's more recent than 3 years. And then I made my mom pose for some that were just her. HAHA! It was lots of fun. I can't wait to see them. Hopefully soon. I'll put some up when I get them.

Also, while we're talking about pictures, I think I want to redo my blog layout. I still do love Custard Cremes and Milk and Tintagel, but I want to switch things up for the new year. 2010 is a-comin' and I just feel the need for a new layout. We'll see what I can finangle. Or however you spell that word.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

AHHHHHH

People I miss in my life:
  • Lisa
  • Chip (these two we're in the same town and I miss them. LAME.)
  • Tysha (I saw her today and I miss being her friend all the time like in high school)
  • Sterling James Mason
  • Garin
  • Scott
  • Christine
  • JENN
  • Sarah Lutz
  • Lila
  • Jessie Hawkes
  • Katelyn
  • Tracy
  • Megan Botts
  • John Bennion
  • Rick Duerden
  • Annelise
  • Tiffany
  • um...basically anyone from England

People I am glad are in my life right now, and by that I mean, that I have been seeing and/or talking to a lot:

  • Family
  • Lindsey
  • Chip
  • Sarah Snow

Um. People. I love you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas

Today my family went caroling around to people in our neighborhood. The new older couple who lives on the kind-of-corner in the newest house on the road mistook my brother Matt (almost 18, senior in HS, 7ish inches taller than me, etc.) for my boyfriend. AWKWARD.

But other than that, today's been great. Hannah puts presents right old the tree where they go and says, "Merry Christmas!" although it comes out more like "*some indistinguisable sound* mis-mes!" I went to Winco with Matt, and we had to call Mom like 20 times to clarify her list or because we couldn't find anything, and we bought 12 gallons of milk and it felt like I was home. It is amazing how much food my family goes through. I suppose that's what happens when you 1) have 10 people, 1 of which is a teenage boy and 2) it's Christmas time. Seriously. In my family's 3rd trip to the grocery store, I spent about the same amount that I do in about a month down at school. Of course, I don't really eat at school for multiple reasons, but still. Anyway. Last night I went Christmas shopping with my best mate and visited Chip at work at Target and then met her at Coldstone after her shift was over, and then Linds and I watched Star Trek. I've been spending the past couple days making cookies with my siblings, wrapping presents, convincing kids they can wait the last day before Christmas to open them, and as the presents have been piling under the tree sneaking my first peak at what all is under there. I just love Christmas. It's beautiful in every way. Mostly because of the gospel and my family. For example, Christmas tags under our tree read: "To: Mom. From: Leroy?", "To: Hannah Idaho. From: Michael Scott", "To: Mafoo. From: RAM." "To: Elizabdhgaklthqwtyklq. From: Pinky the Elf." It's fabulous. Lots of laughs, lots of love. :)

Now I need to go decorate cookies for Santa. But Merry Christmas! Remember that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and that He lives and loves us.

Silent Night, Holy Night.
Son of God, Love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of Redeeming Grace.
Christ, the Savior, is Born!
Christ, the Savior, is Born!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wind like Scotland and Helvellyn

Sometimes the wind howling around my house sounds like a bunch of boys at a football game or attempting to scream a war chant or something. It makes me laugh. Silly wind.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A New Disney Classic

That is what the Princess and the Frog is. This means a lot, coming from me. I AM easily pleased, but I went into this movie having fairly low expectations and was just completely blown away. I sat there mesmerized, and with the exception of a few parts, I felt like I was watching one of the Disney movies I grew up with. The animation was stunning, the dialogue funny, the music great. I have to admit I was very hesitant, and there were still a couple parts that didn't quite do it for me (like how during the first full song Tiana sings in the "restaraunt" it went to the weird animation. I like that blocky animation sometimes, but it just wasn't right at that moment for me). But I just sat there in awe, feeling like I was watching Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Little Mermaid, and all the Disney movies I grew up watching. We (meaning Lindsey, Chip, and Kristine) laughed lots and thoroughly enjoyed it. Exceeded my expectations and hopes. Princess and the Frog bypasses movies like Lilo and Stitch, the movies that are good, but not great, not true Disney, and takes its place among the movies that take your breath away, make you laugh, make you want to get up and dance and can quote forever.

Bravo, Disney, Bravo.

P.S. I didn't mean for this to sound so movie review-esque. But it kinda did. That last line sort of did me in that way. But oh well. It's true. I liked it. Lots. :D

Friday, December 18, 2009

BORIS AND SERGEI

I love Idaho with all my heart. Those who know me know this. Yet, it's been weird the past few times coming home. I've wanted to, it just has felt...different. More so than it did freshman year. Last year, coming home for break was fabulous, but last year was rough. After England, it just kinda was, but then again, it was summer, and I had yet to spend a summer not in Twin Falls.

The drive home always seems to get shorter and shorter. I love that drive. Usually the last hour from right before Burley until I get home takes ages, but it didn't this time. I found out that I got my job up at the Humanities Reference Desk in the HBLL somewhere around Snowville though, so pretty sure that sped up the last two hours of the drive.

As soon as I got home, I rushed out the door to Becca's choir concert for...Robert Stuart MIDDLE SCHOOL? Yeah. My semi-beloved junior high (because, really, anyone who loved junior high is CRAZY) is now a middle school. Oh what a trap of hormones. Listening to a choir of 6th and 7th graders, where all the boy's voices hadn't changed and where my sister was the tallest one, made me miss REAL choir though. And Marc, because his mom was accompanying. Sigh. Then we went to Matt's voice recital. Tess was accompanying lots of pieces and I saw Lori and right as we walked in Teagan had just finished singing. So I kind of got to see the Savages, but since we came late and they left early...not so much. I MISS THEM. I miss being part of their family, almost. And I miss Justine and I miss my best friend and just talking with him all the time and just being Garin's best friend. During the whole recital, the only thing I could think of was 3 years ago in that same Methodist church downtown sitting with his family because mine couldn't come after having gone Christmas shopping with him. It was snowy and icy and the roads (espcially Pole Line) were terrible and my feet were so cold, and I was sick and so me singing Ave Maria didn't really work out until the second verse, but we just sat and doodled on the program together and "talked" aka wrote conversations on the program during the recital.

That is the Twin Falls I miss. The Twin Falls with one high school, and being part of two fantastic choirs, and fun nights with my friends. With the guys on all missions and everyone scattered around and short times at home, that doesn't really happen anymore. I come home to see my family, and so it is home, because I'm living in my home, but Provo is home too. In fact, Provo is probably more home than Twin now. I still love Twin. Seeing the temple from across the canyon or anywhere in town still sends shivers up my spine. My house is still home. The canyon still makes me smile. But driving around town just doesn't feel right anymore. I just don't belong here.

I drive past the high school and think "Hey, I used to go there. I miss AP English and choir" but at the same time...it's not my school anymore. I drive past all these spots and think "Oh, that was the one place this happened" but more often than not I think, "Whoa! Where did that go?" Or "Since when has that been there?" Driving past Wal-Mart and Walgreen's and the new high school and hospital there along Pole Line-Washington area still freaks me out. The light on Falls at the entrance to CSI always throws me for a loop. Now Pole Line up to the entrance to my complex is closed, and in a year or two even that won't be the same. They're taking my home town and turning it into somewhere I don't really know. I guess I should understand--I've changed so much in the past 3 years. It is only reasonable that Twin should have changed too. But still...the Twin of now is not the Twin I grew up in, that I left for college from. It's not really my home, even though it's my home town. The only thing that makes it home is my family.

But one thing tonight made me feel like Twin Falls was actually home. I met Lisa, Sergei, my old roomie and wonderful friend, whatever you want to call her, at Shari's. It was quick. She's crazy busy and everything, but we needed to see each other, because she's been in London-not-Provo for the past 4 months and I'm jealous because every day a part of me just yearns for London slash England slash the UK in general. Anyway. But sitting there at Shari's, a place where I spent many nights--after Jive things with people like Risa and Tysh, with Lindsey and Kristine once, a couple times with Garin, with Camille and Brittany and Alli and Lindsey after prom, with Nicole and Jill and Garin. (I guess that's what happens when it's the only place open that late). I sat there, with one of my best friends from high school and after, in one of the places that I think of when I think of Twin. It was like a bridge. It was a synthesis (JOHN BENNION WORD) of my high school self and my new self. I don't know if that makes sense. But sitting in that booth with Lisa, even though so much has happened and changed both inside and around us in the past couple years and we were talking about college and England and things we could never have imagined a couple years ago...it was like Twin Falls was Twin Falls again.

That doesn't really make sense. And it probably sounds like I don't like Twin anymore. Which isn't true. I love it and it will always be home. But at the same time, it just isn't the same, it's not how I always think of Twin. I mean, most of my siblings won't go to the same high school I did. They won't have my same teachers, won't remember a Twin Falls before Wal-Mart and before the Pole Line road construction and before the temple and before all these changes. And not that all of them have been bad. It's just...weird.

And I realized that my post title doesn't have much to do with my post. Lisa=Sergei. Rachel=Boris. We are Russian Hitmen. And that did come up. And I am soooooo grateful that I got to see that wonderful lady. I just kind of got carried away with the feeling that I don't really belong in Twin Falls anymore. BUT. Boris + Sergei = feeling like Twin is still home.

The end.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finals: The End

This semester is officially over. Just my final with John Bennion left. But that doesn't count because we're going to his house to make and eat pizza. Yeah. I just sent him my portfolio for Creative Writing. Now just cleaning and packing is left. Home (family, Chip, Lisa, et al.) tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finals Week: Tuesday, 3:53 p.m.

I'm sitting in the No-Shh Zone, texting 2 different people and waiting for a phone call, after taking my Brit Lit final. I think I rocked it. I don't think I did as well as I did on the past two tests, because some of the multiple choice were tricky, but I only feel like I missed a few. We also got our keyword essays back. I did so much better than I thought I did.

Can I just say I love easy finals? Michele just posted about how she hates long finals because they're so draining. I have to say that I am SO grateful that a) my D&C final was about 100% easier than I was expecting it to be and took me 10 minutes and that b) my 292 final was also fairly easy and only took me 30 minutes and involved no short answer/essay, just passage ID and matching and multiple choice based off passages and concepts. And c) that now I only have German and my portfolio for John Bennion to worry about. Beautiful.

It's only Tuesday and we're halfway done, my friends. ETA in Twin: Thursday, um...we'll say 4 p.m. Just 48 hours. CRAZY.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finals

It's that time of year again. Although, the weather is about a million times warmer than it was last week. Not that I'm complaining. :)

So here I am, in Periodicals, which is super crowded, but still pleasantly quiet, studying for my D&C final that I want to take later today. And I realized something:

I AM NOT STRESSED OUT. I am probably the least stressed out I've been all semester. Here's why.

All of my huge papers, projects, whatever, were all due by last Wednesday. Except for my portfolio for JB, but we're counting that as a final. I only have 4 finals. And one doesn't really count. It is sending my portfolio to John Bennion and then going to his house to eat pizza for a couple hours. Really? Truly. Then my D&C is not in the make-shift religion testing center in the Wilk, but rather on Blackboard. And my Brit Lit and Deutsch finals are scheduled, in class. Only really worried about German. But that means, essentially I have a final a day, plus extra time to clean and pack, able to get home Thursday afternoon, and no dealing with super long lines or ANY form of the testing center, whether in the Testing Center itself, the Wilk, or the JSB.

Can you say easiest finals week EVER?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Happy List

  • Going to the temple
  • Breakfast with Mare
  • Job interviews you feel like you did well on
  • Being done with the semester except for finals
  • My D&C professor
  • Watching Harry Potter movies in German
  • Chocolate
  • TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress"
  • Chilling on my couch
  • Letters from missionaries (with pictures)
  • Shopping with Heather, Kris, and Christine
  • My Grandmas
  • White shirts and blue heels
  • Looking good just because you want to
  • Staying up until 2 a.m. talking with Izzy and then deciding I should probably take her home and then spending 15 minutes getting my car unstuck from the snow outside my complex at 2 a.m. haha
  • Sleeping in
  • BONES!!!!!
  • Glee (and how the finale made me miss Jive like none other)
  • I'm going to the MoTab concert tomorrow night
  • Lisa in about a week
  • I went to England. Sheesh. I'm so happy about that, even if I too would kill a man to be at Loch Lomond (which is not in England, but Scotland. You know what I mean) right now. Okay. Not seriously. But seriously.
  • Toilet Paper
  • Talking with Chip on Gchat
  • CHRISTMAS

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Really, BYU?

Not-hypothetical situation:
Half an hour ago in the library, hundreds and hundreds of BYU students sat studying for finals. Then, the fire alarm goes off. Where I was sitting in periodicals, everyone looks up, exasperated. "Really? Really? A fire drill?"

1) It's 10:20 at night! What the crap
2) There was already a firedrill in the library today.
3) It's finals. Ugh.
4) All the other buildings on campus close at 11. So everyone who moved from the library to other buildings gets kicked out in 5 minutes. And the library won't re-open for another 20 minutes.

REALLY! ALL I'M TRYING TO DO IS BE A GOOD STUDENT!

This is utterly ridiculous.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Focus

Right now I am at the point that I very often get to around this part of the year. I know and fully realize that tomorrow I have a Deutsch oral exam that I am not prepared for because I don't know vocab and a 900-word writing assignment about Christ and the Atonement in the D&C due in, well, D&C. And that I think I'm supposed to be workshopping in JB's class on Wednesday and don't have ANYTHING and that also on Wednesday I have another paper in 292 due that I haven't even started or really thought about and a Duetsch dictionary to do sometime before Thursday.

But instead, I'm not stressed out, because life is wonderful. And when I'm not stressed out it's hard to focus and concentrate on homework. Instead, I'm just sitting in the library thinking about:
  • the 5 great missionaries I just sent letters off to
  • freshman year parties down here in these very seats in Periodicals
  • The fact that it's snowing and it makes me smile and sing Christmas songs and go sledding and have snowball fights
  • A cute boy who makes me smile for no reason in particular
  • How my scarf is from Scotland and does not match my shirt at all
  • How much I love Christmas and Christmas lights
  • Last night, and how wonderful it was talking with these ladies whom I love so much, and seeing Christmas lights and drinking homemade hot chocolate and eating homemade peppermint bark and listening to the First Presidency speak about Christ and Christmas and singing Silent Night
  • Jenn and not judging and just laughing at each other and how I want to go to Berlin with her and will miss her and whistling with her
  • the job interview I have on Thursday for working at the Humanities Reference Desk in the library next semester
:D <--This is me right now. And it is making it very hard to do this --> @_@ (which is studying, haha). But I really need to start thinking now.

News of the day:

  1. It's snowing! A couple reasons this is exciting: it wasn't snowing in the mountains when I drove back to Provo from Twin. Most people think of me and the snow as mortal enemies, but I love it when it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas aka NOW.
  1. CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS! After cutting the tree last week, having it up in the house this weekend, and the First Presidency Christmas devotional on Temple Square with some of my best friends and hot chocolate and peppermint bark and Christmas lights and Christmas carols last night...it is officially Christmas season.
  1. My brother got baptized on Saturday and I got to be there and it was exciting.
  1. If Bentley can make it to soccer on Wednesday--no matter how late--he passes the class. This is epic. We have been religiously following the tale of Bentley and his soccer class in Writing with John Bennion.
  1. School is crazy crazy and I should be stressed out, but I'm not and I'm still deciding whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.
Yes, I realize those are all number 1. Also, can I just tell you how excited am I to go to Special Collections for 292 today? I love Special Collections and I love literature and so therefore this class period equals awesome. The end.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hit Head Here.

I am having one of those days where I feel like this:



And where I really need one of these:


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

RAH RAH RAH RAH RAH...

GOOOOOOOOOOOO COUGARS!

26-23. Enough said. I just wish it didn't have to be so close. My health would have been better (as would have Katelyn's and Megan's and Buzz's and Woody's) if I had actually been able to breathe for the last 10 (football) minutes of the game, plus overtime, because screaming plus not being able to breathe due to nervousness equals about to pass out. But WE WON!

First Quarter: Very frustrating
2nd: AWESOME
3rd: AWESOME
4th: Frustrating/horrible/nerve-wracking/crazy insane/loud
OT: All of the previous things, except ending in AWESOME, and much shorter than the 4th quarter--thank goodness. Oh. And 15th row seats. And rushing the field. And J-Dawgs. And now I'm watching Sabrina with Megan and Katelyn and supposedly working on a Relief Society lesson that I will hopefully be able to give after screaming at the game today. I can already feel my voice going.

BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT. RAH RAH RAH RAH RAH, RAH RAH RAH RAH RAH, RAH RAH RAH RAH RAH! GOOOOOOOOOOOO COUGARS!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Mother: It's Her Birthday/Rolls: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Today there are two things I am grateful for.


First, is my mother. Today Mommy turns 43. Which is kinda weird, I suppose, because most of my friends' parents are much older than that. But I am also the oldest, and have a 2-year-old sister. When my sister is my age 18 years from now, my mom will be 61. But I'm sure she doesn't want to think about that. :)


Anyway, for those of you who have not been fortunate enough to meet this wonderful lady who is my mother-extraordinaire, this is her:


She is fabulous in every way your mother is, times a million. ;) Just kidding. Probably not every way. But she is the most wonderful mom ever. Seriously.
Next I am thankful for Thanksgiving rolls. Every year since as long as I can remember, the rolls have been my responsibility. When I was little, I used to just spread the butter around the dough with the pastry brush. Now I do the whole shebang. And they are yummy and I love making them. But I am also grateful that I am not perfect at them yet. I forgot to divide the dough earlier, and so the rolls are very narrow and fat instead of longer and perfectly-sized. HAHAHA. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mike

I am grateful for rocking out in my car during a 5ish minute drive home with my 9-year-old brother singing songs by Demi Lovato and Black Eyed Peas and mash-ups by the Glee cast. He is one cool kid.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Home

I am grateful that I saw this building as I was driving through some sporadic snow tonight:

Which means I am now here:

With these people:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful #?

I am thankful that I have decided to skip Monday and Tuesday classes and to go home after Sacrament meeting on Sunday in order to spend more time with my family and friends from home. I am thankful that I am going to the Vocal Point concert tomorrow with Sarah Snow and that there is a football game on Saturday. I am thankful that I only have a test and a paper to do before I go home. I am thankful for a roommate who puts up with my mess. I am thankful for friends on missions who write me really long letters when they're bored out of their mind because their companion is sick and who make me laugh and send me goofy applications to fill out. I am thankful that Thanksgiving is in a week. I am thankful that Lisa and Emma, even though I could not be in Paris with them, spent practically all their time together talking about me. That's the next best thing, right? ;)

Oh, and we haven't done a song of the post in a while, so let it be: Here We Go Again, by Demi Lovato. I know, I know. Disney Channel star...but hey. I like the song. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Red Coat

Today I am grateful for my red coat.













And now...
PRESENTING:
The Story of the Red Coat
One day, my mom and I were in London. It was her first day and so she had to be not-jetlagged and not-asleep, and so we went to Portobello Road. There I found a nice young lady that sold red and navy coats, long and short. They were hand-made by a nice old lady that the nice young lady knew. They were kind of expensive, but it is a coat, and they tend to be expensive. I probably wouldn't have bought it, except I was in love with it, and my mother, a seamstress, approved of the quality and I had wanted a red coat ever since Tracy got one, because once you see Tracy in her red coat you immediately start thinking of ways to look as good and cute as she does, but in your own way. Also, I look really good in red. haha. ;) Anyway, I bought this nice red coat from this nice young lady and was very excited and took it home and all summer long, although I didn't want winter to come and was enjoying the weather, I wanted it to be fall, just a little bit colder so that I could wear my red coat. And then Conference weekend came and it was the first cold weekend. So I pulled my red coat out of my tiny closet and wore it up to Salt Lake. It kept me warm, made me happy, and a cute boy told me that it was attractive and that he liked it (but in slightly different words...haha). And I have been wearing it often ever since. On Halloween, it abeted me in stealing the Eiffel Tower...I mean, being Carmen Sandiego. Today, it is keeping me warm on a brisk-but-not-as-cold-as-the-past-two-days afternoon. It also goes with anything, even if those colors usually don't go with red. Like today I am wearing a light green shirt, but, to quote Katy A, I look "stylish and not Christmas" or something like that. AAAAND, days when I wear my red coat just seem to always go great. As in, be among the best days ever for no reason. I dunno. It's just awesome like that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brrr. But in such a wonderful way. :)

I am thankful that I went camping last night with John Bennion-ites. I am thankful that although it was snowing when I woke up this morning that I was not too cold. I am thankful that Bentley tried to roast his socks in tin foil to warm them up and that he, Matt, and Katie slept outside under the stars instead of in a tent (and they woke up to the snow). I am grateful for John Bennion providing me with sleeping bags that kept me sooo warm and Christine for making me an awesome driving mix and thankful for Whitney for food-ing and everyone else who helped with food. I am thankful that most of us were together, even though we missed those who weren't there. I am thankful Chris Bennion showed his face. I am thankful that Christian was there and that I saw him for the 2nd day in a row and that he gives nice hugs. I am thankful that Tiff also gives nice hugs. I am thankful for Kylie for just always making me so happy. I am thankful for how it almost felt like it was just another night at a hostel in England. Except we were in an orchard around a campfire in Mona, Utah. I am thankful that the sky was so clear last night and that I could see so many stars and it was beautiful. I am thankful for my wonderful friends. I am thankful for Rick and Cheryl and Annelise for coming for a bit and for just chatting with everyone. I am thankful for the snow, even, and how it makes me want the holidays and how it's reminding me that Thanksgiving is really almost here. 10 days 'til I'm home, baby. Or, as Matt McDonald would say bay-buh.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

MLIA

"Today, I realised that my being British and living in Britain is a complete waste of british-ness. I am going to try and convince my Mother to move to the USA, where my british-ness can be truly appreciated. MLIA"

I am thankful for stupid websites and how they make me laugh. Today's choice is mylifeisaverage.com, where the above quote was found. It made me laugh. Goodness, as much as I love the good ol' US of A, I sure miss the UK.

Also. A new episode of Bones tonight. And then All's Quiet on the Western Front with John Bennion-ites. There is nothing more wonderful than spending a day being productive and then spending the evening watching Bones and a movie with friends and then going back home to be more-productive, because your weekend is crazy busy and involves a test, writing a paper proposal, hopefully starting to write a German paper that I should have started AGES ago, playing piano for a missionary homecoming of one of your best friend's brothers (whom you've never met), stake conference, and a camping trip to John Bennion's father-in-law's orchard with most of my England friends, during which we will each dutch over and have a bonfire and it will probably snow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Children of Eden

As cheesy and dorky as this may be, I am thankful for musical theater. Mus-i-cals. There. I've said it. At this moment, I am especially thankful to Stephan Schwartz for writing some of my favorite music on the planet, including Wicked and, the gem of tonight, Children of Eden, which I just saw BYU put on tonight (shout outs to Landen, Assistant Costume Designer, and Jeremiah, who played Japheth and was in my tap class last year and is currently in my ward, even though I don't think he knows who I am, haha). I am thankful for it and that I got to go see it, and that I got to see it with Christine and talk to her about it, and that I have a mind that soaks up things such as this and ponders them and enjoys them, and yet thinks and expands the show and its themes to fit my own life and compare them with my beliefs and learn and grow from something so seemingly-trivial as a piece of music, as a piece of literature, as a play, a musical. (Just for the record, none of these things are trivial in my mind. It just was the best word I could think of at the moment.)

More importantly, I am thankful for God, for a loving Father in Heaven, who is perfect enough to let us go for a short time, even though it is hard for both us and Him, because it is the right thing to do, and the only way for us to become like Him. I am thankful that He loves us enough to let us go, and that even when it seems like He is gone and not answering prayers that He is always there and that He will always answer eventually. I am thankful that He lets us choose and grow and BECOME, that we may be perfected and eventually return to Him to be with our Heavenly Father and families forever.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some people's children


I am thankful for people who are not like the person currently sitting across from me. His music is so loud that I can hear his music (not just the fuzzy noise, but words and the definite beat) from 5 feet away across the hall. It's not that I don't like his music. It's the fact that I came here to have a quiet place to study and it's obnoxious and it's not the type of music one can study to. Well, apparently he can, but it's just too distracting for me.

To make matters worse, he keeps bobbing his head and tapping his foot. OFF-BEAT.

His cord is plugged in the same outlet that mine is. AKA I'm right by his cord, whereas he is not. I'm half tempted to unplug his computer. But that would be mean and inconsiderate, and I try not to be those 2 things.

So I am thankful for all you people out there who don't listen to your music obscenely loud. May you be blessed with ears that can actually hear the words that people are saying to you and the music that is playing in your ears. May you be blessed with people not hating you. And if I ever do that, please smack me. Hard.

I am also just thankful for music. Tis awesome, that stuff. And that this is post #100 on this here blog-o'-mine.


Das Ende.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coming Full Circle

Almost exactly two years ago, I had my first real heartbreak over a boy. I remember lying in my bed, in my cinderblock room in the dorms, crying, Lisa comforting me, brushing my hair and rubbing my back and just being a best friend, a roommate, just listening to me cry and telling me that it would all be okay, even if I felt like it was the end of the world. There were nights where I'd take my phone and go to the elevator room, where we all would talk on our phones if we needed a private conversation. I'd go to the elevator room at 2 in the morning, sprawl myself across two of those uncomfortable chairs that were made to not sprawl across for the same reasons they put the "chastity bars" in the couches. I'd look out the tiny square windows and see cars drive past Hinckley Hall and call Garin in Logan, because I knew that he would always talk to me, no matter the time of night, and even if I was being completely ridiculous because I knew that he cared about me in the way only your best friend/adopted older brother can. I remember so many nights just crying to him until he'd ask me if I was feeling better, gently reminding me that we both needed to get sleep, but always willing to listen more if I wasn't. I was (and still am) blessed with so many wonderful people to get me through hard times, to keep me grounded in reality and love even when I feel like I'm worthless and horrible and unloved.

Last night/this morning, a dear friend of mine had to tell a boy that she cares about and likes even that she couldn't date him. I could tell she was hurting when she called me this morning, wondering where I was, because she needed to talk. I had been cautiously telling her to be careful, because the situation was all too familiar to me, like deja vu with my first experience, and it's all too easy for both parties to get hurt in something like that, even when you're being careful and not meaning to, because honestly, no one wants to hurt someone they care about. But at the same time, everyone needs to have experiences, to learn for themselves. And so today, it was my turn. She lied on my bed, silent, and I rubbed her back, knowing and understanding as much as I could. She wasn't crying, not like I would be (or have done in the past); while I'm probably melodramatic, she was just quiet. I don't know what all she was thinking, but sitting next to my bed, rubbing her back...it reminded me of Lisa brushing my hair and singing "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods to me. It reminded me of Garin telling me he wished he could give me a hug and just listening to me cry at odd hours of the night, sacrificing his time and energy for me when he was plenty stressed out enough with his life and school as it was.

I am thankful for my experiences, even trails, in life. For Lisa and Garin and anyone who's helped me through those experiences. And for the opportunity I have to help others through their own experiences, to help them smile and laugh and heal, or maybe just sit there and listen to the silence and just be there to rub their back. In short, I am thankful for people and life and love.

Lila's Book of Poetry

...is what I am thankful for. It is beautiful. And it makes me slightly crazy sometimes. But it is all so beautiful. Sigh. I love beautiful words. And how beautiful words can make me feel. I am SUCH an English nerd.

"You dance inside my chest/where no one sees you" -from "In Your Light I Learn How to Love," Rumi

"I Can't Hold You and I Can't Leave You" by Juana Ines de la Cruz

I can't hold you and I can't leave you,
and sorting out the reasons to leave you or hold you,
I find an intangible one to love you,
and many tangible ones to forgo you.

As you won't change, nor let me forgo you,
I shall give my heart a defense against you,
so that half shall always be armed to abhor you,
though the other half be ready to adore you.

Then, if our love, by loving flourish,
let it not in endless feuding perish;
let us not speak no more in jealousy and suspicion

He offers not part, who would all receive--
so know that when it is your intention
mine shall be to make believe.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Keats and Bones, but not Keats' Bones...

On today, the 6th of November, I, Rachel Ashby, am glad for John Keats. He was a Romantic poet who penned such beautiful things as Ode to a Nightengale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, many beautiful letters, etc. Read for yourself:

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing

"Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" . . . Soul as distinguished from Intelligence--There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions--but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception--they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God--how then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them--so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each ones individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this?"

"You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving"

Just go read Keats. All of him. He is fabulous. As is the movie Bright Star, about his love story with Fanny Brawn. Spoilers: It does not have a happy ending because Keats died at the age of 25 as a poor writer without having gotten to marry Fanny. And the movie was kind of slow at parts. But I loved how they laced pieces of Keats' writing through it and it was very romantic and REAL romance. Not that crappy Hollywood stuff.

And then there was a new episode of Bones last night, that I watched tonight with Sarah and Lila. Hooray.

Anyway, bed time. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember, Remember...

...The Fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
I know of no reason why Gunpowder, Treason
Should ever be forgot

What I am thankful for today:
1) Guy Fawkes Day--fire and England, what could be better? (Even if I'm watching the Scarlett Pimpernell with England peeps instead of having a bonfire) :D
2) Thinking about Guy Fawkes Day has made me miss England and made me incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to go on my Study Abroad and the friends who turned into family there, and the experiences I had.
3) Again, warm weather
4) Chocolate
5) My talents as a writer, especially how I feel I've grown as a writer over the past few months. Sigh. I am thankful for writing, and communicating.

P.S. My heart aches for England right now. So much. I just miss being there with everyone and everything and always writing and almost always being so overwhelmed with happiness. And if I went back to England, I'm sure I would love it, but it wouldn't be the same. There would still be this hole in my heart, because I don't just miss England, but the two months I spent there on the BYU England and Literature, Spring 2009 Program.

Song of the Post: Being in Love, from the Music Man (the movie). It doesn't have to do with anything. It's just been stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG for no reason whatsoever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mazel Tov

So, uh, hey, I really liked the way my last post turned out visually. It made me happy. Maybe I'm getting okay at this whole making my blog aesthetically pleasing thing. And yes, I feel the need to make it such.

Anyway. Periodically, my friend Whitney will hold 30 Minute Dance Parties at her lovely house. And, after missing the last one, I FINALLY went to one. Really, if you don't know Whitney Bush and have never been to a 30 Minute Dance Party, you are missing out. Short, sweet, simple, and rockin'. I love dance parties because there is great music, you get to dance, and even though some might say they're kind of awkward, everyone is just as bad at dancing as you are, and even if they're a million times better than you, guess what--they don't care! They just want to have fun. And you should too. I, for one, always feel like a horrible dancer, but so what? I laugh at myself and keep dancing because I love it. The end.

Song of the Post: I've Got a Feelin' by the Black Eyed Peas


(Please forgive the fact that this picture is not of anyone I know. Let's call the girls Sophie, Bianca, and Astoria. Anyway. I was going to put up pictures of my favorite dance parties, but I didn't feel like digging any up off of the hundreds of thousands of pictures they're among on Facebook.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I am a Copycat. Plus: Rice, Sun and Delicious Music

So. My England-friend Whitney is spending the month of November being grateful for things. And I rather like this idea. I probably won't post something every day, but probably most.

Also. Another friend does a "Song of the Post" everytime he posts something on his blog. And I want to start doing that too, although, once again, I probably won't do it every every single time.

Today, I am grateful for Rice packs. You know, the type you heat up in the microwave that spread warmth and goodness throughout your body and help relieve all sorts of pain and are just relaxing. Even though they smell kind of funny, mine brings me so much joy.

I am also grateful for warm November days that feel more like early October days. They make me happy--they have the chill of autumn days, but the sun is emitting warmth that makes it pleasant, not cold, and warms the soul as well. The sky is blue, but the leaves are almost all off the trees and crackle as the breeze sweeps them along the sidewalk and passing students tackle them with their feet. Because of that, that leads to my first....

SONG OF THE POST: Come On, Come Out. A Fine Frenzy. (Fun Fact: when Christine had me make a mix of songs that define myself, this was the opener) Also, while you're listening to A Fine Frenzy, go listen to You Picked Me as well, because I've had that song stuck in my head the past two days and it is another good one. :D

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday, Round 2

Who would have thought that my Sunday would be even better thane expected? Not only did all the things that I thought would be lovely turn out to be even lovelier, but it was just a beautiful day full of beautiful things and overwhelming love for God, my Savior, His gospel, and those around me. I've truly been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life. Just to name a few: Sarah Snow, Elder Savage, Elder Cowdell, Lila, Liz Katelyn, Tracy, Michele, Megan, Karyann, Marilee, Marilee's family, President Uchtdorf, Lisa, Christine, Lindsey, Amanda Hufstetler, Camille, Sarah Lutz...seriously. I could go on FOREVER. That isn't even listing my immediate family or even my immediate extended family.

After a church meeting which was just wonderful for no particular reason, just it being church and all, I went to Mare's for dinner. Lasagna. Yum. And then we went to the CES fireside and talked and talked and talked afterwards. Such a wonderful fireside. And such wonderful company. Mare is such a wonderful girl. She's turning her mission papers in in just a couple months. She will be such a wonderful missionary. She loves the Lord. She loves all His children. She loves His gospel. She will sacrifice anything for them. She teaches me so much every day. I am forever grateful that we were in the same EFY group that last year.

And Pres. Uchtdorf's fireside was simply wonderful. It does not get much better than being spoken to by that man. Sigh. Be happy, all. :)

My Sunday

Delicious for all senses.

Sound: Music and the Spoken Word
Taste: Fast Sunday--so all food is good, but I'm going to my cousin's for lasagna tonight!
Touch: Warmth of a pea coat and tights
Sight: Mountains and beautiful people
Smell: Late fall air

:)

November is off to a good start.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

AHHHHH MISSION CALLS

In the past little bit, it seems like, once again, all of my friends have been getting mission calls. Except now they are my female friends, instead of all my boys. And of course, ALL is a slight exaggeration. But still. Today I had TWO friends get their mission calls. Misty, Lindsey's old roommate, is going to Mesa Arizona, English speaking, and my dear, dear Jen (from Deutschklasse...sie ist soo toll! Ich hab sie immer Lieb so viel!) is going to BERLIN! DEUTSCHLAND! So not only is she going to Germany and speaking Deutsch, she is going to the same mission as my older-brother/best friend ELDER STERLING JAMES MASON! I WANT TO WRITE ELDER STERLING JAMES MASON AND TELL HIM, BUT I AM NOT SENDING HIM ANOTHER LETTER UNTIL I GET ONE...because I've sent him two already. Anyway.

I want a mission call. Right now. Oh well. We'll just have to wait. Hopefully in a year, I'll be getting mine. Right now the plan is to put my papers in during next Fall Semester, and leave sometime during the Winter. That way I do a semester of school here at the Y with my brother, and come back in time for fall semester again, for my last year of school, because I'll be needing an extra semester anyway. Of course, this might change, because sometimes the Lord does that to you, because he knows what's best. And also, a year is kinda a long time. :) BUT I WANT TO SERVE A MISSION SO BADLY.

Being patient is hard sometimes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My favorite place

When I was in 5th grade, the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated. I got to go to the broadcast of the temple dedication, which was cool because a few years earlier I had seen the bare temple site, before President Hinckley had even announced the rebuilding. Before the dedication (in the morning, before school, and which I felt very grown-up going to), my dad had me read D&C 109, the dedicatory prayer to the Kirtland Temple. So this section has always been special to me, because I have always connected it with the temple both historically, scripturally, and personally...obviously.

As I was preparing my lesson for RS on temples a couple weeks ago, I re-read a couple verses that soon became among my favorites, and I just reread them again for D&C tomorrow. Here they are--I wanted to share them with everyone because of the strength with which they struck me anew (my emphasis added in verse 15).

13 And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a aplace of thy holiness.
14 And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may be taught words of wisdom out of the best abooks, and that they may seek learning even by study, and also by faith, as thou hast said;
15 And THAT THEY MAY GROW UP IN THEE, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing;
16 And that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory and of God, even thy house.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Random lists of things aka I should be editing/working on my paper for 292, of which the final draft is due tomorrow but I am not.

Happy things:
1) ESPN College GameDay and being interviewed by KSL
2) Being in the homecoming parade with Cosmo, and riding on top of the Cosmobile.
3) Free food--pancakes, pizza, etc.
4) Family
5) Best mates calling you
6) Preach my Gospel
7) Reading essays written by Kylie McQuarrie
8) My Shakespeare love-quote mug
9) Chocolate Zucchini Cake
10) Realizing that my favorite scarf is not last, but rather just fell out of my laundry basket in my apartment so it was in my living room

Sad things:
1) PGD (post-game Depression)
2) Feeling really cruddy physically and mentally, it was weird, because I knew I wasn't sick, but I wasn't feeling physically well at all
3) Not going to church because you were #2 in this list when you woke up
4) Pictures that won't stay up on my wall
5) Being really confused and conflicted about certain aspects of my life
6) Having to write this paper, because I really don't want to at the moment
7) Missing boys, especially Elder Sterling James Mason, who is like my older brother and one of my best friends. (Not that I don't miss my other guy friends and that some of them aren't like my brothers as well, but I haven't heard from Sterling in a while and have really wanted to talk to him lately)
8) Empty mailboxes--see #7

Good things that Happened Because of Bad Things:
1) Sleep
2) A cute boy trying to cheer me up (and succeeding, for the most part)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Only with Christine

So, I'm rather embarrassed admitting this, but this is how I spent my evening. Correction: am still spending.



Christine is no longer here, but I am still in my green dress, feeling pretty (except for my ridiculous hair, but whatever), and wishing I could be dancing with a ridiculously attractive man. Oh, and before Christine left, we looked at wedding dresses and rings. And other people's wedding pictures. Haha. Yes we are girls.

And now "The Way You Look Tonight" just came up on my music list. haha. I feel so silly right now. But it's Christine's fault. :p

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You know when...

all of a sudden you listen to a song or watch a movie and you notice something that you never really did before and all of a sudden it makes sense? Not that it didn't make sense before, you just didn't really think about it or notice it or it made sense, but you didn't get why it made sense? You know, when you finally get one of the adult jokes (that makes it sound bad, not that they are, but just the ones you don't get when you're kids) in a Disney movie you've been watching since you were 2 and can recite word for word, but you just never fully comprehended that line before and didn't realize it. You know what I'm talking about, right? Right....?

Anyway, whether you do or don't, that just happened to me.

I've been obsessed with Les Miserables ever since Junior High. I fell in love with the music and the story in 7th grade, my mom took me to see it in SLC in 8th grade, and then by about 3 weeks after I saw it I had the whole thing memorized. I was in it my senior year of high school as an extra, so even if I hadn't been in love with it for forever, I'd still know it like the back of my hand. I paid an arm (okay, not really, but it was twice as expensive as any the next most expensive ticket I bought there) to see it in London and it was worth every penny, even though I still have the entire thing memorized, had seen it before, etc etc etc, reiterate everything I've already said.

About 15 minutes ago I'm sitting the Music/Dance reading room on the 4th floor of the HBLL when "Red and Black" pops up on my completely-random-all-of-the-thousands-of-songs-I-have-on-my-iTunes music selection. It's always been one of my favorites; right before "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Really powerful. Love it. Anyway. Marius comes in, having just fallen in love with Cosette. Grantaire sings, "You talk of battles to be won, then here he comes like Don Ju-an. It's better than a opera." AH! INSERT THE MOMENT DESCRIBED ABOVE HERE! FREAK. BYRON. DON JUAN. NOT HWAN, LIKE IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE PRONOUNCED. JU-AN, LIKE BYRON'S POEM WRITTEN IN OTTAVA RIMA. PLUS THE STORY IS AN OPERA...

Not like I had never understood it before. I knew Don Juan, the story, the opera, the stereotype. I knew that Marius was in love and that it was opera-like and everything. I HAD JUST NEVER PUT ALL THE PIECES TOGETHER AND FULLY COMPREHENDED AND NOW I FEEL REALLY DUMB FOR NOT HAVING DONE IT EARLIER.

Thank you, Dr. Westover, for having us read Byron's Don Juan, simply for the fact that now I can always think of Byron's purposely-horrible rhymes whenever I listen to that line in Les Mis now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Montag...

Bin ich so müde...Ich möchte ein Fliege zu töten.

Yep. Getting back to Provo at 1 a.m. after already being tired. Having to park clear across 9th since my complex parking is ridiculous as crap, and therefore leaving basically everything in my car. My roommate getting mad at me for waking her up, which I can completely understand, but calling me inconsiderate and thoughtless, when I was doing all I could to not wake her up, and then staying awake for an extra 2.5 hours, just laying in bed, worried that she hates me and is not going to be able to sleep ever. I hate feeling inconsiderate and rude, and that's how she made me feel, even though she's the one who told me when I brought the situation up at the beginning of the semester that she's a heavy sleeper and if I have a light on, it's okay, and she hasn't said anything since then. I thought we were getting along fine, but apparently I'm rude and inconsiderate, and she doesn't like me, and I never think about waking her up when I come in late? I'm not trying to be mean to her. I'm just trying to see where she's coming from, when in my mind I do all the homework I possibly can not in the room when she's asleep because I don't want to wake her up, but when the library's closed and we don't have wireless, I have to be back there and I'm always really careful to be quiet and have as little light as possible and everything, but when I come in at 1 after going home for the weekend, I need to at least turn my lamp on for a few minutes so that I can actually get into bed...I don't know. I just want to get a long with my roommate, because I like her, and I feel bad that I woke her up, and I didn't sleep well last night because I was feeling so bad.

And now I'm back in school, having not done my reading for 292. No idea what's going on in my German class today. The two things I wanted to happen during the weekend ended up a) not happening and b) being a disaster, but in general my weekend was good. Wonderful, actually. So wonderful to make it so I don't want to come back to school and making this Monday even worse. I just want to cry and sleep, but unfortunately it'll be another late night in the library doing this stupid Deutsch dictionary. Hopefully I can get it done before midnight so I don't have to do it at home and won't keep my roommate up...

Friday, October 16, 2009

MESA GOIN HOME

I am trekking, by myself, in my car, up to Twin today. Yay! Just a weekend with me and the fam. I am excited.

The excitement is making it difficult to finish the last little bit of school work that I have to do before class today. :(

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Burn the Bridge, Bet the Store

Right now I'm hanging out with Sarah while she's at work. She wanted to listen to Thoroughly Modern Millie. I had forgotten how much I love this show. Good times tapping in high school, pretending to be drunk...

Plus the music is so great. So fun. I can connect to it. And it makes me feel so happy--the emotion is quite wonderful. Jimmy, Forget About the Boy, Gimme Gimme, What Do I Need With Love, Not For the Life of Me . . . :)

If you don't know Thoroughly Modern Millie, I command you to go listen to one of the above songs right now. Preferably Jimmy or What Do I Need With Love.

Oh, the places I would like to show you
Although I hardly know you
I've a funny feeling we make a perfect pair
Famous sites I want to see you seeing
Then nights of you and me-ing
Me. You. We -
Wait a minute! Just a minute! No, no, no, no!

:)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reasons to be Happy

1) Lots of big things I've been stressing out about lately--I don't have to stress about them for a while yet.
2) God. Okay, this is really number 1. He trusts me, He lets me choose, and you know, He's not going to let me go far without telling me what is right, what is good, what I should do, without guiding me with His gentle love.
3) School. I have a scholarship at one of the best universities in the nation. I learn about God and the world and life and literature and so many other wonderful things simultaneously. Even if it stresses me out and I think it's impossible, I really do enjoy what I'm doing, and there are days when I feel smart and actually do the impossible. And doing the impossible--it's kinda fun. :)
4) Friends. Talking with Jon and Juli before Writing today. Writing in general, and John Bennion. Syd and me trying to find ways around actually writing a real rough draft for 292 on Wed. Stephanie waiting for me outside of German, Jen saving my seat and completely goofing off with me after class every day and turning in her mission papers and giggling over that and her boyfriend visiting and the Mittwoch song. Sarah Lutz for keeping me sane, and insane, at the same time. Lindsey for randomly texting me inside jokes. My brother for saying he wants me to put off my mission a semester so that we can go to school together. Elder Garin saying he's worried that I don't actually have a social life and Elder Cowdell for always being so caring and positive. Elder Sterling James Mason and Elder Scott Savage for writing me letters that I can read over and over and over again. Katelyn for just being Katelyn and thinking about me, even if we don't have time to hang out all the time. And many others. Just because I didn't mention you doesn't mean you don't make me happy too!
5) Feeling really pretty for no particular reason.
6) The fact that after Wednesday my life should get much easier, and that this weekend I'm going home to eat Zucchini cake and make Halloween cookies with Leah and see my brother go to Sadies and maybe play a game of Settlers or two. And maybe some Rook and Clue. And play my grand piano. And do a lot of other things that I probably won't even have time to do, but am excited to be looking forward to, even if I don't get to actually do them.
And, last but not least, coming in at number 7...this photo, taken on one of the best nights of my life, stolen from Lori Fuller's Facebook:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yum

Yesterday was an adventure. I thought I was going to spend it all doing homework--a noble goal, and with no home football game, perhaps a realistic one.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I SHOULD have done homework--actually, I needed to do what I ended up doing instead. I needed to know that I still have a social life and that I still do productive things with my life, even if they're not school productive and they're just relaxing, fun productive. Because those kind of things do exist. And I needed one. Not that I don't lounge around all the time. But that is called wasting time and it is neither relaxing nor productive. Having fun and being social and being happy when that is what you need to do is very relaxing and productive.

Instead. This is what I did (picture stolen from Miss Whitney Bush):


That is me and 10 England friends. On top of Squaw Peak. 3 miles up, 3 miles down. It was the first time I've really been hiking-hiking (because the boardwalks at Yellowstone don't really count) since England. And I've missed it, especially with those wonderful, wonderful people. Oh, and before that I had gotten up early to clean my room for cleaning checks so now it is clean and I am happy and hopefully it will stay that way although I doubt it because we all know how messy my room gets when I am stressed out.

Then Sarah L. (the beautiful girl who went to Saturday Conference with me last week and one of my best friends) came to visit me because I love her and am used to seeing her every day and I hadn't really seen her since Saturday. I had, but I hadn't. Then her, Lila, and I decided we were hungry and Lila said she'd pay for pizza, so we went to Pirate Island! Ah! I mean...ARRRRR! TWAS THE BEST, MATEY! Seriously, so awesome. And I had a balloon monkey on my shoulder the whole time. PLus the pizza wasn't bad and the company was some of the best. I don't have a picture of Pirate Island (Lila and Sarah took some on their phones, of me and the monkey outside with the Pirate Island sign, but I don't have those) so you get a picture of me and Sarah at Conference last weekend instead. Oh, Conference was such a plethora of good times too.


When I got home, I did have every intention of doing homework, but I started talking with Liz and Katelyn and Lyssa and we hardly ever see each other so it was roommate bonding. Then I watched the 2nd half of the football game, which was kind of boring at times, because we completely kicked trash. And now I have a lot a lot a lot of homework to do sometime between now and class at 11 on Monday. Yay. But yesterday was totally worth it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

@_@

Remember the days of a year and a half ago? When I was a little freshman and we'd all go goof off in the library instead of actually studying? And somehow, by some miracle, we managed to get everything done, get it done well to achieve good grades, and still have time for a late night adventure afterwards?

Yeah. Me too. Those days disappeared somewhere. Nowadays I'm not motivated to do school work at all, even though I enjoy all my classes. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I make it to the library (although I have also learned how to be productive at home). Nowadays, I can't stop thinking about the 30 hours of homework I need to do this weekend. My friends, midterms has come, and although I remember having just as much work to do freshman year, this homework seems to consume all my time and energy. I guess I'm just not as young as I used to be. ;)

haha, Anyway. I also feel like I'm the only one who ever does anything productive. In my D&C class, Bro. Fluhman asked what our plans for the weekend were. Everyone seemed shocked that I have so much work to do. One of my roommates is ALWAYS washing TV (she is also the one who always complains when things are messy and yet never does anything to clean it up...???). Where does she get the time to spend hours just sitting there on the couch?! I just don't understand.

Well, break time is up. It's time to get back to my To-do list. Still to go for tonight: Momo, by Michael Ende, the novel/screen play we're reading in Deutsch, journals on said Momo pages, and a paper proposal for my Engl 292 class. Luckily, I read the 50 pages of Tennyson for tomorrow earlier today. Holy poetry, Batman. I mean, I love Tennyson. LOVE. Especially In Memoriam. But 50 pages took A LONG TIME. But oh wow, twas good. I miss England. I'll dream of Tennyson Down tonight.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mmmmm.

This is the day I've been waiting for. The beautiful fall day where it's chilly--cold, even--but not freezing. If you want, you could even walk around without a jacket. But it's fall. Cold enough to wear sweaters and jackets, but warm enough that it's not like I feel winter is right on my heels. Luckily. It was that way earlier, so I'm glad it's warmed up a tad.

Right now I'm sitting in Writing with John Bennion. Sammy's turn to be analyzed. She's writing her grandparent's memoirs for her family, right now writing about the start of her project, interviewing them instead of the actual memoirs. It's beautiful. And it makes me want to talk to my grandparents. I haven't seen Grandma Day in over a year. I miss her. We always have the funnest conversations--she is just the coolest old lady. And Grandma Ashby...I love talking to her about when she was at BYU, her college stories and how she'd go study with boys in the library (now the Testing Center) and Brimhall building because boys actually studied instead of being silly like girls, but we all tease her that she just wanted to flirt with them. I want to talk to my Grandpas. I wish I had gotten to know them better when they were still alive. I learned all the stories about my Grandpas through memoirs or stories from Grandma or their children. So. Talk to your grandparents before they're not there anymore because then you'll want to talk to them when you can't.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blegh, an Ode to Bloody Asparagus Limbs

I'm having a rough day today. That, combined with the fact that many people who read my paper were wondering whether or not my bloody asparagus limbs were bloody-bloody or British-bloody, I present to you the painting that inspired it all. My favorite least-favorite painting ever: "Still Life with Asparagus, 1881" a reproduction of something painted by a Mr. Francois Bonvin. So yes. They are bloody limbs as in the asparagus looks like fingers that have been chopped off. At least to me. Apparently, you can get someone to paint a reproduction of your very own, starting at $180.79 here. Any takers?



Oh, p.s. If you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about when I'm talking about the bloody asparagus limbs in my essay, you might want to read the essay it is in the first part of this post right here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I want to be found 42 times.

Well, we'd better make it 44 just for luck. :)

Sometime very early this morning, my mind awoke to a clap a thunder. It was the kind of awakening where your eyes don't open but your thoughts are suddenly alive, and you slowly smile because your body is asleep but your mind is awake. I heard this thunder, calling me like a dinosaur. And I smiled. And then went back to sleep.

It's an England sort of day today. This morning when I looked out the window the first thing I thought of was England. Wastwater. Tintern Abbey (ok, that's Wales, but still). The way the mist enveloped the top half of the moutains, the rain came gently down, but not for very long. How is was chilly, but not too cold.

Talking to Syd before 292 today she asked how I was, slightly concerned, because I've been quieter than usual lately. I guess I have been. I've been kind of lonely, but not necessarily in a bad way. That doesn't make sense. But it is.

But I do want to be found. 44 times. haha. No one will get that. But still. Ready or not, here you come!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hey, Roommate(s), Stop Eating my Food!

It's true. At least one of my roommates has been eating stuff that is mine.

A couple days ago, I finally bought more bread. I went to make toast and discovered that I was mostly out of spreadable butter, when I was almost certain I had half a container left. But I thought nothing of it, simply believing that I was crazy and had imagined things and had used more butter than I originally thought.

Real-life scenario #2: Today I go out to the kitchen to get breakfast. Honey-nut Cheerios. My family knows I never eat cereal--it's alright if you gulp it down before it gets all soggy. Anyway. LAST WEEK, I bought a box of my Honey-nut Cheerios. I couldn't eat an entire box of cereal in a week if I wanted to. And I don't. I've had maybe--MAYBE--3 bowls of cereal since I bought this. And lo and behold, this morning, there was hardly anything in my box. Probably about enough for 2 bowls. Yeah.

I'm not imagining things. Someone who is not me is eating my food. If you are breaking into my apartment and eating stuff, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Heap of Happy

Today was one of those simple-pleasure days. You know the kind, where you’re happy, but you don’t know why. Where the sky is that bright, vivid, indescribable blue kindergartners always try to duplicate in their pictures they’ll take home to Mom because they know that THAT color is the real deal, but that no crayon can duplicate, not even sky blue, those Crayola fakers. And then there’s the sun, glowing so hot that you can’t look anywhere near it. It’s no longer a yellow circle, but a white aura of happy, and it beaming down on you just fills you with so much of that same happy that you can’t wipe the smile off your face and you feel so ridiculous because you really have no reason to smile, but at the same time you do—it’s all around you. And because you’re so happy, you can’t even read or sing, all you can do is smile and collapse in a heap of happy on the grass, the green prickly velvet, eyes closed, reflecting the joyous sunshine back at the real-sky-blue sky.

(P.S. This is the first paragraph of a little blurb I just put out there for Workshoping Wednesday in John Bennion's class tomorrow. I didn't have anything, so I wrote this, plus another pager and some. Just fyi. :D )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Um...

Because procrastinating Deutsch homework is my most favorite least favorite thing to do, I figured if I'm going to facilitate that process, I should be at least updating my blog, since I haven't written a post in about a week. Update:

September 11: 8 years. I can't believe it's been that long. All day, the ROTC had someone guarding the flag. I spent more time just starting up at the soldiers from down in Periodicals in my usual spot by the windows than I did doing homework. I pondered on the events from 8 years ago, as I actually do quite often. And I felt proud to be an American. I may not approve of everything my country does and all my leaders do, but I love my country, and am so happy that I'm finally feeling connected to it again.

Classes: Floral design labs start next week. Professors are already talking about exams, which makes me feel a lot more behind than I really am. I've done surprisingly well on my Deutsch work, which makes me feel less crappy at Deutsch and gives me hope! :D 292 with Westover is simply a treat, and we just finished up Wordsworth, which was a treat. Reading Tintern Abbey after you've been there . . . it's as if I WAS Wordsworth, reminiscing on the events and how I've changed since then with him. Oh my, I love William Wordsworth. Now we're on to Coleridge. "Kubla Khan," which of course, brought back the memory of chanting it demonically with my study abroad family in the lobby of the ghetto hostel in Grasmere. :) Writing with John Bennion is awesome awesome awesome. It never ceases to be the highlight of my day. Only problem: tomorrow is writing groups, which means I have to bring a short writing piece to workshop in class. I have no idea what I'm going to bring in. I haven't felt much like writing in the past couple days. I need to go to the MOA and perhaps look at some art or go play a real piano in the HFAC to get inspiration. Or go spend lots of time out in nature instead of with Harold and Fred (aka the Library and my laptop). Oh, and D&C is wonderful. My professor is fabulous.

President Monson: One of the things I love most about being at BYU is the fact that we have the wonderful opportunity to listen to the prophets speak just for us. This isn't a CES fireside broadcast around the world. This is the prophet of the church coming to the Marriot Center to speak to the students of BYU. Even so, I invite you all to look up the talk that our beloved President Monson gave today. It was HILARIOUS, for one, and, more importantly, very beautiful and spiritually uplifting.

Seasons: It's changing. It's been cooler lately. Yesterday during writing we had a beautiful thunderstorm that, while I wanted to be out in it, I was glad I was inside because I was wearing my Rocketdogs--aka NOT GOOD RAIN SHOES. But today when I'm prepared with my waterproof hiking shoes . . . nothing. Oh well. It's lovely outside. Not too hot, not too cold. A cloudy, stormy sky is perfectly contrasted with the bright green trees and grass. The colors are starting to change. The mountains are more rusty-colored. The trees are beginning to turn yellow. And everyonce in a while, a ray of sun will burst through the clouds illuminating the scene , bringing shadows to life and adding vibrance to the so-beautifully-dreary-and-almost-England-like cloudy day.

But hey! I need to be home by 6, because Amelia is probably coming by around then to drop me off stuff for my new calling--Relief Society instructor. Whoo! In other words, time to leave the library. Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde (well, I guess most of you are probably Fruendinnen...)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From the first weeks in England--Freedom

Note: The first essay I wrote in England, so I probably wrote it over the first 2-3 weeks. I'm thinking about adding parts of the post I wrote a couple nights ago to this for my Creative Writing portfolio/Honors Thesis. :)

Four hobbits hiked up a mountain. Okay, so they weren’t really hobbits. And compared to other rocks we’d climb in the next few weeks, Arthur’s Seat isn’t really a mountain. But we were four friends journeying together at the back of our group of 30 up Arthur’s Seat. Barefoot. I’m not sure what it was—maybe the lack of the shoes and socks I had wanted to take off all day, maybe defying the social convention of needing footwear, maybe feeling close to the land, or losing my balance and becoming in-tune with my klutzy self. Although I’m unsure at what exactly caused it, I do know that something about my naked feet made me feel free.

When Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, I’m sure the last thing on his mind was a 19-year-old girl who would, over 200 years later, take off her shoes to scamper over rocks in Scotland. Yet he wrote about freedom. He wrote that all people have the inherent right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But what is freedom? To Jefferson, it was peace, safety, and no taxation without representation. To me freedom is living life and pursuing happiness as well. Yet that is still vague and inaccessible. Upon Arthur’s Seat, I realized I really have no idea what freedom consists of. My skin stood against the chilly, volcanic rocks, while my green hiking shoes dangled from the laces intertwined in my fingers, and the wind danced with my hair in a twisting attempt to escape its ponytail. I was closer to freedom than I had been in a long time, and my heart could taste it in the goosebumps on my arms. I knew then that I don’t know what freedom is—only that I want to find out, and I want to achieve it.

In class we talk about reading landscapes, so I try. I search the pages for freedom, clues to my quest. And I find it, although it’s not seen. Freedom comes with the wind, partially perhaps, but freedom is there. The wind flies wherever it wants, and I defy it halfway, my body staying firmly put, but my soul floating away, eloping with the breeze. The wind acts how it wants. It can be fierce or playful, destructive or safe, cold or warm. As it carries my heart, thoughts and song back to the heavens where they started, the wind reminds me of both my earthly and heavenly home and frees me.

I’m away from the wind now, wandering the National Gallery in Edinburgh. There’s a painting on the wall and we’re having a stare-down. Or we would be, but the painting is dead. In fact, it never lived. So I’m the only one staring, a confused grimace pointed towards “Still Life with Asparagus.” Asparagus. Really? The bloody limbs just sit there on a plate without emotion.

Another still life. I think I’m drawn to them because they make me uncomfortable. I just don’t like still life paintings. This one is by Charour, it says, who always painted with great “stillness” in his works. Well, duh. Fed up with these dead geese and awkward vegetables and rustic table-settings, I yearn to turn back to Monet and impressionism. The fluid brushstrokes there give a fuzzy blur of emotion, beauty, and life. Only barely contained, impressionist images are free. And then another realization hits: I don’t like still live paintings because they’re exactly that—still. They’re simply paints on a canvas. The bloody asparagus are only bloody fingers, somehow trapped. Like me.

It’s hard to gain freedom when you don’t know what it is. It’s even harder when you don’t know who or what is holding you prisoner. Most of my chains are cast in iron fear. A fear of falling and intense physical pain is one. Another, a fear of waiting and anxiety, even if only for a split second. Usually when asked what I’m afraid of, I answer one of these, or nothing. But I hardly ever share my biggest fear, apparently not even with myself, since I didn’t realize how confined I was and am because of it. Links of fear of failure and emotional hurt and imperfection fuse into a chain and the huge black ball at the end is my fear of sharing my personal thoughts and emotions.

Usually people have no idea that that is me, that I am trapped in fear of sharing my soul. To my friends, I’m the giggly, crazy one who’s always hyper and good for entertainment. I’m the happy, gregarious optimist who enjoys people. And that IS me. But I’ve noticed that while I’m always open about events and people in my life, my feelings on such things hardly ever leave my mind.

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that a writer and musician would be scared of such a thing. Two areas where so much emotion and thought are required and I, out of fear, refuse to share mine. Yet somehow they’re an exception. My writing is for me; I merely convince myself that no one but I will read it, even if I know it to be a ridiculous lie. And music—well, music is both a mask and a release at once. I can express myself while hiding behind the music itself. Music is, in itself, freedom.

A gust of wind carries me away to a different time and place. I stand on a stage, bright lights in my eyes. 1300 seats are below me and every one of them is full. But I can’t see them. I know they’re there, but at this moment all that’s really there in Roper Auditorium is me, the stage, and the music. There’s more irony: what many people would find terrifying and confining is exactly what sets me free. The tumor on my back is benign, even helpful. It’s the battery pack for my headset mic, either clipped to my bra strap or duck taped to my back. Most would find it uncomfortably. Instead, I find it comforting. And then I start singing and dancing and I’m the happiest, most free person in the world.

I’m not sure what it is about music. How in the world should I know the answer to a question that’s been puzzling humankind for centuries? But in high school, music is what made me free. When you soar with the music you make, magic happens. Fear departs and you become who you want to be. And that I did. After every show teachers would come up to me, surprised that quiet, little Rachel from their classes could be so alive on stage. I’d just laugh. I just stopped commenting in class in 9th grade. I still sit there thinking, absorbing, yet keeping everything even remotely personal inside. But when I’d start to sing or play piano, everything pours out in a waterfall, a flood of Rachel.

Going barefoot is not a common occurance for me, at least not anywhere besides me house or apartment. What convinced me to climb Arthur’s Seat barefoot, I don’t know. But taking off those shoes was like stepping onto the stage in high school. Yet, unlike Jive, when the time came to put my shoes back on for the hike down, my cold, dirty feet relished the warmth and support of being tied up beneath the laces. And I guess there is danger with not wearing shoes sometimes. But that danger shouldn’t keep me from ever going barefoot again. I simply need to find the proper balance of playing it safe and being the “bold and gutsy” kind of girl a friend once saw me as. And maybe when I find that balance, freedom will come.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Ambigous Soul Mate, who falls in like with emotionally unavailable men. :)


This is my soul mate. Her name is Christine Louise Guymon, and she is beautiful in every single way. Plus, we're so very similar in so many ways. Which is why we are soul mates. When we talk, we simply understand each other. We connect with each other on almost every level you can connect with someone on. We have similar fears and worries and personalities and interests. We feel the same way. We're different enough to help each other and make things interesting, but so similar that almost no one can understand me like Christine does, and this is after only 9 months of knowing each other, but really only 4 months of really, really being close. We just immediately bonded. The other people who I consider my best friends have taken years to get to know me well, or at least a year or two of living with me all the time. But it was different, almost immediate and so sudden with Christine. And I love her for it.

Tonight she took me out to frozen yogurt and then we drove around Provo, all around, and not because we got lost like usual, but instead because we wanted to talk. We drove up to the temple and parked there for a while and then drove to my apartment and sat in the Y Lot talking for a while. We talked about boys (of course, it's Christine, haha) and writing and personal essays and our fears and our issues and England and life and God and the gospel. I helped her, she helped me. And I just felt such an overwhelming love for this girl, like I do everytime I'm around her. So I figured I'd tell the rest of the world how wonderful she is.

Oh hey, just something I spewed out of my brain and fingers at 2 a.m because I analyze myself and am insecure about all my irrational, emotional fears

Lafou, I'm afraid I've been thinking.

A dangerous pastime...

...I know.

And yet--there's the problem, what makes thinking dangerous. The fear. "I'm afraid." Fear paralyzes me, and too often I find myself unable to move.

So many fears: fear of failure, fear of personal disclosure, fear of imperfection, fear of not measuring up, fear of being stuck in a rut, of falling, of pain, of facing myself, of letting go, of not being able to overcome the things I know I need to.

Basically, I'm just scared to death. Scared that people will know who I really am, and yet at the same time that no one ever will. Scared that I won't try, but that no matter how many times I do, I still won't measure up. Scared to grow up and become independent, but too stubborn and scared to be anything but a successful, independent adult. And then again, scared that there's no possible way I can be that.

I don't think many people see this part of me. Janet always called me confident. Christian said in Loch Lomond that I seemed like a "bold and gutsy kinda girl." Christine, my soul mate, who in just a couple short weeks, came to know me as much as anyone else in my whole life (and probably more than myself), told me that she thinks I'm "incredibly strong and courageous." And yet I'm always afraid, afraid of myself and my fears and failure and so many other stupid, STUPID things. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm a fraidy-cat. A paralyzed, stupid fraidy-cat who lets her fears get the best of her.

There are so many reasons I shouldn't be. I don't doubt. I have faith. I know I do. So, I shouldn't fear, right? I know God helps me through and that He's on my side. I don't want to be afraid. But my fears are always there. It takes all I can to work through them, force past them. Is that what courage is? Fighting the battle against your fears and always barely eking out a battle victory, but always losing the war.

I remember Max Hall's eyes as he started that drive in the Oklahoma game yesterday. There was a lot of fear. I could see it, recognize it, because I've felt it--felt the same fear behind my own eyes. Still, he pushed forward, converted on big plays, and in the end, his eyes wore an everlasting smile. In the end, he'll go down in history for defeating the fear and doing his part to win one of the most important and memorable victories in school and conference history.

But when my fears step up to the plate, I seem to turn out more like the 2nd-string OU QB: insecure, unstable, unprepared (even if I'm really very much prepared). Always falling short, that fear never leaving my eyes, because, no matter how much I try to fight through it, I always seem to be rejoicing in someone else's victory and never my own.

I want to be courageous. Not necessarily be completely free of fear, but at least not be paralyzed anymore. At least knock them unconcious for a while. At least just feel like I did on top of Arthur's Seat, so free of fear and cares and woes and everything--true freedom--that freedom of Arthur's Seat for one minute in real life.

K. Rambling again. I wanted to write. So I did. At least that's one thing I'm not afraid to do. Write. Oh wait. Never mind. I sometimes am. And am always afraid for people to read it. Curses. Curses curses curses. And, if you don't count my irrational fear of falling and (sometimes) physical pain, all my fears are emotional. Personal Disclosure. Emotional pain. Abandonment. Failure. Letting others down. Letting myself down. Letting God down. I could face Millificent's Dragon Alter-Ego in Sleeping Beauty, but never get up enough courage to kiss the princess (of course, prince, in my case).

So. Question of my life right now: What is courage? How do I become confident, courageous, bold, gutsy, fearless? (That reminds me of the Taylor Swift song) Why do the things that take those qualities never get any easier, no matter how many times you do them?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gary

In my floral design class, there is a boy named Gary. I don't know how old he is, or his last name, nor have I ever met him in person. But I do know where he's from.

He's from London.

He had a question for our professor earlier today so he talked to her, and then she pointed him out in class because she thought his question was good, and she wanted everyone to hear his accent. Then he kept asking questions and making comments, so I got to hear this lovely British accent probably about 5 times over the course of an hour and a half.

Sigh. It made me incredibly happy and incredibly England-sick. :)