Monday, August 16, 2010


are elusive little buggers. One day they're standing by my bed when I get up in the morning and follow me all day, and they make me feel downright good inside. Then the next day they're nowhere to be seen, and that night, when I realize I haven't seen them all day, I feel a sick-ish pit right below my ribs. Some people call it regret I think, but I don't really have a name for that particular feeling. But that's how I feel right now.

P.S. I taught a sunday school lesson on Proverbs today. READ PROVERBS. All sorts of perks, let me tell you. 1)Flamboyant language like "sluggard." 2) A stinking neat scenario in chapter it and then read Elder Holland's talk, "Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul." It will probably blow your mind. 3) A pretty clear thesis--fear the Lord--and further insight on what that phrase even means. 4) Lots of insight on how to separate yourself from the world, which gave me a very legitimate excuse to show a particular Casablanca clip in class today. That made me happy :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

An update of sorts.

Today a friend of mine brought to my attention the fact that I have not written on this blog for some time. A downright shame, is it not? So here I go.

My creative juices have been pretty low as of late, so I'll just give a generic update.

I'm in Rexburg again, back from an enthralling month of "babysitting"--in other words: life-guarding, bed-making, cleaning, playing soldiers (those sweet little green men that our grandpas probably played with but they're still cool...those kind), being tickle monster, frog-catching, water gun fighting, etc. etc. It was a joyful, stressful, educational experience, and all in all, I'm glad I had the chance to do it. But holy moly, three boys under the age of twelve wear. me. out.

Okay, exciting news, then the sketchy news.

Exciting news: Before I tell you, you must remember that I get excited over really little things. REALLY little. But....I bought cereal a couple days ago. Yep I did. I haven't purchased a box of cereal in eons because cereal is among my favorite foods and I tend to go a little overboard when I eat it, but I was craving it so bad the other day, I just buckled under the pressure. I bought these new fiber flakes with yogurt/berry clusters in them. Umm...SO GOOD. Plus I bought honey bunches of oats (duh) and corn chex. Mix all three of them together every morning, and there's a commercial smile on my face for the entirety of breakfast. I even imagine some happy background music while I'm eating my concoction, it brings me such bliss. Okay, enough about that.

Also exciting...I've really amped up my workout, and it feels so grand. Run, lift, swim--six days a week, baby. You got it. Watch out. Protect your little ones. Etc. etc.

Also exciting...(and on a more serious note)...I'm turning my mission papers in. Really, really soon. It's taken me a long time to finally make the decision for certain, but after a lot of praying and studying and fasting, I know that this is what needs to happen, and I am so excited. Words cannot describe how much.

Okay, now here's the sketch news. Please don't judge me. I don't mean to be a rebel, but I'm living in my house...illegally? I don't know if that's factual actually. But I'm not supposed to be living here by myself--it's against BYUI housing regulations apparently. So I get back to Rexburg after a month in Kansas, and they tell me I need to move to a different apartment. "But," my manager says, "you can take your time." So that's what I've been doing. Taking my suh-weeeeeeet time. And I still live here all by my lonesome. What's more...I love it. What other student in Rexburg has a whole porch all to themselves? That's what I thought. Besides, it's only when you live alone that you can take dumb pictures of yourself without being laughed at. Exhibit A: upper left corner.

If you've stuck with me this far, you're a trooper, and I owe you a lollipop or two the next time I see you. Just remind me, okay? Love to all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

my huckleberry friend.

As I sat on the porch tonight with my guitar, this is the only song I felt like playing. Funny how you get in those moods. This was a moon river, huckleberry kind of night, and I almost cried while I sang it. Not because I was sad, mind you, but because it was so right tonight. So, so right. And when Audrey sings it, she does it perfectly. Watch her face, and listen to her voice. It was right for her, too, in that moment. So, so right.

Friday, June 25, 2010

my turn to drive.

The first thing I noticed was the way occasional spots of bold red interrupted the endless spread of greens and jaded golds on the hill. Rain makes colors less shy. I let the drops fall on the windshield for a minute before switching on the windshield wipers. They were falling slowly, not intimidating, not intrusive, like they were trying to stay in the background--like they were trying to whisper. Chan was sleeping, his head in Britt's lap, and Britt's eyes were closed, her head leaning on the window, pressing her ponytail against the pane. Ivor's hat was pulled over his eyes, and his arms moved up and down with his chest slowly and evenly, and I knew he was asleep too. "Blue Moon" started playing from my mix, this version in Mel Torme's syrupy, perfect vocals. I looked at the trees and the raindrops while I listened. I slowed the car a little bit. I was glad that they were asleep and that my mind could enjoy the song and the trees and the slow-falling water all by itself without any commentary or jokes or little games that keep restless travelers occupied on road trips.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For you, Mom.

Mother's Day is always a day of reflection for me. When you spend 18 years plus a little extra time here and there with one person, memories tend to form. Lots of them. So here's a few of them, in no order whatsoever. Just stream-of-consciousness, if you will.

Mom always made "Mr. Lunches" for me...a half a pb&j for the mouth, a carrot for the nose, halved strawberries for the eyes, and chips for the hair. Best. Lunch. Ever.

She used to play "Boogie Woogie" or "Root Beer Rag" on the piano every night at bed time, and we'd dance and dance right before she tucked us in.

Mom freaks out when she has to drive any long distance by herself without my dad. Even when she took me to Wichita for a scholarship reception, she muttered nervously the whole 2.5 hours there. I kept giggling at her under my breath.

Last summer, Mom and I ran a 5K trail run around a lake. Surprisingly, only four people lined up at the starting line: my mom, me, an overweight father, and his 11-year old son. When the gun went off and we started running, my mom and I just started laughing so bad, we could hardly stay on our feet. We laughed our way through the first quarter mile. I mean, really? Guess what? We won 1st and 2nd places.

Mom always made bread, and from the time I was 9 to the time I graduated high school, she'd let me form the loaves and pound all the holes out of them on the counter. Because clearly, that is the best part of bread-making.

One time, on April 1, I went into the bathroom to get ready, just like every morning. when I went to put on my shirt, I found that my shirt sleeves were sewn shut at the openings, as were my pant legs! I started "what the heck"-ing, and then I heard Mom just burst into laughter outside the bathroom door. That clever woman.

Mom and I are singing-around-the-piano buddies.

One time someone came over to dinner...dang it, I forgot who or what they were doing...but they were doing something that just struck me and mom as really funny, and we both got the giggles really bad. The Giggles are kind of an epidemic in our family. Anyway, we just couldn't stop laughing, and my dad sat there, trying not to laugh, and asked us if we needed to be excused. One of the greatest dinner moments ever. That poor dinner guest...

Oh! One of my Kansas, there are these little bugs called "chiggers" that live in the grasss and like to burrow in your skin, leaving painful, 3-week long bumps that resemble mosquito bites. To combat their evil prowess, my mother donned long jeans, tall rubber boots (with said jeans tucked inside), and the longest pair of garden gloves she could find. She wore them despite the mockery she suffered from her children. It was excellent.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Life is a series of images.

Like how my living room was completely dark and all the furniture indistinguishable, but the east corner glowed dully from the light of an old-fashioned lamp, and the capo on my guitar showed black and distinct on the edge of that light.

The woman with a wrinkled face and a smile that hadn't been used often enough. I could tell because it came with an awkward effort as I crossed paths with her on my run this morning. I wondered if the daschund dog trotting ahead of her on a leash was the only loyal relationship she knew. The smile stood out, not just because her magenta sweatshirt and gray pants were faded, but because it seemed real. Awkward, yes, but real.

The two leaves sitting on either side of a crack in the sidewalk. I don't know why I thought it was interesting that neither touched the cracked part of the cement, but I did.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Just for the heck of it.

It's 1:45 A.M. and I am in a blog-writing mood. How convenient. The problem is that I have nothing to talk about. My life is a bore lately. Not to me, of course, but to the average Joe. So if you're the average Joe, you can stop reading now, and I will bid you adieu. If, however, you get a kick out of little inconsequential details, then read on, my friend, read on.

Adam's peanut butter is the best kind of peanut butter to ever be put in a jar. Especially when it's combined with the strawberry jam my mom sent to Idaho with me that sat in the trunk all wrapped up in three grocery bags so it wouldn't leak. It was well worth the waste of grocery bags. That stuff is just delicious. So...breakfast was good.

Can I just tell you how inspired Pres. Packard is? The words he spoke concerning scripture reading this past Sunday have changed the course of these last four days for me. Mmmhmm. True story.

I'm becoming a master at filling out job applications. Too bad there's not a fill-out-job-applications-all-day position anywhere. Not that I've found anyway. Because I'd be invaluable in that position. Yessirree.

I played the guitar a lot today. Ingrid Michaelson is on top of the charts at the moment. I just love her stuff. "Far Away" and "Breakable" and "You and I" . . . Check them out. Do it. I dare you. They are good good good. My roommates probably think I'm some crazy because I put on headphones and listen to the song as I pick it out. What I'm hearing is much better than what they're hearing, let me tell you.

Possibly the best news of the day: I GOT A JOB. WOOT. It's at the Rexburg Opinion Center, which will do for now. Money is money. As Mom would say, "We's poh folk!" So I can't be picky. I met a gal there named Taylor and she offered me a ride home. So I was telling her which street to turn on, and she said, "Hey! I live on this street too!" Soon, I pointed out my house, and she was like, "oh, that white one right there?" And I told her, "No, the red brick one right next to it." Well then she told me that was her house too--she lives right above me! Fancy that. Plus she drives an old volkswagon beetle that's forest green, and that is just too cool for school.

I had toast with peanut butter and jam for dinner. I branch out a lot, as you can tell. We had a Relief Society opening social thingy, and that was fun. I love my ward to China and back.

Cierra, Kari, and I went grocery shopping at Broulims today. I don't know why exactly, but I really like that store. It's kind of uncanny how much I like it. I try to find reasons to go grocery shopping just so I can go in there. So...that was a highlight. I bought grapes and strawberries and orange juice and raspberry sorbet. Fruit was just sounding delicious tonight.

I watched 500 Days of Summer with the roomies while I ate said sorbet. Beautiful cinematography. Good wardrobe. Wonderful soundtrack.

Now I am tired. Good night, all you people.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A storm just started.

The jolly rancher sack on my desk is crumpled, but I can see the words "fruit SMOOTHIE flavor" clearly. It looks just like that too, with the "smoothie" part all in big letters. I imagine the bird in the Cookie Crisp commercials saying "SMOOOOOOOTHIE flavor" instead of his usually "COOOOOKIE crisp!" The windows are open in my bedroom--the bedroom I'm paying 900 dollars for this semester. A balding willow tree tries to resist the wind that's blowing, its yellow leaves curling back in the opposite direction it's leaning. I wish I had something better to do than lay on my bed. But my nose is clogged again and red, so anyone could see how much I've been wiping it with gas station kleenex today.

I just heard thunder. It almost sounds angry at the busy students walking to and from class. I love thunder.

I wish I was a busy student right now. I wish I had a job. I at least wish I could go running, and I would if my nose didn't feel like it weighed twenty pounds and my head didn't hurt. So I suppose I'll just watch the raindrops that just started hitting my window pane. God works in mysterious ways.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19

Things I've been grateful for the past, oh...three days or so:

strawberries $2.50 a box
sleeping on the couch
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
the sun
disappearing snow
field trips in D&C class
the Snow building
Katie's interpretive dancing
my guitar
KT Tunstall's "Throw me a Rope"
my iron
The Book of Jacob
the temple
my FHE family
a "hahaha" funeral banner
Writing Center seminar
cheese pizza

Some Poemage.

Today in seminar (a bi-weekly meeting for writing center assistants), Sis. Morgan shared this poem with us, and for some reason, it just really hit home. Roethke seems to name a lot of what I've been feeling the last little while in this beautiful piece. It reminds me 1) to cast my burdens at the Lord's feet and be patient in trials, and 2) to really enjoy life--to enjoy each moment God grants me. I am only given this present moment once. In another minute, it will be gone, and I will have missed it. I have to be awake--really awake--every minute of the day.

"The Waking," by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Is it normal to not want to go back to a place you love?

The light was still on in the toy room, where I slept this past summer. I just lay on my mattress staring at the side of the shoebox. I was too tired to do anything else. Or maybe I was just comfortable looking at it like that. But finally, I propped myself on one elbow and flipped open the lid. I smiled up at myself. I was in a pink sequined dress, posing in third position with my hands on my hips. The next picture was the one of Kyle and me at the banquet breakfast POPS Choir went to our first morning in Disneyworld. Then a picture of me in my blonde wig and red and white polka-dotted dress, just before the closing night of Anything Goes. The fourth was one of my senior pictures—I am looking at the ground, the trees by the creek burning green behind me.

The day after I got home from Rexburg, I told Mom I needed to go to the bank to make a deposit. I climbed into our little gray Camry and as I drove away, I watched the dust rise up behind me in the rearview mirror. I made my way to the bank eventually, but first, I drove up the red brick main street to my high school. School had been released for summer break a week before, so I knew no one would be there, but I looked around and behind me anyway before parking under the single tree in the Manhattan High’s parking lot. This had been the meeting place before and after our choir concerts and musicals and ACT tests and rehearsals. Kyle walked me out to this Camry parked under this tree one morning after the show choir workshop POPS put on for the resident grade school kids.

I love Manhattan, especially in the summer. I love our family weed-pulling fiestas at 6:30 in the morning, when the air is in-between the coolness of evening and the sticky humidity of day. I love running on dirt roads that are familiar, out past the old stone schoolhouse and the Manuels' red barn. There's a distinct smell there; I don't really know how to describe it, and I don't know exactly where it comes from--maybe it's the pasture grass or the dew or the leftover rain water in the ditches on either side of the road. But it's a sweetish, familiar smell. I love hanging out at City Park or AJ's Pizza at sunset with high school friends. I love going to the 30-person singles branch on Sundays.

Sometimes, though, I don't love memories. They usually make today feel empty. And memories constitute much of my living time when I'm in Manhattan. It's hard to move forward there because the past is so prevalent for me in that town. My mind plays the "remember when" game as I drive to work or walk into Dillons grocery store or listen to bands play during Arts in the Park, and especially when I drive past that red-brick building at the top of the hill on Poyntz Avenue. Manhattan means high school for me, and as a junior in college, I just feel the need to move on from there for good. Someday, I'll need to move on from Rexburg for good too. Places like these cannot be permanent. It's all a part of moving forward, moving forward. They have their time slot, their soliloquy in this Play of Life if you will, but there's no going back. That would screw up the plot.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

summer fever.

The Kansas sky is usually yellowish-gray before a summer rainstorm. Even the cumulonimbus towering over the hill beside our house has a yellow hue. Everything seems quieter when the sky looks like that. There’s no wind. The finches stop arguing and watch the sky from their perch on the young tree in our front yard, and the neighbors’ cows wait in a corner of the field, just standing.

I stand too, my bare feet on a warm, flat rock rock on the path in front of our house that connects the porch and the roundabout. The air is humid and sweet in my nose as I breathe in.

It’s days like this when I miss yellow skies and quieting finches.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 30

It's that time of the semester again. The resolutions I had at the beginning of the semester are starting to bend a little, to take a day off now and again. I don't run as much as I need to, and I still haven't moved yesterday's clothes from their sprawling position on my chair to the laundry hamper. Heck, it's almost 2 in the morning, and here I am writing a blog post. Behold! the evidence. But I went to M. Russell Ballard's devotional this afternoon, and he reminded me what really matters. A firm conviction in the Lord. A firm conviction of His truth. A firm desire to share that conviction. It's a remarkable blessing to be taught at the feet of an Apostle of God.