29 October 2009

Contemplations driven by "The Mermaid Chair"

After reading "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and loving it, I thought I would give another novel of Kidd's a try. Now, I will NOT recommend this book because, honestly, it's a little bit scandalous. However, I think the issues Kidd addresses in this story are important. Basically, Jessie (the main character) goes to tend to her mother who lives on an island off the coast of South Carolina and ends up falling in love with Brother Thomas aka Whit (a monk). Now, okay, that's a little strange but the main problem is that Jessie is married. Surprised? I wasn't. Of course she's married! Nobody writes a novel of secret forbidden love if one person of the pair is unmarried. Not like Whit's being a monk wasn't interesting enough.
Anyways, after reading this novel, I have come to the conclusion that people like Jessie are selfish. Jessie was looking to "find herself" and, I suppose, found her missing self while sneaking about with a monk. While I was contemplating the ridiculousness of such a notion (finding one's self) I was reminded of a scripture from the New Testament. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 16:25) Moral of the story: if you find yourself feeling unhappy with your situation, self, spouse, co-workers, classes, ward, professors, roommates, family...SERVE SOMEBODY! If you happen to be feeling adverse to a particular someone, then serve them. Another scripture from Matthew proves the point: "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44).
I was having a discussion last night with Brother Welch, the 2nd counselor in my BYU ward's bishopric, on gratitude. He told me of a study that was performed on two groups of men over the course of twenty years. The first group was instructed to write down, everyday, three things they wished to improve upon. The second group was directed to write down three things they were grateful for everyday. At the end of the study, it was noted that of the first group, 40% of the men sought outside counseling. However, of the second group, not one person sought additional help. As the Holiday season and New Year approach, I am going to put this challenge to the test: to write down three things I am grateful for everyday in the hopes that it will open my eyes to the wonderful blessings I have been given and help me be more willing to serve others.

27 October 2009

Halloween Costume Edition 2009

This year, I got a bit of a head-start on my Halloween costume. My friend Garrett, from my Study Abroad, threw a costume party a few weeks back. A lot of thought went into this year's costume. As most of you well know, I am a part of the BYU Swing Kid's Club. Well, on November 7 we are having a huge mid-semester vintage dance. Because I am performing that night in a tap number, I am absolutely required to dress-up. I decided to use the same outfit for both Halloween and the vintage dance. Hence: A flapper. I am not a super creative person and my artistic ability is limited to stick-figures and the occasional flower or heart. (Note: My sibling's got all the artistic talent). This presented me a challenge: 20's make-up. How on earth was I going to pull that one off? YouTube! I looked up some different videos and websites and finally just went for it.
Here's the finished look. Not too bad, right? Well, there's more to come. Mommy Kay and Grandpa Norm had taken me out to lunch at Magleby's to celebrate my birthday. I know we're a few weeks late but we're busy people! Anyway, I was telling them about this party and vintage dance and Mommy Kay then informs me that she has the PERFECT hat for me. I already had in my possession a hat I thought would work alright but I had to try both on, take pics, post pics on Facebook, have my friends vote on their favorite, and then make my own choice anyway.
The red hat is Mommy Kay's. Isn't it fabulous? I love it! And, the best thing, is that it is LEGIT. From back in the day! I love this hat.
This white hat is mine. I love it. A lot. I wish I had a trench-coat to go with it and then I could be Carmen Sandiego.
Like I said, I posted these two pics on Facebook and asked for opinions. The red hat won. And I'm glad I went with it.
Here is the final product! The party was super fun and I can't wait for the vintage dance. Of course, I will be in MUCH different shoes for that event but everything else will be the same. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love an excuse to dress-up and do something crazy with my make-up. And buying a new dress wasn't too bad either.

21 October 2009

Autumn Time

Walking home from class today gave me the opportunity to sojourn along the brick-walkway that hugs the south hill of BYU campus. I had just come from my Marriage Preparation class and found myself deep in personal reflection. The past few months have given me much to think about and I am grateful that I had the time today to ponder about what we had been discussing in class. The past two weeks have been a time of great change in my life: two new infirmities to discover, a new skill to learn (Hurray for finally swallowing pills!), talents to put on hold, old friends to comfort, new friendships to cultivate, family to be worried about (Stop getting sick and breaking your bones and tendons!), and classwork to focus on. Through the stresses of it all, I have taken great joy in feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon as well as continued reading of my patriarchal blessing.
I love this time of year. The colors of the trees are changing, the air is becoming more crisp, BYU students are still cheering for the Cougars, and I have an excuse to go shopping for a fabulous Halloween costume (Pictures forthcoming). As I walked home from class this afternoon I couldn't help but thank Heavenly Father for the glories of autumn. The leaves on the ground are yellow, green, and pink now but soon they will be covered by snow. For now, I can be grateful for the beautiful colors of autumn, the wonderful friends I have and the moment of quiet reflection that I was able to enjoy.

11 October 2009

Mmm...you smell good!

I don't know about you but I happen to love it when guys smell good. And I'm not just talking about the "Oh, you showered so you don't smell like a sock" kind of a smell; I'm talking about those moments when you pass a guy in a crowd and just as you pass him, you are caught up in the glorious scent of some type of cologne. But only certain colognes will do and only in moderation. This topic was discussed at great lengths Friday night and I wish to share our favorites: both of these colognes received a unanimous vote of "love" from the five girls who participated in the discussion.

Cologne #1: Old Spice
This is a classic. You CANNOT go wrong with Old Spice.

Cologne #2: Victoria's Secret Very Sexy for Men
The name says it all. Very sexy. Funny story: after having this conversation Friday night, I attended a BYU football party on Saturday night. The young man I happened to be seated next to was smelling his sweatshirt. I asked him what he was doing. He then informed me that he was smelling his sweatshirt because it smelled very good. Well, curiosity got the better of me and I also smelled his sweatshirt. Immediately in love with the scent he had chosen, I asked what it was. He wanted me to guess but after a few moments gave me this hint: "I bought it online so I wouldn't have to go into the store." What store could strike such fear into the heart of this courageous young man? Victoria's Secret of course. And when he confirmed my guess, I just had to laugh. I had just been talking about how amazing this scent was the night before and here was a handsome young man PROVING our decision: Very Sexy is, indeed, very sexy.

10 October 2009

Missing Part of My Pre-Teen Life

Well folks, a missing part of my pre-teen life has been found. Last night I had a sleepover with some girls who used to live in my student ward. One of our guy friends stopped by and brought us the game Dream Phone. It was a favorite of his sisters and thought we would like to play it too. I loved it! It was great fun. Don't know the game, or don't remember it because it's been so long? Just click here to watch the commercial! "It's for you!"

07 October 2009

Congratulations Jodi and Justin!

My friend Jodi had her baby this morning! I am so very excited for her and Justin. They are going to be fabulous parents. Their baby girl is named Jamie Lynn and she was born at 8 am, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz. Both Jodi and Jamie are doing well. This is an interesting thing for me. I've known Jodi since we were 13 and in middle school. She is my first friend to have a baby. Strange.

21, Baby!

Well, I am finally 21 which doesn't mean a whole lot but it does mean that I'm no longer 20 and that's a big deal to me. I had a fabulous birthday weekend. It started with my roommates decorating the mirrors in the bathroom and in my room.
Here I am getting ready to peace out to St. George to meet up with my momma.
She drove up, I drove down, and we met in the middle-ish!

My roommate Chelsea also decorated my car. She's very, very sneaky.
In St. George we went out to eat, saw a movie, had a spa day, and went shopping. Here we are at Olive Garden on my birthday. The waitress asked us if we wanted wine and I started giggling because for the first time in my life if I had said "yes" they would have actually given me wine! Instead we just took my picture with a bottle.
Happy Birthday dinner with my mom!
This is us Sunday morning as I'm about to leave to go back to Provo.
Thanks for a great weekend Mom!!

My roommates threw me a giant party on Sunday night. We had milkshakes, took pictures, and chatted for a few hours. This is Brock, one of my good friends and old hometeacher.
He thinks he looks like a creeper in this picture, but I think it's precious.

Some of my friends from my Study Abroad came!
From left to right: Will, me, Courtney, Janet, and Kelcy. I love them!!

A TON of people from my ward came. These handsome guys are Gustavo and Matt. Matt was my hometeacher and council co-chair at the beginning of the year so we're pretty tight.
I love my roommates! We've been living together for almost a whole year now and we get along famously. From left to right: Chelsea, Steph, me, and Britt. I love you ladies!!
These fellas are Spencer and Nate. I've known them for about a year now and love them to pieces. My ward is basically FULL of amazing people that I'm blessed to know. Nate is extra cool because we have the same last name, we're both band geeks and his parents own Beatles Rockband. Holla!
These are the Sowa brothers: John and Joseph.
John was my hometeacher over the summer and
Joseph is an extremely talented music composition major.
These guys are fabulous and wonderful examples to me.

Here is as much of the group as we could possibly fit into one picture and this isn't even everybody. Some people had come and gone already, and there were still more people to come. Needless to say, I felt extremely loved and grateful to have such wonderful friends.
Probably the best birthday I've ever had. Yay for being 21!!