a collection of certainly special, uniquely unusual, and equally momentous thoughts: memoirs of me

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Taking stock

Making: the best of year 27
Creating: homemade salad dressings
Drinking: so much water that coworkers are keeping track of bathroom visits. The clear skin and lost weight is worth 30 trips to the baƱo, right?
Reading: about the hard life that is living in Afghanistan as a woman
Wanting: a Navy blazer with gold buttons and elbow patches
Looking: for a new perfume that sticks on me
Playing: an inconvenient game of cat and mouse with a retched car dealership over a broken transmission
Wasting: time looking for a new tv series to start watching. Why can’t Friday Night Lights last forever? Tim Riggins you sexy man.
Sewing: jean hems for my guys
Wishing: my nephew was in my arms so I could see the tuft of hair he’s managed to grow
Enjoying: the brisk chilliness of the weather and my recent discovery of pumpkin spice steamers
Waiting: for him to realize I’m standing right here
Liking: new roommates and late night conversations that assure me
Wondering: what will happen in April. I only see a question mark.
Loving: the slow but steady tightening of the muscles in my quads, arms and abs
Hoping: for more volleyball to be played
Marveling: at the wise and sage advice that was given by Prophets and Apostles
Needing: more than one long hug
Missing: apartment prayer, New Girl snuggies, and my wingwoman
Smelling: nothing really
Wearing: neon for as long as I can get away with it
Following: the news however depressing it always seems to be
Noticing: the worn soles on two of my favorite pairs of shoes. Stop it shoes.
Knowing:  Monday is a no work holiday
Thinking: about which gym I should join
Feeling: burdened but optimistic
Bookmarking: fashion blogs full of girls that wear ridiculously expensive clothes. I don’t get it.
Opening: emails from an extra special missionary brother
Giggling: over good morning texts that start my day with an end to end smile

**The idea for this post was stolen from one of my favorite bloggers at thedaybookblog.com

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

So here it goes....

I deactivated my Facebook account last night. I removed both Instagram and Facebook from my phone. I'm actually surprised that I did it with so little hesitation and so little premeditation. But something happened last night - the straw that broke the camel's back and I knew it had to be done.

I've felt this seed of comparison growing in me for some time. I didn't realize it was working on me and hurting me and completely changing my thoughts from good ones to bad ones until recently.

I spent all Saturday afternoon and evening with some fabulous girlfriends of mine. We went to a lacrosse game in Baltimore, then dinner in the district, and then a movie. It was a full and playfull night. We talked and laughed and caught up and I felt grateful for beautiful friends who complete my life and want to spend time with me in return. These girls are beautiful people. They are strong. They are confident. They are my kind of people. They make me laugh. I trust them with my thoughts and with my ideas.

Only 48 hours later I was at home last night when I pulled up Instagram and saw a picture of my same girlfriends at a Nats game. Almost immediately I was jealous- I was jealous that they went to the game, I was jealous that they looked so beautiful, I was jealous that they were doing something social, and I was frustrated that I wasn't invited to do it with them. Then this thought came into my head "I hate them."


It was in this instant- this singular moment when I realized that that had crossed my mind that I knew I had to do something.

Because this is the thing, I don't hate these people. They are my friends, my amazing friends, but after months and months of seeing pictures on Instagram and status updates on Facebook, after months of seeing only the perfect in everyone else's life my thoughts were beginning to change and resentment and jealousy had taken full grip of my heart.

"She's so beautiful."
"It's not fair that she's hanging out with guys and I'm not."
"Why was I not invited?"
"They are always traveling to somewhere cool and I don't have the money for that."
"I wish I had that outfit."

I wish, I wish, I wish.

I never thought I'd be the person to so nonchalantly unplug from social media so quickly. I'd always resented the people who did Facebook fasts or refused to get Instagram. I still don't really get those people and yet I'm one of them now, at least for the next little while.

I'm not going to now put myself on a soap box and proclaim to do something extraordinary with all my free time but I might just write my missionary brother a few more letters. I want to plant a teeny weeny succulent garden. I want to talk to my friends in Utah more and be more involved in their lives. I want to dig into my scripture study which has been seriously lacking. I want to really care about people instead of just caring about what I see on Instagram. I want to be free of the resentment and jealousy I feel.

Most of all, I want to love.

I want to start loving again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Once-in-a-lifetime for reals

The first time I was ever in a humongous crowd was when I went to Merida, Mexico, with my dad right before I left to serve my mission. It was late summer and that means hot and humid in Mexico. We happened to be there on September 16, Mexican Independence Day, and found ourselves in the Merida Zocolo during the evening leading up to the night's celebrations. We joined with thousands of other proud Mexicans (my tall dad towering over them all) at midnight as fireworks flew off the oldest cathedral in Mexico and erupted into the sky signifying the country's independence. I was standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of hot, sweaty, drunk, and stinky Mexicans and I couldn't have loved it more.

I spent some time in another big crowd this weekend as I joined with 900,000 of my fellow Americans for the 57th Presidential Inauguration and the swearing in of our re-elected president Barack Obama.

6:15 am- woke up

7:13 am- caught the bus to the metro

7:30 am- got on the metro at Pentagon

8:00 am- waited in a ten minute line to go through security- hid my peanut butter and nutella sandwich in my jacket so it wouldn't be confiscated.

8:30 am- found our spot in the green south standing section on the south part of the West Lawn of the Capitol

8:31 am- realized that the program didn't start for THREE hours and that we'd be standing there shoulder-to-shoulder with 900,000 other people, unable to move or go the bathroom for three entire hours

8:32 am- freaked out a little bit (we all know my issues with having to go to the bathroom)

9:00 am- was thoroughly entertained by the crazy man who climbed a large tree and evaded security in order to protest abortion

9:25 am- still distracted by the man in the tree who has now climbed all the way to the top and is swaying precariously from the weak branches and yelling to everyone underneath

9:36 am- gasp as the man in the tree almost falls out of the tree

10:05 am- we find a little room to bend over and stretch our backs

10:30 am- the crowd cheers and boos as Democrats and Republicans emerge from the tunnel and take their respective seats as Congresspeople- am a little taken aback by the booing, super unclassy.

11:11 am- a choir starts singing from the stands

11:15 am- Sasha and Malia enter. They look awesome in their beautiful colored coats.

11:36 am- the Inauguration starts- there's an excitement in the air

11:45 am- thank heavens the program is going quickly- James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson sound spectacular

11:57 am- Joe Biden and Barack Obama take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America- I feel extremely proud to be an American.

12:10 pm- some poet gets up to the podium but doesn't speak loud enough for anyone to hear- borefest- someone get him out of here our legs hurt!

12:12 pm- turn our attention once again to the man in the tree who is still yelling at the top of his lungs and making the people around him seriously mad

12:15 pm- the poet finally finishes his poem, thank heavens

12:20 pm- Beyonce looks BANGIN! She rocks the National Anthem! You go girl!

12:30 pm- the benediction is given, he asks that Joe and Barack are blessed with a real southern/Mexican accent, kinda awesome, kinda hilarious

12: 35 pm- we start the trek back to the metro and only have to wait to get down the escalator at L'Enfant. Easy and breezy.

1:50 pm- make it back to our apartment and rush to Cafe Rio to feed our starving bellies

2:00 pm- scarf....literally scarf our salads without a second's hesitation

2:30 pm- fall into bed for a three hour nap to recuperate from the cold and standing all morning.

Gosh it feels good to be American!

Alice's Adventures

I've said it once and I'll keep saying it, I get to do some pretty sweet stuff in this city, and last night topped the charts.

It was a night never to be forgotten. Katie and I got dressed up and braved the icy winds and sub-freezing temperatures for a night of ballet at the Kennedy Center. But this wasn't just any ballet, it was the Alice in Wonderland ballet.

Now I didn't grow up with Alice in Wonderland like Katie did. I've seen it a couple times but truth be told I wasn't even sure I remembered the story line before the performance started last night. That didn't matter because as soon as the curtain rose the story started and I didn't need to remember.

Let me put it this way, last night was easily one of the top five most amazing performances I've ever seen in my entire life. From the incredible talents of the ballerinas and ballerinos, the over the top stage sets that were several stories high, the whimsical and colorful costumes, the originally composed music, and the artistic choreography, well....I couldn't get enough of it. I smiled and smiled, electrocuted by excitement and entertained through all three hours of the show.

So if you get a chance, RUN...don't walk to see the National Ballet of Canada perform Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

I promise it will not disappoint.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Movie Buff

I come from a movie watching, theater going, family. It’s what we do, every Thanksgiving day, every Christmas day, and almost every weekend. That tradition of going to the movie theater to see the shows never stopped once I moved out and away. I still love going to a big theater with an anxious crowd, of piling into seats, mentally checking a yes/no box of whether I’m going to see each previewed movie, and then at last seeing the curtain rise and the opening credits rolling.

I love movie scores. I love movie themes. I love when movies teach me and inspire me. I love when they make me cry.

With that said I think I’ve developed somewhat of a problem. You see, I’ve developed a certain taste in movies and I have pretty strong opinions about some of them. The ones that have made my favorites list have become somewhat sacred to me and I find that I’m very protective of them. So much so, in fact, that I’ve realized I can’t talk about those movies with just anyone. I get too frustrated when they don’t understand or don’t feel the way I do about them. My blood begins to boil and my face gets red and I have to walk away before I say something like “You’re an idiot for not liking this movie.”

I love Cast Away because Tom Hanks doesn’t speak. Because he finds a friend in Wilson. Because his friends celebrate his coming back to life at the end when he was alive the entire time, more alive than they ever were. 

I love Dead Poet’s Society because I want to Carpe Diem

I love The Village, not because it was ever supposed to be a horror movie but because the dialogue between the Elders is so beautiful. And that score. Oh man....it’s beautiful, and haunting. 

I love Inception because the plot was so refreshingly new, the acting awesome, the idea so close to being reality, and the music. Have you ever noticed how the swelling never stops? I love it because the top keeps spinning and I don't need to know if it ever falls.

I love Meet Joe Back because Brad Pitt is a hunk. The house on the set is my dream, the music they dance to at the end is exactly what I want at my own wedding, and the music. Oh the music! 

I love Casino Royal because it was the first James Bond movie that was believable. I love the emotion ...and the cars... and the man. 

I love Star Trek because who hasn’t dreamed about flying at warp speed?

I love The Adjustment Bureau because Matt Damon is my celebrity crush and the concept of the movie was new and exciting.

I love The Avengers because amid the action the writers included humor, real humor, that kept me laughing.

I love The Great Escape because it’s a classic that I watched with my dad when I was little.

I love The Family Stone because in so many ways it resembles my family- our quirks, our trials, our holidays together. 

I love The Holiday because of the character Kate Winslet plays. Her heartache is something almost every girl has experienced.

I love Seven Pounds because it’s all about sacrifice.

I love The Count of Monte Cristo because when the Count comes out of the shadows before the last fight scene my heart drops. Because in our darkest hour we can find hope.

I love Life As We Know It because of the chemistry between the actors and the idea that raising children is the most important. 

I love Pitch Perfect because of the witty humor. First movie I ever watched four days in a row. 

I love You’ve Got Mail well because, how could you not love You’ve Got Mail?

I love Stranger than Fiction because I actually love the character Will Farrell plays for once in my life. Nothing like the crude stuff he usually does. This is his “Truman Show” role, the one where he’s serious. And I love Emma Thompson oh so much. 

I love Life of Pi because it’s just stunning to watch. Every frame a masterpiece. And I’ve started calling my dog Richard Parker. 

I love It’s a Wonderful Life because it gets you into the Christmas season faster than anything else.

I love In the Heat of the Night because Sidney Poitier broker through barriers. A lot of them. 

And I love Les Miserables and let me tell you why. No, it wasn’t perfect and yes, some of the actors weren’t as strong as others perhaps. But Les Miserables is about love and repentance and sacrifice. The music is inspired. The themes heart wrenching but beautiful. To love another person truly is to see the face of God. I don’t care what people may say, they did the best they could, and I believe their best was absolutely magnificent.

So who wants to go to the movies with me this weekend?