5.31.09 #2

10 things I'm grateful for right now:
1- sunshine
2- soft music
3- my piano
4- colorful sunglasses
5- meeting two nice boys at church
6- dad getting home safely from WA
7- mom's spaghetti sauce
8- doing the "weeding" in my phone contacts list
9- being out of school
10- my Neverland Happy Thought*

* My missionary buddy, Jacob, wrote me a letter last week and included in his list of 10 questions was this one: "What is your Neverland Happy Thought?"

I had to think about it. I thought about what makes me smile the widest, giggle the sweetest, and what makes my heart swell the biggest. I gave him two answers. The first happy thought would be a memory. The second an idea, a hope, a wish for a future event.

My first happy thought, I wrote, would be a time when all my siblings were gathered in the same room along with my parents. It's loud and confusing and everyone is crying--crying with laughter. Gabe has just told the story about when he hid behind a trash can and waited to scare Devon. Devon was taking out the trash in one hand and wielding a wizard staff in the other. Everyone knows the ending, but it never loses his hilarity. Then Thomas tells the story of when he threw up in the Familia's pool. Deon recounts the day she pulled a knife on Devon and Gabe. Kelsey follows it up with how they used to pay Gabe to tell their fortunes (always death.) Catherine and I mostly just listen and laugh uncontrollably, waiting for the stories that include us. Mom and Dad fill in with their versions of stories and then tell their own. That's my Neverland Happy Thought.

My second happy thought, one without the restriction of having to have already happened, would be the idea of a future event. I warned Jacob I was going to sound like "such a girl." And I did. See, my happy thought, the one that makes me smile the widest and my heart swell the biggest, and especially giggle the sweetest, is the idea of one day finding that man. That one man who makes me feel more myself with him than I do by myself. That man who wraps his arms around me because he's as happy to have me as I am to have him. I look at the engagement and wedding photos of my close friends who have found that person, and my grin is so wide it almost doesn't look crooked any more. I see their happiness and imagine mine someday and my heart nearly bursts. As girly as it may sound, that is my Neverland Happy Thought. I don't have any pixie dust, yet that thought makes me feel like I can fly anyway.

What's your happy thought?


You know how, when you're having a hard time, someone says to you (either seriously or not), "There's someone out there going through worse things." And depending on your mood, you either scowl, laugh, make a sarcastic comment, pout or slap them. Regardless of the appropriateness of such a statement during times of hardship, it's true. But the way we handle hard times really shows the true character of a person, regardless of who else is having a hard time too. We can't be happy all the time (that's neither natural nor normal) but things seems brighter when we acknowledge our blessings, acknowledge the good things that come from bad situations, and acknowledge our Heavenly Father's hand in all that happens. He's got our back if we've got His, kno'wha'i'mean?

I came across this blog today. It belongs to a mother in Provo who was in a plane crash last August. Her life is hard, but, well, read her blog and you'll see she seems to be handling it pretty well.

P.S. Her attitude is not unlike many of the women (and men) I'm acquainted with. You are examples to me and help me stay positive when I'd rather pout, scowl and sleep my life away.


i posted more photos on my photo blog. go check 'em out.


You Utahans may have already heard about or seen this, but i just saw it for the first time today. Cool! Piano is amazing, cello is stunning, but piano AND cello? magic. plus, the two songs ("Love Story" by Taylor Swift and "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay) are definitely good ones. Way to go Jon Schmidt. Mormons are really neat.


i like looking at blogs. i like looking at what other people are doing, seeing, saying, trying. but then, the more i sit and look at my computer screen, the more i realize i want to be out there doing, seeing, saying, trying. and so, i will.

i plan on making a short video made up of photos--i was going to call it "stop motion" but that would be using a video camera, and i want to use a still camera. i found this video and was taken in by what is happening in it, and how it was created.

[i watched it the first time with the sound off, not realizing it. i like it both ways. p.s. exit out of the add that appears after it starts so you can see the full screen.]

i also want to go out and take photos with film. digital is easy, convenient, and hard to screw up with because you can always just look at the picture, delete it, and try again. but with film there is surprise at seeing what develops, satisfaction in the successes, and determination to go out and try again when you fail. digital is fantastic, but film, in a sense, is magical to me. perhaps because it is old. perhaps because it isn't as popular any more. perhaps because i like surprises, satisfaction, and being determined.

this guy might not use film, but i like his photographs just the same. looking at his collection is soothing. especially the ones in the forest and the fog. washington truly is my home.

[photo by David Wright]


i wouldn't mind someone buying me these shoes. not fancy, but they look comfortable, support a good cause, are red, and would look good with jeans or shorts.check more out here.

this made me feel good. it's all worth it, isn't it?

this made me think of catherine. she sent me a txt of a guy sneezing using letters and puncuation. it was funny.

i found all these little things via a blog called "A Man Called Old Fashioned." It's like reading a really easy book--probably because the author of the blog writes in Arabic or something, so i don't read anything at all. so, that would make it a picture book. yeah, it's like reading a picture book. ;o)


Catherine and I had some fun yesterday drawing pictures in church (yes, we listened too) and so I decided to copy some of them into digital form. I love all my nephews (and nieces) and these drawings are putting some of my favorite moments on paper. (Seeing as I don't have kids yet, and when I do they'll be hell-on-earth, I made one of me too, just so you know I'm doing this out of love and fun, not malice.) ;o)

(People say I look angry all the time, whether it's true or not.)

(Tucker really likes the Wii. And he gets a little upset if it gets turned off...)

(I guess one time when Kelsey was watching Spencer, he was sad his parents left so he sat at the top of the stairs and said, in a high-pitched little voice, what is written in the script bubble above...)

(I love this Conner face.)

(Charlie is a little OCD about cards...and other things.)

5.24.09 #2

BA HA! Oh Jonas Brothers. How you amuse me. In 2006 they filmed "Year 3000" and had this punk-garage-band look. Obviously they realized there were enough of those, plus their voices are too high and/or "poppish" and, come on, Joe can't play any instruments for real. (Tambourine doesn't count.) It's hilarious to see how their hair and clothes have changed in three years. Oh, and I'm glad Joe toned down his dramatic singing style that he sports in the first video. The second video is of their most recent song, "Paranoid." Oh, Jonas Brothers. What would my world be without you? ... Well, pretty much the same. But without these extra couple laughs.


This is a fun website to look at. It's where I found this ^ picture. (p.s. I thought of Ben when I read this. So Ben, if you read this, feel honored. ;o)


I just bought this...... from here (but in "Lime.")

I've had my 35 mm Nikon SLR for 2 years now, and never a camera strap to hold it by. I decided this was as good a time as ever. Why? Because I still don't have a job and probably won't get a good, long-lasting, one this summer (although EFY will be fun for the 2-3 weeks I do it), so might as well put a little more on my credit card. Am I right? Or am I right? Right right right.

No, wait, I take it back. I can use the $35 I earned mowing Mom and Dad's lawns. It took me three days, two swollen hands, one sore back and countless drops of sweat and particles of grass up my nose, but it was worth it.

Maybe I'll use the rest to buy me some more sunglasses...

I went into the Denton Record-Chronicle newspaper offices today. I had a meeting with the managing editor, Dawn Cobb. I went in hoping for an internship, paid or unpaid, but came out with a chance at some freelance work (unpaid) and no chance for my hours counting toward the 280 required internship hours for BYU graduation. (Apparently their last unpaid intern sued the company for harrassment or something, so although they won, they don't want to mess with interns any more.) I also managed to break the woman's pen and steal a reporters notebook. Not an actual reporter's notebook, as in Mr. Bernstein's or something, but a blank one she'd set next to me on the table. I count all this as my pay. One article = pen. Two articles = notepad. I take what I can get.

I thought this article, in today's Record-Chronicle, was humorous. In a mean, voilent kind of way.

5.20.09 #2


1- The less I'm required to do, the less I want to do. Thus regardless of whether it's what I want or what's required of me, I'd rather just sit like a turtle, or better yet, hang like a sloth. Though, that would take more effort. You know, hanging on to a branch and all.

2- If I don't get time alone, completely alone, every day or two for at least an hour, I get really grumpy. More grumpy that not having eaten anything for 10 hours. Yeah, THAT grumpy.

3- I think I can say I'm truly over a guy when I take the ring he made me out of a dollar bill, pull it apart, and buy a 7-up with it.

4- My 6th grade treasure is now my 21-year-old trash. Really? Magazine clippings of obscure musicians, actors and "world events." Please, M.I.B. was hardly a world event. I chucked that thing out of my pirate treasure box faster than last weeks egg rolls and fried rice. (Flied Lice!)

5- I had a dream last night that I was engaged to--well, a guy I would never imagine being engaged to. It was a funny dream, not just because I was engaged to this kid. But because it was like we were only engaged out of obligation to a third-party. So I had to remind myself to be nice to him and to, for example, scratch his back. My ring was two fake pearls super glued to an adjustable band. High class. Obviously it wasn't meant to last. I woke up at 8:30 and it was over.


My friend Hunter, author of the 17 Tracks blog, posted the news that Coldplay is offering their album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, for free as a thank you to all their fans. It's nine tracks of awesomeness that you get to download for FREE--they just ask for your e-mail address and country you reside in. I think it's worth it.

Download it here.

I still haven't found a job, surprize surprize, but I have been mowing the lawn for Mom and Dad. That makes me a little cash. And then, a girl in my ward named Sally told me about EFY here in Texas. They have three sessions around here, as in, one in Denton and 2 in San Antonio (about 3 1/2 hours away) and they are looking for counselors. So I applied, she called her boss-dude who pushed my application to the top (I know, right?) which means I can "count on" (Sally's words) having three weeks of work. I've wanted to be an EFY counselor since two years ago when I applied for Provo and was rejected. Then I went spring/summer terms at BYU and learned to hate the 14-17 year-old kids, which means now I want to prove to the EFY people they should've hired me 2 years ago, and also teach those kids a little RESPECT! ;o) I'll let you know what happens.


We went to the Dallas Zoo today. This gorilla was either deep in thought or really bored. Or contemplating how to break through the plexi-glass to maul those annoying children. I'll let you be the judge.

We're moving in this weekend. But we will be without internet and cable for two days. TWO DAYS! As sad as it sounds, I haven't gone without checking my e-mail, Facebook and the blogs I follow at least once a day for probably a year. Yes, I know, I am too dependent on a machine. And I could say, "I can quit any time," but not only is that a lie, but I'm not going to. Why waste a perfectly good thing? You wouldn't chuck cupcakes out of a speeding car's window, would you? Well, unless you're aiming at a car behind you who happens to be driven by that jerk in junior high who mocked your Spanish II poster labeling all the body parts. He was just jealous the teacher gave me extra credit for coloring inside the lines with such precision. He deserves some cupcake in his grill. And his engine. And steering wheel...


I like this poem. A lot.

XLIII. -- "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways."

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


I'm just about Skip-Bo'ed out. No, no, I lied. I AM Skip-Bo'ed out. Especially because Dad is so stinkin' lucky and wins EVERY TIME!

Mom was really into it...

Look at him. Thinkin' he's SO cool picking more cards. Jeez. ;o)

My new Phase 10 cards smell like sea weed. Gross.

Look at this sequence:

Watching tv, like every night. Then mom, opening her mother's day present. Dad was thoroughly uninterested.

Hey, cool! Pride and Prejudice!

Dad was still thoroughly uninterested. I think "The Wiggles" was on.


During the 2004 Presidential Elections, I was a wild woman. I watched the news, the debates, and the commentary after it all, and naturally added my own. I'm sure I scared my friends and family with how vocal I was, not so much at them, but at the TV, radio and newspapers. I was determined to not let John Kerry win. And when he did lose to George W. in November 2004, I felt like I had been largely responsible by willing the American people with all I had to not act stupidly. Sure, some would say George W. was not a good choice for Commander in Chief, but John Kerry was clearly the greater of two evils. Far greater.

The four years that separated the victories of W and Obama brought drastic changes in my political preferences. Not so much in reference to my party affiliation (but, I will admit, in 2004 my Facebook would have read "Conservative" whereas now it says "Moderate") but rather, in how involved I am in the political process. On a scale of one to ten, ten being how passionate I was in 2004, I am around a 2 now.

Although it may not seem strange to any of you, my classmates at BYU think it's weird, and I guess it IS strange, seeing as I am a journalist and should be actively involved in what makes up the bulk of the news. But in 2004 I was still in high school, still in seminary and still playing sports -- thus I was competing for friends, competing in scripture chases, and competing for a state title. I was all about winning and being the best. As much as I liked winning, I realized how often I embarrassed myself with my aggressiveness. (You think I'm loud now, you should have seen me when the scripture chase was on. Oh goodness.)

And so, after 2004 I began to calm down. I was practically done with playing sports-- Bagdad Softball doesn't really count as competition-- Seminary afforded no scripture chases whatsoever duing my junior year, and I was content with being the Mormon, homeschooled weirdo in Bagdad and later in Renton. Plus, I got a boyfriend for a little while and that boosted my confidence enough that I didn't feel the need to win games to feel good about myself.

This progression has continued these past few years to the extent that I avoid board games, would rather not watch important sports games, and instead of competing for friends, I content myself with the ones I have and work slowly for more. The same goes for jobs, internships and the approval of my superiors. I guess if I don't feel like I can achieve the thing without a lot of stress of work, I'm fine without it. In some cases it's ok--my life has fewer worries and stresses--but in things that matter, or things that should matter, I too often settle for less and look back with regret.

How I got from politics to the regrets of my often passive attitude, I don't know. But let me wrap it up with my initial purpose of this post: I don't care about what is happening in Washington, D.C. Perhaps I should--No, I know I should, but I don't. I know most politicians are selfish, corrupt and unsavory, but I can't change them and I can't change this country, so I don't try. I don't watch the news, it puts a knot in my stomach. If I read the news, I read the head line and the first few paragraphs before getting frustrated and checking Facebook. I am, admittedly, one of those ignorant Americans. (But in my defense, I did research the candidates for both Utah and Federal offices before voting last November.) Here is what I am hoping: 1) The American people unite and try working together to get out of the mess we're in. 2) Obama succeeds in his efforts to repair the economy, employment, banks and international relations. Many people want him to fail because then they can say, "I told you so!" But what good will that do? I'd rather him be praised and memorialized forever more if that means our country improves. I want him to succeed because that means we all succeed. (Minus his health care and pro-choice initiatives. Those can be burned a long with the American dollar at this point.)

Hey, today's Mother's Day! I love my mom. And my dad too, of course.


For the first time ever, I am craving Costa Vida and I can't go get any. And I'm really hungry. Stupid Dallas.

P.S. Don't watch the Food Network, especially "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," when you're semi-hungry. Because then you'll be hecka hungry but it'll be midnight and you don't have a car or money to satisfy your lusts--of food, of course. Food lusts.

Mom says this is what I look like -- or would look like if I was 18 months old now, instead of 21.


da bug.

da goods.

da cold ones.


We had a fiesta tonight for Cinco de Mayo -- yeah, we were a day late. I bought us some Sprite in glass bottles (hecho en Mexico) and we made tacos. It was great to hear Catherine yell when she opened her bottle and there was a dead bug on the rim. Oh, the irony. She still drank it though. I know, weird. (She poured it into a glass.)

There was this kid on Sunday that talked about how life is like climbing a mountain. It was a pretty good analogy, nothing too novel, but still good (especially because he had an Australian accent). And then I realized he stole it from Miley Cyrus. So lame. If you're going to steal an idea from someone, steal it from Einstein or Al Gore or something. "Oh! I just thought of this. E = MC2. Oh, and isn't it hot in here? I think the earth is warming up and destroying the world we know." I mean, mountain analogy or a Nobel Prize? What are they teaching those kids in Australia?

Clift Kids

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5.5.09 #2

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

No, but seriously now. This holiday should be celebrated properly. Like with a trip to the Dallas School District Book Depository to learn about John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination. That's what we did. I liked walking on the Grassy Knoll and thinking about Abraham Zapruder, his 8 mm camera and all the women's clothing he made. Aaah, great man.

This is me with the Dealey statue at Dealey Plaza across the street from the Grassy Knoll.

I just want to review, for all those conspiracy doubters out there, the astounding amount of coincidences between the two great presidents that were assassinated: Honest Abe and JFK.

- Lincoln's name has 7 letters
- Kennedy's name has 7 letters

- In Lincoln's & Kennedy's names the vowels & consonants fall in exactly the same place;***
in the order c, v, c, c, v, c, c

- Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846
- Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946

- Lincoln was elected president in 1860
- Kennedy was elected president in 1960

- Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln

- International bankers may have arranged the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy

- Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863
- Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963

- Lincoln was succeeded, after assassination, by vice-president Johnson
- Kennedy was succeeded, after assassination, by vice-president Johnson

- Andrew Johnson was born in 1808
- Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908

- Lincoln was sitting beside his wife when he was shot
- Kennedy was sitting beside his wife when he was shot

- Rathbone, who was with Lincoln when he was shot, was injured (by being stabbed)
- Connally, who was with Kennedy when he was shot, was injured (by being shot)

- Lincoln's wife held his head in her lap after he was shot
- Kennedy's wife held his head in her lap after he was shot

- Lincoln and Kennedy were both shot on a Friday

- Lincoln was shot in a theatre named Ford
- Kennedy was shot in a car made by Ford

- Kennedy was shot in a car named Lincoln

- Lincoln's bodyguard was away from his post at the door of the President's box at the theatre
- Kennedy's bodyguards were away from their posts on the running-boards of the President's car

- Lincoln was shot in a theatre and his assassin ran to a warehouse
- JFK was shot from a warehouse and his alleged assassin ran to a theatre

- Lincoln's assassin had a three-worded name, John Wilkes Booth
- Kennedy's alleged assassin had a three-worded name, Lee Harvey Oswald

- Neither Lincoln nor Kennedy died immediately after being shot

- Lincoln and Kennedy died in places beginning with the initials P and H
- Lincoln died in Petersen's house
- Kennedy died in Parkland Hospital

- Both Booth and Oswald were shot and killed* in police custody before going to trial

- There were conspiracy theories that Johnson was knowledgeable about Lincoln's assassination
- There were conspiracy theories that Johnson was knowledgeable about Kennedy's assassination**

- Days before it happened Lincoln told his wife and friends about a dream he'd had of being shot by an assassin
- Hours before it happened Kennedy told his wife and friends it would be easy for an assassin to shoot him from a crowd

- Shortly after Lincoln was shot the telegraph system went down
- Shortly after Kennedy was shot the telephone system went down

- Kennedy's father had been the Ambassador to England at the Court of St James
- Lincoln's son became the Ambassador to England at the Court of St James

- Lincoln had 2 sons named Robert and Edward. Edward died young and Robert lived on.
- Kennedy had 2 brothers named Robert and Edward. Robert died young and Edward lived on

- After Lincoln's assassination the nation experienced an emotional convulsion
- After Kennedy's assassination the nation experienced an emotional convulsion

- the whole world cried when Lincoln died
- the whole world cried when Kennedy died

- Lincoln was sitting in a rocking chair at Ford's Theater when he was shot
- Kennedy had a special rocking chair he sat in at the White House
- Henry Ford bought the rocking chair Lincoln died in and put it in his museum in Dearborn

Yeah, that's right, they both liked rocking chairs, people were sad when they were killed, and come on, how can you deny the fact that Lincoln was killed in Ford's Theater and Kennedy in a Ford car? I think I've pretty much proven that the same man behind Lincoln's assassination was behind Kennedy's.


15 [more] things that
me happy

1- black and white photo strips
2- being the new kid
3- Sunday afternoons
4- playing catch
5- blankets still warm from the dryer
6- used book stores
7- getting film developed
8- slip-on vans
9- french fries
10- hugs
11- warm summer nights
12- finding new bands and artists
13- post cards
14- dancing (to hip-hop music, none of that ballroom stuff)
15- Disney movies

Conner and Me

Charlie and Me


They canceled 2/3 of church yesterday because of the Swine Flu. I don't understand. If they got us all into the same room for an hour to begin with, why not keep us there for another 2 hours? We're already contaminated any way. Catherine was happy to leave early though. She says she's not so much of a people person. Yeah, that was me for the past 8 months, so I get it.

Today I went to FHE at the singles' ward. FUN! We played water balloon volleyball and I met some cool-cats. Lon, Jess, Allyse, Zack, Greg, Chris, Michelle, Ronny and Stetson (yes, like the hat). I had to stand there awkwardly for about 5 minutes before I was approached by pretty much all those people at the same time. It was cool. (Catherine didn't go. Again, not a people person. She'll be jealous of my awkward situations when her cookies and Disney Channel begin to bore her....yeah...)

Catherine and I spent yesterday afternoon throwing Skip-Bo cards at each other. It was hecka fun. Don't rag it 'til you try it.