Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lesson in cats #342

I started out on this kitty journey knowing next to nothing about cats. Every little thing Kingsley has done has felt like the coolest thing to me, and when I share that with people I discover much of what he does is what all cats do. At the zoo, I even discovered that the tigers sleep about 20 hours a day; now I know that Kingsley is just sleeping for strength.

So more about this naiveté (pronounced with a long "A" sound at the end). As suggested by the breeder and multiple veterinarians, we decided to declaw Kingsley because he is a house cat, more specifically an apartment cat, which means he really couldn't even run in the backyard if he wanted to. The procedure went so well, there was almost no recovery time, and his white little mitts were adorable and so much fun to play with. Then we discovered the doctor missed one of his claws during the surgery, so he had to go in for another shortly after. Then one of his paws started to bleed and it didn't stop for a few weeks. We found out that two of his paws were growing back and the surgery was much more invasive this time. His paw looked mangled after the surgery and it was tough for me to look at and watch him hop around on.

With his bleeding paw and then surgery, he had to wear a cone for a month and a half. I woke up several times in the night in a panic hoping he hadn't gotten out of his cone. We also woke up several times because he would use our head as a spring board to jump on the windowsill behind us, often times just to fall off because his cone was in the way. It was tough to see him try to eat and drink, not to mention get comfy in that thing. We recently discovered that another one of his paws is growing back, but alas, it is not bleeding and it isn't bothering him so we are going to leave it be for as long as we can.

^ We tried to take the cone off for a bit and use a sock but it drove him crazy. 

The other day when we were both gone, Jeff returned home to find that Kingsley had gotten out of his cone and licked his scabs off to reveal a healed paw! I'm so glad King decided to take care of business himself. I am so happy to see him peacefully sleep again, and not to mention he tears through the house, hunts us, jumps all over the place, and is so happy to be able to clean his paws again and rub his little face with them. 

Through this I learned that having a pet can be so heart breaking. (I know, where have I been right?) I really had no idea that there was a possibility of claws growing back (though it happens very rarely).  It was so hard for me to see him be so uncomfortable and confused for so long, but he still loves us so much. I may still not like the term "fur baby," but what can I say? He is definitely our baby. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Homeward Bound.

A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was driving with my friends on a road trip with no destination. I'm quite sure the wind was even running perfectly through my hair. While driving, I came to the realization that I was not wearing any shoes, that I was not wearing a bra, and that I forgot my deodorant. Instead of being the wild and free girl those details entail, we quickly found a Walmart and I was standing in the aisle embarrassed to pick out deodorant in front of my friend because I wear Old Spice....

Reality met my dream. It found my inner curiosity and longing for a free spirit and told it to go home. It made me wonder. Was it the movies that made us think driving in the car on a long stretch of highway is so romantic? Or that doing a cartwheel in the middle of a quiet street at night makes us feel free and washes all our cares away? I'm not trying to be the pessimistic realist here, because trust me, I'm middle ground with this one. I desperately want all those things to be the best medicine. And I think they are for some people, and even for me at times. But I think my wanderlust is drowned out by my longing to be grounded. To go home to my little living room, which is attached to my even littler kitchen, sparkling clean, with a chocolate bar always waiting in the cupboard above the sink, with my cat purring and husband waiting to light up and say, "hi baby!"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cynical Me

We take everything out on the weather. And Mother Nature takes it without complaining, or maybe she doesn't. Why do we have to get mad at the rain if it just wasn't what we planned for that day? Heaven forbid our perfectly primped hair.... And why do we always have to say the weather is teasing us? Like, perfect weather is what we want and it's what we want all year long! ..but if we really got it would that be what we wanted? "Change it up up there, will ya?" We would shout or even curse. 

Why does weather have to be something we complain about? We can't wait for summer but if it comes too soon it makes studying impossible. Or are we just looking for an excuse? 

I mean this guy is stoked about the weather... And he's even stuck in a cone. 

Friday, May 17, 2013


It's 8:30 in the evening and the sun isn't completely set. That means summer is coming. That means.... [conflicted feelings]

As students, we tend to feel the urge to be weekend warriors. We say, "Oh no, I can't hang out this weekend, I have tons of homework to do." (or whatever arrangement of those words you may personally use.) Because yeah, that's totally true, right? wrong. I'm not stupid! While I know I've had plenty of weekends full of homework, I know that try as I may, I do not spend my entire weekend doing homework. Why would anyone do that? We all need a rest. And luckily, when I feel that resistance, I am usually able to just separate myself from schoolwork and take a rest.

Summer also means a rest. But not as much of a rest as a weekend. As students, we also feel the need to be summer warriors: taking on the best job, or plan that we can, because we should. But it can be a lot of pressure. Especially between junior and senior year when ideally we would get the internship of our dreams and then work for that company, or at least secure a good work ethic. I can safely say that I've been a bit obsessed about our summer plans. It was all working out in my mind and I was so excited I nearly packed our apartment two months early. But that might not work out, and I'm realizing that that's okay. So then maybe we would get to save money and stay in our apartment; maybe we'll get to see our family 7 X's more than last summer; maybe we'll get to relax a little more than we have before. Maybe we'll find a reason to fall in love with summer again and realize that sometimes it's not about which door we take, but just about which handle we use to get to the destination.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

through the camera lens

words feel beautiful
in the mouth.

this camera lens makes up for what
i cannot articulate

i swear
i'm not ignorant. 
i just can't always say
how i feel
for it is too close
to my heart

Friday, April 5, 2013

adiós invierno


i will stuff a small rag of
its sky into my pocket forever
--Larry Levis

I know I am among the few who feel this way about winter. Don't get me wrong, I am welcoming spring and the much missed sunshine with open arms, but I haven't been wishing winter away. (After all, I AM an Idahoan) It's not because I take advantage of the winter months and fill them with endless cross-country skiing and other outdoor activities, though I certainly wish I made more time for that. I love wearing warm clothes, drinking hot chocolate and chai, and the big Christmas break that always means time with family. I am head over heels in love with the change of seasons altogether, and I feel so grateful to watch the earth and its never-ending change. I am a bit of an introvert all year round, and the summer and I just don't mesh as much. Though I plan on us becoming better acquainted the day I figure out the right clothes to wear when its hot, and when I live near the ocean and have regular bon fires and walks along the coast. ;)

For this reason and many others, Jeff and I have been pretty hyped lately about the talk of possibly living in Portland for his work. It's easy to feel incredibly small and swallowed up when we talk about the endless directions life could go after graduation, but lately, thoughts of Portland have made our hearts especially calm and happy.

skiing with some of my family Christmas 2012

the first snowfall the season-- always so exciting!

the first day of winter term Jan 6, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013


i was driving home from work and a spell of enchantment came over me. i was unstoppably happy and every square inch of our little town held beauty.

i looked at my car as i drove and smiled because it gets me around and i have fallen in love with its wagon body and its ability to hold a summer's worth of possessions for two.

i admired the tidy picturesque houses and the in between of winter and vibrant, summer green lawns.

i drooled over the Blues as they shone in the 5 o'clock sun and i felt blessed to enjoy their view.

i opened the windows and smiled as i saw Kingsley gracefully leap from one object to the next until he felt the cool breeze through his fur.

its in moments such as these that i truly feel renewed. i gain a sense of peace and hope about all the many decisions on our hearts.

i know that my Father in Heaven knows me personally. He finds ways to connect with me and show me that His hand is in everything i do, and in return i will forever strive to find beauty and meaning in His creations.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why I'm Thankful

The 2013 Eastern Oregon Film Festival and getting to see the LAIKA animation presentation

Kingsley letting me hold him like a baby 

The weird positions he sleeps in. I'm pretty sure that here he was having one of those dreams where he was gripping the edge of a cliff..

Keeping me grounded

He goes CRAZY for greens. If I'm not watching closely enough, sometimes he will full on jump in the fridge when I open it and attack the celery with his whole soul

Helping Kingsley face his fears and get a little scrub in the scary water

It's finals week around here. They have been very good to me. I'm not tired, I'm not stressed, and I am very grateful for that after a challenging trimester of school. Jeff has been doing well too, though he may be up all night working on his stop-motion animation. I will probably wake up periodically and make him snacks; just kidding. 

Today was one of those relaxing recharge kind of days. It has rained a lot, and Jeff and I got to work together and get grown up stuff done. We are setting up a savings plan for the rest of school. This means no spending extra money on anything besides essentials. Sometimes that is kind of tough when we live in a world full of Etsy and blogs dedicated to hand picking every piece of perfect clothing and themed home decor. And we have somehow been conditioned to do to things right now! If we see something we both really like, there is pretty much no talking us out of it. We have some discipline to catch up on. I look forward to the day when I can thrift and sew fun clothing outfits, and go on hunts for pretty pieces for our home, and buy new furniture, but for now I've got to focus on finishing school, and that's okay. And if that day never comes, that's okay, too. Because quite frankly I'm happy as can be in my unstylishly-mismatched home. :) 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This post= one big cliche

I'm writing a story that's due tomorrow, and for the first time, I honestly don't quite know where it's going. Probably because it started out that way. I feel like I'm in one of those scenarios where I'm blind folded, holding someone's hand, walking an unknown path where I'm just supposed to let go of control and trust that everything will be okay. (Girl's Camp anyone?) It makes me uncomfortable. I want to crumble it up and throw it in the trash, but it's typed, so... that cliche won't be happening.

I feel like that's how life is, too. I don't know where it's taking us, and even though I know it's going to be somewhere good, it's still tough to just trust that sometimes. We have our dreams, but we need to be practical in planning, too. Even though I would love to stay here this summer and take classes and work, I feel this urgency to have an internship so we can secure a job/work experience for next year when we graduate.

In this situation, I think the ideal thing to do would be to blind fold myself so I will practice having faith, but with a computer so I can fill out applications and be proactive.

In other news, I found this incredibly tiny sock at the laundromat yesterday and it, of course, turned me to mush. Tender mercies, right?

Monday, February 18, 2013

time has changed me

time, among other things, is changing me. the love i have for and feel from my husband continues to grow and evolve with every month that passes. my love for small animals, especially this little raccoon of my own, changes into something i never knew imaginable. i used to make fun of pet owners who think their pets have personalities, and who like to pretend they know what their pet is thinking, and i do that every day. i miss kingsley when i'm gone and it breaks my heart when he is sick. it is showing me, again, that focusing on others brings happiness.

i often hear people say they are focusing on finding who they are, and that they don't want to lose who they are when they become a mother. but as for me, i don't believe my work or hobbies will ever be exactly who i am. who i am is a complex girl who belongs to the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. i am married to an incredible person and together we are helping each other be more patient, more prayerful, more thankful, more kind, and of course have more fun. family is everything to me. if nothing else, to raise a family (along with seeing my own parents and siblings every chance I get) and be with them and learn from one another and make each other laugh and show each other that God is real, that He lives and is all around us. living to find those happy moments and those times for growth and change and finding friendship wherever we may be. and praying for what is right for me and for us and not about what other people should or should not be doing.

Do you see this? Patiently waiting for his turn to type 
Pen in paws (and mouth, but still)

I really wasn't going to push him to become a writer, but I can't turn away what he's trying to tell me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There are so many words in my head it's starting to result in the lack of the right one. Every other word is a, "What's that word again... you know... I just can't explain it."

If I let it all out in to-do list format, it will allegedly get better. But you're talking to the connoisseur of to-do lists. I've got a note book filled and I know that by examining what you have in front of you comes a sort of release, but an added weight and responsibility in another way. Day-to-day lists are necessary and daunting, and so far this term (we're at Week 6... wait maybe 5 or 7...?) I haven't done it and I've just been flighting from day to day thinking only about the hour that is in front of me.

I'm weeks behind my favorite television shows and I can't even entertain the thought of when it might be that I can watch them. To snuggle on the couch with my love and purring Kingsley would mean the world. They say when you are doing what's right the unnecessary things in your life slip away and I can attest to the truth of that; I don't want the alternate world of television to become what I live for. But some of the basic things I need for my sanity and spirituality are slipping away too and I need to get them back.

Three cheers to sanity in a beautiful kind of way, retrieving my floating head, and having the best Valentines Day yet. To that I raise my glass, of water, which might just be my lunch and dinner today.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


i look around me and wonder
how people are alive

their sleep deprivation
soda and sugar consuming
sometimes heart broken

how do we do it?
it's intriguing and insightful

and it's beautiful.

we can take a lot, you know
do you?

and we have a lot of help, you know
do you?
do you say "thank you"
ask and seek for what you need?

or do you wonder in all consuming doubt
how in the world we stay

a rainy day.

Yesterday was gloomy: full of self doubt and confusion. It happens, I know. But in those moments it is hard to think about anything else. And then all other things tumble and you start to go from "I have a hard test tomorrow" to "I can't cook anything right" and then to blaming someone you love "Why do you never do this or this or this?" When really none of that is true.

Honing in on a positive emotion at those times is something I am working on. I have to look around and remember how I make meaning and why.

I went to a reading by author George Venn from his latest memoir, and in his essay "The Red Weasel Dream" he described my dream house:

"White one story bungalow.. [with] dazzling flower beds, curbed green lawn.. an ordered oasis... a mini plantation mansion"

That is a group of so many things that make me happy all in one: a home, flowers, an ordered oasis.

I started to think about the home I grew up in that we refer to as "the red roofed house." It was a haven of colors. The front covered in flower beds with tulips, bleeding hearts, daisies, and more. A yard so green the size of a football field. The snowball bush that served as so much entertainment when those white flowers would come and we could scatter them about the lawn in pretend weddings. Those cottonwoods so big that when you slept on the tramp under the stars you realized how small you really were, yet how empowering mother nature can make you feel.

Sometimes I wonder why we ever left that house. And then I knew as soon as I wondered. I needed those opportunities and experiences that a new school brought. Moving from that house gave us the freedom to move again, and luckily it brought us to the other side of the state where I met my sweetheart and life forever changed for the better. We trade these precious material things and safe havens for experience that ultimately shapes us into who we are. It is trying and it is humbling.

I hope that next time on a rainy day you will find that colorful place, whatever it may be. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

pizza for breakfast.

Today I made hot cereal (steel cut and 5-grain oats mixed. the bomb!) for breakfast. We have it everyday after juice. We (meaning me) are a liiiittle into routine around here. I put in more salt than usual, because usually there's not enough. (that's what the extra sweetness is for!) I was so excited to eat. I got up at 5 to study, Jiles was about to go snowboarding. We took bites and pretty much spit them out simultaneously. TOO MUCH SALT! It was gross; oops! So Jiles had left over pizza for breakfast.... He was already snowboarding that day, and pizza for breakfast?! I don't think I've SEEN a happier guy.

We received three Papa Murphey's giftcards for Christmas. Do you know how awesome that is? Those days when you're driving home from school a little too late and you don't know how you can possibly think of something to eat, or how your low blood sugar will hold off until you get a bite of food in your mouth. But then, OH!, all I have to do is call in my order and preheat the oven. And I don't have to pay for it. Yessss! And yesterday it was much needed. After a long day, I spent nearly an hour in the computer lab figuring out how to scan some pages of my book into the computer and flip the pages the right way to print double sided. While we're talking about routine here... this girl needs to get with the times and learn a few tricks of the trade, because I rely on Jiles for everything technology related and it must  be getting exhausting for him.

But you know, sometimes in life you just need pizza for breakfast. Substitute your pizza for cinnamon rolls if you'd rather, or substitute the breakfast part for a night out for dinner or dessert. Sometimes the little things just mean the world; like eating pizza with your love and knowing that life is good my friends. 

Or you could substitute pizza for McDonalds! 
In honor of #throwbackthursday on Instagram {@magnoliawrites follow me!}
I found a picture with my oldest friends! I didn't think I was going to allow
my future littles to eat at McDonalds, but this may be changing my mind...
I mean it's where dreams are made! ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


i have been running from work to school, then back home again
i usually do homework in the mornings, but lately it's been at the oddest times. i was falling asleep last night trying to make a midnight spanish homework deadline. if you squeezed me, spanish words involving EL MEDIO AMBIENTE and LA NATURALEZA and EL GATO (duh) would come out.
i'm home for two or three half hour increments during the day
sneaking in "modern family" to maintain sanity (it's working. and i think i'm getting a six pack from laughing so hard. SCORE!)
giving up computer time during the day to do things like DISHES and MAKE THE BED; i'm embarrassed to admit just how much can be done in those 20 minute segments
feeling gratitude; we are incredibly blessed
dreaming about living in portland WILL IT HAPPEN? X)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Where it all began.

Today I am reminded where it all began: what reignited my thirst for learning after some bumps in the road, the belief in myself to get started, and the necessary steps to get there. I wrote this paper three years ago in a freshman research writing class, after it all started to click. Here is the introduction. I hope it makes you think a little.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

It may be evident by now that Sunday is my favorite day. And something that makes it that much more glorious on this particular Sunday is that there is no school or work tomorrow! Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, and for much more than just a holiday.

As I type, I have kitten scratches ALL over my hands. I am trying to avoid them, but he scratches when he is playing and well, we've been having fun. Jiles (husband) is away in the mountains this weekend on a filming extravaganza. Since he was gone I let Kingsley sleep in our bed and well, it turns out King really likes to play with my hair. So we did much more of that all night instead of sleeping. I know J is having a blast; he's been looking forward to this. But I am ecstatic that he's coming home. I think I used that word on my last post about Sunday... hmm... I'll work on that.

But the real reason I sit down to type this tonight is to reflect on how good it feels to be content with where I am right now. It is so exciting to think about what is ahead; in fact, I was searching for houses to rent in Portland and I found the cutest little bungalow and it is all I can do not to think about it all the time! But yet I know that it is not our time right now, and it makes me happy to know that and to trust that. And there is something about making where you are right now a comfortable blanket to feel safe and warm under. Everything Jiles and I are doing now is preparing us for the future, but this, now, is especially the good stuff.

My younger (certainly not little) brother is a high school senior and I can't believe how much more grace and class he is getting through high school with than me. If he is antsy about graduating and going to college, then he is doing a good job hiding it. I know he is incredibly excited, but from where I'm watching he seems to be enjoying where he is in life right now so much and I look up to that a great deal. When I was in his position four years ago, there were moments when I enjoyed myself, because I just KNEW life would get better when I moved out and went to college and I think that is what attributed to my tripping and falling when that time came.

So if you need me, I'll be contemplating the short story I'm currently working on, sipping way too much hot chocolate, and waiting for J to come home so we can cuddle and watch Modern Family.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Things I Carry.

books lots of books
a backpack 
scarves everyday
Past Tense oil from Doterra it cures headaches like a boss
snacks they make every day worth it ;)
a smile
bobby pins you never know when you'll need one
a journal and always a pen
a phone that gets way too much of my time
an attitude I know I can control but sometimes forget
what sometimes feels like the weight of the world on my shoulders 
eye glasses some large some small
compassion for my surroundings
an iPod primarily filled to the brim with Harry Potter 
hope for good things to come

and these are just a few.
What do you carry?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

On A Sunday.

J was looking out the window, checking his phone, and pacing a bit. He's never nervous, especially when he's cooking dinner. Maybe because today is the day our families finally meet each other? Maybe that was it.

Maybe that was why, though I was oblivious to it at the time, he also nervously slipped his suit jacket over me at church when I said I was cold. And why he made sure to get it back when we went to our different classes.

I mean, I was a little nervous that our parents were meeting, but mostly completely excited and ready to take that next step. After all, we  J made curry, and I knew it would be delicious.

I kept my dress on. The white one with lace. I wore a headband. I wanted to look nice.

J's mother brought dessert in a beautiful box, of course.
"For after dinner!" She said. I thought nothing of it.

There wasn't a silent moment. I don't know why I worried there would be. There was lots of chatter. It was fun.

And then out of left field J's mother brought up the stack of wedding magazines she sent home with me, how she hoped my mother didn't mind her involvement. My face turned red. I know there had been talk of a wedding and I knew generally when I wanted it to happen, but we weren't engaged yet! Shhhh!

Needless to say a bit of an awkward vibe filled the air until my father so graciously intensified it.

"You know there's all this wedding planning going on, but I don't see a ring. Where's the ring?"

And as J stood up, hands shaking as he reached into his pocket, he said, "You want to see a ring?" (Which, unbeknownst to me, was in his suit jacket pocket during church.)

It all started to make sense. Especially the part where the girl says, "the rest was a blur, but I was really happy!" and things like that.

But my dad.... how did he know? He took it upon himself to transition right on cue, when he wasn't even included in the plans. Only J and his mother knew, that's why she brought up the "wedding talk" in the first place. I guess when 80% of what you say is in a joking manner, you're bound to align perfectly sometimes. Still, my dad is great.

Here is a journal entry from August 14, 2011:
I don't know how he could have planned it better. Not only was I NOT expecting today, but once I remember thinking that I hoped it would be on a Sunday because that is "our" day and we get to go to church together that day, eat dinner, and spend the whole day almost every single Sunday. So I guess it was inconvenient that he took off camping nearly 45 minutes after proposing.... oh well :)

A little ironic that he left his bride, but it just added to the suspense. I. WAS. ECSTATIC.

Oh, and that box of dessert? We're holding them.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A day to remember.

It was a cleaning day.
You know, the kind where all your decent clothes are in the wash and your outfit consists of articles of clothing that should have been donated years ago.

I was in cleaning mode.
I wanted everything out. Realistic, right? I get in that mode at least once a season, when I leave home for more than a week. I envision an adorable apartment in the works: no clutter anywhere. Every space minimal. Each piece of furniture just right, and all the decorative items hand picked and perfectly placed.

And then I come home and move everything out of the way. Then it becomes another room's clutter, so I move it back. And forth. And back again. In attempt to rid the kitchen of extra mismatched dishes, I went out onto the porch to grab a big box. I'm ghetto like that: spare cardboard boxes chilling on the porch. If you saw my apartment building I swear to you I'm just trying to keep up with the vibe of the whole place. Immediately after letting go of the door handle and reaching for the box, the wind blew the door and it slammed shut. Startled, I grabbed the door handle.

It was locked.

I live on the second floor.

First I looked down. Definitely too far to jump. And of course I didn't have my cell phone. As I was desperately trying to pry the window open, I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection. No make up. And I'm pretty sure my hair was in pigtails or something of the sort. I couldn't have looked more like a 12-year-old girl if I had tried. J was in Washington for our summer job, so he definitely wasn't coming home anytime soon.

Chill out. I thought. It's not so bad. Take this opportunity just to soak in life and wait for someone to walk by. I attempted to sit down, but the boxes were dirty and there were spider webs everywhere. I didn't even have shoes on. I tried to at least use the railing to climb down, but the spaces in between the wood paneling were so small I could barely grip with one finger. There was a Dish Network satellite hooked to the side of the building; it seemed sturdy enough... but I didn't try.

So I waited. And paced back and forth nervously, as much as the small space allowed me to do. I thought about yelling, "HELP!" but before I realized what I was doing, I was actually yelling "HELP!" And then hiding behind the boxes, hoping no one heard that pathetic yell.

A car pulled in the parking lot. I waved them down, but nothing. They probably thought the 12-year-old girl was just having fun on the porch.

Finally, a couple walked by. "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!" They hesitantly look. They were obviously confused. Can't say I blame them.

What I said was a bit of a blur, because as I was explaining, it was all they could do not to laugh. The kind man used a readily available chair to stand on and hand me his phone.

Luckily I remembered that I left our spare key at our friend's place just down the street. "In case I lock myself on the porch!" I should have said.

I used the man's phone, who was definitely laughing now, to call J and quickly explain that he needed to call Heather and and have her use the spare to get in our place and then let me back inside. J didn't understand what was going on, again I don't blame him. But he must have called Heather, because not long after she and her dog Atticus were there to save the day. Tears were definitely coming by then. I muttered a few thanks, and luckily she didn't stay long, because I definitely wasn't up for company at the moment.

I just needed a shower.

I jumped in and warm, brown-like, smelly water came out of the shower head. I definitely forgot that they were working on the water pipes.

It was a good day.

And oh yeah, thanks Heather. What would I do without you?

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Today while cutting J's hair I realized I was completely calm and enjoying myself. Rewind to my first try a year and a half ago and this is a huge mile mark. I would get anxiety and we would start arguing every time. I love to write, but I do not deem my hands as creative hands. In fact, I find it extremely difficult to create anything, but have always longed to be more artistic. I guess this means that is now happening, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Another mile mark is that J and I celebrated our first year anniversary on December 30th. We have now lived in this little apartment for a year, and I am actually going back to the same school after a year. YES! This is huge.

At a few points during the break, I found it difficult to enjoy myself because of the anxiety creeping over me telling me I would soon be back to the stressful life of the student with pressing deadlines constantly hanging over my head. But then I told that anxiety to wait a minute, and I stepped outside of myself and analyzed. Here is what I found:

I have been very balanced during this break. I needed it almost as much as the air I breathe, and I am so grateful for the month off we had from school. We traveled through Idaho and Montana for three weeks and spent time with family, many friends, and got to meet this fluffy thing who somehow changed our perspective on life. 

No one told me that once you get a cat it is inevitable that your heart would turn to mush every time they do something like this. The words I.. will never... be.. a.. cat lady.. are echoing further and further in the distance every time I think about the girl who used to say them.

Here's the thing about school and life: yeah it's hard and crazy, but you learn. Each and every new semester of school I am more prepared than the last. Knowing how to take care of Financial Aid and Registrar business, where classes are, what to expect from certain instructors, how to stay organized, when/where to get books, who to turn to if you have questions. It all gets easier. And I'm sure that on my last day of school that Spring day in 2014, I will be able to finally speak fluent "college." And then I will be done, happily exploring and stumbling through another phase of life.

Isn't that how it works?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

This Christmas

I sit snuggled in the corner, reading. The smell of Christmas dinner fills the air. I am not helping to prepare, but I am no exception. Others are watching football, dozing off, or watching the cat run, tumble, and pounce.

It is a good thing to sit still; to not know where your wallet resides in the warm  house scattered with opened gifts. To know your bank account is also sitting still. 

This Christmas is topping the charts no doubt. Being "poor" for lack of better term, has caused the few gifts to be extremely thoughtful. And the ones from parents greatly cherished. We feel so grateful and overwhelmingly loved we want to hug our gifts, and everyone around us. It is a blessing to ponder every purchase, and know that even though we have what we need, we are being watched over to make life even brighter.

But at the end of the holiday, our gifts turn back into just things for a little while. We pack them in the car and pull out of the drive way to make the trip home, ultimately holding onto the memories that have been created. We feel lucky to have loved ones, who love us too.


One particular year I lost my new years resolutions that were on a little square sheet of paper and I was so embarrassed. How am I supposed to say I even tried if I lost the list altogether? As the years passed by, I realized that I can't just write a list of things and expect them to happen. It was a rude awakening.

For awhile I almost rolled my eyes at the thought of a list of new year resolutions. While I recognized the flaw in aiming too high, there is a flaw in rolling my eyes as well. There is something spectacular about recognizing we have faults, or that we need growth and change in certain areas of our lives. But if we let our resolutions emulate our deepest, darkest insecurities and let them collect dust all just to be lost and forgotten, the potential for haunting is increased.

So that is when I started to re-think the list of resolutions system. I see many things in myself that I want to change, but change starts with habits, and habits are a tough one. It starts with today; today I will find things I am grateful for; today I will go to the gym; today I will get on my knees and pray; today I will open my scriptures and seek for spiritual insight.

This is going to be a good year. I can feel it. We are starting our second year of marriage, and I am so grateful to look back on last year and evaluate what worked and what did not. I know what I need to change, I know who I want to be, and every day I have a new today to make that happen.