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.