Wednesday, December 28, 2011

resolution for the new year: speaking kindly of others

i'm reading this book (the jury's still out on whether i like it or not. it has its moments of clarity.), and it is peppered with relevant quotes from famous people. here is one that jumped out at me the other day. it comes from a chapter called "the lady makes friends":
good ol' jean paul
"a [woman] never discloses [her] character so clearly as when [she] describes another's."
                                                                        jean paul richter
yeah, i need to work on that. it is so easy to talk negatively about people when you don't know their whole life. i can easily say, yeah, she seems really stuck up, when i've never talked to her. and when i talk about others, people who haven't wronged me in any real way, what is that saying about me? essentially it's saying that i am all of the things i accuse other people of being. and i don't want to be that person. 

i know that when i hear other people talking derogatorily about another's clothes/hair/behavior/taste in fill-in-the-blank, i wonder what they are saying about me when i am not there. and i am guilty of saying things that are not so nice some of the time.

so, i am resolving to be a better friend, starting with not talking about people behind their backs/in a negative manner. i want to be a lady, and ladies do not tarnish the character of others. and, even more basically then that, i want to be a good person, and good people say nice things about other people. 

i finally tracked down this quote i have been looking for forever from president henry b. eyring. he said, quoting a wise district president, that, "when you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.” i need to take that to heart and think and speak better of others, and what a perfect time to start.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

a toast to long courtships

i know a couple who has been dating for roughly nine months. they are pretty great together, at least from what i have seen. i fully expect them to get engaged. well, i wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they did get engaged.

but here's the thing: they aren't engaged yet.

i respect this. i think that, for some people, it is possible to start dating, get engaged, and get married in a short amount of time. it happens a lot, in mormon/provo culture at least, and i think (i hope) it works out more times than it doesn't. but, i also think that there are many people who jump too quickly into a level of seriousness in relationships without knowing each other all that well.

i'm sure many of us have heard the adage "long courtship, short engagement." there is wisdom in this for several reasons, but the part i have been thinking about (obviously) is the long courtship. i for one too often expect that things can get moving with a guy in a really short time, like i can meet someone, date them, and get engaged in just a couple months. this is partly because i am impatient and would love to be married. and the possibility still exists that something could happen that quickly.

a long courtship, if that's the way it happens, just makes sense to me, though. how could you suffer from finding out more about your boyfriend or seeing him in a bunch of different situations? yes, you might find out or observe things you are not okay with, but figuring those things out before making a big, eternal decision will make your eternity decidedly better, in my opinion. you might also find out or observe things that make you fall further in love, which is awesome. so, win win for long courtship.

as i said, it happens differently for different people. i've talked to some who "just knew" after a few days or weeks that they were meant to be together. others, though, needed a lot longer before they were ready to be wed forever and ever.

so, to that couple who is still dating (and facebook confirms that they are still dating and are not officially engaged, as of a couple minutes ago), i salute you. and here's hoping that, when the time comes, i will be absolutely sure that that guy is the one i want to be wed to forever and ever.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

reasons i love the holidays

  • so much good food--english toffee, almond tea bread (still trying to convince mom this is a must-make), mock chicken legs on christmas eve, creamed corn,thumbprint cookies with melty hershey kisses, and lots and lots of hot cocoa.
  • christmas lights--multicolored lights are my favorite, though classic white icicles are nice too. the riverwoods went all out this year with their trees and i LOVE it. and, of course, temple square is always a must see. it wouldn't be christmas time without a visit to downtown salt lake.
  • christmas cards and letters--it is fun to get the different letters and pictures from various friends and family. many of them we don't see on a regular basis, so catching up on family news, even if only in a superficial way, is a ritual our family looks forward to every year. also, i have been the designated beesley family christmas letter writer for the past seven years or so, and even though i usually have to schedule writing time during finals, i love writing it and remembering how awesome my family is.
  • christmas movies--so many good ones, from white christmas to home alone (1 and 2, in my opinion) to the holiday. also, while you were sleeping--great in itself, but takes place at christmas which = doubly awesome.
  • gift hunting--nothing better than knowing you've gotten them something they are going to love. hehehehe
  • christmas music--i don't know why, but for some reason this year i don't feel like i've listened to enough yuletide carols. so i have a few days (and however long i feel like extending the holiday season...) to listen to my favorites. like the carpenters (i bought their complete christmas portrait set this year), amy grant, shedaisy (so good), and point of grace. and the new michael buble christmas album is also lovely. also never to be forgotten: the mormon tabernacle choir christmas concert. blows me away every year.
  • spending time with my family and friends. on sunday night the six of us sat around the fire for probably two hours just talking and laughing, and i know the rest of the break is going to be filled with more of the same. and i can't wait to see my utah friends outside of p-town :)
merry christmas eve!

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    resolution for the new year: to not letting friendships fade

    i've been surfing the internet more than i usually do lately, mostly to look for cool blogs and inspiration for this creative kick i'm on.  

    (and, can i just say, one really awesome thing about these blogs is that the women who write them acknowledge that their sites only portray a small part of their lives. they seem perfect, because they are churning out crafts or putting up pictures of gorgeous interiors, but they readily admit that they are not perfect. but along with that, the blogs i've been following lately are created by women with families who seem genuinely happy with their lives, and often they are stay-at-home moms, and often they are not lds. i think that's pretty cool, and it's something i want to live up to. the end.)

     yesterday i came across sometimes sweet, and this was part of one of the first posts i saw. the author, danielle, is talking about one of her best girl friends, whom she met during college.
    But then things changed and somehow we drifted apart. There were never hard feelings, but she got into a serious relationship at the same time I moved in with another group of friends, and we fell out of our norm. It would have been impossible to keep our friendship going at the same intensity- as life changes relationships change too. And although we understood this, we let what could have been a shift turn into a total end.
    Sometimes Sweet, "Now and Then"

    the same idea comes up in this song, "5 years' time" by noah and the whale, that i've been listening to for the past few weeks. here's the song for your listening pleasure. (for some reason i couldn't get the official video, which is awesome, to upload to my blog. so i'll have to settle for music only.)
    at the end he says, "in five years' time i might not know you/ in five years' time we might not speak/ in five years' time we might not get along/ in five years' time you might just prove me wrong." the whole song they are having so much fun, fun, fun together, but then he realizes, hey, what about the future? we might not know each other in a few years.

    i think about this a lot. i can think of a few different friendships of mine that are currently in this kind of liminal space. we have tons of fun when we are together, and it goes just back to the way it was before we drifted apart, but somehow our lives have changed. we don't keep in touch regularly, so we don't know the details of each others' day-to-day activities. and i'm not mad about it or anything--how could i be? i'm as much to blame as anyone--but it does make me a little sad. 

    because, like danielle says at the end there, every relationship changes as life changes, even the relationships you have with people you see every day. but if both of you don't put in the effort to preserve your friendship in its new form, it will simply fade. 

    it seems to me that if there is someone who means a lot to you at one point in your life, they should probably mean a lot to you at the other points of your life, too, though probably in a different way. i've let many of those important people just slip away from me, and now i think that i should have tried harder to keep something going. i think that i usually just shrug my shoulders and say to myself, 'well, i've grown beyond that friendship, and we're both in different places in our lives now.' but does that even make any sense? if i really cared about them, wouldn't i want them there through all the "different places" of my life, and wouldn't i want them to think the same about me?

    sometimes i worry about this happening with the friendships i have now. i wonder, will we even talk once the convenience of this relationship leaves us? but, really, it's up to me (and hopefully the other person) to keep it going when we live farther away or when our lives are different. if we drift apart, it's partly my fault.

    the moral of danielle's story is that it's never too late. both she and her long-lost friend wanted to reconnect during their years of little contact, and both always seemed to lose nerve. but, eventually, they got together again and figured out how to become good friends within the framework of their different lives. and, like charlie fink says in "five years' time," it's up to the people in the relationship to prove that they can last.

    i'm all for this; it is a little scary, because it means putting myself out there, and i usually run away from such things. but i've never understood the logic behind restricting yourself from having as many friendships as possible (it's why i react so violently against the idea of a "friend zone"), so why would i just let these great friends/great people slip out of my life?

    so, another resolution: to reconnect with old friends and not be satisfied with the mentality that "oh, we're just in different places in our lives now." because, let's face it, i can use all the friends i can get.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    if i were getting anything besides money this christmas...

    not that i'm not grateful for the money. i am. i'm grateful to get anything, really. but if there were packages waiting for me under the tree, i would want these lovelies to be in them.

    amazon, $61
    coach poppy flower perfume. i'm in need of a new scent, and this one has caught my nose.

    j.crew, $128 (so, unattainable :))
    let's face it: i need a pair of ruby slippers at some point in my life. why not now?

    ross-simons jewelry, $a lot.
    turquoise and rhinestones. yes please. also, from an estate collection, so extra cool.

    amazon, $varying.

    opi russian navy matte nail lacquer. tried to buy it over thanksgiving and the wrong one came. still want it. will get it eventually.

    we'll see.

    kate's paperie, $17.99.
    rainbow writing tools.

    return trip to london. if only...

    prince design UK,, $22.
    this adorable little dish i found on etsy.

    amazon, $13.59.

    i've had my eye on this for a while now. i might just buy it after christmas :)

    a.heirloom, etsy, $40.
    a sweet cutting board in the shape of the state of my choice. which would i choose?

    farberware, amazon, $32.
    and, a last minute addition fueled by my realization that a lot of yummy things (read: chocolates and the like) require the use of a double boiler. if i had one, i wouldn't have to turn away from above yummy recipes in tears and frustration.

    there you have it. merry christmas shopping!

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    resolution for the new year: on creativity

    these days my thoughts are straying ever farther from academia and ever closer to creation. and by creation i mean creating things. with my hands and my mind.

    i feel an almost constant desire to be making things. i want to put things out into the world that have been made by me. i want to write essays all the time, about the things that make me think and the beautiful things i see and the funny things that happen in life. i want to record and make lovely music that will make people happy. i want to craft and have an etsy store and create headbands and pendants and typography and ceramic knick knacks and crocheted hats and other clever and gorgeous things. i want to do art projects with paper and fabric and glue guns and paint and glitter and buttons and ceramic tiles and lace. (let's see how many times i can use the word 'ceramic' in this post, shall we?) i want to blog. i want people to see my blog.

    i discovered this blog and etsy shop today (while i was pinterest-stalking my secret gift exchange recipient, actually) and it is just one of the things that has inspired me recently. the blogger, melissa, has this gorgeous print in her shop, and the sentiment is one that hit me especially hard.

    so, i'm resolving to do that, even if it isn't technically resolution time yet. i want to be doing creative things that will make me, and hopefully other people, happy. time to put my pinterest boards and my inspiration notes to good use.

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    some thoughts on dating

    the ladies in our apartment talk about dating a lot. it's to be expected. we're young, we're surrounded by eligible men, and we are very eligible and very great ourselves. if i do say so on all of our behalf.

    this is something that has been floating around lately. it rings very true. a particularly good quote:

    A lot of men today don’t seem to believe it, but getting hitched to the right woman is a very desirable thing.
    So while there is nothing wrong with hanging out, it’s not a replacement for dating. Dating is the pathway to finding your true love and eventually settling down and getting married. Marriage is a one on one relationship, so you need to start getting to know women on a one on one basis. You might be hanging out with her and your friends right now, but if you don’t take her on date, she’ll forever be just your friend. So, start dating and stop hanging out. It really is not that hard to get a date with a woman. Here are some guidelines to remember as you take hanging out up a level to dating.
     The website this article comes from, the art of manliness, is pretty cool. for guys and girls.

    and a lot of the issues the authors bring up in in their article reminded me and my friends of this talk given by president monson in april conference. so, i guess, once again, i am reminded of how in tune the leaders of the church are to the trends of the world. they aren't just a bunch of old guys sitting up in a tall building--they know what's up.

    any thoughts about these two articles or dating in general?

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    life these days

    it's five o'clock on the thursday of finals week and i have little left to do. certainly nothing stressful, whcih is nice. i got all of that over with by tuesday at two in the afternoon.

    so, this week has turned out to be more mellow than previous finals weeks, at least in my experience. we've had a sleepover (under the mistletoe, i could add) every night, i unwound from a crazy day with the resurrection of hot tub tuesday, i went to a dance party, i've eaten good food (thai, sub, costa, ice cream), and i've watched several episodes of parks and rec, each of which made me laugh heartily.

    on;y a couple more things to take care of and i'm (semi) carefree until the new year. there is that little issue of my thesis, but that will get done. please hope it gets done.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    fleetmac woodfoxes

    when i typed "fleet" into my itunes library, albums from both fleet foxes and fleetwood mac emerged. i originally set out to listen to fleet foxes, but i love them both, so i let the mashup stay. and it was glorious.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    good times

    reading this list took me back to the good ol' days. have fun reminiscing during these crazy times. i sure did.

    and, one of the amazing songs i've been listening to these days.

    i have little private dance parties when i go to the library because my studying mix is so good. one bright spot to going to the library, i guess.

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    when i rule a world: a partial list

    there will be drinking fountains everywhere, so that you come upon them even more frequently than you do now. and they will be in europe, because that was maybe the thing i missed most about america. said drinking fountains will also dispense cold cold water, as cold as the water in the drinking fountain in the rb that i crave and visit several times during zumba.

    guys and girls will be able to talk to each other frankly about dating/being interested in one another. no more of this uncertainty that causes so much discomfort and awkwardness. people will go on dates and not feel pressure to get married or even just "like" each other, like "like like" each other, if you catch my drift. then, it seems to me, things will happen organically and perhaps without all the heartache of not knowing what the heck is going on in his mind.

    chocolate will be considered a fruit and/or vegetable.

    mandatory impromptu slow dances will happen throughout the day and night. when you hear the melodious strains of such classic slow jams as k-ci and jojo's "all my life" or lonestar's "amazed" or, best of all, daniel bedingfield's "if you're not the one", find a partner and cozy up.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    stylewatch: fifties edition, with perhaps some sixties thrown in for good measure

    one of my favorite movies of all time is white christmas, the old one with bing crosby and rosemary clooney. a couple weeks ago, i saw the byu production of the broadway musical version. it was great, the music was awesome, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations, bred from years of watching and loving the original.

    anyway, all of this is leading up to a discussion of the clothes. always, the clothes. i have long appreciated the style of the original white christmas, and the musical version was no different. i have often thought that i should have been born during this time period because the clothes are so delightful. feminine, flattering, tailored, beautiful.

    and here is the proof.

    floaty, pink, full skirt--perfect for dancing around the pier. or wherever they're supposed to be.
    i wish this was in color because she is wearing this great red belt to accessorize the full black and white checked skirt.
    looooooove this dress. so elegant. and it fits her perfectly.  
    and, because i didn't end up buying the banana republic mad men dress that i wanted and i am still feeling the pangs of non-buyer's remorse, here is a sample of the clothes from mad men, which is set in the 1960s.

    once again: tailored, beautiful fabrics, prints, colors
    so, there you have it. my preoccupation with these eras will probably continue, so i might update this in the future. but for now, i will pine outside of my blog.