Monday, December 31, 2012

resolution for 2013: goal setting and keeping

my posting has been a little light for the month of december, so i planned to load up today, but new year's eve festivities got in the way. but, those festivities were pretty fun, so it's all good. more on all of that and christmas and everything later.

but, for now, another resolution, maybe the last one i'll put on my blog. i've been thinking a lot about self-discipline lately, and one resolution i can work on related to that is making and keeping goals more effectively. some who know me know i'm pretty bad at sticking to things, and i want to be better about that. so, in 2013, my goals will be set and they will be met.

happy new year! it will be a great one, especially since i'm ringing it in tonight with the ball drop and grey's anatomy and in the morning with the rose parade. see ya, 2012!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

resolution for 2013: doing good

for the past couple weeks i've been thinking about resolutions for this next year. for the most part, a lot of my resolutions are the same. graduate, exercise more, do creative things. but the other day something occurred to me that i hadn't really thought about before.

dad asked meredith, and he's asked each of us at various times, what good she did that day. she had an answer, but as i was pondering the question for myself for that day, i wasn't sure if i really had an answer.

so, one of my resolutions is to do good everyday. i guess it's my iteration of "do a good turn daily," but i would like to focus more this year on looking outward and not being so wrapped up in all my stuff. i want to be able to say that i did something good each day, since a lot of the time these days i feel like i'm just leisuring my life away. and yes, i'm verbing leisure.

i want to be more like these people, who are so quick to serve and forget themselves. 

Friday, December 21, 2012


since finals ended, i've been living offline, for the most part. i mean, if we're coming to the end of the world, i should probably spend my last few days on earth hanging out with my family, not surfing the web and blogging, right? but, since we're all still here, i guess i can post again.

but, the last week has been pretty great, even though what i mostly did was go to every mall imaginable with berg and watch a lot of the office on netflix with berg and bud. i'm back in provo for now, but i'm excited to get back home for the rest of the break and play with our new dog (and our old dog :)), eat really good food, and lounge around with the fam.

that's my update and i'm sticking to it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


you know the magic of the season is in full swing when you are scatting "sleigh ride" in the car and you reach over to turn on fm100 and what do you happen to hear in real life? yeah, "sleigh ride".

also when you get a gorgeous royal purple top for FIFTEEN DOLLARS at j.crew without even trying.

yeah, christmas is magical.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

why tyler walke is the most eligible man in the world

lately i've been thinking that tyler is somewhat under-appreciated around these parts. i don't know if people really know how great he is, though i have it on good authority that at least one person thinks the title statement is true. but anyway, i've taken it upon myself to be tyler's advocate, to be a voice for the voiceless. of course, i kid--tyler is not voiceless. anyone who has ever played any game with him knows that. but i'll make a handy dandy list anyway.

--speaking of handy, tyler can fix just about anything. items i know he has fixed either in our house or in others': shower head, garbage disposal, water heater, toilet, toaster. and i'm sure there are countless other things. he also chopped down a huge weed that was growing in front of our window and built us a sweet rope ladder, which he designed, to access our balcony.
--he is the oldest sibling, with four younger sisters, so you know he knows how to treat girls/women. and he really loves them, which is even better.
--he gets passionate about things. two words: glove game.
--he's a guy you can talk to about guys. obviously this is really only good if you aren't romantically interested in him (if you are romantically interested in him, you shouldn't be talking to him about other guys. that's just rude.). but, do you know what i mean? some guys you would never go to for advice because they...hmmm, how do i say...don't really get it, how guys and girls work. but tyler gets it, which typically means that he, with all of us, throws up his hands and trusts that things will work out how they are supposed to. tyler doesn't try to push his weird theories on you; he listens and tries to be helpful and considerate.

so, there's my list. tyler is great, and many are baffled as to why some lucky lady hasn't yet snatched him up.

see what i mean?

Monday, December 10, 2012

it's beginning to look...

christmas is finally in full swing in our apartment. i mean, i've been listening to christmas music since halloween, but now it's officially okay. i just spent about an hour compiling all my christmas music and filling out my holiday music library. it just wasn't complete without the contribution from celine dion. and really, what collection of music isn't complete without a contribution from celine dion?

i picked my annual peck of ornaments from the sparkly selection at walmart, then we trimmed the tree. it's been a couple years since we've put up my cheap tree, but it has sentimental value, you know? we were sorely tempted to go for a real tree this year, but i didn't want to wait any longer, so up the fake one went.

i made an awesome christmas decoration!

the lights are strung, the mistletoe is positioned, the tree is trimmed. the cheesy christmas movies are playing. and now, the snow is falling. bring on the christmas cheer!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

today i...

graded 20+ issues papers,
wore mustard tights and black patent heels,
ate garlic bread,
went to the last day of new testament,
watched a movie on the wii,
didn't go to lunch with meredith and tess,
took too many quizzes on jetpunk,
successfully maneuvered a sock bun once again,
prepared an institute lesson,
conducted my last writing 150 classes,

and now i will rest for a few hours. and really get to work on everything tomorrow.

right after a date with the dentist.

Monday, December 3, 2012

wii like to party

on friday, as meredith and i were sitting at rubio's eating her birthday lunch, somehow the conversation turned to the wii. probably we were commiserating the end of zumba for the semester and wondering what the heck we were going to do for the whole month of december without it. i'm always talking about how much i love playing just dance, so i was probably saying that i wished we could just get a wii and play it anytime we wanted and stay in shape that way. "haha, yeah, let's buy a wii!" "i mean, we could just go to walmart right now haha."

and then we weren't laughing anymore. instead, we were sharing a very intent look. wait, we could actually do that. how much is a wii anyway? are we going to do this? i think we're buying a wii?!?

so i went off to class and meredith went home to compare prices.

and when i got home we purchased this baby.
and seriously, it was $120. one hundred twenty dollars. sixty bucks each. it was a steal of a deal, and it came with just dance 4 already! what could be better! it made so much sense.

i made the purchase online and then we picked it up from the store maybe an hour later. and, due to a dance party delay, we were dancing our hearts out the next day, the proud owners of a brand new wii, our first ever game system.

i'm still in a state of blissful shock. here's to the wii!

thanksgiving redux

because we were partying it up at disneyland on thanksgiving day, we didn't have a thanksgiving dinner, or even a world-famous disneyland turkey leg. tess didn't really have a sufficient turkey dinner either, so we decided to have our own.

people, i roasted my first turkey yesterday. it was awesome. well, truth be told, it was a little dry, but it was a learning experience, alright? but it was cooked, it didn't explode, and i removed all the gross bits with no difficulty. i felt pretty accomplished.

we also had real mashed potatoes, yams with brown sugar and pecans, stuffing with sausage, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie bars. and delightful dinner conversation, of course.

obviously i wouldn't have traded that thursday at disneyland, even for mom's thanksgiving dinner. but it did feel like something was missing. good thing we are competent and creative people. happy thanksgiving once again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

another long night

last night was another one of those nights when i went to bed, not necessarily at a decent hour, but whatever, and then after half an hour of tossing and turning, i decided to just be up for another few hours or so. i don't know why that happens sometimes. by all accounts, i should always be tired enough at two in the morning to be able to fall right asleep. but that's not always how it goes. but last night i at least ended up being kind of productive in my nocturnal state.

stuff i did from 2:30-6:00 am last night:
read a chapter from alma. a really good chapter, actually.
unpacked from california, which might be some kind of record.
went through my dresser and closet for clothes to give to d.i. and clothes to put in my summer bin.
watched a movie.
researched jack nicholson, christian bale, and charles manson (why i did that, i'm not sure. creepy.) on wikipedia.
drank about 40 oz. of water.
watched an episode of parks and rec.

and then i woke up at 10:30. and i'm starting to feel the effects. but it's kinda too bad i typically need/want more than four hours of sleep each night, because i could probably get a lot done. although, let's face it, it's not like i don't have time enough in the day to get things done and it still doesn't happen.

but anyway. i'm off to the store to stock up on christmas supplies. i can never resist the decorations!

Monday, November 26, 2012

a conundrum

why does it always seem like as soon as i start to figure out one thing in my life, really get a handle on it, something else that i thought i understood starts to fall apart? i guess the lesson is that you are never as in control as you think you are.

i just don't know which thing i would rather have figured out at this point. both of them are pretty important. oh well.

thoughts and observations from my trip to california

 i can't believe the trip is already over. it was great, though it definitely wasn't a relaxing trip. but it was a ton of fun and i still love my family, which is sometimes a feat after a ten hour car ride :)

but here are some thoughts, in no particular order.

this is not me in a skirt, in case you were confused.
--i rocked a skirt at disneyland all day on saturday. it was awesome.
--i satisfied my craving for clam chowder in a bread bowl (memo to self: it wasn't that good; don't spend the ten dollars again.). but i gained a new, last minute craving for this amazing-looking hot roast beef sandwich that will be calling my name until i visit the magic kingdom once again.

--visiting new temples is the best. it's always interesting to see how different each temple is and especially how different each temple is from the provo temple. and it was great to meet up with family and friends at the newport beach temple.

--world of color at california adventure. see it for sure. i saw it from the back (meaning, without seeing the accompanying video), and it was still amazing. i die over anything rainbow, so i was freaking out over the displays of color.

--sibling hotel room: lived up to all of my expectations. looooooooooots of laughter.
--hot tub conversations with strangers=always interesting.
--we still know how to work the parks like pros. and, in case anyone is wondering and for my own future reference, disneyland is not that crazy over thanksgiving. we didn't typically have to wait for anything longer than 30 or 35 minutes.
--cars land is awesome and the new cars ride is great. maybe one of my favorite things, though i'm glad i didn't stand in line for 2 hours.
--i did not choose wisely at miguel's, which is a serious bummer. you have to take advantage of miguel's when you get it, and i did not.
--meredith had the flu for most of the trip, which was even more of a serious bummer. the flu is the worst and i hope she gets better soon. out sibling hotel room wasn't as much fun without her.

--las vegas is super sketchy. i know a lot of people from there, and they seem to like it, but i really don't like it. sorry, people.
--the disneyland resort is the best during the holidays. one of the greatest parts of going around christmastime is seeing the fireworks show and the snow on main street. this year, the fireworks show was cancelled for us due to "unfavorable weather conditions" (boo), but the snow and the lighting of sleeping beauty's castle still made the night pretty magical. 
--...i didn't get any grading done..but who really thought i would?
--i'm super grateful for my family and for dad, who took us all to disneyland even though he doesn't really love it.

okay, now all i have to do is get through two more weeks of class and then finals and i'm home free for three weeks! just kidding, it won't really be as easy as that since i still have a lot of work to do. but the end is in sight!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thankful 2012: day four

here we go again:

i'm grateful for cars and when they function properly.
i'm grateful for miguel's even though i apparently get something different than the rest of my family and am the black sheep.
i'm grateful for classic rock.
i'm grateful for that feeling when things finally start coming together.
i'm grateful for laughter and for jokes and for word play and puns.
i'm grateful for good friends who make me laugh and let me cry and lift me up.
i'm grateful for hottubs.
i'm grateful for missionaries and all of their sacrifices.
i'm grateful for disneyland :)
i'm grateful for shoes.
i'm grateful for garlic bread, which i crave at almost all times.
i'm grateful for time with my family.

and that's all i will say for today, the eve of day one at disneyland. the internet at our hotel is spotty, and i'm due for a dip in the hottub!

Monday, November 19, 2012

we're going to disneyland!!!

i haven't devoted nearly enough time on my blog to our upcoming beesley family trip extravaganza to southern california over thanksgiving, especially considering how much time we devote to talking about it and thinking about it in real life.

back in like september or so, carter invited us three girls to a sibling text group which would be for the purpose of counting down to our trip, sharing memories of disneyland, and just generally expressing our excitement. so, for the past two months, everyday one of us will send a text saying "58 days!!!!" or "i was running and a car went by and it smelled like autopia" or whatever. it's been pretty funny/a little annoying because it means i get a ton of notifications from the group text since we're all seeing things and responding at pretty much the same time. but mostly it's been an awesome way to get pumped about the trip.

and, we've been trading awesome facebook posts back and forth:

of course, i am jasmine, my all-time favorite princess. berg knows me well :)

we as a family really, really love disneyland. most people who know me/us know that. i have so many great memories, some of which aren't detailed remembrances of specific events as much as general warm fuzziness, of being at disneyland with my family. it's just such a magical place!

so, this week we will spend two days at disneyland and california adventure, thanksgiving day and saturday. we expect a crowded park, which means long lines, but it will still be awesome. the only downside: my disneyland t-shirt, ordered last week per our intention to all buy new shirts for the trip, doesn't look like it's going come in time :( oh well. i'll just have to rearrange my outfit a little bit.

off to the happiest place on earth in less than 24 hours!

thankful 2012: day three

this isn't going to be much more than an awesome list :)

i'm grateful for ice cream and cream puffs. and a whole host of other treats. like the mickey-shaped sugar cookies i've been waiting for for so long that are in the kitchen right now awaiting frosting.
i'm grateful for hair products.
i'm grateful for lovely little accessories.
i'm grateful for a beautiful world and little moments when i remember that, like yesterday when i walked under an arch of leaves that were transitioning from green to brown.
i'm grateful for classy outfits.
i'm grateful for talents.
i'm grateful for church and for the priesthood leaders who strive to make it meaningful each week.
i'm grateful for tithing.
i'm grateful for rainbows.
i'm grateful for cell phones and free minutes after 7 and on the weekends and group texting.
i'm grateful for a place to live that is warm and whole and has a nice bed for me to sleep in. and an oven. and a bathroom. and a refrigerator. and, bonus, a balcony.
i'm grateful for music, in so many ways. for music to sing to, for music to dance to, for music to cry to, for music to smile to. right now i'm especially grateful for the carpenters christmas collection :)

this is all i can think of right now, but there will be more. happy thanksgiving week!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

amen to that

i've thought a lot about this lately. i think the fairy tale ideal says that love is firecrackers--that it is so intense and explosive and quick-burning that there is nothing else you can think about. maybe for some people it is like this. but i also wonder if sometimes, while i am expecting this firework kind of love, i'm missing out on the soft, slow-burning stuff, the love that slowly and imperceptibly builds and builds, that is also actually really great, too. i wonder if i get caught up in the romantic comedy type of love and forget that that is not always reality.

on a somewhat related note, i was talking to someone the other day about (what else?) dating, and she said that she never expected to be the one that would have to chase the guy. having almost always been someone in that same position, i could relate. it wold be nice if the guy was chasing you and you knew for sure that he was all in it. but i've been thinking: does it really matter the details of the courtship/how things unfold as long as it all has the same result, meaning, for us young single adults, temple marriage? i have to believe that, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter whether it took you guys six months to actually start dating or whether you were more interested in him at first than he was in you or whether your first kiss was awkward or whatever. if the end is true, committed, deep love, i feel like it doesn't matter a whole lot how you got there. i think too much of my time is spent worrying about how the dating stuff happens, "the game", if you will, when i'm becoming less and less sure that that stuff is really of much consequence at all. i'm not sure if that last sentence made much sense, but i don't really care at this point. :)

so those are my thoughts on love for today. doesn't that soft love just sound really nice?

thankful 2012: day two

first, i'm really grateful that i have access to so many great things just when i'm sitting at home. this is not necessarily an "i'm-so-thankful-for-the-internet" thing, but it's pretty amazing that i can look up any conference talk or ensign article online and then either read, listen to, or watch that talk in literally seconds. and, whenever i want to know something, i can just look it up. it's awesome that so much knowledge is instantly accessible.

next, i'm grateful for good food. i've talked about this before--i love food. and my life would not be nearly as happy as it is now without yummy food. i am so grateful that i have enough to eat everyday and that i have so many options available to me. all my weird cravings can be satisfied :)

also, recent events have reminded me how grateful i am that i have the gift of the holy ghost and can receive revelation. i've had some decisions to make lately, and it is always amazing to me how answers come, sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes in ways that hurt a little, but i know that things happen for a reason and that Heavenly Father has a plan and knows what is best. and i am grateful that He lets me know those things when i am doing what i am supposed to be doing.

and i'm grateful for the missionaries. in light of the announcement about the change in mission age requirements, there has been a whole lot of talk about missionaries and missionary work. missions are hard! they aren't just fun 18-month or 2-year vacations. so i'm grateful for those who faithfully serve and sacrifice to spread the gospel and do the Lord's will. and i'm really grateful that missionaries are supposed to write home :)

and, i'm grateful for the temple. i get to study a little bit more about the temple this week, and i am grateful that there is one so close and that there are places on earth where we/i can go to be closer to God and feel peace and comfort.

until next time!

thoughts on tuesday

i think the recurring theme around these "thoughts on..." posts is that they always come out of the days when i am conferencing and therefore sitting around the carrels all day with random snatches of time and no real room for productivity. so, here are my thoughts from the carrels today.

i am obsessed with polka dotted clothes. whenever i am online window shopping and i come across anything polka dot, i have a serious internal debate over whether i should add that thing to my shopping cart or not. a couple weeks ago i bought two things from polka dot chambray shirt and polka dot jeans. and today, these are what i wanted/still kinda really want to get from gap:
this is polka dotted--trust me. you can't really tell here.
those pants are seriously awesome. and i already have polka dot jeans! but i want all of the polka dots!

i am so glad it snowed on friday because that meant that i completely bypassed having to walk on campus in the snow, which is one of the things i most dislike in this world. winter, for me, is characterized by a constant fear of slipping on ice and breaking a leg or a tailbone. though i did have some sketchy moments at the football game on saturday, where the bleachers were almost entirely covered in snow, by the time i really had to walk on campus all the scary ice was gone.

i seriously love zumba. i can't wait until january when i can go two days a week again. i've really missed zumba tone.

a cute outfit and hair go a long way toward making a girl feel good about herself. they aren't the most important things, but they count for something.

i have been listening to the carpenters christmas since halloween and it is so awesome, people. and who wants to pitch in to help me record a christmas album?

okay, that's all i got right now. stay tuned for some more thankfuls.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

another thing i love

i've been meaning to post this here just because i love it so much.

a neat rainbow of glitter. it's ridiculous how happy this makes me. well, happy wednesday!

an unfamiliar feeling

what is that unfamiliar feeling, you ask? well, for me lately, it's been productivity. and also excitement and motivation toward my thesis.

it's been a very long time since i have felt any of this, and it's pretty awesome. turns out it actually feels kinda good to put in a good solid day of work. and i'm sleeping better at night. win-win, you know.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"all my little peccadillos"

this weekend i watched good will hunting, without all the swears that i found out were in the movie when i was looking up quotes for this post. the editing made it a little choppy, though i am told that the cinematography is kinda choppy anyway.

but anyway. i liked the movie, especially some of its thoughts on love. i mean, when am i ever not thinking about love? so it makes sense that those parts of the movie stood out to me.

here's the gist: will (matt damon), a foster kid from the slums of boston, is a janitor at MIT who is secretly a genius. he catches the attention of a prominent mathematician who decides to mentor will in order to keep him out of prison. part of the deal is that will also has to meet with a counselor to work through some of his issues.

sean (robin williams), his therapist, comes from a similar background and is able to build trust with will. like i said, the best parts for me were those where sean and will talk about relationships. here's a discussion that i really like.

Sean: You'll have bad times, but it'll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to. Maybe you're perfect right now. Maybe you don't wanna ruin that. I think that's a super philosophy, Will, that way you can go through your entire life without ever having to really know anybody...My wife used to fart when she was nervous. She had all sorts of wonderful idiosyncrasies. You know what? She used to fart in her sleep. [they laugh] Sorry I shared that with you. One night it was so loud it woke the dog up. She woke up and gone like "oh was that you?" I'd say yeah...I didn't have the heart to tell her...[cracks up] Oh [sheesh]... 
Will: [laughing hysterically] She woke herself up? 
Sean: [in hysterics himself] Yes!.... Oh [goodness]....aahhh, but, Will, she's been dead two years and that's the [stuff] I remember. [Will stops laughing] Wonderful stuff, you know, little things like that. Ah, but, those are the things I miss the most. The little idiosyncrasies that only I knew about. That's what made her my wife. Oh, and she had the goods on me, too; she knew all my little peccadillos. People call these things imperfections, but they're not — aw that's the good stuff. And then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. You're not perfect, sport. And let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she isn't perfect either. But the question is: whether or not you're perfect for each other. That's the whole deal. That's what intimacy is all about. Now you can know everything in the world, sport, but the only way you're findin' out that one is by givin' it a shot. You certainly won't learn from an old [crazy] like me. Even if I did know, I wouldn't tell a [kid] like you.

first, apparently that first part was totally improvised by robin williams, so the hysterical laughter is legit, not just really good acting. but also, this is exactly what i believe about relationships. i've been thinking about this a lot lately. i want to be in a passionate relationship someday, the kind you see in romantic movies. but, i also know that that kind of passion doesn't necessarily define a marital relationship, especially after the first few years. then, the passion hopefully becomes something deeper, and that's something that i don't fully understand now. i think that initial spark is important, but what's maybe more important is the life you build together in the years to come. i think that's what sean is talking about here, partly. getting to know each other, quirks and imperfections and idiosyncrasies and all, and still being so in love, is what i want to get to.

and i love those bolded lines sosososososo much. none of us are perfect! but that's not the point; it's about being perfect for each other. man, i really love that. i know this is only a movie, but i really believe that's how it's supposed to work, how it can work.

so those are my thoughts on good will hunting, one of the movies to cross off on my list of must-sees. next up: finding forrester and a few good men.

thankful 2012: day one

i have so many things to be thankful for, so here's the first part of the list (which will by no means be comprehensive). but, i am going to at least start off with some of the important things.

first, i am so grateful for my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. so much of the happiness i feel in my life comes from this knowledge.

second, i'm thankful for my family. it's pretty awesome that we can all just sit around talking for like two hours and have more fun than we would in pretty much any other way. seriously, though. when my dad told us we were going to california over thanksgiving this year, i was most excited (i mean, after thinking about the joy of disneyland) about sharing a hotel room with my siblings. it's going to be a blast staying up late and making prank calls :)

third, i'm thankful for my education. there have been ups and downs, but i love learning and i am grateful for these years i've spent at byu. someday i'll be done, and i'll be glad to leave. but provo really has been good to me.

fourth, i'm grateful for my job, and i'm especially grateful that my job is teaching. it is lovely to have money with which to buy things that i need and want, and i love that i make that money right now by talking to my students and helping them to become better writers. i just hope i can figure out a way to do that for the rest of my life.

those are the important things i can think of right now...i'll be back soon with some other thankfuls.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

thoughts on wednesday

first of all, is it seriously only wednesday? it feels like it should be thursday at least. i keep thinking tonight is institute. sheesh.
in other news:
--i'm trying to revamp my life and be 1)more productive and 2)more healthy. i feel pretty good about my productivity this week, but the myriad sugar cookies i've eaten probably aren't doing much for my fitness goals.
--on a related note, i have a renewed interest in going to the library and doing work, which is haven't had in, oh, say, two years? so that's pretty awesome.
--also on a related note, the provo library is about to become my office away from my office.
--today is halloween, which is typically my favorite day on byu campus. notable costumes: a giant snowman, the tenth doctor, katniss everdeen, gumby and pokey, and several avengers. none of these topped the awesome tetris piece i saw a few years ago, or even the sexy sax man whose dulcet tones filled campus last year. i think i like byu on halloween so much because it brings people together. i always ask my students what good costumes they've seen and it's always funny when we've seen the same ones.
--and...i thought i had more thoughts, but we're on our way to dinner, not to chipotle for $2 burritos as originally planned, but rather to some other destination. and what a way to end this post :)

how to throw an awesome dance party

(in no particular order)
1. play a variety of music. top 40 is okay, but only if you intersperse it with other cool dance music. dubstep is fun to dance to for like one minute. more than one dubstep song=bad idea. also not really that fun to dance to for longer than a couple minutes: rap. but, there are a lot of options. throwback is fun, songs everyone know can be fun. playing music not a lot of people know is cool IF it's good to dance to still.
2. NEVER have seating available in the dance room. if there is a couch or chairs, people will sit there and ruin the vibe of the dance party. if you want to give people a place to lounge, put furniture in another room or, weather permitting, outside where guests can take a break from all of that energetic dancing they've been doing.
3. make sure it's not too light. a dance party with too much light is too much like a stake dance. and, not that stake dances don't have a very important role to play in mormon culture (like helping us to understand how awkward, but also strangely invigorating, slow dancing can be), we typically want to avoid comparisons to a stake dance. maybe you've been wary of turning out the lights in the past--sometimes bad things happen in the dark. but, a darkened dance floor doesn't of necessity lead to heightened promiscuity. but it does lead to heightened dance-ability, AM I RIGHT? (that one's for meredith and jesse:))
4. bump that music! dance parties are meant to be loud! if you can hear the person next to you talking at a normal volume, or rather, in his or her "indoor voice", the music needs to be louder. it doesn't have to be "the-neighbors-are-going-to-call-the-cops-on-you" loud, but you've got to give people a chance to drown out the stress and worry of their day. isn't that what dance parties are for, to forget about real life and just dance like no one is watching??

those are my tips, based on simple observation and not any sort of expertise. but i hope to attend many fun dance parties in the future!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

halloween-type things...

i've done this year
pumpkin patch+haunted hay ride+corn maze
made and eaten a lot of pumpkin/halloween food, including lots of spooky cookies
halloween pandora station, which was a little bit of a letdown

i haven't done this year
worn a costume/planned a costume
gone to any sort of halloween shindig
carved a pumpkin
watched a scary movie (i'm putting my foot down this year)
gone to a haunted house. which will probably never happen.

i'm not sure what the deal is. usually i'm a little more enthusiastic about halloween, but this year i just have no desire to participate. i'll help the others get ready for their party and i'll gladly eat pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but i don't care at all about missing the season for scary movies or about not dressing up.

maybe i am getting too old for some of this stuff? i'm also not in the mood for the crazy late night adventures like i have been in the past. i told meredith one night that i wasn't feeling up to going out on the town, and she said, if you're too old for this, it's time you got out of provo. which i thought was a little harsh, but maybe almost true.

oh well. halloween is fun; this ended up being more melancholy than i thought it would or even than i actually feel. life is still good! i'm just not really celebrating halloween, which is still okay, right?

Monday, October 29, 2012

what is my problem.

this morning, i had to wake up a little early to complete a short writing assignment for my new testament class. i needed to write at least 150 words on a question about the reading we did for today. i didn't think it would take me all that long to complete, and i was right.

i wrote almost 200 words in less than ten minutes.

why is this thesis thing so stupid then?

i know that writing an opinion-based response is much different than writing a long research paper (or research-based argument, as we might say in writing 150.) but still, i can write. i can do this thing. i can write 200 words in under ten minutes, for goodness sake!

why i like fall: reason #14

hot chocolate.

to be honest, i don't think about hot chocolate in the warmer months. during that time, i'm drinking a lot of chocolate milk, though. so, when it gets a little chilly, i start to get that hankering for a nice, warm, chocolatey beverage. which is why i've been to the cocoa bean for just such a concoction twice in the last week.

mmmmm...the more whipped cream goodness on top the better. also, this picture comes from lindt, so you know that stuff is delicious.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

why i like fall: reason #35

wearing cords.

yes, i love my summer skirts and dresses, but cords are so cozy! they make me want to curl up under a warm blanket with a book. though, if i'm being honest, there are actually a lot of things that make me want to do that.

but anyway, here's to cords. did you know that the 11th of every month is cord-wearing day? that's because the wales (the little ridges) of corduroy look like an 11. awesome, right? that also means that 11.11.11 was the ultimate day for wearing cords. too bad that will never happen again in my lifetime :)

listen to this: RED

ever since taylor swift announced her new album (and i really debated putting the actual video on here, since it's awesome and taylor videochats with people and it's hilarious, but you can link to it on your own), my sisters and i have been counting down the days to october 22. our love for t-swift is well documented, so our excitement levels for the past few weeks have been pretty high. we've had several taylor sing-a-longs, had video-watching marathons, and scoured the internet religiously for news of the new album and the songstress herself.

finally, yesterday, the long-awaited date arrived. we decided to make buying the album an adventure since, hey, we're crazy college kids, and we went to the orem wal-mart at midnight on sunday night to snatch up our copies. even more awesome, we weren't the only group of girls who thought of that same plan--we met a few other taylor enthusiasts during that midnight trip.

then, because, again, we're crazy college kids (though i'm thinking i might be getting a little too old for this...), we went to denny's for breakfast at midnight. bottomless hot chocolate, a new taylor swift album, lovely ladies, chicken fried steak--what could be better?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

where are the good guys?

i don't profess to know everything about dating or to be any kind of an expert, but i have observed a lot in my dating years. after being in provo almost seven years, it would be almost impossible to not observe a whole bunch of dating shenanigans.

one of the things i have wondered through the years is whether there really are awesome guys out there, guys who know what they want to do or who know how to treat women or who understand what is really important in life. there are so many men around who don't seem to know that, like the ones who are more concerned about making a friendship weird than trying to cultivate what could be a real relationship. or the ones who just go around having random hook-ups and call it "dating." this is not to say that there aren't also girls who don't really seem to know what it's all about. and. another disclaimer, i know not everyone is so focused on dating and marriage. some people are super focused on school, which isn't bad. but there comes a time, maybe when you're in your mid-20s or so, when you should probably start thinking seriously about settling down and acting/being spouse-worthy.

last week, one of my friends shared something with me that showed me, once again (he actually does this fairly often), that there are good guys in this world. i hope they really aren't as much of the exception to the rule as i sometimes think, because we need some great guys these days, for a whole host of reasons. anyway, so this friend was at the aforementioned stake dance. he, like most people, went mostly for social reasons: to scope out the cute girls. he realized, though, as he noticed several girls sitting on the sidelines all night, not getting asked to dance, that this was a somewhat misguided purpose. he realized that, as a good Christian man, he could be doing more. he resolved to ask those girls to dance and rethink his reasons for going to activities. clearly, going to a stake dance to meet people and have fun is not a bad thing. but is it the best thing? my friend saw that there were some needs that he could help fill. as a girl who has been there, has been the one who doesn't get asked to dance, this feels especially important.

i guess my point is that my faith in guys has been restored. sometimes it feels like there are no jim halperts out there, no really good guys who do things the right way and know what they want and treat people right. but i know there are. and as someone who's trying to be a good girl, i know there's a good guy out there for me.

bonus picture of john krasinski as jim. isn't that just a good-guy face?

huh? october's almost over?

goodness, what happened to me over the past week? i told a friend that i hadn't blogged in over a week and he said, "that's probably good for you." i'm not sure what that's supposed to mean.

but anyway, what have i been up to lately, you ask? well, last week i took a test in the testing center for the first time in three years, i prepared an institute lesson, i went to a stake dance in a barn, i stayed home from the goth prom to fold laundry and watch 12 angry men, which was awesome, i went to a granddaughter tea party hosted by mom and nana, and i had a very successful shopping trip to h&m wherein i purchased a lovely lace skirt at half price.

mostly, i've been having little everyday adventures. i shall be detailing some of these shortly.

to end this comeback post, i'd like to direct your attention to this article, which helps lay to rest the argument that learning how to write well is a useless skill. i'm looking at you, friend!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

a magical night

i've known about book on tape worm for a few years now. back in my younger days, i became pretty good friends with a fun guy who had a brother in one provo-based band and a roommate in another. through andrew, i went to the sego festival in 2008 and saw neon trees in the middle of 100 north between velour and central bank. my memory from that night is of being crushed by people rocking out and of seeing people sitting on top of the central bank building. the next night, we went up to the castle to see scott shepard, who was playing in this little clearing of trees with all these electric lamps everywhere. we sat on the grass. my memory from that night is of feeling like i was in a magical fairyland. i still wonder how all those lamps were powered.

fast forward a few years. i guess i lost touch with the provo music scene or something. this summer, i finally started going to the rooftop concert series, and probably my favorite show was isaac russell with book on tape worm and john allred. the whole night was great, but i was captivated by book on tape worm. the lyrics--how could an english major not fall in love with songs about a wrinkle in time or death of a salesman, so full of figurative language that they make me want to shout for joy and point my students in their direction so they can understand what personification is? and scott's voice--i sing, and it's amazing to me how perfect his vocals always are. he truly has a gift. and the arrangements themselves--there were times that night when i just closed my eyes and let the music cover me like my most cozy blanket.

needless to say, i knew i needed to go the album release show on october 13.

oh my goodness, it was so great. from the gorgeous set with twinkle lights to the lovely opening acts to the glorious music played in four acts i was entranced. i think my mouth was open most of the night from being so awestruck by the beauty of it all. i was thinking the whole time, i'm so glad i was here. i was already thinking about how that night would affect me in days to come.

also, the album itself is soooooooo beautiful. i don't know what i was expecting, but it definitely wasn't this:

yes, you are seeing correctly--this is a pop up stage!!!!!! i gasped when i opened the album. so lovely.

also, lyrics booklet! i was pretty stoked about this, because the lyrics are so full of figures of speech that i knew i would want to study them a little bit more. so, thanks guys, for the lyrics booklet.

so, basically, it was a fantastic, spectacular, heartfelt, awesome, thoughtful, beautiful, magical show. and, again, i'm so glad i got to be a part of it. and i still kinda want scott shepard to date me, so there's that, i guess. now go out and buy this album.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

two hundred...and three

remember how i had all these grand plans for my 200th post and then i promptly posted a couple things on one day and a couple things on the next and completely forgot that i was close to 200 at all? yeah, that was dumb.

so, i don't really have anything momentous to say. i just wanted to acknowledge this little landmark in my life. i guess i should say something like, look how far i've come in these past 200 posts. or maybe it's more like, why haven't i come that far in these past 200 posts? whatever the case may be, i do still love this little blog, and it is still pretty little. but more often than not it's at least therapeutic for me, so i'm going to keep it up.

to my 203rd post!


a few weeks ago i taught an institute class on hope. this is a topic i've thought a lot about in the past couple years, and my study was sparked by president uchtdorf's talk "the infinite power of hope," which became the basis for my lesson. i've had this little post waiting for weeks, so i decided to finally share a couple of my favorite quotes from the lesson.

The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.
Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fearPresident Uchtdorf
With Nephi I declare: “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”
This is the quality of hope we must cherish and develop. Such a mature hope comes in and through our Savior Jesus Christ, for “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as [the Savior] is pure.”  President Uchtdorf

Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hopeJames E. Faust

And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.
Never surrender.
Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.
Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.  President Uchtdorf

best compliment ever {part two}

i've been doing zumba for a few years now, and, while i don't pretend to be a dancer of any kind, i think i'm okay at it. it's especially nice to know, for the most part, what the moves are and how the songs go. so anyway, yesterday we did zumba pump, which is always awesome. we were putting our equipment away, and this conversation went down.

lady in grey t-shirt behind me: you were doing so well!
me: oh! thank you!
ligt-sbm: i was watching you the whole time, and i was thinking, if i follow her, i'll be doing it!       you were so good at it!
me: oh! thank you!

i was clearly speechless in the glow of her praise. looks like all those years of aerobics and zumba are starting to pay off!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

thoughts on wednesday

--what's with girls talking to each other like babies when they first see each other? that's a weird thing.
--conference time (the kind of conference time where i am sitting around all day waiting for my students to come talk to me) should always be about a million times more productive than it is. when i'm sitting outside my office in the jkb there is just some instinct that kicks in that tells me i can't do any real work.
--i just remembered the word "ornery" thanks to nat the fat rat and now i want to use it all the time.
--this is maybe one of the best things from the office ever. it's from the latest episode, and it's an instant classic. so good. i'm glad to see they haven't decided to slack off this final season. "hats off to you for not seeing race!" hahahahahahaha

--talking on the phone is fun. it can sometimes be just as good as getting letters.
--loving this song lately:

happy wednesday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

conference weekend

i wanted it to be a lovely weekend, and it was.

sheesh, i feel like i don't even know what to say; there were so many great parts.

my overwhelming feeling after a weekend of general conference is always a desire to do and be better. it is so amazing that i can listen to the prophet and other chosen leaders and know what i need to do.

this conference a couple things really stood out to me. first, i can't wait to be a parent. several talks focused on raising righteous children, including elder perry's. in his talk, elder perry discussed how we can create strong family cultures so our homes are sacred places that our children cherish. in the past, i would tune out during the talks directed to parents, but for some reason this has been on my mind a lot lately. and as the youth choir was singing for the saturday afternoon session, i started thinking about how crucial it will be when i'm raising kids to make sure i teach them well so they can withstand those crazy trials in this crazy world.

also, and i've talked about this a few times, but i need to be constantly reminded of the importance of faith in driving out fear and doubt. for whatever reason, it is fairly easy for me to feel discouraged about so many things, and i have to remember that miracles can happen with faith. literally, miraculous things can happen when we believe. and it's gonna take some miracles to get me out of some of the pickles i'm in currently. president uchtdorf's talk was also amazing and somewhat related. if i want to live a life without regrets, i need to appreciate each day and do the things each day that will help me become more like Christ. have we not reason to rejoice?

and, lastly, i want to be converted to the gospel rather than just have a testimony of its truth. this is important, but i want to be converted to the Lord so i cannot be shaken by the winds of adversity and persecution that are surely coming. i want to give my whole soul to Heavenly Father. really though, how awesome was elder bednar's talk? that's one i'm going to be thinking about a lot in the coming months.

apart from these inspiring messages (and many others that were also great), i had a great weekend with friends and family. it was a party in north salt lake this weekend, and i loved it.

i loved that our basement couch was full of some of my favorite people on sunday morning. i loved how we spent what seemed like hours discussing the implications of the just-announced change in age requirement for missionaries (18 for elders, 19 for sisters--what will this do to freshman wards? to the mission field? to the idea of "waiting for your missionary"? the questions are endless!) i loved that we stayed up late on saturday night visiting nielsen's and talking about important things. i loved that our girls' night consisted of dinner at a steakhouse, a trip to the shoe store, and rice krispie treats. i loved that we got to be in the conference center, which is typically the highlight of any conference weekend (though other things this weekend maybe rivalled that, including my two new pairs of shoes with which i am in love). i loved that we ended the festivities with a roast dinner and chocolate chip cheesecake, two things that will forever remind me of my childhood, which was pretty darn awesome.

basically, i remembered this weekend that life is good, due both to the uplifting messages of general conference and to being with loved ones. happy conference!

Friday, October 5, 2012

good news for this week

sometimes i just need to focus on the positives. not that my life is bad, by any means, but it's especially easy for me, as i've said before, to get hung up on the stresses and forget about the good stuff. so, here are some of the lovely things happening lately, in no particular order.
  • alias is on netflix watch instantly now. i literally gasped when i saw it. 
  • i got a free waffle from the awful waffle thanks to the lovely tess. nutella, bananas, and a whole lot of vanilla whipped cream.
  • conference is this weekend, and i get to go on saturday! yay!
  • my students are funny. and, when they put their minds to it, they can have some pretty great discussions. 
  • i went on a shopping trip with a boy this week. he has this thing for insulting my fashion sense, which is not so cool, but hopefully this successful trip laid that to rest. because now i'm his permanent fashion consultant. according to him.
  • my shows are still making me laugh, which is always a good sign. 
  • i still love teaching, both writing 150 and institute. 
  • zumba kicks my butt, in the best possible way.
  • i get to spend all weekend with my family and other people that i love!
so there you have it. life is good.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

getting ready for general conference

i'm always excited for general conference weekend, but this time i am especially excited because i've been preparing an institute lesson this week about the prophet, the other apostles, and conference itself.

for those who might not know, general conference is a semi-annual event in our church where the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other leaders of the Church speak to us, members and non-members alike. we consider these talks to be the word of God given with our specific challenges and circumstances in mind. just as in biblical times, God speaks to His people through the prophets. we have a prophet and apostles today who prayerfully seek the counsel of God to then give to us. if we follow this counsel, we will find "safety, peace, prosperity, and happiness" (m. russell ballard, "his word ye shall receive").

i know this is true. i know that the things we hear in general conference are directed specifically toward us and our individual challenges. i have felt the peace that comes from following the prophet and the other servants of God.

tune in to general conference if you can. if you listen, i know you will hear something that is directed to you personally.  it will be a marvelous weekend!

(and i'm so excited to be able to attend the saturday afternoon session with some of my favorite people :) being in the presence of the prophet is one of the best things in the world!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

a thought on teaching

for the past few semesters, i've tried to convey the expectation to my students that getting an A means more than just meeting the minimum requirements of the course or even of the A itself. i want my students to actually earn their As, which means meeting with me beyond a single conference or going to the writing center or having multiple peers review their papers.

this semester, more than others, i have students who are concerned about earning that A. last night i met with three students after 6pm because that was when i could meet. they wanted my feedback so they could turn in A-quality work, and they were willing to sacrifice some of their tuesday evening to do so. i grumble about having to traipse up to campus after a long day at work when i don't technically "have" to be up there, but really i'm glad to help my students achieve their goals.

have i said that i love teaching?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

high heels and headbands

one thing that held me back from getting a blog for awhile was the burdensome task of choosing a URL.

{insert quintessential courtney phrase}

there's a lot of pressure in that! once you've got a URL, you can't really change it. you're stuck with your decision. 

"sophisticated simplicity" i came up with pretty fast. i love that da vinci quote, and i love the talk from president uchtdorf that quotes the quote. i still love the concept, and hopefully it applies, in a least a small degree, to what i try to do here. 

eventually, i bit the bullet: highheelsandheadbands. i mean, i love high heels--anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my favorite things to do is put on a new pair of heels as soon as i get them home. i love headbands, as many witnesses can attest. on two separate occasions, years apart, i have won awards for having versatile and attractive hair accessories (which has also made me think that i need to be better about letting people get to know me so they can find something to look at beyond my headwear). i figured these two things would be timeless, would always describe me. 

not so. i still like those things in theory--not so much in practice. 

i guess this is less a commentary on my failure to choose a URL that i would like two years later than one on how much my style and, in some ways, my personality, has changed in the past couple years. i was just thinking today, i'm glad i've kind of figured out my style. but then i thought, who knows how long this will last, though?

so i think i'll stick with highheelsandheadbands. it's alliterative, which is always a plus. and maybe there is still something in those two things that is quintessentially me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

sunday drive

yesterday, emily, tess, meredith and i decided to drive the alpine loop, since we hadn't really done it before and it seemed like the colors would be perfect. although the trip ended up being a little longer than we expected and we were all ready to get out of the car after about two and a half hours, the drive was beautiful, and i for one was still in awe by the end.

my camera isn't super high quality, which means my pictures aren't either, but here is some photographic evidence that we went on this lovely excursion.

Friday, September 21, 2012

why i like fall: reason #27

new episodes of my favorite shows.

i'm pretty sure i've addressed this in a past post, but, watching the new episodes of the office and parks and rec today reminded me again just how great this time of year is.

gotta love fall.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

thoughts on wednesday

i was going to call this "hump day thoughts" but then decided not to and then decided to just share my thought process anyway.

yesterday i had sixteen conferences with students. one way i know the semester is officially underway=conferences. then once those start, it feels like they never stop. but, miracle of miracles, all of my students yesterday showed up, for the most part on time, and they all had drafts. that almost never happens. and most of the drafts were pretty darn good. have i said that i love teaching?

i read this article on the @ symbol yesterday. it was awesome.

my brother posted this video on my wall last night and then promptly sent me a text that said "check out the vid i put on your wall." i did, and within the first 30 seconds of viewing i was clapping my hands in delight. taylor swift + hanson=all of my wildest dreams coming true.

i am so glad i'm getting paid on friday.

if anyone knows of a house south of campus that will have four spots for girls come winter, let me know. it is becoming more and more apparent that the four of us need to move in together asap.

and, last thought, thought that's always in the forefront of my mind, why is dating so dumb?

happy wednesday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

it's things like this that make me want a husband and baby so bad...

this's been on my mind since i first heard the album, and it is so beautiful. "a father's first spring"--scott avett's thoughts on being a new father and how he felt about his new daughter. i especially love the line "i was a child before the day that i met eleanor."

Monday, September 17, 2012

on embracing your weirdness

i've had several conversations with people about this lately, and i feel like i can finally contribute something to my blog.

i always thought that, if i wasn't successful in dating, which i have to admit has been the case for basically all of my adult life, that meant there was something wrong with me, something that i needed to change about myself. when i say change here, i mean change some of my personality traits, like i thought maybe i needed to be different, be more flirty or laugh less loudly or like different things. i believed that there must be something about me that was holding me back.

as i've gotten older, i've gotten away from that, at least when i think about myself and dating. i've come to believe that it is more a matter of timing than of having to change yourself in order to be more "dateable." i realized that i don't need to try to be anyone else when i'm actually pretty awesome in my own right. now i just need to find the guy who also thinks that.

but it recently came to my attention that i still apply my former flawed logic, that not dating means you need to change something about your personality, to other people. i know a couple people who are very awkward, to the point that it is sometimes hard to be around them. and all this time i've been thinking that, if only they could get over that and be different, change something that is such an inherent part of them, they'd be so great and people would for sure want to date them. and how lame is that of me? i remembered, again, that it's all about timing, finding the right person at the right time. so, that guy who bugs me--i need to remember that he's not for me, and that's okay, but there is someone out there who will love all of him and embrace all of that stuff that drives me crazy.

my comrades (the people i talked to about this issue) and i did decide, though, that there is something to be said for bettering yourself. we hear about aligning our lives with that of the Savior, and that is where self-improvement takes place. there might not be one ideal personality, but there is one true way to live your life. we can always be working to develop the attributes that are embodied in Jesus Christ. as one of my friends put it, the change is principle-based rather than trait-based. i know one person who had a reputation for being kind of mean and cold, and i think this person realized that was holding him or her back from being really happy. so, this person consciously worked to become more positive and friendly. and the change was amazing. i don't know for sure, but i think this person really did get happier and, to a degree, more successful in dating, or at least more confident that everything works out eventually.

to sum up: i'm not going to expect people to change their personalities anymore, and i'm going to keep reminding myself that there will be someone someday who is willing to accept all my weird things. that's one of my worries, too, that guys will think my weird things are too weird and won't be able to get over that i don't drink juice or that i can't even look at snakes. but that's dumb, because there is someone for everyone, no matter how trite that sounds. and, i'm going to keep doing the things i can to become more like Christ--the only way to be truly happy, with or without a man.

i'll end this with one of my favorite quotes. i can't remember if i've posted it before or not, but it's too perfect for this subject to not share again.

that dr. seuss, he really knew what he was talking about.

photo dump from summer

as i was going through my camera last week, i discovered that i had taken a few more pictures this summer than i realized. so, pretty much for my own purposes, here is some evidence that i had fun this summer. which i did.

lake powell sunset cruise. remember how i meant to do a whole post on lake powell? yeah, that never happened.

siblings! also, how you look after you've been at lake powell for a week.

the cave we went in where bats flew around us

me and berk. apparently he didn't want to touch me or something? he's leaning so far!

beach house

at the twilight

joshua james