Thursday, August 30, 2012

go listen to this!

remember how i really love the avett brothers? i was so sad this summer when i couldn't go to their show in salt lake because i was coming home from lake powell. but they have a new album coming out, and the lovely people at npr have decided to give us a first listen to the album, the carpenter.

here's the single, too, "live and die." it's good.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

love this commercial

in the absence of the olympics, i forgot how much i love this commercial for, of all things, the google nexus 7. i guess i'm a sucker for depictions of dads with their little sons. there's probably some psychological meaning in there somewhere...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

stylewatch: polka dot jeans

it’s been a while since i did one of these, so i thought i would highlight one of my favorite trends of the moment. the proliferation of polka dots in the past year has aroused in me a long lost childhood love. my favorite swimsuit when i was a kid was this awesome pink and purple polka dot one piece. a real beauty. but anyway, back to the jeans. 

i’ve seen these all over the internet, and then yesterday, on the first day of school, i saw no fewer than two girls wearing polka dot pants. i probably would have seen more, too, but i was only on campus out and about for like an hour and a half. 

so, please come with me on this journey, through this gallery of polka-dotted delight. i’m on the hunt for a beautiful pair of my own.

i die over these jeans.

a more subtle polka dot print, but doubly awesome for the color.

images via my stylish board on pinterest and natalie holbrook's babble post on this very thing.

summer rainstorms

one of the best things about summer, besides the sun and no school and flowy skirts and sandals and being outside and the sun staying out until 9pm and ice cream and love in the air, is the summer rainstorm. i haven’t been in that many rainstorms this season, but this weekend i got caught in two in two days. 

saturday i walked to the other side of my complex in search of a party. when it turned out to be taking place in lehi instead of provo, i decided to take a walk around the block while i was out. i felt a few raindrops, but i kept walking, and within two minutes, rain was pouring down. i was getting soaked, but the combination of warm air and cool rain made me smile rather than run back inside with my hands over my head. 

and on sunday, i spent the afternoon on the balcony, and as i sat up there in my camp chair, the sky changed from bright blue to light grey to dark, muddy slate. the rain started slowly, again, but soon it fell hard and fast on the awning above me. i was covered and protected from the wet, but then the wind changed and i could feel the rain. 

this is pretty cliché, but i love the smell of rain and the smell of the world after it rains. everything is clean again. it’s exactly how i feel right after i get out of the shower and before i have to decide what i’m doing with my hair, which ruins the reverie.

first day of school thoughts

…which also, in part, apply to the first day of church in a new ward.  
  •  everyone is dressed in their very best. the first day of school was always one of my favorite days because i got to show off all my new back-to-school clothes. i can probably recall, down to the accessories, several of my first day of school outfits from various school years through the ages. you have to wear your best, because you never know if the person sitting next to you in PDBio, or Sunday School for that matter, will end up becoming a really great friend…or maybe more. 
here i am this year. happy first day of school!
  • i’m still feeling somewhat removed from campus life. i thought i already had my last days at byu, but now i’m back again. i was in limbo before, straddling the line between student and professor, but now it’s even weirder.
  • i have one class this semester—the second half of new testament—and i purposely scheduled it at 9:00am so i will wake up at a reasonable hour and get things done. yesterday i hiked up to the jsb and walked into one of the stuffiest spaces i’ve ever inhabited. at first i thought it was just the crush of bodies on the first day of school, a bunch of sweaty college kids rushing around trying to figure out what is going on, but then my classroom, which had far fewer people, was a sauna. apparently, the air conditioning was busted on the first floor. needless to say, it was hard to pay attention in class in such a feverish state. hopefully tomorrow everything will be made right once again.
  • i really am glad to be teaching again. i might not love everything about writing 150 as a course, but i love meeting new students every semester and getting to know them. i realized during training this year that it really will be awesome one day to have my own classroom, maybe even, dare i say it, a literature classroom, where can have my own assignments and read stuff i picked out. but, in the meantime, writing 150 is a pretty good gig, and i’m excited for the new semester. my students seem responsive. i mean, they laughed at most of my jokes, which is a good sign.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a holy place

yesterday i went to the temple, and then today i spent some time at the park right above the temple, and just being so close made me feel better at a time when i was feeling decidedly bummed.

i love the temple. i'm so grateful we live so close to one, and i hope (well, i semi-hope) i will be here to see the second provo temple in operation.

via a random ward website
learn more about the purpose of the temple and why we go there here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

what i've learned the past couple weeks

i posted early a couple weeks ago about how i need to find a job. i've been feeling the pressure all summer, but that week it all came to a head and i knew i needed to actually get on it.

dad knew it too, because he called me on sunday and put me on THE PLAN. those who have been in the employ of my dad know all about THE PLAN. basically, this just means that i have to actually make a plan, any kind of plan at all, which consists of me figuring out what i'm interested in and looking for jobs and putting out some feelers. over the summer, i knew what i had to do, but a potent mix of fear and laziness kept me in this perpetual state of obliviousness regarding a job.

so, i got to work. i sent out some applications, i made a list of possible jobs, i emailed the writing department secretary to see if i could possibly teach writing 150 again. and, blessing of all blessings, i worked everyday at the bridal store, which meant i had some cash flow to tide me over for a few weeks.

on thursday, i got the email: i could teach a section of 150 again.

while this is only a temporary solution (i mean, i still need to figure out what i'm doing with my life for reals), it does relieve a lot of pressure. and, even better, i found out this last friday that i am teaching another section , which is even more awesome.

what have i learned the past couple weeks? first, THE PLAN works. it worked on a smaller scale for me this time, but i know it can work on a larger scale as well. for instance, my friend was vicariously living THE PLAN as i was working it, and the same week i found a job, he accepted a for reals job, like one that could lead him to his career. so, THE PLAN is pretty good stuff. second, i learned/remembered that miracles can happen. it was no coincidence that i was able to work that whole week and actually make money when i was not planning to. i know that all of these things happen for a reason. and third, i am so grateful that i'm not alone in all of this. my parents are thinking about me, my friends and family are thinking about me, and Heavenly Father is definitely thinking about me. and, although i know that things don't always work out so smoothly, quickly, or perfectly, i am really grateful that this was resolved so nicely.

life is pretty darn good.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

to my girl friends

as some of you know, i have been rather stressed for the past few weeks about the changes that are coming up in my life. good friends are moving out, new people are moving in, summer is ending, school is starting again, real life must resume. i am bad with change, i have realized. i've been dreading this period of time for weeks. i know that once i get into the swing of things, i'll be okay, but in the meantime i am emotionally drained from all the anxiety i've been feeling. today i was feeling especially melancholy, which feeling culminated in a tearful breakdown in the car.

but then, today, i had an epiphany.

i have great girl friends.

i had conversations with four of my favorite girls all throughout the day today, and all of the conversations were meaningful (if sometimes...hypothetical. or--what would you say, emily? anatomical?) and uplifting. i have great girl friends.

and all of these girls will still be here in the fall. all of them, in fact, will be around during this transition period when i know i will be a crying wreck sometimes. and all of them will be there to help me through it to the other, more hopeful, and more realistic, side, even if they don't know that's what they are doing for me. and i want them to know that i will be there for them, too. i will do my best to be the uplifting, caring, awesome friend they have all been to me.

obviously, it would be great to have a boy to come home to every day to share all of my anxieties with. and sometimes those things still slip out when a boy is around. but how grateful i am to be surrounded by beautiful, smart, level-headed, like-minded, funny women at this time of my life. i love you girls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

that dream again

i've talked before about how i have this dream sometimes, the one where i am packing for a trip and i'm super stressed. i'm late for my plane and i haven't packed at all, or i'm at the airport and i realize i have all sorts of liquids and other contraband items in my carry-on, or i can't close my suitcase because it's too full and i don't want to leave any of the six pairs of shoes i'm bringing. in the dream i'm a frantic mess, running around stressed out of my mind trying to figure everything out. these dreams always feel really real and i wake up in a panic.

last night i had a packing dream again. i was at the airport and i had some problems with my carry-on. this time, though, i calmly went through my bag, throwing away everything i couldn't take on the plane. i pulled out my bottle of caladryl lotion (it's obvious that mosquito bite season is upon me when i'm dreaming about calamine), looked at it, decided i could just buy a new bottle, and threw it in the trash. same with my full size scissors (?), hairspray, fingernail clippers, and perfume. i just looked at all of those items, knew i could replace them fairly easily, and disposed of them.

maybe this means i'm starting to figure things out at this point? some of the stresses that have been plaguing me are starting to dissipate? this is a brief period of calm before a whole new set of stormclouds rolls in? this is a false sense of security?

whatever it is, i'm at least glad i didn't have another really frantic dream. someday maybe i'll actually get on the plane and have a fun trip.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

lessons from who moved my cheese?

as some of you know, i have been thinking a lot lately about the idea of fear versus faith. it's something that stumps me most of the time. for some reason, it's really easy for me to get bogged down by fear, paralyzed, if you will.

i let it get to me on sunday. i may or may not have had a freak-out, which included crying to one of my guy friends who, though maybe taken off guard, handled it like a champ and did his best to cheer me up and be supportive. but i started thinking about how much things are going to change in the next couple of weeks and how much things need to change in order for me to be doing the things i need to be doing. and that gave me crazy anxiety.

during one of our several conversations that day, i told my friend about these anxieties, and he said, have you read who moved my cheese? and my first thought was

but i said, um, no. is that a children's book? and he said, you need to read it. go get it from the library tomorrow. because if you are interested in the whole fear-holding-you-back thing, you need to read who moved my cheese?.

so, the next day, i headed on down to the provo city library to pick up a copy of this book. and it's awesome. i have decided i need to buy a copy myself and pass it around to everyone i know.

i don't want to recount the whole story, since it is a short parable to begin with, but i do want to share a couple thoughts that i really like.

"he knew sometimes fear can be good. when you are afraid things are going to get worse if you don't do something, it can prompt you into action. but it is not good when you are so afraid that it keeps you from doing anything."

"when you move beyond your fear, you feel free."

"he wondered why he had always thought that a change would lead to something worse. now he realized that  change could lead to something better."

"[he] realized again, as he had once before, that what you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. the fear you let build up in your mind is worse that the situation that actually exists."

"what would you do if you weren't afraid?"

i love all of that! they are all things i need to remember. and think about that last question: what would you do if you weren't afraid? how often are the choices i make out of fear actually totally uncharacteristic? how often does fear hold me back from doing the things that will help me be successful and happy?

so, i recommend who moved my cheese?. it has a silly-sounding name, but it's already been helpful for me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

some thoughts on adventure

i've never really considered myself an adventurous person. i'm not the girl who tries longboarding to impress the guys or who will plan a super spontaneous trip to vegas just because we all have a free weekend. i don't try exotic drinks--people are always getting me to try exotic drinks, and i should in the name of being adventurous, but then i just can't do it. i mean, it even took me about five minutes yesterday just to get up the courage to attempt a cartwheel.

and then there are the adventures you see in movies--international spies being chased across europe, using a different identity at each stop, having shoot outs and car chases and love affairs in each city. or the adventures that involve some kind of elaborate puzzle or cracking an ancient code and traveling to rome and paris and finding the holy grail buried underneath the pyramid at the louvre or staying in america and discovering a treasure map on the back of the declaration of independence and finding love along the way. adventures of these kind mean travel to exotic locales and being involved with all sorts of interesting and sometimes dangerous people.
i don't typically go on those types of adventures, the type that everyone thinks about. so,


except that maybe it does. maybe courtney does equal adventure, and i've just been thinking about it all wrong. 

because maybe, with the right attitude, anything you do can be an adventure. maybe going to the grocery store can be an adventure (i know it can--anyone who has ever been to the provo smith's after midnight, especially if it's the saturday night before fast sunday, knows what i'm talking about.)  maybe going on a morning jog can be an adventure. maybe reading on the front porch can be an adventure. 

i hadn't thought much about this before, but then i had a couple friends who were always talking about "going on adventures," which i thought was interesting, but then i realized they were talking about the things they did everyday, the normal things that just happened to happen to them in the course of a day. and that got me to thinking--what's to stop me from treating everyday like an adventure? and then i thought again, nothing!

so there you have it. everyday is an opportunity to have a great adventure. and i've realized that i need to find someone who sees life like that as well. because then we can have amazing adventures together, and then we can have amazing adventures with our children and show them how beautiful and magical life can be. doesn't that sound delightful?

Monday, August 6, 2012

real life is calling

well, the time has come.

the time for me to snap out of the blissful reverie of summer and get down to business.

as dad said tonight, "the vacation's over."

i need to find a job.