Sunday, December 30, 2012

The holidays

So much has happened in the world and in my life since I last blogged. I can't keep up with it all. I'm so sorry.
Also whenever I blog I have this temptation. The temptation is not to mention any events I don't have pictures of, and I usually succumb to it. How pathetic is it that in the back of our minds we seem to think that if it's not on Facebook and nobody knows about it, it didn't happen. Is that a variation of the "if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it.." conundrum? I don't know. But I've gotta snap out of it.

Here's what's been going down lately.
I finished up my seventh semester of college with decent grades. Not as good as they ought to have been with my measly course load, but whatever ok? Whatever.

Because my parents decided to go on a cruise for the holidays this year to celebrate their 30th anniversary (so selfish), I shipped off to Texas to spend Christmas with my brother, David, his wife, Ashley, my neice, and my nephew.
My time there was mostly spent reading a lot of stories and having a lot of tickle fights and cooking and disciplining and making sure small children didn't kill themselves or set the house on fire. I don't have many pictures to prove it. You'll just have to take my word for it that I have a life and that it's worthwhile and that the time I spent with my family was valuable.

Oh, nothin. Just the faces of two boys on Christmas morning.

Sibling love
Malachi was sick my last day there. We snuggled.

The day after Christmas, I traveled to Colorado to renew the yearly tradition of spending New Years with my old friends to whom I continue to devote a very special portion of my heart. As we have welcomed precious little lives into our circle over the past few years, I spent a lot of time getting to know them and seeing how they've grown. I made some new friends and caught up on the lives of my old ones. I ate a lot, I slept a lot, I read a lot. I did not work out a lot. This was partly because I was sick but mostly because I am a bum.

I wrapped the holiday season up right by getting asked out on a date by an older gentleman at the airport. Like, if i had to guess I'd probably say he was about 30, give or take some years or months or days. (I didn't get any pictures of this either.. You'll have to forgive me.) Apparently my mentioning that I go to BYU wasn't enough of a tip off that I am suuuuuuuuper Mormon. I told him going out for a cup of coffee probably wouldn't be the best date since I don't drink it, and he said, "oh, I guess that means you don't drink or go to bars or anything either, huh?" For some reason it didn't occur to me to tell him that I'm not even old enough to drink legally as it is... Yikes.

So here's to 2013! Cheers!

If you're interested, here are some of my goals/resolutions for the upcoming year:
-Run marathon #2
-Do my first triathlon
-Get married and have baby #1
Haha. I'm kidding. Totally kidding. Ok, mostly kidding.
-Turn in my mission papers. Not kidding.
-No carbonation. ALL year.
-Study throughout the semester instead of cramming at testtime. Yeah, you know what I'm talkin about
-Get to bed by 10pm on school nights.
-Read at least 1 recreational book/month while taking classes
-Take every opportunity presented to me to bear my testimony

P.S. Snuggle had puppies, and they're finally old enough to be a little fun :)

Oh, and we had a roommate photoshoot for our Christmas cards about a month ago. Here's a little bit of that. HUGE thanks to Alexis, whose talent is mesmerizing and astounding!!

I'm excited to be home with the ladies :) looking forward to a new semester and a new year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"to love life...

to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”

― Ellen Bass

This was my Facebook status for a second but then I realized it made me sound like I'm super depressed. I'm totally not depressed. I am fortunate to be able to say that I have never known the heavy grief described here.
However I do identify with this quote lately. There are just people and things in my life that I have loved so dearly, and could only assume that they were gonna stay with me forever, but despite my best efforts, it's shaping up that that is not the case.
There are times when life feels vibrant, exciting and so full of promise. Those are the times when it's easy to love life, to smile at everyone, to jump around and be silly, to feel energetic and happy.
And then there are times when life feels frankly lackluster. There are times when it is disappointing and you feel like you've been delt a sucky hand and things have been taken from you or you're not getting what you deserve. There are times when sad things happen and it's beyond your control and no matter how hard you try you can't put it all back together. That's when life feels exhausting. It's not very enjoyable. And being happy gets hard.
The reason I like this quote so much is because it personifies life. It likens life to a significant other who has wronged you or hasnt held up their end of the bargain in keeping the love alive. And you have to make the conscious decision to love them (it) anyway.
That's when I think about our decision to love people. I hear all the time that you can't help who you fall in love with. To an extent, I believe that's true. Sometimes you just click with people, moreso than others, and there is simply a greater potential for romance there. But then I think of another quote I really like.
"I think you could fall in love with anyone if you saw the parts of them that no one else gets to see. Like if you followed them around invisibly for a day and you saw them crying in their bed at night or singing to themselves as they make a sandwich or even just walking along the street and even if they were really weird and had no friends at school, I think after seeing them at their most vulnerable you wouldn’t be able to help falling in love with them.”
Maybe that's a little extreme, but I definitely believe we could fall in love with a lot more people than we realize, if only we took the time to notice and aqcuaint ourselves with the intimate details of their character.
To the same token, just because you do fall in love with someone, that doesn't mean it's set in stone forever. You have to maintain it. You have to keep working at it. Like life, it's not always going to be easy. It's not always going to give you what you want and make you feel constantly happy. There will be sadness. There will be disappointment. Sometimes things will be unfair, exhausting, and just plain hard. But to continue to love is a decision you make. That's why you have to make sure it's going to be worth it before you commit. And once you do, stick to it.
You have to keep trying as hard as you can to find the good things, the things worth loving, even if they're not as obvious as they once were. There is always a redeeming factor, there is always something still to love. In people, and in life.
What I'm hoping to find is that the longer I practice, the better I'll get at it, and the easier it will be to remain happy when sad things happen. I'll get there. Pinkie promise.