Friday, November 26, 2010

"Desiderata"

It's a 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, and quite possibly the most perfect thing you will spend 60 seconds reading this Thanksgiving break. Enjoy:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.


As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others — even to the dull and the ignorant — they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.


Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.


Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Serious Thankful Day

Out of all 400 tagged fb pics, I only found 3 ones that could be considered relatively serious. Here is one.
I am thankful for the following austere, sometimes somber blessings today:

21. Religions that have commonalities with mine.
22. Non-homelessness (aka homeliness? :)
23. Quaker Oatmeal Square cereal (It fits in the serious category because it's not a sugary cereal. Just delicious and healthy and grown-upy but still fun because I like biting into each cruchy square with my back teeth).
24. Homeland Security/ICE
25. Having BFFs to talk to during trials
26. Global warming (anything that makes winter shorter and eases my guilt about never recycling has my gratitude)
27. Adoption
28. People who acknowledge their flaws and make me feel better about having them, too
29. Canadians like Kelly and Grandma C.

30. Expecto Patronum Memory #5: Presenting my Senior Thesis to a darkened auditorium filled with my peers, my art history idol, and my parents.

31. The relative health of my family.
32. Our life quality: "We are richer than Pharoahs ever were," my mom once observed. Because we enjoy things like the following, daily
32a. Air conditioning 32b. Air travel 32c. Internet 32d. Education!
33. Travelling by rental car to Aunt Marie's house in North Carolina tomorrow! EXTENDED FAMILY!
34. Life lessons learned from Stranger Than Fiction
35. Boys who are dilligently working to overcome pornography addicitions (I am really grateful for their efforts, their perserverance, their faith, and just their ability and willingness to think hard about the right and strong way through.)
36. Harry Potter 7
37. That I have work tomorrow
38. History to learn from- the exploits of Marie Antionette, Henri Matisse, Minerva Teichert, Enos the prophet, William the Conqueror, etc.
39. Watching my friends grow
40. The following counsel from Richard G. Scott: "Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow." It took me by surprise when he said that, I don't know why. But I really appreciate the message and will savor it in days and years to come.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NOT the Bayeux Tapestry, not yet anyway.

100 things I'm thankful for: The first 20.

1. ELECTRIC BLANKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. New cookbooks
3. Powder blue nail polish
4. Getting to wear a handkerchief and an apron at work! (Update: I now manage a bakery in Arlington. Random but awesome!)
5. Getting to sample new products from the head baker! (my current weight: 127 lbs. We'll see if that changes over the next few months. :) I'm limiting myself to one sugar item a day.)
6. My colorful copy of the Book of Mormon
7. Loud, funny roommates
7a. Kathryn Moss 7b. Kelly McBride 7c. Meradyth Moore 7d. Laney Zundel
Click to Enlarge- it's HUGE in real life!
8. Expecto Patronum memory #1: Visiting the J. Paul Getty Museum at age 11 and being inspired to write an essay about fairies afterward seeing this 1894 Alma Tadema painting, Spring. (I had a very active and passionate imagination :).

9. The fact that it was in the upper 60s with bright blue skies yesterday
10. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
11. Truth, wherever it is found
12. Peep-toe shoes
13. Twinkle lights around my bed
14. Democracy- "the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried" -Winston Churchill
15. Modern plumbing
16. Modern medicine
17. Kind, interesting people with different opinions than mine
18. Having an immune system of STEEL (I hardly ever get sick, knock on wood.)
19. Temples
20. My sister Marie asking me to document the fall in Arlington yesterday. Because of her, I had a very enjoyable jaunt around my neighborhood yesterday with my Canon Elph. Here's a slide show of everything I saw. Ps Wee, you'll get your own "I'm thankful" number later on in the week :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Expecto Patronum: For Katie

We were in the middle of an epic Harry Potter marathon this evening when I began to consider all of my happiest memories, the kind that would repel soul-sucking Dementors via their clarity, depth, and warmth if I lived in Harry Potter world and, you know, had a wand and the Expecto Patronum charm at my command.

I later listed some of those most random, happy memories (I filled up two pages- blessed life!). Here is just one such memory for you, the one I will use to keep me smiling when I go to sleep in a few minutes:

Age 9. I look at my beautiful mother, with her long, long straight golden hair (complete with tower of bangs), still-slightly-gap-toothed smile, and rounded blue shirt. She invites me to come sit next to her on the couch and feel the baby kick. My sister. She was getting so big in there and soon I would meet her! Was I ready to be a big sister again? Yes, I think so, I reply solemnly. Kick, kick.

..........................................
She's the short one.
And that is my first memory of Katie. A month or two after this happy episode, she was born. The last of us Eric and Ann offspring, her arrival was basically the touchstone of our young family life, the crowning achievement, so to speak. :) Let me tell you about her for a second. She was one h*** of a beautiful baby. Soon after her birth we moved to a new house that would turn out to be the source of one of our sorest trials but most blessed growth experiences, and I'm sure we couldn't have done it without Katie. The Lacy Lane house (see picture) is where Katie earned the nickname Running Bear because she often got returned to our front door, butt naked, by bemused neighbors who happened to spy her shedding her diapers and gleefully setting out to explore the wideworld of Lacy Lane. Katie was our "angel baby" who, in direct contrast to her nickname, was a holy terror to try and control during sacrament meetings. Oh, the memories of chasing her wicked fast, stubborn little self down the halls of the Charleston chapel...


She's only 16, yo. Cool it.
 At age three she was relegated, with the rest of us, to a pink two-story house on Alamosa Way, where she grew up into the amazing young lady she is today. Bright, hard working, blonde with lovely fair skin and HUGE crystalline blue eyes, my bebe sister Katie is now a junior in high school, and coming into her own. Sometimes I don't think I know what's going on in her head but I like finding out. Katie texts me when something's up at home, or when she's bored, when she's thinking of me, or every so often she sends me a really awesome, artfully decorated email transcription of the highs and lows of high school. Several mornings a month I wake up to a bubbly text greeting from Katie that I know has also been sent to, and happily received by, our three other siblings, who are all away in the great metropolis of Provo. Thank you, Katie,  for keeping the family ties tightly knotted.


When describing my family to new acquaintances, I explain Katie like so: "And that last sister of mine... she just... well, she doesn't even need us, she's this determined little powerhouse! She had her Young Women's medallion by the time she turned 13, can you believe it!? We are glad we have her. She will be the first one of us to earn a million dollars as some CEO somewhere, mark my words. She can do anything."

Wee, Ynny, KayKay
I like her-- no, love her-- because she wakeboards like a fiend, dresses like a diva, stays cheerful like an angel, and yet can deliver a fiery tongue lashing on cue. She swam for one month and raced a better 100 fly than I could ever dream of (No, seriously. Family records SHATTERED).  Her homecoming dress this year was black and white, just like Marie's and mine were (and boy do we look GOOD in fancy B/W dresses). Most important of all, Katie stays true to what she believes in. Whether it's creating a coherent animal print bedroom (something I could never rock), or explaining with clarity and conviction her gospel beliefs, she is a such a lady. She has probably stopped reading by now because of embarrassment. No, I don't have any particular reason to be celebrating her tonight-- her birthday isn't til April-- but why should that stop me?

The point of my ramblings is, one of the happiest memories I have is just the memory of feeling her kick. That should tell you how neat she is. She is an important part of my family, an entity which, in Harry Potter 3 and in real life, proves again and again to be the most life saving, magical force in the universe.

HOORAY FOR KATIE!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goodbye, boys.

For the first time in a really long time-- possibly EVER-- I am ok with the thought of being single for a long time.

I lead a good life. I have a multitude of blessings seeping in on me every morning, not the least of which is independence. I have people to love and listen to and be understood by, possibly my most important need and want. I am still on track with my Heavenly Father, he's telling me so right about now.

I have a firm, and dissaprooving, understanding just how brutal Satan is, how he chips away or sometimes jackhammers away on whatever ails you, your whole life long (HE IS A JERK.).

More importantly, I also see and feel how sweet and unique the blessing of a close relationship-- friendship, even-- with Jesus Christ is. I understand a bit better how one's honest friendship with the Savior brings a level of calmness, confidence, and charity to one's daily life that absolutely cannot be picked up elsewhere. I really love going to the temple every week since I have recieved my endowment and just enjoying the spirit and the community that is there.

I'm a little worried about whether or not this is an appropriate statement to make on a blog, but for once I'm going to let it be my journal of what I really think and feel and am going through. I talked with my mom this week about our very deepest fears and worries (which we both, oddly enough, came face to face with this week in the form of very bizarre, very deeply affecting dreams :)

I realized that my fear used to be not getting married young. (As you can probably guess, that's caused me a lot of panic and pain the last five years). In my defense, this is not just some foofy desire I had because I was all princess-y and marriage obsessed. I genuinely have felt, for most of my life, that I was MADE for someone. I am not meant to be single, and I will be a dang good wife. I have felt inklings of what it will be like to support and sustain someone through thick and thin in my relationships with family and close friends, and that is so delicious to me. I just want it, and for the last five years, I have wanted it to be now, or since it's obviously not now, starting tomorrow...

... but, as I talked to my mom, I realized that my real desire is to have a family. It doesn't matter so much when that is. I know the caliber of family I plan to raise: the kind that can cross the proverbial 21st-century plains together and arrive with everyone intact and in tune on the other side, with confidence in their voices and hands, a song a prayer and a laugh on their lips, and love in their eyes. I know the type of marriage I hope to share at some future point with a very, very good man. I am beginning to understand the type of esteem I hope to hold him in; I've heard it in the voices of some of my favorite women as they discuss the enduring obedience to God and quiet dedication to family that their husbands display every day (I literally want to stand up cheer for every good man, good husband, and good father that I know, as in college football game-clinching OT TD volume cheers). I'm so proud of all of you that are hanging in there. I'm so here for all of you that are having a rough go of it. Like I said, Satan is a jerk, and boy do we have to stick together, invite the Savior in, and not let Satan get an INCH on us!

I saw the most beautiful thing on Sunday: a dad sat on the end of the back pew at church, beside him in a little wheelchair was his tiny little daughter (I'd say under 3 years old!) who had some special needs. All stake conference long, he grinned at her, rubbed a little stuffed penguin up against her cheek, let her reach up with her tiny hand and turn his face this way and that. He took every chance he got to make her laugh. You could see plain as day that she was one of his most priceless treasures, and that he was her favorite person in the ENTIRE world! Just watching that reminded me how worth the wait, how worth the fight, these things are.

I have no idea where I got the dumb idea to title this Good-bye boys. Consider that a moment of melodrama from a now mid-twenties girl. Hello, men is more like it. They've got to be out there somewhere. Making the right choices, moving forward across the plains, same as I'm trying to do. Guy, I guess I'll meet you somewhere on the road. Hang tough.

Thanks for reading.