Tuesday, December 22, 2009

last day in provo for 2009

Isn't that just pure excitement (the fact that it's my last day here for awhile)? Today's also my last day of school for the year. When I get back, I'll only have 19 days left at school. And then one week before the "big day." And then a happy happy day! Time just keeps zooming by.

I have much on my mind but nothing's really lending itself to coming out in word-form at the moment.

And so I share a picture and a poem. I took this picture about one year ago. I had a fine time then traipsing around Edgemont to deliver goodness and take pictures. I won't be doing that this year because I leave tomorrow for Jerusalem and someone ever so lovely. But it is nice to look back to what I was doing a year ago. I sure do love my solo walks (and runs and hikes...).

And now the poem, by Rudyard Kipling:

You mustn't swim till you're six weeks old,
Or your head will be sunk by your heels;
And summer gales and Killer Whales
Are bad for baby seals.
Are bad for baby seals, dear rat,

As bad as bad can be.
But splash and grow strong,
And you can't be wrong,
Child of the Open Sea!

Merriest of Christmases!

See you next year.


ps: a confession: I've watched the Babies trailer (posted below) upwards of ten times. People might make fun of me. Actually, people do make fun of me. Certain people make fun of me because I'm so enamoured with it, but I'll hold my head high. I can't change the fact that those babies are so stinkin' cute, and that it makes me smile and more than happy. The end.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

one year and one day ago

"A4 Zach asks me if I asked Santa for anything. I said no. Ryan asked, Did you ask for a husband? I didn't know what to say and the whole class was kinda shocked that he'd asked that. I just smiled and said, 'Always.' Anyhow, kinda funny."

excerpted from my journal


Picture taken by Rew. Yuba Lake September 2009.

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator
for all I have not seen."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

some choice words

written on a poster board for me because I'm leaving my students:
  • "Have fun. Don't die." (I was very suspicious of Rachel D. C. having whispered these words into this student's ear.)
  • "I am gonna miss you and your terminator sunglasses. You are awesome."
  • "Thanks for introducing me to Ender's Game! :)"
  • "Yo. You were the only English teacher I was able to understand."
plus more...

One kind student got everyone to sign it. She wrote, "I made this poster to show my thanks and to tell you how much I'm going to miss you!"

I feel loved. I am loved. I'm grateful for happy moments that make me feel like I'm actually making a difference for good in the lives of these kids. It's kind of too bad that it takes me leaving to get me to more fully recognize this. Oh well...

In other news, ahem, in countdown news, I only have six school days till I fly over the ocean to my loveliest love! I have to keep busy or else I turn into the biggest daydreamy fool. So it's time to finish up today's lesson planning.

Love, peace, and happiness.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"on the radio" excerpt

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again
-Regina Spektor


Two weeks till Christmas (not that I'm counting down or anything)!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

too cool

for school

I wish. I've worn these to school since Tuesday and I'll be wearing them through next Thursday--when I see my eye doctor again. My shades certainly don't make me too cool for school. If they did, then I wouldn't be there anymore, would I? Not being at school will happen soon enough. I only have eight days of school until Christmas break, and then I get to fly to see my dearest one in Jerusalem. Yes, I'm excited. In two weeks we'll be celebrating Christmas together. Huzzah!

I'm still not loving the frigid frigidness, but I did have myself a nice walk today. Only the last ten minutes were freezing--the result of the sun beginning its quick descent. I can't run or swim or play soccer or doing anything that could jolt me for a while. Patience yet again I must cultivate. Trying my best.

Happy Friday tomorrow!

ps: I'm hoping A3 really made a pirate patch for me like they said (boasted emptily?) they would. That would be unspeakably awesome.

pps: I miss Ukraine. I've been listening to the couple of tapes I made when I was in Gorlovka and it makes me miss it all like mad.

ppps: Nothing much to say here, just didn't want to leave an evenly numbered amount of postscripts because that would be bad luck or something (at least in Ukraine?)....laters!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


yep, bloody cold.

happy post to come...just a bit of a frustrating morning with my car not being a fan of the zero degrees outside.

happy halfway through the week!

Monday, December 7, 2009

weather report

"I love snow. At least before they sand the roads and everything turns brown. They should have to wait three days before they do that. Put off work and shopping. Make it a ritual. Something where we all just stop, where we have to the way Muslims face Mecca. Can you imagine it? Of course not. Because there are no rituals in this country. People might think they have some, made up things. But those are just habits: The Way We Always Do It. Ritual's different, more invested with spirit, with some sense of the sacred, and where do you see that anywhere? Look around. If anything was sacred once, some company's got a trademark now and made it a collectible toy. But can you imagine? Someone's on the phone booking a one-way to Houston, fussing over seat assignments, then she looks out the window, and it's snowing, and she says, 'Sorry, I'll have to call you back.' Or this couple's been in bed together, and they're hungry now and going out to eat. The snow's coming down, sticking to their hair, their breath's all steamy, and they just turn around smiling and head back in. Maybe she cooks. Maybe they run a hot bath, and afterwards he rubs her with oil...the backs of her legs, her feet. Just think--kids putting their school books down, and buses coming early. Teachers relaxing. You can actually see their shoulders go loose, like they just took a drink from God's own bottle of wine. And even this--If anyone is beating someone, they stop. If anyone is ripping something off, they put it back. I mean, we're just shocked at this great surge of gladness. Everyone stopping and breathing, all together, all at once. And the next day, we come downtown. We walk or ski or pull our kids on sleds, but no cars. And everyone stays all day--singing, drinking coffee, sharing food, sharing water from cold glass bottles buried in snow--until it's time for the Lighting of the Candles. All these lights. More and more of them everywhere, thousands, and we shield them from the wind the whole way home. Just think of it. The third day set aside for stories. And anyone born on the third night, on their thirteenth birthday they get to plant a tree. There'd be a town orchard, and the apples there would be canned and then baked each New Year's Eve. I swear, we'd be happier. And it's nothing. It would take nothing to do this. In Asia they've had ceremony for four-thousand years. Peasants with nothing but rice to eat practically, gathering to float ancestral lanterns downstream. What's wrong with us? When did it go so wrong?"

-Rob Carney

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This is what I looked like yesterday

because I took a soccer ball straight to my right eye. There were even a few drops of blood. My iris turned dark green. It was really scary because I couldn't see anything but light and shadow for most of the day. Luckily and blessedly, though, my eye doctor was willing to help us out on a Saturday. He told me to stay home from church and take it super easy. Rebleeding would be a not so happy situation. There was so much bleeding (internally) yesterday that he couldn't even see the retina. But today he was able to see it and it's still attached, so that's good. He still wants to check my progress, so I'll be seeing him tomorrow as well. I'm taking my first sick day ever tomorrow. I'll stay home and take it easy. I can already see a lot better, but my vision's not back to what it was before this whole fiasco. I hope things'll turn out well.

I'm very grateful for the prayers said with me in mind and for everyone's happy thoughts. Faith is real and I feel so loved. Merci beaucoup.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Walden Pond October 2008

"He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward,
even peace in this world,
and eternal life in the world to come"
(Doctrine and Covenants 59:23).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

amen omen

sometimes the perfect song plays at the perfect time. this morning: amen omen by ben harper. and sometimes it doesn't really have anything to do with the lyrics. it's the music and certain words and certain lines and the way the voice rises and aches. that's all.

happy wednesday! parent teacher conference today. wish me lucky luck.

ps: i have another tally in the "being called a bitch" column, as of yesterday. but no worries. i just smile and keep smiling. i only share because i really do find it rather amusing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

this time of year

often finds me thinking of this little poem:

First Fig
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

And then I think of a few lines from Elder Maxwell, "Another insight that seems to recur again and again in confirmation is that the todays of life constitute the holy present. We can’t fix the past. We may be able to repent of it, but we can’t change past events. We can fashion the future, and we do that by using what someone has called the holy present, which indeed it is."

I'm so grateful for this time in my life. I'm grateful for today, for my students who will fill this classroom in less than an hour, for last night's sunset, for holding a new baby, for Saturday's hike through snow, for the temple, for playtime with a toddler, for Friday's solo bike ride, for moments of peace, for family, for times spent sitting round the table, for all the opportunities I'm afforded, for this exciting time in my life. I'm spoiled. So I'll forever continue to give thanks and share what I have with others because that's really all I can do.

Happy last day of November!

Saturday, November 28, 2009



Are there even any words that can be added to such a picture?


Well, creepy is about the best I can figure.

Josh is grand. Josh is great. He turned 11 with this last birthday. I can't believe that he'll be a deacon next year! I love his new glasses. I love his crazy comments and I love having readathons with him. He's still a cuddle-bug sometimes, and I'm also a fan of that.

ps: sorry about all the crappy photos, but they're off my phone so they're not very stellar...


Well, I never did anything fancy on here for my dad's or Josh's birthdays because I was in California that weekend. So I thought I'd write a little about my dad.

The above picture was taken just last week on a little jaunt up Squaw Peak road. I'm grateful my dad will always adventure with me. Of late, our adventuring has taken the form of bike riding. In the past it has included hiking and camping, among other things.

Dad's also the greatest cheerleader ever. He always supported me in soccer and swimming. Now he's quite the stalwart in coming to my triathlons and helping me out. So kind of him. Granted, I've only done five, but he was there for my first four. It's so nice to have someone cheering me on. (Don't worry about him not coming to my fifth one because I had the lovely Mr. Smith being ever so kind and supportive.)

Lastly, my dad's slightly crazy. Here's a picture of him taken Wednesday. This is after he fell off the tree and onto the tree. He bruised several ribs in the process. I can empathize with how much it hurts, but I'm still bad because I have to laugh at his pained face every time he coughs, sneezes, or laughs. Injured ribs are not pure bliss. Hopefully he'll heal up soon.

Huzzah for such an amazing father!

Friday, November 20, 2009

story corps got me again

For the second time this week, I've been brought to tears.

Here's the story.

Happy Friday!

Only one day till the weekend and three school days till Thanksgiving break. Hurrah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

eli's birthday

This baby, born a year ago tomorrow,
must be eating lotsa chips to be getting so big.
(Look at those cheeks!)

Happy Birthday Elijah!
Love, Aunty Lynny

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


when I'm driving in the car and listening to the radio, I cry. Stories like this abruptly affect me and before I know it, I'm wiping away some tears. Sometimes I just don't understand; I don't understand this world. I don't understand why a little three year-old is not alive anymore.

So I cry. I pray. I pray that I might love all with whom I come in contact. I pray this is the right thing. I hope it will be enough. Because right now my heart's a wondering if it ever will be.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

what have i done for someone today?

I served with a really wonderful couple named Elder and Sister Ray. They were in my last district in Simferopol, Ukraine. They are some of the loveliest and dearest people I know. Well, they're back at it and serving again--this time in the Russia Samara mission. I had to share a paragraph from their most recent email. I hope they won't mind. This little story is just too beautiful that I couldn't help but share it:

"There is one last story we want to tell you. We had a couple get baptized last Sunday. Before they came to the baptism, however, they went out to a village and bought meat to give to poor people to show their gratitude for finding the Gospel and being baptized. This is a couple that has very little, but they still wanted to share. When the baptism was over, they drove around their neighborhood and handed out the meat to those who needed it. There are so many people better than we."

As President Monson asks us to ask ourselves, I echo, "What have I done for someone today?"

Happy new week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

that you are here

School's out for the day and for the week.

I just keep coming across things I want to share. I love this:

O Me! O Life!

by Walt Whitman

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

happy friday

It's Friday, huzzah!

My Friday's off to a good start. I read a couple talks and got to talk with my dearest love for a little bit.

One of the talks I read is "The Abundant Life" by Elder Wirthlin. It's one of my favorites and I love rereading it. Two passages in particular stood out to me today:

"We are sons and daughters of an immortal, loving, and all-powerful Father in Heaven. We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine."

"The abundant life isn’t something we arrive at. Rather, it is a magnificent journey that began long, long ages ago and will never, never end."

I'm grateful for the calming power of words. I guess I'm one who feels the Spirit through words more than through other ways. Not always, of course. Some words, though, get me every time.

Yesterday I enjoyed a most splendid trail run with Lisa. It feels so good to push through the pain steep inclines induce. I feel I'm still riding a sort of high even though I finished running 12 hours ago. Isn't it lovely?

Well, I'm off to school. Only eight school days till Thanksgiving break. So grand.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the end of missing someone

"I like to see people reunited, maybe that’s a silly thing, but what can I say, I like to see people run into each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone."

--Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Monday, November 9, 2009

happiness lately

  • Saturday's ride up Hobble Creek's right fork with Pa and Jim
  • sunny days
  • chat time with lovelies
  • sleep
  • phone calls from Mr. Smith
  • emails from Mr. Smith
  • Mr. Smith (yep, I could gush forever, but I'll spare you most of the mush)
  • family dinner
  • old writings
  • outdoor conversations with Joshy
  • hymns
  • piano
  • scriptures
  • eyes
  • Ma's pumpkin cookies
  • candles
  • water-coloring
  • the lovebug featured below

Saturday, November 7, 2009

we thought we would be the line,

but it turned out there were already eight people waiting in line at 4 o'clock when we showed up. The doors didn't open till six, but it was well worth the wait. We stood at the very front, mere feet away from this graciously cute woman:

She was amazing and we had such a grand time. Thanks, Magsie, for being so wonderful. I love any birthday present that involves Regina Spektor and I also love if that birthday present involves going to a concert with my dear dear friend. I really should just call us sisters, eh, Marge? Quite a few people of late have asked us if we're sisters and we both look at each other and say, "Yes," or, "You could say so." Thanks cecmpa!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

le jeudi

Just finished up a little lunchy lunch: a wheat bagel, three garden tomatoes, and a strawberry yogurt. Oh, can't forget the morsel of a yummy Milka bar Andrew gave to me before he left. Yum.

I love food.

And I love working out.

Surprise! I feel so repetitive. But exercising is a mode in which I truly feel myself and feel peace. So I suppose I'll forever be writing about it. My apologies if it's tedious to you.

I managed to steal away yesterday on my bike. I rode to school and froze slightly, but enjoyed my route home. I didn't go straight there but ventured up the canyon a little before hanging my bike up on the wall. Perfecto.

And this afternoon, I'm going to steal away on these legs and enjoy a nice run.

Making me smile: Regina and Josh.


I'm going to Regina Spektor tomorrow night with moya dorogaya Margarita. Ypa! I love concert going. Pictures to come for sure.

And Josh is just amusing. Setting: dinner last night plus Josh who's been sick and a little out of sorts. Dad asks him to pray. Josh begins, "We thank thee for this food. Please bless that no harm will come over it." Oh man. Pretty awesome, eh?

Monday, November 2, 2009

"a day is long and I'll be waiting for you..."

"...as in an empty station

when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep."


i love

ten day forecasts in November in which the prediction for the next four days is sunny weather.

I most definitely need to steal away on my bike on one of those sunny afternoons.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Solo hikes/runs do wonders for my soul.
Not solely for my spirit.
Not solely for my body.
For my soul completely.

I've been reading a mix of poetry lately. Mary Oliver's work always jolts me past my core. I'm a fan of such secure jolting. Here's one:

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

Happy almost weekend!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

my side of the story

Some of you have wondered why I haven't recorded here yet about how my engagement came to be. It's been hard for me to decide how to phrase it all because it's a very dear and present situation. I'm not even sure where my words will take me. But here goes:

It all started back in the day. We must leave said day undefined because Analyn really doesn't remember the first time she happened to meet this Mr. Andrew Smith. Most likely the first encounter was in high school. She remembers being in junior English with him, but can't recall having any other classes together. They were also in the same home stake, so they interacted a little bit in that realm as well.

Now, little high schooler Analyn, after meeting him back in the day, developed a crush upon him. Being the shy creature that she much more was back then, she simply admired him from afar. Why did she like him? He played soccer. He was dazzlingly smart. He had cute curly hair. Isn't that all it takes for a crush to form? But this crush differed from other crushes she experienced. She felt attracted to his goodness more than anything else, savvy?

Anyway, Analyn admired from afar and continued on with her life, gradually liking other boys that came along. But she always thought what a good kid when she saw him on campus (at the BYU).

She never once thought any sort of story would be written that contained both hers and Andrew's name on the same page.

Oh how mistaken she was.

For a couple months this summer Andrew attended the same ward as Analyn. He was on his break from working towards his masters at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Analyn talked to him the first Sunday she saw him back in the ward. It really wasn't much of a standout conversation: hello, how are you, what's new, etc. A debriefing of sorts.

Then on the last Sunday in August, Analyn chatted him up again because she saw that he'd been sitting by himself in sacrament meeting. They talked a bit more than their month-earlier conversation.

What was Analyn thinking at this point? Was she lapsing back into crush-mode? Good questions. At this point, Analyn was feeling friendly. She wasn't thinking along any amorous sorts of lines. She actually was sort of fed up with boys (much like usual), so she wasn't about to let herself slip into any sort of crinkle (crinkles preclude crushes, fyi).

The last Monday of August arrived and with it came Family Home Evening. Mr. Smith happened to attend. Analyn happened to be there too. She told him he should stay for volleyball. They talked a little in a friendly fashion. He stayed and played. They were on the same team. Twas fun for Analyn. She told him thanks for staying on his Facebook wall. She desperately wanted to write, let's hang out sometime. Why? Because he'd told her the day before that he was kind of bored because all his friends were gone or married and so he had a lot fewer friends around to catch up with than he'd thought. Also, because she still thought, he's a good kid. But she couldn't bring herself to write, let's hang out. It would have been too strange as they'd never previously hung out.

The next day was a great day for Analyn. And to top it all off, she received a most surprising message via Facebook from Andrew. Basically he asked her out. He explained he'd been calling her house but no one was answering, and he didn't have her number. He asked her to let him know what she thought or to give him a call.

Analyn's heart started beating in a way it hadn't since high school. So this likely marks the spot where she lets her guard down to let a crinkle form.

She was nervous beyond anything to call him. But call him she did and they set up to go out Thursday night.

Andrew was very kind and gentlemanly, opening doors and such. They ate at Bamboo Hut and watched Up at the dollar theatre. They talked, talked, talked. They hugged at the end of the date. Analyn thought, wow, that was the most comfortable and natural date I've ever been on. Of course she was wondering what, if anything, Andrew was thinking of her.

Before watching the movie she'd invited him to go rock climbing Friday (the next day) with Dane and Angie. He said sure.

They rock climbed. It was fun. Nothing really stood out here, as rock climbing doesn't always allow for the most in-depth conversations, especially when it's only the second date.

Saturday was Andrew's birthday. Analyn took him The Book Thief (surprise!) as a present. Andrew invited her over for birthday dessert with his family. She stayed for a little while talking with him and his padres.

Sunday was back to the church scene. Analyn was a little sad when she didn't see him in her Sunday School class. But to her delight, he was waiting for her at the back of the chapel for sacrament meeting. They sat next to each other and parted with a "See you tomorrow."

And thus it continued...for several and several more consecutive days. Analyn's crinkle turned into much more than a crush. Her admiration of him grew each day. When they began discussing marriage, it wasn't anything frightening. It felt as right as everything had all along.

So now I'll slip back into first person and tell you all that I attempt to possess patience until I see Andrew in two months; he returned to Jerusalem a week ago. I look forward with great anticipation to February 6 when we'll go to the Salt Lake Temple to be sealed together for forever. I couldn't be happier. I have never felt such peace and joy as when I'm with him.

Well, that's all for now. Trying not to miss him too much, but knowing if I didn't miss him, something would be awry.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


  • sunny days
  • climbing
  • hugs and kisses
  • real conversations
  • picnics
  • words
  • eyes
  • bedtime stories
  • Russian accents
  • laughs

resevoir of tears

I know. I know. I have a lot of writing to catch up on. A lot of explaining to do. But I'm not about to do that yet. My apologies, but not really because this is my blog. I get to choose what I write.

I also get to choose what I read. Currently I'm reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. We're reading it for book group, but I'd had it on my list of books to read beforehand. I'm glad we're reading it, though. I'm almost halfway through and so far I've liked what I've read.

A passage I like:

"In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir. Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the Reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York was in heavy boots. And when something really terrible happened--like a nuclear bomb, or at least a biological weapons attack--an extremely loud siren would go off, telling everyone to get to Central Park to put sandbags around the reservoir" (38).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

lunchy lunch musings

So some of the kidlings (students of mine in the period I'll be teaching in about 20 minutes) weren't too lovely for the substitute teacher last time. Sad. Yes, I know. I'm trying to figure out what to say to them. It's not the happiest thing to point a finger at them. I hate it! It was only a handful of students acting up and I don't want to make the good kiddos feel badly. I guess we'll see what happens. Meh. The joyous joyful joys of being a teacher.

What else do I feel writing about this splendid Tuesday? I promise to write more about my engagement and how everything has happened, but I wouldn't be able to do that in 15 minutes. I need a bit more time. I will say, though, I'm oh so lucky and blessed to have found a new best friend in Mr. Smith.

He makes me so happy.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Rushwrite. Whatever comes to mind I write. I have about six minutes until fourth period starts and I feel the urge...to write. I don't know what will come out. I haven't been very diligent about writing on here of late. Life is crazily happy for me at the moment and I'll be sure to add some details as to what makes up my happiness right now. But that's for later. For now.... I'd like to write about September. September is the kindest month. Warm enough for me to still run in shorts and tank on dark mornings. Sweet enough to send the scent of ripening grapes my way as I pass on my bike. Glorious enough to intice me all the way up South Fork to gaze at the splendor of fall. Peaceful enough to allow me to swing on the neighbor's hammock and enjoy hour-long Sunday conversations on the phone. Gracious enough to afford me so many many many new blessings. Kind enough to continue to amaze me with the wonderful natures of my students. Time enough to attend the temple almost weekly.
And now my time is up. One more class. Faculty meeting. The rest of September's last Monday to enjoy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sabbath thoughts

Happy Sabbath!

I'm teaching in Relief Society today and the lesson is about Relief Society itself. One of the quotes I found powerful is something Emma Smith said:

"We are going to do something extraordinary."

We are.

I am.

You are.

I know this quote was given in direct relation to Relief Society, but I think one can employ it elsewhere also.

One way we can do something extraordinary is by helping others do extraordinary things. Yesterday I competed in the Yuba triathlon. It was one the happiest races I've had. Why? Well, it's a tri, first of all; it's a given that I've fallen hard for tris. But one of the main reasons was that I decided to say, "Nice job," to every runner I passed by. We had a fairly long out and back, so I was able to see runners who were ahead of me and behind me. I so enjoyed encouraging my fellow racers. It made the run sail by a lot more quickly for me. Those I encouraged helped me do something extraordinary. Smiles shared have such a strong force.

Counting my blessings. Today I'm grateful for:
  • Love.
  • Support.
  • The peace that comes through temple attendance.
  • My healthy body.
  • My family.
  • My dear dear friends.
  • Music.
  • Hymns.
  • Prayer.
  • The Spirit.
  • Heavenly Father.
  • Jesus Christ.
  • New adventures.
  • My students.
  • September nights.
  • Memories.
  • Walks.
Well, that's all for now. I had originally titled this "a Sabbath thought," but one thought would not do today. There's too much for which to be grateful. Loves!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

who could ask for anything more?

"Days can be sunny with never a sigh
Don't need what money can buy
Birds in the trees sing their dayful of songs
Why shouldn't we sing along?
I'm chipper all the day
Happy with my life
How do I get that way?
Look at what I've got:
I got rhythm, I got music, I got my man
Who could ask for anything more?"

-Ella Fitzgerald

Je ne pourrais pas.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

tradition? september's first day

I so much liked listing what I did 1 August that I'm doing likewise for September's first day. I doubt I'll keep this up month after month, but I had such a great day yesterday I thought I'd write about it. It was one of those days I looked back on at the end and wondered how I'd been able to do so much. One reason I had such a great day was that I actually followed through with my plans. So here goes:
  1. Wake up half hour before alarm
  2. Pray
  3. Read/study/think: scripture time
  4. Ponder on peace
  5. Make lunch and snacks (yes snacks, because I do have "hunger management problems")
  6. Eat cheerios with raisins
  7. Gear up in Dad's reflective vest, new tail light, and headlamp
  8. Pump up tires
  9. Hop on bike
  10. Ride, ride, ride
  11. Arrive at school
  12. Enjoy a full, wonderful day with sophomores
  13. Read from Light from the Yellow Star
  14. Begin Night
  15. Evacuate for fire drill
  16. Back into bike clothes
  17. Mount bike again
  18. Feel free without backpack's weight
  19. Ride from school up the canyon for a longer ride
  20. Arrive at Vivian Park
  21. Refill on water
  22. Head home
  23. Feel strong
  24. Turn in at home
  25. Drink more water
  26. Eat some cantaloupe
  27. Shower
  28. Attend temple
  29. Think
  30. Feel calm, joy, peace
  31. Step out of temple
  32. Still feel peace and happiness
  33. Head home
  34. Dinnertime
  35. Talk with the family
  36. Wash dishes
  37. Call friendlies
  38. Draw with sidewalk chalk
  39. Talk with lovelies
  40. Unsuccessfully ward off mozzies
  41. More talk
  42. Pray, ever so gratefully
  43. Sleep

Yes, a mighty fine day. And just think, each day that follows can be even more grand. I'm most likely sounding rather cheesy, but I'm loving life right now. I love that my students are so wonderful. They make coming to school not seem like the burden I sometimes let it seem like. I really look forward to teaching and being with them.

OK, I must finish getting ready for today.


Monday, August 31, 2009

lines running through my head today

My heart is like the ocean.
It gets in the way.
So close to touching freedom,
Then I hear the guards call my name.

-Tori Amos

Saturday, August 29, 2009

race pictures

Warning: viewer discretion advised. There's nothing scandalous, but if you look closely at my running photos, please promise me that you won't make fun of me. Sure, go ahead and laugh, but make sure I can't hear you. I already know how bad and weak and like death I look. They took these snaps the first mile of the run when my upper legs enjoyed a royal time cramping up. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

happy friday

I've almost made it through my first full week of school. Hurray for me. Happy moments of this week have included:
  • Soft rain falling on me the last third of my ride to school Tuesday. If I wouldn't have been on my bike, I wouldn't have enjoyed the smell or feel.
  • Seeing Shanna and Crystal and baby Marlee.
  • Swimming outside with Ma and Lisa yesterday. So peaceful.
  • Running 10 with Lisa Wednesday. I haven't gone longer than a 6 since I did my half marathon.
  • Huge slip and slide Monday night.
  • Finishing I Am the Messenger (for the second time, yes, it's just that good, to me).
  • Students saying thank you at the end of class. I still don't know what merits their thanks, but it's grand to have kind and thoughtful students.
  • This Andrew Bird collection that Jess posted on her blog. I cannot stop listening to it.
Happy almost weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

how could i forget?

Now I don't want to jinx the future, but Neil Young has been a part of my last two races. Back in May I started the Ogden half marathon with a live band jamming out "Long May You Run."

And I can't believe I failed to mention that there was a band at the finish of my triathlon Saturday. As I was on the last quarter mile or so of my run, what did I happen to hear? Sweet strains of "Heart of Gold."

They pump me up so much, those songs of Neil. Sigh.

I doubt there will be a live band at the Yuba triathlon as there wasn't one last year, but here's to hoping that when I next race to the tune of a live band, they'll be playing one of Shakey's songs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

regina's coming

November 6. In the Venue.

Margie's already bought me my birthday present (a ticket)!!!

Cannot wait.

I have the best friends ever.

Bonus: the fact that the concert's on a Friday night and I don't have to feel guilty about staying up late on a school night. Concert going nightly and teaching daily don't mix very well.

Deanna, I teach English to sophomores and juniors.

Tamber, try SBR sports (4th North in Orem). You could even try mine on if you'd like to borrow it.

Leslie, hey! And I think you'd rock at triathlons. Just put a wetsuit on, then you'll float!

results, but no photos

14th out of women. (Out of 76.)
3rd in my age group. (Out of 16.)
65th out of everyone. (Out of 203.)

My transitions are pretty quick I must say. As for my bike, I need to improve there. I envy those who zoom by me wearing their speedy helmets and cruising on their tri bikes, but I'll make do with what I have. Running also could use a boost. My cramping upper legs didn't help out the first mile. But I'm still happy. I think I did alright.

I gave my dad my camera, but didn't really expect him to take any pictures because I'd much rather have him cheering me on. As soon as the fancy Zazoosh place puts up their pictures, I'll post a link, so we can have a gander.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

speaking of wetsuits

I raced the Jordanelle triathlon yesterday. I'm not sure I want to bore anyone with the details, but it was fabulous and fun. I finished third in my age group. I don't know my splits because they weren't posted. Sad. But I was about two minutes off my Yuba time from last September. Not bad for taking of a luxurious month in Europe. Then again, I don't quite know how much I can compare the two races because the courses differ. I guess we'll see, though, because I'm doing Yuba in three weeks.

Happy new week!

PS: School's going well. My students behaved themselves quite well the first two days. We shall see how this week goes. Happy Monday!

one thing i love about my closet:

My wetsuit hangs right next to my temple dress.

A few moments ago I put my wetsuit away and its juxtaposition next to my dress made me smile. And then I wondered, is it really a juxtaposition?

Maybe not. It's just a reflection of me. I guess I'm a juxtaposition.

And now I've far overused the word juxtaposition.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

writer's notebook cover 2009-10

It is a strange thing:
The world.

It blurs the line
From cold blood to warm.

Where do we go next?
The planet?
The beach?
The future?
The wild?
Back from the brink?

I have no reply except that
People are moving
Deep into our minds and hearts.

People of heaven learn to fly
From birth to burial.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

family, faith, and friends

These three things will make the good times sweeter and the hard times bearable.

--A thought from JoAnn Hickman at Ray Hillam's funeral yesterday.

I'm full of the spirit of yesterday's celebration of Ray's life. Perhaps I'll write more later. Perhaps not. I can't write much at this time as Sunday calls my name this way and that. In any case, what a grand man. He certainly touched my life for good.

Thank you, Ray.

Friday, August 14, 2009

alpine loop

Yesterday I went on a bike ride.

But it wasn't just any bike ride.

This is what I'd term an epic bike ride.

I texted my friend, Jeff, last week to see if he wanted to ride one last time before school swallows me whole (next week!). He called me a few days later and said he wanted to do "a really hard ride." I'd never heard him sound so serious about riding. I mean, we race sometimes, and generally do rides that aren't super easy, but I didn't know what to expect considering his seriousness.

So Thursday afternoon rolled around and I prepared not just one water bottle, but two; I had no idea where our pedaling legs would take us. We met up, and Jeff proposed his two ideas:
  1. Ride up Squaw Peak road AND then ride all the way up South Fork.
  2. Ride up Hobble Creek.
I wasn't really in the mood for the first because those are the rides I usually do and Hobble Creek just didn't appeal for whatever reason.

Then Jeff said, well, there's always the Alpine Loop. I don't know why, but I said, alright. Let's do it.

Mentally I was thinking I'd be lucky enough just to make it up the grade to Sundance. But somehow we just kept spinning up the mountain. We were out of water by the time we reached Aspen Grove because of the hot blazing sun and the steep road. But we filled up at the lodge's water fountain, hopped back on our bikes and continued.

Most of the fun for me stemmed from the fact that we really didn't know how far away we were from the summit. My legs finally stopped burning after Aspen Grove and we got into a nice rhythm. We reached the summit in about two hours (from Will's Pit Stop...on University). It took us about 22 minutes to zoom down to the mouth of AF canyon.

Pure exhiliration.

I'm not sure of the exact mileage, but it took us just over three hours, roundtrip. The only thing that would have made it a bit better was some fuel other than water. Next time I'll be sure to pack an energy bar.

But other than that, epic.

Feeling ready to race next Saturday: Jordanelle, here I come.


This morning I stopped by the neighborhood grocery store to grab meself a pint of chocolate milk after my swim. I happened to run into my high school AP English teacher.

I haven't seen her for a couple years and it was nice to chat with her. I asked her what the happiest thing of her summer had been. She replied, without any hesitation, "Two grandchildren." She further affirmed my inquiry as to if they were born this summer.

We parted ways, but my mind rested on her response. I've been asking myself the same question these past few days and my answer is not the grand travels I've been able to enjoy. I certainly had fun, don't get me wrong. But playing with and holding my cousin Elijah has been the happiest thing of my summer. Along with that happiness is the time spent with my immediate and extended family. It doesn't matter if we're playing soccer in west Provo or eating dinner just off the beach of Payette lake. Just being with them matters more than enough.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

please don't kill me

Such is the phrase running through my head as I ride my bike down busy streets. I don't have too many fears, but one fear creeps up as I see cars rolling through their red lights to turn right--possibly right in front of me.

I fear getting struck by the car, flying through the air, scraping up my arms and legs with some nasty road rash, and hitting my head hard enough against the asphalt to pop off my helmet.

I know. Not a very pleasant image. That's why I incessantly repeat my mantra along busy roads. Please don't kill me. I will cars to see me and my speed, so they'll back off and come to their complete stop to wait for me to pass them by.

It's my green light.

I said please.


Monday, August 10, 2009

too much fun for pictures


Coming home isn't always the best part of a trip.

Last week was right lovely.

And now I'm home.

I just uploaded my pictures from our trip to McCall and was rather shocked to realize I'd only taken 42 pictures. Holy moly. Usually I take heaps more. But I guess I was having too grand of a time to pull out my trusty recording device. Good thing I have a heart and head full of memories, no?

So a few pictures and then a little summation of happy happenings:

Fed this messy monkey several times.

Morning attempt at climbing. Rain thwarted our plans.
Sad face but happy face because of the gorgeous scenery.

Butterfly and flower tattoos. Even Gramma had one!

Huckleberry picking, sand castle building, swimming, running, huckleberry pancake eating, scum playing, scrabble playing, biking, climbing, cliff jumping, laughing, talking, skinny-dipping, beach sitting, soccer, whiffle ball, huckleberry pie eating, playing, playing, playing. Being with the best famdamily in the world. So swell.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

tinker toys

Pictures of yesterday's adventures:


I hope this trend of going to bed past midnight and not being able to sleep past 5:07 in the morning doesn't continue. I don't know why I haven't been able to sleep longer (today and yesterday). Oh well, it just happens sometimes, so there's not much I can do about it. No complaints.
I thought I'd share a picture of one of my most recent colorings. I've been giving away The Book Thief for people's birthdays of late. I usually watercolor a bookmark and write a note on the other side to stick inside the book.The above's a little example of what one of those bookmarks might look like. Most of them are a little more abstract than this house on a hill. I'm no pro at it, but it's rather relaxing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

august's first day in 51

  1. 5:30 a.m.
  2. what? mind's racing and there's no falling back asleep
  3. guess it's time for a run
  4. 6 miles
  5. before the sun
  6. pink morning clouds
  7. oatmeal and raisins
  8. yum
  9. load up backpack with climbing gear
  10. hop on bike
  11. ride up to Rock Canyon
  12. say good mornings to the cousin and his wifey
  13. hike a bit
  14. watch cousin set the line
  15. climb
  16. belay
  17. rest
  18. climb
  19. belay
  20. rest
  21. etc.
  22. etc.
  23. such pure fun
  24. no one else in sight until two climbs left
  25. perfecto
  26. climber's high
  27. sail downhill home
  28. cut up veggies
  29. cook veggies and some pasta
  30. eat
  31. yum
  32. small power(ful) nap
  33. shower
  34. laundry
  35. Margie
  36. Border's
  37. journals obscenely on sale
  38. grocery store for batteries and snacks
  39. present to lovely Mermaid
  40. playtime with Marge
  41. see old friends
  42. talk
  43. play volleyball
  44. talk
  45. eat
  46. scurry to soccer game
  47. play and sweat
  48. victory
  49. ride home with windows down and Regina blasting
  50. soon to bed
  51. love it

Friday, July 31, 2009

yes, summer is dying (for me), BUT...

I only have a couple weeks left of this delicious summer vacation! Once a child of summer, always a child of summer. That's me. But I intend to fully enjoy the rest of what I have.

Next week I get to:

monkey around at Ponderosa State Park,

build sand castles,

pick and eat huckleberries,

enjoy lakeview sunsets,

and more, of course.

(All pictures courtesy of last summer's trip.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've been enjoying the last few days with lovely Skabbys in town.
This little half Skab just makes me smile.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

another july birthday

This time it's Marmee's birthday. She's not out of country--just out of state at the moment. My mama is simply the best ever. She cooks the yummiest food. She lets me run with her. She taught me how to swim and swim well. She coaches so many kids and makes such a difference in their lives. She is kind. She is funny and fun. Here are some pictures of here, along with some commentary from me, of course:

Ma contemplates. She also puts up with all our reading habits. She's even picked up the reading bug herself.

Oh, here she is being contemplative again. Actually, I think she's being patient here. We'd just witnessed Sainte Chapelle and Dad was figuring out where to next.

Mom is the most perfect BYU model ever. She also sure knows how to use a fork and knife, continental style.

Ma makes friends so easily. She has a gift of instant connection. (BYU modeling again.)

Mother is gorgeous.

Ma smiles. She puts up with a whole lot of ugly singing and strange jokes. She's a good sport. And, no, this is not the last picture in which she advertises for Brigham's school. But that's what she gets for being a coach and owning so much sporty attire.

Mom knows how to say Champs de elysees.

Marmee makes Christmas lovely. She's such a beautiful Christmas morning angel.

Like I mentioned before, Ma knows how to cook.

Marmee has great communication skills. Here she interacts with the smallest cub.

Happiest of birthdays Marmee!
Thanks for being so wonderfully you.