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.