Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Eamon loves bringing his hands to his face.
Though it might look like he's trying to say, "What's the big deal,"
he's really just in process of moving those hands.

Friday, December 17, 2010

et voila

Eamon Clark Smith

15 December
7 lbs. 4 oz.

I love him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

mouse mover

Most of you, ok, pretty much all of you, probably will have no idea what this is all about, but I'm posting it anyhow. A couple limericks to commemorate this morning's stealthy mouse moving. I dedicate it to Nantsu, Guya, and Bo-Bi.

There once was a girl named Lyn.
Her baby gave her stomach tight skin,
But not to worry,
She still in a hurry
Knew how to frustrate her kin.

See, she set out one morn for a walk,
And stopped by the house for a talk.
She spied the mouse, unmoved, on the wall,
So she jumped, did not crawl,
To move that mouse one more block.

I really think I have a future in limerick writing, seeing as how I whipped these up in less than five minutes. Maybe I just got lucky creative juices flowing the delicious pancakes Pa fed me. I know I don't have the precise syllable pattern down, but whatever. Happy December to everyone. I can't believe we're already almost a third of the way through it. Laters.

I stole the above image from here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Big fat flakes of snow cover up the driveway we've already gone over once. It's a beautifully white Sunday morning.

A year ago I was counting down the days until I left to see Rew in Jerusalem. And now? Just wondering when this baby of ours will arrive. There's no counting down of days because he could come in five days or twenty. So there's no counting. But there is a lot of excitement and bewilderment; sometimes I still can't believe it's really happening--I'm going to be a mom. Wow.

I got to see some lovely friends yesterday--all friends because of our Russian speaking missions. It was fun to be with them and talk with them. They all gave us wonderful gifts for Baby. We've been so spoiled by people giving us gifts.

I started off yesterday with a nice solo walk. Well, it was solo for the first ten minutes. After completing a hill before some flat and down, I gave Si a ring. She was in DC and en route to taking Eli to the playground. We talked about our Thanksgivings, among other things. I got to hear Eli say, "Thomas." He's in love with trains and knows all the names of the train characters associated with Thomas the Tank. It makes me wonder what our little one will fancy.

Well, that's all for now. Happy snowy Sabbath!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Just going over some photos to print and album away before we truly go snap happy with Baby's arrival. These are some of my favorites:

Akko, Israel

Caesarea, Israel

Jerusalem Zoo

Friday, November 5, 2010

happy because

  • It's the first Friday in a month and a half that Andrew and I don't have birthing class. Not that we hated it. It just meant we didn't have Fridays free for a while.
  • Josh is a cutie still. I got him off to school this morning because my mom's off traveling with the team and my dad had early meetings. Josh hugged me before hopping on his bike. I said, "Be safe." His reply? "I love you." What 12 year old boy still tells his sister he loves her? Just a perfect way to start the day.
  • Waffles are yummy. That's what Josh and I had for breakfast.
  • Now it's lunchtime. Yay! Time for some leftovers.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So I bought some books. Two of them are for book group nights coming up and one I've wanted to read for a while now. I splurged so I could mark them up if I wanted and I won't have to worry about returning them to the library. My hope is I'll manage to master nursing well enough to be able to read at the same time, so that's another reason. I hope they're good reads. We'll see. Anyway, here are them books:

Crossing to Safety
by Wallace Stegner

The Space Between Us
by Thrity Umrigar

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

Images taken from here, here, and here.

nothing to write?

I feel like my days are very much the same with not much variation and so I find myself not writing much. I don't like that. I need to write more because it helps me relax, helps me figure things out, and helps me observe better.

Coaching is going well. I'm ever more impressed with my mom and the way she handles things on deck. She certainly is a pro. We had to settle a scuffle between a couple swimmers yesterday and everything she said was right on. I can't go into details, but I stood there all frozen, not knowing what to say to help the situation. I looked to Marmee and she said all the perfect things that needed to be said. She amazes me.

I'm trying to find flatter and flatter morning walks because the uphill and the downhill aren't very kind to my hips and to my gravity's center. I think it was Tuesday morning when I went and it was still dark enough to see Orion and the dark side of the moon. It was a delicious morning.

35 weeks. We're almost there. I'm starting to pop out of my maternity clothes. We think we have Baby's name, but still want to meet him before we proclaim it to the world. It is one of the ones I listed on our family blog, though, if you really are that curious.

I miss my bike and hope that the beginning of 2011 has some warm days that will let me venture out a few times to try and find my biking muscles again. I also miss the pool. I haven't gone swimming for 3-4 weeks; for some reason swimming made my hips hurt more than walking does. But I'm not complaining. The walking is good. I just miss those things and look forward to enjoying them again when it's the proper season to enjoy them. Now is my season of softness.

I was going to put up pictures from Halloween, but I don't see where they've been saved on here and Andrew's still snoozing, so that'll have to come later.

Happy November! Last full month before we meet Baby Smith!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vote for Proposition 1!

Since several people have stated the facts better than I could, I'm going to share their words with you. But please, please, if you are a Provo citizen, please vote Tuesday 2 November (or did you know? there's even early voting?). And please consider voting for Proposition 1. I think it would be really swell to have a new recreation center in Provo.

Here are some words from Glenn Tuckett, "a longtime resident of Provo, former BYU baseball coach and athletic director for 30 years."

And here are some words from Dave Olpin, who lives in Provo. This can be found in the 6 October edition of The Daily Herald.

"As a member of the Provo Parks and Recreation Board for the past 12 years, I would like to make my fellow residents aware of the very important upcoming election that will affect every Provo resident. On Nov. 2, residents will vote for or against the issuance of bonds to construct a new Community Recreation Center in Provo, known as Proposition No. 1. For more information, go to ForProvo.org.

• Provo's realities: We are carrying the heavy burden of three aging buildings -- The Center, Eldred Senior Center and the Recreation Center at Provo High School. All three existing facilities are nearing the end of their useful life.

• Operational deficiencies: We are paying about $700,000 yearly to subsidize these three facilities.

• Current facility deficiencies: Woefully inadequate for a city of our size, with serious structural, seismic, HVAC, roof, code violations, accessibility and programming issues.

• Provo's solution: By combining all three facilities into one new larger building, it will provide adequate needs for now and the future. It will reduce the subsidy by about $250,000 yearly. A recent survey indicated 78 percent of Provo residents would use a new recreation center at least monthly.

• Where will it be located? North Park block (500 N. 450 West), immediately east of the Veterans Memorial Pool on city-owned property. This is the No. 1 best site from citizen survey. The location is most central to all residents. It provides ample land for parking, building and growth and easy transit access. It enhances Veterans Memorial Pool's revenue potential. The Provo School District has provided another site for the Timp baseball field.

• Building features: Senior center with dining facilities; community meeting rooms; heated family leisure pools; competition pool; swimming lap lanes; indoor running/walking track; locker rooms for men, women and families; bouldering climbing wall; aerobics and fitness spaces; weight room area; cardio-vascular equipment; racquetball courts; gymnasiums for basketball and volleyball; multi-purpose areas for gymnastics, wrestling and indoor soccer; dance areas; party rooms; concessions; child care; Parks and Recreation offices.

• Positive points: Cheaper than keeping older facilities (projected to save $250K annually in reduced subsidies); lowest interest rates in history; up to 25 percent savings in construction costs; best time to build -- building later will be much more expensive; competitive rates and memberships; many advantages for the elderly; meets current and future needs; safe; attracts new businesses; reduces crime; provides health, fitness and recreation opportunities; provides a place for families, young and old, to congregate. The council and mayor support the proposal being on the ballot.

• Financial: The bond is for $39 million for design, construction and furnishings. Important: The current library bond ends in 2014. This new facility would merge into the phasing out of the library bond and extend for 20 years at a much lower interest rate. The average homeowner of a $195,000 home would see a small increase of $2.61 per month in property taxes (less than the cost of a gallon of gas a month) Note: the total bond amount will be reduced if project costs are lowered through donations, competitive construction costs and other price-lowering measures.

The most commonly asked question of the Provo Parks and Recreation Department is, "When is Provo going to have a new recreation center like so many other much smaller Utah communities?"

Our great family community deserves better. It's definitely our time to Vote for Proposition No. 1!"

Monday, October 18, 2010

assembly was required,

but I mostly just held parts in place as Mr. Manly read the instructions and got everything where it needed to go.

And now we have a crib just waiting to be used.

I'm not going to lie; I have to look at it everytime I pass by the room. It makes me happy.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

time's a flyin'

I can't believe that another weekend is here. We've had a busy week. I've lost much of my voice to yelling at lanes full of kids. I suppose I need to be kinder to my voice and make the swimmers quiet down more. It's just so noisy though. Hopefully a couple days of voice rest will rejuvenate it for next week. I need to be more careful about how much I scratch it up.

Baby is still quite the mover. The past few days he's really been poking me in uncomfortable ways. But it's never annoying because I love to feel him squirm around.

Happiness this past week:
  • swimming twice
  • a job interview for Mr. Manly
  • the glorious feel of fall
  • a new pair of jeans
  • the temple and attending with Rew
  • delicious cantaloupe and watermelon from Gpa Skab's garden
  • Sunday football (the barefoot in the backyard playing kind)
  • Raclette
  • Conference
  • sleep
  • seeing Marge
  • walks
  • green beans from Pa's garden
  • a nice chat on the phone with Si
  • Baby inside me
  • peace

Saturday, October 2, 2010

more than a lucky penny

Do you pick up pennies? I sometimes do. Bending over with this belly, though, gets me pondering seriously about whether I really want to or not. A quarter, though, is a great find; I think I'd stoop for that.

Back in my running days (five months ago--it seems so long ago), I'd even stop to pick up a dime or nickel. It's fun to secret it away into my running shorts' pocket and have it there like a totem. It beats ever so slightly against the top of my quad for the rest of the run and for runs to come. I used to give the change I found to Baby Brother, but now that he's richer than I am, I hoard my finds.

Yesterday found me going for a walk in the cool morning air. My lovely one was still slumbering, so I stole away with his phone and headed out. I gave Si a call, but she was on her way out the door to run errands, so we said hi rather quickly and then ended the brief conversation. I made my way down the trail to get to a nice stretch of flat road; my hips like flat.

Walking, walking, breathing, stretching out my legs. A five dollar bill? Well, yes, I'll pick that up. I looked around to see if there was a parked car nearby that it could have fallen out of. No. And it wasn't really near any house. I felt guilty, almost. Five dollars? A small smile turned my lips up as I finished my head glances around. I stuck the bill in my sweatshirt pocket and continued walking. I felt lucky.

I stopped by the padres' house because I just had to tell someone about my find, plus I had to ask Pa a couple questions. So I tell him and Josh about my luck, and, of course, they say, "Oh, yeah, that's the five dollars we lost on our way to school yesterday." Haha. They think they're so clever. I should have known they wouldn't revel in my rejoicing. They just wanted my money. But I kept it for myself and all the luckiness that came with it because I rarely rarely get lucky.

Happy and lucky weekend! Tomorrow's Dad's birthday and Monday is Josh's. He will be 12. I remember the Conference weekend when he was born. Crazy that he's already turning into a deacon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

he's here!

My babiest cousin arrived but 24 hours ago. I haven't seen him yet, but can't wait to hold him. Yay for babies!

I stole this picture from the email announcement.
Hope that's ok with the new parents.

Seeing even just a picture of this new one makes me even more curious and excited to see what our little one will look like. It also makes me so happy because I just know our boys will be fast friends. Congratulations Auntie and Uncle!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

writer's notebook: found poem

I haven't been writing much lately, so I made myself a new writer's notebook to excite me into writing. I hope it works. I finished it today, but I've yet to pen any words within the pages. I thought I'd share here my found poem. I think I still like what I came up with last year better, but meh. Here it is.

If there is an address for the soul,
It's where everything bright
And strong
And never tamed
Comes together on high.

If you want to join
Two sides of a river,
You might be able to.

If you try too hard,
You may miss
Your favorite place
In the universe.

It is a place
Where there's always
A downpour of inspiration.

React to a new poem.
Be enchanted.
Have a favorite dream.

Leave your mark on the sand.

"Say You Love" (the last stanza)

Give love
as guiltless clouds
release their rain
to thirsty grass
that it may spring again
--May Swenson

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

it must be a curse

It seems like every time I wash the car it rains the next day.

Yesterday we washed the car. It's raining as I type this.

I love rain. I do. Why does it make me want to never wash the car?

Oh well. Life goes on. Time for a nap before coaching.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"there is nothing more astonishing than a human face"

From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson:

"They say an infant can't see when it is as young as your sister was, but she opened her eyes, and she looked at me. She was such a little bit of a thing. But while I was holding her, she opened her eyes. I know she didn't really study my face. Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was. But I know she did look right into my eyes. That is something. And I'm glad I knew it at the time, because now, in my present situation, not that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face...You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can't help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it. But this is truest of the face of an infant. I consider that to be one kind of vision, as mystical as any."

Friday, September 17, 2010


Only a few people outside my immediate family will get this, but I'm still gonna write it. These are a few lines from my handy dandy pregnancy book:

"Without even knowing it, you may be starting to adjust your posture and the ways you stand, move, and walk. You may at times feel as if you're going to tip over. This is normal. You'll return to your more graceful self after your baby is born."

It really says that.

Back-story if you're interested or have no idea about the import of graceful.

another cat

Here's another cat. This one was warming itself in a washing basin up on the Temple Mount. I think it's cute because it's still a kitten. I took this picture when I visited Rew back in December.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"not a true story"

I hope it's not plagiarism to do this. My sister wrote something on Rew's FB wall. I found it rather amusing and I hope she doesn't mind my slapping it on here with a good ole copy-and-paste maneuver.

"I thought you would like to hear this story about your wife. Actually, it was my dream, so it's not a true story. Once upon a time, I woke up in the early morning of October and was informed that my sister had had a baby. I got all excited and started asking when we would go see her. Then, you and her appeared and Analyn was all ready to go for a run, exactly three hours after she had given birth. Also, your baby was fluent in English and had teeth. I told him to say, "I'm a child prodigy," and he kept saying it over and over. Also, I asked why Analyn had given birth so early. You told me that it was because she was playing soccer and some of her bones got fractured, so they needed to get the baby out.

The End."

Friday, September 10, 2010


Presenting: A small story in which you may learn something about me you might not have ever known, or you might have always known...

Once upon a time, when we went to Petra, Anna and I met a cat.

I'm generally not too fond of cats. G & G Skab's cats are the only cats I've ever really liked. When this poor, little, and dirty thing wanted to rub up against me, I shied away and tried to shoo it away. (If you click on the picture and zoom in, you'll see the rude downcast glare I shot the cat; Anna, though, is kind and giving the cat a sweet smile.) This may or may not make me a bad person in your eyes, sorry.

The end.

Now I remember I have an even better cat story from Jerusalem to tell. The next installment of Meow will feature that. I didn't even know I was going to have "Meow installments." How embarrassing.

Oh well, happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the most wonderful time of the year

I love the melding of summer to fall. Yesterday's air bit crisp, but the sun still shared its warming rays; it's that perfect mix which leaves me almost without breath. It's that sweet sun and chill air ratio which makes me want to hop on my bike, go for a run, or climb some great routes. For now, I will continue to take pleasure in the walks my six-month-pregnant belly allows me. I'll try not to be jealous when I hear about the great ride my brother and dad went on because my skin will still marvel at the sensation of being cooled and warmed simultaneously.

It's not solely the perfect weather that makes this such a dreamy time of year for me--the start of school factors in. Since school started without me this year, I really find myself missing it. I've had several teaching dreams the past few weeks and I'm sure they'll continue. I miss all the students I've ever taught. I miss the splendid lunchtimes spent with fellow teachers. I miss reading, discovering, laughing, and working with my students. Sure, I might be glossing over and remembering only the good parts. But the hard things about teaching I barely remember; the sweet sticks with me.

And thus seasons roll on.

Coaching swimming comes as my newest season. I've coached before but I feel my teaching experiences of the last few years have really helped me become a better coach. I'm excited to work with kids, albeit in a setting other than the classroom. I've seen the great influence my mom has had on so many because of all she's taught them through coaching. I hope I can do a fraction of the same.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Happy happy birthday, Andrew dear.
Happy days will come to you all year.
If I had a wish, then it would be
A happy happy birthday to you from me.

I know, not original at all. So let's get a little more so by exploring some of the wonderfulness my husband embodies.

Before we begin, did you know that the doctor who delivered Andrew also delivered me (three months later)? We discovered this fact several months ago in talking with our mothers about our own pending baby arrival. I'd say that's pretty cool.

And now, a few exhibits of the birthday boy's awesomeness:

He will sing in the rain, and anywhere else in fact, with me.

He not only lets me take sweaty pictures of him;
sometimes, as in this case, he actually asks for me to do so.

He constantly amuses me.

And he knows how to amuse others as well.
He's great with wee ones.

He can do this. All I can do is stare on in amazement.

He's a pro in the kitchen.
He's also too nice;
he helped me yesterday in preparation
for his birthday dinner today.

He's quite a cowboy.
As with his other antics already featured,
he always knows how to make me smile.

He can grow a pretty bounteous head o' hair.

He helped defeat Zurg.
(I mean, really, check out his score,
especially compared to mine.)

Happy birthday dearest!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Swan by Mary Oliver

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?

Friday, September 3, 2010


days ago I went on my first date with Rew.


It's been a good year. Thanks, Mr. Manly.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I had a lane all to myself this morning at the Scera pool. It was so lovely. What made it even better was that someone had left his/her punch pass at the front desk to be used up, so thanks to some kind soul, I didn't even have to pay the entry fee. It made me smile.

I also got to say good morning to my gramma who was there doing her water aerobics. I got to smile some more as I heard her talking about Rew and me. Yay for the ladies at water aerobics.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last few weeks.

I wrote about what we've been up to over here.

1. Andrew bemoaning the demise of his sunglasses.
2. Shade on beach day.
3. Almost everyone in the water but us one evening in McCall.
4. I think possibly my favorite picture from Nat and Miguel's happy day. Marge and Josh make a great couple, eh?
5. Heather and me at the temple. She's due in two weeks! Can't wait to meet my new cousin. And I can't wait for our boys to play together.

the newlyweds

Aren't they lovely?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


My sister got married just a few hours ago.

I love her and my new brother.

I just wanted to say their happiness makes me happy and I wish them all the best in all that is to come.

Bisous (I know, it's not Spanish, but it's what I'm used to).

PS: I love you. ;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

a few answers

Yes, yes, I'm pregnant.

22 weeks along (due date is 13 December).

A boy.

As for names, we want to meet and greet the little fellow first. Of course, that doesn't mean we don't have names in mind. We're just not for certain yet, and we know we don't have to be, so we're not stressing. We're pretty sure about a few, though; we probably won't name him Joseph or Hyrum or John Jacob Jingleheimer.

Also, I finally got around to a little post-Israel update: post and pictures.

Happy Sabbath!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

getting back

A year ago I was spending as much time as I could rock climbing in Rock Canyon. Now I've got a belly full of a growing baby and my daily exercise sometimes includes a walk from my parents' house to Rock Canyon's parking lot drinking fountain. How's that for a change? It seems big to me. But it's also good. Yes, I miss flying down roads on my bike, but now I get to enjoy a different season in my life. All the baby dreams I've ever had are finally coming true. It's such a thrill to feel the little guy move inside me.

Rew and I have a goal to write up some posts about our time together in Israel. I hope we can follow through and actually get it done. Until then, I'll leave you with a few choice pictures:

Wouldn't you love your address to be such?

Rew with Nadim. Too cute, the both of them.

This was just too ugly to not put up. Me and my touring fanny pack and headphones.
Near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Friday, July 9, 2010


it's just too crazy for me to even think about all the changes a year has brought me. good changes, yes. but they still boggle my mind. speaking of Boggle, anyone want to challenge Andrew or me? we've probably got more than enough practice these last few months to take on even Sierra and Joe.

ten days and we'll be back in utah.

i'll have a better update sometime...along with some pictures...hopefully. i want to get back to writing on here more regularly. until then, peace.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

miss frizzle/this one's for guya

so i totally felt like miss frizzle yesterday. sadly, i don't have crazy powers to take a whole group of grade school kids through the workings of a human body's immune system. and, somewhat sadly, i don't have miss frizzle's wacky-amazing dress style.

i did happen to mimic her in sporting similar style. our sunbeam lesson was entitled "i am thankful for fish." well, natty got me these sweet fish earrings from mexico and as i was putting them on yesterday to coordinate with the lesson, i just couldn't help but smile. i felt, in a very small way, like miss frizzle. and i smiled about it and thought about her and nat all day long and just kept smiling. of course, i always feel like miss frizzle in a big way: my frizzhead o' hair. but mine isn't red. the end.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


  • morning runs
  • mr. manly
  • good books (Population 485)
  • food: falafel, grapefruit, and pita pizzas--to name a few
  • General Conference
  • beautiful terraced hills growing hundreds of olive trees
  • laughs
  • one-eyed stares
  • family prayer
  • sleep
  • writing on here again (it's been kinda a long time)
  • an April 6 outing to Bethlehem (Christmas for real!)
  • anticipation of swimming again
  • lizard friends (well, I wish they really were my friends. why do they have to run away as soon as I come near?)
  • words, like these from Gary Paulson:
    "I tell young people to read like a wolf eats. Read when they tell you not to read, and read what they tell you not to read. Kill your TV--they're fun to shoot. However you kill it, kill it. Then where you had TV, read. Carry a book with you. Read on the bus. Read under the covers at night. Read any book with you. Just read."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

married and jerusalem

all in a week.

And I'm too lazy to write much, so I'll direct you here to what Andrew wrote.

I will say that it was a most beautiful day. And I'm still a fan of Mr. Smith (translate: I love him). Yep yep yep.

I'll have to write more later.

We're starting up a blog (rewandlyn.blogspot) together. I don't know how much you'll find on it now, but look for more to come.

We're just settling in (trying to beat the jet lag game). Andrew starts school in a week and we're trying to find me something to do volunteer/service-wise around here. We've found a few things and hopefully something will turn up.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

it's february

third already. I have three minutes to write before going to get my hair trimmed. I ran with Marmee this morning. Didn't see any deer friends. Ate two grapefruit (do I pluralize with an s or not? I'm not sure...) and some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yum. Did some reading and a little cleaning. Today we're going to the temple with our padres and Sierra. She got here late Monday night and we spent most of yesterday with her and Eli. Arlette, Samuel, and baby Sarah arrive today. We're pretty much done with all the planning. We have a little grocery shopping to do and a few other things to accomplish, but we're almost there.

Less than three days!

Huzzah! does not even begin to capture how happy and excited I am, but, "Huzzah!"

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the day after our first date

I wrote this in my writer's notebook:

"What has made this week good is that I'm at peace with myself. I'm happy with who I am. I'm not vain in this--I hope. But I really feel like this week I've been mostly living up to my potential. I'm not living for show or for anyone else. I don't have anything to prove to anyone but myself and my Maker. So no pressure."

I've been reflecting for a while now about the words I penned that first whirlwind week. I'm grateful I wrote because it's quite nice to look back on.

Today I'm so very thankful for Andrew who makes me feel what I described. There wasn't ever any pressure with him. I'm so comfortable and at ease with him. I'm my true self when I'm with him, and that means more than I can even begin to describe.

I'm also thankful today for running and swimming, for peace, for sleep, for students, for friends, for family, for love, for prayers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

unspeakably happy

Yep, that's me right now.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The sun's light has left me for its western ways leaving me with a desire to compose a paragraph about how I'm feeling in this moment. Things are really shaking up for me. Big change is coming. Happy change is coming. I feel like I sense only a hint of everything that's going to happen. I was released from my calling in my ward today. It felt so strange to walk home without my binder in hand. It feels even stranger to know I won't be looking at a new ward list practically every week. I already miss my dearest dears. I feel afloat. I'm on top of something so light that I can't capture any fluff from it to take a good analytical look. I know none of this makes much sense, but this is me right now--not making much sense even to myself. I have five days left of teaching my lovely students. I will miss them. In two weeks I will be a wife. I will have a husband. In three weeks I will be in Jerusalem. I won't be here. I already miss my famdam; maybe Guya's right about this whole bittersweet taste. Yep, big change. But peace fills me up that it's alright. It's more than right. Right? Yes. So when I lay me down to sleep in a few hours, I will kneel before I close my eyes. I will pray. I will thank. I will thank forever. Even when I'm not kneeling I will go about my day remembering to have my heart drawn out in gratitude. At least I hope to remember. If I find myself forgetting, I will plead for aid to remember, to never forget all the blessings--countless they are. And so it all comes back to thanks. It always circles and cycles round. Thanks to the Father, we will bring. For he gives us everything. Merci. Spasibo. Gracias. Gratzi. Danke.

thanks for the sun

Why I Wake Early

by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.

Hello, you who made the morning

and spread it over the fields

and into the faces of the tulips

and the nodding morning glories,

and into the windows of, even, the

miserable and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,

dear star, that just happens

to be where you are in the universe

to keep us from ever-darkness,

to ease us with warm touching,

to hold us in the great hands of light –

good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day

in happiness, in kindness.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

back to the bike

It's Wednesday. It's slightly snowing outside. I'm at school. I'm pretty much ready for the day. I just need to write stuff on the board and pick up a stack up copies from downstairs.

Yesterday I enjoyed a glorious bike ride. The last ride I took was in the middle of November. So when I stepped out of school yesterday afternoon into the crisp and clean and clear air, I knew I had to go if it was warm enough to brave the briskness. There's a freedom I gain on my bike that I can't experience elsewhere. It's a pause while hurtling. It's a lull while zooming. I savored the solo nature of it as I gazed at the mountains to my left, then in front of me, and then to my right, as I completed my ride.

Anyway, biking makes me happy. (Yep, stating the obvious...)

And now something else that makes me happy: words.

Here are some from Rilke:

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."

Happy halfway through the week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Here at school. Getting ready for the day. We're reading Stargirl (in Sophomore English) for my last few weeks here and I simply love some of Spinelli's passages. Thought I'd share a couple:

"And each night in bed I thought of her as the moon came through my window. I could have lowered my shade to make it darker and easier to sleep, but I never did. In that moonlit hour, I acquired a sense of the otherness of things. I liked the feeling the moonlight gave me, as if it wasn't the opposite of day, but its underside, its private side, when the fabulous purred on my snow-white sheet like some dark cat come in from the desert" (12).

"She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew" (15).

Happy Tuesday!

(One week and Andrew's back!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

smiles on this day of no school

skyping with mr. manly
walking with aunties
running solo
grapefruit (another whole one, again)
checking things off to do list
gift cards to a bookstore
new books: tolstoy, neruda, and oliver
chatting with si
power napping
farmer croc granola from swissland
time to still check things off

poppies: gma and gpa's june 2008

Sunday, January 17, 2010

a sunday thought

"Do not expect the world’s solutions
to the world’s problems to be very effective.
Such solutions often resemble what C. S. Lewis
wrote about those who go dashing back and forth
with fire extinguishers in times of flood
(see The Screwtape Letters [1959], 117–18).
Only the gospel is constantly relevant,
and the substitute things won’t work."
--Neal A. Maxwell

Saturday, January 16, 2010

to natty: bittersweet. yum?

Nope, not so sure about it being yum.
Pretty sure it might look something like this.
Just kidding, Guya.

This picture makes me smile,
And really has nothing to do with bittersweet.
But because it has you and me,
And because I remember what you said before you took it,
And because it makes me smile,
I put it up.

You also make me smile.
Thanks for smiling at Mr. Peacemaker of the day
Because that just made everything better.
I'll try to not be so bossy.


Friday, January 15, 2010

three weeks from tomorrow

we'll be going here again--

this time
to wed!

How's that for a happy thought?

Happy Friday!
Happy three-day weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

countdowns continue

I'm here at school, and already have today pretty much planned out, as well as tomorrow and most of next week. It's madness that I only have 11 days left of school. I'm hoping to organize all my electronic files so I'll have my lesson plans and everything on my flash drive. I've only saved everything to this computer that isn't even mine and will much less be mine come 29 January (and by that I mean that it won't be mine at all). Organizing all my files will take a bit of work, especially because I don't really even know where to begin with all that. Oh well, it'll work out.

Happiness of late:
  • falling asleep quicker than a wink every night for at least a week straight
  • this song. it was the first song pandora played for me this morning. love it
  • talking with Mr. Rew (be it via skype or on the phone)
  • swimming with UVRays
  • running with Lisa. pure deliciousness
  • hot chocolate
  • lunchtime with fellow teachers
  • visiting my cousin and her two cutie-pie girls
  • anticipating climbing (tonight!)
  • only 12 days till Andrew's back
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

sans titre

Andrew has done a nice job of writing up some of our adventures on my recent trip over to Jerusalem. I always think I'll do a better job of reporting on things, but my thinking doesn't always translate into things actually happening for me. Sorry. So I might or might not write more about my trip. How's that for vagueness? Sometimes I'm just more in the mood to take some time to practice my creative writing skills. Yes, I know, one could argue that all writing is creative. I would agree. But sometimes I just need an outlet to write what comes and run with ideas for a while. I wrote a couple new things tonight. I'm not sure how much I like them, but at least it felt nice to write.

Anyhow, until I do or don't write more about my trip, you may look here and here for a couple posts by Mr. Smith.

Since Andrew put up a couple videos of the sweet bell playing, I thought I'd put up the video of him playing. This was such a fun surprise. I can't believe I got to play bells in Jerusalem. Andrew spoils me. Less than two weeks now until he's back!

Happy almost halfway through the week!

on my mind

"No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!

For what we love determines what we seek.

What we seek determines what we think and do.

What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.

We are created in the image of our heavenly parents; we are God’s spirit children. Therefore, we have a vast capacity for love—it is part of our spiritual heritage. What and how we love not only defines us as individuals; it also defines us as a church. Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ.

Since the beginning of time, love has been the source of both the highest bliss and the heaviest burdens. At the heart of misery from the days of Adam until today, you will find the love of wrong things. And at the heart of joy, you will find the love of good things.

And the greatest of all good things is God.

Our Father in Heaven has given us, His children, much more than any mortal mind can comprehend. Under His direction the Great Jehovah created this wondrous world we live in. God the Father watches over us, fills our hearts with breathtaking joy, brightens our darkest hours with blessed peace, distills upon our minds precious truths, shepherds us through times of distress, rejoices when we rejoice, and answers our righteous petitions.

He offers to His children the promise of a glorious and infinite existence and has provided a way for us to progress in knowledge and glory until we receive a fulness of joy. He has promised us all that He has.

If all that is not enough reason to love our Heavenly Father, perhaps we can learn from the words of the Apostle John, who said, 'We love him, because he first loved us.'"

--President Uchtdorf October 2009
full text here

Friday, January 8, 2010

c'est le weekend!

and I'm going to celebrate by going to bed and by not setting my alarm. If Margie was here, she'd certainly call me a gramma. Maybe I am one already. Who cares?

Went to dinner tonight with Nat C. and Julie. It was so nice to chat and catch up with them. I'm grateful for all the beautiful women who love me and share their lives with me. I'm so blessed.

Tomorrow is invitation assembly day. Hoping to get most of that done.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

what would i do without poetry?

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

akko, israel

I just love this picture.
Love the lighthouse.
Love the coast.
Love my love.

Happy halfway through the week!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

new moon

Best line of the day.

Actually, maybe the best of the year thus far. I tried hard not to let laughter overwhelm me too much.

I had my students share what book(s) they read for this last term. One (male) student gave the greatest one-liner about New Moon:

"It's a very touching book about a girl and her dog."

I tell you what, this kid is awesome.

His sarcasm reminds me of my marmee's, and I think that's why I get such a kick out of his jokes. Sure will miss this part of teaching.


My classroom has emptied of students. I have a dentist appointment in an hour; I'll go there straight from here. I have stacks of papers to grade, but I just need a break. I guess I'll blog about one adventure from the grand adventures I enjoyed in Jerusalem and Israel:

The Zoo.

Preface: I'm not a huge fanatic of zoos. My last zoo experience took place on a preparation day in Kharkov, Ukraine. Seeing deranged and disturbed animals left me rather upset for a long time afterward (read: upwards of over four years). So I was a little hesitant to go to the zoo.

Not preface: With all that said, I was pleasantly surprised by the zoo in Jerusalem. It has much more open space and is clean. Most importantly to me, the animals appeared much more healthy than those I viewed in Ukraine.

The best part of going to the zoo, though, was watching our two year-old tour guide race around like she owned the place. Here's a picture of her on Rew's shoulders as her mom looks on.

She's pretty much my new best friend. I'll still have to keep an eye out for her stealing away Andrew. She's called him beautiful before and that's always suspicious, no? Totally kidding--about the being suspicious part; there's no disputing that Andrew's beautiful :). She's such a cute kiddo and I'm excited to see her at least every Sabbath come February and thereafter.

Here she and Andrew feed the gorgeous fish.

So, going to the zoo was a happy thing.

The end.

Unrelated afterthought: I hope I don't have any cavities.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I'm home. School starts tomorrow. I had a more than wonderful trip. Seeing Jerusalem and other parts of Israel was grand, but seeing and being with Andrew was even better; I'm not going to lie.

I wish I had more time to detail all that we did, but I think I'm going to head to bed to try to kill jet lag.