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.