tender mercies

I'm sorry I haven't really been a real blogger the past couple of days.
You see, right now I'm a little overwhelmed.
[With all the having to be a real person and make real choices about life and stuff, you know]
And I still have 3 midterms left this week.
So thus... it's not over yet.

But don't you worry, Heavenly Father has not forgotten me.
The other day I had to wear a pencil skirt to school,
[cue "having to be a real person" remark found above]
so I didn't ride my sweet penelope.
I thought I might die. The walk home is fifty times longer without a bike.
But then mama called and I decided to set down my heavy backpack and lie on the grass.
As I talked, I looked up.
The sky to my right was painted all light blues and pinks.
And the tree above my head was turning rich yellow around the edges.
My phone died, so I let my mind be quiet for the remainder of my walk home.
I saw green summer touched with the fiery hues of fall.
I could smell the water on the pavement.
I thought how ironic it is that to smell the best scents you have to breath deep.
Gratitude takes some effort from our part.
There's so much wonder that you miss if you don't open your eyes- or take a deep breath.

So, aside from the stress, these are the things that make me happy this week.
These are my tender mercies.

(1) friends and BYU football
(2) boys that strap sheep pillow pets on their bikes
(3) pizza and soda with General relief society meeting
(4) home evening at the bishops house: fingerpaints and haystacks

Let's make it through this week :)


maybe after all.

Everyone says we don't look like sisters.
In all honesty, we don't really think we look alike.

But look at that smirk.
Maybe we're sisters after all.

Introducing to you.....Apartment 105

Tonight we introduced ourselves to the ward.
These were our facts:

(1) Collectively, we’ve kissed twenty people. One of the four of us has virgin lips.
(2) 0 out of the four of us are natural blondes.
(3) 4 out of the four of us own glasses. 2 out of the four of us need glasses.
(4) Collectively we’ve played on 10 different sports teams. 1 of us has played on 0.
(5) 3 of the four of us have the goal of getting married in December. One of the four of us has a chance.
(6) 1 of us is very much in love. 3 of us are very much single. Feel free.
(7) 4 for 4 of us LOVE to dance. Like really love. Like throw dance parties kind of love.
(8) Collectively, we play 10 instruments. One of us plays 0.
(9) In total, we’ve contributed 550 hours of service to BYU. One of us has contributed 540 hours.
(10) Collectively, we’ve won 3 state championships. 3 of us have never won a state championship.
(11) Collectively we have 12 siblings. One of us has 7.
(12) Collectively we own 117 bottles of nail polish, and 123 pairs of shoes.

Number 1 caused quite a stir.
It has been wildly entertaining to watch people try to figure it out.
Mostly because one time we all told first-kiss stories at home evening last week.
What they didn't know was that one of us may have fibbed a little bit.
And some people got our joke on number 5, and some people thought we were serious.
People obviously don't understand our humor quite yet.

We'll get there... :)


on hair- with a question for you readers.

Here's the deal everyone- my hair is getting to the awkward stage between short and long.
And being as such, action must be taken, and it must be taken quickly.
I have provided some pictures for your consideration ...
[and also if you haven't been following me all that long and haven't seen the ins and outs of my hairstyles...welcome, by the way!]

exhibit (a): long hair

exhibit (b): short hair

exhibit (c): curly hair

So the question becomes-what do I do?


Happy things thurdsay.

a cute big sister.
 early mornings... or late late nights... same thing.
 old-new friends and catch up dates.
passing my favorite willow tree of all time every day in the bookstore.
 cute roommates and target shopping dates.
 balloons and warm weather in September.
 new nailpolish adventures and vintage rings.
truly enjoying the last bit of warmth.


Wedding days are the happiest days.

Dear Utahans....
have you heard of La Caille?
Well, regardless of who you are or whether or not you're a current UT resident,
I'm going to tell you something. 
The place is incredible.

My roommate and I went to a wedding reception there this weekend and it's one of those places...
the kind where you walk in and everything just keeps getting better. 
We just kept opening our mouths and saying things like "wow" or "one word:classy"

Think brick colored cobblestones, lattice fences, willow trees, a pond with swans, incredible mocktails, and last but certainly not least: great company.

 The reception dinner [not to mention the fact that the food was incredible] was in a greenhouse lined with greenery and chandeliers. It was honestly one of the best wedding receptions I've ever been to. Not only was it absolutely gorgeous, but the bride and groom were blissfully happy, both sides of the family fully participated in the dancing and festivities [the bride has 10 siblings. fun, no?], and there was a live band.

Happiness at it's finest.
So worth missing the BYU v. UTAH game.
[not that there was much to miss...]


Just a good snack.

This, my dears, is my favorite snack of late.
And it's so. good.
Great Harvest High Fiber whole grain bread, 
smart balance natural crunchy peanut butter, 
apricot preserves, 
and banana slices.

You know, these days I just can't buy white bread. Can not do it. 
I feel like it's like putting a load of nothing into your body. 
And boy, do I love bread. So every once in a while I'll splurge and get the good stuff. 
The Great Harvest stuff you know they baked that morning.
With all kinds of grains and seeds inside.
Then I feel like my money spent is doing good things for my body.
And tastes great at the same time;)
I can't say that I think the same way about my here-and-there splurges to buy Diet Mt. Dew....
But you give a little and take a little right? 

Have a happy Monday!


on dance parties, glitter, and cupcakes

I love acrylic nails. I really do. 
Some girls like my sister hate them. 
They find them inconvenient.

I, on the other hand, love them. 
Love love love love them. 
You see, I have these stubby little hands and I they make my fingers look longer.
And they are a great addition for rings on your fingers. 
And giving back-scratches is one of my favorite pastimes.
So, naturally, I love them.
Anyways, we found out that you can buy acrylic nail sets at Walmart for like $6.
Score! We knew immediately that would be one of our purchases on Thursday night.
And who knew? They actually didn't turn out all that bad!

Also, we had a dance party this weekend. 
If you didn't know, we really LOVE dancing.
So we do everything possible to prepare. 
Including doing our nails,
curling our hair, 
wearing glitter hairspray, 
and stretchy pants to allow for full movement.
[neon or sparkly. always.]

Oh, and everyone knows that for a party to be good, the treats have to be good too.
That way it just gives more and more excuses for people to come.
If you ever want a successful party snack, these will do the trick.
I've been getting comments on them alll weekend.

And in case you were wondering, the party was an epic success.
If you don't love to dance, you should learn to love it.
[that's totally possible, right?]
Because oh my.... it. is. fun.


Lovely People on Lovely California Mornings.

I have this lovely sister, who I play with all the time
[to see our latest adventure, go here]
At the end of this summer we spent a blissful week in Coarsegold .
Most of the week consisted of eating Frostys, listening to country music, and driving in trucks.
And before we came back to the great state of Utah, 
she wanted me to take some pictures of her and the hubby in that wonderful town of ours.
So, naturally, I obliged.
I love practicing photography when I have a spare minute [which lately isn't very often],
and I only wish that I had the time to learn more.
I suppose someday soon I'll have to make the time.

These were just a few of my favorite pictures of the morning.
I think mostly I like them because the lighting almost reminds me of this early morning scene.
Aren't they beautiful people?



sonic and late nights.

Sometimes after a wild dance party, 
you just need you some sonic.
And when you have such good company?
You may as well stay awhile, 
appreciate the waitresses in their rollerskates,
and ask for balloons like you did when you were five.

Then if it happens that you run into old friends 
and proceed to have a spur of the moment dance party in the parking lot...

so be it :)


Fall Favorites thus far.

Fall is this beautiful time of year, especially the first few weeks of school.
Every conversation, every class, every person: it's all new.
I walk around in awe . 
Because, after the more static nature of summer, 
my world is suddenly more alive than I remembered it being before.
And of course, the repeat places and friendly faces are more than welcome too.

My current Fall Favorites are these:
(a) the Ferris Wheel in the middle of the square.
[yes, I go to school in a magical place. comparable to Hogwarts]

 (b) fhe movie dates with the sister.
[every window was down and both voices were turned all the way up.]
(c) dates always include cupcakes. 
[we just can't seem to get away from "vaniella". and a new location? score]
(d) girls night out splitting pizza and salad.
[with lots of boy talk, mind you]

(e) windows down while the weather is just right.

(f) riding my bike to and from school-- always.
(g) and mud masks and old movies with the sister.
[this week's choice? North and South. highly recommend it]

What's your favorite thing about fall and the start of a new school year?



Tonight I went to a Peru reunion.
And as I sat there with those people and talked about life since our grand adventure,
the longing that for so long has been in the back of my mind came directly to the front. 
It never takes long for it to get there.
I remember riding the bus through the mountains between Urubamba and Cusco on my way home.
My eyes were glued to the window, and a sort of hole started to form in my heart.
Someone asked me what I was thinking and all I could find to say was, 
"I don't want to leave"

Peru was one of the best experiences of my life for so many reasons. 
I was doing something bigger than me in a place so much bigger than me. 
I went to bed exhausted every night,
and woke tired every morning. 
I met people I would never have dreamed I could love so much.
In a place I knew hardly anything about.
And at the end I was left wide-eyed and breathless,
and aware of a place in my heart that I never knew existed.


Sometimes your soul smiles.

Life is a little crazy right now, but I love it all the same.

Outline for today?
School until 4.
Student Alumni until almost five.
Jessica picked me up from school.
Malawi's pizza and salad for dinner.
Home for five minutes then homework at Jessica's house.
Birthday party for friend from last year.
More homework.
Swimming for 20 minutes with Kathryn.
[practiced our kick-flip skills in a major way]
Roommate prayer and scripture study.
Now it's 1:30 am and I'm preparing a talk for Sunday.
Wanna come to my ward? Feel free.
Somehow I have spoken within the first 3 weeks of being in a new ward.
Every single year since I started here in 2009.
That's three years of speaking to a crowd you don't know yet.
Three consecutive years of slight extra panic at the start of the school year.

Also, I met a new friend today. She sat down next to me and we kindly exchanged "hello"s but not much else. Then [this was political science] the arguing [or "debating"] started and we realized that we were both no longer attentive in any way shape or form. I leaned over and said, "this is the part where I tune out". She said "I literally don't feel like this is beneficial to my life at all". She was already stealing words from my mouth. I then shared with her my secret talent of remembering people. Maybe it's creepy, and maybe we have been through this before, but it's no joke. I told her about the boy on the balcony who was in my math lab freshman year. I told her about the boy who married a girl from my Book of Mormon class and has a child. I told her about the boy who competed in the "Mr. BYU" competition last year. He had longer hair then, and a broken arm. None of these people know me in the least. But by then she was thoroughly enjoying my creep-stalking skills and we laughed and laughed and laughed. Not just about that: we laughed about a lot of things.

I love when you just like people. I mean really, really like them without having to force it. Instafriends are like a breath of fresh air in a world where sometimes it seems like there are so many hoops to jump through before you get underneath the surface of a friendship [especially prevalent at the beginning of fall when you know nobody]. This summer I was talking to some people [mostly they were moms, and they were reminiscing on having the whole family together] and we were discussing how there's just a different feel when your whole family can be together: it's like your soul is happy that you are all together again, like it can sense it. And I fully believe that. I think your spirit inside of you can just sense things sometimes. You can call it instinct, you can call it intuition, you can call it whatever you want, but I call it your spirit. And how the spirit inside of you feels is a good indicator of a lot of things. And sometimes when you meet a new friend or spend time with an old friend, your soul just smiles, and I love that feeling.

....it almost like you've known them forever :)


A thought or two on whys and things.

Girls crave consistency.
It's why they wants boyfriends and bestfriends.
It's why sometimes they're afraid to break it off.
It's why they want a husband with a stable income.
It's why they love their parents.
It's why they love routine.
It's why they love organization.
[even if it's not their strong suite]

Also, sometimes girls just need to cry.
I think sometimes everyone needs to cry.
The good, racking sobs kind of cry.
It reminds you...
Well, it reminds you that you're real...
reminds you that you care about things.
It reminds you that maybe your walls can come down...
And maybe you care about things you don't want to...
It reminds you that you're not so tough after all...

Most of the time I don't like to cry.
In fact, I'm guilty of priding myself in the fact that I do not cry often.
Maybe that's a sin, because really, it isn't so bad.
In fact, I think it's quite needed.

So today, let yourself feel a little more.
And if that includes a good cry, so be it.


The birthday of my little Miss....

Today is Brooke's birthday.
Let me tell you, Brooke is one of the best people I know, and I love her. a lot.
She is fun and silly and has confidence for days.
In many ways, I wish I could be more like her.
We love to make plans to get up early and make breakfast or curl her hair.
[We're getting better at making sure we don't sleep through those plans. give us time]

We love to sing loud in the car.
She buys songs that remind her of me,
And I sing songs that remind me of her.
We puddle jump and giggle when it rains.
And I just love her more than a lot of things.

Happy 13th, Little Miss.
I sure do love you.