duck xing.

"happiness is the currency by which we spend our days."
- Arthur C. Brooks, Why Giving Matters

i'm still winning.

the bad news is, Pitt lost. the good news is, I'm still winning. I decided I'd be a terrible gambler.


shower for meg.

Megan drove up here to Provo on Saturday for a little bridal shower at a little Italian restaurant.

lovely guests: Carly, Megan, me, Karly, Takael, Whitney, Lexie, sans Cambri + friend.
on the invitation, I asked each guest to bring an item that held some significance to the bride. our friends were SO creative. the memories were hilarious.
these soap + containers served as fun favors.
even though Erica couldn't make it, she came over to my apartment afterward and brought her darling girl. I couldn't be happier to have baby vomit on me. love that Ivy. also, aren't Blake and Meg such a great looking couple?

thanks to all who came. I'm so grateful to have such classy, gracious friends. I couldn't be happier for Megan. I can't believe the wedding is in less than a month! I'm so excited for her though. Blake is such a lucky boy.


ariel + anita.

happiest of birthday's to Ariellie and Anita, our 2 20-year-old-ers.
we threw a fabulous mustache party for them. thanks to soon-to-be-wed Jess and Eric, who made a delicious stake dinner, Steve for the planning and scheming, and Lene and Rylee for the party--aka the mustaches.
needless to say, we got creative with our mustaches.

the whole gang: Lene, Anita, me, Rylee, Steve, Ariel, Eric, and Jess.


i think i'm a judge.

so I know we're only at top 10, but I'm already way into Idol. it's probably premature, but here is my opinion:

first off, let's start with Kara. I was very put off by Kara in the beginning. but she has proven herself to me. I guess I was a little annoyed that she never asked for anyone's approval--she just started throwing out her critiques. but I think she is dead on most of the time. she's like...a normal person. Paula's way too nice. Simon can be too harsh (although I typically agree with him). and Randy is just stupid. so I say a-ok to Kara.

I've never really noticed Matt before this week. and I thought his performance was dead on. whether I want him to win? I'm not sure. up against everyone else I think he isn't the best.

Kris Allen - omg. I love him. he is the new David for me. he is my all time favorite. his vocals are right on, his face is adorable, and his personality is, as Paula said, infectious. every week he chooses excellent songs and really makes them his own (but not too much his own).
Megan from Sandy. I just don't know what to say about her. her voice is super unique, but I agreed with the judges--her song choice just didn't do it for me. she is quite beautiful though. every season you have someone on the show who is on American Idol but would never watch it. I guess that's a philosophical question for another time--but I feel like Megan doesn't deserve to be an idol.

oh Scott. I think he's good, but again I agree with the judges. he just didn't come to bat.

how Michael is still on the show I don't know. I think he's all right--but not Idol material. his voice isn't bad, but his song choices have been consistently cheesy. I'm having flashbacks to Kristy Lee Cook. ew.

um, okay. Anoop. need I say more? I looooooooove Anoop. have from the beginning. it's a tie for me between him and Kris. I think it's premature to say which one I like better--I haven't seen the personality I would like to from Anoop, but I love him.

I missed Adam and Lil Rounds but neither of them are my favorite. that's not really fair because I've never herard Lil Rounds. what I did hear in the recap, she was good. Danny is all right, but not impressing me enough.

knock my socks off--Allison is beautiful and her voice is incredible. she seriously sings like nobody's business. I love Kris and Anoop--but if I had to choose a winner, I'd say Allison deserves it. she has the strongest vocals in the entire competition, also, she is so much younger than all of her competitors--and that's saying something!as you can tell, my top 3 are Allison, Kris, and Anoop. what do you think?


remember Jordan's post on Laura Normandin? I immediately sent the link over to my sister, Melissa. the dolls looked oddly familiar--because they are just like the one Melissa has been working on since Thanksgiving. isn't she darling?


i was born,

in Thoroughly Modern Millie, a short time after Millie gets settled in NYC, she says:

well, I was born...and then I moved here!

sitting beneath the stage for a month in the fall of my senior year, I listened to my childhood friend Cami say this line probably 100 times. through countless rehearsals and a lot of performances, I always thought this was the most clever line, and it is now my favorite line from the entire show.

on the phone with my mom last night, I was trying to remember when it was I decided to go to college. I don't think I ever really did. decide that is. we figured that even though I never thought of not going, my mom's vision for me just became who I am, without me ever noticing. and I am grateful for that. in trying to remember, I realized I couldn't really remember anything that happened between my birth and now. when did I become who I am? I feel like...I was born, and then I came to college.

I've almost completed 2 years of college. 2 years. when did that happen?

If your eyes are always on your shoelaces, if all you can see is this class or that test, this date or that roommate, this disappointment or that dilemma, then it really is quite easy to throw in the towel and stop the fight. But what if it is the fight of your life? Or more precisely if it is the fight for your life, your eternal life at that? What if beyond this class or that test, this date or that roommate, this disappointment or that dilemma, you really can see and can hope for all the best and right things that God has to offer? Oh, it may be blurred a bit by the perspiration running into your eyes, and in a really difficult fight one of the eyes might even be closing a bit, but faintly, dimly, and ever so far away you can see the object of it all. And you say it is worth it, you do want it, you will fight on.

- Elder Holland, However Long and Hard the Road


i'm so happy.

I've seriously been looking at this all day. I'm freaking out. I don't want to jinx myself, but I want to bask in this glory. if you can't tell, I'm number 1.



not to jinx myself, but my bracket is looking pretty good tonight. I'm kind of lucky.

paper crane project.

have you heard of the paper crane project? it's so inspiring. i'm sort of having an emotional experience just looking at them.



on the 4th floor of the library today.


this post has been a thought brewing in my head for almost 3 months now. but when I started at the Daily Universe, I was scared someone was going to discover my blog. we're all journalists. we all know how to use the internet, stalk other people, find their dirt, etc. and of course, you know where this story is going. someone did.

I've never actually had someone confront me about it before though. this person just kind of mentioned it. and I was shocked. I was caught off guard that it made me kind of mad. before this incident, very few people in my real life (outside of my family and closest friends) knew about my cyber life and where they could find it. and that's how I wanted it. this is like my diary. but it's more than a diary. because not only am I making an effort to be completely honest with myself and my readers, I am publicly accepting the fact that I am making that effort. does that make sense?...it's like--it's one thing to write in a diary. but it's another thing to be confident or vain or concieted enough to want other people to read it. the whole idea behind a diary is that it's private. the whole idea behind a blog is that it's not. I guess I'm insecure in my real life about the fact that I have another life.

so I was weirded out when this person knew about my blog. it was weird that they knew the inner workings of my brain without me knowing that they knew. (which--if I didn't want people to know, I could just unprivatize my blog. but my intention in starting a blog was never to pass out the URL to people I just met). I really hope I'm making sense. I think what I'm trying to say is that I'm a little embarrassed that I have a blog.

the more I talked to people in the newsroom, the more people I found with blogs. and I couldn't believe they were so comfortable talking about it. I kept asking people how they felt about it and they kind of looked at me weird. I also have a friend, McKay, who writes a column for the D News online. and he was very non-chalant about his publications too. I guess I just never thought about being candid in real life about my blog.

my friends that have blogs are brilliant writers. though I'm not surprised, I'm so impressed at how great they are. Courtney is so creative and honest, and Spencer is an incredible story teller. I just think they are already great journalists, and they are both going to be as great as they want to be. I'm so proud to be associated with such great people.

someone was reading the Daily Universe today, and I directed them to my articles. he started reading it, paused, and said quite tactfully, “…they kind of make you guys all sound the same, huh?” I think it’s something that anyone would realize if they were reading a boring news article sitting right next to the person that wrote it. it doesn’t sound like me. small in numbers, the rest of print journalism majors and I are well aware of the “dying” field we have chosen to enter. the field is becoming obsolete—but our desires are not. and neither are abilities. but finding these blogs, and liberating my own, has sort of answered that problem. we may all sound the same on the disappearing newspaper—but in blogland, our voice remains.

I shared my blog link with them. and I am becoming more comfortable with the whole confusion of realms. I guess my reasons for having a blog have changed since I started it a year and a half ago. my biggest worry is that my honesty will be compromised. I am an open book on this domain—I don’t have to pretend to be anything but my own thoughts. I can still be honest on my blog. in fact, I think I can be even more honest. when my blog was unknown to those who knew me in person, I said whatever I wanted. now, I have to own up to what I say—and in a way, that is far more honest.

look at.

all these languages. I thought these envelopes in the JFSB were beautiful.


aretha's hat.

nearly everyone I know made fun of Aretha for wearing that giant bow hat. but Ariel and I loved it. I'm so pleased that it is still going strong.


self discovery: 12

winter is back. and I'm kind of glad--mostly because I am pretty sure it's not here to stay. the March winds are sort of getting to me, but other than that--I'm more than fine with this little surprise snow.

when I had a sort of self-epiphany today, I realized I hadn't posted a self discovery in a while. so here goes nothing:

in my world religions class, the final moments of my monastic experience. I wanted to share a little bit of the insights I had these past 14 days. everyone was sharing good thought, but I wanted to put my 2 cents in as well. I raised my hand and gave a 30 second version of yesterday's post. but I felt misunderstood. someone else raised their hand and shared an "opposing" view. I say "opposing" in quotes because she was saying it like she was disagreeing with me, but I totally agreed with everything she said.

it was so frustrating to me that I imagined myself going up to her after class and telling her I knew what she was talking about. I felt so frustrated that what I said had come across differently than I had meant it. what was I thinking? who cares? would I really go to such great lengths to let her know that I knew what she was saying...blah blah blah.

I discovered that I have a deep fear of being misunderstood. do you think that's wrong? or weird?


monastic experience: day 13

day 13:
today is my last day as a monk. surprisingly, the last few days have been the hardest out of my 2-week monastic experience. perhaps it’s the weekend; or just a weak end. (woah. that was really cheesy). really, I’m not sure why I weakened on the last leg. like tonight, my roommate Lene made a most delicious pasta. and I walked by it probably…40 times. and after 4 – 5 hours of it just sitting there, I grabbed a noodle. eek. then I couldn’t stop myself of course. I did not have any rainbow cake, however.

truth telling: I think I want to practice this one more. the phrase “why aren’t you just going for it?” comes to mind. in other words, I didn’t tell the whole truth. not because I’m a liar, but because I’m a coward.
spending: dinner with Mere, $15.
phone: necessary talking.
tv: LOST catching up. 30 minutes of Pearl Harbor.
internet: not bad at all. no more than 1 hour a day.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what I will eat in about 24 hours time. tomorrow (Monday at 6:30 p.m.) night is the end. I don’t have plans (or means) to binge—but I want to. I haven’t stopped seeing the Cheetos, BYU Catering mint brownies, pizza, pancakes, root beers, etc. nor have I grown comfortably accustomed to Krispbread and avocados. I love doing yoga and meditating—it makes me feel like a hundred bucks. and I am going to try to keep doing it regularly…but once a day may be unrealistic.

the self-control I have gained from this experience has astounded me and surpassed my own self-expectations. I guess when it comes down to it, I’m a grade scrounger before a junk-food junkie. even though I was doing it as a class assignment, it felt good to pass up that cookie/brownie/rainbow cake/muffin/ice cream. obviously, from this point on I am looking forward to a lifetime of cookies. but I hope that I can practice self-control in the future as well. most the time during my monastic experience, I didn’t think twice about that doughnut. and I hope that’s something I can implement in the future.

this past Friday (day 11), was a downer of days. I had a hellish week that included a total sum of probably…8 hours of sleep. (papers, tests, meetings, studying, socializing, house-hunting, etc.) by Friday I was exhausted, but still had to take a 3-hour humanities test. walking in the snow defiantly in my sandals, I felt defeated because I couldn’t indulge myself. it felt really crappy to have to eat one more banana, one more apple, drink one more giant bottle of water. I know that sounds bad—I am verbally weeping about having to eat a totally nourishing, relatively inexpensive, just-fine-tasting meal. but I needed some indulgence. I guess that’s why I came home after my test, asked Meredith to take me for coconut curry at Bombay House, and came home and watched LOST.

what I discovered in my feelings of defeat was strange—and I’m not sure I totally understand my feelings now. the whole point of being a monk is to deny yourself, be rid of your pleasures, your desires, and withdraw from the world to be closer to God. I suppose was felt ironic to me was that after 10 days of “denying” myself, I felt weaker, not stronger. I felt really sorry for myself, and less alive than ever. when isn’t this great change in me supposed to make me feel alive? Friday was definitely my lowest day of the 2 weeks. but as I finalized my studies to head in to the testing center, I read my favorite scripture story and prayed. not surprisingly, I was flooded with feelings. I felt really close to God at that point, my lowest point.

seldom am I cold enough that I choose to walk home through the Widstoe building. but I'm glad I did on Friday. outside the Life Sciences office was this quote:

change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life

--Herbert Otto


monastic experience: day 8

day 8
I think I’m getting the hang of this whole diet thing. I really would have liked some chocolate eggs from the candy counter, but there’s plenty of time between next Monday and Easter for that.

I did my day of silence today, too. It went really well until around 7:00 p.m. I had to talk to the landlord, and I had to talk about American Idol, and everything else in between. for the most part, I was better at remembering than I was the first time. plus, I didn’t have to do much today—so it was a bit easier. one problem is seeing people you know, but you don’t know well enough that they already know you are on a monastic experience—taking a vow of silence. it’s hard to be silent and not be rude.

I’ve been thinking about what my fellow monk pretenders said about wanting to die rather than being a monk. I know I already said I think it’s silly. I feel really good about it. but is it just an experience? will I eat continue to eat healthier when I am no longer a monk? will I say less and be aware of what I do say? will I limit my phone and internet use? in 6 more days, will I meditate, stretch, and worship every day for an hour? or will I lose my grounded openness? most of me thinks I will rush to Krispy Kreme or the Pizza Factory on day 14. in fact, I plan on it. and it will be nice to have the extra hour from yoga back in my daily schedule. but what scares me is that I am a person who would undergo a “monastic experience” for 2 weeks and remain unchanged from it. yes, 2 weeks is a short time in my life. but am I prepared to be the person who only gains a few good journal entries and blog posts from this religious experience? I hope not. I hope something besides my word document changes.

truth telling: well, a vow of silence prevents you from saying anything—whether it be true or false. but I did nod yes when someone asked me if I’ve voted for BYUSA yet. why can’t they just leave me alone?
spending: $0
phone: had a few phone interviews for the paper, plus had to talk to a few landlords (anyone know of 3 spots in a house in South Provo?), and a friend. texting pretty unrestricted.
tv: American Idol – 1 hour
internet: I left my computer home again. total maybe 30 minutes.


hello march.

hello march. and warm weather, windy days.
hello bridal showers and my best friend.
hello writing letters, doing yoga, and temple open house.
hello new friendships and hello old ones.

monastic experience: day 7

day 7
today was a good monk day. I haven’t really broken my diet (except for that whole salad dressing mishap—but really, out of all the things I could have had—pizza, ice cream, cookies, doughnut, just to name a few—salad dressing isn’t exactly the worst. all of my other activites are kind of come and go. I looooove doing yoga and meditation—but it is extremely hard to find the time. of course, there is time. I’m just not finding it. I want to be a good monk, but I think I’m just a bad one. I switched my modified silence day to Tuesday, tomorrow. I think I will be better at it this time. we had class yesterday and everyone was pretty aggravated about their monk-life. I was so surprised. the person next to me said, “I am so sick of being a monk I could key myself to death.” really? key yourself to death? woah. I am quite enjoying my experience. I feel this sense of grounded openness—and I like it. even though I don’t worship Hindu gods, I feel one step closer to accomplishing a oneness with myself I think I have always sort of…longed for.

truth telling: again, this one is hard. in new and unfamiliar situations, I hold back. revealing my entire soul in the first act would spoil the show. so no, I did not tell the whole truth. but the parts of truth were true.
spending: $0.39 – string cheese. $0.50 – orange. $0.89 at the Twilight Zone
phone: talked to Melissa, Phoebe, Megan, Mom, everyone.
tv: none
internet: I left my computer home today. it felt good