I can't remember when I've been so stuck on something. I also can't remember when this hunger started. but I am desperate to go camping. on Saturday, my family and I went to Springdale in the foot of Zion to hear my dad play in the symphony with Richie Ramone. (who knew?)

I had to convince my family to pretend we were camping, because I knew it was the closest I was going to get. I've really never been, if you don't count 7 years of girls camp. and I just want to sleep under the stars where I can see them. listen to Paul Simon and eat a 5-pound bag of cinnamon bears.

I commissioned my talented sister Melissa to do a drawing of us camping, again because it was as close to reality as I was going to be. as you can see here, there is a close-up of a bear. according to Melissa, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. and bears.


I don't really think this many photos of clothespins is that interesting. but. here they are.


yard sale placemats.

even though my family is putting together a yard sale for this weekend, I picked up these placemats at a yard sale last weekend. Meg + I used to say that if something was ugly, just give it to us because we probably think it's cute. that's how I feel about these. they're so ugly that they are cute. in my old apartment, these never would have stood a chance. but I think they might be just the right touch in a newer, more maintained apartment (with no matching wallpaper and couches).

what do you think? should I keep them?

ai finale.

good luck tonight kris. you're my american idol all the way.
photo via american idol.



"I must learn to love the fool in me---the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant, whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool."
- Theodore I. Rubin


i can read.

i'm really enamored by this tumblr, i can read.


friends on etsy.

Erica's shop: Sweet Ivy Girl.

Ariel's shop sells fun journals, feather headbands, and cards.

don't I have the most talented and creative friends?

honey jars.


flickr, flickr.

slc farmers market last summer.

since I went to the farmer's markets last summer and fall, I have thought about honey jars regularly. and when I went to Salt Lake last weekend, I stared at the display in Anthropologie has got me thinking about them even more recently. I'm just mesmerized by that thick glass and gooey gold.



I remember the first time I helped my mom peel carrots. nothing really happened except that I was peeling too much skin off.


happy belated mother's day.

to my grandmother + my mother: my mom is a great daughter-in-law to my grandma Beverly. as she tells the story, mom was checking in with grandma after taking her dad to the doctor.
"where have you been?" grandma asked.
"I took Ed to the doctor," my mom answered.
"I guess you do a lot of things nobody knows about," she said.
trying to remind her she used to the same, my mom replied, "that's what mother's do."
my grandma said, "you're a nice mother."

isn't that cute?

Melissa (I helped?) made delicious purple potatoes, recipe from Purple Foodie.

my mom and I were driving home from Provo about 3 weeks ago. we listened to this podcast about parenting, Didn't Ask to Be Born, about a mother who loved her daughters so much, she saw them as extensions of herself. as babies, she saw no separation between her and the 2 of them. as they grew up, she seemed to maintain this view/love of her children. when she divorces and moves the family from Phoenix to Oregon, these 2 oldest daughters go haywire. drugs, ditching school, and ultimately running away--at the ages of 13 or 14. I paused my iPod and looked at my mom: why? how could that have happened?

my mom, not surprisingly, knew the answer. she said that by seeing your children only as an extension of yourself, you are disallowing them to be individuals. a child is a person, she explained, not just a little you.

of course, I thought. if there was one thing I can say my mother taught me, whether I know it consciously or unconsciously, it was to be myself. and I never felt that just being me was any less than I could possibly be. I feel I've explored every possibility I've ever wanted to, every personality, every version of myself, internally and externally, because my mother taught me to. all I have to do is be me.

and I think it was unconsciously, actually. because something happened to me when I came home from school this year: I began to see my parents as people, not just parents. I'm not sure how much I can generalize my personal experience, but I would guess most people undergo a similar paradigm shift. my parents are people--just like me. my mother always taught me find myself, and to be myself, but I never once guessed that maybe she was finding herself too. perhaps she is struggling to find her place in the world just as I am. when I finished a course in marriage and family relations last semester, I doubted whether my parents' efforts in rearing my siblings and me were mindful. did I just sort of...happen? I asked my mom if she ever read anything on parenting before she decided to teach me everything I would ever know about the world. she scoffed at me. of course she did. of course! how could I think otherwise? but it's all part of my childhood paradigm...I never really thought twice about my parents being people. but as I thought about my mom's efforts to let me spread my wings--for lack of a better cliche--I realized that she also made efforts to spread hers. she is great at being who she is. she fulfills every potential and explores every version of herself. and she does it with such grace.

last weekend, sisters Melissa, Kate, and I (sans Emily, on 6-month hiatus in Mexico) searched for the perfect (or even suitable!) mother's day gift. worst week of my life! we struggled so badly to find something just right, something reasonably priced, or something at all. our search was stupid and in vain. we decided to resort to handmade items, maybe some photos later. this poem sums everything up for me:

The Lanyard {by Billy Collins}

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

some good mother's day reading: Adelaide + Sharilyn, Marta + Benji


I saw this gift idea (from Bailey Doesn't Bark) in June's issue of Real Simple. it's a darling little idea for someone far from home.


healthy menu.

about a month ago, Melissa made me a menu to try and be a little healthier. since the monastic experience, I've been...not so healthy. Melissa...making me a menu. hopefully India will bring assistance for me to regain my monastic perspective.


kate + grandma beverly.

my uncle Stanton. uncle Craig, dad. and my fabulous aunt Jackie.

my cute cousin Caitlin shooting photos. you can guess what her picture looks like. (leftover flowers + fabric from Meg's wedding.)

a couple of weeks ago, just after Megan's wedding, my mom threw a real classy party for my grandma McDonald's 87th birthday. it's been a few years since everyone was together, so all of her 6 children came to visit the last weekend in April. because of inclement weather, we transformed our basement into my grandma's old house: china, gold, flowers, and goblets.

my 2 aunts on my dad's side stayed for the entire weekend, and I got to talk to them a lot about their lives and my life. my aunt Jackie has 4 adopted children from China and the Marshall Islands and my aunt Michelle just recently adopted a little girl from China. they share a lot of their experiences with me and it was just a really great evening. I loooove my adopted cousins (I have 2 more, one from Mexico and one from Guatemala.) I really don't feel like our family would be complete without them. I also really love my aunts. it was so great to talk to them.

and a happy 87th to my grandma! it has been such a privilege to have grown up with her in my home. she's a classy lady.


I'm going.

june 1 is the date.

that my sister Melissa and I are going to India.
I'll be back in late August. she'll be back in July for medical school.

we're going to be teaching at Shanti Bhavan, a school just near Bangalore. the school, a project of the George Foundation, focuses on children from the lowest caste in the Hindu caste system, known as "untouchables" who are supposedly unclean to touch. Shanti Bhavan takes these children, who wouldn't receive an education otherwise, and puts them through school, k-12.

june 1 couldn't be any farther away; I want to leave tomorrow.

the fabulous garlands.

ever since Jordan posted about Sophie Cuvelier, I return to her site at least once a day. I want some.


roses in full bloom down my parents' driveway.
by Emily Dickinson

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you - Nobody - too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise - you know!

How dreary - to be - Somebody!
How public - like a Frog -
To tell one's name - the livelong June -
To an admiring Bog!


jess + eric got married.

congratulations Jess + Eric.

took the trip to Provo slash Salt Lake to see this lovely couple. it was a beautiful wedding with family and friends.


this GQ photo series is not good for my mental health.


hello may.

going back to Provo today. not that this is a photo taken in may. but just the same. May is here and I'm glad.

on studying journalism.

after celebrating my sister-in-law's graduation, my mom and I decided to see State of Play. and I loved it. there's so much I could say about it. but mostly, I just love that Rachel McAdams. she's really great. and in the words of Spencer, this movie made me really glad that journalism is my life.

it would be nice if my future were a little clearer. but I guess that's why it's the future. of course, the movies make everything look so glamorous. even being that army assassin guy wasn't looking too bad (joking). sometimes I think I'm too lazy to do the kind of hard core, investigative reporting showed on the movie. but I know that any other kind of reporting (i.e. covering freshman, dining, and construction) just wouldn't cut it for more than 4 months at a time. the glamor in that movie is why I want to be a journalist. and I think at BYU, I forget it.

most people in college (and in life) are enamored with this idea of "passion." it doesn't matter what you do, as long as your passionate about it. right? I would answer yes, in some respects. for most of my young-adult life, however, I have been skeptical of this way of thinking. it's sort of a fairy-tale paradigm--a mindset I can typically get behind. but for some reason, I've been a little too jaded to see the world this way. what I have covered since coming to college, is that there are things I am definitely passionate about. I leave some classes crying with excitement, touched or moved by the material and my future in it. through these experiences, I have come to the conclusion that there is something to be said about the way one feels in a certain field of work. I have discovered, the more I have felt it, the more I need it.

hardly ever have I left a journalism class feeling giddy or inspired. yes, there have been days when I felt good about the story I wrote for the campus newspaper. or even lectures that stimulated my thought process. but my heart doesn't race daily in my communications classes the way it does in my American studies classes. perhaps that's the nature of the beast: studying journalism isn't romantic the way studying Emerson or Whitman is. maybe memorizing AP Style can't really be compared to analyzing the Federalist Papers or Thomas Cole. I can accept that. but I refuse to accept that journalism does not lend itself to academically engaging, intellectually challenging, heart-racing discussion, literature, and analysis.

in addition to the differences in material, I also think I can attribute this lack of 'passion' to the faculty. for the most part, I adore my journalism professors and know they could be stellar, big-time journalists. which brings me to my point--they're not stellar, big-time journalists. they're professors. they opted out of the whole reporter/practicing journalist thing. if you are passionate about studying the Puritans, you don't practice Puritanism--you get your PhD in American History and teach at a university. but if you are passionate about journalism, you practice it. you write. you report. my professors are lawyers and researchers and PhD holders. and whatever they once were, they're not reporters anymore.

no matter the cliches of passion-driven career choices, I want to be motivated by more than the promise of a diploma. this fall, when I leave classrooms each day, I want to feel as excited about journalism as I did when I left that movie tonight.

{I'm not sure how much of this makes sense. just my thoughts.}

have fun.

in disneyland.

swine flu.

I've been doodling this "graphic" image in my journal with the outline of a swine (aka a little piggy) preceding the word "flu." creative, I know. but wanting to do a post about it. here's why:

1. (warning: naive message coming--please, keep your scientific doomsday comments to yourself on this one.) I dare to observe that this little pandemic has got people's minds off of all the other bad things going on. and I know it's not a blessing per se, but it is a distraction. and I, someone who has very little to worry about in this economy, find my thoughts pervaded by it. except for recently. these last few days have brought a different kind of ailment to the country, and I think it's time we focused on something else besides our empty wallets and bankrupt car companies.

2. aren't these masks great? they are really cute...via noquedanblog. but I don't think surgical masks are going to cut it for this little illness. you need N95 guys. this blog has the 411 on nearly everything. also, info here.