Tuesday, December 25, 2012

on Christmas day

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men." Luke 2:1-14

if you would like to listen to the full oratorio (and why wouldn't you? it's fantastic!) it's all here:

i hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and that you have found time in the midst of all the hubbub to slow down and truly appreciate the reason for the season

Monday, December 24, 2012

on the twenty-fourth day of Christmas

i can't believe it's Christmas eve already! i will be listening to this song tonight as i crawl into bed and remembering real significance of this holiday. the video is ridicuolously strange, so don't watch, just listen.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Sunday, December 23, 2012

on the twenty-third day of Christmas

"And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

Saturday, December 22, 2012

on the twenty-second day of Christmas

oh my gravy! Christmas is sooooo close!!! if you haven't finished your shopping (like me) you'd better get on it, you're running out of time. the good news is, Christmas isn't really about all that consumerism anyway so maybe you're off the hook.
as we get closer to the big day, i think it's really important to remember what the whole thing is all about. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior. sometimes we all need a reminder about how incredible the season really is. we need to remember that we give gifts on remembrance of the gifts the magi gave at his birth. we need to remember that angels heralded His birth and here we are, 2000 years later celebrating the momentous occasion. we also need to remember that before all of the celebration, there was a humble birth in a stable. and there was a mother. and she needed Him as much as we do.

Friday, December 21, 2012

on the twenty-first day of Christmas

if the mayan calendar turns out to be right, i think this is a perfectly legitimate song to listen to on our last day on earth. although, if the mayans were any good at predicting the future, there might still be mayans. at any rate, this is far and away the Christmas song i listen to most often. sometimes i even listen to it when it isn't Christmas. i have yet to hear a version which i dislike, so if you don't care for this one, find anyother because they are all pretty great and the song is amazing.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

on the twentieth day of Christmas

remember that a capella kick i was on? it's back with a vengeance, or rather, it's back with this little bit of loveliness. at this wonderful time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we ought to also remind ourselves of why He came and celebrate that as well. for me, this song does just that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

nineteenth day of Christmas

i don't really like this song. i usually find it quite repetitive and annoying, but my dad loves it. if i'm going to listen to it, i'm going to listen to the best version of it and that, in my opinion, it this particular version. i mean, whoever had the brilliant idea to put bing crosby and david bowie together was probably off his rocker, but it worked out beautifully

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

on the eighteenth day of Christmas

i thought i might as well stick with the a capella thing for a bit and share this rendition of we three kings by eclipse. the first time i ever heard this song was at a concert and it was quite impressive. i've been hooked ever since, which is quite impressive since i never liked this song before. i don't know why, it's not such a bad song and the last verse is especially poignant.

Monday, December 17, 2012

on the seventeenth day of Christmas

this is another favorite of mine. who am i kidding, with perhaps one exception, every song on this list is a favorite of mine. there a bunch of comments about never having heard the song before, but i've been singing it since i was a kid and i have always loved it. if you are a fan of the sing off you may recognize the song, and the group. vocal point performed the song on the show (couldn't tell you when, i don't watch it), i couldn't find that video so this one will have to suffice

Sunday, December 16, 2012

on the sixteenth day of Christmas

i don't have much to say about this one, just listen to the lyrics and you'll understand why i chose it

Saturday, December 15, 2012

on the 15th day of Christmas

i love this song, especially the last verse. even though i don't believe it to be historically accurate (Christ was born in the spring) it is a beautiful song and sometimes we all need a reminder about the most important gift we can give

Friday, December 14, 2012

on the fourteenth day of Christmas

this is one of my favorite bits from the Messiah. gosh that handel really knew what he was doing!

on the thirteenth day of Christmas

yeah....there is no 13th day of Christmas. i guess i should have thought that through a little better. at any rate, the day after the twelfth day of Christmas, also known as the thirteenth day of Christmas (i'm rolling with it whether it exists or not) my true love favored me with this lovely song.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on the twelfth day of Christmas

i got this song stuck in my head. that happens a lot, but at least it's a good one!  in this case i am sharing one song, two videos. i couldn't decide which one i like better so you get both.

i mean, seriously! i think the glass harp might be my new favorite instrument.

also, josh groban is amazing and there was no chance under the stars in heaven that i could compile this list without including him. this song is not on his Christmas album (which is pretty stellar, just fyi) so i feel justified in the fact that i listen to it year round.
p.s. my dad really likes this song. that has nothing to do with the video, i just thought i throw it in for good measure.

not to detract from the spirit of the thing, but doesn't josh (we're totally on a first name basis, except he doesn't know my name...) make some great faces while he sings?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

on the eleventh day of Christmas

i remembered that harry connick jr. has a pretty smooth voice too. plus, this song is just a great reminder of the hope that is inherent in the season.

Monday, December 10, 2012

on the tenth day of Christmas

i listened to weezer. did you know weezer ( yep, that weezer) has a Christmas album? i did. of course i did.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

on the eighth day of Chistmas

love this clip! i watched this when i was a kid and i loved it right away, especially the part when they play crack the whip (skip to 6:15). classic. this was the clip that introduced me to this song. also, i was kind of obsessed with figure skating for a while so i was way more into this than i probably should have been, but, i mean, who wouldn't want to skate with big bird? you don't hear the whole song here, but to be totally honest, i kind of can't make it through the entire song anyway. if you would like to you can find it here. enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

on the seventh day of Christmas

speaking of a smooth voice...
not exactly a big band, but it is old school. plus, there is the orchestra which is even bigger than a band so i'm gonna call it good and listen to judy. after all, she is the one who told me how awesome it is on the other side of the rainbow and meet me in st. louis is one of my favorite movies, so there's that...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

on the ninth day of Christmas

i thought i would share another classic clip from my childhood. or, rather, from way before my childhood but which we watched pretty regularly during my childhood. also, yesterday when i watched it again. i still love it. rankin bass really nailed it with this one. and, once again, i struggle to get through the full song, so that fact that this clip doesn't include the whole thing is perfect for me, but you can listen to the rest of it here

i love the elf with sunglasses. those are some stylin' shades!

on the sixth day of Christmas

if you know me at all you know i love me some old school music. and my true love knows me as well as i know myself so he brought me this little gem. what can i say? i'm a sucker for a smooth voice backed by some big band action. plus, it's just a really fun song

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

on the fifth day of Christmas...

we remember this scene from home alone

makes me laugh every time... anyway, the song playing in the background during this scene is "white Christmas" by the drifters and it is our song of the day. if you want to lip-sync along using your comb as a microphone, feel free. in fact, i recommend it, but i would skip the aftershave bit if i were you...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

on the fourth day of Christmas...

my true love gave to me... a hula hoop. i guess he didn't get the message about the calling birds. whatever, they're probably really loud anyway and i have absolutely NO interest in cleaning out the bottom of the cage so, i'll take the hula hoop. sounds like a lot more fun anyway. just ask the chipmunks, they know what's up...


Monday, December 3, 2012

on the third day of Christmas

we were graced with this song which is a favorite in my family. seriously. my older brother loves it a lot. like, a lot, a lot. it's comes to us courtesy of the folks over at rankin bass who made all of those great claymation movies and cartoons in the 60s and 70s like rudolph and frosty.
sidenote; if you haven't seen nestor the long eared donkey, i would encourage you to do so immediately. cinematic gold...
anyhoo, this particular scene comes from the year without a santa claus which, coincidentally, also includes a particularly touching version of blue christmas which was made famous by elvis presley, but in this case is sung to santa by a little girl. sad. anyway, the heat miser/snow miser song is far more upbeat and fun. if you've never heard it before, you're missing out. for reals.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

on the second day of Christmas...

we get to listen to this little ditty. i know it's not specifically a Christmas song, but my mom loves it, it's her favorite *wink, wink*
last year, while we were doing our Christmas shopping and such, we heard this song in EVERY. SINGLE. STORE. for about 3 weeks straight. it kind of became our thing. so this one's for you mom ; )

Saturday, December 1, 2012

on the first day of Christmas...

my true love gave to me, a new blog background and a day to deck the halls. okay, so i gave those to myself, but who are you to judge? maybe i am my own true love, get over it.
also on the first day of Christmas, i share the first of the 25 days of Christmas songs. today we hear from michael bublé who sings "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" for our listening pleasure. i thought it was a fitting start to this list

25 days of Christmas

one of my favorite things about this season is the music. let's just be honest, music is one of my favorites things about life, but Christmas music is extra fantastic. i have already compiled 3 separate Christmas playlists which i am continually expanding.

like, A LOT

so for the next 25 days, i will post one song a day in an effort to spread the joy which i receive from these songs. i hope you enjoy them as much as i do.


Friday, November 30, 2012

sometimes, i get angry

and when i get angry i write these sorts of posts. sorry.

dear parents,
i understand that you are frustrated that the bus is late, but since i am neither on the bus nor psychically controlling it, getting mad at me won't do you any good. plus, i have to wait for them to get back too. it's not as if i WANT to stay here for an extra half-hour that i'm not actually getting paid for, and i am most certainly not enjoying all the dirty looks and frustrated sighs.
p.s. one of your children puked on the carpet/furniture on the way out. thanks for ducking out the door without even offering to help, leaving me to stay even longer and clean it up. oh, and he was part of the reason the bus was late, just fyi

maybe i should have called in sick and put up my Christmas decorations instead...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

awkward teen tuesday

"i'm resistant to sunshine"
are you now? is that like the opposite of being allergic to sunshine?

"...february 31st..."
wouldn't that be a TERRIBLE birthday?! no party ever, YIKES!

"a boot attacked my face!"
do you mean that you hit yourself in the face with a boot? because that's equally embarrassing

"your hair is hairy."
why thank you. i work so hard to keep it that way

"you hipped my elbow!"

i was unaware that hip could be used as a verb. come to think of it, it can't. we may need to have a little chat about parts of speech...

Friday, November 16, 2012

helping hands

i was going to write a big post about this, but i'm a big crying mess right now and i am struggling to formulate coherent thoughts so instead, i'll just let this video speak for itself. please take a few minutes to watch and stay right to the very end, i promise you won't regret it. and if you want to cry with me, i won't judge you. it's beautiful.

it is things like this that remind me of how wonderful the human race is. i want to extend a big, fat, enthusiastic thank you to all of the volunteers who have banded together to help those who have been affected by this disaster and the many others across the world, and an especially huge thank you to those who have helped my friends when, as much as i wanted to be, i was unable to be there myself.

if you would like more information about mormon helping hands and other humanitarian aid efforts organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, click here

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

awkward teen tuesday

it's my favorite day of the week:

"i felt my brain bounce!"
ummm...you fell out of a chair. your brain may have bounced, but since that's the most activity it has seen in quite some time i suggest you be grateful you have a brain and maybe start treating it better

"i have little boy swag"
you are a teenage girl. this is weird.

"i put my front arms..."
as opposed to your back arms...?

the rest of these are from the same conversation with a single teen. oy vey!

"martin luther junior king...junior martin luther king...martin junior luther king..."
none of those are correct. care to try again?

(in reference to martin luther king jr.) "he's the reason why i can talk whenever i want"
no. he's not. he did a lot of wonderful things, but securing you the right to say stupid things whenever you want is not among them. also, i'm pretty sure he would face palm if he heard you speaking right now.

(also in reference to mlk jr.) "he's the one who saved all the white people"
seriously?! he saved the white people? from what exactly? i would very much like to hear this story, mostly because i'm fairly certain it will be filled with many more of these embarrassing (for you) moments.

"get off my body foot"
i'm just gonna let that one sink in a little bit...

"it amuses me and i don't even know what that word means."
brilliant. please continue using words you don't understand. i'm sure it will really pay off for you in the long run. you actually managed to use this one correctly so who knows?!

"i'm going to eat the blood out of you"
i would ask if you were a vampire, but you said "eat" and vampires "drink" so i'm a little confused. are you intending to let the blood congeal? possibly make blood pudding out of it? well, too bad because you can't have it! i'm still using it

"terry just farted. it smells so bad, it smells like cinnamon buns. he cinnamon bunned on this chair."
i was unaware that "cinnamon bun" could be used as a verb. in all honesty, i'm still laughing at this one...

also, this is my 200th post. i think i will celebrate by eating chocolate

Sunday, November 11, 2012

pumpkin spice playlist

as promised, here are the songs i am listening to on repeat this season. i know i sort of missed a couple of months, but better late than never. to be honest, i didn't actually miss them, i am just slow to share.

Monday, October 29, 2012

sounds of the season

i'm totally one of those weird people who creates a playlist to suit each season of the year. this year's fall playlist is coming together beautifully, but it's still missing something, so i'm asking my peeps (that's you) for a little help. what song(s) are you listening to repeatedly? is there a song that just feels like fall? should i learn to play it on the piano?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


dear boys,
if you like me, you are doing a terrible job of showing it.
if you don't like me you are doing a terrible job of showing it.
make up your mind please and thank you.
that is all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

awkward teen tuesday

a few tidbits of over-heard conversations in the teen center recently with my personal commentary included in italics

"where's alaska?"
seriously? i know all you teens are geographically challenged, but alaska is part of OUR COUNTRY! also, it's a big state. it's not like when i mix up vermont and new hampshire, which are small and kind of look alike.
"i'm like the girl napoleon dynamite...i mean bonaparte"
i'm sorry to have to tell you this sweetie, but neither of those options is especially complimentary
"people eat my hair on a daily basis"
"please don't draw on my butt"
 i appreciate the fact that you have used your manners here, but i feel like you should be a little more upset in this circumstance
"i almost choked on my hair"
what, did you have a fur-ball caught in your throat? how does that even happen?

and a few from me because i can't let these poor teenagers be the only awkward peeps in the room, that would just be sad

"if this were real life..."
i hate to break it to you self, but this is real life. i know, i was shocked too
"i'm dating your best friend. no i'm not. that would be weird."
you know what's weird? the fact that these words passed your lips in a room full of minors. engage brain, then speak!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

and by that i mean...

dear cardigan,
you're so cute in your old man sweater. and by that i mean you remind me of a childhood television icon. you're like the hispanic mr. rogers. won't you be my neighbor?
lady elaine fairchild

dear rudy,
i miss your hair. and by that i mean, you are the only man who has ever presented evidence that long(ish) hair on a man isn't so terrible. well, you and thor, but he's a demigod whose actual existence is debatable, so pretty much just you.
(not) rapunzel

dear philosophe,
most of what you say goes completely over my head. and by that i mean everything between "hello" and "goodbye." also, you remind me of josh groban with your mass of dark, curly hair. i wonder if you can sing...
college educated

dear ambiguous,
i don't know if we're really friends anymore. and by that i mean that asking me to define our friendship defines our friendship as non-existent.
sad face

dear man-voice,
i really like your man voice. and by that i mean i really like your man voice. also, you smell good.
man hands

Sunday, October 7, 2012

scut farkus, what a rotten name!

so i'm listening to peter and the wolf...

...and i know it's coming, but every time the wolf enters the scene i have the overwhelming desire to watch "a christmas story." i know it's far too early in the year for that nonsense, but now it's my head. well played scut farkus, well played.

and since we all love a good before and after:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

oh dear

dear boys,
yes, all of you. there are some things you should know about me.
  1. i mean what i say. seriously. i'm really not into the sugar-coated, beat-around-the-bush technique. so, if i tell you something, you can pretty much take it at face value.
  2. i am not going to hate you if you don't want to date me. well, i might a little bit, but i'll get over it, i'm really good at that.
  3. i'm not going to hate you if tell me you don't want to date me. i just like to know where i stand. seriously. don't believe me? see item number one.
honestly and truly,lindsay

dear bram,
i'm about 30 seconds away from giving up on you completely. speak now or forever hold your peace.

and finally...

pretty please...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"a lot of people go to school for 7 years..."

"...yeah, they're called doctors"
oh tommy boy...
hey, did i tell you that i've gone back to school? i've gone back to school. wanna see some things that i have learned?
school =  kind of hard.
school + work= definitely hard.
school + work + sleep = super hard. like, rocket science hard.
speaking of rocket science, i know a couple of rocket scientists. i'm cool like that.
the point is, i have given away all of my free time, and i have paid lots of money to do it. what was i thinking?!
i may have made a huge mistake...
well, i'd love to stay and chat, but i have homework to do. boo! homework = no fun. just in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

sincerely musical

i wish my life came with a cleverly devised soundtrack. it would be so much easier to figure out what was going on and what might be coming next. alas, it doesn't work like that. not in real life anyway. in my head though...whole different story my friends. each moment of my life is accompanied by and internal soundtrack, perfectly orchestrated and everything. jealous? you should be. don't worry though, i'm not just bragging here, i'm leading up to something. something awesome. instead of my usual lamentations, i thought i'd share a little musical insight.

dear bram,
this is the song i hear in my head when we talk. listen closely and i think you'll understand why. also, this is the last time i'm going to write to you (unless something changes, that is). i refuse to continue having feelings for you if you refuse to reciprocate.
tired of waiting

dear rudy,
this is the song that runs through my head when we talk. also, i think you're pretty great.
enjoying our chats

dear babyface,
flirting with you is kinda fun, but this is the song i hear in my head as we do
way too old for you

Sunday, September 2, 2012

love is like a fart: if you have to force it, it's probably crap

so, at church today we were talking about marriage (big surprise...) and we were asked to make a list of what we are looking for in future spouse. don't hate me, but i hate these lessons. anyway, i decided i would compile a list of deal breakers. i also decided that since i didn't get around to writing a "dear boys" post this week, i would share it with you. without further ado, here is my list-word for word, no amendments, honest to gravy list (which is now taking up residence on my refrigerator):
  • alive
  • younger than my parents, older than 18
  • NOT super creepy
  • doesn't make me want to punch him in the face on a regular basis
  • tall-ish and/or under 1,000 pounds
  • employed
  • straight
  • NOT a complete moron
  • acceptable hygiene practices
you laugh like i'm joking. i'm not. the way i see it, you've gotta cast a wide net-you can always throw them back if they don't measure up, right?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

dear you, love me

what do i do on my random, mid-week day off? write a dear boys post, obviously.i also did laundry and got a new driver's license, but that's beside the point.

dear bram,
seriously. ask me out already, or stop being so wonderful. either way. but i would prefer that you date me, just fyi.

dear mr. man,
i kind of think you're a jerk. which is sad because you have so much potential to be so great. please get it together and stop being a butthead. for your sake, not mine.

dear mermandy,
i miss you. a lot. and my bracelet broke.

dear maverik,
sorry about the awkward and depressing conversation monday. i promise to be more fun next time.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

champion of champions

first of all, i love the olympics. maybe more than is healthy, but i love them. another time i will regale you with all the reasons why, but for now you only need to know that i do.

second of all, i love my friends. i know, i know, that seems like common sense, but i needed to put it out there.

imagine my pleasure when one of my beloved friends posted this little gem on facebook:

though i'm certain the IOC would recoil at the suggestion, i think we should make this happen.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

honestly, dear

dear hermit
why is it that every time i decide i'm over you, you go and do something gallant and make me change my mind? and why is it that your chivalrous streak always ends almost immediately, but still not fast enough to save me the heartache? stop. it's not fair and i'm not okay with it anymore.
definitely over it.

dear ambiguous
you up and leave town, don't respond to my contacting you and basically don't talk to me for 3 months and then you fb me and we have the lamest conversation in the world. what did you think would happen? i'm sorry, but we can't just pick up where we left off as if nothing has changed. mostly because things have changed. that's how life works.
kind of annoyed

dear stargazer
you have amassed more hero points than anyone else in the history of hero points. why are you so young? and short? pretty sure this is going nowhere, but you may still redeem your hero points. did you think i was going to revoke them? i don't roll like that.
a little disappointed

dear bram
i don't know what to do with the knowledge that you (have) talk(ed) about me with other people. i mean, i talk about you with other people, but that's because i think you should date me. does your conversation mean the same thing? i somehow doubt it, but if that is the case you should just know that i am ready and willing.
a bit confused

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


acronyms are great aren't they? i love 'em. love 'em enough to make up my own. lots. mostly at work. sometimes, i just get tired of saying "that's not club appropriate" so instead i say "NCA." it's quite convenient really.

sometimes, i use an acronym so the kids don't know what i'm talking about. for instance: "GCH." when they ask what it means i simply say "if you don't know, you don't need to."

sometimes, the acronym is created to make something seem more serious than it really is, because that can be funny sometimes. like with "SBS" (soggy bottom syndrome). "don't sit on the couch when you are wet or you will give the next person SBS and that's just not a disease we want to spread."

sometimes, i am forced to invent a new acronym to describe a particular happening for which there are no other words and which i am certain will reoccur. such is the case with the newest addition to my collection. ATC which will henceforth and forever stand for Awkward Teen Conversations.

if you've never spent a significant amount of time with a teenager while not a teenager yourself, you may not grasp the fact that teens are awkward. all the time. i'm not talking about general teen awkwardness. i'm talking about above and beyond the call of duty, stranger than strange, lurpy, super awkwardness. the kind of awkward that makes everyone around them feel awkward. okay, okay, i'll probably use for general awkwardness too. i'm also going to exploit the weirdness and share it with you.

call it cruel, but i just think these things should be shared. i don't want to be the only one making fjun of these kids behind their backs! they'll probably grow out of it anyway.

today's installment of ATC comes to us courtesy of tommy. get used to that name, you'll see it a lot.

tommy (to terry): "i'm going to rip out your beard and take it and touch your sideburns."
terry: ... *confused look to accompany uncomfortable silence

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

dear author

dear bram,
i do not particularly care for your book. however, you have provided a suitable nickname for a certain someone so i thank you.

dear shakespeare,
why did you even write romeo and juliet? genuinely one of my very least favorite literary works of all time. it doesn't help that everybody and their dog thinks it's super romantic. it's not. not at all.


dear tolkien,
i know there are people who will hate me for this, but i've never much cared whether or not people agree with me so i'm just going to put this out there: the hobbit is about a hundred times better than the rest of your books. i'm genuinely looking forward to the movie release.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

run, forrest, run!

my sweet sister talked me into doing the preston biathlon with her this year. so after work friday, my mom and i booked it over to arimo (where my sis lives) to stay the night and then j and i got up at the buttcrack-of-dawn to head into preston for the race. i can't remember the last time i was awake at 5:30 in the morning but i assure you it won't happen again for a LOOOOONG time

we picked up our race packet and i'm sure glad our goody bag contained some chapstick because i definitely forgot mine at the house. i don't know if you've ever run with chapped lips, but it is NOT great fun. not for me anyway. round about 7:00 we lined up to start the race. my leg (the running part) was first. i've been training, so i knew i could finish, but i'm not very fast and i didn't want to give j the worst ever start so i pushed myself pretty hard during the first part of the race. mistake. i was really starting to feel it as i approached the halfway point/water station where we turned around to head back to the bikes. the runners at the front of the pack were cheering for those of us at the back of the pack as they passed. don't get me wrong, it was great to have some encouragement, but i must have looked pretty awful for them to cross the street to high five me. good gravy!

oh yeah, and they ran out of cups at the water station before i even got there. boo!

long story short, i made it back and i didn't die. i also didn't give j a very good start for her leg (the biking part) which was about 5 times longer than mine anyway, but i achieved my goal of not walking at all and there was a little fan club at the finish line cheering me on. mom and dad, boogs, tan man, j, and uncle gwyll even came up from logan to watch.

sometimes, i look ridiculous. this is one of those times.

j looking good at the start of the bike leg

dad and gwyll chatting it up

we're number one! seriously, look at our bib number :)

all in all, i'm really glad i did it, even if i am incredibly sore. oh, and did i mention that we got t-shirts for participating? shoot, i'll do most anything if i get a t-shirt at the end ;)

Monday, July 30, 2012

i'm smarter than the average bear

not so long ago, my family and i went on a little mini vacay to jellystone, i mean, yellowstone national park. i've been a bunch of times before because we used to go every year when i was a kid. i have very fond memories of candied apples, ice cream, s'mores, jenga, tree stump bears, traffic stopping buffalo, floating the snake river in a canoe, johnny sack's cabin (not actually in yellowstone, but part of the same trip for us), "betting" matches (you know, the kin you use to light a fire) while playing blackjack, spaghetti and chili, george washington's cabin, abe lincoln's cabin, sleeping bags, dad's snoring, souvenirs, stinky geysers, boardwalks, ranger programs at the amphitheater, and so many other things.

this year's trip was pretty great and all sorts of nostalgic, but it was also full of new experiences. sharing a tent with a five year old for one. not to mention campfire cones, cooking breakfast over an open fire, seeing a wolf, not seeing a bear, eating in a restaurant, staying in a campground as opposed to an rv site, seeing new (to me) geysers, getting really close to some buffalo, helping jordan become a junior ranger, encore, singing mika with the parentals, taboo, arsenio hall, "get out of the road you jack rabbit!", tree stump pelicans, camera wielding, raiding other campsites for firewood (totally devon's idea), running at 8 thousand feet elevation (it's really hard, btw), chasing birds away, and so many wonderful little moments with the fam.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

dear boyfriend

dear imaginary boyfriend,
you should probably realize that we're perfect together and be my real boyfriend. soon.
your secret admirer

dear olympics boyfriend,
i have created a paper chain which counts down to your speedo-clad london debut. can't wait.
your fan from afar

dear work boyfriend,
thanks for the advice. it wasn't very helpful, but thanks anyway.
your favorite coworker

Monday, July 2, 2012

"a lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake"

if they were to make a movie out of your life, who would play you?

the question is innocent enough, but i was not prepared for the variety of answers.

the boogs seems to think he looks like channing tatum, or vice versa. he's wrong.

i can think of no suitable actress to play me.

my mother seems to think arsenio hall is best equipped to play her.

yep. aresnio hall. that was her answer when i asked this question. apparently, my mother is a black man. MY WHOLE LIFE IS A LIE!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

run lola run

it's official. i have registered for an honest to goodness race. i'm pretty sure they time it and everything. good thing it's a team event and my rock star of a sister is doing the hard part. plus i get a t-shirt. i'll do almost anything for a free t-shirt so i'm all in.

p.s. run lola run is a terrible movie. if you haven't seen it yet, don't bother.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

laborers in the vineyard

i was asked to speak in church this week. this is a rare occasion, so i thought i might share it with you all. you will have to imagine my vocal inflection and all of my awesome gestures (yes, there were gestures), but i've added some links to external materials, just in case you'd like to read up a little.

I should probably introduce myself and give you the reader’s digest story of my life, but I’m not going to. Instead I think I’ll just hop right into the material because it’s far more important than you knowing where I was born. If you really want to know, I'll fill you in later. I’m pulling today from Elder Holland’s “The Laborers in the Vineyard” which was given in April’s General Conference. This talk is about the parable of the laborers in the vineyard which can be found in Matthew Chapter 20. I’m not going to read the whole thing, but, Elder Holland does a much better job of paraphrasing the parable than I do so I’m gonna go ahead and read his account from the talk:

“I wish to speak of the Savior’s parable in which a householder ‘went out early in the morning to hire labourers.’ After employing the first group at 6:00 in the morning, he returned at 9:00 a.m., at 12:00 noon, and at 3:00 in the afternoon, hiring more workers as the urgency of the harvest increased. The scripture says he came back a final time, ‘about the eleventh hour’ (approximately 5:00 p.m.), and hired a concluding number. Then just an hour later, all the workers gathered to receive their day’s wage. Surprisingly, all received the same wage in spite of the different hours of labor. Immediately, those hired first were angry, saying, ‘These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.’"
Guess who fits in that angry group…yeah, I’m that person.  I’ve been struggling with some resentment, most recently toward a family member whom I love dearly, but it’s just not fair! So I read the rest of the talk, and then I read it again, and again, and again, and last night, it FINALLY sunk in. I, admittedly, have some work to do here, but I did have some insight which I would like to share with you.
First off, let’s just be totally clear that these initial workers were not slighted at all. They received exactly the wage they had agreed to. They weren’t angry because they didn’t get paid enough; they were upset because they thought some of the other workers got paid too much. It is easy to look at this parable through the lens of those first workers and be inclined to agree with their resentment of the fact that someone who spent less time on the job was paid exactly the same amount. One could even argue that their anger was somehow justified. However, the householder in the parable has the perfect rebuttal for that argument. His response is thus:

“Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
“Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last even as unto thee.
“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is thine eye evil because I am good?”

In other words “I’ve been completely fair and paid you what I agreed to pay you. Take it and be happy with it. What I choose to pay the others is between me and them” Or, as we say work, “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”

And then he asks that incredibly poignant question, “is thine eye evil because I am good?” which roughly translated amounts to:
 “Why should you be jealous because I have been generous?”

I really hope I’m not the only one who has been guilty of this because then I’d feel really dumb. I think we’ve probably all been there. We’ve felt hurt or envious when someone else receives blessings, and sometimes they’re not even blessings that we, ourselves, wanted until the other person got them. It’s kind of silly when you think about it. It’s not as if their good fortune caused us any misfortune.  We’re just jealous. And this, by the way, is not a new concept. Cain slew Abel out of jealousy. Joseph (you know, the one with the Technicolor dream coat) was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. I mean, it turned out okay in the end, but it wasn’t exactly a great beginning. Laman and Lemuel harbored a lot of animosity for Nephi. And ladies, we’re not immune to this phenomenon. Rachel and Leah both struggled with jealousy towards each other. It’s a pitfall for everybody. And it’s not exclusive to adults.

I work at the Boys & Girls Club and it’s almost surprising how frequently kids argue about someone else having something they feel they deserve. They also argue a lot about someone having cut in line or run up ahead of them because everybody wants to be first. so I often find myself, in all of my adult wisdom, trying to solve the problem by telling the kids that it doesn’t really matter who gets there first because we’re all going to the same place anyway but, even as adults we’re not always as wise as we sometimes think we are. How often do we fall into the same trap and approach life as if it is a competition? “Well, I won life because I got to there first!” Right? Wrong. It doesn’t really work like that. Life is not a race against our fellow man. It is, instead, a time for us to grow and progress and prepare ourselves for the eventual reunion with our Father in Heaven. You don’t really win, because it doesn’t much matter who gets there first since we’re all going to the same place anyway.

After my 8th or 10th reading of this parable, I realized that there is a lot more to it than just this whole jealousy thing. Not that that isn’t important, envy is never a good thing, but perhaps there is a more pressing interpretation. This parable, like all parables, isn’t really about what it appears to be on the surface. Christ taught through parables for exactly that reason. He could share a deep and profound gospel truth with those who were ready to receive it while veiling the meaning for those who were not. As we read in the bible dictionary “the parable conveys to the hearer religious truth exactly in proportion to his faith and intelligence; to the dull and uninspired it is a mere story…while to the instructed and spiritual it reveals the mysteries or secrets of the kingdom of heaven.” now, I don’t know that I would describe myself as “instructed and spiritual” but I definitely would not describe myself as “dull and uninspired” so I guess I’m somewhere in the middle which means I’m probably missing something, but I’m gonna have a go at it anyway, or rather, I’m going share with you the thoughts of someone far more intelligent and inspired than I am.

Elder Holland points out that “This parable—like all parables—is not really about laborers or wages any more than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.”

It’s that last bit that surprised me, so I’m going to read it again “surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.”

What a beautiful thought. Not only is He willing to exercise mercy He actually enjoys it! 

Remember the story of David? You know, anointed by Samuel, slays Goliath, becomes king and then, after a few good years, makes a series of really terrible decisions-lusting after a woman, committing adultery with her and then arranging for her husband to die in battle. In acknowledgment of all of the wrong that he had done, he must have, at some point, felt as if it was too late, but David still recognized the merciful nature of God. As he puts it in Psalms 86:5 

“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” 

“Plenteous in mercy,” not stingy or even sufficient. Plenteous, meaning there is not only enough, but more than enough for everyone, and it is being offered to everyone. To put it in perspective, the word “mercy” appears 248 times in the Old Testament, 58 times in the New Testament, 92 times in the book of Mormon, 23 times in the doctrine and covenants, and 4 times in the pearl of great price. Now, I’m no math whiz, but I can add and that totals up to 425 times that the word “mercy” is mentioned in the scriptures. That’s a lot of times. I’m thinking that means it’s kind of important. Which brings us back to the parable. if we think about the wage received in terms of the Atonement and the forgiveness and mercy offered therein, those who were employed at the eleventh hour, the ones who had only 1 hour where the others had up to 12 we find that they were not denied the mercy and forgiveness offered the others simply because they came upon it later. Perhaps they felt it was too late for them. After all, the work day was nearly over. They might have returned home empty handed, but just as hope was running out, the householder returned and gave them a chance. They were given the time that they needed to do the work they had to do. Make no mistake, there was an effort required of them before they received their blessings. Just as there is an effort required of us if we are to partake of the blessings of the Atonement.

The scriptures are full of examples. Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of a whale. Saul of Tarsus lost his sight for a time. Enos wrestled before God. King Lamoni appeared to be dead for 2 days and 2 nights. We don’t have an exact account of what happened during that time, but I imagine it was not a cake walk. Alma the Younger lost the power of speech.  It was eventually returned to him and in Mosiah 27:28-29 we read more about his experience:

“Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God
“My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched and my soul is pained no more.”

So, I don’t think it was by accident that the parable equates us to laborers. We all have a work to do and a designated time in which to do it. We are told time and again not to procrastinate our repentance lest find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having waited too long. And, while the power of the Atonement is available to all, we must participate in the process. It is not a free pass to do as we will with no thought of consequences.

The clock is ticking, brothers and sisters. The day is coming to a close, however, even now, at the eleventh hour, there is hope. The master of the vineyard has provided a way and with it, a promise of mercy.
“I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”

“My beloved brothers and sisters, to those of you who have been blessed by the gospel for many years because you were fortunate enough to find it early, to those of you who have come to the gospel by stages and phases later, and to those of you—members and not yet members—who may still be hanging back, to each of you, one and all, I testify of the renewing power of God’s love and the miracle of His grace. His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there.”

I add to Elder Holland’s testimony my own that God is loving and merciful and wants us to return to Him. In His infinite love and wisdom he has provided a way for us to do just that. It requires a little effort on our part, but the blessings far outweigh the sacrifice. Some of us may be coming to it a little bit later than others, but, in the end, it doesn’t really matter who got there first because we are all going to the same place anyway. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.