March 9, 2015

excerpts from some of the books i've been reading lately...

“As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 
No ... eight days a week.”

“Mediocrity, I discovered, was the great camouflage; the great protective coloring. Those boys who did not fail, yet did not excel, were left alone, free of the demands of the master who might wish to groom them for glory and of the school bully who might make them his scapegoat. That simple fact was the first great discovery of my life.” 
-Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
---


“There’s no point in being unhappy about things you can’t change, and no point being unhappy about things you can.” 
-Dan Harris, 10% Happier



---



“Bedtime makes you realize how completely incapable you are of being in charge of another human being. My children act like they've never been to sleep before. “Bed? What’s that? No, I’m not doing that.” They never want to go to bed. This is another thing that I will never have in common with my children. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is, “When can I come back here?” It’s the carrot that keeps me motivated. Sometimes going to bed feels like the highlight of my day. Ironically, to my children, bedtime is a punishment that violates their basic rights as human beings. Once the lights are out, you can expect at least an hour of inmates clanging their tin cups on the cell bars.” 
- Jim Gaffigan, Dad is Fat


March 3, 2015

life father like daughter

This post is just to say that when my dad sent me this picture of him at 23, I really just saw me.
We could basically be twins.

February 27, 2015

third grade advice


In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Laura Dern said that the best advice she ever received was from a third grade teacher who told her to, "Keep your eyes on your own paper." 

I don't know why reading that really stuck years after I heard the same thing plenty of times in elementary school, but it stuck.

Although I'm sure it has always been human nature, I think it's easier than ever these days to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes I catch myself thinking - wait a second, I'm 25 years old! Doesn't that mean we should have a house by now? Where are our children? Where is my condo in Hawaii? Why doesn't my hair look like that? Why can't we vacation every other weekend? (okay, I'm exaggerating) but you get the point. We all do it. And we all get why not to do it.

But that's why I especially like the way Laura Dern phrased it, because we've all heard that too: "Keep your eyes on your own paper." When I look back at my own life, or in this case, "at my own paper" and I see all that I've done and learned and am continually trying to achieve, it's not half bad. In fact, it's pretty great. I consider myself lucky and (donthatemeforsayingthis) blessed - (yes, I know blessed is the most over-used word in the world of blogging, but I don't have my thesaurus on hand).

I'm a big believer in the power of gratitude and counting your blessings and so on, but I like the idea of "keeping your eyes on your own paper" a lot too. SO that's it. TGIF.

February 24, 2015

fight the new drug

I felt just a little bit honored when I received an email from Fight the New Drug asking for a bit of a shout-out about their organization on my blog.

Fight the New Drug started a few years ago with a group of people who wanted to raise awareness and combat the harmful effects pornography has in our world today using only science, facts and personal accounts. It's been gaining momentum ever since and thankfully people are becoming more and more aware of the dangers pornography has on it's users, and consequently their relationships as well.

While working within family law over the last year, I can attest to the fact that pornography continues to have an impact on 99.9999999% of the divorce/custody/or assault cases we see in our office every day. It's heartbreaking to sit in client meetings and hear pornography come up in one way or another, and further learn of the tragic and devastating effects it has had on couples, their children, and the individuals themselves.

While Max was at the University of Utah (have I mentioned he transferred to BYU last year? I consider this conversion one of my finer accomplishments ;) he was able to volunteer as a Chapter President for Fight the New Drug at the U and it has been something he is equally as passionate about as I am. The truth is: Pornography is an unfortunate part of the world we live in today - we are one click away from finding a pornographic image, video or forum online. But this is exactly why Max and I, and the people at Fight the New Drug, think it's just as important to spread the awareness for the fight against pornography - and it's just a click away too!

For more information, or if you're interested in becoming a fighter yourself, can read more about the fight here.

February 13, 2015

this picture does not represent valentines day


I imagine that our Valentines Day plans will and will not include: snuggling up in our bed instead of a canoe, wearing sweats (not a skirt), watching a movie (not the sunset/stars/or gazing into each others eyes), and eating bread sticks (not cupcakes). This probably isn't what inspired my beloved ee cummings' poetic material - but it's our plans for Valentines Day and I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT.

So Happy St. Valentines Day! Happy Day of Love! As the French would say, Joyeuse Saint Valentin a tous les amoureux -- or in other words, kiss your significant other, listen to the Backstreet Boys and watch An Affair to Remember for me.

Ciao.

January 30, 2015

the struggle is real.



at least the good news is that my friends and co-workers get me.
don't mind me wearing black for the next few days.

January 26, 2015

my little sister is married

I knew Joseph would be "the one" for my sister when I spent two hours one Saturday morning talking with him on the phone while I cleaned my apartment. Any guy (aside from Max) who will talk to me for a few hours just about stuff? I knew he would have to be related to me one day. After I got off the phone I really did call my mom and say, "Mom. Kenna has got to marry Joseph. I love him." And that's exactly what happened last Friday.


I mean seriously - Kenna looked like a princess. I don't think I've ever seen her as serene and as happy and as beautiful in my entire life. And Joseph is the cutest human being on the planet. We joke that if Max or my Dad looked at me or my mom the same way Joseph looks at Kenna, we'd think something was wrong with our face. It was apparent to everybody that day how much they both adore and love each other.



I couldn't feel any more blessed to have Joseph become the final puzzle piece (besides future children of course!) to our family. It was a roller-coaster ride for Ken to get there, but I am so, so happy for her. Our family is complete.

January 21, 2015

a lesson to be learned re jay-z

Sometimes January can really be the pits. Luckily 2015 is turning out just fine, but I told Max I think that's because January 2013 was TRULY A NIGHTMARE and someone in heaven knows that I couldn't survive another month like that ever again.



Last year around this same time I had mentioned that I karaoke'd for the first time in my life (which had always been on my bucket list) and this year, I'm proud to announce that Max just karaoke'd with me. Our song of choice: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough -- the anthem of true love. I was so proud of us! I still am! We knocked it out of the ball park. Unfortunately, I got just a little bit cocky and tried my hand at Jay-Z later that night... if there was ever a failure of all failures, that was it.

Anyway, if you're feeling blue this month - I would highly suggest singing out loud in public. If you live in Utah, I would also suggest you try the karaoke bar in downtown Murray. They even serve free diet coke all night! But most importantly, let it be known: One day I will try my hand again at Jay-Z. Except next time there will be no glasses. I blame it on the glasses. No one should ever rap Jay-Z with their reading glasses on.

January 16, 2015

Sugar



My sister and I may/may not have tried to see if Maroon 5 could show up to her wedding next Friday?

January 13, 2015

balancing life and mitt romney

Today I needed to: meet with the carpet cleaners, attend several case task and client meetings, get my dying car battery replaced, go grocery shopping, respond to emails waiting in my inbox, meet Max at the gym, check off on visiting teaching, etc etc etc etc etc...
And I've completed TWO of those things today.
TWO of the many things on my very-important-never-ending-must-get-done-today list.
And now it's 8 PM.
And I'm stressing about all that I haven't done, while not getting anything done.
And I keep thinking to myself how on earth am I going to accomplish everything else going on this week? Or next week? Or, because I'm a girl, the rest of my life? (ha ha ha)

I spent New Years afternoon sitting on the couch with Max writing a list of things I was going to improve this year: Actually cook a meal (not a lean cuisine) for dinner on Tuesday nights. Draft court pleadings on my own (without always asking for help). Stay on top of laundry (not going to go there). New primary presidenct = really get to know the children I am serving (still learning names). Spend a devoted amount of time with friends and family (I still haven't met baby Harper) and yeah. You get the idea.

I know I'm not alone. And I know having goals and being busy isn't always a bad thing. But when I start to beat up on myself for not staying on top of my very-important-never-ending-must-get-done-today list, I think about something Mitt Romney shared a few months ago in a forum at BYU. I (obviously) was there (front and center) -- and during the Q&A session he shared the following advice:

"Balance is something I’m always asked about, about work, family, church, community. I once joked that if you’re not fulfilling all the things you’d like to do in your family, if you’re not getting the job done at work and you’re not fulfilling your church callings like you ought to then things are in balance. But the truth is, for me, family came first. Family, faith and our country, and those are the things that are meaningful to me and you give yourself to those things as you can...
There’s a tendency, sometimes, by the way, for people to think that instead of balancing all these things all the time, that you should do one for some time and another for a different time and another for a different time. Such as, you’re gonna go off to graduate school so you’re gonna put your marriage aside because you want to make it work in graduate school... That, in my opinion, is a big mistake.
Yet if I wasn’t working, I felt there was this cloud hanging over me that I should be working or studying. And I decided I wasn’t going to do [that] any more... A lot of people at the end of the day bring their work home from work in a briefcase, or now, an iPad, and they devote themselves after dinner to continuing work. I made it a practice, unless there was a very unusual circumstance, that when I came home from work and shut the door, I devoted myself entirely to the home and the family. Home was my sanctuary from everything else in the world.
_____
I know it's easier said than done, but I really liked that bit of advice. It reminded me of what Elder Ballard once shared, "What matters the most is what lasts the longest."

And I guess that kind of sums up my thoughts entirely.
Maybe my new-new-years-resolution can be: always remember that.