September 27, 2015

an ode to fall

Not in my words, but in Mr. Robert Frost's:

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower:
but only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

ee cummings is to spring what Robert Frost is to fall.

September 17, 2015

throwback thursday: to catch a thief

I watched To Catch a Thief as I was baking cookies the other night, since the rainy weather was keeping me inside the entire afternoon. You can't beat anything that has to do with Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Alfred Hitchcock combined, especially in September. And especially with chocolate chip cookies.

Grace Kelly is the definition of perfection.

And that white dress (!!!!!!!!!) Fashion week will never have anything on that dress.

Naturally, Max thinks I'm the strangest person alive to become nostalgic about a time and place I was never a part of, but these pictures are some of my favorite. One of my very favorite movies too.

September 9, 2015

a belated goodbye to summer

I spent most of my summer inside of an office. Welcome to being 26. I didn't ride a bike once and I only watched part of an outdoor movie, but the few afternoons and weekends I did get to enjoy the sunshine and time with friends were not taken for granted.

Our first day of "summer" I remember well. We had gone to get ice cream and chicken rings and drove down to a baseball game at the park. We listened to That's Life (Frank Sinatra) on our drive over with the windows rolled down and I thought THIS IS SO SUMMER.

The last day of summer felt like a grand finale. I finally had a s'more and got a sunburn. We spent an entire day outside at the pool and played "human surf board." We ate as many meals al fresco and went on a very last minute stargazing picnic. 

As for everything in-between? A blur of the MCAT, fireworks, medical school applications, BBQ's, long hours at work, leaving town, paying bills, sleeping in on Saturday's - etc etc etc.

And because this weekend I have penciled in our "first unofficial day of fall" holiday, I thought I might as well make time to give an official summer goodbye: your long days and warm nights shall be missed by me.

September 5, 2015


I'm convinced feeling like my life is constantly in fast forward will never end. Every month seems to fly by faster than the month before, and most of the time I feel like I'm just trying my best to keep up and enjoy the ride.

Last night Max fell asleep before I did, (which never happens because I usually fall asleep about .5 seconds after my head hits the pillow) and as I sat there in the dark I thought about a million things. I thought about one of the books I've been reading and how I hope it ends; I thought about the lesson I need to teach on Sunday. I thought about the groceries I need to pick up from the store and the tailored suit which needs to be picked up on my way home from work. But mostly I thought about this book that sits next to me on my night stand, and this poem (which I've read so far at least a hundred times)

Late Hours
By: Leisel Mueler 

"On summer nights the world

moves within earshot
on the interstate with its swish
and growl, and occasional siren
that sends chills through us.
Sometimes, on clear, still nights,
voices float into our bedroom,
lunar and fragmented,
as if the sky had let them go long before our birth.

In winter we close the windows
and read Chekhov,
nearly weeping for his world.

What luxury, to be so happy
that we can grieve
over imaginary lives."

August 21, 2015

heaven will probably be like wallowa lake in the summertime

Every summer I try to throw a video together of our week at the lake. I'm SO glad this happens because some memories should never be forgotten. Mainly our family talent shows.


I imagine heaven will be something like Wallowa Lake. The trees and the sunsets, the family game nights and go-kart races, the nonexistent dole whips (RIP), but mostly because I consider my cousins (even though our ages range from 8 - 28) some of my very best friends. Heaven won't be heaven without all of them.

July 23, 2015

Max and the MCAT

I would never, ever wish the MCAT/applying to medical school on anyone. Which sounds really dramatic, (and yes I know this is just the prologue to ten million chapters to follow called: Actually Going to Medical School) but this whole things is not for the faint of heart.

Max took the MCAT in La Grande, Oregon of all places, in this teeny tiny building on Main Street with three other students. It just so happened that this was the same weekend leading up to our grand family reunion in Wallowa Lake, Oregon so we left a few days early so Max could take his test the Saturday before.

I will never forget that weekend. The night before we went out to eat at Hought's 24 Flavors, "the best diner in Union County!" Mind you, this diner has been open since the 1940's and I am pretty sure we were transported back in time that night, just living the fifties dream on our date night at the soda shop. I was in heaven. After dinner, we got our ice cream to go, and walked around the old neighborhoods nearby. As I admired the bungalows and old rocking chairs on old porches, I am pretty sure Max was just stressing about his test the whole time. I, on the other hand, felt like that night was straight out of a movie. It will always be one of my favorite memories.


The next morning, we woke up at six AM. I remember kissing Max on his way out the door of the hotel room, and I nearly threw up I was so nervous for him. Month and months of studying and here we were. The day of the MCAT. And of course, he did phenomenally well.

Every night I count my lucky stars for Max. For all the lovey-dovey reasons of course, but especially because of the amount of hard work and time and devotion he puts into becoming a doctor. It's honestly amazing, and my heart bursts with pride when I get to talk about him with others. He's going places I'm telling you, and I get to tag along for the ride. At the rate we're going, or at least considering the few school's he's been hearing from, we'll end up on the East coast by this time next year. Which I'm more than okay with. Fifteen-year-old Kelsie is actually screaming inside.

July 20, 2015

26th birthday eve

My feelings regarding my 26th birthday tomorrow are best explained by Joey Tribbiani:

Just kidding (kind of). I can't wrap my mind around being closer to 30 than I am to 20, but 26 is here and I have a whole lot to thank 25 for. So maybe I'm more of a mix between Joey Tribbiani and Robert Browning who once wrote, "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be..." -- maybe just a titch more Joey though.

July 19, 2015

wallowa lake

1. Horseback riding up and down the trail of DEATH. I think I muttered unmentionable words fifty times under my breath - I honestly thought that I was going to die. Didn't help that the very next day someone was life-flighted off the mountain from being bucked off a horse.
2. No A/C. Which usually isn't a problem unless you come home sunburned every day from the lake.
3. No dole whips. I'm tempted to go open up a restaurant selling dole whips and churros and turkey sandwiches.

1. Being with family at one of the prettiest places on earth.
2. Spending time with Max for the first time in what feels like months.
3. Our friendly outdoor neighbor Elvis, the deer.
4. BBQ's and days on the lake.
5. Our "secret-last-night-ritual" (which keeps the Wallowa Lake monster at bay until next year).

Nothing in this world can beat traditions and families and summertime.

July 2, 2015

God Bless America

We spent our last week in Wallowa Lake, as we do every summer, but something caught my eye this time as we drove through the small towns leading up to our family cabins. There were American flags waving on most street corners, homemade banners announcing Fourth of July parades, and signs supporting and thanking the troops who had served from those communities. Max told me as I stopped to take pictures that I had found my people. If they like turkey and cheese sandwiches as much as I do, then I really have.

I love our country, I am proud of our country and I am so grateful to live in this country. I've spent the last month reading The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, and am amazed with every story of those who only 60 years ago, many younger than me, were willing to give up their lives and their jobs and leave their families here at home to protect the safety and freedoms of our country and those abroad.

I've always loved what John F. Kennedy declared in his Inaugural Address in January of 1961,

"We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans... Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty...

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe...

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. 

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. 

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."

-You can read (and listen!) to the rest of it online here. It gives me chills every time.
Happy Independence Day!

June 26, 2015

a thought in response to the supreme court rulings

Max shared this with me after seeing a friend of his post this online. As always, Elder Neal A. Maxwell expresses himself and the Gospel of Jesus Christ so eloquently, and now I miss miss miss my job at the Maxwell Institute!


"In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ! We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christianheritage.”

“Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, ‘A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it’ (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59). This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.”

“Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, ‘summer is nigh’ (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat!”

-Elder Neal A. Maxwell