Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Last week I went to the mall here for the first time (yay!) and came across this fun shop called The Afternoon with books and art and clever gifts. I hadn't bought a book for ages, and I had such little self-control as a result. So I ended up with a copy of The Book of Awesome by the author of I thought it'd be perfect because I can literally just read one page when I have a free minute. Turns out, it is perfect! I love reading an awesome thing or two before bed. Some of my favorites:

intergenerational dancing 
illegal naps 
finding a mix tape from an old boyfriend
fixing electronics by smacking them
hitting a bunch of green lights in a row

Additionally, I've always been inspired by my friend's posts of things that made her day. So, I'm combining the ideas to bring you...

(drum roll please)

Awesome things today!

*Getting to school later than usual and still having a spot in the garage*

Telling my clever brother I love metaphors and having him respond, "I like similes," with a wink

*Leaving the library late and getting free food*

Coming home to a package notification slip in my mailbox. I'll get it tomorrow :)


Finally understanding the difference between unilateral and bilateral contracts

*Friends (the tv show)*

Friends (the people that teach me about unilateral contracts)

*Hearing my niece copy her mother's use of the word "idiot"*

Realizing tomorrow is Thursday...

So, what simple pleasures did you take notice of today? What did you see or hear or experience that was awesome? Let me know!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Counting Blessings

It's funny how things work out.

Last week was rough. I was distracted from school for the first time since I started, worried about changes back in Utah and how they will affect "home" as I know it. I felt truly homesick for the first time and had a hard time mustering the desire to spend time with friends. I went to both sessions of Stake Conference (something I never do), alone. I was so focused on my loneliness that I got much less out of the talks than I probably could and should have.

Then there was the BYU-Utah game and well, I don't think I need to add any commentary there.

Sometime while I was distracted by the melee in my mind, I picked up a new Twitter follower, @JDanielRollins 

 I'm not sure how he found me or what I said that might have encouraged him to follow me. I was hesitant to follow back, only because I've been thinking of purging my following list lately to have a more manageable feed. I decided to read through some of his old tweets to decide and came across this convo:

Hmm... He hates Penn State. But he's willing to admit to appreciating their classic uniforms. Conflicted, I told him so. (Conversation in reverse order here)

He made me laugh at least, so I followed back. I'm glad I did. 

At this point this post is going to become a bit of a confessional. If that irritates you, I won't mind if you stop reading. If you keep reading, don't feel like you need to comment on anything I say. 

Prior to moving to Omaha I had become apathetic about my activity in the Church, comfortable in my complacency. Then I moved, and with my professor as my bishop, I felt obligated to be more engaged. Simultaneously, I realized everyone I met knew nothing about the Church and found myself answering basic questions. One night I was out with friends until 3 in the morning talking about, among other things, religion. Between the three of us, we represent the Mormon, Catholic, and Baptist faiths and shared and inquired openly about what we each believe. Suddenly I wasn't answering the simple questions like, "Do you drink?" I was explaining the three degrees of glory and the concept of eternal marriage. I don't know when it happened, but eventually that conversation was no longer about answering the questions of my friends but rather about looking inside myself, asking for the first time if I really believed what I was saying. And the answer was a resounding, "YES." 

 Since that conversation I have been very aware of religion in general. My good group of friends here are all wonderful people and strong Christians. In some ways it seems like the theme of Christianity has been more in the forefront of my mind than Mormonism specifically. 

 Here's where my trains of thought merge... 

I saw that Mr. J. Daniel Rollins tweeted about an update to his blog. I read what he had to say and was moved. The stories of converts always hit close to home, because of my parents' story. But while reading his blog and learning of his experiences in different Christian faiths, I realized again something I've always known: I'm so happy to be Mormon. 

 This post has gone on much longer than I intended, so I'm going to wrap things up. But before I do, I want to mention specifically the challenge on to count your blessings. I know the week is almost over and I have yet to take part in the challenge, but I intend to change that. 

 So I want you to know that I'm grateful, among so many other things, that "I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in faith."

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Over my breakfast this morning, I read the chapter in George W. Bush's Decision Points about September 11. I then read the full text and watched the video of his address to the nation from that night ten years ago. Prompted by a friend's post on Facebook, I listened to John Adams' On the Transmigration of Souls as I got ready for the day. Feeling thoroughly emotional about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I headed off to church. It struck me as magnificently ironic that even as I mourned and remembered that pointed attack on American liberties, I was exercising my freedom of religion.  I cried as we sang "My Country 'tis of Thee." I smiled as I spent the evening after church talking to my family. I cried again as I listened to President Obama speak at the Kennedy Center tonight. And I smiled when I saw footage of him walking with President Bush around the new memorial in New York City. (And I'm sure I'll cry, once again, as I sit down to watch Remember Me when I finish with this post.) It has been a day of reflection, a day of both sorrow and gratitude.

The PBS special I was watching included a video interview of a woman who said what stands out most about that day is the fear, that America will always be in fear that something like that can happen again. I couldn't disagree more. I feel safe, protected, and defended. I think what stands out most about that day is the heroism of the passengers of Flight 93. I think they encapsulate everything that is American--seeing a problem, voting on a solution, and taking it upon themselves to protect the lives of their fellow Americans.

As our president pointed out tonight, the attacks of 9/11 changed so much in America, but so much still remains the same. We are still one nation, under God. E pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I don't mean to be petty

I bought a shower curtain several months ago in anticipation of the move. I didn't immediately hang it up, because, as it turns out, I have doors on my shower. I was so bummed. I love the shower curtain and I hate how doors look on showers. But my mom and brother convinced me I could still just hang up the curtain outside the doors, and no one would know the difference. (Except now everyone that reads my blog will know the difference, but that's a different story...) This weekend I finally bought some rings and got the curtain up. It's supposed to contain the 500 top SAT words, but I've only had the curtain up 48 hours and have already noticed two mistakes.

Last I checked, aloof was not a verb, nor was adamant a noun. Johnny aloofed the adamant? I'd like to see that sentence diagrammed.

Oh well. I guess it's a good thing I just like the look of the shower curtain and don't rely on it as a study aid :)

Friday, September 2, 2011


I've been surprisingly okay with being away from home. I guess part of it is the fact that I don't really have time to miss people. With as much time as I spend studying just to meet the minimum requirements, I know I couldn't be doing this in Utah with sisters and nieces and the like serving as unintentional distractions. I cried a little when I got a video of my youngest niece crawling (which I haven't seen in person) and once when talking to Jen about everything her kids were doing, but overall I've been happy with my change in circumstances.

Then this morning I was going through some old pictures to find one of my nephew and me at a BYU game and it hit me: I'm not going to be sitting in the family room of my parents' house tomorrow watching the game. I can be as obnoxious as I want through texts and Twitter, but I won't have the pleasure of fighting with a single family member over the inferiority of Utah's football team in person. When the weather turns and I comfortably throw on my Penn State hoodie to bum around on a Saturday, I won't see 10 other people with lion heads on their chest, making things feel like football, like fall, like home.

So I know it's a dumb thing to miss and get upset over, but I can't help it. When, for your entire life, college football season has been the event your family waits for all year long, the series of weeks filled with more emotion than any other in the year, the high that actually makes Christmas feel like a letdown, it's tough to realize you're going to miss it all. Because I don't get to walk into Walmart with Jen and complain about the lack of BYU apparel. Instead I see what appears to be Corn Husker vomit all over the place. I'd rather the red I were seeing bear U's on it (and that's saying a lot).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's dying...

Apparently one writes as much in two weeks of law school as the average person writes in seven years. Have you heard of the seven year pen? When I was in CA with Adiel, she found it at her favorite local boutique and I had to try it out. I'm crazy good at holding onto pens, which is surprising considering my affinity for office supplies and the compulsive need I feel to buy pens. Anyway, I have often clung to a favorite pen and used it until I used it up. So I had grand plans of holding onto this thing and doing a big post in a few years to indicate how long the pen had actually lasted (the packaging of the pen specifically says that it can write like 1.7 meters a day, every day, for 7 years. In case you haven't read my blog long enough to know: I write way more than I need to. So I knew the pen wouldn't last me a full 7 years).

But I was surprised when I was taking notes on a case today and the pen started to fade. I purchased the pen almost exactly one month ago, and the bulk of its use has been in the last two weeks. Although I was unable to really enjoy the pen for the advertised length of time, I will say this--I love this pen. It writes so smoothly and it's a comfortable size and feel for long periods of writing. I actually just ordered two more of these from earlier this week, and it's a good thing, too! I'm sold and have no desire to go back to a different pen for my everyday black pen use. My color-coded craziness is another story entirely...

***Post-publication caveat: This pen came back to life in my Legal Writing class. I'm not kidding. So, maybe that's how it does the 7 yr thing. It resurrects itself. I'll keep you posted***