Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

From Père Noël (or Joulupukki, it's all good)

And the Nelsons too:

My mom and sisters got here yesterday,
Almost everybody's here!
and we're picking up my dad this evening and visiting temple square.

We've done pleeeenty of Christmas shopping (and Andrew had the patience of an angel)...

Tired at the mall

We prepared Christmas menus, had hot chocolate, watched Jingle All the Way, listend to all kinds of Christmas music, played Settlers of Catan way too many times (Andrew's obsessed) and started the stockings!

And now I'll get back to my family. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas holiday with your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let's be honest though, whose life isn't crazy these days?

So my awesome Christmas break has turned into a stress-fest... including drowning in paperwork and uncertainty, making stressful decisions and initiating a minor encounter between the car and a cement post... Ahem.

But the good news is there's a point to all (well, most) of this stress: finalizing documents for my internship at KSL and most recently... prepping to anchor the morning news at Classical 89!

I'll be on air Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 AM (Yes, I have to get up very early... you're welcome, morning commuters.) You can tune in here.

The best part is I get paid to do it (Miserly student job pay, but hey, it's my first paid broadcasting gig!) and Classical 89 is a station I really like. My dad is so proud :)

So yeah, life is good, but I'm definitely ready for Friday to get here - then I really get an actual break, and we can focus on Christmas fun with my whole family!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Approaching Modesty

How interesting that I stumble across this literally a day after posting about For the Strength of Youth... The article is one woman's take on why the doctrine of modesty is harmful and even destructive for girls. Her main beef with it is that it is sexist and that it creates shame, essentially:

"Modesty taught me that I was a decoration. Everything about my life was governed by whether or not a man was watching. How I moved and what I ate or wore all depended on the male gaze. Modesty taught me that nothing I did mattered more than avoiding sexual attention. Modesty made me objectify myself. I was so aware of my own potential desirability at all times that I lost all other ways of defining myself."

Read the article, it's not too long. To be fair, her bio line indicates she was raised in an ultra-conservative religion, so of course she probably had a very different experience than most of us. But still, the way she views modesty makes me sad. It's such a wrong image of what should be a beautiful doctrine. My friend Anneke, who posted the link, had this to say:

"I believe in modesty because it protects women's self-respect in an age where our culture believes that women are for looking at and using. There are so many people who treat a woman's body as their own personal property. Dressing modestly is my way of saying 'No - this is not yours. You have no right to possess my body with your eyes and ignore who I actually am.' To me, modesty is the feminist answer to pornography. It's us saying NO."

Agreed. Modesty isn't about being a prude or protecting men from sinning. Modesty is about respect for yourself and respect for your God. It's about cherishing the precious gift that is your body and treating it with care. Another commenter, Joy, added the following:

"To me, modesty starts with respect for self and others and applies both men and women. Modesty is about recognizing that our behavior, words and appearance matter. Speaking, behaving and dressing in a way that shows respect for oneself and others, and is appropriate for the situation, impacts our own feelings and behavior and makes it easier for those around us to maintain positive thoughts and feelings. Modesty does not make a person a passive object nor does it render one invisible. It is the exact opposite. Modesty says we are here and we are powerful. Our thoughts, feelings and actions matter. Modesty does not ask 'Is this skirt going to make men lust?' Modesty asks if our behavior, speech and appearance help ourselves and those around us feel uplifted. Modesty recognizes that we influence others by our very existence and encourages us to be an elevating influence."

All that being said, do we get a little confused about modesty, even in the Church? I think so.

I still hear people say we should dress modestly so men won't have bad thoughts about us. It happened a few weeks ago in Relief Society, as a matter of fact. (Yes, I raised my hand... and pointed out that burqa-clad women in Egypt get groped all the time. Nicely, of course.) Well of course wearing a bikini to school would be distracting! But does that mean I have to constantly worry about some poor unsuspecting man catching a glimpse of the back of my knee? No. That's not the point. Additionally, the author kind of hit home in talking about the fact that modesty is typically only taught to women. Maybe that's not entirely true in Mormonism, but it feels like it sometimes. What does modesty mean for a man anyway? It's not like most men walk around in mini-shorts or halter tops...

Maybe one definition of immodesty for men would be wearing their pants so low that their underpants show? But other than that, I don't know. Maybe there really is something more exciting about a woman, more fundamentally appealing about her body, but it doesn't make much sense to me. Besides, modesty is about more than just clothing, it's in the way you act, speak, and yes, dress. But maybe it's fundamentally more about the way you present yourself to the world. I wish we spent more time talking about how you can present yourself rather than what you shouldn't wear... especially since it can be so subjective from one situation to another, from one culture to another, from one age group to another.

I ran into this article the next day from a Christian website. This author writes about how the phrase "modest is hottest" is silly and can even be damaging because of what it insinuates:

"Perhaps the phrase’s originator hoped to provide a more positive spin on modesty. I sympathize with that. However, 'modest is hottest' also perpetuates (and complicates) this objectification of women by equating purity with sexual desire. The word 'hot'” is fraught with sexual undertones. It continues a tradition in which women are primarily objects of desire, but it does so in an acceptable Christian way. Making modesty sexy is not the solution we need. Instead, the church [not sure what religion she is, but based on who she quotes I think she may be Catholic] needs to overhaul its theology of the female body. Women continue to be associated with their bodies in ways that men are not. And, as a result of this unique association, women’s identities are also uniquely tied to their bodies in a manner that men’s identities are not."

I feel like a big part of all these issues is the doctrine of original sin. No wonder all these ideas are lurking when people see Eve as the original temptress, the cause of mankind's fall. What a wonderful thing that in Mormonism we respect her, even admire her for her courage in taking the next step into mortality she knew was necessary. But maybe even we have remnants of "original sin mentality", when we put the responsibility for sin on women in cases like modesty or sexual purity for example. I worry that sometimes the ideas that both of these authors describe creep into our own rhetoric. And yet, official Church publications like For the Strength of Youth make it very clear that this should not be the case: "a young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to protect each other’s honor and virtue." Both of them equally.

So here's my question: how should we teach modesty to girls? What can we do better? And how should we teach our boys modesty too?

Oh and here's a fun fact: there may be scientific evidence for the value of modesty"Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up. Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as 'I push, I grasp, I handle,' said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University. And in a 'shocking' finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another's intentions. This means that these men see women 'as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,' Fiske said. 'The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens.'"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Those perfect moments

You know those times when you come up with a deliciously witty reply five minutes after the right moment has passed? Well yesterday I had a brief moment of enlightenment just at the right time. And because it happens so rarely you have to hear all about it.

Andrew and I were leaving our apartment to go practice. Another guy was leaving his apartment at the same time, and Andrew knew him so they exchanged a few formalities. "how are you doing... what are you up to..."

I've never seen this guy in my life, so I'm not particularly chatty. When Andrew tells him we're going dancing, he says "oh, if I liked dancing at all that would sound like fun."


Andrew gives a polite laugh, then he asks him where he's going.

"I'm getting my bowling ball from the car. I just bought a new book and I'm excited to start practicing." Oh come on, that just fell into my lap straight out of Heaven. So I pipe up:

"hey, if I liked bowling at all that would sound like fun."

It's the little things, people.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh those Mormons

Have you heard about the new study on Mormons?

Nothing new. But this little tidbit actually did surprise me: "Although LDS women are just as educated as other American women, they are more likely to be stay-at-home moms and less likely to work outside the home."

That's kind of awesome.

Ok seriously???


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For the Strength of Youth

I'll be honest, I haven't read "For the Strength of Youth" in ages, but I just found out that the Church has published an updated edition. It's great to reread it, and of course my first thought was "what changed?" so I pulled out my old copy. Obviously, none of the principles and standards are different, but I noticed some tweaks here and there that specifically address more modern issues or probably clarify the intent of our leaders. (New text in purple)

In the Dress and Appearance section, same text here: Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him. Love it. But this little change is really powerful: If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear, study the words of the prophets, pray for guidance, and ask your parents or leaders for help. Isn't it wonderful that even teens are expected to seek out personal revelation and study out principles for themselves?

From the Dating section (and this isn't new, but I love the emphasis on each gender's responsibility!): Remember that a young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to protect each other’s honor and virtue. Also, the first line of that section makes me giggle considering the increased emphasis on not "hanging out" lately: A date is a planned activity...

Music and Dancing--this little section is pretty interesting: When listening to music, be courteous to those around you. Keep your music at a reasonable volume, and remove your earphones when others are talking to you or want you to be part of their activities. Remember that the Spirit speaks with a still, small voice. If you listen to music constantly, you may not have the quiet time you need for thinking, feeling, and receiving spiritual guidance. I find it so interesting that something as seemingly benign as the volume of your music deserves being addressed by the Church. It makes you think about the very real influence--for good or for bad--of music. And check this out: Be careful that your use of social media does not replace spending time with your family and friends.

Not surprising at all is the explicit mention of pornography: Serious sins, such as sexual transgression or use of pornography, need to be confessed to your bishop. It's incredible just how rampant the spread of pornography is now. I've heard some numbers that show essentially 100% of men have been exposed to pornography at some point in their lives. It's a beast we simply can't afford to ignore or brush under the rug. Porn gets a whole paragraph of its own in the Entertainment and Media section, which I think helps people to realize just how destructive it can be: It is a poison that weakens your self-control, destroys your feelings of self-worth, and changes the way you see others. It causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit and can damage your ability to have a normal relationship with others, especially your future spouse. It limits your ability to feel true love.

Now this isn't new by any means (although slightly reworded), but I was touched to reread this section: Victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sin and do not need to repent. If you have been a victim of abuse, know that you are innocent and that God loves you. Talk to your parents or another trusted adult, and seek your bishop’s counsel immediately. They can support you spiritually and assist you in getting the protection and help you need. The process of healing may take time. Trust in the Savior. He will heal you and give you peace. I'm so glad it's made abundantly clear how much the Lord loves us, and that we can find help and healing from our leaders.

And there's a whole new section on Work and Self-Reliance: how appropriate! Set high goals for yourself, and be willing to work hard to achieve them. Develop self-discipline, and be dependable. Do your best in your Church callings, schoolwork, employment, and other worthwhile pursuits.

Anyway, there's plenty more but I haven't been through the whole thing yet. I think this is such a wonderful tool for youth, teachers, parents, and really just people of all ages--these standards apply to all of us. I'm so glad we have such inspired counsel.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Decisions, decisions

It's hard to make decisions. There's what you think you should do, what you really want to do (or not even knowing what that would be), knowing or thinking what you think other people expect you to do (not that that should matter but somehow it always does)...  the World vs. the Gospel, etc. There's the guilt of wanting something you can't have, or wanting what you think you shouldn't want, or wishing you wanted what you thought you didn't want (are you confused yet? Good. Now you have a sense of my current state of mind).

And then you read things like this. It sort of validates what I've felt for a long time: that I am going to need to at least keep a foot in the "real world" if I want to stay sane. And I really want to be a mother too. I can't wait to be completely absorbed by my little ones and teach them and play with them and feed them and spend every waking hour with them... but I also know that I am going to need to stay involved in life outside the home. It's just hard finding that happy medium. You're probably thinking "that silly Lydia, she's stressing out for nothing -- she doesn't even have kids yet!" Well I like to have a plan, and these are the kinds of decisions you make far in advance. Plus it's not that far in advance... we leave BYU to start our "real life" in April.

I wonder if I'll ever feel certain in any decision. Sometimes I envy my friends who are so certain about what they want in life. I had a close friend in the FLSR who was always dead certain she wanted to be a stay-at-home mother, and that was always the goal. She certainly didn't ignore the importance of education and completed her degree, but once she got married, they saved for a child and made a baby. And she is now a happy stay-at-home mom. Then I have another good friend in the broadcast program who, before she married her now-husband, talked to him about her goals and they decided he would follow her wherever she got her first job, she would get several years of experience as a reporter, and then they would have kids. And she hasn't changed her mind since. I don't even think one choice is superior to the other, and what I admire most is that both of these friends made a decision and stuck to it.

And then there's me, the eternal flip-flopper terrified of taking a wrong step. I want so badly to be a deliberate woman. I want so much to make intelligent, informed and inspired decisions, but I feel like so much is out of my--our--control that I have no idea how to make the right decision. And then there's the whole "leave it in God's hands" vs. "God helps those who help themselves", which isn't helping right now. I'm silly though, because I'm sitting here wishing an angel would come tell me what to do, but the moment that happened I'd probably whine that I didn't get to make the choice myself. Ha ha.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Redundant me

Way too many of my sentences start with "I read an article the other day..."

Seriously, it's pathological. But I really do read some good articles. And since everybody's stressing about finals while I chill out and enjoy my freedom (I technically have two finals left but I'm not really concerned, they're pretty straightforward exams), I've had lots of time to read interesting things. Or listen to interesting things. Have you ever heard of the Round Table, for example? It's a podcast by Mormon women and it's pretty awesome. I'm pretty sure that will be me in a few years. To be completely honest, I would love to have my own talk show and be a professional blogger. I'd go around giving speeches and write books and help people see the good in the world and think about hard things and find solutions... and learn plenty of things in the process for myself. Yup, that's what I really want to do.

Anyway, you should check it out, it's good. Another awesome place you should check out, especially if you're a mom, is, founded by an LDS woman (well technically there are several women involved but I think she was one of the original developers) but intended for a general audience.

And since we're talking about interesting articles, here's one I'm reading right now, about boys becoming men (and no, it has nothing to do with boy bands).

Oh and if you really want a good read... you should read my latest interview for the Mormon Women Project! Plug! But really, you can hear (and see!) more about how this Lebanese-French artist discovered the Gospel, which influenced her so much that it quite literally colored her whole art world.

In other news, I attended my last real class of my undergraduate career last week. It feels wonderful, especially because I still have my internship to look forward to. I just found out about another possible anchoring opportunity, but I'll tell more when I actually know more for that one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though. It was kind of bittersweet anchoring my last newscast and airing my last story on Thursday.

in the voicing booth with my awesome co-anchor, Jenné

The whole Thursday crew. Aw, don't we all look so young and full of hope...

I'm also a bit nervous about the future, let's be honest. Ugh, decisions decisions. It's hard being a grown-up.
At least I've gained great experience and met awesome people. Who knows what will come of it all though... who knows.

Last Newscast

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ho ho ho

My favorite part of the holiday season is of course JibJab elves. How can you not love ridiculing yourself to spread some holiday cheer!?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Finals. sort of

It's so close. I can't believe I'm finishing the last classes of my degree.

Oh hey, did I mention I got the internship I wanted? Woohoo! I'll be starting at KSL January 4th and I can't wait.

But in the meantime I am exhausted--I need sleep, I need mental rest, and I really need school to be done. My last story airs Thursday, so watch for that :) And Thursday is also my last day anchoring... kind of sad, I can't believe it's already almost over! Phew. Time to got to bed, I can't muster any interesting writing right now.

Oh, my next interview on the MWP is coming out tomorrow or the next day, so look out for that as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As of late

Check out my resume blog, I've been posting stories I've worked on. I have one story left to do this semester and then I can BREATHE!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


It's kind of fun to read a blog in a different format... check out the different views to the right here:


Thanksgiving is great

And I have plenty of things to be grateful for, but I'll just say this: an excuse to gorge myself on great food? Done.

And the weather in Las Vegas was so beautiful! And of course the best part: spending time with family. Our little niece and nephews are the best.



he's on a lion kick these days

Andrew was a very good pony

I don't think he was so sure about this to begin with

The plane we rode home. I've never been on such a small commercial plane! It was fun though. The guy in front of us thought we were newlyweds because we were trying to get a photo... oh well. I guess we sort of are considering we aren't producing yet...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Because school is making me miserable right now

so how about some humor for your Wednesday evening:

I wish I were a glow worm,
A glow worm's never glum.
'Cause how can you be
grumpy, when the sun shines 
out your bum?

I need this

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ha ha

Remember my awesome planner?

Yeah, I need to get back on that... but you see, I keep telling my husband that it would be sooo much simpler if I just had an iPhone. Someday perhaps. I can be a patient person.

Also on my list of things-I-need-to-get-back-on: eating well/losing weight, not freaking out about how I compare and doing well in dance... Oh dear.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mormon Women Project Salon Recap

I was a bit apprehensive at first, because I've never actually met Neylan or any of the MWP contributors. I went by myself and was worried about sitting alone, but silly me. I was underestimating how irresistibly awesome all these women are. I got there early because we had driven up to go to the zoo for my story (I was worried I would smell like monkeys, but it turned out OK) so Andrew and I walked around temple square for a little bit and then he settled down to do homework and I went to help out with check-in. I was pretty much the youngest person there, but it was awesome. It was essentially what I had always imagined Enrichment should be.

The theme of the salon was Deliberate Womanhood, the idea of crafting our lives rather than just letting them happen to us, and it was such a good topic for me to hear about right now. The first speaker was Emma Lou Thayne. She's a poet and among many other things she penned the words to the hymn "Where can I turn for peace?" Despite being in her eighties she was so full of life and I loved hearing her speak about growth, trials, and decisions. She told plenty of stories about her family, her husband, her writing, her accident (she had a near-death experience after a terrible car crash)... she was lively but also wise; she spoke with so much authority about life, as if to remind us all: "I've been where you will be, and you should hear what I have to say." (I apologize for the inordinate amount of run-on sentences and the jumble of words that is this post, but if I don't get it out now it will never happen.)

She shared a hilarious poem she wrote after having a toe amputated:

"Ditty to my missing parts"
Where are you waiting, my missing contraptions?

Parts so long in on my acts and reactions?
We’ll be re-united in that other life
But meantime I’m lacking what’s gone with the knife.

First tonsils at four, appendix at twenty,
Since, gall bladder, uterus, moles more than plenty.
An eardrum, a breast, and wisdom teeth, So
Are they consorting today with my nipped second toe?

Where are my actual left hip and right knee?
With substitute fixtures, is what’s left really me?
Does my lost stuff know physiology?
And the source of its real genealogy?

Do items out there know they’re all related?
Does time of departure say how situated?
With so much I was born with now distant collection?
Is restitution included in resurrection?

So I’ve been taught and I know that it’s true
But will they all fit and say, “Boy we missed you!”

Aside from being really funny, it really demonstrates the humor she seems to have about herself. She's had her share of hardships: a severely bipolar daughter at a time when bipolar disorder wasn't recognized, an accident that should have killed her... but she wrote beautiful poetry throughout all of these things and found ways to see the beauty and humor in life.

Next we went into breakout sessions, and it was hard to chose between them all but I felt drawn to the one on "Finding power in your personal story". Shelah Miner (She writes for Segullah, Feminist Mormon Housewives, and has written for the Exponent II and other mormon projects... all kinds of cool stuff) presented a workshop on writing about your life. It's been a loooong time since I've written in my journal, but her presentation on writing about yourself in meaningful ways really got my creative juices going. She gave a short presentation and then had us do various exercises to get us started. Some of the prompts were to write about a specific image in time (describe five senses, focus on a specific moment instead of a narrative/chronological description) and a few questions:

A moment I realized Heavenly Father loved me was when…
A hard choice I’ve made in my life was when…
A moment I realized there is power in what I do was when...

So we all got to work and wouldn't you know I just happened to sit down next to a fellow broadcaster! (Definitely not a chance encounter) Funny story though: when I first saw her and told her my name I started to panic because she said she had also studied broadcasting and suddenly I thought she looked an awful lot like KUTV's anchorwoman  and felt pathetic that I wasn't sure because I'm supposed to know these kinds of things and I was freaking out because here I was sitting next to the anchor of a station I wanted to intern at and I couldn't even remember her name... thankfully it wasn't her though so I was able to relax. Ha.

Anyway: DeAnne Flynn is a former reporter/anchor and has written several books, speaks at Time out for Women, has hosted a talk show and does all kinds of generally awesome stuff. Basically, everything I hope to be someday--seriously. She also came alone so we decided to be buddies for the rest of the evening and she dragged me to the group discussion on "becoming a deliberate mother" because hello, on top of being crazy accomplished she has seven gorgeous kids. (I wasn't complaining much about being dragged, it was great. So was the food, by the way.)

She was so nice and was genuinely interested in learning about me. And I in turn was happy as a clam to fire away asking her all about HOW she did it all. I've been so stressed lately about decisions that are looming ever nearer. Babies. Career. Family life. Personal fulfillment. Ugh. She was encouraging and reassuring. She told me I had a great future ahead of me, but she did say that I might need to be flexible with my career choices in order to do it all.* Just being around all these incredible women gave me hope though, that I can craft my life in a way that will bring me joy in all aspects. I need to focus on what I want to and need to do (well and my husband too :) and not worry so much about what I'm expected to do by my peers, professors, and the rest of the world. Phew. (That doesn't mean I don't still have panic attacks every once in a while.)

The deliberate motherhood discussion group was cool. I just shut up and listened because I'm not exactly a model of experience with motherhood, but it gave me lots of good ideas and things to think about. The woman leading the discussion blogs at and she talked about how mothers can define themselves rather than saying "oh, I'm just a mom" and also about finding value in what we do. Lots of  other good stuff, great discussion.

Finally we were all rounded up back to the main room for a panel discussion led by Neylan (Editor/founder of the Mormon Women Project). She asked the panelists, Valerie Hudson (distinguished BYU International Relations professor), Tiffany Gee Lewis (DesNews reporter) and Chrysula Winegar (Work-life balance advocate) various questions about womanhood, motherhood and the workplace and it was awesome. Valerie Hudson nearly got a standing ovation when she talked about the LDS doctrine of gender equality (if you haven't read this presentation she gave a while back, you need to. It changed my life. Also, I'm so sad she's leaving BYU in January--I took one class from her and desperately wanted to take her "political economy of women" class, but wasn't able to work it in. Now I never will.) and Chrysula Winegar gave me so much hope: she works hard to advocate balance between family life and work, especially for women and one of the things she said really struck me: she essentially said it was important for women's voices to be a part of the professional world and that it was possible, but women need to push back against corporations and force them to recognize that we also want and need to be mothers. One point that Dr Hudson made was that important legislation with regards to childcare, women's health, education and the family in general had come about because there were women judges, women legislators, women educators, and women activists that were active in making it happen: they understand the importance of those issues and have a unique perspective on them. They talked about so many things that I can't remember all of them, but the videos from the Salon will be on the website so I'll let you know when they're up. Oh and Chrysulla Winegar quoted Patricia Holland:

"We must have the courage to be imperfect." 

What words of wisdom. I remember at some point near the end of the Salon just sitting there, and thinking about how privileged I was to be in this assembly of brilliant people. It was humbling and inspiring at the same time, and... I can't wait for next year.

Phew, I made it through. If you're still reading, congratulations! You get to look at this really cool picture.

One last plug for the Mormon Women Project: "Far from a monochrome stereotype, the beauty and variety of our women prove that there is no one right way to 'choose the right.'" WORD

*Incidentally, here's a rocking BYU alum anchor/reporter who apparently is doing it all. HOW?! I need to write to her

I know some pretty fashionable people

One of them is my little sister. (Of course, I taught her everything she knows but she won't admit it.)

But check this out from her blog:

Beauty isn't a question of size or weight. Beauty is charm and posture; self-confidence and courage

Pretty insightful for a teenager.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The best thing...

is a hubby's sweater.


Play from 21:03

Yeah... somebody forgot to put a date up in the prompter (although I should have caught it during run-through) and it hit me like a brick wall. Oh well, that's life.

Hey, at least I'm not the only one!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Playing with monkeys

A little look at what I've been doing lately...

Hey it's an orangutan! Watch the story here.

That's also why I haven't posted in ages... oops. But I do want to tell you all about the MWP Salon, soon I promise! I'll just say this: it was amazing.

I'm so ready for school to be done.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In honor of summer

and because I'm feeling a little nostalgic...

MWP Salon reminder

Yes, I'm posting again about the MWP Salon. Come! It will be amazing! You can even carpool with me--it's going to be such an inspiring event, I know you won't want to miss it :)

Register here.

Hey look!

I'm a real person!You should hire me :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I don't want to not get the internship I want. It will make me very mad. And discouraged.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Story. of. my. life.

From Overheard in the Newsroom:

Editor: “We need a new way to mark stories. 
Instead of ‘Ready’ it should be, ‘I’m just tired of looking at it.’”

cam to gif

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MWP Salon

I would like to take a minute to invite you to come to the Mormon Women Project Salon on November 5th. It's going to be absolutely amazing and you really don't want to miss such an incredible opportunity to meet LDS women from all sorts of backgrounds and hear some incredible speakers (Valerie Hudson!! Yes!!) on some great subjects. Plus you'd be supporting me in a roundabout way since the point of this is also to raise funds for the MWP and hopefully eventually be able to pay for transcription services and the such--which means more awesome interviews for me to conduct (like this one) and you to read! See, it's win-win-win. So please come, I'd love some extra company, and I know it'll be amazing. Register here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


It's been a while eh?

I've even started writing two or three posts in the past week, until I realized I had little to say. I'm kind of tired of school these days... and working on longer projects is tiring, so I've got no writing left in me. This weekend was great though. I am so grateful to be able to enter a grocery store and fill up a cart with food. All I have to do is grab it off the shelves and swipe a piece of plastic. Sometimes we don't realize how blessed we are. A girl in one of my classes made some comment about how she's a starving student and I was kind of annoyed. I mean yeah, she's probably not rolling in gold--neither am I--but she has nice clothes, a place to live, food to eat, a good EDUCATION, a brand new haircut... I hardly think we get to complain.

Sometimes I want to, but deep down I know how good I have it. My life is incredible. As stressful as it is to be in school and have a demanding schedule, as scary as it is to be making life-changing decisions for the future... what a wonderful life it is that I even get to make these choices. I have the awful dilemma of getting to chose between a career and having children. Or doing both.

In fact, we're living like kings right now. It really couldn't get much better. (Well, KSL could just decide to hire me straight out of school, that would be pretty awesome. Also, my dad could come for Christmas, that would be cool too. But hey, you can't have everything you dream of.)


But we did have a last hurrah barbecue last week:

aw, ketchup makes him happy

I have to take pictures of myself otherwise it's like I was never there

Look! A sunset!

Or I could make my husband take my picture.
And actually, this "pose" was totally accidental, believe it or not.
It must be my inner repressed fashion blogger.

On a completely unrelated note, I just watched a really good movie. Exam. The British accents probably don't hurt either... But in all seriousness, it's awesome. Go watch it.

Oh also, I learned in stake conference today that I was born to be a homemaker. Awesome. The worst part is that this came from a girl: all the members of the stake presidency gave spiritual, doctrinal talks, but this one girl went on and on about cleaning and decorating. Ugh.

And tomorrow I'm giving a mini presentation on euphemism and hyperbole. Because I NEVER use hyperbole inappropriately. Ever. Ha.

And for a last bit of Sunday night humor:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Can I just say...

Fantastic, scathing writing. I love it.

To the villainy-of-the-rich theme emanating from Washington, a child is born: Occupy Wall Street. Starbucks-sipping, Levi’s-clad, iPhone-clutching protesters denounce corporate America even as they weep for Steve Jobs, corporate titan, billionaire eight times over. These indignant indolents saddled with their $50,000 student loans and English degrees have decided that their lack of gainful employment is rooted in the malice of the millionaires on whose homes they are now marching — to the applause of Democrats suffering acute Tea Party envy and now salivating at the energy these big-government anarchists will presumably give their cause. Except that the real Tea Party actually had a program — less government, less regulation, less taxation, less debt. What’s the Occupy Wall Street program? Eat the rich.

Read the whole article here

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today I saw

A really big desert.

Lots of sage brush.

Roadkill (I'm pretty sure it was a fox)

A hare -- it jumped out of a bush two feet away from me and hopped off

More flies than I care to count

Several lizards

Some very fancy equipment made to measure ultra-high energy particles coming from outer space.

And a bazillion butterflies. Sadly, I killed most of them with my windshield.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Have I ever mentioned how much I love The Office?

I wish I were this creative. And that I had an arch-nemesis. Well maybe not, actually. Random story: a guy in my English class told everybody the story about his high school "arch-nemesis" stealing the girl he had a crush on... in complete seriousness. Somebody's been reading too much sci-fi... (Says the girl who posts star trek clips on her blog. Ahem)

Matters of scale

Random fact set I stumbled upon recently. This is kind of old (1999) but I doubt the proportions have gotten much better... the comparisons are powerful:

Amount of money needed each year (in addition to current expenditures) to provide reproductive health care for all women in developing countries $12 billion
Amount of money spent annually on perfumes in Europe and the United States $12 billion 

Amount of money needed each year (in addition to current expenditures) to provide water and sanitation for all people in developing nations $9 billion
Amount of money spent annually on cosmetics in the United States $8 billion 

Amount of money needed each year (in addition to current expenditures) to provide basic health and nutrition needs universally in the developing world $13 billion 
Amount of money spent each year on pet food in Europe and the United States $17 billion 


These numbers kind of remind me of an article I came across today about mental illness in the US, and one thing that really stuck out to me was that depression was a "luxury" illness. Our women have problems like anorexia, cutting and self-loathing because of images projected by our culture so we buy cosmetics and perfume by the boat-load... but the money we spend on the beauty industry could solve, well, world hunger, basically. (I do not in any way wish to minimize the seriousness of these psychological issues.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sometimes things turn out not quite the way you expected

By the way, this is my new dress that almost turned into a train wreck. It worked out though, after a bit of stress that Jourdan can attest to...

and a failed dye job that actually turned out to be pretty cool. So I kept it that way, even though I slightly remind myself of a high school senior photo backdrop...

Best Birthday/weekend ever

"Birthday week" really felt like it started last weekend with the Relief Society general broadcast -- I went up to see it "live" with my former roommates and turned it into a girls' night out. It was great.

Sushi - mmmm

Then last week was a bit stressful, but by Friday it was good, classes were cancelled, a really awesome research paper is in the works, and we went out for dinner and dancing. And opening presents was quite nice :)

Saturday was awesome because of General Conference and then going out to dinner at Pizzeria 712 (Delicious. It's fantastic.) with everyone! And then all the girls came back home and we hung out while the men were at Priesthood. I'm so happy that we were able to get everybody together, and that Allie was in town and we got to meet Meghan's baby and cuddle them and talk and eat chocolate cake and just... be all together again. It had been SO long! Gosh and now I want babies because let's be honest they're just too cute and I didn't want to let either of them go. Oh dear.

And then today watching conference at Cassi's place and eating fantastic quiche and salad with real vinaigrette and homemade french bread made by Ashley. All kinds of good stuff. What a great weekend!

That dressing was fantastic by the way. A chopped shallot, a few mashed garlic cloves, grainy Dijon mustard, walnut oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and thick black pepper. No, I don't know quantities. You want to use quite a bit more oil than vinegar though.