PARIS Arrives

Snow this morning. A gentle drift.

I keep peeking through the front curtains.

Early still. Just a quick glance.

Not yet.

Spend time with the Little in the basement. Watch some television. She loves Mickey’s Christmas Carol in the morning. I fidget and read some news.

An hour passes. One more trip upstairs. One more glance out the window.

It’s there.


I rush to get it out of the snow.

Then. I slow down.

Open it. Catalogue it. Selfies with it.

Now, I listen.

Somewhat Confused

Yesterday, I left voicemail messages with family members about the news I received. One would think this type of news would motivate a quick callback. But no one has responded.

Class starts Monday. I’ve looked over my schedule and visualized where my classes are.

I wonder what my family members’ schedules are.

I will be way too busy to stay frustrated. But if they don’t call soon, I don’t know, y’all.

We all communicate so differently, and we all have different feelings connected to yesterday’s news. I just want us all to be able to support each other.

It’s a beautiful evening. The clouds are heavy, eager to burst. I walked around earlier after getting a haircut, and a slight breeze began to lift the heat of the day from the ground. It was nice.

While crossing State Street to go to University Mall (after my haircut), I heard someone shout my name from one of the cars waiting for a green light. I turned around, and I saw Senegal Grace sticking her head out of a black SUV, and we chatted for about 5 seconds in the middle of traffic, with me standing on the corner, and her in the middle lane of State Street heading north. Then the light changed, and Senegal Grace said that we’ll catch up sometime. I waved. It was fun.

Now, I’m watching Battlestar Galactica (and for some reason really appreciating the special effects and attention to detail regarding muted or no sound in space) and eating ice cream and wishing at the very beginning of this weekend that it doesn’t have to end.

At least there’s floating down the Provo River tomorrow.

In your face, end of the summer.

Mountains and Me

Click the photo, etc.

Summary of the Past Three Days:

1940: arrived at the Gunthers
met children
bedtime stories, family prayer, etc.
talked politics while eating a turkey sandwich
talked about Africa

1000: arrived at the St. George Temple
walked the grounds
went to St. George Town Square
played in a fountain and wading pool
rode a carousel
met random relatives of friends
went to Target
played with kids
had dinner at the Robertsons’
ate Key lime pie

900: arrived at Zion National Park
became a relayer between rangers
hiked the Narrows
hiked the Emerald Pool Trails
was completely blown away for 8 hours
spoke a decent amount of French
got lost and joked about it
ate soup
played with kids
saw a movie with Jera

920: arrived at Duck Creek Village
1000: arrived at the Blowhard trailhead
mountain biked
fell and stuff but still had fun
became altitude sick
ate lunch
2000: drove back to Provo in the rain

1230: placed ice pack on left shoulder
wrote short blog post

There are stories and details ahead. But first I have to try to sleep and grow back skin cells.

Good Things That Happened This Week

– met some deadlines

– finished the required reading for a class, almost last-minute

– I got to explain to people who Jimmer is

– saw an interesting French movie

– enjoyed In-N-Out burgers with a friend for her birthday

– did well on a couple of quizzes that weren’t from French class

– wrote a couple fun responses

– no big snafus at work

– treats at work on Friday

– strides in my personal life

– crazy snow on Tuesday

– exercise

– sleep

We’re not focusing on the negative. That’s not this list.

Let’s see what this week brings.


It’s December, and I’m trying to get a grasp on the papers due and the finals to take. The next twelve days are going to be crazy, and right now I value my sanity more than good grades. I can accept that I didn’t work as hard this semester, and I know my grades are going to reflect that.

Perspective is in order, because it’s not really finals time: it’s December. Snow frosts the mountains, an appropriate chill clings to the air. It gets dark early, but I still thrive on the same amount of light that I do during the rest of the year. The adjustment becomes more difficult as I get older. It’s not fun.

December makes me miss my friends. I miss how we used to just … be.  Being out here supposedly was a choice for ultimate happiness but between the high points, pure misery stood on my throat. That’s just life, though. We find ways to deal. For now, it’s cranking out papers and cramming history and literature and French into the leftover and obscure folds of my brain. But after finals, it’ll be five days in New York City and a week in Florida. It’s called May’s Semester Incentive Program.

If you’re part of the BYU community that receives the Alumni online newsletter (current students receive it, as well as alumni), you’ve probably seen this video. If you want to skip the quoting of scriptures and commentary, slide over to about 1:55, where you can enjoy the music and photography.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Happy December.

In A Cave

Karl protects Becky.

Oh, no. Everything is shifting… What would Indiana Jones do?

It is definitely too late.

We spent Saturday and Sunday wandering the Blue Mountains. Caving, base jumping, braving the cold in a haunted hotel. These are just a few photos from Saturday’s adventures at Jenolan Caves – Lucas Cave, specifically. There are so many pictures. Not thousands, but enough. When I get back to the States, I’ll try to post more photos and commentary.  But, when I get back to the States, I’ll only have three days before classes start. Please be patient.

Also, this blog had a very surprising number of hits on Saturday, and I wonder if people were searching for Australia’s election results. What fun timing: I got here in the middle of election season, and I am learning more about how this government works. Yay, culture!

P.S. Remember when I got an A in French 102?

Stuffs Approaching the Weekend

– Mom has the day off, so we might hang out.
– go to the bank
– rob it
– make guacamole
– take a trip to New York
– buy a ticket to see New Moon on Friday

– hang out with Jess and her clan
– see New Moon – NOT the midnight screening as originally planned
– hang out with two married couples
– take another trip to New York

– go to the Gator game in the Swamp
– catch up with my friend, Greg
– take a trip to New York
– attend a bridal shower after I turn back time about six hours

– go to church
– go to an awkward church singles potluck
– find a boy to make out with
– make out with said boy
– sleep
– sleep
– sleep

Okay, so maybe all the trips to New York will actually be talking with and/or texting friends from the city. I wish I could go, though. I wish I could see the gang. I’d be really looking forward to that, and sleep would come in a close second. Then, making out. Priorities, you know?

I’m Behind Schedule

I have posts. I promise I have posts.

But I also have a friend to feature. I do this on Mondays. Today is not Monday.

Ooh. I also have a guest post. It’s a pretty awesome guest post.

Sorry to be letting you down this week. I say we start with a clean slate next Monday.

This weekend was pretty great. I love how things can still be fun even when they go wrong.

I blame the humidity for all of it. And perhaps a daddy-long-legs. Or two, or three million.

Can you imagine? Three million times eight legs?

I need to make a list about this weekend.

Distracted driving
Taylor Swift, over and over
Providence, RI
Kissing the ground
Going to the bathroom
Sandwich, MA
Camping in a tent
Borrowing a hatchet
Late-night texting in a tent
“Thickly Settled” 30 MPH
Dead squirrel
Not going to Nantucket/Martha’s Vineyard
The History of Martha’s Vineyard
Cones choosing their color
Flirting with a little boy tour guide
His name is “Cody”
A lame lighthouse
Beautiful beaches with frigid water and pleasant sand
Cool lighthouses
Cape Cod in general
Renting/Riding bikes
Bugs, marshland
Harvest moon
Not the best food ever
Except for the ice cream
Tongue size
Gertrude, the amazing GPS
Cold mornings
Weird noises at night
Dogs, screaming children
Plymouth, MA; the rock, Burial Hill, Bob at the courthouse
Family history
Alphabet lists
Boston, MA
Freedom Trail
Bunker Hill
Babies in shirts
Longfellow makes it true
Belmont, MA
Heading back to NYC at 10:45PM
Cold Snackwraps
Wrong Pringles
Caffeine as a sedative
Chinese fire drills
Confused boys in nearby cars
Singing at the top of our lungs
Catching up with friends in love
Cheesecake for breakfast at Junior’s in Brooklyn
Enjoying bad movies with friends

I know I’ve missed a few things. I had a blast. I know it wasn’t Maine, but it was an amazing time.


The Week in General Review

This isn’t comprehensive, but rather a skeleton of what usually goes on during a typical week of my life.

Wake up, go to church
Have a mostly positive experience at church
Think about lunch during Sunday School
Catch up with people about the past week
Watch the children bounce around in the foyer while their parents and their parents’ friends are catching up
Come home, eat lunch
Take a nap
Write for a little bit
Talk with family
Chat with roommates
Prepare for Monday

Wake up
Coast on the spiritual high obtained from Sunday
Whistle and hum happy tunes at desk
Find focus
Write for a little bit
Prepare lessons
Stay up too late

Press snooze at least four times before waking up
Plan the workload for the day
Read something uplifting and/or inspiring
Run low on fuel from Sunday’s church meetings
Write for a little bit
Stay up too late anyway

Press snooze until 10 minutes before you’re supposed to leave before waking up
Plan the workload for the day
Fight to stay awake during the day
Let every little thing get on your nerves
Plan lessons
Think everything everyone says to you is a personal attack
Write for a little bit
Get yourself worked up so you stay up too late

Sleep through the alarm and rush out the door
Plan the workload for the day
Wonder why you’re the only one with any work around the office
Run on fumes from Sunday which was practically eons ago
Fight falling asleep (for more than a few minutes)
Swear once or twice, just whispering
Resist urge to punch people
Write for a little bit
Stay up too late

Be late for class and/or work
Plan workload for the day
Catch second wind because it’s Friday!
Wish everyone in the office “Happy Friday!”
Get blurry or blank out completely on what happened the past week
Whistle and hum happy tunes at desk
Skip out the door and nearly burst into tears leaving work building for being so happy for the weekend
Hang out with friends
Write for a little bit
Stay up too late

Sleep in
Take a long time getting out of bed
Be lazy
Write for a little bit
Run errands
Prepare for Sunday
Hang out with friends/Go to party
Stay up too late

Sometimes I’ll hang out with friends in the middle of the week, so it’s not always during the weekend, and some days I read and study non-seminary and churchy or academic and secular things, but as you can see, I eat every day. And I wake up every day. And so far, I write every day. But I also stay up late every day. So sometimes, that catches up with me and I have to take a day off. But I always get back on schedule. It’s been a pretty steady schedule. Reliable. There are so many things to do and learn about and people to believe in and be friends with.  And sometimes it all just doesn’t get done, and sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes. But when my charge doesn’t neatly fall into place like I imagine, I appreciate more how efficient and careful and lovingly thoughtful God was with his time when he created the earth. And us. Check out the first few chapters in Genesis to see how that particular week for him went. Seeing the word good so many times in that context brings much joy to my heart. Every time.