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My Heart

29 June 2013

My dearest, closest, deepest, bestest friend,

Today. How do I even begin to write all the feelings coursing through my body, heart, and mind? Today.

Today you got engaged. Today, your handsome, wonderful, kind, and caring Timothy asked you to be his for forever. And today, you said yes. And the angels rejoiced. And I couldn’t help but join in the party. Today. Today has been a wonderful, wonderful day.

In the midst of today, I found myself riffling through my files. My mementos. The papers and scraps and programs and cards and ticket stubs and newspaper clippings that document each year of my life for the last decade. And of course I couldn’t help but linger over 2004, where I found a little yellow card. The very first card you ever gave me.

It reads: Krista, Thank you for those scrum-diddily-umptious cookies! (I think there might be 2 left—and I have them under lock and key for tomorrow). :) Truly, I’m so glad you were able to come to dinner and it was so fun to chat with you after. We definitely need to do some fishing—so, whatever color that is in your planner, can we pencil it in one of these days? (Maybe a Monday about 7:00 p.m.) :) … Well. We can talk about that later. In the meantime—please know that even in your independent state :)–should you need any assistance, I’d be honored to receive a phone call. :) Truly—you’re darling and I hope you have the very best day!! :) Kim

That was exactly nine years (minus a week) ago that you wrote that card. How the time has flown. I’ve since become Kristafer. You’ve become Frit. We’ve survived flu seasons and Forgotten Carols seasons. We’ve managed all your office changes plus the loss of my job. We’ve gotten a house, painted the entire house, received a dozen new Church callings, and planted 7 years worth of gardens. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained 100 pounds. While you stayed 100 pounds. ;) We’ve been to San Diego, San Francisco, Hilton Head (x2), Fort Myers, Jackson Hole, Glacier Park, Arizona, Idaho, Denver, even Farmington! (by way of Park City, of course). You were 32 when we met. I was 25. Now we’re 40 and 34. You had four nieces and nephews. Now you have 11. I gained 2 brothers-in-law and 1.5 nieces and nephews. I had a breakdown. You stayed beside me.

You always stay beside me.

And, oh the oceans of memories. Think of it—there hasn’t been one day in the last 3,285 days that we haven’t seen one another. And even when one of us was out of town, or when I was home in Hilton Head for the summer. We still talked, multiple times a day. Three thousand, two hundred and eighty five days. It’s utterly impossible to put it into words.

Somehow, you weaseled your way past my “independent state” and into my color coded planner. And my life has never been the same. We laugh about me “burrowing” (I AM a snuggler after all). But I’m realizing you’re the one who taught me how to do it—because you burrowed yourself right into the center of my heart.

You have taught me what it is to be a friend. To love without condition. To serve without expectation. I know you’ll roll your eyes and wish you could skip this paragraph … but you are incredible. Truly. Incredible.

I know Tim thinks he’s lucky to have you. But honestly, he doesn’t even know the half of what he’s getting. To be loved by you, is one of the greatest blessings a human being can experience. He has an eternity of wonder ahead of him.

You know, I also found, taped to that little yellow card, a tattered index card. Another note from you in 2004. On one side was a “thank you for dinner.” On the other side was a quote: “… all of us are largely the products of the lives which touch upon our lives, and today I feel profoundly grateful for all who have touched mine. –President Gordon B. Hinckley”

Truer words were never spoken. And how could either of us have known what would ensue from those early moments of friendship building?

As I made my way through 2004 and into 2005, I found the letter you wrote me the night before my 26th birthday. I think it was right after my “thing” (whatever it was) with Bryce, and in the midst of a difficult time (gosh, when am I not having a difficult time?!). It’s three whole pages, typed, single-spaced, of pure Frit-love—the very best kind. In the first page, you detail where your life was at when we met, the difficulties you were going through, and the tears you cried as you left your family camping trip and drove back to Bountiful that “fateful” July Sunday when we very first met.

Oh, had we only known what Heavenly Father was orchestrating. Could we only have seen how he was bringing our little lives together. How He was guiding us to each other. That He was blessing us (ME) with the greatest friendship of all time.

“Friend” doesn’t even begin to describe you, my Frit. Truthfully, “best friend” doesn’t do you justice either. Nor does “sister” or “kindred spirit.” You. You are my heart. Yes, you are my heart.

And I love you beyond words. Here’s to another 3,285. And from the tips of my toes, from the depths of my swollen heart … congratulations. You found him.

xo

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I Think God’s Trying to Tell Me Something …

“Take faith, Krista.”

it’s about embracing the bits that don’t make any sense. trusting that the story is in fact made by the departures and aberrations. it’s about wonder and curiosity. about moving forward and upward even if the movement is a sort of graceless thrashing about. it’s about clawing and clamoring and dirt beneath the fingernails. it’s about saying i don’t know. and i don’t know. and i don’t know, again. because one day i will. and if one believes that in the end it’ll all work out–even and most especially in the face of overwhelming doubt–than those moments of discomfort and unease and fear are made sweet and holy and wholly lovely by their impermanence.

more faith.

hell.

that’s really is the answer, isn’t it?

Meg Fee

_______

All movement requires faith no matter how big or small it may look on the outside – whether you’re stepping into the unknown or stepping into the same thing as yesterday … Take heart, friend. The size of your faith isn’t really the point; only the size of your God.

Emily, Chatting at the Sky

______

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 … for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Matthew 6: 26-34

______

Oh and let’s not forget that I was asked months ago to give the lesson on this sermon by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, which I’ll be teaching this Sunday:

“… you have more faith than you think you do … this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.”

 

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Growing Against the Wind

It’s been particularly breezy the last couple days.

Today I was staring out my window at work, watching the wind whip a tree around. Goodness, was it bending its branches back and forth, this way and that.

And I started thinking about how the tree responded, which was this–in the midst of swirling wind, its branches, though flailing, held on to its trunk, which held on to its roots, which sunk deep in the earth.

Yes, it’s been a rough couple days to be that tree. And maybe a few branches snapped. And maybe a few leaves were blown away.

But … The tree is still standing. And it’s still a beautiful tree. And tomorrow, when the wind stops (so the weathermen predict), the tree will go back to standing straight.

Growing toward the sky.

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Pledge Mindy Gledhill and Enter to Win A Vintage Patchwork Quilt

Pledge to Mindy Gledhill’s CD campaign and enter to win a quilt I’m making from vintage bedsheets.

(Contest CLOSED. Congratulations Alisha Stamper–you won the quilt! Please email me your contact info.)

Hi friends. So if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (We actually call it “the Iggy” at our house. Because we’re cool. You just watch. It’s going to catch on. ;), you’ve probably seen that my dear friend, the super-talented singer-songwriter Mindy Gledhill, is releasing a new album in August.

I love Mindy for so many reasons–not the least of which is that she’s funny and and unabashed and creative and interesting. I love being around her. Plus, we’re both Pisces so I feel like we “get” each other on this deep astrological plain. Oh, and here’s a fun factoid: Mindy’s first CD was actually the first project/album I ever worked on when I began my PR career nine years ago. I’m so proud of the risks she’s taken in her career. She inspires me with the way she follows her heart. She gives me courage to chase my passion.

So here’s the scoop: Mindy’s doing things a little differently with this CD release and is seeking to “fan-fund” the project. This basically means fans buy the album before it’s released, i.e. we provide the capital for the recording and release of the CD, which also allows fans (us!) a really cool opportunity to be a part of the creative process.

Now there are also other opportunities to pledge more than the minimum $10 for the digital recording, which in turn grants you extra goodies beyond the single CD … i.e. lyric sheets, your name inside the CD cover, personal phone call from Mindy to sing you to sleep, listening parties before the release date, songwriting lessons, etc. (In my humble opinion, a person should at least pledge $20 so as to get the hard copy of the CD too. The design is sure to be lovely.)

But here’s the deal, there are about 5 days left before the pledge campaign ends and she’s still 12% away from her goal. If she doesn’t hit the goal, then … no dice. I don’t want that to happen. I want her to succeed beyond her expectations. She has pinned her heart to her sleeve with this pledge campaign in much the same way she pins her heart to every lyric she writes and every note she sings. So, will you help?

If this is a CD you think you’ll end up buying eventually anyway …

If you want to support independent artists (heck yes!) …

If you need the perfect gift for an upcoming birthday, or Christmas, or Arbor Day …

If you know someone who would love, or does love, her music …

And shoot–even if you’ve never heard her before, but are wanting something new (and good!) to toss into your playlist rotation …

Would you consider buying it now so that she can reach her pledge goal?

It’s gonna be so good. I promise.

[Go here to Pledge Mindy]

And just to sweeten the pot a little more (as if getting this CD isn’t enough!) I’ve decided to give away a quilt I’m working on to one of the pledgers (pledgees?). I started taking a quilting class last year and am sewing a patchwork quilt made out of vintage sheets. It’s totally Mindy and totally rad. So go pledge (please?), then come back here and leave a comment and I’ll enter you to win. (This drawing is certainly retroactive, so if you’ve already pledged, still leave a comment.)

Thanks friends! I really like it when people’s dreams come true.

[Watch Mindy Gledhill music videos here]

Related posts:

 

 

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What I Need

It’s almost summertime. And actually, for all intents and purposes, it already is. I stopped at a lemonade stand today. My three rules of thumb when it comes to lemonade stands are: 1) Always stop. 2) Always pay double the asking price. 3) Never drink it.

But summer–it’s my favorite season of they year. And yet, I approach this one with a mixture of one part trepidation, two parts anticipation.

No. That’s a lie. It’s actually, quite equally, one part trepidation, one part anticipation.

I felt a whispering today, deep in my bones, that I need to make this one count. That I need to be mindful. That I need to be prayerful and careful to see and smell and taste and touch every molecule of every day. That I must savor it. So that I will always remember it.

It’s a busy one, this summer is. A very busy one. There is much to sort through and figure out and become okay with. There is much to learn and much to put into words. There are adventures to be had, memories to be made, hands to hold.

I just want it to go slow.

Please, can it go slow?

I really need it to go slow.

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The Ranch

I’m in Florida visiting my Gram. It’s been almost a whole year since I’ve been here, and it feels good to be in a place that has so many happy memories. It’s funny how things change, and yet … they don’t.

My granddad was the one who first called it the Ranch. He said something like, “If George Bush can have a ranch, so can I.” And from then on, so it was called. Yesterday, while I was out and and about, I caught some video … thought maybe you’d like to see where I am and what it’s like here. Plus, I don’t ever want to forget.

 

The Ranch from Krista Maurer on Vimeo.

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To the 19-year-old me

A friend recently asked me: “If you could talk to the 19-year-old you, what would you tell her?” And I’ve not stopped thinking about it since. Here is my response …

  1. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, about the “perfect” plan you’re laying out for your life will turn out the way you’re hoping. And oh, girl–will that suck. And sometimes it will hurt–badly. BUT. It WILL be okay. I promise. In the end, your life will be more colorful than you can even imagine. You will have experiences you can’t even dream up right now. You will see things and be a part of things that will settle into your bones and propel you forward with passion. You will meet really important people, people who will change your life and come to mean the world to you. And you wouldn’t have met them if things turned out the way you wanted. Just go with it. Get mad when you need to get mad, and cry when you need to cry. We’re not really good at not getting our way, I know. And like I said, it will hurt. And sometimes it’ll be hard. But getting mad and being sad, is okay. Don’t forget that, yeah? Just … every once in a while, take step back and look at the gorgeous, interesting, successful, heartbreaking, happyful life you’ve been given because, AND ONLY because, your plan didn’t turn out. I promise. It really is better than you can plan yourself.
  2. Trust your instincts and your follow your tastes. Who cares what other people think? Learn how to be yourself sooner. I spent a long time not doing what I wanted to do and not being who I wanted to be because I was too worried about everyone else.
  3. Take “just because” classes at college. At least one a semester. There are so many things to learn and so many things that interest you. Just learn.
  4. DO THE STUDY ABROAD.
  5. Start a savings account. Seriously. Start. a. savings. account.
  6. Be nicer to your skin, especially the skin around your eyes. Don’t tug on it as much as you do, and don’t forget to wash your face every night, and for heaven’s sake–moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
  7. Don’t listen to your parents. Join the Peace Corps.
  8. The heartbreak will pass. Really. It will. And actually, you’d be smarter to not fall for him in the first place. That was one of the stupidest choices I ever made. So yeah. Just don’t go there.
  9. Keep a journal. Seriously. Keep a journal.
  10. Learn how to talk to Heavenly Father. Like for real talk. Not the stupid, pointless, repetitive prayers you pray most of the time. Learn how to have an actual conversation with Him and learn how to hear Him. Listen more.
  11. Enjoy every second of that summer fling you’ll have with the Frenchman. And in fact–kiss him more than you already will. And don’t ever regret it. Don’t let yourself think that it “wasn’t the best idea.” Because you were living. Honest to goodness living. And you were experiencing all sorts of tastes and sights and sounds and feelings that will make you a richer woman in the long run.
  12. Don’t get those bright, chunky blonde highlights. Just don’t do it. It’s a horrible idea.
  13. Learn how to exercise. You have been battling your body long enough. Save yourself from another decade of war. Be better to it. Stop hating it. And love it.
  14. Read more.
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Dear Darling [17]

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. And although it’s kind of jumbled, I really need to get it out. I need you to know.

So when I was in high school, that movie Jerry Maguire came out. You know, the one with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr.? (“Show me the money!”) Right. So you know that part when Jerry and Renee Zellweger’s character (what’s her name?) are in the elevator with the deaf couple and the she translates what the deaf guy signs to his girlfriend–“You, complete me.”

And then at the end of the movie Jerry comes to Renee’s house and delivers that speech trying to win her back and uses the same line–“You, complete me.”

Oh gosh. When I was 18, I was pretty certain I’d never heard anything more romantic. You. complete. me. How utterly dreamy. To find this person who fills in all your gaps and holes. To finally be totally put together, all your missing pieces found, because of their mere presence in your life. I mean, that’s the stuff of a true love story, right?

Well. I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want that at all.

What I want, is to be complete, with or without you. I want to be wholly me whether you’re here or not. I don’t want to wait for the day when you arrive for me to finally be whole.

No. I don’t want you to complete me at all.

But I do want to be more of the complete me, because of you.

That’s all.

Love you.

-me

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Felt Bunny Puppets on Good Things Utah

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Meet Gertrude, Betsie, & Flossie.

Gertrude is a quiet soul. She spends much of her time in the kitchen baking her famous carrot cake, and lives to have friends visit for afternoon tea.

Betsie is quite the romantic and is ears over tail for Peter Cottontail, who gives the best bunny kisses ever–or so Betsie says.

And then there’s Flossie–outgoing and friendly, she knows everybunny this side of Mr. McGreggor’s, and can dance up a storm at the Friday night bunny hops.

If you’d like to make some bunnies of your own, I was on Good Things Utah this morning sharing this very simple craft just in time for Easter. It’s perfect for kids to do too or you can surprise them with their very own bunny in their Easter basket. Enjoy.

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34 Hopes

I’ve been 34 now for a week and a day. And I really love it. 34 suits me.

My birthday was perfect. And I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t celebrate New Year’s on my birthday. It feels … fresher. I woke last Monday morning feeling so full of life, so happy to be alive, so ready to be 34. I felt more hopeful this year than I have in many a birthday. And I made a list–a list of 34 hopes for this coming year. It’s going to be a good one. I feel it.

  1. Make peace with my body. That is–to love it as it is and for what it can do, to carefully and kindly coax it to where it needs to be, and to shape it into something that more closely matches who I really am.
  2. Find him. Or rather–be found.
  3. Launch Be.
  4. Yoga more.
  5. Meditate more.
  6. Eliminate the remaining meat in my diet/Enjoy more whole foods.
  7. Keep a journal.
  8. Spend lots of time with my family members, especially my niece and my nephew-on-the-way.
  9. Visit the temple more.
  10. Cut back on media.
  11. Pay off remaining debt.
  12. Follow a routine sleeping schedule.
  13. Reconnect with a old friends.
  14. See something breathtaking that I’ve never seen.
  15. Go somewhere I’ve never been.
  16. Plant more.
  17. Become a better photographer.
  18. Write more letters.
  19. Sew quilts–lots of them.
  20. Learn a new creative skill.
  21. Read more books.
  22. Do something that scares me.
  23. Take more opportunities to serve.
  24. Feel peace, purpose, and happiness.
  25. Find my style.
  26. Laugh. A lot.
  27. Quit sugar.
  28. Travel.
  29. Explore and experience Utah.
  30. Get a new car.
  31. Run a mile @ 5 mph.
  32. Paint my nails regularly.
  33. Write my life (to this point) story.
  34. Become more me.

 

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33 Moments

Yesterday I posted my list of 33 “Things” I’ve loved whilst being 33. Today I’m sharing 33 Moments.

  1. This first one squeaked in just barely before 33 becomes 34, and I’ll write more about it soon, but tonight I sang in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square. This was by far, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my entire life.
  2. A couple weekends ago I took a last minute trip to visit my sister and her family in Arizona. That’s basically code for: I needed to see my Laela-cakes. (Laela Carolina is my 2-year-old niece.) How I could love that little girl as much as I do is beyond me. But anyway, on the first day, we were riding in the car and I was sitting beside her in the backseat and while the sun streamed through the windows, she took my hand … just … because. No one told her too. I didn’t ask her too. I didn’t hold out my hand. She just–took it. And I promptly melted into a puddle of mush as she stole my heart, once again.
  3.  Speaking of sisters … last April, my sisters, brothers-in-law, and that little smoochy-pop Laela convened in AZ for a couple of Atlanta Braves games. I loved everything about this–the minivan we roadtripped in, the drive itself, the games, our niece, time together, Arizona sunshine. Good memories all around.
  4. During the summer, at one of the local Rooftop Concerts … I went by myself and I was a little sad about that as I sat in my camp chair under a big, soft quilt with lanterns and stars strung above me. And Peter Breinholt was performing his encore–“What About.” That song has a lot of good memories attached to it–memories of summer nights past, of my mission, of college, and just lots of really deep, really happy feelings. And I couldn’t help but feel but feel really happy, despite my sad, and I was content and euphoric in a way I hadn’t been in a while.
  5. That time I went to visit Florida. My granddad had passed and I was really missing him, but I got up early one morning and drove around the property just like I would have done if he’d been there and he felt close.
  6. Last Spring I got into a morning walking habit and there were so many times as I finished my walk that the sun was just coming up over the mountains. This Earth. It takes my breath away.
  7. Cheering my baby sister Kaycie over her last mountain at the end of her 200 mile relay. Screaming for her and squeezing her so tight when she crossed the line. I think that’s what it’ll be like when we get to heaven.
  8. Fourth of July is always the best day. Parades, taffy, picnics, heat, sprinklers, sparklers, fireworks. It’s a day where everything is right in America.
  9. Sitting on the beach on Hilton Head. All I did was sit and watch the waves. Which is ultimately, all I need.
  10. Last month, Frit‘s and my home teachers invited us over for dinner. When we got there, we found that the Bishop of our ward and his wife, as well as another family from our neighborhood had also been invited. The adults chatted around the table and ate homemade pizza while the kids played. Pretty soon, one of the little boys (6 or 7?) asked if we could sings hymns and Primary songs around the piano. So we all went downstairs to sing. And I just couldn’t help my happy. And I thought, “I love my neighborhood! And I really love being a Mormon!”
  11. Learning to can my tomatoes and seeing them finished and sealed on the counter all shiny and red was super rewarding.
  12. My Word of Wisdom experiment for Church was a string of really interesting and enlightening moments that blessed my life, my body, and my spirit immeasurably.
  13. Taking my impromptu Fall Color Drive. Utah in the Fall. Oh my.
  14. Having my sister and Lae visit and becoming, even more, the best auntie ever. Watching All Dogs Go to Heaven on the LoveSac under a blanket with her was absolutely the best.
  15. Last Fall I took a business trip to Denver and on an afternoon wandering around the city, I ducked into a Methodist sanctuary for a few minutes. It was so peaceful and beautiful.
  16. Our first snowfall. It was really beautiful and I found myself really excited about Winter. I’m now totally over that and have dubbed this the worst Winter ever, but there at the beginning? Really pretty.
  17. These is My Words was my favorite Book Club book this year and finishing the last few chapters reminded me why I love reading, what a romantic I am, and what a sucker I am for a good story. Great book. Great memory.
  18. One night Frit wasn’t going to be home until really late so I stopped off for some crunchy red grapes, gourmet cheese, crusty bread and fresh pressed grape juice. Once home, I spun the “Midnight in Paris” soundtrack, spread out my vintage white, embroidered tablecloth from Scotland, found my wooden plates from Germany, poured myself some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping, filled one of my stemmed glasses with juice for sipping, and had the most delightful dinner for one. Then I took a bubble bath.
  19. Climbing the Utah hills trying to find the perfect Christmas tree is always one of my most favorite days of the year. And of course sitting by it once it’s all lit up is the best way to slow the holidays down.
  20. My work Christmas party is always fancy fantastic. This year, we were at the swankiest hotel in SLC, the Grand America, with plates of salmon and filet mignon. The employee gift is always crazy awesome, this year it was an Apple TV with a $100 iTunes gift card, and I always valet park at these events. (Gah! I love valet.) But perhaps the best part of the night was the pair of gold glitter heels I bought special for the occasion. I LOVE those shoes. And I love the memories of fancy dinners downtown during the holidays.
  21. About a year ago, my BFF/college roommate came in to town to take me out for my birthday. As we were sitting across the table, talking about her recent marriage to a gem of a guy, I asked how the baby-making was going. That’s when she got a huge smile on her face and burst with the news that she was expecting. I was the first to know (besides her husband of course) and it was one of those memories that will go down as one of the happiest moments of my life. There is something deep and eternal about friendships like that and to share so many years together as “singles” binds you in an inexplicable way. To hear she was expecting, after wondering for so long how, when, and even if the right guy could would/could be found, was so special. I also got to host her baby shower.
  22. Along those same lines, when I finally met her precious little man in December, it was such a happy day. He and I snuggled on the couch most of the afternoon and I was immediately hooked.
  23. In August, I had the opportunity to speak at a conference (Retreat for Girls) for girls ages 12-15. The purpose of the retreat is to help the girls develop lifelong friendships and increasing their self-esteem and testimony of Christ. Preparing for and delivering my message was a huge blessing and I learned so much.
  24. Right after my 33rd birthday, I called a photographer friend to ask if she would do a photo shoot for me. Like a real one. So I’d have legitimate documentation of what I was like at 33. On the day of the shoot, I found myself having serious anxiety, thinking all the thoughts girls think on occasion–I’m not pretty enough. What was I thinking? I can’t do this. My hair isn’t right. My clothes are stupid. My eyelashes aren’t long and thick. Pretty soon, I was crying a soupy mess in my bathroom–eyes red, one of them gobbed and sticky with fake eyelash glue, make-up completely streaky. It was not pretty. But I stopped and really looked at myself in the mirror. And I reminded myself of what I know to be true–about myself, about God, and about my worth. And I put the glue down, washed my face, put on a new light coat of make-up, grabbed the clothes I felt most comfy in and had a wonderful photo shoot where I felt pretty and special and worthfull.
  25. I love getting all my friends’ Christmas card updates. I love seeing their family photos and hearing all about what they’re doing. I’ve always wanted to send a card out too, but I thought it was maybe a little silly since it’s “just” me. I’ve always told myself, once I have a family then I’m “allowed” to send a card. This year, though, I decided that was just plain ridiculous. What if I never have a family? I will have wasted years not doing something I wanted to do, for absolutely no good reason. So I changed my mind, designed a card, slapped a big picture of my solo face (from the awesome photo shoot) on it and sent 150 cards to the people who matter to me. Best decision ever.
  26. Watching videos of my niece dance brought me more joy this last year than anything. Seriously. Anything.
  27. My baby sister called me on her way home from work one day. She was crying, but happy and blurted out, “I’m pregnant! I just took the test at work, I didn’t think it’d be positive, but it is! And Alex [her husband] is at school until late tonight and I had to tell someone!” Best day ever. Our baby is having a baby!
  28. My parents came to town for a visit and after dinner one night I pulled out some games. Kayc (baby sister), Alex (brother-in-law who I actually call Lexie), Frit, my mom, and my dad (we finally talked him into playing), began a round of Telestrations and I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in forever. That game is one of the funnest and funniest games ever created. I couldn’t breath I was laughing so hard.
  29. While I don’t know if I could classify being a “mom” for a week one of the funnest things I’ve done while being 33, it still gets put on this list because it was a remarkable experience. It was hard, in a way I couldn’t have comprehended before doing it, and rewarding (at times), and a blessing immeasurable. I’m so grateful to be someone my friends feel they can call. I’m grateful they trust me. And I really love their children.
  30. Being the choir director at Church this last year might have been the hardest calling I’ve ever had. I mean seriously, who actually wants to be in the ward choir? We haven’t had a regular choir in our ward in years. But. I worked hard to form one. I encouraged people to come (i.e. guilted them into it), and we performed every month. And by the end of the year, we performed what I’m told was one of the “best Christmas programs” they’d ever seen. Score. AND I actually fell in love with the calling.
  31. When I was hired at this “new” job, I had to take a design class at the community college, so I’d have all the skills they needed. And designing marketing pieces this last year has been so fun. When my first design arrived from the printer, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. It was so exciting to see what I’d created in hard copy.
  32. Last March, I gifted myself a cello for my birthday. I’ve wanted to play that instrument for about 30 years. So I decided to just do it. When I pulled the bow across the strings for the first time, the whole instrument vibrated and resonated against my body. It was so beautiful I almost cried.
  33. One afternoon, after a lot of fasting and prayer, I chose a name for my magazine. Be Magazine. And I was one step closer to realizing my dream and purpose.

Needless to say, it’s been a really good year. On Monday, I’ll be posting 34 Hopes for 34. Happy Birthday to Me!

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33 Things I Have Loved

My 34th birthday is on Monday. And as you might know–I really love my birthday. I’m also really loving my 30s. Now, no year has yet topped 25 (seriously great year), but by and large, my 30s are shaping up to be a fantastic decade despite a few bumps in the road at the beginning.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this last year and in the process, have found myself writing lists of 33. Here are 33 things I’ve loved (in no particular order):

  1. Coconut oil – I use it in the shower and my skin is so much more hydrated. And it’s natural! I plan to start using it in the kitchen now too.
  2. The Beginning of Better Days: Divine Instruction to Women from the Prophet Joseph Smith – SUCH a fantastic book. I’ve been taking my read-through slow and deliberate, pondering and journaling along the way.
  3. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream – I received this at a neighborhood “favorite things” party (everyone brings 5 things they love, you exchange with 5 other people, and go home with 5 new finds) and it has been my salvation on our extra dry, Utah winter days. It’s thick without being greasy and a little goes a LONG way.
  4. ZUMBO Kiss Shea Butter Lip Balm – My boss gave this to me for Christmas and I’m crazy about it. It’s a FAT tube, which I’d never seen in a chapstick before, but I’m now addicted to it. The size of the tube, plus the fact that it has no detergents, phosphates, chlorine, petrochemicals, dyes, and is 100% biodegradable has me sold–hook, line, and sinker.
  5. These Is My Words – BEST. BOOK. OF. 33. It was our Book Club book last August and no book has made me feel this deeply in a while. I loved it.
  6. Speaking of books. I’ve really loved my Book Club this year. The ladies in my neighborhood are so fantastic and interesting. I love to hear their opinions and spend time with them.
  7. New Girl. So if These is My Words was my best book of 33? New Girl was the best show. It’s inappropriate at times (okay, a lot) but there is no other show that makes me belly-laugh SO HARD, EVERY episode.
  8. my iPhone – I was so against jumping on the smartphone bandwagon and I took such pride in my former dumbphone. But what the heck? How did I ever live without my iPhone. I love her.
  9. Instagram – favorite social media app. Period.
  10. GotPrint.com – I use GotPrint for all my work printing needs. They’re cheap and fast and make my designs look so. dang. good.
  11. My cello – I need to find a new teacher–mine quit teaching and went back to school. So my practicing the last half of last year was pretty much non-existent. But I love that I basically know how to play the cello. Finally. Now I just need to get good.
  12. Savannah Bee Co. – Y’all, I love me some honey. I discovered Savannah Bee last summer and I use the Royal Jelly Body Butter every night on my arms and elbows (oh it smells so good) and I use the Beeswax Hand and Nail Salve every night on my hands. (Can you tell it’s been a dry year in the desert? My skin has been so chapped and cracked and flaked.)
  13. Shrimp ‘n Grits from The Backyard on Hilton Head Island – I can’t explain how much I love that food. I really can’t. It almost makes me cry; it’s so good.
  14. YouTube. Here are my favorite videos.
  15. The best pens: The Sharpie pen, fine point in black (VERY important details). It’s perfect for scripture marking (doesn’t bleed or smudge). And the Pilot G-2 .38 or the 05 (do NOT get the 07), in black, of course. Perfect for journaling and correspondence. Trust me, people. I’m an expert.
  16. My iMac at work. Oh, she’s huge and shiny and fast and has all the software I could ever need.
  17. Little Caesars – I’d like to kiss whomever invented $5 Hot-&-Ready pizza available from a drive-through window. And I’m embarrassed to admit how many times a month I swing through that drive-through. But I love it.
  18. Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength nail polish in Heart to Heart. The stuff doesn’t chip. And it’s the perfect red.
  19. My antique silver pendent featuring a line drawing portrait of my Great-Great Grandma Rebecca. The portrait was drawn by her husband and my mother gave it to me this last year. Whenever I wear it I feel like I have my female ancestry around me, strengthening me, and helping me.
  20. Fresh tomato sammys from the garden. There are few things that feel more like summer, than picking a juicy, red tomato from the garden, slicing it up, and eating it on thick wheat bread with mayo, lettuce, and cheese. I can’t wait for summer!
  21. Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes. There’s a STF bake shop WAY too close to my work and I LOVE the double fudge cupcake.
  22. Bed Head by TIGI’s After Party styling cream. I don’t use a lot of hair product. Just this stuff and hairspray. It does exactly what it says it does: de-frizzes and shines.
  23. Quilt squares made by my Grandma. They’re probably 50 or 60 years old (maybe older) and I’m so thrilled to have them and finish the quilt she started so long ago.
  24. My peonies! They bloomed beautifully this second year and I can’t wait to see what they do this year.
  25. Our grill. Well, technically it’s Frit’s, but my friend Chef Whitney came to visit and taught us, finally, how to use it. We grilled a bunch this past summer/fall and I love that we girls now know how to fire it up and cook a mean steak without any help from the boys. Which is good. Because well … there are no boys.
  26. Scramble. One of the reasons I finally put my phone in the bathroom at night was because I was staying up too late playing this game. Love it.
  27. Breakfast at Finn’s. Eggs Benedict or the Norwegian Waffles. Or both if you’re feeling saucy. And don’t forget the hot chocolate. (Thank you, Frit, for introducing me.)
  28. Norwex. Cleaning rags that require no disinfectant. Seriously. Goodbye chemicals, hello really clean house. They’re miraculous.
  29. Water with lemon. Lots of lemon. Drink of choice. Love it.
  30. Early mornings. I’ve rediscovered the morning-time before the sun comes over the mountains and it makes me happy to be up and doing.
  31. Rooftop Concert Series. I love outdoor concerts in the summer and last summer’s line-up was stellar.
  32. Hulu. But I need to not love Hulu as much as I do.
  33. Meditation. Essential for peace and centeredness.

Tomorrow I want to share another list … 33 Memories. Happy Birthday to Me!

 

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