Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick-or-Treat

When I was younger, my sister, Amy, and I made sure that we plowed through all the neighborhoods, reaping as much candy as possible. We hit every house from the minute the porch lights turned on until past scheduled end time, until every porch light was turned off. We collected pillow cases of candy (though not as much as some of our more ambitious peers). And when we got home, we dumped it all into a giant, collective bowl. The bowl: big, yellow and plastic. It emptied of the good candies first, the chocolates and candy bars, then the licorice and gum drops until finally, the only thing left were those black and orange peanut butter things and the suckers.

We grumbled about putting our candy together, but my mom insisted. Even though Brad and obviously, Mackenzie, couldn't keep up with our feverish pace and didn't collect nearly enough. It didn't seem right that we had to put in all our hard earned candy, when they had only a few suckers to contribute.

That is, we grumbled up until we were too old to participate in Trick-or-Treating. And then we greedily looked forward to the giant yellow communal bowl filled to the brim with the earnings of our younger siblings. Free candy, and we didn't even have to work for it! YES!!!!!!!

Of course, that was the same time my mom decided that the communal bowl didn't have a place in our home anymore. Mark, Brad and Mackenzie all got to take their pillow cases and hide them in their closets, under their beds and in the cupboards.

Amy and I had to beg, bribe and steal the candy. My younger siblings are not often the most generous of kiddos, and after all, they had earned the candy while we had done.... what did we do during high school Halloweens?Anyway, it became a kind of game of how to win the candy from the younger siblings. And a point in our protests against the ill-treatment we suffered being the experimental group of kids. Why did you change your ruling at so (in)convenient a time, Mom? Why?


Now that I'm grown, I can buy candy whenever I want. The bags of trick-or-treating booty have somewhat lost their appeal. In fact, I have a box at work that is filled to the brim, most days, with the good candy, anyway.

Commitment

Yesterday at church, we had a combined meeting where the Bishop's wife talked about commitment. When she first opened up the discussion, I thought she was going to talk about commitment to a spouse or something like that, but it turned in to something much different. She opened up by asking what we thought of when we heard the word commitment, especially commitment to the Lord. Most the comments were really good, but they were very positive and if you had listened to those making the comments, you might not think that my generation and the generations after me were commit-a-phobes. Because that's all I could think. Fear of commitment. Lack of commitment. Inability to commit.

I've had the Judds' Grandpa song in my head all day.



One guy in the class talked about his job where he basically enforces contracts. He told us how people call wanting to cancel their contract, all the time, thinking that it's no big deal. And that's the world we live in. People sign a housing contract, a phone contract or a marriage contract, thinking that if things get too tough, or if they find something better, or if they just don't want to do/try/etc. anymore, they can just walk away.

I never hear people talk of honor. I think, (not that historical novels are much base for accurate representation of the past) that once upon a time, honor was something people were willing to die for. I tie commitment and honor together, because those who are committed to be honorable are the very best sorts of people. When searching for quotes on honor and commitment, it didn't surprise me that the majority of them came from people that were in 1925 or before.

This all comes out as Kim Kardashian, just two months after her ostentatious wedding, filed for divorce from her husband. Two months is short even for Hollywood standards, and I think that it is just plain ridiculous. Marriage is supposed to be a life long commitment, at least. I guess since no one knows what a commitment is anymore, I shouldn't be surprised, but it makes me sick that because some rough patch (and if it is the stress of "not cutting it on the TV show" or whatever thing that is clearly self-inflicted through selfishness) comes up, it's time to quit. No. It's not time to quit. You work through it. You see counselors. You remember why you agreed to the commitment in the first place. You don't quit. You don't throw your hands up and say, "This is hard! I'm through!" You do the honorable thing, because “Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences.”

(I know that sometimes divorce is necessary. I was a huge advocate for my sister getting out of her marriage from her husband, even after she found out she was pregnant. There are some marriages that don't work out because of one reason or the other.)

In the Church, we are all given assignments or callings where we have the opportunity to serve in some capacity for our ward. In Single's Wards, a lot of the callings are made up, and just excuses to get people to work together on a committee. For instance, I'm on the spiritual living counsel. I help organize a prayer meeting on Sundays, munch-n-mingles, etc. When we receive the calling, we're asked if we will accept it. So even on days that I don't want to go to Ward Prayer, I go. And even though it's hard to plan and orchestrate a dinner for some unknown number of people, I do. My co-chair doesn't seem to have the same level of commitment, as evidenced by his not showing up to ward prayer for weeks in a row; not returning text messages when trying to coordinate the activity; he didn't give a damn that he left me all alone until the day of the event.

And even for that same event, I had some 18 people sign up to make chili for the chili cook-off. I sent reminders out on Wednesday or Thursday. I had two people let me know that they wouldn't be able to make a chili. One was in response to the reminder. The other was on Sunday a few hours before the cook-off. The ones that frustrated me -- saddened me -- were the ones who signed up and showed up, bearing nothing in arms. What a contrast to the one guy who signed up and ended up not going to the cook-off, but still made the chili and dropped it off at my apartment. Now that's commitment! Or better still, the ones who did what they said they would do.

One of the comments made in our meeting was about how we are all so attached to our cell phones, which has made it easier for us to shoot out a quick text that says, "Hey, I actually can't make it tonight," or "I'll be late," or whatever. I am the absolute worst about being on time, but I make sure I RSVP and do my best to follow through. (I won't go in to how much I hate the "maybe" option on Facebook invitations and the people who are cruel enough to use them. Or the ones that just don't respond at all. Seriously, people? RSVP!!!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zombie Song

A friend of mine posted this on his blog today, and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It's the best, most catchy, most awesome Halloween/Zombie song of all time.

New Hair

On Tuesday I had an appointment with my newest favorite hairstylist*. I was just going to get my second melt (or ombre) style, but I decided that I needed to be a little darker for the season and Ali was telling me about their coloring class that they had the day before where they learned the sombre style. So we decided to try that. I think it looks great! And I'm actually really happy to be back to being a brunette. Although, I might go back again in the summer.

It's nice to be able to change it up.

Before
After
I changed my bangs from swoop to straight across, but I didn't take a single snip at the ends of my hair. I've been growing it out for so long, I'm nervous to cut it again. Even though I want to. Desperately. It drives me nuts and I long for the days when I had short hair, and it only took me 15 minutes to completely blow dry it. But... I am trying to enjoy the length while I have it. It does look longer in the first picture though. And what you can't really see, is how much lighter it is on the ends of my hair than at the top. That's the sombre style.

*If you want to go to someone absolutely fantastic, call Ali Dastrup from Ella Bloom salon. 801-785-6777. She's great and talented. And she doesn't just do hair. She's also a master esthetician, can do spray tans, nails, last extensions, etc.

Masquerade




I'm sad that they didn't play Masquerade at all while I was there! That's a classic, and honestly, the song that I've had in my head every time I've discussed the upcoming masquerade... They should have played it every hour on the hour!

In books and movies and drama pieces everywhere, masquerades are scenes set where chaos, intrigue and basically anything can happen under the ruse of a simple party. The masks give people the anonymity necessary to act upon their passions, create mischief, etc. Masquerades have always seemed to me elaborate and full of pomp and circumstance.

Which is probably why I always thought I wanted to go.

So when Megan invited me to a Masquerade, I said "YES!", and then as my energy levels plummeted throughout the week, I began to wonder what I had agreed to. Plus, the part of the masquerade that has always appealed to me is the romantic side of it, and since we were inviting boys to come with us (because really, there are few boys of my acquaintances that would want to attend) I wasn't sure if I was ready for what I signed up for.

We did find a friend who decided he would come with us; luckily Peter was also the one who found my mask for the evening.

The mask made it difficult to smile, so I looked pissed off most the evening. I wasn't though.
When we first arrived, I was very concerned. We were there almost an hour after it started, and there was hardly anyone there. There were several people who went all out. They were wearing Napoleonic war costumes with masks and Renaissance costumes and I thought, "This is just the event to showcase all the weird people in Provo." (I ignored the fact that if I weren't as worried about appearances, I might just become such a one as them.)

After about a half hour or so, more people started to arrive and the party really started going. We even added people to our group with friends from the ward. The music wasn't horrible (though there was a LOT of Kei$ha, or whatever her name is, and Lady Gaga, and I have a hard time supporting them). And so we danced for most the night.

The masks aren't exactly absorbent. So imagine perspiring while dancing (totally) natural, but with no where for the sweat to go. It collects on the resin of the mask, and you literally feel like your face is melting. You can feel the beads of moisture start from your forehead and then somehow lodge between your brow or the tip of your nose, and there's not place for it to do. It's really, really gross. And hot. And uncomfortable. If I wear the mask -- or considering the price of it, when I wear the mask -- again, I will line it first with something more absorbent than the straight resin that was rubbing against the face all night.
Once the party got started, it was pretty fun. I did spend a lot of time missing my one-song dance party friends, though.

After the dance, we headed over for a little IHOP. I don't think there is another place in Provo/Orem I would rather be late at night when you are extending your evening fun. It's like a ritual. I do wish I had more connections there, though.

Thanks, Megan, for inviting me to tag along and giving me a reason to finally dress up! I think this is my Halloween excursion for the year.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Loved this Weekend

This weekend was great. It was the perfect mixture of good weather, good company, stuff to do and getting things done. Saturday I woke up at 10 a.m., made breakfast and basked in the fact that I had cleaned my room on Thursday, so there wasn't anything for me to do. I pulled out a book, read a bit and then Melissa texted me and told me to come walking with her.

So we went for a lovely stroll around Carterville park and enjoyed the perfect fall weather with Megan and James. I ran small bits of it, making me feel like I was doing some good exercise and enjoying the day. Even though I was told by a trainer at Gold's Gym that I shouldn't be running, I decided a little bit wouldn't hurt me. When did I start enjoy running? Never. I hate it. A lot. But there is something about running that makes you feel like you've actually done something productive and now that I've been told that I'm "not allowed", it has made me want to all the more. Plus, running in the fall is the best time to do it.

Melissa and I came home and read dumb magazines until it was time to get spruced up for our play. My friend Meghan had bought tickets to see My Fair Lady at the Hale Center Theatre, but couldn't use them and didn't want them to go to waste. So she passed them on to me, and I invited Melissa to see it with me. I thought initially that we were going to see Mary Poppins, but this was MUCH better!

We decided to stop and get something to eat before the show. Originally, I was going to go to Cheesecake Factory, but that's on the other side of Salt Lake, so we opted to go to La Hacienda, a favorite Mexican place of mine, but! we were worried about time, so we opted for a place called the Saigoon Noodle House. I didn't know what to order and ended up with Vietnamese crepes, which were more like flaky omelets with weird meat and shrimp and bean sprouts. I think I was supposed to eat part of it wrapped in the lettuce leaves, but I'm not entirely sure. So I dipped the meat and the shrimp in the spicy red chili sauce and enjoyed it. Melissa was pretty sure that the server was laughing at me, but that's fine.

We made it to the Hale Center Theatre, only two blocks away, after sitting in a line of cars for half an hour. Which was fine; we still had plenty of time, and even had to wait before they opened the auditorium for us. We had great seats, though, I think nearly every seat in the place would be good. It was a circular theater, which I have never been to before, which made it all the more exciting.

I love My Fair Lady. Of course, I have seen the movie with Audrey Hepburn. I loved it ever since I watched it in elementary school for music class, or when we watched it in Latin. I love the story of it, and that it's based on the mythological story Pygmalion (so is Pretty Woman). The play is better, even though it was done almost exactly like the movie. The music was so great, and the only thing that would have made it better was to have Becca sitting next to me -- seeing as how we often sing and dance to two of the main songs from this play, it would seem fitting to have her there as well.

The actors all did a great job in their respective characters. The only thing that I would complain about is that Henry Higgins, supposed master of the English language used the word "hung" instead of "hanged" where he was supposed to. I don't know if that was the actor's folly or the script. And Mrs. Higgins, Henry's mother, was a little.... less English aristocratic than I would envision. I didn't like the way the actress played her at all. However, Alfie Doolittle's character was brilliantly done. Normally I do not like his side story at all, but the man who played Doolittle was great.

There was also technical difficulties after the ball and they had to raise the lights and no one really knew what was going on. But that was hardly a problem. The show was great and I am grateful I had the opportunity to go.

After the show, we made it out and headed towards home. I hate driving back from Salt Lake any time after 10:00 p.m., because the traffic is always beastly. I headed towards home, knowing that I didn't need to take the exit to Las Vegas, because if I kept going, I should still end up on southbound I-15. Only, instead of hitting I-15, we were magically driving around Sandy. How did we get from West Valley to Sandy without knowing it? It took us a while to figure out. We could have sworn we teleported. That is, until we remembered that we had been on I-215 instead of I-80, which has totally different consequences. After we got our McDonald's treats, we located the freeway and drove happily home. No traffic, at all. It was really quite amazing.

So today we made it to church and afterward, I had a meeting for my calling. I like actually sitting in alongside the leadership of the ward and listening to everyone as we try to figure out ways to become more unified and better serve each other. The meeting went long, but it was almost fun and I have some really good ideas on how to improve my calling on the Spiritual Living Council. I headed home and Melissa and I decided to take a walk.

It was HOT! Which is such a good thing. The weather was absolutely lovely, and we walked for well over an hour and enjoyed every minute of it. We did not, however, get any good pictures. After the walk, we stopped by "The Boys'" where they re-hydrated us, and then my visiting teacher came over and then I went over to Megan's for dinner. After dinner, I spoke to my mom. Had Dustin come over to watch Kid History. Headed to Ward Prayer....

and then found out that Dustin had hacked my Facebook account.

Over all, it was an absolutely perfect weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Golden Age

Last night, Melissa and I went and saw the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. I hadn't seen trailers for it, nor did I know anything about it before I went, aside from the cast list: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, and Marion Cotillard...

I should have known that it would be weird. Every Woody Allen film I've ever seen has been so strange. But I liked a lot about it. First, it's set in Paris and it has Parisian music. Second, it's basically about me. And third, the music and the fact that it had every prominent, artistic soul in Paris during the 1920s. The Fitzgerals, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Hemingway, etc. etc. etc. Most people I hadn't heard of before, or just vaguely remembered them from literature or humanities classes. I realized that I don't know enough about the time period, even though it has always been an interesting one for sure. There were a few allusions that admittedly went right over my head.

Why is it about me, you ask? Gil (Owen Wilson), the main character, is a writer that believes he was born too late. He idolizes the idea of Paris in the 1920s -- calling it the greatest time and place on earth; the Golden Age. His fiancé (Adams) is a spoiled brat who thinks that Gil is a romantic, and has little patience for his dreaming of the 20s. The movie takes an interesting twist, allowing Gil to get in to an old car from the 20s and attend some of the greatest parties of the time, intermingling and rubbing shoulders with the figures I've already mentioned. Gertrude Stein reads and critiques his novel in progress. He meets one of Picasso's mistresses, and she says that for her the 1890s Paris is the Golden Age, when the Moulin Rouge was up and running and people like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec ruled the day. And magically, a carriage comes and picks her and Gil up and takes her to the Moulin Rouge, where Henri could be found, sketching away. (I read that he did the sketches for the advertisements for Moulin Rouge. Most artists thought it was beneath them to be doing mere posters, but Henri took it on and was given his own reserved spot.) A few others join them and those in the 1890s start talking about how the real Golden Age was during the Renaissance and how everything then was so dull.

Gil is hit with epiphany and begins ranting about how they don't have antibiotics and how he now understands that no one is really satisfied with their present; everyone romanticizes some different past, because the present is messy. It's a long spiel that I wish I had to quote, but since I don't...

*spoiler* Gil goes back in to his own time, still loving the 1920s in Paris, but out to make a future for himself in his present day. Adriana decides to stay in the Moulin Rouge. I just sat there and thought how amazing it would be to time travel! I think I could go back to my present if I had the opportunity to go and explore 1812 or 1912... or any other time period but my own. Maybe I wouldn't want to stay there -- after all, I'm pretty happy with modern medicines and tampons and stuff like that. But it's not possible to take a little joyride to the time period of my fantasy and walk around in it for a few nights in a row.

What's your Golden Age? Is it now?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eye Flirtation

Apparently there is a lost art in flirting that I had no idea existed, until I stumbled upon this little explanation. I guess we should all study up and practice our eye flirting. There's not much you can do with your eyes, but as you can see, it leads to some pretty interesting "conversations".

Creepy October Header

I haven't been using Picnik.com for much lately, but that will all change. They've put up pretty much the coolest features ever, and I will begin using my free time to turn people in to zombies.

I never knew I liked zombies, until now.

My Love Life

It's sad. But totally true.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Update

Friday, Melissa had some friends over and we sat around and talked for a little while, but then they left to attend a concert. Melissa and I were trying to come up with something to do, but both of us were fairly exhausted. We didn't want to be lame by going to bed at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night, so we read from A Compendium of Kisses. Really, Melissa was sleeping and I was cracking up over my inability to read out loud. Butchering words led to more laughter, which led to Melissa waking up long enough to see tears running down my face and her gasping and me wheezing... and finally we decided that we had enough and it was time for bed.

Saturday I woke up for a RS breakfast. We had French toast, which I sort of have a weakness for. And then I didn't do much until I headed up to South Jordan to meet up with Lauren. We went to an improv comedy show. I like improv, and I respect people who are able to be funny on the spot. That's not an easy thing to do. Provo has Comedy Sports, which is big on BYU/LDS culture and has a very defined theme and set up. It has its own venue. Push My Button is not as organized. They perform in a small coffee shop. They rely a little too much on audience participation, which led to some pretty strange and too elaborate prompts. There were some really funny parts, but for the most part, it wasn't that entertaining. They roped me in to "playing a game for prizes", and I won the Halloween trivia (answering 5 out of the 6 questions quicker than my opponent). Only... they gave the runner up a gift card to Applebees, and the winner got two free tickets to their next show.

...Ok.

Anybody want two free tickets to see Push My Button next month? Let me know.

Utah roads are an absolute mess right now. And on my way home from South Jordan, I had to navigate my way through all the detours and orange barrels. It was confusing and frustrating. They had closed the on-ramp to I-15, so I had to go up and around on a road that wasn't clearly marked as the detour, and I was only guessing where I needed to turn. Luckily, I guessed correctly. When I made it to Utah County, they had closed down the highway to one lane, and all I saw was red brake lights, so I decided to get off at American Fork and go down State Street. Unfortunately, I think I picked the worst exit to get off. There were two detours to take you to 500 East and back to the freeway. Then, because of the Haunted Forest, there were hundreds of cars wherever there weren't orange barrels. I got temporarily lost, guessed my way to State Street, and headed home... of course, that took a bit of time because State Street is down to one lane as well. Sigh.

Sunday we had stake conference. Both Melissa and I dragged ourselves there. The first meeting was fairly unremarkable, except, one of the speakers (the wife of one of the high councilmen that serve in our stake, approximately 45-years old) decided to talk to just the girls; she said that she was sad that the guys seem to get ripped in to every general conference, and that they were all great and wonderful and stuff like that. The girls needed a little constructive criticism; according to her, we need to "be less picky and more submissive". She didn't explain enough to know if that is what she actually meant -- if she actually wanted us to go back 200 years before women had rights and were imprisoned in insane asylums for speaking against their husband's ideals (I'm reading a book on one such case right now) or if she just wanted us to.... what? I don't know.

The usher didn't have a hunchback, or a droopy eyelid.    
The second session was better in way of speakers, but worse in the fact that there were a whole lot more distractions. The first meeting met in an auditorium. The second in a double chapel with hard folding chairs and an overheated gym. There was an usher who reminded me of Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame...he had really crazy, buggy eyes. And he just walked up and down the gym floor, hunting anyone down who wasn't in a seat and making sure we were packed in there like sardines. We had sad next to a bigger guy from our ward, and spaced the chairs perfectly, and along comes Quasi, and he makes us move down, making everyone uncomfortable and then continued to patrol the area so that we were afraid to move again. We did, though, during the intermediate hymn, finding our original places much more comfortable. He was so distracting, though. And every time he walked by, we wanted to punch him.

The speakers were better this time around. I really do like our stake presidency. They are good men. One of them is actually my mom's old seminary teacher from high school! Crazy, right? He's my favorite. And our stake president is Canadian, and really funny. He stands up and tells us how grateful he is to have his "first wife" in the audience. Then, he had to clarify that she is his only wife. He told us about this weird, old many that used to live in his ward boundaries that they used to make fun of. "We all have trials," he said, "some of us are heavy and weird and that's our trial." He then went on to say that this man moved to be close to the temple in Cardston, Canada, and did some 200,000 ordinances before he died in his early 80s. President Hatch talked about how this man, who didn't have a lot of friends and family on his earthly life, was probably heralded in to heaven by the 200,000 souls he did temple work for. The amount of awe and respect in President Hatch's voice was enough to know that he regretted having made fun of this strange individual, who obviously amounted to much more.

President Hatch also talked about the people that go in to talk to him before they get married, or as individuals, and express fears about the future. I guess it isn't surprising that my peers are all worried about what the world has to offer them. They are afraid to have children because the moral standard of the world continues to decline; the economy is never stable; divorce rates continue to rise; etc. etc. etc. He told us, "You have the brightest of futures of anyone on the history of this earth. You have more good and more joy to look forward to. Yes, there will be trials. But, miracles are born out of trails and sacrifice."

The whole time I was listening to his talk, though, I was thinking that I'm not scared to get married. I'm not scared to have children. I am not worried about how I would support a family -- I know that God sustains us. I am scared about the future, though. Because I'm scared of having a future where I am alone. For some reason, a lonely future sounds neither bright or joyful.

After conference, I went home and made pumpkin pies. They turned out delicious. I know, because I had some for breakfast. I'm pretty pleased with the crust, which we all know is one of the hardest things to pull off, and I didn't over or under bake them. Now, I just have to decide if I am going to share, or if I am going to devour them all up myself.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Importance of a Hug

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” —Virginia Satir, family therapist

If the above statement is true, then I'm not surviving. I'm lucky if I get in two hugs a week... make that a month. I can be a very touchy, feely, huggy sort of person. And I can not be. It is all dictated by who I am with and the level of comfort I feel with that person. I have had friends where hugs become second nature. You hug when you first meet up, you definitely hug before you leave and sometimes there are hugs just for the heck of it. Because sometimes hugs seem like a natural part, and it seems strange to not be touching that person in some way. Then there are friends where any time you step within a certain distance, I feel as though I am invading their personal space or that they are invading mine. Hugs seem strange and alien. It's not because I am any less of a friend with that person, it's just because we don't have one of those relationships.

Lately, the number of friends that I don't hug have largely taken over that I do. And I find myself wishing that old friends who were masters at the art of hugging were nearby and could wrap me up in an embrace that is filled with love, friendship and security.

No, hugging is not a euphemism for anything else. I am just talking about a simple embrace.

Except now, I want to talk about something else. Like how the hug is an excellent tool for leading in to other things. (Which I am sadly lacking in, also.)

I was discussing this with a friend the other night. Over the summer I had a friend where joking about NCMOs and other such things were common place. For a while I was worried that he would act on the conversations and whenever he got too close, I would skit away because I wasn't really in to the idea of a NCMO with him. And then, I changed my mind, and I thought, "If he makes a move, he will get lucky." Because I'm that generous of a person.

Right.

Anyway, I didn't skit away, and he didn't make a move. Or, didn't make a move from what I could tell. Come to find out later, he had mentioned to a mutual friend that he had tried and that he was sick of trying because I was too difficult or whatever. And I wondered, "When?" When did he try? I mean, I had noticed him invading my personal space enough to feel the need to skit away, but I didn't actually think he was trying anything. Apparently he was?

For the record, the fancy has passed. The window is closed for anything happening. But, I was just thinking... if we had been the sort of friends where hugging was commonplace, it would have been much easier for him. The personal boundaries would have already been breached with the hello-hug and the good-bye-hug and the interwoven hugs throughout our friendship. If it had been a comfortable thing for him to wrap me up in his arms, then it would have been nothing to place a kiss on the cheek and then... go from there.

See! Hugging is brilliant. It's a natural transition. Askmen.com has an interesting article on hugging that says,


The dazzling hug diet is terrific because the act of hugging transfers energy and generates positive emotional stimulation, resulting in happiness. Physical contact and stimulation are absolutely necessary for our overall well-being. Hugging a person by wrapping one's arms around the other's neck or waist or touching faces cheek to cheek is, without a doubt, one of the most common demonstrations of affection.... Hugs come in many different flavors, and each one says something different. For example, there's the fraternal hug, the friendly hug, the loving hug, the sexual hug, and many more. 

I miss getting hugs from my dad. I miss baby Kelsie wrapping her little arms around my neck and squeezing as hard as she possibly can. I miss hugs from Becca. Or other friends where I could just go and put my arms around their neck or their waists and just get a reassuring squeeze that they cared about me.

It's amazing what just a little affection can do for one's morale. I found an article called A Hug... The Miracle Drug. Located here. And I'm going to agree, sometimes a hug is a happy pill of sorts. And I could really stand to get my prescription filled.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wedding

I just realized that I never did blog about Becca's wedding in Scotland. It was really neat to be a part of it, so I think that I should record what happened, although, now we're going based on memory. Goodness, I should have done this a month ago.


On August 18, 2011, Becca and Christian had their reception. It was a pretty stressful day trying to get there as Roberta was trying to line a bolero for Sarah's dress, and everybody else was trying to get rented kilts and hairs and nails and everything done beforehand. I set out on my own for the first time, trying to hunt down a needle in order for Roberta to hand sew the lining. It was fairly nerve wracking. Some how, we made it relatively on time? Becca and Christian disappeared for pictures and we got to listen to the bag piper.














It was held at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. We had heard predictions that it was supposed to rain all day, but luckily, it was just really overcast -- like a wall of gray clouds -- but no more than a few sprinkles until the end of the night. That made for some really good pictures, I think, because we didn't have to worry about weird shadows or anything like that. The gardens were beautiful and the grass was so green.

We had the dinner first for family members and members of the wedding party. It was held in this beautiful stone building. It was exquisitely decorated. Becca, Christian, Sarah and Will (the best man) were seated in a table up front. I was next to Will's fiance and Christian's friend, James and they provided amusing dinner companions. Becca and Christian both stood and said how and why they loved each other and thanked everyone for being there, then Becca's dad, Sarah and Will all gave toasts. Toasts at a Mormon function are very strange and I don't think any of us really know what we are doing when it comes to them, but everything that was said was really nice. Even Jason, who was acting as emcee, said a little something and seeing this big, gruff man expressing his love for his sister and his joy at her finding someone that made her happy was enough to make everyone tear up -- even him. So that was fun.

Afterward, they cut their cake.

And then the party started. The rest of the guests began to arrive. Some were decked out in kilts, which was really awesome, especially for the dancing portion of the evening. Becca and Christian danced to Then by Brad Paisley for their first dance. It was really sweet. Becca had hired a Scottish band that played traditional ceilidh (pronounced keel-ee) dancing. They had a call person that told us how to do each of the dances, but those that grew up in Scotland were taught in school, so a lot of them -- including my dance partner -- knew how to do most of the dances. They were really fun. I was laughing so hard, because of course, I am a terrible dancer. By the time I got most of the steps down, the dance was usually over. There was a tent set outside for when it got too hot and stuffy in the dance hall.

The evening was sogreat, and a ton of fun. I think it all went without too much of a hitch. Aside from Becca's phone being misplaced, and me freaking out about it, I think it was quite a perfect evening.

The next morning was the wedding. We didn't have hair and nail appointments to get to, so we tried to recreate Becca's look from the night before. I was in my pajamas when we arrived at the church, and we had to quickly get ready to go. We were late getting the ceremony started, but I hope that most people anticipated that...

Since Becca and Christian needed to be married civilly before going to be sealed in the temple, we did the ceremony at the church building, in the chapel. Flowers from the night before were put out to decorate the chapel. Sarah and I walked down the short, little aisle to Pachebel's Canon in D, and then Becca was escorted down with her dad. We sat in the first pew and the Bishop welcomed everybody to the wedding. We sang For the Beauty of the Earth and had an opening prayer. Then Sarah gave a little talk about the difference between being married civilly and being sealed in the temple. The bishop got up and spoke for a second and called the couple, "Brother and Sister McDermott", which was pretty funny. He really did give a very good talk. Then he married them and they signed the marriage certificate with Sarah and Roberta being the witnesses. After that, Roberta, Sarah and I sang How Great Thou Art. I was super nervous about it, because of course, Sarah has had voice lessons and is really good and not only did we not have the music, but we hadn't had time to practice. At all. But we mustn't have sounded too bad because I got a lot of compliments and I know that Sarah and Roberta both were told that we did a good job. Then we had a closing prayer and it was time to go to the temple.

But first, I had to run to the hotel to get Roberta's pills. Christian's friend, James, had his car and was nice enough to drive me over there and to the train station where we said good-bye to him and hopped on the train to Preston, England, where the temple is located. The ride is three hours long. We had them announce over the PA that Becca and Christian were getting married, and everyone cheered for them. I think I read most the way, while everybody else slept. The countryside that we passed made me extremely sad that I was going home shortly after. I would have liked to have seen much more of Scotland.












We got to the train station and had to wait around for taxis to come pick us up and take us to the temple grounds. I think Preston has the most beautiful grounds I have ever seen. Surrounding the temple was a real English garden. Red roses were everywhere, making me think of Alice in Wonderland, Painting the Roses Red...I was singing that the whole time Becca was in the temple. Becca and Christian were off taking pictures, and unfortunately, we ran out of time before we could get group shots with everyone. They went in to be sealed, and those of us who weren't able to join them in the sealing room waited around. I spent a lot of time walking through the gardens and taking pictures, but when it started to rain, I decided to head in to the waiting room.





After the sealing, we didn't have long before our train back to Edinburgh. So, the wedding dinner was McDonald's. It was very classy. We waited for our train, said good-bye to Sarah, who was leaving to go home. We had one stop where we had to change trains, and we said good-bye to Christian and Becca, who were headed to Glasgow for a few nights. By the time we made it back to Edinburgh, we were pretty tired.





Over all it was an absolutely beautiful wedding, and aside from running late and behind, went without a hitch. I was so happy to be able to be a part of it and be a bridesmaid for one of my very best friends.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I thought I could... But I can't

This is the blank post that will be a place holder for the time I sat down to write all my woes and didn't have the courage and/or security to do it. 

Some things aren't meant to be posted on the web for everyone to read. And sometimes, it's just too hard to put in to words. Besides, I haven't figured out which is worse: people asking, "What's wrong?" or not asking at all.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Utah Autumn

Click for a bigger view. Trust me, you want to!
Have I mentioned how much I love this season in Utah? I keep getting reports that it is freezing and rainy in Ohio, and I've been dealing with beautiful, warm summer-like days and cool, lovely autumn-like evenings and nights. It's perfect sleeping weather.

Utah is the prettiest in the fall. The leaves on the mountains start turning red just one day, and the next day, the mountainside is aflame with orange and red leaves mixed with the green of the leaves that haven't changed, the blue of the sky... it's so breathtaking.

Last Sunday we went for a walk in the Canyon. I have lived in Provo for seven years, and I've never taken the bath path to Bridal Veil Falls. So we did. And we walked right past the falls and ended up at Vivienne Park then turned around and came back. It was perfect (hot) weather and beautiful scenery the whole way there and back. (Except the power lines strung along the side of the mountains. Those are complete eyesores.)

Aside from the view and the weather, I love fall because I love harvest time. I love the food. Pumpkin bread and cookies and pie. Apple crisp. Squash. Soups! Chilis! Fall is just so delicious! You read about the disaster with the healthy soup, but I'm happy to say that my cheesy broccoli soup turned out to be "uber delicious". Yum. Next up, chili in a bag. (Actually, next up are the fish tacos that I bought stuff for, but I haven't yet attempted to make them. Hopefully everything doesn't go bad before I get a chance to do that, or I'll be upset.)

Now I just need to go to the store and buy more boots, more cardigans and more jackets! Then I will be perfectly wardrobed for fall!


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