Saturday, April 27, 2013

Airplane musings

Did you know you can write a blog post offline in airplane mode on an iPhone? Well, you can. Which is especially exciting because I am currently on a plane heading home, and airplanes seem to spur a million thoughts. I usually just scribble my airplane thoughts down for myself, but now that I've discovered this offline blog thing I'm going to share my mind babblings with you (whoever you are).


First off, have you ever thought of why the sky is blue? And grass and trees are green? And the sun is yellow? And sunsets are a million beautiful colors? Well, I for one LOVE God's choice of colors. Here's my question though, are skies and oceans blue because blue is a peaceful color - or is blue peaceful because it reminds us of the sky and ocean?

I rarely listen to music on my phone. Airplane rides are one of the rare occasions when I do. Shuffle mode of course - gotta mix things up. Anyway, "I Want You Back" by N'Sync came on. I know, I know - you wish you had my music. So while listening to that superb boy band song, I decided something: any boy who makes a girl a mixed tape with that song on it deserves a second chance.

I annoy all my friends by playing the "what if" game almost nonstop. Lucky for them I usually fly solo, because the "what if" game reaches new heights (haha) on an airplane. For example, what if you somehow ended up on the wing of the plane during flight? What part of the wing would you hang on to? Also, do you think you'd pass out because the air is really thin up here in the sky?

Okay, I'm signing off. Time to jam out to the Princess Diaries 2 soundtrack (seriously, I completely understand if you're extremely jealous). If only my reflection in the window would go away so I could see the stars better...

I know I already ended this post, but I have breaking news from row 9 window seat: there is LIGHTENING! Seeing lightening from the sky is AWESOME. It is so beautiful! Purples, pinks and golds come in flashes that illuminate the otherwise black sky. I tried taking pictures and video. Neither worked. So just trust me, it is AWESOME. And probably dangerous. But mostly awesome.

The Quiet Year


I am hereby dubbing my sophomore year "the quiet year". If you ask my roommates or the girls living in the apartment below mine, they might tell you a completely different story; but for me, it was a quiet year. As I think back, I can't think of anything really exciting that happened. It wasn't a bad year. Or a particularly good one. It was just...a year.

Okay, I take that back. It wasn't just a year. It was a year of decision making. A year of best friend making. You see, this year was a lot different than last year. Sometimes it is really hard not to compare the two, but really they aren't comparable at all. Last year was full of new people. New friends, and lots of new acquaintances. This year I lived with last years "new friends". And last year's new friends became this year's best friends.

This year was also the year my life took an unexpected, but oh so thrilling turn; I decided to go on a mission! I never saw that one coming, but I am so excited for this life-changing opportunity to serve the Lord. So yes, this was a relatively quiet year - but I'm learning that quiet can be powerful.

Unfinished

I wrote this post days ago. I planned on finishing it at some point, but never got around to it. And now I can't even remember what else I wanted to say (okay, honestly I didn't even read what I had written to jog my memory...). So, here you go. An unfinished post.

This past week has been anything but ordinary. I can't even decide where to begin. Looking back, it's hard to believe so many things squeezed themselves into such a short period of time. Each story deserves it's own blog post, but they didn't happen in isolation in my life so they aren't going to be isolated in this blog. Life doesn't always come one note at a time. Sometimes the music blares. And sometimes the music is scary; sometimes it is sweet.

I briefly mentioned the Boston Marathon bombings last week. Very briefly. But in reality, that story consumed much more than a brief moment of my life. I became engrossed in the story. I should have been studying for finals, but instead I just watched the news. I needed to know the victims' stories. Want to know about any of the deceased's lives? I can tell you. Want to know stories of some of the heroes who rushed in to help? I can tell you those too. Stories from surgeons? Stories from the bombing suspects' family and friends? Yes, I can tell you all of those things. I could tell you what is going on in the investigation. I could tell you almost anything that has been released to the general public via CNN. I even followed MIT's emergency messages to their students/faculty when gunfire opened on campus. Becoming absorbed in the news probably wasn't the best thing. It didn't help anyone who was suffering. But I didn't know what else to do. I guess I felt like if I listened to their stories it would somehow honor the victims. Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi have families who know them as more than a picture on the tv screen, and I wanted to know their stories too.

The news can quickly consume one's life. But, just as the news had distracted me from studying for finals, finals snapped me back into real life. I might have been able to be distracted during reading days, but when the tests started I had to focus. It was good. I needed to focus on school, and I threw myself in full force. I took all of my finals (except 1/2 of an online one that I will do later today) on Friday and Saturday. 

One of my finals (family finance) was in the JSB auditorium. The chairs in there have tiny little desks, so people commonly use two of the desks to take finals. Especially when there are plenty of open seats. The auditorium was not very busy on Saturday morning when I went to take my test, so I took two desks. Not long after I began, a girl came and sat RIGHT next to me (at the desk I was using!!!!). She simply took my test off the desk and put it in my lap and sat down. WHATTTT???? I looked up to see if perhaps the auditorium had suddenly filled. No. No, there were a lot of empty seats. And by a lot, I mean a lot. We're talking 1/4 of the seats were empty. At least. I was quite appalled, but what can you do? I sat there in disbelief for a while, but eventually I resumed taking my test. Then the guy next to me whispered, "HEY! Hey, do you need some brain food?" and handed me a kit-kat. As much as I loved the sweet gesture and delicious chocolate, I was confused. You are not supposed to talk, give people things, or steal their desk in the testing center. I was sure I was going to fail because of all of the distractions, but no worries, I aced it. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

BREATHE.

Brace yourself: here comes the most scatter-brained post ever.

Today was the last Monday of classes (tomorrow is the last day of classes). I am so ready to be DONE. Even though I got a good amount of rest last night, I was barely staying awake in marriage prep this morning. That is definitely not my favorite class. I am super glad it's over.

Family finance had a good last lecture. We talked about being good stewards of whatever the Lord blesses us with. I've decided you can tell how the students feel about a professor by the way the last lecture ends. For example, marriage prep? Everyone just left. D&C? A few people went to shake the professor's hand and say "thank you". Family finance? Applause.

Get to work. Bev asks if I've seen the news. I haven't. I've been in back to back classes. Bombs at the Boston Marathon. People were injured. What is going on? Fear. Confusion. Sadness. So many questions. Then come stories like this:

Faith in humanity restored. Peace.

Daily mail check - got a letter. It's always a good day when you get mail.

5:20 - Lucy picks Greta, Chloe and I up to go to her ward activity. We helped set up. Free Tucano's and super fun games. I won the first round of rock, paper, scissors train. Everyone was chanting "Lisa! Lisa! Lisa!". I'm not even in their ward. I didn't now these people and they were chanting my name. FAME.

Rewind. Near death experience. I'm a three year old and can't be trusted to eat without choking. Swallowed too big of a bite. It's stuck. Water? Uhhh...yeah that didn't work. Water couldn't get down. I think to myself, "Is this what choking feels like? Am I choking?" Eventually I think, "Wait, am I breathing? Can I breathe?"  I lean my head back and take in what must have been my first breath in a little while. How do you forget to breathe? Silly Lisa. Cough. Swallow. De-choke yourself because you're too embarrassed to tell anyone you're choking. Thankfully, I didn't die. It would have been really dumb to die because I was too embarrassed to ask for help because I was choking. Air way cleared. Breathe. Hands are trembling. Breathe. Chew carefully. Live.

Now, watch these videos:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151356286845994
http://realbeautysketches.dove.com/?u=1

Hodpodge post over.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

RSAD

Last night, the boys in my ward put on a Relief Society Appreciation Dinner (RSAD). They had come by earlier in the week to cordially invite us to the event. They even wrote every girl's name in cursive on individual invitations. That was the first sign they were putting a lot of effort into this - individualized invites.

At promptly 7 o'clock, there was a knock at the door. Ben had arrived to escort us down to the car which drove us the 2 blocks to the church. More of the guys were at the church to open our doors and escort us to the room we would be dining in. They had decorated the room with white lights and beautifully decorated tables (we're talking table clothes, table runners, flowers...the whole deal). Oh, did I mention how dapper the guys were looking? They were dressed to the nines. Once we were seated, our "waiters" came by to take our orders. The menu was full of options. We could order a variety of lasagnas (all of which were completely the same, but they had different names). And the drinks! We could have water with lots of ice, water with a little ice, water with no ice, ice with no water - the possibilities were endless! Yes, we were spoiled. But truly, the meal was delicious.





My favorite part of the evening was the entertainment. Beto sang the "you're so beautiful you could be a part time model" song. I don't know the real name, but that song always makes me laugh. Then a bunch of the guys treated us to a dance number to the hit song "That's What Makes You Beautiful". Bishop even joined in on that one. One of my fellow ward members recorded it, but the video is sideways...it is still worth watching though. So turn your computer on it's side and enjoy:



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Foster Wright Hamilton

The world got a smidgen cuter on Friday morning when nephew #2, Foster, was born. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on this little munchkin. And, of course, to see my Pierson man. Ahhhh, I just love them so much! Nephews make the world a brighter place :)








Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grateful

Thomas Nielsen was 14 years old when he was first diagnosed with Leukemia. With treatment, he battled and won. He took up lacrosse and had lots of friends. He was kind of quirky, and his mom was amazed at how cancer had transformed her boy into such an outgoing guy. He said that after you deal with being a bald teenager and all the funny looks you get, not much bothers you anymore. Once he stopped caring what people thought, he found people liked his quirks.

When Thomas was 18, the cancer came back. Three times. 18, 19, and 20 were all spent battling cancer. Thomas was only 21 when cancer took his life on October 4, 2009. After he died, his mom read his journal. She felt like it was okay to read it, but if he has a problem with it she will gladly apologize in heaven. Thomas's mom is one of my professors, and she shared a portion of his journal with my class.

The entry wasn't dated, but Dr. Nielsen thinks it was written in January or February of 2009. It was a grateful list. I read his list with teary eyes. Some items on the list were related to his cancer...for surviving as long as he had, for the possibility that he could get better, for bone marrow transplants. Then there were the names. So many names. People who had impacted his life. Family, friends, teachers. I especially liked how he listed specific reasons some people made the list.

The list is really long. Dr. Nielsen gave us each a copy. I keep it in the front of my binder. It reminds me to be grateful for everything in life. Because even when things are crazy busy, life is crazy good.

So here are a few of my favorite parts about today:
  • crepes with fresh strawberries for breakfast
  • boys holding doors open - especially the guy in my class who was limping today but he saw me coming down the hall and held the door open until I got there
  • Mr. Rogers - we talked about him in class today and I think he is just the greatest
  • my job (and always getting a cup full of M&M's and other candies from my boss)
  • strawberry shortcakes 
  • my body - have you ever thought about how awesome it feels to just breathe?

Festival of Colors

Saturday's big adventure was the Holi Festival of Colors at the Hare Krishna Hindu temple in Spanish Fork. It's this huge festival celebrating spring. People walk around with bags of colored cornstarch and throw it on you to make you pretty and colorful. Then, every two hours there is a giant color throw. Very pretty. Very poor air quality.










It was a very fun day, but there were a few things I wasn't quite prepared for:

  1. The girl who spanked my butt with a hand full of color - seriously, who spanks a stranger?!
  2. The girl who kept asking to take pictures with us and then hugged me and rubbed color on my face - of all the people there, she HAD to choose me? I really should start wearing a shirt that says, "I don't like it when people touch me. Especially strangers."
  3. I missed air so much while I was there. I'm pretty sure my lungs were purple on the inside from all the colored cornstarch that day.
Overall I'd consider this a pretty successful adventure. Stamp of approval.