Thursday, April 28, 2016


ATTENTION WORLD: I have BIG news. I have a new {favorite} book. We're talking Brene Brown status favorite. Quiet by Susan Cain has joined the ranks of books that have changed my life.

I watched the TedTalk months ago. I thought it was good, but it certainly wasn't Brene quality (I know, I know. I'm obsessed with her). Then Ian told me that I needed to read the book. I put it off. For months (what was I thinking?!).

As I read, I underlined and scribbled notes in the margin. It was not uncommon for me to practically jump up and down on my bed and yell out to my roommates "This book just gets me!!!"

The only bad part about the book? It was too short.
"Conclusion." Gross. I was so sad to get to that page.

So if you're an introvert and want to understand yourself better, I recommend this book. Or if you're an extrovert wanting to understand introverts. Or if you are absolutely anyone because this book is that good.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Life Lately

My life is good. Very good. I often kneel in wonder at all that God has blessed me with. He gets me. He knows I'm shy, but He does not let me use that as an excuse. Instead, He throws opportunities at me and asks me to  s t r e t c h  myself. Sometimes I think His plans for me are a little too big, but I figure He knows what He's doing.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go to lunch with the dean and a professor in my college. They wanted to talk about grad school and see how they could best support me through my last (*gulp*) year of my undergraduate education. Every time I start to doubt the bigger plans, He sends me someone who believes in me.

I also had the opportunity to go to the ceremonial signing of legislation declaring pornography a public health crisis in Utah, meet Governor Herbert and Senator Weiler, and have lunch with a lot of influential leaders in the fight against pornography. It was an amazing  opportunity and I made so many great connections. It was also great to catch up with people who I hadn't seen since WCF9, plus I got to sneak Greta into the meeting with the governor. 

In other news, Greta laughed so hard she peed her pants yesterday; BYU is reviewing how rape reports are handled to see if any structural changes should be made in light of concerns that have been all over the news lately; I had a Sodalicious problem, but don't worry - I'm back down to once a week; we made a goal to be more social outside of the apartment and we are totally killing it; I was awarded the "Life of the Party" award at work; I'm reading Quiet and it is so validating; I got my hair bleached a little baby bit (that actually happened a long time ago but I never blogged about it); my love affair with tuna casserole is still ongoing; I mostly killed my finals (*fingers are still crossed about history - I haven't seen the grade*); I bought a new squishy pillow and mattress topper and my bed has never been so comfortable; and we went to a Mat Kearney concert. I love him.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's talk about the bear in the room.

April is sexual assault awareness month. I joined my mover&shaker friends to help plan the first annual Rape Awareness Event hosted by BYU Women's Studies Honor Society. Dr. Julie Valentine's research assistants presented the haunting facts about rape in Utah. They are doing amazing things to change the response to sexual assault. The facts are scary, but I have hope for the future. We can be part of the solution. We can start by believing.

Taylor from Honey (a nonprofit for sexual assault survivors) then shared her story and how we can help change the culture. I had a class with Taylor last semester. She is amazing. She has taken an ugly experience and turned it into a beautiful mission that has helped countless survivors.

The room was packed. There were almost 300 people in attendance. This is a conversation people want to have. It was awesome to get feedback from our peers. I've had several people tell me the event was really eye opening.

We also accidentally stirred up a big pot (well, we didn't stir the pot - but the pot was stirred). A Title IX admin was in attendance and she responded to a question in the Q&A session (note: she was not on the panel) and now every time I get on Facebook I see another article about her response. It's a mess. But the event was very good regardless.

The night before the BYU event, Caroline and I helped out with UVU's event. They had a benefit concert to raise money for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. The concert was good, but the coolest part was walking through the clothesline project. The project originally started at BYU, but moved to UVU several years ago. People can write about their experiences with sexual assault on tshirts and then they hang them up for everyone to see. Some are angry shirts. Some are shirts about forgiveness and letting go. Walking up and down the aisles was an emotional experience.

If you haven't seen The Hunting Ground I suggest you watch it. It's a documentary about rape on college campuses. It's on Netflix.

I don't know how to fix it. But I don't want to ignore it until I think of a solution. I can't ignore it.