Sunday, October 31, 2010

sometimes in our lives

october is just about over, and soon enough, it will be thanksgiving, and then christmas, and then my birthday (uuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.) this time of year always makes me think about my family, and how awesome they are.

i was more especially thinking about them at church today and thought "family tribute post time?" i think yes. here it is:

mom - my mom is the coolest. she is so thoughtful, and patient. every time i call her and murmur about my life, she listens and tries so hard to help me. she doesn't even complain that all i do is call her and complain. she sends me treats and elephant things just because she knows i love them. and she doesn't even get mad when i throw pillows at her while she is sleeping, and then get the giggles.

dad - my dad is so funny. i think he and i share our sense of humor, which makes it fun to do just about anything with him, because we usually end up laughing at some point. my dad is so welcoming and inviting to everyone. he takes time to talk to people and get to know them, and is genuinely interested in them and their lives. and he gives some of the best advice i have ever heard (even when i don't want to hear it.)

ragan - my little (big) bro. ragan is a combination of the best parts of both of my parents. he loves to talk to people and always makes them feel special and loved. he is a spiritual giant, but not overbearing about it. he just does what he knows is right and isn't afraid to do it even when some people might think it's weird or crazy. he tries his best to be the best friend he can to everyone, and to not miss any important event in his friend's lives.

alex - another younger and bigger brother. alex is another fun lover. he knows how to have fun, even when it is just sitting around on the couch playing rock band or watching a movie. alex is always so willing to do whatever he can for anyone. he doesn't complain (too much :)) when you ask him to help you out, and he usually ends up making things more memorable and exciting when he joins in. he's another spiritual guy - serving the Lord in the cold depths of argentina (and tierra del fuego!)

michael - last younger and bigger brother. michael is one of a kind. last i heard he was helping ragan make moccasins out of an elk hide they got from someone. michael is one of the funniest people i know (or even that i don't know.) he invented the party roof. michael is a talker, but his listening skills are right up there too. he loves to help people and do what he can to make other's lives better. and he never takes the easy way out - always finishing what he starts and doing it right.

heidi - little baby sister. heidi is super super cool - i wish i was as cool as her. she loves people and makes things so enjoyable just by being around. she is super steezy, and loves to try new things no matter what anyone else thinks. she's like that with everything - doing things just because she is interested or curious and not minding what people might think of her. she is always willing to talk to me and finish my song lines when i text them to her.

i love my family, and these qualities about them. i am hoping i can keep these things in mind and become more like my crazy cool family members by emulating some of these qualities they have.

(i could go on and on and on - i have a pretty incredible extended family too. but i just wouldn't know where to stop, and this list could turn infinite...)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

someone to open each and every door

gregory peck sure is a handsome devil.

i can't wait until november 15th.

mark twain's autobiography is finally (after 100 years) being published. should be an interesting read. i'm actually thinking of making it my next book club selection. either that, or to kill a mockingbird, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of it's release. (which was originally staci's idea - can't take credit for that one.)

if we did mark twain, i could make huckleberry pie, we could paint some fences, and go rafting down the canal.

to kill a mockingbird - eat a ham and some delicious cake, carve soap figures, and roll down in a hill in a tire. maybe watch a trial or something.

decisions, decisions. (any suggestions? preferences? criticism?)

(side note - i don't cry that often. i'm cold hearted. but last time i read to kill a mockingbird, i cried three times. i knew what was coming but i still had to get some tissues. not sure what to think about that. maybe i'm only semi-cold hearted...)

Friday, October 22, 2010

text versus romance

Point of views or points of view?

(Book of Mormons or Books of Mormon?)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

hey, what troubles you?

i was watching the news tonight with my dad, and some congressman from pennsylvania came on. this sentence came out of his mouth (seriously.)

"i think the constitution should be upholded."

ladies and gentlemen, our elected officials!

so i listened to this song to cheer myself up. i wish i had jenny lewis's voice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

a stealer of hearts


more specifically, jazz basketball!

my life can start again in ten days (and counting!)

(went to a preseason game on tuesday though. jazz won. i sat in the 7th row, for part of the game at least.)

kyle 2.0 and deron williams, doin work. i know he's only shooting free throws, but it is the only action shot i got

for your reading pleasure, here is a survey done by all the gm's (dream job! and they all have crushes on steve nash, i think.)

General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to each question of the survey, rather than all 30 GMs.

Which team is the most fun to watch?
1. Oklahoma City 51.8%
2. Phoenix 23.2%
3. Dallas; L.A. Lakers; Miami 7.1%
6. Golden State 3.6%
- Last year: L.A. Lakers 30.8%

Which team has the best home-court advantage?
1. Utah 46.4% (word)
2. L.A. Lakers 21.4%
3. Oklahoma City 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Boston, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Miami, Portland, San Antonio
- Last year: Cleveland 37.9%

Which player is most athletic?
1. LeBron James, Miami 50.0%
2. Josh Smith, Atlanta; Dwyane Wade, Miami 10.7%
4. Dwight Howard, Orlando;
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; JaVale McGee, Washington; Derrick Rose, Chicago; John Wall, Washington
- Last year: LeBron James 69.6%

Which player is the best pure shooter?
1. Ray Allen, Boston 53.6%
1. Kyle Korver, Chicago 21.4%
3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City 14.3%
Also receiving votes:
Also receiving votes: Stephen Curry, Golden State; Jason Kapono, Philadelphia; Steve Nash, Phoenix
- Last year: Ray Allen 57.1%

Which player is fastest with the ball?
1. Derrick Rose, Chicago 21.4%
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans;
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 17.9%
4. Rajon Rondo, Boston; John Wall, Washington 10.7%
Also receiving votes:Gilbert Arenas, Washington; Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix; Aaron Brooks, Houston;Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee;
Ty Lawson, Denver
- Last year: Chris Paul 42.9%

Which player is best at moving without the ball?
1. Ray Allen, Boston 40.7%
2. Richard Hamilton, Detroit 37.0%
Also receiving votes:
Caron Butler, Dallas; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Paul Pierce, Boston; Luis Scola, Houston; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland
- Last year: Richard Hamilton 67.9%

Which player is the best at getting his own shot?
1. Kobe Bryant 70.4%
2. Dwyane Wade 11.1%
3. Carmelo Anthony 7.4%
Also receiving votes:
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; LeBron James, Miami; Brandon Roy, Portland
- Last year: Kobe Bryant 69.0%

Which player is the best offensive rebounder?
1. Dwight Howard, Orlando 37.0%
2. Kevin Love, Minnesota 11.1%
3. Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers; Brendan Haywood, Dallas;
Zach Randolph, Memphis; Josh Smith, Atlanta 7.4%
Also receiving votes:
Al Jefferson, Utah; David Lee, Golden State; Paul Millsap, Utah; Greg Oden, Portland; Luis Scola, Houston; Anderson Varejao, Cleveland
- Last year: Dwight Howard 74.1%

Which player is the best passer?
1. Steve Nash, Phoenix 75.0%
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans 14.3%
3. Jason Kidd, Dallas 7.1%
4. LeBron James, MIami 3.6%
- Last year: Steve Nash 58.6%

Which player is most dangerous in the open floor?
1. LeBron James, Miami 67.9%
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans 10.7%
3. Dwyane Wade, Miami 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Jason Kidd, Dallas; Tony Parker, San Antonio; Derrick Rose, Chicago; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
- Last year: LeBron James 62.1%

Which player is the best finisher?
1. LeBron James, Miami 60.7%
2. Dwyane Wade, Miami 17.9%
3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Carlos Boozer, Chicago; Dwight Howard, Orlando;
Josh Smith, Atlanta; Amar?e Stoudemire, New York
- Last year: LeBron James 55.2%

Which player does the most with the least?
1. Luis Scola, Houston 14.3%
2. Steve Nash, Phoenix 10.7%
3. Shane Battier, Houston;
Marc Gasol, Memphis; J.J. Redick, Orlando 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Carmelo Anthony, Denver; Matt Bonner, San Antonio; Glen Davis, Boston; Kirk Hinrich, Washington; Dwight Howard, Orlando; Chris Kaman, L.A. Clippers; Kyle Korver, Chicago; Brook Lopez, New Jersey; Kevin Love, Minnesota; Kevin Martin, Houston; Paul Millsap, Utah; Joakim Noah, Chicago; Mehmet Okur, Utah; Kendrick Perkins, Boston; Rajon Rondo, Boston
- Last year: Mehmet Okur 14.3%

Who is the toughest player in the NBA?
1. Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers 37.0%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 18.5%
3. Dwight Howard, Orlando 7.4%
Also receiving votes:
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Reggie Evans, Toronto; Kevin Garnett, Boston; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Chuck Hayes, Houston; Stephen Jackson, Charlotte; Shaquille O?Neal, Boston; Kendrick Perkins, Boston; Luis Scola, Houston; Ben Wallace, Detroit
- Last year: Ron Artest 42.9%

Which player is the best leader?
1. Steve Nash, Phoenix 32.1%
2. Chauncey Billups, Denver 17.9
3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers; Chris Paul, New Orleans 14.3%
5. Tim Duncan, San Antonio; Derek Fisher, L.A. Lakers;
Jason Kidd, Dallas 7.1
- Last year: Chauncey Billups 28.6%

Which player has the best basketball IQ?
1. Steve Nash, Phoenix 46.3%
2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 22.2%
3. Jason Kidd, Dallas 14.8%
Also receiving votes:
Shane Battier, Houston; Chauncey Billups, Denver; Andre Miller, Portland; Chris Paul, New Orleans; Tayshaun Prince, Detroit
- Last year: Steve Nash 36.5%

Which player would you want taking the game-winning shot?
1. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 78.6%
2. Carmelo Anthony, Denver; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City 7.1%
Also receiving votes:
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas; Dwyane Wade, Miami
- Last year: Kobe Bryant 89.7%

(here's the link, if you're interested. it has pictures.)

some questions - why oh why are the jazz in the same division as portland, oklahoma city, and denver? toughest division in the league, do you think? and where is the love for d. will? also, who else misses the good ol' days - hand checks, pasty gangstas, the mailman, leapfrog jumping, bleeding on the court... i miss it. players these days are sissies. (m.j.'s claim is pretty legit.)

also, i really like reading bill simmons. i think i remember reading that he doesn't like girls, or at least girl sports fans. don't ask me why - it's weird. but i enjoy him nonetheless. (and i definitely could be making that up...)

next on my agenda? golf trip to albuquerque next weekend! i realize the irony - that i am leaving warm arizona to go to cold new mexico to golf, but i have to pick up my new golf clubs sometime.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

but only illusions

watching the miners in chile has been an incredible, emotional, eye-opening experience for me.

seeing those men come out of the ground and see their families - after spending 69-something days under tons of rock, not being able to see the sun, to smell the grass, to feel the wind - with their good attitudes and faith intact. how i wish i could be more like that. (i've been crying all day! :))

watching this process has led me to do some soul-searching and attitude-adjusting.

i've been so focused lately on me, on the things that i want (and the things that i don't have). i've needed to see this to realize how skewed my perspective has become. with just me to worry about, i've lost focus on the people and things in my life who deserve more from me. i haven't spent months literally under ground, but i feel like i've been spending days underneath a weight of worries and trivialities and problems (so-called) that in reality are insignificant. they only have significance because i have been giving them space in my head and thoughts to fuel the fire.

i loved the talk President Monson gave in conference about gratitude. one line that has stuck with me since then seems especially poignant today -

"We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings.

Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, 'He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.'

... Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings."

i've been experiencing a perfect storm or circumstances and timing this week - general conference playing on my ipod, spending time with my loved ones, watching those miners, preparing a relief society lesson. and that combination of things has helped me realize something:

it is so easy - dangerously, frighteningly, maddeningly, disturbingly easy - to lose focus on what is important and instead give weight to the feathery matters in our lives. and they take hold, like burrs, grabbing on and entangling themselves into daily occurrences until they are nearly impossible to extricate.

living a good life takes hard work and focus and dedication. living the gospel requires honesty with ourselves and others, and our Father in Heaven. and living a happy life on this earth is greatly benefited by an eternal perspective.

i can feel as though i am having the darkest day in history, but as soon as i turn my thoughts to the Lord i find the things that are truly insignificant retreating back to where they belong (instead of monopolizing my brainwaves.) the eternal perspective helps me to focus on what is truly important and forces the things that don't matter into the background. i'm not weighed down by the ridiculous, but instead my faith is strengthened and i am closer to seeing things as they really are.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

i gotta wake you up

i know everyone has been waiting, with bated breath, for thirty six hours, for my fantastic las vegas wedding weekend update. so, without further ado...

it was awesome!! that's all.

alright, alright. i'll try to be a little more descriptive. first of all, let me just say that i love vacations with my mom, and my second family. the only thing that would have made it better would have been if my own siblings were there too (and it would have been a lot better, because they are cool)

but it was still pretty amazing. we played games, ate peanut butter m&m's, went shopping, laughed at crazies, got small amounts of sleep, and didn't even go to the strip once! oh, and went to the wedding of the year in there somewhere.

waiting for the ceremony. don't wanna brag, but i took this picture. it's incredible.

it isn't bragging to say i took this one too - it's pretty bad. but first dance! i missed the dip...

jen's wedding was beautiful - so unique and totally jenalyn. she was a beautiful bride.

also, a great feature of the wedding was the photobooth! not a real one, but an ultra flattering one with mustaches and lips and fun glasses. we monopolized it, or at least were in danger of that. good thing those francis girls are so photogenic.

some things i learned this weekend:

- how to count in binary (nerd alert)

- i get the giggles REAL bad in the middle of the night (might have already known that, actually)

- sleeping on a fold down couch is not the same as a bed

- how to make multiple cute flowers

- i am not good at keeping track of my phone

- sitting in the back seat between two cute boys makes for one enjoyable 7 hour drive.

see? who could resist those faces, or those dimples? i'm a sucker for dimples.

- scott is probably better at winking than i am

and a video, just for good measure.

give us your dreamers

fantastic las vegas wedding weekend preview - me and my majah.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

to the sleepless this is my reply

i don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone when i say i love music. for real. whether it is playing on my ipod at work or in the car, or teaching little squirts how to read and play it, or playing it myself (even with voldemort breathing down my neck) i can't get away from it.

you can find music for anything, that fits any mood. you can find a song to get you out of a funk, or to help you stay in one and wallow in it. i memorized doctrine and covenants section four with the help of a song over ten years ago, and i can still sing it. i would imagine that one of the most fun jobs in the world is picking the right song to set the mood in a movie or tv show or commercial or something else that needs a mood set...

i think one of my most favorite things in the whole world is when you find a song that shoots right to the center of your brain and makes a home there. when someone is singing their guts out and you want to hurry and learn all the lyrics so you can sing your guts out too.

i do have a problem though - when that happens to me, i usually do a silly thing - i buy the sheet music. while that may not seem so silly at first glance, trust me, it is. where do i think i'm going to play these songs? i doubt anyone is going to let me sing billy joel or death cab in sacrament meeting anytime soon.

i feel like i could invite people over for a little sing-along/concert, but that is slightly crazy for more than one reason. the main one being this - i'd chicken out. and that's a pretty silly activity. (hey, come over so i can play the piano and sing for you! get real. :)) i guess i just really need to find a band in need of a back up singer/tambourine player.

p.s. another road trip to vegas in a couple days - this time with my mom and a staci and bori's and francis's and some cute kids (who are bori's, but who also deserve their own mention). i'd say that is one pretty killer road trip

Monday, October 4, 2010

when my mirror speaks it never minces words


general conference? check
peanut butter m&m's? check
pedicures, complete with hot towel? check
cool people? check
best monday possible? check

when all forces combine at exactly the right moment, an amazing three days is what you get. general conference was amazing, per usual. girl bonding during the priesthood session was also fantastic, as was the conference watching party on sunday. and then today... what could possibly make it better, you ask? i'll tell you - a delicious burger and strawberry shake and a walk in the freaking hot (thanks sweet j! again? next week?)

life never ceases to amaze me - seems like just when i need it most, i have some days like those i have just recounted. they turn my mind back to the important things that occasionally get pushed into the background and help me realize just how blessed i am. thanks life!

(also, dre dawg gave me a challenge! i better get cracking - i'm pretty awful at memorizing.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

living in a powder keg

(in case you ever play a jenna trivia game)

things i thought about today that made me upset

- lebron james
- dentists
- 100+ degree weather
- hair in need of a haircut
- sleeping on my neck funny which leads to a kink which leads to a knot in my shoulder
- black widows

things i thought about today that made me happy

- conference! (and conference parties)
- cheesy '80s love songs
- friday
- sleeping
- maybe getting to go camping at some point in my life
- getting a haircut next week
- the majah