Wednesday, December 29, 2010

see the world hanging upside down

my christmas vacation, by the numbers.

5 - number of pictures i took on the trip
0 - number of people in the pictures (i'm the worst photographer in the history of ever)

1 - number of video cameras present when my sister biffed it on the ice christmas eve
4 - number of potential witnesses to said biffing.
0 - number of actual witnesses. how did we miss that?

67 - number of minutes spent christmas day skyping my little bro on a mission in argentina
12 - number of people present to skype little bro
3 - number of minutes little bro's video actually worked and we got to see him. good thing we know what he looks like,

40 - number of minutes spent in the ER the day after christmas, reading espn the magazine and watching lord of the rings
3 or 4 - number of drops of blood my mom had left in her body after her vein burst and she left a puddle on the floor. (she's ok, thank goodness!)
472 - number of times we quoted this kid.

five hundred and fifty billion - number of decibels i was screaming at in energy solutions arena monday night
6 - number of points the jazz lost by, despite my best efforts
9000 - number of three pointers deron williams hit, and number of times i said i love him

3 - number of courses consumed at the roof tuesday night
2 - number of paragraphs i have left to memorize in "the living christ" (i didn't quite make the deadline, but i got close)
4 - number of times i wanted to spontaneously quote it while wandering around temple square

7 - number of hours driven in snow with white knuckles wednesday
70 - number of dollars spent so i could slum it here at the ho jo in flagstaff until the 17 is open again and i can get back on the road (wish they had a wii in my room, so i could hone my nba jam skills)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

his law is love and his gospel is peace

my christmas present to you all... (because if you are reading this, you're cool and deserve a present.)

of all of the millions of versions of "o holy night" i have heard, this one is by far my favorite. if i were stranded on a desert island for the rest of my life with one song, i would hope it was this one.

merry christmas! let's hope i actually make it up to utah tomorrow without dying.

Monday, December 13, 2010

with thankful heart and joyful mind

merry Christmas everyone! (a little early, but i'm bad at waiting!)

i love everything about this song. the best part of the video, though, is homeboy playing the tiny bells. plus, i wish i could play the cello. and sing like alison krauss. i want her to sing me to sleep every night.

the other night i watched "the nativity story" and i cried. (i'm thinking i need to do some serious consideration about continuing to bill myself as a non-crier. i seem to be crying more in my old age. or maybe i'm just selective...)

the part of the movie that got me was the end, with the shepherds coming to the stable. the shepherds have always been my favorite part of the story (besides the most important part, of course.) and while i was watching that part, i kept thinking of John chapter 10, which is one of my favorites. i remember when we studied the new testament in seminary and my teacher had us go through the chapter marking the characteristics of the sheep, and the hireling, and the good shepherd.

watching the shepherds come and worship the newborn Savior led me to thinking about the Atoning Savior - the Good Shepherd. i love these characteristics of our Good Shepherd:

- "he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out."

- "i am the good shepherd, and know my sheep"

- "he goeth before them"

- "the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep"

those lonely shepherds have always amazed me - coming to worship a baby in humble circumstances, with faith that someday He would be their King.

my home teachers came yesterday and talked about what gifts we can give the Savior. i know we hear that a lot, but i was thinking about it in conjunction with these other things, and i want to be a better sheep - a better follower of our Savior. i want to know His voice, and follow Him, trusting in His love and His teachings. and i want to be a better shepherd, with more faith in His plan and more love for the people around me.

i love the line in that song up there that talks about Mary "attending on the Lord of Life, who came on earth to end all strife." thinking of the Good Shepherd, and the sacrifice He made for everyone to "end all strife," helps all of the frivolous things that can creep up on me this time of year to fade into the background, and helps to strengthen my resolve to be a better person (just in time for new year's resolutions.) i think it's a nice refresher at the end of the year, preparing me for the challenges in the next one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

fifty doors to choose from

in the next month, i will be:

- hoping my present selection this year is up to par (i always try to be one of those people who gives amazing gifts, but it never works out. fingers crossed that this is my year...)

- having a piano recital, and playing for the ward Christmas program and hoping voldemort doesn't avada kedavra me

- spending Christmas in utah with most of my family, and hoping the roads are clear

(lots of hopes so far, i just realized. moving on...)

- enjoying the 80 degree weather with my windows down and my Christmas music cranked

- maybe watching the jazz win a few more (at this point, looks a little iffy)

- and doing something wild and crazy (open to suggestions) because you know what?

in exactly one month

i'm turning 27

and i can't turn 27 as lame as i am right now.

however - i am not as apprehensive about it as i was before. i can't shake the feeling that 27 will be a good year...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

swear to be sturdy and strong

Pres. Uchtdorf's conference talk keeps popping up in my life. (sidenote: i'm digging the church's new website.) i talked about it with my friend andrea last week, we discussed it for our relief society lesson on sunday, i listened to it on my ipod today. i guess there are some lessons i need to learn from it maybe.

one thing that stuck out to me is the story he tells about the lady who decides to be a good listener. i've thought about that a lot, in a lot of different ways - why are good listeners of such value in our lives? how can i be a better listener? have i been appreciative enough to the good listeners that i know?

i know that is a small part of the millions of wonderful things he has talked about, but i feel like that is an undervalued part of so many people's lives. i don't know why it is so important to have good listeners around us. i don't know why it is so meaningful to have someone listen to what you say. but i do know that it is - that every time i have a good conversation with someone, in which we both do the talking and the listening, i feel happier, more motivated, less burdened. i don't know what it is about sharing our problems/worries/concerns with others that helps lighten the load, but i do know that it works. so thanks to all of you who listen to me (even when i'm being a dork, or talking about basketball ad nauseum) and i'm going to try to be a better listener for all of you.

(quick shout out to andrea/spreading eagle. she is one of the few people i know who can rebuke me (rebuke? counsel? something) and not make me resentful, or want to go do the opposite of what was said just to be rebellious. and one of those friends you can go without seeing or talking to for months at a time and pick up right where you left off. too bad you live in oregon and not arizona.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

robbers in my thoughts

(this post will not contain anything about basketball starting 7 game win streak now)

i've been reading a lot of malcolm gladwell lately, as you have probably gathered. he's pretty awesome - makes things interesting that maybe shouldn't be, and makes me wish i was smart enough to be a scientist.

i finished his third book today and it contained a lot of really cool ideas (especially about education.) and after reading his books, i have come to this conclusion - i would like to have someone follow me around, all the time, with brain analyzing instruments and all of their considerable knowledge, and tell me all about what i do. (like a genius stalker maybe?)

i would like to know what the potential outcomes of all of my decisions are, and why i feel inclined to one thing over another, and what i am doing wrong in any given situation. and i don't think i can work all that out on my own - i don't have the brain power or the instruments or the time that would be involved. but i would still like to know... (is that weird? i feel like it is a little)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

hotel, motel, holiday inn

*warning: super nerd alert*

i wondered about this today, so i did the stats (i maybe could have googled them, but it is more satisfying to do the work yourself eh?)

top 4 teams in the western conference right now: spurs (15-2), mavericks (13-4), jazz (14-5), lakers(13-5. i get such satisfaction out of typing jazz before lakers.)

now, let's take a look at those schedules, shall we? spurs have played 8 teams over .500, mavs have played 10, jazz have played 9, and the lakers? 3. just 3.

and guess what is so special about those + .500 games for the team from l.a. -

they have lost all three of those games. (which means the teams they are beating are... sacramento, minnesota, houston. garbage.)

when life starts to make me feel sad, i just look at that stat and smile again. someone please explain to me why the lakers are supposed to be so awesome.

(also, i would appreciate it if no one rained on my parade. i know this means not a whole lot in the grand scheme of the entire season, but it made me super happy.)

update - i was wrong. the lakers have played 4 teams over .500, and won one of those games. but they lost to houston the other day, so it evens out.