Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Mistletoe anyone?
Oh Christmas, the best time of year! Smells of sugar cookies, charlie carrots, maple ham, sour cream potatoes, chocolate oranges, peppermint, pine, and more. Sounds of hallelujah choruses, Bing Crosby's "White Christmas, Bells jingling, crackling fires, carolers, songs around the piano, wrapping paper crinkling, Luke chapter 2 read aloud, " Josh Groban's "O Holy Night," "Ho, Ho, Ho" and Karen Carpenter's "Merry Christmas Darling."

 The sights of lights on the rooftops and trees, stockings hung by the chimney, presents spilling from under the tree, Ice skaters, the baby in swaddling clothes, Red noses, bundled up children, brilliant Christmas ornaments hanging from branches, smiles, softly falling snow, the musical "Scrooge," and  Nativity scenes of all ethnicities.

The feeling of warm hot cocoa slipping down your throat, itchy Christmas sweaters, crispy pine needles, joy in remembering Christ's birth, charity for those less fortunate, love for family, peace, surprise in discovering an unknown gift under the tree, bitter cold wind, nostalgia for Christmases past, longing for those who aren't with us, childlike joy, gratitude, and hope for the new year.

I wish you all the Merriest Christmas this year! In the Spanish language, "mas" means more, so I always like to think that Christmas is kinda like "more Christ" - An opportunity to turn our thoughts more toward the Savior and also an opportunity to be more like him as we share our love and Christmas spirit with others.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!"

It's my older sister Tammy's 30th birthday today, and she truly is "thirty, flirty, and thriving!" For those of you who don't know my sister, I hope you know her a bit better after reading this post. My sister has big beautiful blue-green eyes. Her hair is brown, but in the perfect sunlight, spectacular auburn streaks shine through it. Whether a curse or blessing, Tammy and I both have snow white skin that never seems to tan.
My sister is a poet, although very few know it. From sonnets to haiku, her words dance over the pages in glorious rhythms and rhymes. My sister is an athlete. She has run miles of grassy soccer fields and gymnasium basketball courts, but nowadays her best sport is long distance stroller pushing and quick sprinting after her daughter Grace. My sister is a teacher of rhetoric and thought to BYU students, but also a teacher of colors and songs to her one year old daughter. My sister is a thespian. She brought the stage to life as Millie from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and also as a special alto in Madrigals. Now she brings to life stories like "Good Night Moon" and "There were ten in the bed."

My sister is an intellectual. She can hold her own on most any subject of conversation. Her Witt and smarts shine through every word she says. My sister is informed. If time permitted, she'd happily read the newspaper to keep up with current political news, listen to many Diane Rehm pod casts, and read books like "Three cups of Tea." My sister is a strong oak tree. When even the most paralyzing of winds or trials beat upon her, she stands firm and strong.  My sister is a woman of God. Her testimony is unshakable and her insights are abounding.

My Sister is a lover of Shakespeare, movies, books, rustic looking tea pots, Asian literature, poetry, Korean dramas, kimchi, German chocolate cake, art, Greek, Indian, and Thai food, peaceful contemplative places, heartfelt musical lyrics, traveling, Michael Owen, John Stockton, a good burger and shake, and much more. She loves sleep, but loves her daughter more (hence, she doesn't get much sleep).

My Sister is a fabulous friend, daughter, granddaughter, sister, and mother. Although our ages stand ten years apart, my sister and I stand mighty close. We have unique differences, but sometimes we are mirror images of each other. As we've grown older, our bond has grown stronger. So, Happy Birthday to my shining beacon of a sister! Thank you for all the little things you've done that have strengthened me. I hope you have the most beautiful year ever. And to quote Dar Williams, "I'm so glad that you finally made it here, you thought nobody cared, but I did, I could tell, and this is your year, and it always starts here, and oh-oh oh-oh-oh oh-oh, you're aging well." Love you Tammy!
"A ministering Angel shall my sister be" - William Shakespeare

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Haunted Halloween Night

Happy Halloween!! I had a great Halloween weekend down in Provo. On Friday the 29th, Jessica, Carrolyn, Jessica's older Sister Melissa, and I went to the Hee-Haw farm to go on the Haunted Hay ride. It reminded me of a Haunted State Fair! Bean bag toss, potato sack slides, corn mazes, etx. It really was pretty fun, and the Haunted Hay ride had some "epic" moments.

Saturday, we all got costumed and went to a huge dance party at the parking garage next to the boys' apartment. This year I decided to incorporate a little bit of what I've been studying in school into my costume. I'm studying about early civilizations in history and reading about Levi Strauss' essay in English. Basically, Levi Strauss says that women are the signifier of men's intent and that men communicate through the exchange of women. Pretty interesting stuff! Anyway, I decided to be a Mesopotamian Princess. Mesopotamian because of the early civilizations, and a princess because what is a better example of males communicating through the exchange of women than the political marriage arrangements? However, as you can imagine, very few people guessed who I was. The night ended with Jessica, Melissa, and I heading over to the Haunted Forrest! All in all, it was a boo-tifully spooktacular Halloween!
A 50's girl, mesopotamian princess, super girl, and the wicked queen from Snow White
Special thanks to Jessica for doing my awesome eye makeup!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What once brought Glee...

The first time I watched an episode of "Glee", I actually wasn't that impressed. I felt like the storyline was unbelievable and pretty poor in general, but somehow the music and the performing dragged me in. I didn't really start watching it regularly until the second half of the first season. Suddenly I began laughing at many of Sue Sylvester's strange comments and the performances started wowing me even more. I guess I was hooked on Glee, as most people in America are right now. I followed it every week, but since the beginning of the current season, the show has really let me down.

Each new episode began to be more and more risque and almost raunchy at times, but I kept watching hoping it would get better. Sadly, so far it hasn't. Glee was once something I couldn't wait to watch after a long day at school, but now I hesitate to watch in fear that I'm going to be let down by what I see on the screen. I decided that I needed to choose whether I was going to continue watching "Glee" or not. This was hard because the show had once given me lots of joy, and like i said, the music is pretty awesome. But it hit me, I was rationalizing "Glee" the same way people sometimes rationalize listening to inappropriate music. The oh so well known line of, "The beat is so good. I only like the song for the beat. I don't even really listen to the words." Now I'm saying, "Yeah, the story isn't the best and it is getting kinda out of hand lately, but the music is so good!" Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning anyone who watches Glee. I love Glee, but right now I just don't love the direction they're taking the show.

So thanks to the strength of my friend for saying no first, I've also decided to stop watching Glee for now. I'll be more than happy to watch the episode if someone previews it for me and assures me it's good, so for those of you faithful Glee fans - keep me posted!  But I figure since it was the music that I loved in the first place anyway, I can always listen to the songs on itunes without watching the show. I hope the show does in fact get better, so I can once again find glee in "Glee". 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Most Beautiful Spot On Campus

I went running this morning and decided to go on an adventure. I knew there was a gorgeous path on the west side of campus that had been renovated last spring, so I decided to go check it out. I thought the path was gorgeous before, but it is breathtaking now. There's a cobble stoned path, a little creek, and at least four or five waterfalls all winding along this wooded path. I walked in total awe and decided I had to go home and grab my camera. The beautiful path extended across the whole south side of campus and led to this strange unknown BYU Terrace Gardens. What once was known as "Rape Hill" might better be titled "Date Hill" now. It is the perfect venue for a romantic walk or even just a stroll with the baby stroller.
This is was in my own backyard and I never knew it!

BYU Terrace Gardens: Who knew this existed?

 Usually they tell you not to venture too far from home, or to stay on the familiar path. BUT, sometimes I think we have to venture off just a little bit in order to find beautiful surprises. Sometimes the most beautiful places are right under our nose, just hiding a few steps off from the path we take everyday. Robert Frost advised that we take the "road less traveled by" and at least today, it really did "make all the difference."

The Aura of Autumn

Every time Fall rolls along, it takes me back to that one great quote from the movie "You've Got Mail".
"Don't you just love fall? It makes me want to shop for back to school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
Someday maybe there will be a bouquet of newly sharpened, number 2, soft lead, Ticonderoga Pencils at my door. But really, there is something so glorious about Fall. As Keats puts it, there is a "mellow fruitfulness" about it. I love the colorful reds, yellows, and oranges, the crisp coolness of the air, the crunch of the leaves, and the fashion. Really, Fall has the best outfits: boots, jackets, scarfs...need I say more? Even though it's supposed to be the season where everything begins to die, to me it seems like nature comes to life in Autumn. Maybe it's a last big hurrah before everything dies in winter's slumber.

The Y Mountain

Bridal Veil Falls
Traditional Tree Hugging Picture with Megan
The Autumn Leaves

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Let's do somethig Drastic!"

I'd finished my homework for the day and didn't know what to do with the unusual free time I had, so I decided that I wanted to do something drastic. I decided I either wanted to start a Blog, or join the ever growing network of Facebook. I know, it's ridiculous and rare that a nineteen year old girl like myself doesn't have a facebook account. Believe me, i'm reminded of this fact at least every day. So there I was deciding between a Blog and a facebook. Thanks to some advice from my roomates, I decided to start a blog. (Sorry Facebook, I guess you'll have to wait) I've always wanted to start a blog, but figured that I didn't have anything worth blogging about. I'm void of a cute baby or husband, i'm not a noted writer, and i'm not living anywhere exotic, but i'm living. I suppose my life has lots of stories to tell, and who better to tell them than me? So for those of you tunning in, this is Jenny Thorup about to become the new best blogger.