March 31, 2015

taking stock 07.

loving: apartment hunting in san fran, believe it or not. there are a lot nicer apartments (in some siiiiick locations) than i was expecting in our price range.

working: on pushing through this last stretch of the semester. it’s warm outside, i’m getting bored -  i swear, school isn’t even that hard this semester but my brain still manages to burn out this time of year. come onnnnn may!

obsessed with: my husband wearing a fitted suit. ohhhh have mercy. (and i'm selfishly excited for him to start summer work so he can wear one every day.)

cooking: the best crock pot mac n cheese known to man for our "walking dead" finale with friends. try it out here.

reading: hey natalie jean. i know she is kind of a “love her or hate her” blogger, but i’ll be darned if girlfriend can’t write. i also started the novel “one day” after falling in love with the movie.

listening to: the bossypants audible book. it’s funnier the second time around, guys. trust me. ily, tina.

a little sad at: the office finale. we finished it last night and i loved it! i get kinda sad to be parted with those characters, they’ve been part of our “before bed wind down” for like 4 months! now. new tv shows for us?

wasting time: on the new “layout” app. collages! photo-booth! picture mirroring! go try it.

looking forward to: CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND! the older i get, the more desperate i am for april and october to roll around. i’m really needing that extra boost, and for a few questions to be answered.

appreciating: a sick sunday in bed and a “barely sick enough sick day” yesterday in which i scrubbed the apartment and watched dirty dancing. although the coughing, blowing of the nose, throwing up because of the snot drainage (too gross?) were NOT pleasant, lazing around for a few days was very much enjoyed. side note, i watched pride and prejudice on sunday and my heavens! that is the best movie ever made.

appreciating: lots of girl time lately. i have SO MANY good friends, it’s disgusting.

looking forward to: i know i already said conference, but conference cinnamon rolls deserve their own line, wouldn’t you say?

excited: about a little discovery we made this weekend – free s’mores at the st. regis hotel in park city! (i think they do s’mores at all of the st. regis hotels, but these ones are free!) try the coconut marshmallow, you won’t be sorry.

experiencing: that weird, post-sick cough and sniffles where you sound like death but you have to convince everyone disgusted by you that no, you really feel fine, you promise!

grateful for: a text i received from my friend annie on sunday. it was one of those hard-core, compliment your character and who you are as a human texts that has pulled me through a tough few moments since. i hope i can make people's day every once in a while like she made mine. 

March 25, 2015

on giving each other a break.

i wrote recently about setting out with determination to become a kinder person, and as i’ve really made a conscious effort to treat everyone with an added measure of kindness, i have come to a few conclusions that i felt were worth documenting.

i have all of these quotes littered throughout my pinterest boards and the walls of my home – “if you can be anything be kind” and “have courage and be kind” and “be kind or be quiet” and “be kind to unkind people, they need it the most” but what IS being kind? does that mean being friendly? does it mean having good manners? is it only giving compliments? is it smiling even when someone’s driving you crazy? well, yes. kind of. these are often outward expressions of how you control yourself on the inside.

but really, most of kindness, i have learned, is just giving each other a break. not expecting 100% perfection from everyone, not expecting them to be the kind of person you think they should be, or make the decisions you would make, or treat you the way that you think you are entitled to. understanding when they cut you off or say hurtful things or criticize or roll their eyes at you or talk behind your back or leave you out or just plain annoy you, that you need to give them a break.

the day i realized i should maybe make “kindness” a big time goal was a few weeks ago. this was kind of a sad realization, as i pride myself on being a kind person. but i had slipped a little, and sometimes i substitute “loving deeply” for “kindness” when, although they are intertwined, they are not the same thing. 

there’s this girl in my institute class that is suuuuper spiritual and very opinionated about it. one day, we were discussing our favorite restaurants and i asked her what hers was. “i don’t like to go out to eat, i think it’s a waste.” oooookay girlfrien. insert MAJOR eye roll from me. then we had a lesson about keeping the sabbath day holy and she made some comment about how unless you’re saving lives, you shouldn’t work sundays. i was like PLEASE. i know everyone has their own opinions on this - but jordan has to work sundays for the next 2 years – a sacrifice we prayed about and one that is very personal to us.  i was like, really bugged. and now every time she raises her hand to make a comment i just think “oh gosh, here we go again.” although i have never been outwardly unkind to her, how rude am i?! she deserves a break – she’s just trying to be really obedient and feel the spirit and maybe she’s a little overly-opinionated about the sabbath day, but WHATEVER. that’s not my issue. she’s just trying to be a good person. give her a break.

while i’m airing out my dirty laundry here and just being honest, i can get really sassy at work sometimes. we get a lot of calls from telemarketers and call centers and i swear 50% of them ask for our CEO that was removed from the board 2 years ago. i’m like, can you at least google the company before calling and thinking you can just be pinged straight through to the CEO?! who are these people?? but the thought came to my mind – give them a break. they are probably just doing what they are told, or reading an expired name off of a list.

on a more personal note, how many times am i not giving jordan the break he deserves? he is taking a full semester of the toughest econ classes, playing on 2 intramural teams, working part time, and still managing to work out every day. yet sometimes, i snap at him for leaving his towel on the floor for the thousandth time, or for not being the scripture-reading initiator several days in a row, or for not planning well enough to give me the attention i want. if i want to be kinder to him, i need to give him a break, too. he is trying his hardest to be the best at a thousand different things. and come on, i have two arms. i can pick up the stupid towel.ya know?

i am pretty lucky to have minimal conflict in my life – but there have been times where i have been legitimately hurt and felt like it was on purpose. in those cases, instead of leaping straight to anger, why not give them a break? people, and especially girls, who put others down intentionally are filling a void somewhere, or satisfying an insecurity. why not give them a break and understand that they are hurting? i believe in standing up for yourself when you deem necessary. but generally, being the bigger person helps both of you out in the long run. kill 'em with kindness, that's real. it works. 

we all have complex concerns and a burden to carry – these things range from the obvious to the never-noticeable. we are all fighting battles and will make a thousand mistakes on the way. so let’s give each other a break. (am i saying that too much?)

this quote, from one of my very favorite talks, illustrates this point perfectly. she’s talking to women, but i think it applied universally:

“…because of the increasing diversity of life-styles for women of today, we seem even more uncertain and less secure with each other. we are not getting closer, but further away from that sense of community and sisterhood that has sustained us and given us strength for generations. there seems to be an increase in our competitiveness and a decrease in our generosity with one another.”

let’s not let insecurity or uncertainty prevent us from being kind to one another – and as it is with all good things, it’s an upwards cycle. the more you let yourself feel kindness and “let people off the hook” the easier it becomes to do so. and the easier it becomes to truly love them. feeling kindness fosters an environment in which we can be happy. all the time. and that sounds like a lovely life, no? 

i reeeeeally believe this sentence right here: we are all doing better than we think. (!!!) but we all still deserve a break. here’s to being the ones to give it. 

March 23, 2015

happy list 11.

+ the smell of the new building on campus & the fact that all of my classes have been moved in there. i walk in and take a GIANT breath in through my nose, every time. it never gets old.
+ i spilled my breakfast shake all over a freshly washed and pressed white shirt the other day - jordan started laughing at me, and it turned into us both crying from laughter.
+ when they bleep out swear words on the office. it makes me LOL every time.
+ cadberry eggs in the bulk section at winco. (!!!)
+ a cute "chick's night" at kelli's apartment. she always throws the best parties.
+ when jordan wears his extra-fitted suit. i can't even handle myself.
+ trying mooyah's and being like, suuuuper impressed. those milkshakes, doe.
+ when you see your high school boyfriend at mooyah's and he DOESN'T come over and force you into an awkward conversation with his wife and your husband. hashtag grateful.
+ spending most of friday, saturday, and sunday outside in the sunshine - tandem bike riding, hiking, climbing, and picnic-ing.
+ an institute lesson on the importance of education and how it's making you a better, more well-rounded person. (a much needed reminder.)
+ listening to sheri dew speak last week. that woman, holy crap! she is so real, so honest. but she still has the power to inspire you in an incredible way.
+ the blossoms everywhere are NAILING IT.

March 19, 2015

around here lately.

+ we spent a night at the "utah valley derby darlin's" roller derby - one word. hilarious. 

+ my "j" necklace hasn't left my neck in a few months. it might seem silly, but every time i see it in the mirror i kind of fall in love. i love having people ask me what it means.

+ when danielle and i were like 7, a krispy kreme opened in denver and we roadtripped with our dads to enjoy some doughy goodness. we have continued the tradition in utah & snapped this pic to send to our daddy's. can we all agree that sometimes donuts are overrated? but never kreme donuts. never. oh, and not cougar tails either.

+ i am really glad i sucked it up and ran that half marathon last fall - but there isn't a day where i'm grateful to be lifting instead of running. preach. 

+ at this point - our sunday walks have turned into an ugly fashion show for me. jordan patiently waits outside in the living room while i come up with the ugliest/most outlandish outfit possible - i usually get a few laughs :)

+ i got to attend provo fashion week! there are so many talented people in this community and i love being part of it.

+ sundays have just been extra dreamy lately - we have had good lessons at church that hit me hard, my sunday naps have been on point, we have had friends make us these outrageously good home-cooked meals, and it's been sunny enough for long strolls. sundays are the best days. 

+we planned, with some friends, a group date to keys on main - and seriously, that place! if you've never been, GO. it is probably my favorite thing to do in salt lake. you leave totally exhausted and with no voice - and that is the telltale sign of a good time.

+ my goal the last few weeks is to really focus on being kinder - over the phone at work, to classmates, to other drivers on the road. i've had to say lots of little prayers throughout the day (especially while driving, haha) but i have noticed myself a little more at peace. another goal i set was to physically write in my journal more - i have missed that!

March 17, 2015

key ingredients for a perfect weekend - part 2.

 + an entire batch of little sissy visiting - mix it in with the byu art museum, sodalicious, our fourth, un-biological sister, lots of dancing before bed, and then lazy-life chats in bed the next morning.
+ a fourth cup of afternoon gym time, followed directly by a fourth cup of saturday nap
+ 2 cups of the aquarium, go heavy on the penguins and light on the snakes
+ fold together a pink sunset on the mountain with in n out
+ a dash of frosted donuts and a movie
+ 2 heaping cups of heavy sunday nap. (the kind where you wake up & you have forgotten your own name and what year it is)
+ 2 teaspoons of spring blooms during a sunday stroll
+ finish off with walking dead & friends
+ sprinkle laughter, blurry selfies, and cuddling with boyfriend throughout

March 12, 2015

the best marriage advice i ever received.

yesterday in my institute class, we had a lesson on dating and marriage. towards the end of the class, my teacher turned to me (one of the 2 married students) and asked, if you were to give one piece of marriage advice to everyone, what would it be? i didn't even have to ponder.

"my advice would be - don't listen to anyone's advice."

it sounds silly, but it's SO true. i can't even remember who told me this, but i heard someone say it in the weeks surrounding our wedding - and it's been the most important advice i've kept with me. every relationship is so different, every person has completely different needs from the next, and it's totally unfair to put your relationship into a category because you live by certain advice that may be totally injurious to the next couple. as jordan and i have grown into our roles as husband and wife, we have pretty much made up our own rules, based on what makes us happy. we have taken bits and pieces of other marriages that we've seen, mixed in our own personalities, and viola! we have an imperfect, but very, very happy existence together.

that being said, i have been compiling a list of the "rules" we have made that work for us - and although they might not be universal, they have been helpful to us. i am aware that i am by no means an authority on this, but after 2 1/2 years of marriage, i feel like i've learned a few things worth writing down. 

1. put god first - everything else will fall into place. always. we take turns being the instigator of scripture and prayer, but there is a feeling of sacredness that comes into our home and our relationship when we make that, and all other things christ/church centered a priority.

2. you are equals - i know that between two people, one usually has a more dominant personality.  i respect a girl who is independent and sassy, but it really makes me sad to see girls just dominate their husbands - and i feel like that happens more often now. just as equally, it pains me to see women just tack a backseat and let their husbands run the show. work together, you're a team!

3. be an individual - i have written about this before, but there are few things i am more passionate about. i saw this tweet a couple of months ago - "god send me a husband before i am 20 so i don't have the burden of creating my own personality." it made me laugh pretty hard, but seriously. it all comes back to this universal truth – if you’re not happy with yourself, another person cannot make you so. (at least not permanately.)

have your own hobbies. make your own friends. figure problems out on your own. be independent. i realize that as a couple you're a "partnership", but you bring so much more to the table as a spouse & as a friend when you are working on yourself. if having a spouse is the only thing you have going for you - you're probably not going to be a very good one.
i think it’s important the your spouse be your favorite friend to talk to & hang out with, but let’s be honest. you need girlfriends, they fill a spot in your heart that nobody else can. when you rely on friends and ward members and family to fulfil you in addition to your spouse – life is just more FULL.  it’s more whole. it’s more satisfying.

jordan and i make all major decisions together, but we try to be the best support system we can to each other in our own endeavors. that is such a huge priority. when i am working on myself, i am a better wife, which leads to a better marriage, which pushes me to be even better, see the cycle? instead of just melting into your husband or wife and creating a crutch, you can instead foster a place for them to grow and improve. everyone does this at varying degrees, but it's so important to be you. (i really think that the most independent women make the best mothers, too!)

4. appreciate - i read this quote recently - "if you're not happy with what you have now, you won't be happy when you get what you want." isn't that so great? i am not always good at this, but when i focus on the good things about jordan, it seems like his faults just disappear. this is a pretty universal tool when it comes to being happy, and it applies to your marriage. if you're focusing on the good, that's what you're going to see. we teach a “marriage and family” class at church and as we discuss finances and family planning and conflict resolution, it seems like this is always the solution that can calm the waters.

5. date night – i love dates. i love dating my husband. it makes me so happy – and this is why  we’ve made it a priority for us. the last few weeks have been friends friends friends (which i also love) but i am pining for a fun date night just us two. i feel like this has been crucial in keeping us connected. we un-plug and give each other our undivided attention - all while making memories that we can look back on. i enjoy spending time in bed watching netflix and ordering a pizza - but going out and experiencing life together has brought us closer.

i’m sure as we get older and weather more storms together, that my ideas about how marriage works will shift and evolve – but i’m so grateful i am figuring out this “how to always be better”  thing with jordan by my side. i don’t say this very much, but married life is the best life. especially when you do it your own way. 

March 10, 2015

happy list 10.

saturday naps with my cute boy // eating zupas OUTSIDE with the sun shining right in my face // allotting myself a "sick day" so i could sleep in, clean, walk to the gym, and watch a movie // jordan accidentally calling google "the google" and i could never stop laughing // when friends make you a full on sunday home-cooked meal // girl scout cookies // solid relief society lessons that make you ponder // inspirational words on international women's day // singing our hearts out at "keys on main" - literally the best entertainment slc has to offer. also some amazing people watching // the sunday walk of all sunday walks - in 70 degree weather (!!!)  //  krispy kremes and the first harry potter movie // this video that is real romance. makes me cry every time // running into mila at the grocery store // this article on ross geller being a "dream man." still can't decide what i think about it // also this for any sex and the city fans out there // the snowstorm last week - i made it work before it hit, and left after it melted. watching it fall from my window all day was so cozy // 

March 4, 2015

happy stastny valentines day.

since we spent february 14th out of town - jordan and i decided to celebrate valentine's day the next weekend, alone. i love all of the friends we've made, our family, our neighbors - but there is something about our "just us" time that is, frankly, better than anything else. ya know?

i came home from class on friday to a dozen red roses and a note - telling me to get dressed up because our reservations to "the roof" were at 7:30! (we've made a "utah" bucket list of things we need to do & see before we leave the state for good! dining at the roof was right at the top - and if anyone has anything else we need to see or eat or experience before we leave here, let me know!)

the food was FREAKIN DELISH, for lack of a classier term. the view was magic, the live piano player was oh so fancy, and the company was perfection. we spent a lot of time smiling at each other like goons and laughing - probably a little too loudly than is polite for a fancy restaurant. we almost dined and dashed (total accident!) but it gave us a good story. and then we were in bed watching tv before the stroke of eleven - real party animals, we are. but the whole night was the bomb - i LOVE to celebrate! (and fair warning, in our excitement to leave, we forgot to bring the nice camera.)

March 2, 2015

some happy things.

+ i had a professor pull me aside and ask me to participate in some communication research - it's a really ingenious idea about headlines and how they can psychologically change your view of the story underneath them. if all goes well and the project is approved by the communication research board, i will be a published academic author next fall! #nerdbrag - but really this is so exciting. research seems kind of glamorous from afar, but up close it's a lot of tedious work.regardless, i am thrilled to be chipping away at future goals, little by little.

+ now i don't want to jinx anything, but i have gotten 2 calls in the last 2 days from a couple of GREAT news stations in san fran interested in me. holy prayers being answered!! my heavens i was so ecstatic after that first call, i couldn't even sleep. (update: jordan asked me, in earnest, if i would come to the bay with him instead of peruse opportunities in new york. this is another story for another day, but i decided that being his support system right now needs to come first.) i've been a little worried about what i would end up doing in the bay - with the whole "not knowing a soul out there" deal. but when one of the top stations called me and told me they'd like to pursue me further, it was affirmed to me that there is hope, & that my experience is valuable and i know what i'm doing - two things i have been doubting. obviously nothing is set in stone yet, but i am spilling over with excitement/gratitude/all of the feelings. my dreams are coming to life, and also heavenly father cares about everything you care about. i really believe that. 

+ this semester has been crazy - not like "crazy busy" although i generally like to wear my business badge way too often. it's been crazy emotional - i was super down after breaking my ankle and being cooped up inside, then a close family friend died and i experience all of those emotions, a few days later my sister came home from her mission and the highest of highs were felt. our home has been overflowing with love the last two weeks (we're on and upswing of those natural ebbs and flows) and the anticipation of all of changes to come seem to bear down on us every day. it's been (mostly) a blessing to feel everything quite so deeply - the human experience can be so divine. although the lows have been low, it's made the highs so much higher. i hope that i am navigating this depth with compassion and grace - and i keep coming back to this quote:

"she made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. she walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like it was a pair of wings."

+ i have mentioned this before, but we have been watching an episode or two of the office before bed each night. during the first season, we would play the theme song melody on each other's arm during the opening. you know, like you're playing a fake piano? in the second season, the piano playing turned to piano-pounding until someone finally said, "ouch!" that evolved into me punching (lightly) jordan in the chest to the beat of the theme song. now we are on season five, and when the theme song starts, we look at each other for a quick moment and then start wrestling. i don't know how it got to this point, and i am totally aware of how psycho this behavior is, but it has us belly laughing by the time the show actually starts. every. time.