Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summertime!!!

Well yesterday I got the letter... I passed my final 8 hour comprehension exam so I officially am done with my masters degree. Talk about a relief.

But there is a part of me that feels empty, I have gotten so used to the weight of having school or teaching on my shoulders for so long I forgot what it's like to not constantly feel that pressure. So I decided I'd better get planning! I have 6 weeks of absolute freedom.... not a care or worry in the world! So here is what is planned:

Chicago!
I know I know, seriously who really is excited to go to Chicago but after watching this movie I have really wanted to visit the windy city!

Some things I am excited about are:
The Boat Tour!

I sure hope this guy is my tour guide!

And of course I have to see this:

And ya know... I am going to splurge and have one of these!


After returning from Chicago I am going to head to the happiest place on earth!


I plan on spending lots of time here:


And hanging out with him:

And him:

I guess I should really say, them:

And them:

And hopefully do more of this:

And then I am headed here:

Where this will be ready:

And will do more of this:

And spend time with her:

who is my:

Where we hope to climb to the top of this:


And all of this will happen before I have to return to here:


LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beauty

Last night as I sat and watched the fountain at the Bellagio I couldn’t help but think about how in an area where we were completely surrounded by evil. In an atmosphere that is so ungodly, there can be some thing so amazing, so breath taking, so …beautiful. I think it may be possible that because of the wickedness that surrounds the area, the music, the lights, the synchronized movement of water is even more beautiful. I remember this time I was listening to the Sounds of Sunday and the host was interviewing a lady that had just written a song about light. She said how she had taken an art class from my dad. They were painting a still life of a bucket of apples. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t make the metal bucket in her painting shine. She added more and more white to the painting thinking that this would make it shine. Finally my dad came over and said, “You don’t need more white, you need dark around the white to make it stand out.” I feel the same way about why I was so moved by the fountains last night.

But the breathtaking performance made me think about beauty. Why are some things just so beautiful? Why are we so attracted to certain things? I am reminded of my favorite essay by C.S. Lewis Weight of Glory, he suggests that beauty is not an actual thing but a reminder of what exists in heaven. Beauty is another means used to make us want to return to God. This essay is hands down my favorite writing I have ever read. I found it online so if you would like to read the whole 9 page essay you can find it here.

But here is the portion about beauty. I’m going to alter it slightly to have it make sense if you don’t want to read the whole essay.

“The books or music in which we think the beauty is located will betray us if we truth in them; it was not in them, it only came through them and what came through them was a longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our past – are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing we are truly longing for itself then they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing that we long for itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

We usually notice it just as the moment of vision dies away, as the music ends or as the landscape loses the celestial light. You know what I mean. For a few minutes we have had the illusion of belonging to that world. Now we wake to find that it is no such thing. We have been mere spectators. Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face was turned in our direction, but not to see us. We have not been accepted, welcomed, or taken into the dance. We have been mere spectators. The longing we feel when we see such beauty is to no longer just be spectators. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of heaven, in the sense described becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For heavenly glory meant good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgement, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.”





So now when I see such beauty as the fountains I understand I long for a place I do not remember, but want to be.

Because no matter how much I try and absorb the beauty around me.... no matter how I fight to keep it with me, eventually it fades away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rachel Lynde?

As a blogger the question always lurks.... who even reads this? It's always interesting to me to see which posts get comments and which get none. I love it when people comment on my posts.... but how rarely I actually take the time to comment on all the blogs I read. Yesterday I went to lunch with a group of "friends" and we discussed all the random quirks of blogs. I put friends in quotation marks because these girls were really friends to my friend, but of course I totally stalk their blogs. I know every detail of their blogging lives. I was so excited when one got married, loved the beautiful mountain biking pictures of another... but when I saw them at lunch yesterday... I couldn't just come out and talk to them about their posts... that would be creepy!

So I have been thinking about it, why do we all love to stalk blogs, but so ashamed of it? I am thrilled whenever I hear someone actually reads my blog or tells me they enjoyed a particular post... if most everyone feels that same way, why do I feel ashamed to admit I blog stalk?

I think I am going to call my conclusion The Rachel Lynde Affect. If you don't know who Rachel Lynde is, this won't make sense, but for all those avid Anne of Green Gables fans out there, no one is proud to be like Rachel Lynde, the noisy town gossip. The neighbor that sits on her porch just hoping to see some excitement. The one that flips out when she sees a guy offer his hand to a girl as she is getting out of a carriage! And so I have concluded the reason we are ashamed of blog stalking is because... we are afraid we are turning into Rachel Lynde.

Well after my conversation at lunch with girls I am now officially going to call my friends, I have decided I am okay being Rachel Lynde. It sure makes life exciting!

So here are some of my favorite blogs to stalk: (As in they wouldn't know me from Adam, but I get excited every time they update their blog)
Allison
Reagan
Alexis
Jake

If you have a favorite blog you like to stalk, please clue me in! And if you read this post feel free to say hi, I love all stalkers!!!!




(But if you still want to be in denial and don't want to be a self-proclaimed Rachel Lynde.... I understand if you don't comment! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why?

The other day I had a lot more freedom than I usually have. It was a beautiful afternoon so I decided to do what I love most... ride my road bike. Earlier in the day I had taken a group of 4th-6th graders on a field trip to Utah Lake State Park (who knew it even existed!). I noticed an awesome bike trail to the side of this nature walk we took the kids on. So later that day when I decided I wanted to go for a relaxing ride rather than the grueling 26 mile ride up the canyon I decided to try and find this trail that goes all the way to Utah Lake.

I have often ran on part of a trail that starts on University Parkway and follows the river. It's absolutely beautiful and has these cool tunnels that go under all the roads... I thought this was the perfect place to ride! But the strangest thing happened. As soon as I got on that trail around 3 PM on June 10th I was terrified. Litterally scared out of my mind. This never happens, especially when I am riding. I kept passing scary people, and I knew I needed to get off the trail. But with a road bike it is difficult to manuvre of trails very easily. I tried to shake it off and keep riding. But I just couldn't get over this horrible feeling I kept having.

Finally out in the middle of no where west of Provo I found a place to get off. It took me quite some time to figure out how to get onto a main road that would lead me back to under the freeway, over the river, and back to my house but there was no way I was getting back on that trail.

When I got home, my roommmate, a fellow biker was there. The first thing I said to her was, "Caroline, please don't ever ride the Provo River Trail. I went on it this afternoon and had the worst feelings."

Later that night I found out about this: ksl.com I just don't get it. Why would anyone do this? Why this poor girl?