Monday, January 31, 2011

"So Blessed"


This weekend my dad's documentary premiered at the LDS film festival. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. The director did an amazing job. It was beautiful. It was humbling. It was inspiring. I didn't realize I was nervous at all until we were sitting there... it got dark... and I saw my dad's name come across the screen. I might have started shaking a little bit... They interviewed me a year and a half ago. I have no idea what I said. I was nervous about how my family was going to be portrayed. My family is far from glitzy or glamorous. But it was wonderful. The director portrayed my mom as the total rockstar! It was amazing.


*This is going to be one of those personal blogs that I should probably be embarrassed to post, but when other people write posts that are real like this, I love that person more for it so hopefully someone out there can get something out of this post.

I want to talk about the wonderful epiphany I had about something I have been struggling with for some time now. It was portrayed so well in my dad's documentary. I've spent a lot of time struggling with the concept of "blessings". What is a blessing. How do we get blessings. Why does it seem some are blessed so much. While others are so repeatedly beat down.

When we hear someone talk about blessing there is a list of things they are typically grateful for. They typically talk about a wonderful job, a wonderful family, a healthy body, a wonderful husband, wonderful kids... often times I think when we hear others list off the things they are grateful for, we either nod agreeing grateful for the same blessings or although we might not admit it, question, "What do I need to do to be righteous enough to get those blessings?" Clearly consciously we recognize how ridiculous it is to ask that question.... but at least there are a lot of times I find myself asking it.

A while ago I tried to make a deal with God that I was going to do everything in my power to be "righteous" enough to have something finally go the way I wanted. The worst possible thing that could have happened happened. I actually thought it was going to come true. I thought finally I was going to be "blessed." I can't even describe the high I felt. The love I felt. I say it was the worst possible thing that could have happened because the low that hit when my "blessing" failed was awful. I won't go into the nasty details but it was awful.

Now logically I recognized how irrational it was to be mad at God. If we got mad at God every time a "blessing" we wanted didn't happen our lives would be spent full of anger. So I told myself I wasn't mad at God. (Definitely one of my fooling myself moments) Rather than be mad at God I decided I didn't want to believe in God anymore. I told myself I didn't want to believe in God anymore because that way there was no one to be mad at when I didn't get a "blessing" that I wanted. If no one was controlling the universe it's okay for horrible things to happen. It was shocking how freeing it was to tell myself I didn't believe in God. All the guilt I felt about not living the perfect life God demands of us was lift off my shoulders. I could live my life how ever I wanted. (For the record, my outward actions did not change at all.... all of this was just in my head. So no I didn't run out and break commandments because remember I was foolin' myself... which I cognitively knew.) It was very freeing... I felt great! Probably the best I have felt in a really long time. I walked around with a smile on my face because all of my worries didn't matter anymore. No longer were other people's blessings actually blessings for being righteous.... they were just lucky. It was great until... something happened and I wanted to be able to hope. The first time it hit me that I wanted to hope was when my little brother was driving home really really late in an unfamiliar area. So bad I wanted to pray that he would make it home safe. But then I remembered that I didn't believe in a God so I couldn't pray. I had no way to hope that the universe could be on my side. But he did make it home just fine so I shrugged my shoulders and went about my life. I lived like this for months. But with time I started to realize that a life without hope is a pretty depressing life. Although I tried to fight it for months, the bottom line of why I have always wanted to believe in a God is I want hope.

So I concluded I had to come up with a way to be able to believe in God but not be bitter towards Him when I didn't get the "blessings" I wanted. A few weeks ago in church (remember even though I didn't "believe in God" I still lived my life like I did) I heard a saying, "God is more concerned with your character than your comfort." This completely changed my perspective on "blessings". Sure God may give us some blessings in our life to make our life more comfortable but really the true blessings in our lives are the things that make us grow. We don't grow from being comfortable, we grow from being challenged. This concept hit me the hardest when at the end of my dad's documentary he said, "When I look back at my life I think I will look at the tragic loss of my wife and daughter as the biggest blessing God ever gave me."

I want to believe in a God because I want to believe that the blessings I am receiving in my life are the hard things. I want to believe it is the things that make me weak, the things that make me question, the things that make me humble are the things that give me character. I want to believe because that it is the only thing that can give us comfort in this brutal world. Because someday I want to be able to look back at my life and through seeing the growth, through seeing the strength, through seeing the improvement of my character I am so grateful that God blessed me so much.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Dirty Lil Secret

This secret is one of those things that I question whether I should admit to the blogging world. For the past 10 years I have slept with the same guy... almost every night. I figure it is time I introduce you to my best bud Schnuckums. He was given to me as a going away present from a boyfriend the night before I moved to West Yellowstone to live in a trailer. I have long since forgotten about that boyfriend... but I will always be grateful for him for no other reason than he gave me my bed buddy.

I really do sadly sleep with Schnuckums every night. Sometimes I am even tempted to take him on trips or sleepovers because it gets really lonely without him. I tend to do crazy things when I sleep without him. My personal favorite was a few months ago, the night before going to Disneyland I woke up standing on Myra's bed screaming, "Where am I!?!" Myra just rolled over and mumbled, "You're in California Kristin, go to sleep."


Schnuckums has been a really faithful and loyal friend. He doesn't mind being drenched in tears or being used as a pillow. I don't even want to think about the day I might have to trade him in for someone else.

Another great thing about Schnuckums.... he doesn't mind being shared.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Don't Fool Yourself"

Recently I've been listening to "With Arms Outstretched" by Rilo Kiley. One of my favorite sayings that Jenny sings over and over again is "Don't fool yourself." I've been thinking a lot lately about how we fool ourselves. What things do I tell myself or let myself believe to make life just a little easier. It really is an intersting concept to think about. Because the fact that I can think of a few things that I fool myself into believing is quite ironic. It means that cognitively I really do recognize the fallacy of a belief but consciously choose to ignore it. Don't worry I will not make a list of all the things I have been thinking about. Rather I will address something a bit controversial on whether we are fooling ourselves or it can actually be true.


There are four stories that I have found many women cling to. I often write about two of them because they are two of my favorite stories and the other two fit quite nicely in the same category. They are: Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables (I know you are totally surprised I am bringing them up again) Little Women, and the most recent addition to this collection is North and South. Now although some might be disgusted by the simplicity of my description basically all 4 of these stories have the same plot. The heroine is a smart, witty, opinionated girl who uses her brains rather than her looks to get ahead in life. There is a guy that falls madly in love with the girl because of her brain and not necessarily her look. He confesses his love and she, completely shocked by his love, flat out rejects him. Three out of the four stories in the end the heroine realizes she really is in love with that guy and she comes crawling back.... the fourth, still breaks my heart that Jo doesn't end up with Laurie.


I question why as women we cling to these 4 stories so much. Clearly it is impossible to say exactly why women love this plot so much but I think it has something to do with the idea of a guy being so attracted to a girl due to her wit... her brains.... her opinions rather than her physical appearance. Of course clearly by the title of this post, I wonder if we are fooling ourselves to think this could happen. It is possible for a guy to be attracted to a girl because of her brain rather than her physical appearance. There is one interesting thing that each and everyone of these stories have in common..... They were all written by a woman.

I have read a lot of lame books about how to win over a guy. Yes, probably shameful to admit,although rather fascinating! My personal favorite, a gift to me from my dear friend Joanie (who gave it to me when she got married at age 29) Why Men Love Bitches. The interesting thing about these books.... they don't tell you to act like Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennett, Josephine March, or Margaret Hale... they don't tell you to be smart, witty, or opinionated. They tell you to play stupid. Ask for help when you don't need it. Lose even when you could easily win. They tell you to be Marlyn Monroe playing Cherie in Bus Stop.

So the next time I indulge in one of these stories I am not going to fool myself in thinking that by taking notes on how these girls behave I can actually win over a John Thorton, Mr. Darcy, Gilbert Blythe, or even a Laurie Lawrence. I'm just going to dream about a world where it actually would...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Verizon's Big Announcement...


Well I am facing quite the dilemma. I am a very very loyal and proud Verizon carrier. Probably too proud. I have been known to even state I would not date a guy that wasn't in the "network". A guy that has jokingly wanted to date me for a few years ask me one last time if he had a chance at dating me before "cutting" all ties and joining AT&T.

So although I am a relatively big apple fan, it hasn't been that hard for me to not own an iPhone. Sure we all know that someone's cool factor increases by a notch possibly even two by just being a iPhone carrier.... but for me sacrificing Verizon just wasn't worth it.

I mean sure I could be like the guy I met in Idaho.... My cousin and I were talking about the cool factor of the iPhone. My cousin, a recent iPhone convert, pulled out his phone just showing how cool it made him look. This guy with us, automatically pulled out his iPhone and started to play on it. My cousin got distracted by something so I was just standing with this guy making small talk. I hear a ring tone, the guy holds up his hand, "Hold on a second." reaches into his pocket with his free hand and pulls out his LG Verizon flip phone and says hello. I about died!!!! Who is this guy who carries two phones???? He wanted the cool factor of the iPhone but the service and reliability of Verizon. Hilarious!

So you can imagine my excitement when I began to hear rumors that Verizon would finally bring on the iPhone. I could finally have the best of both worlds... I could have the coolness of an iPhone AND the reliability, service, and superiority that Verizon is renown for. But the closer it is that my dreams of owning an iPhone could possibly become a reality the more I question if I should get one..... why you might ask.

I have concluded there are two type of people in this world. Addicts and non-addicts.

Non-addicts are easy to describe. They are the kind that still have Christmas candy from the past 3 years in their cupboard, the kind that have a bazillion notifications every few weeks they check facebook, the kind that drinks a soda every blue moon, but the ultimate is the kind that actually stops watching 24 after one or two episode. Sadly I was not blessed enough to be a non-addict.

I on the other hand eat all my Christmas/Easter/Halloween candy the first day, check facebook the first thing when I wake up and the last thing before I go to sleep, can not go a day without my caffeinated beverages(sorry mom), read entire books like The World and the Glory in one sitting, have to workout at least 6 times a week or I go insane, and watch whole seasons of tv shows in a day or two...

I feel I could just stop the post here. I do not even have to begin to describe what the life of an addict with all the possibilities an iPhone would be like.... Think of all the addictions within the reach of my finger tips.... the world wide web in my pocket... social networks. blogs. youtube. games. every app an addict could dream of..... So will I be getting an iPhone on February 10th?
Probably.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blue Skies

(This post is so much better if you listen to the song while reading it)



This is a song for anyone with a broken heart.
This is a song for anyone that can't get out of bed.
I'll do anything to be happy.
Oh cause blue skies are calling but I know that it's hard.

This is the last song I write while still in love with you.
This is the last song I write while you're even on my mind.
Cause it's time to leave those feelings behind.
Oh cause blue skies are calling but I know it's hard

I don't think it is the end but I know we can't keep going.
But blue skies are calling oh yeah blue skies are calling.
Oh blue skies are calling but I know that it's hard.

-Noah and the Whale




I'm sad today. I did something really hard last night. Something that I really really really didn't want to do. I met someone... someone that made me smile. someone that made me laugh. someone that made me think. someone that was worth staying up late for... We had an undeniable connection. It made me feel free. It made me feel alive. It made me feel real. But.... (I can not wait for the day that there isn't a but!!!!) But it can not work. So today, although I am sad, I am going to chose to be happy. Because once again blue skies are coming!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friends

Whenever I think of these girls I think of the saying, "The older you get the more you need the people you knew when you were young" You can read about them more here.

I find so much truth in this statement, but I can't figure out why. Why is there so much comfort in being with people that you have known for years. The ones that knew you when you experienced everything for the first time. I think the most comforting thing about getting with these girls is how nothing really changes. We are exactly the same. Sure we might have husbands, kids, degrees.... but really we are exactly the same girls we were at age 11.
Yes... there is a bit of a height difference between us.



Monday, January 10, 2011

La Jolla Grove

Everything about this place is amazing! If I actually opened a restaurant to fit my fancy I don't think I could have done a better job! California citrus trees.... as far as I can tell there is no such thing as a better indoor ambiance.


The artwork.... amazing!


But what it really comes down to is the food! They try to make everything organic and locally grown. (They have a huge green house) It is absolutely amazing. What I have had:

Of course probably the best part is the homemade rolls they bring out at the beginning of the meal. There are 4 different kinds of rolls they bring out. Whole Grain, Sundried tomato, Spinach, White potato

Appetizer - Bread, Fruit, and Cheese - Spectacular. It's huge. (That was at my lunch)

Dinners- Salmon with a vegetable relish and delicious cilantro sauce. Grilled shrimp pasta with an orange butter sauce........... oh my so so so good! Mushroom Ravioli - amazing. Shredded chicken and pesto pasta - my least favorite of the four I have had, but still good.

Dessert -
Lemon Tiramisu - one of the best desserts I have ever had. Lemon Cake (supposedly their most popular, pretty good, but can't COMPETE with the tiramisu) Chocolate Lava Cake with a vanilla bean sauce - spectacular if you love dark chocolate.


But of course what makes it even more amazing, is the people that I go with!
Emmie

Franci!

Fresh roses on every table!
The Chocolate Lava Cake and Tiramisu
Suzanne

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Favorite Rilo Kiley Song

"They say that California is a recipe for a black hole. I say I got my best shoes on... I'm ready to go!"
(These are my favorite shoes and I took this picture with my new camera!)

First adventure of California - DISNEYLAND

Happy as can be on our drive to Disneyland.


So we have this great idea.... Christmas season is NOTORIOUS for being super duper crowded at Disneyland... our brilliant idea to beat the crowds.... go on the day that is pooring rain! It was perfect!!! Well besides being completely soaked from head to toe, even with a poncho, umbrella, and coat.


But like true California style... eventually the sun came out!

By the end of the night I was pretty tuckered.

Our Beach Adventure... it was shockingly warm at the beach! I almost wished I had my swimsuit... almost. :)
My dream house.
Del's way to enjoy the beach.
And our New Year's Eve FEAST

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Brown Vs. Blonde part II

For those of you who are interested.... what happened to my hair. So I went into Marie, my favorite hair person ever... If you are ever in Cedar not only do I swear by her but so does my entire family. Weaved my whole head for $40... yeah that amazing. She suggested we did my hair like this:
And here it is!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I've never really been one for New Years Resolutions... so much so that when my friend Emmie asked me what my goals were.... I was speechless. (yes very rare indeed.)

But when I look back at 2010 although there is no piece of paper or journal entry dedicated to my goals I realized I definitely had some.... accomplish some, and sadly failed one.

So start off with the accomplished:

Last Christmas I got my first real road bike... and luckily there were very few witnesses to how awful I was at riding it... I fell at least 3 times my first attempt. You should have seen Chad try
and hold on to my bike as I tried to clip in and ride and fall.... But alas, many many many embarrassing falls later (including a complete stopped and tip over at the intersection of University Avenue and University Parkway) I can ride my bike without falling! The ultimate accomplishment was riding my bike with Erica 5 hours surrounded by the Grand Tetons.


(I took the picture on the left while riding... and 5 hours of biking = 2,314 calories burned)


Although it almost killed me... I graduated with my Masters from BYU.


My last New Years Resolution of 2010 was.... go to California every single month of the year.... Sadly, I only made it there 11 times... a failure, but I'll tell ya what, I've never enjoyed failing so much!!!


As for 2011... I only have two goals:

The first: learn how to use my Christmas present.

The second: Use my passport with said present.


P.S. I actually used to be a New Years Hater... possibly the President of the club, until I watched this movie.... now I just dream about the day that this could actually be me: