I'm a snob, right? I want the best without having to earn my way there. I'm too old to rightfully belong to the entitlement generation, so what's my deal?
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I've identified my number one obstacle to getting into theater...paying my dues. Few performers start their career cast in the ideal show, with the ideal cast, and the ideal role. I've seen a number of performances recently that are painful to sit through...and I don't think my pride can handle it. Even if I feel decent about my own performance, I have a hard time subject others to a full production that isn't at least entertaining.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Since I accomplished my 2011 hobby goal earlier this month, I've decided to add another hobby goal to the year...to play more tennis.
I'm not exactly sure how to quantify my skill improvement, but I know that I'll only get better by playing more often. And I can only play more often if my friends and family jump on board.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Friday night I re-met a tool from my past. When I mentioned to Salty that he was, in fact, a tool from my past, she commented that I seemed to have a lot of those! But she's right, I do. I rebutted that while my overall numbers seemed high, my ratio was probably no different than anyone else.
I follow Single Dad Laughing and his post today reminded me of that conversation. Dan and I share our approach to trust. In fact, I was mentally writing his summary paragraphs before I even got to reading them. As I read his set-up outlining scenarios where distrust is rampant, I kept thinking 'It isn't about trusting others! It's about trusting yourself to handle yourself regardless of others!!' I was so relieved when he got to that at the end.
The majority of the time I have no concern about whether or not I will be influenced to do something that contradicts who I am or what I believe. I don't worry about being sold something I don't want, I don't worry about being in a relationship that makes me unhappy, I don't worry about abandoning my values because someone I interact with lives differently. Does it mean that I have to say no a lot...yes. Does it mean I have opportunity to say yes even more...absolutely!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Today was another installment of "My life is great and I have just about everything a girl could want". I spent the afternoon at the pool with Sassy's parents (she's out of the country and her dad invited me down anyhow, because they just love me like that)...then I had fish tacos for dinner...then I met some girls at an outdoor amphitheater for a little community Scarlet Pimpernel.
And this was kind of a slow day for me in terms of events. I really feel so lucky to be in the space I am in right now. But I know that I have some critics. And while I maintain that I am not ashamed, and feel no need to apologize, I did spend some time today asking myself how I can feel so much peace when just the notion of my situation can cause others discomfort.
My final thoughts may change on the subject, but as I get ready to lay down my head for some very peaceful sleep, this is my current hypothesis...Karma.
I am not the victim of anything...but adult style trials started showing up early in my life. The death of my brother, disease, concern about my own mortality, abandonment, standing-up alone, loneliness, disappointment - much of this before I even left the safety of my parents home. Then as I ventured out on my own I continued to bump up against life's challenges. I often lacked finesse, but I always found a way to get through it. And with each victory, I found myself more and more fatigued. And I would often plead from my knees for a break.
I know from experience that the tough moments are what make us interesting and fantastic...but I was as interesting and fantastic as I thought I could handle, and I couldn't imagine that my life necessitated continual refinement at such a chaotic pace.
And now...here I am...in this most tranquil of places. I've happily discarded my harder and grumpier coping devices in exchange for happiness and peace. I'm rarely disappointed in anything. I feel blessed and joyful many times throughout every day. I'm beginning to understand what is most important to me, and I'm willing to be made aware of weaknesses standing in my way.
I might be wrong, but I feel like this is a short break from the Refiner's Fire...and that I've earned the right to be here. I don't expect it to last forever (cause let's be honest, who doesn't want to become more interesting and more fantastic), but I do expect that I will soak up every second while it lasts!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
I taught Sunday School today. It might have been a hot mess.
There was sooooooo much doctrine to cover in the assigned passages (Luke 22, John 13-15) and we barely scratched the surface. But we did scratch the portion that had stuck with me through my weeks of preparation...the commandment to Love One Another.
I have a ton of notes of things I think I see more clearly now, but in summary, I would say that the quickest way to understand how to follow the command, is to really understand God's love for us. Once we really, really get it....deep in the core of ourselves....then loving others is a piece of cake.
I'm blessed. I have been well loved in my life. I have family and friends that I have no doubt love me completely. Their examples have been a starting point for me to understand how God can love me completely. And that makes it so easy for me to love those that I meet. I don't necessarily have to approve of their choices, or even want to spend my time with them. But I can treat all of the people with kindness and make my best attempt at helping others feel some of the love that I feel in buckets.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I attend a congregation specific for 31-45 year old single members of the LDS church in south Salt Lake. There are so many things that could be said about this congregation...but most of those things are more fun to talk about in person! So I'll stick with some positives.
The active members of this "Branch" are diligent and hard working. Last night, the activities committee hosted a campout in Midway, UT and outdid themselves in terms of location and food!
The underlying expectation, was that we would have the opportunity to branch outside of our comfortable social circle and meet new people. That was done, I met some individuals that I had never spoken with before. Let this be a commentary on me...I was bored. By 9:30 I was hoping I could sneak off to my sleeping bag without being noticed and obtaining a scar on my super social reputation. But good things come to those who wait!
One by one, people from the branch who I knew, but not well sat down at the table for some conversation. It wasn't too long before we decided that rather than "branching out", we'd "root down" and get to know each other a little better than the superficial level that we had already established. There's something about late night, and something about being outdoor by candlelight, and something about the right combination of personality coming together for a short time that can make for some fantastic moments in life!
In just a few hours time we irreverently created inside jokes and bonds that I will always appreciate and reference! Those really are my favorite pieces of my life. I'd been asked earlier in an introduction how I would describe the ultimate Friday night. Of course I said that dancing, anyplace/anywhere, was my definition of the perfect way to pass time...but I might take that back. I might say that an upbeat playful conversation with interesting people might be my new favorite Friday night!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
...continuedDAY 4 - Thank the heavens for ZipFizz! I would never have been able to be able to manage this hardworking day of sun worship.
SIL Kristy has introduced our family and friends to her family's Shrimp Boil tradition, and it is such a cool meal at Lake Powell (although the CDC would have definitely advised that a finger licking meal would have been a rotten idea for our quarantined boat!)
This was also Pirate Day. Given the previous nights events, and the fact that the stomach bug appeared to be contagious, our camp spot was appropriately designated "Heave-Ho Cove" for the day. A map and key and treasure box were all discovered to produce a very impressive booty box (seriously, these kids have the very coolest/creative parents and grandparents).
As soon as the kids had settled into bed, we took off quick to find enough cell service to wish our missing brother Happy Birthday. While I know he would have loved to be at Powell with us, it was hard to feel too bad for him at his Hawaiian Resort with his family and our parents.
DAY 5 - By far, the hottest day of our trip. So much so, that I put tanning second next to reading my book and even polished off a few chapters in the shade.
There was a building of a bonfire and a visit from some childhood friends and their boys who were camped in a neighboring canyon.
We were in charge of fiesta day and in addition to providing a Nacho bar, we intended to have a pinata. We had all the goodies for one, but in a boneheaded move, I failed to pick one up. I did what I could with a black garbage bag and some water balloons to create a Meekus pinata.
The evening with the kids was finished off with S'mores, a bonfire, creative lighting of fireworks and a great time had by all. Once the kids were down, the parents started their own party. There's a game we made up years ago before there were young children on our trips. After dark, the boys would use a 3-man water balloon launcher to shoot water balloons straight up above us on the deck. We'd then sit still in anticipation waiting for it to come back down. Most of the time, the sickening thud on the top of the boat was a huge moment of relief as you found yourself safe and dry...occasionally...you'd find yourself less lucky. The game doesn't work so well with sleeping babies on board...But with a fantastic rock surface as our anchor spot, we took the game to the land. As the thrill fizzled out, John felt inspired to propose a Pirate raid on our neighbor friend's boat. Although they had small children on board, they had no women and the proposal was vetted. 7 parents and 5 single's climbed into the speedboat for a moonlit adventure.
The cliff-notes version is that after some gender arguments regarding who ruined the surprise, a very echo-y diet coke cameo, some covert black ops work by John and Brett, and some creative pot stirring by the McMullin siblings, the joke was had and our side felt victorious. We have been blessed with super fun friends who are willing to be part of the joke and/or graciously take the joke and/or appreciate the joke...which means we will probably never grow up!
DAY 6 - I've mentioned sun worship on every day...but the truth is I had been religious with the sunscreen all week. My master plan was to go al natural on the final day and let it burn baby! But the thick overcast clouds had a different plan. So the day was spent doing some sightseeing with the nephews as we played tourist in the Forgotten Canyon and at the Moki Steps.
By early evening, we began preparations to wrap up the week. Phase I cleaning began and we pulled anchor and headed for Hobie Beach.
DAY 7 - This is always the day when you really pay your dues for all the fun you've had. All of my final day memories have included a hot sweaty miserable cranky morning of cleaning. In the past we have waited until the final morning to head into the marina and consequently have had the added chaos of all the bodies on board. This year, we were able to dismiss the most distant travelers, the men, and the babies and do a more time efficient and effective clean. We were done so early that we were almost at risk being too early for Stan's!
Stan's is the last tradition of the Powell trip. It's a hamburger joint in Hanksville where you're fast food deprived body can get its fix with a burger/fry/oreo shake combo meal (Thanks John!)
The drives home were uneventful, which is crazy fortunate given the drowsy state of the drivers. My narcolepsy prevention of choice...Podcasts!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
If you've been there, well...there's nothing I can say, cause you just know. If you haven't...what?! Why?! Go!!!!!!!
DAY 1 - Wow....Utah is so beautiful. God's country. The extended winter and rainy spring has made our deserts bloom. The perfect scenery for a long solo drive...belting along with my favorite CDs, of course. Good thing I was on such a high when Ranger Roberts ticketed me for speeding. Was I, yes. 6 miles over the limit. Boo.
I shook it off and met the boys at the beach just like we planned and we were off to the houseboat as the boys entertained me with stories of the previous night's vomit (2 of my nephews).
It wasn't long before the night was shattered by a scream from the oldest of my nephew. His forehead caught the edge of an oar and there was an emergency boat ride to shore for stitches. The remaining Denney's gathered around on the top deck for some fun catching up as we waited for the patient to return.
DAY 2 -We set out early on the ski boat, but the "perfect spot" for a houseboat caught our eye just around the corner from our current spot so a few of us were dropped off on shore to hold the spot while the rest of the crew went back to pull anchors and relocate the whole production. I won't pretend that I did much more than catch mad rays the rest of the day.
We were treated with a visit from "Meekus" in the evening. Meekus is the Lake Powell monster that eats naughty children. Fortunately, our kids had all been obedient...mostly...and we were spared a monster feast.
DAY 3 - A few of us took off for some tubing in the mid-morning. As we started up the boat, there was a weird beeping noise and we took some time to check fluids and make sure there were no problems. We didn't get far from camp before we saw 8 foot swells and a dust cloud. An enormous chunk of canyon wall had come sliding down into the lake. We were torn between pulling in the tubers and getting out of danger's way. Big credit goes to my bro who maneuvered through the swells to get the boat, passengers, and tubers back to calmer waters. We raced back to camp to check on the houseboat only to find them in panic and screaming "TSUNAMI" (aka "Salami!"). The water had receded from the shore and there was a panic about equipment damage. Once we confirmed that we and our neighbors were safe, it became just a really cool thing to have witnessed.
That evening John and Christy hosted a Jersey Shore dinner with an Italian feast and a mandatory Guido/Guidette hairstyle for all. We followed it up with mafia style minute-to-win-it. Good times!
There was a teenage boy with us who had been fighting a headache all day...just as we settled in to our sleeping bags for the night, he started puking over the side of the houseboat...every 30 minutes...like clockwork. It was impossible to sleep through. And then it escalated when a 2nd teenage boy joined the puke party...but he was off by 15 minutes...and he puked with less finesse...the sound effect reminded me of a demon exorcism. John hadn't realized that a second guy had joined the efforts and by morning was concerned that the kid might have died from so much violence!
(to be continued...i'm sleepy...still working off the lake powell jet lag i guess?)
Sunday, June 19, 2011
He really is so cool. And maybe I've never given him enough credit for that. Having just spent a week in Lake Powell without him I really missed his natural gift for being fun, having fun, and instigating fun.
I take full responsibility for the years when we weren't best buds...those teenage years can be rough on a girl. As I've matured, I've found a great friend and confidant in my father. Although others will often tell me I'm just like mom (thanks for the confidence, and great hair/skin!), I actually have inherited a lot of who I am from my dad (thanks for the professional integrity, and desire to be obedient!
He's no ordinary man...and I'm an extraordinarily blessed daughter.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I am weird about Facebook friending...in a "that is not consistent!" kind of way. See, when it comes to making friends in the flesh, well, let's just say that I'm a pro. I'm not afraid of strangers, I'm interested in other people, and my interest in others usually leads to me being interesting to them. When I go to a new place or event, I make a point to meet 2 new people....and really, really meet them. Meet them well enough that the next time we see one another, I can ask a follow-up question in regards to the topic of our earlier conversation. I rarely hesitate to initiate, I think it's fun to make new friends!
But online, I'm...weird. I rarely extend a Friend Request. And I rarely accept a Friend Request from someone I wouldn't introduce to my family as an actual friend. I don't care a bit about my friend count and I'm constantly considering a clean-out of the folks who sneaked their way into the mix. What is that all about? It's not like my "news feed" is an exclusive party list, right?
Monday, June 13, 2011
My upcoming Sunday School lesson is centered around this verse of scripture:
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
I'm glad I have two weeks for my preparations, because my first attempt might be a disaster. See, I'm going to journal my week at Lake Powell from this perspective. Truth is, I really do love the people going on this trip...but I have learned that even the most lovable of people can get on my last nerve after 6 days on a houseboat! Not because they are necessarily less lovable, or because they've become more annoying, but because I've been on a houseboat for 6 DAYS!
I'm a single girl in charge of my world and my time and I can come and go or not at my own leisure. Because I've played the loner role for so long, I can easily begin to feel suffocated....so this is going to be an awesome experiment for me. I don't expect it will cure my short fuse moments...I'm just hoping that it will minimize the frequency, length, and intensity when they do happen!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Adding a new level to my current sabbatical, I'm going unplugged for the next 6 days...no phone, tv, email, facebook, text messages! Not even Words with Friends. Don't be silly, I'm not making some kind of social commentary, or even trying to issue myself a challenge. No, I'll be in God's Country, aka Lake Powell with family and friends. Don't worry about me, I will have never been finer!
(p.s. While I won't be contributing to this blog real-time, I do have some scheduled nuggets in the queue!)
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I know that the calendar says it's summer, and the warmer weather suggests that it is summer, and that I did spend 6 hours at the pool last Saturday, and I have a wicked tan...but it just doesn't feel like summer has really begun until the Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband show at the Sandy Amphitheater.
I feel so lucky to have become a part of this family of friends. Even though I wasn't there when it all began, I feel loved as though I had been. These are some of the most fun and sincere friends a girl could have!
Friday, June 10, 2011
A conscious decision not to Google the answer to my question: Has the music industry produced a response to Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" for those of us who lack there and more than make up for it in the north? Fergie's "My Lumps" is the only thing I can think of off the top of my head...and I think she's just paying homage to the Kardashian types who have it going on all over the place.
The reason that this is the topic on my mind is because I had an exhausting afternoon searching for swimsuit tops. I currently own some pretty great tops that give me no concern when I'm lounging by the pool in the company of adults...but knowing that I'm spending the entire of next week in a bathing suit surrounded by nephews motivated me to search for full(er) coverage.
In the land of modest clothing, you'd think it would be a cinch! But you'd be oh so wrong! After much work, I found something in the most unlikely of places but I'm optimistic that it will result in minimal cleavage fascination.
Boys! They start young, don't they?
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I am a grown woman. I should be ashamed to make this confession...but I'm just not.
I cry during every episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Not during the manufactured sappy moments where they try to exaggerate a back story into a tear-jerker...but during the moments of success. Every time I see one of the dancers achieve an aspect of their dream, I just get so glassy in the eyes.
I know it's motivated by crazy jealousy...I realize that when it comes to dance, it's too late for me. But I imagine, for just that brief second that it could be me, and I can get emotional. I think it might be similar to the sports moments that choke up my father. I guess this acorn didn't fall far from her daddy's tree.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Remember when instead of saying that I made really good caramel corn, I told people that I taught Hip-Hop? Remember the first time I met my SIL and she recognized me as the Hip-Hop instructor? Remember when those 2 hours of my life were my most favorite in the week? Ya, I remember it too.
Remember when a couple of years ago, after many years MIA to the world of dance, I attended a class as a student and became painfully aware that somewhere along the line, I had become that out of touch older lady fumbling in the back corner? That was a dark, dark day.
So it came as a surprise to even myself when I purchased a pass to drop in at a class at a dance studio in SLC! A friend came with and I was very concerned that I was going to be caught without my groove. But that funky girl who I love so much, well I think she's still in there somewhere and she was scratching to come out tonight. I really do love to dance. I know that I've chronologically missed my window of opportunity, but I refuse to just give it up altogether, I need that in my life!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Last week I asked a question to Salty, "Can you have a testimony about Satan?"
In Mormon Doctrine, a testimony is explained as follows:
A testimony of the gospel “is received when the Holy Spirit speaks to the spirit within [us]; it comes when the whisperings of the still small voice are heard.
So I think the answer is yes, you can. I believe that the Holy Spirit will absolutely speak truths to us regarding the Adversary, but after a week of study, I realized how short-sighted the question was. I don't think that I would be recognizing the whisperings of a still, small voice regarding Satan, if I didn't already have a testimony of the Savior. As I become more aware of the temptations and snares of Satan in my life, I can easily trace that awareness back to truth or wisdom for which he is attempting to distract.
I believe that testimony of doctrine is constantly growing and being shaped. I believe that testimony requires awareness, work, and vigilance on our part so that it becomes ever stronger. I believe that the Holy Spirit will speak to us and confirm things of all nature...even Satan...if it will help us to grow and understand the Father and the Son on a more intimate level.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
As I walked out to great my good friend, I couldn't help but shout out, "Hello Lover" to the pool! It might sound like a lazy girl's pastime, but believe me when I tell you it is hard, hard work! There's so much to remember....the lotioning and oiling, the timely turning over and giving even exposure to all sides of your brown body, the staying hydrated, the ability to begin and maintain fascinating pool-side conversation....this requires a fine tuned set of skills. I believe that Sassy and I have really come into our own.
Not to mention that we had a very full morning listening to some neighbors break-up outside our windows, consuming a well-balanced breakfast (do savory and sweet count as well-balanced?), shopping for electronics and summer wardrobe, getting our "Pass Of All Passes" to the theme parks, and grabbing a lunch to take to the pool. Seriously, this might have been the hardest working day I've had in weeks!
Man! My life is goooooooo-ooooooood!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Downtown Provo hosts a Rooftop Concert Series during the summer months...look how awesome the setting is! Salty, myself, The Husband, and Sass kicked off the first sign of a summer night by grabbing dinner and the show!
Memories worth future re-hashing include; the new couple from the dorms that were so in love they couldn't bother to remove their lips from each other's lips even while talking (barf!), how lame we are when it comes to taking group photos, and Sass's new addiction to Words With Friends.
I'm pretty sure this is simply the first in many similar evenings :)
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Try as I might, marriage continues to occupy my thoughts more than I'd like. I'm not as pitiful as I used to be. I've learned to see beyond the one thing missing in my life, to appreciate all of the other awesome things. But I still spend some mental time there.
I'm not a goofy dreamer, I easily recognize that marriage presents at least as many new challenges as it does new perks. Lately, I've often thought that marriage might be too hard, and I might not have what it takes to pull it off, and maybe I'm better off alone. But today, during a quiet thoughtful moment I had the clear realization that marriage can not be that hard....idiots do it all of the time! And even seem happy and satisfied in their relationship. As I drove home this evening I studied all of the couples in their cars and kept thinking, "they seem to be doing alright".
I guess the secret might just be finding my idiot match!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The weather is warming? No? The weather is threatening to warm? No? The calendar suggests it should be warmer? No? Well, the public doesn't care about the rain and snow and fall-like temperatures and they are busting out the short pants! And while the flowers in the ground are unable to bloom, the leg flowers are bursting out all over!
I don't get it. Why is that the most popular location for a tat? It can't be because the owner knows that one day they will be ashamed and want to hide it under pants....because yesterday I saw a 20-something dude in the gym proudly displaying his Tigger and Winnie the Pooh art. It can't be because it's a location where the owner can admire it....because that's a tricky spot, and I know, because I often miss a spot when shaving my legs. It can't be for any reason that I can come to on my own...do you know why?