Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just a couple thoughts.

You know you have incredible roommates when you come home to a sink literally overflowing with dishes that have been your responsibility to wash for the past two days, and while you've been caught in the midst of the midterm whirlwind those roommates have not breathed a word of complaint. Oh, how I love them!

Discovered this song today. So good.  

Today I saw a girl wearing a fake beard in the library. She said she was going to wear it to the testing center and see if they let her in. Brilliant!

I went to the Faculty Choreography Showcase tonight and was blown away. One of my favorites was a piece called "Portraits" featuring quotes and paintings from Van Gogh, Picasso, and Andy Warhol. It was amazing to see how the choreography blended so perfectly with the artwork and the message the artists were trying to send.

Another gorgeous piece was "Thought of You," a collaboration between an animator and a choreographer. This video only shows a few seconds of it, but it was just beautiful. And it made me cry.

I love walking home from school. Since my usual staircase of doom is closed for repairs, I get to take a detour through a little grove of trees down by the duck pond that is just magical this time of year. It's not too hot, not too cold, and a perfect time to wear sweaters. And I sure love sweaters. 

I saw the most adorable little boy today on campus with his mom. I can't wait to be a mom and chase around a cute little toddler like him. Sometimes my heart longs for it so badly that I have to remind myself that I'm only 20 years old, and that I'm right where God wants me to be; but I look forward to that time when I'll have more opportunities to nurture and serve.

Do you ever have those days when you look in the mirror and you think, "Oh man, somehow I look cute today!" I got lucky enough to have one of those today. I'm glad to be me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It is not for unsteady souls.

 Image found here.

"You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, 
no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe 
hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that 
single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls." 
- Merce Cunningham

It's true.  Sometimes dancing is really hard. There are days when my muscles ache, my feet are all blistered, my arms are scraped up, the steps just won't click, and I wonder why I keep doing this to myself. There are days when I want so badly to quit. 

But there are other days when I forget my battle scars, both physical and emotional, and I just focus on the movement. There are days when I can feel myself progressing and I dance with joy in my face and in every cell of my body. There are days when, as Cunningham said, I have that fleeting moment when I feel so intensely, beautifully alive. There are days when dancing helps me catch a vision of the divinity God put inside me and who He wants me to be. 

And that is why I dance - not for a grade, not to be fabulous (because I am certainly not), but for those spiritual moment that steady my soul and help me catch a glimpse of eternity. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Over the weekend...

I made this video! We're having a Relief Society Activity in a couple weeks where we're going to discuss images of Christ and talk about our favorite ones. This slideshow is going to be the basis of that. (So if you're in my Relief Society, don't watch it yet! just kidding :] )

I love my Savior. 

PS- Reading this made my Monday a lot less lame. If you're feeling discouraged with the stormy weather and your pile of homework, turn to Elder Holland's words for some encouragement. You won't regret it :]

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two of my current favorite paintings

This one I love because of the graceful lines of the figures, the reverent mood, and the symbolism. Each angel represents a member of the Godhead. The figure on the left is clad in robes of an urethral green and has a mountain behind him, signifying the place where men go to draw near unto God. He is the Holy Ghost. The central figure, representing Christ, wears crimson robes with a royal golden stripe. He places two fingers on the table to signify His dual nature as mortal and divine, and gestures to the cup on the table that alludes to His sacrifice. The tree behind Him references His death on the cross. These two figures incline their heads towards the right figure, God the Father, signifying their reverence and submission to Him. This right figure wears heavenly robes of blue and gold and sits in front of His mansion in heaven. And oh, His face! I just love that expression of divine peace and faith that is not aloof but full of faith. I love how this piece depicts the Godhead as three distinct beings with their own characteristics, and yet so united. I feel like this icon invites the Spirit and helps me understand the Godhead better.
I love this piece because it is so clean and simple. I love the gentle lines, the muted colors, the wide spaces without too much crowded in them. In an age where it was fashionable to add lots of secondary details and be melodramatic, this work is quite refreshing. It's true that Mary is probably too too large to fit through that doorway in the back, and that her stool is awfully big as well, but I feel that painting still works - and it is still lovely. I wouldn't mind living in a monastery if I got to look at this masterpiece every day.

Oh, how I love being an art historian. :]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I love October.

Life is busy.

Friday my roommate and I threw a hobo party, and it was epic. We made cardboard signs, ate hobo stew, told stories, raced shopping carts, and had a ball. If you've never had one, I highly recommend it.

this is the place

courts n me



so much joy

hobo sisters

The weather is lovely and the brilliant fall leaves are even lovelier. All I want to do is stay curled up in bed eating chicken noodle soup and listening to these two songs - but of course, it's a week full of papers, tests, assignments for my calling, and trying to soak in all the October gorgeousness I can before it fades away into that beautifully terrifying time we call winter.

Wish I could say I took this photo, but sadly I did not.
Here's to you, October. Thanks for stopping by again. If you ever decide to stay longer, we wouldn't mind it at all. 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recapturing Beauty Day 3: Accentuate the Positive

Photo by Julie Blackmon. 

Today's challenge is to list 20 positive things about yourself - 10 that deal with your appearance and 10 that do not. Here goes:

10 things I like about myself:
*I'm not afraid to laugh. 
*I'm not afraid to express my emotions as I used to be. 
*I've been blessed with the ability to sing and opportunities to use it. 
*I am an active blogger who uses her blog to share her testimony and has been able to touch other people through it. 
*I'm loved by some pretty incredibly people.
*I know how to work hard.
*I am loyal and supportive to the people I love. 
*Yesterday I made a sculpture of Perry the Platypus!
*I give a pretty mean bear hug. 
*I am a daughter of God. 

10 things I like about my appearance:
*This may sound funny, but I love my moles. I have tons of them all over my arms and legs and entire body, but I don't mind because they make me who I am. They are something special God has given to me. 
*I've inherited some cute little toes. 
*My eyes squint when I smile or laugh. It's kinda ridiculous and makes picture-taking a challenge, but I think it more fully expresses the joy I have in my life. 
*I love my long, blonde hair - especially when I have the chance to curl it! 
*I look a lot like my mom, my dad, and both of my siblings. I love being connected with such wonderful people!
*I'm starting to develop dancer's feet with blisters and scrapes and bruises that testify of the hard work I've put into this art that I love. 
*I have small hands that fit snugly into large, kind, protective ones.
*I have dark blue eyes with some crazy green and brown flecks in there. They're an adventure in and of themselves!
*I'm not too short and not too tall; I feel like I'm just the right size. (Well...I feel that way most of the time.)
*I have a healthy body that gives me opportunities that many people never have. 

(I hope you weren't bored or annoyed by that. I  absolutely hate writing about myself because I feel like I'm being narcissistic like one of these girls - but hopefully my lists helped you to think of things that you love about yourself because you are pretty fabulous and I sure love you!)

Anyway, as hard as those lists were to write, I am grateful for them. I didn't realize just how critical I am of myself until I had to think of those 20 things! I don't think God wants us to dwell on all that we lack; instead, I think He would have us focus on our strengths and build from there. I think I'll start working harder on that.

Recapturing Beauty Day 2: God's Definition of Beauty


Tuesday's challenge was to research God's definition of beauty and read Elder Lynn G. Robbins' talk "True Beauty." He discussed how true, radiant beauty does not come from our appearance but from our hearts. It comes through living the Gospel, being cleansed by the Atonement of Christ, and growing closer to the Lord. And the people that do that have a loveliness that cannot be imitated, a light that cannot be hid. 

There are some women who seem to be beautiful, who seem to be perfectly skinny and have all the expensive fashions, and sometimes I wish I looked like them. But when I think of the beautiful women in my life, these are not the faces I picture. The most beautiful women in my life are my heroes and role models, the women who exemplify Christ and are an example to me

Some of the most beautiful women in my life are my mother who teaches me about the Savior through her testimony and her example, and whose love is so powerful that I feel it even 704 miles away; my best friend's mother Diane who is one of the most selfless, stalwart people I know; my roommate Courtney who is so full of joy and love that it rubs off on everyone she meets; my sister who has great big dreams to change the world and a bright faith in the God who will lead her there; my friend Nicole who has faced incredible challenges but continues to push forward with a faith and courage that leaves me in awe; my dance teacher who sees the best in each of us and teaches us to be artists and dance with the Spirit; the many women in my home ward and stake who embrace their roles as mothers and nurturers, building up the Kingdom of God in their own unique way; and leaders in the Church such as Emma Smith, Marjorie Pay Hinckley,  Elaine S. Dalton, and Julie B. Beck. These are the women who are truly beautiful to the Lord. These are the women who I want to be like. 

In a world that shouts so many contradictory messages at us, I am deeply grateful for the knowledge that my Heavenly Father loves me perfectly and thinks I am beautiful just the way I am. 

"True beauty can’t be painted on but is a gift of the Spirit. It is literally letting your light shine before men. When virtue is combined with obedience to the Lord’s laws of health and respect for the human body, young people truly become temples in which the Holy Ghost dwells, giving them a beautiful aura. It is this beauty that is most becoming and enduring." 
-Lynn G. Robbins, "True Beauty"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recapturing Beauty: Day 1

Photo by Nika Fadul.

Today's assignment for the Recapturing Beauty Challenge is to take 10 minutes to write all the things you are grateful that your body can do. I've been thinking about this all day and it has really helped me feel more confident and content with who I am. 

I am grateful for a body that fills me with breath every moment of every day. 
I am grateful for a body that wakes up each morning. 
I am grateful for a body that lets me walk, skip, run, and dance. 
I am grateful for arms that can hug my sweet roommate as I leave the house in the morning. 
(And I'm so very grateful for that sweet roommate - but that's a post for another day.)
I am grateful for hands that can tousle my little brother's blonde hair. 
I am grateful for eyes that can see the yellow leaves of autumn, the pink and purple sky of sunset, and the golden kiss of sunshine. 
I am grateful for ears that can hear music, and for vocal chords that can sing along. 
I am grateful for a nose that can smell yummy food, and for a mouth that can taste it. 
I am grateful for skin that can feel the warmth of sunshine, the cool drops of rain, and the embraces of those I love. 
I am grateful for a mouth that can smile, a head that tilts towards the heavens when I laugh, and eyes that squint up when I do. 
I am grateful for my toes that wriggle as I type this, and the ability to paint them pretty colors. 
I am grateful for my legs, strong and steady, that ground me. They carry me up those dreaded stairs and around campus every day with hardly any thanks. They endure lifts and kicks and turns in my dance class without a complaint. They anchor me and yet provide me mobility. They are amazing. 
I am grateful for a belly that receives. It receives breath, it receives food, and it takes those and miraculously turns them into life. That is a miracle. 
I am grateful for hands that can work, that can play, that can create. 
I am grateful for a mind that can think, and create, and soak in the beauty of this life and all that God has given me. 

Wow. I feel so richly blessed. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Food for Thought

Image found here.

"If we teach about what is in every section of the Doctrine and Covenants, if we teach so that our students know all the rivers in the Book of Mormon, if they can name all the prophets of the Old Testament, if they can describe to you the pioneer trek and the history of the Latter-day Saints in the restored times but they don’t understand the promises made to the fathers and their part in it, it is 'utterly wasted.' I would submit that all of our teaching is utterly wasted if they don’t understand the context that all of this is taught within." 

I think this may be why I've had trouble finding religion professors I like at BYU; there are so many that go over tiny historical details which are interesting but do not teach nor motivate me to come unto Christ and be a better person. And isn't that the whole reason for the Gospel?

What do you think about this quote from Sister Beck? How does it make you feel? 

Monday, October 4, 2010

This weekend, I discovered...

i love to see it!

*The Lower Lights are wonderful! (listen to their music here)
*Sammy's key lime cupcakes shakes are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay good!
*God loves us beyond our comprehension (Thanks Elder Holland, or as my mom calls him, "yo BFF Jeffrey)
*Elder Uchtdorf will ALWAYS use an aviation metaphor 
*President Packer is not afraid to tell it like it is. I LOVE that!
*I have incredible friends

soul sista

shall the youth of zion falter? no!

*If you make a sign that says "Are you going to conference?" and hold it up as you drive past people on the I-15, you can have a ton of fun. And sometimes they will make signs to show to you, too. 
*My parents have given me what matters most. I love you, Mom and Dad.
*Sometimes when you think you are failing, you are actually answering somebody's prayer.
*BYU Women's Services has posted more info on the Body Image Challenge here.
*My next post will be my 200th! What an accomplishment!
*Fall in Utah never fails to be absolutely, undeniably lovely. 

And life is beautiful. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice

Image found here.

For 6 hours today and 4 hours tomorrow, we have the opportunity to receive counsel from modern-day prophets! Click here to see how you can tune in online. Believe me, it is AMAZING. 

Thomas S. Monson (pictured above) is the sweetest old man. He has a remarkable memory and always stories and poems that make us laugh. He is full of the pure love of Christ and it radiates from the television screen. 

I come to Conference with a question or issue in mind, and somehow the Spirit always answers it and calms my heart. How grateful I am for God's personal knowledge of me, and that He has given us prophets on the Earth today to help us come closer to Him! 

Watch General Conference. It will change your life.