Thursday, September 24, 2009

This past week and a half

So, last week I didn't write anything but my talk, which I think is hardly fair, so I will sum up my week last week too. I guess the most eventful things were:
*3 dates, 2 on Friday night
*the football game.... soo saaadddd
*my talk

So I first went on a date with a boy who we will call John on Tuesday. We went to dinner at this Mexican place with his brother and his brother's gf and then watched a movie at his house. Dinner was really fun, and very good. It was kinda weird to meet his whole family at his house. Cinderella Man is a good movie. I got home wayy later than I wanted to, though, which struck me as inconsiderate? Especially on a school night? Usually I'm not like that but I had absolutely no say in the movie, even when I pointed out how long it is, he was very firm about how I would like it and that's what we were watching.

This may or may not have anything to do with this date, but it really bothers me when boys think that because they buy me dinner they're allowed to touch me. Especially when I am clearly showing that I would rather they keep their hands to themselves. I feel like I might be coming off like I just don't like people to touch me, which is very untrue. Actually, I'd say the opposite is true. I just don't appreciation the assumption that they have a right to. And I don't appreciate being forced into awkward situations.

Okay so that Friday I went on a date with John again, we went 4-wheeling. And I shot a gun for the first time in my life. It was very exciting! It was actually my first time 4 wheeling as well, except for maybe 5 minutes a few years ago. It was fun, but I was sore the next day. I think that 4 wheeling is pretty sweet, but I get tired of it after about a half hour. He also got me a Wendy's kids meal, which is pretty much my favorite thing.

I told him that I had to be home by 7 because I had a date at 8, but I didn't end up getting home until 7:40. So I took a shower, and my roomies blow-dried my hair while I did my make up. It was quite the adventure, but I was totally ready to go by the time my date arrived. It was a double date with Kali, which was fun.

Our date was probably the most classically Mormon date I have ever been on. Our dates were pretty adorable about how pumped they were about the whole thing. We made cards and ding dong ditched random houses with brownies we made. Then, we went to this grove of trees and sat on some blankets and read scary stories. They were from those scary stories books that aren't really scary, but are very entertaining. So that was fun. We did have to change locations when the sprinklers turned on around us though. Haha.

Saturday was spent writing my talk, which you had the pleasure of reading last time, and going to the game. The game was the most devastating loss. It made me so sad. That's all I really wanna say about it.

Sunday, I gave my talk. I was super nervous, especially when the speaker before me left only 4 minutes, but it went really well. I hardly read from the paper, and the congregation laughed at all my funny stories and were just so nice about it afterwards. I have seriously never in my whole life been so complimented on a talk. So many people came up to tell me they enjoyed it. One boy came up to me 3 times to tell me that it was the best talk he had ever heard. Lots of people told me that I have the best parents ever, which I mean, it's the truth :). The Bishop complimented me on it at church and again at ward prayer. He told me that he told lots of people about how fantastic it was. Needless to say, I was very flattered.

Then this Monday we had our first FHE as a family. It was so fun! Kayla, my roomie, is the mom. She had us play pudding twister, which quickly turned into a pudding fight. Then we all went and jumped into the pool in our clothes. It was way fun. Not everyone participated, but I bet about half of the family was actively involved.

This Wednesday was True Blue Football. I went last year and thought it was amazing, so this year I went with Heather (my sister) and Christine, her roomie and our friend. Heather was very upset about all the foam getting in her eyes, but Kali, my lovely roomie, was very helpful with letting us use her clean t-shirt (she wasn't participating) to wipe them. Kali is the nicest girl :) Then we went to the Cannon Center and changed, washing our very blue clothes in the sinks and wrapping them in paper towels so they didn't leak through the bags. Then we ate dinner at the Cannon, which is always ridiculously filling. As Heather likes to say, we stroll in, and roll out.

I guess the only other thing I should mention is that now I have an official study buddy. His name is Scott, and we have 3/5 classes together: MComm, Isys, and Accounting 210. We aren't actually in the same MComm section, and we have different teachers (which makes him much less lucky than I am), but we still are learning the same things. Usually, we just sit next to each other somewhere in the library and study by individually until we have a question. Or we work through difficult problems together. I can honestly say it is probably the most productive studying ever. It's so nice because I'm pretty good at studying by myself, but I don't really like it. So, this way I kind of get the best of both worlds. I also have someone to explain things to, which is very effective in helping me learn. And, I have someone to help me understand things I don't understand.

I wanna go to bed now, but I am thinking of two things that I will include in my next blog... an awkward experience in my ASL class, and watching the 1st season of the office. I'm sorry to everyone in my class who ended up reading this.... I know it's ridiculously long.

Soo that's pretty much it. Now I'm just preparing for about a million tests so should be fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

parenting talk

Good morning. I have been asked to speak about parenting and grand-parenting and how that relates to the gospel. This talk was an especially difficult one for me to prepare, because, as you can probably tell, I am not a parent. And I am certainly not a grandparent.

So I guess I will start out by introducing myself and talking a little bit about my family. My name is Kelly, and I’m from Maryland. I am the oldest of 7 children, and one of them goes to BYU with me and is here today. The rest still live at home. I was born into the church, and I have two wonderful and active LDS parents, who I will be talking about quite a bit in this talk. My mom was born into the church, and my dad converted when he was 25 and later served a mission in Guatemala. They were married in the DC temple and just celebrated their 21st anniversary. I love my parents and I have always known that they love me. I wanna talk about a few things that they have done that I think exemplify some of the most important things in parenting.

One of the first things I thought of when I was given this assignment was how grateful I am that I was raised in a home with the Priesthood. Every time we began a new school year we were each given a blessing. I have always known that I can ask my dad for a blessing and he will be perfectly happy to give me one. Sometimes, he has even sensed my need for a blessing when I didn’t even think of it myself.

One example I can think of happened this summer. I went home for the summer to work as a floating bank teller, so I would go to whatever branch needed me. Sometimes I really loved where I was stationed, and sometimes I didn’t like it so much. So one Friday I was at a branch that was not as fun as some of the others, and it seemed like everyone was picking on me all day, whether it be the customers or the other tellers, and these tellers were now all older than me because the one guy who had been my age who I would usually talk to there had just left that branch. Fridays are very busy, so on top of all that I was very stressed, especially because when I would go to help a branch out, the other tellers usually took that as an opportunity to do less and let me do most of the teller work while they went off and did other things in the bank. When I finally got home, I was feeling very taken advantage of and underappreciated, so I did what any respectable college girl who had a hard day would do: I started to cry.

I’m usually a very cheerful girl, and my dad absolutely hates to see me cry, which I’m sure a lot of you girls can relate to, so he instantly went to work trying to help me to feel better. He kept asking what he could do, if I wanted him to go order out from whatever restaurant I wanted, if he could go talk to the people at my work, if I wanted to go do something, anything, and I just wasn’t very interested in any of his offers. He eventually left, and came back a few minutes later, and said, “Well there is one thing I can do for you.” I waited for the punch line, not expecting it to be something that would actually make me feel better, but I was very wrong. He said, “I could give you a blessing.” It caught me off – guard, but I was surprised to realize that that was exactly what I wanted and needed. So I accepted his offer, and I felt better almost immediately after the blessing. I am so grateful to have a dad who holds the priesthood and who uses it worthily to better the lives of the members of his family.

The church has always been an incredibly important influence in my home. We learned to read, as probably many of you did, from the scriptures. We had family scripture study almost every night.

President Benson said, “Increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between the parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness are not idle promises, but exactly what the prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God.”

The scriptures really did come alive for us, and we learned to apply them in our lives. One time, my little brother Joseph, who was 4, got in trouble and had to sit in time out. My dad felt sorry afterwards and asked my mom if they should just let him off the hook. My little sister Julie then looked at him very seriously and said, “Dad, mercy cannot rob justice.” She was 6 years old.

We also said family prayer together every night. It used to drive me crazy because we didn’t just have one prayer, but nine prayers, because every single person in our family had to pray. It would usually take about a half hour. Now we all are assigned a day on which we pray, and that has considerably shortened things, but we definitely learned to pray, and I have often heard my parents pray for me and my other siblings. We also learned “prayer defense”.

My dad told me a story about how one night, in a scene that was actually very common in my home, my sister Heather and I were having a hard time getting to sleep. We were and still are the best of friends, and since we were in the same room we would often talk late into the night. This particular night we were being especially loud, so my dad came downstairs a few times to quiet us down, but it didn’t work. Finally he jumped downstairs and said in his most threatening-but-not-really angry dad voice “Here comes the mean dad with the iron hand!” When he got into our room we were both kneeling down on your beds and Heather was praying with her bottom stuck up in the air – “Please help daddy not to spank our bottoms because our bottoms are so precious.” I’m pretty sure we got away with that one.

Another thing my parents did was take us to the temple often. I live about a half hour away from the Washington DC temple, so we would go to take pictures there, and to see various displays, and I always knew that the temple was important to my parents. I knew that that was where I wanted to be married someday, because that is where families can be sealed together forever. I was taught to love my family through the example of my parents.

I think that part good parenting is loving each other, and making that very clear to the children in the family.

President Hunter said to fathers, “You should express regularly to your wife and children your reverence and respect for her. Indeed, one of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

I have always known that my parents love each other. Sometimes my dad will come into the kitchen when my mom is busy cooking and turn on the music and start dancing with her. They still act like teenagers a lot of the time, and I honestly find it adorable. Sometimes I’ll be standing there and my dad will run into the room and grab her around the waist and tell me, “I just love your mom, I’m so glad I’m married to her!” I have heard both of them express love for each other on numerous occasions, and it is important to me to see how happily married they are.

They also showed us that they loved us. There was never a time I could not ask my parents for help with school work or virtually anything else we were struggling with. I remember that middle school, mostly the beginning of it, was especially difficult for me. My mom would pick me up from school every day and talk to me about my day and just be my friend. I have noticed her doing this with all of the children since, and she told me that she just wanted to be with her kids because she knows that middle school can be a hard time. She always packed lunches for us, even up to high school, and sometimes when I was home for the summer too. Many times they had notes that she would write expressing love and telling us to have a good day. Whenever we came home from school, she would fling open the door with an ecstatic “Welcome home!” She was always sad when the summers ended and she couldn’t have us at home all the time anymore.

This helped foster a lot of love in our home between siblings. Although we have our occasional fights, I have a great relationship with each of my siblings. I believe that a lot of this is because my parents taught us that loving each other is so important. My sister here at college is honestly my best friend in the whole world.

The world has a view on parenthood that ranks it below many other good things in life, such as a successful career. Many times motherhood especially is attacked. President James E. Faust contradicted this notion. He said, “While few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents, few opportunities offer greater potential for joy. Surely no more important work is to be done in this world than preparing our children to be God-fearing, happy, honorable, and productive. Parents will find no more fulfilling happiness than to have their children honor them and their teachings. It is the glory of parenthood. John testified, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 Jn. 1:4.)

God knows this and wants us to experience it because out of all the jobs he has, the most important is being a professional dad to each of us. He has said that “this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” His children are what bring him the greatest joy, and he wants us to experience that as well.

I bear my testimony that I know that parenthood is an important goal for all of us, no matter how far away it seems right now, and as we live righteously and prepare for it we will be blessed and later our families will be blessed as well. I know that part of God’s eternal plan is for us to be married in the temple and raise eternal families in love and righteousness and that raising children in the church is the best and only way to do that because it is the only true church. I know that he loves each of us and is anxious for our happiness and growth, and that is why he gave us a Savior. I know that through his perfect atonement we can become perfect someday as well and return to live with Him and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


So BYU, formerly ranked #20 beat Oklahoma, formerly ranked #3, 14-13 in their first football game of the 2009 season last Saturday!!! It was such and intense game, and I was pretty much dying the whole 4th quarter. I never liked football until I came to BYU, and now I looove it. I especially love to watch it live, but on TV is still good, especially if it's high def with everyone in your apartment complex! Which is exactly how it was. A guy who lives in Raintree is the son of a manager of Wilson Diamonds, or something like that, so they provided pizza and soda for everyone who came to watch the game in the common area. Today, I just got back from watching the game against Tulane, where we KILLED them btw, and they did the same thing except for at Glenwood this time. This week has been pretty good, I ran into a lot of people I didn't expect to see:
1. Vince Eisinger. I don't know if I've ever mentioned the Eisingers in my blogs before, but Brittany was my best friend as a child, then they moved, so we pretty much lost contact, and then she moved back and now we are still really good friends, I just love her. Anyway, so Vince is apparently in my accounting class, and we ran into each other as I was walking out of a door he was trying to walk into. He's engaged now, which seems super quick to me, but it was just crazy to run into him.
2. Curtis Penfold. Okay, I don't remember him very well, but I remember his dad used to play the piano with his feet. He randomly came and asked to sit at the table Heather and I were sitting at, and we said sure. He asked where we were from, and when we said Maryland, he said "Oh I lived there as a kid, I lived in Laurel, you've probably never heard of it." And we were like... oh contraire! If ever there was a city in Maryland we heard of, it was Laurel! So we figured out our families know each other so that was cool.
I think that's it, I did randomly see a lot of people I know at the game today, too...
Last night was Fall Fest at BYU, so me, Heather, Jordan, Kali, and my new roomie Kayla went. It was a lotta fun, we did speed dating which sucked... most of the boys were freshmen. I think they should be assigned their own tables and not be allowed to mingle with girls older than they are... because they are automatic "no"'s. The way it ran was you wrote down their names, and marked y or n next to them if you wanted to keep in contact. I said y to one, even though I'm not super interested, but he seemed nice. And he wasn't a freshman. So we could hang out. They give both people the other's contact info if both say yes. So I guess we will see... I'll be fine either way, though. We also did an obstacle course which I totally failed at because I was wearing all this super-hero garb, so I was sliding and dying everywhere. Those things are super fun though. The we went to Red Mango, which was also fun. We took a lot of pictures, they're in my "Superhero Day!" album on facebook. I was Fantastic 4, the one Jessica Alba plays. Heather was a Power Ranger, using Kali's costume from last Halloween that we got at DI. It's actually a kid's costume, and Kali cut it so the pants have no waist, and the top only goes past her boobs, so she just wore a shirt under. Kali was Mrs. Incredible. It was really fun, a lot of people complimented us on our costumes. And we took some pretty sweet pictures, too. We also went to Red Mango afterwards. I didn't really like frozen yogurt when I first had it, but Utah is obsessed-- there are only about a million Provo frozen yogurt places, and now I pretty much love it. Anyway, I have a lot of homework I need to be doing if I'm gonna go to Rock the Block tonight!
Love, Me

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My New Assignment

So, for my business writing class, my teacher has declared that we will all blog at least once weekly. Some people in my class hate the idea, I'm sure some are excited, and I am kind of in- between. It's kind of like keeping a journal, so maybe I will enjoy it when I look back. I usually blog about once a month, when Heather tells me I should, so maybe this will help me shorten my entries? We shall see. She's pretty ridiculously excited I got this assignment. I think it has to be 150 words, and Brother Clarke said that we can write about anything, the point is to write. He said we could even say I hate Brother Clarke. I hate Brother Clarke. I hate Brother Clarke. over and over again. But I don't, so I won't. He's been pretty entertaining so far, and he has some of the better reviews on rate my professor, so I think it should be a good class.
Speaking of classes, I started school this week! I am in Accounting 210, Information Systems 201, Business Writing or M Comm, ASL 101, and Marriage and Family. I guess I'll go through them and say my feelings about them:

Accounting: Umm I'm very scared. I took Accounting 200 last semester, and I don't remember a lot of it. We're just reviewing now, and what I don't remember scares me. But, I'm re-teaching myself, and I got all the quiz questions on the 1st quiz right, so hopefully I will continue to do well. I am actually putting off getting ready for the 2nd quiz as I type this up.
ISYS: I'm kind of scared. I'm sure it will be challenging, as I am not super good with excel and I don't think I've ever used Access, but one guy in that class already got my number so hopefully now I have a study buddy? I will definitely need one. The professor seems nice, so I'm kinda interested to see how it goes. I know it will be useful, anyway. Now we are just learning stuff about competitive advantage, so not too hard.
Business Writing: I feel like this class is a good mix of writers and the professor seems nice and funny and willing to work with the students, so I'm not terrified, but I can see it will be a lot of work. It seems to me that it's just learning how to write in a different way, which I had to do last semester in my News Writing class. Once I learned how, I got to be pretty good at it, and really started to enjoy it, so I think the same thing can happen here. I'm naturally decent at writing, so I think it will be work, but not overwhelming.
ASL: I'm pretty excited about this class. I'm taking it with Heather, because we decided it'd be fun to be able to talk to each other in "code". Kali took it last semester and so did Christine, and they thought we would be fine. It's definitely a beginner course, so I'm excited to learn. As part of the class we have to practice outside of class with someone else for a half hour, then an hour, and then an hour and a half every week as the semester progresses. Heather and I did our first one today. It was in the Cougareat, and we basically had to spell and gesture every single word. It was fun... but mostly awkward. I was worried someone would come up who we knew and we wouldn't be able to talk to them, but luckily no one came. We played I spy and showed each other cute boys and tried to talk about some of the events of the day. We had to get most of that out while we ate and talked in English first, though.
Marriage and Family: I'm excited for this class. I love my professor, he is adorable. He seems like one of those bishops that you just love. I think it will help me to not be so scared of marriage. Not that I'm terrified, but it just seems like something so far away I guess... I mostly just feel completely unprepared which is okay, but it's sort of less okay in a BYU environment? I don't know how to explain it. I think part of it is I'm the oldest and Heather has already told me it's my job to get married first so that means I hafta get married within the next 3-4 years if she gets to get married when she's 22, which is her plan. And clearly that won't dictate what I do, or even what she does, but it something that seems so close and yet so far, and so ridiculously uncertain.

I love my ward so far! My bishop is seriously adorable. I love him. It's very clear that he loves us and wants to be a good bishop for us. We've already had some really fun activities. This ward has ward prayer which I love! I never had it last year, so I'm excited to have it again. Last time we divided ourselves into groups and met the people around us, and then we went to get to know people who had the same 1st letter of their 1st names. We also had a spiritual thought, and then I stuck around and talked for probably another half hour or so to other new people. I met one guy who served in my mission, Josh Keele... I didn't remember him, but he remembered my family! He's actually not in my ward, but he was at ward prayer. Then, on Monday, we had a huge FHE at the bishop's house where they fed us a potato bar, and that was fun too. We did speed dating, and a game where we were competing to know each others names. Tonight there is a get to know the bishopric at the raintree clubhouse, so I guess we'll see how that goes.

One sad thing is that Heather is not in my ward :( But, that means more networking for us! I've already met a lot of people in her ward, and we visit each other all the time. It's nice to be so close that I can hang out with her whenever. I like her roomies too :) I also love my roomies! I only know one of them, Kali, and the others I don't know very well, but they have been nice and fun so far. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of these people this semester!

I definitely need to stop writing this now... oh the apartment is okay, the dishwasher is broken, the toilet screams (no really, it is sooo loud) seemingly unprovoked, and, AND there is one more problem: on Tuesday, I believe, I walked into my apartment. I said hi to Kali, who was sitting complacently on her bed, and then hopped onto my bed... WHICH PROMPTLY FELL RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER ME!!!
Apparently the wood that supports the mattress shifts sometimes, so any weight put on the bed causes it to collapse. Um. Ridiculous. I mean what if that happens when I am asleep??? I have three huge bruises on the backs of my legs, and pictures will be posted on facebook of me and my poor bed. We put it back together though, no worries. Okay, sign language is in a few minutes so I must go... I guess I was just as long winded as usual. Get used to it!