Hook-ed On Pa-haw-nikes Work-ed For Me!

Hello, world.

I’ve been pretty busy these last few weeks since I last posted. I’ve been doing a lot of shopping… and a little reading… and a lot of freaking out about how little reading I’ve been doing, because in just shy of four weeks I will enter the MTC.

Do you ever feel like you just woke up and 40 days had gone by? 40 days where you were going to be working out to losing that chubbiness in your face that magically appeared out of nowhere (or maybe from excessive amounts of G’s Dairy and Taco Bus)? 40 days where you were going to read a TON of Preach My Gospel and scripture and be at least somewhat prepared for your mission?

During that 40 days, you probably planned to visit all your friends and family so you could see them before you left. You were going to rest and relax and enjoy a little bit of real life before you enter the MTC and start your mission, which will soon become your real life. But now, with less than 25 days before you enter the MTC…. which means less than 20 days until you leave the Treasure Valley… it feels like you don’t have time to do anything.

Or maybe all that is just me.

Anyway, here’s some things I’ve been doing for the last few weeks!!

I’ve been day-dreaming about the Virginia Richmond Mission:

I’ve been shopping like a maniac:

I had a delicious birthday dinner with some of the fam’ at Tucano’s:

I bought shoes from beardy man at Dillards:

I’ve been doing some studying:

(Yes, with a Spider-Man Preach My Gospel study journal.)

I’ve been living with my absolute SAINT of a grandmother:

(making me a birthday cake)

(signing autographs for her newest book)

(posing with her newest book)

I’ve been trying to make sure that my suitcases aren’t over the 50 lb. weight limit… which makes me think of Brian Regan:

I’ve stopped drinking Diet Dr. Pepper (seriously!):

I’ve adopted a “conservative” nail color — none.

(Remember my post about my beloved turquoise nail polish? Now it is all packed away . . .)

I bought a few pieces of “conservative” jewelry, like this pic from the sister missionary dress guidelines:

… and I’ve been watching love stories:

 

 

Summer has been great… and I hope yours has been, too.

xoxo

Being Alive

I’m sure you’ve read this quote before. But today, here’s what I’ve been thinking about:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

– C. S. Lewis

While you’re here, listen to this song …

 

… because life is good.

xoxo

Hope for the Flowers [Funk-ified, part 2?]

Hello, my friends.

Today, I’m thinking about change. And flowers. And friends. Good friends. I have been thinking about what it means to be a friend. And to uplift and strengthen and love your fellow man. And Canada and Italy and Virginia. And perseverance.

Also, about this book:

This quote may be by Newt Gingrich… but it’s still good (it’s not about living on the moon):

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of life I want to have and what it will take to get there. These past few weeks have been funny-weird, frustrating, and funny-ha-ha. It seems like every day there is something that tries to derail my path. Some outside negative force trying to get me to give up, and to surrender, and to fail. And every day, I say a little prayer of thankfulness that I haven’t yet. And that I don’t intend to. And that I’ve got that fire and ambition to keep on keepin’ on!

I’ve worried about money. I’ve worried about lalling in fove, as my dear friend Kimbo says. I’ve worried about the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve worried about being forgotten. I’ve worried about my ever-accruing student loan debt. I’ve worried about joint pain. I’ve worried about worrying (what?). I’ve worried about my grades. I’ve worried about my family.

Yikes! The funny thing is that all of those are actually funny to me. They’re funny because I start to feel them, and I think “Well… I don’t actually feel that way…. That must be false.” And I laugh, and power through, and carry on. Occasionally I have to make a mind-clearing phone call to Nena so she can repeat our mantra back to me: NOTHING BAD IS HAPPENING.

Persevere, my friends, is my word for this year. (I picked one a little late… the year’s more than half over.)

Wait, I don’t want this to be a “woe is me” post. I’m trying to emphasize that I am just plain happy! I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that this semester… I feel like every week that goes by helps me realize that more. Sometimes we get put through the ringer, and our hair is a little (or a lot) out of place, and our contacts are drying out and we feel like we can’t take another step…

And then we realize everything really is A-O-K!

This is my 1:07 a.m. face.

How does all of this relate? Let me give you (and myself) a little summary. It is, after all, now 1:10 a.m. and I’m getting more loopy by the second. But I really, really feel like that I’ve been pondering is important.

Summary:

  • Life is so, so good. All the parts of it. The hard parts and the weird parts and the oh-so-wonderful parts.
  • When times are slow-going, and evil/negative/mean/cruel external forces threaten our happiness and our determination, we ought to whistle while we work instead of whining while we…. don’t work? (I say “we,” but really I mean that I need to remember that.)
  • I want to work for what is real and authentic and peaceful. I choose that path. I hope you do too!
  • I AM SO, SO THANKFUL for every single thing that has happened to me — it has led me here. That is the cheesiest thing I’ve said on this blog to date, but it is 100% true.

In conclusion for tonight, I’m tired. And happy. And also shloopy (sleepy), too. Stay classy.

xoxo

My Papa

It’s hard to know what to get your dad for Father’s Day. The typical gifts like a tie, a new drill, a mug with my picture on it… that doesn’t really do my dad justice. I think those gifts are great… but I always feel like I never REALLY tell him how great he is.

So, this post is about some things my dad taught me.

1. My dad taught me to be kind.

I remember when I was a little kid… okay, I probably wasn’t that little. I was like 10. We were getting ready to go on a trip of some sort; I think we were heading to visit my sister in Jordan Valley.

In any case, we were fueling up and my dad noticed an elderly gentleman at the pump next to us was having trouble with his Albertson’s Preferred Savings Card (did that sound like a plug, or what?). He didn’t quite know how to use it and was getting visibly frustrated and even a little embarrassed. Before I knew it, my dad was rushing over to the man to help him out.

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up; we weren’t “poor,” but like most people buying gas was helped out a lot with those Albertson’s Preferred Points. I even have some vague awareness of my dad telling me how many he had gotten and that he was excited to use them.

I don’t know what my dad said. I don’t know what the older man said.  All I know is I saw my dad reach in to his wallet, pull out his own Savings Card, and slide it for the man he didn’t know. He was careful to show the older man how to do it and when to do it, so that next time he wanted to use his card he would be able to do so. The older man shook my dad’s hand and walked away smiling. When my dad got back in to our pickup, all he said was “That’s what it means to be a Wylie.”

Maybe this isn’t as incredible as I think it is… but let me tell you. With that simple act, my dad taught me to be kind and selfless and serving to everyone, even people you don’t know.

2. My dad taught me to laugh.

Maybe it’s the Cook in us. Maybe it’s that we’re short so we have to make up for it by being funny. But I submit that my dad is the funniest man I have ever met. Probably the funniest person I’ve ever met. When I picture my dad, I picture laughing with him. He makes everyone laugh around him. My dad has such a warm, welcoming laugh and smile that invites everyone around him to join in the joke.

This is one of my very favorite things about my dad, that he is so funny. When he gets around his 5 siblings, it is an absolute riot. Everybody is throwing their heads back, their mouths are open, and they are howling with laughter.

My dad has taught me to laugh.

 3. My dad taught me to love sports.

If you know my dad, maybe this one will make you chuckle a little. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been a Melba sports family. My dad coached as I grew up, taught me to love watching sports, and taught me to pace and jump around when the competition gets intense. I remember when I was a little kid, I loved Michael Jordan because my dad loved Michael Jordan. I thought it was awesome that Muggsy Bogues was so short an NBA player, because my dad was a short basketball player (sorry, Dad).

Just about everybody in Melba was coached by my dad at one point or another, in one sport or another. Basketball, football, softball, baseball… my dad did it all. I love feeling the adrenaline of competition… even if I’m not that athletic. Yes, I was a cheerleader. And my dad still loves me.

My dad is the coolest guy I’ve ever met.

He taught me how to work hard. He taught me how to have fun. He taught me to love Alien and Predator. He taught me to chew cinnamon gum and drink Diet Pepsi and eat all your food. My dad taught me to be a best friend, and to serve others and care for them, and to love with your whole entire heart.

My dad is my hero, the funniest guy I’ve ever met, and the standard against which every other guy is judged. I love my dad so, so much. He is so great.

Happy Father’s Day, pops. I love you!

Funk-ified (part 1)

Yes, I’m writing another two-part post. But it’s because it’s so late and I don’t have time to start what is going to be in part 2…

Before I drown my cold in Nyquil, I wanted to tell you a little story. I have so many stories… I’m sure you are tired of hearing about them.

BUT! For you few who keep saying, “Keep posting!” here is another story for you.

I’ve been in a little bit of a funk lately. This is the first I’ve been acknowledging it, because prior to tonight I’ve been fighting it with everything I have. I’ve been going full steam ahead and not really paying attention to the fact that maybe my soul was a little tired. Maybe I just needed a rest. Or a sleep. Or a chill pill. Or some patience. Or maybe just a few more mugs of peppermint tea.

I sound so dramatic sometimes! But isn’t that what a blog is for? To just spit out all the dramatic “truth” your heart is weeping so that your brain can tell you how logical (or illogical) it is?

But I digress. Where was I?

“I digress.”

Ah. My tired soul. You see, I’ve been working hard to learn, and to grow, and to become, and to work every single day to create and take baby steps toward the life I want to live.

But then I forgot to rest. I sortof rested between semesters… but as soon as I got back I just started running without even realizing it. I didn’t even realize I wasn’t resting and nourishing my soul until I went on a long, peaceful walk around Rexburg with a dear friend of mine.

We talked for a few minutes about what had been bothering me, but then we just walked around for a long time and talked about anything but that. We talked about what we believe and where we want to go and what we want to do and who we want to be. The more we talked, the more I realized that I had forgotten so many things about myself!

Where was I going?

How does that happen? How do we just forget the things that make us happiest, and that make our hearts go pitter-patter, and the things we need, and the kinds of people and thoughts and actions we want to surround ourselves with?

I don’t have the answer to that. I don’t know why we forget. It probably has something to do with how fast we try to go go GO, and that we try to use our own strength instead of relying on the source of our strength…

But what I do know is that it feels so great when you remember those things you forgot.

I remembered a lot of things…

I remembered that life is good! I have such a fire and passion for life and I don’t ever want to forget that. I remembered that I have dreams and dreams and dreams about what I want my life to be like, and that I’m working every day to get there. I remembered that I have hope that is bursting at the seams, and that I don’t ever want to lose that.

I remembered I love to create things… which will bring me to my next post. I don’t remember the last time I made something for MYSELF, not for a class or work or whatever… but because I LOVE TO HAVE PAINT ON MY HANDS AND DANCE AROUND WHILE I CREATE SOMETHING (and usually get it in my hair, too).

Life is good. Life is SO good. Remember back on Valentine’s Day, when I talked about gratitude? It’s okay if you don’t quite remember. You can read it here if you want…. and I hope you will. Anyway, I feel SUCH gratitude for my life today and the ESPECIALLY blessings in the lives of others.

Which brings me to my next point:

one of the coolest people I know. Nena will probably be embarrassed that I’m writing this about her… but I’m okay with that.

Here’s a picture from what we fondly recall to be “the good old days.” Me, Devin, Sarah, Nena, Cody, Norma, Andrea (where was Amber?)…. I haven’t seen most of those people in forever. Anyway.

The POINT of this picture is that Nena has always been such a good, loyal friend to me. No matter what. Even when I was a crazy little high schooler (and cheerleader). No matter where I was in my life, when Nena became my friend she became my soul sister.

I think I was a sophomore in high school here… this is when they graduated and we walked around Boise barefoot like the hooligans we were and jumped in fountains and yelled and sang and cried a little when it was over.

She taught me to literally breathe fire. Yeah. She’s pretty rad.

Powderpuff football, naturally.

Let’s fast forward. My 19th birthday!

Dallin, Jerrold (Me), Neenjie, Katie, and Tate.
Mission, BYUI, Grad School, married, Indiana.
Wow, I miss all these people!

Nena made me some delicious apple pies for me on my  birthday, a week after my baptism… I was going to post a picture from my baptism, but I don’t have ANY! Bummer. (If anyone has some, can you send them to me?) Anyway, I remember when I called Nena on her birthday…. even though I thought her birthday was the next day… to tell her I was getting baptized. She said that was the best birthday ever! I’ll take her word for it. Nena has always been such a great example to me on how to live.

She always, always, always makes the right choice. Always. It’s never a question for her. If someone needs help, Nena is there. I know that I can always call Nena and with all the loving kindness she has in her heart she will tell it to me like it is. I can call her to know nothing bad is happening, that life is going just as life goes — according to someone else’s plan. Nena has taught me so many things. Nena has taught me to not care (or to care less) about what other people think. Nena has taught me to BELIEVE even when things aren’t going like you hoped or planned or wished. Her faith is unshakable.

Nena taught me her wheys.

And among other things, Nena also taught me how to get past big, sweaty, angry metal heads in a mosh pit. I still don’t go in to the circle pits….. that’s just insanity….. but Nena taught me her wheys of navigating mosh pits at Warped Tour and beyond…. and even though she ALWAYS mentions the year when A.F.I. and NOFX were there at the same time (which was the year I couldn’t go)… I can’t WAIT for our Warped Tour miracle in just ONE WEEK!!!!!!!!!

This was taken last June, on my first trip to Rexburg. I visited the apartment that I now live in (but I didn’t know I would then)! I met all my Starfishes! That trip started an entirely new chapter in my life… and I’m thankful Nena was there to help a sister out.

My first trip to Rexburg last June… I don’t know what I’d do without her.

I feel like this was the summer that I basically lived at her house for like 6 weeks….. and we didn’t even get tired of each other! Wakeboarding is the beeeeest.

Nasty McNast-Nast — Lake Lowell!

And then we ACTUALLY lived together in Rexburg… I’m so thankful for Nena. I’m thankful she’s stuck by my side always, no matter what. I value loyalty above almost anything else…. and this girl is LOYAL! Also, she’s a genius that’s accepted in to graduate school to get her PhD at BYU!!!

She’s so smaaaaart.

Why am I posting all this? Because, friends, if anyone deserves to have the MOUNTAIN of blessings and blessings and blessings and MORE BLESSINGS poured out upon their heads, it is Nena Lundgreen. She works harder than anyone else I know to do what’s right and what she feels God wants for her; she won’t ever settle for less than what she deserves; and she is one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever known. Sometimes you just have to SHOUT to the rooftops how happy you are for your friends when they are getting the great and wonderful things they deserve…. and this is one of those times!!!!

Part 2 will come later today…. probably on Saturday…. and I’ll show you what my soul has been yearning for me to do.

XOXOXOXOXO
JL

Mexican Food From “Sombrero,” Just Because

Today it is sunny. Sunny, beautiful, with not a breath of wind and an expected high of 79˚. Eastern Idaho weather is so fickle.

 

I am listening to Green Day on shuffle today. Even in my head I pronounce their name weird. green-DAY. Also Cake. And Blink-182.

Anyway.

Today, I want to talk about my fingernails.

My fingernails (that shine like justice?) are painted turquoise. The color is called Read My Palm” from Sephora by O.P.I. I don’t know what that means, but it makes me like the color even more. When my nails are painted turquoise, I feel like myself. I feel like I can do anything.

My turquoise fingernails tell me that everything is going to be okay; that I was born a unique, beautiful, and creative soul.

When my the ends of my fingers are that lovely turquoise color, I want to go running. I want to paint. I want to sing my favorite songs, wear my favorite clothes, and eat healthy foods.

I choose my polish color carefully.

Pink because I’m tired of deciding which color to pick, purple because I love College of Idaho, yellow because I feel a little freaky, brown because I’m bored of bright colors and I think it’s pretty. But turquoise, turquoise because I need a reminder. Turquoise because I like feel in control every once in a while. Turquoise because turquoise is not pink, or purple, or yellow, or brown. Turquoise because it’s intentionally bright and happy and one part green and three parts awesome.

My turquoise nail polish makes me feel like I’ll still get married someday even though I can’t really cook (I actually burned my BAGEL this morning). It tells me to have faith in and hope for the future. It tells me to nurture my soul on a regular basis.

I love, love, love my turquoise fingernail polish… and all the things it reminds me to be and do.

I don’t know why I just posted about my fingernail polish… probably because I’m listening to “Short Skirt Long Jacket” and “Josie”, so I feel like I have a mind like a diamond and that I’d bring you Mexican food from Sombrero, just because… and maybe because when I appreciate the fact that my nails are painted turquoise, I feel unstoppable…. So that’s normal.

Thanks for reading this rambling post about nothing.

Can’t stop won’t stop.

xoxo
J-Dub

Uh-oh

I have an estimated 12 hours of graphic design homework each week this semester.

I have 9 hours of Literary Interpretation homework each week.

I have 13+ hours of work each week.

I have a speaking partner through the BYU-Idaho Pathway program where BYU-I students help native Spanish-speakers learn better English, which constitutes 1-2 hours each week.

Repenting for not spending my time wisely and needing to stay up until 2:00 (that’s my goal, anyway…) to finish my graphic design homework?

Check!

Resisting my urge to drink Diet Dr. Pepper every day and become an addict again?

Check!

Dang it……..Where is my butler when I need him?

 

“However Long and Hard the Road” (part II)

I want this post to have a second title.
Its alternate title is called, “Did I miss 60-B?”

Its other alternate title is, “What I Learned Over Spring Break”

This is a sorta deep post, I guess… it’s deep to me. And dear to me. So… sorry.

Holy smokes.

I can’t believe that this semester has begun already. My roommates agree that it feels like the end of Winter Semester… hardly the beginning of Spring Semester. This semester will ask me to hit the ground running… and I am determined!!!

Each day I feel like I realize how much of our lives are determined by the choices that we make…

I’m choosing to enjoy that this is my third consecutive semester (Fall at C of I, Winter at BYU-I, Spring at BYU-I) and my third total college (Boise State, College of Idaho, and BYU-Idaho) as my brain already threatens to give up; I am determined to get an A in graphic design this semester!

I’m choosing to remember that it is, in fact, my choices that determine my future. Decisions determine destiny, after all. Elder Speiser would appreciate that.

I choose to keep taking steps in the dark with naught but a pinhole of light to direct me, as I have been for the past almost-year. I have been blessed with a strong faith in the plan God has for me… so I will keep moving forward!

Onward, Christian soldiers!!!

VACATION

Let me tell you about my Spring Break.

I spent most of my time in Rexburg during Winter Semester. I think I only came home twice. I SO greatly missed the people I care most about, and it was wonderful to see them! You know those friends who really get you? That you know truly understand the kind of person you are, and truly love you and the way you are, and don’t make fun of you for your crazy tendencies or wild dreams? Not that there aren’t friends like that for me in Rexburg (because there are!), but I feel like I got to see people like that every single day I was home; it was so great!!!!!

I spent most of my time running around the Treasure Valley, from Star to Boise to Melba to Kuna to Murphy to Nampa and everywhere in between, for visits and good talks and friends and family and church and all manner of fun and refreshing times — most of these with very little sleep.

I also saw at least FIVE shooting stars on Saturday night (seriously, I don’t remember the exact number but I saw several…), so I made some quality wishes that are dear to my heart while I was home, too.

Another exciting thing I did during Spring Break was detox myself from Diet Dr. Pepper. THAT was a headache-inducing adventure! But I’m now DDP free for…. 13 days! Considering I had gotten up to 44 oz each day of DDP, that’s quite a feat. I have to stop talking about this now… I want a DDP.

I did go to Sonic, though. Diet Cherry Limeade with extra real cherries. YES.

The only thing I didn’t do that I really, really wanted to was watch the sun rise….. but next time I’m home, I will.

Then came Sunday afternoon and I was forced to face my reality: I was leaving for Rexburg in less than 24 hours. My Spring Break seemed to end much sooner than it had begun, and I wasn’t ready to leave home yet. At all. Spring break sortof felt like…. a dream. Like I was living this dream life where I pretended like it wasn’t going to end, like it would all just keep going like it was, and I would have a gloriously long and luxurious summer vacation, and I’d get to be with my home friends and my Grandma and my family, and I’d get to make art with Hudson whenever he wanted, and I’d get to snuggle Sophie, and make tons and tons of art, and I wouldn’t have to come back to school.

But I did.

And here I am, in Rexburg.

I’ve begun to call Rexburg home. I told my roommates when I would be home, not when I would leave home. It’s exciting that I finally know exactly how to get to Broulim’s AND Walmart, and that I officially know as of today which street is Main Street. (It seems pretty obvious, but I’ve never been good at remembering directions or names of streets.) I know where Craigo’s used to be and where all the best parking spots are for my job.

Rexburg is home to me. Rexburg is where I need to be.

Please, wait.

With a deep sigh, I must admit that I have no idea what my plan is. I mean, I do. In a sense, I know exactly what my plan is. At the same time… I have no idea. And that is okay. I know what I want my plan to be; I know about a million things I would like to happen. But right now… I just need to wait.

My plan is to follow the plan.

I feel like I’ve been preparing for something since I was 5 years old, and ever since then I’ve been learning this lesson: wait. Hurry up and wait. Sit and wait. Take a breather and wait. Enjoy life and wait. Regardless of what I need to be doing while I wait, waiting has always been in order for me.

I don’t think it will be a specific something, really. I don’t have these high expectations for life to be something it isn’t, or for life to happen to me while I just sit there… but I just know that I’m supposed to have an amazing life. Do you ever feel like that?!

Anyway. The point is that I don’t know where my path is headed, but I’m excited to get there!

TODAY IS DAY ONE, my friends, as my dear friend Melody would say. It has been Day One for me each day this week (ha ha), and it might be tomorrow! But I refuse to give in. Today, I am CHOOSING that waiting is exactly what I want to do.

Waiting for what, I don’t know. I do know that often I get overcome by my big ideas and my big dreams and my absolute love for life, and I just want to do everything. It is during these times that I get the distinct words “Please, wait” going through my head and my heart and my soul.

I want to do what is best for me; I want to make sure I learn all the things I need to learn in this part of my life. If I’m supposed to “wait,” that is exactly what I’m going to do.

Let me clarify, just quickly, that this waiting I’ve been asked to do has never been an idle thing. It’s always been, “Wait, there is something ELSE you need to do first! So go do that! Wait to do that first thing later; it will be BETTER than you could ever imagine!” So… while I “wait”… I’m going to be working for and running toward the person I’m supposed to be and the life I want to live.

Yikes. That was deep. And I have no idea what I’m even talking about.

But it’s the truth.

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see.

So, my friends, if anyone is still reading this…

I’m going to keep on keepin’ on, as my dear brother Elder Wilkins encourages (I’m referencing a lot of people today!). I’m not going to ask to see the next step, just enough to keep me walking. Just enough to keep me away from cliffs, or snakes, or things that would not propel me towards the life I’m supposed to have.

Or spiders… because those things are sick.

Let me end a not-so-short post with this realization I have come to.

HOWEVER LONG AND HARD THE ROAD

I was listening to this talk by a man in our church yesterday…. and it’s pretty long. I SERIOUSLY RECOMMEND LISTENING TO IT!!!!!!!!! It has changed my life. (Here’s the link to where you can listen to it if you want.)

But, as usual, I will share with you my favorite part so you get the gist of the way I’m feeling:

“It is simply a truism that nothing very valuable can come without significant sacrifice and effort and patience on our part. And when some of those challenges come, you will have the temptation common to us all to say, ‘This task is too hard. The burden is too heavy. The path is too long.’ And so you decide to quit, simply to give up.”

Elder Holland goes on to explain that in 1940, Winston Churchill was called to be prime minister of England. He was ready to rally his fellow countrymen to patriotism and determination during the trying times that lay before them.

Churchill said:

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. 

You ask what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all our strength that God can give us. . . .

You ask, What is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory–victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be.

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t really know much about Winston Churchill. Anything I’ve heard about him seems like he was a pretty hardcore dude. In a good way.

Listening to this helps me remember the passion I have for life when I am feeling confused or discouraged or weary.

I love what Elder Holland said:

“Blood? Toil? Tears? Sweat? Well, I figured I had as much of those as anyone… I was, in the parlance of the day, going to give it ‘my best shot,’ however feeble that might prove to be.”

So… onward I go in to Spring Semester (and beyond!), to give it my best shot.

My plan is to follow the plan….

….however long and hard the road may be.

xoxo
Jeri Lynn 

“However Long and Hard the Road” (part I)

I have spent fifty-three days (mostly) off Facebook.

Yes… I must admit, I’ve spent a little time on Facebook. 99% of the maybe four times I’ve gotten on Facebook in the last 53 days has been for Jurra Does Announcements stuff. The other 1% has been for 30 seconds as I look at the number of notifications I have… get a yucky feeling… and log out of Facebook before I can wreck all the progress I’ve made.

Are you proud of me? I sure am.

I am still love, love, loving my time off Facebook. TRY A FACEBOOK FAST!!!! It will change your life; I promise.

That’s not the point of what I want to talk about! Here’s the point:

I wanted to share some really sweet handsome awesome stuff that might just make you smile. Or laugh. Or feel embarrassed for us. Here is a photo chronicling of my experience this Winter Semester at BYU-Idaho…. Enjoy!

This is my car warning me about how cold it will be in Rexburg. I feel like this is Roosevelt saying, “Ummm… are you aware of how frigid it is here?!”

This was technically taken on my trip to Rexburg before the semester started…. but that doesn’t make it less exciting that I discovered gas is MUCH cheaper in eastern Idaho than it is at home. Who knew?!

I committed the ultimate sin: I covered up Nena’s poster of Zac Efron with a poster of The Beibs. But Nena’s outrage at seeing so much Beiber in her room was WORTH IT!!!

Taylor parking lot. Snow! And lots of it… (although I must admit it was a mild winter…)

I stopped my car in the middle of the road on the way home from dance so I could take this… PRETTY!

Aren’t they attractive? The soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. Higgins, ladies and gentlemen! I’m so glad they became my buddies this semester.

Okay, so nobody gave this to me… but my Kirsten got it! And I took a picture of it because the day a man gives me a Star Wars Valentine on Valentine’s Day… that is the day I will profess my undying love to him. Unless he’s a Sith lord. (Yikes… my nerd is showing.)

Such a regal leopard jacket… it’s fleece.

This is how we take care of sick Starfishes…. make sure they’re nice and warm and cozy!!!

PREDATOR!

Hahaha…. Jeremy liked to make us cookies. And wear our flowered apron.

More regality from Lizzie.

So…. I had an empty Horkley’s cup, one used for paint water, and another half-full of Diet Dr. Pepper from the same day as the empty Horkley’s cup… Yikes.

Kirsten and I had so much work to do… but we wanted to spend our last moments in the apartment with our Starfishes… so we brought our iMacs upstairs!!!

Nena is probably one of the raddest girls I’ve ever met. Just sayin’.

I love Starfishes. :) We were out to our photo shoot with our Starfishes!

I’m sure we were laughing at something sick that just happened… our natural state in our Starfish apartment.

Windy, chilly, sunny, and the Taylor building… pretty iconically Rexburg.

I love my dear Starfishes.

I am so proud of Nena, Anna, and Kirsten for graduating this semester, and for the people they are, and for how amazing they are. They are some of the most incredible women I have ever met, and I am so thankful for them and their influence on my life this semester!!!!! I miss them already… I just know they are going to be AMAZING!!!!!

Part I is now concluding… I will soon post about my break & the upcoming (now started!) Spring Semester… in Part II!

I love you all.

xoxo
JL

Optimistic, Insomnimaniacal Murmurs of a Drowsy Young Lady

I am not 100% awake right now, of this much I am certain.

But I can’t quite fall asleep. I wage this battle nearly every night. I say this with a bit of a smile on my face; it’s somewhat amusing to me how long it takes me to fall asleep. Most of the time.

Tonight, it’s amusing. I wonder if I’ll even remember writing this in the morning?

DEATH TRAP

Trying to fall asleep when you can’t is like playing on a merry-go-round. At first, you’re intrigued. “Why, what a funny little ride this is! I bet it’s fun even though it looks stupid and dangerous and rusty and ghetto.” Then, you figure you might as well enjoy it because you’re already spinning and you don’t really remember why you seemed to have made the conscious decision to get on such a barf machine.

As you spin faster and faster (or stay awake later and later, so we’re clear where this metaphor is going) you realize perhaps it isn’t so fun. The urge to stay on FOREVER (or to skip sleep altogether and pull an all-nighter every night for the next six weeks) keeps circulating through your brain… but you realize that this, too, wouldn’t be so fun. That would be the opposite of fun.

Finally you get sick of the spinning and nausea and blurred vision, and you dig your foot into the gravel to slow down (or, you lie in bed under a non-essential electric blanket). And yet… there you are, still nauseous and head spinning from that stupid merry-go-round ride you don’t remember getting on. And you’re not stopping (or sleeping).

And really, here I am writing a blog because I can’t fall asleep!

Not-sleeping feels exactly like that.

In any case, here are some deep (and some not-so-deep) wonderings floating in and out of my brain as I half heartedly try to fall asleep:

  • I wonder if it would be beneficial to me to only type in my transcriber’s shorthand that I use for work? (Excpt jn i wld b j only e who cld undrstnd what i’m typg. Myb I cld wrte scrt ntes like lnrdo da vnci. Or was jt mchlnglo?)
  • Did Adam and Eve have to sleep before the Fall? I wonder if they ever had problems with insomnia. I feel like it would be pretty boring to know neither joy nor sorrow, nor pleasure or pain.
  • I am so thankful for non-essentials like my electric blanket, and my vases, and my lamp, and my little rubber ducky named Arnold on the dash of my car. AMERICA!
  • Will the wind ever stop blowing here? Maybe during the Millennium, there will be no unpleasant wind. Or maybe we just won’t find it unpleasant?
  • I always develop this weird cough right as I try to go to sleep….. maybe I should stop working in ye olde coal mines.
Orange mocha frappuccinos!

I think I'm getting the black lung, Pop.

  • I’m tired.
  • My tummy is growling, and I want to eat a corn dog. And fried chicken. I want to eat grapes.
  • 44 ounces of Diet Dr. Pepper never seems like enough. And that, my friends, is how one identifies him- or herself as an addict. When novelty-sized beverages seem like a normal portion a human should digest…. Yikes.
  • I need a Sonic Sunshine Smoothie, STAT.
  • Why do most of these deal with food?
  • I also want mozzarella sticks from Sonic. I want SONIC.

The way to my heart is with 44 oz. of DDP

  • I miss Dallin and Jake.
  • [Now this is just stream of thought writing.]

Writing this can’t be helping me fall asleep. I will now abandon this for prayer, meditation, and despairing giggles as I try to fall asleep.

Good night, Moon.

xoxo
J-Dub