Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What to do with an old french book?

Here's the deal, I'm a Pinterest Junkie. Aren't we all a little bit of one ladies? 
(follow me on Pinterest here)
Part of what I love love love about Pinterest is all of the cute Do-It-Yourself ideas floating around. Half the time I re-pin those like a mad-woman and say, "I can make that", and then there it sits in cyberspace, untouched and unappreciated.
But not this time!

I saw some beautiful rustic envelopes made out of old book pages and simply couldn't resist. I found an old french play book that was just screaming to be put to good use! If I were a more well rounded person, I would actually know french and have read this play multiple times, but alas, I am not.
That book met the chopper.
With what little sewing skills I have, I ripped out the pages and sewed myself some delightful little envelopes!

 Though they take a little tender love and care, these babies were easy peasy lemon squeezy. In more or less steps, I:
1. Ripped out 3 pages
2. Folded one page hamburger style into a point (this being the envelope flap)
3. I sewed a pretty little border on said envelope flap.
4. Folded all the edges of the pages over (no one wants paper cuts!) and put those two pages together after sewing the envelope flap to the top of one of the pages.
5. SEW THOSE PAGES TO-GETHA!
Viola: envelopes.

So, it's probably easier than my less-than-helpful instructions make it out to be, but I've always been more of a look-at-it-and-try-to-figure-it-out-myself kind of girl.
I have no clue what to use them for, but I do think that they are just the most darling things I've ever laid my eyes on. 
I now have a whole new motivation for writing letters. Who needs a pen pal?!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Straight-up NASTY!

I have good news, bad news, and something horrendously disgusting to share.
The good news is:
I FOUND THE NEEDLE IN MY PILLOW!!!
Needles, actually. I found 2. Wait, whaaat? And whyyyyy were there needles in your pillow?
Let me explain. I had this pillow that I loooved more than Josh Hutcherson covered in chocolate. Does anyone remember those super cozy "Moshi" pillows? You know, the ones with all the little microbeads that lovingly shaped to every curve? Well, I've had one for years and have just about slept the life out of it, that those little beads, like the STD of packing material, started falling out into my bed and getting all up into everything! So I decided my 8th grade home economics class taught me enough that I would be able to successfully make myself a nifty little pillow case to keep all those buggers at bay. And I did! I took some old white tank tops (because who doesn't love that soft t-shirt material?) and fashioned a new ruffly pillow case. The problem was... apparently some needles slid in there somewhere. I didn't know this until I rolled over in the middle of the night and got poked in the face with a needle! Again and again and again! I don't know what's worse, having the crumbs of your favorite pillow getting in every crack and crevace of your bed and body, or being attacked with sharp metal in the middle of the night with that very same pillow!?

Moshi, I don't care what you do to me, 
I will always love you. 
(So stop trying to sabotage me.)

The point is, I've found it! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAHA
Now I, and those needles, may rest in peace :)

Also, I stayed behind after school ended to clean the apartments, which meant I was all alone. Sometimes, that's a good thing. I read, slept, walked around in my spanks, wrote, and danced. ALOT!!!!
Zumba can suck it. I like to dance :)

Now, the Bad news:
Has anyone ever read The Hunger Games? Ok, though gruesome, I'd highly recommend them. If you haven't read them, you may not understand what I mean, but lately I've been having hunger games dreams. 
Do you understand people?

HUNGER. GAMES. DREAMS!
Nightmares.
I'm talking wake-up-yelling-and-sweating nightmares!
I haven't been killed in any of them yet, you know, just badly injured and viciously killing off innocent competitors. No biggy really.
Um, yes biggy!!!
People get institutionalized for this sort of thing!!!!
I've been able to tolerate it, but more recently, more and more people I know have popped up in these dreams. NOT OKAY!
Caitlyn: I'm reeeeaaally sorry for pushing you down that stairwell...
and Michael: I swear that ax was aimed at the person behind you! Why would I stab my own brother, come oooon, be a man and walk it off!
I've read that you get very abstract dreams because your brain is distrubuting multiple pathways of information at once, figuring out which memories to keep and which ones to dump in order to make more space, yadda yadda...
When these thoughts that are not usually used to crossing, cross, you get something pretty out of the ordinary. badda bing, badda boom= stabbed brother.
It's not my fault my brother just so happened to cross at the same time the Hunger Games did...

Really though, I seriously need to stop watching the trailer for that movie, or thinking about the books before I go to bed.

Oh man, more dreams like this and people aren't gonna want to live with me!

Now onto the STRAIGHT-UP-NASTY!!!
Brace yourselves. Seriously. You may never trust again.

I
found
a
fingernail
in
my
bread.

IFOUNDAFINGERNAILINMYBREAD!!!
STORE BOUGHT BREAD!!!
Here's my face when I saw that suspicious little demon, while spreading some delicious freezer jam:
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...............

And here's my face when I pulled it out and realized what it was:
 (SCREAM!)
I COULD HAVE EATEN THAT! IT COULD HAVE SLICED MY ESOPHAGUS!
No wonder that bread was on sale. It wasn't even a cheap-o brand! And here I thought I was in the clear. HA!
consider this girl seeeeriously mortified. I haven't eaten bread since.
Looks like I'll be making my own bread from now on!
Anywho, this little lady is officially home! So let's see what kind of chaos we can cause in this lil town shall we?
Til next time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Publishable

I'm not really a huuuuge fan of English. If you read my blog at all, you can attest to the the fact that proper grammar is practically non-existent, I'm as random as a banana in pajamas, and I totally lack well balanced structure to say the least. Like my personal diet of eating what I wanna eat, when I wanna eat it, I basically just say what I wanna say, when I wanna say it, regardless of the lack of intelligence that is portrayed through my carelessness for all things proper and professional.

I'm an English minor, you'd think I'd have earned enough experience and knowledge from having information poured into my noggin these last 3 years to be able to write something half decent, but frankly, half the time I leave a class stupider than when I entered it! I had great grammar before taking my grammar theory class, and now all I pretty much know is what I learned from those childhood classic Schoolhouse Rock songs. (You'd better be singing the conjunction junction what's your fuuuunction song right now, if you know what I mean!) 
The point is, half the time, I really find myself sitting in class, hating all things English related and wondering why in Hades I chose the minor I did.

(Yea, I'm that student. I've almost mastered the art of sleeping with my eyes open in fact! Pretty sure I've participated in some of the most expensive naps known to mankind...)
Anyways...
Today I received a subtle reminder why I'm an English minor.

BYU-Idaho has some excellent teachers, and some not-as-excellent teachers. Generally, it's pretty hit and miss. Everyone loves compliments, and really, by giving compliments, you have power. This was recognized by my brother Bryan at a young age. He's a smart cookie. A little too smart for my tastes, but what can you do? 
My mother was your average, everyday, home maker, mormon housewife. She made her children's lunched ev-ery-day. I don't know what triggered it, if it was Bryan's craving for better snacks, or his natural evil genius within, but he concocted a plan. Bryan started coming home from school, and raving about how delicious his lunch had been that day (as any grateful child should do). 

I can only imagine it... 
ooooh moooom, that peanut butter and Jelly really hit the spot. Mom, have you been giving us kool-aid instead of capri sun? because something is different... Mom, you've really outdone yourself today! 
Knowing him, I'll bet he laid it on thick. And you know what happened? His lunches literally kept getting better and better! Mom started buying better snacks, adding a little more here and there, and was really magnifying those God-given lunch-making talents.

Something about appreciation makes people work a little bit harder to be a little bit better. Have you ever noticed that when you are truly appreciated for something, you try doing that same thing more often and better? It's why when you know someone is trying to lose weight, recognizing that hard work can really give them the push they need. Boys: If you like getting back scratches, you'd be very wise to just raaaave whenever that special someone gives you one. 
Trust me, we're onto something. 
The point is, compliments go a long way, and I'd go so far as to say that the reason I'm still an English minor is 110% due to compliments and encouragement. 
(You all know who you are, so thank you for being so enthusiastic and supportive of my writing! Your words are power just as much as mine are.)

Back to teachers. I've had many teachers that I've very highly respected, but a few stand out among the crowd. They've stood out to me for these reasons:

-You can tell that they are not just there to teach. They are there to influence.
-They genuinely emulate love.
-These professors have always stressed knowing the names and works of each student individually.
-They've opened my eyes to something far greater than the material they are teaching. They teach about life, not just curriculum.
-They've truly been the best of the best in their field. These teachers eat, breathe, and sleep brilliance. 
-Most importantly to me, these teacher's have taken the time to personally pull me aside to give thoughtful encouragement and advice.

I've always liked writing, but the first time I truly believed I was good at it was my freshman year of college: writing fundamentals. I thought my teacher was crazy. He had us do some of the most time-consuming, yet meaningful assignments I've ever done. He drove me nuts because I could never figure out how he graded, and have always aimed high for grades. I never did learn to read this man. It wasn't until the very end of the semester that I realized he really didn't care about grades; he cared about us. He wanted us to gain something meaningful, and learn about ourselves through writing, without the penalty of a grade. 
There were days I wanted to trip this man walking up the stairs, and send all those dirty papers flying. Ooooh, his style drove me so crazy!

I wanted so badly to please him, I worked so hard, and yet... nothing. Then one day we had to do an assignment. We read a story and had to relate it to ourselves, and boy, I let it out. It was pretty raw, and rather unconventional for a sweet LDS girl to feel, think, and write, let alone turn in, and I did it. I felt kind of guilty really. That was the day. He called me back to talk to him, and I was terrified, as I always am when I do something a little edgy. I was expecting some sort of dignified advice on how I could improve, or maybe he'd slip me a notecard with the name and number of a school counselor on it.
But he didn't. 
He said "Valerie, You are a very good writer. Do you know that?"
... umm... considering you've done nothing but rip into my papers all semester, NO!
"...You really are, whatever you do in life, you need to continue writing."
I. was. dumbfounded.
I was speechless, and embarrassed as I usually am when professors compliment me, but this was different. All those late nights, all the writing I'd deemed useless, this whole love/hate relationship I had with this teacher was all worth it because of that statement. The words really aren't that special, but the fact that it was him, so highly trained, with so much experience, and such sincerity, meant everything.

This morning I went to a final for my class Advanced Writing and Critical Thinking. I loved my teacher. Though half the time he spoke far above my level of thinking, I knew he really knew his stuff. He graduated from Stanford, top of his class with honors. I'm telling you, this man could really be doing something far greater in the eyes of the world, but instead he's a teacher at BYU-Idaho, and he's made it clear he doesn't ever regret that. It's clear to me that he really grasps what is and isn't important in life. He is sweet, and always so happy. Today, he river danced on the table, just because. He's a great man. Anyways, we were assigned to write 300 words grammatically perfect. As we already know, I hate grammar. I actually became lazy and copy and pasted an exert from a previously posted blog, went to a tutor, edited it, and turned it in. It wasn't one of my most optimistic pieces overflowing with gumdrops and butterflies, but it was what I thought to be real, and he did say we could write about anything we wanted...
He handed it back, looked me in the eyes and said "I need to have a chat with you."
I can only imagine the terror on my face when I blurted out "oh no, why?"
He smile and looked at me quizically and said, "This is just very good." 

Very good? What is he talking about? It's 300 words of I-really-just-needed-to-get-this-out-of-my-system-no-matter-how-raw-it-is word vomit!
Apparently he likes word vomit.
 (Yea, no clue what all those little markings mean... I'm sure they are important though!)
I talked to him after class and first and foremost apologized for the not-as-optomistic-as-it-could-have-been writing (after all, this is BYU-Idaho, you can express yourself, but there still is somewhat of an expectation that no one feels anything outside of our perfect cheshire smiles and sun-shiny facades.) He asked me what my major was. I told him Art Education. After kind of a strange look, I mentioned that I was an English Education minor, hence taking this class. He told me that that was good, very good. He said though my grammar may not be perfect, I was a very talented writer and that no matter what profession I choose, I should always find some way of incorporating writing, because with a little more work, he believed my writing could very well be publishable. He then told me I'm the only student this semester he's believed could have their writing published.

Woah.

I may have wet my pants a little.
Maybe you just had to be there, but that compliment was huge to me. This guys really knows his stuff, and if he thinks I could actually do something professionally with writing, than I'm sure as heck not going to argue.
GOLD STAR BABY!!!!
(oh yaaa, oh yaaa, happy dance, happy dance.)
But seriously, how cool is that?
MOMMA I CAN WRITE!
So that is that. I'd say I've had a pretty decent morning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's going down.

I gathered my materials, and bought possibly THE noisiest and messiest bagel I've ever eaten, (next time skip the toasting, apologies to the studious girl next to me...) I've found my spot, set up camp, and planted my caboose. Third floor of the BYU-I Center, unidentifiable corner, this final essay is going down. I am going to focus and will not move until this 15 pg paper is purged from my brain onto this laptop. (After I finish this blog of course:)

If anyone wants to bring me a Dr. Pepper and a Milky Way, you'll know where to find me.
If I don't come home tonight, don't come looking. I'm a woman on a mission.

I'm feeling a little bit like Emperor Cuzco in this scene:
Bringiton.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Studying efficiency is about to go through the ROOF baby!

Look at me. I am wearing my I-AM-SO-HAPPY-I-COULD-JUST-DIE-RIGHT-NOW face!!!
Why you ask? 
Fasten your seat belt, and grab some depends because what I'm about to tell you may just knock you off your seat and cause slight bladder weakness due to excitement and mind blowing gratitude! (Seriously, I just about wet myself.)

Some people looove studying. They yearn for the thrill of picking through page after page of glorious knowledge in the library, seeking the hunt of juicy new information, and live for the sake of pouring over doctrines and expanding their understanding of character improving principles and regimes.

I'm not one of those people...
Don't get me wrong; I love learning. It's awesome! My problem is with the time consumption studying takes. Surely there is a more efficient way of using me time than slowing searching through page after page, skimming the words with my 10th grade reading level skills, frustrated with how much time it takes to answer one blasted question! Time is money!!! There is so much to do in a day, I almost feel guilty when I read for too long! And since my all knowing magic 8 ball beefed out on me, page picking is what my days have resorted to.

UNTIL NOW!

Mom, you've taught me so much, and have always had the answers, but if you've known about this tool and never clued me in, you are in serious trouble missy.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give yoooooou...
The LDS scripture citation index!

It's basically the coolest thing. Oh hey, I'm reading about faith in the scriptures, and I wanna see what modern day prophets have to say regarding a certain verse. I look it up in the index, bada bing, BADA BOOM! Direct quotes baby.
I'm a changed woman.

What else is the world holding out on me?!?!
Search on my young padawans, capture great gems of knowledge, you will. (You better have used a yoda voice when you read that...)
GO!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

THIS JUST IN: Our calculations were incorrect.

In fear we waited for a hurricane, when in fact, it was a flood. The rain is really beautiful until it's depth reaches your ankles, then the fear sets in. We apologize for the confusion. 

SHOOT MOTHA TRUCKA! I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SWIM!
What a waste of swim lessons all those years. like all those nasty rice cereal pieces left in the milk after a bowl of Lucky Charms, you'll be seeing me floating around. Or I'll sink. From now on, I will only respond to the name "Titanic". 


Anyone ever notice that while Rose is prying Jack's cold, dead, devoted fingers from her hand, she's saying "I'll never let go Jack, I'll never let go..." (I'm just gonna watch you sink into the deep abyss. Thanks for stealing my virtue and teaching me how to smoke and spit.)  Yea, that's love. Really Rose? You really couldn't fit two on that door? Lay off the sauce. Beezy.


Swim on my lovelies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

According to my calculations...

I'm predicting a storm in the very near future. In preparation for said event make sure to have/do the following:

[  ] Stock up on Chocolate. That's one part of food storage you're gonna get real good use out of.
[x] Make sure you pack a fresh pair of lacie panties. Something about having those just makes things better.
[x] Don't forget Big Bunny.
[  ] Finish all of your homework, sleep may start consuming a lot of your time... if you're lucky :)
[x] Have your scriptures, patriarchal blessing, and favorite talks on hand.
[  ] Go home. (t-minus 2 1/2 weeks.)
[x] Remember your routine. (ya know, bathroom floor, country playlist, call momma...) It's worked this long. Don't get a new haircut like last year. Lesson learned.
[  ] Now would be a great time to get a net flicks account.
[  ] Straws. Mom may the the only one that knows what that means.

Hurricane Hercules is predicted to hit Eastern Idaho sometime between Dec 7-Dec 17th with temperatures ranging from -10-20 degrees F and wind speeds unknown. For best chance of survival, stay indoors as much as possible, only drive when necessary. Duration of storm unknown at this time. Stay tuned for further updates.


Bring. It. On.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Food for Thought.

Tonight is pretty uneventful. It went from a whole lot goin on to a whole lot of nothin. That's not always bad, but it's sure left me alone to some thoughts...
and here they are:
1. I want a sparkly shirt. Or dress. and Shoes. Not just any shoes, but pumps. You know why? Because every girl needs a glamor dress and and some super bedazzled shoes. Because we all have those days. And on those days, I wanna have something sparkly to put on. Nothing boosts your self esteem like an accessory that says "look at me! I really am something." In my opinion, sparkling on the outside makes you sparkle on the inside as well! P.S. I'm a size 7.5-8 in heels ;)

Shoes: Mossimo Pumps (Target), Top: I wish I knew!

2. You know what I hate? When you get all dressed up and have no where to go. You know what I mean. That day when your hair is just perfect, you find the best outfit combination, and your make-up is looking reeeaaal good. It's that day when you'd LOVE to run into an ex, or wish you had a date... freak... a job interview even! Me? I went grocery shopping. No man to impress tonight.


3. I wish that once, just once, maybe I could be a reason for someone to stay. Ok, not just someone; a guy. I'm not saying that in a depressing way, just in a matter of fact way. Maybe it's only in movies that the leading man realizes no destination, job, or circumstance can replace his need for the leading lady. She rushes to the airport to try to convince him to stay, but there's no persuasion necessary! For he already made up his mind. She watches as the plane takes off, as, unknown to her, he's not on the plane at all, but rather right behind her! Yea, that really is only for movies... I'd never waste all that money on a flight I didn't intend to get on. But you get what I mean. Is it just me, or does it seems like girls are more likely to sacrifice in that sense for relationships? What I mean is, I see my friends moving, and transferring, and changing jobs all the time in order to be nearer to their guy, but I rarely see the guys taking that risk. Maybe girls are just too much of hopeless romantics... or just really stupid. I get that lives really shouldn't be put on hold for a relationship. That's probably not healthy. But in my experience with relationships, it seems like there's always something, work, off-tracks, jail, that causes some complications. I don't know... It'd just be interesting to be that person that cannot be replaced by any other offer. Think about it...
(Ok, so I've never had a boyfriend go to jail... I mean... while I was dating him that is ;) Just checking to see if you're paying attention! haha)

4. You are never too old to play dress up. Sometimes, the big girl panties need to come off, and the onsie's need to come on.


5. I have no control. Over anything really. That's fine. I'm trying to be ok with that. The key I've figured out is to not get emotionally involved in things, because emotions make you do and say some crazy things! I think when you stop caring, life becomes a little more frivolous :)

6. In my experience in the work force, I've found the easiest jobs to attain are those in regards to special needs people. Isn't that kinda sad? I really think they will hire anyone. You'd think people should have some sort of qualifications... but really all they ask for is patience and a clean drug test. It's messed up. Appreciated... but not ideal.

7.  I'm really grateful for my religion. It's just hopeful, and full of goodness and truth. Are you bored and need a pick me up? Look up "mormon messages" on youtube. I'm not asking you to be baptized, I just really think there are universal messages we all need to hear :)I promise you won't regret it.
This is my personal favorite. And this one. This one is sad, but so hopeful. And don't forget this thought.

8. I have some really good parents. Just saying.

9. Pinterest. Ladies, you should know what I'm talking about. I got an e-mail from a stranger saying that she loves my pins, and my taste, and proceeded to ask me to help her pick out a gift for her sister. How cute is that?! I feel cool :)

10. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a  device wherein we went in and came out with a physical appearance that adequately represented out inner beauty? That would be SO interesting to see. You have to wonder how you'd really look. It'd sure make dating easier! haha fortunately, I have had pretty good luck finding an equal combination of both good personality and physical attractiveness in my experiences :)

Well...
That's all. Finals are upon us. Kiss your sleep, friends, and semester goodbye.
Chou.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Oh, these times are hard, yea they're makin us crazy, don't give up on me baby."

Life truly is a complex and fragile thing that is not easily given, yet easily lost.
It balances on a paper peak, ready to blow over in any direction.
I've found sometimes the only thing we can rely on with surety is gravity and that nothing but Momma's love is absolute. (At least with my mom.)

When you think about it, I mean really think about it, it's pretty remarkable people even leave their houses, let alone not wear helmets everywhere they go, and keep their hearts behind padlocked doors.

People are remarkable. I know I've said it before, but I'm frequently reminded of it. People have a capability of being vulnerable for the things they want, forgive without forgetting, and open themselves up to being hurt over and over again with the hopes that someday it will be worth it. 

On my first lake boating activity with the youth in my ward, I went tubing. I'd never done it before. The third time I got thrown off that inner tube, I hit the water pretty hard and had the wind knocked out of me. It really really hurt, and more than that it scared me. Not only could I not breathe in the water, but for a short time, I couldn't breathe above of the water either. 
It's not natural to feel that way.
I told myself I'd never go tubing again.
Eight years later, I finally got on an inner tube again. Just for the ride though, I made it very clear to the driver to not throw me off, because if I had anything to do with it, I would not risk reliving that painful experience.

That's the kind of kid I was. I played it safe. I've never had stitches, I've never broken a bone, in fact, with the exception of my period, I'm not even sure I'm capable of bleeding. Badly.

I'm fascinated, yet do not fully understand people who are able to jump back on the inner tubes of life over and over again. I'm envious, but just can't grasp their fearlessness. 

In regards to physical risks, I read that males are more likely to do dangerous things because they have a tendency of overestimating their abilities. They think they are invincible. On the contrary, females are less likely to take risks because they underestimate their abilities. I suppose this is one of the many divine attributes given by God that makes men and women so compatible with each other.
Though this is true for physical risks, I'd like to believe males and females have equal hesitation when it comes to emotional risks, but I have yet to find tangible proof. Emotionally, people are just so difficult to label.

Faith.

I'll bet that has a lot to do with it.
Faith in yourself.
Faith in the economy.
Faith in God's plan.
Faith in others.

We had a stake conference last month, and something my stake president said really resonated deep within me. It wasn't anything really new to me, but it was something I needed to hear. He said, "Do not let fear control you." He went on to say, in more or less words, that we should not let ourselves become prisoners to our fears and let them dominate our actions. They have no say in our choices. Fear, when it is discouraging and demeaning is not prompted by the Lord. He will act as a comforter.

 I really needed to hear that. Right then, and still even right now.

Good huh? Satan will really use our fears against us to inhibit us from accomplishing some pretty incredible things I'd imagine.

Often times i've heard "faith and fear cannot coexist." They root from two separate places, one of hope, and another of discouragement. 
I've learned, more personally than I'd probably like that "fear is the opposite of faith."

Fear isn't always bad. I know this. By all means, please discourage me from messing around with gasoline and fire because I'm fearful I may get burned, but contrarily, don't discourage me from complimenting that shy girl because I'm afraid she'll will think I'm a freak.


Maybe I lack faith, and have many fears.
Sometimes don't we all?
Get back on that inner tube.
 You may get slammed pretty hard again. So may I. We won't ever forget it. For me, Eventually I'll realize the thrill makes the pain so worth it, and maybe I'll even walk away scar free.
I hope we all can do that. Otherwise, I'd imagine there is a lot to miss out on.

Hey you, whoever you are,
I'm sorry if my fears have bled into your own. Thank you so much for being patient. I know you get scared too. It has, and is gonna take time. Maybe a lot more of it. Ironically, one of my fears is wasting time. We should have some fun with that.
As one of my favorite songs says:
"Oh, these times are hard, yea they're makin us crazy, don't give up on me baby."
We're gonna be ok.


 People are scared. 
but they also are capable
Capable of hurting and healing, loving and losing, and most of all, of taking chances, and relying on faith that it will be ok.

Listen. 
Read the words. They're the best part.