o sleep! o gentle sleep!

One of my favorite things in the world is climbing into bed. I can’t think of many more things that thrill me so consistently (although flossing is rising higher on the list).

I remember discussing one day with Catherine and Caleb lying in bed at night. They both mentioned that they will often remember something they want to think about in-depth and mentally save it for that time when they are lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep at night.

I had no idea what they were talking about.

Apparently they aren’t blessed with the talent I have. Most people crave the same ability that gives me grief– my natural ability to sleep. Like many natural tendencies, this is a blessing and a curse that affects me on a daily basis.

Blessing:

  • I never have sleepless nights.
  • I can sleep anywhere, anytime, and (almost) anyplace.
  • I can sleep through many distractions (light, earthquakes, sirens, phone calls, roommates).
  • I rarely have nightmares.
  • I can wake up early.

Curse:

  • I consistently fall asleep in movies and as such, I avoid watching movies post 9 p.m.
  • Pillow talk is rare with roommates since I can fall asleep within 5 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.
  • Late night reading is impossible although every once in a while I attempt it again thinking that perhaps this night is different. Inevitably, I find the book on the floor and the light on when I wake up in the morning.
  • No matter how interesting the conversation I’m having, movie I’m watching, paper I’m writing – I don’t function at full-capacity after 10:00 at night.* As a single young adult, this has serious ramifications on my social life.
  • I can’t stay up late to finish projects. Waking up early demands that I be realistic about my time-management skills (we’ll reserve that subject for another day).

I’m not convinced the pro’s outweigh the con’s but either way, I’m resigned to my fate and am consequentially trying to embrace my hypersomnia.

*Dance parties may be the only exception.

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Validation

This video is a dream. I can’t decide if I’d rather be the one giving out validations or the one getting them. (It’s not for the faint at heart – 16 minutes! But well worth it.)

Also, check out the cutest kids (and family) in the world here and here.

Why I Love My Body

and you should to. (love yours, that is. Not mine :)

I do. I just love this vehicle that I’ve had for 26 years. It’s absolutely awesome. I can move and jump and run and feel cold and sweat and stretch and heal myself. I have strong finger nails. I like the way my toes are evenly sloped from my big toe to my pinky. I like the occasional freckle on my arms. I like the stories my scars tell when just a week ago there were open wounds. But… I don’t always love it.

Unfortunately, It’s hard these days when it is practically impossible to escape the obsessive nature of our culture. Most of us are familiar with the self-conscious feelings in a swimsuit or the glance at a picture, only to notice our inadequate selves. It’s sickening the way we (yes – both you and I) are so consumed with how we look. As Elder Holland put it, this “preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical… is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness [we] face in the modern world”. (Jeffrey R. Holland, To the Young Women)

I couldn’t agree more.

So why should we love our bodies? Here are a few reasons (and I’d love to hear your own):

  1. God made it. Is that not reason enough?  From arteries to chemical regulators to self-renewal to sensors, it all just boggles my mind and continually astounds me. (Abraham 4:27)
  2. It is unique to me. Have you ever noticed the many different types and styles of the human body? Some are short, some have hips, some have big feet, others have small noses, some have more hair, etc. I like appreciating my unique genes and physical attributes (even if at times they don’t measure up to what I’ve been taught is the ideal). The worth of souls (both the spirit and the BODY) is GREAT in the sight of God. (D&C 18:10) Any soul. Every soul.
  3. It is the house of my spirit and a temple of God. (1 Corinthians 3:17) Would not this mean that any demeaning thought– especially from ourselves– desecrate this physical temple of God?

Let’s all learn to love our body a little more. Here are some things I’ve learned in my quest to love my body:

  • When I love my body,  I take care of it– and then it works better, then I love it more.
  • When I love my body, I am less likely to be critical of others, therefore giving them more license to love their bodies.
  • When I love my body, I am more confident, less self-conscious and more able to focus on things that really matter.

I didn’t intend for this to become a church talk but while I’m already there, I’ll conclude with a challenge. I dare you to think past the things you don’t like about your unique body and think about the things you do like and appreciate in this temple of God. Then perhaps we can all appreciate a little more of the magnificence of man.

p.s. speaking of the gene pool we’ve been given, isn’t this picture such a dream? i love our family!

2 Articles that are Changing My Life

I use that phrase very liberally, I know. But are we not changing beings? Do we not refine and shape who we are with every action, word, or thought? I always want to change who I am, that is, my outward expression of my divine worth.

These two articles are definitely refining my actions, desires, and words. (They are also dominating my study, conversations, and thoughts!)

Don’t Be in a Hurry, John C. Thomas  (Audio or Text, also in June Ensign)

The Functional Family, James C. MacArthur (Text)

Read them. You won’t regret it. Then let’s talk.

another happy birthday post

Apparently it takes a lot for me to post on this blog of mine. Not only must I have a strong feelings about a particular subject, but I also need the patience to write, and I need extra time to justify posting vs. the many other things I should, could, or would be doing right now. Most importantly, I should feel that the subject is worthwhile and may have some type of impact for good (many subjects I feel strongly about but don’t necessarily translate to useful information or motivation blog posts). Today is a lucky day because the stars are aligning and all three of the above criteria are met.

Another thing you might have noticed if you are actually a consistent reader on this blog, is that I love talking about other people. Today is no exception. I dedicate this post to one of my newest greatest friends: Jarilyn Cox. I say newest because I didn’t know Jar pre-MPA program and it still kind of shocks me that really great friends can be developed past the 7th grade. Is not the phrase ‘BFF’ only reserved for those who you grew up with? Thank goodness it’s not because I sometimes surprise myself at the number of people I call my best friend. I think we’re up to at least 37 now. Roughly.

No really though, Jarilyn is definitely one of my best friends. Let me list (who doesn’t like a good list?) a few reasons why:

1. Jar is up for anything anytime. She makes things happen. You want to go to London, England or Vernal, UT? She’ll have it organized in a day and a 1/2. You want to go hiking or to disneyland for the weekend? She’ll have the sandwich’s ready and plans made within 20 minutes. She decided to go to Paraguay for the whole summer, made the decision within a day or two, and never looked back once. It’s quite amazing to watch for indecisive people like myself. This girl is a mover and a shaker.

2. Jarilyn loves sports. Oh man. I don’t know very many females that play Volleyball, Tennis, Racquetball and Ultimate Frisbee all in one day. Nothing can come in the way of her playing time. She loves byu sports and we’ve been regular attenders over the last year. She has also been the best racquetball partner I’ve ever had. So much fun.

3. Jarilyn is so much fun to be around. She uses hyperboles almost every other sentence. It makes things REALLY exciting. Everything is all of a sudden 7 billion hours long, or 6 million people were there. Her facial expressions add to the excitement. You can’t help but laugh and smile when Jarilyn is around.

4. She is SOOO easy to make fun of. From technology to dating, Jarilyn is an easy target. Unfortunately, I totally took advantage of this throughout the year. What ever you do Jar will NEVER switch to gmail (and she probably won’t even read this blog). We had a gazillion great laughs about it though, right Jar?

5. Finally, Jar is incredibly consistent. When it comes to friendship, this is the best attribute. Jar is so willing to help, to listen, and to just share your burden. She likes what she likes and is not at all swayed by the whims of trends or others opinions. When Jarilyn commits – she’s 110% committed.

If you can’t tell, I really love this girl and already miss spending 15 hours a day together. Happy Birthday Jar!

One of the Best

One of the many things I will continue to focus on (remember this?) with this blog will be people I love and admire. Inspiration comes from Everybody Has A Story portion on CBS News. It also comes from my father who is notorious for building people up and putting them on the spot by talking about all their most desirable qualities and achievements. But mainly–  I just feel incredibly amazed by the people around me.

Raymon is no exception. He happened to turn the big 2-6 this past week and is looking forward to his 27th year being his best yet. I have come to appreciate Ray in so many ways but here are just a few qualities that I think we can all learn from.

1. commitment. When Ray is in, He’s in. You know you can count on him to follow through with anything he commits to – religion, education, jobs, and especially in relationships– he’s totally devoted.

2. preparation. if preparation precedes power (and i do believe this), then Raymon is the most powerful man i know. He is always prepared and ready for what’s to come ahead. This is truly a divine attribute.

3. disposition. this word automatically makes me think of “a disposition to do good continually”. Ray definitely has this type of disposition but I think people are most drawn to his good natured attitude and pleasing disposition. Raymon has a LOT of friends who love being around him because he is consistently happy and so much fun.

Do you know anyone like this? Let’s all be more grateful for the Raymon’s in our lives.