Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Learning: Just do it already.

Dear Reader,

At church my calling is the second counselor in the Young Women. I love the calling and the wonderful women I get to work with. And I also love my girls. But, alas, they are teenagers.

OK, I do realize that I'm really not that old yet. I mean, I can fairly clearly remember my high school days. But I just want to point out that even in my twenties, my life is still really not that different from theirs. I still spend all day working, I wake up early, I'm tired all the time, I love hanging out with friends, I have boy problems, and I'm trying to juggle my life with church. Um, hello, who isn't dealing with all that stuff?? Teenagers, you think your life is so hard? Please. Wait until college. And then wait until you graduate college. I don't actually know what you should wait for after that because, like I said, I'm really not that old yet. But I hear have a family is also challenging. We're talking 24/7-for-the-rest-of-your-life time commitment. Yikes.

Anyway. The point of all of this is that my young women's generation has a complete lack of interest in A) Doing anything that will require any effort on their part and B) Learning anything they deem "unnecessary."

I'm stepping up on my soapbox now. Please bear with me.

Kids, you have got to work to get anything in life. Deal with it. If you're expecting life to be easy--well. Just get back to me and let me know how that worked out for you.

Now, when your teachers, parents, or other adult authority figures ask you to do something, I really suggest that you listen. I know that you think you know everything, and you're too cool to actually do something that would make you a better person, but come on. Let's get real. You are not as cool as you think you are and if you keep up this behavior you're going to end up an unsuccessful lump living in your parents dank basement.

Is that what you really want?

And when you find times in your life when you are learning a skill that you think is useless for you to know, I hope that you will take the time to learn it anyway. It is always better to know how to do too many things than to not know how to do anything at all. Kids of the world--just learn! You will never, ever regret being too smart.

And pretending to be stupid is the worst. Just don't even do it. It's annoying.

On a weirder note, Bailey really likes to be up high. So this is his new favorite game:

Jumping off the entertainment center and balancing on the top of the door. Uh...OK, whatever floats your boat, dude.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Dear Reader,

Last year I made a list of things I am grateful for, in honor of Thanksgiving.

So, as I promised this time last year, here are more things I am grateful for:

Children's magazines
Working at a children's magazine
Hidden Pictures
Getting to do Hidden Pictures at the children's magazine that I work at (That's what I was doing today. Can you tell?...)
Fluffy kittens named Bailey
My surprisingly resilient car, Jacques, who has been my faithful travelling companion these last 6 months
Being a "real" adult, with my own apartment and everything (even if that comes with my own bills and everything)
Aunt Kerstin and Uncle Mike for hosting Thanksgiving this year
Living close enough to my parents that I can have Thanksgiving with them for the first time in 5 years
The Book of Mormon
Airplane trips to visit friends named Natalie in Portland
Children's books
Children's books at Powell's in Portland
Finally living somewhere that has tons and TONS of green trees
Treadmills and ellipticals
30 Rock
Being a legit college grad
Not having homework (it's seriously THE BEST THING EVER)
Warm clothes
When the sun sets at a reasonable hour like, say, 8 at night instead of 5 in the evening when I'm still at work
Finally getting to see NYC
Ice cream
Caesar salad
The baking section of JoAnn's and Michaels

I have more things to be thankful for than is reasonable for one blog entry. So we will have to continue this again another year.

Until then!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Books, books, books. Have I mentioned I love them?

Dear Reader,

We now come to the final installment of my adventures in Portland. And I've just got one word.


Oh, heavenly beauty that is an entire city block and four floors of books. The largest independently owned bookstore in the country.

This is the picture book section. Well, part of it. It was just SO BIG. This is a picture book called "My First Batman Book." It's an interactive board book. 100% magic? Why yes.

And this was its companion book: "My First Superman Book." One with Natalie's favorite superhero, one with mine. It was perfect!

After spending a few hours in the morning looking through the children's section, Natalie and I went to get food from some of the many, many food stands of Portland. We ate in Pioneer square, said hi to this guy,

and talked to a group of missionaries passing through on their P-day. I love missionaries! One of the sisters had the same coat as me, so that was also cool.

Natalie and I walked a bit around Portland, passing through a toy store (have I mentioned that we have the maturity of ten-year-olds?) and the place where her dad works. Then--we returned to the most beautiful place on earth. 

For many more hours. We were so tired.


I believe we spent about 7 hours or so in Powell's that day. It was a long time coming.

Aaaaand....I may have bought like six books. I had to. I promise.

For dinner we went to a haunted pizza restaurant. It used to be a hotel where a girl was murdered, but now they serve amazing pizza there. Yes it was creepy, no I would never want to work there, and maybe I would like to spend the rest of my life eating that pizza.

Afterwards, because it's not like we'd eaten enough food that day, we went to Voo Doo Doughnuts. It's this doughnut store where they put crazy things on doughnuts, like cereal and bacon. But not both on the same doughnut, don't worry. They have some boundaries. 

I took the cereal route. I figured, when would I be able to get a doughnut covered in frosting and fruit loops ever again? Probably never.

I didn't actually eat it until I got back to Honesdale. My flight left at like 10 or 11 or something at night. I slept on every airplane I was on (3) for the entire time I was on the airplane. That's how I like to travel. :)

The doughnut was absolutely amazing, though. Next time you find yourself with a doughnut, some frosting, and a box of fruit loops, I recommend you take the plunge.

So, in conclusion, I absolutely love Portland. And Natalie is the best tour guide! The city lived up to every grandiose expectation she's drilled into my head throughout our entire friendship.

Which is good. Otherwise things could have gotten awkward.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Portland: Part 2

Dear Reader,

On my second day in Portland, Natalie took me to see the beautiful Oregon scenery. We went on a drive to see this gorge

and the Multnomah Falls. (Which felt a little bit like what being in Rivendell must feel like.)

It was a fight against daylight though, since daylight savings time happened the night before. We rushed after church to see the sights before it got too dark. 

Then that night we watched a lot of TV. And it was awesome. Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Community, Psych . . . I don't think it's possible for Natalie and me to hang out without watching some TV show. That's probably why we are such good friends. . . .

We then went to bed and rested up for a truly magical and long-awaited day. I'll give you a hint--books may have been involved. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Joke of the Day!

What is an English teacher's favorite breakfast?

A synonym-roll!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Portland--aaaat last!!!

Dear Reader,

Natalie went through the temple this last weekend (because she's going on a MISSION! Sapporo Japan watch out!). Because I'm something of a temple junkie, and because Natalie is like the most amazing person ever, I flew out to Portland to go through with her.

I'd never been to Portland before, which Natalie constantly reminded me of these past few years. But no more! Now I've been! And I love it.

We'll do this trip in installments.

I left last Friday and had two layovers. One was for like 3 1/2 hours in Detroit--so I got to stop by home for a bit! When I saw Mittens I realized how different she looks compared to Bailey. As in--her tail is tiny and she's fat, and he has the poof of a raccoon. See for yourself:

(She wasn't really cooperating for pictures.)

Anyway. It was awesome to see the family. I also had a layover in Salt pretty much I stopped off at every spot in the country that I've lived. Whatevs.

Once I got to Portland--the magic began!!!!

On Saturday Sister Crofts made us waffles before we headed off to the temple! And the temple was fantastic. It's seriously the best place ever and I'm so glad that Natalie's endowed now!

Afterward, Natalie, her friend Melissa, and I went to dinner at this really good restaurant on the waterfront. 

And then Natalie and I went to 23rd street to get gelato and stop by Lush (which I will forever associate with London, where I was when I discovered it). 

I was very tired by the end of that day, thanks to the jet lag. I got better, though. No worries. 

Stay tuned for Portland: Day 2!