Thursday, December 20, 2012

The gathering! The gathering!

Hail, hail, the gang's almost all here! Another part of the family arrived tonight, so we're only 6 people away from having the full crew in one place - woohoo! There's pretty much nothing I love more than having all these people that I love in the same place at the same time. It can be a little overwhelming in my parents' little house - too many people and too much craziness to absorb it all, or to carry on a real conversation :) , but I love love LOVE it!

And the thing I love next-most? How much we all love each other. :) It took 2 of my nieces (ages 10 and 4 1/2) a good...several...minutes to say good night and good-bye to each other tonight, even though they'll be living only 20 minutes apart for the next 2 weeks (instead of 2 states apart) and will pretty much see each other every day. The 4 1/2 year old said it would be just "SO HARD" to not be having a sleepover with her cousin that night, complete with the HUGEST pathetic eye roll you ever did see.

Yay love! Yay Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I think I need to be here more.

I need an outlet, a place to write and think and process, and I think this might be it. And my journal. And my prayers. But I hope that some of my thoughts are things to share, maybe to lift others, and certainly to help me be braver, so I think I'll put some of them here.

See you soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And so it begins.

Today I moved into the dorms (I know, right?) for the intensive summer Arabic program. Which, yes, I am doing for the second time. :) And here are the things that made my day:

  • I can park my car in the parking lot right next to the dorm on weekends. Woohoo! That means that on Sunday mornings, in my Sunday clothes and the heat and humidity, I do NOT have to walk 15 minutes to the place where my car will be parked during the week. I can move it on Saturday and Sunday mornings for the next 2 months just go easy-peasy. Man, I'm so relieved; I was dreading that walk.
  • I do not have a roommate! For the last month I have thought that I was going to have a roommate, seeing as how that's what the paperwork about housing for the program said, and I was kind of nervous and kind of worried and kind of just kind of dreading it. I mean, I haven't had a roommate since 2001. Yup, it's been a while. So this means I don't have to worry about keeping anyone else up with my light on, or being kept up by anyone else, or the whole "what if she was 19 years old and just really young and annoying" thing. Yay! It also means, however, that I don't have an automatic buddy/study partner, so I'll just have to be friendly and make friends. Le sigh. ;)
  • I get to miss orientation tomorrow to go to church! I wouldn't be so excited about this except that in working things out with the program coordinator I found out that the orientation is mainly for people who don't live in this town, and, uh, I live in this town, so I would have been basically bored out of my mind anyway. 
Some of you may remember that when I did this program a couple of years ago, it was not the best experience for me. In fact, that program that summer was one of the toughest times I've had, ever. So, yeah, when I got the funding to do it again this year, I had a moment of panic and heart paralysis, and I thought, "OH. NO. This means I have to do the program again. WHAT was I thinking when I applied for that money?!" And I've felt quite a bit of angst about it since then. But tonight, after moving my stuff into the dorm, and making some friends at dinner, I felt pretty dang good about things. I have a placement test tomorrow, and then I'll find out what class I'll be in and what material I'll be covering. I haven't taken an Arabic class in more than a year, and one of the profs is thinking that I'll just pick up with the next class, after the one that I took a year ago, but I don't think so. We'll see.

Anyway, mainly I'm just happy that I'm feeling pretty comfortable. I am going to get a priesthood blessing tomorrow, and that will be a good comfort and strength, but I'm SO relieved to be feeling so good. I know that my attitude last time I did this program made a HUGE (negative) impact on me and my learning and my overall experience in the program, and I am DETERMINED not to sabotage myself again that way.

In other news, this dorm bed will be the 8th different bed that I have slept in in the past three weeks. So even though it's not "home," it will be nice to feel more settled and less living-out-of-a-suitcase-ish than the last three weeks. Of course, I did spend the last three weeks seeing my ENTIRE family, so the consistency of the upcoming 2 months in the dorms doesn't actually compare. At all. But whatever. :)

Good night, friends!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


So I applied for a job today. It's a fulltime staff job at my university, with the people that I worked with last year for my halftime TA job. I don't know what my chances are of getting it, and I won't be devastated if I don't get it, but I had some interesting thoughts as I prepared my cover letter and CV, so I thought I'd share.

Ten days ago I applied for a half-time student job with an organization that I've never done any work with at the university. I updated my CV and tweaked it for the position, and wrote a cover letter for that job. Since I don't know anyone there, and they don't know me, I felt like I really needed my CV and cover letter to represent the scope of what I have done and can do and will do for them. With today's application, though, it felt really different. I mean, these people know me! They worked with me for a whole school year and a summer, about 11 months total, and they know how my personality fits with the other staff, and they have a pretty good idea of how I would fulfill some of the job responsibilities (it's a brand new position, and some of the tasks are very close to the tasks I had as a TA there). And that doesn't mean that I don't want my CV and cover letter to still represent me (and yes, I did tweak my CV and write a new cover letter), but it means they are less important. Right?! ...or something...

If I don't get chosen for the parttime job, I can always say, "they just don't know me and what a great job I would do!" But with this staff position, I feel a bit more like I'm actually putting myself on the line - um, they DO know me, and my work, so if they don't pick me, what does that mean?? Man, I'm not even on the job market yet, and already I'm feeling like that must be an emotionally brutal process!

I feel a bit sheepish about this, given how low the stakes are for me right now. It's very possible that I'll look back on this at some future point when I AM on the job market and just laugh and laugh. But this is how I feel right now, so there you go.

And now to bed. I've had 2 events per night for so many nights now that it felt really refreshing tonight to just (skip tonight's second event - sorry S and V!- and) come right home after YW.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Well...hi there :)

So it's been a while since I've posted. Yup. Had my birthday, did the first half of my pilot study (aww crap I KNEW there was something I was supposed to get done today...), went to the temple a couple of times (including today - hoorah!), what else?

I'm still looking for funding for next year, although this week I was offered something that I'm currently considering a back-up option. But as my sister reminded me, "hey - your worst case scenario just got better!" :)

My dearly beloved roommate of the last almost-two years has decided that she's moving west, closer to her family, so I'm on the lookout for someone with whom to split the rent. Still hoping that Elise gets a job in my town...

So remember when I was in charge of that student symposium two years ago? Well, it came around again this year, and in the spirit of this...

...hi friends. :)

 (And call me vain if you want, but there aren't a ton of pictures of me that I like, but I looked at these and thought, "Hey! I get to be her!" and that was a fun moment for me. :) )

Monday, February 06, 2012

Wisdom from a 3-year-old

Most of the times, over the last few years, when I have been unhappy or upset, it has usually been as a result of feeling hurt. Tonight, feeling a bit unhappy when I got home, I realized that I WASN'T feeling hurt, just sad. And somehow, as funny as it sounds, even to me, that was a welcome change.

And I was glancing over the bulletin boards in my room, rereading sweet and loving and funny notes that I have gotten from loved ones, and which I hang up in my room for just such times as this, and I read this one from my little niece Casey, big sister to the world's most adorable twin babies. Sometime last year she dictated the following to her mother, and sent it to me, embellished with butterfly stickers and a butterfly drawing:

Dear Aunt Margaret,
I love you. What's wrong? Thank you for that postcard you gave me.
I like to watch movies. My favorite movie is Clifford.
I  love to play games. I love to run. I love to go outside. I love to play dress-up.

And then this jewel:

Last night I went on a hike with Mommy. I was scared. Next time, when we go on a hike together, don't be scared. Everybody on the hike - me, you, daddy, the babies, me! Okay?
I love you!

And I'm struggling to describe how those last few lines touch me, and have touched me pretty much every time I have read them. Somehow, encouragement not to be scared, to take EVERYBODY on the hike, to let HER experience help me with my fears, and the little "Okay?" at the end...I have no words.

So tonight I say to her, "Okay, Casey! Let's go on a hike, and we can all go, you, me, daddy, the babies, you (can we bring your mommy, too? I like her), and we won't be scared. Okay? OKAY!" :)

Monday, January 16, 2012


So my sister reminded us all recently that "The first rule of children's artwork is 'DON'T GUESS WHAT IT IS, ask them to tell you about it,'" but sometimes the guessing backfires BOTH 9-year-old niece and I were making shapes with my BuckyBall magnets, and I made a shape and she was guessing:

"Is it a car?"


"Is it a mouse doing the splits?"


I mean, those 2 items are PRACTICALLY the same thing, so I can understand her confusion.

So I'm not a good artist, but my artwork is...versatile? Leaves plenty of scope for the imagination? is open for interpretation?

It was supposed to be a frog.