Saturday, October 29, 2011

be happy.

"the principal thing in this world is to keep one's soul aloft."

happiness is found in a variety of things. these are a few things that have made me very happy lately. 
crunchy fall leaves beneath my feet
warm butternut squash soup on a cold fall day
saying the same thing as my sister at the exact same time
this guy 
serving a chinese family at la jolla
new born babies
going to see sytycd with derek and his fam
looking at the mountains and seeing the brilliant red and orange trees
cute old couples that eat at applebees at 11 pm on a wednesday evening
pumpkin flavored baked goods
new friends 

fall is by far my most favorite time of year. this year i have been particularly mindful and appreciative of what makes this season my favorite. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

be amazing.

"it is up to you to illuminate the world."

great ending to a very long day. 
(one of my favorite dances)

seeing thriller definitely put me in the halloween mood... 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

be committed.

"from a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. that is the point that must be reached." -franz kafka
tonight i got home from institute and to my surprise there was a pan of fresh baked apple crisp cooling on top of the stove. my sweet father made that today. he may not have made it for me, or for anyone else in the family, but  he did it, that's what matters. 
apple crisp is a real indicator to me that fall has begun. apple crisp is a common treat in the whitaker home, and my dad did not let anything stop this fall from being any different. 
today the sky was gloomy. the cement and trees were wet from rain and i got the feeling that a lot of spirits were in that same gloomy mood. nothing treats a case of the blues better than warm apple crisp

Monday, October 3, 2011

be still.

"when you become quiet, it just dawns on you." -thomas edison

this quote is exactly why i love general conference. i love being able to say no i can't work, no i can't do something, no, no, no because i'm watching conference. all is quiet except for the marvelous words coming from our church leaders mouths. the ability to feel and listen to promptings of the spirit is so much easier. things truly just dawn on you. as i've gotten older i have come to really cherish conference and what it does for me personally. i'm so anxious to listen to or read the talks immediately after they're over. the fact that the lord gives us a modern day prophet, apostles and other leaders to guide and direct us and inform us of what he would have us know is amazing. i'm so blessed because of it. i'm so grateful for the guidance we get at conference and also what we get continually through the year via church magazines, devotionals, firesides, etc. i love the feeling of hope and strength i feel after conference. i hope that everyone had a great weekend also and feel that same burst of hope to press onward through our sad, sad world.

be amazed.

"as i started looking, i found more and more."
-valerie steele

i have found a new love. jazz. in high school my voice teacher gave me a little song to sing but i didn't sing it like a jazz song. still, i loved the song and felt like when i sang it i produced a sound that i liked. this summer i started with a new teacher, lindsey partridge (love her) and one of her specialties is jazz. i decided i wanted her help with jazz. no more classical arias or broadway hits for me right now. she told me after school just started that i would be trying out for jazz voices. i looked into it and said no way. she said it'll be a good audition experience, it'll get your name out there and it will just be good. i've been trying to do different things more often and with less hesitation. so i did it. i haven't been well vocally but by some miracle i still made it in. i'm so glad i did. it has been a blast so far and i definitely feel so much joy while singing jazz. it's 180 degrees different than the choirs i've been in previously. and i;m so glad it is. as alan matthews my director says, the sound starts in your toes. it's more fun that way, give it a try. 

be yourself.

"simply the thing that i am shall make me live."
-william shakespeare

my birthday was in september and for the last few years i've had the tradition to go to a concert on or around my birthday. this has only been practiced for the last five birthdays of mine but it's a tradition i plan to continue. i was getting worried about going to one this year because the only people that we're coming close enough to my birthday were t swift and rascal flatts. like them both (though i really don't choose to listen to either of them on a regular basis), and i definitely didn't want to spend $100+ on a ticket. heavenly father really does care about us, even in the slightly unspiritual friend alan day gave me a call and told me that the rocket summer was doing a free show at utah state september 3rd. one of my favorite bands-check. near my birthday-check. free-check. i was stoked. before the concert alan suggested that we go fly kites on antelope island. i didn't even know antelope island existed. it was very pretty though and simply fun. i hadn't flown a kite in years. i brought ash along and she was tearing it up doing two kites at once. actually not really but it looked like it in the picture. 
oops sorry for editing only this pic
after antelope island we headed to logan to camp out front row for the concert. we waited patiently through the openers (one actually wasn't too bad. ash crushed on one of them.) and finally bryce had his turn. within the first 30 seconds of him being on stage the crowd had turned into the worst can of sardines i had ever experienced. i was getting so worried for ash because even i couldn't handle it. this was ashlee's first concert by the way. so after throwing some elbows and yelling at a few huge guys that didn't even look like fans of the rocket summer, i turned to the guys we were with to tell them we needed to get out. as soon as i look at ash i heard, "i think i'm going to pass ouu...." and she was in my arms. i started freaking out, yelling at everyone, trying to get ash on top of everyone so they'd crowd surf her to the "security guards" in front. i use the term security guards with caution because they were really student government people from usu. i tried telling them during the first song that they needed to do something about the moshing but of course they were just jammin out to the music. anyways, i follow immediately after ashlee by clumsily climbing over the front rail looking like a mad woman. i was bawling, ash was barely conscious, but she was getting taken care of. we were in the back tent for a good 3/4 of the show. after weeks of preparation of ashlee and i listening to his new album and we were listening from back stage. but really it was not a big deal and it was quite fun once ash was feeling better. we even met some of the band that was playing with him that night. we were determined to meet bryce and felt like we had a good enough reason to. so we stayed after the concert (found ashlee's shoe that had fallen off during the incident) and waited semi patiently until bryce would see us. after he greeted back stage pass people he came out to us and seriously talked to us for a good five minutes. he said he remembered us (probably cause i was screaming so loud he could even hear). he signed ashlee's shoe and my new rocket summer shirt. you can see in the pictures that he was just as stoked to see us...well i actually don't know what his face is doing in the second one. but he was so real to us and was so humble and sincere. i love his music and think he's a talented musician but i also admire him for having clean uplifting lyrics and for being so real, even though he is a famous rock star. thanks ash, bradyn, alan, and especially bryce avary for a memorable 22nd birthday concert!
my sister was so sweet to me on my actual birthday. She was going to be busy and i wasn't going to be able to see her and i kept giving her crap about it being the first birthday in three years that i've been home for...i shouldn't have made her feel guilty because she went above and beyond. so sweet.
the birthday began with a surprise kidnapping to denny's for a midnight birthday snack. i had been asleep for one hour but i felt like it was already six am. i was put in a trunk, yes a trunk and driven to denny's. when we got there i thought it would just be ash, eric, kev, and ali (those who were the actual kidnappers) who would be there. all of the sudden mich and mick drive past, then jeremy, and as we were walking in andrea and rachel were just sitting on a bench by the door! i'm so blessed, seriously. my friends are the best. it got even better when winston, paul, colton, and their friends came to join us. such a fun time with them. i went back to bed for three hours, got up for class and enjoyed breakfast cereal with my family. rachel stayed in provo long enough to indulge in jdawgs (her first time) for lunch. while i was at school my adorable little sister decorated the house and my car. i can't stress how nice she is to me. without having time for my stomach to empty i headed to brick oven for dinner with my parents and the hirschi family. then kaelo and i (the september birthday girls), my mom, and eric headed to the drowsy chaperone at the hale. it was such a funny show. i was laughing all night. then eric and i went on a full moon ride up sundance with some of his friends. it's not funny how much i love the moon. it was a great birthday and i'm so grateful to my friends and family for being so wonderful to me.

be constructive.

"clear your mind of can't."
-samuel johnson

school has been rough this semester. it has just been rough. i haven't gotten on top of things and i just finished the  fourth week of the semester.  i feel like i'm at least three things away from getting my to do list finished at all times. my choir director alan matthews shared a quote by elder oaks last week that really inspired me to make a better effort and allow the lord to help me be the student i want to be and know that i can be-if i put forth the effort. elder oaks said, "when we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously." the last few days i've worked on getting a vision of what kind of student i can become. i know with the lord's help my desire to be abetter student will increase and all of my can'ts can be cleared from my mind.