Saturday, November 27, 2010

Update

We made it to California!

Details and pictures of our adventures to follow. In the meantime, I'm going to eat more chocolate and hang out with my family.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Prayer

Rexburg has blessed its inhabitants with a nice Indian summer this year. Until now. Now it's making up for its delay by snowing with a vengeance. A foot of new snow and winds up to 20 mph. Since we have a warm home and enough to eat and no school, this would be fun, except for the fact that travel is made difficult.

We're supposed to take a shuttle down to Utah at 5 am tomorrow morning. The roads are closed from Montana to Pocatello. We're supposed to fly out of the SLC airport to visit California for Thanksgiving. There's a blizzard warning for Utah tonight/tomorrow.

I've already cried twice about this.

So UNIVERSE! I'M BEGGING YOU ON MY KNEES!!!

Please bless that this:
(current weather cam of Rexburg)

doesn't stop us from reaching this

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tales from Room 104, or "Primary Mayhem, Part II"


Oh how being a Primary teacher changes your Sundays! Before I share these stories, here's a refresher on our little class, since we've been getting to know them better, and new additions have made themselves known. Our usual class consists of:

Brown Eyes - Continues to be a doll, even though when she sits near Kid B, she tends to get a little crazy.
QT Pie - I adore this girl...she's so animated! 
Miss K - Also fun, continues to be goofy and darling.
Queen Anne - Gets really excited when she sees Jacob or I outside of class, which is fun.
Tooey - Always has the most darling dresses. I was surprised to discover she's one of the youngest in our class...she speaks with the most articulation!
Lex Mex - We hadn't met her yet when I first introduced the class, but she's been a delight. She adores Jacob (we think in a non-romantic way), and we can't figure out what he did to deserve her adoration, but it's fun. (Today she offered to come over and do our dishes.)
Kid B - We continue to have a love-hate relationship with this adorable terror...he's almost always bouncing off the walls, but he's so fun/imaginative/animated/giving, we can't help but love him.
J Town - Lately, the only other boy in class. I have a suspicion he'd be better-behaved if he wasn't so chummy with Kid B. Jacob noted today that he's a different child entirely when not around the other kids.
D Dog - Somehow this kid strikes me as very British. I like it.
Ace - I'm learning how to understand his little dialect better...he's always well-behaved, which is a blessing.

Here are a few anecdotes from the last few weeks of Primary:

When Brown Eyes is having a hard day, everything is going wrong. The other day she came back from the bathroom, went to sit down, then came to me and said, "I need a new chair, because someone slobbered on mine." (I inspected it, and declared it slobber-free, but she refused to sit there and got a new chair for herself.)

I also really like how matter-of-fact Brown Eyes is about everything. Her parents sat in on Sharing Time the other week because one of her brothers was giving a talk. She turned to me and said "My dad is back there, holding my other brother Nathan." (leaning in to offer clarification) "He's a baby."

When I asked everyone what they were going to be for Halloween, I got a variety of answers, but Kid B's report that he was going to be a grasshopper made me smile the most. (His eyebrows were still green the Sunday after Halloween.)

We usually spend at least 10 minutes of our class time coloring, and Jacob has become the official "Keeper of the Crayons." It's his job to sit and hold the Tupperware container of crayons and monitor their comings and goings as kids choose colors. J Town came up to Jacob to return his crayons, but instead of placing them in the container, he put them on Jacob's crotch. Giggling insanely, he dashed back over to Kid B and whispered "I put them on his wiener!" Jacob and I almost died trying to conceal our laughter, although the game of putting crayons on Jacob's "wiener" grew old about the second time it happened and we put a stop to it.

Kid B has a very vivid imagination. (In the Primary Handbook for CTR A, it says of five-year-olds, "They have not yet learned to distinguish between imagination and reality." This was a helpful reminder...I've worried a little bit about this kid.) We haven't seen Ace for a while, so I asked if anyone knew if he was out of town. Kid B replied "I know he's out of town." "Where is he?" I asked.  "He's in the fowest, hunting wabbits." (Bugs Bunny reference not intended...that's just really how Kid B talks.)

Kid B has also decided that the boy's bathroom is haunted, and has convinced J Town as well. They spent an entire Sharing Time once (despite our scattered attempts at discipline) whispering about how it was scary. Kid B solemnly declared "I'm nevew going back dewe. Nevew. Nevew." He also reminds me weekly about the vampire living at his house.

For some reason the other week, the kids all decided they wanted to sit really close to the front. As in, pull their chairs into a big chaotic mass of chairs and kids surrounding Jacob and I. The following discussion ensued:
Me: "Boy, it's getting crowded!"
Lex Mex: "Yeah! We're in a hot tub!"
Me: (laughing) "But we're not wearing the right clothes for a hot tub!"
Miss K: "Yeah, 'cause you don't wear clothes in a hot tub." (What? Uh oh..) "You wear your bathing suit." (Whew...)

Here's a funny story about Lex Mex. In Sharing Time a while ago, the Primary President was picking volunteers for the activity. Lex raised her hand, but didn't get picked on. Disappointed, she hung her head and said "I never get picked." Jacob replied "You never know. You just might get picked next time." Well, more volunteers were needed, and this time, as soon as Lex raised her hand, she was picked! Jacob smiled and said "See?" Lex happily volunteered then sat back down. A few minutes later, there was another call for volunteers. Lex again hung her head and said "They never pick me." Jacob replied "Remember what happened last time you said that? Raise your hand anyway!" So Lexi raised her hand, and...she was picked! We couldn't believe it! After Lex finished volunteering, she sat back down and said "I never get picked........I'm just going to keep saying that." (Stimulus - Response - Stimulus - Response...) What an observant kid!

I overheard the following conversation between Brown Eyes and Kid B last week--
Kid B: Yeah, you can come to my house and pway (play) sometime.
Brown Eyes: But I don't know where you live.
Kid B: My house is a white house. Just dwive, and when you get to the white house, tell youw mom to stop.
(Astute directions, indeed.)

We really love those kids. (Especially now that we've implemented more specific rules and things aren't quite so chaotic.) What a fun first calling as a newly married couple!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heart prose


Jacob is a writer. (You know, Jacob. The short one, who plays the guitar really well. The one everyone likes.) From the first moment I stumbled upon his blog, his words wrapped themselves around my heart, and I was a hopeless case. Beautiful words enslave me. He writes things like this:

"Somehow Sara’s brown is more valuable to me than the choir-woman’s gold. But in either case I am hopeless. The separations are wide. They both dwell now in the core of the earth, and I am alone with one shovel starting on top of Everest in the stratosphere, breaking every couple of minutes short of breath and suffering in the cold. Time now to find someone else’s hair to die for."

And today, I found this gem on his NEW blog, which I had never before read:

"Today, Ted, the dog that lives with us, noses past my door and looks up at me on my bed. His ears look lank and stringy, hang down far past his head, moptop. He’s older than some of my books, but even though his cataracts are visible down in his eyes, the thing that grips you like death is the blackness of those eyes. They could bury you alive. He jumps up onto the bed and steps up to my face, and we look at one another, eye-level. 'I’m here,' he’s saying. 'What are you going to do about it?' He thinks we humans were placed on earth to scratch him behind the ears. Not much complaint is put up if we don’t, but you can sense his smug, righteous disappointment. 'You simply don’t understand. Infant.' I sometimes yell back in his face something about basic human freedoms being, like, way different and more important than basic dog freedoms, and his ruffled brow tells me how much of a dent I’m making."

My soul is eternally dented, Mr. Chapman, in the most delightful of ways. Marry me. Let's make a new universe and fill it with words and words and words. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do I dare disturb the universe?

And how should I presume?


I decided today that while I do not want to live my life in the public eye, I think I'd be happy being a well-known (or at least a heard of) poet. Maybe "Poetry" IS a little presumptuous...perhaps some smaller journals somewhere else first. Time to stop being afraid of rejection slips, I think.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I'm counting down the days 'till Thanksgiving Break...

Because this is how my week looks:

And you can't even SEE the first half of every day, which is filled with classes, temple sessions, and optometrist appointments.

NEXT week looks like this:

Sunday - Church from 1 to 4
Monday - Homework
Tuesday - Talley's Folly rehearsal, drive to Utah
Wednesday - Fly to California
Thursday - Thanksgiving with family
Friday - Hang out in San Francisco
Saturday - Hang out with family

Fortunately, more than half of the things to be done this week are really fun things that I enjoy doing, like baby-sitting Jack Pingel, rehearsing Talley's Folly, and singing at the Ward Thanksgiving party. In this "season of gratitude," I'm glad that my days are filled with things I love. Even if there are A LOT of them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On finishing up

NOTE: We're back to the basics of blog design. I've decided to stop giving in to pressure from the blog world about having the most aesthetically pleasing blog ever. I'm thrilled with others' sense of style, but for me and my house, I'm just gonna write. It's why I started the damn thing anyway.

I guess this was a party. There was music. There was dancing. There were games and prizes. (Although, since this night, I've been to Jack Pingel's first birthday party, and a Scentsy party. But there are no pictures of that.)

I've never actually been drunk. It's not something I'm interested in, either. But one time, we watched "Clueless" and had shotglasses of Diet Coke, and anytime someone said "Whatever" in the movie, we would take a shot. This is what happens when Mormons get hopped up on Diet Coke.

Everyone should be a theatre education major.

I think the last "school trip" I went on was to Great America my sophomore year of high school (where we got rained out and were sent to the nearest IMAX theatre to watch "No Strings Attached" in concert as compensation). So this isn't a "school trip" picture. But it's a "work trip" picture, and I posted it, because it was a trip I went on with people I know from work AND school. One time, the Playmill cast went on a Caribbean cruise. This is a photo from it.

I like to act. This is me as Mrs. Webb in "Our Town" at BYU-Idaho, winter of 2005.

This is me. I'm standing up in this picture.

This is Rexburg. Home sweet home since Fall of 2004. There are too many Republicans and not enough trees, but this place grows on you.

This is Brandilyn. Once upon a time, she was a baby. Here's proof.

I've spent the last two years repeatedly trying to get my hair to do this again.

This is a dark and grainy picture, but this is the night the power went out at the Playmill in 2007. We sang and did improv for an hour before sending everyone home. And it was really really fun.

This is a picture from the previously mentioned "Celestial Weekend," winter of 2009. There was a lot of love and joy this weekend.

I got married last summer. And it was magnificent.

I guess this is now what I ate yesterday. But it was a splurge at the grocery store that I have not regretted one bit.

This is my husband of four months. I married him because I couldn't stop staring at his forearms, or his eyes, or his smile, and I decided it would be much less awkward for me to continue doing so if he was my spouse.

This picture could have been any number of things. But I chose this one because A) y'all hear about my husband all the time, and B) I love these people, and I loved this summer, and I love nature. This is me, Carrie, and Meredith, summer of 2006, during my first Playmill summer. Carrie came up to visit Meredith and I and a few other friends, and we took her to the "Secret Spot," a little gravel island in the middle of a river, off a logging road near Lake Hebgen. We spent one glorious afternoon sitting in the sun, reading our scriptures, writing in our journals, and enjoying God's beautiful creations and one another's company. I'm so grateful for wonderful friends, and to be living so near so many incredible natural wonders.


30-day photo challenge = COMPLETE.

And because it's November

I'm in two one-acts. There's a week until Thanksgiving Break. Then only three more weeks of the semester. I'm trying to finish editing a 123-page book for printing. There are washers/dryers to move and repair, lines to memorize, Comic Frenzy posters to design, New Testaments to read, and husbands to love.

Moral of the story? I'm sick of the 30-day photo challenge. I'm finishing it in one fell swoop tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Halfway mark

day 15. a photo of you and someone you love


This is Beckah. We're sisters. And I love her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family...isn't it about time?

day 14. a photo of one of your favourite family members

Are you KIDDING me? I have to pick ONE favourite family member?!

I couldn't do it with my immediate family, so I had to broaden my horizons a little.


This is my cousin Aimery. He has a beard and a great sense of humor, he speaks French, and he has been one of my favorite cousins since I was like 2. And he still is. (And I promise he's not an inmate or a terrorist or a refugee. Even though in this picture, he kind of looks like all of those things.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A friend is someone who sees right through you...

...and still enjoys the view.

Today is day 13. a photo of your best friend(s)

And again, I'm a big fan of that (s) up there. I have been blessed with so many wonderful friends throughout my life. A handful of friends from high school have helped make me who I am today. (Brette Marie, Amanda, and Kristen, in particular.) But since arriving at college, through serendipitous/divine means, I have had the opportunity to be friends with some pretty incredible people. Like these ones:


I've known most of these people for quite a few years now. We've been through all kinds of adventures...impromptu roadtrips, broken engagements, weddings, moving, graduating, flunking out, mission calls, and homecomings. I love these people.

The 5-2's: Beckah, Nellie, and Jenny Mae, who all lived in the Hawmps starting in 2006, and one of whom I've known since she was 2 days old, and loved her since she was 3 days old. Saraphim, one of the most caring people I've ever met, who took me under her wing. Annie and Allison, with whom I have shared countless nights of laughter and confiding. Kathleen and Jesse, a dear former roommate and the big brother I never had growing up (even though he did watch me grow up). Meredith, who I was intimidated by for a solid two years, and Jordan, with whom I have shared countless long drives and long talks. Carrie, who I've known since Acting I in 2004, and her husband Scott, who are together the greatest friends and neighbors a newly married couple could ask for. And of course, my newest but definitely one of the dearest best friends, my husband Jacob.

We have all gone separate ways, some for a time, only to return, and others on longer journeys. We're more spread out now...from England to Oregon to New York to California. There was one weekend a year or two ago, when everyone ended up in Rexburg for a weekend visit, and as we sat around and talked after Church, quietly conversing and simply enjoying one another's company, Sarah Jagger turned to me and said "This is what I imagine the Celestial kingdom is like...surrounded by people you love, who love you back. And if it's not like this, I don't want to go there."

Amen, Sister Jagger. Amen.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Babies, films, selves

day 10. a photo of you as a baby

I think I look particularly German in this picture. Which makes sense, since I'm pretty German.

day 11. a photo of your favourite film(s)
(That little "s" in parentheses up there made me so happy...asking me to choose just one is torture. And I know I said I'm only posting one picture per category on matter of principle, but this category gave me permission to post multiple ones, so I did.)

From left to right, top to bottom (but not in order of preference...):
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Bandits
Lost in Translation
Wonderboys
Wonderman
Moonstruck
Cabaret
Dan in Real Life
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
The Birdcage (if I absolutely HAD to pick just one, this one would probably be it...)
Little Miss Sunshine
East of Eden

day 12. a photo of you

 BA HA HA!

Just kidding! I just found this picture while I was looking for a shot of Moonstruck, and it was too hilarious not to post. Here's a REAL picture of me. (Even though that's what MOST of these pictures in this silly challenge are.)

I like to think that I've spent most of college being college-student-esque enough to do crazy things, but not so crazy that the results are more permanent than memories and photographic evidence. (Did that make sense? Like, I don't have a criminal record or anything from things I've done in college, just pictures of me on a fridge with lipstick and Elton John sunglasses and a comb and fireman pants...)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Shopping at the wrong time of the month


Know what I hate? Almost more than anything else in the world?

Crowded stores.

I hate 'em. I hate them more than slushy sidewalks or soggy cereal or waking up right before your alarm goes off.

I probably hate them so much because I have to deal with them on a more regular basis than any of the other above-mentioned things. People in small towns don't seem to understand walking traffic patterns, and no one is aware of their personal space, and everyone talks SO LOUD, about who's roommate said what and is she really mad or is her hair even real and blah blah blah, and even if all I need is a gallon of organic milk and a snow scraper, I am forced to navigate through all of the inherent cruelties of capitalism (not that capitalism is inherently cruel by nature, but there are aspects of it that are cruel and inherent) and crowds of obnoxious people who stop in doorways and walkways and JUST STAND THERE. I end up despising my peers and correcting their grammar in my head, and hating consumerism with all kinds of force.

I have never been to a store on Black Friday. Wanna know why? Because I just learned last year that it's called "Black Friday" because stores are financially "in the black" and can afford to sell everything at low prices. I always thought it was called "Black Friday" because it's such a nightmare. As in, "It's a black day at Walmart." And I still think my definition is more accurate. Why would you go shopping on a day the name of which reminds me of the plague?

Anyway. I got my gallon of milk and snow scraper. I'll catch up on the 30-day Photo Challenge tomorrow (day 10. a photo of you as a baby, day 11. a photo of your favourite film(s), day 12. a photo of you). Tonight, I'm going to stay in my hovel, away from humanity and retail, and eat brownies while I try to catch up on New Testament homework.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Whittakers are coming, dontcha know it!

day 9. a photo of your family

First of all, I feel that I have many "families."
- extended family
- in-laws
- close friends
- theatre comrades
- etc

But for this photo, I decided to post a picture of my "roots," so to speak. (At least, some of them.) These are the Whittakers.


There are a lot of favorite things about this picture, but I still can't get over how Beckah seems to be "awkward-handing" the ENTIRE photo. This was taken about 3 years ago. I also think it's a good example of how no-one in my family seems to look alike. Granted, we're not all biologically related. But biological relation is still kind of arbitrary to who looks like who. Just for fun, take a moment and try to guess who's blood-related to who. (Although, I guess most of you readers already know. But this will be fun for those who don't, I guess.)
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Think you got it?

The red-haired woman in the back is my step-mom. Her two biological daughters are Isha, the brunette with curly-ish hair on the far left, and Melissa, the red-head on the far right who's threatening to shoot me. The man is my biological father. The brunette in the middle (whose arms are taking over the picture) is his other daughter, my sister.

As we've gotten older, Beckah and I have grown to look more alike, but our coloring is so different, that a lot of people don't seem to notice. I look a TON like my mom, and Beckah takes after Dad a little bit more. Isha and Mel are kind of the same way...they don't look a ton alike. Melissa looks more like Mary (my step-mom), and Isha looks more like her dad. 

Anyway, that's just one of my "families." But I love 'em. =)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Oh I'm Still Alive

day 8. a photo of your favourite band/musician

There are a lot of favourite musicians of whom I could have posted a picture. But I decided to post this one because I love them a lot lately. And always. And it's a great picture.

Wonderful Pearl Jam. Aren't they awesome?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rahul

day 7. a photo of someone you love

Of course, the first person I thought of was my husband. But you guys hear about that ALL the time, and PLUS there are other photos coming later that he'll be in.

(Also, this project is super difficult for me...I always think of like, eight photos to post. On matter of principle, I'm refusing to post more than one picture per category.)

SO, I decided to post a picture of someone I love, but have never met. "Love" in this context means admire, appreciate, respect...no romantic business here.


This guy is one of Bollywood's biggest stars. And he's pretty awesome. Go look him up. He's cheesy and intelligent. And he built up a six-pack for "Om Shanti Om." At age like, 42.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Awkwardness is the uniting human experience

day 6. a photo that makes you laugh

I love this picture so much. Because it's two of my favorite people, in what is famously one of the awkwardest photos in the history of BYU-Idaho. This was 80's day at "Crazy For You" rehearsal. That explains the outfits. But we still don't know why Jenny is grabbing Beckah's uterus.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Braiiiinnnnssss....


Remember when Rexburg experienced an Apocalypse of the Undead? That was awesome.

It's been in the works for a few months...the original vision was a flash mob, but since that didn't benefit Rexburg's business owners, we had to get an event permit instead. (Because heaven forbid the city should allow us to just do something fun, and the city is famous for shutting down any gathering that doesn't have a permit.) Some may say we sold out a little bit, but it was so much fun that I don't really care.

I went to DI and got costumes for Jacob and I, then took a steak knife and black paint to them. We looked up tutorials on zombie make-up, and come Thursday evening, we became undead.

Jacob - Doctor Zombie
Liz - Business Executive Zombie
Anna - Prom Queen Zombie
Carrie - The Prissy Zombie
Scott - Average White American Male Zombie (or the "Got Off Work Ten Minutes Before Zombie")


There were stations set up throughout town to assist people in zombie-fying. The really tall guy and the really short girl are the Johanssens, whom I adore.


And at five o'clock on the dot, we began our march down Main Street.


It was incredible. We attacked a rooftop with spectators. (Who turned out to be my old roommate Mallory, her fiancee Matt and some other friends.)


We attacked the front door of our friend Brandilyn's boutique "Panache," along with several other front doors and windows of businesses on Main Street (which was luckily met with thumbs up and camera flashes, rather than calls to the cops). I won an award for "Best Zombie Walk" and my trophy was a mutilated Barbie. (Which is now proudly on display in the Script Library. And my abs were sore for two days.)


There were Zombie brides, Zombie contact lenses, Zombie burn victims, and Zombie infants...


There was Zombie dancing...


And, of course, Zombie romance.


And of course, we attacked and rocked a car that held my friend Melanie and her boyfriend, who didn't know there was a Zombie Apocalypse, and who got into playing "victims." But those pictures are a little too graphic for the internet, I'm afraid...

Until next year, fellow Undead!



Oh, and even though there are plenty on this blog already, here's
day 5. a photo of you

Monday, November 01, 2010