Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm a teacher again

Today is the first day of school. I love this day. It's the day where I get to walk to the front of the classroom and see all the student's bewildered faces, confused as to why I'm standing up where the teacher is supposed to be standing. I also get to go over the syllabus and enjoy being the only one who doesn't have to do any of the work...well, if you don't count teaching it all. It's a short day because I let them leave after we're done reviewing the syllabus only I still get paid just the same. Bonus. 

Now all I need to do is figure out what to wear for the first day. Always a pleasure.

Monday, August 30, 2010

fall again

I took these pictures on an autumn walk with my mom and Lizzie two years ago in Oregon. This is where I lived, what I woke up to each morning, and soon it will look just like this again. 

There was a huge thunderstorm last night and this morning was gray and rainy. It felt like the first day of fall but mostly, today felt like Oregon and my heart was happy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

it's off to work I go

I've hit 50 pages for my book. That sounds like a lot to me. And, as evidenced by me writing this post, I'm finding it harder to focus. Cutie sis-in-law, Brynny, shared this little lecture with me and you should really watch it too. It's all about our "big ideas" and how easily we abandon them in the face of hard, consistent work. That's the stage I feel like I'm at right now with the book--the work, work, work part.

My mom reminds me that every effort you put forth, every hour you log, slowly chipping away at your goal, is seen by Heavenly Father. You are showing him that you are trying hard. That's when the blessings come--after we do all we can. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

new school clothes

It's Thursday night which means Chas is out playing basketball at the ward which means I have some free time on my hands which means I took pictures of my new clothes. 

There were tons of cute loose-y cardigans at T.J. Maxx. I grabbed this one because I thought the little cabbage roses down the side looked like Anthropologie and because it was $16. Win win. 

Speaking of cabbage roses, check this guy out. It actually looks surprisingly cute on. The sleeves are big and flouncy and it fits kinda loose, cropped just at the waist. With a long black t-shirt underneath and those little ties coming down, this was another $16 find.

American Eagle corduroy blazer you say? Yup, you guessed it: $16.

Did you really think I could not buy something this color? Get real. :) Actually, there's kinda a greenish tint to it. This is the soffiest fabric I've ever felt against my skin. Also, those long drapey sides make for endless possibilities (and when I say endless, I mean three): belt it, tie it up on the side, or let it hang loosey goosey. Also, it may even feel like you're wearing a cape, only in the front instead of the back. And who wouldn't want to wear a cape? This is the only one that was more than $16. But with the original price being $140, 25 little bones ain't that bad. 

(The last thing I snagged was a basic black scoop neck t-shirt but we all know what those look like.) 

Do I hate myself for doing an entire post about my clothing complete with commentary?...Maybe.
Do I periodically slide back my closet door just to look at these new guys hanging up at least once a day?...Mos def.

just a few things I want to say

1. Remember when I dreamed I was the Great Mouse Detective? (Best dream ever.) Well, there's a mouse in our house and I've decided that maybe he stopped by to pick up on some of my skills. Only problem is we couldn't sleep last night due to the loud, incessant scratching noises coming from the kitchen at 4am. Also, every time I see the mouse I want to throw up. Gross-y. 

2. Apparently there's some girls in California who are putting together and filming a full-on Mormon Bachelorette series. I'm sorry but...Are you kidding me? Does anyone else see a huge paradox in putting Mormonism and a show like the Bachelorette together? So dumb.

3. T.J. Maxx is a total gold mine right now, just so you know. I went shopping this week for the first time in 6 months and bought two cardis, two tops, and a corduroy jacket for pretty dang cheap. Man, it's fun to have some new clothes. I've thought about taking pics and posting them so everyone can see how cute they are but I probably won't because I feel like that might be a little weird.

4. Lately I've been wondering if anyone even reads this blog anymore? Just curious.

The end.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

hipster love and more about the therapeutic value of collage making than you'd ever want to know

Last week, my old roomie, Meg, married Jared. I lived with her last summer when these two first started dating. It was really great to see her so happy and to see how perfect the dress turned out thanks to my amazing sewing lady (who also made my wedding jacket). 

Hipster love. 
(I look like a hamster.)

Yesterday at work, we did collages in one of my groups. I don't always make art alongside the patients but sometimes I do. It can help to provide a sense of support, healthy modeling, and containment.

Why would I have a group of acutely psychologically unstable adults make collages? Lots of reasons. If you've never made a collage, I highly suggest you try it. They are great for not only self-expression but also self-soothing/relaxation and self-organization (which is a poignant accomplishment for people who are cognitively disorganized and not reality-oriented). People often comment that its not only a pleasurable experience but also a healthy form of distraction for them. Higher functioning patients are then able to share the stories behind the selected images with other group members, allowing the art to become a vehicle for greater awareness and connections with others. 
Ok, and now I feel like I'm writing my thesis again.

Anyways, I'm really excited about the collage I made in group. I hung it on the wall next to my side of the bed so I can point to it lots and tell Chas to look at it. 

I love being an art therapist. Lots of people don't have any idea what it's all about and how much of a secret weapon it is. I'm coming to accept that more and more. I know how real (and magical) art therapy is and that's enough for me.

just a movie makin' prince

Got this email today from Sister Card Jr. (Rosie):

Thanks for sending the clip! It was fun to see Chas but we don't have sound:( But make sure to tell him I like that sweater. Great choice Sam... on the sweater and Movie Makin' Prince.
 Seriously, though. I love him.

Next up for Chas is an on-location shoot for the church in Arizona next week. He'll be helping to film a new Youth Mormon Message. It's a story about two rival high schools whose quarter backs are best friends. Next weekend, one will be baptizing the other and this little Chazzy boy will be there to get it all on film.
Darling, huh?

Friday, August 20, 2010

back to school shopping

I very rarely buy clothes for myself these days but there's something about the fall that will probably always make me want to go shopping. It's called back to school shopping. Chas reminded me that I'm only "going to school" one night a week. 

Still counts.

I want these guys. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

why Chas is famous

Feel free to fast forward to the good part. 
(starts around 7:50)



  Remember how this was on TV...twice? 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

time off is good time

For the past two weeks, I've been working about half of my usual hours at the hospital. As long as I restrain myself from checking our bank account compulsively, half expecting it to be near depleted, I'm really enjoying all this extra time to myself. I've been spending much of my days in this room.

Sometimes I almost can't get over how much I adore this space. 
This corner of the room, in particular, is where you can find me. (Have I told you about the built-in bookcase!? Love it, right?) 

Lots of book writing has been happening. I'm up to 40 pages now and have even begun some initial organizing and formatting. Not all the time, but sometimes it's hard to do this. Sometimes it's like I'm dragging my feet very, very slowly through tar; the amount of effort and struggle put forth no where near equating with the speed or progress I feel I should be making. Those are the times when I allow myself more mini emotional breaks to play a few rounds of Scramble on my iPhone, peruse random stuff online, or...take pictures of my living room and write about it on my blog, maybe? Yup. 

Oh yes. You should also know that while driving through the mountains yesterday, we found this huge moose.
Check the National Geo money shot. That was me.


To the car blasting techno last night up the canyon under the stars- YOU ARE THE WORST. 

To the car blasting opera last night up the canyon under the stars- YOU ARE ALMOST THE WORST.

To all the cars parked with their lights on last night up the canyon under the stars- WHY ARE YOU HERE?

Unfortunately, the meteor shower wasn't as magical the second time around. Provo canyon is officially a much better place to watch the sky than Emigration canyon. Maybe we left too early (wouldn't you?) but I'm pretty sure we missed the peak of the shower which is kinda a bummer because besides having to lay down in a parking lot and the fools with the music, it was actually a really nice, perfectly clear night. Either way, we still made sure to reminisce together about this time last year and everything that's happened between then and now. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

shooting stars

A coworker was telling me this evening how now's the time to go up the canyon and watch the on-going meteor shower. Apparently, tomorrow night is when the peak is supposed to happen. Then I realized that today, August 11th, marks the one year anniversary of our first kiss. The same stars were falling over our heads last year. You can bet we're driving up the canyon late, late tomorrow night to, once again, lay on our backs and fall in love under shooting stars. 

And just for kicks and a little nostalgia, here's my post written one year ago about that glorious evening. 

I ended this perfect day lying on a blanket in the cold, cold Provo canyon grass. Looking up for hours, I watched the best, most magical meteor shower ever. Sometimes, I would close my eyes and imagine the falling stars were my very own confetti being thrown down on me from the night. Once, I tried to think of a wish to make as a star shot across the sky. Funny thing is though, nothing came to mind. Life is just that good right now and I am a very grateful girl.

Ditto to everything I said then except maybe the one thing I'd wish for would be a full-time job with benefits for one of us. That'd be nice.

Friday, August 6, 2010

the "D" word

I'm writing a book. I've been meaning to explain more about it but I guess I'm finding it a little difficult. It's a project that quickly is becoming quite near and dear to my heart. I also pretty much decided it was something I wanted to do only just two weeks ago and so didn't want to say anything about it prematurely less it didn't actually ever happen. (All talk and no action is the worst.) But I'm almost 25 pages into now so I think it's safe to say I'm gonna make this puppy happen.

I'm writing about my experience being a twenty-something LDS woman getting divorced. 

I have a few motivations driving this endeavor. First, I know there are so many girls out there who have gone through or who are currently going through a divorce. Unfortunately, I didn't really know this until I had gone through the process myself and found that girls in similar situations just kept coming out of the woodwork. It really was crazy. Like multiple girls in my Salem, Oregon single's ward. The first semester I taught at UVU, in a class of just a little over 20 students, five- yes, five- girls my age were divorced. Even though it happens so much, it really doesn't feel that way when you're in the thick of your own divorce. At least, it didn't feel that way for me. It felt incredibly lonely and shameful. Sure I knew that divorced happened but it happened to older women with a mortgage and four kids. I had been married only two years, had no kids, and school loans. Divorce didn't happen to people like me. If I had known that someone else, like me, had gone through it, hearing their story would have been such a comfort during the hardest times. So that's one main goal in writing this: providing true empathy and a decreased sense of weirdness and isolation for others. 

Similarly, something that I find can unintentionally add fuel to the fire of shame, embarrassment, and isolation is feeling that the topic of divorce is a rather taboo subject in LDS culture. It needs to be talked about and talked about bluntly and honestly because, whether we like it or not, it happens. I think about how when I'm leading a group full of adolescents who have all attempted suicide a few days ago, I need to be able to speak clearly and directly to that gesture instead of dancing around the issue because it might make me feel a little uncomfortable. Asking blunt questions such as, "So what were you feeling immediately before you tried to kill yourself?" helps to demystify something that is pretty taboo. Once you've unveiled it, then, and only then, does it become malleable in your hands and something that you can effectively work with. Thus, if girls going through a divorce can read something that will help them feel just a little bit more understanding and support, it's my hope that they'll be able to feel stronger and more confident in their ability to get through.

Speaking of getting through, that's another huge goal of the book. I want to dedicate a large portion to discussion of how I actively used the gospel of Jesus Christ to survive the process of divorce. It's so real and I know I have received amazing blessings from trying to fully utilize prayer, the scriptures, temple service, and the atonement. 

Lastly, I hope to touch on life immediately after the divorce. Things like unexpected positive outcomes as well as unexpected pitfalls. 

I've been feeling that this is something that has the potential to be really healing for me. If I can help just one person through this adventure, it will be a way for me to create lasting meaning from the suffering. I love that.    

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Do you love me?

I want to write on here more than I have been but, mostly, I just want to write about how happy happy I am. But then I worry that I'd be one of those annoying people who broadcast every bit of perfectly perfect goodness in their lives just to...be annoying. But then I remember that almost no one reads this blog and those who do are people I love and if they're gonna find me obnoxious they've likely already done so by now. I also remembered that I generally don't care what other people think and that it's most important to just be honest in all things. So if I'm feeling like the luckiest wife in the world, then that's how I'm feeling. 

I do really feel insanely happy these days. And when I say "insanely," I use that word mindfully. Because, let's be honest, I work with "insane" every week and know what it looks like and sometimes, I think I might be just the littlest bit insane with love. Just the littlest. Like when I'm clenching my teeth together so hard whenever I see him that I have to remind myself to take it easy because we don't have dental insurance. (I do the same thing when I see a puppy that is so cute I might explode.) Or that one time I was trying to be angry with him but had to close my eyes because when I'd see that cutest face, I couldn't not smile. So frustrating. And then there was a night earlier this week when we were listening to a new Guster song and started dancing in the living room which quickly turned into us holding each other by the arms and jumping up and down together again and again just because we're that crazy happy.

You're dry heaving now. I know. 
Oh well. You love me.