Friday, October 29, 2010

Childhood memories

I was just thinking of how much I love Doris Day. She has such a unique classy yet cute way about her. 

And then there's Shirley Temple. I remember watching the "Watching the River Run" introduction to her movies and how incredibly joyful it would make me, watching little girls watching with their mothers. How grateful I am that my mom did fun things like reading Little Women to me on her big white bed. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Trip to Russia

We went to this really cool island in Finlans. It was still set up with the walls and artillery to defend itself -- it felt like we went back in time! This is part of the city wall and this wall has little holes from which they'd shoot their cannons.

 We had so much fun trying to see how close we could get to dropping Dan in the water! And yes, I'm cheating
This was Napoleon's tomb -- the most grandiose and ornate building I've seen in my life!
This gives you a little feel for the Russian people -- the younger man Andre spent the whole day with us and the old man Arkady told me about how he's such a wonderful actor and how he has family in Connecticut and he said (in Russian of course), "They could be your next door neighbors and you might never know! So just look for someone  . . .who looks like me."

St Basil's cathedral at Red Square -- the most fun building I've ever seen!
Jammin in our shades
Studying for LSATS. Way more fun together!

Uinta National Park

We took a little trip up to Squaw Peak and it was pitch black because it was such a cloudy day so we experimented with 30 second exposure. Dan put on the brakes to make the tree look more red. How we love photography! I start my class in photog this week!Dan walked in this picture returning from his bathroom break in the trees and he didn't even show up because no light was shining on him . . . how fun to shoot pictures at night!

Dan: "I loved how mystical and fun this fall day has felt.  The cloudy, foggy,
drizzly weather made us think of California and fun places we had been.
It was much darker than the picture makes it look, and it seemed like
the mountains were floating away in the thick mist."

Bridal Veil Falls

Temple Square

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Make you banana pancakes 'cuz it is the weekend

I am the most spoiled, luckiest girl in the world!
Daniel woke up early Saturday morning and cleaned our tub, sanitized our counters, and dusted while I slept in.
We made the greatest yummy pancakes!!! While I was jumping around, listening to fun music. 

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

  • And I wanted to make Dan Magelby's syrup -- Even though ours was more like caramel it was soooo good!
  • 1 stick butter
    1 Cup sugar
    1 Cup buttermilk
    1 T. vanilla
    1 T. corn syrup
    ½ tsp. baking soda

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ART has been my last two days, and I love it!

The program PAINT A WISH is now official through BYU!
And I taught the first student today. It was so fun to be challenged in unique ways that school doesn't fulfill. These girls are brilliant; each in their own way.
Each had their own idea of what they wanted to do--and neither of them was what I'd prepared :)
So I had to learn on the spot to work within their own ideas and still teach them something -- tricky!

Alexis had her own creative mind and drew fun "word bubbles" and witty comic dragons. Next she said, I want to draw something with a foreground, middle ground, and background -- and she drew a marvelous scene! She has a natural gift for art.

Sada -- is so precise! She reads HUGE books in a day -- and her vocabulary shows it! She wanted to read the liability statement and picked out that it said there would be two volunteers and that we only had one -- "What!" She exclaimed, "That's not what it says! There's only one of you!"
Precision in art is often a challenge -- I've experienced this frustration myself. I saw her do small practices for her "masterpiece," but never think they were good enough. As she practiced free-handing the sunflower middle, she saw the circle and hump that I drew as a bowl. "Oh, I can do bowls!" And though she wanted to start again, she worked with what she had and it was marvelous! We learned simple shading and she noticed that petals were odd-shaped and some could hide behind others and she shaded accordingly. Such a fast learner!

Also, she noticed that her sunflower looked more like echanacea. She altered it to look perfectly like echanacea! She was so so happy with herself and noted her accomplishment!

Monday, October 11, 2010


The other day Eva asked if she could take out our trash as she left . . .
I realized I have no idea where we even keep the trash bags! 
In our whole marriage I had never taken out the trash.
What a great husband I have :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friday night dates...MARRIED!

We ran into Rach and Megan!

Sweet potato fries!

 I love this one DAniel took of me!

Free concert with cool lights!

We LOVE picture dates where we just try to get the coolest picture we can : this one was mine!!! Dan has taught me well (even though this one was only an accident ;) )

We loved going to the Salt Lake Temple!

One last thing

Daniel has served me so incredibly much this last week!
He has done so many dishes, swept the floor, helped me remember to pray every day, took out the trash tons of times, helped me remember life was like a dream on Friday just before the LSAT, brought me Cafe Rio when I was studying, drove me to take the LSAT (and then took me to dinner afterwards), didn't want me to work, told me to go rest when I was cramping, reminded me of all the things I love, and wrote me lots and lots of songs. I definitely love him!!!
And he's hot :)

Thoughts from church

As we watch Conference, we look for themes. My mom and I decided the big theme of Conference was to follow the prophets. She said, I wonder if President Monson will require something especially hard of us soon? The same Conference that sounded the warning call also stirred the hearts of many who would then need precisely that message. 

In sacrament meeting there was a discussion about President Packer's statement in General Conference:
"We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that and persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.”13

Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.
Paul promised that “God . . . will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”14 You can, if you will, break the habits and conquer an addiction and come away from that which is not worthy of any member of the Church. As Alma cautioned, we must “watch and pray continually.”15
Isaiah warned, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”16"
       Our friend saw that about 50 of his friends from high school (in Layton) had posted in "respectful disagreement" against President Packer's thoughts on homosexuality. He talked about how coming out in disagreement with the church leaders "respectfully" then led those friends to complete disagreement.
        Another member bore a strong witness that we need to find out for ourselves. He explained, the scriptures show us that if you follow the prophet's council you will be blessed; some have speculated that the church will come out and alter the words of President Packer or the Church's view concerning homosexuality. We have continuous revelation: if that happens great, but for right now you have to follow the prophet. Instead of rebellion, ask the Lord and find out if the words from His servants are true.
As Dan's mission president said about Prop. 8 "this is a fulfillment of separating the sheep from the goats. " And it is our decision to stand with the Lord and His chosen prophets or to stand in opposition to the truth.
I thought the most interesting perspective on President Packer's talk was my mom's
 Seminary Kids:
They were so glad someone besides them was saying what they have to stand up for all the time. There was no opposition.

Insights from Gospel Doctrine:

 Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the arebellious children, saith the Lord, that take bcounsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

  2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of aPharaoh, and to trust bin the shadow of cEgypt!

  3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
These words have profound meaning for me this week because I learned that I cannot trust in my own strength but ONLY the Lord's. Why do we look to the world for strength if all things are possible with God?

Second, a lady shared a story about recess duty. This little boy (one of her favorites, Chevy) is a 1st grader playing with the 6th graders and they circled him and made him cry. She went over and cleared up the argument and wiped away his tears. Before he went back to class he came over and gave her a big hug and said "thank you Mrs. Kirk!" 
This reminds me of Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up adeath in bvictory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the crebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

  9 ¶ And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our aGod; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have bwaited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in hiscsalvation.
I love the imagery -- he will wipe away our tears. But do we remember to say thank you for His miracles?

After this week of miracles I have thought about how the Children of Israel had seen His hand -- when they stepped in the waters with the ark of the covenant, the seas parted. How could they so quickly forget to trust the Lord again? I will try to remember His mighty miracles from this last week and thank Him continually.

John 5:22 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath acommitted all bjudgment unto the Son:"
The Savior is our advocate and our judge! What if your lawyer was your judge?

Finally does anyone have insights on Isaiah 22: 23-25?

Insights from Relief Society: 
We talked about REPENTANCE. 
I love the words from the new EFY CD Let It Begin! 
You might think no one's been through what you're going through. You might think nobody's made the same mistakes as you. You are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulder's; turn it over. Just have the courage to take one step, someone's going to be there to help with the rest. To start is the hardest but it's something that only you can do. Don't carry the burden as the years go by you don't need that crushing weight in your life. Have faith to pray for the strength to finally see this through. There's One who knows you perfectly He can take the hurt away. The healing starts within - just let Him in and let it begin. 
You've tried hard to hide from the past and to bury it deep, you're overwhelmed by all the things that you know you should be just believe mistakes of the past don't define you they refine you. Just have the courage to take one step, someone's going to be there to help with the rest. To start is the hardest but it's something that only you can do. Don't carry the burden as the years go by you don't need that crushing weight in your life. Have faith to pray for the strength to finally see this through. There's One who knows you perfectly He can take the hurt away. The healing starts within - just let Him in and let it begin. 

Autumn According to Daniel

Daniel and I agree that this week has been the best one we've ever had. Including the week we got married.  We can't identify it but the Lord has just filled our sealing with love. 
REasOnS WhY:

Today was a day of togetherness. 
Daniel had meetings early and was standing in the parking lot waiting for me so we could go to sacrament meeting. So sweet! Luckily I decided that it would make him really happy if we could walk home together so I ran to church in my white suit and heels. As he's watching for me to drive up, he sees me running across the stadium parking lot :) 
We both got to both bear our testimony in church and feel the Spirit witness to us in such a powerful way.
This afternoon Daniel and I watched Meet the Robinsons very comfortably in our bed. We talked about how fun it will be to get our kids' perspective on that movie because we thought it was jumpy but fun.
And then we feel asleep for over two and a half hours! 
Finally, our apartment smells like pumpin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg thanks to the fall cookie recipe that I invented (Dan made me say that :) with Dan's adamant approval. I loved eating cookies together and enjoying hot apple cider (courtesy of Mom and Dad) while reading the new Discover article about how they can digitally simulate aneurisms in the brain and then digitally remove them and see how the blood flow would change. We talked about how amazing technology was. 

As we were driving home from the temple on Friday Dan was saying how much it felt like a dream
It snowed on the mountains
Squaw peak was illuminated beautifully
 Cool feeling of fall in the air
Leaves are everywhere
So picturesque it seems unreal

Dan says it's the best week of his life because:
 He loves Alyssa more than ever before.

He loves being married and here's why: "this week has been filled with emotional stress, which gave us opportunities to pray very sincerely and for him to give me blessings. I especially realize how much you does for me and how much more I can do for you. I see how smart you are and more than being smart you can turn to the Lord, rely on Him and have so much faith you know miracles are going to happen; and to expect them. and they come. And we saw them 1) answer to go to law school 2) what to do to prepare and take the LSAT successfully. I was so impressed with you."

Dan sang me songs on the way to the football game (he composes them almost daily for me!!!!)
He just made me another one! Some of you may be wondering what these are like so here it is:
          Fall began and I love Alyssa more than ever before cuz she takes my breath away. Fall began and she has the best smile and I'll ask her to marry me today (he asks me most every day). Alyssa you're so strong and so smart and you always love the Lord first. Bright eyes! [Dan makes out with my arm].  
                                                     (sung to the tune of "Bright Eyes")

Our special place

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My favorite post I've ever written -- and the greatest lesson I've learned this semester at school

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUSYNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
I read the greatest Ensign article this last summer that IS changing my life.
I'll share a few of my favorite thoughts: 

"A National journalist shared the following blunt assessment: 'A good Mormon is a busy Mormon.' A historian has also observed that 'in Mormon culture . . . action is esteemed over contemplation.

"Elder Maxwell cautioned us against a 'frantic, heedless busyness . . . [that often] crowds out contemplation and leaves no room for renewal.' He likened thoughtful 'intervals between [our] tasks" to "the green belts of grass, trees, and water that . . . interrupt the asphalt.'"

And when I was in Europe, I experienced whole towns that seemed to have no trees, no patches of grass outside the apartments. Especially in Paris, you could look out from the Eiffel tower and see green basically only where there were parks set apart from the city. 

Ironically, we have a small spot of green grass outside our apartment that is three feet away from the biggest street in Provo. Being from Wyoming I would have thought that wasn't a place of peace at all. 
But after our experiences in Russia Dan and I took time to appreciate the grass outside our apartment after our date. We sat on that patch of grass and ate cake and then did nothing except hold each other and enjoy our little spot of green. That's what we can do in life, take a moment for "contemplation and renewal."

I noticed a girl in the class I TAed had the greatest insights of anyone in the whole class. I could tell what we were learning meant so much to her! She bore testimony of what she learned to me and mentioned that this was her only class all spring term. She taught at the MTC and spent so much time thinking and pondering -- in my opinion that is how she integrated her learning and had such deep insights. She took time to think about life. 

"'When we put God first' President Ezra Taft Benson promised, 'all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.' This is one reason President Spencer W. Kimball could say that 'we will move faster if we hurry less.' Undistracted by other gods, we trust the Lord to help us allocate our time and talent to their very best uses each day. As a result we do more good and we make real progress."

I testify that this promise is true. When I read this, I decided to put God first. I didn't know what this would mean for me, but then I was waiting for initiatories. I was so stressed and caught up in (I can't even remember what) but I COULD NOT stop thinking about it. I read an article in the temple and it was a real LOVING yet chastening moment for me. An article I picked up was all about leaving the world behind. To summarize: "In the temple it is the Lord's house, we leave the world behind. We are in the midst of angels and God so we do their work and think as they would. We leave all thoughts we have about the world behind for we are here to serve. This is our practice to think as we will in the heavens" and I realized if I am so busy now that I can't feel the spirit, "the same spirit will possess my body in that eternal world." This is something that would be easier to overcome while I have a mortal body. 
Thankfully Heavenly Father made a way. The ordinance worker looked into my eyes and conveyed to me the spirit. It was like she gave it back to me. It flowed through me. I cried. She was my angel. 

For me this means attending the temple every single week. I am on the Honors Advisory Council and Student Advisory Council -- with these responsibilities there are so many things I can do extra that fill my time, more meetings etc. I have not volunteered for these extra things, I am doing too much. 

I have evaluated what I love most.
1. I lo lo love Daniel! He is my life!
2. I do love serving. That is where my passion is.
3. For me, I love to create. It brings me joy and helps me to contemplate.
4. And I love children. I miss my siblings. 
5. I love music -- playing the piano

These brought about changes in my life
1. I'm spending extra time with Dan. Quitting my 8 am work (1).
2. I am teaching children with life threatening disabilities art (2, 3, 4).
3. I took time yesterday walked out of my LSAT class and played the piano for 40 minutes (5).


I testify that we can be less busy. There are things we can remove from our lives. We can find time to contemplate and reevaluate. We can find time for the Lord.
I am going to write about President Uchtdorf's talk but Dan just got back from his church meetings so PAUSE

From families who know

From families who know what it's like to have a child with a "life threatening illness" I have learned so much. A trend I've seen is that they KEEP LIFE SIMPLE. Incredibly simple. I ask what they have next week and they say "nothing" or "Only Tuesday nights don't work."
"Is there a day that works better for you?" 
"A time of day?"
I ask them if __ day at __ time works and they almost always say yes. 
I ask them what their children would like to learn and their child is right there -- THEY ASK THEM!

How refreshing in a world where people rush around busily to find families who simplify and spend time together. 
The cool thing? The mothers are so perceptive to their children: their emotions, their needs, what challenges them, what's easy for them, if they are expressing themselves.
They KNOW their children. 
They help them pursue what they love. Mothers who have no interest in art help their kids use "those watercolor pens" and "pastels but man those are messy!" They love doing it TOGETHER.


I love talking to Rach once every week after class.
I know no matter what I have going on we won't be able to part for at least 45 minutes of talking. Today we talked about the headlines from the Salt Lake Tribune about Pres. Packer's talk (people are upset that he's being insensitive to homosexuals) -- I DONT even want to address those claims but I do want to say what I learned from talking about them. The brethren also talked about gossiping and sleepovers (which I think was awesome!)...all of which could be blown out of the water. 

But we each have little sins that we are working on. 
Some of us have one big one (some of us have a tendency to judge, criticize, same sex attraction, or think we know better than the bretheren), some of us have a lot of little ones.

The week before the Relief Society Conference I was just not feeling so good self-esteem wise and I realized I had a strange propensity to judge people's appearance (e.g. thinking how incredibly short the lady's skirt was in the temple). Man was I chastised by President Monson that very day! 

I think I'm more of a lots of little ones person. And Rach put it in the best words EVER!
"Being happy with myself and others being who they are." 
This manifests itself in letting others be the person they want to be/are -- just because it's not MY way doesn't mean it's wrong. . . and sometimes in letting me be myself (just feeling really badly for not being as good as I could be in little things -- I could just accept that we all mistakes and keep them in proportion to the efforts I'm making).

The point being: Rach always hated when people said "marriage makes you whole." And yes, you are whole when you're single. BUT marriage has refined me more than any other experience. I have realized it's stupid to think someone else's things belong somewhere just because that's where I think they should go (my roommates will attest I sometimes rearranged their things for them ;-) ) . Well, I notice it. Also man does it help to have a boy who notices when my mood changes! -- it helps me not to fluctuate.
I love being married; especially this week.  
I have someone to help me become a little better in a very prosaic (moment to moment) way. It has been the BIGGEST BLESSING in my life. 

Dan found the blowdrier...

This morning Dan got ready with a blowdrier in hand...and looked dang rustic all day!
Before we were even dating I joked that I'd surprise one of my dates by looking emo for the whole date. 
I told him he was the first guy I'd actually do it with and he suggested we ride around town on our bikes to the "Gen-X" (gangster) store. I knew he was a lot of fun and knew he would do crazy things (he'd gone to school in the craziest Halloween costume for like the last 8 days before Halloween). 
I love that he wore his hair blowdried skidiwampus all day.
Art is coming together!!!

My wonderful Visiting Teacher made a poster for me and we hung them all over the HFAC. I am not technology savvy so you'll just have to see it on facebook.

She also made a facebook event and I invited friends -- people are already responding! I have seven of the eight volunteers already in under two hours!!!

I talked to the Director of the Center for Service and Learning and they are going to make it a pilot program for this year!!! Whahoo!

Ideas for names??? Palate Pals is all I've got :)

We hate LSAC

LSAC makes all these ridiculous rules for taking the LSAT. My teacher's life is the LSAT. The night before the test he gets nervous for us and during the test he has the tendency to break things so his wife sends him with us to wait in the lobby while we take it.
Well someday he'd love to go to the testing center near Oxford and abuse the rules LSAC has set up.
Some people are so worried about having to go to the bathroom they blog about wearing adult diapers; and not only wearing them, they practice USING them! That doesn't show how much you are prepared, it just shows how weird you are!

Things you can/can't do and how to abuse them:

ALL of this must be inside a plastic bag (up to one gallon/3.73 liters).

NO CELL PHONE if its even found turned off, you're escorted from the building. One guy transfered it from his left pocket to his right all the while turned off -- he was kicked out.

NO earplugs
So when the homecoming parade goes by this Saturday you can hear the whole thing and be sad you are stuck inside taking a 7 hour test.

Interestingly there isn't a dress code except for not wearing hats (except for religion) and not putting your hood UP.
Wear an adult diaper but ONLY an adult diaper. Be sure to wear as many religious hats as possible; a turban, yamika etc. When they ask you what's your faith just say "Agnostic, but I just want to be sure my bases are covered for the test."

They dont say what kinds so choose the most smelly kind imaginable. Mix blue cheese, haggus, and kimchi in your gallon size bag and leave it open during the test so testers cant get it out of there mind.

Analog watch...nothing can be digital including the date
They dont specify size so just use one of the classroom size ones, take some duct tape and tape it to your arm. Check it OFTEN!

Liquids UP TO 20 oz in a PLASTIC bottle. Their stated reason for 20 oz is that people will drink too much and have to go to the bathroom. Ironically you can only drink during the break when you could go fill it up four times.
Take your Jack Daniel's along for good measure (it comes in plastic apparently...especially funny at BYU)

No mechanical pencils or pens but you CAN have highlighters. No mechanical pencils because you could fold up a little piece of paper with the answers on it and stick it inside. If you're going to do that, just stick it in your pocket!!!
But who cares about having a highlighter when you can have the big pencils from the state fair...bring about 8 of them and line them up on your desk. Always be tapping one.

Pencil Sharpener
Those pencils have to be sharpened regularly to fill in the small bubbles. If you're not tapping the pencil, be sharpening it.

Eraser (no specifications)
They're worried about the clicking noises with mechanical pencils; just click your eraser.

Always be sharpening or tapping your pencil and clicking your eraser (one for each hand) except for every 5-7 minutes when you stop, sigh and get a look of relief on your face.

Finally just get the answer sheet with ABCDE in 5 columns tattooed on your back just to make people wonder...

Needless to say I laughed the hardest I ever have in class before. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

favorite moment of the day

OUR room.


I'll never get over mornings together.

Light through the windows illuminates the smooth dove white walls.

Sometimes we listen to our favorite "sdelat ribyonka" playlist. 

Our room mirrors the honeymoon cottage.