Wednesday, February 29, 2012

library win

Saw this movie at an independent theater in SLC about a year ago. It just barely came out on DVD in january. We called every place we could think of in Provo/Orem that sold movies, but no one had it. Then we checked the Orem LibrarySUCCESS!!

This is probably one of my favorite movies ever. Jacob describes it as "life-changing." If you like Planet Earth and quality nature films, it is a must-see. Though to call it a "nature film" is a bit misleading. It is really a drama.

Just so you know, the Orem Library probably has the best movie collection I have ever seen. It is a gold mine. You have to pay a dollar for DVD rentals (kinda lame), but you get to keep it for a week, so it still trumps Redbox. And let's get realthey had The Last Lions.

Like I said, gold mine.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

change my hair—do i dare?

So I have been toying with the idea of changing my hair lately, but basically, I am a huge wimp about it. I guess after years of having one hairstyleblonde/long/curlyit kind of becomes your identity. However, I am starting to feel a little bored, or rather, trapped behind the bars of "blonde-dom. " See picture below:

Holli trapped behind the bars of blonde-dom, yearning for new hairstyle.

However, there was a year of my life when I went rogue. I broke the blonde mold and tried some new hair colors that I loved. First, I went "gold." This color kind of happened by accident. I asked the girl at Paul Mitchell to give me a more natural golden blonde color, and she turned my head into a shiny penny! I had one friend describe this color as "dirty red"a red that lost its virginity. I loved it, and told myself I would never go blonde again.

These are kind of embarassing pictures, but give me a little break. I was 18, first semester freshman year, living in a dorm by myself. AKA taking embarrassing pics of myself was my hobby. 

And then there was this short period of my life when I went brunette on everyone. People at school had a hard time believing I had ever been a blonde. When I went home from college, people didn't even recognize meand I loved it. I felt like a completely different person. I even had a few people tell me they liked me better as a brunette. But again, it faded out and I eventually ended up going blonde againwhich actually was the result of another Paul Mitchell accident. Why did I ever go there?!? 

my brunette "disguise."

So there's the evidence. There was a time in my life when I deviated from the blonde/curly trademark. But can I go back?

Monday, February 27, 2012

man or muppet

so glad this won the oscar for original song.

also, i had no idea this was written by bret from flight of the conchords. what a genius.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Daughters in My Kingdom

It recently occurred to me that I had been given this bookand by given, I mean this book had been handed down from inspired leaders to every woman in the Relief Society (ME), absolutely free of price, for my own enjoyment and benefit. And yet, for months it had been sitting on my night stand. I hadn't even opened its pages. 

Well, it just finished reading it last night, and I am so glad that I followed the prompting to do so. If  you are in Relief Society, and you haven't read it yetyou really should. You will come out feeling empowered as a woman, and with a greater understanding of the legacy you belong to.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

soul skaters

Classic Skating 2.10.12
we wore our party shirts and killed it in the rink.

And by "killed it," i should probably say that i almost killed myself. 
I am pretty sure that I should not be allowed to have wheels attached to my feet. 
I only fell six times, and came home with some bruisy battle scars.

Jacob, on the other hand, glided round the rink with ease.
I was truly impressed (and mildly jealous) of his moves.
This is one of the few activities where he is profoundly more graceful than I am. 

We had so much fun dancing and skating that we bought roller blades at D.I. the very next day.
Jacob is kindly giving me some skating lessons. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

proud sister

Guess who put in his mission papes?

This kid.

Sky should be getting his mission call in about a week or so now. 
I can't wait to see where he is going! 
I love my little brother lots, and am so proud of him. 

This also means I should be able to plan a trip to Arizona someday soon.
oh yes oh yes!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

presidents day miracle

okay. but this actually happened yesterday.
and it was pretty much the happiest thing of my life. 

thank you, UTA express buses, for not operating on presidents day.
thank you, husband, for convincing me that it was really okay to take a day off. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

love day

Because Jacob had a test on tuesday and we wanted to be original, we decided to celebrate our valentine's yesterday, which also happened to be the day marking our six months of marriage. I know six months isn't that impressive, but hey, we thought it was a cool idea. Jacob also put me in charge of planning the celebration, and this is what I came up with. 

I tried to pull together some kind of exotic, asian theme. how did i do?

 Of course all of this was very last minute for me, but I worked with what I had. I decorated the room with colorful lights, candles, and batik tapestries from Bali to set the romantic ambience. I also threw on my chinese robe just for fun.

It was really fun to see Jacob's reaction to everything. I guess I have never really done anything like this for him before. When we were dating, he always did all the romantic stuff. so it was fun treating him to a romantic night and making him feel all special and stuff. He was so giddy and speechless. Oh yeah, and I made him put on his robe too!

I wish I had taken more pics of the meal. I ordered some tasty food from a nearby thai restaurant, and it was good stuff. We had pork satays, masaman curry, and something called a beef waterfall. I had no idea what it wasI mostly ordered it because the name sounded so cool. It was all very tasty though. 

my neck pillow kinda looks like a toilet seat. it's not a toilet seat. 

My presents! To my surprise Jacob brought me home some lovely flowers and a new neck pillow! I know that probably doesn't sound romantic to most people, but if you commuted from Provo to Salt Lake every day, you would understand the love in this gift. I was heartbroken when I mysteriously lost my last neck pillow. Now I will be able to sleep peacefully on the bus every morning!

We love each other every day, but it was really fun to celebrate that love for the first time as a married couple. And it was a fun experience to take the lead with all the romantic stuff. He sure deserves it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

six months

By the time we had been dating for six months, I knew I wanted to marry Jacob and was quite certain that I was going to—someday. Yet, I had no idea that “someday” was so close; that I would be getting engaged just two months from then. At that time, marriage still seemed so far-off and distant. I didn’t feel ready, and didn’t know how to feel ready. I had all kinds of pre-conceived notions in my head like “we have to date for AT LEAST one year before we get engaged” or “marriage (especially the first year of marriage) is hard. We should make dating last because those will always be the best memories of our relationship.”

Now being 6 months married, I can’t help but be embarrassed by my warped perspective.  What was I so afraid of? If anything, marriage has proved to be incredibly EASIER than dating! And though I will always cherish the year we dated and got engaged—I would never ever go back. Marriage is infinitely better.  

Maybe I thought that marriage would make love mundane, and it would begin to fade. Dating kept things fresh an exciting. Again, I was so wrong. Our love has grown exponentially, and I’ve discovered capacities of my heart that I didn’t even know I had. Likewiseliving, planning, and dreaming your lives together is not only exciting, but it makes each day so precious and significant. Every day you continue to create something beautiful and unique together.

I know I haven’t been married long, but I believe marriage has already defined and refined me as an individual. Sometimes it is hard to recall who that old person was. That girl who was so aloof and short-sighted.  Sometimes it is even hard to remember her life without Jacob—when they didn’t live and share everything together.

I’m sure that girl was happybut she had no idea how happy she was going to be. 

happy six months, jacob. 
you were right  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Believing Christ

This is a neat little book. 

After reading Mere Christianity, I kind of got on a Christian literature kick, and finally picked up a book that had been recommended to me many times by various friends. After finishing it, I wondered why I hadn't read it earlier. This little book is a gem. Only 160 pages, but those pages are packed with very helpful information. He explains the atonement and the "good news" of Christ's gospel in a way that is so simple and accessiblethat is, for such a complicated topic.

What Robinson really explores is this: As Christians, we believe in Christ, but do we really believe Him? Do we believe that Christ can make us perfect? That He can save us? That His sacrifice was for each one of us? Though this is clearly a central principle of the gospel, a lot of people still struggle to believe that Christ would actually do this for them. But the good news ishe did. 

If you haven't read it yet, you need to. You won't regret it. 

bbq chicken mexican pizza

This started as an experiment, and has become one of our quick "go-to" meals that we have regularly. It's quick, fool-proof, and so so tasty. 

All you gotta do is take a tortilla (i like using the uncooked kind) and top it with bbq suace + cheese + grilled chicken pieces + onion + corn + green chiles. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and tortilla is slightly crispy. Top it off with chopped cilantro, and voila! Deilicious bbq pizza.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Slab Pizza in Provoespecially the New Mexico Green Chile pizza, which has a lot of the same toppings as my invention. Because Jacob and I have a budget and are limiting the amount of times we eat out each month, this has basically become my "Slab fix." The flavorful toppings and thin tortilla crust kind of have the same appeal. Try it try it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

weird valentine

I saw this on a friend's blog a long time ago, 
and suddenly everything in my life made more sense...

This is probably the best explanation of mine and Jacob's relationship. Except, maybe I am being a little too liberal here. I am probably the one who is actually "weird." The only thing that makes Jacob weird is that he totally digs my weirdness. 

Anyone who has lived with me has seen glimpses of this weirdness, no doubt. Family, friends, past roommatesI feel sorry for you. You guys have put up with my quirks, aloofness, unusual humor, ability to go deaf, embarrassing dance moves, clumsiness, unconventional behaviorI need not elaborate. But poor Jacob has seen ALL of it. And somehow, with that golden heart of his, he still seems to like me. No wait. He LOVES me! What a guy.

But not so fast. I admit, Jacob can be weird too. But mysteriously, the more that weirdness is revealed to me, the more attractive, adorable, and irresistible he becomesit's kind of disgusting. And that magical thing that happens when our mutual weirdness expresses itself as love is nothing that anybody else should ever have to witness (i apologize to those who have witnessed it). Because yeah, it is just grossly-stupidly-sweetly-weird and will make you wanna pukeor at least we have been told. 

But for us, it is some kind of weird heaven.

Happy Valentines Day, Jacob!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mere Christianity

Just finished this book this morning. I have to say, it left me feeling very inspired. I love the way C.S. Lewis approaches Christianity with such beautiful logic. Of course, the reader has to reach certain points of agreement for that logic to work, but that is expected and necessary with any "logical" argument for religion. 

Already being a Christian, the book didn't do a lot of convincing. It didn't really have to. What it did offer, were some really excellent perspectives on Christian doctrine in ways that I hadn't really thought about it before. And behind all the commandments, ritual, and doctrineextracting the real essence of Christianity. The whys behind it all, I suppose. I can't say that I agreed with all of his points, but in all honestly, probably about 97.9% or somewhere around there. 

a few highlights that I especially loved:

+ I love how he takes much of the emphasis in Christianity off whether one is a sinner or not, and instead, focusing on where your heart is. Christianity is about trying to be better every single day, even after you make a mistake, and never giving up that pursuit. It is one's fate to become either a more "heavenly creature" or a more "devilish creature." But that test lies in every individual's own heart.

+ his chapter on pride, entitled "The Great Sin." Ouch! I felt like I took a great spiritual beating here. This is a pretty famous line in there: "A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” 

+  "God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare of reach one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."

+ “The command be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He [Christ] is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.” 

p.s. it seems like Mormons receive a lot of attacks from other Christians on this concept. Well, i guess we aren't the only ones who believe it! Thanks, Lewis. 

+ I especially loved his exploration of what Christianity has to offer vs. common moralitythe difference between being "nice people" and "new men."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

more wedding video

Holli & Jacob - After Sealing from Colton Lee Productions on Vimeo.

Here's another piece of our wedding video that Colton posted up on Vimeo. Basically, the post-sealing and pre-reception action of the day. I don't know what is going on with Jacob's face at 0:50 (maybe he is about to sneeze?), but it makes me cry with laughter almost every time. My face is not much better. Good grief.

Besides that goof, you are looking at some pretty precious moments here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BCS dedication

Two weeks ago, Jacob and I had the opportunity to attend the dedication of the new Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake. All the welfare employees, including myself, were invited to go to the dedication and bring a guest.  Jacob was so excited that he rushed up to Salt Lake after school to go with me. 

Jacob at the brand new Bishops' Central Storehouse

First, we go to tour the facility, which is TREMENDOUS. 570,391 square feet. That's at least a couple Costcos, right? We were very impressed with the size and amount of food and supplies that are ready to be shipped off in a moment's notice. The single purpose of this storehouse? "to enable the bishops of the church to meet the needs of the poor and needy."

After touring the building, we were seating for the dedication. We got to hear from Julie B. Beck, Bishop H. David Burton, and President Utchdorf, who closed with his remarks and gave the dedicatory prayer. It was a really neat experience to attend such a special event. Plus, we got to say hi to sister Beck and shake her hand. And best of all, they sent us home with storehouse "goodie bags." That's right, we got to take home our own Deseret Peanut Butter, bread, and cheese. Good stuff, I might add. 

If you are interested, you can read more about the BCS and its purpose here

Monday, February 6, 2012

goblin valley

The next day (after we visited arches), we headed about two hours west over to Goblin Valley State Park. I had seen some pictures of this place before and Jacob told me all about itbut to really understand how insanely cool this place is, you just have to go and see it for yourself. There's really nothing like it. 

pretty scenery on the drive to goblins
this place seriously looked like a strange alien planet

the rock behind jacob looks like a goblin face.

This place is basically like nature's playground. we were running and jumping and climbing all over the place. 

We did lots of exploring through all the strange monuments and formations. We even climbed up one of the tallest monuments and, feeling very much like the king and queen of the goblins, overlooked the entire valley. The scenery never ceased to amaze me. 

After this trip, I was reminded of how much I like being a little "rugged" every once in awhile. climbing. playing. exploring. getting dirty. sleeping on the ground. omitting a shower. not wearing makeup. eating a simple makeshift lunch in the park. running till I am out of breath. "YAWPing" through the echoing canyons. drinking in complete silence. the wind in my hair. perhaps, a thorn in my shoe. clad in denim. and eventually very tiredin the best way. 

I don't know if I will always be allowed to be this rugged, or if my body will always allow me to. But while I am young and healthy and somewhat fearless, I highly recommend it. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

arches nat'l

Over MLK weekend, some friends invited us on a trip down to Moab to see the beautiful Arches National Park. It was a great time to get away from the bitter cold, to see the lovely sights in southern Utah, and hang with some of our single friends. I'm glad they thought inviting the dorky married couple was a good idea. It made us feel young and cool again. 

this view was absolutely striking.

the balanced rock

jacob is in his element out here. he loves these kinds of adventures. 

finding my center

 don't give up jakey! you can climb on that ledge! it took awhile, but he made it. 

the delicate arch

hugging the arch.

I finally feel justified for having my utah arches license plate!

the arches gang.

This was my first time down to Arches, and it was well worth the trip. and heck, the drive is only like 3 1/2 hoursnot that far. Why haven't I been down here before? park entrance was FREE because it was MLK day. plus, the motels are super super cheap during the winter time and the park is much less populated. you'll inevitably run into a few korean tourists, but that's about it. 

After weeks on end of work, school, being cooped up inside our warm house, and all the mundanity of day-to-day lifeit was pretty refreshing to just go outside and PLAY. not to mention, in one of the coolest parks in Utah. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

february is the new january

Let's be honest. January is probably the worst month ever to start new year's resolutions. you just got back from the holidaysand probably gained 5+ pounds. It's cold. the weather is miserable. you are sad that christmas is over. you are pretty much depressed. Why make yourself train for a marathon/become vegan/read a stack of books/etc, etc? (and by you, I mean me)

I have officially declared January my "regroup" month, and February the month when I start my goals for the new year. That means TODAY. So after a good month taking it easy/thoughtfully pondering how i might improve myself this year, these are the goals that I have decided are most important to me:

+ write in my journal every dayeven if it is only one sentence. my blog does not count.
+ since I didn't write in my journal last year, write a memoir of 2010  2011 leading up to my marriage
+ work out at least 3 times a week
+ attend the temple at least twice a month
+ reach financial goals by sticking to our budget plan
+ develop my talents and share them more often
+ act on good thoughtsthis one isn't really measurable, but it is something I want to focus on this year
+ make the rest of our "first year of marriage" the very best it can be. AKA Carpe Diem for newlywedsagain, not so measurable. But a worthy goal, yes?

Ummm... and that's it for now. Nothin too crazy. I'm feeling pretty confident about accomplishing these in 2012.

Wish me luck.