Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LDS Church discussed at Harvard

Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose - 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Super Long Day!

I am feeling much better than I have been over the past few weeks.

I wish I could describe how blah I've been lately. Apparently getting 7 cavities taken care of in 3 weeks is pretty horrible. Yick.

I spent the weekend in Philadelphia. I really like that city. I don't know what it is, but there's something wonderful about this city, despite the rampant murder rate. I'll post pictures later.

I went up with my roommate Sarah and stayed with my friend Jon from the mission. He made us pancakes from scratch! I'll stop talking about it and just post pictures. Later.

Meanwhile--it was great finally having energy today!

I woke up early and I've been going all day long.

I cleaned up at Jenny's house, chased after a dog and a two year old, then came home and vacuumed my own house, did the laundry, went for a walk, made lasagna (Stouffer's-I'm not THAT ambitious), corn bread, salad, and green beans for the missionaries and my friend Jim who came over for dinner, then I went to see Coraline--(Jim's choice--but I wanted to be scared! And I was!!) And then I came home and got a bunch of stuff done for classes. And now it is almost 11pm and I'm exhausted.

It is so nice to have the energy to pull off a good long day.

And may I just say that the missionaries were wonderful! They shared the story of Alma the younger. They were so gracious. Jim isn't interested in joining the church at all, and he's moving back to California--but we all had a mutually positive experience, and these kinds of experiences make for peaceful happy feelings between everyone. I am going to try and make a goal to have a friend over with the missionaries once a month--regardless of whether I think the friend would be interested in the church or not. It's about creating positive experiences.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I never had time to watch this when it was on. I was in school.

And now, I have time.

And now, I'm happy.

I have made my way through seasons 1-4.

I love this show!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My tooth

My last post didn't make any sense. At all.

I would clarify it but let's call the confusing post a rhetorical exercise. You're confused? So am I! We're all confused now!

Moving on.

I went to the dentist today for the last time.

I had 7 cavities. It's taken 3 visits to get them all taken care of.

Good grief.

About 5 years ago my old bridge came out and I've had a missing tooth on my right side of my mouth. The tooth on my left side had a huge cavity. I could feel them drilling. I thought they were going to go into my gums. Luckily it wasn't a root canal.

But the numbing is gone and it huuuuuurrrrrts!!!!

I'm such a wimp.

Intuitive Men

I'm open to love, to relationships--whatever.

I'm open.

If a guy is interested, I'm open to the idea. Generally. Unless I'm not, and then, I'm not.
How's that for vague?

Once upon a time while I was at BYU I came across a nice guy, albeit unattractive to me, who had just returned from his mission. Because I wanted to be nice and show that I was "open", I invited him over to watch a movie at my house that evening. I figured he was new and needed some new friends. I then called a couple of friends and got the whole thing in motion.

Only the guy never showed! He called later and told me that he had felt prompted not to go to the party or to date me.

Well, I was a little non-plussed to say the least.

To make a long story short, I'm going to jump to the point. I don't date a lot. I don't have relationships. I'm open to them. I give guys the benefit of the doubt, but more often then not they aren't interested in me. I go back to this singular example from BYU and I wonder if the guys are getting intuitions to stay away from me for one reason or another.

Don't get me wrong, I date. Sometimes I go out more than others, but on the whole, I don't have relationships with mormon guys.

That said, when I'm feeling intune myself, I recognize that I'm simply being spared the heartache of dating a guy that isn't the guy for me. I realize that there are so many people I wouldn't have met and experiences I never would have had if I had gotten married before this time. I am so grateful for my life and how things have unfolded.

I went out with a couple of nice guys this past week, and while both are nice and I'm open to the idea. I could sense intuition at work. I felt attractive and I had a wonderful time with both guys, but despite the good times, someone's intuition kicked in.

It's crazy. I have to believe that there's something mysterious going on because the other option is that all men are a bunch of loonies, and I'm just not in the mood to come to those kinds of conclusions tonight.

I really enjoy going out with the good guy friends right now though. I'm having a wonderful time!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today's Talk

I gave a talk today at church. I don't usually write out talks, but this time I felt like I was speaking of things that were deeper than I could find words for. So, I wrote things down as thoughts came to my mind and I spent most of the time quoting scripture because I was so amazed at how clearly the scriptures outline such beautiful things.

Here's the talk.

Today I’d like to talk about L. Tom Perry’s talk, “The Great Plan of Our God”. I would specifically like to discuss the lessons that we can learn by looking at the beginning and the end of the plan, and what these lessons teach us to do today.

In his talk, he lists a summary of lessons we learn throughout the whole plan.

L. Tom Perry’s “The Great Plan of Our God”:
Lessons from Gospel Dispensations

The Dispensation of Adam: Become Like Our Father in Heaven

The Dispensations of Enoch and Noah: Choose Righteousness over Wickedness

The Dispensation of Abraham: Make and Keep Covenants

The Dispensation of Moses: Follow the Lord’s Prophets

The Meridian of Time: Let Your Light Shine

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times: Rejoice in the Fulness of the Gospel

What does the word fullness mean? What is a fullness of joy?

3 Ne. 28: 10
10 And for this cause ye shall have afulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;
D&C 93: 33-34
33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

From these two scriptures, we understand that the purpose of the plan is to receive a fullness of joy by becoming like our Heavenly Father and receiving a body.

Let’s start at the beginning of the plan. What is necessary for the plan of God to work?

The creation story told in Abraham highlights the importance of obedience.
Abraham 4:

21 And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great awhales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.

In verses 27 and 28, we are created and given instructions to have families and to cultivate the earth. And in 31 we read:
31 And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient.

Later in Moses, Heavenly Father asks Adam to be baptized. He explains that he has forgiven him for his transgression in the Garden but that he needs to be baptized in order to enjoy eternal life. In the next few verses, he explains the plan of salvation to Adam and tells him to teach his children the plan.

Heavenly Father explains the Plan of Salvation to Adam:

Moses 6:53-62

58 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:
59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;

In order for the Plan to work and for us to become like our Heavenly Father and receive a fullness of joy—we must show our obedience through baptism and there must be a Savior.

Moses 7:32 and 33—we read.

32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

Commandments: Love One Another, choose God.
Gifts: Knowledge and Agency.

God unveils the plan to Enoch. He shows him the coming of the Lord and the last days.

67 And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world; and he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fulness of joy;

We live in the fullness of times, we are invited to embrace the lessons of each dispensation.

As children, we learn to care for ourselves and value ourselves as children of God. We are invited to make and keep covenants.

As we grow older, we have opportunities to follow the Prophet’s voice in making our own life choices.

We can choose to let our light shine and share the joy of the gospel with friends and neighbors.

And finally, as we seek to become more like our father in heaven, we take on his mission to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

. As we have become converted, we bear a responsibility to let our lights shine and help others to find their light.

It is time to dedicate ourselves to living the plan of salvation through our own obedience and through love for one another. There are others who need our help, and our own self indulgence might not seem to come from a cold place, but we are warned that men’s hearts will be hardened in the last days. Perhaps it isn’t an obvious hatred, but rather an apathy. We care for ourselves and our own little dramas, but how often do we take the time to help someone who is struggling? We have gifts that we need to share with others. I encourage you to pray for an opportunity to actively participate in the plan of salvation this week—and not just for yourself.

We have the stake website, call the young men’s president and see if they need chaperones on a camping trip. Call the young women’s president and see if they would like help with an upcoming activity.

Call the primary and see if they would like to advertise free babysitting for couples who would like a night to themselves.

We are in a position where we could begin to overanalyze our own needs and although we may be quite the needy bunch, we can solve our own problems as we take the time to love one another.

Doc and Cov 93:19

I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fullness.

20: For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fullness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you you shall receive grace for grace.

27: And no man receiveth a fullness unless he keepeth his commandments.
28: He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is gloriried in truth and knoweth all things.

39: And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.
40: But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.

We gain light and truth through our obedience. This leads to a fullness of joy.
I leave you with my testimony that the key to the success of this great plan is in our obedience. And the first commandment is to love. As you find opportunities to love and to obey, you will become more like our Father in Heaven everyday, receiving grace by grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ until you receive a fullness of joy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tonight I went to Macbeth with 2 handsome guys.

Then we went to dinner and had a great time swapping stories.

Two hot men. Both wonderfully nice. Granted, one is engaged to my dear friend who is across the country right now, but I still enjoyed his company!

Great Valentine's Day!!

I had such a great time. If you could see me, you would see that I have a big ol' smile on my face. Oh wait! You can see me!! I'll take a picture!!

Old Friends

I have had the most wonderful weekend.

Last night I saw three old friends. Kay from Iowa--visiting from Delaware. Melissa from Southern Virginia--who is now living in Vienna. And Bridget from Maryland Shakespeare.

I only was able to see them for short bits of time since I had plans with all 3 of them, but I was just overwhelmed at how lucky I have been to know and love such wonderful women.

Melissa is running an art gallery where she would like to open it up to open mic theatrical performances. It's a great space. It was so neat to meet the artists and see all the places we could perform. It was an open mic monologue night so I performed 2 pieces. It went really well!

Kay was a friend from when I lived in Iowa. I haven't talked to her in years. She is great! We only chatted briefly at the temple, but it was worth it. Sometimes just seeing a face can remind you of all the people that you miss.

There's something about seeing old friends that reminds me that life isn't about money--it's about memories. Happiness comes from our experiences with one another.

Bridget was wonderful in the play last night. She played an "ugly duckling" who had turned into a swan,but didn't realize it. It was so funny. And after the show as I was talking to her, I became overwhelmed with love. Luckily, she lives in the area so we're going to hang out next week.

It was a perfect way to start the Valentine's Day weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mini Blogs

On Driving in DC

Yesterday while driving to the temple, I hit massive traffic. What usually takes 40 minutes took 2 hours. Not cool. But the worst part is when you're close to the exit, so you're riding in the right lane, and the cars are merging from the freeway entrance.

This is not a bit deal in normal land, but here in DC they do the most annoying thing. They ride in the lane that is coming to an end, with their blinker on the whole time, and even if you make a good space for them to merge into--they stay in the dying lane until it ends and then just kind of end up in your lane.

The problem is, you're basically riding along with a massive space in front of you, and you really want to just pull ahead and flow with traffic but you can't because you're riding side saddle with this stupid car. They act like they're in the right lane, and you end up having to merge in with them. It drives me to distraction.

On Watching Grey's Anatomy:

Granted, it is quite the little soap opera, and frankly the guiltiest of pleasures--but it's nice to have a protagonist I can relate with in Meredith. Even if I think she's a bit of a weenie. I get her. The other night, dear friends--cause I do love them--commented that they couldn't stand Meredith.

It made me think. I don't like her either, but I get her. Whenever happiness comes along, she gets a big dose of pain and rejection. Not to rehash old wounds, but some of us kind of get that. And so despite her annoying ways, we understand her. And we appreciate that there's a storyline about a complicated woman. It's refreshing.

And so to my dear friends, I disagree. And that is all.

Pretending like I'm rich:

I was late to a show last night in DC. I was alone at 10pm. Usually, I like the whole single and independent vibe, but last night I realized it might not be the brightest idea to park my car and walk 3 blocks by myself at 10pm. Besides, I would end up being late to the show!

So I had my car valet parked.

You know who else had their car valet parked?

A black rolls royce. (tee hee. :))

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jenny, Buffy, and Meee.

I'm biding my time until I have to go to the dentist.

I have 4 cavities that they're going to take care of today.

I'm really not feeling well. Kind of headachy, loopy.

I had some herbal tea and some veggie soup, but I'm afraid to take a tylenol since I'm going to the dentist.

Oh well.

My two obsessions this week:

Buffy and Jenny Oaks Baker. Jenny's son Matthew and I had fun this morning running around the backyard with the dog. I let him pick out his clothes for the day. He is 2. I don't know what kids clothes should be! Apparently, he chose swim trunks (which I knew, but didn't really think to care about) and the top that matched perfectly--(it had sharks on it too) was actually a pajama top. So, yeah.

But the dishes were done and the living room tidied. So despite Matthew's fashion faux pas, I think everything will be fine. Go to Jenny's website and enjoy the music that I get to listen to every morning as I watch her kids while she practices. It's a little bit of heaven, I won't lie. I love it!

As for Buffy--I bought season 4 at Wal-mart for $15. Yippee!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Sara!

I need to just wish a very public Happy Birthday to my friend Sara. We are about 2 weeks apart in age. We have been friends since we were 13 years old and she is one of my most favorite people in the entire world. When we were in high school we used to watch Robert Downey Jr. and drool while eating lime sherbet. We both liked the same guys--because we both have fantastic taste in men--but through it all--she was the best friend a girl could have.

I'm so happy that after all these years we're still close friends. We have very different lives, but I still feel so close to her. I watch her with her 3 kids. I see how happy they are and how well she runs her house and I am so proud of her. She takes time for her family, but then I hear about her own adventures with her sisters and friends and I know that she knows how to take time for herself as well.

I wish I could describe what her friendship has meant to me over the years.

Have a very Happy Birthday!

stupid conversation

I was telling my friend Clay about how cute and fat Spartababy is and he said this:

Clay: My sister's baby got pretty big fast too. I wonder if this is a trend. What with all the chicken and hormones in our food nowadays.

Me: He's not old enough to eat chicken.

Clay: (silence)

Me: I never said I was a genius! It takes me a second to process this stuff!

Watching Spartababy!

I want you married friends, and you married friends with children to know that I hear your cries of how busy you are. I see your cute pictures. I hear how you never have time for yourself.

And I feel the guilt.

I know that I have a life of luxury and time to waste.

And I think that it is so totally unbalanced.

And so, in an effort to make the world right--I am trying to help out my fellow friends with children in whatever way I can to alleviate your stress--

But really--it's to alleviate my guilt.

So I've started watching kids 4 days a week for 2 hours. This is just long enough for me to wonder how on earth anyone watches kids 24/7.

Yesterday, Crystal came up and I got to watch Asher while she and her husband Matt took her daughter Valerie for some much needed individual attention/shopping time.

And I got to spend some one on one time with the big guy. As you can see from his picture--he's very fat. And cute and lovable. I used him as my plaything. I had a ball making him talk and moving his massive arms. I would walk him up to the mirror and hide my face so that it looked like he was speaking and then in the perfect baby boy voice I would say, "I AM SPARTABABY!"

He didn't really laugh--but I had a riot!

Then we had baby workout time where I would lay him on his tummy on the floor and try and get him to roll over. He hated that, but he looked so cute while getting so frustrated with me. Then I'd roll him over onto his back and he would smile because he wasn't on his tummy.

He fell asleep in his carseat to some great music and after he woke up, I changed his diaper. No biggie. Then I fed him---again--no biggie.

While feeding him, he made a horrible pooping noise.

I thought, "Dang! What a waste of a diaper!"

And then I thought, "I wonder how long he can last in his own poop?"
Along with the thought, "What if I change him and he's not quite finished?"

I decided to hang out for a little bit and see if he got upset. He was kind of doing his grunting thing and I could see that he was not pleased.


I went to change his diaper, but soon realized that we had an explosive situation and so I gave him a little bath in the sink. There's nothing quite like trying to hold a baby so that he doesn't get poop on anything, while scrubbing a sink with the other hand so that he can safely bathe.

It all worked out. I'm very strong!

He ate again and we played and then he started getting sleepy, but I tried to keep him awake because I didn't want him to not sleep for his parents later on. How am I supposed to alleviate my guilt if I hand back a baby that will be up all night long?

We had a good time and because I kept him awake and hadn't fed him for an hour--he was very cranky when his parents came to get him--which I think they liked because they felt loved.

Spartababy and I had a very good time together. I'm glad I was able to take care of him for
6 short hours.

I'm overwhelmed with respect for you parents out there that dedicate your lives to your families with no thought of down time or time for yourselves.

You're kind of amazing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

CJs bachelorette/shower

Last night Sarah and I hosted a bachelorette shindig for our roommate CJ. We had a great time. Except for the malfunctioning chocolate fountain, everything worked out great. (And chocolate tastes just as good in a bowl as it does in a fountain!)

We sat around eating pizza and chocolate covered goodies, drinking Goya drinks, and listened to CJ tell the story of her new love! It was a great night and a great way to start off the
Valentine's Day Festivities.

After storytelling, we all watched cheesy romantic movie clips. I made everyone watch Spike's diatribe about love from Season 3 of Buffy--and then we moved on to Anne of Avonlea and Never Been Kissed. We capped it off with a clip from Enchanted. It was perfect because CJ is just like what's her face! She is marrying a single father with a cute little daughter! I love it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Prowess with Men




I just realized that I've been holding back on my promise to share "my amazing prowess with men". So here's some details about my love life.

Fred and I met last week at Trader Joe's. He was buying lemon curd and crackers and I thought--what a nice guy! So I did what any nice girl would do and I saddled up to him and said, "Would you like to take your lemon curd and my mango salsa and have a little party tonight?" (I added a little wink for good measure.) Well, he winked right back and we skipped out of Trader Joe's and onto a night of fun and food! After flying to Paris to make-out in the Eiffel Tower, I came home and checked my facebook and then went to bed. Nice guy. I wish him all the best!

Harry is a professor at the school I teach at. He teaches underwater origami. He's brilliant. I don't know how he makes such beautiful swans while swimming underwater--but he does! Well, one day we were leaving our classes at the same time and he said, "Do you have a car?" and I said, "Yes! Yes I do!" And he said, "So do I!" And I thought--We have so much in common! Let's see where this goes! Of course I didn't say that outloud, instead I just gave him a sort of knowing look and then flipped my hair a little. (I'm THAT good.) He's a bright man. He caught my drift and drove his car over to my car and said, "Nice wheels." Well, I like a guy who can appreciate my Hyundai Elantra--so I parked my car and the next thing I know--I was driving off with him to watch a hockey game! We played a game where everytime we saw blood splatter we had to kiss. It was a violent game. (wink wink, nudge nudge!)

Leonard and I met while I was in Zimbabwe helping the orphan children to get vaccinations. I was trying to figure out a way to cure the rampant tuberculosis, when Leonard came riding up on a tripped out jeep. As the children surrounded me singing, "We love Evey! We love Evey!" He said, "What do you think you're doing?!" And I said, "I'm bringing health and happiness to the children of Zimbabwe!" And he said, "Oh, that's hot!" And than he helped me vaccinate the children. After curing the children, we moved onto the adults. Then we had a big party and we might have made out--but just a little bit. I was tired from all that work. And besides, we're going out again next week.

Well, it's only Tuesday so that's all I have to share today.

I promise to share more about my prowess with men. Sorry I've been so private about it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I had a wonderful day yesterday. I went to Staunton with my friend Christina. Friday night as I sat around with Lesley, Robert and Christina, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for good friends.

And Saturday morning as Christina and Lesley and I visited with the Souder's--I again was touched by the magic of being with people who value the arts, storytelling, and edifying the world through creativity.

Right now, I'm watching the Superbowl and submitting proposals for conferences. I am not watching the game very well--I just watched the Steelers score again. I need to focus my energies on the Cardinals. I have the power through my superfanbrain to help the Cardinals to win--if I only just concentrate!