Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka! Kalisimasi Fiefia! Frohe Weinachten!

Dear people who read my blog--

Merry Christmas!

I love this season, and though it has been different from every other Christmas in my memory, I have loved this Christmas. The sun is shining, I traded shivering for sweating, and the local banyan tree is all lit up to welcome the season.

In deep thankfulness and the spirit of the season, I just wanted to list a few of the things I'm grateful for today:

1. My Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I know He lives. He is the reason I celebrate this season. I am grateful for His birth, His life, His atoning sacrifice for me, His love, and His perfect example. I am grateful for His patience and His forgiveness. Additionally, I am unspeakably grateful for my membership in His church. I know it is true.

2. Family. This season has reminded me even more strongly how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. I am grateful for the traditions and love that spills so abundantly from my mom's home this time of year. I have felt that love and the spirit of those traditions even here, and have shed many tears of joy and gratitude at thoughtful gifts mailed from a loving family at home. It's not the gifts, it's the thoughts they represent. For all the love from my ohana, both immediate and extended, I am truly grateful.

3. Friends. I am so grateful for friends whose acquaintance and example teach me to be better in so many ways. I am blessed to have beloved friends all around the world and am thankful for their examples of faith, sacrifice, love, and great dance moves. :)

4. Education. I am so thankful for my university education, I cannot even think of BYU without feeling teary-eyed. It's been strange to be graduated, but I look back with love, thankfulness, and an wonderful feeling of WOOOOHOOOO! when I think about my time as a cougar. I am grateful for learning.

5. American Citizenship. I love my country, and I am thankful for all of the blessings that are a part of my life because I belong to it. I am thankful for the sacrifice of my forebearers for generations. I am grateful for their courage to leave their homeland and start a life here. I am grateful for the American dream.

There is so much more that I am grateful for, especially at this season. Employment; financial security; a roof over my head; nutritious food to eat; clean water to drink; beautiful, comfortable, and modest clothes to wear; things on my schedule; my wonderful, healthy, beautiful, and incredible body; passion for life; all of my senses; the earth; technology; trials; hope; heritage; etc. Life is so beautiful. I have great reason to rejoice.

Merry Christmas once again. I hope yours was great.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hi again...

...almost two months later. What? You already knew I was a bad blogger.

The topic I want to address today is near and dear to my heart. Those of you who know me well know that this is something I feel strongly about: (*ahem*) Superpowers.

Everybody's got 'em. Yep, even you. These are the strange and sometimes almost useless things you can do really, really well. If only they paid you for it, you'd have it made, right?

In my world, I too have some superpowers. They are, in no particular order, peeling oranges, making a cleft appear and disappear in my chin (betcha never saw that before, huh?) and riding my bike without using the handlebars (I'm really good at this).

Not to belittle my truly awesome list, but if I had a chance to choose or swap, there are some superpowers I would really like to have. Some of the things on this list are noble (like the ability to always be there for someone who needs a friend) and some are selfish (the ability to dress well). There is one thing on my list, however, which I really, really want, and also recognize is really, really not happening, at least in this life, even with great practice. It is the ability to fly.

Even though I always had a bad case of vertigo, I have dreamed of being able to fly since I was little. The idea of hovering in the sky is to me pretty much the coolest thing ever. I am a vivid dreamer (not just daydreams, but I mean I dream A LOT of nightime-dreams, pretty much every night) and I often have dreams that I'm floating in the sky or running so fast I start leaping, jumping over things, and flying through the air. I wake up feeling like "Ah ha! I finally figured it out! The secret to flying is just moving your body like in my dream!" But alas, air-acrobatics just do not work out with the gravity-factor like they do in my head.

Since moving to Hawaii, though, I think I may have found the key to getting all of my dream-like flying thrills in real life. People, I give you.... (drumroll please) SNORKELING!!!

(note: this is not my picture; I borrowed it from the internet. [but it could be my picture, if I had an underwater camera. I have seen several scenes just like it underwater, in real life, so imagine that it's my picture. k, thanks])

Living in the desert, I forgot how much I love snorkeling. Snorkeling is incredible. You put on a mask and stick your head under water and viola! you are in a completely different world. Heavenly Father is so amazing!!! I already stand ga-ga at mountain vistas and valley views, yet for all that which we see above the earth, there is 5x's more under the water! There are the same mountains and valleys, but added to them are millions of life forms foreign to our land-based world. And the best part?!?!?! It's like flying!!! With snorkeling you get to literally hover, or fly, over the whole new world you are taking in. I LOVE IT! I get to see turtles and eels and colorful coral and lots and lots of Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (the Hawaii State fish). I've seen schools of little and big fish, the burrowing porcupine looking thing, and, as I said before, really big, really cool looking sea turtles that always remind me of "Finding Nemo." I love going at a time of day when I can see the strong shafts of sunlight break through the water, illuminating the world below, sometimes up to thirty feet. This takes my breath away, to see a sight which God, with his all-seeing vision, takes in every day and is aware of 100% of the time, but which my tiny eyes can see only a part of when I seek it out. I love the time I can spend hovering there, listening to the air bubbles in the water and moving softly, dream-like, through the fluid atmosphere, soaking in that treasured world. 

After an hour of snorkeling my back is sunburned and my jaw aches from holding the tube in my mouth, but it's all worth it. It's all worth it because I get to fly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Dearest blog readers, breaking news: I am in Hawaii.

I know, right? Life changes so fast.

I arrived last Tuesday and have been busy busy busy the past week trying to figure out housing, jobs, the best beaches, and all the ins-and-outs of my new life. I live on Maui, in a little touristy town on the west side called Lahaina. I love it! It is hot and humid and beautiful and I feel so good about being here. I still haven't found a place to live permanently, but I'm currently staying with some friends and surviving alright. I love the ward, the diversity, and the laid back atmostphere that prohibits me from getting upset, even when everyone drives 20 mph and things take forty minutes longer than anticipated, on average, to complete. I have had some things work out with jobs and I will hopefully be starting next week at one job part-time that will go full-time at the end of the year. I'm still looking for something else to supplement that and take up some more of my time though, because at this rate I am on track for being nothing but really really brown and really really good at spotting sea turtles (an important skill, to be sure, but not quite my aspiration).

Oh look, there's one right there!

And another one!

As you can imagine, I really am enjoying this restful period of my life. I have a new family here too, who has adopted me. We do something together every day, which makes my days very fun and fulfilling.

Here is a picture of my new sisters Tefa (on the right-9 yrs old) and Nia (left-8) when we were watching turtles at the beach:

And here is a picture of my other new best friend, purchased today:

Yes it has a basket AND a surf board rack. Sweet, right? Now I just have to buy a board. :)

So, life really is wonderful. It has its stresses and frustrations and moments of uncertainty, for sure, but in all the waves crashing against the rocks of our shore, I hope that all of us will take a moment and lift our eyes up to do what a dear friend of mine advised me in an email the other day: "fall back on what you knew was right when you knew it was right. ...[a]nd watch lots and lots and lots of sunsets."

I have been. You should too. I highly reccommed it. Life is a great reason to rejoice.

peace. love,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tomorrow is a big day!

The 9th of September. Lots of important things happened on that day. Can you guess which event in particular I am referring to?

(okay, yes Mom and Kaley, it IS my birthday, and now, yes, I admit that I am officially OLD, but that's not really what I'm talking about)

drumroll please.....

Three years ago tomorrow I landed as a scared, excited, and wide-eyed BYU study abroad student in Vienna, Austria. Over the course of three and one half months, what I experienced there and in surrounding countries opened my eyes, enlarged my vision, softened my heart, and strengthened my testimony that we are ALL children of a loving heavenly Father who has a plan for each of our lives. Vienna was, for me, a precious gift given by God, scholarship/grant donors, and wonderful other people. It is a gift and package of experiences that are sacred to me and honestly changed the course of my life. I met and interacted with angelic people. I saw and did amazing things. I was blessed beyond measure to travel to beautiful places I still can't believe I've been to. It was there that I learned to have confidence in myself as a person, as a German-speaker (millions of failures have to bring some success, right?), and as a contributor in the building of the Kingdom of God. Those I shared those experiences with, the 37-odd individuals I have tucked into photo albums and journal entries and precious, precious memories, are still some of my best friends. It was one of the greatest privledges of my life to represent my home, my family, my University, my country, my religion, and my personal convictions during that wonderful fall 2008. Truly, with such blessings strewn along the path of our lives, we really do have great reason to rejoice!


Monday, September 5, 2011


This weekend the fam and I took a day trip to my old hometown to visit the state fair. Best. Fair. As we walked the thoroughfare, I was bombarded with memories from the past. These little nostalgia-triggers were particularly thick around the livestock sheds where my sister and I spent many September days as both Cloverbuds and full-fledged 4-Hers showing sheep, cows, and goats.

As a family we enjoyed huckleberry ice cream from the Dairy Queen barn,  the fried cinnamon-sugary goodness of the Teton Council's "Tiger Ears," and watching an hour long Kitchencraft presentation in one of the vendor sheds. LOVED hearing country music blasting from the speakers of my favorite radio station's booth (I listened to Paul and Mike EVERY morning, 3rd grade-10th), and by the time we left, we all felt we'd had our fun and will probably last at least another year, 'till the fair comes 'round again. Yay for hometowns, yay for family, yay for roots.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

goodbye home, hello future

The past two weeks have been full of goodbyes. My change of mind from staying in Provo for the next six months to moving happened so suddenly, there was a lot of scrambling to do to say goodbye to the people and places I have loved for five years. Among the things I had to say goodbye to was my truck. It was a hard thing to do, but I sold it to a new college student from Indiana who was very grateful to receive it. That makes me happy. If I had to get rid of it, at least it went to someone who is going to appreciate it as much as I did.

Goodbye Truck. Thanks for being an awesome first auto. I will miss you.

Other goodbyes were even harder: Friends I have who just returned home from missions and with whom I would LOVE to spend HOURS catching up with got only a quick "hi, bye," and some only a facebook message. Still sad about that, but we'll all see each other again someday eh?

As a "last hurrah" type of thing, some friends and I hiked Mt. Timpanogos on the eve of my departure. I love that mountain. I love the Timponooke trail. A great way to end my life in the valley, in the shadow of the larger-than-life mountains.

Beautiful, no?

Over the course of ten days, I said goodbye to household items that have sustained me for my time at college, food storage I've been working on building since 2006 (can't pay for THAT to fly to Hawaii), BYU campus, Provo city traffic with an influx of 20,000 for the new semester (not a hard parting), and finally, probably the hardest goodbye of all, the view of Provo itself.

Since I moved there exactly five years ago, Provo really has become my home. Up until that point, I hadn't lived in any one city longer than six months, since I was thirteen years old. Since I've been in school, even, with so much traveling and moving and changing, I've gotten used to saying goodbye to other places, but Provo was always a constant to fall back on--as soon as the summer or the semester or the trip was over, I would return. Every homecoming brought back the now-familiar customs of the bubble--from how people dress and talk to the way the traffic light works at the intersection of University and 800 N. Leaving on Monday, however, ended that option for me. I will probably never return to live in Provo, the familiarity and comfort of that part of my life has changed, and all over again, I feel like I'm leaving home.

Before I get too teary-eyed thinking about what is behind me, I have to remind myself what is ahead. I am twenty-two (soon to be twenty-three) years old. I have been blessed with an education, ambition, and heaps and heaps of resources to make my dreams possible. I do not know what is going to come in the next year, or even the next three months, but like Robert Browning, I believe that the best is ALWAYS yet to be. Always, because the Lord has a plan for our lives and it builds off the glories of the past and present. This is a blog about rejoicing, and I've realized that I haven't mentioned that for awhile. But truly, we have great reason to rejoice because of the knowledge that our lives are in the hands of the most loving, creative, imaginative Being in the universe, who has the righteous desires of OUR hearts even nearer to HIS than we do. I am so excited. Life is, and is going to be, great.

"GROW old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, ``A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!'' 
-"Rabbi Ben Ezra" Robert Browning

So goodbye Provo. Goodbye Utah. Goodbye good friends and coworkers and teachers and mentors and mountains and memories. I will miss you. But hello dear Zukunft. I've been waiting for you.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

the word is out

Remember how in my last post I told you  to not be surprised if you heard of me up and going somewhere strange with no warning?

Well then, don't be surprised: I'm moving to Hawaii.

Life changes fast, and I feel strongly that this is the best decision for me right now. I've had a wonderful summer in Provo, and a wonderful life there for the past five years, but I feel good about moving on. It will be sad and difficult to say goodbye to all the people I love so much, but with facebook and blog stalking, the world is pretty small after all. :)

For your reference, I'll probably be on either Maui or Kauai (still waiting to hear back from some jobs to know for sure) so if you want to make one of those your Christmas vacation destination, I would love to see you. Call me!

Love love,


Friday, July 22, 2011

blogging=fail. this=what I've been doing instead

1. Canoeing at the Lake. Oh my love of my life!
2. Wishing I were hiking--seriously, I've only gone once this summer. Lame.
3. Exercising! No homework=running, biking, and going to the gym after work instead of the library. Happiness!
4. Sitting in the Hammock. At this point, I have really refined my hammock sitting skills.
5. Moving twice. In eight weeks. And planning on it again in two. Ugh.
6. Writing to my sister who is in Tonga and my roommate who is in Africa.
7. Planning to see Captain America. This weekend--FINALLY!
8. Expanding my list of "oven-free" foods, aka things that I can eat that don't require I heat up the house with the stove.
9. Sleeping outside because it's too hot to sleep in my room. But I'm not complaining. I'd rather sleep outside.
10. Planning (mostly) extra-national trips I'm realistically probably not going to take. At this point I've already planned trips to: China, Jamaica, Texas, Georgia, Tonga, New Zealand, Germany, Hawaii, Mexico, Japan, Alaska, Jerusalem, and Africa, none of which have come to fruition. That's alright though. I'm going camping next month, and to D.C. to visit friends for Thanksgiving. I'll probably survive this year inside the country (but if you hear of me flying to Costa Rica randomly in the next month, you'll know I just couldn't take it anymore).
11. Surprising my family for the community fourth of July celebration. Water slides and pot-lucks--you can't beat 'em.
12. Inventing new smoothies. Peach, pineapple, mango, strawberry, oatmeal, ice, and soymilk is a favorite atm.
13. Spending time with my roommates, whom you already know I love.
14. Spending time with my brother, whom I also LOOOOOVE. <3
15. Oh yeah, working at my full-time job.
16. Canning chicken at my aunt's house! I love self-reliance!
17. Watching my garden grow. I already ate a zucchini!
18. Begging random friends to let me mow their lawn. I love mowing lawns.
19. Spending a week with my cousins. Best week!
20. Staring at the sky and mountains. SUMMER NIGHTS ARE MY FAVORITE THING EVER. (at least they're neck-and-neck with early summer mornings).
21. Pretending to catch up on my reading list. Yeah..... I've really only read four books this whole summer so far. Also a fail.
22. Reading my friends blogs.
23. Writing my application for grad school. I decided on the PhD program to begin at the end of Feb. next year. So excited!
24. Getting stoked for the Rugby world cup. It's going to be awesome!

Well, that's life since April. Hopefully you'll hear from me again before November. :)

Make good choices!

-peace, love. kc

Monday, May 23, 2011

to be read aloud

I memorized this when I was 17 as part of a stake challenge. I mean it honestly when I say that the experience changed my life. I am so grateful that these words are still in my head--they uplift me and strengthen my testimony that He is the Living Son of the Living God. He is the Living Christ.

peace. love. -kc


The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

"The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles," The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, (2000)

As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The gift of humor

Of all the talents I wish I had, being funny is close to the top of the list. I don't know why, but I'm just not a funny person. My older sister though, she is funny. So is my brother. Most of my siblings in fact are really funny, FUNNY people. Given almost any subject or medium to work with, they can pretty much always make you laugh. I was just thinking about this this week as I was rereading some old posts from my sisters blog (specifically the posts from May-June 2008). Maybe it's all the misspellings, the witty sarcasm, or her obsessive love of plants. Maybe it's just that I'm related to her and therefore think she's stinkin hilarious. Whatever it is, I was rolling on the floor laughing while reading and simply wished that I were funnier. And my brother too. I don't have any clips that I can show you, but my roommate labeled my brother her "favorite TV show," because he makes us laugh so hard. When he is on one of his rolls, I think I probably burn about 9000 calories per half hour I spend listening to him. Seriously. Laughing is a good workout. While my relatives seem so comedically talented, I, on the other hand, am generally always termed a "serious" person. I really used to feel bad about this, because I felt like my inability to be funny was most likely a reflection of being a boring person. I have realized, however, that being serious doesn't have to mean being boring, it can just mean being sober, or being sincere, right? So, while you may invite my siblings to a party because they'll bring some laughs, you might invite me if you needed someone to talk to. If I can't make you laugh, at least you'll know you're loved, which might be just as good in the end. In any case, I probably should attempt to learn some jokes, but I guess I can stop feeling bad if I mess up the punchline.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jesus loves you

"The Lord God worketh not in darkness. He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation. Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price. Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance. Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden."

2 Nephi 26:23-28

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh hey!

My life is amazing. I know I haven't been good about keeping it up-to-date on here, but it really is. Cases in point:

 1. Today my brother drove to my work (35+) minutes from where he lives, just to bring me flowers and give me a hug. One dozen red and white roses, just because he loves me. (mine are prettier than this pic, by the way)

2. One of my best friends gets back from her mission tomorrow. She's spent the past 19 months sharing the gospel in the often bitter cold Moscowvian climate of Russia. Right now she's probably in the airport getting ready to board, and I can't wait to see her tired but glowing face at baggage claim.

3. The weather is getting better!

4. Good weather=long runs and bike rides!

5. It's almost General Conference weekend!

6. Two of my favorite people had birthdays this week. Happy Birthday Grandpa and Megan!

 I love you both!

7. I spent every night last week along with 8 hours on Saturday in the dungeon of the Harold B. Lee library. Although Harold isn't my ideal date, he does help me be productive, and of the

4 term papers
3 novels (approx. 950 pages of reading)
1 conference presentation
1 portfolio 
and 1 midterm 

that I had to do before the end of the semester, after a week with him I just have 80% of 2 papers and one book to go before April 13th, plus a few small other assignments.

8. I graduate, with honors, in 21 days, and my whole fam is going to be there.

9. I have a wonderful job.

10. I am surrounded by angels every day. 

I love my life.

Monday, February 28, 2011

stop worrying--i'm still alive

I know it's been awhile. Sorry. So sorry.
News since I last wrote:
-Got a B+ on an Art history exam from the best/hardest professor. Happy? I think so.
-Rearranged my schedule so I can re-start running T/TH. Can't wait.
-Heard about, anticipated, and then experienced piles of snow tumbling out of previously-blue skies. It seems that Mr. Weather is experiencing his annual bio-polar phase right now. Oh well. I love it all. I'll take it.
- Finished creating a couple of poster presentations for some stuff coming up. Actually, to be honest, I finished approving the poster's my sister created. What? I'm paying her. She's a whiz when it comes to color and design, and I'm not--I think we should use our talents where we're able, and let others use their's too.

AND, the biggest news:
-PASSED my thesis defense. With flying colors (their words, not mine). Best. Experience. Absolutely loved it! Each of the members of my committee were so supportive and kind and they were just so proud of me I couldn't help but feel inspired and invigorated and comfortable as they took turns questioning me. AND, some of my friends and family came to see my presentation at the beginning-- I can't articulate how much that meant to me. I love you guys. Thanks for loving and supporting me. B.L.E.S.S.I.N.G. Oh, and PS--remember a couple of posts ago how I talked about how I got assigned the most difficult chair? yeah...... she was the nicest person in the world. She asked extremely insightful, deep questions and was absolutely one of the best parts of my experience. Yay for doing hard things!

So, I'm sorry that this is a lame post, but I thought you'd appreciate knowing what's been going on lately. Also, I've checked my stats and there are a few people reading this from Australia, Denmark, Israel, and SE Asia. Hi. How are you? My name is Kasia. Welcome to my life.

love love,


Saturday, February 5, 2011


On Saturdays I am irritable. There is just so much to do, and no matter how good and grand and well organized my intentions, it usually seems that there's just not enough time to get it all accomplished.

And usually, at the end of the day, I realize that that's alright and the world will keep on spinning and in the eternal scheme of things, it doesn't matter too much.
But it's not the end of the day yet,
and though I'm over my irritated mid-day hump, now I'm just wishing time would slow down a bit so I can finish both my Machiavelli and Luther reading before 6 o'clock
when I can stop everything and get ready to go to Stake Conference.
I've been looking forward to it all week. I need some nourishment in my life. I need some Spirit.

So, now that I've expressed those feelings, I will go read my Machiavelli and Luther and try hard to get them done in the 36 minutes I have left. I can do this. Oh. 35.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get to know Him

"The more we know of Jesus, the more we will love Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will trust Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will want to be like Him and to be with Him by becoming the manner of men and women that He wishes us to be, while living now 'after the manner of happiness'."

Neal A. Maxwell
"Plow in Hope" 
General Conference, April 2001
Click here to see the full article

Monday, January 31, 2011

This is why I love being an English major

Oh, the power of words.

"Recessional" by Rudyard Kipling
God of our fathers, known of old--
   Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
   The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
   An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
   On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
   Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
   Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
   Or lesser breeds without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
   In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
   And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

13 things I wish I could do right now

Right now it is 10:25 pm on a Saturday night. I just got back from a volleyball game and finished grading a stack of German tests. My roommates all left to play elsewhere, and I am sitting in our arm chair listening to halves of songs until I get tired of them, and trying to figure out what applying to Grad school is really going to take. It is dark and cold outside, and although my foot is asleep from being tucked underneath me, I'm too apathetic to move it. If I could be doing any number of other things at the moment, these are some of them:

I would be...
1. sleeping on a plane headed to Tonga.
2. eating a salad at Cafe Rio.
3. in the middle of a tickle fight with my little brother. 
4. on a beautiful, long, taxing and totally-worth-it run to the lake with a friend.
5. sitting in a kayak skimming across Lake MacDonald at Glacier National Park.
6. looking at the stars through the top of a tent while camping with my family.
7. waiting for my little sister to get home from her date to preference tonight.
8. talking to my best friends.
9. driving a really big truck.
10. cheering at a Rugby game.
11. feeding people Pumpkin cookies.
12. lying in the sun after a day of tubing on the Snake River.
13. watching the moose while sitting on a bank fishing the Snake River.

No, I'm not dissatisfied, just dreaming. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011


Lots has happened this past week. Procrastination and/or laziness (aside from just being busy) has kept me from posting about them till now, but here you go:

1. I heard back from the Fulbright committee. I didn't get it. Feelings? Initial disappointment, followed by a whole lot of relief. At least I can finally make some plans! Simply not knowing was the hardest part. Now I can begin researching other scholarship options and who knows, maybe an even better opportunity will present itself!

2. I found out that my Great Works Responses for my honors portfolio passed. Hallelujah! First hurdle cleared, I now *just* have to pass my defense and pose for my senior portrait. :)

3. I found out that I got another undergraduate research grant. BLESSING!

4. I LOVE MY POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE CLASS. That has to be in capital letters because I'm serious about it. Love. It.

5. BYU Rugby won their first two games. The first one was against Claremont Colleges, 86-0. Painful. The second, USD, 25-10. Wish I could have seen the games, but don't worry, I've read all the news articles and almost feel like I was there anyway. :)

6. I get to do a poster about my research for the annual Honors Thesis Symposium. fun fun. Creativity and inspiration, please come to me.

7. I was assigned a chair for my honors thesis defense. ... haha, this last piece of news is actually very humorous, but in order for you to understand why I have to delve into a little story: Last March I presented at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with a group of other honors students from BYU. While we were traveling there we talked about honors program stuff and one student asked one of the administrators who was there chaperoning us exactly how Thesis Defense Chairs are chosen. The adminstrator explained how, after you turn in your thesis and portfolio an email is sent to all of the professors who do honors thesis chair work and they pick (based on topic, educational genre,  how long the thesis is, etc.) who they want to chair. The student then asked who the most difficult chair was, from a student perspective. The administrator laughed and then named an English professor who is already infamous for her intense and intensely difficult classes. I had heard of this professor before, and although I've never taken a class from her, I have heard from many friends how difficult she is, especially when it comes to what you write for her. The honors admin explained that she is the most difficult because she really picks the thesis and the portfolio apart and gets the student to examine and defend every part of it. I started shaking in my shoes that day in the bus, and silently prayed that she wouldn't pick me to chair. I really worried about it for awhile but then realized that my fear was probably irrational; out of all the students who wrote theses, what was the likelihood that she would choose a random thesis about Germans in Tonga to chair?

You guessed it. Today I opened my email and there, sitting in my inbox, was a notification that my defense chair will be none other than, that's right, the very same English professor. After the initial punch-to-the-stomach kind of fear/shock, I started laughing uncontrollably. Oh, the irony. Needless to say, I'm a little bit more nervous now, but actually, I realized that I'm stoked! What better way to prepare myself for graduate school and really show that I know what I'm talking about than getting into a situation where I REALLY have to be at the top of my game? I know that any other professor would be challenging, but I have a suspicion that Heavenly Father gave me this one so that I could really stretch and humble and prepare myself. It's going to be AWESOME!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hurrah! and done

(My bro. That's right, we're an eternal family. No, you can't have him.
But you can be jealous. He really is that awesome)

Guess what?
I'm done.
The project that I have been working on for the past two years is finished.
There is a pile of 300 pages of a portfolio + a 77 page thesis now sitting neatly in a tall printed pile on the desk of some honors representative.
I am $25.67 poorer and the copy center is $25.67 richer. But they're out at least a ream of paper.

Every Saturday that I have sacrificed,
every Friday night I spent sequestered in the attic of my house,
every green and pink sticky note still stuck in the pages of dozens of old research books,
every awkward moment that resulted from answering "worked on thesis" to the question of "how was your weekend?",
every weird look David Bowie* gave me over the summer,
and every phone call/text message/email that never got returned because I was busy

will soon be worth it.
Soon I will gather with some of the people I love most in life at a decorated table in a banquet hall to eat a catered meal on BYU plates. We will wear our Sunday best and drink with our pinkies up and smile as we listen to a speech about the prestige of graduating Summa Cum Laude from a University like BYU (and knowing me, I will probably cry.)

But that's not why I did it.
I did it so that I could show the little freshman Kasia who had no confidence in her future that indeed, with the help of the Lord, she can do hard things. She can make it happen. She can reach her goals. And if she can, you can too.

So Hurrah! Hurrah for finishing what we start! Hurrah for dreaming dreams bigger than we are! Hurrah for challenges that seem insurmountable and Hurrah for surmounting them! Hurrah for the Spirit of God which makes it possible to move mountains! The challenges are not over, nor will they ever be. In the case of my thesis there's still a defense, revision, publication, and classes in the way before I'm finished. Not to mention dealing with the terrible realization ***shudder*** that I will be graduating unmarried from the University with the most eligible bachelors in the nation. haha. There must be something wrong with me. :) But for real. I know it's not over yet, but I feel so much lighter now. The end is in sight! Hurrah for Israel!

*haha! Excerpt from one of my family letters this summer explaining David Bowie: "Funny story: there is a man who works as a librarian at the Archive who, for no apparent reason, does not like me at all. The first day I came in he wouldn’t speak directly to me, and instead spoke through his coworker who was seated next to him. “She’s looking for what?” he asked, as if I wasn’t standing 18 inches from him. “Did you ask her why?” “What does she expect to find here?” “Tell her to go to the search books.” Really weird. The next time I came in he rolled his eyes as I handed him my card to check-in, but still didn’t say anything. The next time I accidentally dropped the converter plug for my laptop on the ground as I walked through the door and when it fell to the floor he spun around and glared at me then walked over quickly to snatch my card from me and walked back to his desk. Nice of him to spare me the walk there.  :) This situation is made even better by the fact that the man just looks so CLASSIC. Haha—picture 6 foot tall, medium build, leather pointy-toed shoes, button up shirt, glasses, and shoulder-length David Bowie hair. Seriously. He can hate me if I can laugh about his hair. :)"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

good day

lunch break.
sitting cross-legged on my office chair eating a ham sandwich.
listening to alan jackson.
dreaming of moving to the south
and road trips after graduation.
life is good.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

a small break....

 (note: this is not my picture)

Right now it's portfolio crunch time, and the floor of my living room is buried under stacks and stacks and stacks of papers while I try to cram five years of my greatest undergraduate achievements into one 3" binder. While digging through my files for old papers I found a gem of inspirational literature. I feel that I can justify a 20 minute break from my 15 hour sorting frenzy to share it with you.

"Are You One of The Priceless Few"
by William H. Danforth

I am on a voyage of discovery. I search for those of you who will go on a great adventure. I am looking for you, one of the audacious few, who will face life courageously, ready to strike straight at the heart of anything that is keeping you from your best; you intrepid ones behind whom the world moves forward. To you, I am going to unfold a secret power that but few know how to use--the secret power of daring and sharing which carries with it tremendous responsibilities. Once you have it, you can never be the same again. Once it is yours, you can never rest until you have given it to others. And the more you give away the greater becomes your capacity to give. Deep down in the very fiber of your being you must light an urge that will never be put out. It will catch this side of your life, then that side. It will widen your horizon. It will light up unknown reserves and discover new capacities for living and growing. It will become, if you don't look out, a mighty inferno that will consume your every waking hour. And to its blazing glory a thousand other lives will come for light and warmth and power.

It is going to take courage to let this urge posses you. My life in business and my contacts with young people have convinced me that the world is full of unused talents and latent ability. The reason these talents lie buried is that the individual hasn't the courage to dig them up and use them. Everybody should be doing better than he or she is, but only a few dare. Prospectors for gold tell us that gold is where they find it. It may be in a bed of a river or on the mountaintop. Prospectors for courage tell us the same thing; the one who dares may be found in a cottage or in a castle. But wherever you live, whoever you are, whatever you have or have not--if you dare, you are challenged to enlist in a cause.

H.G. Wells ells how every human being can determine whether he has really succeeded in life. He says: "Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ration between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have made of ourselves on the other."

I want you to start a crusade in your life--to dare to be your best. I maintain that you are a better, more capable person than you have demonstrated so far. The only reason you are not the person you could be is you don't dare to be. Once you dare, once you stop drifting with the crowd and face life courageously, powers harness themselves for your service.

Who wants to do unimportant and uninteresting things? To desire something permanent in life, to develop your gifts to the largest possible use-that's your dare. You have a wealth of possibilities, but maybe up to this time you have lacked a definite aim. I dare you to aim at something worthy of the best that is in you.

Makes you want to be better, right? Yes! Yet when I look around at all the papers on my floor and think how much more work I have to do before my goals are met, it's a little discouraging. BUT, I am trying to aim. I am trying to shoot high. Who knows where the arrow will land? Whether we live in a "cottage or a castle," the secret is in learning to dare. Amen.

Okay, now back to the books.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Brand New Year!

Two years ago, when I had just gotten back from Vienna, I watched a program for youth online called "A Brand New Year." This program influenced my life (I would say changed, but I feel like that phrase is overused and therefore, getting cheap). It got me excited (more than I already was) for all the good stuff that is to come in life, no matter who or where you are. Tomorrow can ALWAYS be brighter than today. Faith is for the future. Anyway, I can't find the exact video that I watched and loved so much, but this is the home site for "A Brand New Year," and here is this years version. Enjoy!

As the old year passes, like you, I've taken several moments to reflect on the year come and gone, the experiences I've had, and the miracles I've seen. I've taken stock of where I am now compared to where I thought I would be, and set some goals for where I want to be this time next year. Some of my resolutions:
1. Say hi to people I see that I know (I sometimes struggle with this, mostly because of plain shyness--if I seem to have snubbed you in the past, I'm sorry! I'm going to be better!)
2. Keep up on my reading in classes!
3. Stop being afraid. Of people, of situations, of events to come.
4. Study the scriptures
5. Do what matters most
6. Smile.

So far I've been doing pretty well. I've found that the best way for me to achieve a goal is to follow the SMART rule of goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Also, reminding myself of my goals helps me to stay motivated because I never forget what I'm working toward. 

This new year is going to be great. I can feel it. Specifically I'm looking forward to a few key events this year:
  •  Rugby season! starts this weekend, with our first home game on Feb. 16th. See for more info. 
  • Graduation! woot! woot! I can't wait to attend the honors banquet with my fam and take pictures next to the BYU sign (not to mention everything else graduation entails, haha)

  • Rugby world cup!!!!!!!! To be held in Auckland BEGINNING ON MY BIRTHDAY in September. How much more clear could it be that this is going to be a good year? It starts on my birthday! Not sure yet if I'll get to go to any games, but I'll keep you posted. Definitely watching it no matter what/where I am!
  • Road trips! California, the South, and the East Coast. 
  • Lots more learning! really,  I'm not all fun-focused. I'm super excited for my classes and the remaining papers I do have before I graduate. I'm planning on soaking in all the rest I can of the BYU experience before moving on. 
  • and last possibility---maybe presenting at a few more conferences and receiving some special scholarships/grants? We'll see!
 So those are some of the biggest things in my life that I'm excited about this year. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are gearing up for a whole slew of wonderful new experiences too. As always, with all the possibilities that exist in our lives and the truth that the Lord lives and the Gospel is restored, we have such great reason to rejoice!