Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Know I am Obsessed-

Well folks. . we've made it to under 200 days. 198 days until December 14th when Les Miserables is released.  I thought you'd enjoy these production shots. They'll make you as excited as I am for this movie.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is supposed to be the one day we all come together as Americans to honor all those who have died at war fighting for our country. This year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life. 
Remember: “Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave” 


Here is my dad Ken in his Navy Uniform at our Memorial Day Program. I am so proud of him!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Birthday!

The secret to staying young is to live honestly, 
eat slowly, and lie about your age.

                                                                     Lucille Ball

Well I officially turned 24 yesterday. I honestly was a little sad as my birthday came up. I felt like I was getting old, and life was sort of passing me by. Then I realized that I only felt that way because I was comparing my life to the life of my friends which is not fair at all. We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. I realized I have a lot to be grateful for especially my friends and family. 

I love my friend Holly who sends me messages like this. 
sophisticated, witty, and a hard working girl. I can't wait to hang 
out with you soon. Happy birthday Hillary!! woot 24! 
Everybody needs a friend like this. ha ha 

Mom and Jordan took me out to the Olive Garden after I got of off work. It was so yummy! I highly recommend their torteloni. The highlight of dinner was when my mom knocked over her full glass of water. It ran all over the table. Jordan was sitting right across from her, so he almost got soaked. We were joking with our waiter that instead of refilling her cup he should bring her a kiddy cup with a lid. ha ha! Our waiter seemed extra nice. He reminded of one time that I went to dinner with my friend Jura. 
Flash back about 3 years.. . . . 
Jura and I were at Mimi's Cafe. We got this really strange but super extra friendly waiter. It started out as we ordered our food. My friend Jura asked him if she could get soup with her salad instead of the muffin that it came with. And our waiter was like. I guess. Just because I like you , you can have the soup, but only you. So I got smart and asked innocently, what about me. Then our waiter kept jumping into our conversations as he’d pass our table and refill our drinks and such. At one point he came by to clear something off our table and did this spin move and than bolted off and disappeared. Just like Batman. No Joke. It was so weird and bizarre. Then the best part was when we were getting our checks. He asked us if we were paying together or separate. A valid question I thought. We told him we were paying separately. He said oh, just wanted to see if you guys were single. I just got speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I had this awful perception that he thought jura and I were there together together. I could not even speak because I almost started laughing. So jura’s like, um. . she’s single, I’m engaged. He said “oh good for him. That’s too bad for the rest of us. Ever since then I've never been able to take that question seriously. 

Anyways Here's a parting thought from my friend William Congreve
"Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, and the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase."


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First World/Rich People Problems

Poor you.

i had the weirdest most frieghtening nightmare
that my ipod cracked in half. 
and when i was arguing with my dad i thought i chucked my ipod that was already broken but instead i chucked my other not-that-broken ipod
and i was ipodless…
so scared.

One of the reasons I hate the gym.
Those stupid machines show you how many calories you are burning and you never seem to burn enough! I don’t want to know that in  an hour and a half I was at the gym, I only burned off the same amount of calories as the bagel I had for breakfast. Let me think that I burned off last night’s pizza, and monday’s Moe’s as well as my bagel. :(

Monday, May 21, 2012


    Julia Beckett believes in destiny. When she moves into Greywethers, a beautiful sixteenth-century farmhouse, she suspects that more than coincidence has brought her there. The locals are warm and welcoming, especially the eligible squire of Crofton Hall, yet beneath the ordinariness, Julia senses a haunting sadness about her new home. Then she learns of Mariana, a beautiful young woman who lived there three hundred years ago. It seems history has been waiting for Julia....." 

I really enjoyed this book. I'm not one to get sucked up into sappy romances but I found these characters very likable. I think you'll get lost in the world of Julia and Mariana, and you'll enjoy every second.
There were so many great  quotes I wanted to share. 

"I've told you once I would not force you to my will," he reminded me, drawing one finger along my upturned jawline. "When we become lovers, it will be because you desire it as much as I." His finger brushed my lips, the fleeting phantom of a kiss, before he raised his hand to his hat and bid me a polite good day. 

The past can teach us, nurture us, but it cannot sustain us. The essence of life is change, and we must move ever forward or the soul will wither and die.

"I do not want a frightened woman, nor a coy one, but one who gives love because she desires it so. If I make no promises, it is because the world is an uncertain place, and words matter little." But if you doubt the honor of my love, come"--he stretched his hand toward me, palm upward--"let me renew my pledge."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Robert Burns

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears   I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted—
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace. enjoyment, love, and pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears   I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Romeo and Juliet

Recently as I was stalking, which is a completely normal activity for me,  I discovered that there is a new version of Romeo and Juliet being filmed. It will be starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld (pictured below). To see  the rest of the cast you can click Here

Douglas Booth: 'Romeo and Juliet' with Hailee Steinfeld!

Now, I’m not sure if I’m alone in my views, but I’m not such a big fan of Romeo and Juliet. That’s not to say I’m not a fan of Shakespeare, as he is without a doubt one of the most revered writers of all time  and has made a mark on the world of literature no other author could wipe clean. I find it quite bizarre how references of Romeo and Juliet make it into love stories. I have such a difficult time accepting this tragic love when all I see are two hormonal teenagers, who think they are in love. They disregard their parent's wishes, marry in secret, get roofied by a priest, and then kill themselves. That does not say love, or in any way resemble, romance to me. 
Now, as a disclaimer, these aren't my words exactly but they express the way I feel perfectly. thanks The Crook Book Shelf and ab keuser

 Romeo is an inconstant fool. He begins the play lovesick over Rosaline and within an act is mooning over Juliet. Is it just me, or does the fact that he ditches the so called love of his life as soon as another girl comes into the picture, start ringing alarm bells. 
Juliet isn’t much better. She meets a boy at a party and is suddenly head over heels for im and vowing her love on a balcony (yes, you know the one).So, a fickle 15 year old boy and a cripplingly naïve 13 year old girl agree to get married in secret, having known each other all of six hours. They’re young, I know, but their entire situation could have been handled much better from the get go.
And then you have a case of tight britches and hot tempers with the whole Tybalt challenges Romeo, Romeo refuses, Mercutio fights instead and is mortally wounded, Romeo slays Tybalt out of grief and guilt. Thus, Romeo is exiled, but spends the night and consummates his marriage with Juliet… and then Capulet goes off the deep end, telling Juliet she WILL marry Paris or else be drowned. Which, come on… dude started the play saying she was too young to marry and then, when she seems grief stricken he forces her to get married? I’m not sure how you read that… but daddy might have some issues of his own.

So Juliet goes to the Friar for help and like any good man of the faith, he comes up with some grandiose plan that in no way involves being honest and instead gives her a “drug”  that puts her in a coma for 42 hours. The responsible adult somehow manages to be just as childish in  his handling of the situation as the kids are.

And of course we all know what happened then… Romeo doesn’t get the message in time, he goes to the crypt with his draught of poison, kills Paris, poisons himself, only to have Juliet wake seconds later to find him dead and kill herself… and THEN the families reconcile. I don’t know about you, but having the secondary characters learn something from the deaths of two completely naïve children is not what I call a satisfying ending. Stories can have morals yes, but I see no real love in this story. The Prince’s ending words are the only part of this that rings true: For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. 

Love is something that develops over time, and triumphs all other concerns. Had they been a bit older, they would have saw this, and realised acted brash and foolish would be their demise. People see this play as the book that most describes how love can last forever. I do not believe this. If love could last forever, then surely it could withstand any attacks from family members.  What do you think? Should Romeo and Juliet be classed as one of the greatest and most powerful love stories of all time? Or should it be showed in the light of what it truly is; a book about how making the wrong decisions and being reckless can lead to disaster?

Monday, May 14, 2012


I just wrote this essay for an English Class.  Everybody in my family will appreciate this story but I hope you enjoy this as well.

The Good that Came from Fear

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.” I can honestly say it took me at least twelve years, first, to accept that this statement taught a true and valuable lesson, and second, to appreciate the experiences that brought me to this realization. This is the story of my first legitimate fear. My story starts with a music lesson when I was six years old.  

Despite the amount of innate talent one may have, beginning violinists sound rough, choppy, and most of the time very squeaky. I was no exception. It is just a fact universally acknowledged in my family.  Those first lessons were painful, not only for me as the student, but also for those who had to listen to me.  My practice sessions at home were repetitive and for the most part out of tune. You can only listen to Mary Had a Little Lamb so many times before the crazy feelings set in and you want to hunt down that lamb and put it out of its misery. The great thing about beginning music students, however, is that every one of us starts out at the same skill level, zero. Gratefully, my siblings were forgiving, because all five of them also played the violin and understood that growing pains were necessary.  

After the first month of lessons, I learned what everybody else seemed to already know. Talent takes hard work and time to develop. I’ve lost count of how many people have told me the same story: “Yes, I took violin lessons for a year, but I did not sound good and it seemed like a waste of time, so I quit.”  I have to admit after my first public performance, I was almost part of this group. I enjoyed playing the violin. I was willing to practice the required time, and I learned patience; however, I didn’t realize that learning to play the violin would require more than this. It would demand courage to accept the discouragement and periodic failure which were inevitable.

Let me describe to you why my first recital was so foreboding. I was seven years old, and I had been taking violin lessons for about a year. From my own naïve perspective, I was sounding great. I had rehearsed and rehearsed, memorized my song, and I was really quite proud of what I had accomplished thus far.  The recital was an occasion to display what I had learned and to showcase my progress. We were required to dress up for the recital.   I remember wearing a maroon dress with a pattern of blue and white flowers, accented by a lace collar. I had an imposing white bow in my hair, and shiny black Mary Jane shoes with silver buckles on my feet. I felt so grown up.

Naturally, excitement was buzzing in the air as my family and I arrived at the performance hall and I took my seat among the other students. I had a smile on my face during the first few performances.  As my turn grew closer, my smile grew smaller and smaller and I begin to feel a churning in my stomach. Finally the moment of truth arrived. I arose from my squeaky chair and walked slowly toward the stage. My legs were not cooperating as I felt clumsy trying to climb the stairs to the stage without tripping or falling. I made it onto the stage and turned toward the anxiously awaiting audience.  I felt every eye in the room on me.  My knees began to shake, and I could feel the blood drain from my face.  Panic set it in.  To this day I cannot remember the name of the song I played. The only thing I do remember was feeling stiff and petrified.  I started my song playing tentatively and sensing it to be barely audible. I felt the warm burning in my eyes begin. After the first few measures, tears began to stream down my face. As I was playing, the tears fell from my cheeks, ran onto my violin, and dripped to the floor. Luckily my teacher, Jim Shupe, was kind of enough to step up and play along with me to help me finish my song. It was then that I realized I was terrified of performing and being in the spotlight.

I could not imagine anything more horrifying than having to get back up on that stage. There was absolutely no way my instructor or my parents would put me through that torture again. Of course, I was wrong. My parents were supportive and pointed out two very important facts I had ignored. First, nobody was laughing at me or making fun of me for crying. Second, I had finished my song and played it completely memorized. I hadn’t forgotten any of it.  After many traumatic performances like this first recital, I discovered the confidence and courage to control my stage fright. Part of this was the realization that I would have my parents and teacher there to support and encourage me no matter what happened.

After twelve years of lessons and performances, I have reached a point where I like sharing my talent with others. Experiences like these help establish a goal to work toward and can become a great motivating factor.  These moments help teach you to reflect on your own journey, so you say “Look at how far I’ve come already and look at the possibilities ahead of me.”  I think C.S. Lewis said it best when he taught that “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

If I had not worked through my fear, I would have quit playing the violin, singing, and performing all together. It would have caused me to miss out on so many memories and special moments with my family and friends. All of this experience has taught me that that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. Because I was able to conquer my fear and face it head on, my life has truly been changed for the better.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day


A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it's life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

"You will simply call her, 'Mom.'"

Friday, May 11, 2012

Reading Lately

I got to take a children's literature class this past semester and got to do a lot of reading! Such a fun class where all you have to do is read great books.

The Westing Game Free Online Summary Study Guide Ellen Raskin

I also joined a book club. We've met twice. 
First we read Woman Warrior-which i didn't quite have time to finish. my cousin Mandy has been so great and has summarized our discussions on her blog. Links are below.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lord Byron

    She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night 
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright 
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less, 
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress, 
   Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express 
   How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below, 
   A heart whose love is innocent!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Real Simple

I found this in our news letter at work and I thought it was really great advice!

9 Things You Can Do to Be Happy in the Next 30 Minutes

Surprising ways to instantly improve your mood.

By Gretchen Rubin
Man jumpingJoy Gosney
Being happier doesn't have to be a long-term ambition. You can start right now. In the next 30 minutes, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible. Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you've achieved some concrete goals will boost your mood.

1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you're on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better...

2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

3. Reach out. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven't seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more friendly toward you, but you'll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.

5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time organizing bills and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.

6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by e-mail, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. In fact, you can also...

7. Save someone's life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Do good, feel good―it really works!

8. Act happy. Fake it 'til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you're smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.

9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that really interests you, not something you think you "should" or "need to" learn about.

Some people worry that wanting to be happier is a selfish goal, but in fact, research shows that happier people are more sociable, likable, healthy, and productive―and they're more inclined to help other people. By working to boost your own happiness, you're making other people happier, too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mr. Yeats

Deep down in my heart, if I am being honest with myself, I think I should have studied something in the Humanities. I am very passionate about literature and music. While I do love reading I have to admit I don't know a lot about poetry, except if I like a poem or not, if it speaks to me. I have made a goal to expose my self to more poetry in a feeble attempt to teach myself. I found this poem by W.B. Yeats and a song that was composed and based on Yeats poem.

NEVER give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy. Kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.