Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this book three days ago -- I'm still crying over it and I am just now getting up the courage to face all the many emotions this book brought about.
I'm a little bit obsessed with this book right now. Think Hunger Games, only, half the action and twice the romance, and just as good.

I didn't believe this book for the first 40 pages. Didn't believe it would suck me in, didn't believe I would fall for it, get caught up in it, stay up late reading just one more chapter, ache for the characters, cry their tears, share their joy --- I didn't think I would love it.

But boy do I love this book. This book is nothing but love. Love love love.
For anyone who has ever felt the word love has "lost it's meaning" or that it is simply too inadequate, this book proves that, just like any other symbol in a system of language, it is the person who gives the meaning to the word. Since finishing this book, I have been so sappy. I tell my husband I love him about 50 times a day, and I just follow him around from room to room when he gets home from work. I have truly been infected -----
I think that the author did a fantastic job of making her characters believable. Lena did not fall in love over night, she did not change her mind about everything she had been told all her life over night, she was a realistic teenager, friend, orphan, and lover --especially for a girl who had never even felt the taste of the WORD love, let alone all that it entails inside one's very being and core and heart and soul.
This book did so many things for me. Cry, laugh, rejoice....but most of all, it made me grateful. So infinitely grateful. For language, for words, for emotions, for choice, for freedom....and of course, for love. It's more than romantic love, too. It's family love, it's self-love, it's for the love of humans in general and the very love that makes this entire universe possible ---

I am a religious person. And for me, I cannot deny this allusion to Christ: "His hair is a crown of leaves, of thorns, of flames. His eyes are blazing with light...." and then, he sacrifices himself for love.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Guest Post on Traveling Triplets!

Traveling Triplets
Make sure you check out my guest post on St. Malo, France here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Two Years.

I'm posting this a bit late, but that's just because we have had so much fun celebrating our
on September 5!!!

We went down to DC and saw the sites you're supposed to see:
Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Natural History Museum, walked past the White House, ate an expensive hot dog --- I was already tired at that point!

And while I was admiring the dinosaurs....

Adam was busy growing a pair of antlers.

Two years. My BEST two years. I've never been happier than I am now, and have been in the past two years. I'm not saying it was all easy, (do we really need to go there again?), but it definitely has been MORE than worth it. The rewards of marriage FAR FAR FAR outweigh any of the obstacles we have to go through together. 

He is my best friend, and rightfully so. He has earned that title, far and square. He knows my deeeepest darkest secrets. He knows my every breakdown, rational or not. He knows what makes me laugh, and uses that to his advantage daily. He understands, and even goes along with, my strange Seely sense of humor. He knows my pet peeves, my favorite kind of ice cream, and that I don't like mushrooms or onions. He has worked hard and spent the time and love to know me - I mean really know me. And that doesn't scare me. In fact, when I am not with him, I wish I was. I'd rather hang out with him than anyone else -- even though I see him everyday (except when I'm in Europe for a month...yeah that was a bit difficult). We are perfect fits for each other - we are so much alike, but our differences are  balancing acts to our imperfect, ever-changing and shifting life and marriage. I love him. And he loves me. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Compared to 2010:

Think we've changed?
Perhaps, but only for the better <3

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: Note to Self

Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous PursuitsNote to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Samara O'Shea
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was pretty into this book in the beginning. I really like keeping a journal, and thought it would be fun to seek out some inspiration and encouragement from a fellow journal-keeper. But what started out as a diary adventure quickly turned into Samara's biography with some cheesy homework assignments thrown in at the end of the chapter. I honestly didn't see much skill in this book - nothing that the average Joe couldn't have done. It was mostly just the author reminiscing on past journal entries, trying to tell me how to write my own - when I clearly have nothing in common with her. I don't relate to her at all, and I don't much respect some decisions she made (cheating on her boyfriend of two years, for starters). And the last chapter was a bit of a shocker and too close to porn for comfort.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

My Life as a Mormon: I am a Child of God

One of the very first lessons we learn as youngsters in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that all of us are children of God.

When I was younger, my family wasn't too active in the church, so I didn't attend Primary, the children's Sunday school, very often. My mother, however, did teach me one Primary song. This one song has stuck with me for as long as I can remember -  calming my fears, giving me peace, and erasing bad thoughts.

I am a child of God
And He has sent me here.
Has given me an earthly home,
with parents kind and dear.

I am a child of God
and so my needs are great
Help me to understand His words
before it grows to late

I am a child of God
Rich blessings are in store
If I but learn to do His will
I'll live with Him once more

So many people in this world struggle to find meaning in their lives as they ponder the question, Who am I? 
Knowing that I am a child of God has given me great purpose and comfort in my life. I have decided that being a child of God has 3 major influences in my life:
1. I know my Father in Heaven loves me. Because I am His daughter, I know He loves me more than I can even comprehend. I know he knows me personally and by name.  I know He knows what is best for me - I can trust Him when His answers are "No," or "Not yet." I know I am never alone. During high school I was 1200 miles away from my earthly father, and it was difficult at times, not having his physical support close-by. But I always knew that no matter what, I could fall upon my knees and seek out my Eternal Father in Heaven and feel His love surround me.
2. Knowing I am a daughter of God changes the way I treat myself. 

Elder Russel M. Nelson, an apostle of the Quorum of the 12, has stated:

Who are we? We are children of God. Our potential is unlimited. Our inheritance is sacred. 

If I am to achieve this unlimited potential and sacred inheritance, I must strive to always be worthy of it.

My body was created in the image of my Heavenly Father. I must treat it with the respect and honor He would want me to. Elder Nelson continues:

"How should these truths influence our personal behavior? We should gratefully acknowledge God as our Creator. ..We will regard our body as a temple of our very own. We will not let it be desecrated or defaced in any way. We will control our diet and exercise for physical fitness...As children of God, we should not let anything enter the body that might defile it. We will cherish our chastity and avoid “foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown [us] in destruction and perdition” (1 Timothy 6:9). We will “flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, [and] meekness” (1 Timothy 6:11)—traits that edify the whole

(Read the whole article here.)
3. Knowing I am a daughter of God changes the way I treat others. Everyone around me holds the same divine nature and potential that I do - everyone around me is my spirit brother or sister. I should not judge them, treat them unkindly, or put them down. Instead, I should be uplifting and kind, helping them on their own journey to return to our Father. We are in this together - we are fighting a battle against Satan, not each other.

Psalm 82:6 reads: Ye are Gods, and all of you are children of the most High.

*Remember: Comments ware welcome -

But please no hateful, critical, nasty, rude, or anything of that manner.
If ever I'm wrong about something, I'll appreciate 
helpful, respectful, and tactful feedback.
If ever I say something that intrigues you, or you want to know more about,
I'll love thoughtful, honest inquisitions.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Irene? that you?!

If you hadn't heard....
after stocking up on water, flashlights, batteries, canned food, and trail mix ---
we survived Hurricane Irene! 
And we didn't even lose power.

Our church was cancelled on Sunday due to the storm - and because the day before had also been spent just lounging around, tracking Irene online, we wanted to be productive on Sunday while still keeping the Sabbath holy.

Our solution?

I've been asking Adam to paint me a Nativity scene for the longest time. Here's the beginning of what I'm sure will be a beautiful portrayal of Christ's birth.

...and let that be a great lead-in to MY a-six-year-old-could-have-done-better painting:

I'm just a weee bit excited for the holidays coming up.