Thanks for your votes, blogosphere. You were hilarious, and I only wish I could have switched my survey so it was not anonymous and I could see who was submitting your creative ideas. In the end, though, the data all pointed to one of my favorite options and the decision seemed so clear:
In other news, big things are happening, world. I had been wanting to announce this for a while, but I had to wait until I got departmental approval, which I now have. There is a little bun in my sister's oven. Hmm, I don't really like that phrasing; it makes Heather sound like a baby cooker, but the link is already in there, so sorry, Heath. But, yes, it is true, the first little one from my generation on the Harrison side is set to come into the world this June and we are thrilled.
Other less big, but still marvelous news, my friend gave me her exercise orb and it is probably the funnest object we own. If you dive on to it just right, you can use it for travel from the front door to our desk OR from the living room to the bathroom. I'll never have to walk again!
Hello, world! Lately I have becoming increasingly technology savvy due to a number of technology related requirements for my major. I am one who definitely prefers the hard copy to electronic doodads, but I am so pleased and proud of my tiny but growing tech literacy, I just want to gather all my over 65-year-old friends together and teach them all the wonders I have learned with Excel.
Yesterday, I sent Jason the following quiz hand to mouse crafted by moi, which I am now submitting to you, world, because your vote matters to me.
(Yes, you may really vote; I encourage it. There are also some inspirational photographs below if you are having trouble deciding.)
I am so glad I ran across this Simon William's shot of Jason at the Hare Krishna festival so long ago, because his face is such a better representation of the remarkable fall colors we saw yesterday than the few photos we snapped on our slow roll through the mountains.
It is so dazzingly clear at times that Nature is sacred and sculpted from a Master's hand. I love those communion-like moments when you come tired and burdened to these quiet places and leave rejuvenated and feeling more connected to God and to the whole.
I interview farmers for my job and I've met some of the hardest working people in Utah and so many have lamented the pressures on today's fast-paced folks. One woman had said that even with entertainment, there is so much flash and expectation on everyone: people feel like they have to be doing something at every moment of the day. Now, I am not criticizing busy, productive people--I think it is wonderful to use your time in ways that will benefit others and yourself, but I am suggesting that there is a holiness and peace in the quiet nothingness of being. It does not make for exciting conversation ("So, what did you do today?" "Mostly meditated and thought about breathing.") but sometimes, having an hour on pause makes the fast-forward so much more manageable.
Yes, that is his hand circling those scriptures, and yes that is him walking up the stairs with his beloved companion, Elder Lewis, who looks so remarkably like him. Who knew that his missionary service would lead to his first starring role in a film?
So it turns out Heather is the cutest bride in the world, as evidenced below:
A three week engagement makes for some stressful planning, but I think it makes the celebration day even sweeter. For one thing, we were privileged to witness the generosity of friends and neighbors. We had all kind of assumed that Heather would have to make some sacrifices in putting together a wedding so quickly, but we had countless offers of assistance, even with a bunch of other friends busy, busy, busy with the August wedding rush. It was pretty overwhelming the lengths people were willing to go to and the things that they were willing to undertake to support Heather and our family. For example, we got two independent offers from friends to construct a wedding dress for Heather despite (and because of) the time constraint; we had a friend throw a big, beautiful bridal shower for Heather; we had friends in the kitchen at the reception all day preparing tasty treats, including vegetables from another friend's garden; we had a friend pick up the cake the day of the wedding; we had people helping with flowers; flying out to take pictures; coming and dancing at the reception before making it out to the other wedding reception happening in our ward. It was a great, great day and a huge part of that, at least for us Harrison people, was because of the staggering amount of love and support we experienced. Thanks, everyone.
Also, I highly recommend giving a visit to Jordan and Heather's photographer's blog, because really, I wasn't joking about Heather being the cutest:
Post-wedding, I made it safely back to Utah after taking a tiny detour to Las Vegas due to bad weather in Salt Lake. Aside from a bit of airsickness, the flight was lovely and the airline gave us three snacks and two drinks because they felt so badly about landing us in the wrong city. No problem, Southwest; your mistake equals my Ginger Ale.
Just before walking to the grocery store today, I got this secret surprise from the best husband in the world, Jason:
It's been a while and I have so much to report, but l'Internet has been l'idiot in our homestead and it has finally triumphantly returned with much rejoicing on the part of Jason and me. First of all, nation, notice the partial profile of that studly missionary on the right celebrating Independence day:
Yes, America, that is my awesome brother's ear as he looks into the crowd of cheering Provoians, including his two sisters and brother-in-law. Elder Harrison promptly ran to Heather and me and gave us hi-5s, which made my sister cry with joy.
I have been secretly determined to sometime run into my brother on his mission in a non-breaking-rules kind of way and with the parade I thought, hoorah, dream fulfilled. But, while I was minding my own business, polishing off a thing of chips and salsa and watching this Brazilian movie with Jason, who should knock on my door, but the missionaries looking for food and an opportunity to share the Gospel.
I am a huge fan of my brother. He is a hero of mine, and I was happy that the day I got to see him I was clad in the shirt I made for him with his face on it. He was so great, and so thirsty, and he shared this sweet testimony with us and I was so proud of him. I really was--he was just sharing this little spiritual thought with us, but it was so honest and thoughtful and I am just so grateful to have such an amazing brother.
But wait, there's more news--Jason got a new job; I got a new calling (no more nursery, but I only cried 1.5 times because now I get to be in the Beehives!); we hiked the Y after eating a whole pizza, which was not a winning combination, but we ran into Billy Angie and they took us to Spoon Me and that combo wins every time; Heather is most likely getting published with her a.maz.ing personal essay; Kimberlee and Simon got married and I got to see so many friends; and I loved Toy Story 3. Here's another exciting thing--Dad's birthday is tomorrow. I don't want to overuse the word "hero" on my blog, but Dad's my hero, too.
If I was confident that you, my 6 to 10 religious readers were reading the all words in this lengthy post, I might recount the amazing adventure that was June 26th, but instead I will just show you this joyous picture of us and our Burger King cup man and tell you it was really fun.
Tomorrow Jason and I will celebrate our first anniversary of marriage. I have always thought Jason was a great person, but after spending practically everyday together and being fully aware of one another's faults, I have come to the conclusion that if all men were like unto my husband, the world would be a better place. Yes, we would probably be suffering from a world-wide shortage of milk, but we would also have people walking around so concerned for each other's well-being that we would all be lifted up from our mutual support and interest in one another. I feel so lucky and honored to have a patient, kind husband who loves me and wants me to be happy and I just wish every person could have this great blessing.
Here's a picture from each month of the last year documenting some choice adventures (really just adventures when the camera was present):
Oh, by the way, I love you, Jason. Happy anniversary.
I wouldn't describe myself as being particularly discontented with my life experience. Au contraire--there are very few things I don't like or don't warm up to. However, I take issue with the life-size wax person in Pioneer garb lurking in a poorly lit corner of BYU's library. There should be a sign or caution tape or one of those yellow stands they put up to show wet floors (but this one would have a picture of a lady Pioneer versus a person mid fall)--something to alert library patrons that creepiness is approaching but will not cause physical harm. Perhaps they could mount a large, brightly colored poster that says something to the effect of "this person is not real and not scary." I say put that wax woman in a well-lit, well advertised area, or hide her in whatever catacomb from which she sprang.
Also, Jason is in Deutschland right now. (I take no issue with that, but I do miss him.)
Jason and I have been married for nine months. We are a newborn baby of love, true. Getting our wedding pictures together has not been an easy process and I kind of wanted to present it to you with bells and whistles and banners flying. Or at least have the photos in order. I decided, though, that you are probably on pins and needles by this point just aching to see these bad boys. I know how rough it must have been for you all waiting for this moment and I just wanted to take you out of your misery and publish the whole lot before you. I expect in the future to do some more arranging and whatnot with them all, but I figure if your reading this little website, there is probably a great shot of you in here, so here you go:
The first half of the photos were taken by Jana Beck and the second half by Simon Williams and Kimberlee Sirstins. If you find you need your picture taken, I can pass their information along lickedy-split.
Jason and I have found the song we have decided to sing at our fiftieth wedding anniversary, much thanks to Tracy:
However, my dear friend K-sirs, soon to be K-williams said I might be able to debut our performance at her upcoming wedding in June, which I am willing to oblige.
On a different note, I have recently discovered certain features on my camera that allow me to do the following:
And all on my camera! I don't know if anyone is looking for a photographer, say for perhaps a wedding, who might need frames, angel wings, or expressions written across their faces, but all I am saying is--
So I was listening to classic rock on the radio today. Why you ask? Because classic rock is the greatest genre of music, of course. There are other kinds of great music but classic rock is simply the best overall genre. I mean 'classic' is right in the name. What else do you need? I am greatly distressed with the kind of music passing for classic rock today. I love a good Coldplay song but they are not classic rock. But I digress.
I heard the song "Werewolves of London" today, which I highly recommend. There is a point in the song where he says "I'd like to meet his tailor," speaking of the werewolf, of course. I thought about that line and other such statements given in similar situations and thought about how ridiculously stupid it is. Picture this:
"So you're the werewolf's tailor?" "Yeah." "Wow. What's that like?" "Well I have to fix his clothes a lot." "Really! Like, how often?" "About once a month, I guess. That's how it works with werewolves, isn't it?" "Yeah I guess it is. This is so cool."
Jason and I have been under the weather, so naturally we watched Muppet Treasure Island yesterday in our bedroom. I put my wedding ring on the bedside table as usual and slipped in and out of napping and empathizing with pirate and Muppet friends experiencing the under-appreciated disease, Cabin Fever.
This morning I went to put on my ring as usual and I only found my engagement ring. I search all around the table and surrounding area for my wedding band and I couldn't find it. I felt really unsettled about that so I spent a fair amount of my morning searching. I dismantled the bed, searched through the books we have on our bed stand in case it rolled in the pages or something (one of which being The Lord of the Rings, which unfortunately yielded no tangible results), I shook out every piece of clothing I wore yesterday and I just couldn't find it.
I tried to go through my normal morning routine, but losing my ring really threw off my groove. I was sadder than after we ran out of wedding presents to open, in which situation, I looked like this:
I even had to call Jason for a pep talk. I kept praying to find my ring and just felt like I was getting no response. It occurred to me that my wedding ring was more important to me than I had previously thought. It wasn't just the actual thing, but the symbol-- the evidence on my finger that I am married, though the ring itself was also a factor. I love my ring, I remember Jason giving it to me and the things he said and how excited I was to have it.
Even more disturbing was the prospect of not finding it after praying. I wanted to feel the Holy Ghost guiding me and helping me get on to the bigger issues of the morning and it seemed like I was alone hung up on this tiny, gray band.
I have been reading a lot of literature lately alluding or directly stating that God is an illusion that humans need to keep their balance. The theory is that He does not really exist, but we need the idea of him, if only to give us hope and inspiration to be our best selves. I have thought, well, that is simply not true, because I do need God everyday. He has to be real, more than simply because I need Him, but because there is evidence of Him everywhere, right?
I kept thinking about my seminary classes and how I had learned that people in the early days of the church had left over issues like spilt milk and other such seeming nonsense. The consensus of the class was that they left because their testimonies were not rooted within them and these small events were the push to leave.
I started to consider the question Would my lost ring be cause to shatter my testimony? I sat with my Frosted Flakes in a completely existentialist moment and realized that no it is not.
As much as I love my ring, not finding it would not mean that Jason and I were no longer in love or married anymore. It was a symbol of our marriage, not a reflection of the thing itself. And not getting an answer would not shatter my testimony, as much as I like my ring. I always seem to get what I want, and I thought, if God was not giving me something, it was not because He didn't want to or, worse, because He wasn't there, it was because he wanted me to grow.
My ring fell out of the sweatshirt I had repeatedly shook out this morning.