Sunday, October 30, 2011

I like my birthdays, every one . . .

Birthdays are just good things.

And this birthday was especially good. I'll tell you 21 reasons why:

1. It was just beautiful on my birthday. Clear skies, crisp fall air . . . mmm. I was born for October weather. So good thing I was born in October.

2. Birthday princess ribbon. It's pretty cool.

3. Birthday flowers from my family. :)

4. Birthday pie from my family. Swedish Apple Pie. Mmmm.

5. People saying "Happy Birthday" to me. I don't care how old you are, it is just fun to have people recognize you.

6. Michelle's super-long "Happy Birthday" song.

7. We got our disposal fixed.

8. Nice birthday notes and e-mails.

9. Phone calls from loved ones.

10. Hair that curls just right.

11. Being taken out to birthday ice cream by a good friend.

12. Birthday breakfast muffins.

13. Blowing out a candle. Because it wouldn't fit in the pie. But I still get to keep the wish, right?

14. Making new friends.

15. Getting to see my sister.

16. Getting to see my cousin.

17. Sticky-notes all over my room.

18. Getting "Happy Birthday" sung to me by my roommates and my roommates' home teachers.

19. Freaking out because Sharisa got her MISSION CALL!

20. Dancing on the balcony because Sharisa got her MISSION CALL!

21. Sharisa opened up her MISSION CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission, speaking Russian! So exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was just a good day all around. Yay birthdays.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chapter 21

For most books, Chapter 21 is towards the end of the story.

For mine, it's only the beginning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In Which I Go to Boston in the Fall

. . . and by Boston, I mostly mean Concord, Massachusetts. Which is probably one of my favorite places on earth.

I went to the good ol' MA to visit my grandmother, and we had a lovely time.

And it was autumn, which is my favorite season. And New England knows how to do it right . . . even in those years when it's the worst foliage in living memory (read: the trees weren't as pretty as I was hoping or expecting). But even in years when New England does it wrong, they still do a lot right.

Case in point:

 Tree in Amherst, Massachusetts

My grandmother knows me well, so we went on many literary adventures, including Amherst, Massachusetts and Middlebury/Ripton, VT to visit Emily Dickinson's and Robert Frost's homes, respectively. 

 Do you see the path in the trees? Emily Dickinson called it a lane "wide enough for two in love." So cute. 
 Emily Dickinson's house. 

I learned a lot about Emily Dickinson on the tour. Like, did you know she was a redhead? I didn't. I always assumed she was a brunette. Also, she loved Middlemarch. She loved to bake. She had a basket on a string in her room, and she would lower bread in a basket down to her young nephew and his friends. Going to her house and learning more about her made her more real to me.  

 Middlebury, Vermont. Imagine all of the bare trees a blazing red. That's what I'm told it usually looks like. Still, beautiful. 
 It's a YELLOW WOOD!!!!!! Okay, I know he wrote "Road Less Taken" in 1920, and he probably never came to Middlebury, VT until the 1930s, but I don't care. It's just too cool. This is a "yellow wood" and he decided to live by one! It's just too much. 
 Two paths diverging in a yellow wood! Ahhh! He decided to live by a fork in the road! It seriously was a little too much for my English major heart. I was hyperventilating. Giddy at the very least. My heart was dancing. I almost started dancing. It's just too perfect. And don't worry, I walked on both paths just so I could say I "took the one less traveled by." 



 Ankle-deep in leaves. 
 This picture does not do justice. The smile on my face is only a mere shadow of the happiness in my soul. 

Besides the exquisite adventures outside of Concord, we also visited the Old Manse, which is right by the Old North Bridge. The Old Manse is where Emerson wrote Nature, the philosophical tract which started the transcendentalism movement. It's also where Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote Tales from an Old Manse, some of the founding texts of American Romanticism. Also, Emerson's great-great grandmother and her children watched the Battle of the Old North Bridge (aka the Shot Heard 'Round the World) from an upstairs window. 

Another cool thing about the windows? Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne etched little notes to each other on the glass using Sophia's diamond ring. And reading them at sunset by the "golden light" Sophia etched in the 1800s? So cool. Another cool thing? There's a piano from 1864. And the tour guide let. me. play. it. Probably one of the best tours of my life. 

We also went to the Old North Bridge, which is one of my favorite places on earth. I know I've already said that about Concord, but it's true. The Old North Bridge is such a peaceful place, and there's also such a spirit of freedom and bravery there. It is where the colonists first took their freedom into their own hands, and put their "life, fortunes, and sacred honor" on the line. And you can feel it. It is hallowed ground. 

 "By the rude bridge that arched the flood/Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,/Here once the embattled farmers stood/And fired the shot heard round the world." 
River shot of the Bridge. 

You're probably getting tired of pictures and of me talking. But let me just say that I love Massachusetts. And New England. And autumn in general. And this great lady, in particular, for letting me come out and visit her: 

I am blessed beyond words for such a loving, generous family. And two incredible grandmothers. I think I'm only now beginning to see how much God has given me. 

I am one lucky girl. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweet dreams are made of these?

I still have to blog about Boston. But let me just say, it was a great trip. Pictures to come soon, because they make me giddy.

Umm . . . so I have some crazy dreams. Anyone who knows me knows this. Sometimes they are Harry Potter-awesome. Other times they are as crazy as Willy Wonka.

And--more often than you'd think--they are morbid. 

When I tell people this, they usually say: "Sweet little Megan, morbid?"

Well, it's true folks. 11 out of 10 Freudians agree that my subconscious is fascinated with morbidity.

My Cambridge buddies remember that weird avant-garde dream with pineapples and head-mashers, right?

Yeah. Last night's dream was even worse. Hard to believe, I know.

But can you say concentration camp and blood-saturated grass?

It was terrible.

Any suggestions on what I should do to avoid morbid dreams? Any idea why they keep happening?

Heeeeeeeelllllpppppppp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Quick Update(s)

Hello world,

Blogging's taken a low priority because of . . . well, because of what I'm going to post just now. You know the drill: school, work, life.

This has probably been the busiest semester of my life. I didn't know it was possible for me to do so many things and still keep going. Honestly, it overwhelms me to think of it all, so I just do a Dory: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . ."

- School. I'm taking 16 credits. And they're upper-level English and History classes which means A LOT of reading, writing, and research. And reading sad books, which just takes a toll on my emotions and question the humanity of mankind. Bah.

-Speaking of school, one of my assignments for my History of Modern Germany class is to digitize, catalogue, and transcribe a micro-reel. Remember how excited I was for this micro-reel? It's a long story, but basically, it was the wrong micro-reel (there were documents from the 1840s in Michigan about Indian Affairs . . . nothing about Germany). So now I have new PDFs which actually are about Germany. And it's very interesting and neat to read . . . but it's so loooonnnnnggg. I've spent 7 hours cataloguing 313 reels. And I still have more than 100 to go. But it's worth it, even if I do complain.

- Work. I have two jobs this semester, and I love working at both of them. I'm a writing tutor at the Writing Center, and I'm a Writing Fellow. Lots of reading. Lots of writing. Lots of thinking. And just great people. My co-workers=prima.

- Scholarship. I was fortunate to receive the Wheatley Scholarship this summer. It was a blessing and complete surprise that I got it (and it's the first time the scholarship has been awarded!). So I've been busy with events for that. But again, completely and entirely worth it.

- Research. Besides researching for my classes, I've also been working with a professor. I'm editing an academic trade book for him and helping him find a publisher for said book.

- Mission. I've started my mission papers (eep!). I'm probably about half-way done with them. It's incredible to think about . . . wow. I'm going on a mission. I'm going on a mission! It's exciting and scary and humbling and wonderful all at the same time. It's been a hard decision for me; harder than I thought it would be. But it's my decision. And I just want to help bring people to Christ, and be an instrument in God's hands. It is one of the deep desires of my heart.

- Other stuff. You know. Finding time alone. Socializing. Laughing. Pondering. Baking. Singing. Running. Sleeping. The stuff life is made of.

So I don't know how often you'll hear from me this semester. I'll try to remember my poetry. And I do have one post that I have to write down. But who knows when that will come.

Then again, blogging is therapeutic (I just went there). Maybe I'll come by more often than not.

(And maybe I should have titled this post Not-so-quick updates.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Epic Fail 2

Forgetting to put a baking pan under an uncooked pie. 

Ohhhhhh man. 

Go me. 

(Bah! The thing is I know I'm supposed to put a baking pan under pies! I just forgot! Just plain forgot.) 

Epic Fail +2, Megan 0. 


I had a failblog-worthy moment today.

First of all, I am a cheerful dork and I like waving at people I know and smiling at people I don't know. I'm just trying to do my best to make BYU campus a better place. Yes, I'm THAT girl. Sorry if it weirds you out.

So, I was up on the 4th floor of the JFSB, working out something with finances. I was walking back to the stairs and I saw a girl that I haven't seen since freshman year. She was in a hurry, so we only had time to say hello-goodbye, but when I turned to say goodbye, I really did turn. And I kept walking without knowing where I was going.

Bad idea, Megan.

I ran into a mother with a stroller--like, literally ran into her. And I almost made her miss her elevator.


Luckily, she was totally cool about it, and laughed at my dorkiness, but still!

Epic fail +1, Megan 0. 

Reasons Why This Year's General Conference was Generally Great

- President Monson's cheery "hello!"

- New temples
       - New PROVO temple! I am so excited for this temple; I can already see the headlines and commemorative books for the new Provo Tabernacle Temple: "Out of the Fire," "Refiner's Fire," etc., etc.
       - Speaking of which, what are they going to call the new Provo Temple? Provo Temple 2.0? Provo Center Street Temple? Provo Tabernacle Temple? Premple?

-Watching the wiggly Primary children's choir. It was so funny watching them trying not to look at the camera.

- Messages that I needed to hear; phrases and moments meant just for me.

- Being home with family for two days.

- Being reminded of the truthfulness of the gospel.

- Being reminded of my Savior's love for me.