Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trip to Arches!

So, I went to Arches National Park this last weekend to camp and hike. It was great fun!! Here's a few pictures!

This is Cory, Colin, me, and Kaylee at the north window.

So, Colin somehow got the idea for me to do his hair in a bunch of little ponytails...don't ask me why. This was the team who worked together to do it: Cory held Colin's hair back for me, and Kaylee shined the light on his head so I could see what I was doing.

This was the finished product. Oh Colin...haha

This is Seth and Kaylee and I at Pine Tree Arch.

This is the whole group that went at Landscape Arch!

I swear, Seth climbed everything there. This is one of the many (he's the one way up at the top) places he climbed up and people way down below were taking pictures.

This is the whole group at Delicate Arch. This is the one you see in pretty much every picture of Utah...ever. And it's on the license plates. The hike up was so hard. Uphill the whole way, and hardly any places to rest in the shade. But it was worth it.

Everything about the trip was so beautiful. This was my first experience in a Utah National Park, and we've got lots more trips planned for this summer. I'm stoked!!

One thing I thought about on this trip though, was pictures. We took lots of pictures, and I've been lots of places where there are lots of other tourists, every one of them taking tons of pictures. And I realized--how many peoples' pictures have I been in? How many peoples' memories will I unknowingly be a part of? It's just so strange to think about...just a thought.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I just spent a fair amount of time reading the blog of a girl I do not know. I don't even know where to begin.

From what I can gather, this girl is 24, unmarried, fat (her words, not mine), and completely and utterly unhappy. Why is she unhappy? From what I've read in her blogs, it is because not only is she unmarried, but she's completely undesirable and un-dateable. She keeps an official tally of how many dates she's been on, and it's "embarrassingly low." There were four posts on her blog: one about a completely failed date (her first, and "not her fault that it was so bad"), one about her failures at cooking, another about another completely terrible date (also, probably "not her fault"). And then the fourth was dedicated to describing the characters in the book Pride and Prejudice, and how every girl in this world can associate herself with one of the main female characters. For those who aren't familiar with the characters (and with this girl's description of them), a brief synopsis:

-Jane: the eldest sister, meek and beautiful, but not vain.

-Lizzie: headstrong and beautiful, also not vain. Both Jane and Lizzie attract men like flies to..well, you know.

-Mary: plain, untalented, and doomed to forever be a spinster. Unnoticed by all men because of her plainness, and...well, I'll just give you the girl's words: "And since beauty (or "hotness") is the only thing guys really care about, she is often left out in the cold."

-Kitty: pretty, boy-crazy, and vain. Also, a follower--she does whatever her younger sister, Lydia does.

-Lydia: the youngest of the sisters, boy-crazy, stylish, fashionable, and beautiful: and she knows it. Lydia attracts men, partially because she practically throws herself at them.

Her next statement is rather depressing:
"I am a modern Mary Bennett. I feel like I do have talents and interests, which I try to develop, but in the end, I am plain, and thus undesirable. So I am stuck here, living alone with my parents and family. And I don't see it changing anytime soon."

Wow. I can't believe that someone could possibly be so...self-loathing, perhaps? Bitter, definitely. This woman has to be one of the most depressing people to be around, ever. And this is not because of her personality, and *certainly* not solely because of her looks. Why, do you ask?

Because she cannot see any good in herself.

If she wonders why guys do not like her, perhaps she should stop looking in the mirror and start reading her blog. Someone so cynical and bitter about her life, her looks, and herself has decreased her attractiveness exponentially. I find it hard to believe that a guy has never liked her. She simply refuses to believe that she could possibly be desirable.

I have wanted to write this post for a couple of days, but haven't. And surprisingly, this blog was what prompted me to write. The purpose of this post is not to criticize this girl, although she does need help. My purpose in writing is this: if we do not like the circumstances we have been given, we can either wallow in our misery, or create the situations that we want.

First, I think something that has a huge effect on our lives, and not just in situations like this, is our attitude. Life isn't about the situations that are given to us; it's how we react to them. You can choose your attitude at all times. Someone cannot make you mad, you choose to be. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, someone cannot make you happy without you first consenting to let their actions affect you in that way. You choose your reaction, and then you live with the consequences of your reaction.

Second, we cannot be passive. If you don't like something, do something about it! Don't sit around and wait for someone else to take the initiative to do it for you. It may never get done. Be your own person. Act for yourself. I'm not saying to act in all your selfish desires, but remember that you control your life. Be the person who recognizes that, and uses it to his or her full advantage.

As a college student, I see both ends of this spectrum. I see people who don't try in classes, and complain when they get bad grades. How quickly the world owes them something, when they happen to be a noncontributing zero. But I also see those who actually try. They make an effort, and often, see their efforts rewarded. As always, there are those all in between, but I think it's the outliers who make the difference.

Be the person you want to be. Take control of your life. And most importantly, have fun with whatever situations you are in. Once again--your attitude is the key.

*Note: don't think that I'm an expert at this. It's simply something I've been thinking about lately.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Things I learned today:

1. A packet of Top Ramen is 78% of your recommended daily sodium intake!! Wow.

2. Buying a head of lettuce is much more cost effective (and stays good longer) than buying one of those pre-made and mixed packages.

3. There are wonderful people in this world who will do you favors, even if they do not know you (and also if they do).

4. I would love to cross the equator--to the southern hemisphere. I want to know what it's like to see the sun in the northern sky.

5. Well, I didn't learn this, but I had just another confirmation: I love the Gospel. The Lord has blessed my life in so many ways, and I can never thank Him enough for everything that I've been given. :)