Sunday, December 13, 2009


Change is becoming a more and more constant thing in my life. It's crazy how you feel like you're just getting settled into a normal routine and then, out of of nowhere, another curve ball gets thrown at you. As a person who looks at change as a necessary evil, this year has not been the most fantastic year of my life, but when I think about it some more, it has probably been the most rewarding.

Let me explain. I started out my college life at BYU with five absolutely amazing roommates. Melissa, Shauntelle, Sandee, Kory, Caitlin, and I got along so well. Sure, we had our differences but those differences allowed us to try and rid ourselves of our annoying sides and try to develop our good ones.
I remember praying before I went to college that I would get roommates who would help me come out of my shell. I had always been rather shy and I tend to rely on other people to make friends. My first room-roommate was Sandee. She, like me, is from California (all the other girls are from Idaho) and she was outgoing and fun. Within the first few days of the school year, she, along with my other roommates, helped me make friends within our ward. Little by little, I began to open up and I've found that ever since then, I've been able to make friends more easily. Our sophomore year, Sandee went off to the Jerusalem Center and we got a new roommate, Julie. She fit in with our little group perfectly and we had a lot of fun together. Shauntelle, however, decided it was time to trade us in for a better roommate. She got married in December of our sophomore year (a year ago next Sunday).

Us at Shauntelle's bridal shower
Us at Shauntelle's wedding in Salt Lake.

After that, they started dropping like flies. Sandee started dating a guy that she met at the Jerusalem Center during Winter semester of sophomore year and got married in August of 2009.

Melissa went off to study abroad in London and by September, Julie, Caitlin, and Kory were all engaged.

Here we are at Julie's, Caitlin's, and Kory's bridal shower.

So now, Melissa and I are the only ones left single. Melissa will be living at a different apartment complex next semester, however, so I will be getting all new roommates. I'm going to miss these girls so much! They have become some of my best friends. We know what annoys each other; we know what we can do to make each other happy.

But change, is necessary and though I can't see it now, it's probably good too.

The South Has Risen Again!

Thanksgiving break was awesome this year! My sister Lisa and I flew to Tennessee to visit our grandparents and my aunt and uncle.

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner! We had some good 'southern food.' I definitely never had corn pudding before this trip. It all tasted so good!

Being history majors, Lisa and I couldn't visit the south without seeing a few Civil War sites. On one of our outings, we went to the battlefield where the Battle of Murfreesboro took place. It was so cool!

The soldiers had a hard time moving their cannon through the rocky terrain. Oftentimes, the cannons would break and they would have to leave them behind.

As the Confederate soldiers came running after them, the Union soldiers fled into this group of trees and hid between the rocks. They were discovered, however, and this little patch of ground has come to be known as The Slaughter Pen.

This is a cemetery for the Union soldiers who died during the Battle of Murfreesboro.

The next day, we went out and visited some plantations. The first one we went to was the Rippavilla Plantation. General Hood met with his fellow Confederate military officers here during the Battle of Franklin.

This is the view from the porch of the Rippavilla Plantation. It's beautiful there!

This is the Carter house that served as the Union headquarters during the Battle of Franklin. Thousands of soldiers died in and around this house.

This is the plantation that served as the Confederate headquarters during the Battle of Franklin. There was a reenactment of the battle the day we were there.

It was an awesome trip! I'd recommend it to anyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I realized today that I haven't taken a single picture this semester. And since we just recently had cleaning checks, I thought I'd start taking pictures of our spotless apartment. So here's a little tour of the place I come home to everyday. (The kitchen and bathrooms will be excluded for good reason.)

This is my side of the room. I got that shelf that frames my bed at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it's awesome! As you can tell, I've got about a million books this year and since our apartment doesn't really have any storage space, it's been a great addition to my room.

This is what I like to call my "fun" book collection. These are the books I read for fun during those rare moments of spare time. Unfortunately, I haven't had too many of those this semester. (I haven't been able to read Harry Potter in so long...) But even if they don't get read very often, they make great decorations ;)

My roommates haven't had much time for decorating the apartment this year. I guess being engaged takes up a lot of time. And since three of my roommates are engaged, I'm the only person in our apartment who really made the time to make our apartment look cute, which is fine. I've come to realize that I like to decorate.

Who would have thought that storage boxes covered in table cloths make great tables?

My roommates and I made these "corkboard scrapbook things" last year. They work great for our Roommate pictures and remind us of the good ol' days when all of us were...uh...single, haha!

I also made this collage this year. I found a website that had a bunch of famous pictures from American history. I think it's cute. (And you can totally see my reflection in the glass.)

And this is the view from my apartment complex. Not bad, eh? I wish I had my camera out so that I could have taken a picture of the sunset yesterday. It was amazing!

I hope you enjoyed your tour!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Why I'm An English Minor and Not An English Major

There are two reasons why I could never be an English major:

Reason #1: The other day, as I sat listening to other people's comments in my Native American Literature class, I realized something about English majors themselves that bugs me like nothing else: they LOVE to hear themselves talk. They sit there bloviating for minutes on end about a simple question that probably only required a one sentence answer. In order to speak for as long as possible, they say the same thing over and over again just in different ways. Someone in class will start to speak and and then come up with a list of adjectives that are all synonymous just so they can hear themselves talk for two more minutes. For example, (a poor one but you'll get the gist of what I mean): "This quote from the book shows that these people were sad and unhappy and gloomy and sorrowful and dejected and depressed and miserable and disconsolate..." I could go on forever.

Reason #2: I think we sometimes dig too deep into books in English classes. It always happens at some point during the semester where I lay down a book after a deep class discussion and think, Did the author really want to comment on the status of women in 19th century society? Did she really write this big elaborate romance novel just to provide a social commentary? With certain books I can understand why we need to read between the lines a little bit to understand what the author is getting at, but other books I just want to walk up to a teacher and ask, "Has it ever occurred to you that the author was just trying to tell a simple story?"
Did I completely miss the mark or do these things bug anybody else?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Home Away From Home

I have discovered something this year that has brought tremendous happiness to my career as a college student: the Harold B. Lee Library is not a torture chamber.
My experiences in the BYU library before I had this revelation were somewhat less than enjoyable. The first time I entered the building my freshman year, I was so overwhelmed with it's size that I took a few steps into the Periodicals section and then quickly turned and left. There was no way I was going to find anything in there! The next time I got the nerve to cross the threshold into the library was when I was given an assignment that forced me to spend a few hours pouring over microfilms of early church history. By the time I left the library, I felt dizzy and had an earsplitting headache. Looking at pages and pages of words moving a mile a minute over a very bright screen never made anyone feel healthy. Needless to say, my attitude toward that building was never a very pleasant one.
But all that changed for me a couple of weeks ago. I am currently enrolled in the beginning course for the History major, Historian's Craft (History 200). Now if you don't know what a historian's craft is supposed to be, let me clue you in: research papers. As I sat there in class, listening to my teacher go over the syllabus, I suddenly realized that I would have to get over my fear of the library very soon. I picked my topic for my research paper (the influence of the "God-is-on-our-side" mentality on the Revolutionary War) and I decided to face my fear and head to the library. Trembling, I managed to find my way over to the Social Sciences section. I sat down at the nearest computer and found the location of a book that might have something to do with my topic. I searched the rows and rows of books and finally matched the hard copy to it's call number. Then it hit me. I was in an aisle containing hundreds and hundreds of books about the Revolutionary War. They weren't just any books either; many of them were primary sources (exactly what I need for my paper)! The Papers of George Washington, the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, collections of letters and journals of Continental and British soldiers, the Journals of Congress, etc. I was in a gold mine! Suddenly, the library had become an amazing source of knowledge in my eyes. I couldn't believe how much information about my favorite subject was stacked on those shelves that, only a few minutes before, had seemed so daunting.
My ignorant beliefs and fears now pushed aside, the library has now become the ideal place for me to study. The intimidating shelves are now some of my closest associates and the frightening books and I are now thick as thieves. So, watch out Disneyland! You've got some competition for the title of "Happiest Place on Earth!"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Books That Have Had an Impact On Me

My roommate recently wrote a note on Facebook about the books that have impacted her life so I decided to do the same thing.

1776 by David McCullough

Yes, I love American history but the main reason I love this book is because it's a true story of a man and his army who try again and again to overcome such overwhelming odds. After suffering defeat after defeat against the British, the Continental Army was able to pick up the pieces and move on and, in the end, succeed.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

This is going to sound cheesy but these books illustrate a great story of good vs. evil. It's the story of a young boy who wasn't really extraordinary in any way except one: he was the only one who could defeat the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. He wasn't blessed with any amazing abilities. He wasn't even spectacularly clever. He just had the courage to do what was necessary and what had to be done in order to overcome evil and save those he loved. (Judging by the number of times I've read these books, they are probably my favorite books of all time.)

Persuasion by Jane Austen

This is the story of a woman who experienced serious disappointment in her life. While much of the disappointment was brought on by her own decisions, she had been dealt a rather difficult hand. But the heroine of the story learns that while things may not happen to us according to our own timetable, the things we want to happen will come in time if we simply follow what we believe to be right and hope for the best.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

This is a fascinating story about revenge. The main character in the novel was falsely accused and spent many years in prison for a crime he did not commit. After he escaped from prison, he made up his mind to take revenge on all those responsible for making his life miserable. Through study and careful plotting, he achieved his goal. But when all was said and done, the satisfaction he expected to feel after ruining all these lives was nonexistent and he found that bringing others low did not bring him any higher.

We Were Not Alone by Patricia Reece Roper and Karola Hilbert Reece

This is the amazing true story about an LDS family living in Berlin during WWII. There were many struggles and trials that the family had to face, but there were also many miracles that occurred because of the individual members' faith and their diligence in keeping the commandments of God.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This is the best version of the Cinderella story ever written, but it is also a wonderful story about sacrifice and courage. By sacrificing the thing she wanted most to save the lives of others, Ella later gained everything and more. (That's not much of a review, but it's a great and complex storyline that I could never do justice to here.)

The Kaleidoscope Season by Sharon Downing Jarvis

This is a coming-of-age story about a young girl named Emily Jean who was brought up by her grandmother because of the untimely deaths of her parents and her twin sister when she was just a baby. Her grandmother was a devout Protestant Christian and sent the LDS missionaries away whenever they came to call. Emily Jean yearned to know her mother and father, but her grandmother rarely spoke of them because Emily's father had been a Catholic. But after several events that turned Emily's rather controlled life upside down, Emily realized that the message she needed to hear was taught by the LDS missionaries and from them, she learned the wonderful truth that she would be able to see her family again someday.

There are many more books out there that have affected me, but this blog post would have to be about a hundred feet long for me to do every one of them justice. All I can say is, keep reading! There is some great stuff out there!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bags Unpacked, I'm Ready To Go

I'm back at BYU for my Junior year of college. I'm not going to lie; I wasn't too excited about coming back this year, but now that I'm here and all settled into my apartment, I'm starting to get used to the idea. But there will always be things that I will miss about home.
I'm going to miss:
  • reading books for pleasure
  • seeing the green hills of the Bay Area during the wintertime
  • good internet service
  • snow-less winters
  • having my own room
  • close proximity to family
  • our amazing shower and good water pressure
  • my parents' huge movie selection
  • going to my home ward
  • friends from home
  • having a large gum supply
  • storage space
  • no homework
I'm back in good ol' Provo and dealing with everything else that comes with it.
I'm not looking forward to:
  • ice-covered sidewalks
  • a jam-packed fridge
  • homework
  • my custodial job
  • a tiny kitchen
  • horrible internet service (which is miraculously working right now)
  • only seeing family on holidays
  • having almost no TIME!
As more of my roommates start coming in, I'm getting more and more happy to be back. I just want the year to start so that I can get into a routine that works for me. And while a lot of the things that come packaged with returning to school seem a little daunting, I am excited to be back at BYU and to see what this next year has in store for me. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Trying to Be Artsy

Since I don't have a job this summer to take away any of my free time, I've had a lot of opportunities to try my hand at some more painting projects. I've made quilt squares using fabric paint before, but I've been focusing more on making wall-hangings this summer. Here are a few samples of my work:

These first paintings are based off of Mary Engelbreit drawings. These next ones are paintings I did of flowers that I took pictures of at the Berkeley Rose Garden:

I've still got some painting techniques I have to work on but, for the most part, I like the way these ones turned out. I think I probably have way too much time on my hands, though.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

I think many of us look back at the year 1776 as a glorious time of change and patriotism for the United States of America. In reality, the year the Declaration of Independence was written and signed was far from the triumphant and victorious period of American history that we learn about in our high school history classes. It was a time of uncertainty and betrayal, a time when the fate of the 13 colonies was not at all clear.
The spirit of the troops started out high at the beginning of 1776 after the successful defense of Boston and the Continental Army's taking of the high ground on Dorchester Heights. But after a few months of making preparations to defend the city of New York, the British Army planned a very successful surprise night attack on the spread-out troops of the Continental Army. The battle, which became known as the Battle of Brooklyn or the Battle of Long Island, was a crushing defeat for the colonists and for General Washington. After the Continental Army left New York, they were defeated in several more battles, including the capture of Fort Washington by the British in which over 2000 Americans were taken prisoner.
People, including many of Washington's generals and closest friends, began to question his capability. The morale of the army was very low. Hundreds of soldiers deserted the army in the winter of 1776 because of lack of warmth, shoes, adequate clothing, and hope. Many of the British believed the conflict to be over and that the colonists had finally come to their senses. In the midst of one of the darkest hours in our nation's history, the character of America's leaders such as Nathaneal Green, Henry Knox, and especially that of the commander-in-chief, became apparent. After being chased across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania, Washington knew that it was time to deliver a blow to the Redcoats. On Christmas Day, the exhausted and severely weakened Continental Army crossed the Delaware and outsmarted the 1500 Hessians stationed at Trenton. It was a major turning point in the war.
David McCullough, the author of the book 1776, said this of Washington:
"He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual. At several crucial moments he had shown marked indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up."

I have gained a new appreciation for just how miraculous the surrender of the British Army six years later was. It is amazing to me that men and boys of all ages that had absolutely no military training were able to defeat the disciplined and supposedly invincible army of the British Empire. I'm thankful to all those who put their lives on the line to protect this country and help to spread freedom across the world. May we all be like Washington and never lose sight of what is truly important to us and never give up when challenges come our way.

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Completely Pointless but Kind of Fun

So I got this idea from another friend's blog. Here's what you do. You pair your name with one of the bolded words below and type it into Google. For example, George needs or Bob loves. Then see what kind of sentences are highlighted in the results that start with your name and the word or phrase you typed in. These are the sentences that I found for my name:

1) Celia needs to find a way to fit between these two generations.

2) Celia looks like your average 3rd grader.

3) Celia says, "Make a hat your crowning glory."

4) Celia wants nothing more than to be with her beloved, Colin. (Hahahahahaha!)

5) Celia does not like her aunt and her aunt appears not to like Celia.

6) Celia hates winter and has been dreading its arrival, but tonight she barely feels the cold.

7) Celia asks for a new traffic light to be installed.

8) Celia likes Brian. (That's really the best one I could find for that one.)

9) Celia eats high school kids. (That's really what it said.)

10) Celia wears heavy robes that disguise her scales and posture and employs magic if further disguise is necessary. (I got a laugh out of that one!)

11) Celia was arrested for murder and by the winter of that year she had been convicted and hung.

12) Celia loves to travel and is always dreaming of new destinations and adventures.

So try it out. It doesn't take long and it might hand you a few laughs!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Movie Lines!

So I decided that I would write down some of my favorite movie lines and you guys can try to guess what movies (I guess TV shows too) they are from. I picked these lines because they have all come up somehow in everyday conversation.

1) "You can talk...Oh, I'm so glad!"

2) "What long has that been there?"

3) "I can't remember a time...before you started telling that story."

4) "These are my best shoes!"

5) "Is it secret? Is it safe?"

6) "What's the matter with these scissors?"

7) "I want some chicken giblets!"

8) "You pervert!"
"Klinger's not a pervert."
"How do you know?"
"'Cause I'm one and he's never at the meetings."

9) "One tisp?"
"One teaspoon!"
"Oh, one teaspoon, of course!"

10) "Who's he?"
"I don't know...must be a king."
"How do you know."
"He 'asn't got [crap] all over 'im."

11) "She doesn't really know me."
"That is one instance in which fate has blessed her."

12) "She fell in love Generalisimo Franco!"
"You don't know that!"
"Well, who else could it have been? It was probably the late 1960s."
"People do stupid things in foreign countries."
"Yes, they buy leather jackets for much more than they're worth but they don't fall in love with fascist dictators."

13) "The fun has arrived!"

Alright, if I think of more I'll post them.