Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today I have found myself with many reasons to ponder death. Bryce and I had the opportunity to attend the funeral of his grandmother yesterday. It was a nice day and a spiritual experience to hear the many testimonies of love and faith that were shared by her loved ones. Also, a long-time friend of mine, Sonya, is doing a school project on Death in the human experience and was asking me about family ghost stories, of the non-campfire sort, today.

I am a little surprised at my own feelings about the spirits of deceased people. I found myself repeatedly thinking, “Gosh, I don’t have any ghost stories at all.” Just as I would think that I would remember a time when my grandma saw a spirit, or when my cousin had a dream about my great grandpa. I was actually surprised to realize that I even know how to identify a spirit messenger if one ever appeared to me!( if you are curious.) It had always been something so normal that I didn’t really even realize that this might be something unique.

I also realized how hard it is to explain the role of the LDS temple, and even the concept of spirits to someone who did not have a good foundational knowledge of what Latter Day Saints believe. Particularly people who do not know about the Plan of Salvation,

I am a little surprised at the lack of mystery that death holds for me. As we sat behind the coffin of Bryce’s grandma it never once occurred to me that she was actually in the coffin. I knew her body was there because I saw it, but I never thought that her spirit was. I never even wondered about her spirit, except to think it must be nice for her to be reunited with her family members that had gone before her. I never thought at all that perhaps this was the end of her, and it is not until this morning that I am realizing that not everyone has such a, not dispassionate, but un-curious outlook towards death.

I know it is normal to grieve a loss, but I cannot imagine despair, or uncertainty at the death of a loved one. I also cannot imagine seeing a spirit as being something impossible. I also cannot imagine how I lived this way for my entire life without ever once thinking this might not be common to everyone else around me. Interesting, the things you find out about yourself once your mouth gets going.

Friday, February 22, 2008

For the past week Bryce and I have been knocked flat on our backs because our systems had been infiltrated by Koosh Balls.

Image taken from:

Also known as, the Influenza Virus. I cannot remember being this sick ever before in my life. I’ve had the stomach flu dozens of times, had plenty of colds, but the real true flu was something I was unprepared for. I have to give many extra credit points to Bryce and Steffie for not killing me to stop my whining. Steff even made me dinner, thus prolonging my life and exposing herself to more whining; but I guess some people are just selfless like that. Bryce has also been wonderful and has taken care of me, even though he also has the plague. He has been having very unrestful sleep too. Last night he half woke up and asked:

“Did you set the alarm?”


“Did you set the alarm?”


“But is it in space?”


“Is it in space?”

“No, I don’t know what that means.”

“ ‘K”

I am not sure what our conversation meant, but he seemed satisfied with my answer so I’m glad we cleared up whatever it was that we cleared up. Also in the unrestful sleep category, Bryce and I had the same dream this week. It was a nasty sick dream where we had to keep folding/arranging a piece of fabric in different ways over and over. You too can be like us and have this dream, but I don’t recommend it.

Today I am planning on getting things back to normal, (that was my plan for yesterday but it failed a smoking firey failure.) Today will be different though because I don’t feel like I am 80 years old today; more like a spry 67.

p.s. Koosh balls of the non-viral type are available at for $45 apiece! I might be mistaken but I thought that was basically a toy made of shredded rubber, no part of it being worth even $20! Maybe it is a novelty item now, or they found out that Kooshies promote weight-loss or something no one told me about.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hello Internet! And happy Valentines day! Valentines is one of my most favorite holidays because it is a good opportunity to do something a little extra special to show the people in your life how much they mean to you. I am feeling terrible proud because this Valentines day I made cookies for Bryce’s German class, (he is teaching 101 at BYU,) and I think they are adorable!!!

was afraid they would not have enough flavor so I dipped the backs of them in white chocolate and gave them a drizzle for style.

I have another reason to be happy this Valentines day because my little sister Sara and her boyfriend, Bryan Gividen, got engaged last night! This is extra exciting for Bryce and me because we are the ones who set them up on their first date! As newly engaged people I think they will soon find that they are being lovingly bombarded with advice and warnings. In honor of this I have written up my own little article of somewhat unique marriage advice. You can read it here:

The biggest reason I have to be happy this Valentines day is because of the wonderful husband that I have. Bryce is more excellent than I ever imagined a husband could be; but such sap is better kept in privacy so never fear, Internet, I will spare you the sugar coma.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Snakey Snake

Bryce and I have been watching Animal Planet lately. We usually watch it hoping that “Austin Stevens, Snakemaster” will come on. Austin Stevens is a completely insane man from South Africa. His favorite pastime is finding the largest, most poisonous snake possible; at which point he teases, bothers, and pulls it around. He also calls them things like “such a pretty boy” and “what a nice little guy.” I think the snakes object to the name calling more than anything else.

We watch it with a NASCAR mentality. (Please don’t misunderstand. I do not, nor never will, condone mullets or NASCAR.) But people watch NASCAR for hours waiting for someone to crash. We watch Austin Stevens waiting for one of those snakes to get a bite, and he does get bitten sometimes! Aside from that macabre fixation the show is actually quite educational. It made me realize I don’t really know anything about how snakes work. So I read and read. It turns out snakes are intensely interesting.

Snakes are easy to hate. They have been pared down until only the traits necessary for predetation remain. They aren’t very Christian either, tempting Adam and Eve, and breaking commandments all over the place. They embody gluttony. A python will eat an entire impala whole, better yet it will eat you whole if you aren’t careful. Click on this page to be appalled by snakes:

Despite knowing about their peckish ways I cannot resist. I think this white snake is adorable and I want him to come live in my house. He is being sold on this website:

I emailed the owner but he never answered to tell me how much. No Mom, I wouldn’t really buy him. I was just curious, but if the price is right…

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It takes my feelings an unusually long time to sort themselves out. I call it changing modes. Suppose I am in happy mode, walking down the street la la la things are so happy; when suddenly, an old lady comes up and pummels me with her purse! My brain says “Wah! This is unjust!” Yet I will walk another block in a confused not-exactly-caring state before it sinks in to my heart, and I really feel the injustice and anger. Of course by this time it is much too late to react properly, and the old lady is beating on a new person now.

Things just don’t seem real to me until I have had time to digest them. President Hinckley died on January 27th, but it was not until last night that I realized how sad I was about that. I knew it was logistically a sad thing, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that things would be different. Last night though, I realized he really is gone from here, and that I won’t hear him speak for a long time. My heart finally realized how much we would miss him, and I felt terribly sad.

I don’t feel terribly sad now though. He is with his wife again. I know President Monson has been called, just like President Hinckley was before him. So pretty soon, my heart will catch up and we will be happy again.