Fall 2015

I know, I know. Another 2015 post. But you know what Socrates said, “The undocumented life is not worth living,” or that’s what he would have said if he had lived in the age of social media. He would have probably been an op-ed writer for the Times, but I digress…

Fall in Logan is the most magical time of the year. This is especially true when you’re under the impression that said fall will be your last in Logan. We’ve since found out that Tyson will need to spend another semester in school, so it won’t actually be our last, but this fall will still be one for the books. Fall in Logan is beautiful, but when you think it will be your last, you really try your hardest to soak it all in. So we did:

  • Photo booth at Allie’s beautiful wedding with the cutest date.
  • Tyson was Lloyd Dobler at our favorite place (Target).
  • My sister turned 20!
  • …But we still can’t take a good picture together.
  • Went to our 19th temple together in Twin Falls, ID. Loved it.
  • Wore a panda suit to work for Halloween: 0 stars, do not recommend.
  • Watched my sister sing at Luz de las Naciones.
  • Tagged along to Tyson’s school field trip to the control tower at the Salt Lake Airport.
  • Visited the renovated Church History Museum, and it’s seriously the coolest.
  • Met one of my heroes, Captain Moroni, at the museum. He’s taller than I expected.
  • Those yellow leaves were more photogenic than I could ever hope to be.
  • Enjoyed Thanksgiving at Dan’s house in Salt Lake, but Santi was not impressed.
  • Had our most successful Black Friday yet.
  • Celebrated Dan’s birthday, but Santi was still not impressed.
  • Froze at the USU vs. BYU game and realized winter was upon us when we saw the people in front of us had their blanket freeze to the bleachers.

If there’s something that can keep me going through those dark and cold Logan winter months, it’s the thought that fall will come again. Until next year, my fall.

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2015 Bibliography

Remember when I complained about there not being any good books left? Well, now I feel like those girls who complain about there not being any good men left, and then they’re engaged three weeks later.

It turns out, there are good books left, and you can find them without a syllabus! It took some asking for recommendations on social media, some digging through bestseller lists, and a lot of scrolling on the library website, but I did it: I found some books I really loved during 2015.

I used a reading app to track and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, and here they are for your perusing pleasure:

1 Stars – You can skip these
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Hurricane Sisters – Dorothea Benton Frank
Somewhere in France – Jennifer Robson
Edenbrooke – Julianne Donaldson
January First – Michael Schofield
The Spectacular Now – Tim Tharp
The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert
Winesburg, Ohio – Sherwood Anderson
The Lying Game – Sara Shepard
I Was Here – Gayle Forman
Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

2 Stars – Meh
The Giver – Lois Lowry
The Queen – Kiera Gass
O Pioneers! – Willa Cather
Not Exactly A Love Story – Audrey Couloumbis
Girl in a Band – Kim Gordon
All We Have Is Now – Lisa Schroeder
And We Stay – Jenny Hubbard
Love and Other Perishable Items – Laura Buzo

3 Stars – Good to pass the time, but wouldn’t recommend
The Prince – Kiera Cass
Independent Study – Joelle Charbonneau
The Host – Stephanie Meyer
I Don’t Know What You Know Me From – Judy Greer
The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
Graduation Day – Joelle Charbonneau
Food – Jim Gaffigan
J. D. Salinger – Kenneth Slawenski
Just One Day – Gayle Forman
Uglies – Scott Westerfield
Before I fall – Lauren Oliver

4 Stars – Really liked these and they kept my attention
The Testing – Joelle Charbonneau
The One – Kiera Cass
Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty
The Hypnotist’s Love Story – Liane Moriarty
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Wonder – R. J. Palacio
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Heartburn – Nora Ephron
The Mazerunner – James Dashner
The Scorch Trials – James Dashner
The Death Cure – James Dashner
The Beginning of Better Days – Sheri Dew
Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
Every Day – David Levithan
The Heir – Kiera Cass

5 Stars – Page turners that made me weep when they ended, which I’ve recommended to every person I’ve met since
The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I Remember Nothing – Nora Ephron
Covenant Hearts – Bruce C. Hafen
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee (reread)
However Long and Hard the Road – Jeffrey R. Holland
Broken Things to Mend – Jeffrey R. Holland
P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
Walking on Water and Other Classic Messages – S. Michael Wilcox
Daughters of God – S. Michael Wilcox
Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
The Young Elites – Marie Lu
Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen

The best advice that I can give someone who’s looking for a good book is actually the same I would give someone who’s looking for a good man: don’t give up and don’t settle. : )

Happy reading!

2016

I love the beginning of the year almost as much as I love the beginning of the school year. A new beginning is so exciting because there are so many possibilities, just like a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils. As I counted down to midnight and shoved as many grapes into my mouth as possible, I always wondered what the new year would bring. After all, anything can happen in a year.

That’s probably why the new year has gotten a little harder as I’ve gotten older. In a life where anything could happen, it’s disappointing when it feels like nothing does. As we counted down to 2015, I couldn’t help but feel disappointment as to what little I had accomplished during 2014. A whole year had gone by and I hadn’t written that book I’ve always wanted to write, or applied to that master’s program I’ve always wanted to go to, or lost those ten pounds that have always haunted me.

On the way home, I talked to Tyson about everything I wanted to accomplish that year and made about a million resolutions. At some point, the resolutions became too overwhelming because there was just too much to do in one year. After all, anything can happen in a year, but not everything.

That’s when I chose to focus on one word instead of a list. I chose the word courage. In 2015, I wanted to develop the courage to do what I have always wanted to do, and to become what I have always wanted to become.

As I counted down to 2016 with my family, I reflected on 2015. It was a good year. In 2015, I found the courage to start journaling again, even if it was just one line a day. I got highlights after debating and pinning about them for years. I signed up for Nanowrimo in November and wrote a book in a month. I received a promotion and started an intimidating but exciting new position. To borrow words from one of my favorite hymns, I fresh courage took, and it worked.

As much as I love resolutions, this year I decided to just choose one word again. My word for 2016 is create.

I want to create something that matters.
I want to create a home that’s a haven from the world and a place of learning and growth.
I want to create and nourish meaningful friendships and relationships.
I want to create a beautiful, happy, fulfilling life.

Happy New Year!

May you find the courage to create the life you have always dreamed of.

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