Sunday, June 29, 2014

True Story Girl.

This is Megan.

As you can tell from this picture alone,
she's basically an angel.

When I think about her,
there's a smile on my lips,
a kind word on
the tip of my tongue,
and a squeal in my throat
all fighting to get out
at once.

When I think about what I like about her,
words don't exactly come to mind,
just a lot of exclamation points.

Megan goes on adventures
to Uganda and Washington, D.C.

She wears chevrons
and the prettiest earrings.

She always introduces herself to people
and makes them her friends.

She loves cheesy chick flicks,
which looks so charming on her.

And maybe most of all,
she makes me feel
like one of the most special,
most interesting,
most worthwhile people around
because she wants to be my friend.

Friday, June 27, 2014

She's the Jam.

This is Julianna.

That's jew-lee-ann-uh,

She's my sister-in-law.

Before her,
I didn't have anything-in-law.

I like her because
she says it like it is.
She'll add to the conversation
the very thing that makes sense
or needs to be said.

I love how much she cares about
the things she cares about.
Like animals
and Miyazaki.

Also, she's pretty
and I like her Delaware accent.

But even if there weren't all these reasons,
I'd still love her.

Because she loves my brother
and my brother loves her.

And she belongs.
And it makes sense.
And it feels right.

Because she's the jam.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


For grad school,
I needed to send in
some immunization dates,
so my mom emailed me
my immunization record.

For some reason,
I was struck by all those dates.


I thought about my mom
and all the times
she put me in my car seat
and took me to the doctor
to get shots,

even though
I very well may have cried,

or maybe it was frustrating
to pack the other siblings
in the car
and haul all of us
to Dr. Estock's.

And I suddenly felt like
taking your kids to get shots
is the essence of motherhood.

I was too little to know
that I needed a measles vaccination,
but she knew.

Without my mom,
I'd probably have rubella right now.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


There is a tremendous nobility to Eve,
the first woman on this earth.

I. God "formed man
from the dust of the ground"

But He did not form woman
from dust.
He formed her
from the best thing
He had made thus far--
from man.

II. God made woman
as "an help meet" for Adam

Meet means proper, suitable.

In Mormon doctrine,
we believe that Adam is Michael,
the archangel 
who helped create the earth.

What kind of companion
would be suitable for
one so glorious?

A baby?
A weak and timid creature?
A lesser version of Adam himself,
without the same power
of reasoning
and judgment?

A complementary partner,
with as much power as he.

Only such a companion
would be meet for him.

III. She was beguiled
only insofar as she believed a lie
that Satan told her--
that if she ate the fruit,
she would not surely die.

But she knew it would make her wise,
and so she wanted to eat it,
no matter the cost

She was not beguiled in that.

IV. Her name was Eve,
a name that sounds like
a sigh of relief
when you speak it aloud.

Her name was Eve
because she was
the mother of all living

Her creative power
was unparalleled--
the power to bring all of us
to life.

V. Latter-day Saints believe that
there are more scriptures
than just the Bible.

In the Book of Moses,
we hear Eve's voice.

Eve said,
"Were it not for our transgression
we never should have had seed,
and never should have known good and evil,
and the joy of our redemption,
and the eternal life
which God giveth
unto all the obedient"

She made the gravest error possible,
but she didn't have to be ashamed,
because her experience
made her more
than what she could have been before.


As a daughter of Eve,
I can't think of anyone better
to model myself after.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Sun Stood Still.

Yesterday was the summer solstice.
Also known as
the greatest day of the entire year.

I said it,
and I'm not taking it back.

As I was watching the sun rise,
I said to myself,
Sunrises are so glorious.
I wouldn't be surprised
if a feat like this only happened
once a year!
But we get it every day.

I went down the rabbit hole
of Wikipedia
to learn what a solstice really is.

I read about declination
and the celestial equator
and the celestial sphere.

I couldn't quite grasp it.

But I realized,
There is more sunlight today
in which to do things
than in any other day.
This is the best
God has to give us.

So I took my roommate to the airport
to go to Africa,
and went to the temple
and a baby shower.
I snoozed on the couch pleasantly.

Genevieve and I made flower crowns.

Isn't hers a masterpiece?

Erin and I went to Rita's
and I fell asleep reading Dandelion Wine,
the official novel of summertime.

This year, also,
I gathered seven different flowers
to see if I would dream of my future husband.

Last year I faked it
with some weed growing behind my apartment,
so this year I wanted to do it right.

And it worked.

I dreamt about not one,
but three boys.
One I like,
one I don't like,
and one that I haven't talked to
since high school.

So anything is possible.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Garden Tour.

Tonight, Genevieve and I
toured pretty yards
in Pleasant Grove.

She told me the names of plants
and sometimes
she could only remember the Latin ones.

I didn't mind.

One house had antiques
instead of flowers.

I told Genevieve
that house was for me.

The shadows and the late afternoon sun
were irresistible.

I felt like a queen,
surveying my kingdom.

They had the most perfect grass
I had ever seen.

It was the perfect activity.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Person I Actually Want to Be.

Yesterday, I wrote about
who I would be
if I could be anyone.

But more sincerely,
the person I want to be
is a combination of these two pictures.

"An Austrian boy 
couldn't be more excited about
his first pair of shoes in years (1946)"

"What’s your greatest strength as a guide?"

"Have you ever seen the movie Kate and Leopold?"

"I can’t say I have."

"Well, it’s no masterpiece. 
But there’s this one scene
when Hugh Jackman goes back in time,
and he witnesses the opening
of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Then he’s transported back to present day,
and he sees the bridge is still standing,
and he shouts: ‘It’s a miracle!’
And a nearby hot dog vendor says:
‘No it’s not, it’s a bridge.’
So what I’m trying to say is,
I’m Hugh Jackman.
And not the hot dog vendor."

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Person I Want to Be.

One day,
Alyssa and I started talking about
what we would dress like
if we were boys.

(I have a pretty specific answer
to that question,
even down to the color of pants
I would wear.)

But then I thought
I don't always dress to my ideal
as a woman.
What makes me think I would
if I were a man?

And then I thought about how
we're not always the people
we exactly want to be.

And I thought
if I could be anyone...

I'd be left handed.

I would wear high heels more often.

I'd try new things
without feeling hesitant beforehand.

I'd play tennis regularly
and occasionally enjoy
a round of golf.

I'd know how to whistle
and play the harmonica
and feel comfortable driving a manual.

And I'd have a radio voice.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

West on I-80.

This week,
my dad and I drove
across the country together.

Sixteen-hour days
of flying down I-80
at 75 miles an hour,
passing trucks
that lumbered along
like great ships crossing the ocean.

I was worried
that I would hate
Nebraska and Wyoming and Iowa.

But I should have known better.

I loved every minute of it.

We started west through Pennsylvania,
which was a lush jungle.
We drove through tunnels
that cut through hills.
We shared the street with Amish buggies.

And we got to slip through
a tiny piece of West Virginia,
which pleased me.

In Ohio,
we drove in and around and through
a little town called Barnesville
at 10:30 pm,
where all the lights were off
in all the houses.

We passed row houses
on the outskirts of a city
that reminded me of where
Rudy Ruettiger
might have grown up.

In Indiana,
I thought about Pawnee and Eagleton.
We skirted around Indianapolis,
where there were signs for the Speedway.

We happened to stop for gas in Illinois
in the town that was the site of
the Lincoln Douglas debates
and Carl Sandburg's birthplace.
And I was thrilled.

We ended up driving through
the University of Iowa campus,
and it was everything that a college campus
should be.
My new dream is to get a PhD there.

The rest stops in Nebraska
were gorgeous,
with little pools of the bluest blue water
lying next to them,
and the ceaseless gales
blowing over the prairie.

It wasn't boring for one second,
even when the landscape grew harsher
as we pushed west.

Then I fell in love
with southeastern Wyoming.

We stopped at the rest stop
at the highest elevation on I-80,
where there's a 13-foot bronze
Abraham Lincoln head
towering over the highway.

There he is.

The clouds were misting around us
and the wind was whipping
and it was cold
and we were up
nearly in the sky.

The rest of Wyoming
twisted and turned,
until we hit Utah,
where I made my way carefully
through the Rockies
in the dark,
blinded by the light of train locomotives.

And on the other side of the mountains
burst forth I-15
and the endless towns and cities
and cars and people.

And here I am again.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I can't even.

As I said,
ma sister just got married!

My only sister.
My boon companion.

When she got engaged,
I posted a status:

Congratulations to my sister
on her engagement.
I'm glad you found someone
that you want to spend
the rest of your life with
besides me.

Only part of that is a joke.

She has always been the one
who always wants to dress alike
who always wants to share a bed
who always wants us to touch foreheads
like Heinrich Harrer
and the Dalai Lama do
in Seven Years in Tibet.

When I saw these two pictures
from her bridal shower,
I just thought,
"I can't even."
And that's all there is to say about
how I feel about her.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wedding Reception (Part II)

my only sister got married.

we had her reception.

I wish you could have seen my mother.
She floated through the church,
distilling directions,
every detail carried out
under her watchful eye,
creating a palace of tea cups
and baby's breath
and lace.

Before there was Pinterest,
there was my mother.

I wish you could have seen my father.
He left before any of us were awake
and he's not back yet.
He did everything,
including rigging up a whole lighting concept
and building a tent
and teaching me how to release
the emergency break
on his car.

He danced to "My Girl" with Katie
and the swing dancing
he's done with us in the living room
all these years
finally got its big debut.
I love being an adult--
I've said it before.

But today made me think.
Someday, I'll have a daughter.
And it will be her wedding.

And I hope I have the poise
and the love
that my parents have.

There's being an adult,
and then there's being an adult
like my parents are.

Luckily, I have 30 years
to work on it.

The cake topper from my parents' wedding
at my sister's wedding today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Fort.

By far the nicest thing
that I've done lately
is lay on the mattress
in the fort
that currently exists
in our living room,

the backs of the two couches
rising around me,

staring up at the sloping canopy of blankets
and the chili pepper lights
hanging from the ceiling,

down there on the floor
where the the air conditioning is so cold,
I can almost see it
swirling around me
like mist on a moor.

You don't have to do anything--
just lay there.

But it feels like quite a something.

Monday, June 2, 2014


This one day last week
was a weird day for my stomach.

I was famished
but everything made me feel
like I was going to puke.

Fast forward to sitting on a front lawn
under the Big Dipper
in the cool of evening,
where we learned about
edible plants
growing right there
in that very grass.

I took a little bud
and unwrapped the leaves around it,
and ate it.

It wasn't that it tasted good,
but I loved it.
I loved that I picked it
and ate it
and it came right from the very earth
without being asked.

Then we shared a coconut.
We drank right out of it with straws.
I only took a few sips
because the best part of the experience
wasn't drinking it,
but sitting there
with the taste of it still on my lips
thinking about how happy I was
that I'd drunk out of a coconut.

I helped scoop out the flesh
and then we ate it.
We passed around one bowl
with one spoon
and ate it.

It was the greatest feast
I can imagine.