Top of the Stairs

There's a space at the top of a stairwell in the building where I work. It leads out the roof, but you can't go on the roof. I call it the widow's walk even though it's not a widow's walk. The floor is seven paces by three and the floors haven't been cleaned in the two years that I've worked there (and probably for several years before that). Large windows make the space bright and quiet.

On a really hard day over a year ago, one of my coworkers suggested I head up there for a little break. Ever since, I've made that nook my own personal sanctuary.

Every so often, I'll spend a few minutes up there by myself.

To think. To pull myself together. To sigh as loudly as I'd like. To cry. To take a breath. To power pose. To kill time. To pray.

It's a gift, and on the hard days (and the easy ones) I'm so grateful for it.

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Life Lately 4.4.18

I'm still writing 2017 on everything even though it's April.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is now on Amazon and I'm very happy about that.
I stumbled on this article about a well-dressed man and it's all I think about when I get dressed in the morning.
I'm beyond ready for summer sunshine. I'm tired of being chilly and I'm tired of layers.
This morning, my 40-minute commute turned into a 2.5-hour commute and by the time I got to work, I was fresh out of patience for the day.
It's about this time every year that I seriously contemplate buying Saltwaters. I never do it, and then I always regret it. Maybe this is my year (I'm really tempted by the rose gold), but then again probably not.
I finally watched The Greatest Showman and I did very much enjoy it.
I talked on the phone to one of my best friends for two hours on Sunday and it made me really happy.
Easter Sunday and General Conference brought me so much joy.
Just this minute my roommate sent me this video of pandas and The Barber of Seville, which also brought me so much joy.

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There is something very revealing about remembering things I used to love.

I stumbled this week on a musical I was obsessed with in 2012.

I fell into a black hole of YouTube videos that I had remember watching over and over again during my second year of college.

I remembered where I was the first time I had watched them. What I looked like. Who I lived with. What classes I was in. What I was worried about. How I spent my time.

And I was intensely aware of how different my life is now encountering the same material.

I rarely feel proper nostalgia, but something about this certainly dredged it up.

And the longer I've thought about it, the more grateful I am about how everything has turned out.


Life Lately 2.4.18

A couple of weeks ago, I had my haircut for the first time in over a year and I feel like a new woman and more like myself at the same time.

I keep re-listening to The 36 Questions podcast musical over and over again.

I bought a garlic press and it makes me absurdly happy ever time I use it. Garlic presses and pastry cutters - nothing beats them.

I got a paper cut on the underside of the knuckle on my right index finger, so typing this is rather painful.

Making brownies when your fasting is the worst since you can't enjoy the batter.

I have no interest in the Super Bowl tonight. I watched Pride and Prejudice instead.

There's something terribly satisfying about tearing out a sheet of perforated paper perfectly.

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Ten Things

1. I hate straight leg jeans. Hate them, and no amount of scrolling through Instagram is going to convince me that they would look good on me. I don't care if they're "out" you can pry my skinny jeans from my cold dead fingers.

2. My parents got me a waffle iron for Christmas and it's my new favorite thing.

3. I feel significantly better about my life when I like my outfit.

4. I wish that text messages had a "mark as unread" button to remind me to respond.

5. There is something is incredibly lonely about walking to the metro for work before the sun is up and seeing no other footprints in the snow.

6. Blackbeard's Ghost is one of the most underrated movies.

7. I'm resisting buying these shoes, but it's really hard.

8. I don't think I ever really understood that the right coat could keep you completely warm until this week. Mind blown.

9. I really really love David Tennant.

10. Today I saw a man grocery shopping with his daughter. She was maybe 6 years old and sounding out the words on the shopping list. He paused to let her sound out the words on the aisle sign, and I almost cried. It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen.


The Living Christ

"As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Eph. 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isa. 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."




I've come to cherish my evenings. I've always been a morning person, but this time of year the evenings are my favorite. I sit in the chair in my front room, watching the Christmas lights and trees in my neighborhood turn on one by one through the window. Then I have a cup or two of hot chocolate and curl up with Jane Austen--my latest in a string of rereads--to let myself relax. Leslie Odom Jr.'s Christmas album plays on my laptop.

And it's calm.

And it's quiet.

It feels like an indulgence, and I get to do it almost every evening. 


A Crossword & A Compliment

This morning on the metro, I was listening to a podcast and doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper.

A woman about my age sat down next to me halfway through my ride. I nudged myself closer to window and gave a quick smile before turning back to the paper. We rode in silence for about 10 minutes until we approached her stop.

She stood to leave, put on her gloves and then turned to me, and said, gesturing at the crossword, "You're killing that, by the way."

I smiled.



8 Things

1. On Sunday morning, I set off the smoke alarm in my house with a tiny, two-wick candle.

2. I've taken to listening to the memory palace on my morning commute. I've only discovered it recently, so I've got a lot of podcasts to catch up on. Each episode is about 10 minutes and it makes the perfect start to my day. This episode is my favorite so far - it made me tear up.

3. I have the best luck when it comes to the book sale section of my local library, which has turned out to be a bad thing because my bookshelf is completely full at present.

4. I accidentally bought waterproof mascara and my eyes are sore from trying to scrub it off every night.

5. There is no happiness quite like eating a bowl of Cap'n Crunch Berries in bed.

6. Does anyone else have weeks that just don't work? By Thursday morning, all I could think was let's just toss this one in. I'll try again on Monday.

7. I've felt like I was in a bit of a music rut for a month or so, and it's finally broken. Hallelujah for new albums from The Killers, Niall Horan, and Darius Rucker.

8. Florida State football is force feeding me so much humble pie. It's beyond upsetting.

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Saint Crispin's Day

"And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd."