Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh hey, a month later

Ever since I've started doing hair school and BYU simultaneously, people have wondered at how exactly I can keep up with performing at two schools in one semester, especially being that it's my senior year and by far the hardest semester of classes I've ever had at BYU. My initial, practiced response is that I have learned how to balance my time better than ever before, that I have to learn what's most important and do the homework that corresponds with whatever is demanding that week. I've been able to focus on my studies and work with what I have, and I absolutely know that this is going to be so beneficial for me, so that helps to motivate me. How can I give up on something I know is so good and so right?

So yeah. That's how I went into this semester thinking. Let me give the answer my roommates and close friends know is more like me. I started out this semester motivated, as always, and that exhilaration lasted longer than normal. I am determined to do well this semester; with just enough time and energy for the only 3 classes I have left at BYU, I have no room to slack. Or so I imagine. Realistically, the way I've survived is by taking more breaks than I should, sleeping in to get the rest I need because the previous day wore me out so much, eating more chocolate than is reasonably healthy, and being more social than I originally allow time for. With the intense stress of getting these four months over with, demanding, crucial, and extremely difficult in so many ways, I realize more than ever the need to stay close to the things that keep me connected to this world, or I will go insane.

It makes me think that often times, we make life more dramatic than it should be. Complaining about the hard times, when in reality, I cannot recall a time in my life when my difficulties have surpassed my blessings, and as long as I hold strong, it will never happen. Now, actually being able to focus on and recognize those blessings is another story, buuuuut I think it's definitely worth a shot, every time.

Oh yeah. I turned 22, Thanksgiving happened and, well...I'll update for realz soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Proposition 8

Proposition 8 has lead to very controversial, sometimes heated discussions. One side argues it’s not within the hands of the law to legislate morality, while the other says that the right to keep marriage between a man and a woman was already decided between the people of California, and we must respect democracy. My question is, what are we arguing about? What is the big deal about marriage?

Society has a literal and clear moral obligation to protect the rights of marriage to be held strictly between a man and a woman.  This is not simply the protection of marriage in the state of California for this generation, but this decision will affect this nation and others for decades, if not longer. The family was built upon the idea that a man and a woman were biologically, emotionally and psychologically built to balance one another and procreate.

Studies have shown that in parenting, the mother tends to focus on more immediate well-being of the children while the father is more apt to show and act in concern for the child’s long-term well-being. While both of these can be accomplished with just one influence, this balance is the key to good adjustment in children’s growing and ability to adjust. Mothers accomplish this by staying with their children and helping them learn every day, while fathers are able to work and earn money so that the family can grow and prosper as a whole, giving the child good resources for the things they will need. But as children are taken to day cares and neighbor’s homes to be reared, they lose the influence of the mother’s emotional investment in their child’s immediate well-being, and adjustment is threatened simply by the mother’s lack of presence. Simply stated, the child is better off with the mother at home tending to the immediate day-to-day needs of her family.

Marriage has been recognized as the union of a man and a woman, bound by civil laws to live and work together and build a family and home. However, as a society we have redefined how we see this all-important issue. Marriage is seen as a more flippant and passive issue, a union that can be made or broken on a whim with no fault and under any circumstances. Throughout the years, we have failed to recognize the repercussions of these decisions. But first, how did marriage (and therefore, family) go from the most important institution in society to the one looked upon with the most flexibility? In American, we have gone through a very systematic and specific chain of events to get from one to the other.

Being a system made of changeable parts (its citizens), society as a whole is made to be naturally evolving based on its citizens’ actions. Going on the assumption that people will always look towards their and others’ best interests, we can safely say that these changes will lean towards being good, specifically on the economic side. As the financial situation becomes better, people start to have higher standards of living. This directs people to have a stronger focus on individual satisfaction. When the individual becomes the focus (as has happened in America, we are intensely individualistic), it leads people to have higher expectations for their marriages to obtain this “greater personal happiness.” When these expectations are not met, people are more willing to sue for divorce. This puts more pressure on courts who in the past had not allowed much room for separations, and with so many people wanting to be cut loose from their partners, divorce courts will ease the laws and more people will get divorced, causing marriage to eventually be seen as a contract that is easy to enter into and easy to escape. In situations of abuse, divorce should of course be considered as an option, but as a society, we are not willing to work out our smaller differences for the sake of our children.

So what does this say about Prop 8 - how does this tie in to homosexual marriages? I think it is important to realize that the importance of marriage has changed significantly because of our shift into an individualistic society. People may say, this is good, it is natural for society to evolve based on its needs and the collective voice of the people, do what you need to be happy. What we fail to mention here is our children. They are our future, and as such, we have a very high moral obligation to do everything we can to make their lives as potentially successful as we can. And the fact of the matter is, as Americans, we do not care about what happens to them. We are highly focused on our personal freedoms and well-being that we forget about the most important part of life – raising up a good generation of people who are socially able to handle decisions and look at situations from a solid standpoint. But as I’ve illustrated in the above chain of reaction, we are willing to conform to changes that may or may not be what’s best for the future. Over and over, statistics show that divorce and instability is not good for children, for it leads them down a path of uncertainty and confusion. Children need stable adults who are willing to guide them in direct and clear ways of living.

It is absolutely best for children to have a mother and a father. We are made to work together, to balance each other, and voting yes on prop 8 will be the first step to showing that this is a serious issue and must be dealt with very carefully. This isn’t about making sexual orientation more acceptable or making it easier for homosexual couples to gain rights that come through marriage. This is about making sure we protect this fundamental institution that was designed for the benefit of our children and for the people as a whole, to work together and function in healthy and progressive ways.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

God's Sense of Humor

At Paul Mitchell the other night, we were having this great discussion about how none of us have time to work out anymore, but we all still eat like there's no tomorrow. Since I'd had a steady diet of cookie dough, cereal and hot chocolate for the past few days to celebrate the premature winter, I was feeling pretty stressed about not being able to exercise as much as I'd like (i.e. at all). So, in a desperate attempt to gain some kind of ability to not gain 20 pounds by Christmas, I prayed that somehow I'd be given more opportunities to at least be more active during the day.

Later that same day, I was walking home while having an intense discussion with my friend Emily Dyer (who has inspired an upcoming post). I got all the way to Stonebridge, which is 1.5 blocks away from home and completely off campus, when I saw a sheet of paper sticking out of my binder. The same sheet of paper I then realized I had to make a complete 180 and return to campus for-and then make the trip back-for I was supposed to turn it in before 5PM. And I just started laughing. I'm fairly certain God just chuckles with us sometimes too. In good news, He does answer prayers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One of the loves

My neice, Samantha got baptized today. As soon as I got to the church and sat down, my nephew Michael came to me to sit on my lap. We talked, we played, and I realized he has my dad's color of eyes, I think only because my dad's brother Leo was sitting by me and so it was on my mind. It was a good connection, like the one between us when we sat there just enjoying each other.


When something so beautiful and pure sits on your lap and you play and are just happy together, it's easy to forget that there is evil and sadness in the world. Just love.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back to the old

Learninglearninglearning. It's all I seem to be doing, and I love it. Especially when that learning consists of me learning that I learned what I was supposed to learn wrong for a test I took, but learning now how it is that I have to study for the next one so I don't bomb again.

Learn is kind of a weird word.

Two songs I'm currently obsessed with:
Big Apple Heartbreak - Yellowcard
Swallowed in the Sea - Coldplay
Learn them. Love them. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

Two people I'm currently obsessed with, in non-sexual ways:
Clarence Pimptown
Amanda Hansen
Because I need a lot more laughter in my life right now. No, wait. Always.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Being from KC has never been better

I'm obsessed. Absolutely excited!!!!!!!!! When I heard the news about the temple in Kansas City, it was just a natural reaction to start screaming, jump on the couch, and then I sat down and started crying. I can't believe it. Twelve years ago, we took buses and overnight trips to Houston and Chicago. Then St. Louis was dedicated and it shortened our trips to 3-4 hours, depending on if Bishop was driving or not (he was faster). Now, there will be one no more than an hour and a half from where anyone lives, probably less. There are soooooooOOOOsosososo many worthy Saints out there who are going to love this, and who deserve it so much. AH I'm so excited!!!!! Haha and I got invited to go to that morning session...I'm very glad I declined because the world would have been graced with my screaming reflex, right before security came to escort me out.

Once, my niece asked me what my birth mark was. I told her I got burned in the hospital when I was a baby, and the next time I went over, my nephew Michael looked at me ever so sadly, then touched my birth mark and said "Roro burn burn?" He missed the part where I told them I was kidding...and it was hilarious. Also, I think I lied again and told them it was leprosy and my skin was falling off, and then my niece mentioned the story about Jesus and the 10 lepers, and Michael chimed in with all he knew about Jesus, so he jumped on the bed, proclaiming "Jesus died!! Jesus died!!" Haha. Yes, yes He did.

I saw two great movies this weekend: So I Married An Axe Murderer, and Kung Fu Panda. I'm fairly certain my major is turning me into a critic - something I know will go away when I graduate, but is hard to ignore when every class forces me to question everything I think I've ever known. Movies are great fun, and I literally analyze everything in them. O, the joys of college.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I hope I am hallucinating

I'm sitting here, 2 AM, just finishing up some homework, you know? Nothing big except that I'm tired - can I hear a "yea, verily!" and have had a very long week. I want to go to bed. Well, I see something scurry across the floor and it's probably my imagination, right? But earlier I saw a large spider get away in apartment 9 and I'm not about to let something that retarded (sorry, God, that's one creation I am working on accepting) run amuck in my apartment. So I keep my eyes on the area of suspect and suddenly, a mouse crawls across the floor. Chomping on some cute bits of food that have undoubtedly been there for weeks because not one of us has time to clean. We had mice once in the duplex in Missouri, not on purpose, mind you, and I don't know whether or not to freak out, but I'm going to just a little bit because is it acceptable to be chill with a rodent living in your heater closet? We didn't catch it, but we taped off the space betwixt the door and the floor and so hopefully it won't at least come out anymore.

There is a scripture Claire showed me in the temple that now hangs in my room because it is so ridiculously helpful. I read a particular part that stuck out to me - you know how that happens, different things mean more or less depending on the time you read it, what your context is, etc. This particular line is in the Doctrine and Covenants, and it says "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious." Well, friends, I don't think God only meant our blessings, but those things which are hard for us. ALL things. Even - especially? - the ones we see no purpose in and wonder why the world they had to happen. Grateful? For pain? And then when things just keep on piling up when you absolutely expect that everything else should at least stay together, and it doesn't....be grateful. And I am. Today something happened that could potentially change the rest of my life, and when I heard, I had a mini freak out for a split second and then it was gone, and I was at complete peace. It may be because it's intense enough that alone, I could have had a real breakdown, and on top of everything else...wow. but more likely I believe it was Heavenly Father just telling me it's okay. It's okay. And it is the first trial I have ever had where it happens, and I don't really let it hit me and I give it straight to God, because it's way beyond my power to handle. It's a matter of faith that the decisions I have made were definitely okay-ed by Him, and just to keep going. I feel really good about it. And I can still see so many blessings in my life it's ridiculous. The rest of that scripture BTW is section 78:17-19. It's so good. God is so good.

Also because my friend in Mexico, Alison, called me today. From Mexico. Because she is the bomb.com, and knows when it needs to be Alison Time, and when it needs to be Rosanne Time. And Sunny called me yesterday, and that is a blessing I can't ever look past, the gift of friendship. Blessed, I say.

And now, an Ode to my Bed:
Oh, sleepy
How long hath thou waited for me?
Some nights, yea, some days have almost made me believe I wouldst not see thee
but still, through the long times, you waited
and waited
and stayed, Your Comfortableness, where I knew I could find you.
And I know if I need a cry, or a sleep at night, or even in the bright sunlight hours,
You are only too happy to accommodate me.
If I could only show thee how much joy thou hast given unto me,
alas, it is impossible
for I am perfectly in your debt,
and you cannot feel emotion anyway.
No more waiting, for now, I come to thee.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good, simple things

I kept meaning to write again this week, and then my days would happen to go so that the only time I had remaining was at 1AM, when I was dead tired and still hadn't read my scriptures. Well, priorities took precedence and, alas, I have not written. 

Some events of significance happened this week that I am only too happy to share. First, I saw a lady carrying 5 dozen Krispy Kremes, and I commend my own self-control in not grabbing them and running away with them. (thank you, thank you) Then, I had a dream that I made out with Daniel Radcliffe, more popularly known as Harry Potter, and he was going to propose when we got home and were done fighting the goblins and zombies that had invaded the Dyer mansion on the mountain. I was scared, but it was all okay. We were TOTALLY going to win because we all dressed in black and had a device to turn off the stars, so we would somehow be able to kill the zombies, but not vice versa.

Okay so maybe that's ridiculous. But maybe it triggered my memory of an incredibly vivid dream I had when I was 17 or so. It all just came back to me in the shower - most of my epiphanies come there, oddly enough. I stopped what I was doing so fast that it took me a minute or so to realize I was no longer doing anything but standing there, thinking...it was a really intense flashback. I cannot relate the dream here, but I will say that it brought me a lot of peace, and a knowledge that everything happens for a reason, and that God knows everything that has, is, and will happen to us. And He'll lead and protect us through it all. Kayla sent me a quote this week - The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect us. A-men. The hardest lessons to learn are the most precious.

I believe God communicates with us through any medium that is appropriate - like that dream I had (the 17 one, not Harry Potter, haha). Also through music. I own 3964 songs, roughly 11 days of music. So when I put my iTunes on shuffle, I expect to hear something different for a week and a half if I choose to keep it on for so long. Well, due to a transfer error, about a hundred of those songs are doubles and I haven't deleted all the duplicates yet. So this morning as I'm getting ready (okay...afternoon), random songs are playing, and one by Staind called Zoe Jane pops on. It's about his daughter and how he wants to be around her but has work to do that takes him away. He misses her and he's so sad every time he leaves but wants her to know he loves her so much. And I'd never thought about it extensively, I imagine a 4-year-old blonde as he sings it and not much else. It's cute, you know? Well, maybe 15 songs later, the double of that song plays. Out of 4000 songs, and two of the same play in 45 minutes?

I wasn't even thinking about my dad today. But I do appreciate reminders that he's still around, and that God will throw little fun things like that into my days to remind me that He exists and is willing to show me His conscientiousness. That may sound out there to some, and that's fine. I really think that God will use any worthy medium to communicate with us, and enjoy finding those times when they happen.

Other highlights - I did my very first updo!! I went to a kickin Tejano party, AND I got my hair cut, and I have bangs - excuse me, fringe - for the first time in 10 years or so. I like it. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Return

Ever since I saw Amelie I have thought about those things that "elle aime." At the top of my list is:
-Waking up three hours before I should, looking at the clock and realizing how long it is until I have to get up, and going back to sleep with a smile on my face.
-Slightly burnt Cheez-its
-Thinking about braiding the stems on my lamp in the living room. I'm doing that soon...maybe tonight?
-Paul Mitchell!
-The fact that BYU CREAMED UCLA today, with a 59-NADA win!!!!!! And I'm proud to be an American....wait. Different song. That game was still pimp.

Speaking of which (the PM part), that is going ridiculously well. I realize that I am extraordinarily different from most the girls in my class - there's only 8 of us which is sweet - and it's totally fine. I was worried I would somehow exclude myself because I 'don't fit in,' and I don't. I participate in chat and dinner breaks when I care, and if I find that I just want to be alone, work on homework, or do something on my own, I FINALLY have the confidence to just....do what I want. And not care what they think. And this isn't in some self-righteous way, I just really appreciate my independence and don't feel the special need to be the center of attention all the time to feel like I fit in. I will work for the friendship when I feel like I can and I'm comfortable, or when I feel someone else needs it. 

Does this make any sense? I'm listening to a song called Missing Missouri so it's driving my thoughts more than this so it could be discombobulated, and I'd say I'll fix it later, but....I won't. haha. Anyway, there is a 38 year old Domincan in my class named Rosa and i ADORE her. She is so friendly and fun and just great to talk to, she has some great stories and I'm learning a lot from her and her determinism and strength. She is a solid woman, and a great influence on me already.

Well, homework calls. So does every piece of chocolate in my apartment, and beyond. I swear sometimes I could drink a bottle of Hershey's syrup and not think twice. Thank goodness for cookie dough. And Ben&Jerry's on sale...and chocolate chips...and Ghiradelli...

Have I ever mentioned it's a dream of mine to visit Ghiradelli Square in San Fran? Any takers for a road trip?