Monday, December 06, 2010

Something You Didn't Know About Yourself

So you thought you were one of those people that really didn't care for classical music. Well, you were wrong. You actually really enjoy it. And here are some incredible songs to remind you why.

PS--I was in a rush and didn't want to spend the time figuring out how to add songs as I thought of more, so just did them in a few stages. And no worries, I'll be adding more beauties as I come across them.

RULES: in order to fully appreciate each of these songs, you are to:
lay down in a comfortable position
listen to each song in its ENTIRETY--preferably through head phones where you can hear every instrument. And at an appropriate volume where the depth of each song shows through
close your eyes and take deep breaths
report back to me :)

The first, Vocalise Opus 34 No 14, was composed by Rachmaninov. Here, it's played by Joshua Bell, the most beautiful violinist ever.
Then, there's Symphony No 9 by Dvorak. We sung a poem set to this song when I was a sophomore in high school and I loved it. Then I heard the original song, as a freshman in a humanities class and fell even more in love.
La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin, or Girl/Maiden With the Flaxen Hair by Debussy (composer of the beautiful, but sadly overplayed, Claire de Lune [fountain song at the end of Oceans Eleven]) is one of my favorite favorites. SO beautiful. I really love Debussy.
Then there's the Piano Concerto No. 2 Opus 102 II Andante by the great Shostakovich. My talented roommate Cailey used to play this a lot and I love love loved it. At about a quarter through, when the piano enters, isn't it just lovely?? Yes, I agree that the whole song is, but that's my favorite part.....among a few others. Ok, I really just love the whole thing

I LOVE this song. I couldn't choose between these different versions, so I'm giving them all. Let me know which you like most. Schwanengesang (swan song) was a collection of songs composed by Schubert, published posthumously. My guess is that this particular song is called Leise flehen meine Lieder (Hushed Prays my Song??). It plays a large part in the fantastic movie, The Young Victoria. It's kind of sultry. I love it.

I, for one, am going to make all my children learn piano and violin. And if they'd like, I suppose we could throw cello and harp into the mix... Oh, and the acoustic guitar. Or they can learn classical on a twelve string. ok, ok I won't force them, but this all does sound pretty great.

See, you do think classical is great.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Two Week To-Do List

I just want to sleep. Looks like that isn't an option.

Two week to-do list:

Can't I just skip those first two points on the list??

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ryan Innes

postscript: Ryan Innes also performed last night, and let me tell you, he is incredible. I really really enjoyed him. Super fun. Going to listen to more of his music. Very talented. You should check him out

I'll tell you again

Went to the Andrew Belle concert last night. I know I've told you a million times, but I'll tell you again: go listen to him.

I think he's my favorite artist: love his voice, love his lyrics, love his melodies, love his sound. Love love love.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

WOW. BEAUTIFUL. I just finished The Book Thief. It's now alongside Little Women as my favorite book. I want to talk about the book, but I can't, I don't want to give any of it away! Because you're all going to read it. The characters.... I hate to see them go.

Yes, I do get too emotionally attached to books, to their characters, and to their writers

While we are on the subject of great books, does anyone else agree that your emotions are much more dramatic when reading a book? More than a movie, an opera, a song, a sculpture.. In the latter instances, emotions are watered down and diluted, but with a book, they're pure, raw, human heart

Just an observation. Anyway, go read it

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Good ol' Pythagorus, I will be faithful as you have been

I never thought I'd end up taking classes like physics, calculus, or chemistry. In high school, my favorite classes were English and history. I hated math. I wanted to be a high school English teacher for a long time. I also wanted to be a cowgirl singer, a movie star, or a cashier at taco bell so I could wear a purple shirt. I don't really know what other career options I considered. But it was a while before I decided I wanted to end up in the health care field.

That all being said, the purchase of my first calculator in the sixth grade didn't seem like such a monumental event. It was only needed to get me through the next few years of math, and then I'd be done with it. Well, I was wrong. Good ol' Pythagorus (for short: Gus) has become a dear friend. He's got 'MLA' written on his cover, like Woody's got 'Andy' scrawled on his boot.

Gus has been here for me since I was twelve. All the years of algebra. And then physics, trigonometry, calculus, biology, physiology, biomechanics, microbiology, statistics, nutrition, chemistry. What a great sport he was. I've taken many frightening classes, classes I've felt too dumb to be allowed to take, let alone succeed in. But having something familiar with me is very comforting. Oh, old buddy.. He fits into my hand just so, and I feel like I can conquer anything thrown at me. As long as I've got my friend, Gus, with me. I've even picked up other TI-30Xa calcs and known, without glancing at the blank cover, a desert of teal (beautiful color, by the way) sans the 'MLA' scrawl, that they were not my Gus.

I've even trusted him with my personal affairs: finances, random math questions, etc.

Have the smarty-smarts pulling out their Optimus Prime graphing calcs laughed** at me for keeping him? Yes, a few have. Do we care? No. We are a team. I don't need something younger or cooler. Pythagorus tells me everything I need to know. And we know how to work together; if you handed me your spiffy, uppity Optimus, I frankly wouldn't know what to do with half the buttons. He's such a superfluous waste of space. He's big, chunky, clunky, and ugly. Pythagorus is sexy--sleek, sophistocated simplicity. Vintage is the way to go.

**And I'm actually laughing right back at them because they paid ~$130 and I paid zero

So, here's to the TI-30Xas and all those guys that have stuck with us from the beginning. Pythagorus will never die on me and I will never trade him in! Compare his good looks to those lacking in Optimus:

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Things that melt my heart?

compassionate people
Angel by Jack Johnson

Saturday, October 09, 2010

3 of 25000 great youtube shows for you

So I know a few people who are always in the know with the youtube videos to be watched. So I will share a few with you.

And I just drop to my knee, see my lil knee.... i think I should faint. But I don't...

Creepy? Yes, I thought so too.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Night Owl

So I'm a bit of a night owl. Anyone who knows me knows I don't think about retiring for the day until about 12:30. And at that point, I wrap up my homework, get ready for bed, etc, and get into bed an hour + later. My brother Dallin's even worse. Summers at home find the two of us watching a movie or up wandering around. I'll go to bed at 3:30 and he's still up and at it. Ty, brother number two, also has the ability to stay awake late if he wants. But he's a bit more responsible and will usually go to bed before us if he has things going on the next day.

Why? Why are there some of us who stay up later? Well, I'm sure there are biological reasons.
But I wanted to hit on why I, when given the choice, opt to stay awake rather than curl into my warm bed with my dreams.

I like to sit and enjoy the silence. To unwind the day with my thoughts. I enjoy those times where it's just me and my mind. Now, I don't think my mind is in any way exceptional. But it's mine. And I enjoy it, as I'm sure you enjoy your own. Plus, who are you most comfortable around? Who's been there to see you through everything? Yourself.

Sifting through thoughts, through feelings. I think those quiet hours of late night/early morning are the best for such a pastime. The world is calm and still and the air is clean and fresh.

And those nights it rains? (Can I make a plug for how fantastic this weather has been!!??) Whether it be drizzling, pouring, sprinkling, hailing, thunder-ing, lightening-ing, it's fantastic. Sit back, listen to the sheets of water sliding past one another, splashing and beading on leaves, pattering on the cement, clicking on metallic surfaces. Take a deep breath of bathed-clean air. What beats that moment?

For some reason, I love 50 East, the little street outside my bedroom window. I just look out the window-- at the sky, at the mountains, at that little quiet street. I smell the air, crisp and wet or soft and dry and can't help but smile. And when the sky starts to lighten--beautiful.

So I encourage you to take some time. Some time that is yours and solely yours that you can use to ponder. It does not need to be at 5am. In fact, I counsel against it; this was really dumb. But find a time of day that you love, and just enjoy it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Things I'm Crushing on Right Now

1. Goldfish
2. Andrew Belle. Favorite songs: Signs of Life, Oh My Stars, Make It Without You, Ladder, In My Veins, Static Waves (case in point: I planned on putting one up, but.. ended up with six)
3. Gardens
4. Harry Potter
5. Watching Modern Family
6. Daydreaming
7. Cinnamon and Raisin bagels
8. Reading Jane Austen's Emma and pondering on Austen times
9. My clean room
10. Not working 3 hours everyday on campus
11. An engaged guy
12. My ballet class. Starting back up after 5+ years
13. Black & White photos
14. Oatmeal squares. One day, they were only 89 cents at Macey's. Oh, hello, 10 boxes..

Potter Fever

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I've probably read them each ten times. Love. I'll be at the midnight showing for the first part of the seventh movie for sure. Watch the trailer and say you're not excited about it. Yes, I know, it can't be done.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The love of beauty in its multiple forms is the noblest gift of the human cerebrum.
Alexis Carrel

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein

Sunday, September 19, 2010


So the other day I went onto our roof to do some homework. It was about 6pm and it was perfect. I was neither hot nor cold, feeling on my legs the moderate heat of a setting sun. A slight breeze tickled the trees and the world was quiet and at peace. I suppose it was before the hustle and bustle of a weekend night. The colors were the best of it all. That setting sun saturated everything in a golden yellow hue. All the trees were as if painted by an artist, an artist who added a bit more yellow than his peers. Every tree, every bit of greenery was more lush and more alive. It was simply beautiful. God is an Artist.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Healer

I am studying to become a Physician Assistant or a Nurse Practitioner. There are a multitude of reasons, the main two being that I LOVE studying the body and that I want to help people. I am convinced that every person, every vocation, helps people. In different ways. But with this job, every day I leave work, I will not doubt that everyone who entered my office left better than they came.

I was reading for my New Testament class and there was a short snippet on a few of the disciples. It was talking about Luke, author of Luke and Acts. It said he was a physician and wrote with sensitivity. In this modern world, there are some negative stereotypes of doctors, stereotypes that typecast them as men who only care about money and position. Well I think the healer was born with a natural desire to help others and make them happy. And that Luke's sensitivity was the probable characteristic that urged him to enter the field of medicine--to help others.

I am excited to help people when they can't help themselves. To restore a body to its peak. To analyze and diagnose. To answer questions and discuss. To prevent disease, illness, or injury. To heal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hobbler Half

Ok, so... I like running!

Crazy, huh! As I was running down the beautiful canyon, I saw that runners aren't insane, that there is a euphoria that comes.

Sorry it's been so long. I KNOW you have all been losing sleep waiting to hear how my half marathon went :) Well, here it is, my update:

I woke up at 4:15 and ate some oatmeal. Then got dressed and stretched and finished up all the last minute things. We left around 5:00. My group of running buddies: roommates Cailey and Abby, old friend Miriam, and ward friends/neighbors Kellie and Mark.

We drove to the finish line and got there around 5:50. Boarded the bus around 6:15. Got to the starting point. Went to the bathroom. And then waited behind the starting line with my friends. The feeling before it started was unreal! It was such a surreal thing for me because I'm the last person on earth I'd ever see doing something like this.

A little bit about the course: down the canyon, soft rolling hills but with an overall downhill grade. Beautiful scenery, perfect weather, water station every two miles. In the canyon until around mile 9 when we entered a neighborhood.

And then 7:00 came and we were off. I ran for about 30 seconds in silence and just relished the excitement around me. And then on the iPod went. First song randomely selected? Stronger. Great start.

Hit mile 1. Wow, it's already been a mile? I won't stop till I get to mile 3.

Hit mile 2. Wow, two already!!? Ok, a quick sip of water.. I feel great. I won't stop till 5.

Hit mile 3. Started noticing how GORGEOUS the canyon was. I'm going my own pace, my breathing is regular, and I feel INCREDIBLE.

Hit mile 4. I STILL feel great! I am going to run this whole thing. That's right, I will not stop once. I'll slow down for a step or two when I take a sip of water, but that'll be it. I can do this. Wow, who'd have thought..

Hit mile 5. Wow. Now I know why people are running. It is so beautiful here, I'm just cruising along, listening to my favorite upbeat songs. I love life! AH, THIS IS GREAT!

Hit mile 6. EUPHORIA. This was the best mile, I think. Miles 4.5-8 were REALLY really good.

Hit mile 7. I could run a marathon. I totally could. I could run all day and never stop!

Hit mile 8. This was the first time the water station was really anticipated. But ok ok, this is still good... I should run a half marathon once a month....

Hit mile 9. Out of the canyon and into neighborhoods. Ugh, sun, go away! I don't like this... But! Only 4 miles to go! That's just a bit longer than that super short run I take down to center street. Almost done!

Hit mile 10. My knees are starting to hurt. So is my foot.. and my hips. Man, my knees! Ugh, I don't like running through here. Three more miles, still! It's SO short! Just a half hour! Come on.... ....... ......
three miles go by....

Hit mile 11. Oh dear. only two more miles. My knees! There is a girl who stopped and started walking in front of me and... she is still ahead of me. We are going the same pace and she isn't even running. Just stop for a minute. No, speed isn't the point; I will not stop. Ah, I am dying! Who puts themselves into this when not in ignorance!? Aaaand, walk. The first few steps were bizarre. No, the first thirty seconds were so weird. It was like when you get off of those super speed walking bands in the airport. Not that I was slowing down, really, but the feeling in my legs... Really REALLY weird.
Where is the next mile?
....Where is the next mile?
Runa a half marathon every month? Ha, Morgan, what were you thinking..

OK, seriously!!? It has been 2 MILES I SWEAR!

I am so THIRSTY.
Just look for the next water stand at 12.
Where is it?

Where is it!!?

on and off jogging..

Hit mile 12--WITHOUT DRINKING STATION. NO, NO. Do they not have water for the last drinking station? I'm only a mile away. But I. NEED. WATER. Ah, there it is.

continue on and off jogging.

only a mile left. But I can't. I have to stop. now. where is my second wind? Where!

Only a quarter or so mile left....


I am dead.....


On comes Miley Cyrus's "Can't Wait to See You Again." If this won't pump me up, nothing will. And.... I'm still dead. No pump up.

Hit mark 13. WHERE IS THE FINISH LINE! ? This is much longer than .1 miles.... And here comes Miriam! Hey, Morgan, I'll run to the end with you! Where is it! Just around the corner. desperate: where?....

And there it is. Looms up. And there Caye and Abby are, waiting for me. They cheer and I cross.

I crossed the finish!!!

Get a free waterbottle. I am so shocked I finished. Gulp water. And then the thought, why in the world am I still standing? Sit on grass. Talk, pictures, etc.

Leave a half hour later.

And that was my first half marathon. Was it hard? The end was the hardest thing I've ever done! I'd never run more that 9 miles. And I'd only ran 9 miles once. I was always really busy and didn't really have time to train as well as I'd have like to. But seriously, it was perfect. Perfect weather, perfect scenery, perfect everything.

Will I do one again? Of course! October! Or Sept. But yes, I will be running another in the fall. And definitely running the Hobbler Half again next year. yay yay!!

Well, it's late. I'll add a few pictures to this post tomorrow. But I really want to publish it now, so ya.. pictures will be added tomorrow or sometime within the next few days

Monday, July 12, 2010


You know what's a really good song? Merry Christmas, Darling by The Carpenters. It came up on my iTunes and I just thought I'd share. Yes, I realize it's a Christmas song, but red's a Christmas color and I wore red today. Not quite the same thing? Ya, I know. K, well... to my room

Can you tell I'm a little reluctant? Anyone want to keep me company while I clean? eh? eh?
Is anyone else frustrated there's never enough room for all your stuff? So your room never looks polished? I also need more pants/skirts hangers. What's even the point of cleaning? ;)

PS--talking with old friends? So good! Ok.. sorry this post was completely useless to you. I'm unusually restless..

Morgan's simple desires on the twelfth of July

I have two exams tomorrow. And another this coming weekend. Some homework due tomorrow that will take me about 2 hours to complete. I need to clean my room. Thoroughly. And the bathroom. I need to shower. And I need to make my schedule for the week. And it's 9:50pm.

But what do I want to do? Write Jane a letter. Read my scriptures. Write in my journal. Write my talk for Sunday. Read Killer Angels, a book about the Civil War I was foolish enough to start the other day with full knowledge I wouldn't be able to finish it. Write a blog about my half marathon that yes, I did complete :)

Current cravings: Running and Harry Potter. I want to delve into the series for a week and do nothing and just become into the world of Harry Potter, completely. There's nothing better than reading those blessed books for three days straight without sleep or food, forgetting to live due to the beautiful commotion of falling in love all over again with Snape, Harry Hermione Ron, Lupin, McGonagall, Luna, Fred and George, Neville, Dumbledore, Malfoy, charms, histories, Sirius, Ollivander's and good old Diagon Ally, the Burrow, the Dursleys... mm I've just been craving HP lately! All I want to do is disappear into my room for a week and fall into Hogwarts. And why my body is craving to go running after a half on Saturday, I have no idea.

And I really want to drink some lemon water; I'm really thirsty and my room temperature water bottle isn't really satisfying.

But, alas, responsibilities are calling. Room, it's just you, me, you, and me. Get excited, textbooks, you're next! Hobbler Half sum-up to come soon!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Wonders of the Human Body

Friends of mine may wonder why I study what I do. But those who know me best know I study the body because I love it; I am constantly telling the poor things about boring topics that I find fascinating. Yes, I don't go out as much as the average spring/summer student and get less sleep than I'd like, but it is worth it. I love this study. I love learning about the genius organization, the artistic design, the miraculous intricacies of our bodies. I hated chemistry in high school, but after learning how it is the most integral part of the body, how every process, every movement, every sensation, and every regulation is an effect of chemical processes, I find my chemistry class fascinating.

Think about it. Your body converts the bread you eat to fuel your fingers typing. It uses sodium and potassium ions moving via a gradient of high to lower concentration to send signals from your brain to the voluntary and involuntary parts of your body--telling glands to secrete essential hormones and telling your tongue to move when you want to speak. Pressure receptors in the skin work so that they sense the immediate touch of something, but cancel out the reception thereafter, so you aren't irritated with the feeling of ever-present clothing, rings, glasses, etc. Your heart forms during development in a twisting formation so that when it beats, it contracts with a wringing affect, efficiently pumping the most blood for the amount of energy invested. Your lungs are at the right pressure so that as the lung cavity expands, air naturally floods the lungs as it goes from a higher atmospheric pressure to the lesser pressure inside the body. The biggest, most important nerves, veins, and arteries are deep, in between muscles, so as not to be affected by minor injuries. You encounter millions upon millions of microbacteria a day and your immune system functions at peak performance with many specialized cells so you get symptoms of an illness say 1-5 times a year. Your muscles are so incredible; with one or two steps up stairs, you can stop thinking about the steps and your muscles retain the memory of the height and energy required for each step; you need no longer think about it. You have a reflex arc, where, upon touching a hot surface, the signal needs only go to the spinal cord for optimum speed of a reflex to contract the appropriate muscle. Your brain and muscles can control the strength and magnitude of every movement; you can pick up a pencil or bench press 100 lbs. The hand can perform a gross movement such as itching your leg or the finest movements of a dentist, sculptor, or surgeon. The brain is a powerhouse that houses our thoughts; controls our internal temperature, sleep cycle, emotions, and interpretations; can communicate with the Holy Ghost; and can invent vaccines, artistic expression, the airplane, and theories of physics, sociology, and chemistry. The body regulates a complicated array of hormones that cancel each other out, signal the release of other hormones, and even regulate the development of an embryo. A woman's body can create life and sustain it. This is the greatest miracle of all.

I could go on and on, but wanted to share with you some of the words of the brethren.

"I marvel at the miracle of the human mind and body. Have you ever contemplated the wonders of yourself, the eyes with which you see, the ears with which you hear, the voice with which you speak? No camera ever built can compare with the human eye. No method of communication ever devised can compare with the voice and the ear. No pump ever built will run as long or as efficiently as the human heart. No computer or other creation of science can equal the human brain. What a remarkable thing you are. You can think by day and dream by night. You can speak and hear and smell. Look at your finger. The most skillful attempt to reproduce it mechanically has resulted in only a crude approximation. The next time you use your finger, watch it, look at it, and sense the wonder of it.

You are a child of God, His crowning creation. After He had formed the earth, separated the darkness from the light, divided the waters, created the plant and animal kingdoms—after all this He created man and then woman." President Gordon B. Hinckley
“The Body Is Sacred,” New Era, Nov 2006

The following is one of my favorite addresses. I'm only including a small part of it. But I really recommend that you read the whole thing! It is incredible!! You will not regret spending the time reading it.

The Magnificence of Man--Russell M. Nelson

I invite you to ponder things magnificent . . .Think, if you will, of the most magnificent sight you have ever seen. It could be a meadow in springtime filled with beautiful wildflowers. Or perhaps you have been awestruck, as I have, at the magnificence of a single rose with its special beauty and perfume . . .

You may be surprised at what I am going to suggest now. Ponder the magnificence of all you see when you look in the mirror. Ignore the freckles, unruly hair, or blemishes, and look beyond to see the real you--a child of God created by him, in his image . . .

. . . A marvelous process of genetic coding is established by which all the basic human characteristics of [an] unborn person are determined. . . . Approximately twenty-two days after those two germ cells have united, a little heart begins to beat. At twenty-six days the circulation of blood begins. . . . Yes, awareness of the magnificence of man begins with the miracles of conception and our creation. . . .

A self-focusing lens is at the front of each eye. Nerves and muscles synchronize the function of two separate eyes to produce one three-dimensional image. Eyes are connected to the brain, ready to record sights seen. No cords, no batteries, no external connections are needed; our visual apparatus is marvelous--infinitely more priceless than any camera money can buy. . . .

Compacted into an area about the size of a marble is all the equipment needed to perceive sound. . . .

To control the direction of the blood's flow through the heart, there are four important valves, each pliable as a parachute and delicate as a dainty silk scarf. They open and close over 100,000 times a day--over 36 million times a year. Yet, unless altered by disease, they are so rugged that they stand this kind of wear seemingly indefinitely. No man-made material developed thus far can be flexed this frequently and for so long without breaking.

The amount of work done by the heart is most amazing. Each day it pumps enough fluid to fill a 2,000-gallon tank car. The work it performs daily is equivalent to lifting a 150-pound man to the top of the Empire State Building, consuming only about four watts of energy--less than that used by a small light bulb in your home. . .

. . . As I observe the lives of great individuals, I sense that the capacity of the brain is seemingly infinite. Wise men can become even wiser as each experience
builds upon previous experience. Indeed, continuing exercise of the intellect brings forth increased intellectual capacity. . .

The human brain is certainly a recording instrument that will participate in our judgment one day as we stand before the Lord. The Book of Mormon speaks of a "bright recollection" (see Alma 11:43) and of a "perfect remembrance" (see Alma 5:18) that will be with us at that time. Each one of us carries that recording instrument guarded within the vault of the human skull.

There are so many other incredible parts of his speech I'd like to post, but no one would want to read through a post that long :) So thanks for reading and go look up the whole thing! We really have been blessed with something incredible, God's greatest creation:

"The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment… All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not." Joseph Smith

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So, all my life I hated running. Hated it. The days we ran in PE were just the worst.

Then I came up to college, where a lot more people run. I decided to go a lot more often. As in a few times a month. And only about two miles. With a lot of walking. . . . :)

Then last spring, I stayed in Provo to get my CNA certification, which did required a little time, but nothing compared to the regular rigors of school and work. (I didn't go to school or have a job because I wasn't going to be there a full semester). So I had a lot of extra time. So I started going running a bit more often. I went a few times a week. But not very far, I don't think..

Then came fall of 2009. I moved in with my great friend Cailey, who loves to run. She got me to go running with her a few times but I still didn't like it. I loved the way I felt after and I knew it was good for me, but I still felt pretty miserable during the act. I was getting better at it, though. She tried to convince me to run a half marathon with her. Ha! No way, Jose.

In moves Abby, new roommate who's run two marathons and several halves. She told me her brother convinced her to run her first and that at first she hated it, but grew to love it. ...Hmm... Maybe I could change my opinion with enough repetition...

So I decided I wanted to do the half, but didn't think I'd be able to. After a talk with Cailey, I decided to try to run 3.5 miles without stopping. You are laughing and thinking it's easy. For you all, I'm sure it is! But for me, it was a daunting task. Well, I went out . . . . and I did it! I didn't stop once, not even at a light. I returned home feeling incredible and I signed up for the Hobbler Half.

And that's where I am today. Do I hate it still? Nope. Is it growing on me? Yes.. Will I continue to run throughout my life? I sure hope so.

Tonight I ran 6.5 miles and will be running 13.1 next Saturday, July 10th. I've been really busy and haven't had a whole lot of time. Didn't train as hard as I should have and am not as ready as I'd like to be, but oh well, I'm doing it anyway! Yay! I will post pictures for you although I will be looking terrible :)

Come September: half #2!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Morgan's Life as of April 29, 2010 4:01 pm

I'm not really sure on the reason you read my blog.. You may enjoy the random videos I put up; maybe you feel obligated because you are a fellow blogger and I follow your blog. or maybe you want to stay updated on my life. If the latter is your reason, yay for you! I am at work and don't want to do my homework and don't have anything to say. So, here's my life as of today.

Spring semester has started! I have a writing assignment due on Tuesday and my first exam next weekend. I'm taking 10 class hours of inorganic chemistry a week, with a recommended outside-of-class-time totaling 18 hours. This is for a regular week. Every other week I'll have an exam that will require . . . a lot more time. It's okay, don't be jealous, I'm sure you could think of at least something in your life that is as fun, although you can't boast 30+ hours like I can.

I realize that was a little sarcastic. I actually am excited.. I'm kind of antsy to do really well and prove to myself that I can regardless of past experiences that may indicate otherwise.

Luckily chem is my only class besides dissection. I know to all of you it sounds odd and weird, but I am very excited about it. It's the optional follow-up course to anatomy, which you know I am pretty passionate about :) I'll only be TAing in the anatomy lab 3 hours a week, much less than the usual 8 hours, so this will be good.

I'm continuing to work at Continuing Education Registration, where I register people for conferences, independent study, etc. I'll work here Mon-Fri, about 17-18 hours a week. And I now have a second job as a CNA. Don't have many details on that since I've just started, but it'll be good for PA school, which requires paid medical experience.

So it's going to be a pretty busy semester, but I'm excited! I am going to work hard so I can have more spare time. I love Spring semesters because they're so much more laid-back and intimate.

Other plans for the summer? Read. Guitar. Piano. Running. You. Fun! Sounds great, huh? If ever you want to do something, let me know! I'm trying to use my time better so I have more time for friends. If it's been a while, let's change that!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Beautiful Blogger Award

I was very flattered to receive the Beautiful Blogger Award from a friend, Tara. She befriended me in a CNA training course a year ago and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the amazing, incredibly friendly, hard-working mother of two beautiful children. Thanks, Tara!! As part of the award, I am to list 7 things about myself and then award another beautiful blog. Fun! I tried to come up with things that would be surprises to you readers who know me well. But then I realized I tend to share everything about myself, so don't really have any surprises! So instead, here are seven random things about me :

1. I love painted furniture. And I love beautiful cabinets and the smell of sawdust.

2. I have a scar on my clavicle from a popcorn kernel.

3. I can't read a book without a pencil in my hand in case I come across something beautiful

4. I think most things are funny. That sole person you hear chuckling quietly to themselves every now and then during movies to parts no one else laughs at? me. The person you pass on campus who is laughing to themselves? me. The person who laughs at anyone's jokes? me. The person next to you in the library who is laughing while reading their textbook? yup, me.

5. I am rarely more infatuated and awed than when watching the Ballet.

6. I love people

7. I LOVE: to keep my fingernails as short as physically possible and HATE: doritos, ranch dressing, and intermissions

Welp, that's a little about me.. I now hereby award The Beautiful Blogger Award to the sweet Miss Mary and her blog, Love, Life, and all that is Good and Holy. Not only is she a blogger who is beautiful, but her blog is beautiful as well. Her blogs are always uplifting, hopeful, and honest in her optimism and testimony. Mary reminds us to be happy for the small things in life. She reminds me to learn to love more and more as time goes by. Thanks, Mary, for your motivating blog!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Embrace Life

Beautiful! This is an online ad that started in the UK. Apparently, the man who made it wasn't hired to do so, but was just passionate about it. I only heard that from one source, though, and didn't see it anywhere on the internet, so not sure if it's true.. But it's beautiful anyway.

Friday, April 16, 2010

C’était dur, mais cette classe me manquera!

I love to write. For so many reasons. Today, I am writing for two in particular: as a means of watering down my intense feelings and to inform you of something wonderful. Writing style today: freestyle. I love free-writing, just writing whatever comes to my mind. And that's what I feel like today. Sorry if it's a little unorganized; you can ignore this post and tune in next time for a more polished post if that's what you like :)

I feel weird. You know that terrible terrible feeling you have when you finish a great book? That's how I feel. Except it's more than just finishing the average good book. You can always pick up the book and read it again, which brings some comfort to its completion . . . But do you remember how you felt when you finished the last Harry Potter book? That's how I feel. Ya, you can pick it up again and read it, but you won't ever be able to read new Harry Potter text. No more surprising Potter plotlines, no more characters, no new funny happenings. When i finished the seventh book, I think I just kind of existed around the house for a few days. It was so sad! Just this feeling of helplessness. Now what am I going to do?

Well, today's a repeat of that. French 321 is over. I just took my final and then kind of wandered aimlessly on campus for a while before I had to go to work. Yes, I will continue in the language, but French 321 is done, as is its fantastic teacher. I have to admit, I'm very surprised by this . . . [feeling]ness. It's a hard feeling to describe. I don't think I'm sad . . . no, I am. But I'm also happy; but it's a weird happy.. I appreciate the good times I had, but now it's gone..

French is hard. The grammar's always made any French class difficult, but this class especially since it's titled Advanced Grammar. This is the class where those of us who have struggled through learning French on paper are thrown into a class with those who have been immersed in the language for two years with the catalytic help of our Heavenly Father. Yes, the return missionaries. I was pretty nervous, sure they would all find me stupid. Throw on top of it that I would have the department's hardest teacher, a true Française. She wrote my previous textbook and oversees all student French teachers.

But I was wrong. The return missionaries were kind and really respected that I had gotten to this point just through books. And my teacher was incredibly understanding and supportive as I struggled through. There was a ton of information, but she was great at showing us how to simplify it all. She told us at the beginning of the class that it would be hard, but that she guaranteed results. Well, she was right. I've learned so much. I'm really sad to leave the grammar behind (who am I kidding, it's never left behind, but you know what I mean..) because I feel like there's still so much more I need to learn; I'm kind of tempted to pull out the grammar book for fun and peruse through it; it feels like an old friend, its covers all bent, pages scribbled with charts and hints, spine creased . . . But more than the course, I'm sad to leave the people. I've made some friends in that class. And even the people who didn't necessarily become friends. I've seen a few of them on campus and they always stop and we talk for 5-10 minutes.
There was a cheese night a bunch of us attended in order to get one of four required cultural activities. I looked frantically around for people I knew and saw no one. The girl I was with had to take off and I found myself sitting with people I didn't know. And then, to the rescue! came some of the guys from my class. People I didn't really know very well. But we all sat together and had a great time. So many laughs throughout the semester. It was just a very warm class. I hope to see them all in future classes, but know it will never be the same group. Sad. A warm class, that was the perfect descriptor. And of course, I will miss the teacher who taught us well and also got to know us, who had us sing God Be With You Till We Meet Again (en français, of course) at the final, and who invited us to her house for a FHE/end of the semester party. Such good times.

Well, that's where I'm at...

I hope you don't mind future posts that may come in french. I do love it so

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Dream of Someone Else


One of my favorite movies of all time is "You've Got Mail." I love the actors and the characters, the filming and the written communication laced throughout. And I love love love the story. I love the idea of falling in love through writing.

There comes a point when Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Frank Navasky (Greg Kinnear) break their long-term relationship. They spend a while talking about a woman Frank is interested in. He then asks Kathleen, "What about you? Is there someone else?" She pauses, looks out the window, and says, "There is a dream of someone else.." And a shy, little smile slides up her cheek.

I have not had much experience in relationships. I am very picky, I'll admit. But not consciously. I don't write off a person because he doesn't play the piano or because he doesn't play sports or because his style is too casual. You laugh, but it's not uncommon out here for people to check of someone who's fantastic and perfect for them simply because they're lacking in some trait off of a list. It's not that I ignore feelings for someone because he's not everything I dreamed I'd have. I just don't feel it; he's just not right for me. I've tried to force it, tried to make myself feel something. And that's worse for him and for me than if I'd have just told him I wasn't interested.

Well, I have a dream of someone else.

The kids start to get antsy when they know he'll be home soon. And immediately after he walks through the door, he scoops their little bodies up into his arms
He holds my daughter in his arms and dances with her
He teaches our sons how to work and be polite, how to treat women and their sisters, how to be responsible Priesthood holders, how to be selfless and sincere
He leans on the door frame with a smile on his face just watching me
He wants our home to feel open and accepting to everyone who visits
He sings to our children and me, whether or not he's a good singer
He loves people
He gardens with me, an activity that allows us the opportunity to work hard together and relax together
He reads the scriptures and prays with me every night
He loves deep conversations
He sets his book, newspaper, etc down when approached by one of our children
He'll read Little Women because I love it. And tell me his favorite parts
He delights in making people happy
He reads to the kids before bed each night and prides himself on the fact that he taught them how to read before they started school
He likes to cuddle and laugh and stargaze
He loves to read and talk to me about what he read
He enjoys spending evenings with me on a swinging chair in the backyard

So I'm kind of a romantic. And although I love each of these images, they aren't necessary; I'm merely painting a picture of the husband and father I'm looking for. If you're reading this and feel like it's you . . . . I'm free on Friday

Thursday, April 01, 2010

My Happy Place

Recently, I've been spending a lot of time looking at gardens. I've been getting emails from Better Homes and Gardens on how to make mulch, prepare soil, get rid of weeds, make compost, etc, how to plan around this and that.. and I love it.

I'm not usually a stressed person, but sometimes, despite my best efforts, I do get a little overwhelmed with all the necessary things in life that push aside other necessaries and all wanted unnecessaries. I always heard of a happy place, but didn't really have one. When stressed, I'd imagine myself cooking dinner in my future house with sweet, little children (that always tend to look like those curly-haired, rosy-cheeked precious Hobbit children from the Lord of the Rings movies..) pitter-pattering down the hall when Dad comes home from work and kisses me on the cheek. Or I'd picture myself happily working as a part-time PA when the kids are in school, loving it and knowing all the school was worth it. Well, I still picture those things (of course much more of the former) but now I do have a happy place. And it is my future garden.

My garden is very green and lush. I love color and I love flowers, but I'm not sure if they're in this garden. At least not all of it. Tall trees completely shade the entire backyard and the thick canopy casts a cool, serene, green tint. There is a rustling of leaves and the trickle of water; there are a few crooning birds in the morning and maybe even a quiet rush of distant traffic. But no other sound.

There are little paths that wind through the trees to secret places. My favorite: a seating area where my husband and I sit together in puffy patio chairs crowning a shallow, long pool of water that flows off to some other area of the garden. There is a little table between us and a low wall that surrounds the narrow resting area. Another favorite is in the very back corner. It is another pool of cool water, raised to the height of your hips, contained by a moss-covered, dark-stoned wall. This area is very shaded, a shade darker and a degree quieter than the rest of the backyard. The surface of the pool is absolutely covered by algae and other green flora. A Bocca della Verità-esque fountain mounted on a wall embellished with cracked tiles (which are, like everything else in this garden, covered in green) creates the only movement in the still pool and the only glimpse of clear water void of the obscuring greenery.

Well, this is my beautiful, serene, happy place. Welcome.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Simple Happiness

I am sitting on my bed with the window open and don't feel at all cold. I love hearing cars driving by outside.

I feel calm.

I've had, since Saturday at 4:00 pm, more time than I've had for months. I made bread for the first time, which was a success. I was able to sit back and relax on a Sunday. I talked to my dad for a little while. I saw my brother. I watched Return to Me last night and loved it. (First time since.. a long time.. that I've watched a movie on a school night.) I am sick but feel emotionally great. I have a great new job which was, thanks to some great people, incredibly easy to get. My room is a mess, but I will have time to clean it tomorrow. (A thought I haven't been able to have for months.) I had a wonderful experience teaching anatomy this semester (as I did last semester) and am going to sorely miss my intimate, 9-person class and my incredible lab partner. I am loving my French class and finally feel like I've got a handle on it. I have incredible roommates and friends that love me. I just got off the phone with the most incredible woman in the whole world and am grateful that I not only know her, but can call her mother. And now I'm going to read the Book of Mormon and write in my journal and think. And I am going to wake up early and get some non-school things accomplished before class, things which are usually pushed aside by studying. My life will soon be in order and I will no longer be that person you just shake your head at for failing over and over again to be on top of things because bits of her mind are scatered all over the place and her plate is heaping over and spilling onto the floor. I am happy with where my life is right now and happy with where it is going. Life is great. Little things are great. Thought I'd share. Happy day to you! Bonne nuit!


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

How to be Gorgeous

Dearest, dearest readers--
It is safe to say we all traverse through our lives making the comical error of thinking we are below the splendid, superb, grand, glorious, magnificent, smooth, velvety, rich, voluptuous clouds on which we stand. But let's face it; we are not! May Fry's experience be a lesson to us all!

I think it was Donald Minstock, the great amateur squash player, who pointed out how lovely I was. Until that time I think it was safe to say I had never really been aware of my own timeless brand of loveliness.
But his words spoke to me because of course you see I am lovely in a fluffy, moist kind of a way. I walk, lets be splendid about this, in a lightly scented cloud of gorgeousness that isn’t far short from being quite simply terrific.
The secret of smooth, almost shiny loveliness of the order of which we’re discussing in this simple, frank, creamy, soft way doesn't reside in oils, unguents, bombs, ointments, creams, astringents, milks, moisturizers, liniments, lubricants, and imprecations, or balsoms, to be rather divine for just one noble moment, It resides and I mean this in a pink, slightly special way in ones attitude of mind.
To be gorgeous, and high, and true, and fine, and fluffy, and moist, and sticky, and lovely, all you have to do is believe that one is gorgeous, and high, and true, and fine, and fluffy, and moist, and sticky, and lovely. And I believe it in myself tremulously at first, and then with mounting heat and passion because, stopping off for a second to be super again, I’m so often told. Thats the secret really.

Thanks to the Lovely, Splendid, gorgeous, and sticky Cailey for showing this video to me and transposing it for us :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Embrace this Day

Every now and then you have a Sunday that is just exceptionally great. This week, we had a Sunday school lesson on agency. And it was incredible! I never really realized how important agency is. I guess I always knew it was important, but I'd never really thought about it before. In Moses 4:3, it says, "Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down." Wow.
It was a great experience thinking about what influences my choices. And how I can utilize the gift of agency to better myself. Here is a great video the teacher shared with us. It is about six minutes, but is incredible, well worth your time watching it. It shares a great message on what to do with our lives and in what manner to live them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Of Characters

My mom and I realized something over the Christmas break: that she likes books for their plot lines and I love them for their characterization and writing style. I love reading about a character whose traits fit perfectly. I think of characters as 3-D puzzles with unique curvature, outjuts and inlets, each their own shape. These characters have so many talents and weaknesses, fears and quirks, that you'd think all the descriptions of them would bulge out awkwardly and make a ragged outer surface on the container that couldn't contain. But, they don't. Somehow, they don't. The surfaces are smooth and the containers seem to have the ability to be all-encompassing. There is no limit to a person.

Once you know the character well enough, you know what makes him upset, what types of people he gets along with, what makes him nervous, and what his dreams are. There comes a point in the book when your response to his action is, "Oh, John, he would do that.." or "Of course that bothered him.." And you don't know this because you've seen him before. He's not a cookie-cutter character we see over and over again. Nor did you predict his action because it fulfilled something that needed to happen in the typical storyline and was therfore assigned to a character--any character--regardless of whether or not it's actually something the character would do. No, you can predict him because you understand him. Because looking at his traits you see hundreds rather than twenty. And they all connect and interconnect.

Your character John has some of the same components as does Huck Finn and Frodo Baggins and Scarlett O'Hara, but none of these characters have every one of his components. Someone may have a dominant personality that is very like the person John feels he needs to be and tries to be when Sarah is around. But the characters are still different. Nowhere in the world is there another like John.

Sometimes these different characteristics seem as if they could never describe the same person. But they end up doing just that, going into the same person. And they do so unexpectedly smoothly, like those smooth curves of the 3-D puzzle. They go together differently in John than anyone else. And their arrangement in John fits perfectly, just like their arrangement (amongst other descriptors) in Huck Finn fits perfectly.

Now, characters can be introduced in many ways, but they all fall under two main methods. The author can list traits flat out or can show you traits through events. An example of each is below. The two quotes were taken from Little Women, one of my favorite books of all time with perhaps the greatest character development of all time.

"Poor Meg seldom complained, but a sense of injustice made her feel bitter toward everyone sometimes, for she had not yet learned to know how rich she was in the blessings which alone can make life happy." (Little Women, p35)

"That night, when Beth played to Mr. Laurence in the twilight, Laurie, standing in the shadow of the curtain, listened to the little David, whose simple music always quieted his moody spirit, and watched the old man, who sat with his gray head on his hand, thinking tender thoughts of the dead child he had loved so much. Remembering the conversation of the afternoon, the boy said to himself, with the resolve to make the sacrifice cheerfully, 'I'll let my castle go, and stay with the dear old gentleman while he needs me, for I am all he has.'" (Little Women, p136)

The latter exerpt is one of my favorite passages; the imagery and characterization is so beautiful to me. So many things about the characters of Mr. Laurence and Laurie can be pulled from this. The two unwind from a long day by listening to Beth play; we know Beth is precious to Mr. Laurence because she reminds him of his child and that she is precious to Laurie because he loves each of the March girls; we also see that the music is a means of relaxation to the two, which, in the case of Laurie, who loves to play and compose, is no surprise, but in the case of Mr. Laurence, who seems to wish Laurie'd play less, is a surprise. Laurie standing hidden in the curtain, listening to "the little David" is not only a beautiful image, but shows a bit about his character and his relationship with his grandfather. We learn Laurie must feel strongly toward those with whom he discussed in order to want to change (March girls). Mr. Laurence's character and occasional harshness could be due to the death of his beloved daughter. . .

Obviously I prefer the second method. There is so much to deduce. And often times I can see more or less--or simply differently--than someone else. Therefore, the Laurie in my mind is different than the Laurie in yours. And, of course, my Laurie is based off of me--my experiences and my preferences--as is yours based off of you. So he means so much more to me than yours would to me. And he reminds me of me. And I LOVE that. That's why we read. To create our own.

You can give me the most boring story ever written and as long as I can fall in love with characters that are beautiful in their complexity and with a writing style that is effortless and artistic, I'll love it forever.

Welp, that's that...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

There are No Ordinary People

There is a C.S. Lewis quote I LOVE. By far my favorite. I found it in high school when I was preparing a talk on charity and showed it to my Dad. We've loved it ever since. For Christmas, my Dad bought me Weight of Glory, the book it's from. I can't wait to read it and find more inspiration. Here is the quote; I've added the bolding and italics. Let me know what you think!

It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinnerno mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.