Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lovin' the Move

I have never been a huge fan of moving - finding half-unpacked boxes in every possible corner, lifting awkward things, trying to sort out the madness that you thought was clearly labeled - but today I loved every minute of it because it means that Jewels and Brett are officially back in California. Brett's security sales team will be selling in the San Jose area this summer, and I (along with the rest of the Jewels & Brett fan club) have been counting the days eagerly awaiting their arrival.

This past week, I tried to explain Jewels to someone - not her personality (genuinely good-natured and spunky) or her details (married for over a year, baby on the way, just finished her junior year of college), but what she meant to me as a sister and a friend. I don't think my friend understood what I meant when I said that with Jewels around, life simply seems better. The sun seems to shine brighter. The stack of "to do's" seems more manageable, and random experiences seem funnier. My life seems more complete when she is close. I cannot convey in words what having her with driving distance means (though we know for sure it means laying out by pools, food network, and laughing excessively).

After a long day of setting up house and figuring out which box goes where, I'm ready to call it a night. Just wanted to say how excited I am for summer. Let the party begin~

(ps. I know this is a random picture choice, but that's exactly the point. If you look closely, Jewels and I are framing a brown bear that we stumbled across on a walk not too far from our Tahoe house. The bear would later follow us back and rumage through our garbage can!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Middle and the End of 100

So you're back for more? Wow - brave soul - I don't know that I would have come back. Best of luck then and happy reading~

51. I used to believe that I was a girl with no fears (at least none that anyone knew about). Kidding myself on so many levels. The fear that plagues me most comes from early childhood when my dad told me the Boogieman was real and then proceeded to call a number that just rang and rang and rang (this was a pre-answering machine era). “The Boogieman’s not answering. He must be out looking for you.” Young Jaclyn was never the same. To this day, I make sure every possible thing is closed before I go to sleep – closet doors, dresser drawers, bedroom doors, shower curtains, etc, etc. You never know where he might be hiding.
52. I love condiments. Ketchup, mustard, and barbeque sauce are key. Ironically, my sister hates condiments. She eats her sandwiches dry. I won’t eat my sandwiches without all of the essentials.
53. When I was in grade school, I would get up at 5:30a.m. Monday through Friday (this includes summers) so I could watch “Bewitched” and “Little House on the Prairie.” No wonder I’m tired now.
54. I love to laugh. I probably do it too often at things that most people think aren’t funny or at moments when I shouldn’t (i.e. when my students make inappropriate comments). I once laughed for an hour straight after seeing a pink robe – I do not know why.
55. I am the princess of useless information. My aunt is queen, but I am following in her footsteps. Random facts and figures stick to my brain. I can’t tell you what I learned in British Lit, but I can tell you Matt Damon’s birthday or where the summer Olympics were in 1984. This is why I love Trivial Pursuit – a game that rewards people who know off-the-wall things.
56. Money got especially tight during one point in college, so my grandma was generous enough to let me earn money by cleaning her house on Saturdays. Being broke was the best thing for me because I got to know my grandparents over egg salad sandwiches and diet cokes after I had finished. They are incredible people. (random Hutchins trivia – I was born on their anniversary)
57. I am a teacher for many reasons – three of them are Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Jo March. All three of these fictional women were teachers and writers, dreamers and adventurers. They achieved their goals to teach and inspire, travel, find love, and live by their pen. I hope I’m on the same path.
58. I have fallen asleep at the wheel multiple times (never with anyone in the car so don’t panic if you’re in my car, but do worry if I’m following you). Scariest times were on I-15 driving to the Salt Lake Center after pulling all-nighters and on Highway 189 heading to Heber. We truly do have guardian angels – there’s no logical reason I should be here right now.
59. I love making chicken potpie. It takes minimum five hours from start to finish, but it’s the meal I make most commonly when someone is sick or when the weather turns cold. I even have mini-cookie cutters that I used to make shapes to put on the piecrust. My favorite is to use the fall leaves.
60. Someday I’d like to live in Europe – whether it’s for a month or five years, I would love the opportunity to be completely immersed in the culture and lifestyle.
61. I have self-control when it comes to buying everything except books! I have shelves dedicated to to-be-read books. I love the smell of bookstores and the possibilities held in all those pages.
62. I taught piano all the way through high school to beginning and intermediate students. It confirmed to me that my life goal was not to be a music teacher, but showed me how amazing the gift of music is.
63. Still on the music note, I have played the piano nearly all my life. I am exceptionally rusty after my college years were spent without a piano, but I’m coming back slowly. My goal someday is to play Chopin’s “Fantasie-Impromptu” – that day is a long way off, but it will come.
64. I cannot stand flannel sheets and wearing socks to bed. I have to be able to find the cold spot in order to fall asleep.
65. I am not a pet person. I like to ride horses, run with dogs, and pet the soft fur of baby bunnies, but at the end of the day, I want to go home to a pet-free house.
66. I love to hike. To explore mountains and hills by foot instead of seeing those places in pictures is a great experience.
67. I am petrified of needles. I have to lay down after most interactions with those pointy devil sticks.
68. Despite that fear, I cannot ask people to do things if I am not willing to that same thing myself. When I was serving in a Relief Society presidency at BYU, I encouraged the sisters to participate in a stake blood drive meaning that I also needed to give blood willingly. Thought I was going to die, nearly passed out, but I did it. People need to be able to back up their words with action or facts – there’s no way around that.
69. I saw George Clooney or his twin by his property in Lake Como, Italy. He is very good looking – like cheese he just gets finer with time.
70. If I could have any job (i.e. my unrealistic dream job) I would be a Broadway star. Can you imagine singing “On My Own” or “Defying Gravity” to a packed theater? Music transcends everything, and a brilliant story set to music….wowzers! Love it – oh, and the occasional tap dancing wouldn’t be a sad thing. I love to tap!
71. My semi-unrealistic dream is to be a writer. What a great concept to work from a cabin in the mountains in my yoga sweats and college t-shirts spinning tales of far away places. I have to find my muse first and a way to write convincing dialogue….
72. My realistic dream (that matters more than all of the above and that could, in theory, fit into my semi-unrealistic dream) is to be a stay-at-home mom who has warm cookies waiting for my kids when they get home from school. After snack, we’ll curl up on the couch and read books before they take their naps. It would be a perfect life.
73. I love listening to other people and learning about what things they love, what things they fear, what things make them uniquely them. People are what life is all about – who would want to return to Heavenly Father without the people they love most at their side? We can’t do this without each other. I’m bringing as many people home as I can.
74. I am weird about punctuality. I cannot stand to be late.
75. I still love “Dr. Quinn” – can’t help it. Sully is the reason I have a thing for cowboys.
76. My parents love to dance – slow, fast, whatever – we had spontaneous dance parties all growing up. This obviously led to a freeness that can be dangerous. One afternoon in college I got caught shimmying to “I’m too sexy” by the boy I liked. Never been redder in my life. To this day, I cannot hear that song without blushing.
77. There are rumors about how long girls really go without shaving their legs – those rumors absolutely do not apply to me. I love having freshly shaved legs so it’s something I do every day without fail.
78. I was asked this past summer if I was a twin with my 14-year-old sister. If you missed the memo, we’re a decade (not a year or even a few years) apart. Needless to say, it was a high point for her and an embarrassingly low point for me.
79. I eat my sandwiches in a circle so that I end up with the middle for my last perfect bite.
80. Growing up, there was a hill right next to my house. I spent hours up there laying in the sun and looking out over town. It was my own approach to getting away from it all, but close enough that I could hear my mom call my name for dinner.
81. I love the feeling after you’ve exercised – energized exhaustion if that’s even possible. I haven’t been able to work out the same since my car accidents, but I look forward to the day I can.
82. I love to learn. To sit at the feet of the brilliant minds of our day is one of my favorite things to do- I don’t even mind taking notes when I love the subject. My favorite classes to date have been “Sharing the Gospel” with Brother Bott, English 251 with Melia Fidel, Spanish 101/102 with a sassy Chicana, and Honors U.S. History in high school with Jacki Della Rosa.
83. Someday I would like to serve a humanitarian mission. Whether it’s working in Eastern Europe or Latin America, I would love the chance to help those who have so little.
84. I cannot wait to have my own house. I have too many ideas and plans to ever fit into one space. The essential element that has not changed over the years is floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lining the walls of a room. I know the Beauty and the Beast library is far reaching, but I would be perfectly content with the libraries they show in Jane Austen movies. That’s another piece of my heaven.
85. I love giving and receiving notes and letter in large part because of my mom. She started the trend with little notes in my lunches and has kept it up to this day (just got one a few days ago under my door). My favorite set of letters that she’s written are not actually addressed to me, but to my dad. My parents’ letters from high school and my dad’s mission would make a hopeless romantic out of anyone.
86. I love speaking, hearing, reading, and singing in Spanish. I am very rusty, but I someday would like to be fluent in Spanish. I’ve read the first Harry Potter in Spanish and appreciate the hymns more in Spanish than in English. Not to mention, how much I love the Spanish culture both in Latin America and Spain. So much spice and so much passion!
87. I have always loved new school supplies – new crayons, new pencils, new notebooks. Whether from an office supply store or Papyrus, I love buying cards and cute envelopes. Good thing I get a teacher discount at Staples….
88. I dream of going to Israel and walking where Jesus walked. I want to dip my feet in the crystal waters of Greece. I hope to make it to the top of Manchu Picchu in Peru and live to tell the tale of a safari in the Sahara. I would like to visit six of the seven continents before I die.
89. I love having my hair played with. With someone’s fingers running through my blonde tresses (always wanted to use that goofy word in a sentence), I am completely relaxed. Dangerous when a boy does it – I cannot think straight!
90. It’s officially been more than a year since my last speeding ticket! I was pulled over for going 22 over (good thing the cop caught me when he did) the speed limit going over Parley’s Canyon and for following to closely (as I slowed down when I saw the cop). When he asked for my registration and insurance, I couldn’t produce either! Me, the person who voluntarily organizes everything, had left them in my “2nd accident file” – who ever thought I’d have one of those (let alone two!) or be grateful for just getting a speeding ticket?
91. I wanted to work in a grocery store when I was a little girl so I could put the shelves in order. I would follow my mom through the store lining boxes and cans up as we went. Too this day, I still love grocery shopping. So many possibilities and so much structure in that one space – not to mention a fantastic amount of ice cream all under one roof.
92. I prefer giving gifts to receiving them. I love finding the perfect thing for someone.
93. I want to live in Stars Hollow with the rest of the “Gilmore Girl” clan. I love this show with its witty commentary and drama with a comedic twist. I never expected to enjoy a show whose jokes center around Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, and imperialistic American condiments (essentially I never expected to love a show where I had to think while I watched it). My vote has always been Luke for Lorelai and Jess for Rory.
94. I love quotes from speeches I hear, books I read, and music I listen to. One of my favorites from “Gilmore Girls” is “ Did anyone ever think that Sylvia Plath wasn’t crazy, she was just cold?” Usually the quotes I love have more ties to the meaning and essence of life, but you get the idea.
95. Tracy Tanihara she is living proof that I love having my expectations exceeded. Tracy and I were forced (literally) to meet and “be friends.” In her, I have found my survival these past few months – we’ve shopped, laughed, cried, and formed one of those bonds that will last the rest of my life. When I first met her, I thought that she’d just be another face in my ward, not one of my dearest friends. Heavenly Father truly answers prayers through the people He places in our lives.
96. I was called a communist last fall – me, the often overly zealous, “I love America,” “I’ll teach good values to my students if it kills me” girl who has gotten into more than a few heated political debates about excessively liberal views. One of the most random, but hilarious moments of the past year courtesy of Patrick.
97. I love good conversations about anything and everything – life, religion (Elder Holland’s talk “An High Priest of Good Things to Come”), students’ antics (lighting incense in class!), books (craving a good drama right now), politics (who are we seriously supposed to vote for to lead this country?), Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (cannot wait – 8/8/08), youtube (“They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard” still makes me laugh until I cry), the latest boy drama (if I told you, then I’d have to…you know), where to get the best pizza (Skippolini’s or The Pie) or mango chicken salad (Costa Vida), etc, etc. Listening to what people think and feel is one of my favorite things to do.
98. Hello, welcome to Relief Society-R-Us. Would you like to draw from my experience as a RS pianist, instructor, education counselor, secretary, visiting teaching coordinator, president, or enrichment counselor? Seven years of “grown up “ callings and almost the whole time has been spent in Relief Society. Despite how long and how varied my service has been, I still feel like I am learning so much in my calling to serve within the Relief Society. It’s a privilege to associate with the women of the church.
99. I am nearing the end of my list and have too many random things to wind up with so following VH1’s “contenders” for the ones that didn’t make the official 100 list, here’s a quick shout out – I heart Concord!, Christiane Monteverdi, my 7th & 8th grade Spanish teacher changed my life – she’s one of the main reasons I am a teacher, CV3 ward forever, I’m named after a Charlie’s Angel, I love playing hostess and cooking for other people, I said "skanky ho" in class on the first day of school my first year of teaching, the sound of Sunday mornings growing up was Michael McLean and the smell was my dad’s waffles, movie soundtracks rock my world, etc, etc.
100. I am becoming more keenly aware of how well God knows us. I make plans all the time for my life, and since starting BYU, nearly none of them have actually become a reality. I never expected to be where I am right now, and yet I wouldn’t change it – not because I am incandescently happy, but because I know that He prepares our path. In that I have complete confidence. Life goes well when we leave it in His hands. I’m working on that strengthening my trust in Him and becoming the person He knows I can be.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Beginning of 100

After a few people said I should do my own 100 list, I thought I would give it a whirl. I am so ridiculously detailed that not only do I need an editor, I am giving you the list in two parts. I think though that life is hidden in people's details. Most people just weren't English majors and daydreamers. So good luck and happy reading!

1. What I drink with my meal is often more important than what I eat. I live and breathe by my beverages with bubbles and caffeine. The craving I have most often is for a vanilla coke from Sonic (not too sweet with the perfect ice). I just found out there is a Sonic about an hour away – can’t wait to go.
2. I love to drive when there is nowhere I have to be. Provo Canyon was my favorite Utah drive, and it ended up being my commute for a year (how many people can say they love their commute?!). In California, I love to drive to the Oakland temple or through the hills in Clayton.
3. I am a parentheses and dash addict. I use them to clarify thoughts – to add random one-liners – to draw the readers’ attention where I want it. Am I using them correctly? Doubt it. I learned my grammar rules just well enough to break them.
4. I received the book A Face in the Shadows for Christmas in 7th grade. I still read it at least once a year. I own three copies – two of which have been purchased from book dealers since it’s out of print.
5. I love the feeling of wind on my face. Icy winds on the top of mountains, warm breezes off Lake Tahoe, wherever whenever – I love it.
6. I was an A’s (shocking, I know) and a Giants fan until 1989. At the age of six, I made the fateful decision during that World Series to be a Giants fan. Despite the fact that they lost then and have not won a World Series since (so close until game six in 2002), I am proud of my decision. There’s nothing like being at a game on a summer night.
7. I love all things that are from that stereotypical American tradition – baseball, fireworks, jazz, barbeques, flags flying. I want to live in that neighborhood someday where you have block parties with kids running around laughing and parents standing back chatting over cold lemonade.
8. I want to live in a musical. Can you imagine a world where people spontaneously burst into song? Such a happy place-
9. If I am ever diabetic, I would risk high blood sugar for Yogurt Castle. It’s worth every spoonful.
10. I crave travel like some people crave food. Whether it’s a spontaneous roadtrip to Denver or a trip planned a year in advance to Europe, I’m always ready to go.
11. On that same note, I would live in a hotel if I had the means. A world with no clutter where someone makes my bed, that’s a piece of what my heaven is like.
12. I traded my secret of how to make checkered cakes for Dallen Webb’s chocolate frosting. Best baking/cooking decision I have ever made. The frosting completes the cake better than Brad completes Angelina.
13. I have looked up to Melia Fidel my whole life. She is my Utah mom, my student teaching mentor, my BYU professor, and my friend. I hope I grow up to be like her and have a family as cute as hers.
14. I have seen Les Miserables seven times. My dad took me for the first time when I was seven, after months of me singing to a cassette tape. If I could only listen to one cd for the rest of my life, this would be it.
15. I have a love/hate relationship with words. I love well-crafted sentences and speeches. I hate the sound some words make especially moist and wholesome. I will not list anymore because inevitably someone will use these around me thinking they’re the funniest thing ever.
16. Sundance – my favorite mountains, fall colors, restaurants, hikes, places to take pictures (just to name a few). I would do their PR work for free – that’s how much I love it.
17. In a perfect world with the perfect cool temperature, I would wear yoga sweats, long sleeved t-shirts, and socks every day.
18. My current beverage of choice is Diet Dr. Pepper – it’s my sanity saver.
19. My dad would sing the BYU fight song to wake me up before seminary in high school. He would be up the stairs by the time he finished the song, so when I got to BYU, I only knew the first half of the song. “Rise and shout, the Cougars are out….”
20. I love hip-hop dancing. Strat’s “Bootylicious” mix is still my favorite thing to bust out after a long day. I can body roll to the side, but not straight up and down – someday, I will be able to do that despite how white I am.
21. Growing up, I wanted to be Julie Blodgett and Missy Giles. I became involved in leadership, made a senior quilt, and lived in David John hall because they had. Every girl should have examples like them to follow.
22. I second Hillary’s love for Target. It has everything you could ever want. I have spent more hours and money there then I dare to count.
23. I get my hair cut and colored three to four times a year. Those three or four days are in close running for being the best days of the year. Natalie Seely works wonders every time –
24. Lake Tahoe is what I think of when Alma says “everything denotes there is a God.” It’s one of the places that I see Heavenly Father’s love in tangible form.
25. I love the sound of my parents laughing with each other. It’s always been such a comfort that they are so in love. Their story would make a great book.
26. I think laying out under the stars on trampolines is the perfect place to talk to for hours.
27. I like the feeling of warm dirt between my toes after it’s been rototilled.
28. My aunt Joanell gave me a star cookie cutter after I had searched for one for what seemed like years. It was the perfect gift. She makes me feel like I can do anything.
29. I am happiest when I am doing something for someone else – whether it’s listening after they’ve had a rough day, making them dinner, or ________________. Doesn’t really matter what it is as long as they feel better in the process.
30. I love that I’m left-handed. Few things that I am/do/have experienced make me unique. I love that Jewels, Hillary, Lauren, and Megan are left handed too. Makes me like them even more!
31. There is nothing like being at the temple. Mt. Timpanogas, Manti, and Oakland are the ones I most frequently visit. I look forward to the day I get to sit in those celestial rooms.
32. I have been the designated missionary writer for years. Nearly all my roommates (the ones I actually liked☺) and good friends in college served (two are still serving!) missions. It was my job to send them off, write them, and then help them adjust when they returned.
33. In the Gospel according to Jaclyn, I figure I get to ask five questions when I die. My list changes often, but the one question that has been on since high school history is who shot John F. Kennedy. I need to know – mob conspiracy? Three shooters?!
34. I do not like eating fish or anything that has once made its home in water. I do, however, like to fish. I tried sushi (cooked) for the first time yesterday. That which does not kill us makes us stronger, right?
35. The most relaxed I’ve ever been was reading on a beach in Kauai. Warm sand, cold pineapple smoothies, no “to do” list and Harry Potter – truly a perfect day.
36. I love movies – in any form – at home, in the theater, previews on youtube – you name it, I’ve watched or am planning to watch it. Too many great ones to even try listing the ones I love.
37. Despite the fact that I am an English teacher, I do not love poetry. Most of it makes me crazy. Why not just spit it out what you have to say in a way that we can understand without having to dissect every phrase?
38. I can say the alphabet backwards. I practiced it just in case I was ever pulled over for a DUI (I’m a sleepy driver – looks a bit sketchy). I don’t drink, but I cannot walk in a straight line. ZYXWVUT…..
39. I loved my high school car. Soldier aka Jane was a manual 1986 Mazda 323 with oxidizing paint. Her keys fell out of the ignition but Jane still drove. You could unlock the outside doors with a house key. Her trunk filled with water when it rained. She’s hasn’t been mine in six years, but I still have her key on my keyring.
40. I have two puncture wounds in my right shin. One was the result of rollerblading and the other from running away from a crazy dog. They feel totally different than the rest of my leg.
41. I got through college by doing crosswords Monday through Wednesday in class (Thursday if I was lucky – they get hard!). This, of course, when I wasn’t writing missionary letters or taking notes (I did have to pay attention sometimes).
42. After my car accidents last year, I had to go to physical therapy three times a week. I was asked out by one of my therapists. Nothing says awkward like having someone hit on you when you’re in a hospital gown.
43. Despite years of music theory training for the piano, I cannot lead music.
44. Hillary let me hold Dylan for a couple of hours the day after he was born. It’s one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
45. On the baby note, I will be an aunt this summer. So excited for Jewels, Brett, and the soon-to-be Baby Mae.
46. I am borderline OCD. Everything in my room and classroom (even when it’s messy) sits in a distinct place. My books, in particular, are strategically placed so they look a certain way. My movies are alphabetized. My closet is hung by sleeve length and color. Despite all this, I hate making my bed.
47. I have been tremendously blessed with great friends. I cannot list them all, but I am especially grateful to say that my siblings are part of that group. We’ve worked hard to make that a reality.
48. I love music and almost always have it playing. I even listen when I am going to sleep. That habit started when Jewels snoring in the next room would keep me awake. She was a petite little girl, but she was loud!
49. If I could pick another era to live in, I would choose to be a teenager and young adult in the 1940s. That era seems to possess all the nostalgic elements and values that we lack today…not to mention, great music, styles, and unflinching optimism.
50. I rarely write in a journal because I am excessively detailed. For that same reason, I am pausing my 100 list at 50 with a promise to post the second half later. If you made it this far, you deserve one of those gold stars they give you in kindergarten and you deserve a reprieve from reading about me. Stay tuned for more randomness – it’s sure to follow in whatever I come up with next.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

So Many Possibilities

I have been trying to decide since my last entry what to write about next.  There simply are too many options.  I could go into detail about....

*The experience of realizing I had left the house in slippers and arrived in them to pick up my car that was getting its 30,000 mile check.  There's nothing like the sound of slippers scratching across slick cement to make you think "now that woman is classy."

*The fact that all the powers of the universe will come to get you when you take "sick" day - I saw two teachers and one of my students in five minutes (one in Safeway, one in the parking lot, and one in Richards where my student was actually my checker).  

*The idea that buying toothpaste on Amazon is surprisingly even more fun than buying books and movies and two-day shipping was a brilliant creation (we love fed-ex, ups, and usps - or something like that?!)

*The Fentons vs. Ghiradelli ice cream vote is currently 1:3 after a fun adventure to Oakland with Tracy, Patrick, and Kyle last night.  Can't wait for a summer afternoon spent eating Ghiradelli's in San Francisco.

*My brackets are completely busted after UCLA and UNC lost.  So much for predicting the future.  To make up for this fact I watched the last two minutes of the 2006 BYU v. the U football game where John Beck hit Johnny Harline in the endzone with no time left on the clock to beat the U.  One of the absolute best sport moments ever.

*I had a sleepover at a friend's house (the fabulous Tracy who I will have to write stories about later), and actually slept.  Sounds like we had a boring time considering that most sleepovers are considered a success when you crash at 4am, but I have struggled since I was a little girl with sleeping at other people's houses.  I always came (and still come) with at least one book to help pass the hours that my friends are sleeping.  I brought the book last night and did not have to use it!  And we had a fabulous time laughing, talking, and listening to Latin music.  

*I love general conference weekend!  I cannot adequately convey the sustaining power that listening to the general authorities' testimonies has on my life and testimony.  It's such a privilege to sit at the feet of the prophet and apostles and hear them bear witness of our Savior and the restored gospel.  I love our leaders more each time I hear them speak.  My testimony of President Monson's role as prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was fortified as we saw him conduct and speak in this role for the first time.  He truly is called of God.  I am excited to incorporate the counsel we heard into my day-to-day life.  I want to be more like the general authorities in dedicating all that I am to serving the Lord and becoming more like Him.  

As evidenced by my random possibilities, I cannot pick what to write about.  Indecisiveness is an unfortunate gift that I often possess.  Either way, there's a snapshot of some my thoughts and experiences.  Catch ya later-

ps. Happy 178th Birthday to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (not to mention Harry Houdini and Butch Cassidy - not quite the same category though)!