Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost Time

The year is almost up, and I can barely wrap my mind around it. So much has changed. Nothing has changed. Sometimes I can't seem to conceptualize how this thing called life works, and yet, I love it. Life is such an adventure. I'm so excited to see what's on the next page.

Stay tuned for stories about the holidays, new books, classic experiences, latest loves, and everything in-between.

Happy (almost) New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Delayed December

I had grand plans of writing a few blog posts before the end of this week- one about a perfect Sunday spent making sugar cookies and watching classic movies with my roommate Karleen, another one about meeting Kathryn Stockett, and one about my goals for winter break. Obviously, I didn't quite get there, but that's okay. Instead, I caught up with friends, celebrated Jewels being DONE with her college career, finished my third semester of grad school, and washed the mountain of laundry that has been taking over my closet. I'll get to those blog posts after my trip to the Magic Kingdom with my family and after Christmas with the extended Hutchins family in Sandy. Happy holidays and safe traveling everyone! Bye for now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Have I said...

Have I said lately that I ADORE my Grandma Joan? She is one of my favorite people on the planet. If I ever have any doubts about whether I belong with my family, I look to her and know that I’m home. My grandma is the reason I look forward to holidays and family dinners. LOVE her so, so much. (This is one of my favorite pictures of my grandma - not glamorous, but her incredulity over Brett smashing cake into Jewels' mouth was one of the highlights of that wedding day.)

My ethics teacher shared this quote a few weeks ago, and I keep thinking about it. Brilliant concept – “The sad truth of the matter is that most evil is done by people who never made up their mind to be either bad or good.” ~Hannah Arendt

Life is hard. A few of my besties (yes, high school student lingo still crops up where it shouldn’t) are dealing with sad/maddening/tragic situations. I hope they know they are loved, and there are people who will do anything to make their days better. If I can’t help the situation, then I’m happy to come over and cry with you. Like Dolly Parton’s character said in “Steel Magnolias,” “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” Amen Dolly. Amen.

Tres Semme Dry Shampoo – magical beauty product. Anything that makes it so I don’t have to blow dry and straighten my hair every day and costs less than $5 earns high marks from me.

Did you see “Catfish” (it was a movie if that is totally out of the blue for you)? I’m still disturbed by how drawn in we can be to the technological scene – facebook, blogs, etc. are great, but we need to form real relationships. Where are we spending our time?

I told Hill last week that I procrastinate with cleaning. Hillary laughed out loud and then kept laughing. She called herself Scrooge, and I laughed at that. Woodland creatures dress Hill and her daughters in the morning because they are that wonderful (anybody seen the beginning of “Grease”? - that’s Hill, Ellie, and Baby Roo). Moral of the story – Hill and I, while occasionally unconventional to other people, have more fun talking about mundane things than most people have doing fabulously, exciting things. Love her!

Should vegetarians eat animal crackers? It was someone else’s question, but I laughed for a long time when I heard it.
If you're majoring in English, you're majoring in death. Again, someone else’s comment, but I think it’s hilarious, perfectly true, and mildly disturbing.

The professor that I work for said, “We can't expect a deep meaningfulness from our calling unless we're willing to assume its burdens as well.” (Jeff Thompson) I was more than willing to absorb the burdens of teaching. Not sure what my calling is now, but I am trying to figure it out.

Final thoughts – I love being a second year – lots to do, but fantastic support network and way less stress. I think I’m moving to Seattle after graduation – it’s not for sure and no, I don’t have a job there yet…but I think it may be the place for me. Naturally, I'll keep you posted on those developments as they are pretty life-altering....

Better get back to studying for finals. Thinking about you always!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


RevolutionRevolution by Jennifer Donnelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

New York. Paris. Headstrong teenage girl. Recent tragedy. Absent authority figures. French Revolution. Handsome (and naturally mysterious) stranger. Classical guitar. Fireworks. Louis XVI's dead sons' heart. Okay - I lost you on that last one, but up until the dead boy's heart, you were interested. Donnelly's latest book, "Revolution" is great - perhaps not as spectacular as "Northern Light" - but still very good. It helps that I am borderline obsessed with France and the French Revolution, so anything that references Versailles or the Eiffel Tower earns extra points. Simply said, I was captivated by this story to the point that I abandoned sleep, school work, and other practical pursuits in order to finish it. The two stories told simultaneously were haunting and beautiful. Really, really liked it and let's be honest, loved the cover.

The Art of Possibility

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal LifeThe Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, I should have reviewed this book when I finished it in October. The specifics have become rusty as end of semester chaos envelops my brain. That said, I loved this book. It's not a perfect book, but this look at the immense possibility we have in our lives is great. I felt better about life with each subsequent chapter as Roz and Ben Zander explored different ways we can transform our personal and professional lives. It is a book that I will be picking up again come the end of grad school as I prepare to establish what my "adult" life is going to look like. Read it and then call me - I can't wait to hear what you thought!

ps. I am fully aware that I described very little of what is actually in this book, but if the number of margin comments or post-its sticking out of the book are any indication, this book has dozens of takeaways...far too many to do justice to in a mini-review. Let's just say that I have thought of this book every day since I finished it and am trying to embrace more possibility in my life. Happy reading!