Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"It's The Climb"-Miley Cyrus

Okay, so I have had two experiences this year that I want to talk about that have led to make some conclusions about the meaning of life.

1.  In February, I got to go to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert and it was a genuinely moving experience.  The best part was their final song, when they sang "Come, Come, Ye Saints".  It was so good!  Pretend you've already cried several times because of sheer emotional musical power, and then watch this, start crying, and it will be like you were at the concert with me.

Whoa, amirite?  This song is just the bomb.  I understand why this song is the Mormon pioneer anthem.  The Mormon pioneers did some really hard stuff, such as travel across the entire American continent in the dead of winter, and thousands of them died, and literally all of the newborn babies died, and they were starving, and got frostbite, and had to amputate their limbs, and cross frozen rivers, and had no shoes.  But they persevered because traveling to Utah was the most important thing to them.  I respect that.

The best part is the phrase "Why should we think to earn a great reward, if we now shun the fight?"  Since I went to this concert, that phrase has sort of become my motto.

Like, why should I think to earn the great reward of _________ 
(a college degree, being a cooler person, having friends, looking good, success)
 if I now shun the fight of _________ 
(homework, being less selfish, being friendly, exercising, working really hard)?   

Basically, it reminded me that I can't expect to get something just because I really, really want it.  It's the worst.  Alternatively, just because something I want is difficult to obtain and it seems unlikely that I will get it, doesn't mean I shouldn't try.  We have to fight for stuff we want.

Moving on.

2.  Robby and I drove to Utah in May for his best friend's wedding and we listened to an audiobook of this biography on Lyndon B. Johnson.  I know.  That makes us sound super nerdy, but it was actually awesome and so entertaining.  We decided we learned enough new information that we could consider the book a lower-level college class.  Seriously, quiz me.  I know tons of stuff about LBJ.

My takeaway from the book is that fear of failure is really dumb.  The first part of the book was spent explaining Lyndon Johnson's rise to power.  Apparently, from the time he was a child, he told everyone that he was going to be the president one day.   He worked really hard and really carefully so that he could be the president.  He excelled in school, made the right connections, politicked the right kind of politics, and eventually worked his way up to become Senate majority leader.  Cool.

But then they start talking about Kennedy's background, which was basically the opposite of LBJ's.  He did have a very wealthy family and lots of advantages, but he also was super sick for all of his childhood so he didn't do much with his connections.  Long story short, JFK had chronic back pain as an adult and had to get multiple surgeries after he became a senator, and he missed a bunch of sessions.  But, all of a sudden, he decided he wanted  to run for president, and he just went for it.

JFK used his social connections (i.e. father) to run an awesome campaign.  He tried really hard and met a lot of people, and *spoiler alert* got the nomination and then won.

And, with all this background information, it seems really unfair that JFK got to be the president and LBJ was just the vice-president (until, of course, Kennedy was assassinated).  But the thing is that Johnson was afraid of failing, so when people asked him if he was planning to run for president, he just told them no, even though he reeeeeally wanted to.  He didn't want to be embarrassed by having a failed run for president, so he didn't tell people he was interested in running until it was too late and everyone already supported JFK.

So, if I have learned anything in the year of 2012, it's that you can't earn a great reward if you shun the fight.

P.S.  I know this post isn't very Christmasy but I found it sitting in my drafts and it was just the reminder I needed to inspire me to work hard today!  So I thought I would go ahead and publish it.  My own words moved me. #humblebrag #imtheworst

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Feel Like I Have To Blog About The Royal Baby

So, listen.  Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge is having a baby and I. Cannot. Deal.  I am so happy.  I have been obsessed with Kate Middleton ever since I PERSONALLY SAW HER ON HER WEDDING DAY (braggin').  Plus, if you have ever seen my Pinterest board entitled "Babies" or my perfect nephew, you know I am also obsessed with infants.  So, like, Kate + a baby is almost too much for my heart to handle.  I don't have enough words.  So, here are some relevant links.

 Here, Snooki gives Kate some pregnancy advice.  Bless.

 Here and here are two articles about potential Royal Baby names.

That last one is a little bit distressing because TWO of my favorite names (guess which ones! I'll never tell!) are on the list and I will actually cry if Kate steals one of my baby girl names.  Because if I name my child after the Royal Baby, everyone will think I'm naming my child after the Royal Baby.

Also, sidebar.  One of my former favorite baby girl names is on there--Charlotte.  Robby vetoed it because I'm pretty sure he had a crush on someone named Charlotte when he was little and she didn't like him back.  He tells me it's because it sounds "too Southern" which I always take as the code phrase for having experienced unrequited love.  By the way, I keep a lengthy list of potential Meldau baby names and try to discuss them with Robby all the time and he has zero interest in it.  He has said no to literally every baby name I've ever nominated because apparently "We don't have children!".  Psh.

Anyways, I've been speculating a lot about what the Royal Baby is going to be named.  I've already decided she will probably be a girl, and I can't even fathom how disappointed I will be if I'm wrong (Because they changed the laws about monarchy in England JUST SO William and Kate's baby could be Queen if she is a girl.  So, she HAS to be a girl).  I am planning for a girl name.  I think the Royal Baby's name will be some combination of these:

Phillipa Louise Victoria Diana Elizabeth

Calling it.



P.P.S. I'm not pregnant.      

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Thanksgiving Eve!

Something about me is that I think Thanksgiving is the best holiday in the world.  I love it the way most people love Christmas.  It is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I have been too excited to function all day because Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  The start of the holiday season!  I feel so joyful and bloggy today. Thanksgiving is TOMORROW, guys.  It will be so fun!

I think a big part of the reason I love Thanksgiving so much is because I prefer fall-related decor schemes to winter-themed ones... I mean, I love Native Americans?...I mean, I love having the opportunity to express my gratitude for all of the cool things I have that other people don't...I mean, I get to spend time with my family.  And also eat delicious food.

But seriously, I love that everyone is so thankful.  I really do!  Thanksgiving is just such a wonderful start to the season.  Because really, it's all downhill after Thanksgiving.

Just kidding.  Black Friday is great.  Christmastime is also great.  But, in honor of the holiday, here are some random things I am thankful for today, in no particular order.

The Pioneer Woman, for just live-tweeting the movie Gone With the Wind while she made pie.  I love Scarlett.  I love Melanie.  I even love Rhett.  I love Rhee.  I love her frontier, and I love pie.  She is the spirit of Thanksgiving in my eyes.  Why am I not the Pioneer Woman?

Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, and Diet Pepsi.  I have had a very busy and fatigue-filled past few weeks, and I am pretty sure that I have single-handedly kept the diet cola industry afloat.  Thanks to my favorite caffeinated beverages for keeping me awake, functional, and happy in times of need.

Yale, for offering FREE college courses online!  Tender mercies.  This is something I had heard but didn't know anything about until I was frantically trying to finish a paper about Milton last week so I just googled "Milton paradise lost book 9" and this came up.  Just a Yale professor giving an hour-long lecture about Paradise Lost and boom, paper written.  It was so helpful!  I love Yale.  I love the internet.  I love English.  I do not love Milton, but I am working on it.  

I am also very thankful for my family and my husband and the Gospel for so many reasons.  I am so blessed and feel very lucky especially these last few, busy weeks.  I've gotten a lot of help.  But who wants to hear about that?