Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aunt Anna

Tonight I stumbled upon a collective/group blog that features Aunt Laurene as a contributing member. Only she goes by Anna, not Laurene. Go have a look:

Scroll around in the archives to read of her stroke in the post Ramblings of Joy and Frustration, relive her trip to Florida in Where Anna Has Been, and check out her original poetry on why she's a woman/rose bush and not a tree. Oh, and the post Ben Franklin, and a B-24 recounts her recent airplane ride.

I found it all excessively diverting:) and lovely. She writes as she speaks.

Top Ten

Quick name your top ten fav books. What, can’t limit yourself to just 10? I so understand.

But what about a list of 10 books that reveal something about you. That’s right, ten books above all others that have shaped or even defined you. Ah, now we’re getting a little too up close and personal, eh? But since we’re fam I’ll divulge that Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is on my list along with a collection of Essays by Eugene England (most notably Why the Church is as True as the Gospel) and the children’s classic The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward (can you say Girl Power?) There are others, but really that’s exposing myself too much☺

Each book came at a crucial time for me and I can remember where I was on the first reading and what I was feeling. After reading, I moved forward. I suddenly became unstuck, in the sense that some new concept, character, example or idea altered my thinking in a way that uniquely applied to me.

Last week I finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and know I’m laying myself wide open when I divulge that I love, love this book. It has now squeezed and edged out number 10 on my list of revelatory books. And before you balk, yes, I am aware of it’s criticisms: it’s not really an adult novel, it’s pretentious, too philosophic, slow going, it’s kind of a fable (you know, like The Little Prince), blah blah. I know, I know.

But… there are at least 10-12 wonderful passages in the book that resonate. Just a couple:
From page 53. Renee Michel, on reading without guidance:
"I have read so many books...And yet, like most autodidacts, I am never quite sure of what I have gained from them. There are days when I feel I have been able to grasp all there is to know in one single gaze, as if invisible branches suddenly spring out of nowhere, weaving together all the disparate strands of my reading--and then suddenly the meaning escapes, the essence evaporates, and no matter how often I reread the same lines, they seem to flee ever further with each subsequent reading, and I see myself as some mad old fool who thinks her stomach is full because she's been attentively reading the menu. Apparently this combination of ability and blindness is a symptom exclusive to the autodidact. Deprived of the steady guiding hand that any good education provides, the autodidact possesses nonetheless the gift of freedom and conciseness of thought, where official discourse would put up barriers and prohibit adventure."

From page 145. Paloma, after meeting Kakuro Ozu for the first time:
"So here is my profound thought for the day: this is the first time I have met someone who seeks out people and who sees beyond. That may seem trivial but I think it is profound all the same. We never look beyond our assumptions and, what's worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves. We don't recognize each other because other people have become our permanent mirrors. If we actually realized this, if we were to become aware of the fact that we are only ever looking at ourselves in the other person, that we are alone in the wilderness, we would go crazy."


So, what about you? What fav 10 books reveal you? No, again, not your favorite books to recommend but the 10 books that say something about you. Sharesies, please.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

pretty good week

Ever have a week crammed full of good and happy and hopeful things? A whirlwind week that makes you reel? T'was that kind of week for me, and because I know that some days, weeks and even years are not always so over-the-rainbow happy (not to mention Seriously, So Blessed! lol) I feel to document it. Just to remember.☺

Last Sunday, April 19th to be exact, ld was sustained and set apart as the Bishop of the BYU 65th Ward in the BYU 12th Stake. Having been one before in our home ward, he should soooo have this down. I was called as his ward Relief Society advisor, which means I advise the Student RS President. Here's the happy part: I get to hang out with ld on Sundays.

True to form last week I blew up my 3rd computer in 6 years. True to form ld rescued me in my stupidness and bought me this: (of course it’s a Mac, the one and only true computer☺)

Snapped this a couple of days ago. It....encourages me. 'Nuff said.

Kodison applied for and was accepted for a paid Geico internship down in Tucson. The fact that it is in Tucson absolutely makes my day.

Because of said internship lovely Megs will be moving in with the parentals for the summer. Lovin’ this, too. She will help me organize, share recipes and swap reading lists.

And last, but certainly not least, awesome 'Kenzie graduated from BYU yesterday afternoon. Words that best describe? PROUD. WEEPY. JOYFUL.

Yup. Quite a week. In case you read this post as being boastful, annoying and similar to a ‘Christmas newsletter’, (the kind that irritate because they gloat), well then, indulge me fam and friends. Believe me, I know a bit about life’s realities, disappointments and unfulfilled expectations. Life lived, on most days, is not newsletter worthy.

But… there can be joyful times, too. This week just happened to be one of them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know I’m a sap. It took me a year to get over Mr. Roger’s death. But this Susan Boyle really pulls at my heartstrings. I tear up at her audition video every time I view it, I’ve peeked at her Fan Club website (didn’t take long for that to crop up, did it?) and read/viewed all the internet chatter about her. But this article says it best, it’s why her story touches me so. Go have a read:

Can you say Paul Potts?

It's not really about bunnies and hats, now is it?

Early, early Easter morning I got on the church’s website and found Elder Holland’s remarkable video segment, excerpted from his recent GC talk and set to music and images of the Savior. I wept. It’s all over Youtube now and shared on many, many individual members blogs. I would share it too, if I knew how to embed it. (Ld, help!) Go see, if you haven’t already.

It was a different Sunday for us. Ld had some meetings he couldn’t get out of, Meg sang in a trio in Sacrament meeting, I spoke in church, and then Kenz sang a solo in her ward RS. Oh, and then I substituted in Primary. Afterward we all met up for a late dinner here at home. I love the idea that we were each in our own way speaking, leading or singing out our testimony of the Savior.

I have spoken on Easter 4 times previous to this Sunday. Each time I think, Oh good, I’ll file this talk away and then won’t have to prepare another, just re-give the same talk. But that has never happened. As the years pass my understanding of the Atonement and Easter changes, evolves. I still can’t wrap my mind around it all.

A couple of quotes that match my Easter mood this year:

From Henry B. Eyring, (referencing 3 Nephi 11:1)
“He speaks: I am the light and the life of the world;…I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world;…I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.’

That is it. Eight lines. Fifty-two words. “And…when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth.’

“I have thought often about this moment in Nephite history, and I cannot think it either accident or mere whimsy that the Good Shepherd in his newly exalted state, appearing to a most significant segment of his flock, chooses to speak first of his obedience, his deference, his loyalty, and loving submission to his Father. In an initial and profound moment of spellbinding wonder, when surely he has the attention of every man, woman, and child as far as the eye can see, his submission to his Father is the first and most important thing he wishes us to know about himself.

“Frankly, I am a bit haunted by the thought that this is the first and most important thing he may want to know about us when we meet him one day in similar fashion. Did we obey, even if it was painful? Did we submit, even if the cup was bitter indeed? Did we yield to a vision higher and holier than our own, even when we may have seen no vision in it all?

And from Elder Holland:

“… no amount of education, or any other kind of desirable and civilizing experience in this world, will help us at the moment of our confrontation with Christ if we have not been able—to yield all that we are, all that we have, and all that we ever hope to have to the Father and the Son.” (On Earth As it is In Heaven, p. 126-7)

The above quotes meaningful because submission is hard, especially for this proud heart.

The doctrine of the Atonement comforts and sustains me. It is the answer to our daily challenges, whether they be sin, mistakes, ignorance, or undeserved adversity. The Savior saves us from our sins, makes right and heals imperfect relationships, comforts us in our pain and sicknesses and through His grace, His enabling power gives us strength beyond our own in overcoming our weaknesses.

It's everything.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hat Parades of the Past

Grandma Ethel would have been so proud…

True to our heritage we strutted and paraded and laughed it up. This year’s Hat parade was AWESOME! See Meg’s videos at Keep on Keepin’ on for more proof. Good times. Side note: Contrary to popular belief, Brig & Kenz's hats are not Muslim themed. They are supposed to be, er, Carrots.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In my Easter bonnet

Easter hat parades got their start in New York City in the mid-1800s, when the lower and middle class would watch a spectacle of cosmopolitan socialites drifting down the avenue after Easter church services. The elite wore their Sunday best, including bonnets, top hats of all styles, colors and embellishments, and began a tradition known as the Easter parade. The tradition was immortalized in the movie "Easter Parade" with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, and today, people from all walks of life stroll down fifth Avenue on Easter wearing flamboyant hat creations.

Easter hat parades in our fam originated with Grandma Ethel. For as long as she taught, she instigated and organized an annual Easter Hat Parade for her school. Complete with music, a script and cool prizes it was the Spring Happenin’.

So, in keeping with family tradition we are bringing it back. The deets:

What: Arnett Fam Easter Egg Hunt/ Easter Hat Parade

When: Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where: HB and Penee’s backyard, natch

Time: Lindsay said around 10:30, (but Meg and Kody can’t come until later so can we kick it back a bit to say 11:00? Pretty please.)

Just like last time there will be prizes for all. Categories include: Loveliest, Prettiest, Cutest, Most Cerebral, Best use of theme from TV show, Most Eastery, Most Jane Austeny, blah blah blah, make up your own category if you will.

Bust out some of that Arnett creativity, rellys and come join us all on Saturday for a hoppin’ good time. What? You say you won’t be in town? No problemo, consider participating by posting your hats on your blog. That’s right, a virtual cyber Hat Parade. Good times.

If your kiddies need some ideas to get them going, here’s a few:

everyone share their fav poems. Now

ld and I spent the trip down in companionable silence. I engrossed in sewing a little house out of a pillowcase and he soaking up oldies from his ipod. It's good to get away, but the weather down here (Zions, btw) is just as crazy as home. Yesterday lovely and then today the cloudy glooms. Very mean. Which reminds me April is National Poetry Month! You didn’t forget did you? Go see, go see:

T.S. Eliot:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

(the above lines, of course, taken from the Academy of American Poets poster promoting National Poetry Month.)

How’s that for a bit of synchronicity, eh?