Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I love this lady.
She had a birthday yesterday and we had a blast and a half!
This photo is just a small part of her garden.
When she was giving me a tour a few weeks ago, she referred to the lettuce as sincere.

So she's getting a little crazy in her old age.  
We still love her!
Especially because now we are loving referring to the strawberries as humble, the peas reverent, the rhubarb earnest and the raspberries genuine.

And she's a good sport about what jerks we are.
Happy Birthday, Mom!  We love you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Up For a Challenge?

My U.K. (United Kingdom or ├╝ber kewl) counterpart posted a fun photo challenge she will be doing for August and I have decided to take part as well!  Check out her post here.

Susannah Conway - the challenger - says, "you simply share one photo per day on your blog – Monday to Friday, or every day. Or whenever you want. Using any camera – DSLR, compact, Polaroid, Holga, iPhone (my choice), Instax, 35mm, video – with or without words – anything goes – for the whole of August. No pressure - just looking at August through your camera lens as a way to be more present this summer."  How much do I love this?  A lot, lot, lot.

I love how she says, "as a way to be more present".  Fantastic!  There is something about looking at your surroundings through a camera.  I find pictures very intimate because it is a snapshot of what the photographer wanted to see, what was important to him/her and how they want to share it with you.

I'm going to try to do a photo a day, which could prove challenging during the drive to DC, but should also be tons of fun.

Who's with me?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Babies

Older sisters are great.  
They get even better when they have kids.
This is happiness.

What's Your Sign?

Right after my family moved to Utah my sister and I saw this sign in my parent's neighborhood.  We thought it was a joke.  We even wondered where we could get one.  It's definitely not a joke.  There are gazillions of cows that live in the town and they get out from time to time.  The red nose is kind of silly but it's also practical at night.  So all in all, this is a serious sign. 

Cow crossing.  Look out.

A few months later, a girl brought this picture into work to show everyone.  They all thought it was a joke and didn't understand why I wasn't laughing.  I was wondering why they were all laughing.  I grew up seeing this sign all the time so for me, this was just like a yield or a no u-turn sign.

Culture clash, for sure.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

See You in Two

Elder Taylor Sawyer Johnson entered the Missionary Training Center today.

Her only son - she had a hard day

Missing Elisabeth (with her fam in Idaho) and Meghan (in China!)

He was SO ready to go!  
Good luck, Elder Johnson

PS - check it out.  His middle name is Sawyer, but they made a mistake so it looks like we hyphenate our last name.  My mom - what a feminist!  She just had to keep her last name (I kid).  I guess I go by Rachel Sawyer-Johnson now :)


Check it out!  I'm featured today on the 5 Questions blog (follow the link, friends).  I think this is a fantastic idea because let's face it, who does not blog hop/stalk/creep?  We all do!  So this blog is a great way to meet up with other fun people who blog and get an insight into their lives.  If you want to be featured as well there are directions on the right side of the blog.  It was a bunch of fun, I definitely recommend playing along!

Thanks for your fun idea, Kennan!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shame, Shame, Shame

I totally watch this horrid, badly acted, weirdly scripted, mess of a teen drama.  I catch it on Hulu every week.  I roll my eyes the whole time, yet I still watch.

Guilty pleasures are just that.  You feel guilty for being pleased by something so shameful/annoying/immature/unhealthy, etc.

Do you have any guilty pleasures or am I the only one?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There's an App for That

Yesterday I was searching the iTunes App store for an app to help me learn Spanish.  I have been wanting to start studying Spanish again for a long time so I thought, why not now?  And why not learn from a free iTunes app that will probably teach me words and grammar wrong?

I found one that looked decent so I looked at the reviews and comments about it and found a comment that jumped out at me.  The reviewer said,
"You are limited to what you learn"

I love that because while this reviewer thought the app was awful, but had a difficult time articulating it - they ended up making a pretty profound statement.  It's true, we are limited to what we learn.  This life is for learning and growing, making mistakes and falling down.  Most of the learning I do comes through different exposures at work, the news I read, the incredibly intuitive and savvy friends I hang around with and my own random research (thanks Wikipedia!).

Don't limit yourself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Secret's Out?

Today I was deep in thought while eating a pretzel rod dipped in caramel and chocolate.  Something about that combo makes me ruminate.  Anyhoo - I got to thinking about government agencies like the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, etc because I have been watching a lot of Chuck lately and I wonder how accurately Hollywood portrays them.

Think about it.  Doctors on TV can either be played pretty straight forward or like how they were on ER - when every season ended with a death or two, a helicopter falling on someone, a wedding or the departure of George Clooney (sob).  But we all go the the doctor so we don't let Hollywood build much of a framework for us - just minor influences.  Our own experience dictates our perception of the medical field.

I don't know about you, but my experience with the FBI, CIA has been extremely limited to zero experience, so what I see on TV and in movies is pretty much all I know about them.  I'm not some dummy who believes everything I see so I understand most story lines are fictionalized.  I still wonder how much goes on in these agencies that we never see or hear about.

I guess I'll never know.  Unless the CIA accepts my application.

"Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers and are famous preservers of youthful looks."
- Charles Dickens

Monday, July 19, 2010

War Paintings

Over the weekend I read about an art program run by the Marines where they send enlisted artists into the battlefield to capture the essence of battle.  Several branches of the military have similar art programs and most of them have been around since WW II or earlier.  Supporters of the program say that the artists convey the emotion that photographs can't.  

Then today on Yahoo! news there was an article about the Army art program and an exhibit planned for September.  (Read the article here)  Apparently the Army has been collecting battlefield art since the 1840's and has decided to put 300 pieces from their collection on display.  That collection is more than 15,000 pieces strong.  

The exhibit will run from September to January in Philadelphia and then tour select US cities.  You better believe I plan on going.  Hey Rachel Rasmussen - how about you come visit me and we see it together?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Movies Galore!

Did you know that I love movies?  It's true!  Since I have a lot of free time on my hands I tend to see a ton of movies during the summer.  So far I feel like this summer blockbuster season has been a bit of a bust.  I haven't enjoyed many of the movies that have been released thus far.  

Until last week!  When I saw these -

This movie is fantastic!  I totally cried at the end.  I'm going home to my parent's house this weekend so I'm going to try to convince them to take the fam out to see this.

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this movie!  I do not care for Nicolas Cage but he did a really great job in his role as the sorcerer.  It was funny, interesting and just a good time all around.

I highly recommend both.  Let me know if you go!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Today is the end of a really great week.  Nothing extraordinary took place.  No big news, no marriage proposal, no lottery win.  I am just really, delightfully, unapologetically happy.  And there is magic in happiness.

That's why you can fly in Peter Pan if you think happy thoughts. 
I hope you have a magical weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Me Too!

I cry every time I read "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.

Good story.
Great moral.
Punk kid.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Do I...Know You?

I love my job, have I ever mentioned that?  I do!  One thing that I might call a downside is that it can make for awkward social encounters.  Let me explain...

This situation doesn't happen much anymore but it happened ALL the time when I worked for a school.  In educational settings you get to know your clients really well and the faces of the other students in the class will get seared on to your brain.  When you see these other students out and about you realize that they look familiar and you struggle and struggle to place them.  I'm the kind of person to say hello if you look familiar but then later regret it if you happen to be someone I've never even spoken to.  

Yeah, I hate it.  Luckily, since going freelance, I have only done this once in the past year.  It's still not comfortable.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where My Girls At?

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes."
~Clare Boothe Luce

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.
~Rebecca West, "Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice," The Clarion, 14 Nov 1913, reprinted in The Young Rebecca, 1982

There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody.
~Florynce Kennedy

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive.
~Marya Mannes

You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.
~Jane Galvin Lewis

Stolen from

Monday, July 12, 2010

Happy Monday

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
From the words of "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Something I Forgot

(my favorite photo from my trip to Asia)

I wanted to add something to my last post.  Lately I have been talking about music with some gorgeous girlfriends of mine and how certain songs are entangled with time periods in our lives or certain memories.  Right now, the song that I am playing on an almost constant loop is "Fix You" by Coldplay.  Believe me - it applies.  Holy cow, does it apply.  Here are the lyrics, I hope you love it as I do!

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And on your face I...

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And on your face I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

New Plans

Ok, here goes.  After a lot of consideration, prayer and talking with respected people in my field (i.e. Anne Leahy, Doug Stringham) - I have decided to not attend graduate school this year.  

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Just kidding.  There were lots of reasons for me to apply and now there are even more reasons for me not to go.  I might go next year, and I might not.  I will still be moving to the DC metro area (in a month!) to live and work and to give me the change I so desperately need.

I don't want to go into exact reasons for this but I can tell you that after making the decision I have felt a sense of peace that was missing since I got my letter of acceptance.  I need to do what is best for me and I know, without a doubt, that this postponement in what is best.  

I feel like now is a great time of change and growth for me and I love it!  I'm trying my hardest to make weak areas strong, to talk, show, and give love and to forgive and forget.  I'm not saying I'm successful at it, but I'm enjoying the process.  I know that good things are right around the corner for me!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."
- Dalai Lama

Mmmm, delicious!

A sandwich.  In a can.  A canned sandwich.
Hence, a Candwich.

I might be sick.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big changes.
New plans.
Will fill you in soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pee U!

Most people hate the smell of skunks.  I used to be one of them.  I don't love it enough to wear it as a perfume, but it's a happy smell now.

Skunks remind me of home.  San Diego is full of canyons and skunks thrive in that area.  When I was growing up I hated the smell!  We would smell dead or newly sprayed skunk every day.  Blech.

Now, when I smell a skunk - it takes me home :)

World Cup Fun

While in New York City we saw a sports store with these murals in the windows.  There were far more countries represented but I only took a couple photos.  I wish I would have taken more!  

I especially love the Swiss team's poster!
Four years until we can give it another try, Team USA.  Good try this year!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Long Haired Lovelies

I am in love with this product.  It keeps a bun nice, neat and tidy without having to use 74 bobby pins.  Unfortunately it's only useful to those with longish hair, but when I say useful - I mean it, wow.  I rarely plug any product (other than food items), but this little spin pin set is a life saver.
Not literally a product designed to save lives but that's just what people say.  Ya know?

"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is."
- H. Jackson Browne