Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking Forward

I am amazingly, insanely, euphorically, mind boggling excited for 2013.

There are plans.
Oh yes, there are plans.

Low expectations, but plans for days.

Plans never fail us, we are the ones who fall short. I'm going to try my best in what I want to get from 2013. If my plans don't succeed or fall short of their marks I will have still done my best and *hopefully* have gained some new insight in the process.

How I adore a personal challenge!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Headed Home

I'm headed to Utah bright and early in the morning to spend the holidays with my family. Ah.....much, much needed family and friend time is just what I need to kiss this cruddy year goodbye!

Has anyone else had a superbly heinous 2012? Ugh. Ready for 2013 is an understatement. Hopefully we make it through the Mayan apocalypse unscathed, I would hate for the end of the world to get in the way of my plans for the new year.

Happy Holidays! I hope yours are totally fetch!
(It's like slang from England)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"That's Not Fair"

Whenever we would utter the phrase "that's not fair" to my dad, he would swiftly follow up with, "life's not fair". He was right, even as a small child I understood that he was right. Now as an adult I see every day how life is not fair but that doesn't mean that I have ever come to terms with it.

Life is absolutely unfair when you send your child to school thinking they will be taken care of and returned to you at the end of the day. Life is unfair that some people will struggle with mental illness every day of their life. It's also unfair when blame is placed on individuals or groups when it's not their fault and that finger pointing is coming from a place of intense pain and anger.

The killings in Connecticut have brought both sides of the gun debate to the fore front screaming how if they had their way things would be different. Those angels babies would be alive. Those families would have a merry Christmas. Isn't that life? Who is right in this? I'm not voicing my opinion nor asking for yours about gun control, but this is the greatest example of how polar our society is right now. Both sides think they are right and living as they do will bring about a more moral society. 

I am wrecked by the horrid event that happened Friday morning. I refuse to point fingers at any one or any group because at the end of the day we all have our agency and exercise it how we like. We need more tolerance, love, and support for those around us who live differently than us. 

This article provides amazing and heartbreaking insight into the event and possible others in the future. Let's all pray that there are no more in the future.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

songs about home

I'm stuck on a musical theme right now. Lately the songs that are sticking in my head and leaving the greatest impression are all about home. What does that mean? Maybe I'm missing my family, or am totally sick of traditional love songs, or they're just all really good songs - plain and simple. Who knows? I'm loving them now so here's a little bounty for you to share in -

"the troubles they might drag you down,
if you get lost you can always be found.
just know you're not alone
i'm gonna make this place your home"

"let me come home,
home is wherever i'm with you"

"just know, you're never can always come back home."
(thanks for introducing it to me, UK Rachel!)

(who else can't wait for les miserables?!?)

have a lovely weekend. be happy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Liebster Award

My friend, Lizi, nominated me for a blog award/survey. I had a great time coming up with all my answers!

The Liebster Award.
here are the rules:
**list 5 things about yourself**
**answer 11 questions your nominee made for you** (I just used Lizi's)
**choose your own 11 favorite blogs to nominate** (I won't nominate but I'm hoping some of you play along, I want to know your answers!)

 My Five Things
1 - I can spell words backward without writing them down
2 - I recently took an (online) test for autism and I scored close to the cusp of "may need further testing". Basically I'm on the cusp of the cusp of Aspergers and dang it y'all, it explains too much about me
3 - You should take me shopping with you. I'll tell you the truth (good or bad) and give you a legit justification why you should buy
4 - I can almost quote Mean Girls word for word
5 - If I wasn't an interpreter I would want to work with animals

 Lizi's Questions
1. What is your favorite animal and what does that say about you?
Like I could possibly answer this. Either elephant, koala, Corgi, or panda. Hmmm, an elephant might say that I am old and wise but sometimes destructive. The koala speaks to my lazy yet adorable side. A Corgi (dog) is regal, lovable, and has short legs and a long torso, like me. Pandas are vegetarians and seem to have a lot of fun on playground equipment. I don't eat much meat (and am considering going full vegetarian) and sometimes have to remember to not be such an old soul.

 2. What is your first memory?
I was sitting on a suitcase in our living room in Virginia Beach when I was 3 years old. My older sister slammed the door and a piece of aluminum along the bottom of the door cut the top of my foot. I still have a scar.....and a vendetta.

 3. Who has made the biggest impact on who you are today?
Not an easy question! Obviously my parents have made a tremendous impact on who I am but that's the easy answer. I would like to lump all of my Deaf Studies professors into one and make that my final answer. College was a great time of change and mental/emotional upheaval for me and I am grateful for that everyday. I like who I am and how I see the world because of them. Thank you, Flavia, Will, Dale, and Bryan!

4. If you could be any celebrity who would you be and why?
Last question was tough, this one is easy! Either Tina Fey or Amy Poehler. They are sassy, hilarious, working mothers, and wonderful examples of womanhood. See! Check out Amy!

(originally seen and LOVED on Danica's blog)

5. What is your favorite holiday?
Independence Day! Maybe you've noticed - I love America! My family is quite patriotic and it's one of my favorite aspects of us. I especially love Independence Day in my parent's town because it's the same every year. The day starts with a pancake breakfast fundraiser, then later there's a parade that never fails to be utterly hilarious, a BBQ with the family, and fireworks. Always fireworks. 

6. What is a movie you have cried in?
Recently? Honestly, I cry in many movies because I'm sensitive like that. Most recently was probably Perks of Being a Wallflower. So good. So, so good.

7. Who/what has inspired you?
- My siblings. Their capacity for service makes me want to be better.
-Ms. Ramsey, my 12th grade English teacher. I still think of her often when reading or writing that book that I keep hidden.
-Good photography inspires me to express myself.

8. Where is the best vacation location?
Any location that has good history, is near a beach, and is cheap to get to. Backpacking, my friends. These have been the greatest vacations I've ever taken. 

9. What goals do you have for the next year?
To improve my spirituality and really, truly learn to "let it go"

10. What were you like in high school?
I went to two high schools and was like two sides of the same coin. Freshman/sophomore years I was quiet, athletic, shy, dying to show my true self, and living a bit in my older sister's shadow. Junior/senior years were amazing! I was outgoing, athletic, involved, and happier. Although, I did have a back problem for those two years as well, so I guess I was also a hunchback.

11. What makes you happy?
Good conversation, talking to my nieces and nephews on the phone, riding bikes, visiting a beach, a good book, milkshakes from Chick-Fil-A, when a stranger smiles at me first, feeling useful, going to the movies, and being with people who get me. This list is not complete, I add something new all the time!

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me a bit better!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Take It Away, Mariah!

In my opinion there are less than a dozen *acceptable Christmas songs. 
I'm a grinch, but everyone knows that. 

*"All I Want For Christmas Is You" and "O Holy Night" rank #1 and #2
"I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." 

- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

Sunday, December 9, 2012

All Seven Johnsons

October 5th was the day that we were all in the States for the first time in 28 months. Welcome home, Maria! The amazing and super talented Lizzie came and documented this for us one final time. I'm so grateful to her for helping us preserve these important moments for us!

Maria's plane landed pretty late so the two nephews stayed at home with my brother-in-law, but other than that we were all there to gather the last one home. The plane was delayed by about 30 minutes and then she tortured us further by being almost the last person off! That sneaky punk.

They have grown and changed so much since she left but those little girls remembered their Aunt Maria very clearly

The fam! (minus John, Porter, and Grant. Plus Sorella Olsen, one of Maria's companions)

Johnson siblings. I still suspect I may have been adopted.

Oh, I missed this lady.

What a blessing to have them all go and do what they felt called to do, but now what a blessing to have everyone home. Being able to pick up the phone and call any of your best friends whenever you need is an unexplainable treat.

So grateful this holiday season to have my sweet family!

Still Kickin'

So.....I haven't blogged in a while, have I? Not a single post for all of November and we're 9 days in to December and this is my first. Odd. Definitely odd for me. No good excuse, it just didn't happen.

I'm back and happy to post again for all 11 of you who read my blog. Thank you all.

Now back to regularly scheduled programming!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Going Off The Grid

I survived Hurricane Sandy! Hooray! Now I'm going off the grid for 10 days. No blogging, texting, Facebook, or emailing......

....and I am SO excited about it! Sometimes not having the ability to communicate is an absolutely wonderful thing.

Be good while I'm gone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Waiting Out Sandy

I'm in my bedroom listening to the rain and winds rage outside. Apparently we're still not seeing the worst of it. Midnight is supposed to bring the strongest winds, historically strong in fact. Great. I love living in an area that is steeped in history but I do not love twiddling my thumbs in the middle of a hurricane that is registering the highest, fastest winds ever seen on the East Coast.

So for now I have still have power. Meaning I twiddle my thumbs, I watch movies, I work on crocheting my blanket, I don't have melting ice cream to eat,I stave off the insanity threatening my brain (this wind is freaky, y'all), and I wait. 

Please keep us in your prayers

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm 84 Years Old

Some evenings you get home from work, throw on your jammies, and disregard all invitations for social contact so that you can work on crafts. Some evenings you'll crochet row after row until you bring about carpal tunnel syndrome and bend over that canvas fixing lines until it feels like your back is going to break. Totally more fun than interaction, right?

All because you've always been an old soul.
That term is endearing when you're 22, when you're 30 it feels a bit too true.

(the quote comes from my favorite song "Can't Help Falling In Love", originally by Elvis. i'm obsessed with the Ingrid Michaelson version, check it out here)

Just Trust Me!

2 sqrt(-abs(abs(x)-1)*abs(3-abs(x))/((abs(x)-1)*(3-abs(x))))(1+abs(abs(x)-3)/(abs(x)-3))sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)+(5+0.97(abs(x-.5)+abs(x+.5))-3(abs(x-.75)+abs(x+.75)))(1+abs(1-abs(x))/(1-abs(x))),-3sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)sqrt(abs(abs(x)-4)/(abs(x)-4)),abs(x/2)-0.0913722(x^2)-3+sqrt(1-(abs(abs(x)-2)-1)^2),(2.71052+(1.5-.5abs(x))-1.35526sqrt(4-(abs(x)-1)^2))sqrt(abs(abs(x)-1)/(abs(x)-1))+0

Copy and paste the formula above for a fun surprise!
UPDATE: copy and paste into GOOGLE
(thanks, Aaron)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Things You Remember....

In 4th grade we had to memorize a tongue twister that has STUCK (like, cemented, not going anywhere) with me. You up for a challenge? Here it is:

A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tutors to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
Is it better to toot
Or to tutor two tutors to toot?

I can remember this sort of stuff but not my online passwords. Sheesh.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jim Henson

Did you know that Jim Henson went to University of Maryland? I just found this out last week when I was touring the campus. 

(I guarantee my mom loves this photo)

His famous Muppet characters, Waldorf and Statler, were based on two of his cranky professors who didn't support his efforts. Rumor also says that Miss Piggy was based on an ex girlfriend.....but that's just a rumor.

All of this is just so happy and nostalgic but let me make your day even a little bit brighter -

The end slays me!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dumbest Kid Ever

A young boy enter a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world.  Watch while I prove it.”

The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then he calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?”

The boy took the quarters and left the dollar.

After the boy left the shop the barber turned to the customer, “What did I tell you?  That kid never learns!”

Later, the customer leaves and sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream shop.  He ask, “Hey, son!  May I ask you a question?  Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?”

The boy licked his cone, smiled and replied, “Because the day I take the dollar, the game’s over!”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I find this to be quite hypnotic
Like in the sense that I watched this 3 times in a row

Sometimes I need someone to just come take my computer away and tuck me in to bed because when they don't - I watch videos like this over and over

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm Pretty.......On the Inside

Jimmy Fallon and the writers of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon have a book called "Thank You Notes" which is a cute little flip book full of sarcastic 'thank you's' to real life situations that get under our skin. 

I flipped it open at my friend's house the other day and this was the one I got. Funny because last year at the ward retreat I won the superlative "Most Photogenic"........

My acceptance speech was something like this, "photogenic means busted in real life but somehow you get that to translate better on film....thanks for voting every one". I was NOT feeling well that night. 

Now Jimmy Fallon has confirmed my worst fear.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Down, One to Go

Taylor returned from his mission in Chile on July 31st. We again had my friend, Lizzie, come to the airport to document the arrival for us and I am again absolutely thrilled with how they turned out! She is so talented and does such a good job at capturing the essence of my family.

Meghan is back, Taylor is back and Maria comes home on Friday! After a very, very long time our family is almost whole again. There are no words to describe the excitement and anticipation we are all feeling right now. 

And now, the main event (click to enlarge any of them) -

waiting, waiting, waiting....

Grandma Johnson!

I love the different expressions on my mom, dad and older sister's faces. He had just rounded the corner in this picture

Baby Grant is super delicious

All the siblings! Just missing Maria

Unsure of Uncle Taylor

Always grateful for families. Always.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting Me Through

Sometimes you find yourself on your knees at 2am, when you really should be sleeping; crying and praying, and praying and crying. Hopeless. Hurting.

"Trust your struggle"

 Then, a miracle. You reach into the card catalog in your brain and remember all the words of comfort that you have gathered over the course of your lifetime. Truly a miracle in this moment when you feel broken and shattered.

 "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side" 

 Just like that, your tears abate. You think about these phrases as they roll through your head and what they actually mean in terms of you, your life, and eternity. Fear leaves and sunlight creeps back into your soul. 

 "Look unto me in every thought; Doubt not, fear not" 

 Then you wipe your eyes and restart your prayers. Prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. You haven't been handed a game plan or a promise for attaining all you want in life. What you have is clarity and hope. Both must be cultivated. 

 "Don't worry baby, everything will turn out all right"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The BEST Argument For Sign Language

While these both had me laughing out loud, it is also a very serious thing when you think about it in terms of how some children are raised. When you watched, you believed that's what they were actually saying, right? Think about a deaf person, constantly having to accommodate hearing people. I am sick to death of hearing, "oh he's deaf, but he can lip read, right?" WRONG. Hearing parents desperately wanting their child to be "normal" so they force them into speech therapy, deny them sign language, have surgery after surgery.

Deaf children should be raised learning their native language of sign. Period. I could say so much more on this topic but if I open that flood gate this post would turn out to be my longest ever.

 I think this world would be a much better place if we would all try to walk a mile in someone else's shoes from time to time. These videos are made for the sake of humor but they just might end up being the BEST way for those of us in the deaf community to really get through to other hearing people who can't or won't see the other side of the story.

*stepping off soapbox*

Monday, September 24, 2012

“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way”
-C.S. Lewis

My Polar Life

Life has been quite interesting lately. If you haven't noticed (don't worry, I doubt anyone but my mom and her Flower Shoppe ladies have noticed) I have been seriously neglecting my blog. It's the 24th and this is my first post for the month of September - weird. 

Here's the sitch - my world is currently filled with insanely amazing successes and spectacularly astounding failures. So if you go by the law of averages then I'm good, doing well.

Regular blogging to resume shortly.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

this makes me smile

Monday, August 27, 2012

San Diego

Here are a few pictures from my recent trip to San Diego. Oh, and did I mention - I'm going back on Wednesday! Woo hoo! I don't know why I think I deserve so many vacations.....

Two of my best girls, Alicia and Natalie, looking at a mail order groom website. There were some interesting "candidates". Or are they "merchandise"? 

I kept seeing groups of Amish/Mennonite looking people! I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know much about their cultures because I thought they didn't take vacations and San Diego definitely doesn't have any local colonies.

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think interior decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves." 

 -Anna Quindlen

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm A Big Girl

At the ripe old age of 30, I finally have matching luggage.

I'm a big girl now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Honestly, I laughed like a maniac the first time I saw this.

Like a maniac.

One Last Olympic Post

I have a gripe. These Olympics were the first in recent years to not feature baseball and softball and they were missed! The IOC voted in 2005 for the summer host city for 2012 and what games would be up for competition (read the wikipedia entry here). 

I understand that it's necessary to evaluate the various sports every few years but I am completely flabbergasted at the omission of baseball and softball! While at the gym today (yeah, I do that from time to time) ESPN was airing an old Little League World Series.......So riddle me this - there is an international stage for these events yet they are kicked out of the biggest arena? Why do I never seem to catch the World Equestrian Finals on rerun? Oh right, NO ONE CARES. Softball was introduced to maintain the gender balance, so if one of them was voted out, the other also got the pink slip. I think we would do just fine if we had less rhythmic's creepy.

Don't even get me started on the Trampoline.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Harvest Time

My parents have cultivated a pretty amazing garden and employ the babies (nieces and nephews) to help them pick whenever they're in town. They LOVE picking berries! Probably because they stuff themselves silly with blackberries, raspberries, and anything else they can get their hands on.

Here's the south side of the garden

Porter found a caterpillar and carried it around until it died. Tragedy.

The vineyard! A few years ago my dad planted some grape plants and we mercilessly made fun of him. Unfortunately for us, the vines have thrived and my dad has a great "I told you so" to rub in our faces. Awesome.

No steroids, pesticides or hormones added.

The best way to keep this one distracted - a bowl full of berries. He ate and ate and ate and ate and ate.

I love my family!