Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
We've had a really great Christmas and hope you have too!

With Love,

Kristen

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Charlie-Browniest.

Jesse had the grand idea of throwing a Christmas party this year! We ate lots of food, watched a reenactment of the nativity, and enjoyed a Charlie Brown Christmas.



" Get the biggest aluminum tree you can find, Charlie Brown, maybe painted pink." -Lucy


Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you are the Charlie Browniest.-Linus Van Pelt

"You know, Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Craig and Jen!

My cousin Craig was married this last weekend in the Los Angeles temple.

Here they are: Craig and Jen Eatherly.

The family.


Craigers and his cousins. We love you.

Craig, watching his beautiful wife.

My sisters and I on the temple grounds. :)

Grand-ma-ma in her sexy black velvet. :)

The L.A. Temple is beautiful.

The reception...


Love you Craig and Jen!
With Love,
Kristen

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Little Engine that Could...

There once was a little train. "Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff...." The little train happily carried a whole load of toys to the other side of the mountain. She chugged away merrily. But all of a sudden she stopped with a jerk! She couldn't move anymore. Help! But the Shiny New Engine, Big Strong Engine, and the Rusty Old Engine all passed by and would not help the little train, all leaving saying "I can not. I can not. I can not."
The toys were so sad. Suddenly, they saw another engine coming....a Little Blue Engine. The toys asked her, "oh will you please help us get over the mountain, the children need us." The Little Blue Engine responded, "I'm not very big..." but she wanted to help and agreed to try. She tugged and pulled and started off very slowly....Up, up, up. Faster and faster and faster the little Blue engine climbed.

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."

At last, they reached the top of the mountain! The little Blue engine smiled. "I thought I could." This goes out to anyone who just needs a little extra boost at this time, whether you're like me and are experiencing occasional panic attacks, or feeling as if you might go ballistic, bananas, berserk or freakin ape while becoming comfortable and familiar with the unforgiving, creepy silence of library...or maybe just having a bad day, this is for you.
Today a young lady in one of my classes couldn't stop herself from bursting into tears when she discovered eight pages of recently written paper...gone. I could have cried for her, I think some of us almost did. I looked over at the girl next to me and her eyes were filled with emotion for this young lady.
To all of you:
we're in this together. You too, like the little Blue engine, can do it. To my psychotic, maniacal roommates (namely Jessica): breathe, do not let the library be the end of your existence. To Jesse: As you said, "well, this paper will be done Thursday, one way or the other"....You can do it too! To my sisters: Driving for twenty hours in a 60 hour period really isn't all that bad. We can do it. I love you all.

With Love,

Kristen Ashlyn

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmasy.

This past weekend was quite Christmasy. It started with the traditional "An Alpine Christmas". A lovely little pageant that my former and brilliant violin teacher, April Moriarty, among other talented artists and musicians, perform at every year. My parents help run the show each year, and it has become a tradition in our family.

The next day, Jesse and I went up with our friends Ryan, Allison, Steve and Chelsey to see the beautiful lights at temple square. They were charming, as always. We were able to see all the nativities from around the world, walk around the temple grounds, drink hot chocolate that tasted very Christmasy, and also go to see the Salt Lake Festival of Tree's, which I really enjoyed. Our favorite tree was a blue and silver one that had been named "Silver Bells". There were also displays of wreaths and other Christmasy things. Jesse had to restrain me from eating the ginger bread houses.

But the fun doesn't end there...My family, myself, and Jesse were able to attend the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday night. The devotional was such a wonderful start to the season! Christmas is a time of tradition, family, friends, and remembering the birth and the life of our Savior Jesus Christ. And then today, it snowed! Merry Christmas!

With Love,
Kristen

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for you!

It is Thanksgiving and as tradition has it, I am watching the Macy's parade. I don't know why I like it...maybe it's just because our TV is somehow channeled to it every Thanksgiving morning. Or maybe I just like parades! My dog Coco is snuggled up to the side of my leg here on the couch. I got up nice and early to go to my friends Turbo Kick Boxing Turkey Day class, which turbo kicked my butt. Siera is beaming over her eight layered, rainbow jello masterpiece. The cooking has begun and it's starting to smell like a mix of stuffing, turkey, and cinnamon. I can't help but think of how blessed I am!

Have a happy thanksgiving!

With love on Turkey day,

Kristen

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cougar town.


Rise and shout, the COUGARS are out!
This weekend, Jesse's friends Ryan and Brad came into Cougartown for a visit. (From left to right starting at the top: Me, Jesse, Brad, Seth, Ryan, Aubster the mobster.) We showed them how cougars have a good time. Ryan really wanted to hike the Y. Once we got there we were freezing, so we all huddled up...looking down on Provo. It made me feel very grateful for my friends! They are so important to me. With Thanksgiving coming up this next week, I just want to tell all my friends and the people I love in my life how GRATEFUL I am for them. In this picture we have Jesse, Brad, and Aubry. Jesse just went home for Thanksgiving to be with his family and his dog Murphy I just met Brad this last weekend, and he is great.Here we have Seth and Aubry. And behind them, we have the home of the cougars. Happy Thanksgiving!


With Love,

Kristen

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I think about things way too much.
I worry: probably much to much.
I like sad songs.
When I love something, I LOVE it.
I say things I don't mean when I'm frustrated.
People notice blond hair more than brown.
Not everyone will always agree with me.
Sometimes I think too much before I speak.
Other times I don't think at all.
I want to trust people, but sometimes I don't.
People are good.
I want to look pretty, but at times, really don't care.
I like the gap.
I don't care about shoes ( But I really like slippers cause my feet are always cold.)
I'm tired of school!
I'm not a very funny person, but I really like to laugh :)
I want to be there for the people I LOVE.
I hope to be someone someday.
I'm jealous of people who just do what they want to do.
I'm FAR from perfect.
When has it not been okay in the end?
I wish I knew more about the constellations.

Hm...whatev.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Okay so here are five reasons why today is not a great day:
1. I keep wanting to eat, eat....eat!! I just ate a couple hours ago and I already feel ready for a Thanksgiving Feast.
2. My roommate colored my hair earlier and now all I can smell is the overwhelming aroma of hair dye, therefore: HEADACHE.
3. I'm stuck in the library, even as I write this blog entry. I have a list of homework that is endless...but is due tomorrow.
4. Billy is very possibly dating Courtney Love.
5. I miss someone A LOT!

But here are five reasons to be happy:
1. Thanksgiving is not next week...but the next!
2. Tomorrow is Friday.
3. Coco is going to come visit me next week!!!
4. Even though my hair smells, it turned out looking decent!
5. And I'm sitting here at the library with three beautiful girls that I am privledged to know and to have a part of my life! (Yes, its my roommates).

With love,


Kristen

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still Fighting.

Ben Folds sings a song called "Still Fighting it". Its a good song. You see, this is the last year I have with my roommates. We've lived together for soon-to-be three years now. Next semester is our last. We're all going to be graduating and moving on with our lives. There is a lot of uncertainty. You'd think by the time we are graduating COLLEGE we would have a better idea of the direction our lives are going to take, but that is nonsense.
Ben Folds
is able to capture an emotion that all four of us are feeling at this time... the fear of growing up! The chorus: "Everybody knows it sucks to grow up and everybody does. Its so weird to be back here. Let me tell you what the years go on and we're still fighting it, we're still fighting it. You'll try and try and one day you'll fly. Away from me."
Yeah, it sucks to grow up...but EVERYBODY does someday. Its okay if not everything is perfect at first. Its about trying. And one day, all four of us will fly! Aubry will become more and more like her mom, becoming a woman with great spunk! Jessica will teach children to have confidence in themselves and one day, they too will experience these emotions, but they will one day Fly. Erin will follow the path that makes her smile and brings her happiness, as should we all! As for yours truly, I'm going to do what is right for me. Nothing is going to stop me now :) my story still has many chapters to go.
As it says in the Doctrine and Covenants 6:34-37. "Therefore fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail...look until me in every thought; DOUBT not, FEAR not...Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven." That sums it up. So yeah, it sucks...but I'm not going to be scared ANYMORE. Nope, not me (at least for today) :).

With Love,

Kristen

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are approaching. And it's official: my crazed Christmas music phase has already begun. I'm one of those folks that annoy people (including my roommates and friends) because I start listening to Christmas music as soon as I consider it permissible...which is usually shortly after Halloween. I love the holidays: the music, turkey, mashed potatoes, family, snow, warm fire places, cups of hot chocolate, decorating the house, putting up the tree, a spirit of giving and gratitude, my mom's homemade fudge...the list can go on and on. So I just wanted to say, with the Holiday season beginning...in the words of Ralphie, "I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!"

With Love,

Kristen

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes we can.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," said President-Elect Barack Obama. I don't have a lot to say, opinions to state, or fights to pick...but here is what I do have to say- yesterday was a historic day for this country, honestly showing that we live in a place where all things are possible. This is definitely the start of something very new. Whether good or bad, I can't say.
Later in his speech he said, "the road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there". My prayers will be with him as he begins a great task. He will be the President of the United States of America. And I am a citizen of this great country.
As a people we must never forget to voice our opinion. I know I often feel, and felt on election day, that my vote probably didn't matter all that much. But I voiced my opinion anyway, because it was just that...one more vote, one more voice just trying to stand up for what they believe is best. God Bless America.

With Love,

Kristen

Friday, October 31, 2008

My happiness...

This...my friends, is my dog Coco.


Coco is such a good puppy. She loves everybody, never barks, and only makes cute whimpering noises when someone leaves her. Whenever a person leaves the room and shuts a door, she sits by the door, longingly watching and whimpering in sadness. She doesn't like when her friends leave her.

Here is a picture of Coco with Aubry.
She is in her Halloween shirt that says Princess. She is so Cute.

And she has crazy BIG brown eyes, that you just can't resist. She's very tiny.
But eventually she will get about 3lbs bigger. Coco wants to cuddle with anyone, only has nice things to say about you and knows exactly what face to make when she wants a bite of your sandwich.
That is Coco.

Coco and I both love you Squirt.

With love,

Kristen

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boo!

It's Halloween, and here are some of our scary costumes.

Aubry and Jessica are Betty and Wilma. They actually are pretty accurate human versions of these ladies.And below, we have Erin.

Just like Sarah Palin says, "He's a Maverick". She really had her accent down. And Jess was a pirate, with a beard and an earring.

Arrgh. So hot.
Then of course, there is my sisters and I. We were Megan, Lisa, and Jessie from the hit Disney movie "Parent Trap Three"...made just for TV. We're teenage triplets that are awesome.

Siera (the one in the middle) looked the hottest.

And we all looked pretty good.
Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What is broken can heal.

The Websters English dictionary defines broken as being damaged or altered by breaking; made weak or infirm; not complete or full; disunited by separation. There are so many things that can break. Sometimes I don't care about broken things, I'm not quite sure what to do with a broken watch or a broken glass. I will probably just throw it away or replace it. It does not seem like a big deal. But not all broken things can be thrown away. A broken leg. You can't just throw out a broken leg, you have to take care of it and be patient while it heals. It will heal. Maybe it will never be exactly the same, but a broken leg will heal. A broken family. A child that is separated from one parent or the other...maybe even both. A husband who leaves his wife, or a wife who walks out on her family. You can't just throw out a broken family...but time may help to heal. A broken heart. You can't throw out a broken heart. It keeps beating. It keeps the blood pumping through the body, so you can move, think...function. You can't throw out a broken heart. Sometimes I do care about broken things.

But broken also means it could probably be fixed. I could probably have someone fix that broken watch, maybe even the broken glass. A broken leg will mend with time. A broken family can find happiness again somehow, someday. And a broken heart can heal. Just something to remember during those times. :)

With love,

Kristen

I love you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Days full of color.

Dreaming
When I met you in the restaurant
You could tell I was no debutante.
You asked me what's my pleasure
"A movie or a measure"?
I'll have a cup of tea and
tell you of my dreaming.
Dreaming is free.
I don't want to live on charity.
Pleasure's real or is it fantasy?
Reel to reel is living rarity.
People stop and stare at me, wejust walk on by; we just
keep on dreaming.
Feet feet: walking a two mile.
Meet meet: meet me at the turnstile.
I never met him, I'll never forget him.
Dream dream: even for a little while. Dream dream: filling up an idle hour.
Fade away, radiate.
I sit by and watch the river flow.I sit by and watch the traffic go.
Imagine something of your very own; something you
can have and hold.
I'd build a road in gold just
to have some dreaming.
Dreaming is free.By
The Smashing Pumpkins

Some days are good, some days...not so good. But we always have those we love, those that love us, and colorful days. I love you squirt.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Blue, Blue Sky

A few summers ago, I spent a semester a Brigham Young University Hawaii. It was a life changing experience. I went straight from my sheltered high school days, to being on my own, in a brand new place, with new people, with different customs and cultures. I was seventeen then. This past Sunday was my twentieth birthday. It seems that three years later I would know so much more...but I'm not really sure that I do. Things are consistently changing all around me. Yesterday I started thinking about all the experiences, opportunities and trials that I have had recently...and a lot has happened in my life since that time! For example, my good friend Katie, who you see me with in the picture above while in Hawaii and in the picture to the left, is now married and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding this last summer! Turning another year older really makes a girl stop and think. And even though I'm not old, I feel that I have experienced a lot in the last three years-and yet I know so little :). Basically, I just want to tell you what I do know. One sunny afternoon in Oahu, Katie Mae and I caught a bus down to Sunset Beach (my favorite). It was a beautiful day, no signs of the usual summer afternoon showers, just Blue, blue sky. We swam around in the clear water, soaking up the sun and laughing as we tried to catch small little sea creatures that we were kinda scared of. I began floating on my back....drifting further and further out into the remarkable force of water surrounding my body. All I could hear was the gentle waves tapping against my eardrums. All I could see was a blue, blue sky. And All I could feel was a spirit of peace in my heart. I know that it was the love of a Father in Heaven who constantly blesses me. Who gives me all these opportunities, experiences, and trials...so that I may find that peace and happiness, whenever I desire too. It was the love of my Savior Jesus Christ, who wanted me to know that everything was going to be okay :). And this is what I know...the constant truth that I can understand on a daily basis, and though I may not always be in tune to the things He is trying to tell me....I can close my eyes to this day, and I can remember and feel that love. It's a blue, blue sky.

With love,

Kristen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Independence of Solitude

As I wrote about last month, the name "Raindrops and Sunshowers" comes from a favorite song of mine that talks about the inability we have has human beings to please everyone and our neglected ability to think for ourselves and do what pleases us most. Now, this may not be a problem for everyone but I know it is certainly a problem for me. Conformity and independence are popular subjects in our society. We talk about how easy it is to conform to the world around us and how we should try to avoid it. And though there is nothing wrong with these opinions...Personally I am not one to preach about rising above the crowd, making statements and being different. In fact, I blend with the crowd probably more then most. But there is a reason I do not preach it...that reason being: I do not believe that is what independence is. It is not about dressing extreme or doing different, strange things to stand out. You don't have to physically stand out, speak louder then other people, or be abnormally opinionated. Independence comes with the freedom of thought and the capacity you allow yourself to nourish new ideas.

One of the most influential pieces of literature in my life is "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is genius--in my opinion. And I think many would agree with me. Within this essay, Emerson defines what it truly means to be independent, which is in his words, is being "self-reliant". Growing up, I felt as though I constantly had someone to please, whether by nature or nurture...this is how I felt. It is just the way Kristen is. When a decision needs to be made, it can never just be what I want, it has to include every person's opinion that could possibly be involved in the outcome of the decision. And Emerson saw others like this! And I think it annoyed him. He saw a society being morphed into a society of pleasers-like me ;)-and this is what he said, "What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness...It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." It is true, probably one of the hardest things to do is stop the constant clamor around you and think in a brief moment, completely for yourself--neglecting the opinions of the world.
He also talks about how no man should dismiss a thought, just because it is his.

This reminds me of a friend I have. This friend randomly thinks of very intelligent, deep, original ideas of his very own. When he shares these ideas with me, I am mesmerized and almost jealous of the genuine quality of his thoughts. But I feel that because "it is his" he doesn't consider them to be worth all that much. Not because he is not confident in himself, but because in our society, there is a lack of independent thought. And though this blog entry may seem hypocritical, because I am quoting the words of a great mind, Ralph Waldo Emerson...and much of this is not my own original ideas. His words sparked my own imagination and has taught and inspired me to really try to not be afraid of what I can comprehend and what I cannot: who I really am.
"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,--that is genius."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where the Boom Bands are playing...


Lately I've found myself getting up in the morning with little motivation to do much. I think that sometimes we all find ourselves in these ruts. I know from my personal experience that I don't even realize where I'm stuck at sometimes but eventually it catches up to me and realize that something needs be done.
I absolutely love children books. In fact, I love them so much that I collect them. One of my all time favorite authors is Dr. Seuss himself. Though some argue that he makes up meaningless words in order to rhyme, I feel that his simple words convey messages that we can easily detect. With the power of a child's reading book, he teaches me--an adult--to open my eyes and see.
In his very well known book Oh the Places You'll Go he talks about these ruts we come across in life...."You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place...The Waiting Place."
We all know "The Waiting Place". It's the place when I get up in the morning and don't really care. It's the times when we fail to look around and see how blessed we really are. He then says, "....for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for a wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a better break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or another Chance. Everyone is just waiting." What I am waiting for? What are you waiting for? Maybe it's as simple as the mail to come. Maybe it's more complicated, but none of us have to stay in the Waiting Place!
I've been blessed to live a beautiful and precious life! There is no reason to get in the morning and not appreciate the world around me. :) There is NO reason for me not to love my life and express energy towards it. Because really...this is life that we've all been given! It our chance to grow, to experience sensations, to cry, laugh and stop to capture a priceless moment. I am so blessed- with a family who loves me, friends I can count on and so many more wonderful things. I thank my Heavenly Father daily, for He has blessed me immeasurably.
As Dr. Seuss says, "No! That's not for you! Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping once more you'll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you're that kind of a guy!"
The Waiting Place is not for anyone. We can escape again and again and find the bright places. And I'm not sure what Boom Bands are, but they sound fun. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Every Light I've Found


"Away with all the troubles that you've made. Away with waiting for another day..." Billy's voice is always a comfort to me. Sometimes I'm angry; Billy understands. Other times I feel heartache, loneliness, love, confusion, fatigue...Billy knows. The Pumpkins song, "With Every Light" is just another song that I can understand on a personal basis, because of my own life experience. On VH1 Storytellers, Billy talks about the story behind the song and the meaning of it. Basically, he went to a psychic and said that when he was done he felt "in a rare moment of happiness" that he was content with the world. He went home and wrote the song that included the lyrics..."Look ma the sun is shining on me. Impatient, in love and aching to be. Could you believe in heaven, if heaven was all you had". The main idea of the song is that we are everybody we meet. Billy says that the energy that comes into our body, through other people, becomes who we are. I've always felt that as we go through life, we have the basic, simple structure of who we are. As we live, we meet people that become a part of our story. Maybe they become our life long friends or it may just be a brief moment in time, as small as a smile or glance in our direction. They become a part of us. "And every light I've found is every light that's shining down on me. I'm never alone." My friends, family...the people that I love are all part of who I am today. My sisters let me share their energy for life and attitude towards the world. The friend I had in Jr. High and no longer talk to helped me find the confidence to do anything I wanted to do. The best friend I've had since high school introduced me to a side of Kristen I never knew. The boy I've loved for so long has opened my eyes to new dimensions of life, that I couldn't see on my own. As I look around me, I feel richly blessed for the people I have surrounded myself with. The people that are all a part of me: their goodness and knowledge...their light. And with every person I have the opportunity to meet, I take just a little bit of them with me. Just as Billy says, "Here's to the light!"

With love,

Kristen