Thursday, May 29, 2014

What's in a name?

Maybe it's just in my own naive mind that this is the case, but I feel like people always sound more exciting and adventurous if their name sounds foreign. In my job at the library, I recently came across a book entitled "Travels of Reverend Olafur Egilsson." I don't know about you, but I want to read it because I feel like Olafur Eglisson probably has some excellent stories and has had many travels. But if there was a book called "Travels of Anne Smith" or "Exploits of Bob Johnson" or "Adventures of Jennie Lever," I don't know how many people would pick it up and think that it sounded all too riveting.

I suppose it also helps that Olafur Eglisson has a title. I would probably sound cooler if I had a title like Reverend or Duke or Governor.

But in all reality, I really do think that having a foreign name makes one sound more exciting. It makes me wonder if Adventure of Jennie actually sounds like the title of a fascinating piece of literature to people that don't speak English. In a place where Jennifer is not an outrageously common name, maybe Jennie sounds exotic and exciting. I like the thought of that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why I love benches.

I went on a lovely walk down the Provo River Trail the other day and in typical fashion, I saw a bench that I fell in love with. I have so much love for sitting on benches and for the first time ever I have appropriately verbalized my reasons for that love.

Anywhere I go, I search out well placed benches to sit upon. I don't consciously look for them, but my focus is always drawn to benches when they are present. A well-placed bench brings me back to everything good about the world and about nature.
There are two types of well placed benches: those that best observe nature and those that best observe people. And my favorite benches always combine these two elements. A bench lets you sit and take a break from the world. You sit down and the rest of the world continues to move on around you. A bench gives you the opportunity to become a momentary observer of life, instead of a participant.
I love humans. I know I've said this a lot, but I am just so fascinated by people and the way that they are. I'm fascinated by different socioeconomic levels and how that effects people in every facet of their lives. I'm fascinated by the way that people interact with each other. I'm fascinated by the mere fact that every single human that I encounter has a whole lifetime worth of back story that creates the unique individual that I am now facing. I just plain love humans.
When watching people in a park, it is not out of the ordinary to sit on a bench, so people continue on their way without paying you much notice. This is exactly how I like it, because people act normal when their surroundings feel normal and people are most fascinating when they're not acting at all, they are just being. I could sit on a bench, watching people for hours and just trying to guess their stories and figure out how they got to this moment in their lives.
When there is a bench in the woods or along a trail or in any other variety of natural surroundings, then sitting on this bench always helps me feel at peace. Even just smack in the middle of a quiet forest, I can still take a moment to watch life happen all around me. Nature is amazing and the world is beautiful. Sitting on a bench in nature allows me to quietly ponder life and to appreciate how wonderful it is.
You know what else benches are good for? Having deep meaningful conversations. As I've already said, the environment around benches creates a peaceful feeling, and it is this feeling that creates the perfect situation for talking about the hard things in life. I have had many lovely, insightful conversations while sitting on benches in my lifetime.

Next time you see a bench at the park, just take a seat for a moment.  Soak in the world. Enjoy the nature, enjoy the people. Reach outside yourself and find something beautiful in the world around you. This is the reason I will forever be finding new benches to fall in love with.

Friday, May 2, 2014


So... this happened last Thursday:

 Yes, Ryan has returned from the motherland. He spent an honorable 2 years there serving the Lord and serving the people of Scotland and of Ireland. Check out what we believe and why he was willing to spend 2 whole years of his life teaching it. He grew so much and when you talk to him, you can see that growth and maturity, yet he's still just as ridiculous and silly as he has always been. Our family feels nearly complete with him being back, we just need Adam now. Ryan left this weird gaping hole in our family that could never quite be filled and I am so happy he has returned. He is a best friend that will always be stuck with me for eternity and I feel so blessed.
Also, he put his kilt on the minute he entered the house from the airport. Typical.

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