Light the World Starts Today

Merry Christmas friends! Today is the first day of December and that means the beginning of the holiday season. I must admit to having a weird relationship with this time of year. As a child of course it is magical but as an adult it has often been a stressful time for me. There always seems to be a fair share of family drama and I almost always get sick, which makes it harder to enjoy myself. However, I do try and be as festive as possible. I should be setting up my Memory Tree for Christmas this weekend and I always go to Christmas Carol at Hale Theater, as well as a number of other activities.

This year my church is doing something that will hopefully help me get even more into the Christmas spirit. It is called the Light the World campaign. Each day they have a video and scriptural passages meant to get us thinking about Jesus and all He did for us. I am not going to share every day on this blog but I thought I would let you know about the campaign and share about it from time to time. Today’s message is about service and having an eye out for those in need.

I lead a weird life because it is oddly small and big at the same time. In a week I can have a podcast with people from Australia and Great Britain and yet not see more than a handful of actual people, outside of church. I work alone. I live alone and so that’s the way it often works out. This means I have to work a little bit harder to find those opportunities to serve than maybe some do. I know I could do better and this video is a nice reminder for me to up my service game.🙂

What are some ways you serve your community? How does Jesus put opportunities in your path to help others? I would love to hear any suggestions you have. I hope you enjoy the Light the World campaign and Merry Christmas!

Things I am Thankful For 2016 (Belated)

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My Thanksgiving was actually pretty tame on the political talk but I thought this was funny nonetheless

Hi guys! Sorry I am getting you my annual gratitude post a little bit late but that’s just how it worked out. Every year on Thanksgiving I try to think of what I am thankful for. Sometimes it is a list, other times it’s more of an essay about one or two particular points of gratitude. This year consider it more of a rambling list.

In 2016 I am thankful for many blessings in my life.

I am thankful for the new midsingles ward even if I need to do better in attending activities. I have loved making new friends there and the two movie nights I’ve hosted  have been very happy times for me.

I am thankful for both of my book clubs- my group in Orem that I love attending and my smaller group of 4 of my friends that reads together. I am grateful with all the movies I see that they keep me also reading.

I am thankful for beautiful music. I just went to the Messiah Sing Along last night at Symphony Hall and it was an amazing experience. I love that tradition and have participated most years of my life.

I am thankful my parents moved. They now live minutes away from my house. I still don’t see them that much but it is nice that when I need them they are close.

I am thankful I got to see all of my nieces this year. I miss them so much.

I am thankful I reached 1000 subscribers on my youtube channel this year. I have learned so much from making videos and trying to improve.

I am thankful for good movies that inspire me.

I am thankful for podcasting and for any friends willing to talk to me about all this nonsense.

I am thankful for Winder Dairy and delicious milk delivered right to my door.

I am thankful to have had Sam and Maddie close by this year to get to know them a little better.

I am thankful for my job. I love it so much.

I am thankful for rotoscopers.com and my movie blog and all I’ve learned from writing this year.

I am thankful for forgiving friends and family that help me relax and decompress.

I am thankful for Funko pops, scarves and candles that smell nice.

I am thankful for Disney and the amazing films they made this year minus Alice Through the Looking Glass. Without Disney my year would have been rough!

I am thankful for the Olympics and all the Olympians who inspired me so much.

I am thankful for SLOW and their patience with slower swimmers like me at the Deer Creek swim.

I think that about covers it. I’m grateful for so many things but those are the highlights. I am most thankful to anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings here on this blog. Next year will be 10 years since I started blogging. 9 since I started this blog. Crazy how time flies!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a blessed holiday season.

My Thoughts on the Election

So things have been happening this week in the good old USA…

Any follower of this blog knows I am a strong and passionate conservative. Typically that has meant I align with the Republican candidates for office. However, this year I didn’t feel there was a conservative in the race so I voted for 3rd party candidate Evan McMullin. My hope was maybe Utah would vote 3rd party and that would be a message from one state on both of the terrible options we were being given. Unfortunately that didn’t happen in Utah and they voted Republican as expected.

Being a 3rd party voter this cycle has provided me an interesting vantage point that I didn’t entirely anticipate. I’ve explained in the past that a vote itself is statistically insignificant especially for president. That said, when I did vote for a major party I felt an investment in the outcome in a different way than this cycle. Voting 3rd party I’ve been able to simply observe and ponder the great country I am a citizen of and the tremendous events that have happened. It is this perspective that has made me a bit of a post-election coverage addict. I’ve watched an insane amount of pundits from both parties giving their conclusions of how this happened.

To be clear, I was completely stunned by the results on Tuesday. I was positive Hillary Clinton was going to win the election, and we would just have to put up with more of the same type of failed policies we’ve had from the last 8 years. That was it and I could deal with that.

But then Donald Trump won state after state, and I couldn’t believe it. In our world of PC and quick to offend lifestyles it seemed impossible that someone like Donald Trump could become president, and yet there it was. I honestly support more of the platforms and policies of the Republican party that Trump adopted so in a way I was glad but I was also sad to see the highest position in the land come down to someone like him. I certainly hope he proves me wrong and ends up being a better president than campaigner, but I was still sad.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I have lost my faith in ‘public servants‘. I still believe that and stand by my sentiments in the post; however, I’ve realized a few additions to the ideas I presented. Politics today and perhaps always, is an exercise in self-interest and self-protection.  This is why we saw senators and congressman distance themselves from Trump just enough to claim the moral high ground while riding his popularity to a win. For example, Mike Lee never officially endorsed Trump and he announced after the election he had voted for Evan McMullin, but that doesn’t mean much when you could have  said something before the election. He rode that wave of self-interest in just the right way to keep his job and still claim he did the right thing at the ballot. It’s sad when you think about it but it is reality

But self-interest is what we’ve got and so where is the cause for hope? I actually think there is a fair amount to be hopeful about.

It might sound strange but oddly there is some hope to be had in self interest. Yes, Donald Trump has said some awful things and I understand why people are upset. I really do. However, it is not in his self-interest to implement all those things or continue saying all those things. I’m not excusing it in the least just stating what I think is reality. Even with a house and senate he still has to sell his ideas to the Congress and the American people. It’s in his self-interest to make them as palatable as possible.

It’s the same way with Hillary Clinton. She gave a gracious lovely concession speech where she said:

“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transition of power and we don’t just respect that we cherish it”

She could have gotten up there and been bitter and gone on a tirade, and I have no doubt a side of her wanted to do just that. I mean just days before she had called Trump supporters a ‘basket of deplorables’. Why didn’t she do it? Because it would not be in her self-interest to do so. Her best move at this moment is to do exactly what she did, and I commend her for it. I’m not trying to take anything away from her. I’m just being realistic about the motives of our leaders.

I think this is perhaps why the Founding Fathers made Supreme Court justices lifetime appointments. It removes, for the most part, this element of self-interest and forces them to look at the cases without fear of backlash or legacy. Their jobs are safe and so they are free to decide on these important issues in the way they see fit.

President Obama stated today he wants to see President Trump succeed:

““It is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face…If you succeed, then the country succeeds”

What he is basically saying is that it is in all of our self-interest to make this work and to want President Trump to succeed because if he fails we all suffer. It’s as simple as that.

I’m not excusing any of President Elect Trump’s behavior. I’m merely saying- this is the situation we have and just like President Obama we have to make the best of it. It’s in our self-interest to do so. Peaceful protest is fine. I did it with the tea party and I’m proud of it but we must never allow it to harm the very institution we are trying to save. People breaking windows and destroying property are hurting the country they feel so passionate about. That is not the answer.

We also need to take stock of the toxic climate we have created where good men and women don’t want to be involved in politics any more. Think about your friends and family. I bet most of them avoid politics like the plague- even discussing it, let alone running for office. Perhaps we have left no one more to vie for leadership than what we got in 2016?

Either way, this is what we have left with. Agree with it or not, Donald Trump is our president.

I want him to be successful because I want America to be successful. It’s as simple as that.

Also you guys should read this post I wrote in 2012 about America and a female president.

Lastly I want to say thank you to Evan McMullin for giving me someone to vote for. You stepped up when nobody else would and that means the world to me. Thank you so much!

Election and Nanowrimo Update

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Hey guys! Just a quick update tonight. Today is the big election day and we can all breathe a sigh of relief when it is all over. I voted weeks ago for independent candidate Evan McMullin. I have lost faith in all politicians but he’s the best person running in this election by a long mile, so he got my vote. What you decide to do with your vote is awesome but I encourage you to get out and vote if at all possible. I know a vote is small in a sea of millions of votes but it’s still something and it is a great example to all around you especially your children. Let them know you care about what happens in this country and will do what small thing you can to make a difference.

I know many of us feel discouraged. I feel discouraged. This election has changed me in ways I don’t know if I will ever get over. I know this blog says I am smiling but when it comes to politics I fear I will forever be a cynical girl. I’ve just seen too many people compromise where they promised they never would.

To use the annoying phrase- it is what it is. We know we are living in the latter days. The signs of the times are all around us and we have the leadership to prove it. Maybe Utah will make a statement with its vote but I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen. Regardless, there are good people out there still holding out hope for their children and families. We cannot lose hope even if we acknowledge the human weakness all around us. There is still always great hope as long as Christ is listening and loving all who turn to Him.

So, there you have it.

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On a lighter note I am doing nanowrimo this year. I must say my heart isn’t really in it but my sister said she was doing it so I decided ‘what the heck. Why not give it a shot’. We are currently on day 8 and I am doing kind of a take on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. My current wordcount is 17352 which I think is pretty darn good. I have been so busy so it is amazing I have pulled even half that off.

Even if I’m not in love with my book it is still valuable to write every day and I will be glad when I can finish the goal of 50,000 words. I always learn something about myself through thinking about these characters in my nano book.

Are any of you participating in nanowrimo? What are you writing about and how is it going?

Friday 5: Protest Songs

This week for Friday 5 the topic is best protest songs. This was a challenging topic but I think I came up with 5 eclectic choices that cover different kinds of protests. This was obviously a topic to recognize this horrible election which is almost over. Thank goodness!

Here are the 5 songs I selected:

Paths to Victory- Cat Power singing Bob Dylan song from union film North Country but originally written for civil rights movement

Have You Forgotten- Darryl Worley singing about the war in Afghanistan

Glory- John Legend and Common from the film Selma about the Selma protests and Black Lives Matter

Hawaii 78- IZ song about the forced Hawaii statehood

Fortunate Son- Creedence Clearwater Revival about the Vietnam War.

What do you think of my selections and what are some of your favorite protests songs?

Twitter Glory and Potatoes

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“Life is tough, darling. Life is hard. And we better laugh at everything; otherwise, we’re going down the tube” Joan Rivers

As you can tell from my last post I’ve been struggling with some things happening of late particularly with the election. It’s just been a more than a little depressing. Fortunately, a funny thing happened on Thursday that brightened my day and I thought I would share it with you.

I’ve mentioned in the last couple of posts I have already cast my ballot for independent candidate Even McMullin. He is the only candidate I can remotely have even a particle of faith in and no I don’t care about throwing away my vote. (I can’t believe smart people like Orrin Hatch buy into such nonsense).

Anyway, Evan has been getting a lot of media and a broadcaster named Lou Dobbs tweeted out this:

Look Deeper, He’s nothing but a Globalist, Romney and Mormon Mafia Tool”

It’s a good thing he let me know because I’ve been a member of the LDS Church for my entire life and never heard of this “mormon mafia”. Well, Evan slayed it in his response letting Lou know there were people of many faiths part of his movement and then used hashtag #MormonMafia.

As any good mafia would do this started a barrage of funny tweets using #MormonMafia. I particularly liked one where they were dumping out the Coca Cola before the authorities came.

Well, I decided to join in the fun and tweeted out the above tweet “They don’t call them funeral potatoes for nothing” with a picture of the iconic Mormon side dish known as funeral potatoes.

If you aren’t aware funeral potatoes are cheesy potatoes often made at funerals because they are comforting, easy and most people like them. Hence the name.

potatoes2Anyway, before I knew it my tweet had exploded like nothing I had ever experienced before. Last checked it had nearly 1400 likes and 481 retweets, which is a lot for me and it was quoted in all kinds of publications from Washington Post, LDS Living to the Huffington Post! The entire day I had friends and family letting me know they saw my tweet.

Now I wish all of these people would subscribe to my channel but as they say any exposure is good exposure (most of the time at least). Nevertheless, it was a surreal and fun experience.

You see friends, when you tell a joke someone finds really funny it feels good. If they are rolling on the ground laughing, it makes you feel kind of clever for coming up with said joke. That’s how I felt last week except for with thousands of people including all the social media platforms. In a way it was a little overwhelming but it also felt pretty good!

It’s been a long depressing election cycle so I was grateful for a good laugh and the knowledge I’d made a few other people laugh if only for a moment. During this election we need those moments! Or at least I certainly need them.

This whole thing has also given me a fierce craving for funeral potatoes! But watch out for that Mormon Mafia. You never know where they will hit first.