Sunday, August 26, 2012

Resurrection... again!

Yes I know, AGAIN.
Blogging is like a non-addictive drug- I can live without it, but somehow, I miss my "fix" and always go back to it time and time again. So here's to trying again... and hoping it lasts!

But then, I shouldn't have to worry because I have SO MUCH to blog about! Where do I even begin?!

How about... I'VE MOVED TO OHIO!!! O-H-I-O. I seem to have an affinity with states that have 4 letters (Utah & Ohio)

Anyway... yes, Ohio. WHY?! One word- school.

Yup, more school. In fact, not just "more school" but AT LEAST 5 MORE YEARS OF SCHOOL. You don't need to say anything- I know. Even the thought of 5+ more years of school makes my skin crawl and my brain shutdown.

Unfortunately, this is the path I have to take if I want  to teach history at a university level. Hence, the skin crawling and brain shutting-down.

So far, though, I am enjoying myself and enjoying Columbus, Ohio. (Columbus is the capital of the state of Ohio, and where my school is.) Columbus is actually a pretty big city and rather metropolitan, which is comforting to me who am a 100% city gal.

INTERUPTION: JOKE ABOUT COLUMBUS: During one of my church's activities, my group was asked this question, "What would you tell Columbus to change if you could travel back in time to 14xx?" And I thought, "Columbus... was it even built by 14xx? Hmm..." And then I found out the question was talking about CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, the person (who discovered America, you know...), not COLUMBUS the city...

Anyway... I am officially a first year graduate student at The Ohio State University (don't forget the "THE"!), or OSU. Why OSU?

I was accepted there. Only there. Easy-peasy decision to make! Plus everything just fell neatly into place (I was awarded a fellowship; I found housing in Columbus when I was halfway across the globe in Singapore; etc), so I am taking it a sign that this is where God wants me to be. And so far, I feel really good and liking it!

Who would have thought that I end up in O-H-I-O?!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


 Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 

William Ernest Henley

P.S. The movie is incredible.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Behold the Special Ones

Today for Church we had a very special meeting. The Special Needs Mutual of the Stake gave a presentation. Instead of Primary, we had a Special Needs presentation, and
it was


The Spirit was so strong, and tears started welling up in my eyes when they sang the first song. There were a total of 4 songs sang by the choir who consisted of the youth and adults with disabilities and their leaders, and I was so impressed with it. One of them also gave a talk about family, and described her family and activities they did together.

My heart was full of the Spirit and love. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite sacrament meetings.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I haven't blogged in a few weeks- sorry. No one's reading anyway, so it's no biggie. But in case you are, here is a quick update:

  • Internship- love it, love it, love it! 
  • Stake Conference this weekend- AWESOME. Elder Bednar (my favorite) spoke at the Sunday session, and of course it was inspiring and full of counsel of how I can do better. Gave me things to ponder about. The General Young Men and Young Women Presidents were also there, along with Elder Craig C Christensen of the Seventy. 40 Stakes participated in this regional conference (at the conference center and via satellite broadcast)! Needless to say, it was slightly noisy and I think I'll stick to my YSA ward for now... 
  • The Saturday evening session was only for my YSA Stake and it was TERRIFIC. We talked about "saving"- saving non-members, saving those who are less active, saving each other and saving ourselves. The conference was just wonderful.
  • Narrowed down my grad school writing sample- I initially wanted to write a paper and why plural wives defended polygamy in the 19th century but once I commenced research, it morphed into this humongous monstrosity that could not be written well in just a few months. So I narrowed it way down and now I'm focusing on the Woman's Exponent defense of polygamy. The Woman's Exponent was an unofficial but church-endorsed magazine for women from 1872 to the early 1900s, and enjoyed a wide circulation. Anyway, the writing sample is... coming along, albeit like tar. Sigh.. I'm just not a fan of writing. Correction: I like writing (like this blog), just not scholar/ academic writing.
  • Bought new food and tried 3 new recipes this weekend. Can you tell that cooking is a de-stresser for me? I bought a sweet dumpling squash (CUTE!) and tried's Cheesy Acorn Squash and Food Network's Mashed Acorn Squash. The former was pretty alright... I need to tweak it a little. However, the latter was EXCELLENT. Mashed cooked squash, sour cream, little cumin and garlic powder, salt and pepper and yummy! My 3rd recipe was peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter reeses cups with peanut butter frosting. Yes I know, I know... I was craving peanut butter yesterday (weird...) and had to make these. Turned out FANTASTIC except that next time, don't stinge on the sour cream if using Betty Crocker cake mix. It was a little too dry, but still tasted great. Peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter...
  • Hot Pot to celebrate Vickie's birthday- DOUBLE HAPPINESS. Plus since we bought her a copy of the BBC North and South, we can watch it during the holidays... :) 
  • The Good Wife- new drama series that I'm hooked on, and I will admit, is the cause of my procrastination for grad school applications... so I can't complain if my grad school applications don't get done on time. Sigh... ANYWAY, if you are looking for a tv drama to waste time on and not feel too guilty, THIS IS THE ONE. It's not just a show about a housewife-turn-working Mom who discovered her husband cheated on her. There is SO MUCH more to it. It's a very complex show that makes you think about issues. For example, how far would you go to support your lying husband, who seems to have changed, but hasn't really because he's still clinging to his political aspirations, but then has taken on religion, but also harbors Old Testament "violence"? Yeah, that complex. Watch it.
  • Then, there is one film that I want to also recommend that won't make you feel guilty for procrastinating since it's only an hour and a half long. And completely clean. Lovely, Still. I LOVE Christmas movies, and this is one of my favorites. I want to BUY this (and I don't normally say this). 2 elderly people meet in a first awkward encounter that slowly turns into a beautiful romance. Boring? HECK NO! It was MAGICAL. And even more astonishing is the fact that the writer and director of the film is around my age. Makes me feel like a loser. 
  • Helped with a Halloween Party for Down Syndrome children. I'm not a super huge fan of Halloween (I lack creativity), but it was fun. Those kids were ADORABLE. 
That's my life for the past few weeks. Next update? Sigh... Can't promise you when. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Washington Monument Closed "Indefinitely"

Who cares if the government might shutdown or that the rest of the world is going bonkers?!

The worst news I received today was that the Washington Monument was closed to visitors "indefinitely" due to the 5.8 earthquake that struck VA in August.


Alright, that's being very superficial, but it's still a pity, because that means that when people visiting DC in the near future won't be able to go up to the top of this stunning monument and look out over the entire city. *Sigh*

Monday, September 26, 2011

Today in the News (according to the Post)

The Bad News (sort-of)
A well-written article on Supreme Court Justice Elena Kegan until the very last line which left a bitter taste in my mouth. What a pity!

“Your job [as a laywer] is to try to figure out how to persuade nine Supreme Court justices to take a particular position. And now my job is to figure out how to persuade eight.”

I thought a Chief Justice's job is to take a stand that ensures the law is interpreted and administered in a just and beneficial way, not persuade other Justices to your opinion. This worries me because she is a very liberal judge, and if her goal is to sway the other 8 Supereme Court Justices to her side, I think this country is going to be in big trouble. I'm not saying you can't dissent or even try to win people over to her side- I'm just saying that her main focus shouldn't be on trying to get other people to agree with her.

The Good News though
The National Science Foundation will announce new steps that will make it easier for women to persue career in engineering and the sciences, such as making working policies easier for women to juggle a family and career.

My favorite part?
"There is a common misconception that workplace flexibility policies cost business money. In fact, the opposite is true. A study from the White House Council of Economic Advisers found that flexible workplaces often attract the best workers and experienced reduced absenteeism, lower turnover and higher productivity."

Some businesses refuse to hire or pay women lower wages, citing that it is more economical. Guess what buddies- times have changed, and you better jump on the bandwagon and start treating women more fairly. Like equalizing our pay on par with the men. If not one day you are going to find that your competitors' workforce are filled with highly accomplished women blazing a trail for you to follow limping behind.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dear Francesca,

I feel so honored to have a blog post specially dedicated to me! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the blog title, but yes, it was for me. HOORAY! And it was so nice to be able to hear about YOUR life- not Justin's or Caden's, though it probably revolved 95% of the time around them (:p)- but YOU.

Thanks for your update, and based on it, you've been WAY busy. Who would have thought Nursery would be so much hard work?! It reminded me of a story told in general conference about a faithful senior sister who was ashamed that she never received any leadership callings, and was a mere Nursery/ Primary teacher. Reading your post really hit home the fact that EVERYONE makes a contribution in this church, not just those in leadership callings. Even a Nursery teacher is important, because if you don't function (or can't teach at the last minute), you cause inconvenience in someone else's life. And please know that YOUR calling is so important! Imagine if you weren't there and a teacher didn't show up either... uh oh...

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I'm always here, and on top of that, I love reading your blog! Take all the breaks you need, but I'll keep following. And yes, if I am ever in Arizona near where you guys are, I will visit- I have yet to see the cute little "no-more-chunky-monkey"


Thought you might be interested in contributing to this project : I think they could really use your writing talent and strong faith and conviction.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What I Just Read - on trials and tribulations

Excerpts from Elder Paul V. Johnson's talk "More Than Conquerors through Him That Loved Us" (Ensign May 2011)

Elder Orson F. Whitney said: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. ...All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies out hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. 

It should come as no surprise that trials can be very personal - almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses. 

The furnace of affliction helps purify even the very best of Saints by burning away the dross of their lives and leaving behind pure gold. Even the very rich ore needs refining to remove impurities. Being good is not enough. We want to become like the Savior, who learned as He suffered "pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind."

We don't seek out tests, trials, and tribulations. Our personal journey through life will provide just the right amount for our needs.