Monday, April 25, 2011

To more photos! warmer weather! and homemade rolls!

Once upon a December a time, nary a post would pass that didn't feature some photos. Now it's all chitty chat chat all the time. I shall blame it upon the dreary months known as January, February, March, and (if you're in New England and the winter stretches especially long {which it does nearly ever year [and I should know since it's my 5th]}) April.

Can we pause for a moment of silence for that incredible display of parenthetical bracketing that just took place?

Slim to nothing happens in Q1. The sky is dreary, the skin is pale, and the winter hibernation has added a few bonus pounds to a troublespot or two. Nothing a titch of warmer weather or a holiday can't fix!!

It never ceases to amaze me that despite the weather predictions, Easter morning dawns sunny, warm and bright. (Side note: wrote another spiritual piece titled Travel dreams and 365-days of Easter that I'd love for you to check out.)

So, it was on this sunny, warm, bright, holi-day, that I decided the Winter of our DisconNotTakingPhotos would end. After church, decked in our unexpectedly new Easter dresses, Colleen and I headed down to the river to take in some sun and take a photo or two.

Par for my photo-taking course, most of my photos ended up like this:
While most of Colleen's ended up looking like this:
It's fine. She's the more photogenic of the two of us, but I'm the taller.

And then! For only the second time in my Boston history, I took part in an Easter potluck dinner with my Boston family. Our dinner had a roast beef and a leg of lamb and salads, and green beans, and potatoes, and a host of other goodies. And hold on to your hats when I tell you I made, from scratch and three frantic phone calls to my mom those dinner rolls you see below. I'm ready to take this show on the road now.
So there you have it. All kinds of things I don't often do. Photo well or bake. Here's to all of the thing listed in exclamation points above!

Monday, April 18, 2011

miraculous love advice

Boy oh boy do I have smart readers. Who either told me what I wanted to hear or we're all on the same page when it comes to finding the right one. (Since I know so many amazing women, I'll assume it's the latter.)

The responses were awesome. So awesome in fact, that I wanted to create an image of the words most frequently used. (You should read them all. Again, here's the link. It'll just pop-right up. Do it.)
Well well well, look at that biggest, boldest word there is... TIME. Well guess who's got it?

Also, probably my second favorite word that was mentioned enough times to gain pixel size is the word "become". Because we all (marrieds! singles!) can be doing that, regardless of life stage.

Anything stick out to you? Or follow-up comments anyone wants to share? I feel like being interactive. BECAUSE I'M PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE YOU KNOW.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Blame Game and why I don't play

Alternate title: The one where Nat finally talks about Dating

For the most part, other than a few exceptions here and there (that I'll have to mentally catalog at some point in the not too distant future), I don't play the Blame Game. I can take ownership for how I'm feeling, how I'm behaving, and I can admit that I'm wrong. Or that I'm unreasonable. (Or that I don't stand too close to black lights because my front teeth are capped and it's mortifying to have them glow in the dark brighter than the others.)

I've noticed an alarming trend in both real and fake Facebook life. It seems that everyone is blaming everyone for everything. E v e r y t h i n g. I don't even have to give you outlandish examples because chances are good you've seen them on your own. Have you noticed it? Are you as bothered about it as I am? Or am I noticing all the red cars on the road after I too purchase a red car?

In the last few weeks, there's been an inordinate amount of dating and relationship blame game happening on Facebook; some of it no-doubt prompted by some of the talks given at a General Conference my church has twice a year. What a disaster. Rarely, if ever (and if by ever do I really mean never) do I discuss dating here. Well surprise! I'm 9 days from my 5-year blogavversary and I finally have something to say. Raise your hand if you agree with me. Or leaving me a scathing comment if you don't. But I can't handle it one second longer.

Love is a miracle. The hows, whys, and whens about two people loving each other the same unconditional amount to settle down and commit to each other for eternity--well boy howdy, I don't think that's something you can manufacture. (Ignore the nuances between can and should for the sake of my argument.) I'm over the hump of feeling sad I'm not married and so grateful that some of my closest friends, and sisters, and parents, and people I use to go to church with, and classmates, and swing bandmates (another story for another day), and host of ex-roommates, and sister-cousins, and Boston friends, and Arizona, Utah, and Oregon friends and my friends' parents... how grateful I am that they've all experienced a miracle! BECAUSE OH MY GOSH IT WILL BE A MIRACLE WHEN IT HAPPENS FOR ME TOO.

You see, I'm what I like to consider a niche person. If the population of people represent a bell curve, I'd most definitely lie closer to an outlier position. (+4 standard deviations! and there ends my statistics knowledge.) It doesn't mean there aren't other people like me in the world, it just means there are less of me. And here's a fun fact into a world I never crack open on this blog--when it comes to men, I either immediately connect and we hit the ground running and we never stop talking and ohmygosh the banter goes back and forth and we're basically living the version of what would happen if Aaron Sorkin ever decided to write a Romantic Comedy. Or we don't hit it off and Welcome to Friend Zone and I'm not too broken up over it.

These revelations shouldn't completely surprise you as I've nattered on for five years about next to nothing--and it's either your type of writing or it's not. (Congratulations readers, if any of you were dudes, we mighta almost had it all. And married dude readers, you missed this catch but CONGRATS ON YOUR MIRACLE.) So, in a very long-winded round-about multi-hyphenated way, I'm saying I don't blame anyone for me not being married yet. I don't blame the men of the Church, the men of the world, and I definitely don't blame myself. So I've had it with the Blame Game. Can't we all just accept that you/I/insertSingleAnyoneHere haven't met the right one yet?

I, like many of my readers, and friends, know the state of the single state. It's not much different here in Boston than in California, or Utah, or anywhere else as an active Mormon. There's no silver bullet destination for optimal miracle cultivation. You just wait, and live your life, and love who you are and do fun stuff. I mean, that doesn't sound so bad, right? You enjoy your job, and you watch some TV and read some books, and stamp your passport, and work on ironing out the kinks in you for awhile. You make, cultivate and curate meaningful relationships. You wait, hope for, and continue to believe in miracles.

Am I being naive about this? Married ladies, let's hear it. How much about your marriage had to do with what you were doing to lure him in? How much was it that you just ::cliche alert!:: clicked? Singles, I'm hosting a Royal Brunch for the Royal Wedding in two weeks. Consider joining me, because I do nichey things when left to my own devices. Believe in miracles!

brevity is best

I think about wanting to write more all the time.


And I think about ways to make it happen, the self-discipline I could and should subscribe myself to--to simply typing out whatever comes into my head at any given moment. But I hesitate, instead getting mentally bogged down in all the things I could and should be doing at any given moment. So instead, nothing happens. And I'm alternatingly frustrated and apathetic; the latter worrying me more than the former.

Truth be told, life this year has become fairly predictable. 90% of my life is filled with 90% of the same tasks. I'm sure it's that way for most people but my best writing comes in observing the world around me, and the world around me is contained by about a 2-mile radius. I have things I get passionate about, but of late, that writing has been elsewhere--The Digital Mountains where I write about what and why I believe, a letter written to myself in High School for my friend's Dear Me collection, and a post written about last month's Forbes Magazine cover person Clayton Christensen. You see, I write better when there's something to write about.

Wah wah, I know this isn't very interesting. But I forced myself to open a screen and start writing, and this is what came out. I'd like to be doing more of this in the future; let's just hope it's not always so maudlin, eh?

So you don't feel like reading to the bottom here was an utter waste of time, here's two book recommendations for you, both excellent page turners and opening at a theater near you in the next few months: Water for Elephants and One Day.

Also, Twitter and Facebook statuses are keeping my brain sharp. I think my 2011 slogan to date has been "Brevity is best." I should make a bumper sticker.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I don't have kids

But if I did, I'd be making this for lunch tomorrow:

Can someone please do this and report back?

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!