Friday, July 30, 2010

I remember a time...

... when used cardboard boxes were quite simply, magic.

Tools into a world of 

I remember a time when kittens were the most exciting thing in the world to hold. 

Even though when you held them, you didn't do anything too "exciting", 
because you didn't want to scare the poor little darlings.

I remember a time when nothing was as much fun as jumping on the trampoline.

Except perhaps roasting ginormous marshmallows.

When pretending was a full time, very enjoyable profession...

and it didn't take anything remotely close to electronic to be entertained.

the two in the front on the left are my favorite faces

Correct me 
if I'm wrong, but I think sometimes children just make everything better.

Good family reunion.

Joseph Short.

The next person I'm writing about is actually more Gideon's friend than mine. But he still inspires me, and he gave me the OK to write about him. So here goes.

You know that guy you remember for months, even years after you've met him, even if your introduction was brief just because he's so memorable? The guy who's got a contagious smile, a laughable laugh, and who knows how to cook?

That guy who buys books entitled 'The Gas We Pass', and 'Everyone Poops' online and brags about it?

That guy who is most comparable to Dr. Gregory House; you love him, and think he's witty as heck, but every now and then, you secretly want to smack him with his own cane, but you never would, because- he's House, and 1) you secretly support his crazy shenanigans, and 2) he's irreplaceable in the best House MD way possible.

You know. That guy?

My (much nicer version) of Gregory House is Joseph Short.
He's intelligent, annoyingly witty, and undeniably one of the greatest guys I know.

Joe was Gideon's roommate for the majority of their University years.

They also served in the same mission, which explains their joking to eachother in portugese while I pretended to know what the HECK they were talking about. But it was fun. (Especially, I think- for them.)

Joe always supported us at our performances, and, even though the audience was not encouraged to call out specific dancer's names,

Joe would.

I remember standing behind a curtain watching Gid perform on stage, and I heard a loud, undeniable "GO GIDEON!" One of the backstage techies muttered something under his breath about crazy people in the audience, and I silently thought to myself, 'he obviously just doesn't know the amazing joseph short.'

One time when a bunch of us were out at the park, I threw a football to Joe, and accidentally sent him in the direction of a tree where his face proceeded to smash against the rough bark.

The aftermath of the Joe/Tree collision.

Did I mention that it happened a few days before graduation?
He could have hated me.
But he didn't.

Because he's joe.

Before Gid and I got married, Joe showed us his loving support by making this tshirt:
Gid wore it on our honeymoon. I was a little ticked.

Joe was Gideon's Best MAN at our wedding.

I already respected Joe like crazy before we got married, but I appreciated him even more during the week we got married. As if it wasn't enough that he made the trip all the way from frikin' florida, I convinced Joe to come to Rexburg the night before Gid and I got married so they could hang out (he could have spent the day before with other equally deserving friends that missed him in Utah). I didn't realize that my parents wanted us to all eat dinner together, and I felt so guilty that Joe didn't really get to do anything fun (except hang out with my awesome family).

But he made the trip. (And I later found out that consisted of him being scrunched in a small car with my sister, her husband, a strange woman, and a musty smell.)

He could have hated me.
But he didn't. Because he's joe.

And he not only attended the wedding, luncheon and reception,

he kept a smile on his face throughout the day.

In fact, Joe made sure everyone had a smile on their face throughout the day.

and he stuck around till the very end...

I know Gideon appreciated it, and I certainly did as well.

Remember how I said he could cook? That was an understatement.
Joseph is basically a professional chef, and makes most women feel inadequate in the kitchen.
He can, like, cook.

Maybe one of my favorite things about Joe, is what a good friend  he is. Without fail, every time Gid gets to catch up with Joe on the phone, he's in a great mood afterwards because Joe has the ability to put anyone in a good mood. And joe always tells gideon to tell me hi. Which is nicer than average. Don't you think? I think. Joe inspires both Gideon and I to be better friends.

The moral of the story is that everyone needs a Gregory House MD in their lives. Mine is Joseph Short. And I know for a large fact that I am not the only one who is grateful for him.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Hepburn, that is.

I'm sure it was not expected that after my dear husband, Audrey Hepburn would be on my list of those who inspire me. I tried really hard not to add her, because I'm trying to stick to people who are close friends and family, but I simply couldn't resist. Since I'm trying choose my inspiring people randomly, I'll probably have to extend my list a bit due to this post.

When I was a little girl, I didn't really care for dresses. I thought make up was disgusting, and rather silly. I never wanted to wear heels. My mother would constantly encourage me to be a lady. "Alyssa! Cross those legs! Would a lady sit like that?" My mother couldn't have been a better example of how a lady acts, but I cared too little about prettiness to notice or appreciate it.

When I was around 7 years old, Audrey Hepburn caught my attention. I don't remember the first time I saw one of her movies, but I do remember the first time I saw this photograph of her:

I just loved her from that moment on.
And I wanted to be just like her.

Many of the films audrey stared shared similar storylines, and character descriptions.
Normally, I hate predictable. But for some reason, I don't seem to mind Audrey's films at all.

My favorite audrey hepburn films are as follows:

 #1- roman holiday

People think this movie is just about a European princess who falls in love with an American reporter,
but it's so much more. It is the story of a girl who grows up through the experience of running away, and spending the day with someone who (she thinks) doesn't see her as a princess and all of the responsibilities that are included with the title. It's a film about dreams, growth, maturity, and the sacrifices that are inevitable with responsibility. It's always been a favorite of mine.

#2- sabrina
You might recognise this movie from it's remake filmed in the 90s. It's pretty good, but not as good as the original. I love this story; it's about a girl who finds that what she always thought she wanted can change. After I watched this movie, I had a terrible ache to move to europe and find myself.

#3- love in the afternoon
Another favorite.  This story involves the daughter of a detective; a cellist who is intrigued by her father's work. She, through a whirl of events, saves a man from being murdered and falls in love with him. I have a love/hate relationship with this film, because I feel Audrey's character is too pure and innocent and, well, too good, for the man she ends up with. However, I love that she brings out the best in him, and makes a man with absolutely zero commitment capacity fall head over heels for her: a simple, lovely girl.

There are, of course, countless other Hepburn films that I could summarise in great detail, but it's not only Audrey's movies that inspire me. I love her life's story. To keep myself from writing into the eternities, I'll limit myself to the top 5 reasons I love Audrey.

1. Audrey originally wanted to be a dancer. 
I think this makes me feel like I have some sort of invisible connection to her.
She went to school at a very young age to study ballet.

When dancing wasn't working out for her, Audrey took advantage of the offer to play a leading role in a play. It was the beginning of a legacy. I love that she was brave enough to dream and believe in herself. It inspires me to do the same for myself.

2. Audrey was terribly humble.
She felt much too tall, and would try to compensate for it by always wearing flat shoes, though she would 'longingly stare at women who could wear heeled shoes and still be shorter than their male company".

“I am not beautiful. My mother once called me an ugly duckling. But, listed separately, I have a few good features.” 

“There must be something wrong with those people who think I doesn’t perspire, hiccup or sneeze, because they know that’s not true. I n fact, I hiccup more than most.” 
-Audrey Hepburn

3. Audrey didn't try to hide her mistakes. 
She learned from them, and continued to live gracefully.

Audrey was far from perfect. I know that my writing a novel on her sounds like I worship the ground she walks on, but in many ways I feel like she's an example of how to elegantly learn from difficult situations, and irreversible mistakes. There were several times that Audrey made mistakes that she openly regretted, but she always handled them in the most ladylike manner, and then made quite an effort to correct the problem.

If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

-- Audrey Hepburn

4. Audrey gave back. 

When I think of a timeless, lovely movie icon, I used to think of pearls, 
diamonds, and false eyelashes. I think of jeans, a powederless face, and eyes of determination.

After her children were grown, Audrey spent a great deal of time with UNICEF giving back to countries suffering from different diseases and poverty situations. Photographers said that she would request not to be photographed, because she wanted to be there fully to help and not for any kind of publicity towards herself.

5. Audrey loved living life to the fullest, 

and had a firm desire to be a mother.

Audrey actually called off an engagement when she learned her then fiance wasn't planning on having children. Her number one desire in life was to be a mother. Have you noticed after she had her first son she sort of disappeared from the big screen? It certainly wasn't because the opportunities went away. 

She wanted to be with her family. 

I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it. 

"If I get married, I want to be very married. "

"I may not always be offered work, but I'll always have my family."

I know I'm not the only person in the world who has dedicated a simple blog post to Audrey Hepburn. But she inspires me. Not only to try to behave as I feel a true lady would, but to be a better person; more full of life, and especially more full of love. 

I hope someday I can be the example Audrey has been to me for someone else.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Guy.

Who better to start off my 20 people who inspire, than with the sweet love of my life?

Gideon is pretty famous for being awesome in general, but there are lots of amazing things he does that not just everyone knows.

For instance: He dated me.
(inspiring in itself...)
And anyone who's dated me can definitely attest to the crazy non commitment issues that I struggle with (among other weird characteristics). He wanted to date, and initially I wasn't quite sure. Then he wasn't sure. Then I was sad and really wasn't sure. The he was sure. (Like, SURE.) But I still was on the unsure side of my already unsure feelings. Even after we got engaged I had all of these hesitations because I was worried that we weren't right for eachother (specifically- I wasn't right for him). 

I always thought that I would be the 'catch' in my relationship, but I'm pretty sure I'm the one who turned out to be lucky.

Gideon is a man of service. He's happiest when he is making others happy. One day for instance, he took my car to the car shop to get the oil changed for me. I hate going to those places, and he knew that, so he left early before work to take care of it. THEN he texted me
"Done! I sure love you!"
On top of the already huge service he had given me, he decided to send me a little message confirming that he had completed the task (that he volunteered to do), and make sure I knew that he loved me. Typical Gideon.

THEN- LATER that day, after I got home from an exhausting day of work, instead of telling me that he was hungry (and I know he was, since he had just finished a probably even more strenuous day) and asking what was for dinner, he suggested that I go take a relaxing shower while he made dinner. When I got out of the shower, Gideon had dinner ready with a genuine smile on his face. Typical. I just love him so much. I spend alot of time feeling like a moron for ever being unsure about our relationship. I'm grateful that Gideon was and is patient with me in all of my stupid insecurities, tolerates my crazy moments, and makes such an effort to make me feel good. He supports and encourages my aspirations and dreams, and I feel so blessed to have that in my life, and inspired to be a better spouse and person.

Gid and I have disagreements just about every day (like every normal couple), but he has a way of making our conversations building blocks towards greater understanding and compromise between the two of us. And he knows that no matter how 'angry' I might get, he's just a few little kisses away from being out of the doghouse. Which is a good for us. We've learned to get over disagreements fast, because 99.99% of the time, they're just not worth arguing over.

Sometimes we just resort to paper rock scissors, or thumb wars, which, lets be honest- I've got in the bag.

Gideon is a genius. Did you know that? Next to my insanely incredible father, Gideon is the single most capable person I know in the world (and my dad has a few years on him...) Growing up on a dairy farm, he developed a terrific work ethic, which has blessed him with the ability to apply himself, learn well and work hard. It's so rare to find individuals who are willing and able to work like Gid is. He motivates me to work harder and to be a better person.

I think the thing I love most about gideon is how hard he tries to always do the right thing. Even when it's not easy. He always encourages me to be better. And many of us know how difficult that can be; especially when I'm in a grouchybear mood. But that's my gideon.

My typical gideon. He who makes me laugh. Without trying most of the time. Actually, I think I laugh the hardest when gideon is trying very hard to be serious.

On those nights when all I want to do is pull the sheets over my head and fall into a deep and endless sleep, it is Gideon who, equally tired and defeated suggests that we read our scriptures. Am I then so tired? Yes, but for some reason, on those nights I love him even more. And I'm pretty confident that gid knows that.

This last weekend, gid and I went to a family reunion. On Sunday we got up around 5 in the morning to travel to boise to make it to gid's 9 am meeting. That's not early for us normally, but when we get to bed super late on Saturday, get up SUUper early on Sunday morning, drive 4 hours, then rush into the apartment, take the quickest showers of our lives, and get ready for church- it's a pretty yucky.

Gideon (reeking with amazingness) didn't so much as utter a word of grouchiness all morning. I (tried to) sleep on the way home, and when we got to the apartment, I crashed in a dramatic heap on our bed convinced that there was no way I could make it to church with the monster headache I was experiencing, and the horrible tummyache the weekend festivities had caused. Gideon (who was the unlucky one who had to DRIVE by the way,) happily changed into his church clothes, gave me a kiss goodbye, as I grouchily looked at the clock calculating just how long of a nap I could take if I wanted to also go to church. I decided I should at least go to sacrament meeting. Sitting next to the man I love and listening to the wonderful talks was fantastic. I needed it. And after little persuasion from myself to myself, I decided to stay the whole day. The point is- if it weren't for gid, I probably wouldn't have made it to church. Not because he is the foundation of my testimony, but because he inspires me  (without knowing) to be a better girl than I think sometimes I can be.

I'm a lucky girl. 

I think I'm the luckiest girl that I know actually. I hope most girls think they're the luckiest girl they know. I think they do.
 I didn't anticipate this kind of luck. I always thought my guy would be lucky.

Wrong again. (Typical Alyssa)
I sure must have done something right.
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