Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

This season of spookiness is beloved for many reasons.

These are just a few:

Gid and I celebrated our halloween last night, eating treats, 
while snuggled up on our tiny love seat watching old re-runs of Bewitched, 
and eating pumpkin ice cream. We were both asleep after two of the 20 minute episodes.

I'm sure that sounds really dorky and lame to you, but to me, it was just perfect.

Someday though, I'm sure we'll have adorable little witches 
and pirates keeping us up on future October 31sts.
Until then, I'm more than content with our snugly, 
gloriously quiet Halloween tradition.

However you are choosing to celebrate this, the spookiest of holidays, 
I wish you happiness, safety, candy and lots of love.

You shall be missed greatly. 
Until next year.


  • dress up
  • treats
  • jack-o-lanterns
  • corn mazes
  • charlie brown and the 
    great pumpkin
  • an excuse to snuggle up 
    and watch spooky flicks.

vintage shabby crafty

for this adorable jewelry holder all you need is:

- a shabby frame

- some material

STEP ONE: replace the glass with your material. 

STEP TWO: add your favorite accessories.

it's fun.

have a happy day, friends!

Friday, October 29, 2010

a friendly mirror to look at

for this crafty craft all you need is:

 -pretty craft flowers 
(freshly picked off the stem)

-an old mirror 
(preferably one with a frame that is unsightly and cracking)

(also a glue gun)

Place the flowers where you feel they 
would be most aesthetically pleasing.



Find a home for it.

try to not to get distracted 
every time you walk by it.

e n j o y !

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Anticipation + Excitement

Anticixcitement seems like a good fusion word of the two don't you think?
(It was between that and excitapation, but excitepation sounds too close to constipation,
so I went with the alternate choice.)

I've been feeling both lately. And as many words as I make up for it, it still feels like a very familiar thing: stress. Sometimes I think that I'm chronically stressed. When I'm crazy busy, and don't have time to do anything I'm stressed because there is just too much on my plate. And when I've got nothing to do, it drives me crazy and I find myself stressed about not having enough on my plate.

The next six months are full of potential life changing opportunities for Gid and I, and it's making me nutty. I can't sleep at night, because I'm thinking about things that excite me, and things that scare me.

(At this point, people ask
me if I'm pregnant. Nope.)

It's just the possibility of change. Change scares me. But it's so exciting. I've been having a lot of dreams lately. Let me correct myself; I've been having a lot of nightmares lately. I wake up with a jolt, and after gideon murmurs something about beef and how he loves me, I try to calm myself down enough to drift back into sleep. I haven't slept the whole night for about a month now. Can I blame strange behavior on that, please? For instance, yesterday I put my cell phone in the refrigerator, and then had to call it to find it.

Is there a difference between anticipation and excitement?
One has a pinch of fear to it, and one a pinch of hopefulness?
I can't really decide which I'm feeling more of.

Thus, a (hopefully not too disappointing) post about anticixcitement.

Any suggestions on ways to calm down and relax would be greatly appreciated.
I need the happy medium of a bubble bath and a tranquiliser shot.

Hey, bloggie buddies: happy Thursday to you.
I mean it. I wish you the loveliest thursday ever.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spookiness Part I


It's official.

The season of spooky

has finally made it to our
little home.


Dance Log 8

I've been postponing writing about dance (as I know several of you have noticed), because I've been feeling super poopy about it lately. I go to class, sweat, and then pout on the way to my car because I feel like I didn't do as good as I could've done. I'm such a pooper.

And who wants to write about that on a regular basis? 
... who wants to read about that on a regular basis?

 Not me. And I'm guessing not you. 
Thus, I've been procrastinating.

I'm glad we talked about this.

 Today it rained on me all the way walking to class. My feet were wet. My hair was wet. My nose was cold, and I had this make up song stuck in my head with a repeating line of, "I hate ballet, ballet, ballet. I hate ballet in the cold. It was pretty catchy.

And you guessed it: poopy.

When I walked into the class, I peeled off my wet outerwear and sat down on the cold floor as I put on my socks and massaged my feet in preparation for the torture they were about to encounter.

As I began my stretches, I noticed some unfamiliar faces. Visitors? No. They were wearing tights. Class began and "the others" shyly found spots in the barre. I thought there would be some introduction; something to explain why half way through the semester we suddenly had 3 extra people in our class, but there was nothing.

Our warm up exercises went unexpectedly well. I felt like a rock star, and noticed our teacher watching me with a "you're not actually too bad" look on her face. One of the newbies who was standing closely to me asked me questions in between exercises, and to my great surprise, I knew most of the answers. Hello neuromuscular alyssa! Where have you been the last three months? Our warm ups were over, and it was time to do our exercises at the center. I followed our fearless teacher and tried my best not to cheat or mark the exercises. I've made a goal to do everything full out. It's harder than I thought it would be. Then I heard something completely unexpected.

One of the new girls standing beside another new girl watched a few of us do the combination in a group, and I heard her whisper, "Alyssa looks like a swan. Look how smooth she moves." Ok. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Didn't you say earlier in your dance logs that there are three alyssas in your ballet class?? Maybe new girl was referring to one of the other alyssas." Trust me, I thought the same thing. But, today was the first and only day that I was the only alyssa to attend class. And our teacher made a few comments and called me by name. New girl was definitely talking about me.

It just made me feel so good. I know I'm such a yo-yo when it comes to this stuff, and I'm sure you guys are just sick of hearing about me having a good day, then a bad day, then a horrible day, etc. It must get pretty annoying, and I don't blame you if you grab a puke bucket every time you see that I've posted a dancelog.

But her comment really really made me feel good. I remember my first day in class; how uncomfortable I felt, how inferior to the other dancers (who I referred to as swans, if you remember). Today, someone thought I looked like a swan. Me. The puppy splashing the swans. And it just made me feel really good. Even if I know I'm still a far cry from the level of the other 1/2 of the girls in my class. The rest of our exercises, I tried my very best to live up to the compliment, and I had just a lovely class period.

It's interesting. When I started dancing in college, I hated it. I felt like I was the worst dancer ever, and I hated being bad. Throughout the following four years, I worked my way up to feeling like dance was the most fulfilling thing ever, and I didn't know what to do without my company. I felt like I was valuable, even a leader in the company. Then I graduated. A year passed. Then another 6 months. And when I started this ballet class, it was like starting dance all over again. I felt like I was the worst dancer ever. And I hated being bad. But that's how it's always going to be. You work your way up, and then find yourself at the bottom again. Cliche as it is, it's not about the destination. It's about the journey. And I feel like my journey is getting back on the happy road. And yo-yo, as I am, I'm excited again.

And I really really really hope my next dance log is this positive.

Happy Tuesday, lovely friends.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Color Pallet

I stumbled upon this quote several months ago, and I laughed really hard, because I think we can all relate to it in some way or another. Everyone has a unique color to their personality.   

“Life is like a box of crayons. Some people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation.. so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, "hey girl, magenta!" and she's like, "oh, you mean purple!" and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, "no - I want magenta!"”

- John Mayer
Some colors compliment eachother. Some maybe don't as much.

I don't think I've ever seen a color that wasn't lovely in it's own way.

(I know you're thinking, "how about puke green??"
And just so you know, I love all shades of green.)

 Whatever color you are, I hope you stay true to it.

If you could declare a color to represent you,
what would it be?

ps- if you're having a difficult time finding a color,
to find your specific "birth color".

Here's mine: delphinium blue. What's yours?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

self confidence 101

valuable lesson learned from 
terrific massage therapist I work with:

  • no one has perfect self confidence without training themselves to
  • everyone feels insecure in at least one area of their life
  • no one benefits from you beating yourself up for making a small mistake
  • your personal confidence is 100% up to you.

When I first started working at this clinic, it was so frustrating. The girl who I replaced had worked here for several years, everyone loved her, and apparently she made no mistakes whatsoever. I, on the other hand made mistakes by the minute, was afraid to touch anything, and when patients walked in, they would give me a look, and then say, "where is misty?"

I found myself apologizing constantly, even when things weren't my fault. I was miserable at the thought of screwing up one more thing. That's when one of the massage therapists stepped in. She told me that in massage school, she was horribly insecure, and she dealt with it by jokingly saying, "yeah, I'm pretty amazing at massages." Her friends would laugh, and she would shrug with a optimistic smile. After a few weeks of that, she noticed that people began really giving her attention for being such a great therapist. Her teachers praised her, and her classmates would ask her for help. She started feeling confident in herself, and when she would say, "I'm a pretty terrific therapist, and anyone who gets a massage from me is dang lucky", she really started to believe it. 

She's the most requested therapist at our office. 

So I decided to put her theory to test. When I did something good, I would say something like, "yeah- I'm basically awesome," or "I'm probably the only person in the world who can get that taken care of so quickly."  I would walk into the clinic, and say things like, "Good morning, everyone! I'm feeling particularly amazing this fine morning!" Most of the time that wasn't really true. I was just faking it. But I noticed my faking started really working for me. When I finished a tough project given to me, I'd prance into my boss's office, chin up, and after handing him the project, I would say, "you're really going to be glad you hired me when you see how flawless I made this." I noticed the doctors started saying things like, "only alyssa could do this, because she's so great at everything." I couldn't believe it. It was like I put a spell on them just by saying great things about myself on a regular basis. 

And know what? I've started to actually believe it a little. Sometimes on a tough day I have to take a little trip to the ladies room, look myself in the eye, and say, "alyssa- you are spectacular." Then I take a deep breath, and walk back into my day. 

moral of the story: fake it till you make it. 
Really, it works. 

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

finding direction

Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl.

And they were lost in a maze. 

So they ran through the dusty trail,

choosing pathways carefully,

enjoying each other's company, 

and finding beauty everywhere.

Sometimes they got to higher ground for just a moment, where they could see their destination and path more clearly.

But, once they were back on the trail, it was again difficult to see which direction they were supposed to go. 

Sometimes they got turned around. 
And sometimes they got frustrated.

So they formed a plan. 

They used a map that had been 
given to them at the start of the adventure. 

And they listened to the music they knew 
would lead them to the end of their journey. 

At first it was faint- and they couldn't 
quite determine which direction it was coming from. 

But when they really focused everything on listening to the music, and studying the map, they found the right direction.

And got out of the maze. 

The end.

 I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and non-existent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.

- President Thomas S. Monson

Monday, October 18, 2010


I've started making weekly goals, and yesterday I made a goal to not be super cranky today- monday.

I try not to, but
I hate mondays.

I hate them almost as much as
I hate the smell of milk that has gone bad.

Actually, that's what mondays are to me: sundays that have been sitting out too long and now have turned to sour mondays.

Anyway, back to my goal; not my smelly analogy that defeats the purpose of it.

I've been feeling suffocated lately with the combination of work and photography, and I finally caught up with some of my photo shoot editing. When my clients are out of state, I always use the same little postal shoppe. It's about 2 miles from our apartment, and run by the most lovely old man. I stopped by, and he greeted me with his normal cheerfulness. I've never known a lousy mailman. The mailman who delivered to our family in Texas is also the sweetest man in the world. When I was a little girl I would put flowers in the mailbox for him with notes expressing thanks for bringing us anticipated goods from afar. I think there must be some sort of mailman oath that says something like, "We, the mailmen of america swear to be sweet at all times." Seriously.

Anyway as I was chatting with the mailman, he asked me if I was doing my photography full time. Explaining that I do it super part time since I have a job that takes up all of my week, my mailman sighed, and said, "I wish you could visit me more,

You're the sparkle in my day."

If he was a middle aged man with a toupee, it would have been creepy and a little upsetting. But he's a sweet old man with kind eyes and suspenders. He uses a cane to get from on end of his shoppe to the other. He always has fresh lavender in an antique vase on his counter, and he smells of peppermint.
He has a picture of himself, his wife and a dog that looks like it's about as old as they are.

And he thinks that I sparkle.

Lately I've felt more like a dud than a sparkler. Roll out of bed because my brain makes me. Kiss gid as he leaves for work. Put concealer under my eyes to hide the obvious stress that I want so desperately to disappear. Sit at work for 7-10 hours. Get back in the car. Get home. Make something horribly cliche and pathetic like hamburger helper. Shower. Crawl into bed, kiss my husband goodnight. Sleep. Wake up. And then I roll out of bed because my brain makes me.

But as "dud"ful as I felt, someone thought of me as a sparkle. And I wasn't even wearing anything remotely glittery. I was in a postal shoppe. I think of sparkles in my life: my sweet husband naturally, my photography clients, my friends, my bloggie buddies, my family. Gosh, I miss my family.

There are sparkles everywhere. They surround me.
I'd love to hear the different unique places people find sparkle.
Where do you find it?

ps- you should really probably comment, because I hate it when
people ask questions on their blog and no one responds.

Help a sister out, huh?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

worth it

It seems like I have an impossible amount to do lately.

My brain has been a whirlwind of chaos:
I have to go to work. I have to go get the groceries. I have to catch up on all of my photo shoot editing. Then I have to find the time to burn the disks and get to the post office and mail them to my clients. I have to schedule those 7 clients who have been calling and emailing me to have a shoot. Oh- that's right! There's that ward activity this weekend that I have to go to. Augh! Visiting teaching! Gosh, I really should get started on Sunday's lesson. Oh yeah! Geez, I have to deposit that check so we have money in the bank. I've gotta read the lessons for my institute classes.I have to get to institute class, then to ballet, then back to the office on time. Let's not forget that we've gotta buy a pumpkin so we can have jackolanterns! Did I mention groceries already? Gotta schedule a time to go to the temple. Goodness gracious. Along with that, I probably should be doing family history. And scripture study. And better, more sincere prayers. And I should really be trying to be better about being a better person in general. I really should be doing more to prepare for our Thanksgiving trip to Texas. I've got like a million baby showers I'm supposed to go to. Better go grab some gifts. Oh, that reminds me! I've got to plan that surprise baby shower! Aw man, I keep telling myself that I'm going to start taking classes at that new hot yoga place. Then again, I keep telling myself that I'm going to stop eating ice cream for more than 24 hours. I've gotta work on my will power and self control. And my exercise endurance. I've been wanting to write a post on my blog that isn't totally lame.Groceries AGAIN?! How much can two people eat?

There are some days I feel like I just can't do it all.
And really- I just want to crawl into a dark hole and die.
And I'm not even a mom yet. 
Not a good sign.

But, on the bright side, there are other days, when even though I know I might not be able to do it all, it'll all get done somehow. Even better are the days when I look forward to whatever is coming; the exciting and the frustrating. I hope I can grow to be like that all the time. It takes faith. And it takes trust. But when I have both, I know everything will work out one way or another, and I can even look forward to it.

For instance, I may not be looking forward to morning sickness, sleepless nights, and labor pains.

But I do look forward to days when I can rock my children to sleep as they drool on my shoulder. And I know, that I have to have faith and trust to endure through the tough times in order reach the lovely ones.

I might not always want to clean and cook,
but I so look forward to having a home full of loving sounds,
yummy food, and tender moments.

And sometimes, even though I resist inevitabilities like gray hair, and wrinkles, I look forward to aging hopefully as gracefully as my beautiful mother.
So on days like today, when I feel like I maybe won't be able to do it all, I'm just going to try to look forward to future joys. It's hard. It takes trust. It takes faith. But I can do it.

Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness. If everything has to be known, if everything has to be explained, if everything has to be certified, then there is no need for faith. Indeed, there is no room for it.

Boyd K. Packer
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