Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fair Game.

Just so you know...

Now that Thanksgiving is over...

spirits...5x7 fine art print...by Madeline Bea Photography

I reserve the right to be
overly excited about Christmas.

Get ready.

just sayin'.

Dance Log 12

Thanksgiving was basically the best ever.

I have the best parents ever.
The best family ever.
The cutest nephew ever. 
The best home ever.

the best husband ever.

So very much to be grateful for.
I don't know how in the heck I got so stinking lucky.
 Seriously- I'm so lucky it gets stinky sometimes.

Now on to dance.

This morning I woke up to snow. Normally I'd groan at the prospect of putting on tights and a leotard when the weather is like this, but I basically leaped into them this morning. It's been over a week since my class, and I couldn't wait for it!

I put on tights.
Then leggings.
Then pants.
Then sweats. 
A tank top.
Then a jacket.
Then another jacket. 
Then a scarf. 
Then a beanie
 (or a toque as my Canadian friends would say). 
Then socks.
Then boots.

Needless to say, I was very thickly layered.

As I walked to my car, I slipped on some ice, and basically bounced off of my layers and back to my feet. I didn't even feel anything. Good start to my day.

It was obvious in class that I my technique was a little dusty, but as always I prevailed. Wow. Overconfident much? What can I say- I've been blessed with an overwhelming amount of humility.

One huge plus in class is that since I've gotten my hair cut, I never have to mess with it. I can't stand having hair in my face when I dance, and with a pixie cut, I am happy to announce that it's the best ever. So that was nice. It was also nice of the dance theater company members to all make sweet comments about my new head of hair. Girls love compliments. 

Then it happened: that point in class where my teacher tells us to do something that I've never heard of before. It's french and weird. I've never heard it or (more importantly) seen it before. I hate it when that happens. And then my instructor looks at me like I should have known this at birth, and now I'm supposed to lead the class in the combination.

Usually when these "special" combinations come, I try to wing it, and fail miserably.

(insert sad dancer picture)

Not today. I didn't do anything perfect (as I'm sure you all knew already), but I did a pretty sweet job. My teacher even made a comment about how I did it well.  I was on top of the moon. By the end of class, I was giving myself metaphysical high fives back and forth. I rocked that final combination.

Anyway, I'm just happy to be dancing again. I love thanksgiving, and you can bet your boots I'll be posting some pictures of my cute nephew and writing more about the Texas festivities gid and I enjoyed, but right now I'm just happy to be in freezing snowy Idaho. It's not my hometown, but for now-it's home.

such a good dance day.

happy Tuesday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

pixie lyssie


I guess I can say

I've had just about every hair length

that you can have.

And now I can say I've had a pixie cut.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


November brought boise the first flakes of the year. 
And I'm not talking about people who are unreliable and quirky; not those kinds of flakes. 

The flakes of which I speak are the first snow flakes of the fall season. 

I know what many of you are thinking: 
"Hate to break it to you alyssa, 
but snow means it's winter." 

If I lived in England or Ireland (I wish), that may be true. But here in Idaho, winter formally starts on December 21st. So I'm embracing fall leaves (even if soft, white, deliciously cold crumbles adorn them). 

When I woke up to softly falling whiteness it was like November personally wanted to give me a gentle reminder that not only is Thanksgiving next week, but Christmas; yes, Christmas, is finally coming. Soon I would get to be at home with my family and my newborn nephew to celebrate the holiday of thanks. Soon I would get to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas". At least 3 times. Soon I would get to buy a Christmas tree and have a decorating party with my sweet husband. Soon we would be dancing in our teeny kitchen to oldies Christmas music. Soon my family would snuggle up by the fire and read the Christmas story. 

 Not today. But soon.

Dear, Sweet November. Thank you for the soft, cold, white reminder.


Thursday, November 18, 2010


My sweet husband's car broke down on Tuesday.

autumn ride 5x7 print

On his way to the temple.

After his call, I rescued him, and after the session, we arranged to have the unstartable vehicle towed to our humble little home. We were out of the temple around 9:30, we tinkered around with the car for another hour or so, and then the tow truck took a while to come. Needless to say, we got to bed later than expected. I'd had it. After a long day of ballet, work for 9 hours, and a temple session I was so done. Did not want to wait for a tow truck to pick up one of our cars. Why did our car randomly break down in the first place? On our way to the temple?! I did my best to bite my tounge, but I was so irritated as we were getting into bed. It wasn't just the car. It was stress about work, stress about the dishes in the sink, stress about traveling plans. And stress about our newfound problem: mystery breakdown car (that we've had for less than a year PS).

Two words for alyssa: anger. mangagement. issues.
That's actually three words. Get over it.

Anyway, as we were getting ready for bed, I mentioned to gid
something about how I was sorry we'd had such rotten luck,
and I hoped tomorrow would be a better day.

Gideon responded, "Are you kidding? We're lucky that my car didn't break
down while I was on the freeway!"Then he added some creative "worst case scenario" details.

"We're lucky my car didn't breakdown on the freeway in the middle of high speed trafic. With semis!" He concluded,  "We're so lucky I'm not in the ER because I got hit by a semi!"

All I could say was, "yep. We're lucky alright."

I guess it just depends on perspective.

Happy Thursday, friends.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dance Log 11


I mean wow.

I must give photo credit today to the ballerina project and also to the lovely Stephanie Patterson who introduced me to the photos in the first place.

Violeta -  East River
Become a fan of the Ballerina Project: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ballerina-project/22455674948
(Stephanie, by the way, was the photographer for our wedding and has some major crazy talent. Check. Her. Out.

Ballet today was rough, and not just because I had a dream that Gideon tried to sell me on craigslist last night. When I stepped into class, I found that we had company. Professional company. Sitting in the center of the floor with long graceful legs, and a perfectly sculpted frame was the most gorgeous girl I think I've ever seen. I recognised her from a Trey McIntyre Project performance I saw over a year ago. She's that stunning. Turned out that the professional company is on a holiday break and our visitor was interested in taking some classes in the meantime. Oh snap, right? I knew my teacher was good.

It was very humbling and motivational to take class with such talent. It pushed me. Not that I thought in some parallel universe I could compare to the prima, but it made me want to try to be more like her. Longer. More graceful. Less dorky. Like I said, it was humbling and motivational. More humbling than motivational. By the end of the class I discovered a sweat spot on my leotard around the midsection. That's how you know I've really been worked: belly button sweat. Seriously. By the time I stumbled into the office, I was completely deflated. My bosses (I have two of them) asked me how class went, and I dramatically declared that I was the worst ballerina on the face of the planet and I was going to dedicate a life of eating marshmallows, since there was no way I would ever be as thin as what I imagine ballerinas look like. One of the docs said, "Nonsense! You're just lovely. In fact, I think you should be doing So You Think You Can Dance." The other quickly replied, "I would send in a text to vote for you. Maybe two." For him, that's really saying something.

Basically, it made my day. I have the best bosses ever.

I'm just feeling grateful.
Grateful for a healthy body that can dance.
Grateful for the incredible learning opportunities that surround me.
So Grateful for Gid. (That's catchy. I'm going to write a song.)
Grateful for family.

Just grateful.

Happy Tuesday, Friends.

Monday, November 15, 2010

decisions decisions decisions...

I'm sure you expected a post heavy with seriousness, & dripping with drama.

but the fact is, 
I'm in the market for a 
new pair of rain boots.

and the decisions are driving me bonkers.

any advice would be greatly appreciated.

happy monday, friends

Sunday, November 14, 2010

removing poison.

ok this has been on my mind for quite some time now, so please forgive any blubbering. I do tend to blubber. Not like whale fat- like "she was blubbering on and on and we couldn't understand what she was saying."

Got the correct definition? I'm glad we talked about this. 

For the past several months, I've been really thinking about the concept of forgiveness; what it really really means. Normally I don't have a difficult time forgiving people. I get easily irritated, yes. I think sometimes my blood pressure rises when I get spam in my inbox. But I figure if I forgive the way I would want to be forgiven, I'll be just fine. That was before "the incident". I don't want to go into detail about exactly what happened, but it hurt me so much deeper than I would have expected. I keep thinking that I'm over it, but then I find myself re-irritated again and again.

There are some people in our lives who we build close relationships with: family (obviously), and dear friends. I have a best friend in Canada who is a gorgeous 5' 11'' blonde. Definitely not related to the 5' 4'' brunette from America, but she is as good as family. There are a few girls who I danced with on company who I consider to be practically family. It hurts when strangers are rude or offensive. It's easy to become outraged when a moron cuts you off on the road. I think it is a little more painful when people we are familiar with are inconsiderate. But I think it hurts the most when close family or dear friends betray the trust that takes years to develop. And I think it hurts even more when they take advantage time and time again, because they've gotten used to taking advantage time and time again.

When "the incident" happened, I was so upset I was shaking. Hot angry tears flowed, and I was so so so angry. What upset me the most was the relationship that I felt had been severed. It bothered me so much, that I dedicated study to it, and found the most wonderful talk  by Bishop H. Burke Peterson.

It tells the true story about a group of girls having a picnic on a hot summer day in arizona. Amidst playing, one of the girls is bitten by a rattlesnake on the ankle. The venom immediately is released into her bloodstream, and her friends, enraged, decide to find the snake and destroy it, rather than focus on removing the poison from the wound. It takes them about 15 minutes, but eventually they find it, and destroy it with rocks and stones. By the time the girls get back to their friend, the venom has reached an advanced state, and the poison has begun the destroy the tissue in her limb. In the end, their wounded friend must have her leg removed.

"It was a senseless sacrifice, this price of revenge.
How much better it would have been if, after the young 
woman had been bitten, there had been an extraction of 
the venom from the leg in a process known 
to all desert dwellers."

What do we do when we have been attacked, or offended? What can we do, really? Peterson tells us "the sure way, the right way is to look inward and immediately start the cleansing process. The wise and the happy person removes first the impurities from within. The longer the poison of resentment and unforgiveness stays in a body, the greater and longer lasting is its destructive effect...

The poison of revenge, or of unforgiving thoughts or attitudes, 
unless removed, will destroy the soul in which it is harbored. "

As I was reading this, I thought about how I've been taught all my life that forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the forgiven. It's so easy to want to hold grudges, especially when we feel we have every right to! But when we do so, we're denying ourselves of growing opportunities, of learning experiences.

Later on in the talk, we learn about Him who forgave all; the greatest example of forgiveness. And as my perspective grew larger and larger, I found no irritating grudginess looming about me. I just felt grateful for the blessings that I had. 

Grateful for a family that loves me, grateful for my friends who are the best ever. 

Grateful for a husband who is the most wonderful thing in the world. 

And grateful for the learning experience of "the incident" that I grew so much from.

I don't know if I've made any sense at all. 
This may have been the longest, most sporadic post ever.
But I felt like I needed to write about it, so I did.

Like I said early on, I do tend to blubber.

But I know that when we focus on healing the wound rather than seeking revenge on the attacker, we will find infinitely more happiness and growth.

Happy Sunday to Everyone.

Letters to my Future Children #4

Kids. We need to talk. 

Siblings are an interesting complexity. You will drive eachother insane on more than one occasion. Odds are we'll be a (semi) normal family, and there will be small altercations often. 

Boys, you'll want to punch it out, 
or settle an argument via arm wrestling. 

Girls, you'll probably want destroy your sister's prized possesions, 
or plot some other elaborate vengeful scenario. 

When I was little, I swapped the heads of Aunt Melody's vintage barbie dolls. I paid dearly, and wouldn't reccomend getting on her bad side. In so many ways, siblings not getting along perfectly is inevitable. But you've got to understand something incredibly important: they're family. 

Regardless of what happens; they're family. When you grow up into incredibly handsome boys and blindingly gorgeous girls, and face the inevitable trials this wonderful life offers us, you'll always be able to count on one thing: your family. Friends come and go, but your family is always stuck there like glue. Or gummy bears. Stuck like gummy bears. There's a special bond between siblings. There's nothing really like it. Often times, you'll want to smack each other. Even more often times though, you'll be so grateful for the binding tie that is family. Just keep it in mind. 

Because family is forever.

No matter what.

can't wait to see you,

Friday, November 12, 2010


So I'm taking an institute class right now, and there's a girl in my class
who I quietly admire because she gives the most bizarrely adorable comments.

 She sort of seems like she's in her own little world.

I wish I could be in my own little world. My own little world would be awesome.
But for one reason or another, I find myself tied down to reality on most days that end in 'y'. Every now and then, I wish I could gather a thousand metaphysical helium filled balloons and float in the sky and dreamily look down at people buzzing around in their hectic lives.

But I can't. I am one of those buzzing maniacs.

In fact, I invented buzzing.
I'm practically the queen bee.

Wow. My analogy sure took off.
(pun intended)

Anyway, in class we were talking about blessings we receive daily, and our teacher asked (rhetorically) "How does that make you feel?" Without missing a beat, dreamy daisy says, "it makes me feel like dancing."
And she smiled.

Everyone looked at her. Some people smirked; some people mumbled things to their neighbor. And after a few closing statements, class was dismissed. For some reason I've been thinking about her answer alot. Some of you know this already, but if this is your first visit to my humble bloggy world, here's a heads up: I'm a dancer. I'm passionate about dance as an art form, and I love it; I love learning about dance, I love watching dancers, and I love to dance. 

How many times have you danced just because? I do it alot. And I'm not talkin' ballet or contemporary style. I'm talking grooovy dancing. Usually I'm by myself in my apartment or in the kitchen or maybe the living room. Or the bathroom. Ok, basically anywhere in the house. My point is, it's fun. And I actually have a second point. Dreamy daisy's funny comment opened my eyes to at least one lovely fact: this life is wonderful. It's oh so wonderful. And with the crazy amount of blessings that we receive daily, we should feel so happy we can dance; so happy we could fly. And we shouldn't need a thousand metaphysical helium filled balloons to do so.

Take a twirl or two, dear friends. Just for fun.
It's such a wonderful life.
So twirl.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dance Log 10

Note to self: don't eat slosh for dinner, 
then a single oreo for breakfast, and expect to be able to perform in a ballet class.


So, Gideon has alot of late nights, and when I'm by myself, I often nourish and fill my body as though it was a snack machine. And when I'm lonely, it's worse. I replace snuggles with junk food. For instance, last night: fruit snacks, Better Cheddars, white chocolate covered oreos, and popcorn as I watched Toy Story 3. Oh, and a glass of strawberry milk. I almost died. Especially in ballet this morning, but even now in the office, my stomach is still paying the price for a mindless 2 hours last night. And I had no one to blame but myself! My poor body had such awful nutrition; it would have been better if I wouldn't have eaten anything at all.

During class I had to fight to keep up when I normally am just fine. I tried to look like my heart wasn't beating ouside my chest, and I think I fooled everyone except my teacher. She looked at me a few times like she wasn't sure whether she should be concerned or chuckle. You can bet your ballet slippers that I'm planning on eating a well balanced breakfast before class next time.

Lesson learned: don't be a moron.
Especially when it comes to nourishing your body.
Especially if you hope to be extraordinary.

That is all.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I've been thinking alot lately about time. How much time I have to accomplish this; to accomplish that. How much time, till it's too late to do this; to do that. Sometimes I think ambition is a terrific blessing, and there's nothing better in the whole wide world. Seldomly though, I have days when I resent ambition. It feels like its a trial, or a puzzle piece that I have to force in to my schedule, and I wish that I could just yank it out of myself, like some sort of deeply rooted weed.

...Except I love my weedy ambition.
It's dear to me, and I secretly water and nourish it as though it was the loveliest rose garden.

The point is, I've been thinking about time alot lately.

I started by thinking about the educational experiences I have in mind for myself, and the places around the world I've got to visit before I whither away. You know. Since I'm so old. It's embarrassing to put it this way, but I was trying to strategize how much time I have to do what I want before we start our family. And when that thought popped into my head, I became startled with myself. It sounded more selfish than I hoped that I am. One of my favorite talks came to mind.

In this talk, one of the things President Monson talks about is time. So many times we think we have all the time in the world to do things that are the most important. It is the unimportant things that often we prioritize.

Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks.
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. 
Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of “what if” and “if only.” Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
I don't think ambition is bad; I just think my ambition can grow in a few other departments of my life. A really good friend of mine from high school passed away a few months ago. He was a handsome, smart, talented young man. I remember him emailing me, and wanting to catch up, and I sent him a brief friendly reply that essentially said, "Hi, good to hear from you, glad you're doing well. Maybe we can catch up if I'm ever in town." I had no idea that he was experiencing a terrible struggle in his life. And I regret not taking time to give him a little attention, a little friendship. It would have taken me little to no effort.

 In this, the great month of thanks, lets all try to be more grateful for each other, and show each other our love, rather than assume they know. How often do we talk to our parents, our siblings, and our extended families and loved ones? I talked to best friend on the phone a few weeks ago, and it had been months and months since I had last talked to her. So much can happen in such a small amount of time. Traveling opportunities, graduate school, or a study abroad program really, will always be there. Our friends and family may not.

This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. 
Opportunities come, and then they are gone. 
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 nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. 
Instead, find joy in the journey—now.

This talk was given at a time in my life when I was so clueless about the future ahead. Actually, I'm still really very clueless, but I feel a little more confident about my future than I did when I first watched President Monson at General Conference in 2008. I think it will always be one of my favorite talks, because the message is so full of hope and love.

Make sure your loved ones know how much you care about them.
And be optimistic and confident in the future! There is so much joy to be found.

Happy Monday, treasured friends.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

beauty in the flaws

Last night, I was flipping through a catalogue admiring the clothing and models. 
Once in a while I found myself sighing, wishing I was thinner, or more stylish.
Gideon snuck up behind me, wrapped his arms around me, and glanced at the catalogue pages.

His expression went sour, and he made a gagging sound. Then he hugged me tighter and said, "I think that you need to model these clothes; why do stores have models made such scary faces?"

I laughed, but after a while I thought to myself how grateful I am for a husband who isn't fooled by the world of fashion, and appreciates me even though I'm not a size 0 and I've never had the courage to dye my hair. 

I think the world could use more men and women who see beauty in natural simplicity, and who love a genuine personality (quirks included). 

I hope that I can always find beauty in "flaws" that make each of us unique. 
And even though I still love to browse through catalogues, and keeping up on new styles, I hope that I can always appreciate my personal uniqueness and be happy to be me.

Happy Thursday, friends.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dance Log 9

I love ballet, but I've gotta say something:
the pink tights are starting to really get to me.

Today I couldn't stop staring at myself, and not in a good way.
 Are pink tights flattering on anyone?
 (I'm going to go ahead and request that all the men who are dying to make a
sarcastic comment keep their thoughts to themselves.)

I love watching ballerinas in their pink tights, black leotards,
tutus, and pointe shoes.

I simply must make a comment about this being one of the most gorgeous paintings ever.
Don't you agree?

I love watching those stunning girls in pink tights and tutus. I just don't like wearing those things. I feel like a clumsy elephant. A clumsy elephant in pink tights and a strappy leotard. Eating a doughnut. I wish I had a doughnut right now. Ok. Moving on.

Some of you may be wondering when I'll stop writing my dance logs (some of you probably also wonder why I always get on off subject tangents about food). Well, my ballet class is a little more than 1/2 over (and I tangent about food when my stomach is growling). I feel like I learn more every day in ballet, even though sometimes it's really frustrating. 

This isn't the end of dance for alyssa though.

 I just registered for two
new dance classes for next semester!!

The first is an advanced modern technique class (insert hallelujah chorus). The second is a choreography class. I'm so excited to use that creative part of my brain again, and I feel so blessed to have a husband who is so willing to let me have this outlet. Today in ballet I had a hard time, because I kept thinking about how excited I am to do modern again. I zoned out thinking about it a few times and screwed up several barre exercises.

On a higher note, as we were leaping across the floor, my teacher stopped me and said, "where did you come from? I didn't know you could leap like that." Coming from my teacher, that's a pretty huge compliment. I should have been more excited about it, but I was too busy thinking about modern dance class. I can't wait, friends. In modern class you don't have to wear pink tights. And you get to breathe. And you do moves that aren't always pretty. I love ballet. And really when it comes down to it, I believe ballet is the foundation of technique. But oh, I can't wait to take a modern class.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet November.

I miss october alreay, I really do.
But there's nothing quite like november.

 October is the time that the colors are the most vibrant and brisk.
November is the month that slowly lulls the colors down into deeper
and deeper colors until they finally go to sleep for the rest of the year.

The leaves don't have the same crunch, but there is the most lovely smoky smell in november evenings. In october, I wear scarfs because I like to wear them. In november, I wear scarfs because I like to wear them, and because I need them. The wind becomes more alive, and the need for wool socks becomes urgent. Ah, wool socks. Don't you love this time of year, friends?

Don't you just love red noses, pink cheeks, and sweater boots?

And family
And fireplaces!
And the smell of snow!

Oh sweet november, I'm starting to warm up to you already.

Have a beautiful november day.
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