Tuesday, December 28, 2010

just enjoy.

Oh, friends.

I hope you had the merriest christmas ever.

I've so enjoyed my vacation from real life. I watched old fashioned christmas classics. I ate immense amounts of deliciouhome cooked food. I sent my oldest brother on a scavenger hunt all over the house in order to find his Christmas present (he tried to hide it, but I could tell he was delighted; and for just a moment, I felt like we were both kids again). My sister and I annoyed everyone by putting on elf hats and trying to play christmas music on two random recorders we discovered. I cuddled my newborn nephew every second I could.

Best part- I 
just enjoyed 
my family and the wonderfulness of being together. We're not perfect (except for my mom), but I can't imagine a better family for me to have grown up in. As I packed my bags, a familiar lump developed in my throat, and I had to sit in the bathroom and just cry for a few minutes as I thought about leaving my home state.

Gideon scooped me up and told me it was ok; we could just stay and live in Texas forever. I have such a sweet husband.

The fact is, it's important for us to be on our own. I know so many people who never leave the place they've grown up. There's nothing wrong with that; most of my friends live within 15 miles of the home they learned how to walk in. That works beautifully with lots of people. The way I'm wired, I've gotta get out of my comfort zone to really learn things. Otherwise, I think it'd be too easy for me to depend on the comfortable consistency of my life. I'd never need to make new friends; I'd never want to experiment with anything different, or unexpected. I'm so grateful my parents encouraged me to explore; everything good that's come to me has come from leaving my comfort zone.

Anyway, my point is that I miss Texas already, but there is an undeniable beauty to the tiny home that I've created here with my husband. We had our own little Christmas celebration; just the two of us, and he presented me the most delightful gift I've gotten in a while: a ukulele. I don't play the ukulele. But I love lots of songs that are traditionally sung on the ukulele. I mentioned to him a few months ago that I was thinking about buying a cheap little ukulele at target or online; nothing more than 10 bucks tops. The instrument that I opened for Christmas isn't quite what I had in mind. It's a gorgeous piece of art that smells like heaven and was made in italy. It's an opportunity for me to try something new. I'm so excited to just enjoy it. It reminds me of my introduction to the guitar, and the awkward months that followed. Gideon got me other lovely gifts too, but the uke is my secret favorite. It's like a small symbol of newness and change. I can't wait to wrap myself with it.

I know this was a super jumpy post friends, but the gist of it all comes down to three facts:

I love my family and cherish them deeply.
I love change and the growth that comes with it.
I love my gideon more than I can say.
I hope you all had a beautiful christmas.

That's four facts. But I'm pretty sure you'll get over it.


Monday, December 20, 2010

sharing time.

I'm sure you guys have seen this through it's viral spread, 
but I thought I'd put it up for the sake of those of you who haven't shared in it's magic.

Enjoy it's beauty.

"To dance is to be out of yourself. 
Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. 
This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking." 

~Agnes De Mille


I saw this bumper sticker. 

and I agreed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dance Log 14

Today was bittersweet.
It was the last day of class, and just as I anticipated I was full of sentimental emotions.

I kept thinking things like, "I absolutely hate this barre exercise and this is the last time I get to do it." There was one part of class when I thought, "I sure won't miss feeling this awkward doing this arabesque." Then I thought, "Actually, I hope I get the opportunity to feel awkward in an arabesque someday in the near future."

By the end of class, I was out of breath, and trying to calm my furiously beating heart. Our 'final' was basically boot camp with pink tights. I think our teacher wanted us to remember her. By the end, I was exhausted, but a little sad. Just as we were out the door, one of the dancers from a professional company in town came in and started warming up. Her movement was unmistakeably modern, and I inwardly beamed as I thought about how in just a few weeks I'll be in a contemporary class.

I can not wait.

For me, dance is like a feast. Ballet is like a lovely appetizer; something fancy and expensive. Hors d'oeuvres are lovely, and I enjoy them as much as the next person, but I'm also looking forward to the entrees to come. Contemporary movement is my main course. The most delicious one you can imagine. Choreography is the fine dessert, and improvisation is the drizzling topping.

Are you guys thinking, "For a girl who just took ballet, you're sure talking a lot about food"?

Maybe I like food more than a ballerina should,
but I'm forever grateful for the last months of class.

I'm grateful for the patient reminders from my instructor. I'm grateful for the lovely swans who have been mesmerising examples to me. I'm so very grateful for a husband who allows me to take ballet, even though we're poor newlyweds, and me taking ballet costs us money.

As I was walking out of the morrison center today, I had a flash back to the  first day of class. A lot has changed since then. The tree leaves so crisp and red on the first day have been replaced by a thin layer of ice and snow, and the sky is the most delicious shade of gray with a sprinkle of deep blue here and there. Since the first day my hair is over 16 inches shorter, and I must wear warm boots instead of flats. The beautiful girls who terrified me in class know my name and give me friendly smiles when I run into them on campus or at dance events. My instructor smiles brightly at me, and encourages me to pursue more dance education from her. (At the beginning of the semester I'd of thought she'd be delighted to get rid of me.) I've learned countless new things about classical technique, and slowly but surely, I think I'm getting better.

So much can change in a semester of ballet.

Thanks for your much needed support and love cherished readers.
I'm so blessed to have such lovely friends.
This is the end of my dance log.

Until class starts again.

(dramatic music)

Dance Log: The Modern Series!

Are you sick of me yet? No?! How about now? Ok.


Happy Thursday Friends,

Sunday, December 12, 2010


some of you know me.
and because you know me, you know I'm somewhat of a grouchy pants.
(you're probably thinking, "...somewhat??"

Gideon won't admit it when I get into these charming moods, but I can tell when they come. I'm fairly confident most regular people suffer from occasional grouchiness, but I hate it when I find myself uncontrollably moody. Wow. Just listen to me. "Uncontrollably moody"? Yeesh, Alyssa. Clearly, I have the free agency to control myself, and I'm just having a difficult time doing so. 

Anyway, it's been an annoying few weeks. I keep letting things get me down; simple things that shouldn't bother me. I get frustrated with people and find the little voice inside my head saying dreadful things. In this state, I don't deserve any blessings, let alone the magnificent ones that surround me daily: family/friends/home/health/food/employment/vehicles to name just a few. 

Imagine my surprise when I received a charming gift from a dear friend in the mail. 
It's not my birthday, or even Christmas yet. But she sent it just the same.

With the book she sent a note that made me feel like I'm worth a million bucks. Isn't it amazing how right at the peak of a crap week, Heavenly Father sends us friends who give us a little boost? I cried just a little when I read the sweet hand written note and held the book in my hand. 

And I sat down immediately to read it.
Have any of you ever read 

It's a lovely story about individuality. It's actually about alot more. But you'll just have to read it. 
I'd never read it before, and I became totally wrapped up in the idea of a creature totally unafraid to be completely natural regardless of what others think. I wish I could be like that. I wish I could ignore superficiality that the world thrusts down on me and confidently stand on my own mountain of uniqueness. 

It's not a huge secret that I'm a little awkward or as I like to describe myself, "quirky" (which I'm pretty sure is just a nice way of saying 'weird'). 

Secretly, I'm fine with that. 

But I'm not always ok with people knowing that I'm fine with my idiocyncratic qualities. Lots of times I pretend that I'm a lot cooler than I actually am. And yes, I just used the word 'cooler'. At least I don't say 'I'm jiggy with that'. (At least not a regular basis.) Reading about stargirl made me so grateful for people who know who they are and are comfortable in their own skin. Somedays I am. Somedays I'm not. I think when I am though, I'm able to open my eyes to things that are more important than myself. I wish I could always be grateful for everything around me; not worrying about what people would think, just consumed with gratitude and smiles.

The book is a masterpiece. I highly recommend it to all. 
And mountains, rivers and oceans of thanks to stephanie for sending me such a sparkling delight.

Night, friends.

it's a wonderful life...

every time this season rolls around I watch my favorite movie of all time.

I've tried to have other favorite movies, 
but nothing has ever come close to even touching Frank Capra's 

It's a Wonderful Life. 

I remember the first time I watched it; I was a little girl.

I loved the first half, but as soon as George Bailey sees what life would have been like if he'd never been born, I would wrap myself tightly in a blanket and try to not show everyone how frightened I was. My favorite part has always been the end when George is given his life back including the tough parts. He's so happy just to be alive that he greets everyone and wishes them the most sincere Merry Christmas.

Even the mean old Mr. Potter; who is always trying to ruin George Bailey's life throughout the entire movie- even Mr. Potter receives an enthusiastic holiday greeting from the hero of this classic film. It always used to confuse me to see my mother cry during the final moments as George Bailey sees how very blessed he is. I used to ask her if she was crying because she was sad, and she'd reply that it was happiness, not sadness that brought the tears to her eyes. 

Last night as I was watching (with a large box of tissues of my own), I felt that I understand George Bailey more and more with each year. He has all of these dreams and ambitions, but he keeps finding himself stuck in a rut in Ol' Bedford Falls running his father's business. He becomes discouraged with a job where he can't make the money he imaged he'd have. He's tormented every moment by the wretched Mr. Potter. He eventually becomes so distraught that he decides it would be better if he'd never been born at all. 

 I was thinking about the Mr. Potters in life; things that get us frustrated and depressed. Maybe it's a bad final, or a trying experience.  Maybe it's unsurity; trying to find where you belong, or maybe trying so hard to be happy and always finding yourself sad. There are Mr. Potters everywhere, to be sure.

Thank goodness for the 

Clarence is the guardian angel who gives George Bailey the gift of a lifetime: the opportunity to see all of the wonderful things he had. George sees how wonderful his life really was; even though it wasn't the glittering one he'd always imagined. 

The Clarences in life? 


Best friends. 

And anyone/ anything else you can imagine.

But sometimes we can be an angel to ourselves in the sense that we open our eyes to the ample blessings in front of us. The fact that we have a roof over our heads; healthy bodies that work, and families and friends who we love, and who love us. Counting our blessings is one of the best ways to see how beautiful life is. 

There aren't enough blogs in the world to carry all of the blessings that we share in this wonderful life that we've been given.

Happy Sunday, dear readers.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dance Log 13

So Gid and I spent the past several days in Las Vegas for a business conference he had for the Western Governors Association. Have I mentioned my husband has a real job and it confuses me? He's like, "Hey honey, I have a business conference in Vegas. Want to come?" And then I'm like, "What's a business conference?" 


{...you guys get that my sniffles are from a runny nose and not  from monthy girlish emotions, right?}

I've been feeling under the weather, and I just can't seem to get over it. Don't you hate that? I hate having the sniffles for more than 72 hours. It just seems unfair. Especially if you're on 'vacation'. Anyway, in dance today I was really hoping to be just
because technically it's our last day of class, and I like to finish on a happy note.

(sniffle sniffle)

Let it be known that I have a difficult time containing the contents of my nose when it is running.

Especially when I'm on the "draining" phase of a cold.

Especially when I'm on the draining phase of a cold and I'm pirouetting.

Not pretty. Not pretty at all. I was focusing so much on sniffing in enough pressure to keep the runniness in, that my dancing just seemed to be off. Not horrible, just not great; and I wanted to be great today. Knowing that today was our last day made me a pouty. Not the cute kind of pouty. The whiny kind. Which is unattractive. Wow- lots of different tangents today. I must be in major need of beef. Anyway, I was feeling whiny, when my teacher announced that the final will be taken next Thursday. Now, since I'm auditing this class (which means I'm paying for it, but not taking it for a grade since I've already gotten a degree and two minors) I don't actually need to show up to the real last day of class. But I'm allowed to. When my teacher revealed this information at the end of class, I cheered up.

One more chance to be the best ballerina I can be. At least for now.

Happy Thursday Friends,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

two of my favorite things:

families & fall.

I think my favorite thing about families 
is all the 
that come in them.

I think my fellow photographers will agree with me that
photo shoots with younger children are always a little terrifying.

Sometimes youngsters are quite happy to have a camera blasting away.

... other times they're less than thrilled.

I always find a great deal of pleasure in capturing the 
sweet personalities and charm that children posses. 

It's fun to see the handsome men and lovely young women they 
are growing into.

And you can bet your boots I find great triumph when I get a shot with everyone smiling.

Some of my favorite pictures have been taken 
the moment after I tell the kids 
they're done...

(which is usually a little white lie)

Gotta love families.

Sounds of Music...

I'm not sure why, but I've been craving 
Julie Andrews lately.

 Goodness, she's sensational.

I think it's mainly because I've been having the soundtrack from 
"The Sound of Music" in my head nonstop.

For instance, "How do you solve a problem like Maria" was in my head almost all day on monday. 
(except naturally I had to replace 'maria' with alyssa) I couldn't seem to do anything right. 
It just seemed a very fitting song for the day.

Later in the week, when I was feeling rather gloomy, 
I found myself singing "My Favorite Things" in order to cheer myself up.

Then, while I was preparing a fabulous dinner, the soft while snow falling delicately out the window, I started singing my own variation of "Sixteen going on Seventeen" to get Gideon's attention.

I suppose my ways of flirting with my husband are odd.

As I was showering, I caught myself singing the famous song which starts, 
"Doe a dear, a female dear..."

And as I was trying to get myself to fall asleep last night, 
I found success only by humming the beautiful tune of "Edelweiss".

Oh, sweet Julie Andrews,

I truly hope you know how utterly fabulous you are. 

in love...

with this little guy.

In the weeks to come, I look forward to cuddling him.

I look forward to rocking him to sleep, and trying to make him smile.

But for now, I just enjoy taking pictures of him.
(when he'll let me)

I just love being an aunt.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dearest December,

Hi. Welcome to boise. Today we woke up to your delicate snow. A lot of it. 
Remember when we lived in Rexburg and you brought snow by the foot every year? 
Remember how I would slip on the ice at least once every winter? 
Remember how I had to bundle up for company rehearsal during the freezing morning before the sun was even close to up?

Remember all that? 

Well. I was wondering if you could maybe take it down a notch. 

I know you're all excited about Christmas and decorating for this, the most festive month of the year, but one of the reasons Gid and I love Boise is because the winters aren't as awful as they were in Rexburg. I'm just sayin', December. 

Could you maybe tone it down just a little?

I woke up with an awful cold, and I feel like a tranquilized bear; grouchy and achy all over. My boss called to tell me that he didn't want me to risk the roads and suggested that I go build a snowman. I was 1/2 relived because I felt so miserable, but 1/2 sad because that meant I would be missing yet another day of work, and I have a dirty feeling it'll be reflected on my paycheck. 

I spent the morning sleeping and watching lifetime movies while in my bathrobe and slippers. I used to watch lifetime movies with my roommates in college, December. Those were good times. We loved to make fun of the predictable plots and the incredibly bad acting. It was like a little reunion of myself and lifetime. I basically said, "Hi Lifetime, nice to see you again. Your movies are still crap. Nice of you to keep up the tradition." Then I took a nap. 

Thank goodness for husbands who buy me fancy kleenex, orange juice, white chocolate covered oreos and ice cream to make me feel better. Thank goodness for them, december.  

Anyway, sorry to welcome you in such a stuffy voice. I hope you enjoy your stay here. 

warmest regards,
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