I love the music.
I love the snow.
I love the decorations.
I love the sparkle.
I love the family.
I love the tradition.
I love the Spirit.
I love it all.
So, so much.
I generally try to wait until the day after my birthday to start listening to Christmas music,.
It was getting difficult this year, because there are so many great new albums out. I've had my Spotify playlist under construction for a whole week!
Then this morning, I woke up to an inch of snow on the ground. My birthday isn't til Thursday, so I wasn't quite ok with it.
(speaking of birthdays... 23!? Where did you come from!?)
To combat the feelings of sadness the snow was giving me, I turned on the Christmas music.
Instantly, the snow went from wet and cold and ugly to soft and cold and beautiful.
I always get some flack for my early celebration, but guess what?
I don't even care.
Mock all you want, but I can guarantee that I will be so much happier than you these next few weeks because of it.
There are so many songs (and arrangements of songs) and so little time if you wait til after Thanksgiving.
So, I'm going back to my Christmas Pinterest-ing and Christmas singing.
And I'm going to love every second of it.
The People You Will Fall In Love With In Your Twenties
- Ryan O'Connell -
You will fall in love with someone who annoys you, whose face looks and feels pathetic. Despite all of this, there’s something keeping you drawn to them, something that makes you want to protect them from the harsh world. What you fail to realize, however, is that you are the harsh world. You aren’t their noble protector — you are someone to be protected from but it takes a lot of dates, a lot of nights where you question whether or not you are actually a good person, for this to ever resonate with you. When it’s over and whatever love is left is put back in the fridge like a sad plate of leftovers, you will finally understand that you have the power to hurt someone. You can either hurt them or love them and it’s up to you to decide what kind of role you would like to take on in future relationships. What feels more comfortable — being the one who loves more or being the one who’s loved less?
You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you. Unfortunately, it will hurt and sting worse than the good ones, the ones that chopped up your meat for you and picked out an eyelash from your eye and were nice to your mother, because love often feels like a game we need to win. And when we lose, when we realize we couldn’t get what we ultimately desired from a person, it makes us feel like a failure and erases all the memories of those who loved us in the past. It’s a permanent smudge on your love resume.
You will fall in love with someone for one night and one night only. They’ll come to you when you need them and be gone in the morning when you don’t. At first, this will make you feel empty and you’ll try to convince yourself that you could’ve loved this person for longer than a night, but you can’t. Some people are just meant to make cameo appearances, some are destined to be a pithy footnote. That’s okay though. Not every person we love has to stick around. Sometimes it’s better to leave while you’re still ahead. Sometimes it’s better to leave before you get unloved.
You will fall in love with the old couple down the street because to you they represent the impossible: a stable, long-lasting love. You’re trying to get someone to like you for more than ten minutes. A monogamous “never get sick of ya” love seems unfathomable. “What’s your secret, sir? Do you just say yes a lot?”
You will fall in love with smells, the good and the bad kind. You will want to wear your lovers shirt because it makes you feel close to them and you’re okay with being that PSYCHO who is legitimately sniffing their shirt in public. You will fall in love with sweat, certain perfumes, the smell of the season in which you fell in love. This particular love smells like fall. It smells like Halloween and a roaring fire and leaves and fog and mist and candy and food and family and whiskey and sex and the lint that collects on sweaters. When it ends, if it ends, you will never experience another fall without thinking of him, her, it. The memories will stick to the ground like a mound of leaves and will only dissipate when the weather drops.
You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can.
This is where I’m supposed to tell you that you will fall in love with The One, a person who isn’t too cold or too nice. Their “O” face is perfectly fine and they’re not afraid to show how much they love you. This person is supposed to wait for us at the end of the twenty-something road as some kind of reward for all the heartache and loneliness. We deserve them. We’ve earned this kind of love.
So fine. You’re going to fall in love with The One. You’re going to fall in love with someone who will make sense beyond college or a job or a particular season. They’ll make sense forever and won’t ever want to leave you behind. I’m telling you this not because it’s true but because it NEEDS to be true. Everyone is entitled to this kind of love, so why not? Have it. It’s yours. Blow out the candles on your 30th birthday, holding their hand, and let out an exhale that’s been waiting for ten years. Do it. Now.
This is one of the two best weekends of the year.
General Conference is absolutely incredible.
I wish I could go back to slap 12-year-old me and get her to pay more attention.
I can't wait to have a family of my own with our special Conference traditions.
Breakfast and snacks, attention-keeping activities for the kiddos. (ok, let's be real I just can't wait to have that family of my own for all the time)
We'll sing the intermediate hymns together in our living room.
If we live in Utah, I want to spend at least one session on Temple Square - whether inside the Conference Center, the Tabernacle, or just listening outside. (Husband, if you're reading this, hope you're cool with all that)
(taken by my iPhone after the Saturday session)
Technology is incredible.
Not even 10 minutes after the morning session ended today, the entire thing was up online, ready to watch again.
I love the ever-growing group of people who sit and tweet through the entire thing, sharing their thoughts and insights of the talks and music.
It is through these means my testimony has been strengthened and I have made great friends, though I've never met most of them in real life.
I never thought I would be saying I have a testimony of social media, but it's a really great thing.
Today we had topics and speakers trending worldwide. People everywhere could see what was going on as well as have the resources to join in themselves.
There were so many great talks this time around.
I particularly loved Elder Marcus B. Nash's talk on faith and Elder David A. Bednar's talk on testimony and conversion this afternoon. Elder Neil L. Andersen's talk yesterday was also really really great.
Sister Ann M. Dibb had a great talk yesterday morning. (and with that, opened a whole new world for Relief Society craft night)
"I am a Mormon. Know it. Live it. Love it."
Add to that the announcement of a temple in my hometown. This is something everyone there has been waiting so anxiously for. Such a blessing!
And the change of age rules for missionaries!
Shows just how ready the world is for what we have to teach.
I can't find a video to just embed here, but watch the announcements HERE. SO great. I cried. A whole lot. And again every time I thought about it.
It's sad to me we only get this opportunity every six months.
But at the same time, we probably wouldn't appreciate it as much...?
I can't wait to take the things I learned this weekend and put them into practice over the next few months.
The Church is true. The Gospel is great. That's all I need to know.
This week I changed my 'major' (are they still called that in grad school?) for the... fifth(?) time.
As we (the two guys I work with, etc.) started our old program, we were absolutely miserable.
It wasn't entirely what we expected, and definitely not what we loved.
We didn't fit in.
People didn't understand what we did or what we want to do.
We dealt with a lot of blank stares and silent judgement.
We weren't HAPPY.
As we toyed with the possibility of changing the plan, we were reminded that happiness is the biggest factor.
By just its name, maybe this new program won't seem as "legit," but it's us. It's a better fit.
We were lucky enough that they let us switch over mid-semester - classes and everything.
As we walked into the new class Monday night, it was an immediate confirmation of making the right decision.
People were excited to see us. They were people we already knew.
I took more notes in the first 45 minutes of that class than I had in 4 weeks of one of the old ones.
I had forgotten what it was like to actually enjoy being in school.
I am back to doing what makes me HAPPY.
Best feeling ever.