for the past year and a half, we have been so lucky to teach the 5, 6 and 7 year olds that come to church with us.
not all of the sweet kids we've taught are pictured--- i love each of them so much.
we won't be teaching them anymore, but i have felt really happy to have had the opportunity to teach them. (actually, i cried when i told them we wouldn't be teaching them anymore, but that's probably because i have uncontrollable emotions, these days. still.)
yes it's really difficult to get them to sit still and listen sometimes and yes it's hard to teach intense gospel ideas and foundational knowledge to young children...
but with just enough activities, jumping jacks, repetition and bathroom breaks, we feel like maybe, just maybe these kids have learned something from us
weekends really are nice. even when you have a million things to do.
we made gelato or sorbet with our machine four times since wednesday. i'm in heaven and our baby needs a rest. i love that frozen treats are such a social tool. especially in the summer. but i do love frozen treats, even in the winter.
this weekend we also went to target and spent way too much (which always happens) went to rei and lusted after all the pretty bikes on sale and outdoor equipment that we will probably never own saw friends, friends and more friends went to church and were reminded of how there are so many people we go to church with that we really like ate some swiss chard from our friend's garden. i don't think i've had it much before. swiss chard is so... leafy. we did some planning because planning is something we are really good at. (almost too good at.) it is possible to over-plan.
ha, actually i think ethiopian food is quite good.
the first time i tried ethiopian was in haight-ashbury in san francisco, when i was just a wee one, fresh from high school. so... my palette had only really consisted of cafe rio, wendy's and the pasta factory (holla!)
i'm glad i decided to try ethiopian again, now that i'm old and experienced in the ways of food. ethiopian is especially famous in dc because there is a big ethiopian population.
the food is this spongy bread that you use to scoop up those little pools of food. i liked it. it was fun. i probably won't be going back to meskerem every week, but i'm glad that we went. and someday, i'll probably go again. so i can sit at a tiny table and die my fingers orange. and also i'm glad we went with fun friends.
and i'm really glad we walked across the street to the diner afterwards. and got milkshakes.
simplifying is not only getting rid of things that you don't use or don't need or just sort of shake your head at because you still have that momento from college that really means nothing to you now...
simplifying is also extremely mental.
i am proud to say, i have bought no more than 5 clothing articles since the year started. this is a big step for me. first, i learned to avoid the shops that i love to buy things. i also learned to not just to buy because it's on sale. and also to give myself more time to think about the purchase. do i really need this? why do i want to buy this?
i've also made a mental list of specific items, not just clothing, but also household items i would like to have around that i feel like i need. and i've done very well to not stray from that list.
so when i was in vermont in may, i found a rad "vintage" navy linen blazer and bought it, because blazers are on my list.
the more complicated things are handwritten notes and letters. or sentimental items... that do seem to drag you down a little because you don't always necessarily want them, but you feel bad getting rid of them. for the notes and letters: scan them, save them, email them to yourself, whatever--- so you can have a digital copy. for the sentimental items--- take a photo of them or a video of them--- also, a digital copy. (both these ideas are from my sister, shayna)
craigslist. i have sold multiple things this way and have made a nice amount of cash selling the things we didn't use, because i knew they had value. score! it also makes me feel like i was getting rewarded for simplifying! food in the cupboards has even been a challenge. be more efficient with what you keep in the cupboards. i do highly support a food storage, big or small, depending on your means, in case of an emergency. water storage is important too. but as far as the food that is in your rotating menu, be sure you are buying things you are using in the next week or two. if not, you're left with a bunch of stuff that has either expired or that you have too many of. simplify over a period of time. since this project has been going for a few months, i've had time to make sure i want to be rid of certain things. take your time to simplify because i think you will regret less and perhaps rid yourself of more excess.
please donate items in good repair. goodwill. salvation army. deseret industries (yeah utah!)
and finally, think about the long term. are you really going to use this in a year? two years? when was the last time you wore that? i am a little crazy because i feel bad for certain things that don't get used so i'll go out of my way to use them. yes, i feel bad for inanimate objects (for example, with the plates at the bottom of the stack, sometimes i'll rotate the plates so the bottom ones get a turn).
don't feel bad for inanimate objects. unless it's plates, because you'll probably use those. but don't feel bad for clothes if you don't wear them. you don't wear them because you don't like how they fit or you just don't like them.
was to find a sweatshirt that was actually good looking and not ugly and cheesy like all the gw sweatshirts at the bookstore.
so i turned to my sister, shayna. who is my graphic design hero.
and when i tell her that, she'll just laugh and say, that's because i don't know very many designers. but then i'd like to remind you shayna, that recently a "famous" designer copied your work for a certain wedding announcement! (just sayin')
so the point is. shayna designed the above sweatshirt for me (see, NOT ugly) for graduation.
it's the perfect sweatshirt because it can be casual and also quite fashionable. that is if you know how cool the gwu is.
this is my way of saying, thanks to shayna. she is my hero.
shayna also designed the blog header and side tabs, as well as pretty much anything else i need her to design. i owe you, shayna.
provo lindsay + randy's baby donovan staying hydrated me + linny ben and dave (his father) salt lake city dave, linda, emily, ben + katie (some of ben's lovely family)ben + i were in utah last week for his brother's wedding. we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy utah as well as be the behind-the-scenes wedding peoples.
so we took advantage and did a couple hikes. that high elevation is a killer. the cheesy utah slogan is true... life elevated.
on saturday, we hiked "the Y"--- in provo where BYU is, you can hike up the mountain to the painted white Y. it's fairly vertical and difficult, especially when you are used to living at practically sea level (and provo is like 4500 feet).
sunday, just before we hopped on the plane, we hiked ensign peak in salt lake city. ensign peak is where the early utah/mormon settlers climbed to declare it a pretty cool place.
i like to take full advantage of the outdoors and mountains when i visit utah. it helps satisfy my craving. mmm mountains.
i like camping. i do. there are obvious pluses and minuses. pluses are being out in nature, enjoying the earth --- minuses being bug bites, having to actually wear bug spray.
ben and i camped at assateague national seashore again this weekend (camped there last year too). but this year we planned ahead- had to book our campsite in january in order to camp on the beach and camp in june instead of the blistering heat of august.
i got to wear a sweatshirt at night. best. ever. i love summer where it cools down at night. not that i don't love dc... but it could use some cool summer nights.
regardless. we got camping time. beach time. camping food (i think food while camping just tastes better than when you eat it at home). most importantly we had us time. we got to talk about anything from the financial market to celebrity gossip to the people in our lives. and we also got to get some ice cream at a cute ice cream shop. and talked to a guy, also buying firewood who had a fantastic, twangy maryland accent.
and although i very much love my bed and air conditioning that works, i do love to be outside and enjoy summer.
i believe it was saturday, i got an email that said my thesis had been approved and will be published by gw.
i sent an email to family and friends who had expressed interest in reading the crazy thing... and once i got some response back from people, i decided to open the darn .pdf and look it over with new eyes. i could barely get through the first two paragraphs without bursting into tears (i am waterworks lately) because even though to some it may not be epic, amazing or even well written...
to me, it's my baby.
someone put some words together and made it beautiful [me].
when i was almost finished with my thesis, i remembered that part in the movie, orange county, when the main character submits a paper to his teacher and his teacher says: "i read your story. you used a lot of big words. great! good for you! it was a little long, so i didn't read the whole thing, but who cares 'cause i gave you an A!"
gets me every time.
i thought about posting my thesis here on the blog but a) i don't know how b) i'm not going to
if you genuinely have interest, leave a comment or write me a little message that you'd like to read it and i'd be happy to send it along.
my cute little 60-page-almost-20,000-word-thesis with words like feminism, gender, patriarchy, neoliberalism, colonialism, capitalism... oh what fun.
what an accomplishment.
xo, emily. the graduate.
p.s. love the sweaty photo of me? that is on commencement day of graduation. the sun came out while i was wearing a wool dress and a polyester graduation gown. bad news bears.
i told my mom months and months ago that for graduation, i wanted her to paint me something.
my mom is such a talented artist--- painting and sculpture being her strong suits and so i thought, i wanted to have my mother utilize her master's degree in fine arts to award me for my master's of arts.
she's hasn't been to manarola... but she really got everything right. Every single detail makes me happy.
in fact, when she gave me the painting i started to cry because i was so excited, so overwhelmed by how beautiful the painting is and so grateful for all the time my mother spent on the painting. (and now all my siblings want a painting from my mom. ha, figures.)
thank you mom. thank you for inspiring me to pursue my talents and education through your incredible example. love you.