Wednesday, November 11

Wednesday, June 10

The End

Hello again. :)

So... I'm getting ready for my life to go a little haywire. I'll be married next Friday. I'll spend July in Cuba. August will be nutso. And in September I'll move to LA and THEN things will begin to settle down a bit from there on out. But my life will be a lot different than it is now.

So, I've come to a decision. Since I'll be starting a "new phase" as it were in my existence, I'm going to retire this blog and start a fresh one about my new life.

As for now, I doubt I'll find the time or motivation to write for the next couple of months. So this is my goodbye.

You will find me again in September at
I'll hopefully have some stories for you then. :)

-Beth Black

Sunday, May 10

Enough of that...

I'm abandoning my list of prompts, I hope you don't mind.

Hello! Yay! Spring semester.

First off, happy Mother's Day. :) I hope yours was a good as mine. (That isn't to say I received motherly honors, but I enjoyed spending time with mine.)

Mother's Day Bouquet 
I haven't kept my mac and cheese promise, I'm sorry. :( This week I will repent. I did make yummy zucchini lasagna for dinner tonight for mothers day. Mum found a recipe for a "mock apple pie" used during the depression - you use ritz crackers and a sour lemon-cinnamon sauce for the inside. No apples at all (I assume they were hard to come by.)

Let's just say we are not only in awe of how apple-pie-like it tastes, but it is also heavenly on it's own (if mega unhealthy).

So, in regards to school, I'm on the final lap - I'm taking my last undergraduate class EVER. But it's taking business marketing. Needless to say... it's not my favorite. But I think part of my bad attitude is the fact that this class is essentially the one thing standing between me and my wedding, time-wise.

I can't really complain, because time is going crazy fast. Like... I keep a little countdown to my wedding on the whiteboard by my bed. I feel like it said 60 days yesterday and now it says 39.

I apologize for being so prideful about rings.
Ian decided to get me one anyways haha.
I love it.
It's funny, every day it gets closer, I feel better about it - more excited, more peaceful, more in love. I think Ian's much the same - I can tell he's distracted because instead of studying for his full credit schedule like a madman, he's always looking for reasons to procrastinate - whether that's helping me look for jobs in Los Angeles, researching graduate schools near UCLA, or planning what to wear in our engagement photos or at the wedding. (Seriously, this is a big deal. Totally unlike him.)

Just a reminder - if you want an invite, please please put your address in at the following website:

Ah, life. :)

I'm also taking yoga. I took a research trip to Idaho last weekend, and we stopped by the spiral jetty. Phil (our professor) wants to start doing yoga, so Marta and I decided the tranquil, cloudy atmosphere in the spiral was the perfect location for a first lesson. It was epic.

Seriously. The spiral jetty is AWESOME. Go if you haven't!
But you don't have to do yoga... though I recommend it. ;)
Dunno why I look like such a grump.

So yep. There's your current update.

Tuesday, April 21

Prompts 5-8: I do what I want.

Well... okay. Here:

Sooo, I figured I'd do a bit of writing. :) And then I hit a bit of a roadblock.

Post 5: How do you get your kids to try new foods?

I'll just cut to the chase, I don't have kids. 0_o

Post 6: Where would you go on your perfect dream vacation?

Scotland. (Sorry, I don't feel like writing an entire post about this. I'd like to bike around Scotland and do some family history. See some castles. Life is good.)

Post 7: Write a post inspired by this word: Marriage.

I feel like there have been several previous posts and likely will be several future posts about this subject, so rest assured, you'll get your fill in the next few months. ;)

Post 8: What is the most memorable gift you have ever received?

This is a little more interesting. Got me thinking. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about gifts? 

I think of my American Girl Doll. 0_o Did any of you do American Girl? My favorite was Molly. ^_^ Mostly because she had glasses and I loved that. I'm not sure why...

Also, in the books, she desperately wants her hair to curl for a performance and her sister does these cool pin curls but then she gets sick because she's going around with her hair wet and she has to miss the performance anyways.

But while she's home sick and everyone is at the thing, her dad comes home from the war and she's the first who gets to see him. ^_^

I just love her haha, even now as I think about it. Strange, huh?

Anyways, finals are done so I'm on this kind of post-traumatic high. Life feels good! I'm taking my last class next term, hopefully finishing my thesis, taking yoga, and living the good 'ol planning-my-wedding life for the next two months.

In other news, I'm finally going to use the large pinterest board of mac and cheese recipes I've accumulated and make a new kind of mac and cheese every week. I'll report on how they go here. :)
Last Saturday was avocado mac and cheese. Pretty much guacamole mixed with the good stuff. It was freakin amazing. Even Leslie (who looked worriedly at it when I offered some) gave it a try and had two bowls. Lime and cilantro just love cheese, I guess. :)

Sunday, April 5

Prompt 4: Coveted Skills

What is the one thing you wish you knew how to do?

That's tough. One thing. 

I feel like every day I can come up with another new thing I wish I knew how to do.

Actually, that's probably more along the lines of coming up with things I know how to do and wish I knew how to make myself do more of. (See Prompt 1).

I wish I knew how to dance.

I remember at the end of my freshman year, I tried out for Color Guard. I hadn't the slightest idea what color guard was. I didn't know it involved the marching band. I didn't know we waved flags around the field. I didn't know that I'd get a beautiful collection of sunburn freckles, awkward tan-lines, and busted nerves in my hands, nor that my social life would be dominated by this "marching band" lifestyle that I would come to adopt and love for the duration of high school. 

Color guard was good to me. It gave me some of the closest friends I have, and the best memories. 

I remember after I tried out and made the team, I was "kidnapped" one night and driven blindfolded to a big slumber party with all the other members. We ate a lot of junk, I got to hear about all the marching band drama and gossip, I got to spend time with some of my good friends, and to end the night, we watched "Step Up."

Seriously ruined my life. I knew essentially nothing about dance. I hadn't really been exposed to much dance beyond the few things I picked up when performing in school musicals and doing choreography for choir numbers. But this was something different. I guess it seemed really powerful to me - how much expression could come from someone's body, how they could blend themselves with music - something I dearly loved.

Since then, I've had some opportunities to dance. Color guard gave me some dance experience. I took a few dance classes in college, but they were always difficult to manage around classes. I realized that it wasn't something I could become really good at or give adequate attention to while working part time, having a full schedule at school, and trying to do a thesis. 

So I did the hard (but probably smart) thing and put it away... or more accurately, on a backburner. 

Because this burning, secret, angsty desire to be a dancer has always festered inside of me. I feel like I'm past the point I can try to pick it up - that I'm going to get married and start a normal life with a family and career and stuff. 

But that isn't stopping me from signing up for a class this spring, haha.

Has this happened to anyone else? Am I just strange? :)

Monday, March 30

Thoughts, Rings, and Goats

     On Friday (as some of you know), Ian and I took a trip to Ephraim to attend the Utah Academy of Arts and Sciences conference so we could present some of the stuff we've been working on. But more importantly, we drove a bit further south to have dinner with my dad so we could spend some time with him, and also... so Ian could ask him for permission to marry me. 0.o

     When we got there, my dad needed to go feed a friend's goats, so I went with him and his wife Kathleen and her daughter Hunter. It's baby goat season crazy - there were 4 that had been born within the last two hours when we got there! There are always firsts. First time seeing a newborn goat, first time carrying a newborn goat by it's legs to a pen, and first time seeing a goat eat its own placenta.

     I guess that's what they do. Cool.

     On the way back, I mentioned to him that Ian was hoping to ask (mostly because I wasn't sure how we'd bring it up anyways). He thought about it for a moment, and then asked me what he should say. He wanted to know "Why do you like him?" My response was quick - I mean, considering the decision to marry him myself, I've given that a lot of thought.

     "I like who I am around him. I like who he helps me to be. I am more comfortable around him than anyone else. I trust him."

     My dad nodded and said that was a good response. He decided to say yes.

     "But," he said giving me a significant look, "I'm going to point outside to Daisy" (his cow) "and say: 'Ian, what do you think I'd do to someone who was messin with my cow?' and Ian will say: 'you'd hurt him?' and I'll say 'yes. And I love my Beth infinitely more than that cow.'"

     We all laughed at that... but I could tell he was serious. Luckily, he didn't end up sharing that warning with Ian. Perhaps he trusts him more than I thought.

     As the evening drew to a close, and we needed to get going, my dad brought it up and Ian officially "asked" him if we could get married. He gave his consent. Ian asked him if he had any advice for him. They talked for a bit.

     It was sweet. :)

     Later we drove through the windy dark highways of southern Utah, trying not to think about deer jumping out in front of our car. We were listening to The Smiths, complaining occasionally about people who wouldn't turn off their brights.

     "So... are we engaged?" I asked thoughtfully. After a moment, Ian smiled and said "yes."

And that's that. :)

     No, we're not going to get an engagement ring.
     No, I'm not expecting him to put something together to propose to me.
     Yes, we'll have a luncheon after we get sealed.  
     Yes, we'll go to Cuba for a month and have a wonderful time.
     Yes, when we get back we'll have a reception.

     Is it wrong for us to put a few things aside?

     The ring is the hard thing. When I tell people I'm engaged, they ask to see it or to hear how he proposed and, though they are genuinely excited for me to be engaged, I can see their excitement deflate a little when I explain that we aren't doing a ring or that he didn't actually propose to me...

     Rest assured, I feel perfectly happy with things how they are. I don't feel like he's under-valuing me. I love that he trusts me enough to discuss things with me and that we can - together - decide to forgo the ring.

     I just want everyone to know that he loves me - and I guess it's hard to show that to others when I don't have hard proof. . . I never realized how difficult that would be, or how much society relies on a ring or an elaborate proposal story to determine something like that.

     But please believe me! He does. :)

I'm engaged!!

Thursday, March 26

Prompt 3: Parental Advice

Tell us about one piece of advice your parents gave you that still sticks with you today.
When I think of advice my parents have given me, I categorize them differently. 

My dad's "advice" per say was pretty far and in-between when I was younger - as far as I remember. My parents divorced when I was 12 or so, and I feel like the time when I would have been receiving the most advice passed without frequent interaction with him. But the advice he has given me stands clearly in my mind.

Before I served as a missionary, he explicitly told me that I needed to accept that others had the right to choose, and that some people just wouldn't want to accept the Gospel - not because they didn't believe it, but because they just legitimately wouldn't want to live according to it.

This is a good example of "fatherly advice" to me. My dad is a scholar of the scriptures. When he wakes up at 4 am with arthritic pains in his back, he generally turns to studying them. He is always eager to share his insights and his ideas. His main motivation, I think, if to make sure I don't misunderstand God's plan and that I don't fall into standard, possibly incorrect patterns of thinking that are prevalent and cultural. So, generally, advice from my dad comes in the form of spiritual clarification and thoughts.

My mom's advice stems, I think, from her desire to prevent me from repeating bad experiences she's had. She also gives me advice she's not intending to. By staying faithful to her covenants, she's given me the best advice I've ever received - that the Gospel works. :) Her advice literally influences me every single day.

For example:

  • Cover boiling pots so they will heat up faster.
  • Love Christmas.
  • Have bird feeders.
  • Admit when you've done wrong.
  • Don't leave the oven or your curling iron on in an empty house. 
  • Eat cookie dough.
  • Tell people they are beautiful. 
  • Pray for answers - and then don't doubt the answers you've received.
  • Scotland is amazing.
  • You can always find the strength to keep going.
  • Garden garden garden. 
  • Big, lovely trees are priceless.
  • Motherhood isn't something you can fail if you're trying your best. 
  • Take pride and joy in being organized and clean.
  • Don't punish those you love for their mistakes.

I get a little teary as I write these. I love my mum dearly. I know her imperfections as well as anyone, but . . .

Brigham Young said:

"Those who do right, and seek the glory of the Father in heaven, whether their knowledge be little or much, or whether they can do little or much, if they do the very best they know how, they are perfect. 'Be ye as perfect as ye can,' for that is all we can do, though it is written, 'Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.' To be as perfect as we possibly can, according to our knowledge, is to be just as perfect as our Father in heaven is. He cannot be any more perfect than He knows how, any more than we. When we are doing as well as we know how in the sphere and station which we occupy here, we are justified."

This always makes me think of my mum.
She is perfect to me.

So how about you? Any advice? :)