Wednesday, August 27

My Life

Things I needed to accomplish once I got home from work today (in order of priority):

1-Finish and submit my abstract for a presentation in Long Beech.
2-Study the scriptures and my institute manual for 30 minutes.
3-Do my laundry.
4-Study a chapter of my molecular biology textbook.
5-Do 30 minutes of GRE study.
6-Eat dinner.

Things I accomplished once I came home from work today:

1-Planted my baby tree.
2-Wandered around the back yard planning out what we're going to do before winter to prepare everything for our renovations next year.
3-Visited with my relief society president.
4-Watched Good Mythical Morning (2 episodes).
5-Ate dinner.
6-Ate second dinner when Moroni came home with pizza.
7-Ate a bowl of ice cream while attempting to study my institute manual.
8-Frantically edited and sent off my abstract when I suddenly remembered..
9-Tried to study again but got distracted with Facebook (posting about gratitude), Pinterest (looking for egg roll recipes), and Instagram (no good reason).
10-Made a video and sent it to Emma.
11-Studied for a few more minutes.
12-Wrote this blog post.

Speaking of which, I'd better go throw in my laundry.

For those of you with pets, do you ever put your glass of water on the ground and then the pet in question comes over, laps up a bit of it, and then wanders away? GAH. The whole glass is wasted!

Have a good week!

-B.

Sunday, August 24

Temples

Marriage is on the horizon. Meaning... if there is a place between the "steady dating" phase and the "engaged" phase, I'm somewhere in there. We have discussed it often and both plan on it, refer to it, and look forward to it. But, for several reasons, we are taking some time and waiting until next year.

I'm always trying to get Ian to plan things out with me, but it's hard to get a good discussion going because, to him, it's far enough off that things like grad school applications and school need to be discussed more regularly at present. Details (such as where we would have a reception, how we could announce it, etc) can be decided when the time comes.

Being a woman, I don't like this.

But there's not much I can do about it. He is pretty stubborn. And preoccupied with some pressing deadlines.

Lately, however, I've pried enough to open up the topic of temple choice.

I've never had a real preference on temple choice. I really liked the look of the Provo City Center. But it isn't likely to be finished by next summer, so it's not a likely option. Most of my life I've vaguely hoped that my husband-to-be would have a preference and make the decision. Little did I know that I would get my wish and, as they say, I should have been more careful about what I wished for.

It seems like his preferences so far are these:

1) Not in Utah.
2) Mexico.
3) If not Mexico, somewhere far enough away that only people who really care about us will make the trip, AND a temple that we both like the outward appearance of (for pictures, of course. Isn't that wicked?)
Albuquerque is only an 8 hour drive away, right?

*sigh*

My poor family.

So, thoughts? He is being a tease about the whole thing, but part of me thinks he is serious and he really would love to go away somewhere for more of a private experience. I can't decide how I feel about the whole thing. Part of me has always wanted to go away somewhere dramatic, but I can't help but think about the cost and the number of people who wouldn't be able to come...

Saturday, August 16

Let's just get to fall already.

Seriously. I just got my FIRST email from my FIRST professor. The suspense is killing me. And it already looks horrible.

Just a quick summary (as usual):

Jazz Dance Technique
Gettin my dance back on so I won't be as lazy as a bum. I took basic jazz previously so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try out a higher level class.

Grad School Prep
This fall also brings the horrors of grad school application. Ian and I will be pushing our way through several school applications and we agreed that this class might be a way to push ourselves to focus on said applications despite the craziness of school. Plus, I get to take a class with him. :) Go figure.

Great Questions Tutorial
There are several requirements for honors graduation. Besides a "service learning" opportunity and writing/defending a thesis, you need to either do an extensive great works project (lots of culture and summary of said culture) or you can do a "great questions essay" which we will prepare and write in this class. Pretty much you need to ask a "great question" and spend the semester trying to answer it. I'm thinking of examining the relationship mankind has with nature/the land. Thoughts please?

Molecular Biology
Pretty much my "pre-genetics" course. One of my friends (who is doing her masters right now) said she could begin teaching me how to sequence DNA. I'm going to shadow her over the next few months. SO cool! In addition to this class, I hope my understanding of genetics will increase dramatically this semester. I'm so interested, particularly as we will be working with DNA for my thesis project! 

General College Chemistry
Yep. Here goes nothin. BYU's chem classes are notoriously pain-in-the-bum because of all the pre-med students taking it. I guess. Poor little ol' plant loving me gets the stick again.

Plant Classification and Identification
Pretty self explanatory. I get the feeling there will be a lot of memorization here. 

So yeah. I'm excited and afraid of what this semester will bring. I'm going to be pushing 17 credits while finishing/defending my thesis and applying for grad school. AUGH. But this is going to be awesome. I'm so excited at the prospect of starting a PhD program! Hopefully I can get my work together....


Sunday, August 3

Incentives

What-ho?

A few months ago I was called to be on the "Family History Committee" in my ward. It's a tricky calling, because you always feel like you are calling everyone (yourself included) to repentance.

And for good reason! We need family history badly! We need the blessings it offers desperately in the world today.




Because studying our family history and going to the temple is such a powerful protection from the adversary it seems like it is the one time that people don't understand, don't want to do, or cannot find time to do. ESPECIALLY young single adults. We're at a point in life when we feel like we're super busy (even though we don't fully grasp what busy means) and pretty much always overwhelmed. (Again, I like to think I am busy and overwhelmed. But let's be real here, I don't have anyone to take care of but myself. My time is pretty much my own.)

SO when someone at church pulls out the family history guns, we might feel immediately overwhelmed because it seems like we're being asked to take on an insurmountable task along with all our other duties and responsibilities.

At least, that's how I feel sometimes.

So here is my family history accessibility system. :) I thought I'd share it with you. It works for me (or it has thus far) and I've been sharing it with the members that have come to our class. Please adapt it for your needs. Remember, it's not so much the quality of your research. It's time desire you have and the time you put in. And the Lord will help you. Rememer Elder Scott's message in 2012?

1. Set a goal. 

Some people set goals like... taking x number of names to the temple, etc, which is awesome! Personally, I am motivated by time goals. For example, even though I'm busy with school, I've set a goal of doing one hour of family history every Sunday. At least one. (Frankly, I usually find something interesting and keep doing it for a few hours beyond that, but one hour is less intimidating.)

2. Create a log.

This is a way to make sure you are keeping your goal. :) Here is what mine looks like:


This has the added bonus of motivating you to keep up the hour a week, as well as helping you keep track of what you were working on so you can pick up where you left off. :) Remember, we are a record keeping people.

3. Communicate with your family.

Try to find a starting point. There is a lot to be done, EVEN if you're like me and you feel like all your work has been done back to Adam. Figure out who the "family history buffs" are in your family and talk with them! They can point you in the right direction. Or if no one is, you will probably find someone else who wants to start working on it as well. You can support each other. :)

4. Come up with a list of family history activities/ideas you are interested in or enjoy.

This is the hardest step because you are setting up how you will use your hour (or whatever) a week. Draw from what you discussed with your family in step 3.

For example, my Aunt Stacy has recently assigned out several lines to different family members to research! I think it's such a good idea. Or if you are intimidated, you can just spend an hour getting familiar with your family or with the church website: https://familysearch.org/.

The value in family history isn't just in hunting down names so you can do their work in the temple (though that is awesome!), it also lies in becoming familiar with your ancestors. You can literally just pick a family and start looking for information about them. Try to collect their records from family search or simply google their name! (I've found LOADS of info doing this. Just type their name in quotation marks e.g. "isabella sim" and either their spouse's name in quotations, or their birth date, or any other identifying information, and you may just find more than you expected. Stories, pictures, even books that they have been mentioned in! SO COOL.)

I mean, yay, they are in the database and their work is done. But do you even know who they are?! If you look at family history this way, it is much more accessible and also nEveR EnDInG!!!

And then sometimes I don't feel like I have the umph to do much at all. But you can always do a bit of indexing. :) That's like... the same level of effort and desire that it takes to play around Pinterest for an hour. And remember what Elder Scott says about THAT:

So, if you needed some ideas or incentive I hope I have helped. I offer my witness that one of the great purposes of technology is for the pursuit and examination of our histories and our ancestors. When I am actively setting and keeping goals to work on my family history I am happier, and I stronger, and the Spirit is more evident in my life. As Elder Scott says, you will feel wonderful.


Loves!

-B.