Thursday, October 11, 2012

And the World Spins Madly On

It is hard to express even in simple language how grateful and in awe I am in. I am at that point where I am perhaps a bit more sensitive to those who've lifted my spirit and who made me feel happy about who I am and where I am going. 
 Here is a revamp of yet another General Happiness with a list of people who I am thankful for.

1. My Heavenly Father, who shows me everyday what He wants me to become and encourages me to trust in Him for He has better things in store for me than I could ever imagine for myself. I am grateful for His patience with a wandering soul like mine, and for the great many lessons and opportunities He's given me to prepare myself to be an instrument in the lives of others.

2. My Savior Jesus Christ, who comforts me when I feel weary and downtrodden. He shows me how I can love those around me and helps me strive to serve those around me. I may not be able to fathom His sacrifice fully in this life, but I know that He lives, and loves and knows each of us personally. What a blessing it is to wake up every morning knowing that we have a Savior! 

3. The Holy Ghost, who cheers up my heart and stirs my soul into remembering why I am here. I am grateful for the promptings I get and the courage it gives me to share my love for being here on this earth. I am grateful for the promptings to do what I know is right.

4. My family, is a group of people who I adore. Though we are a bit crazy, I wouldn't change my family for the world. I love my parents, and I am grateful that the trust and support me. I am grateful for my family in Texas who make me feel like I am an older sister, and I miss them very very much. I am grateful for my brother Craig and for his influence on helping me prepare for BYU and to study Russian. I love him and his family so much.  I am grateful for my brother Jason, and for his counsel he's given me over the past year. He's the biggest hoot and is the first to cheer me up and to make me laugh until my cheeks feel like rubber. I am grateful for Brooke and Steve and for how much they put up with me. Brooke, THANK YOU for teaching me how to drive and I am glad that we are still alive. I am grateful for your support and for influencing me so much in my life. I hope you are happy in Ohio and know that I love you and Steve very much. I am grateful for my sister Brittany and for the many times I've had laughing and talking with. I basically have the best sisters in the whole wide world.... basically. I have a fairly amazing extended family too, I love my grandparents and all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. They couldn't get any cooler. :)

5. My friends! I debated writing a note to each of you who have enriched my life so much- but I think I'll do that on a more private personal level. To my close friends, acquaintances, leaders, teachers, and peers: I love you and I honestly don't know where I would be without you and each of your influences and compassion you've shown this eccentric little girl who laughs and cries too much. I am grateful to those of you who've challenged me to put my best self forward, and I'm grateful to those who've made me laugh in the faces of my trials. I am grateful to those of you who invited me to be myself and who make me able to my semi awkward self. I am grateful for all the belly aches I've received from laughing and for the many lessons of forgiveness, love, service, trials, sadness, optimism, and patience. Thank you all, I love you!

I have many more things to share with you all, and I am sure you guess at least one thing that I'm excited to announce. But for now, here are some songs and quotes!

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." 
-Marcel Proust

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
-Anais Nin

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Do You Remember?


 Have you ever seen a more gorgeous month? September, to me, ranks higher than summer ever can. Golden and rouge apples, the waves of colors in the trees on the mountains, the lingering breeze in the weather, the nimble crunching of leaves beneath your feet, and my birthday.

 I've always had this fixation with the number 18. Yes, it is my lucky number, and I will be turning 18 on the 18th. It is my lucky birthday year, and I am bound and determined to have a glowing positive attitude this month.

To celebrate another "General Happiness" I am going to do one or more of my favorite things daily until my birthday, and maybe even through the whole month. Sadie Williams who will be 18 on the 25th is also in with this charade and I am ever so grateful for her friendship. I promised that I am going to wear skirts/dresses every day, and eat oatmeal, herbal tea, or wheat bread and butter daily. Sound a bit extreme?

 Completely. I am being a bit conceited and celebrating myself for the next 18 days because I want to look back on what I've accomplished and achieved within the last 18 years and to see what things contributed and are contributing  to the person I am today. 

 I am a firm believer that every person has something they love, whatever it is. I had an experience a few days ago while working with an individual who couldn't think of anything that they were passionate about, or even cared about- at least that they were willing to share. The idea that the things that bring us joy, fill us with longing, or even raise up from our most difficult times doesn't matter, astounds and horrifies me. To think that what you enjoy doesn't matter? Doesn't matter?!

 I am here to say that is does matter. Every random quirky bit of ourselves has a purpose, and has a meaning that sometimes we need to step back and think about. In words of Franz Kafka,

“Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” 

Amen Franz. Amen. 

Though this is an introduction to my journey, I hope you'll tune in to 18 of my favorite things, and get a better understanding of just how mental I am- after all I am a Herdman. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Captain of My Soul

Lately I have been slightly obsessed with a band whose music is deep, moving, and reflective. I love The Lumineers and I'd like to share their music with you. This last week I had the opportunity to go with a dear friend (Lizzy Ungerman) to St. George as a last quick vacation to figure out what we wanted to accomplish this school year. We both had an experience while driving home that made us ever so grateful for each other and for Heavenly Father who knows what is in store for us. It's alright for us to not know. Don't be afraid of not knowing. You have a whole world out there, filled with the unknown- and isn't it a beautiful thing?

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
 was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." 
-Anais Nin


Monday, August 13, 2012

This Corn is Like an Angel...

Update: A while back I posted about Emily Brown, who I absolutely adored. Turns out I also adore this lovely lady.  I first heard her song "Dream it Up" and I was sold. Her music was something that if I didn't tell the world how great her music was, I knew that the music goblins would kidnap me and stick me in their labyrinth- something that I hope to avoid...

For an update on life, I am sad very, very, very, very, very forlorn, doleful, morose, disconsolate, languished, and sorrowful that our California trip got cancelled. If anyone who reads this has a dependable car that is cheap on gas and can play an iPod, we will auction off bids this instant. The next best thing that we can do this weekend is to go down to St. George which isn't exactly the "watch-the-sunrise-on-the-horizon" experience that I was hoping for, but it will be a great experience knowing that I am enjoying the time with friends before life catches up with us and blows us to other places. In words of Dan from Dan in Real Life "Life... is full of disappoints." but I also learned this, "plan to be surprised." 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Anywhere the Sun Shines

Myself, Brooke, then Brittany
Summer is quickly fading. School starts back up in 2 weeks, and I am properly excited. I was able to work out my schedule, and I'm afraid I'm just going to be too happy with the way things are looking up. In more recent news, my dear sister Brooke packed up and moved to Ohio. In many ways I am heartbroken that they moved so far, but also I am extremely excited for their new horizons. I will miss her dearly, but then again we can always do three-way calling... 

Last week while watching a guilty pleasure with Sadie and Lizzy, we planned a end of the summer trip to California. We will be heading out this upcoming Thursday and coming home the day before school starts: a grand total of 5 days in the sun, sand, and land of milk and honey. To be frank, this is exactly what I think the five of us need. As this year continues to creep forward, I'm learning to keep in perspective the things that matter the most. So far, it has been hard to determine whether I do things because I genuinely want to, or I do them to please others. Since it is kind of mixed in my book, it makes it hard for me to say no things. I'm hoping that this quick trip will help me find reevaluate my life a bit, and help me soak up my experiences that I had this summer (which I still need to blog about... sorry friends.) 

Here is a song by Mason Jennings that pretty much sums up how "El-suave" I think going to California will be.

And here are just some songs that I happen to love currently, and I HIGHLY recommend the new Joshua Radin CD: Underwater


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh, I'm in Love

Today finally felt like summer. Sleeping in, morning scripture study, bowl of Kellog's Krave, late shower, errand run with a friend, finishing touches of a clean room, painting a mirror, trying to darn holes in favorite cardigans, sewing lavender pouches, planning projects to sew hems, book club planning, Harry Potter debating, dreaming of a lavender or mint green-grey-white wedding, quesadilla making, spaghetti eating, no make-up, hair undone, new shoe wearing, purchasing a adorable skirt, and a darling dress, leaving the bedroom window open, journal entry catch-uping, reading, dreaming of a future home, and writing in the thunder. Now that's what I call summer.

My dream house...

I bought 3 of these picture frames. It fits my painting nicely!

The whole in my mint green cardigan that I tried to darn... darn those holes!

Spray painted mirror... check!

To be sewn on this skirt

My dress that I can't wait to wear!

I'm putting up 3 more shelves to replace my bookcase hutch above my desk. I'll be add to more books!

Sorry about the lighting... but this is my new dress I ordered.

My new skirt coming soon...gosh. I love dresses and skirts. (This one cost me a whole $12.48. No tax. No shipping charge!)

I color-coded my books!

Love that figure. Oh, I did find my Inheritance book... it is to the left. :)

Can't wait to put up my new shelves...
The sad pile of books awaiting a home. Everywhere else is full.

Getting ready to stuff
What it looked like before...

Monday, July 23, 2012


                  Yep. Looks like this is going to be a good week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Green Things

If you haven't heard of Emily Brown, you might as well not waste anytime reading this post. Click on her name! Her music is stunning (plus she uses an accordion), and has brought me much comfort over the past year. Here is her new album which I would say would be her best yet! Good luck on your mission Emily and continue to uplift everyone around! You are a remarkable individual and thank you for comforting my heart.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm Digging a Pit

 (Note: This is a really long boring post. I figured I needed to be honest with myself, and please no pity. :) ) 

I think my journal is starting to dislike me. Not that I usually vent out to its pages, but lately venting is all that I can really do. It isn't harsh or harmful teenage venting that one usually sees in society, nor is it any kind of heart-breaking drama. (I'm counting my blessings here.)  Instead, it is me trying to get a grasp on accepting myself for coming in short of expectations. For example:
  •  My room is in constant need of being clean. No matter how often I clean or re-organize it always ends up looking like I've been robbed. 
  • I have been unable to meet commitments because I'm meeting other commitments. I've had to work the past 2 times when I've supposed to volunteer at the SMOFA, I feel like a flake.
  • I need to get started on my online class, P.E. packets, and summer homework. Except I've been gone most of June and haven't had the time to start...
  • I haven't touched my viola in a month. I'm doomed.
  • My AP scores and just grades in general
  • I haven't accomplished most of my summer to-do list- which is depressing since most of those things that I want to do are fun and relaxing and are what I wanted to get done this summer.
  • Keeping in touch with friends- sorry everyone about that.
  • Not being able to say what I want to say
  • Getting photos of my recent festivities to my Grandma Herdman (I'm working on it!)
  • I've only read 4 books this summer. PATHETIC. I work 9 hours a week which isn't a whole lot and I usually just waste it away on pinterest. I need to read more. Much more.
  • Filling up my poetry and quotes zine- I'm not even close.
  • I didn't even try to start a garden...
  • Feeling slightly pitiful and sorry for myself, which I am happy to say doesn't last more than an hour. :) 
  • I've also been staying up WAY too late for no particular reasons and then I frantically scramble each morning to travel to my volunteering and internship...   
  • Being late to a babysitting job BECAUSE I was writing this pathetic post. Yep. 10 minutes late.
  • Leaving a pot of boiling water on the stove to evaporate and then have an angry mother call to tell you about it.
  • Missing my long hair....
 I should also add to that list that I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, and trying to be optimistic about my AP scores and schedule for next year. For a more positive note I am finally caught up on paying tithing! I feel like such a champ. In psychology we learned that when we plan for future events like summer for instance, we think we'll have more free time so we plan to do things in that free time. Once we actually get to summer we find that we are just as busy in the school year because we planned to do too many things. Some days I wish my pre-frontal cortex was developed and I could reason with my time better. My English teacher, Mrs. Van Orden, said earlier this year that when she was my age she kept thinking about how much free time she would have as an adult. Once she got there she was disappointed that she was more busy than when she was in High School. In a sense I am looking forward to being busy like I am now, in the future. At least I won't be bored. If you've read this far I congratulate you, and if you're still reading this a month after I post this, remind me to delete it- unless I decide to dig a pit and stick myself in it. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Well, I did it. I made another blog showcasing a few of my photos that I've taken over the past few years. I hope that you check it out! It might be cheesy since with every photo I include a quote of some-sort to it. I hope that you'll seek inspiration not only through the photos that you, yourself have taken, but also through the written word. Enjoy!
 - The Littlest Herdman

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Evokes Each of Us

A few weeks previous, I had a discussion with two dear friends of mine, about what makes us look at life the way we do. For me, the greater part of what influences my life is my religion, and the second part resides in the sadness and trials of life. If you ask me what my favorite books, music, or movies are, I would most likely give you a detailed list of things that are- to a worldly standard: sad. I sometimes mock and call myself a "walking oxymoron" because (I hope I can say this) I am generally a happy person. Yet, I love sad things. Not to be mistaken with loving the sad thing, or loving that the sad thing happens- I love the symbolism, the values, the test of faith, the wisdom, and the richness that I learn and feel from the life of another. It allows me to learn and to remember their sacrifice as I come to find my place within this world. 

 I stumbled across this quote by Franz Kafka back last May that at least for me illustrates why I am drawn to such things.
  "I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone...A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside ourselves."

My favorite topics to learn about are WW1, human trafficking, human rights violations, genocides, global wars, revolutions, and WW2. However I am still unable to face things like the Holocaust. I am not sure if I will ever be able to. There isn't much I can take on that topic. The Boy in the Stripe Pajamas, and  Night by Elie Wiesel are two things I can't face. I believe that these experiences of any topic don't have to be for everyone. Each of us are evoked by something that inspires to change and to live for something. For one person I know, they are driven by music and the expression and emotions, both the joy and the deep gloom it can impact. For another, they are driven by the happy things in life, and the force behind laughter. We don't all have to bury ourselves in the valley of sorrow like Kafka said to break open our frozen desires inside us. All we need to do is to surround ourselves with the things that evoke our spirits, and trust in the guiding force behind us to take us where we need to go. 

Poppies- my favorite flower and in honor of WW1

What officially brought this train of thought to my mind was a movie that I just finished about a WW1 fiction story. Really, who lets me watch WW1 movies right before bedtime on a Saturday night? The buckets of tears flowed. I should be banned.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Remember this? My mum bought a watermelon recently, and by stars am I delighted. I am dancing, singing, and gorging in this watery sweet stuff. I think I can now welcome summer with open arms. Just 16 days left. Only 16-but who's counting?
*sorry for the washed out, awkardly lighted photos. I took them in semi darkness with my phone (again). I was too lazy to find batteries for my camera for a semi decent photo. Good thing it's just food!*

Monday, April 30, 2012

General Happiness

Last night when I was checking my sister's blog, I came across her recent entry, entitled "General Happiness". Her post sprouted my idea to write a post of my own, mirroring just what makes me generally happy too.

    Kelsey's General Happiness List:
1. Looking at other people's artwork
2. Carnations, tulips, poppies, and lavender
3. Harmonizing to music
4. Handwritten notes or letters
5. Watching other drivers
6. Old postcards, maps, and books
7. Yard sales and thrift stores
8. Fresh bread and butter
9. Cloudy days-because I know there will be a spectacular sunset that evening
1o. New National Geographics
11. Having someone wave at me or give me a hug
12. Sharing Ritz crackers
13. Discussing world events
14. Woolen socks tucked over comfy pants
15. Love stories, yes even the bittersweet
16. Chirping birds in Aspen trees
17. Driving on a freeway/highway in the country
18. Gloves or mittens
19. Dancing and singing in the rain
2o. Autumn leaves and their smell
21. "How we met" stories
22. My smudge that I get from writing on my left hand
23. Accents
24. Little kid voices and baby giggles
25. Reading under a tree or during a rainstorm
26. Cheesy pick-up lines from roguish lads
27. Winking
28. Bow ties
29. Staring at fires and the red embers
30. Oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon
31. BLTs, ice cream, soup, peaches, peas, tomatoes, and watermelon
32. Temple trips!
33. Family campouts and boardgame playing
34. Pearls and old fashioned things
35. Finding constellations and shooting stars in the night sky
36. The joy of watching my family and friends grow up, achieve what they worked for, and making memories
37. And of course, good ol' jazz, bluegrass, and big band swing

Well, those are a few of my favorite things, and you know what? Just typing out each of them has already brightened my afternoon as I go to my last night to volunteer at the library until June, and start studying for my upcoming tests next week. For more good news my Kaplan AP Euro History book came in the mail today!

Isn't today gorgeous?

-The Littlest Herdman

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fingers Crossed...

...that Jim Bob survives from my neglect. I realized yesterday that he's mostly a goner. He may pull through! The thing with plants and me is that I get concerned with other things and I just assume my plant can hang on a few days in the sun, a little parched. I PROMISE I take better care of children. Relating this to a philosophical metaphor, it is time for me to focus on the things that do matter, such as my upcoming tests and getting my mind back to health away from distractions.
Dear Summer, I know that I usually dislike you, but can we please make up and have you come quickly? I miss your bozaz, spunk, and careless frolicking.
-The Littlest Herdman
P.S. I also promise I'll post about the mentioned things in the past "p.s." very soon.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is one of those songs that come to you like a homing device. It is flawless.

-The Littlest Herdman

p.s. I have Spring Break and Prom entries to share very soon! Stick around.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lessons from Jim Bob

Hello readers! As stated in the last entry, I have given my plant a hair cut (the name's Jim Bob-thanks Willie). While I lopped off 3 inches, two thoughts occurred: I myself needed a trim, and sometimes it may seem like some days cut you back down. Focusing more on the later thought, I learned first hand this week (once again) that trials, our weakened moments, and even good experiences can take us back to where we can grow, perhaps even stronger and all the wiser. 

Before hair cut.
After hair cut.
Look at them locks!

This week I've had either horrible allergies or a stubborn cold. I'm not sure which. One thing I do know is that I sound like an addicted smoker of 43 years, I cough and choke when I laugh, and croak while singing Regina Spektor. One of my teachers asked me if I was taking my vitamins, was unstressed, and getting enough sleep. I scored a solid zero on all accounts. Going back to how this relates to a pot of grass, I've learned most importantly that our trials, experiences, and the lessons learned from them can uplift others (My voice made many people laugh and smile- along with my herbal tea in English), and teach you to be patient with yourself. 

 For instance, I got a message from my friend Liz asking for me to pick her up from school. 
 After I picked her up, and driving through out busy traffic- I ran a red light on the corner by the BYU bookstore turn and the street to turn onto 9th East. I didn't realize it, until another car was pulling into the lane next to me from the opposite direction. He didn't even seem to notice. I didn't hit anything or slammed on my breaks. The best part about that experience was that a BYU Cop was right around the corner and didn't seem to see anything wrong.... Of COURSE from that experience, I then immediately turned right onto 9th East, to find a place to park to think about what I had just done. To my great surprise I heard someone call out "Kelsey!" I turned into the lane next to me, and it was my friend Matthew from my Red Cross Leadership camp. The last time I saw him was when I spotted him standing in front of the Creamery while I was driving with Sadie. (good times right Willie?)

My favorite painting at the SMOFA, from the High School Art Show.
 So while I do feel horrible about running the red light, I felt like it was one of those experiences that allowed me to feel ridiculous for a good reason. I was able to laugh and relief some anxiety. (Sorry to my Mum if you're reading this...!) I then drove back around to that same spot and legally went through it- my penance.
On a more positive note, tomorrow is General Conference, and I must say that this one of my favorite times of the year! Good thing it comes twice a year!

- The Littlest Herdman

p.s. Yes. Bow ties are cool.

Monday, March 26, 2012


At the beginning of each January, handfuls of us create New Years Resolutions, only to be forgotten, cast aside on the back burner of our lives. For some of us though, we make it. And while I like to think that "resolutions" are realistic guidelines to achieve during one's whole life rather than a year, here is my compiled list. The photo of my pot of grass is indeed a resolution. So far in my 17 years I've killed all the plants in my room (sorry Father!). Last week at the library, the Monday Night Take Home Craft was a little potted plant. After helping the kids plant theirs, I did my own, in hopes that it would grow, and I wouldn't have to cringe each time I entered my room, in fear it would be dead (conditioned from experience). I am happy to announce my plant is alive and will be receiving a spunky hair cut, sticker eyes, and a poppin red bow tie! Until then, here are my belated New Years Resolutions!
 (they were made in January, this is just their first limelight) 
1. Daily prayer & scripture study
2. Write 3 things I am grateful for each day & why
3. Fast & pay a full tithe
4. Visit the temple at least twice a month
5. Read at least 100 books
6. Get a JOB!
7. Start on family history
8. Participate dans mon classe francais!
9. Learn basic Russian
1o. Read up on Jewish history
11. Learn vibrato (yeah about time :) )
12. Collect favorite poems/writings/quotes
13. Complete my Painting by Numbers!
14. Practice piano over summer
15. Have a plant in my room & not kill it (the photo)
16. Aid Mr. Herdman in our garden
17. Write. Write. Write.

If you'd like to share your Resolutions feel free! Happy late Monday! 

     -The Littlest Herdman

To Hum To Yourself

Watch "Passenger - Lisa Hannigan" on YouTube

Perhaps my new favorite song. It even mentions Salt Lake! Oh what would we do without you Lisa?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yann Tiersen - Déjà Loin

Banjos, Pots, and Keys

You read right. Banjos. Pots. Keys. Lately those words keep popping up in my daily adventures as the Littlest Herdman. Starting with the banjo explanation, my awesome friend Beno Seely (yes, also in my El Cheapo post) took me to see Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband at Timpview High School for the soccer benefit concert, along with other friends. I've only ever been familiar with their Christmas music, "Dream Big", and "Banjo Boy" (thanks to Andrew Tate). It turned out to be quite the fest, and I don't think any of us were prepared for all the "hooting and hollering" that went down. I've always loved bluegrass music, and I think it all started when I went to Fillmore, Utah for 2 weeks to visit my Grandma Herdman- which by the way was her 87th birthday yesterday! My Grandma took my to a "Hoedown" at one of the old barns when I was in 4th grade. We made banana cream pie together and she fixed my hair in long loose braids. I remember sitting there on bails of hay listening the music and watching older couples square dance. Since then, I've always had a place in my heart for the country. Anyway- I am so glad that I was able to go the concert! I can't wait to hear them again. Here is one of my favorite songs from them:

Pots. BYU's Museum of Art currently has the exhibit of Islamic art called  "Beauty and Belief". I went by myself first before one of my viola lessons. When I walked into the entrance, my mouth dropped 4 feet and I got slightly giddish. I have this strange passion for Islamic culture, along with Persian, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. I give credit to Disney's Aladdin for instilling a love of the Middle East in me. The exhibit hosts 250 artifacts from the region, displaying the diversity and creativity of Islamic culture. One thing I found fascinating was that they had plates, bowls, and sketches of animals and people. I have always thought that Islamic law outlawed those "idol" figures. Turns out I was wrong, and I wish I could remember why. (another good reason why I should walk through the exhibit again!) Here are some photos of some artifacts:

Calligraphic Scroll
Ink, watercolor and gold on paper
Syria or India, 14th – 15th century

Falnama Manuscript Painting of the
Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus
Gouache on cloth
India or the Ottoman Empire,

Qur’an Manuscript, Volume16
Ink and color on burnished cream paper with
brown morocco binding
18th century

Tile Mosaic Fragment (Alicatado)
Tin glazed earthenware
Spain (Granada),

Parokhet (Torah Curtain)
Egypt (Cairo), early 17th century,

Cast bronze with engraved decoration
Spain (possibly Cordoba),
11th century
If you get the chance, come check out the whole exhibit. It was amazing to see a glimpse of their diverse culture and religions. The photo of the Torah Curtain is one of my favorites, since it is a symbol of Jewish and Islamic faith. Through history we that both religions were able to find unity with each other, and that gives at least me the hope that one day the past with filter into the present. The conflict between them today, is something I will hopefully study more fully once summer comes around. But until then, I can busy myself with their art!

About 2 weeks ago I had an experience with my set of keys that taught me how to be be diligent and patient with my circumstances and myself. I was parking my mother's car in front of our house, when my key got jammed in her ignition. Frantically trying to twist and pull it out, the key continued to steady itself in its locked position, mocking me. After fiddling with the break I rested my head on the steering wheel in defeat. The thought then came to me, "sometimes you need to go backward before you can move forward." I lifted my head and looked directly at the shifting gear and put the car in reverse. The car shot backward a few inches before I put it back in "park." I tapped the key once more, and it popped right out, without much force. Exclaiming my gratitude, I learned that sometimes in life, my natural instinct is to hurry past difficult challenges and trials Heavenly Father has placed before me. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the 2nd Counselor of the First Presidency, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quotes: 

 `"What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road....
When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives."

(taken from this talk)

I love this quote so much! When we take the time to discover what we can learn in our times of trial and despair, we will be able to find the essential truths that will keep us hopeful, comforted, and optimistic about the future. This year I've had to put a lot of the things I enjoy on the back burner as I've tried to work hard in school and build relationships with family and friends. At times, I find it easier to indulge myself with the things that entertain me, than the things that matter. I've realized that it doesn't matter how much stuff we can cram in day- it matters on what we take time to focus on. 

Hope this entry hasn't bored you to sleep! Happy Sunday everyone!

-The Littlest Herdman

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

April Fools! (in March)

No, this is not the Littlest Herdman. This is her friend, having fun on her blog. I hope you all enjoy reading her witty comments each day (or as often as she posts, rather), because I certainly do. I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday! - cheers, Willie.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"As the Sun Creeps Up On the Sea"

Beautiful song. Beautiful book. You'll see more video posts from this artist. I love her voice and quirks dearly. I hope you're not getting too sick of all my videos! I wonder if I can find the guitar music for this song....

#23 On My Bucket List

I now want to go to the Color Festival. I really want to do this one day!
   (#23 on Kelsey's Bucket List)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KONY 2012


"KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice."

I have followed this campaign for the past three years now, and though I haven't done much to aid this cause, I hope to do so now.  It was worth the 27 minutes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

El Cheapo!

It all started with this little guy:

Dropped off on my lawn on Valentine's Day, this golden item hosted a roll of toilet paper with the question "If you've got to go, go me! El Cheapo with Andrew Tate?" Of course I said "I would love to!" El Cheapo was our school's Winter/Spring dance that was casually based.  

 Our group consisted of 14 marvelous folk: Beno Seely and Alyssa Gates, Nate Frei and Emma Chapman, Parker Young and Jennifer, Michael and Kristen, Simon and Emily, Josh Dawson and Megan Asplund, Andrew and me. Andrew Tate is a superb friend, who I could easily write a series of blog posts on how suave is (if you're curious, you can click on his name).

After being picked up in a dashing El Cheapo van, we headed to Kiwanis park, where we entertained ourselves in chalk art featuring: fruit pictures, our dates, Y-mount - or a noble pirate ship that Andrew and I sketched- and a hit-man (shown below).

An areal shot of our group mural. Michael is standing on Andrew's shoulders. See our hit-man's staff?
Afterwards, we got lured into the Provo City Library (one of my favorite places) for a scavenger hunt. It was pretty much amazing! Though Andrew and I didn't officially win any awards for any of the categories, we both agree that we struck gold on finding the coolest books such as David Bowie and Dinosaurs!
Our treasures. (Parker and Jennifer aren't pictured... sorry guys!)

The coolest books ever! (I am laughing here...)
Afterwards, as we journeyed to our next destination, there appeared a red cooler off the side of the road which held exactly the contents of our dinner. (Nice touch there.) We parked ourselves at a large pavilion that had a lake full of ducks. Although the air was crisp and chill, we found comfort running around playing capture the flag and settling down to a cup of cider, soup, french bread and brownies. Dinner was indeed outstanding.
Candlelit dinner with our Cup O' Noodles which warmed our hands quite nicely.

BIG smiles!

Yes Andrew. I suppose you rather are steamy.

Beautiful lasses!
After warming up our hands and bellies from dinner, we decided it was time to dance! Surprisingly we stayed almost 2 hours until the very end. I think we all showed off our signature moves and enjoyed each others' company. At the close of the night, we had delicious ice cream at Michael's house, and then traveled back home.

Four out of  our seven fantastic dancers!
El Cheapo was definitely "ginger peachy". I knew it was going to be brilliant, but I admit that it surpassed even that. The friends in my group were just spectacular, and the activities were thoughtful and very enjoyable! I'm very glad that I "got to go", and go with Mr. Tate.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Smoke filled the spaces,
on our skin, in our hearts.
Sorrow crept at the cracks

of our tears gathering.
Nearer came the train
to bring us apart
once again.

I wrote this snippet of poetry on January 21st, in honor of WW1 soldiers leaving their loved-ones. I usually get these urges to write- but time and the bustling of life usually gets in the way. Actually, I just don't make time for it. I am trying to improve and I have a few more ideas for some poems and I am really excited to test them out. I would love your feedback on this little bit! (I feel like it's a bit bland...) I apologize for this short entry, I'll recap soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Among Things

I admit I maybe forgot about this blog.... though not in the bad sense. It almost seems to me I've been running to keep up with the clock-but I guess that's just how life goes! To brief ya'll of recent events, I received my license this December and by Jove am I loving it! I drove by myself for a long distance the first time last week, when I was running to volunteer at the Springville Art Museum. I blasted the Tangled soundtrack and felt the warm February Utah breeze (we've had an uncommonly warm winter) from my rolled down windows. Drivers passing in the other direction can easily vouch how broad my grin was. Whenever I drive I can't help but feel slightly giddy (or giddish?)

As far as music goes, I am working on Allemande by J.S. Bach and Minet's Old French Dances. They are gorgeous. I've also recently been obsessed with Classical 89 radio. They play the best variety of classical music, along with Spanish guitar and for an added bonus they play BBC World News at the start of very hour.

I am also currently working on a project similar to the one that I started with this blog. I am collecting poetry, written works (word clambake!), and quotes into my book I made at my writing summer class in 2010. So far,I have a many poems my dear Ms. Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Robert Burns, Kipling, Byron, Keats, Moore, Andrew Marvell, and my new favorite: Billy Collins. I was introduced to Billy Collins from one of the other English teachers at Timpview. His books The Trouble with Poetry, The Art of Drowning, and Sailing Alone Around the Room are my favorites. His poem, Monday highlights his particular style that I am in love with:

The birds are in their trees,
the toast is in the toaster,
and the poets are at their windows.

They are at their windows
in every section of the tangerine of earth-
the Chinese poets looking up at the moon,
the American poets gazing out
at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise.

The clerks are at their desks,
the miners are down in their mines,
and the poets are looking out their windows
maybe with a cigarette, a cup of tea,
and maybe a flannel shirt or bathrobe is involved.

The proofreaders are playing the ping-pong
game of proofreading,
glancing back and forth from page to page,
the chefs are dicing celery and potatoes,
and the poets are at their windows
because it is their job for which
they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.

Which window it hardly seems to matter
though many have a favorite,
for there is always something to see-
a bird grasping a thin branch,
the headlights of a taxi rounding a corner,
those two boys in wool caps angling across the street.

The fishermen bob in their boats,
the linemen climb their round poles,
the barbers wait by their mirrors and chairs,
and the poets continue to stare
at the cracked birdbath or a limb knocked down by the wind.

By now, it should go without saying
that what the oven is to the baker
and the berry-stained blouse to the dry cleaner,
so the window is to the poet.

Just think-
before the invention of the window,
the poets would have had to put on a jacket
and a winter hat to go outside
or remain indoors with only a wall to stare at.

And when I say a wall,
I do not mean a wall with striped wallpaper
and a sketch of a cow in a frame.

I mean a cold wall of fieldstones,
the wall of the medieval sonnet,
the original woman's heart of stone,
the stone caught in the throat of her poet-lover.

-Billy Collins

There is just a crisp, concise organization of brilliance that he has. I'm sure you'll hear more from me about this chap. I just realized that I have so much more to say but I want to break up this post into a few parts. The ones coming up after this one shortly will be about my experiences writing this year, more poems I need to share that I've written and collected, my suave date with Mr. Tate (yes, it does indeed rhyme) and friends and other marvels.