Thursday, December 22, 2011

How To Get Married

Today I was at the library with Eliza and stumbled across this:


How To Get Married - By: Me, The Bride!

Immediately I knew I had to get it... It must have all the answers!

Okay - in reality, I started literally laughing out loud and took a picture.  THEN, I sat down in the middle of the book aisle to read it... 

Yep.  It was exactly the kind of advice a girl needs to hear!  And, since it was SO good, I decided I would share my abundance of new-found knowledge on the subject.  I'm pretty much an expert now, realizing things I had never even thought about...

To start (and I'm quoting here), "When you want to get married, first find someone you can marry."  Smart advice.  I mean, you don't want to be a home-wrecker and try for someone already taken, or someone who is illegal.  Good idea.

She goes on to let us know all those we could marry - "...your best friend, your teacher (um - thankfully illegal in most states, so look back to rule #1), your pet (a bit weird, but okay...), or your daddy (again... legality issues?  Not in West VA.).  

Second step - "You can marry anyone you like!  Except they have to like you back."  That's the way it is written - and that's the kicker, ladies and gents.

Following those rules, the writer delves into what you actually have to DO to land a husband or wife.  She states, "... you have to be on your best behavior.  You can't be mean.  You have to be nice."  Here are things she lists as mean or inappropriate, in case you need a reference point to judge your actions against:

 - Gobbling up all the other person's candy and never offering any.  (I agree.  Ever seen Rush Hour?  They say "Never touch a black man's radio!"  I say, never touch a woman's chocolates!)
 - Picking your nose in front of them.  (Key words - in front of them. *It's gross - she was right.)
 - Pinching them.  (Debatable...)
 - Yawn when they are talking to you.  (I laughed a lot at this... a lot.)
 - Wear old PJs and slippers in mid-day.
 - Don't ever bathe.
 - Don't ever brush your hair and it looks like a bird's nest back there. (I would just like to say, "The back of your head is ridiculous!")
 - Dribble your dinner down your chin.

ALL valid points... these are real things to think about people.

The next point?  "Usually you're not allowed to marry lots of people at once.  Except sometimes you are."  I'm not going to even comment... Okay, I am.  I'm a one man woman - so are the other LDS people I know - just puttin' it out there.

She goes on (and yes, I am actually going on too.): "Not EVERYONE is good to marry."  Good point yet again - let's see who she heeds us from marrying...
 - If you marry a cat... you have to let them lick your face.  (Um... yea.)
 - If you marry a teacher, she (note it did NOT say "he" anywhere) could make you do homework instead of watch TV.  (Great - I'm screwed.)
 - If you marry a noisy, shouting person he (not "she" anywhere - I was thinking sports, but then I thought of me and my mom watching a BYU game...) will give you a headache.

"Sometimes you have to search and search for the right person... and sometimes you have to sit quietly and wait for someone."  Hm... There might be a non-sarcastic valid point to that line... nah.

"When you find your Own True Love, you have to ask their permission. [When they say yes] do your best curtsy or bow and kneel down and give them a golden (white gold in my opinion) ring, or your favorite toy, or a bite of your cookie."  I'd prefer the ring, but to each his own...

Sidenote:  I really hope whoever proposes to me bows or curtsies to me.  I REALLY hope.

She elaborates on names to call them, like "Honey Darling Sweetheart!" so that everyone will know they are yours and not try to take em' away.  Wedding invites must be in "Wedding Language" - aka:  promise candy to the guests - and make sure to put RSVP at the bottom, which means "Please say yes, please!!! Thank you."

Sidenote:  Yes.  I AM still writing... Yes.  I found this book that funny.

After finding a place to get married (a palace, beach, up a tree, or your playroom), get dressed in things like:
 - A beautiful gown
 - Shining armor
 - A mustache (good thing I have one of those handy!)
 - A crown
 - Some ears if you're marrying a rabbit...

Personally, I would think Mr. Rabbit wouldn't want me to change myself because he'd love me just the way I am, but every hare is different.

As the wedding actually happens, try not to fall over (good tips here) and then "look into each other's faces."  This is a vital point, because so many of us believe it's the eyes that we should look into, but it is actually the entire face we should be searching.  After you are pronounced as "huibbie and wifey" throw flowers at people's heads and whoever it hits will get married next.  Lucky them.

"You now are Married People (in caps - written that way for emphasis?).  So, you have to yell, "HOORAY!" and then do some cartwheels for joy."  Married People must also do the following things:
 - Get some children... and some pets.
 - Live in a house on a hill by a little stream.
 - Watch the sun go down together.
 - Go along together, holding hands.
 - Live Happily Ever After.

Could it really be this simple?!  Perhaps I am making things MUCH to complicated.

P.S. I really thought this was HILARIOUS!  I totally got married about 40 times when I was a little girl - but only to human beings.  Obviously, none of those quite panned out, which I'm willing to bet is a significantly positive thing...

Song of the Day:  I found this girl on my friend's page and she is just TOO good to not give attention too.  She is merely 13 years-old, and I'm not normally an advocate of child stars... but this girl is pretty awesome!  Here is a self-written song by Faith Johnson called "Just Me."  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Zoey: Take One

"I'm in love!  I'm in love!  
And I don't care who knows it!" 
- Buddy the Elf

I am in love.  Yep.  It was so out of the blue, but the second I looked into these beautiful eyes, I just knew:

Yep.  I am in love with my new, baby niece - Zoey.  Is she not the most adorable thing in the world?  I am completely obsessed with her little toes and fingers - amazing.  She is SUCH a good baby too - not too whiny or full of tears and her cry is often more gentle than not.  I just love her.

I've already been whispering "I know you'll like me best, Zoey.  It's okay - when you're having a tough time, need to talk about school or a boy, or want someone to sneak you chocolate before dinner, talk to auntie Linze."  I know, deep down, she understands - we have a bond that solid.  I can feel it already.

Song of the Day:  So, I thought today's song was from the Fast Five Soundtrack, but when I looked it up... It was not.  Thus, I'm not sure which thing I was watching, but something where they had a bomb soundtrack!  Haha... Anyway, I picked up this new jam-out song... Here is MIKE-E (don't think I've ever heard of him either) with "Stamina."  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Tuesday Ten" - Back Again!

I told you this was going to become a tradition!  You doubted, didn't you?  Yep - shame on you.  I am ACTUALLY going to commit to writing each Tuesday... for at least two weeks in a row.  Hopefully it'll be past that!  Okay, here we go:

1. Toast.  I know that seems simple, and it is!  I just realized this past week how much I really love toast... White, wheat, or a mix from Great Harvest with a little butter and cinnamon sugar - and sometimes, bananas!  It's my comfort food (that and mashed potatoes), and makes me smile just a little bit with each delectable bite.

2. Clementines.  I am obsessed.  I'm eating them by the bucket load lately to avoid eating too many Christmas cookies and European treats from the parentals.  I prefer them with no seeds, but beggars can't be choosers, eh?  Okay - I can, and so I do choose no seeds.

3. Last week I posted a video by Vocal Point with the lead singer being Ryan Innes.  This week, HE is on my favorites list.  His voice is like the butter and sugar to my toast... Haha!  I just really like him - check it.  Here he is singing one of my favorite songs "Colors" (orig. by Amos Lee):

4.The Amazing Rapping Baby.... just wait till he can talk!  If my kid can do this at 2 years old, I'll feel pretty fulfilled as a parent.  Haha - you think I'm kidding. Also, this boy is ADORABLE!

5. Lights.  I love lamp...s.  I love lamps, spotlights, nightlights, black-lights, strobe-lights, flashlights, Christmas lights... so this time of the year it pretty much one of my favorites.  Perhaps it's the hopeless romantic beneath the surface, but I can't explain it other than I love light.  Observe - Check the picture of the Tunnel of Lights in Japan (Nagano Hotel).
(So amazing... How can you not love that?!)

6. I am in love with the following quote:

I find the whole concept of being ‘sexy’ embarrassing and confusing. If I do an interview with photographs people desperately want to change me - dye my hair blonder, pluck my eyebrows, give me a fringe. Then there’s the choice of clothes. I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that’s not me. I feel uncomfortable. I’d never go out in a mini-skirt. It’s nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn’t do that. Personally, I don’t actually think it’s even that sexy. What’s sexy about saying, ‘I’m here with my boobs out and a short skirt, have a look at everything I’ve got?’ My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder. 
- Emma Watson

7.   Jimmy Fallon's "Thank You Notes."  I could even just say a favorite is Jimmy Fallon himself, but this week I'll stick to the "Thank You Notes."  If you do NOT know what I'm talk about, check the clip below.  If you DO know what I'm talking about, you've already watched the clip below.

8. I am in love with the show Modern Family.  However, more than that, I am in love with the characters from Modern Family - Cam and Mitchel.  Oh my word - they're my favorites.  Check out a little of their amazingness below!  (Sidenote:  I just got Season Two in the mail - my love was just reaffirmed.)

9. Scarves.  They dress-up any outfit, keep you warm, and make you look even cuter!  I happen to know that my mom spent my Christmas gift money in London- buying me eight or nine new scarves... not kidding and NOT ashamed.  I'm counting down the days till they're mine.
(I like this chart because it shows you the different ways to wear them...)

10. Take a look below:
I am SO excited to see two of my best friends (Derek & Cami - my brother and sister-in-law) on Tuesday night, and my new niece - Zoey! I am so gonna spoil her like every auntie should...
This is me and Cami - gangsta fo' life! Or, till we give away the jackets...
Here I am with Derek - back in my junior year at BYU, while platinum blond... Oh, the choices we make. Haha! He's been my bestie for 26 years and counting! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dare to Have a Purpose Firm. Dare to Make it Known.

I've been contemplating the power to choose We make choices everyday- some big and some small... miniscule perhaps.  However, choices lead us to where we are today and create us into who we are today - even the miniscule ones.  I would say that we aren't shaped by our small choices to eat an salad or a sandwich, but I know a pair of thighs that would say otherwise... :)

I am mostly thinking about the simple choices we have in our lives to just do the right thing when it counts.  We have the chance to be something - to stand for what we believe in within all aspects of our lives.  It's hard sometimes - a lot of times.  It can be the peer pressure or just habits we fall into... We have to know what we really stand for and who we are truly striving to become and live that way.  Why portray something your not and live in a way you don't really want to be living? 

I like the following quote - you can take out the first part of you aren't LDS:

Dare to be a Mormon.
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm.
Dare to make it known.
- Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Now, I'm and LDS girl, and the line I am thinking along mostly pertains to my religious convictions.  However, this can pertain to anything that you believe.  I'm passionate about education and funding for the arts.  I'm passionate about film and creating good, positive forms of media.  I can stand up for those things, and I can make my purpose known.   I can fight for things that I believe in, even when no one else is on my side.  It's hard as all get-out, but I can do it!  I'm pretty sure you can too....

Choose to do the right thing - even if it makes you look "uncool," or feels awkward at first, or even if it's really hard.  Do what you believe is right - do what you know in your heart is right.  Stand up for those things that you are passionate about, and dare to make your purpose known.  No one is perfect - no one is asking for that (hopefully)... However, we can always strive to be better.

"Try a little harder to be a little better." 
 - President Gordon B. Hinckley

Song of the Day: My friends, Nicole and Cameron (love them!), sang this as part of a medley of Christmas songs for the ward Christmas party last weekend.  I have heard it before, but only once... I never realized the pure awesomeness of this song.  Here is Relient K with "I Celebrate the Day."  At least listen through the first chorus - then you'll be hooked!  Haha... Enjoy! 

Honorable Mention: I love the piano.  I wish that I could play better - I need to take lessons, but growing up I always go stuck with teachers that I could not relate to and grew tired of scales.  I know - you have to learn the little things to get to the big things... I just started teaching myself one year and created arrangements (clarinet and oboe in middle and high school made learning piano ten times easier), but haven't put the practice in that it takes to be great... I suppose I'll simply stick to singing and just do piano here and there for now.  ANYWAY, I couldn't find this song anywhere to share so I'm making mention of Chris Rice's Christmas instrumental tracks - just piano! His version of "Angels We Have Heard on High" is wonderful!  Check him.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Tuesday Ten" Edtion... on a Wednesday.

This woman named Lauren Conrad (LC), who some of you might be familiar with, writes an awesome blog each day full of style, make-up, event planning, self-help, and cooking tips!  She's kind of fabulous and I adore her.  Shout-out to one of the only girls from The Hills who I didn't believe was a pretensions super B - for real.  Haha! 

Anyway, LC does this thing on her blog called the "Tuesday Ten," and I am going to start my own tradition doing a "Tuesday Ten!"  I'm going to make a short entry about ten things that make me happy that week.  They can be a newly discovered YouTube video (or an old fave), a short story, a picture, a quote, anything!  So, with that introduction... I forgot that IT IS WEDNESDAY... All the same, I am just giving this a procrastinators go and saying, here goes my first "Tuesday Ten!" - kinda.

1. There is a site I have recently discovered via pinterest that I am now obsessed with! 
This is one of the many HP facts that I have learned and LOVED!  If you haven't seen the last HP movie, this part will most DEF make you giggle a bit... or if you're a man, chuckle?

2. I have been in LOVE with this video for the past few years - which my friend now, Ben Truman, actually recorded - small world!  I watch it around Christmas every year about 30 times, and just recently discovered the full song is available with THIS SINGER!  He is the best - hands down - at this song.  He's soulful, heartfelt, and just has an AMAZING set of pipes.  He's also a UT star, which I had no idea it was him singing till this year... I keep making new discoveries! Aside from the singer, this SONG is amazing - truly, tied for my favorite Christmas song. (Click on the title below for the FULL version - it's worth it too...)

Vocal Point - "He Is Born" - Lead: Ryan Innes

3. Neal's Yard - London, England - Picture: I was slightly less excited when I found out it was a Remedies shop... Haha!  Still it just is aesthetically healing... or just really cool!

4. I found an article entitled: "Damn You Auto-Correct - Reveals  9 Funniest Texts of the Year."  Now, I know for a fact, there are some even funnier ones out there, but these are REALLY classic.  One of them is below, but click on the article title to read them all - this was just the one that made ME laugh the most!

5.I love peppers.  I mean, I REALLY love peppers.  They are, hands down, my favorite vegetable.... This recipe below also includes corn and onions - other favorites - so I'm excited to try it for lunch tomorrow!

6. Pinterest.  I simply adore pinterest and genuinely believe it has helped me organize my online life - haha!  If you have not yet,check out my pinterest page (or just the site in general):

7. This song gained a lot of attention around Halloween, and again around the time Breaking Dawn went into theaters... I think it's hilariously, brilliant.  Check out Stephanie Maybe's "The Zombie Song."

8.Mcvities Dark Chocolate Digestives (aka: Cookies) from England - thanks, Mom and Dad.

9. I am currently in love with the show - it's a new fave.  The New Girl Oh, how I adore Zooey Deschanel (ya, I had to triple check to spell that write - just like my name...)  The main girl reminds me slightly a lot of myself... awkward and funny - and awkward.  It's hilarious. This show along with How I Met Your Mother are current staples.  Here's the trailer for The New Girl:

10.  My new hamster, Page!  Nope, there is no "I" in there... I have named all my past hamsters with music in mind - Mozart and Cadence, calling him Cade.  This is my first girl hamster and I knew I needed to choose a musical of theatrical based name.  So, I looked at terminology and tried out what felt right these past few days and decided on, Page.  Example:  A Page in a script of musical score.... Yep.  She's pretty adorable!

Sidenote: Today was my last day of my first semseter in my MAT program!  I can't believe how fast it went by me, and how fast I'm sure next semester will pass.  I LOVE the program, the professors, my cohort - man, I am a blessed woman! :)  Good luck to all my friends still taking finals - eat em' for lunch!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm Pretty Crafty,,, No, Really.

I am crafty. Well, I fake it well... and I'm pretty good at little kid crafts. It's the blessing of being a nanny. I have "pinned" more than enough holiday crafts on pinterest, and looked at a million and one "mommy blogs" for ideas... Thus, I think that I can claim I am quite crafty now.

Here are some examples of my latest works with Eliza:


Song of the Day:  I love the Christmas song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," even if it IS a bit scandalous.  Haha!  So, when my friend, Nicole, asked me to do something funny for the ward Christmas Party I knew that rewriting it would be the ticket.  I called my friend, Spencer, and asked him to sing it with me/help me write the new lines, and it was perfect!  Here's the fruits of our labor below... by Spencer Minnick and Linze Struiksma - Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where Are We Going?

This certainly is a blogging week, and in reality a more serious noted one.  I just HAVE to tell my little story from yesterday....

I work as a nanny for a little three-year-old girl named Eliza.  She is fantastic!  Even at her worst behavior it's not that bad and she is simply adorable.  Her parents have definitely raised her right in that she doesn't believe in hitting and and using "mean words," such as "butt" or "brat."  Haha!  She really is a good little girl and I can see how blessed her parents are to have her in their life.

Let me preface the following story by saying the family I nanny for has different beliefs than I do religiously.  They're not LDS and that is totally fine by me.  I all for believing what you want and having the power of agency to choose your beliefs for yourself.  I don't look at them as anything but amazing people whom I have come to love very much.

Yesterday, while I was driving home from the park with Eliza, she asked me about the afterlife.  I'm not kidding.  Here is this three-year-old in the backseat talking about her friends grandpa who passed away and asking what happened to him.  I panicked a bit simply because I didn't want to over-step my bounds in "religious territory."  I had no idea what the parents really believe (now I do) and wanted to be respectful... However, here is this little girl begging for an answer and literally saying the words, "What happened to him?  Is he really gone?"

I thought for moment and then said, "No, E. They'll see him again in Heaven - it's okay."  The questions continued though... "Linze?  What's heaven?  We get to live again?"  Yep.  It really was possibly one of the most tender moments in my entire life.  It reminded me of when I talked with Nico about prayer and how awesome that was for me.  I decided that with Eliza honesty was the best policy and I'd tell her what I believe to be the truth and let her parents know so they can tell her differently if they'd like.  She was asking for answers, so I gave her what I know to be truth - other than I opted to not talk to her at all about hell.  "Well, Eliza, heaven is our other home.  We have a home here on earth, but we have a home in heaven too.  It's where we came from and will go back to after we pass away.  So you shouldn't be sad if anyone dies because you'll get to see them again."  She sat for a moment and said, "So, if something happens to you or daddy or someone... I will see you again.  I like that."

I know - the sweetest thing ever.  Little kids say funny things ALL the time, but those tender moments are what make me most excited about being a mom in the future.  It makes me less scared about trying to teach my future children the gospel.

The conversation continued with, "Who's there in heaven?"  I talked to her about God and she asked if he was related to us.  I replied, "Well, you know how you have daddy here on earth?  Well, he is your Father there and he watches over all of your us just like your daddy does here on earth."  She got excited and said, "That's who we pray to!"  It was just a really precious moment for me to share with her, even if it's not what she grows up believing in the future.

I am just SO thankful for the knowledge that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and who I get to see again, and that families are eternal.  I get to keep my family and be with them forever, and that is amazing to me.  I am thankful for prayer and the power we have to talk to Him, and how it can build our faith and comfort us.  I have been studying Faith over the past few days and then I saw the following clip:

Have faith.  Know that there is a Father in Heaven who loves you and that you also have a Savior who lived and died for you... and lives again.  I have been struggling with "sweating the little things" in life lately, and worrying about things over which I have no control.  In tough times, turn to Heavenly Father and he will comfort you - I know that's been my case.  I know that the following quote is fact:

"Everything will be okay...and if it's not okay, it's not the end."  
- Paulo Coelho

And even at the end, I know it's merely a new beginning. 

Song of the Day:  I'm thinkin' I should throw out another Christmas jam soon... I simply adore Christmas music, so we gotta show this genre some love.  However, this particular song is WINTER, but not Christmas... I do hold out in listening to it till mostly around this time of year.  It's called "Winter Song," by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quote It Up... Again.

Okay, it's that time again... Awkward quote time!  Some of these you may understand, and some you most certainly will not understand.  Just know, they really were quite awkward and hilarious (or in Eliza's case, adorable!)...  Enjoy!

"I am sooooo happy right now!" - Linze
"What are you guys up to?" - Random Bishop in Walmart
"... Just buying a gift for a friend." - Spencer

"Okay. I'll stay little!" - Eliza

"I'll put a Belle band-aid on your heart if it hurts..." - Eliza (she was VERY sincere - haha!)

"Are you 10 or 13?  Oh, you're 80!" - Eliza

"We have four beautiful women and a munchkin!" - Random carni at the Haunted Circus... The munchkin was Nicole.

"Oh, hell... o.  Hello.  Dang it - I was in the chapel." - Your truly... I shouldn't admit that.

"Haven't you ever asked yourself, 'Was that me singing?'" - Um, me... in class.  FYI - I heard someone singing and then got confused and it all just toppled out - as always in that class.

"Then, he scaffolded me." - Stephanie during a class presentation.  YES, that's educational terminology... and yes, it was still hilarious.

"What if we clapped for every good idea like they do in the state of the union?"

"They accidently wrapped me in a blue blanket at the hospital..." - Me.

"Your mama's hooked on crack." - Someone's student (anyone remember who???)
"Your mama's hooked on phonics." - Another student
"That's the worst kind, cause we ain't got no rehab for that..." - First student... OH, CLASSIC.

"...It would be like having Asexual Apps." - Sam in class about something actually rather intelligent...
"Wait.  They have Asexual Apps?!?" - Me.
*class laughs* and I realize it was all sarcasm.... oops.
"Well, if they did Steve Jobs didn't invent them... too soon?"

"... the teacher had written 'Columbus was a murderer' to get the student's attention.  It may be true, but..." - Barb, my teacher
"That's like me writing 'Thomas Jefferson was an adulterer' on the board!  It may be true, but..." - Me.

"I love that song about mammals..." - Mari

"It's definitely like a vasectomy - just cut it off." - David

Yea - most of these I think you had to be there for, but nonetheless.... There's some quotes for the time being to keep y'all going... I think summer breeds more awkward moments and words out of my mouth. OR, maybe I'm just getting smarter with my word choice, as are others!  Ok... nope.

Song of the Day:   The Fray - "Heartbeat."  I just can't get enough of it... it's passionate and driven.  I love it. Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who Would Imagine A King?

"The best place to get your identity is from being a son or daughter of God."
 - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Sometimes, I forget the meaning behind the quote above.  I feel very blessed that I know who I am, and that I have come to have a relationship with my Father in Heaven and his son, Jesus Christ.  I know I wrote a serious post last time too, but bear with me for one more - I promise, I'll return to writing about my highly awkward moments, misspoken words, and witty, somewhat-cynical responses to the world or life in general.  However, for now, I just need to express myself spiritually.

I know that I am a daughter of God, but I often get lost in the labels that otherwise define me.  For example:

               Singer (A favorite)
                           Grad Student (SO happy about this one!)

Those are all great things to be defined by, but they should not be the foundation for how I look at myself.  In most of my wards I have been generally known as the musical one.  I sing in bars or clubs and I perform in musicals... but I haven't focused on that as much in my life right now.  I noticed the other day that I'm not the musical one at all (we have SO many amazing musicians in our ward - it's great ear-candy!) in our ward... now, I tend to be looked at by many as the actress.  I'm the dramatic one who likes to make-up stories, create scenarios, and play-up peoples emotions (in a good way, I hope) to get a laugh.  I really love making people laugh, and though, I don't do it on purpose, I think I subconsciously have a drive for wanting to be funny.  So, in this ward, I have been dubbed as the actress.

However, I am more than that.  I shouldn't let anything make me feel like those labels, even if they are positive, hold me to any standard or determine who I am.  I am a daughter of God - divine in right and nature. I hold all the potential to become whomever I desire.  Positive labels and just fine... but they do not define my entirety.

Then, there are negative labels.  I think every individual struggles with negative labels and how things people have said about them stick and make an emotional or psychological impression.

             Less Intelligent (because of an "easy" major)
                               Fat or "big boned"
       Terrible Speller (truth)  
Loud (touche - I've come to embrace this one with high esteem)

I have overcome most of those labels and grown pretty confident in myself - largely in thanks to the atonement.  I have days or moments of inner-frustration, but overall, I am very content with who I am becoming and how I am improving each day.

There are also just ways people find to set themselves apart.  I'm liberal.  I'm a theater major.  I'm a nanny.  I'm Dutch.  I'm white (black on the in, baby!).  I'm Mormon/LDS.  I'm a Grad Student.  I'm a singer.  I'm a woman.  I'm "big bones," with awesome hip that do NOT lie... for real.  I'm a writer, a dancer, a sister.... I am so many things.  However, the MOST important way to define who I am is as a daughter of God.  I know that with THAT knowledge, I can do anything and BE anything.  When you know who you are, you want to live-up to all that God has in store for you because you understand your place in His kingdom... It's kind of great.

I know that my Father in Heaven lives and that He loves me.  I know that I am His daughter and an heir to His kingdom and blessings.  I know that I have been given so many talents and defining factors by Him, and I am thankful for each of those - good and bad - because they have made me into who I am today.  Cliche?  Perhaps.  True?  Yep.

I am just really thankful for the knowledge I have pertaining to who I really am in this world... cause it is so hard to get lost.  I'm thankful, and it's the perfect time of the year to express that thanks.

Song of the Day:  It is FINALLY time for Christmas music!  Now, I'll still suggest some non-Christmas jams to check out, but today this just seemed all too appropriate.  It pertains not ONLY to Christ, but to who we are and will become.  Here is Whitney Houston's "Who Would Imagine a King."  Read the lyrics (below).  Listen to the song.  Think about it.  And... Enjoy!

Mommies and daddies always believe
That their little angels are special indeed
And you could grow up to be anything
But who would imagine a king?
A shepherd or teacher is what you could be
Or maybe a fisherman out on the sea
Or maybe a carpenter building things
But who would imagine a king?
It was so clear when the wise men arrived
And the angels were singing your name
That the world would be different 'cause you were alive
That's what heaven stood still to proclaim
One day an angel said quietly
That soon he would bring something special to me
And of all of the wonderful gifts he could bring
Who would imagine, who could imagine,
Who would imagine a king?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Politically-Minded... No Apologies Required

I am a politically minded person. As of late (the past four or five years), I am really into learning about, talking about, and being involved with government and politics. I'm not a fan of the political garbage one has to sometimes adhere to or go through in order to get things accomplished. I'm also not into the defensive anger that comes into play when someone disagrees with you and can't harness the emotions. However, I like the idea that people are giving their time and energy to help a country, community, or people function positively. I like that people are trying to change the world because they believe in something better. I like that somewhere, someone is trying to bring greater peace to people.

Sidenote: I know there are a lot of corrupt governmental leaders, or that good people have done corrupt things to get where they are. All the same, I refuse to believe that every leader is involved in making world policy, change, etc. for the wrong reasons. You can argue with me on this, but it's a sale I won't be buying.

I am a moderate. If you're into political labels, I am a moderate. I'm not into labels, but I'm not opposed to them either. I am a moderate, that leans left. No, you did not read that wrong. I typed "left," and I meant to type left. Yes, I know that many LDS (Mormon) people are geared toward the republican side. Social issues, such as abortion and gay rights, tend to form the opinions of some LDS voters - note, I did not say ALL... I said some.  I have voted BOTH ways in different elections and circumstances. 

There is also something to say for a smaller government. I've heard it argued that Joseph Smith Jr. stated, "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." This is a true statement - it has to do with agency. The argument I've heard is that with a larger government they tack on more laws and regulations, and it takes away agency. However, to me, it's just like the gospel - we are given "rules" to live by, and we each chose what to do with them. There are consequences for our actions. It is when you are "forced" to do something immoral or unjust through a law, that we have real issues. Otherwise, it's merely a choice.  I really appreciate and am an advocate of agency.  I understand there are issues like health care (don't get me started there... I'm now 26 and trying to get my own insurance for not too expensive as I work 30 hours a week, go to school full-time, and only make it by cause I'm living with mom and dad...), etc. where the choice is in some ways stripped from us... I'll get there.

I know there are a plethora of reasons why someone is one "party" or another. These are just some reasons that have been brought up numerous times with me and my friends, colleagues, associates, family, the pizza guy, etc. In honesty, as a moderate, I say, "Vote the person - Not the party." Moving on.

As for myself, I have particular views and opinions on most political issues. I think it's time for me to address what I think and believe in certain areas, and let the chips fall where they may. This a means for me to record this - yes, I could write it out. However, I like typing.

So, take a deep breath, realize that these are MY opinions, and realize that I think no less of anyone reading (or not reading) this because your opinions differ from my own. This is not meant as an attack or means to tick people off, but it's what I have come to believe through the experiences I have had in my own life. Some of them lean left, and some lean right. Again, that's why I am a moderate. Take it, leave it, burn it, frame it... whatever you like, but here goes.

First, Gun Control: I have become rather passionate about this issue. I spent last year living in Germany, and I have also spent time living in London, England. I have seen the benefits and the cons regarding how gun control is handled in different countries. I understand if a person wants to own a gun for recreation (i.e. hunting or range shooting) or self-defense. However, I believe that guns in the hands of whomever desires one (I recognize there is a process to obtain one) is a negative thing. Guns may allow for some good things, but I believe they also breed violence. I see this more in hand guns than anything else. I understand that many Americans believe owning a gun is their right... but I wish we could get rid of guns in the hands of civilians - or all together, though that's dreaming WAY too big and being overly idealistic.

Wow. I know I just ticked some people off. I don't apologize for what I believe, but I respect if you'd like to disagree. That's okay.

Second, Gay Rights: This one is going to get touchy. I have gay friends, people I love and adore with all my heart who are GOOD people. Here is my take on gay rights. I understand how important it is to create and have families - to bring God's children into the world. In that, I know that being gay is not a positive thing. We are commanded to "multiply and replenish the earth," and this can not happen with a same-sex partner. I'm NOT saying that two guys, or two girls, could not be great parents. However, together they can not create a child. Thus, it is a sin before God. However, we have been given a gift of agency and told to not judge others. I believe that it is not the government's place to get involved with this issue. I think that if we want to keep the word "marriage" as a sacred word, and people want to argue for that, that's okay. However, if the government denies someone a right because their lifestyle is not one that is agreed with... It should not be decided in a legal, political place.

Third, Immigration: I will be blunt. I get frustrated when I hear stories about our resources and money going to immigrants who are not legally living in this country. I get frustrated when I see someone does not speak the main language of the country they live in and does not even attempt to try and learn it... I lived in Germany, and really, REALLY struggle with German. I am quite hopeless with languages. I am still not very good, nor do I believe I ever will be, but I'm trying to learn. I am trying to speak more and more German each day (still), and to not assume that people there can speak English if I do not speak good enough German to communicate clearly. I think there is a process to being a part of country and that one should go through that process - I had to in Germany.

I think one should have to have language classes be mandatory in order to obtain permitted visas. I think that we should not grant automatic amnesty for a child who's parents are not US citizens, and that a mother should not get automatic amnesty if they have their child on American soil. There is a process, and that should be respected.  I also believe in being understanding to each individual situation and not "shipping back" those who are contributing to society and trying to follow the rules, but something gets fouled up with paper work... I have seen two families (one from Mexico and one from England) get immediately deported because an employer messed up their work visa paper-work.  I have no good ideas one making things better - but things on both sides of the issue need to be rectified.

Fourth, Abortion - People make mistakes.  However, someone else should not be punished to death because of their mistake.  I am against abortion, except in the following circumstances: rape or incest, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.  However, even some of these circumstances should be looked at carefully.  I believe that a fetus is "life," and abortion should not be legal outside of the conditions listed above. 

Sidenote:  I know the stories about hangers and girls taking drugs to abort a baby, and I recognize we want to avoid those.  I genuinely believe that allowing abortion is not going to suddenly alleviate the world of those issues.  Also, I recognize that women want choice... Please use that agency to choose safe sex or abstinence, and not to take away someone's life because you made a careless choice.  I know there are other circumstances, which I talk about above, but this is what I believe.

Fifth, Education - I'm not going to get on a high-horse about this, but as a future educator... We need greater funding.  We are helping to build the future and I do NOT see why individuals don't want to give more to that cause.  I recognize that other professions are important too, but education is one of the MOST important things we can give an individual so that they can succeed in life... We need more federal funding for education to build schools.  I also believe that teachers should be paid more - flat out.  However, that's a whole separate issue... :)

I'm going to stick with these five topics for now, but you're more than willing to ask about my feelings on any other political issues... I am VERY passionate about wind power and energy conservation!  Haha... I have opinions on other things, but I have written enough for now.  Congrats to you if you actually made it through this entire entry.  I'd love to know where you agree and disagree and why... I will respect your opinions as you respect mine.

Song of the Day:  I am currently loving on the Breaking Dawn Soundtrack... If you hate on the Twilight series, that's totally chill, but don't knock the soundtracks till you've taken a listen.  Man... They are SO good!  Most of my friends who hate the movies or books still love the soundtracks.  Here is a song from the soundtrack by Sleeping At Last.  The song is called "Turning Page."  It's sweet, simple, and unique.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Give a Little Heart and Soul!

This year I have ONE REQUEST for my birthday! PLEASE choose a day this week and complete a random act of service (big or small) for someone (random stranger or friend/family!). THEN, post about it on my wall on facebook or on here under the comments section to let me know what you did. Thanks so much for all the birthday love! :)
Song of the Day:  Iron and Wine, "Boy With A Coin" - Beautiful... Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!

While I was in Germany I mentioned a few times my desire to skydive.  It's on my bucket-list and I still plan to do it eventually.  To feel like you are flying through the air and completely carefree... AWESOME.

Before I left Europe, I had a small Christmas celebration with the family I was with and we exchanged gifts.  I was elated when I found out what Koko and Patrick had gotten me... It was a coupon for something back in Utah, which was nice within itself because I had literally NO room in my suitcase left.  When I got home, I was going paragliding.  

That's right... PARAGLIDING.

I was ecstatic!  However, I had to wait because it was still winter.  I kept saying, "I just have to wait till May... May."  When May came around, I started a new job, was applying to Grad programs, and time got away from me.  I kept saying, "I need to sign up to paraglide," but would never remember when I was actually somewhere I could accessible call.  One day, after carrying around the coupon for about two months so I would remember (haha...), I actually did remember!  I called, booked an appointment... and got ready to jump off a cliff.

Last Friday morning, I finally flew.  My experience was different from friends who have recently gone, in that I was on a tandem ride.  I was hooked up to a professional flyer, Matt, who actually travels all around the world to do airshows.  When he is NOT doing that, he is here in UT working as a tandem instructor/flyer.  I was not completely sure what to expect, but I definitely thought that I was going to be running, jumping, and falling a bit.  However, when hooked up to this guy, I was stepping, leaning, sliding back, and flying.  It was SO simple, and AMAZING to simply ride in the wind.  I didn't have to worry about what cords to pull or how to move the wings.  I just held on to the side-ropes and went with it.  It was incredible...

He asked if I was afraid of roller-coasters, and when I said no, I knew what was going to happen.  We dipped and dove and he went falling and flying SO fast!  Haha... I was loving it!  We also had hawks out hunting that morning and they literally got so close one almost hit my foot and one almost took my face off.  Haha!  It was amazing... sounds it, eh?

My one regret... I got NO pictures.  Lame, I know.  However, the memories were worth a lot more... It was Epic.

Next step?  Skydiving.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Koko and Patrick (and Nico and Finni!) for this awesome experience!!!

Song of the Day: Here is a great song and great video by Jessie J - "Who You Are."  It's a pretty great message and I love her voice.  Enjoy! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

So... I'm an Emotional Dreamer... Good to Know.

I am an emotional dreamer. 

I'm not talking about someone who cries because they are thinking about the dreams they have for their life - though I do get teary whenever I watch Fantasmic or the "Dreams Come True" firework show in Disneyland... You just can't hold back those tears.  I am talking about someone who wakes up strongly feeling the emotions of the dream they left behind upon waking.  I feel like I am still connected to every aspect of the dream - the people, the places, the actions... and the emotions.  I wake feeling still angry, still sad, still elated, still confused, still in love... I feel it all and carry it with me throughout the day sometimes.  Haha...

I know that may appear a bit crazy, but it is what it is... I am an emotional dreamer.

What brought on this confession?

Well, have you ever had a truly BIZARRE dream?  It is one where the location, people involved, and the plot seem to switch about twenty times throughout the dream.  Where it seems to be really long, but studies show that in reality, it's only about three minutes long - if that long.  Last night, I had one of those dreams.  I started in my church at stake conference (surrounding areas multiple congregations meet together for a combined meeting), then I was at a different church.  Then, I was back at my church, but for an activity, which changed to a conference hall where I was watching a movie.  The people in the dream constantly changed, as did the circumstances.  At one point I was wearing a strapless party dress AT church stake conference...?  Yea, I have no idea where half of the things I was dreaming were coming from.

Moving on, near the end of my dream I was back in a church meeting, in rather fancy church clothes, and whispering with a boy next to me.  It then turned into a movie activity and we were in street clothes, sitting close and wrapped up in separate blankets.  We were interacting with each other and the people around us, and we were NOT dating, but we obviously liked each other... Relating to While You Were Sleeping, there was lots of "leaning."  Haha!  It's truth.

We were participating in the simplistic nuances that preempt a potential relationship... The things that you love because they're exciting and fun, but simultaneously despise as they create slight anxiety or confusion.  I am a girl who would truly love nothing more than for someone to approach me and say, "I think you're cute and I like being around you... Let's give this a shot.  Go on a date with me."  Maybe there would be some of the subtle connotations and signs given first, but it wouldn't take forever for honesty and bluntness to leak out.  I'm into that sorta thing... too bad the majority of the world thinks that's a bit too forward.  Eh.  Haha!

Anyway, back to the dream!  There is a point to telling about the dream that ties back to the original theme of this entry - I swear.  (In the words of Kim Kardashian, "Bible!" - That's for you, Katelyn.) I was flirting here and there with the boy and it was returned through stolen glances and smiles or a touch, and then the movie ended.  We stood up and continued chatting while others came up and broke into the time we wanted to spend talking to one another... You know when you can just FEEL that the other person feels the same - and you're spot on about feeling that way?  I've never really felt that so strongly as I did in my dream.  I was SO attached to this person and the emotions presented by the situation in my dream.  It felt SO real... and then my alarm went off.  Yea.

Eventually you have to wake up and slide back into reality.  So, I did just that... but first, I spent ten minutes lying in bed, staring at the clock, grasping at wisps of the dream I had just been a part of so I could see the face of the person I was so connected to in my mind.  Nope.  It never came.  I thought about those emotions all day, but the face never came to me.  I purposely stuck the faces of boys I know in the place, but none of them fit... It was weird.  I think I'm weird.  Haha!  I know it's stupid to dwell, when tomorrow it really will just be a dream and I won't even think about it anymore.  However, I couldn't help it... I was emotionally invested in my imaginary relationship.  Haha!  I was emotionally attached to a fabrication - weird!

This is not the first time that this has happened.  The other week I dreamed that my mom was trying to run a political campaign on the idea that all kids with disabilities should be issued lethal injection for the benefit of the country and I was on the counter-offensive position... running against her and furiously despising her for her cruelty.  I woke up angry and had to take a few minutes to emotionally adjust.  As much as I claim I am not an emotional person, I think that I truly am... I just don't cry a lot.  Still, I have realized that I am an emotional girl.  

My name is Linze Struiksma, and I am an emotional dreamer.  My last emotional dream was last night...

Song of the Day:  I am in love with this song AND video!  There are a few good reasons why, as well... Let me start by saying the video stars Rupert Grint, whom I adore.  To quote an online review,

"The video treatment gives the impression that Grint is playing Sheeran — given the actor’s resemblance to the singer (both Gingers!). It features Grint lip-syncing Sheeran’s song while hanging out on a tour bus and even penning the track on a park bench, among other settings. All the while, you get this unsettling feeling that not all is what it seems — and rightly so.  As the video unfolds, you realize Grint is actually a crazed fan, obsessed with Sheeran, living out this twisted fantasy of being the singer. There’s even an exceptionally creepy scene where Grint is sitting amongst a room of dolls, which all bare Sheeran’s face. Let’s just say, the video is probably every celebrity’s worst nightmare."

Fascinating, right?!  Right.  The concept is SO twisted! I think this is genius and intriguing... and I love the song.  Ed Sheeran is fabulous and I hope his music catches fire here in the US.  He's fabulous.  I also have a slight crush on Mr. Grint - have I mentioned that?  Watch the video and take it for what it is, but also listen  to the song.  Enjoy Ed Sheeran's song, "Lego House!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Words Can Be Funny...

Here are some recent winner's from Eliza:

"I'm painting a miral now!" - Eliza
"A mural?" - Linze
"Yes, a muuuural.  It's going to be pretty after all." - Eliza

"This is hummy!" - Eliza, pointing to her toy hummingbird...
"What's the turtle's name?" - Linze
"..... Turtie?" - Eliza

"I just like the girls, and NOT the boys." - Eliza

"You will be the dad, and you will marry me." - Little Girl
"No!" - Little Boy
"You should marry me!" - Little Girl
"Do I have to?" - Little Boy

While on the swings...
"Should I fly you all the way up to the moon?" - Linze
"Not really the moon.  Otherwise, our mom wouldn't have a kid anymore.  That wouldn't be fair." - Eliza

Here are a few friend ones too - just for kicks!:

"I am NOT judging.  I'm making fun of them." - Kay

"It's called pride, not discrimination!" - Kay:)

 "I'll do him and...*Laughs*... Backup." - Linze

"Wunderbar!" - Mark

"I want the slightly apostate cousin..." - Hayley


Song of the Day: "Just In Love" - Joe Jonas.... It's just FUN!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Woman...

I feel like a new woman... I feel rejuvenated and happier. I know that I am right where I need to be in life and that whatever path I choose in the future will be okay. Whether I decide to chase entertainment or political dreams, or continue in the path of education... I am going to do great things, because I know I can. I am capable. There is SO much I want to BE... I just have to decide what I would like to chase first, and conquer that. Right now, it is Graduate School. After that...?

I just feel really blessed and I wanted to record somewhere that I felt that way, and share a bit of joy with friends and family. I am a lucky woman, and just pray that I have to strength to become all that I'm meant to become...

Song of the Day: I know I recently put James Morrison on here, but I can't resist. This song is my favorite off his new album, and it's called "Slave to the Music." I am in love - it's infectious! In a none gross way... Haha! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Bit... Off?

Today was just one of those off days for me... It was a FABULOUS day!  I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner with my co-hort, some of the most amazing people I know, and finished two of my Graduate classes today.  I even got back some more 100% papers and that made me happy... My "focus on school" and giving up other things is working...  I went to an AMAZING lecture for institute, and ran into Erika (my London flat-mate), which led to us discussion our ideas to move back.... serious ideas, too.  I saw other friends, and jammed with Nicole for an hour after institute. 

However, amidst all this awesomeness, today was just OFF for me.  I felt separated... I feel weird.  I can't explain it better than saying I feel "OFF," so that's what I'll stick to saying.

I could list my many stresses, complaints, personal issues, but I'll sum it up with the following; I'm tired and feeling detached.  I felt as though I needed to blog, and yet almost keep passing out on the keyboard.  That does not equal a great mix and I'm hoping tomorrow is a bit sunnier.

The one thing I can count on is that music always makes me feel better... perhaps not all the way better, but MUCH better.

Everyone has these days... Now, it's time to move past them and forge ahead.  Onward to sunshine and more sleep.

Song of the Day:  It took me awhile to warm-up to this song and THIS version enhanced my recent love for it... This version has a girl I met this summer during stadium of fire (AMY - the lead) and I fell in love with her voice and personality - she's SUCH a fun girl.  Here's is Bruno Mars's song "Grenade," sung by Delilah from The Sing-Off!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leggings to... Jeggings?!

I hated leggings.  Then, I bought a pair to keep me warm in Germany.

I now love leggings.  That is, assuming they're not ugly ones.

Sidenote:  Also, considering you wear non-slippy underwear with them... If you don't know what I mean, don't ask.  Please.

I hated jeggings.  Why would a girl need to wear fake jeans!?  Then, I bought a pair last week because I thought I needed to give them a try to be fair.  Who I was being fair to, I have no idea... but I was fair.

I tried them today... I now love jeggings.  That is, assuming I wear a long shirt with them so it's not completely showing every piece of my body they're conformed to...  Jeggings are NOT jeans, ladies... but they're stylish leggings.

Yep.  I love jeggings.

Judge away.  Whether you appreciate it or not, I am now a jeggings person. 

Song of the Day: This is from James Morrison's upcoming album (Oct. 11th!)... If you do NOT know who James Morrison is, you should be musically ashamed of yourself.  He is AMAZING.... a melodic master.  Here is James Morrison (Feat. Jessie J) with "Up."  It's an inspiring tune, with incredible voices and a smooth sound... Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Picture This

I kind of love hilarious pictures and comedy in general... Thus, I bring you a "picture book" entry for your comedic enjoyment.... So, enjoy.

I actually just think the one above is cute and how we should all think, not so much funny...

An old one, but it gets me every time...

Okay, the chart above - about that... You're suppose to be able to find where your mind is really at, and I found this very humorous.  Why?  The three words I saw first were the following: MAN, NONE, FURY. 

Haha... How classic.  I guess I am raging with anger as I have no man in my life... It's odd because I don't feel like I'm angry at all, but subconsciously I am?  Right?  Haha...

I am now suppose to go calm down... with a nice Diet Coke?  Yes, please.

Song of the Day:  I am rally diggin' Jessie J.'s new jam, "Domino."  Hope you dig it too - Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Life is a Sitcom... Or, it Will Be!

"Writing is like standing on the edge of a giant cliff over a bunch of water, it is freaky to do and really intimidating, but once you dive in it is so much fun." - Chad Johnson (not the football player)

For one of my MAT classes we were given the task of "learning something new."  The perimeter was vast, so I can basically do anything.  I thought about learning to play guitar and writing a song for the final. or finally sewing that tie-skirt... I have all the ties!  Haha... I decided on a million and one things in the two weeks I had to think about it before I needed to make a decision, but finally I made my choice.

I am going to write my life into a sitcom.

Let's face it.  My life would give any writer plenty of material.

Okay, okay... not EXACTLY my life, but select moments/incidents or aspects of my life - past, present, and hopes of the future.  I just have so many awkward and funny things happen to me and those surrounding me, and my family is a bit crazy (which is hilarious and fun)... I think it's time I share that hilarity and awkwardidity... awkwardness.  

So, over the past few weeks I have spent time talking to friends about ideas for plot, setting, and characters.  I have spoken with my friend Chad (Mr. Pro-Writer) about how to really write a sitcom and taken his advice in reading scripts and studying the types of shows I want to model mine after.  I try to help him out then by giving him ad ideas, but I am not as creative as I thought when it's not "in the moment."  I have talked with Chad about how to start writing... It's definitely harder than I thought.  I have a lot of big ideas, but don't know how to funnel them into a cohesive script...

I have written character descriptions and now I just have to find a place for these characters to come to life.  Chad says, "You have to build the playground before you can play." I completely love this notion.  I need to create characters that can play on and build the "playground" that is my show, then I need to build the "playground" by creating a setting and overall plot for the storyline.  Once I have that in place I should be good to really dive into the writing a script part.  So, I have the characters for the most part - I need to create a strong antagonist figure to the main character -  and I need to now create a setting... I have ideas.  I just need to pick one.  I think I'll ask some friends and other people from my MAT program their thoughts.  I need a location that allows room for truly funny things to happen, but where there is meaning behind the main character's life... where the plot (and the character) has more depth than merely the hilarious things that will happen to or because of her choices.  If I can figure that out, this could be good... really good.

They say write about what you know.  I know about school, church (not going to be my setting), home life in a few different regions of the US, working in schools, doing plays in the theater... I'm just not sure.  I don't want a traditional office space, though an nontraditional space could work.  Thoughts?  Anyone?  Really, I could use a lot of help in this aspect so I can really get started in making this idea come to life... I'm rather excited about it! 

Song of the Day: I heard this song for the first time tonight and looked up the following video... I knew the voices instantly - well, one of the voices.  Here is Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean with "Don't You Wanna Stay."  It's a fabulous new hit!  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hanson: Mmmboppin' Never Felt So Good!

I love Hanson. 

 I love their musicality, their passion, their lyrics, their performance style, and them in general... I love their song "Mmmbop" and the songs of "my youth," and I love their current CD, Shout It Out (remember "Thinking Bout' Somthin'?" ) . In many ways, they complete my childhood.  That sounds dramatic, and perhaps it is, but I mean it all the same. I don't mean all the posters in my middle school locker or journal entries about how I was sure I would marry Zac (below - the drummer and youngest brother), but the memories of middle and high school.  There are certain pieces of a childhood (to often mine are attached to music) that shape and create the person that you are becoming and/or have become. For me, Hanson is one of that pieces that fits in my self-defining puzzle.

This past Thursday night, for the first time in my existence, I had the chance to witness the Mmmboppin' glory of Hanson live, on-stage. I danced (a lot!). I sang (a WHOLE lot!). I smiled until it almost ached... and I screamed until my voice was a little raw. Oh, and I totally gave in and bought my first concert T-shirt... completely adorable and worth it.  They played old-school songs, new ones, and a bunch of the in between years, and I knew EVERY SONG.  Yea... I know, I know... You're thinking, "Hanson, Linze? Hanson...?" If you're thinking that, it is because you have epically failed to take my advice and check out their more recent music. Think what you will, but until you have given their last album a chance, you have no means to voice an opinion...

Musicians change and grow, and though I have always loved them and ALL their CDs for different songs or reasons, I admit that they have progressively gotten better - more mature in sound and content. It's natural for all musicians. I know what you're thinking now. "This is really deep for Hanson." Yes, why yes it is... and I think that's completely fantastic. Here is a band that I have literally grown-up with, and watched develop.  Here is a band that I am emotionally invested in, and makes me feel deeply every emotion available to the human spirit.  Here is a band that I can connect direct memories, times in my life, or past experiences to through a song of album... That's pretty incredible.

Some of you, again those who have not taken my amazingly brilliant advice, will think I sound crazy... but we all have a band that makes us feel this way.  Mine, is Hanson... and I'm pretty dang proud.  Enjoy the pictures, the videos, and the journey through my memory.  Then, take the time to think about YOUR band, the one you are so connected to that it makes you ache with happiness when you hear one of their songs... and relive your own memories.

Sidenote:  I know that I am REALLY dramatic in the way I talk about things, and more so when it comes to music.  Thus, I know not everyone has a band they feel SO passionately about (which, to me, is sad...).  I just live and learn through music... It's my favorite teacher.  

Song of the Day:  I have two.  Yes, two.  I can do that, you know.  This first in an old-time Hanson favorite - probably my favorite of all their songs because there are SO many memories and emotions attached to it... and cause it's a good song.  The song - "Save Me."  Love it.  Second, I love their recent song "Voice In the Chorus." Listen to the lyrics (and cool syncopation) and tell the world to back off when they say you'll fail... Obsessed. Only question: Why do so many songs sing about Caroline??? Haha... Enjoy!

"Save Me"

"Voice In the Chorus"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Remember....

I was sitting in seminary before school when Kolin walked in, eating lettuce, and said "A plane just hit one of the twin towers!" The teacher, Sister Cook, asked him to sit down and we'd figure it out later because it sounded like Kolin might have simply gotten the facts wrong. When we left seminary in the Shelley van, and turned on the radio, it was all anyone was talking about. We hurried to school, and it finally felt real when we got into the HS band room to just barely see the plane hit the second tower...

It was a surreal moment and I will be honest in saying that I did NOT fully understand what was happening.  I recall a friend in my band class had parents visiting the Pentagon that morning and was overloaded with worry about them... We didn't find out until that afternoon that her parents were alright.  At the time I was living in New Mexico and we were all on lock-down at school because the missile base there isn't too many hour from where we were... It made it personal. 

I remember coming home and seeing the retaliation beginning by order of President Bush... It felt bizarre and foreign to me - the concept of war (though it had been raging for years in so many ways...).  It will always be raging now.

I am grateful to all the people who sacrificed their time, energy, and lives on September 11th, 2001, and the days and weeks following the event.  I am grateful to all those who sacrifice to make our country strong, successful, and a place to call and feel at home.  At this time, I choose to remember... and we should all make the effort to remember for more than just a few special days each year.  God may bless America, but we should make the choose to bless it too through out actions... and I hope we do just that.

Song of the Day:  This is an older song, but a good one!  It's by a favorite of mine, Celine Dion (judge all you will, but homegirl is AMAZING!), and though it's talking about the other side of the country, it's still about loss and taking the time to remember... I just really like.  Haha!  Here is her song, "I Remember L.A."  Enjoy!