Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dear Westminster... I Love Grad School.

The only way to predict the future is to create it.
Decisions Determine Destiny...

I have made some recent decisions that are shaping my future...

This past week I finally had the opportunity to start my Graduate Program at Westminster! I have to be honest, I was beyond excited... I mean, I was counting down the hours on Monday until orientation! Haha... I have been out of school for over three years now, and I was ready to get back. Plus, I am excited to have my teaching license and to have another student experience. I can already tell how different this time around is going to be, and I'm all the more stoked because of these differences.

This time around, I am older and more focused on schooling. I have a strong desire to be there for the educational side of things, and I get to focused even more intently on my area of interest - no more GEs! Haha... I have to say that already I am really enjoying my classes, teachers, and individuals in my cohort. The first day of classes our starting teacher took an hour and a half (we have three hour classes mostly) to get us acquainted with one another, and by the end of the day I could name every person in the class and a fact about them. By day two (the third class together), I felt like I have literal friends in the class and was completely comfortable voicing my opinion and interacting with everyone. It's fantastic!

I am loving it so much that I must admit, I stayed home for most of Friday night to do the reading I had for this next week. Haha! I know - lame! However, the subjects genuinely interest me and I like the homework - haha! Plus, I really want to do well in my Grad Program.

On a final note, I have a rather large goal in the back of mind for these next three semesters... I am hesitant to admit it, because it may not happen. Nevertheless, I am going to state my goal NOW. My mother was the valedictorian for her Graduate Program's graduating class. I want to be the valedictorian for my class. I might not give a speech or anything, but I want to carry on the tradition... and to start it off right, I turned in my first paper the first day of class and was terrified to get my grade back. I got it back on Friday, and I got a 100% my first paper!!! A lot of people were telling me they were turning a re-write in next week and I was excited I didn't have to, and could just get started on my next paper.

Westminster, get ready... Linze's here and she's ready to tackle and destroy (in a positive way) your MAT program!

Song of the Day: I discovered Ben Rector because a free CD sampler from NoiseTrade, and fell in love with the entire CD!  He has a unique tone to his voice and his songs are great.  He reminds me of Jon McLaughlin, whom I adore.  He's fabulous and so is his song "When A Heart Breaks."  I don't necessarily think his lyrics, " don't need Jesus till you're here," are accurate, but I relate to the feeling and thus, love it.  Also, check out his song, "Moving Backwards," and download his album for FREE here: - DO IT.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm Up to the Challenge!

"I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God." - President Gordon B. Hinckely

This past Sunday, Elder Tate (an area seventy for the LDS church) came to our stake center to give a fireside about the Book of Mormon.  He issued us a challenge to read the entire Book of Mormon before Christmas, and to read it with a purpose.  He encouraged us to pick a topic, such as faith or prayer, and read the BoM with the intention of further our knowledge and testimony of this particular area.  I chose the atonement.  I want to better understand my relationship with my Savior and grow in a deeper understanding of how the atonement works for me.  I know that the atonement is all-encompassing, but sometimes we lose sight of how much in our it truly covers - not only our sins, but our trials, our weaknesses, our internal and physical pains, our fears or insecurities, our heartache or worry, and more.  It is such a powerful gift, and I am still striving to grasp the entirety of all it has to offer me, and how to best utilize those gifts. 

A few other things that Elder Tate suggested, that sill help enhance the experience for us, are to make a playlist that we can listen to of inspiring and uplifting music, and to have a daily devotional with ourselves - aka: meditation and pondering.  I already have a "Sunday Songs" playlist on ITunes, but I'm making one now that narrows down the religious and spiritual songs I have (as well as, piano or orchestral music) to my favorites.  I have chosen a few songs from EFY albums,  I Can Only Imagine albums, songs from Pride & Prejudice or Finding Neverland, MoTab songs... It's more narrow though.  As for the daily devotionals, this is an area I will really need to make an effort to create time for, because I struggle with simply sitting quietly and not "doing."  He did talk about making that daily devotional time also about prayer.  I liked how he asked us to pray to our Heavenly Father and say, "Help me understand your son."

On of my friends put it best when he wrote, 
"The leaders of the Church promise that if you do this challenge, the Lord will teach you where to go, what to say, what to do."  

I know that this is true - I feel the difference in myself and in His guiding powers when I am reading and studying the scriptures.  

President Monson stated, 
"You will be the first generation to rescue your own generation."  

The first step to that is rescuing ourselves, and I truly believe that we can do that through reading and studying the Book of Mormon daily.

THIS is the time to reconnect with your Savior.  If you read, He will listen.  If you ponder, He will teach.  THIS to discover who you really are, while determining who you will become.  Who else will take the Fall 2011, Book of Mormon Challenge?

Song of the Day:  This song is SO beautiful and amazing, as is this artist!  I just discovered him, thanks to So You Think You Can Dance and NoiseTrade's free music updates.  If you aren't getting all that free music they give out, you should sign up... for real. Here is Trent Dabbs with "Inside These Lines."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Linze & Kate - Our Web-Show: "In His Eyes!"

We're back! Yep - The Linze & Kate Webshow has returned with a song from the musical Jekyll & Hyde called, "In His Eyes." We're pretty stoked about it, cause we love musicals and theater.... Forgive our cheesy expressions (and how the background gets more yellow throughout the video?), but it's musical theater... in a bathroom - com'on! Enjoy!

P.S. We're callin' you out Jason Derulo.... we're callin' you out.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I love to LAUGH!

I love to laugh. 

I love to dance and sing, to smile and talk... and I love to laugh.  I love making other people laugh and watching their smiles form... It's not a matter of "I'm funny!  I'm funny!," but of bringing someone else a moment of joy.  I enjoy it when others make me laugh all the same.  My sister-in-law is six months pregnant, and the other day she said, "My little girl can grow-up to be anything and be good at anything.  She can be musical, or into sports, or whatever... I just hope she's funny."  Haha!  Really, I kinda hope so too, but mostly I hope she simply knows how to let herself laugh.  To be able to laugh at yourself or just calm yourself through laughter is a gift.

I'm glad that I was given that simple gift that has gotten me through tough times, created stronger friendships, and formed the person that I am today.

"How's your hernia?"  Linze
"Good.  It's actually a herniated disc." - Michelle
"Yea, I know... but I like to call it a hernia." - Linze

"We laughed our abs off!" - Linze... Originally, I wasn't trying to be "punny."  We really were laughing so hard our abs hurt!

"I almost hit that cat!  I almost hit him... and it was black!" - Linze

"You're not even a note in the book!" - Hailey

"We've been on a one-on-one" - Spencer
"15 minutes." - Kate
Our waiters eyes get really big and he almost drops Kate's water because he's feeling so awkward...
"He gave me a ride home." - Kate explaining to the waiter...
"But have you seen Titanic." - Hailey

"That's Hot." - Spencer

"W just have to be appropriate." - Linze
"Like in clothes?" - Kate

"Now, I will look at these pictures aimlessly for five minutes." - Spencer during out Bachelorette reenactment!

"I don't need a hallmark card.  I need a friends." - Linze (This was a serious comment, that ended up being rather humorous...)

"Wait!  You left me with a 'dot, dot, dot!'" - Spencer, again during the Bachelorette reenactment... Think: Bentley.

I just have to also put a plug in there for Miranda Hart... She is a British comedian that I have recently become quite enthralled with... She's hilarious.  She has her own show (Miranda) on BBC, but I have to search episodes out online - which is getting rather frustrating.  I merely want to watch season 2!  Is that a crime?  According to BBC regulations, it just might be.  I could write down a plethora of things she says in each show and  it wouldn't hold a candle to how funny she really is... Seriously, look her up.  If you like comedy shows (The Office, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, etc.), you'll love her! 

"Well, I think running is wrong unless professionally or as a child. I think as an adult you should only run if you're near a train station and look at your watch first. I mean... galloping is more fun isn't it? That's something I'd like to see more of..." - Miranda

Disclaimer:  For my more sensitive readers, the episode above drops the "S" Bomb once... It's near the end of the episode, so at LEAST watch the first half... SO classic! (Click on the red play and then it will turn green - click again and you're set!)

Song of the Day:  I am in love with this song, so you should love it too.  "Every choice we're makin', every road we take, every interaction starts a chain reaction. We're both affected when we least expected it..."  Nothing is pure accident. Here is "Touch," by Natasha Bedingfield.  Enjoy!