Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You're gonna be Pop-u-u-lar

I think I have mentioned how much I love the women in my ward here in State College. I feel like I have found my people. I love the women, and they seem to love me in return, it's fabulous! I even feel sometimes that I might actually be popular here. I don't think I've ever felt that in my life - especially high school. High school (in Oregon) was not a cherished time of life for me.
In my excitement, I called my little sister to tell her the good news. Totally silly, I confess, but for a girl who has struggled with this for the better part of my life, I was excited. When I told my sister I thought I might be popular here in SC, I completely expected her to say, "oh yeah, you were lame in high school." But instead, she surprised me with, "if you weren't popular in high school it was all your own choosing. Sara," she said, "it's not that you were unpopular. No one made fun of you, you weren't an outcast." She, of course, is right. It's not that people hated me, it is more that I didn't "feel" accepted so I pulled into myself.
I think, to a certain extent, I did the same thing in college. People liked me well enough, but I wasn't confident enough in myself to believe them. I was too busy analyzing their every act to figure out if they actually liked me. is this person inviting me because they like me, or was I included because all my roommates were invited? Are they just being polite? Even the many friends who came to my surprise birthday party my sister arranged, are they here for me, or because my sister asked them to be here and they wanted something to do on a Friday night?
It wasn't until my mid 20's that I began to gain enough confidence and self-acceptance to not worry so much. Since then, I have enjoyed my relationships more and more. To the point, now, that I feel like I could actually be popular. That sounds so high school lame, but it is a big breakthrough for me.
As my mother said, when I called to tell her, "everyone should be popular at some point in their lives."
So thank you Megan for lovingly guiding me through some much needed personal self-realization. What a lovely gift!! I love you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Legwarmers vs. Leggings and a very sweet woman

I teach seminary in the basement of one of my student's homes. The mom and I are friends and we chat from time to time as I'm leaving. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to this woman that I was looking for cool 80s style legwarmers to keep my legs from freezing over when I'm too lazy to change out of my skirt upon arriving home. I'm pretty sure I said this casually, and in passing, but on Friday, she stopped me and pulled out a pair of leggings she had bought for me. She didn't just see them and think of me. No, this super adorable woman, who works full time while fulfilling her super busy Relief Society President calling, went to three different stores in search of legwarmers for me. She didn't find any, so instead, bought me some leggings. She even left the tag on them in case I wanted to trade them in for something I liked better. I couldn't believe how ridiculously sweet, crazy thoughtful, and a little silly the whole scene was.

Just another reason why it's good to live in State College, PA and belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Done with Downers

I am so done with feeling sorry for myself. I'm done with temper tantrums and funks and self-recrimination. I am eager to start a new week with the new gorgeous day. So to counter my series of I hates, here is a brief list of I loves.
  • I love coming home to a quiet apartment after teaching seminary. I love taking a nap, preparing my lesson for the next day and only then feeling ready to tackle whatever else I need to do with my day.
  • I love having plenty of work to do so as to keep Matthew and I fed and housed.
  • I love beautiful weather and being able to get out and enjoy it.
  • I love a husband who supports even failed efforts at dinner, and the re-tries that come out only moderately better.
  • I love visiting teaching and the promise of fabulous new relationships with wonderful new women. Especially when, at first glance, we have very little in common.
  • I love a Heavenly Father who comes to the rescue when I seem to be at my lowest.
  • I love my family, but I especially love my sisters and the evolution our relationships have undergone as we've grown up.
  • I love having a medium to express my thoughts where, even though it's completely public, I feel completely secure.

Thanks everyone for your love and support, even if I don't know who you are.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Complaints from a College Apartment

While these past two months of being here have been some of our happiest in our marriage to date, and while State College is beautiful, our ward is fabulous, and I even enjoy waking up at 5:30 in the morning to teach my cute little seminary students; is it okay if I complain for just a few moments? I promise it will be brief.

Here is a short list of items that will not be missed when I FINALLY make it out of this stage of life.
  • Bad carpeting. I don't think I've lived on remotely new carpeting (installed in the last ten years) in the last decade. Wouldn't it be nice to have carpet that actually looked vacuumed five minutes after you've zoomed over it?
  • Really bad hardware. I know it's a small thing, but is is possible to update your tenant's hardware every ten to twenty years?
  • White walls. I absolutely YEARN for the days I can live without white walls. Matt's not so keen on this one, but after growing up in the military for the first half of my life and living in apartments for the second half, I absolutely quit white. Let's hope when finally given the chance to choose my own color, I don't go to crazy and try fuchsia.
  • Sharing walls. While this apartment has been lots quieter than others in the past, I still look forward to the day I can run appliances at all hours, turn my TV all the way up, jump up and down with crazy abandon, all the while not feeling guilty that someone may be annoyed by my unnecessary noises.
  • Community parking. One of my only ambitions in life is to graduate into a garage. (Sigh) Someday.
  • Limited Storage. And having to use that limited storage for lame things like boxes, because I know I'll be using them in another year or so anyway, so why get rid of them? So while boxes reside in storage, our real storage items, like boxes of Christmas decorations, and boxes of memorabilia hang out in our spare bedroom/ alternative storage.

Okay, I realize these are silly things, and there are far more important things in life to lament, but for now I'll stick to these.

Penn State Football - It's Begun

Okay, these pictures may seem a bit over kill, but Matthew and I have been eagerly awaiting the start of Penn State Football solely for the footage below. We've been hearing for the last several months how crazy State College gets on a game weekend. How you don't try to drive on game day, and how the population of the city surges to rival that of the other major metropoli (is that how you pluralize that word) in the state of PA.
We've heard about it, but it wasn't until last Saturday that we saw it first hand. Cars were backed up close to two miles on our street trying to get into the vast areas they've creatively turned into parking. Pastures once used for grazing cattle, the grass in front of the stadium, no spare spot of ground within a mile of the stadium was left vacant when given the opportunity to make an easy $40 - $120 per vehicle.
Matthew's Business program had a tailgate party that Matt and I walked to (given the road situation illustrated below). It was a good time, but when the vast majority of his class mates were nursing their 4th beers at 9 am, and well into their second six pack by 10:30, we decided to call it a day and went home. While we don't negate the possibility of being sucked into Penn State Football mania, for the time being we'll save our money and follow the game from home.

This picture doesn't do the size of the stadium justice. It's absolutely gigantic!

Random Picture at Mount Rushmore

I guess I should post these couple of pictures of us at Mount Rushmore since the likelihood of me actually scrap booking them at some point is fairly slim. So here we are. We stopped there on our way across the country. I think the only pictures we took the whole time. Matt has recently been wishing we could do the trip again and take longer this time to see more sights along the way. Maybe next year. I'm not sure I'm quite up for that sort of road trip just yet.