Friday, April 17, 2009

I did it

The first draft of my Master's report is complete. In my professor's e-mailbox. It's a beastly old thing at 32 pages long. (Fourteen of those pages were written in the last 48 hours. blech!)

I would like to thank a few special someones without whom this little miracle would not have been possible:

The inventors of the word processor, SALT, Noodlebib, EBSCOhost databases, GoogleScholar, and the Adobe Acrobat "Select" tool.

The people at Michigan State who wrote a 280-page book on all the differences between Mandarin and English, and also the people who scanned it and turned it into a PDF. Bless your souls!

My parents for making me take several typing/computer classes so that I can type really, really fast when necessary.

My husband for always being supportive of me and making sure I have food to eat and clean clothes to wear.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Last weekend we went on a roadtrip up to Tulsa for my brother-in-law's wedding. It was really a lovely trip filled with lots of family, but the night we arrived back home I started feeling sick. And Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I was sick. Today I feel a little better, but guess what, I still feel sick.

Here's the deal:
-I haven't left my house for more than 15 minutes in four days. I'm going a little stir crazy.
-I've been in school for what feels like a bajillion years and I'm tired of it. (Henry pointed out that in reality it's been about 20. Made me feel old.)
-And we all know that when you're feeling under the weather, you especially do not feel liking working.

But the facts are these: the first draft of my Master's report is due tomorrow. I've got a lot of work left to do on it, so I MUST work on it today. That is my task for the day, so that's what I need to do.

Good pep talk. Now let's get to work!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday Will Come

Yesterday I was responsible for sharing a short devotional with my Institute class. In honor of Easter, I shared part of this talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. It caused me to reflect more on the Savior's sacrifice and to be more grateful. In fact, I think I tear up every time I read it. I hope it can touch you in a similar way.

The Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless. The Apostle Paul said, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and [our] faith is also vain.”5

In all the history of the world there have been many great and wise souls, many of whom claimed special knowledge of God. But when the Savior rose from the tomb, He did something no one had ever done. He did something no one else could do. He broke the bonds of death, not only for Himself but for all who have ever lived—the just and the unjust.6

When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow that gnaws at the souls of those who have lost precious loved ones.

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him.

After the Resurrection, the disciples became renewed. They traveled throughout the world proclaiming the glorious news of the gospel.

Had they chosen, they could have disappeared and returned to their former lives and occupations. In time, their association with Him would have been forgotten.

They could have denied the divinity of Christ. Yet they did not. In the face of danger, ridicule, and threat of death, they entered palaces, temples, and synagogues boldly proclaiming Jesus the Christ, the resurrected Son of the living God.

Many of them offered as a final testimony their own precious lives. They died as martyrs, the testimony of the risen Christ on their lips as they perished.

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?

We will all rise from the grave. And on that day my father will embrace my mother. On that day I will once again hold in my arms my beloved Elisa.

Because of the life and eternal sacrifice of the Savior of the world, we will be reunited with those we have cherished.

On that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father. On that day we will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever.

Because of the sacred ordinances we receive in holy temples, our departure from this brief mortality cannot long separate relationships that have been fastened together with cords made of eternal ties.

It is my solemn testimony that death is not the end of existence. Because of the risen Christ, “death is swallowed up in victory.”8

Because of our beloved Redeemer, we can lift up our voices, even in the midst of our darkest Fridays, and proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”9

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sweet Love

Two years ago this past Tuesday, Henry asked me to marry him.

The day he proposed was an interesting day. It was our year and a half anniversary. I was really, really hoping he was going to do it then, but so many things led me to believe he wasn't. It drove me crazy!

But then, in a magical turn of events, where magical means nothing went according to Henry's plan, we ended up at the top of a hill overlooking downtown Austin.
A hydrangea plant (which I now affectionately call our love plant), a handwritten note, a blind fold, unexpected rain, and some cold night air were involved. It was perfectly imperfect. Who needs perfection? Makes for a better story to tell the grandkids anyway.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Date No. 8

Henry and I went on two more dates during my Spring Break.
This one was on St. Patrick's Day (in case you couldn't tell). He surprised me by taking me to Magnolia Cafe. If you're ever in Austin, you should definitely stop by and try their Tropical Turkey Tacos. Turkey, avocado, pineapple, and melted mozzarella on a wheat tortilla...I love them.

After dinner we walked down South Congress. There are lots of funky and trendy shops there, and we found a new candy shop. We shared sour belts. It was a fun night.

Papers-Designer Digitals Feb 15th Color Challenge (bg) and 2ps Martha Freebie Kit
Journal block-Parisian Labels by Rhonna Farrer (the 3rd purchase I made with my free $20 at 2ps)
Fonts-AR Julian and Engravers MT
Word art-"Lucky Me" Danielle Young of Oscraps

p.s. My husband works for FedEx Kinko's, so he is able to print my 12x12 pages for free!