Friday, December 12, 2008

New Camera Fun!!!!!!!!

So....As I stated in a previous post, Amber sacrificed her body and got me a flashy new 10 Megapixel camera on Black Friday! Lotsa Love sis! I have been a picture taking fiend since I got it, but who can blame me? 10 Megapixels makes for a clear and pretty freaking awesome picture! I now have some cheesy photo montages for everyone to watch! Enjoy!

Click to play A Christmas Request...
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

Click to play Baby Picture Fun!
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Oh....and I believe I've been tagged....Thanks Amber...Actually I love doing this stuff. Its always fun to learn random things! And I tag the first 8 people that read this too...hahahaha

The 8 Things Questionairre:

8 Television Shows I Enjoy: Okay, I actually don't watch television much, but I'll do my best!

1) John and Kate Plus 8- I could seriously sit and watch this show for hours and never be bored. I watch and wonder if I could do it..its so interesting to see how they make such a large family function, and function well!
2) Its me or the Dog- This is another show I could watch for hours. Its so funny to watch Victoria Stillwell tame unruly dogs in a matter of minutes that owners haven't been able to tame for years! I also have learned some great training tips and I have been able to help my sister with her dogs a little bit. I'm no Victoria, but its a work in progress!
3)Little House on the Prairie- All I can say is thank heaven's for the Hallmark Channel. I love this stuff, and you're guaranteed to laugh and cry atleast once during every episode!
4) The Hills- I know, I'm pathetic, right? WRONG! They're young, single, gorgeous,and they actually get to date...I get to live vicariously through them...LOL!
5) The Bachelor- the last few couples haven't had their fairy tale ending...however, it doesn't stop me from wanting to watch the drama unfold! A new season starts in January!!!! Wooohoooo!
6) Scrubs- I am so happy that they didn't end it and are moving to ABC, I love the random Dr.Dorian Daydreams...its always good for a laugh!
7) House- I know...not ANOTHER medical drama...that is what I thought when it first came out, but I freaking love it! I love the character of House, I love that he is cynical and hilarious in the process. Its always good for a laugh mixed with some good drama.
8) Masterpiece Theater- There is nothing better than curling up on a Sunday night to watch a classic tale unfold on the screen (the fact that there are usually hot British actors has almost nothing to do with it! LOL)

8 Things that Happened Yesterday:
1) I slept in!
2) I studied for the Final from Hades!
3) I proof read essays to take to the Final from Hades!
4) I lamented with my roommate about the Final from Hades!
5) I took the Final from Hades!
6) I went to my bestie Kimmie's house and dropped off her Christmas present! She is still gushing about it...those slippers are pretty cozy...I almost kept them for myself!
7) I went to a Christmas party
8) I drove my other bestie AngieRo home after the party and we laughed a lot!

8 Things I Look Forward To
1) Driving home!
2) Spending Christmas with my family
3) Spending New Years in Twin Falls with my bestie Erica...we are totally going to rock the karoke machine!
4) Finishing my job application for BYU-Idaho
5)My Choral Conducting Study with Dr.Funk
6) Playing Mary in "The Savior of the World"
7) My Broadway music Recital
8) Graduation! Woot WOot! I'll be a Master of Music...hahaha

8 Things I love about Winter
1) Snow Angels
2) Snow Men
3)Hot Chocolate
5)Cute Sweaters
6)The look of a fresh coat of snow on the ground
7) The smell of Chimney smoke outside
8)sliding on the ice on purpose

8 Things on my Wishlist
1) To get a killer job using my degree
2)To finally find Mr.Right
3) To have lots of babies
4)To get out of debt
5) That my family will always be happy
6) That they can finally find a cure so my mom can get better.
7)To have my own house so I can have #8
8) A Puppy...either a really big one like a Great Dane or a small one like a Cairn Terrier

More Madness to come! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fever induced Zen

So....I'm sitting here in my office between students (some of them are taking a lot less time than they thought they would...) and I really really just want to go home and sleep for the next 20 years. All of them have remembered their lesson times so far, so that makes me feel like maybe they really care about this test which is good (or maybe they just care about the letter grade drop that I threatened if they signed up and didn't show up....either works, atleast they care.)

I am in a fever induced haze...the only thing getting me by right now is the thought that after 3 more students I can go home, crawl into bed, and curl up with my laptop to watch a movie until I fall asleep. I know that this won't happen, but its a nice thought. This won't happen because I have to teach the relief society lesson tomorrow, which should be highly amusing since I have like 1/3 of an actual voice and I have been attempting to cough up a lung for the last week! Oh well, God gave me the calling and he will help me have what I need so I can be successful, right?

The semester is almost over, and as long as I find time to re-write my opera paper, and study for the final exam, and write my annotated bibliography, and go to student juries, and administer the Voice in Class final, and buy treats for it too, and memorize the listening for the opera history final, I'll be home free. Hopefully this nasty fever induced haze won't get in the way. Hopefully this nastiness is about over!

Fevers have a way of making you zen out...I don't really care about anything right now...I just care about home, and sleep, and my bed...maybe its not such a bad thing, I could be a lot more stressed, but I don't even care. I already feel like what if I add to it by barely passing a few tests???

Ahhhh sleep...what a beautiful word...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just shoot me now... next week is Final's week and I am officially freaking out! I thought that I had a handle on everything but apparently my Opera History paper is a sub-standard blow by blow attempt to discuss dramaticism in Massanet's Manon, and not only is my prospectus for my research class ALL WRONG, now I have to annotate the bibliography that I am tacking onto the end and write a research journal! Research???!!! I ask you, who has time to research when they have to rewrite 2 papers and study for a huge Opera History final with a CD chock full of listening examples!??!!

To add to my joy of joys, my graduation application is also due at the end of next week, which means I have to find time to waste to run around campus to collect signatures from various people that I've never met! Why can't it be like it is at ISU? They ask for your name, how many credits you have, you click submit and you're done! can't be that simple!

To top things off, I thought I'd be nice and offer some time to my Voice in Class students for extra help before the final, three or four of them had asked so I figured it wouldn't be that big of a deal....OH was I WRONG! Apparently, EVERYONE had to sign up. I'd hoped to have some slots for my private students to get them ready for juries, but they will have to wait for finals week and fit it in then. I am completely booked on December 6 from 9:30 in the morning until 5 PM that evening! I don't even get a lunch break because people decided to write in the noon and 12:30 slots since I didn't! I am going to die.....

So, will someone just put me out of my misery and shoot me now???? PLEASE????

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Thanksgiving Scrapbook

Well, Thanksgiving Break is over. There isn't much to tell, I spent my time trying to relax and get my head back on straight. Life has been crazy and it has been a crazy semester. I had some fun. I went to the Forgotten Carols with my parents and it was awesome. I'd never been in person until this year, I've always made due with CDs and the DVD (which Amber got last year) But have to say it was so much better live! It was nice to share it with my parents, I love them and I don't get to share experiences like that with them that often.

Black Friday was a success again this year. I actually had a panic attack in Walmart this year, it was WORSE than ever. I have to say, I was scared about Target, we had to go there for a few things, but I have to say that experience was so much better than what we experienced at Walmart. At Target the employees were helpful and wanted to be there (or atleast it seemed like it) while at catch my drift. Thanks again Amber for my newer better camera, she sacrificed her body for me and I can't thank her enough. Let's just say I am excited to scrapbook with better picture quality. The pics in the following scrapbook pages came off my old camera and when I look at the images and compare it is night and day! SO MUCH BETTER!

Enjoy the scrapbook pages...I have more to put together, not many, but some! ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Diva and the Neon Drama Llama Sign...

Gather 'round children. Let me tell you a story, the story of one hard working girl and her inability to get rid of the invisible neon drama llama sign that flashes above her head...

This last week has been INSANE, and the weeks preceeding that have been even more CRAZY! Do you ever feel like even though you prefer peace and quiet that drama tends to hunt you down, tackle you, and then hold your face down in the mud? That has been me for the last three weeks, and I have to say that I have decided that I am sick of it.

I won't bore you with the details, although some of them are quite juicy. Let's just say, my best friend's boyfriend (also a friend of mine), whom she loved dearly, decided to be an idiot and I got caught in the middle, my office mate had drama with the Dean of the Department and I had to make an official statement about something that never should have involved me, and one of my best friends decided to betray me...throw on top of that an opera performance, and ear infection, a staph infection on my face, and recital preparation and what do you get? A recipe for disaster, that is what you get!

So this blog may sound kind of ranty...but I have to blow off some steam in order to do what I am about to do!

I now officially announce that the drama llama sign has short circuited! I refuse to be involved...I plan to hide away in my room watching episodes of Coupling and other movies on Netflix and contemplate the meaning of the word solitude. Really, what is the point in worrying? A friend betrayed me...I can't go back in time and change her actions or the actions of the other people office mate was in trouble with the Dean for no good reason...I made my statement and now I'm done with best friend's ex-boyfriend is an idiot...aren't most men who give up the best thing that ever happened to them? I don't have the energy to deal with the drama anymore so...guess what? I refuse to. The drama llama sign is closed for business folks! There...I said it!'s hoping that it sticks! Hugs and loves until next time folks...same bat time, same bat channel!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ahhhh the power of hair extensions...

So...I chopped off my hair, and I had to find a way to get it back for the Opera Scenes program. Fortunately, I purchased some hair extensions from Amber earlier in the summer before my hair had a growth spurt and I think I managed to cope really well. It was really funny walking into rehearsal yesterday and having everyone do a double take. It was almost a collective question...
"Didn't you just cut your hair???"

To which my response was..."Hair Extensions..." as I pointed at my obviously longer hair. One of the faculty commented tonight what an awesome wig I had because it looked like real hair... I laughed and said... It is real hair, but it isn't a wig...

Teehee...all I have to say is...AHHHHH the power of hair extensions!

BEFORE ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

AFTER^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ (granted the curls settled by performance time and it looked longer! Hooray for webcams huh?)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Extreme Makeover...Brittany Edition I don't have any pictures to show you. Amber's camera had all the video footage of the eight inches of hair that was lopped off of my head and it went to heaven, and unfortunately, I can't find the cable to connect my camera to my computer and my SD card that is in my camera is a mini so it won't fit into my computer without an adapter you'll all just have to believe me when I say...


I was a very freeing experience to chop eight inches off...the stylist was more than a little nervous and made sure to give extra special attention to every angle and line of the haircut. If I can manage to find a way to post a picture, I will!

So, I guess I had to share a little bit about my experience at home for my birthday two weeks ago. You see, the extreme makeover that I had was far more than just eight inches of hair, it was kind of a new attitude.

It all started with Amber a few days before my birthday. We were on the phone talking about our woes (hers were far worse than mine, but it was so nice to be able to talk to someone who truly wanted to sympathize and empathize.) I was telling Amber that I needed a change, but I wasn't sure what to do. Amber got really quiet and said... "You need a makeover...if you come home for your birthday, I'll make sure you get one."

Those words are so funny...You need a makeover, Amber didn't realize how right she was. In spite of her ill state, Amber called around and did everything she could to make sure that if I was going to do something crazy (like say, cut off eight inches of hair) that I would have the best. Her stylist couldn't do aunt couldn't do it...we were quickly running out of options, but Amber made a few more calls.

As she called, I prepared myself for the long drive home. Now, I don't want to get sad and pathetic y'all, but I have to say that since my engagement ended, that drive has been harder and harder to make. Every mile stretch between Idaho Falls and Missoula has memories for me...good memories, but it hurts still to think about them at times. I know I shouldn't waste my time thinking of what might have been...but that ride always makes it very difficult not to wonder, Marvin and I took that drive a lot together and had a lot of fun doing crazy things I never pictured myself doing EVER!

I drove in silence for most of the journey to I.F. I looked out the window and I let myself think. There has been a lot stressing me out and I felt like I was drowning and there was no one there to help pull me from the water. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to have a make over...besides being really REALLY picky about the way that I look, I found myself consumed with shoulda coulda was funny, because in the silence, as I was surrounded by these shoulda coulda wouldas, I remembered a story that my grandma Winberg told us....I will relate it now:

My whole young life, my grandmother and grandfather had this old grandfather clock. It was beautiful and I remember sitting up at night when we had sleepovers at their house waiting to hear the clock strike midnight and play its pretty song. Shortly after my dad died, the clock stopped working. My grandpa kept promising my grandma that he would fix it, and grandma would always give him a hard time about it. He finally had called to order the parts to fix it and was waiting for them to come in when he too was called home to his maker. Grandma siad it like this: "That clock is like life: Your grandpa should have fixed the clock, he could have fixed the clock, he would have fixed the clock, but he ran out of time...and there is no use going back and dwelling on it. Life is going to be full of shoulda coulda wouldas, you just have to choose to move forward and try to not let yourself get worked up about them." The clock became known in our family as the Shouldacouldawoulda clock. When you're thirteen, its just a pleasing little anecdote to hear, but now at 25, it make a lot more sense.

It was as I thought about this, that I realized that this makeover was more than just a lot of hair falling off of my head, it was symbolic... the hair on my head was my Shouldacouldawoulda hair. I had been growing it out so that it would be nice and long when Marvin and I got married. I had the hair planned, the dress planned, the shoes...I was holding on to it, I wasn't prepared to let go. Finally, I was ready. I was ready to let go and take a leap of faith. No more shoulda coulda wouldas, I just would move forward and do all that the Lord wanted to me do. You can't dwell on the past, that is exactly what it is...the has gone by, it has passed. You can focus on the future and try to find ways to move forward, trusting that the path the Lord has placed you on is the right one.

I got home. I have to say, I drove into Idaho Falls and it seemed like all my fears and troubles melted away. I was HOME, I was going to be with my family. It was like I could finally breathe again. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I drove up the road to my parent's apartment and parked my car. I walked in and let myself melt on the couch. No one was there, and normally that would kind of make me sad, they knew I was coming, but it didn't seem to matter...I was home, I was safe, I didn't have to worry about my troubles and cares, and if I did, I knew that there would be someone to listen and help.

Mom and Parker and Shieka walked through the door. Shieka ran up and jumped into my arms. There is nothing better in this world than Shih tzu kisses. Mom hugged me and Parker did too. We took the pies out of the oven and talked for a while. Kiersten called and asked for mom and dad to bring something over, I agreed to take it. It was so nice to walk up those stairs to Kiersten's apartment and still feel like I was home. Raylee seemed a little wary of me, she hadn't seen me in a while, but as soon as she realized who I was, she was all to eager to snuggle with me and show me all of her beautiful toys. Kiersten and I then went to go pick Amber up for the big snip snip.

I have to say how much I love, adore and admire my sisters. Amber was so sick, but she perservered because she wanted to give me something to look forward to. As the three of us made our way through the mall, slowly, very slowly because Amber could barely walk, I was overcome with joy. I am so lucky to have people that love me enough that they want to be with me when I do something as minute as a haircut. We spent the day as sisters, which is something we hadn't done since we were all very young. It was one of the best days of my life I was driving around with Amber and Kiersten and laughing and joking and it was like we'd never been apart, like nothing had really changed. It was so comforting for me, because sometimes I look at my family and I feel a little left behind.

We dropped Amber off and went out to the clubhouse. My family had arranged a little impromptu birthday party for me. I talked with mom and Parker and helped arrange what I could. I went back to the apartment to make some juice for Raylee and when I was back, the joint was jumping! Amber and Kelly and their kids had arrived. Macee, Austin and Addie all ran into my arms like little football players waiting to tackle! The food wasn't quite ready yet, so I decided to go into the billiard room and play some Nine Ball. I had three munchkins follow in behind me.

As I played, I tried to explain the rules of the game to them. I have to admit, I wasn't playing very well, and finally I hit the white ball in. Macee said, "Hooray, you got one in Aunt B." I explained that it was a scratch and that it meant I had to start over. She and Austin helped me rack the balls again and I continued to play. The kids would point out the next number for me and Austin ran around the pool table chasing the white ball and blowing on it as hard as he could if it ever got close to any of the pockets. In spite of his best efforts, I scratched again. I was shocked as Macee cried out "Hooray, Hooray! Its a scratch Aunt B., Its a scratch!" Addie began to join in on her chant, I turned to them and I said, "You guys, a scratch isn't a good thing, Remember?" Macee looked up me with her big blue eyes and very matter-of-factly she stated. "Yes it is Aunt B. It means that you get a fresh start." For some reason, her words stuck with me all through the rest of the weekend and into the week.

Starting over, its a funny thing. I started the motion by getting a haircut. It dawned on me while sitting in sacrament a week later why her words had stuck with me. I needed to hit the white ball in and scratch my life. I needed to start fresh and stop letting the shoulda coulda wouldas get me down.

So that is exactly what I did. I cut my hair and all the memories that it stood for, and now I am making a major effort to focus on forgetting the past. I can't change it, I can't go back and relive it, I can learn my lessons from it. I learned that I could love someone so much that it hurts. I learned that I could give selflessly and not be tired, I learned that sometimes no matter how much you pray about something and feel right about it, that everyone is given free agency and sometimes things don't work out the way you had hoped. I also learned that God always makes sure to give us back what we give out, he will return to us what we have lost. He promises us this in the Book of Mormon. Its hard to imagine a life or a world that is more exciting and more full than the world and life I experienced while being engaged to one of the best men I have ever met, but I know that this is what God has promised me. I will have something better. I just needed to wipe the slate clean, I needed to scratch in the game of life, and forget about what might have been, and while feelings and emotions may linger, God will help you through the hard times and he will give you glimpses of the amazing things in store.

I'm now trying to focus on what the future will bring. It is going to be amazing, God has promised me that, and he never breaks his word. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father. He loves all of us, even when we are begging him to end the world so that we don't have to be in pain anymore, he is laying the bricks on the next path that we are supposed to take, a path to something greater and better than we could ever imagine.

I'm not giving a guarantee that I am 100% better. I still have days where I miss my ex so much that I just want to crawl under a rock and die, but hope springs eternal, and there are days when I know that something greater is out there just around the corner. I just have to take the Lord's hand and let him lead me down the path. My problems still exist, I still have no clue what I'm doing after graduation, but I have faith that the Lord will show me where I need to be. Whether that means moving home to I.F., staying here in Missoula, or going on a mission, I'm still not sure, but I will do my best to enjoy the ride and try to take it all one day and one step at a time. God has given me many talents and abilities, he needs me to use them to serve him where ever I may be. Right now, I am working my hardest as the 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society presidency and preparing an awesome Christmas program as a ward choir director. I will serve the members of my ward and the sisters especially.

One things I can say for certain, in the last year, I have learned first hand just how much I mean to my father in Heaven. At the times when I feel like he isn't there or isn't listening, I know that he is right beside me, wishing he could reach out and give me a hug, but he can't. Like the Savior in Gethsemane, sometimes we have to face parts of our trials alone. God needs to know that we are not going to forget him, he needs to know that we are not going to lose faith in him. He needs to know that we can stand on our own. Someday, we will be Gods and Goddesses, if we live faithfully to recieve that blessing, and he needs to know that we can handle such a great task on our own. Its like having the training wheels taken off of your big girl bike for a few moments, just to see if you're ready yet, but like any dad, he is always there to catch you when you fall.

God loves all of us. He is here. Our Brother, Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ stands with us as well. They wait for us to call on them for help, they wait for us to remember them. It is my humble hope that I never forget that they are there, that I never forget all that God blesses me with, that I never forget that I had an older brother who loved me enough to go through the pains of hell so that I could experience the pleasures of heaven.

So...if you're struggling. Give yourself a scratch. Hit that white ball into the corner pocket and find a way to make a fresh start. Trust that God will be there, and while the path may not be completely clear, the end goal is always in sight!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Republicrats Unite!

So...election time is soon to be upon us. I've had a lot of people asking me who I plan on voting for...the honest to goodness truth is that I am still undecided because I'm not exactly loving either candidate. With the state that the country is in right now, I kind of view it as picking the lesser of two evils.

I don't claim to be a Republican or a Democrat...being Mormon, I take the church's standpoint- I don't endorse anything political unless it is something that goes extremely against my beliefs...I guess you could call me a Republicrat....there are certain issues I agree wholeheartedly with each party about and certain issues that make me want to take one party and throw it out the window...I make it a point with every election to do my research and vote for the candidate that I feel has the best plan to lead our country- I don't allow myself to be swayed just because so and so is a Republican or a Democrat.

I also HATE smear campaigns. If I get any emails that closely resemble what could be an attempt to belittle an opponent I delete them without even reading them. I think that people should focus on the issues and the plans...not statements taken out of context or stories that have been hyperbolized so much that they have become a "tall tale."

So, in the spirit of fair and unbiased voting, I have been doing my research and I thought that I would share with you all the knowledge that I have gleaned from looking into the platforms of both presidential candidates. It is my hope that as you read this information, you won't blindly walk into a voting booth prepared to make a decision based on is my hope that you will be making an informed decision based on who you think has the best plan for what our country needs right now. For more information on either candidate or their platforms, I strongly suggest you take 20 minutes and peruse their websites: and In many cases, I just cut and pasted directly from them.(notes: once at the Obama website click on the link in the bottom right hand corner that says "continue to website" I clicked above for like 5 minutes not getting anywhere until I figured this out, once inside the website, it is very easy to navigate. I found McCain's website difficult to navigate and a bit tedious at times...good luck my little Republicrats! I'm proud of you for getting informed!) we go- here are the big ticket issues and how each candidate says they plan to tackle them:

On the Economy:

Both candidates agree that the economy has some major fixing to do...obama's website notes that McCain says he doesn't understand the economy, but in the interest of fairness I would like to point out that he has hired people that do understand it, just like Obama children lets stop fighting and see how you each plan to fix what is wrong! Both candidates want to encourage trade and making American workers more marketable to foreign employers who may want to build a factory or a company here in the states. Both candidates also want to encourage more flexibility in the workplace, allowing for parents to be more involved in the lives of their children. Obama's plan is described in more detail than McCain's but both have the same end product.

McCain: Starts immediately with the idea of helping with the soaring cost of gasoline and food. His gas plan makes me a little nervous, I'm not going to lie...he says that we are going to "tell" the overseas oil companies that our reliance on them is going to end...actions speak louder than words in my opinion. However, he does have a few actions listed to back this up- actions such as finding our own sources of oil (this would add jobs to the economy and lower prices once refineries can be built to process the oil) He also plans to increase the value of the dollar (he doesn't say how though...I thought you had to have something to back up an increase in the value of your money but I could be wrong.) He also plans to give a summer gas tax holiday, suspending the federal tax on gas from memorial to labor day, to decrease the tax on imported sugar based ethanol (ethanol is a substance mixed with gasoline to make it go adding water to soup so to speak) this would lower the gas prices by making a bigger supply. He also plans to roll back the mandates on corn based ethanol, which are causing higher food prices (don't ask me how, he doesn't say...however, I'm sure his team of experts knows what they are talking about.) As far as the housing crisis is concerned, McCain doesn't believe that tax payer dollars should go to bailing out the banks who either a)took advantage of people overselling the idea of a subprime loan or b) didn't do enough credit checking to verify that people could pay the cost of such mortgages over time if the rates increased. He believes the help should go to the homeowners themselves. In the case of his help plan, people who bought a home on a subprime loan from 2005 and after and still live in the house as a primary residence will be eligible to refinance with a government HOME loan. He plans also to lower the corporate tax rate in hopes that businesses will be more willing to work here in the states, and give a tax credit of 10% to companies who work within the states.

Obama: Obama also tackles oil, food, and taxes. Under his plan, the government will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on the Obama-Biden long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief. Instead of looking for more oil sources, Obama plans to invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. This plan also creates jobs for millions of American workers. He has several other plans that would create jobs for people in many different sectors, you can look at his website for those, but I felt that this was the biggest.
Obama also plans to create a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. The "Making Work Pay" tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans. Corporations get tax breaks if they send their business and factories to overseas locations, Obama plans to end those tax breaks and implement a rewards system for companies who stay in the states and who create better working conditions for their employees (i.e. retirement plans, health insurance, etc.) Obama also plans to eliminate all capital gains taxes on start-up and small businesses to encourage innovation and job creation. He also plans to increase minimum wage to help people living at or below the poverty line. With the price of food and gas being so high, many people are barely able to make ends meat. His plan will raise minimum wage to $9.45 an hour.


Both: Unfortunately, McCain took this opportunity not to play nice and instead of stating all the facts about his health care plan he took it as an opportunity to smear Obama's ideas and deny Obama's accusations, which means somewhere in this wide world Obama decided to do a little smearing of his own....It really cheeses me off...can't we all just get along? Seriously, what do you have planned to fix the fact that currently more than half of Americans CAN'T AFFORD health insurance? Oh well....c'est la vie. I'll tell you what I could glean... Both candidates hope to reform Medicare by cracking down on fraud and making prescriptions more affordable.

McCain: plans to give a refundable tax credit to people who elect to have insurance through their employer of up to $2500. The families will not only decide where the tax credit should be directed for their coverage needs, (i.e. you can pick your own insurer) but any additional money left over after purchasing coverage will be controlled by the family in a portable health savings account(translation: leftover money goes to pay premiums for the next year) He is promoting Medicaid reform that encourages ending Medicaid/Medicare fraud. He also plans to promote research for chronic care conditions and reward prevention wellness (I have no clue what that means...I'm sure someone does...) McCain also plans to reduce drug costs by encouraging use of generics. McCain also plans to develop a model to help some people get over the pre-existing condition hump, meaning some pre-existing conditions will no longer stop you from being able to get health care. His olan will also make it beneficial to stay under employer coverage because you will be left with more money in your portable account.

Obama: Unlike the propoganda states, Obama is NOT going to require healthcare, but he does want to make it more affordable (atleast that is what I'm reading...) Like McCain, he plans to tackle the preexisting condition problem, but he plans to require insurance companies to cover ALL of them, opening up the idea of health coverage to millions of people. Obama also plans to Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees. He, like McCain also plans to give a need based tax credit for those who choose to buy health insurance. Obama also plans to Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees, lower costs for businesses by covering a portion of the catastrophic health costs they pay in return for lower premiums for employees, prevent insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors, he also wants to make it more difficult to sue for malpractice if, through hospital records, it can be proven that the doctors exhausted all the resources available to them to solve the problem. Obama also wants to make employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage, or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees, to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees health care.(in other words, they need to give a "medical stipend" as part of a paycheck to offset the costs that the employee must deal with because they don't have access to insurance.) He would also like to establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options, as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage.
He also will help seniors by lowering the costs of prescription drugs by making alternative available, such as imports from safe countries where the drugs people need are cheaper.

( I'm not trying to sound biased, I'm still not sure who I will vote for...I am trying to give fair play to each candidate, but Obama's website has a lot more information...there isn't just the "what" he plans to do...its "how" he plans to do it and he gives background to explain his decisions...I'm just saying, I feel like I'm being a little more informed about his policies than McCain's...however, both of them still have good ideas, its just in the implementation of the ideas that I feel like I am lacking information from McCain.)


Both: Feel that everyone has equal rights to good education. Both candidates feel that the parents shoud be a big part of the decisions surrounding their child's growth and development.
Both candidates want to simplify the Higher Education tax benefits and the current method for application for financial aid. Obama wishes to make the financial aid application a check box on your tax forms that automatically will apply you for the many different forms of federal aid, and McCain wants to consolidate the programs so that you only have to apply one place for all forms of financial aid.

McCain: Wants to make choice of school, just that- a choice. No more worries about district lines, if the school won't change to meet the needs of the student then that student has the right to change schools. As far as early childhood education, McCain feels that the programs already in place are working. He wishes to make sure that their resources are devoted to the most needy children. McCain also wishes to keep working under the current ideas of No Child Left Behind. It is his hope that as the program builds, teachers will be able to use the grouped scores to show students that their individual efforts are appreciated or need to be raised. He wants to ensure that there are quality teachers available. McCain wishes to enact alternative methods of certification for people who are qualified in their field and are highly motivated to teach, current certification requirements bar many people who could be good teachers from teaching. He also wishes to give teachers that move to help underperforming schools bonuses. McCain also plans to expand online education opportunities. He also plans to reform how student loans are dispersed, making private lenders more responsible for letting the students understand the terms of the loans.

Obama: Obama wishes to create a public Early Childhood Education school, he will start first by increasing funding to programs that already exist to help parents enroll their children in preschool so that a larger section of the population would be eligible for aid. He hopes that these increases will encourage states to open public pre-schools so that EVERY student gets a head start advantage. He also plans to reform No Child Left Behind. Under the current plan, teachers are forced to teach "to the test" meaning, the creativity has left the classroom in some ways because teachers are under pressure to have their students fill in the answer bubbles correctly (I'm not going to lie, I like this idea. No Child Left Behind has irked me ever since it was enstated. It was a good idea, but I think they missed the mark when it came to delivering a finished product. Its a proven fact that some children just don't test well... I have a research paper that I did in high school to prove it, filled with resources....) Obama's reforms will make it more about the individual than the group and testing the children in ways other than a standardized test format. He also plans to give funding to underperforming schools to help them improve their programs rather than take it away and force them to slip further behind the pack because they can't afford to keep teachers. He also wants to give help to Charter schools that are performing well and find ways to close charter schools in which the children are not recieving an education equal to that of their peers (in other words he isn't going to CLOSE charter schools, he wants to help them, but if they won't change even with help he wants the children to have access to education at a better place.) In addition to his ideas for Federal Aid, he has some new ways to get funding for school. For example, students that have been serving their community in various ways for atleast a year before college (i.e. candystriper at the hospital, big brothers big sisters, etc.) will be eligible for up to $4000 in free financial aid via a tax credit. He also plans to give education benefits to those who are studying to be teachers, making sure that the people that want to become teachers remain motivated to do so and study hard.


Both: Both candidates agree that we can't just "cut and run."

McCain: McCain's strategy calls for much of the same tactics we are dealing with now; however, it seems like he is putting more emphasis on training Iraqi security forces to bring our boys home, and increased efforts to get rid of the Al Qaeda presence in Iraq. He also wants to encourage Iraqis to use their own money to create jobs for the vast number of unemployed people in the country in the private sector.

Obama: Obama has a plan that will have our occupation of Iraq over by 2010. He first plans to address the humanitarian crisis that we caused in entering Iraq by devoting $2 Billion to humanitarian sources for displaced Iraqi refugees and to increase stability for those who have become lost in the crowd and have been unable to find employment and take since the war began. After this, he plans on asking the Iraqis to devote their own money and resources to creating jobs in the private sector and to to building refineries of their own so that they may be able to create more jobs, stimulating their economy. Through this, they will be able to support themselves, thus drawing money back into our economy because we are no longer sending it overseas to pay for their economy. Obama also wants to increase diplomatic efforts so that Iraqis can build a government that everyone in the country can be proud of and so that the situation can be more stable. He hopes that as the pressure becomes greater on the Iraqi leaders to take responsibility for themselves and their people that as we withdraw troops, they will be able to remain strong and maintain order. I know that there are a ton more issues that I could cover, but this blog has already become a lot longer than I originally intended it to be. What it all boils down to is this, in many cases, the candidates agree on where something needs to be changed; however, the way they are choosing to change it is different. Voters need to make an informed decision. I call on all my fellow Republicrats to do your homework and make that informed decision when you vote. Don't listen to all the stupid propoganda (when they bash eachother, its usually something taken out of context and has been twisted so much there is maybe only 1 drop of truth left, if Palin is a CRAZY Conservative, Obama won't salute the flag, John McCain is a flipflopper, Joe Biden is...well you get the picture...) I hope this was helpful. I tried not be be biased or leave anything out (like I said, I still am sitting on the fence with this one...) However, I feel like I can make a decision when I go out on Nov. 4th to vote and that I won't feel guilty about it. Don't just choose to like a candidate because they are a republican or a democrat...choose to like them because their ideas for where our country needs to be match more closely with your own. Its okay to "break the political mold" that has been set up by your may end up glad that you did... Fence sitters and people who like to stand in the middle of the political spectrum unite! Stand up for what you believe in personally and let your voice be heard!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Movie Pick

Okay, I promise a real blog, with real issues is coming, but my life is unfortunately not as glamorous as some of you would like to believe it is...My birthday is tomorrow. I have to admit that I am not excited...its time for the big 2-5! At midnight tonight...POOF! I will officially be an old maid. Life goes on, and I plan on going home to celebrate in style with my family and some Razzleberry pie! I'll post a blog and pictures all about it. Along with the blog, I will post an episode of Extreme Makeover: Brittany Edition...let's just say I'm turning 25 and I want to look completely different...stay tuned folks!

In the meantime, here is my movie pick of the week. (Amber this one is just for you!)

This is a four part (or is it six part) BBC miniseries based off of the Elizabeth Gaskell novel. I have to say that if you enjoy the GOOD version of Pride and Prejudice (we're talking the six hour Colin Firth A&E extravaganza) then you will love love LOVE this movie! Especially because the build up to the end and the climax is so satisfying. In this movie our heroine Margaret's father mysteriously decides to uproot his family and take them away from their comfortable life in the south of England to the industrialized northern part of England. Margaret ends up meeting the brooding and handsome factory owner John Thornton and, with good reason, decides that she cannot bring herself to like him. As she adjusts, she makes friends amongst the factory workers as they struggle to unionize and get better wages for the work that they do. You will be so swept up in the drama that you won't want to stop watching it. It has all the characteristics of a classic Jane Austen story with a little more grit! As this is made for T.V., there is no rating available. It is definitely in the PG category, I don't think kids would get it anyway. If you like Jane Austen movies, you will LOVE North and South. This movie is available to watch on if you're a member, if not I strongly recommend you rent it. It is fantastical!
Well, go make some popcorn...and you might want to take a shower, you could be sitting there for a while to watch this one...LOL

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Movie Pick of the Week hasn't been quite a week since my last movie pick; however, I have a temple trip to Spokane and get to leave very VERY VERY very very very early in the morning (did I mention we're leaving early...?) so I have to write the pick earlier than intended...but you all benefit from my necessity for early blogging....

And the movie pick for this week is (Drum roll please....)

Okay, so there is nothing better than a classic! This little gem is from 1937 and stars the incomparable Fred Astaire and his onscreen lover for many a show Ginger Rogers! I will warn all of you that aren't big fans of old movies that this particular flick is in black and white- but as a die hard fan of black and white movies since I was very young, I'd have to say that the story makes everything colorful!

Astaire is a ballet dancer named Pete Peters, known by the public as Petrovsky. He is unhappy ballet dancing and secretly practices tap dancing. He also has a secret crush on another dancing celebrity Linda Keene. He manages to meet her on a cruise ship but through a series of unfortunate (or fortunate) events (it depends on how you look at it...) the entire boat becomes convinced that they are married. Craziness ensues and everyone gets their happy ending in this musical romp. The music is spectacular- who doesn't love a Gershwin diddy?!

I strongly recommend it, its fun for the whole family!

Happy Movie Night!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Weekend of Waste... without going too much into the events of the weekend, I will just say that I am annoyed and a slight bit peturbed still....

I went to the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Spokane, WA over the weekend. The Mets are usually an enriching and exciting experience; this weekend, however, was filled with confusion and disappointment. I had amazing audience feedback, my teacher got teary eyed and I felt pretty good about how I'd done (the only thing that was making me upset was that they didn't ask for a second aria...but then again, half of the people were in the same boat as me.)

The coordinator had given the judges some bad instructions and they were trying to save time by not asking for a second aria, but it left those of us who weren't asked to sing a second aria at a disadvantage(in other words, all of the winners got a chance to redeem themselves by singing a second aria). The piano was up at full staff and none of us had had the opportunity to test the acoustics of the room in advance...usually they ASK if you want the piano up at half or full staff, or if you want the staff up at all and everyone gets an opportunity to atleast hum in the hall and figure out how to adjust your voice. I was willing to over look these things, until I talked to the judges and got totally contradictory feedback and told in so many words that I pretty much suck...they had NOTHING encouraging to say NOTHING, it was all negative and mean and nit picky and harsh...

Well, needless to say, the word on the street is that the coordinator in Spokane has been "let go" and the auditions will be returning to Missoula next year to the hands of people who know what they are doing and how to give everyone a fair chance. I'm still a little peturbed. I had amazing audience feedback and I felt that I had performed a personal best at the Mets and it felt like, in talking to the judges, I was being fed to the wolves. I'm also not a confrontational person, so when my voice instructor and his wife (the head of the voice department here at UM) asked if I had tried to stick up for myself, all I could do was shake my head... I didn't feel like I needed to rationalize my performance to someone who had already formed a negative opinion about me. I simply shook their hands and thanked them for their input... but apparently they didn't have anything nice to say to anyone...

Oh well, its a learning experience, right? Who knows where I will be next year...I've been given a few very solid job offers to stay here in the Missoula area (if I stay I'm moving to Stevensville, there is a stronger LDS community there and a different singles a change of scenery to the Bitteroot couldn't hurt, its amazingly beautiful out there) I also know that I could go on a mission if I wanted to, but there is still the issue of student loan debt that makes me a little nervous to do so right away. I also know that BYU-I is still a viable option and that Christine Czinsky (a world famous soprano who happens to teach adjunct there) would love to have me. WE shall see...I'm taking it all in stride and one step at a time.

Perhaps this weekend will be something I can look back on and be glad for later. Right now, I'm just annoyed and confused. I thought I had made so much progress in the last few months and now I feel like dirt. Oh well, c'est la vie...time to make some lemonade cuz I have a whole barrel full of lemons!

CHEERS! : ) Hugs and Loves until next time!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Movie pick of the week

Okay, so I've had Netflix for a while, and I'm loving it. I'm taking chances and I've uncovered a few jewels. I've decided that I want to give a movie pick for people to try once a week. You can try to find it at your local video store, or if you have Netflix, you can enjoy it almost right away!

Here is my pick for the week:

It was a movie that was suggested for me to watch instantly on my computer- so for all you Netflixheads out there, you can go to the Instant section and watch it right now, which I strongly suggest!

This is the sweetest little movie. It is filled with little heartwarming moments and characters that remind you of people you actually know. It is well acted and the script is amazing.

In this story, Mrs. Palfrey moves to London and lives in the Claremont Hotel, so as not to be a nuisance and a trouble to her grown daughter. She has a grandson that lives in London, but, in spite of her attempts to make contact with him, he never comes to visit. One day, she meets Ludwig Meyer (Ludo) and her life changes. All of a sudden she has the family she has always wanted, and while people are touching her life, she doesn't realize how much she touches their's. Its a little bit of a tear jerker, but it is worth the hour and forty five minutes that you will spend. is my movie pick of the week- Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.

It has also given me a new quote that is some food for thought:
"Destiny draws you to the path, what we do after that is up to us."

Happy Movie Night!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

To Go or not to Go...

So, I've been struggling a lot lately with what I should do after I graduate. I've been praying and praying and have really gotten no firm answers. I've felt good about BYU-I, but in all my praying, I finally came to the real conclusion this morning. I've been avoiding it because there are some hurdles standing in my way and...I'm scared. It's so funny that I am scared of what I know I should do, but I am. I guess I'm just scared because it was never part of my plan (that and I have kept telling everyone for years that I wouldn't do it, that I didn't feel like I should.)

I'm talking about serving a mission. Here, however, are my hurdles to making this a possibility... 1) I don't have any money saved up to do this. 2) I have a little over $1000 in credit card debt and 3) I also will have (by the time I graduate) about $45,000 in student loan debt, and last but not least, 4) I am worried about my family. Things have gotten better than they were in the last few years, I don't want to go into too much description, but let's just say things were a mess for a while.; Sometimes, I worry that if I go too far away, that everything will crash and burn.

It was so nice to be with them all this weekend. Amber and I both agreed that, for a while, it seemed like we were all kids again. It was true, its so funny to see how none of us have really changed- we all are still who we were when we were little, only this time, we're better. I don't want any of that to change.

So, here I sit. I sit, and I wonder. I don't want to have any regrets when I stand before my God on judgement day. I don't want to wander aimlessly anymore, hoping that I am making the right decision when I really know what the right decision is. But how do I do this? How can I make it possible? Its not like I have a rich uncle or patron who would be willing to fork over zillions of dollars. I know that hurdle #2 can be easily overcome by me, in fact, I'd already planned on being out of credit card debt by the time I graduate, its just hurdle #3 and #4 that are keeping me concerned. I'm also worried that I am too old. I worry that my family will think that the only reason I am going is because I just can't seem to find Mr. Right...but that wouldn't be my reason at all.

I have such a strong testimony. I'm not trying to boast or be prideful...but when you consider where I've come from, the transformation can't be denied as remarkable. I have my own Alma the younger story, I think in a small way, we all do. I wasted so much time being mad at God because of the death of my father...I never really was hurting him as much as I was hurting myself. Thank God for his wisdom and for people willing to work and be tools in his hands. Thank God for a feeble testimony that grew with a small scripture passage "Oh, is it not true?" I feel like the Grinch in a testimony grew 3 sizes that day...

Okay, and now I'm rhyming...

All I can say is that I know that I worked for the cause of free agency before I came to this earth. I know that I continue to work for this cause in my own way, but I have a feeling that there are many friends that I was parted from in the pre-existence who begged me to help them when they knew that they wouldn't be born into a home with the gospel. I need to find them, I need to help them. In a way, I feel like to make up for all the time I wasted being angry with God I need to be like Alma the Younger, and dedicate my life to him. Its strange isn't it? When God gives you a commandment that seems insurmountable....I am so overwhelmed right now that I am shaking. I really don't know to do or where to start.

I worry that leaving means that I am giving up on things that I have been working for in school and in life. I know God will find a way to use my talents, he always does. I just don't know if I am really prepared for this, but I know I have to do this. As surely as I know the Gospel is true, I know that I have to do this!

How can it not be true? It makes too much sense! I can answer questions that some people search their whole life to find the answer to... Who am I? I am a spirit daughter of Heavenly Father, he loves me dearly. Where am I going? Temporally, I may not know that answer all the time, but I have faith that a loving Father in Heaven will lead me down the right path. As far as where I will ultimately end up, I pray that it will be to dwell in my Father's presence in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. I pray that I will be like him and my brother Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I have been anointed in the temple to be a Queen and Priestess in Heaven. I know that if I remain faithful to my covenants that this will be so. Why are we here? That is the easy part- we are here to learn, we are here to exercise free agency. If you really like to be annoying, we are here to thwart Lucifer's plan. Through sin and transgression, Lucifer (Satan) fights to take away our free agency as he had planned to do in the counsel in heaven. The choices we make are only really free until the point that we choose, when we choose to sin, Satan wins and then you have no agency, you become a bound to that sin and to him.

I know that I believe in the words of God. I believe that the bible is true, as far as it is translated correctly, and I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I believe that through feasting on the words of God, you feed your spirit and can draw the Holy Ghost more closer to you, he will be a constant companion if you let him. I know that God loves and takes care of his children, he may not give you all the answers or all you ask for at the very minute you ask him, but with patience and with an understanding that He has his own purpose for you and He has his own timeline, an eternal timeline, you can be content and realize that he gives you more than you bargained just have to look around to find it. I believe in the words of prophets, ancient and modern day. It doesn't make sense to believe that a loving God would leave us only with the bible and say "that's enough, figure it out for yourselves!" He still speaks to us today, through 15 wonderful men who sit at the head of Christ's true church, all who are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. Only one of them may have the authority to fully exercise those keys, but just think of how close to the spirit they must be to have that mantle placed on them? I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true and living prophet. I know he exercises those keys of authority through the power of God and that his words are true and helpful. I know that as we listen to the prophet and the apostles, as we take their counsel into our lives and use it, our lives will become easier. It is so much easier to lead a Christ centered life. People often say, "you don't really have any freedom,the church tells you what to do." the church gives us commands from God and we choose to obey, we choose freedom or we choose captivity at that hands of Satan...who is not a gentle master. I don't know about all of you, but I would rather be free than be a slave to worldy vices at the hands of Satan. I see it in my own family at times, and it isn't fun. Oh, how I long for the day when I can see family members who allow themselves to be slaves to Satan break free from their bonds and chains. Its so funny, because some of them haven't really done anything wrong, they allow their spouses to bind them down and have lost faith in themselves as children of God, and in the Saviour and his redeeming love. EVERYTHING and I do mean EVERYTHING is possible through the Savior and his Atoning Sacrifice. If you don't believe me, just read the Book of Mormon. The Atonement goes so much deeper than just being a sacrifice for our sins. Its redeeming power extends into every corner of our lives if we will have the faith to let it.

I guess I just need to exercise faith. If serving a mission is what I need to do, God will make it happen somehow. He will help me find the way to jump over the hurdles that are in front of me and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have to let go of things and let him take the reigns, which is not easy for me. I have a need to control things and plan everything out, I pray for the strength to let go and have faith.

This is my humble testimony and prayer. I leave it in the name of my Brother, Saviour, and Redeemer, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Please be praying for me as I try to figure out how to make this possible. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to bless me with them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ahhhhh the power of Netflix

This isn't a blog so much as its an observation...

On crappy days that seem to be leading you into crappy weeks you tend to be in certain moods. My frustration had been mounting because these moods for me are often accompanied by the mood to watch a certain movie or show. While my collection is actually quite good, I've been finding lately that I don't have what I want and then I go out in the big wide world to search for it...

Finally, I broke down- I got a Netflix account (GASP!!!!!!!) I have to say that I am pleasantly impressed. Not only can I find my British movie and miniseries adaptations of the classic novels that I love so much, I can also find the Bollywood musicals that I adore. I've missed Bollywood-its been way too long since I had a Bollywood party,and now I can have one as soon as my movies get here. Let's hope they're here before I leave for Idaho on Thursday because a) I would love to share the Bollywood joy with my family, its quite the spectacle and b) I also ordered a disc out of the series "The Road to Avonlea" and if Amber and I get to have our Anne of Green Gables marathon then we can add to the Prince Edward Island mania by watching one of the best episodes of "the Road to Avonlea" ever- its called Hearts and Flowers and it is HI-LARIOUS!, in spite of a crap weekend and bad day today, I get to have the joy of Jane Eyre- which totally matches my mood right now. Thank you Netflix- thank you for letting me watch movies and television on my computer and thank you for letting me have something in the mail to look forward to...

Ahhhh the power of Netflix!

Friday, September 19, 2008


So, I'm sitting here at the Institute. Its 10:18 at night, and let's say, I'm pooped...I've been here since 6 PM working on the float and there is still more to do. I just thought I'd take a moment out of my busy schedule to do this...


I feel better now...hooray, I get to get up at 6:30 tomorrow to get ready to help with the float some more, and we still have atleast 4 hours of work left here...tomorrow is going to be SO MUCH FUN...(can you smell the sarcasm in the room? I can!)

Well, I'm off, my artistic skills are needed!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trusting in the Lord...

SOoooo its Sunday, and I'm sitting in the Institute building because I don't really want to go home...Go figure- I love my roomies, I just can't be in the chaos that is my apartment since the whole puddle in my room debachle...

I've been struggling lately. Now is the time that I need to be figuring out what I am going to do with myself once I graduate...and lets just say I've been a little confused and otherwise discombobulated by what I've been finding. Originally, I had decided that I wanted to teach at the University level once I was finished; however, that hasn't worked out so well because now I find that in the Voice category of music teachers at the collegiate level, you have to have a Doctorate to apply for almost all Associate Professor positions. So I was back to square one...

I have been praying and praying, and quite frankly, I have been feeling like I'm sitting in a dark room, I know the Savior is there, but I can't find his hand so that he can guide me. I have a lot of options being thrown at me from all directions and I just don't know where to turn. The only thing that I know for sure is what I DON'T want...I don't think I want a performing career anymore. Now that I've been to the temple I think I've been given a new purpose and focus...For the most part, a performance career would require that I give less time to the Lord and miss church for performances, rehearsals, etc. While I love being on the stage with my whole heart, I cannot picture a life where I would allow myself to be so far removed from the spirit. My experiences of late have drawn me closer to the Savior than I ever thought possible.

Well, in all my praying, I have been having definite feelings about BYU-Idaho...I didn't know why, as far as I could see there weren't even any adjunct openings in the voice department for me (yes...adjunct, a part time professor, that is what a Master's degree will get you kiddies!) I was talking to my sister Amber the other day about my woes and she said something that struck a nerve...she said "Well, what about getting a teaching degree? How long would that take you? You could do it at BYU-I." I felt my pulse quicken and I got all excited. So, I promised Amber that I would inquire as soon as I could about this possibility. I recieved a return email from the head of the music department, he was super nice and he definitely had some great information for me. I wouldn't have to start over, but I would have to spend another 2 years atleast getting my education credentials and I would have to go through the College of Education. Well, I prayed about it, and I felt good about it...for a while...but then I started to doubt myself. I didn't know if I was really feeling the spirit tell me that this was what I was supposed to be doing or if it was me just wanting to go home for a while (I have been very VERY homesick since I came back to Montana.)

Well, I was feeling even more confused and down and it just seemed like it was taking too much of a toll. I finally prayed and told God that he needed to stop because I couldn't handle anymore! I had the impression that I needed to talk to my dear old Bishop. I love the lucky are we as members of the LDS church to know that the Priesthood keys have been restored...It was so nice to talk to him. He put things into perspective, then I asked him to give me a blessing. When I asked he said "I actually was already planning on it, but I'm glad you asked."

I feel so dumb sometimes for letting Satan pull me down. I have been feeling for a while that something BIG is coming. I don't know what it is, but I know that it is of eternal significance in my life. Satan is doing everything he can to make me doubt myself, my abilities, and my faith. I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who gently pokes me in the side until I figure out that this is going on. So, after the blessing I am feeling some new purpose and focus.

I have made my decision. I just sent an email to the Education department chair at BYU-Idaho to see what I need to do to apply for this program. I know that this is what I need to do. I know what some of you are thinking...a Doctorate will only take you 2 more years, why go to school for 2 more years to get your undergraduate teaching certification? Here is why...because that is what I feel God wants me to do, because I know that, in my heart of hearts, what I want more than anything is to inspire young people the way that I was inspired by my elementary, junior high, and high school music teachers. I want to be someone who makes a difference, I love the youth of this world, a lot of them experience struggles that I couldn't even imagine, and I feel like I have something to offer them (what it is I might never know, but darn it I'm going to offer it!)

I just need to be home, with "my people"...for those of you who aren't Mormon, you may be thinking that I am insane, that is okay, I wonder about my mental health a lot of the time...but what I do know is that I cannot deny how I feel. I know that God loves all of his children, and like any parent, he isn't just going to leave you alone to figure it out. We all have the power of personal revelation and if you can learn how God speaks to you, you are so much better off. It is so much easier to go through life knowing that you are being directed by someone who has eternal knowledge, by someone who can see further down the road than you. I have a purpose, I know where I will ultimately end up, its just figuring out the stops along the way that is the "fun" part. Just because its supposed to be the Plan of Happiness doesn't mean you will always be happy. You have to learn and grow from adversity, and t is in the times of confusion that you need to look to God. He knows where your going. He has the whole road map, you just have a map of each city as you pass through it.

I know I am on the verge of something great! I can't wait until I get to see what it is, but until then I will wait in eager anticipation with excitement. I have such an awesome road ahead and I think it will be a fun ride!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Not much to report

I figure its Labor Day and while I have the time, I might as well update everyone...My life is back to boring and normal (except for the puddle of water leaking from the upstairs apartment onto my bedroom floor) I did go and take some headshots at my friend Kimmie's studio the other day, here are a few pieces of photo vomit for everyone to enjoy...

Right now, I'm at a goodbye party for my friend Kristen, she left...sad day...but the party is still going strong. So, why am I in the library at the Institute with my computer typing away instead of partying it up? Here are a few good reasons:

1) ITs 6:30 PM, I've been here since 1...lets just say I'm getting a little partied out!
2) There is a cute boy sitting across the table from me doing his homework (hey, I like any nature lover like to stop and take time to enjoy the scenery ;)...)
3) I'm kind of mad at someone in one of the other rooms because he is kind of a confusing jerkface (no, its not my ex-fiance, but it IS his best friend...) I know... I sure know how to pick 'em right? and of course, TMI!

I've ben doing Karoake, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Dance Dance Revolution all day- this girl is SPENT! Just think, tomorrow I get to get up early and go to school- OH joy of joys! I Really should go get some dinner, my blood sugar is NOT happy right now (yes, my blood sugar now has human emotions, I've decided that it does- so THERE!)

Enjoy the headshot deliciousness!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer...

Yooo hallloooooo!

I know, you all probably thought that I was gone for good- here are a few scenarios for why I might disappear that I came up with, you can pick which one you like best...

A) I died in a heroic attempt to save a kitten from the very tip top of a 100 ft tree.
B) I went on a scuba diving excursion in the Carribean to find buried treasure and I got lost in the Bermuda Triangle
C) I decided to try and climb Mt.Everest and I got eaten by an Abominable Snow Man
D) Brittany Winberg was my reassigned name by the FBI- I'm in the witness protection program and they had to relocate me.
E) I finally got to go to Italy and I fell off a gondola in Venice- I'm a strong swimmer but so was the giant sea monster that lives in the canals...
F) I went on a cruise and was kidnapped by pirates and one of them bore a remarkable resemblance to Orlando Bloom...
G) I got so righteous that God finally decided I'd had enough trial and torment and decided to translate me! HOOORAY!!!!!!!
H) I found a port key and when I touched it I was pulled into the world of Harry Potter, apparently I was a wizard all along and now I'm back with "my people"
G) I decided to walk to Amber's house on a warm summer night and in the process I was being followed...that Vampire didn't stand a chance against me- Brittany the Vampire Slayer, and now I am training in a secret location with my watcher.

The list could go through our entire alphabet and into Roman numerals...I have a million of 'em! However, the real reason I haven't written in so long, is that there really isn't much to write about. Believe it or not folks, my life is pretty boring.

SO.... here is what is new since I last wrote...
A) I went back to Montana. I moved into my new apartment and escaped the clutches of the evil Alpha Real Estate crew...a word of advice for anyone looking to rent an apartment in Missoula- Never, never, NEVER rent from them. They are super nice when you sign the lease, but they are not so nice when you move in and there is no grace period with the rent. Its due the first,but they'll start calling you on the second if they don't have it, and they'll keep calling you and being mean to you until its there, even if you sent a check in the mail and it should have been there on the first, they don't care!

Needless to say, its nice to be in an on campus apartment where the landlords are nice and all of the staff is amazing! KUDOS to you Lewis and Clark Village, I love you!

B) I've written my syllabi for the classes I teach and I sat in on auditions. Now, all I have to do is wait for school to start on Monday August 25.

C) My friends had a welcome back party for me last night. I played guitar hero and I'm hoarse! I was still recovering, we went to an Osprey game (*that's baseball folks) and decided to be the most annoying fans in the stadium- I was already hoarse from yelling "PEANUTS" for half an hour without the satisfaction of a single free rude! I sang in my heavy metal voice last night get the idea.

D) I am writing a novel...its a Jane Austen inspired work of fiction. My goal is to have it finished and submitted to publishers by Christmas, but we'll see how that goes once school starts. If any of you want to know about it, ask my sister Amber, she is already hooked! Which reminds me, I need to send her the rest of what I've written since the last email...hmmmm...

Well Hugs and Loves all. Hang in there, its almost Autumn time and all the cool and exciting stuff happens in Autumn!(Hey I was born, enough said!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Raylee Elizabeth Birthday Extravaganza!!!!!!!!!

Well, well, well...

Its hard to believe that a whole year has gone by already, but it has. Exactly 1 year ago today Kiersten came out of the bathroom, sat down on the couch and said " Darn it, I just left the bathroom and I think I just wet myself." (SorryKierst, but that part of the story has to be told because we can laugh about it now.) After some fancy fanagelin' we convinced her that her water had broken and that it was time to go to the hospital! Raylee Elizabeth is a year old this weekend and I've decided to pay tribute with a cheesy photo montage!!!!!!!!! (that's right, I found my camera- and its been attached to my hand ever since!)

It all started for me last night, with the cake! Kiersten and Joe had been trying to figure out what they wanted to do for a cake, they'd asked around town and it seemed like no one had what they wanted. Raylee, being almost one at the time (and officially one tomorrow!) naturally only adores two things...Bunnytown and My Friends Tigger and Pooh- both are shows on Playhouse Disney....Kiersten was telling me of their conundrum... the deduction was logical, any Sherlock Holmes type could have figured it out...but instead of Sherlock Holmes type, it was me....they need a cake, I decorate cakes...hmmmm...

Well, I agreed to do it 2 weeks ago...before I agreed to babysit for Amber so she and her husband could have a hot date...needless to say, I was home by 11:30 and I decorated like a fiend until 1:30 AM before...I was EXHAUSTED!- the sad part was that I only had about a third of the cake done! (when I say cake I mean cupcakes, we'd decided that it would be fun to watch Raylee pulverize a single confection all on her own!) However, the following cheesy photo montage will show that the horror was almost forgotten by the splendour of the final product- and notice thart I spelled splendour with a "u"- that's right, its so fancy that it gets a British spelling! (as promised, one of many...think of it as a single photo essay within a larger work...)

So, the cake was done, the day continued. We went to Sizzler for a late lunch, and shock and awe, Kiersten decided to try and see what would happen if we let Raylee feed herself. We had a mess on our hands, but Raylee started getting really really good at it! I think after she almost choked once from putting too much food in her mouth she got the idea. We went to the store and picked up the last few things that we needed for the big day. Kiersten and Joe wanted to get one more present and I needed wrapping paper.

We got back to the house and decided that a grumpy baby needed one open all her presents! We decided it would give her some energy, and oh boy did it! She would open one thing and want to play with it and scream until you showed her that there was something else to open! Once all the toys were out, Raylee sat on the living room floor and worked her way around a circle of toys, playing with each one, dropping it once she lost interest and moving on to something else.

Well, I'm sure you're al reading and waiting in dire anticipation? What about the cake? Was it pulverized? Well, here for your viewing pleasure I give you..the many faces of birthday cake! last but not least...WHEN DECORATIVE BOWS ATTACK!!!!!!!!!(Hey, I have to put a Brittany spin on things, its my nature!)

Hugs and Loves until next time!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Okay, so I am super excited and I can't contain it- so what better to do than blog???!!!

In a few hours I am headed to get my garments and temple clothes for the first time!

I can't wait for July 26th- it seemed so far away when I scheduled the date to recieve my Endowment, but here it is next weekend. If I could manage to find my camera I'd take some excited pictures for you all- but alas it has disappeared off the face of the planet!

Ahem....and for the I'm not getting married, no I'm not going on a mission... its been a crazy few months but the one resounding thing that has repeated in my mind is that it is time for me to go to the temple. I feel like it is the next step in my spiritual progression. It is kind of scary and daunting to think about where I may be a year from now, but I also know that as my relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown I have had the overcoming urge to need to feel and be closer to Him.

I know that God looks out for all of us, I know that no matter how bad a situation may seem God makes sure it always works out for the best.

I've had what seems like more than my fair share of trials in the last few months, but I am so thankful to a loving God who knows and understands the big picture far better than I. I know that He directs all my paths I know that He loves me and he is making sure that I recieve every blessing that I deserve and have worked for.

My step-dad and I were talking a little while back about a few of my woes and he said..."Brittany, the people who wait the longest for the things they want most in life always end up getting the better part. God saves the best for last. If that weren't true you wouldn't be here in the latter-days." At the time it didn't really sink in, which is probably why I heard it from my Branch President a few weeks later in his office as I was recieving my first temple recommend. I will operate in faith knowing that it has to be true because I do know what I know.

Knowing what I know doesn't stop trials from being difficult, but it definitely makes them more bearable. I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, he has a plan and purpose for me that was defined before I came to this Earth. I am so fortunate to have been born to a home with goodly parents who taught me the Gospel, who made sure that I know who I am. On those days when I feel small it helps so much to know that I am a daughter of God, I am of noble birth because of that. I have a birthright- the same birthright as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- a birthright that I get to claim through baptism and the making and keeping of sacred covenants in the temple.

Sometimes I am amazed that I have made it this far...but then, when you think about it, I haven't done it alone. I've had the blessing of the Holy Ghost as my guide and loving family and friends to help me bear my burdens. God never intended for any of us to be alone, and even though it may feel like I am alone sometimes, I know that this is the time when God is the nearest to me...I just won't open the door for him because I want to wallow.

My biggest prayer for everyone is that they can remember to open that door, that they can forge and create a relationship with God that is close and loving. He is like a parent, and like any parent/child relationship sometimes its hard to ask for what you want, or sometimes he can't give you what you want because the time isn't right. Make no doubt about it, if you are living the way that He asks you to, he will make sure that you have everything you need when you need it because that is what any loving parent would do- its differentiating between needs and wants that we need to learn, especially in today's society where people feel that they are entitled to things or that they have earned it. I have especially caught myself in the last few months exhibiting that sense of entitlement...allow me to demonstrate using my own example...I do everything that I'm supposed to, I work hard, I live the Gospel, I follow the commandments I deserve to be blessed! How come Jane Doe down the street who doesn't live the way that she should seem to have such a great life? She parties, she drinks, etc..and here I am trying to be perfect every day and the one thing that I want more than anything I can't have.... that my friends is feeling entitled, and I am trying to stop. You aren't good so that you will be blessed. You are good because you want to be, because, believe it or not, its easier. You have to remember that Jane Doe may seem to have a perfect life, but behind closed doors she is dealing with the binding chains that Satan tries to grab us all with-her idea of being free isn't really being free.

Free agency is about making the right choices. As long as we make the right choices, then we are free- truly free, because Satan may try to catch us, but he cannot bind us like he can someone who allows themselves to be caught by temptation. Once he has you, he pulls you further away from your Father in Heaven, and who wants that? I certainly know that I don't...I want to be closer to Him, because the closer you are the less likely you are to stumble and fall. Why are you less likely to fall? Because in being closer to God you have to be closer to our brother, Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. He is the one who relays messages to God from us, He is the one who through the Atonement, picks you up, dusts you off and makes sure you can keep going, just like any other good big brother would.

I am so grateful for Gospel truths and doctrines in my life. I am grateful that I know who I am, what I'm doing here, and where I am aiming to go after I die. The temple is just the next step in this long path of life. I am so blessed to know that I don't have to walk that path alone and to know the shape of that path... For straight is the path and narrow that gate that leads to everlasting life and happiness! I bear witness of this. To all those of you who are reading this and think that I'm blowing smoke it is my humble prayer that your hearts will be softened and that somehow my words will plant a seed in your heart. To those of you who are touched by this don't thank me, thank a loving God who is always there for you, loving you,and waiting for you to draw nearer to him.

I am so excited to enter the temple. I am excited for the covenants that I will be able to make there. I am excited to be able to be in the House of God and in His presence. I only pray and hope that I am able to follow my Savior Jesus' example and that I am able to be a beacon to those around me who struggle and search to find these strong, sweet and simple truths in their lives. God is good, Jesus is my Savior and friend and I am an instrument in their hands. I only pray tha I am close enough to the spirit so they may use me as they see fit.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Okay- so I've spent the last four days in a nausea induced haze, and I'm not quite out of it yet, but I felt like I needed to blog a little bit about the joys of being sick...

So, Friday I started to feel a little woozy after lunch- I ate some rotten lettuce (Note to self: if it tastes rotten after the first bite, chances are its rotten... just thought you should know!) But I was super excited so I decided nothing would get me down. I was going to go to the 35th anniversary performance of Saturday's Warrior at the Civic. But wait, there's more- not only were they performing Saturday's Warrior...they were also performing the sequel the White Star. I was so excited to go and take part in something I'd grown up with- my mom had a Saturdays Warrior tape and we used to listen to it and lip synch to it as kids. I think more kids should do this growing up! The television was rarely on, we always had on one of my mom's records or tapes and we were coming up with a show! Saturday's Warrior was one of the faves- along with Star Child (another Mormon musical) and a few secular goodies- Mary Poppins soundtrack, The Carpenters and Ray Stevens the Streak! I was so excited to finally see if any of our ideas about how we would stage a musical number came true... and best of all I got to go with Amber! It was so nice to sit before the show and reminisce about these times and see that I wasn't the only one who looked back fondly!

Well, I was a little worried about time, two full shows in one night seemed daunting, like I said I was feeling a little woozy, but I was trying to be optimistic! Amber and I went and bought CDs of Saturdays Warrior and White Star and I bought a score of Saturdays Warrior. Amber and I immediately made plans to have an old fashioned piano party to sing along to some of our favorites : Will I Wait for You?, Dear John, Line Upon Line and many more (do I sound like a compilation infomercial yet?)

I have to say, with the exception of the Jimmy and Pam, I was disappointed by Saturdays Warrior. It was rushed through, they cut some numbers completely and cut others in half. The continuity was gone and the actors didn't seem to have a hold on the choreography at all...I wasn't expecting much when the White Star started and I left very much suprised and happy. It was definitely amazing as far as sequels go- you don't think that I show like Saturdays Warrior needs a sequel but this completely dazzled me. I was laughing, I was crying, I was on an emotional rollercoaster and I loved it! I could now see why Saturdays Warrior seemed shlugged through- they spent the bulk of their time on the new show- which is fine, and perhaps with a little more touring another audience may have a better earlier experience than I did, but let me assure you- I felt like they made up for it in the end. The music was nice, but there was a number called Gentle Savior that kept reprising throughout the musical and every time it started I was in tears. The acting and story was phenominal, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity and go if it comes to your town! Even if you experience the same disappointment that I did with Saturdays Warrior, you will leave feeling so enriched by the White Star! Its a great story of redemption and the cealing powers of the temple and the great work of family history that needs to be done! I left so inspired, I really want to get more involved with my family history now, especially because I know for a fact that much of the Winberg family work has not been done!

But on to the rest of my story- I left enriched! Enriched, but woozy...but I continued to move forward, I had a birthday cake to make! Austin's birthday party was the next day and I couldn't let him down, he was so excited about his Brownie ice cream cake! Amber and I had been reading through recipes earlier that day and when we came to the recipe title Austin's exact words were "Whoa mom....Brownies in an ice cream cake?! You don't need to look any more, that is what I want!" I had to giggle a was so cute! So, I got home and began the task of making the brownie layers and softening ice cream. The cake was made at 2 AM, made but not decorated... and I had heart burn so bad I felt like it was coming out my ears, but I figured I was just tired and sleep deprived and in the morning I would feel better...yeah...right...because I'm that lucky.

About an hour later I was awake and rushing to talk to ralph on the big white phone (for all those of you who don't know what that means: PUKESVILLE!!!!!!!!) I cleaned up, mom (being mom) heard me and came to my aid and got me the needed anti-puke medicines and I went back to bed. After a fitful morning of sleep I awoke feeling like I'd been hit by a MAC truck. I used the walls as anchors and stumbled out the living room and the comfort of the couch. Now, I don't know if its just that mom used to lay us on the couch when we were sick so we'd be closer or what, but whenever I'm sick I always feel a need to lay on the couch as opposed to my bed... I called Amber and told her about the night's events and that the cake, albeit made, was not decorated. I assured her that I had washed my hands, hadn't licked any spoons, and that I was completely sanitary, also given the fact that the cake was in the freezer it should be frozen enough to be safe for human consumption. I told her that it wouldn't hurt my feelings if she didn't want to use it.

All I can say, is that this last few days, between body aches and grossness I have come to one giant conclusion- I am so lucky to have such an awesome mom! She left me to my own devices so I didn't feel like I was being a big baby but she also made sure to, in her own special way, make sure that she took care of me without me realizing how much she was doing. I've also been grateful to have a sister who is a nurse and has connections to doctors with magical pills that get rid of nausea...What I thought was a 24 hour flu bug has continued now for the last 4 days...and I'm still not better. I'm gradually getting there but I feel like there is an ice cream maker churning in my stomach and my head,neck, shoulders and back are still aching like I've been beaten by a herd of llamas....not that I've experienced that, but I'd imagine that if it happened, this is what I would feel like...

I keep thinking that getting sick was the last thing I needed. I have so much music to learn before I go back to Montana and I need to take time for it, but its difficult to learn music when you can't sit or stand longer than 30 minutes without getting dizzy...thank the Lord for the I-Pod... I also need to work- I gots bills to pay...but I'm going to continue with faith that I am going to have it all work out in the end.

Well, speaking of not being able to sit or stand for very long...I'm at my limit. But I love you all and I wanted you to know how grateful I am to have so many loving family members and friends who look after and support me!

Hugs and loves, and here is to the death of Killer Food Poisoning, FOREVER!!!!!!!!!