Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm Published!

In September, I posted about how a poem I wrote 8 years ago was most likely being published in the New Era.  Well it was published!  If you want to read it go here.
Just keep in mind that I was 14 when I wrote it : ) 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without

I am back from my blogging hiatus. Another semester over, a sister returned from her mission, and a wonderful Christmas. Hopefully I'll get around to writing about those soon. For now here are some other thoughts.

I've decided to adopt the WWII motto of "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."  Since I live at home and don't pay for rent or much food, it will it mainly apply to clothing - one of my weaknesses.  It is a rather unfortunate side affect of studying costume design that my affinity for good clothing just keeps growing.  I'm much more particular than I used to be about cut, fabric and fit and that leads to pricy clothing.  Although I always shop for very good sales, I still have a closet full of lovely clothes and I hardly need any more (though I always seem to convince myself I do need more).

I've been thinking about how I need to apply this motto for a while now and now with a new year and a new semester, it seems like a wonderful time for new beginnings.  I suppose it also helps that I just got some awesome gifts for my birthday and Christmas.  So I've got some nice things to start out the year and here goes a new year of frugality and simpleness.

In my Historic Costume class this last semester we learned about how the rations on clothing affected people.  Many more ladies learned how to sew so they could make cheaper clothing and refashion old pieces of clothing until they wore completely out.  There were even patterns that came out  that showed how to lay the pattern pieces on a men's suit to make other clothing (those poor soldiers returned to their suits all cut up).  Those ladies sure learned how to be frugal.  Luckily I know how to sew!  That, I think, will help me in my journey to frugality.

If you've ever seen the movie Penelope, the title character has gorgeous costumes.  They look like they've been decorated at home with ribbons and buttons and things.

I love the look of her costumes, especially the one above, AND I have lots of ribbon, fabric scraps and buttons so I can use these to refashion my wardrobe.  I can alter things and decorate them to my hearts content.  I have worried about the time it will take, but I'm thinking a few additions or alterations can't take much longer than shopping.  It is definitely worth a try!

So her you are, dear readers, I am putting one of my New Year Resolutions out there so I will be accountable.  I will use up what I have till the very end and wear things out or turn them into something new until it wears out, or else I will go without.  Of course, I'm not completely banning shopping, but I am going to be A LOT more careful.

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weathering the Storms

It seems like there's so much more than can ever be done.  Life can be overwhelming at times.  Storms hit (which I'll write about our Bountiful storm when I have more time), school and work can seem all consuming.  Life may not go as planned.  But the Savior is there and we need not fear when we have Him in our lives.

I love Elder Nelson's testimony in this.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life as of Late

A sneak peak of the pelisse (coat from the regency period) I just made.

I thought I'd give you a little update on my life, since you haven't gotten much lately.  So here is my life as of late:
  • I've been accepted to work at the Shakespeare Festival again and am super excited.  I love Cedar and the wonderful costume shop.  And they just announced they're doing Les Miserable which will be beautiful and incredible.  I'm so excited.
  • I spend a lot of time looking for housing for Jen when she gets back 
  • I finished the first draft of that 10 page research paper I talked about 
  • I finished my pelisse (collar pictured above) I was making for my Historic Costume class.  I've decided I like to make things more complicated than they need to be.  I could have made a simpler dress, or done renderings for a show, but no, I had to make a coat and adapt the pattern and learn new sewing techniques.  Yay for lots of learning, but no yay for staying up till 3:30 am trying to finish it.  Luckily I had time to finish detail work on the bus and before class.  I finished just in time!  It was a pain, but i do think it turned out nice, especially the trim on the collar, as pictured.
  • I watched "Little Dorrit" a BBC adaption of Charles Dickens book and all 7.5 hours of it are worth it.  I watched it while I sewed and fell in love with the characters.  The hero and heroine are so good and I just love them. 
  • I had a too sweet week.  As of August I only eat one serving of refined sugar a week, and this week I was naughty.  I had a brownie, ice cream, a 1/4 of a doughnut and two very sweet waffles, but not in one day.  It was at least over 3 days.  So here is my confession to you all.  Yes, I feel guilty.  And my body is wishing I didn't do it as well.  I guess I've trained my body not to handle sugar because I started shaking after my 2 waffles.  Tomorrow I'm going to be good again.  
So there you have it, my random doings as of late.  I hope you enjoyed.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

This morning on Music and the Spoken Word they sang a beautiful rendition of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.  It has inspired a post of my favorite things.  I figure it goes along with the month of Thanksgiving too.

So here are a few of my favorite things:

The smell of the dryer going
A windy Autumn day when the wind is swirling leaves around like confetti
Delicious Sunday dinners (we had yummy eggplant Parmesan tonight)
Friends that call out of the blue
Hearing old family stories
Reading cooking blogs
Sewing (I bet you couldn't have guessed that one ; )
Music - especially opera and Mindy Gledhill
Laughing with my mom

And this is going to be one of my upcoming favorite things:

This beautiful girl comes home in just over a month from her mission!  I'm so excited to have her home! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Focus on what you know

I've been working on a research paper for my theatre history class for the past month or so... although you could say I've been working on avoiding it for the past month. No, not completely, but doing research has been a lot more challenging than I expected, thus I've stalled the actual writing.

I just feel so inept writing about a subject I know imperfectly (sometimes this perfectionism can really get in the way!). But today I had this epiphany as I walked to one of my classes yesterday.  The thought came to me:

"Focus on what you know"

It was one of those moments that make you say, "Of course!  Why didn't I think of that before?"  It's just like the gospel where you can get caught up on all the things you don't know or are too complex for our little human minds.  We can get stuck and frustrated trying to understand how we came to be when there is no beginning of time OR we can focus on what we know.  From my experience, focusing on what we know brings so much more peace, calm, and eventually more enlightenment.

I was pleased when I realized that the same idea applies to studying and writing.  And guess what?  As soon as I started focusing on what I know about the decline of Roman theatre the task didn't seem so daunting.  I realized I knew more than I thought I did and I actually did have something to write about.  

I've got an outline and I'm ready to go.  There's still much to learn, but I've got a place to start.
And all these books and more to learn from:

Now lets see if I can crank out 10 coherent pages for Monday. Thank goodness it's only a first draft!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Waiting at the Bus Stop

This is what I see when I wait for the bus each morning:

And this

(These pictures, of course, don't do the mountains and leaves justice.)

How could you not be happy when you see this beautiful sight? I love Autumn and the colorful leaves. It makes standing outside at 7:45 am waiting for a bus pretty good. A good way to start the morning out if you ask me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where Have You Been?

Tonight I went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. As I walked in one of the temple workers came over to me with a big smile on his face and said, "How are you Sister? Where have you been? We've missed you."

I'd forgotten I used to come every Tuesday night, but this brother remembered. He remembered me and noticed that I'd been missing. In the business of this semester I got distracted and haven't attended the temple as often as I should have. But it was a silly thing to do. Life has been crazy and I need the perspective the temple provides - just like my favorite quote about the temple says.

"At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can ‘see’ things that we were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known.”

—President Boyd K. Packer

I was touched that this temple worker remembered me out of all the people that come and go in the temple. And I was touched by his words. It made me think about how sad it would be to have the Lord say to us, "Where have you been?" What a good reminder it was that the Lord is aware of each of us and wants us to stay by Him. But of course if we do stray (which we all do in some way or another), the Lord will greet us with a smile saying, "I have missed you," and welcome us back with open arms.

I love the temple and am so grateful to live so close to so many temples. What a privilege.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goodbye Fall Break

This past week I was on fall break and it was glorious. I felt so free. I slept more than six hours at night and only went to the U twice the whole week.

On Tuesday I took a bus to Provo and spent two nights there playing and masquerading as a BYU student once more. I went to a few classes with friends and even studied a little in the library. I was surprised how excited I was to study there. Who'd have thought studying in the good ol' Harold B. Lee would be something I'd look forward to doing over my fall break? Guess it shows absence does make the heart grow fonder. I suppose it was so great because I spent so much time there when I was at BYU and so it's equated with happy memories.

One of the classes I went to was BYU Singers with a friend. It was so lovely to go hear a choir sing, and a really good choir at that. I've really missed having music in my life. This is one of the few times in my life when I'm not in any choir or taking voice lessons. The choirs in my life seem to be disappearing. The Jenny Phillip's Fireside Choir I'm in doesn't perform July - December and I was unable to do Institute Singers again because of class conflicts. I'm seriously craving music. Just listening to it and teaching voice are not enough. I gave up my dreamof being a music major, but I cannot give up music completely. I think it's time I found a way to make music a greater part of my life. It just might be a good way to balance out costume design.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


When I was in eighth grade I had an awesome English teacher who I adored. She was younger, outdoorsy and a great teacher. She was quite the writer and really pushed us to improve our own writing skills. At that point, I wanted to be a writer, so she was the perfect teacher for me!

Each semester she gave us the daunting task of submitting something to be published. I wrote my little eighth grade heart out and wrote and rewrote some more, in hopes something of mine would actually be published. It seemed so unlikely anyone would publish a fourteen year old girls work, yet I secretly hoped. Even after my first piece was rejected.

Second semester, I submitted a poem, titled "Stars" to the New Era. A few months later I received a check for $20 and letter saying they wanted to publish it! I was ecstatic! I was going to be a published author!

However, there was one catch. In the letter, it said that they were not positive they would use it, but would keep it on file. For years, I checked the back of the New Era, hoping to see "Stars" there. But it never was. Of course after a while, it stopped mattering if it was published or not. I was just curious if it was actually there.

Fast forward to last week. Last Thursday, I was stitching curtains together for backstage of the Babcock theatre, when my phone rang.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hi, is this Valerie?" said the voice on the other end.

"Yes it is."

"Oh good! This is so-and-so from the New Era..."

(At that point I knew what it was. And I was shocked.)

"...I have a poem you wrote some years ago."

"Oh yes! Several years ago," I replied.

(Eight years ago I later realized.)

"Yes, well we'd like to publish it in the January New Era. It's not 100% certain, but we most likely will. Are you still alright if we publish it?"

Of course I told her yes, and I told her she could change the title a bit and add a line so it'd go with the picture better. I don't really mind at all! Ha I wrote that poem when I was fourteen. I don't even remember what it really said (luckily she read it to me)!

Who'd have thought that eight years later, my poem would actually be published?

So the moral of the story, my friends, is to never give up. Just when you think something will never happen, hold on! It may be closer than you think! Then again it may take eight years to get there, but the journey and lessons learned will be well worth the wait.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A day in the life of Valerie

5:45-6:45 Work on talk for Sunday
6:45-7:15 Get ready for the day
7:15-7:45 Eat breakfast and pack lunch
7:45-8:45 Read "King Lear" while riding the bus to school
8:45-9:30 Research Byzantine costume for my Historic Costume project. (I found some awesome books I might add)
9:30-9:40 Walk to class
9:40-10:30 Precalc. Find out I didn't do as well as I hoped on my test, but there is hope for redemption.
10:30-10:45 Walk to class
10:45-11:35 Survey of Historic Costumes. Learn about metal corsets, huge ruffs and other crazy Renaissance fashion.
11:50-1:10 Research for Theatre History
1:10-1:45 A wonderful lunch break and a moment to breathe. It was quite the productive morning!
1:45-3:00 Work in the costume shop ironing fabric.
3:00-4:30 TA for costume construction. (Super fun! There are a lot of great people in that class and I have such fun helping people learn.)
4:30-5:15 Back in costume shop ironing fabric
5:15-7:00 Eat dinner, finish costume budget project and read more "King Lear."
7:00-7:30 Talk to friend
7:30-9:30 Watch a the preview for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Loved it, but it was the craziest version I've seen. NOTHING like Utah Shakespeare Festival. Definitely a modern interpretation.
9:30-10:15 Read "King Lear" as I wait for my mom to pick me up, because the bus doesn't run that late.

And now I'm home and blogging when I should be going to bed. Hmmm...sleep sounds glorious. I have another busy day tomorrow, so until another day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My New Book

Yesterday I was gifted the beautiful book, Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century from the Kyoto Fashion Institute.  I am in love with this book.  I've been wanting this book and a kind lady in the costume construction class I TA for offered it to me, because she had two copies.  I was so excited!

Let me show you why.  Here are some examples of the gorgeous costumes shown in the book: 

And these aren't even the best pictures. So many gorgeous things to look at. It makes me want to drop everything and try to recreate one of these beauties.

Being a sewing TA sure is working well for me. A new book, relearning good technique, inheriting a dress form (so it's a girls size 10, but it's better than nothing!) This crazy, busy semester happens to also be wonderful!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Secretly I want to be...

A marathon runner!

I think it would be the most incredible and empowering experience. Such discipline, strength and mind-power.


For now, I'm sewing 26.2 miles.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sometimes I think I'm a little crazy...

So it's only the second week of the semester and I already feel slightly crazy. Actually, I thought I was doing just fine, until my eye started twitching and I noticed the eczema developing on my hands. Yep, definitely signs of stress.

Pretty sure I need to learn to handle my life better.

Then, once again I am taking 15 credits and working a whole slew of jobs. Yes, a whole slew. Not only am I a sewing TA, I work in Pioneer Theatre's costume shop sewing, I teach two girls voice lessons, and one girl sewing lessons. Oh and I because it was too fun to pass up, I took on some free-lance sewing jobs - one making a prom dress for my cousin and the other is making costumes for a girl in a high school production of Oklahoma. Wow. All my jobs take up about a paragraph. That's kind of frightening. It's a good thing I love my jobs!

Now I just need to figure out how to balance work, school, and a social life...

One last note: Thank you for reading my vent. Sorry to complain. I do love life and am grateful that I do have a way to pay for school, and I get to work in things I love. I am very blessed.

1 Nephi 2:1 is my favorite. Sometimes the Lord says, "You are blessed. Oh and by the way some people want to kill you," all in one breath. But really we are blessed. I believe the Lord when He says "you're blessed" even when it may seem crazy at the time. He knows what He's talking about. Righteousness leads to blessings beyond compare. I'm counting on those.

One very last note: I just realized I'm complaining about my crazy schedule and I'm blogging. Perhaps I need to be a little more careful of using my time effectively...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm a TA!

On Monday my costume design professor asked me to be her TA for costume construction. I'm so excited! Yay for helping people learn to sew!

This was a few years ago. But a pictures always make blogs more fun to read, so here's a picture.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where did summer go?

It's back to school tomorrow and I can't believe it. I'm pretty sure I've been spoiled this summer. First off, I work at the best job ever, sewing awesome costumes. Then I come home and play and sew and cook... oh and sew some more. After that it was off to Pennsylvania and Cape Cod and then to the beautiful mountain resort of Snowbird for a family reunion (some people cringe when I say that, but I love my family so it was a treat.) Who'd want to go back to school when they've had a summer like that? But as I was reminded today, I am very lucky that I can go to school. I shouldn't complain. And I am determined to make this the best semester yet, so with that in mind it's going to be awesome.

But enough of that. Here's pictures of my trip:

My dear old roommate and I:

That part of the trip didn't quite go as planned... coming in at 1:30 am instead of 4:30 pm, broken air conditioning and closed tollways. BUT despite that, my two days with her were a blast! One of the days we went to the Jersey shore (the beach in New Jersey, but it's the shore, not the beach in the East). We went with her singles ward and it was so much fun playing in the ocean and talking to people about life as an LDS young adult on the East coast. After that day I decided I'm moving to the East.

After that I went to my cousin's. They live next to the city of...Hershey! So much chocolatey fun! I only spent 3 days in Hershey, since we soon left for Cape Cod to visit their grandparents (not on my side), but I loved it while I was there!

Hershey Park: an amusement park dedicated to chocolate:

Now these next photos are important. They document my first time riding a Ferris wheel. Pathetic? Perhaps. Okay, it's really pathetic considering I'm 21 years old. But I did it! Yay! I've certainly come a long way from my fearful childhood days. I was afraid of everything... heights, water, dogs, spiders, snakes, fish butterflies, sunflowers... yeah we don't need to continue. You get the picture. But I'm certainly showing my fear of heights who's boss! First, a Ferris wheel and then last week rock climbing and repelling (those pictures will come later). It certainly is exhilarating to go rock climbing(or perhaps it's the getting over fears that's so exciting?).

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

One of my favorite quotes and something I try to live by. I highly recommend living this way if you don't do it much.

Enough of my ramble. Here are pictures:

More pictures and rambles to come.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm Back!

Taken on the ferry ride to Nantucket

I'm back and really need to start blogging again. Sorry I've abandoned you! More pictures and stories to come.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pennsylvania Here I come!

This time tomorrow I will be in Pennsylvania visiting this girl:

My old roommate Emily. I haven't seen her since before her mission. I'm so excited!

And then on Sunday I'm going to visit some of these people:

My beloved cousins.

It's going to be so much fun! Valley Forge, Hershey, cookie shop, Cape Cod and driving back to Utah.

See you in two weeks!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wedding Dress

Some of you may know that I recently made my first wedding dress before I left for Cedar City. It was a lot of hard work and super intimidating, but it was a dream come true for me. Ever since I was in junior high I've been drawing wedding dresses on scraps of paper and dreaming of designing and making them.

Then one day a girl in my last ward, who I hardly knew, approached me about making her wedding dress. I was hesitant at first, since I've never done it before. But after talking to my costume design professor and hearing her vote of confhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifidence in me, I took this opportunity.

It was crazy and sometimes I felt like I was out of my mind for taking on such a big job. BUT it turned out beautiful, she loved it, and I learned so much. The craziness it added to last semester was worth it. I'm glad I got it done before I left for Cedar City. Originally I was going to have three weeks after the semester ended to finish it, but then I got my job at the Shakespeare Festival and that gave me a week to finish it after finals. Let me just say that week was kind of insane and I finished it at 5 pm the night before I left. Yikes! But it was done and it worked and I was so pleased.

After all this explanation, here's the link to her photographer's blog, since so many people have requested pictures. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


People who need people are the luckiest people.

I'm realizing more and more that people are the most important part of life. But like Fanny Brice, in this song (I've never seen the whole movie), I am just too busy. Busy is good. Developing your talents is good. Learning is good. But what good is it without other people to share it with?

Luckily I'm not a hermit and do have friends, but I think I can do a lot better. I will treasure friendships much longer and better than any piece of clothing I make or painting I do. People are the essence of life. They must be my top priority. I let my shyness get in the way sometimes, but that is just selfish. I must not think of myself, but of others.

I must put aside my sewing, drawing, cleaning and reading and go play and make more friends! There are people to meet, friendships to strengthen and memories to make.

On a lighter note, here's a recipe for delicious carrot cake pancakes I made this morning:

Carrot Cake Pancakes

• 5 3/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• Dash of ground cloves
• Dash of ground ginger
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 cups finely grated carrot (about 1 pound)
• Cooking spray
• 3 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through ginger) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs); add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in 2 cups carrot.
• 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon 4 (1/4 cup) batter mounds onto pan, spreading with a spatula. Cook for 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 1 minute or until bottoms are lightly browned. Repeat procedure twice with remaining batter. Combine butter and honey in a small bowl; serve with pancakes.

They're healthy and delicious! My favorite.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lazy Days...

After much insanity getting ready for dress rehearsals, things are calm and lovely. This week we're only working half days and now we're coming into work later (which means I really should run before work). From the looks of things we won't be working Friday either. So close to being done! I'm very excited about that since I'm definitely slowing down and getting a little burnt out. But at the same time, I will miss the wonderful learning atmosphere here and the chance to make such beautiful things with wonderful materials and great people to help me.

I am certainly enjoying my afternoons though.

Yesterday I practiced voice in my practice room, which I love, love, love and will miss dearly when I leave. There's a Steinway in there and such great acoustics - I can't help but sing out at the top of my lungs! Then I went to see The Glass Menagerie. It's a very intriguing play. I really enjoyed the symbolism in it.

And today has been lazy, lazy, lazy. I've cleaned, napped, baked bread and read. I'll probably read some more before going to Richard III tonight. I'm reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell right now and am just loving it. So much more depth than the movie.

Here's some more things I've made for your viewing pleasure.

This is a cape I helped make for Mrs. Shimm. The actress is a little taller than me, so the breastplate and cape are consuming me.

While I didn't build the little pink dress from scratch, I made it A LOT smaller.

Bolero jacket for Marian. I love the white trim.

Back of the sleeves. This is my favorite part.

My favorite project. This dress is gorgeous. (I feel I can say that since I just made it and didn't design it.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Love to See the Temple

My friend Shelby and I at the temple.

Being an hour away from the temple makes me really grateful to live only 5 minutes away from the temple all of my temple going years. I've been lucky enough to go to the Saint George temple twice since being in Cedar City.

My first month, being car less, I was unable to go (I usually try to go once a week) and I was craving it like crazy. I needed the peace and perspective it offers. There really is no place like the temple.

I'm reading Boyd K. Packer's, The Holy Temple and love it. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. I am learning so much and eagerly await the day I can go through the temple.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Remember This?

Remember the green jacket I made a couple weeks ago?

Well here it is!

These pictures are from photo call and more pretty pictures can be seen on the USF website.

You can't see it very well, but I made the blouse Mrs. Shimm is wearing.

It's so fun to see my work worn! Tomorrow I should finish up a lace dress, a blouse, and darling bolero - don't worry there will be pictures!

I can't wait to see the show!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Queen's Grace

I'm in Cedar City for only a few more weeks and I'm not ready to go home. There are four girls from BYU and I've been hanging out with them a lot. When I talk to them, it's almost like I'm at BYU again. At times, I almost forget I'm at the U. Then I remember and I play a really good Lot's wife, looking back longingly at the past. (If you haven't read Jeffery R. Holland's "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," which is what this is referenced from, you should. It changed my life.) I wonder what things would be like if I stayed at BYU. I long for my adorable yellow house I lived in, my wonderful friends (who are quickly marrying off), the more rigorous education, the spiritual aspect of the education, my ward and my independence.

Then I remind myself that I came to the U because I felt the Lord telling me that this is where I need to be. I could have ignored that prompting (which I did for a while) and stayed where I thought I'd be happy. But I chose to leave. No one dragged me kicking and screaming to the U and back to my parent's house. If anything I had plenty of people telling me I should stay. All the facts (finances, education, etc.) said I should stay too. Yet I knew that the Lord, with His greater vision had a plan for me. It wasn't going to be what I thought I wanted, but I knew that if I trusted in Him, He would bless me and I'd be far happier then I could ever be if I stayed at BYU and ignored him.

So I went and last year was one of the hardest years of my life. The U was even more liberal than I expected and I just didn't understand the school or how the social life worked in Salt Lake. Living at home was supposed to be a short stopping point before moving out again, but financial aid fell through and for the first time I was paying for school. I tried to keep faith in the future, but sometimes it wavered. I constantly have to remind myself that I am at the U by my own choosing and that the Lord must have something in store for me.

Well, as you can probably tell, today was one of those days where I wanted to go back. And today Emma Smith is my inspiration.

Listen to the lyrics of the second song played.

As I watched this I thought about all Emma went through. She moved again and again and gave up so many of her comforts to help others. Her parents were unhappy with her for marrying Joseph. She watched her children die, and her husband abused until his death as a martyr. Yet as the song in the video said, she "weathered every storm with a queen's grace."

Could that be said about me?

Not always. Sometimes my heart is too set on the past and I am far from being queenly. But I'm trying to be better. I need cheerfully submit to all things the Father asks.

My goal is to be truly happy at the U and in my ward this next year. No more holding back and comparing everything to BYU. I'm going to be fully immersed in both my ward and at school. And I'm going to love it.

But if nothing else, I have grown closer to my family and Father in heaven through this change. And that makes it all worth it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm Going to Pennsylvania!

I just bought a ticket to Pennsylvania!

I'm so excited! I'm going out there the end of July to visit my old roommate Emily in Philadelphia and then my cousins in Hummelstown. I've never been to visit my Hansen cousins (they've only visited me) so it will be so great to finally see their world. And my Aunt and her friend have recently started a cookie shop (www.missysuglycookies.com)and I get to see that! And I haven't seen my friend Emily since before her mission so that will be delightful as well! Love that girl! I am so incredibly excited for this trip!

Pennsylvania here I come!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Only 4 dresses, 2 suit coats, 1 cape and 31 people's alteratations to go...

Oh and we only have 2 weeks.

Crazy? Yes, slightly. But somehow we'll do it! That's the magic of theatre and I love it! Today was crazy getting ready for photo call, but we made it. Luckily.

I'm exhausted though and feel like it should be Friday already. I woke up (after a restless night) and my eyes were blood shot. I was really tempted not to wear my contacts, but my prescription is old and I just sort of kind of need to see well for my job. (By sort of kind of, I mean a lot). Plus wearing my glasses, just makes me feel tired and like slouching all day and disappearing into a corner. Don't know what it is that does that to me, because they're cute glasses, but it's just better if I wear my contacts.

So I put my contacts in, did some Pilates (I'm trying to get back in the habit of exercising). I tried to ignore the fact that my eyes hurt like crazy, and my throat hurt and my body was just tired. Certainly not my best day at work. But at least the jacket turned out pretty and I could listen to BYU devotionals while I sewed.

This is my favorite lately:http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1960.

Brother Williams talks about our yearning for home - our heavenly home and it really hit home. I've been feeling that homesickness for my heavenly home more and more lately. The more I see of the world, the more I long for the world beyond. And the closest we have here is the temple, and that is an hour away. Hopefully there's a temple trip soon! I need a little more heaven in my life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A lovely Day

This is the adorable jacket I made today at work.

It's for Marian and will go with a pretty green skirt for the "Marian the Librarian" sequence, I believe. I think it is absolutely adorable and want to make one for me now!

I love that I can just sit down for several hours and practically complete a project. So much better than only having a couple hours at a time to make something (like what I did when I was making that wedding dress). Hooray for consistency of time and great coworkers who teach me so much! I now know how to do so many more alterations - like lengthening or shortening sleeves on a suit jacket and taking pants in. Such great practical skills. I love my job : )

After work, my roommates and I went to this awesome antique store. They had lots of antique hats for a really good price. I couldn't resist, and neither could my roommates. I bought two adorable hats.

At first, I was just going to buy the second one (although not practical at all, but I'll find an occasion to use it!), but then I found the first one. I thought it was slightly wacky with the side things. But I tried it on and loved it. Someday I'll put up a picture of me wearing it. And it will keep my ears warm during the winter!

Then I made cupcakes for cupcake day tomorrow. Apparently every year the costume shop has cupcake day, where everyone brings cupcakes to share during our afternoon break. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of cupcakes since there are at least 40 people in the costume shop - and that's not counting costume crafts or hair and make-up that will come too!

I made these cute chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cookie dough on the top.

I found the recipe here: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/05/chocolate-peanut-butter-cookie-dough-toasted-marshmallow-cupcakes.

They called for meringue on top, but I don't like meringue or frosting cupcakes so i just sprinkled them with powdered sugar and cocoa powder and called it good. I think they're delicious! And I didn't realize until after I made them that they're vegan. Perfect ones for me to make since I rarely keep eggs or milk in the fridge (not that I am vegan, I just don't use them much).

That is my day! Sewing, baking, hats... now if only I'd practiced voice, then it would have been perfect!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beautiful Zion

Last Saturday a bunch of us from the costume shop went hiking. It was one of the first truly beautiful days here and I loved it! Southern Utah is unique and absolutely beautiful. I used to hate the look of the red rock, but now I love it.

It was fun going with these girls who were seeing Zions for the first time. We went on three little hikes - Emerald Pools, Hanging Gardens, and I can't remember the other one. But it was lovely. I'm so glad it's the time of year to hike!

After we went to Zions we stopped at this random store/petting farm/I don't know what else. There was this random village sort of thing outside it that I found amusing... and so I took a picture.

It was a good Saturday.
I have a feeling this Saturday is going to be a little more chill. Just my Grandparents taking me out to breakfast and then who knows what else. Hopefully I don't get too board!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I love Cedar City!

I've only lived here 2 weeks, but already I love it.

Here's what I love:
- It's beautiful (as you can see from above)
- There are lots of beautiful hikes around here. And I love hiking.
- People here are incredibly friendly
- I have a lovely apartment with my own room, bathroom and walk-in closet
- Laundry is FREE! (I may have done a happy dance when I found that out)
- The great institute program. I signed up for 2 institute classes the day after I got here and I love my classes and socializing with other LDS people.
- That I can walk to work, church, and institute (if I want and if I want nice people will give me a ride)
- And of course my work: I get to make pretty costumes for Music Man. I'm learning lots and just love it!

There you go. I have a feeling this summer is going to be awesome.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The birth of Another Blog

I finally decided to give into the blog craze.

So here you are dear friends and family who wish to hear about my life. I apologize if my blog is already too painfully girly. I'm sure you may have noticed that I am incredibly girly (although I prefer to call it ladylike) and my blog most definitely reflects that.

I don't promise to write well, profound or everyday. But I do promise to give you a truthful glimpse of the life of Miss V. So let the tale begin...