Monday, March 28, 2011

General Conference!

Saints of the world unite!

Got this from here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Body is More Than Raiment

Have you ever caught yourself in the act of becoming someone you'd never thought you'd be? I did last Saturday. And it was not pretty.

The combination of a post-pregnancy body and a lack of spending money in the last year or so left me with a semi-meager, hand-me-down, ill-fitting wardrobe. It turns out I can be quite vain when it comes to my appearance, so the state of my closet was making me gradually more and more grouchy. 'Nothing fits!' I said. 'I have no clothes!' 'I feel like a homeless person!' I complained a lot, which I am ashamed to admit, but there it is--the true me.

One day, we received a Happy Easter package from our family and inside was a sum of cash with which I was specifically instructed to go buy some new summer clothes--an answered prayer, Roo was quick to point.

I was so excited. Unabashedly thrilled to go choose clothing. Roo, in turn, was also thrilled because whenever I am happy, he is happy. So Saturday was the day I took the cash, headed to the mall, and learned a great lesson.

The first "problem" (that's the word I would've chosen at the time) of that day was that Esmé was hungry and tired before we even left. Second, the mall was overrun with people. Third, I don't do well under stress. So there I was in the store jostling through people, so focused on finding good clothes and good deals and all the while aware that my hungry baby was fussy and Roo was probably getting bored with waiting for me. In between rushed trips to the dressing room, I was getting frustrated. Frustrated with the way I looked. Frustrated with the way the clothes weren't fitting. Frustrated that Roo was just milling about and waiting with the angry baby. Frustrated that the baby needed to eat thirty minutes ago. Frustrated that I didn't know what to pick. And frustrated, I am most ashamed to admit, that we didn't have enough money for me to get everything I wanted. Finally overcome, angry, annoyed, and like I mentioned, frustrated, I chose some shorts and gave up on finding anything else. We left.

Walking back to the car, I was obviously flustered and annoyed. I felt as frumpy getting back into the car as I'd felt stepping out of it. Roo can read me like a book, but at that moment I was more like a flashing billboard of dissatisfaction, which in turn made Roo dissatisfied. He asked me if I was okay, trying to get me to say why I was so annoyed. I'm fine, I defensively responded, then listed the various frustrations of the day. I pointed out that he didn't seem like he'd had a very good time, trying to shift the blame for our bad moods onto him. "I'm fine," he said, "I was just hoping that this could be a nice outing for you," And then he said it: "That you would just be happy."

"That you would just be happy..." I felt accused. And then I felt guilty. I wanted to be offended, but eclipsing that was the knowledge that what he said was true. I should have just been happy. I had been given--given!--money to spend all on myself and there I was making the worst of the situation, finding the worst in myself, picking out all the ways in which I could conceivably be unsatisfied with the situation. There I was pouting in the parking lot.

I didn't say anything on the way home. But I had learned two lessons:

1) There's nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, the problem is when that keeps you from acting nice. The other problem is when you use the appearance of your body to determine its fundamental worth. One glance of a bad angle in the mirror and your day is ruined, your identity in disarray. I happened to read that night in Luke, "The body is more than raiment." To think otherwise is to be profoundly ungrateful.

2) I should just be happy.

Happy like our little Esmé here:

Esmé Laughing from Annie Phillips on Vimeo.

p.s. I just want to add that I went back to the same store on Monday with a much better attitude and found plenty of nice summer clothes. I want to thank those responsible.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just Two Things About Me

1. I am not wise at night. A high percentage of things I regret saying were said when it was dark out. Roo can attest.

2. I can make some top-notch naan. Here's the recipe if you want it. It is phe-naan-enal. (Hmmm...that last thing I said may have just confirmed point #1.)

Monday, March 14, 2011


I feel this picture best sums up our emotional state at the end of the week:

A little bit crazy. A little bit Gary Busey-esque, if you will.

So on Saturday morning we decided to do as the Houstonians do and take in some springtime cheer at the seaside. But in order to do that, we also had to do as the Houstonians do and drive one hour through the Gotham-like cityscape of oil refineries on the way to the coast. After we passed through the dark land of the refineries, we arrived at Kemah, which has a lively boardwalk with lovely sea views and a carnival atmosphere. We ate lunch on the deck of a Mexican restaurant right next to the water.

(I borrowed the previous two pictures from the internet to give you a better idea of the place.)

In this picture I may look like I'm admiring the scenery, but I was actually staring unabashedly and eavesdropping on the conversation of two (very young) tattooed kids next to me who were drinking beer and smoking and talking about their partying/video gaming exploits, and I was wondering, what happened to your parents? It's probably a sad story.

I find I'm at my most judgmental when I'm in a carnival setting.

The weather was warm, the air thick and salty with a steady sea breeze. It felt distinctly Southern. It felt good to be out of doors.

A lazy afternoon in the warm South. You can almost hear the lonely banjo plucking away in the distance. Somebody get this girl a straw hat and a fishing pole!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

UK Study Abroad 2005

It's been six years since our study abroad in the UK. I recently made this slide show of our trip and decided to share it here. It is quite long (we were there for two months) but I thought it might be interesting for those of you who were there with us.

UK Study Abroad 2005 from Annie Phillips on Vimeo.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dream Location of the Week

The Dog Bark Park Inn - Bed & Breakfast
Cottonwood, Idaho

Is there any reason why someone would not want to sleep in the head of the World's Largest Beagle? I can't think of any. It boasts a private 2nd story deck, unique decor designed by chainsaw artists (yes, chainsaw artists) Dennis and Francis, plus, as the website boasts, "a cozy alcove in the muzzle."