The Happiness Project

I just finished Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I have to admit, that I was a little wary before starting it because of the self-help aspect of it, but heard such good things that I decided to try it out.

I'll start with the bad - at times the book frustrated me. Rubin works in New York City with her husband and two daughters, is a full-time writer, a successful published author, and is very financially stable. Her life seems like the life most people would die for, so I felt like she should probably already be happier than the average person. At times she talked about working and I was like, "Are you kidding? I would die to write for my career all day." Still, there were times when I realized that that was kind of the point of the book - no matter how good we have it, we still can't all honestly say, "I am happy."

The book inspired me to start my own Happiness Project, and since I don't want to wait until January to start fresh, I'll start in June. How the project works is, each month Rubin focused on an aspect of happiness - Health, Money, Passion, Marriage, Organization, etc. From there she outlined specific goals to focus on that month, and documented her experience. Each month she added on to what she was previously doing so by the last month she felt like her life was in order and even if she wasn't happier, she was conscious of feeling happier, and had minimized the things that made her unhappy. She also has a great blog, where she continues the discussion. 

I feel like in lieu of impending medical school, a big move and a completely new life almost, this year from June 2012 to June 2013 is the best time to start my own project.

I'll probably document it here to help keep myself on track. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. It's amazing how just a series of small steps can lead to more awareness of the happiness that exists.

Have you read The Happiness Project? Have you ever done your own Happiness Project?

p.s. sorry I haven't been around in awhile. I've been working overtime and moving during my free time, which doesn't leave a lot of time for blogland.


if you let them

new books. long nights talking late with friends. falling asleep with the fan spinning above my head and his arm draped across my side. homemade pizza crust made on the stone. talking to my sister and freezing the screen so i can see her anytime. sunlight streaming through the blinds. car wash signs and lemonade stands. a book that seems to write itself. bottomless popcorn. bellies swollen with babies. whispers during church. new computers. strawberry season. goodbye kisses. raw ambition. little fingers on the keys. 

these are all things that can make you happy if you let them. 


hard questions

Pinned Image

I have this thing I do with Kevin and it is morbid and I should stop, but sometimes I can't help but ask. I want to know how his life would be lived if I were no longer in it. If I were no longer here on this earth. (am I the only wife who does this?)

Would you get remarried? Of course you would. What would she be like? How soon? Would you be an awkward dater? Would you tell her about me? Make sure she is so nice. 

Where would you live? Would you still go to school? Would your specialty change?

Would you sell all of my things? Would you give them away? Would you leave it up to someone else to pack up? Make sure my sisters help you.

How long would you miss me? How soon until you would feel better again?

The other night I asked him, "Would you still have kids?"

He thought about it for a minute. I could tell he wasn't sure how to respond, and he rubbed his eyes with his fingers before he finally spoke. 

"Yes. But they wouldn't be with you."

image via 


fugitive pieces


We met for Book Club last night and discussed Fugitive Pieces. Some of us hated it, some of us loved it (me) but all of us agreed that there was so much to say, and so much heaviness we harbored after reading it. Almost inexpressibly, you finished reading and felt a sag in your heart, because it was poetically so much.

We discussed the women in the story. Do such women exist? And if so, does such a man exist that counts his wife or lover as his savior? I suggested that we piece together the things in life that mean something, which makes up this story. We have everyday things like brushing our teeth and taking out the trash and falling asleep and we don't write about these things because they don't matter. The women then - may have been personified as a savior because the narrator chose the pieces that mattered to him, making her that. I confessed that I wished that a man would write about me with that same passion. When I asked Kevin if he would ever write about me, he shrugged and said, "Maybe in my journal." That is not what I meant. :)

We discussed the poetry. Did it work? Ingrid mentioned stars like peppermints and how it was so unrealistic. Too much. "Purple Prose" she called it - the entire work was "Purple Prose." It's nice to have someone as smart as she is around.

We discussed the themes - so many. Death, Permanence, Geology, Love, Fear, Humanity. How the Holocaust can seem like a theme that is discussed so heavily in literature. We all agreed that learning about the Holocaust from a secondary point of view was refreshing.

Brittany mentioned the fact that the author was a poet. You can tell when you read it. It is so much poetry! I would recommend reading it in pieces, like I suggest here to really understand and relate to it.

And finally, some of our favorite parts (that I remember)

Emma“Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently. And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another.” 

Hillary“I see that I must give what I most need.” 

Mine: "a dissonance — like griefwhose pain is love"

Ingrid's: ''She imagines the stars as peppermints and holds them in her mouth until they dissolve" (Just kidding :)

Our next book is Gabriel García Márquez's Memories of my Melancholy Whores.

Thanks for those of you who came. I love you girls.


Apartment Tour

I have been meaning to post these pictures and have just gotten around to it.. as we are moving. This apartment has been frustrating to decorate. Most of it is one long, narrow room. We couldn't figure out where to put a TV so we just decided not to put one in our living room at all. When friends come to watch a movie we all pile on the bed in our room :)

Our landlord is strict. So strict that he wouldn't let us hang pictures on the walls. AT ALL. I love the location, the vaulted ceilings, and a lot of things about the apartment but needless to say I am ready for a new place to decorate. A lot of the items seen are listed here for sale, and even if they're not listed we are probably selling them, we just haven't gotten around to posting them. Email me if you have any questions or are interested. (And please excuse my terrible photography skills.)

Living Room:

Sofa: EQ3 (for sale)
Pillows: Kohls
Tables: Ikea
Rug: Bed Bath & Beyond
Tray: Z-Gallerie
Ghost Chair: Amazon
Blue Chair: Vintage (For sale)
Mirrored Dresser: Pottery Barn
Horse Picture: Paul Ferney

Dining Room:

Table: Ikea (for sale)
Chairs: Vintage, reupholstered
Olive wood Candlesticks: A gift from Jessica in Jerusalem


Duvet: eBay
Sparkle pillow: Bed Bath & Beyond
Lamp: QVC
Side Table: Savers
Dresser: Craigslist
Mirrored Frame: Z-Gallerie
Shell: Our honeymoon


Cleaning House

This weekend, my lovely bookshelf went from this:

To this:

We are definitely moving. I realized while taking this picture to sell our shelf that I have never done an apartment tour. I think I procrastinated it because it didn't feel finished. Now I realize that decorating is never finished. I still want to have some pictures to document this place we've spent 18 months at though, so expect a home tour post later this week. Just don't expect anything crazy or magazine quality. Also, since we have started moving already an entire room won't be included. It is now occupied by boxes and miscellaneous objects I did not know existed.

Also, we are selling most of our earthly belongings to pay for Kevin's school :) Not really, but we do want to sell a lot so we don't have to move/store it. Here are some local listings (don't ask about some of the stuff we are selling... long story.) We still need to add more (like my car!) but it is a good start.  I might list things like winter clothes and boots too that I can ship if there is enough interest. We are definitely getting rid of all of our Utah winter clothes and it makes me sad. 

Arizona here we come!


Tia's wedding

Tia's wedding was last Friday, and I don't think I have ever been to a reception that was as fun as hers. Honestly.  All of my favorite people were there, the atmosphere was a total party, and Tia and Dan couldn't be cuter. I went to the temple as well earlier in the day and their ceremony was so beautiful and sacred. 

I'm so happy that so many of my friends have found the best guys to marry. Seriously, I don't know how we all got so lucky but we have some pretty amazing husbands (myself included.) 

Kelsie, Kylie and Lizzie. Love these girls!

Bryan, Me, Christa, Katie, Lizzie, Danika, Stacey