Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Lesson I Learned From Robyn

This weekend Zach and I have been busy attending the semi-annual general conference of my church--the Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (You may access it at: During these times, I find myself reflecting more often on my current life, past circumstances, and how I can become better moving forward. Lately I've been thinking of one particular scripture as it relates to recent experiences.

See, The Book of Mormon starts out following one family. Throughout the book, people separate into different groups designated by the suffix -ites. But in the most peaceful part of the book, it says, "There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manger of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God." (4 Ne. 1:17)

I kept thinking about how relevant this scripture and this attitude is today. Because we all want to feel needed and wanted, we align ourselves with different groups. As a result, we consciously or unconsciously alienate others and become divisive--sometimes over minor issues.

I am guilty of this. I remember the first time I did this. When I was in elementary school, there was a girl named Robyn. She didn't dress very well and she never had her hair combed. As a result, people teased her. In order to fit in with the majority, I teased her as well. One night over dinner, I brought it up with my family, possibly hoping that they would vindicate my behavior and engage in the teasing as well. My parents' answer surprised me. My mom said, "She probably doesn't dress well because she doesn't have much money." And then I asked, "Well what about her hair? She never brushes it." My mom replied, "Maybe she doesn't have a brush or she was never taught good hygiene and she needs someone to help her." My perspective completely changed. My mom gave me money to pick out new clothes for her and to buy her a fancy brush and some other things. It was the end of the school year and even still, I was nervous to give the gift to her because I didn't want anyone to see me talking to her. i was also nervous that by giving it to her i would be hurting her pride and someone letting her in on our secret gossip-fest.

In reality, none of that happened. I nervously walked up to Robyn and handed her the gift. I told her I thought she might like it. she thanked me and lit up inside. She was so grateful, and I could tell most of it came from someone just coming up and talking to her. I have never forgotten about Robyn or about that moment. But sadly, it still has not prevented me from doing this again. And I guess it's hit me now more than ever because recently I have felt like Robyn.

It is not fun to feel on the outside of a group. It is not fun to feel like you are the one who unites a group--uniting a group in their common opinion of you. The silver lining of this feeling is the further impact it has on me to ensure that I am never the cause of someone else feeling alienated. I remember again the good and lasting feeling I had when I handed Robyn the present. It's great to know that I can do that again and again by being simply being a friend.

Oh, and I'd really love to find out where Robyn is today and be her friend. Robyn Reed: are you out there?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tyler Glenn Chest Hair

Okay, does anyone else check out their blog statistics? One of my favorite features is looking at search terms people enter to get to my site. My favorite one from this week was "tyler glenn chest hair." How in the world did someone get my blog from that search term?

So I have a question for you out there: whether you're a friend, a family member, or someone who googled "Nate Ruess laughing" and got my blog instead. What are some of the crazy search terms that lead people to your blog?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Post Over at the

I'm slowly phasing out this blog. So if you follow this blog, go ahead and change the address to You'll be glad you did.

While you're there, revel in the differences between Zach and me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wedding Dress Help

Tonight, the wedding dress consultant got mad at me for not having a dress picked out yet. The problem is that I have all the odds stacked against me.

* I need a modest dress with sleeves

* I want a dress to fit in with the classic vintage (1920s)theme

* I need it to be in my size (I currently fit into wedding dresses from sizes 8-14)

* I need a dress that looks good with my body type (probably the hardest one to satisfy) A-line and Empire waist types look best on me (It has to fit my larger chest, small waist, and hide my enormous hips)

* I don't want to spend a fortune

So...does anyone have any suggestions? Or does anyone know someone who has a spare wedding dress lying around that might possibly match that description?

I'm freaking out here.

Check Us Out!

Okay, I know it's in its infancy stage right now, but I'm too excited that it exists to even wait for it to look perfect. So everyone go check out my new blog at

Leave us a comment and tell us what you think!

Monday, July 11, 2011

McKinney Falls

A couple weekends ago, my sister's family and I went park hopping in Austin. Our first stop was McKinney Falls State Park. When we're not in the worst drought in South Texas history, there are actual running waterfalls and natural springs where people swim.

Although it was probably beautiful when there was more water, it still was fun.

There were these neat bridges, tall trees, and ancient caves where native Americans used to live.

But the highlight was the friend we met in the visitor's center. Don't you just love her hair?

Monday, June 13, 2011


I want to lose weight.

Diet, exercise, rinse, and repeat. I get it. But today I learned the most inspiring way to lose weight.


Nothing makes me feel gross and smushy more than trying on a wedding dress and realizing I'd like to be about four sizes smaller. So if I keep it up and try on one wedding dress a day until I get married, I may actually drop four sizes. Here's to hoping.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Newly Engaged Debut

My nephew, Christian, is a novice producer. He's learning a lot of things, most notably how to work a camera. But he also wrote a comedy sketch featuring Mrs. Smith (an intelligence tester at school) and Stewart (a less-than-intelligent student). If you can forgive the shaky camera work, I think it's pretty funny.

This was also filmed about 24 hours after Zach and I got engaged.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tulips Are My Favorite Flower

...and Zach is my favorite man.

(Behold Zach. I tell him he looks like a muppet. This picture proves that I'm right.)

Zach and I have been friends for almost two years now. It was a cordial friendship while I cycled through dating several different men. Those guys were great, and I never planned on dating Zach ever. Then something happened to Zach where he got his heart broken in a really big way in December. We were studying for finals together when things were falling apart, so I tried my best to make every experience positive for him--as positive as studying about marijuana distributors and cocaine addicts could be (It was criminal procedure, guys. Not my choice).

When we came back from the break in January, I continued to spend time with Zach, hoping to help him recover and hoping to help him not lose faith in dating or women or both. In the process of serving him, listening to him, and understanding what he was going through, I started to develop strong emotional connections with him.

Zach became an even better friend. We started dating. Although it was slow and casual, my care and concern for him and his well-being deepened. I got to know not just the "crisis-mode Zach" but the fun Zach, the silly Zach, the rapper Zach, the wicked smart Zach, the thoughtful Zach, well you get it--the many sides of Zach.

(We went on our very first road trip to Vegas. Think Hangover combined with That Thing You Do. That was our trip.)

(And we went to the Beatles LOVE show.)

It was wonderful to learn about him, to serve him, and to become so close to him, but at the same time I was constantly getting bogged down by external forces that made me doubt and question daily whether we should be together.

(An acrostic I wrote on my doorstep before one of our dates.)

Then something serious happened. Because these experiences are so special to me, I will leave most of them off this blog, but I just want to touch on some of them. My mission president said some things at the mission reunion in early April that really struck me. He also said some pretty profound, even prophetic things. That experience, coupled with a few more during General Conference weekend, led me to the largest, cheesiest display of affection I have ever undertaken.

I wrote down 100 things that I love about Zach, coupled them with a note, placed them inside a case with a bass guitar (he plays bass), and left it on his parent's doorstep where he was staying that weekend.

A few more things happened, and I realized how much I loved Zach and how patient I was willing to be for him to do the things he needed to do to figure out his life--to get back to normal and to be happy again. I decided not to care about any external factors and just to focus on loving Zach and showing him the respect and patience he deserved.

(This was a pivotal night--a day that will live in infamy.)

Over time, though, I realized that resolve was harder to keep than it was to say. And another wonderful guy came into my life who was ready to date me, to commit to me, to serve me, and to love me, without the constant relationship-nurturing that it seemed our relationship required.

I was happy in my new relationship, but I never felt the deep, abiding connection that I did with Zach. From the moment I broke up with Zach, Zach had begun an elaborate scheme to try to "win me back." Yeah right, I thought. He had his chance. I was convinced that this was "crisis mode" behavior--that he was acting on impulse and that he was not really like this.

I didn't speak to him for a week. His friends, his family members, and our mutual friends sent sincere and heartfelt text messages and gchats my way about how hurt he was and how I needed to at least talk to him. And I felt bad for Zach. So I did just that.

I talked to him. And we spent time together. Then we talked some more. Days passed. After I realized he hadn't gone crazy but that he had just realized a little slower than me how strong his feelings were, we continued to date.

And I have never been happier. I was always happy with Zach before, and I loved him just the way he was, but now when I see the Zach who actually reciprocates feelings, I am blown away. He is the world's biggest sweetheart. And the funny thing is, I didn't even need or expect a sweetheart. I just wanted a really close friend.

Luckily Zach is that and so much more.

(He took me to Thanksgiving Point's Tulip Festival after finding out that tulips were my favorite flower.)

(Sorry for the sap. I just thought I talk a lot about the drama of dating that it's time for me to be a little vulnerable and actually share a sweet story.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I will be so happy for the day that my performance and success in life is results based and not grades based. When I write appellate briefs, I want the outcome to be my client winning the appeal, not receiving an A- in drafting. When I become a mother, I want my teaching techniques to my children translate into well-mannered and educated offspring, not a B+ in Child Development.

But until that day, it's nice to see straight As on my transcript from last semester, if only for a small while.