Stressed Out

I was raised on sports. Specifically, I was raised on BYU sports (and USA sports during the Olympics). Some of my earliest memories revolve around these sports--I could recognize and signal for a touchdown when watching football on TV before I could walk. If you go back and read the few journal entries I made during my teenage years they often revolve around BYU football--it was the era of Ty Detmer--and who they were playing on the coming Saturday. My love of sports hasn't changed any as I have aged--although I much prefer BYU basketball to football now--but I had thought that I was approaching a new zen about how I view my sports teams and their wins and loss. You see, once upon a time my world seemed to shatter when my team would lose and it would effect me for days. Somewhere in my 20s, though, I began to handle these losses much better--gained some perspective or something. All was good. I loved my teams. I wanted them to win. But when they didn't (and sadly they often didn't) I could move on without stewing over it pretty much as soon as the games were over.

All that--all my maturing, growing up, perspective, zen finding--has changed with this year's college basketball season. I am stressed. And not only am out stressed out when they lose (fortunately not often this year) but I am stressed out for days before they play (and they play about twice a week which means I am pretty much just stressed out)--I think that perhaps I was never stressed out before games as a teenage because back then, just as I was immortal, my teams were immortal which perhaps says a bit about why it was so hard when they did lose.

What is different about this year?

Well, one possibility it that BYU is good--as in really, really good (at least comparatively speaking). And they have this player named Jimmer (perhaps you have heard of him) who is really, really good--and is in the running for several MVP of the Year type of awards. But I have cheered for teams that have won national titles before and not felt this kind of stress.

Another possibility: while I don't actually know any of these players or coaches, I do feel a bit of a connection of faith with most of the players on this year's team--can I just say how tickled I was when Jimmer went on ESPN TV and in response to a question testified of his knowledge of the truth of the Gospel with which we share a belief. But again, I have cheered for teams (pretty much any BYU team) where I have felt this same connection and not felt this kind of stress--I have even cheered for teams from BYU who have won national titles and not felt stressed by the combination of both a good team and a team that shares my faith).

Really, I am at a loss. All I know is that I so badly want this team and its players as a group and individually to play well--and not even for me the fan but for them and the work they and their coaches put into what they are doing (see I am not totally regressing back to my teenage years when I wanted my teams to win because if they didn't I would be upset--at least sort of right?). Clearly what I need to do is pay a bit more attention to one of BYU star players (Emery Jackson) who, when asked about his future in the Europe or the NBA, emphasizes that his focus right now is on completing his University degree and not on what possibilities may come to him if he decides to pursue basketball professionally. See, Courtney, sports is not everything!

Still, with the biggest game of the season looming on Saturday, I find myself in bed for the second day in a row praying that I haven't let this all get so out of control as to actually make me ill--please, please, please.

And please, please, please let them play (read: destroy the other team--obviously in a loving Christian sort of a way--oh that last comment is so fraught with discussion possibilities that we won't go into right now) well on Saturday.

I think I need to find some chocolate and some peanut butter.


The Absolute Perfect Kitchen

Okay, speaking of fantasies (I was yesterday), I have a recurring fantasy about the perfect white kitchen and Stephanie of Stephmodo has gone and discovered it--I am completely smitten and in love with every single detail. I am now going to put the picture of this perfect kitchen on my blog so that someday when I am fabulously wealthy I can recreate every single detail of it:

spotted at Stephmodo


Fantasy Be Gone

Okay, so it is possible that I may just be a little bit obsessed with Jordan and Gabrielle's blogs chronicling their separate but equally wonderful adventures living abroad in France for the next year. It is possible that I occasionally get lost in day dreams about what my sweet little Paris flat would look like if I followed them over there. And yes it is possible that I get lost thinking about how cute my kids (yes in my day dreams I have kids--3 perfect ones--and a wonderful husband who speaks flawless French) would be in their school uniforms speaking French. But really folks it is time to get back to my reality...at least it will be right after you watch this cute video that has me checking out the french language options at my local library:

spotted at Design Mom


Spring is in the Air...

(note: somehow this didn't post yesterday when I had written it so I am posting it today. But it was written yesterday before there was snow on the ground!)

...but only temporarily (as in snow is expected tomorrow). So today I decided to take advantage of the extra spring in my step and do some shopping. More specifically, I decided to pick up some new colors for my fingernails (a Christmas present from my sister--what is better than Christmas and nice weather? Nothing!). Those of you that know me well know that, apart from the color scheme on this blog, I just really don't do pink. Well, I've decided that is about to change (on my fingers at least) and picked up this fab new color:
But just in case that doesn't work out for me I also picked up this one:
And now I will be spending the rest of my evening walking around with fingers splayed.

colors and images via essie


Happy V-Day

After last nights entirely disappointing airing of part 1 of Any Human Heart (really where is the character development--why on earth should I care at all about such shallow characters who think of nothing but their only immediate pleasure--and where are the fantastic settings, costumes, and dialogue) on PBS, I felt it was necessary to indulge in a bit of oatmeal cooked up with dried cranberries and a few extra dark chocolate chips thrown into the mix this morning. Pure bliss!

I also intend to indulge in a few of these today:
And I hope that your Valentine's Day is filled with lots of flowers, chocolate, love, and whatever else your heart desires today.


Sweetheart Knit Valentine

Okay, so by now you are probably wondering who I am and what I have done with Courtney. Well, my friends it truly is me. I've just been bitten by the blogging bug this week. Actually, I've been rather stressed out by stuff lately and decided that the best way of dealing with that is to not stop doing all the things that I love just because they are time consuming. Rather, in an attempt to stay somewhat mentally healthy, I have decided that I absolutely must make some of the good things in life an absolute priority. That means that I'm blogging and reading again and while the stress is still there, I feel so much better about everything. I really must try to remember this little lesson.

Anyway, on to a Valentine from Flax and Twine. How absolutely adorable is this:

I am now being faced with that age old question: to knit or to read?

Tutorial Here.

Spotted on Design Mom
Image via Flax and Twine

Setting My Clocks for Sunday

As I mentioned yesterday I did not get a chance to watch Downton Abbey as it was first airing on PBS--read that as I did not appropriately schedule my time around the event. Well, there is a new 3-part series called Any Human Heart starting up and I am determined to be paying proper attention this time around because one Matthew MacFadyen (of MI-5 and the lesser--but still watchable--Pride and Prejudice fame) is playing one of the leading roles. And while I'm not at all sure about the subject (a quiet question from me regarding if this series' subject would normally be of interest to me) of the series, I really just can not say no to Matthew.

And then in March PBS is airing an encore presentation of The 39 Steps with one Rupert Penry-Jones (of MI-5 and Persuasion fame).

What exactly is it with these British boys, MI-5, and Jane Austen? One might begin to think that all they did was star in really fantastically watchable programs of quite decent quality.


I Love Stationary

I love stationary just about as much as I love making lists. Buying stationary is one of the top 3 things I MUST do when I visit Boston (they have a Crane & Co. stationary shop and I don't--the other two being visit Mike's Pastry and purchase chocolate covered cranberries). When I visit a bookstore I naturally gravitate toward their stationary displays. And then I buy, buy, buy. The result is a really decent stationary collection. Sadly, it is not a collection I often use. And it is not even that I don't want to use all my pretty stationary, it is that I just don't. Well, folks I've been browsing Etsy and am just itching to buy something perhaps like this from Sycamore Street Press:

The thing is, though, I'm kind of on a little card/stationary buying diet and am not allowing any new purchases until I use half of all my stationary. Therefore, I need a plan!

Step One: Take stationary out from under bed where I have been storing it--hoping that if I see it I'll use it.

Step Two: Create a space for that stationary, newly out from under the bed, to reside.

Step Three: Sit down and write!!! (Perhaps while I sit down to watch Downton Abbey which I was prevented from seeing when it aired on PBS in January--thank you fabulous public library)

So does anyone want a letter/note from me on a piece of my fabulous stationary (I've got Kate Spade)?


I Want a Dog

So perhaps this is the week I change my mind on what I thought I wanted and didn't want because, like yesterday, I never would have thought I would even think such a thing as "I want a dog." I am really just not an animal person in general. And while the truth is that I still really do not want a dog, if there were ever anything that could convince me otherwise it would be these dashing dog collars ($37) from Silly Buddy:

So here's hoping I see your dog sporting one of these soon (preferably sporting one of these while not jumping up on me).

p.s. I finished my "About Me" page so check that out. It involves lists!

spotted at Ali Loves Curtis
picture via Silly Buddy


I Want to Live in Paris

Okay, so those are words that, truly, I never thought would come out of my mouth (or be typed by my fingers). Of all the places I've been in Europe, Paris wouldn't even under normal circumstances make the top five places I would like to live. I remember it as being rather dirty, a little unfriendly, and with museums a touch on the unwieldy side. All those thoughts have flown out the door, though, as I have watched Jordan at Oh Happy Day prepare and now arrive with her family for a year-long adventure in the City of Lights. Here is just a sampling of what she gets to wake up to:

Are you not entirely mesmerized by the charming beauty of it all? Check out Jordan's adventures here. And check out her sister Gabrielle's similar adventures (only in this instance it is Normandy, France with her husband and 6 children) here.

As for me, before this little shake-up, I would rank the places I would love to live in Europe as follows:

1. London, England (my favoritest city in all the world--my apologies to Boston)
2. Rome, Italy
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
4. Edinburgh, Scotland
5. Siena, Italy

photos by Paul Ferney via Oh Happy Day


The Jimmer Show

It is over at last. No more Super Bowl/NFL coverage. No more so-called funny Super Bowl commercial breaks that really did nothing for me other than convince me that there are certain brands I should avoid completely (Doritos and Pepsi)--although I should mention as a disclaimer that I didn't watch much of the second half. And no more hours and hours being spent by sports analysts telling me why the Steelers are a lock to win. Now on to more important stuff: like College Basketball. And in particular BYU's superstar Jimmer Fredette. Not that I would let a tiny thing like the Super Bowl get in the way of my BYU basketball team. In fact, I had the chance this last Saturday to attend The Jimmer Show (aka: BYU vs. UNLV) in person. And, for the most part, it/he was all that I could have hoped for (okay, so I was hoping for another 40+ point performance but still, there is no denying that the pasty-white boy can shoot). Here is a bit of proof:

Okay, so not so much proof as Jimmer is the blur in the middle throwing the ball away--cause, hey, even superstars make mistakes when they are triple teamed.


Carl Bloch

I can not believe that I haven't blogged about Carl Bloch! But, somehow it is true. So here is the low down:

BYU's Museum of Art is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime type exhibit featuring several of Carl Bloch alter pieces. The once-in-a-lifetime bit comes from the fact that several of these pieces have never been outside of Denmark before and some not even outside of the church buildings in which they have been residing for over 100 years!

I've been twice and have LOVED the exhibit thoroughly (may I highly recommend the iPad rental--even if it does make you look like a nerdy tourist who might be wearing white tube socks with sandals). I have been awed, inspired, and cried just a tad (Elder Ballard's fault really--see iPad). Here is my favorite piece of the exhibit:

And really, this image just doesn't even come close to doing the piece any justice at all.

So with all the imploring I can muster, I highly encourage demand you to make your way over to my part of Utah (I'm looking at you Brigham City) for this fantastic opportunity. Tickets are required but are free and can be reserved here until May 7th. May I also suggest you choose a night other than Tuesday or Wednesday as that is the night of many, many youth groups. Also, you may want to know that the Museum isn't all that strict on the ticket time--should you, you know, get stuck in a really long line for the iPad rentals ($3).



There is absolutely nothing that keeps me more on top of my New Year's Resolutions like reporting on my blog how I am doing. When I don't report I don't keep my resolutions. When I do report I tend to keep at least some/most of them. I think it has something to do with a self-preservation that stems from not wanting to look inept or be embarrassed by my lack of resolution keeping. There is also nothing like reporting when you have actually had a pretty good go at you resolutions:

Year-Long Goals:

1. Read 12 Nonfiction books:

I read one: "More than Petticoats: Remarkable Utah Women"--It was a terribly written book that I would never have picked up except we were reading it in book group, but, hey, I get to check off 1 of those 12 nonfiction books. Now I just need to figure out what to read this month (any suggestions). I already have the first half of the month scheduled out with books and none of them are nonfiction so I really need to start thinking about this or I will be on my way to reading 11 nonfiction books in December.

2. Read 2008-2010 to-read list:

I have 1 and 1/2 books left on my 2008 to-read list so I fell like I am making some progress.

3. Read the New Testament:

Nearly through with Matthew!

4. Attend the temple twice a month:

So, yes, I ended up attending the temple twice last week. And yes, one of those times was on Saturday morning in a purposeful attempt to watch the BYU Men's Basketball team that afternoon (I would like it noted that while I did arrange my temple attending time around a sporting event my temple attendance itself was in no way related to the event) and it would appear that I was not the only one with that idea as I was forced to park a least a 1/4 of a mile away from the temple. As I was walking my 1/4 of a mile I started wondering if my local temples see a drop in attendance during BYU sporting events and if temple's world-wide see an increase of temple attendance during the first couple of months of the year the way gyms do. Something I will need to remember to ask my temple-working friends.

5. Go someplace new:

No movement on this one

6. Write 12 thank you cards:

Sadly, no movement on this one either

Monthly Goal:


I think I mentioned earlier this month that this was a rotten goal as there is no real way of measuring my success except to say that I have a better understanding of what makes good posture, a better awareness of what I, in particular, need to do to have good posture (No Crossing of My Legs), and have made a real effort throughout the month to have better posture. And I'm going to go ahead and call all that a success.

This month's monthly goal:

Prayer (another rotten goal without any key measurements):

1. Pray morning and night (I tend to let my morning prayers slip through until mid-morning and sometimes forget entirely on weekends--oddly enough especially on Sunday (I blame 9 am church--or at least I'd like to except that I manage to pray in the mornings when I have to be to work at 8 am)).

2. Spend 5 minutes before each prayer to ponder what I want out of the day/what I have accomplished and how I have seen my Heavenly Father's hand in my life.

Any other ideas on the topic of prayer would be much appreciated.