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vegabonds (see what i did there?)

Monday, April 29, 2013


all last week i was bursting at the seams. i had planned a list minute getaway to vegas for the semester break. jeff had been putting in some nauseatingly long hours at the computer lab and i was anxious to steal him away for some undivided attention. well, mostly undivided -- our hotel room had cable and boy, have we been missin' out!

when we were driving home, we realized that we did basically everything we do in provo: feed my fountain soda addiction, go grocery shopping, walk around aimlessly, see dollar movies we really aren't interested (but warm bodies! that was good!). but we did it vegas-style so that counts for something, no?

anyways, here's a buttload of pictures. like, a buttload. feel free to scroll.


we stayed at a timeshare a bit off the strip. i think we were the youngest people there by, like, 95 years. 


...eh, we are messy. also i grocery shop like such a woman. poor, poor jeff.


cable, y'all. 


we were matching! in bro tanks? ...what happens in vegas?


the boiling crab! we got a pound of crawfish and destroyed them. i am still not entirely sure if you were supposed to eat the brains? do they have brains? 


we explored a bit and found this sweet park with a flash flood...precautionary...pool? i don't really know what it was. but it was sweet. feel free to roll your eyes at the hipster vibes of these pictures. if it's any consolation  we were chatting about the kardashians the entire time (did anyone see their tell-all with ryan seacrest?!).


the dirty dr. pepper! like, what?! mind. blown. 

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viva! las vegas! 

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all i wanted to do was give her chopped up meat loaf! (also: ikea!)

Monday, April 22, 2013

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i went to ikea alone today...
never again.


yep, it was still soul-sucking. perhaps even worse? maybe it was due to the fact that my mom requested that i pick-up the world's most awkwardly shaped furniture + home goods for her. i was smackin' aisles of succulents + bumpin' into people left and right. also it was twenty minutes before closing and none of the employees really cared to help me find 'fyrkantig' and 'grundtal' (dang swedes.)

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in other news, i don't know quite what to make of this yet; i kind of want to crawl under my covers and laugh until i gasp for air over it but also it's sort of sad but mostly it just makes me think huh? why do these things seem to follow me? 

a few weeks ago i was emailed and told that i had earned my very own meals-on-wheels route. fist pump! it was a small feat for me; especially in the volunteer-dense happy valley i live in. dang utahans. anyways, today i delivered the route for the first time on my very own. oh, happy praises! i was wearing a tunic that hid the actual shape of my body and leggings that are actually running pants, or at least i'm mostly sure? oh! and let it be known! i ran a comb through my hair! 

sue was the first person on my list -- sue! sweet, sweet sue! who can't have dairy and needs her meat pre-cut! i bet she'll greet me with fruitcakes and antique lampshades and old-lady smell! 

but then i got there. dudes, there is no way to properly tell this story. let me just cut to it. 

SHE WAS DEAD. or dying? i pulled up to her house with meals in hand and awkwardly navigated my way around the emt's. 

hey, is sue here? i'm with meals-on-wheels! i volunteer! i am relevant! this makes up for all my wrong-doings and sips that i steal at fountain drink machines! or all those times i accidentally take the bags from ikea! 

the emt stared at me. in retrospect, i think he thought i was being sarcastic? like, how could i not pick up on the fact that the lady was being wheeled into the ambulance at the very moment.

i barged into the house anyways and set the meal in the fridge, just like i was trained to do. like a robot, guys! what is wrong with me?! oh, sue. 

life! death! chopped up meatloaf bits! life! sue! 

...and that's my slightly morbid story. 

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if you were to marry a jeff stapleton (pt. II)

Friday, April 19, 2013

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if you were to marry a jeff stapleton, expect:
  1. rolling your eyes hard while suppressing laughter when he blasts 'the lazy song' by bruno mars for the fifth morning in a row and declares that for some reasons he just feels like he shouldn't do anything today? maybe just lay here in bed? he doesn't feel like picking up the phone, leave a message at the tone? 
  2. dinners that make you scratch your head (with gratitude?). tuna melts + orange smoothies! chicken dumplings + steak! spaghetti + sushi!
  3. made-up songs for everything and anything, mostly to the tune of 'stronger' by kanye west.
  4. quotes. lots and lots of quotes. be it inspirational star wars ramblings or a text patterned after an update on gossip girl (my new text-name is 'b' -- i'm mostly okay with it...) or vague saturday night live quotes from a mediocre sketch. 
  5. humble brags. they're cute?
  6. furrowed eyebrows that will make you think for the first few months of marriage that he is angry, but really just indicate that he is focusing. le duh. you'll usually spot them when he is cleaning, studying, baking, or dancing. 
  7. the latest bed-time in the history of man. holy, night owl! 
  8. jealousy over his long + lean legs. if only! crossing my fingers that our kids aren't cursed with my tree trunks and dive into the gold mine of a gene pool that is jeff stapleton.
  9. wearing out your welcome hard. jeff stapleton has trouble ending conversations + leaving; he hasn't embraced + mastered the irish exit quite like i have (i don't return from most bathroom breaks ;))
  10. lots of smiles + head bobbing, because he's just happy to be there! 
p.s. you lucky dog! jeff stapletons are a rare and wonderful breed. 

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the mysterious yet illustrious ways of a velour tracksuit.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


let it be known: my mid-march resolution to kick diet coke altogether quickly faded into a resolution to lessen the amount of diet cokes i drink a day (maybe get the 32 oz. instead of the 44 oz.?) which quickly faded into a big, fat screw it.

after four hours of sleep and a heated discussion about the state of chuck and blair, i woke up a bit slap-happy. everything was bright, everything was cheery, and good heavens! has six a.m. always felt this good? before getting to school, i headed to my most-favorite will's pit stop to get a diet dr. pepper. right as i sleepily got out of my car, a fancy car pulled up right beside me and nearly ran over my foot. no matter. onwards!

i went straight to the fountain drink station to fill up my refill cup and stole a few sips or five. while my face was in my cup, i felt a tap on my shoulder and whipped my head around. shoot. i knew sip-stealing would eventually catch up to me...

"i nearly killed you this morning!" said an old man in a matching velour sweat suit. it was forest green.
"ha. no worries. it's early! i hardly noticed because i was on such a mission to get my soda-fix."
"you have to get the diet coke + a little squirt of real coke. they have the best stuff here."
"yes! the flavor to fizz ratio is unprecedented!* i always tell my friends about it!"
"best in town! their ice is lacking though."

my stars. i stared at him as if i had fallen in love + met my idol + realized i hadn't brushed my teeth this morning, shoot? to be retired! in a velour sweat suit! chatting up a young girl about flavor to fizz ratios and pebbled ice! to be retired. to boldly and proudly wear a matching sweat suit in forest green, for pete's sake.

he peeled out in his fancy car and gave me a wave. did i just meet an angel? do angels wear velour? can i be retired already? i stood there breathless and dreamed up my life as a retiree. mostly it involved lots of sweatsuits and reclining bikes.
...then i realized i was about fifty years away from any sort of retirement and thirty minutes late to work. oops.

cheers! to velour sweatsuits!

*i didn't actually use the word 'unprecedented.' i don't make intelligent sentences until after ten a.m., thank you.

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bring the buckets by the dozen || in which morgan goes to the hospital...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

spoiler: she survives!


at approximately six forty seven yesterday i was napping. cold, hard, and dead. i woke up to my phone ringing (right under my head, mind you. why do i nap with my phone under my pillow again? oh yes, for this reason exactly) to morgan asking me my whereabouts.

i lied. oh, just gearing up to go running! driving to the trail now...why? she then proceeded to tell me about her doozy of a day. she had been in and out of the doctors and finally into the emergency room since the early afternoon and was deemed anemic(!)(i feel it's deserving of an exclamation point or three !!) and was currently having a blood transfusion.

i gasped. and felt sort of guilty for lying, but who has time for guilt in times like these? i ran to winco and grabbed a basket-full of hospital appropriate snacks which includes but is not limited to: chocolate covered raisins, caramel ice cream (haagen-dazs, mind you. not some off brand! these are serious times, people!), a cheesy bagel with two helpings of cream cheese, chex snack mix, and an apple...for you to munch on during the drive to the hospital, of course.

a note about hospitals: security? security? i actually wandered the place aimlessly for a good twenty minutes (while the ice cream melted in my bag!) and was browsing hallways and rooms i am not sure i was supposed to be in. cardiology, endocrinology, and i am almost certain i meandered through the 'genealogy' department-- it's utah, after all.
another note about hospitals: the nurses are the nicest. all of 'em!

besides discovering that she has anemia(!) and having to suffer through sitting still for the blood transfusion, morgan is doing just great. at least i assume so...i actually haven't talked to her since last night. morgan? can i get her vitals? mostly it was just a hospital room party watching criminal minds, eating ice cream, and having girl talk with hanna and tiffany. we are urging her to milk it for as l o n  g as she can. i mean, it's finals next week + who wants to work these days, anyways? side note: morgan told us she had been timing her theatrical coughs whenever she wheeled by someone in the hospital hallways of authority. genius. but really, we are so glad she's doing well + will be out of there soon. phew.
 i just had to wiggle in a picture of my face. there is really no back-story behind it besides that i felt this post would be lacking without? 


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RELATED ONLY KIND OF: 

promise not to steal my business idea? 

okay. 

so in morgan's hospital room there was this framed poster with a quote that attempted to be inspirational. it was  something about how attitude is everything and there was a scenic painting of what looked like the northwest. which nailed it because morgan is a north-westerner. 

my idea: a revolving poster! depending on the patient, the nurse could change the quote and the picture.  you know? for a bench-warming basketball player from florida it could be a quote about persistence and getting back on that horse and a picture of...what is good in florida? the...golf courses? 
for a nervous new-mom who grew up in sunny california it could be a quote about keeping calm (...and carrying on. barf.) and a picture of the beach. or a the steak salad at wood ranch because that thing is the star of my dreams.

and that is how i am going to become a billionaire. totally personal + totally applicable posters in hospital rooms. 

*drops mic*


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because it's raining and i'm having a bad hair day: summer twenty thirteen.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


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apparently my spontaneous bone has shriveled up and disappeared because i keep meticulously planning and plotting my days, weeks, and months. last night jeff + i sat down with a calendar and mapped out our summer. well, i had previously mapped it out on a google document and jeff just nodded along as i sold it to him like a movie preview. "coming this june....love, war, and the biggest three-on-three basketball tournament in-the-world: hoopfest."

 it only seemed right after the crummy day that was yesterday. wasn't it just crummy?

we decided to enjoy this summer and adventure...even if it's just fifteen minutes from our house. last summer, we were both stressed with wedding planning and...actually, no last summer was really fun. but every good day seemed to pale in comparison to getting married. it was always on our mind and in some weird way it made us enjoy the summer less because of it? i don't know, i don't know. we're weird.

onwards! 2013 summer to-do list! because i have nothing else to post about! 



:: hike around zion's. mostly because james franco filmed a movie there. yummy. 

:: be river rats. or lake rats, rather.

:: california! twice! or thrice, maybe? so far there's a wedding in san diego, a mini-family reunion in dana point, and kevin, jeff's brother, gets home from his mission! (...who i, by the way, have never met. holy goodness, this might be awkward. do i hug him? call him brother bear? pinch his cheeks? massage his back?)

:: move into our new apartment + redecorate + survive through it. people, this might be the demise of jeff + brooke. something about paint fumes + cheap swedish furniture gives us both angry sweats. 

:: idaho! idaho! idaho! idaho in the summer is my favorite place to be. i'm excited.

:: viva las vegas!

:: host my sister paige! she is hopefully coming to live with us this summer. provo is always hiring and jeff + i are a hoot so, why not? i'm so excited! my paige!

:: whip out that tent we were given for our wedding and watch jeff swoon me with his eagle scout skills.

:: play in hoopfest. well, i'm playing with my cousin, brother, and nikki. our team name: ld(yes!). it's...cute? jeff can't wait to watch and will really take any opportunity to see me in basketball shorts. that was a joke. 

:: twilight concert series, le duh. so much sweat, pushing, and...is that weed? in utah? aww. wonderful.

disclaimer: i know, i know. this was a pain to read and kind of obnoxious but it's raining outside and i'm having the worst hair day and all i wanted to do was make a picture collage and a list or three? bear with me.  or bare with me? that could be interesting? 

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in other news, i worked with the third graders today in class and santa was brought up. holy saint nick! there were the kids who were clearly still believers, and the kids who felt holier-than-thou because they had just found out this year and they know something you don't know!, and the kids that were kind of up in the air about it. and then there was the kid that was jewish. just kidding, there wasn't. it's provo, people. ;)

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a little jeff + brooke pre-stapleton video.

Monday, April 15, 2013

it's 1:36 a.m. which is far past my strict 10:30 bedtime. naturally, i am googling myself. 

stumbled upon this gem of a video. it played during our reception on a television near the presents + sign-in and, unfortunately, quite the crowd gathered to watch it. behold: brooke on camera. lots of strange facial expressions, misunderstood sarcasm, and is that an ohio accent i hear?



side note: i didn't totally get cut from my basketball team senior year. it was more like a...please take your attitude + antics home type of plea. almost? hahaha. almost. and who actually knows why it says wondershare at the top nor why it gets suddenly super loud every time i speak (oh wait, that's just probably my voice?).

goodnight + good morning, folks. happy monday to you all. i'm probably still googling myself as you read this...

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weekend to-do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


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today is my first official saturday off. no plans, alarms, or bras. shake it for me mama! i feel like a baby does after they just discover they have hands. well, actually i don't know how that feels but i imagine it feels something like i do right now. it's like look at these hands! where have these been all along? i just want to shove them in my mouth!

saturdays, man.


:: clean out my mess of a closet + figure out which clothes i can part with. there might be tears + lots of excuses, but i can do it. (i always dream up reasons why i can't get rid of clothes; but what if i go to an 'across the universe' themed party? but what if i go to a honky tonk in texas and need something to wear?! 

:: run. guess who is completely out of half marathon shape? (yup, that's right people. i've accepted the fact that the full marathon just ain't going to happen. i'm a wimp of sorts.)

:: shoot someone or something and post it over here. i've been slacking! so...who wants to have a photo shoot? any takers? ...but i'm serious, though.

:: finish season 2 of gossip girl and maybe season 3, too? i'm addicted, guys. 

:: say the closing prayer at church tomorrow in style. did y'all get a load of sister jean a. stevens? i took a peek or three and she was killin' it. her eyelashes + eye makeup were perfection (...did i just ruin everything we women worked so hard for? perhaps, perhaps.)

:: ...shower. or maybe don't?

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a story about our television.

Friday, April 12, 2013


disclaimer: this is just an exhausting declaration about my highs and lows with our giant television. i don't even end it gracefully. you've been warned. 

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right before jeff + i were married, we made our last purchases as a bachelor + bachelorette. i know, it seems silly but if you know me, i'll find any reason in the book for a celebration (celebratory meals are to blame for weight gain...let's go out to eat 'cause it's thursday! almost friday! let's go out to eat because i showered! let's go out to eat because it's almost my half birthday ...you get the point) and to go shopping.

i can't even remember what i bought; i think it was something fairly practical like a swimsuit or a tub of ice cream. but jeff, oh jeff, he bought a television.

when people walk into our apartment, generally the first comment they make it about our overwhelmingly large television. or about how i somehow ooze sexual appeal in a muumuu, how do you do that brooke? but nine out of ten times, it's about the tv. the thing is massive in comparison to our apartment and kind of just screams at you.

let it be noted: i never wanted the tv. as an attention starved bride-to-be i would dream up the uninterrupted conversations me and jeff would have over a candlelit dinner -- him staring at me, me staring at him. oh! the fun we'd have without a television! we could camp indoors and play twenty questions and braid each other's hair...

but a trip to costco later, and we had it. this giant, giant television. i remember walking into costco and rushing to the samples -- chocolate covered almonds! zipfizz! trail mix! oh my! but where was jeff? after wandering around for a few minutes, i saw him: he was looking at her like she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.

he had found it: his last purchase as a bachelor. 

we had driven my small camry and awkwardly carried the television across the parking lot as he justified his purchase. mostly it involved you can watch the bachelor on it with all your girls! (though he didn't say girls, jeff stapleton would never say girls)

we tried shoving the television in sideways and backwards and upside down and maybe i'll just hold it out the window while you drive? but we realized the television was just too big for my junky car. which was ironic in like, ten billion ways.

after making a few calls and asking anybody and everybody with a truck if we could hitch a ride, it was secured. the giant television was ours and it was in our soon-to-be apartment and we were now one of those  people; the ones with giant appliances.

but you know what? now i'm okay with it. i kind of like that television, actually. jeff + i have created our own language entirely that is a mash of quotes and remember when?'s from how i met your mother, 30 rock, the office, arrested development, and freaks and geeks because of it.

and now i am at a loss as of how to end this? did i actually just write a whole page about a television? if you are still reading, bless you for scrolling.

...and that's it, i guess?

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weekending with my family friends.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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i've been really into gossip girl lately -- i know, i know. i was a naysayer for years and wouldn't even give it a chance. mostly because every time my morgan friend described it to me she'd say it was, "just a show about super rich teenagers in new york with all this drama. they're really well-dressed. and there's a gossip column that..." she'd trail off and i'd roll my eyes. but i finally bit in. AMAZE you guys, amaze. doesn't this picture just ooze blair, chuck, and serena? the answer is yes. 

per always, we all gathered at spaghetti factory for dinner. what is it with that place? the balloon man was there (who is in the mormon tabernacle choir, wouldn't you know? my sister spotted him at conference over. and over. and over again!) and the requests were a dslr camera, a baby, and warm and hunky man arms to keep me warm at night. thank you balloon man! you make dreams come true!


i suffer from sun-dependency but the gray of this weekend...i swoon. all i wanted to do was curl up with my family and stuff my face with food. oh wait, i did that?
what is happening with my hair? no matter. i love this boy. my family describes jeff as just happy to be there and he is. he is such a breeze to be around and actually somewhat keeps up with our fast-paced conversations spoken at gilmore girl speed. mushy time over.


conference! i am fed. i am fed. i am fed.


my girls. at communal. stuffing our faces. 

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this weekend left me so undoubtedly grateful. grateful to have a sister + mama who are my friends and who i can talk to about anything and everything and, most usually, nothing at all. grateful to have a jeffrey who works so, so hard and is so, so fun to be around. grateful for good food and good long walks. grateful for the inspired guidance from our leaders that made me feel like i am doing okay...yet gave me that kick in the rear i have been needing. 

on another note, what was with those pepto bismol pink dresses the motab wore?! and chuck + blair forever.

 that's all. 

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children are our future...and thanks to me, they will never know what time it is.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


as i mentioned before, i got a new job as a teacher's aide at a nearby elementary school and oh, how i love it. i love the kids and, quite plainly, they love me. at least i hope? the girls are class A suck-ups which my self-esteem loves and the boys are the cutest and craziest and, often times, the smelliest. also some of them are going through puberty extra early which is hilarious -- the other day a boy who has a big fat crush on anyone of the opposite sex whisper-yelled to his friend loud enough for everyone to hear, "ouch, dude. my facial hair is hurting me."

you too?

today was the first day back since spring break. the teacher briefly prepped me on the lesson today and handed me a giant clock and some worksheets. 

"just review with them how to read time. they are really struggling with it."

them too? 

i may appear infallible, i know, but  reading a clock is my kryptonite (speaking of! thanks to 90's radio on pandora, i listened to that song this morning -- thank you, three doors down). i've never been good at it. i'm convinced i was coincidentally on vacation or at home faking sick every time they would teach it at school. 

but i can do this! i'm better now? right? 

i stood up in front of the class and...why are they miraculously giving me their utmost attention now?! of all times?!...started to give a long-winded speech about the importance of telling time. i wound the clock around a few times and had them repeat after me five o'clock! six o'clock! six thirty! ...what was i even saying? why were they feeding into this jazz?

i taught them some backwards way about how to figure out elapsed time. you just...think of it like money? and count backwards? then divide...and you'll eventually get there... and kept spinning that blasted clock. 

...i ended the lesson with a shrug and advised them all to get digital clocks, like now. if children are our future, i just really screwed 'em up. and this is my public apology. 

(and plus, to cure cancer, you really don't need to know the difference from 6 o'clock and 12:30, right?)

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jonesing over this weekend.

Friday, April 5, 2013


my peeps are here + general conference is this weekend + i have fully accepted the fact that my goal to kick diet coke will have to take a backseat while these sonic-crazed ladies are around. 


the perfect weekend and it just hardly started. 

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ikea ain't for lovers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


something about swedish furniture and meatballs made partially of horse bits sends my jeff and me into a fury. suddenly we need everything and can't remember the measurements of our house and what exactly did we come here for? how do we get out of here? where are the bathrooms? our house isn't even yellow, jeff...why would we need a yellow desk, jeff? why is this not turning out like 500 days of summer, jeff? 


(i'm writing this as a public reminder to take our ikea trips s e p a r a t e l y. those cheap hot dogs + creamy frozen yogurt we always get when we leave always leave us with wonderful and outright delusional memories of our ikea experience. remember when we agreed on those kitchen towels? and found an entertainment center that is proportional to our apartment and doesn't overwhelm it entirely? let's go back again!)


oh, life.

(p.s. i'm not crazy -- the ikea complex is a thing. see look.

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sundayness on a monday. || my testimony

Monday, April 1, 2013



we taught sunday school yesterday and this story stood out to me: 

"it's easy to say, 'the time isn't right.' but there is a danger in procrastination. years ago i worked for a man in california. he hired me; he was kind to me; he seemed to regard me highly. i may have been the only latter-day saint he ever knew well. i don't know all the reasons i found to wait for a better moment to talk to him about the gospel. i just remember my feeling of sorrow when i learned, after he had retired and lived far away, that he and his wife had been killed in a late-night drive to their home in carmel, ca. he loved his wife. he loved his children. he had loved his parents. he loved his grandchildren, and he will love their children and will want to be with them forever.
now, i don't know how the crowds will be handled in the world to come. but i suppose that i will meet him, that he will look into my eyes, and that i will see in them the question, 'hal, you knew. why didn't you tell me?'" (elder henry b. eyring; ensign, nov. 1998)
well shoot, henry b. i guess i'll share:


my testimony is humble and sometimes i feel like it's a bit inadequate. but it's mine.

i believe that my heavenly father is your heavenly father. and he is just that, a father. he rejoices with us over the small victories of life. he feels sad and broken-hearted when we defy him. he loves helping us out and will always meet us more than halfway. he genuinely wants to hear from us and is overjoyed when we turn to him or catch him up on our life...no matter how long it's been.

we are his children. and he loves us all the same -- fully, completely, this gospel has taught me how to love and how to accept others as well as myself. i know that no one is fit to judge another person as we all walk imperfectly. 

i believe that nothing is a happy-accident or a mistake. people are strategically placed in our life and trials are there to refine us. no matter how mucky or overwhelming they may seem. he has plans and blessings for us, big ones, that he so badly wants to give us but we must earn them. we must seek them out and put in our effort.

i believe that reading my scriptures in the morning and saying my prayers helps my day go a lot more smoothly and gives me perspective. 


perspective that helps me to remember that this will pass and that no matter how mucky the day may seem, i have a person looking over me who loves me more than i can comprehend. 

perspective that helps me remember that the crazy-aggressive man who just cut me off on the freeway who i so badly want to give the bird to is, in fact, a child of god and is loved so, so much so...maybe i should just let this slide? 

perspective that helps me to love myself a bit more and quiet all that negative body-talk or self-doubt.

i believe in being wildly curious but, more so, i believe in just letting some things be. let happy times be happy and hard times be hard and not complicate things by asking so many questions. 

i believe in the forgiveness and in grace. i believe that the atonement can refine us and uplift us and enable us. and i firmly believe that we are never too far off. i like to believe that those who have wandered and choose to come back will be greeted as if they never really left at all; a how was your day? what do you want for dinner? type of exchange. maybe an endearing nickname, too? 

and finally, this might seem a little counter-intuitive, but i believe in believing in something that is greater than yourself. for me and my family, it is the gospel of the church jesus christ of of latter day saints. and boy, do i believe it. for others, it might be a flying potato salad with supernatural powers. there is just something so comforting about the belief that this life isn't it.

oh, i also believe in pink lady apples every morning and country music in the summertime, but who really cares about that?


 

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