Monday, October 6, 2014

Do Nice Things

Saturday my friend and I went to tour the White House. Once you get outside those pillars there you can take photos and do whatever you want. 
We took some funny ones. Far away ones. Up close ones. 

Then, this family asked us to take a picture for them and send it to them because they didn't bring their phones. Like good citizens. (On the White House tour ticket it says you can bring your phone. But no purse.) 
So, of course, I did. 

What a good lookin' family. I texted the mom the photos. And then three hours later, she sent me this text: 
You are awesome! Thank you so much for the pics! Now, 20 years from now I'll still remember we were there! You are sweet to have done that for us!

What a great human moment. Sometimes I love people. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

a great return

I've been wanting to return to writing for a while now.  Not necessarily on my blog but just... writing. I've missed it and I feel like there are things I could say.

In the last annual year I finished student teaching, and college all together, transitioned my life to a new city, traveled yet again to my beloved Ecuador, and started a career in Art Education.  I've also watched  sooooooo much Netflix.

I feel the effects of growing up in a real sense.  My adult life is consistent.  I just moved in to a beautiful room with a bay window.  I ride my bike to school and back.  I use my evening time to make art and connect with people I love via phone or email.  I've been trying to take pictures of the things I see every day so that I can appreciate them and remember them when, one day, I'm in a different phase of life, and the one I'm in now will be only a memory.

Things I've seen from my bicycle seat:

Night rides with old friends when they visit. I love how much my city sleeps. 

Chesapeake Bay (Not actually from a bike ride)

Almost home. 

On the bike path. 

I've also been trying to fill my time with quality art.  Or rather, quality hand crafting.  I taught myself some needle point.  And I decided that my art can be happy and silly and still have meaning.  I feel like the art program at BYU, as community filled and wonderful as it is, focuses on art that should be powerful and illuminating, rather than simple or pleasant.  I think it has the potential to be good art, and also be funny.

 Also, my mom is "with it".

Monday, August 12, 2013


i found a piece of myself and my heart in Ecuador.  in South America.
i truly love Latin culture and i don't think i will ever get over it.

some things i learned/was reminded of during my travels and service:
teenage girls are exhausting and so much fun.  i look forward to years and years of experiences with them.
traveling with many (23) people is not preferred.
my spanish is better than i thought.
my spanish is better than it was before.
i really love speaking spanish.
people are the same, everywhere. just as good, just as petty, just as interesting.
human souls are of great, great worth.
not a person on this green earth is spared daily difficulties.  [or bigger ones, for that matter.]
communication has many forms. [when you stare into the eyes of a child with severe cerebral palsy and you ask them to tell you a story and their faces light up, you don't need words.]
love grows devastatingly fast and it is limitless.
working all day everyday is the easiest way to grow and learn.  being exhausted never felt so good.
laying bricks is pretty simple and rather enjoyable.
i, my body, could replace a cement mixer, but i'd rather not.
large stones don't move themselves.
always drink more water than you think you need.
the human body works through sicknesses pretty well, even foreign ones, if you rest it right.
God's blessings come abundantly when asked for and worked for.
no matter what i do, God has a plan for me, and will help me execute it.

i just can't process what happened.  i never would have signed up for something like HEFY on my own, but God brought it to me and said, "Madeline, you have to do this."  it changed everything.  i had a nice five year plan, a pretty good one, actually.  now, my life is a little different.  my goals are different.  my heart has turned.

i live an exciting life.  DC comes up in a few weeks and it brings new adventures.  what happens after that is a mystery, but i know it will be the best thing.  i have good options.

here are some of my favs from the trip.

my friend David.  (dah-veed, for those of you who don't speak spanish)

on the way to Incan ruins called Ingapirca.

man on horse. 

the maestros of our construction site. jose, manuel, me, patricio. flavio and yvon. 

the streets of beautiful Cuenca. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

let me tell you 'bout my week...

on monday, i was at training for a job in outdoor therapy in AZ.  tuesday i had a day off and i played with one great two year-old.  wednesday i was at the office ready and prepped for eight days in the wilderness.  really though, pumped and ready.  thursday i drove to LA area.  friday to Fresno.  and today, home to be with my lovely parents.  also, i sealed the deal on going to Ecuador for a month, leaving in three weeks.

the ANASAZI Foundation has been on my mind for months.  i talked to lots of people about it and got lots of feedback and encouragement.  i felt really excited about getting my own experience as a TrailWalker and being with people who need my help, and learning lots of really cool skills involving sticks and machetes.  lots of machetes.  i never felt like i got a solid feeling on whether or not i should be there, but i packed up and moved down to Mesa, AZ anyway.

i loved every moment of training.  i trained with 19 of the most wonderful people.  i'm in a moment of my life where i crave connection and recently hit a wind of it at the tail end of winter semester.  at ANASAZI, i found it readily and abundantly.  so many incredible people with incredible things to offer the world.  i learned and studied and grew.  for two and a half weeks i was there training.  wednesday, when i wasn't on the board, i was really disappointed, but at peace.

i thought about my family in CA the whole time i was in AZ and couldn't deny the awakening i had the day i was supposed to be on the trail.  Sunshine and i prayed, and the tears and confirmations of where i needed to be hit us both.  it's unfair that i don't get to be there this summer.  i really really wanted it.  but i knew it would be wrong for me to stay.  that was wednesday.

friday afternoon i caught wind that the Humanitarian Experience for Youth was looking for a leader in Ecuador from late June to late July.  i called and got more information.  that was yesterday.

today, i agreed to help in Ecuador, and on monday i will have my flight itinerary.  i leave in three and a half weeks.

so that is what's happening with me this week.  i can't understand any of it.  i said goodbye to the collegiate phase of life three weeks ago.  leaving anasazi was hard to do.  but the Anasazi Way penetrated my heart and will always walk with me.  i look forward to going back and staying in touch.  i really don't want to be cheesy, but i am honestly not making any decisions here.  i feel like i'm following and being tossed and guided.  i don't regret anything.  adventure is happening.  i don't know what i'm doing.  not at all.  but it feels great.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

another year

first, another year is a great movie.  sorta slow, but nice. i enjoyed it.

so now, my take on the old one and a brief talk about the new one.

in the last year, as a general rule, i have felt pretty unhappy.  there were moments of greatness, but for the majority, i was struggling.  spiritually, mentally, emotionally.  i wanted 2012 to be a year of progression and of learning and growth.  while i have definitely progressed, it hasn't been in ways i was expecting.  and maybe not as prolific as i was hoping. still, it has been productive.  but mostly, i'm glad its over.

in the last few days i have begun to feel hope like i haven't felt before.  not an immense hope for great things or impressive changes.  but a simple peace about my future that i can really appreciate. i feel better about my life and where i'm headed.  i feel good about my anticipated profession and career.  and while i have exciting things semi-planned for the the year ahead, i know that whatever needs to happen will happen.  and i can handle it.  i just hope i can remember this sensation and bring it back when i'm days away from my final show.

yesterday's birthday celebration made me really happy to know i have so many fantastic people in my life.  so many of them.  i felt loved and cherished and i'm sort of in awe of the effect.  sometimes i hate the word grateful, just because of it's usage, but i think it's precisely what i feel.  indebted.  forever.  to the people i love, because i know they love me back.

here's the only pic i took last night.  one year ago these girls and i were becoming roommates.  one is married, one is going on a mission.  what a difference a year makes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

windows and tacos.

twice today i have stalled in front of windows, held my chin and stared.  i think its mostly because my only outside time is travel time.  my subconscious is wanting to be out and about all day.  when really i've been in and about all day.

monday - tacos
tuesday - taco tuesday
wednesday - tbd, but most likely tacos.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

get what you pay for

look for the cheapest flights, get the cheapest flights, get the most impossible connections, switch your carry-on bag 'cus you're worried about making your connection, miss your connection, miss your niece in her first halloween costume.


Friday, October 5, 2012

trading goals

THIS is my new goal.
with our roles slightly swapped.  i just need to find a welsh glass artist.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a topic

i started watching this movie last night.  and finished it this morning before i went into the studio.
now, it IS rated r.  however, i will say that most of my uncomfort came from the tension of the film.
a synopsis for those who can't watch the trailer or something: michael and joana are married. joana accuses michael of being attracted to his coworker lady-friend after a work party.  they argue. then he goes on a business trip with her.  while he's away, joana runs into an old love flare that she is clearly still invested in.  the movie switches back and forth between their evenings and i couldn't decide which was more disappointing.  the man contemplating having sex with a woman other than his wife, even though he is devoted to her and loves her(his wife) or the woman who is open about her doubts concerning her marriage, is faithful, but still in love with another man.

i cried watching it.

there were many moments of two people simply holding each other because they don't have anything else to do.  i think i long to be held because i am loved.

- - -

tonight a dear friend was talking with me about my love life and some complications i'm embracing.  and she shared this song.

i, in all honesty, do not know if i believe that song. the temporality of it. there are people that never get married or find true love. i just think that its not a given for everyone.  and i think my disbelief in the song is in direct correlation with my fear of never finding true love myself.

i have conflicting emotions toward that possibility.  after having met an incredible, 65 year-old single woman who has helped hundreds, at the least, in their educations and careers, i have hope for my life no matter what.  but i'm still pondering and still thinking about what it would mean to never be loved enough to marry.  not that there is any shortage of love in the world, but still, a mormon girl thinks about these things.  it's hard not to feel equal love.

i know these thoughts are unfinished. but, they feel significant.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


yesterday, i hiked all the way to the top of this mountain.  11,749 feet (3,581 m)

 my legs now feel like this.

it truly is one of the most beautiful hikes i've ever done.  it is brutal, but totally doable.  i face my fears a little, the heights were a tad scary.  but i did it.  and now i'm done.  and i will probably never do it again.  which i'm okay with.  if i can get the pics from K$ i may post 'em as evidence.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

i been busy

so, here is some stuff i'm working on.  it's raw and unfinished, but i just thought i'd update the world on my latest efforts. 3 weeks and counting.  i'd say i'm off to a good start. 
i think these two are going to be a pair. 

this is the tallest one.  he doesn't have a beak yet, but soon. 

the more unfinished one is going to get fired and then be used for a mold.  
gonna see if i can mass produce these guys and still have them feel unique. 

this is a new process for me, but i'm feelin' good about it. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

new today

low quality photo.  high quality studio space.  so so excited for the comings of the year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

woke up late

had i not woken up late this morning, i might have missed an opportunity to say "good morning" back to el presidente of byu today.  yep.  we looked at each other, he said, "good morning" and i said it right back.  cecil O, good morning to you, sir.  and thanks for bringing back women's studies.

Friday, August 10, 2012

more latest pics

 these are my sibs.  i got to be with all of them for a few days.  the whole fam was together.  it was really lovely.

this is at a local pool.  that baby.  too much. 

she belongs in our family.  obsessed with water already.  i love it. 

here's what the hair looks like today.  its a totally different ball game with the curly bits.  it feels really blonde.   i look really worried in this pic, but i'm not actually that worried anymore.  its just an adjustment.  thanks for the encouraging words. 

photo cred: cam and katie and daniel

Thursday, August 9, 2012

i did something i've never done before

ALH, my visiting bestie, came with me on this adventure and i'm so happy she did.  she thought i looked like a dr. seuss character.  i thought i looked like someone on a melissa joan heart sitcom.  

then came the foil.  she asked me how i feel.  i said, "foiled". 

 rinse and wash.  best feeling of my life.  how come your head feels so good sometimes?

noticeably lighter while still wet.  i was a little skeptical.  but i just kind of let her do what she wanted.  

the final product.  every hair person wants to straighten my hair.  so i let her.  plus, they all like to cut it straight and dry.  which doesn't always make sense to me, seeing as i have massively curly hair, but shwatev. hasn't been a bad cut yet. 

i feel a little bit like rogue with that blondey streak.  but i feel like i look like a babe.  thanks studio L.