Today's post goes out to a couple of guys who have changed my family's life since coming into it. Blaine and Dave. I know, it's sort of a random thing to talk about my sister's husbands... but sometimes I think they become the unsung heroes of the family and I think it's about time to mention it.

The women in my family are amazing, wonderful women. But lets face facts, we are women. As such, we are not easy to deal with all of the time. And if you are a woman reading this, and you think that you're easy to deal with all the time... well... you're not. Sorry.

I have been obscenely blessed in my life to not only have amazing brothers and sisters, but to have those people marry equally amazing spouses. And because this post is about the guys (though I ought to do one about Kim and Rita too!) I want to talk about Dave and Blaine specifically.

Jill is my sister closest to me... the one I remember every single detail of growing up with her. I remember the first time I saw Dave like it was yesterday (how creepy does THAT sound?!). Jill and I were at church and she had been talking about how she had a crush on this guy, Dave. She whispered to me that if I looked over to my, like, 4 o'clock, or whatever- I would see him. Of course it had to be this big covert operation where we did the whole "Okay, don't look. Don't look... okay NOW look!" She had been gushing about how brilliant and wonderful and handsome he was. So of course I was so excited to see who she was talking about. They dated for a pretty short period of time (although not THAT short by LDS standards!) before he proposed to her on her birthday in August.

The thing I love the most about Dave is the fact that you will never meet a more genuine guy in your life. Dave isn't going to try to butter you up, or schmooze with people in order for them to think he's cool or smart. He's just going to be Dave. Who is, coincidentally, one of the coolest and smartest people I know. My other favorite thing about Dave is his relationship with my sister. I have never, in my entire life, seen two people more infatuated with one another. No, Dave isn't going around making puppy dog eyes at her or anything. But you meet these people and you know, within seconds, that you are standing in the presence of 100% real altruistic love. These two would do anything for each other and you can read it on their faces like the words in one of Dave's books. Although I don't know how great of an analogy that is since lots of times I read Dave's stuff and think to myself, "I have NO idea what is going on in this book." Haha, but that's just Dave being brilliant and me being an A.D.D. reader. Dave also has this sense of humor that honestly makes you feel like the luckiest person alive if you get to hear him speak. He's not yelling jokes from the rooftops, or doing slapstick comedy so that he's the center of attention. He's that guy who will be completely silent for like an hour, and then drop some comment on you that makes you laugh hysterically and think, "That's the funniest thing I've heard in the past 6 months!" Dave is a devoted Father and Husband, roles that you can tell his parents instilled in him as the most important ones he would take on in his entire life. I can't imagine my family without him. And the things I see in him as a partner to my sister are qualities that I aspire to find in a man I will some day marry.

Blaine and Charity have been married for well over a decade, which by today's standards is nothing short of a miracle. But somehow they make it look like the easiest thing on Earth. Like anyone who meets him, I just don't have enough good things to say about Blaine. I call him when I want advice. He is so much more to me than just my brother-in-law and has become almost a mentor as well as a close friend. He's realistic, and smart, and kind. He never judges anyone for any reason and could seriously tell someone the absolute worst thing about themselves in a way that would make them feel like they had just won a ticket to Costa Rica. He has the ability to just make people LIKE him. I can't imagine anybody knowing him and thinking, "Man, that guy sucks." Like, the thought of that alone makes me kind of laugh right now.

Blaine, like Dave, has this unfailing love for his wife. For HIS wife, Charity- not an unfailing romantic love for Jill... that would be creepy. Insert joke about Polygamy *here*. But seriously- Blaine loves his wife more than anything in the world. Charity and I have had a number of discussions about how amazing of a husband he is to her and how dedicated he is. I was talking to my boyfriend last week about their marriage and how many things they do together as a couple. We both agreed that it's pretty awesome that they have so many things in common such as their love of Snowboarding and going to live shows. You can tell that Blaine and Charity just enjoy one another. They are best friends, and I think that is really more of a rarity than people realize.

Blaine is an amazing Father to his 3 boys. And you can tell that in the young men those boys are growing into. These are not going to be boys who don't know how to treat their girlfriends and wives some day. They are going to be those guys in High School who are good at everything, smart, funny, and just plain cool. Sorta like Blaine.

I know that from day one, this has been a part of the Great Plan- to have these guys in my family. I admire them more than words can say, and if I am lucky I will one day be married to a man who can hold a candle to them. I love my family, and am beyond grateful for the people in it.


Messy Mess.

I have a not-so-secret crush on messy top buns. Bri from Designlovefest.com does them better than anyone alive, she's the top two pics. I absolutely worship her style, and think you should totally check out her blog when you have a second. Here are a couple of other lovelies from the web. Aren't these great styles for hot summer days?



"The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last."

- Nicholas Sparks

This resonates with me today for some reason. I guess because I sometimes feel like the people who withhold emotion can be seen as stronger... somehow unbreakable. It just occurred to me just now that they may already be broken.


Common Ground.

I hadn't posted anything except other people's stuff lately. I guess I just haven't had much to say. Not in that I am depressed, only quite the opposite. I think most of my "inspirational" posts tend to be gathered around times in my life when things have been more difficult somehow. Kind of like how I've always secretly felt like the world's best writers have always been alcoholics or madmen... I guess the less than stellar parts of our lives tend to inspire us towards writing it all down. I don't know.

Anyways, in the grand tradition of my divulging more information than I need to (I'm a pro at this), let me fill you in on something. Yesterday I got in an argument. Nothing major. Not in the least. Two people, with two different backgrounds and two different upbringings, will always think differently. I used to be terrified of arguing with people. Like, nailed to the floor covering my eyes petrified. The more I grow up the more I know that disagreements are one of the best things to happen to two people. It means several things. One: You are challenging one another... perhaps even pushing each other's limits and helping the other person grow in ways they might not have had you never entangled. Two: You're being honest. I know that if I get my way all the time, or if no one ever tells me they disagree with me- there is a good chance they are simply appeasing me. They're hiding their own desires and putting mine above it all. Which is a lovely thought in theory but I want to know that the people I surround myself with are strong people with original thoughts and ideas. I want to know that it is together that we work to make our lives rich- and not just by playing follow the leader.

I say this a lot, but disagreements are really just opportunities. Chances to see things in a different light. It is only through fighting FAIR that this is possible. And it is only through a process of swallowing your pride that resolution can be found. I remember the days of proving my point. The days of one person being "right" and the other, by default, being "wrong." And maybe I'm just getting tired, or lazy, or downright old. But those days are far behind me. I have zero interest (after the initial burst of irritability in an argument) in being right. I have no interest in being a sole survivor in the race against my own pride. I want, in any fight be it with friends or boyfriends or family, to be at peace. I don't feel peaceful in my corner alone. I don't even feel much satisfaction in being "right." I feel happiest when we can all find a common ground. When I can admit the parts of my behavior that might have been less than great and they can admit the parts of theirs. And we can laugh it off and move forward knowing that we have just had a successful disagreement. It's a nice feeling.


Florence and the Machine.

I saw her last night and it was amazing. I was disappointed she didn't play Heavy in Your Arms only because I love it so much but the band did perform The Drumming Song which is my favorite!!



"The universe doesn't care if you're scared. I know this is not news, but you need to hear this. I'm scared, you're scared, we're all scared. The difference is whether you're going to keep moving. I really hope you will."

- Merlin Mann.



"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."
Thomas Babington Macaulay.



I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don't look like any girl I've ever seen before.

I couldn't say: "Well she looks just like Jane Fonda except that she's got red hair and her mouth is different and of course she's a movie star."
I couldn't say that because you don't look like Jane Fonda at all.
I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma, Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or '42: somewhere in there. I think I was seven or eight or six. It was a movie about rural electrification and a perfect 1930's New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids.
The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn't have any appliances, like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn't listen to the radio.
Then they built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.
There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.
Then the movie showed Electricity like a young Greek god coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life.
Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings.
The farmer's family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read newspapers by.
It was a really fantastic movie and excited me like listening to "The Star-Spangled Banner" or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt or hearing him on the radio.

"...The President of the United States..."

I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio.

That's how you look to me.

-Excerpt from Revenge of the Lawn, By: Richard Brautigan.


A Different Kind of Hero.

I can vividly remember growing up and feeling like my sister hung the moon. She was the epitome of everything "cool" and "smart" and "fun." I wanted so much to be like her. She was exciting and outgoing, and could run faster and jump higher than any boy I knew. She had the blond hair I always wanted and was the athlete I would never become. Everyone loved her and I admit that there were plenty of times that I felt quite a bit of jealousy towards her ease in social situations. She was my hero. The first hero I ever had.

Jill's life was always destined to go down a different path than mine. When she was my age, she was already a mother and a wife. She always knew that was what she wanted to be when she grew up. I always find it amusing when people downplay women who choose to be homemakers as a career, because I have seen first hand how difficult that job can be. It really is one of the most difficult career paths someone can go down, and I continue to admire my sister for excelling at it. With her hands full as a Mom to four children, all of which have classes and lessons to attend on a daily basis, Jill handles it the way she does everything else in her life. She glides through it, making it look like the easiest thing possible. When Jill went into the hospital last fall, it took no less than her 4 siblings, 3 in-laws, husband, parents, and 4 nieces to fill her shoes. That's just the way it is with Jill. She's got some tough Jack Purcell's to fill.

As the months wear on, and Jill has begun to update us on her own through her social networking sites, I am right back to where I was when I was 8 and she was 12. I watch in awe as my original hero emerges from what might be her toughest obstacle yet in the only way she knows: success. Her daily trials are many and her frustrations are probably more, but she does it all with dedication and her long-standing drive. Jill has always been someone that I admire, but she has become a different hero as of late. A better one. Her strength stands to remind me every day that life will never stop being difficult. And sometimes when you least expect it, it throws you a giant curve ball. But the way I see it, the real heroes in life aren't the people who climb one mountain. They're the people who never stop climbing them.


A Fresh Take.

Lots of things inspire me on a daily basis. Although I'm embarrassed to admit it; I spend a great deal of time reading blogs. But, in my humble opinion, there is just SO much out there to expose one's self to. So many great ideas and so many interesting thoughts to read. So I want to make more of an effort on here to show you what I see. To show you what inspires me. Here is one for today:

"Many films diminish us. They cheapen us, masturbate our senses, hammer us with shabby thrills, diminish the value of life. Some few films evoke the wonderment of life's experience, and those I consider a form of prayer. Not prayer "to" anyone or anything, but prayer "about" everyone and everything. I believe prayer that makes requests is pointless. What will be, will be. But I value the kind of prayer when you stand at the edge of the sea, or beneath a tree, or smell a flower, or love someone, or do a good thing. Those prayers validate existence and snatch it away from meaningless routine." -Robert Ebert on Terrance Malick's The Tree of Life.

Kind of makes you want to see the movie huh? And even better, for me, is the way it makes you look differently at prayer in and of itself.


Friday Tidbits.

I schlove this bathroom decor. And the quote below.