Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Adventures in Flying

Well, okay. The last four days of my life have been, to say the least, kind of awful mixed in with some good. But mainly I've been perceiving them as awful because I almost thought I wouldn't be able to get home to Oregon for Christmas (just to ruin the end of the story, I did make it). I will, in a later post, report on my actual Christmas happenings, both in Utah with my roomies and in Oregon with my family, but right now, I'm focusing on the excruciating travel chronicles.

Considering practically everyone in the country has been hit by this so-called "arctic blast", it's common knowledge that anything having to do with getting people from one place to another has been totally messed up. Thank you, Mother Nature. Portland, as much as I love it, has one major downfall. It completely shuts down with snow. But usually any snow in Portland is about a quarter of an inch, and everything is resolved within a couple of days. To have more than one inch of snow is rare, and to have fifteen inches accumulate on my parents' back porch is completely unheard of. The Portland airport is NOT equipped for this kind of thing. At all. So my first flight out of Salt Lake on Saturday morning was cancelled. That's right. Cancelled. After they let us board the plane! What's a girl to do? (i am attempting to make myself seem the victim here, even though i didn't have it nearly as bad as many more people out there have had)

After the disappointment of cancellation and the hassle of getting my bag back, I went to my sister's house, knowing that the weather would be worse in Portland on Sunday, therefore re-booking myself on a flight out for Monday. So I at least had a day that I could kind of relax (well, as much as you can with the crazy Henne brood, -wink-), but this was the first time anything of this sort had ever happened to me, so I was suddenly thinking that all was lost.

I headed to the airport on Monday, hoping to have better luck. No such luck. We were all set to be the second plane to go into Portland in three days, and yet again, I boarded the plane, but they kicked us off within seconds. And this time, when I called the reservations line, there were no tickets available until AFTER Christmas. No, thanks. But I could always try standby. -sigh- How does that work again?

Well, I went back down to Provo, surprising my roommates by reappearing. And they did a great job of trying to find options for me and keep my spirits up and telling me not to give up. I had my first (and surprisingly, only) break-down into tears pretty soon after Esther came home, but I made myself stop. (which never happens, by the way. i usually like to drown myself in my sorrows . . . the drama queen in me, i'm afraid)

Tuesday came around and I went back to the airport. For standby. Waited ALL FREAKING DAY. There's really only so long you can read a book, even for me. I became increasingly discouraged as the other standby passengers were called and I was continually left behind. I was ready to give up. I didn't want to come back a fourth day. -sigh-

Again, I'm very lucky in that I know people who are around, I have a car to get me places, so I wasn't stranded in a bus terminal or anything, but I still hated this feeling that I might as well just spend another Christmas in Utah. GRRRR I headed over to my uncle Floyd's house in Salt Lake, where they very graciously put me up for the night after commiserating with me. Then Floyd drove with me to the airport at five this morning so that I wouldn't have to park there yet again. How nice.

When I arrived at the ticket counter to ask to be on standby, the woman at the counter recognized me from yesterday and immediately exclaimed, "Oh, you're still here? You poor thing!" I felt like a poor thing, especially at 5:15 am after four successive nights of about five hours of sleep, and still no closer to getting home. So I was put back on the list, priority listing number 1 (count it, baby! ONE!), made my way through security, where I guess they figured that after having gone through it FOUR TIMES in the last four days, they should be kind of wary of what I might be up to, so naturally I was selected for extra screening.

I sat at the gate for the 8:30 flight for quite some time (yeah, considering i got there three hours early), all the while wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin' that I would, in fact, make it on the morning of Christmas Eve. And at 8:20, a Christmas miracle. My name was called over the intercom! When I was a little girl, I hated my first name. I thought it was totally trite (because i used such words when i was four years old). But never again will I think the name "Megan Jensen" to have a disgusting sound, because it was the most beautiful thing I'd heard in four days.

We touched down in Portland two hours later, amid snow and ice, and had to wait nearly a half hour to actually get off the plane because the other plane in our gate had to be de-iced before it could head out. But I finally met up with Dad, who braved the roller coaster-esque conditions of the freeway to come get me. The road conditions here are nothing like I've ever seen before. There are icebergs on the freeways that rattle your insides into jelly! I was amazed. I hope that the forecast about the temperature possibly going up in a couple of days is true, because . . . there ain't much more these Oregonians can take of this unprecedented snow. (and no, oregonians aren't wimps . . . snow becomes ice here on the roads . . . you try having fun driving on that)

So, anyway, I'm here, and the world is rejoicing. Both Becky and Esther cheered for me when I answered my phone five minutes after touchdown. Becky, at first, was disappointed that I'd answered my phone, because naturally that meant I wasn't on a flight, but I oh-so-subtly stated that I'd had my phone off the previous two hours. And the villagers rejoiced. And Megan rejoiced. Because I'm here. Phew!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Here We Come A-Wassailing (Waddling, Waffling, etc.)

I'm not sure that I've ever gotten so much into the Christmas spirit away from home so much before this year. This entire week has been one Christmas-y event after another, and it's been great! I am totally loving it. And today has just been the icing on the cake: snow. Today is the first real snow of winter (which i have to keep reminding myself is a good thing . . . not so hard to believe when i'm walking around or inside, but harder to do so when i'm driving in it).

Chuck, the camel, and us touching THE hand that touched Chuck.
(Becky was very excited to have petted him)

Last Saturday, Becky, Esther, and I headed over to the Provo Tabernacle to watch a Living Nativity production put on by a local stake. It was very sweet, very nice to be reminded of why we celebrate this time of year. But I think Becky and Esther were most excited about the animals afterward. Becky was pretty entertaining with how excited she was to pet Chuck, the camel, and Esther decided she would like to steal one of the little goats we were admiring. We probably have room in our backyard to accommodate a single goat, but he'd get pretty lonely, and there's no shelter back there, which would be not-so-warm for the little guy with the change in seasons. So we have a disappointed Esther on our hands instead.

Me and the goat. Cute little guy.

Ward FHE on Monday night was pretty fun. We talked about Christmas traditions for a little bit, and then got to have a shouting match as we played Christmas-themed charades, but had to race between two groups to see who could get it the fastest. Our group's strategy toward the end was just to shout a word and then start cheering at the top of our lungs, but I think the judges saw through that. Oh, well.

I've done a lot of wrapping and baking this week, as well. I finally started receiving gifts that I'm giving to others, and so I've gotten to wrap them and make them pretty. I also decided that it was about time I attempted making sugar cookies without my mother. I think they actually turned out pretty well, and Becky helped me decorate them before I gave them away. Funny anecdote with that: Becky was "taste testing" the cookies, and she said, "Your mother is a genius." Not that I was about to disagree with her, but I was curious why, and she said, "This is a fantastic sugar cookie recipe!" Now it would be nice to let my mother take credit for such a compliment, but alas, that innocent creature, honesty, loomed its pleasing head. "It's Betty Crocker." So, thank you, Betty Crocker, for you are a genius.

Last night, I got a group of people together to go caroling around the neighborhood. It was a smaller group than I originally anticipated, but I was really happy with the result, anyway. We ended up with five people, but we had at least one of each part, and our harmonies worked out really well most of the time. We went to houses that actually have families and older couples in them, so no students/young singles, like in our ward. Totally worth it. There were some really great people we met, and one of the ladies we sang to said we were the best carolers she'd ever heard. (Nice!) The woman at the last house we went to was so thrilled to have carolers and made the comment that no one ever goes caroling anymore. I could see that she was very touched when we sang "Away in a Manger" for her, and that made the whole evening worth it for me. That was why I wanted to go caroling, to make other people feel cheered and joyful and all that Christmas spirit-type stuff.

My caroling group: Lindsey, Liz, Dallin, Mike
Great antlers, Liz.

So, I encourage you all who read this to find people to go caroling with. It's true. People don't really carol anymore. SAD!!! It doesn't take much (and really, the secret is to go to an older person's house, because they'll think you're great no matter how bad you sound!), and it's a great way to spread and feel the joy of the season. (I am such a sap.)


"Songs about jingling bells, holiday ballets, universal joy, and Christmas snacks!" -Herb, Claymation Christmas

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Musings of a Sick Person

And who is the sick person? Who else would it be? It's me. Nothing too horrible, but bad enough that I came home sick from work yesterday about halfway through the day. And stayed home again today (after getting up, getting ready, and getting over to sylvia's place . . . she didn't have to try too hard to convince me to head home). So I have this whole set-up next to my bed of advil, vitamin c, water, and a box of Kleenex I stole from the bathroom this morning. When I came back home today ten minutes after I initially left, both my roommates made comments about how nice it was that I could stay at home. Yeah, sure it's nice to not have to work, but how nice is it to be stuck at home in your bed all day with a runny nose and a headache? So I got to thinking about how much I loved sick days when I was a kid (and y'all know you loved them, too) and didn't have to go to school. Two reasons why I loved them:

1) Mom waited on me hand and foot.
2) I got to watch TV . . . during the day. Kind of a big deal at my house.

Now I have no one to wait on me hand and foot while I'm home sick, but I do have the option of watching TV (well, movies, at least). But because of my headache, looking too long at the TV screen (or the computer screen for that matter) isn't working for me. So those reasons have completely gone out the window, and I have absolutely no reason for liking this sick day. Maybe things will brighten, though. I can always make some paper snowflakes.

So what else did I love as a kid?

1) Playing "Robin Hood" with the neighborhood kids (although i didn't love always being stuck playing Little John)
2) Helping Mom make brownies. That was always the best creation to lick out of the bowl.
3) Sleeping out on the trampoline.
4) Bringing out all the bedding and jumping into piles of it on the trampoline.
5) Okay, so maybe just the trampoline in general.
6) Meeting Emily at the crosswalk at 125th to play. (Not to play at that particular spot. It was just the halfway point between our houses that we always agreed to meet at.)
7) Dress-up. Especially when Tom dressed up with me. (Sorry you had to find out this way, Lisa. Your husband was, in fact, a cross-dresser.)
8) Avoiding cracks in the sidewalk.
9) "Hot meal" days at school (I got four each month) and chocolate milk. Chicken fried steak day was always the best.
10) Annoying Tom and Craig by continually watching Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden.
11) Reading books like Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden for the first time.
12) Being tall. I loved being the one who could reach things on the shelf when nobody else could, until I was about 11 years old. Then I became jaded. How sad.
13) Summer visits to Grand Junction, playing Nerf wars, and racing "boats" down the canal.
14) Writing stories. My first real "ambition" was to be an author.
15) My birthday. Macaroni and Cheese dinner.
16) How big a deal sleep-overs were.
17) Soccer. I thought it was the coolest sport ever.
18) Dresses. I loved dresses. (hated the tights that i had to wear with them, though)
19) Being absolutely certain that I would marry Tom Powers one day. (hahahahahahahaha)
20) Dad blow-drying my hair.
21) The first day of summer, even if it was cloudy and gray (which it generally was).
22) Sleeping in one bedroom with my brothers and sister on Christmas Eve. ("Sleeping", yeah. As if I really ever slept. I was always too excited for the next morning.)

The list could go on and on. And I'm not trying to live in past and say that there's nothing I love about my life now, because that is also a list that could go on and on. Just fun to reflect every once in a while on the simple pleasures of childhood. And that's what I'm pondering today while I sit in bed (achoo!) and laugh at myself, both past and present.


"It's never too late to have a happy childhood." -Anonymous

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . . You-Know-What!

Now we come to that special time when I become even more prone to tears than I am throughout the rest of the year (and you thought I couldn’t get any worse!). Seriously, no matter how cheesy or corny I know a TV special or song or story is, I cry at everything that has to do with Christmas. We share song playlists at work, so there’s plenty of Christmas music going around, and I seriously started crying in my cubicle listening to the Muppets sing “Silent Night” (although I immediately switched over to laughter after hearing their pronunciation when they sang a verse in German). How extremely hokey. (And only slightly embarrassing.) I just do that.

I think this is after Sparky licked my eye.

Thanksgiving was most excellent. Esther and I headed to her parents’ house on Wednesday evening, where we had a brief respite before going to Twilight with her mom and sister Rachel. Neither of us had an intense desire to go to that particular movie, but Esther half expected it of her mother to want to go, so go we did. And yes, there were parts in the movie where I seriously wanted to pull a “Statler and Waldorf” moment, but there weren’t as many as I initially expected! I was amazed. In fact, I would almost say I liked it. But I’m not sure I’d go that far. I’ll have to ponder it some more, if it’s worth pondering.

Got some attitude here. (because we haven't eaten yet)

Thanksgiving Day was very good, what with all that yummy food around. Esther and I spent a little bit of the morning being silly and taking pictures of ourselves in hats and playing with Sparky. We were asked to provide some musical entertainment that night while everyone was digesting, so I played a Rachmaninoff piece, Esther played a movement of a viola concerto, then we made up a medley of a couple of hymns that seemed to go well with the spirit of the holiday. Surprising was the fact that it actually worked out semi-well, considering we hadn’t practiced anything together for a couple weeks, and I still had no clue what chords I was playing during “Simple Gifts”. Tender mercies, I suppose. We ended the night by preparing ourselves for the next big holiday of our lives by watching Muppet Christmas Carol. Yay! (And let’s all count how many times Megan has referenced the Muppets already in this post.)

Shock of all shocks, we actually did go shopping on Black Friday, which I have never done before. But it was something to do that day. So I and the Morris sisters went to a mall in Salt Lake in the afternoon (very crowded, but probably nothing compared to the morning). It wasn’t a horrible experience, but I’m not sure I’d want to do it again. I’m just counting my blessings that all my Christmas shopping, barring any unforeseen circumstance, is done. (And no, I’m not telling you what I got you.)

This is what we say to shopping on Black Friday.

We helped set up the Christmas tree in the Morris living room, which was entertaining simply because they were so overjoyed when they realized they wouldn’t have to get out a stepladder to put on the top branches . . . because I, the “painted maypole” (ha! identify that reference!), was there. They felt the need to ask Esther’s dad, when he came home, if he could see a ladder. His response? “No, but I see Megan.” So I have a purpose in life, everyone! Finally, being tall has paid off!

Just to show you how much taller I am than the entire Morris family.

We came home that night and set up our own tree in our living room (well, “our own”, meaning the shorter Morris one that they weren’t going to use). I honestly don’t know what I was more excited about, having a Christmas tree to decorate or having a new TV that we don’t have to bang on every ten minutes to keep the picture clear (oh yeah, one of our many Wal-Mart trips during the weekend . . . Esther bought a TV—it’s awesome). The last couple of days we’ve added a few more decorations and lights, and I’m pretty thrilled that it’s come to this time of year. And I’m loving decorating the house. I cannot wait to make sugar cookies! (yep, I’m a nerd) I am ecstatic that I have Christmas music to play and friends and family to see, and people to serve. Hooray!

A work in progress


“Well, I suppose that on the blessed day of Christmas, one should drink to the health of Mr. Scrooge, even though he is odious, stingy, wicked, unfeeling, and badly dressed!” –Emily Cratchit, aka Miss Piggy

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage . . .

The happy times continue to roll forth, which is probably a good thing. Last weekend, my cousin Brett got married in Salt Lake, so lots of family members came out for that, which was totally awesome. We had a family dinner the night before the wedding at my cousin Ryan's house (brett's older brother), and it was really fun to see everyone and catch up with my cousins that I rarely ever see (even the ones that live in provo . . . oops!). And my parents, too. (oops again) The food was yummy, especially the dessert crepes we had. Oh, to die for. I'm shocked that I managed to stop after only one. One of the few times my willpower won over my stomach! Amazing, really. The only not-fun part of the evening was the crazy traffic problems trying to get there. I am not joking when I say I passed SIX traffic accidents on the way there (and under good driving conditions, it wouldn't take me even an hour to get to Ryan's house). It was not a good night for Utah drivers, that's for sure.

The wedding was on Saturday, and so was the BYU-Utah football game (which we all kept track of via cell phone at the reception that evening . . . only my family, really), so I made sure I drove up to Salt Lake somewhat early so I wouldn't be caught in all the Provo traffic coming up to Salt Lake for the game (because heaven knows, there would have been a lot). It was kind of nice, though, being able to walk around Temple Square for awhile. Peaceful. I also walked down to the Gateway Mall, and by the time I was walking back up to the temple, my feet were clamoring for rest. That's what I get for making the mistake of wearing heels . . . all freaking day. I was standing and walking in them for about six hours or so. Not-so-happy feet. But everybody got to huddle together to keep warm outside while we waited for Brett and Jessica to come out, and my mom and I completely inadvertently matched each other perfectly. My sister came outside in her totally cute (but not matching) outfit to ask, "Why didn't anyone tell me?!?!" in good mock-indignant tones. But eventually the happy couple came out, and they were both just gorgeous and ecstatic, and it was really great. The reception that night was just more chance for all of us to chat with one another and eat some good food (and give my feet a rest . . . there were chairs, thank goodness!). So, all in all, a good family weekend, although my feet took a couple days to forgive me for the torture I put them through.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, my FHE group on Monday night played "Pin the Snood on the Turkey". I was in charge of the activity, and I was actually really excited to color in my print-out turkey. Sometimes it's fun to revert to childhood days and get to color and play little-kid games. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, and not just because I also took extra days off to make my Thanksgiving holiday even longer, and not just because the food is always good, but because it's a good time of year. I'm really trying to think about everything I'm grateful for, which is really a lot. Sometimes I think I'm totally spoiled (whereas Tom thinks it all the time), but hopefully I am not so ungrateful or selfish to be unwilling to share everything I have with others. I'm very blessed. So I am very thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day." -Irv Kupcinet

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -Thornton Wilder


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing

I am happy. In the words of Mr. Fred Rogers, "It's such a good feeling to know you're alive. It's such a happy feeling." I like having this feeling. I've pretty much been in generally good moods lately, but I have some reasons at this moment to smile. Mainly because endorphins are being released. Tonight Esther and I went to learn salsa dancing with some people in our ward. I've gone salsa dancing before, long ago, with my friend David, but I haven't done it since (and I was 19 . . . it's been awhile). But some girls in the ward are teaching others and we're going to all go dancing together once we don't look embarrassing. It was totally fun, especially since I actually got to dance with a guy taller than me a couple times. (and the teacher was telling me that i was learning really well . . . a little boost to my pride) Dancing is totally fun! I should do it more often. Last night, I was making cookies, but I put on Esther's ipod, and was totally rocking out to Kenny Loggins ("Footloose" made me spill flour all over the floor), Michael Jackson (i've finally learned how to moonwalk! wow, it's a dancing fever!), and Trans-Siberian Orchestra (their rendition of the opening of "The Marriage of Figaro" is quite brisk), among others. It was a fun way to spend my time in the kitchen.

I also went bowling on Friday night. Yet another activity that I have not done in quite awhile. And, well, let's just say I'm not as naturally adept at picking up bowling as I seem to be at salsa. However, Esther and I were equally bad. In both games we played, our scores were exactly the same! It was amazing to see how we both improved the same amount from the first to the second game. We both managed to get a couple strikes in, and Esther only fell down once. (it was perfection; she says it felt like slow-motion)

I'm excited for the next week to pass, because next weekend all the family will be together for my cousin Brett's wedding in Salt Lake! That'll be a good weekend, as long as nobody razzes me about my continued single-dom, as has seemed to be the pattern with the last couple of weddings we've had in the family. We shall see. (probably EVERYONE will bring it up now that i've commented about it here)

"There is nothing more notable about Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent." -Michel de Montaigne


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What I Believe In

Warning: This is a serious post. No jokes. No “Life of Megan”. Just me laying some thoughts out.

This is me: I’m 24 years old, a native Oregonian, and I’m Mormon. Now all of these are facts about me that I don’t exactly hide in my posts, so I’m sure that saying so is very superfluous. But I’m saying them now because I feel I must write about something that affected me in an extremely negative way. It’s not something I can control, and it’s not something worth complaining about, especially now that election time is over. But I’m going to write about it anyway, because I spent a lot of my time yesterday sifting through my work, completely dumbfounded at the low and degrading tactics people will use simply to get a vote.

I believe that marriage has been ordained by God to be a union between a man and a woman. There are those of you who read this who disagree with me. That’s fine. But that’s what I believe, and I don’t really plan on changing that anytime soon, or ever. But nor do I believe that it’s right to barge into other peoples’ homes and ransack their possessions to take away their rights about a lifestyle that I happen to disagree with. There was a “No on Prop 8” commercial run that depicted Mormons as the kind of people who do that, though. My first reaction to this commercial was anger, because I know I’m not the kind of bigoted, ignorant, tyrannical person that was portrayed, and neither are my people. I’m not saying Mormons are perfect, because we’re not. We’re human. We make our mistakes. But to be portrayed in that manner is simply disgusting. And so I was angry. I was also sad, because unfortunately, there are people who do believe that about us, and there are people who probably saw it and believed the lie because they haven’t been given the chance to know any better.

That commercial was posted on, and when I looked at some of the comments posted below the video, I saw this one: “One of the funniest and truest ads ever!” I’m disappointed, really, because this ad was neither funny nor true. I don’t even see how this was funny to people who have been against Proposition 8. I would think it’s sobering to see a commercial where my way of life is invaded and destroyed by those who don’t agree with me; I wouldn’t find that funny at all. I was gratified, though, to see comments by people who, by their language and tone, were clearly not Mormon but who were also appalled at the unfair and slanderous treatment we were given. I thank those of you who know who we really are, even if all our views don’t coincide.

I hope and pray that my friends know the truth about me and my people. I hope they know that we give everybody the right to live their own life (and that’s a right that’s not ours to give, either—sorry, that’s just the way it’s phrased). We don’t send out missionaries to force their way into homes; rather, we send out missionaries so that those who want to know about us can be found.

People have fought so that violence, sex, profanity, immorality of all levels can be portrayed in our media that surround us. They have fought so hard for this, that to portray someone as even believing in God is a no-no. It is okay to use profanity, but it’s not okay to talk about Deity in a sacred fashion. It’s okay to show people sleeping around, but it’s outdated and terribly un-hip to show someone who’s going to wait until marriage. Haven’t the tables turned too far in that direction? It’s offensive to some people to hear God talked about; well, unfortunately, it’s offensive to me and several others to see a lot of the trash masquerading as entertainment. Maybe a good balance will never be achieved. Maybe we’ve gone so far in this politically correct world that it won’t ever be possible to talk about God or morals or standards without seeming backward, ignorant, and oppressive. What a tragedy.

I support what I believe in, so I supported Proposition 8. I’m sorry if people think that by doing so, I was taking away their rights as human beings. But traditional marriage is something I believe in, and it’s something I think is sacred. I’m not going to apologize for that. And if there are those of you who know me and think of me as the kind of person willing to invade homes and tout my beliefs and lifestyle, you clearly don’t know me that well or the way I’ve been taught to treat other people. And maybe you should take a closer look at the tv screen and see what’s invading my home and ransacking everything I believe in.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Saw a Monster in the Mirror When I Woke Up Today

I'm pretty certain that the last of the warm-ish weather is totally gone. Last week, the highs were ranging in the mid- to upper-sixties, and it was just lovely. Alas, those days are no more. I do like winter and everything, but I'm not sure how ready I am for cold weather. Mainly because I have absolutely no desire to get out of bed when it's twenty degrees warmer inside the cocoon I create with my blankets. Call me lazy, but I'd like to just hibernate for the next four or five months. Considering my bed has been one of my favorite places to be in the last couple of weeks, it's not entirely surprising of me to say so.

Beware she of the evil eye, and he of the fake black belt.

Now, I would like to be progressive and NOT write about Halloween, because I'm sure many people are writing/have written about it, but since I won a costume contest, I'm going to toot my own horn and tell everyone: I won a costume contest! I was pretty excited about it, however pithy my "prize" was; a cheap little plastic "medal" that read "Spook-tacular" (clever). But Halloween was a pretty cool event at the office on Friday. Most everybody dressed up, we had a pumpkin carving contest (which, naturally, the Pink Fluffy Kittens completely whooped the other teams' tails, metaphorically speaking), and for the last hour and a half, we had trick-or-treaters come around the cubicles. They were mainly the children of those who work there, but they were all totally cute, even when that wasn't the point of their costumes. It really makes me wonder why little children have to be so darn cute. And after much pondering, I decided that we have to have some motivation to go through the agonies of childbirth, etc. Anyway, I had fun handing out the candy to them, and by the end of the day, I wasn't trying anymore to (unsuccessfully) hide myself from onlookers, like I had in the morning. I was quite proud to be a witch. Thanks go out to Esther, who did my make-up and hair that morning, which I'm sure helped in the effort to "go forth and win". (wait . . . that's not how that saying goes, is it?)

A full-length shot of me and Sylvia, the true victims of the Pilgrims and Puritans.
(Think about it.)
I'm convinced it was the socks that really won, not me.

Today I am grateful that Becky didn't have to go to the hospital. We had a bit of a scare when she called in tears to ask me and come pick her up on State St. (which, at 5:30, is a slightly busy thoroughfare). She had fallen off her bike, so Esther and I commenced a search for her immediately. We found her and brought her home, where we and Noah prostrated ourselves before her feet to make her comfortable. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but it is curious how much kinder we are to people when they are hurt. I even made the "ultimate sacrifice" and offered her my Reese's Puffs cereal, which amused Esther greatly. Maybe I should take a tumble myself. -pondering the idea and discarding it, because megan prefers not to bleed- But she'll be all right, for which we are all thankful. (and how appropriate that i am thankful in november; has to be more than coincidence, right?)

And the winning entry from the PFK's (it's a cat, in case you can't tell)

"Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings." -Ed Gardner


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bring It Down; It's Too High . . . Much Too High!

And more adventures in hiking. I can't believe I have hiked the Y so much this year. It's not really a hike I particularly enjoy, but hey, a hike is a hike, I guess. This time around, though, Esther and I didn't just hike to the Y, we hiked above and beyond the Y. Yeeha! We really had no idea where we were going, so it was more like a "walk until you want to stop" kind of deal, but when we got around the side of the mountain, it was really pretty. Fall colors galore! Both Esther and I haven't done a lot of regular exercise since our respective vacations earlier this month, so we were both struggling a bit on the regular Y trail, but once we got past the Y, it was pretty decent. So . . . maybe that's the last time I'll hike the Y this year. But I keep getting proved wrong about that. After exerting ourselves so relentlessly (ha!), we decided we deserved a dinner out, so we went to Macaroni Grill that night as a reward. Hooray for food!

Us at the Y and then the rocks beyond.

Other than that, life is pretty much the same as ever. I sang in church on Sunday with a guy in my ward. Got rave reviews for that, teehee. We also had our ward talent show on Monday night, and I got a pretty good glare from Bishop Lunt when he saw that my name wasn't on the program. I wasn't that fussed, honestly. (Obviously; it had been my choice not to sign up for it.) Besides, the show was long enough without me in it. However, there were a lot of good acts, and it was a good night. Although I will never think of "Bring Him Home" the same way ever again after seeing Will perform it like a Christmas ham. I thought he was going to severely injure Dallin, who did an amazing job of being his dead prop. And I thought "Forbidden Broadway" had ruined my perception of "Les Mis". Any credibility it still may have had in my head disappeared Monday night.

In other news, I am getting increasingly distressed about Jim and Pam. Is she ever coming back to Scranton? Inquiring minds want to know. Last week, my awesome sister-in-law, Lisa, sent me the digitized version of Dwight that Pam sent Jim in the season opener, and it totally made my day (especially since she addressed it to me from Pam Beesly, which really intrigued my roommate Becky when she retrieved the mail that day). But my happiness from the season premiere has very much dissipated because I'm sick of Pam being in New York. Bring her home! (Oh, my gosh, that wasn't meant to be at all related to the above paragraph, but I suppose it's appropriate . . . minor guffaw coming from Megan right now.) Repeat after me: "They are fictional, they are fictional. . . "

"Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing." - Sir Ralph Richardson


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Memories Light the Corner of My Mind

This is another "tagged" thing, but I thought it was kind of fun, anyway. So the life of Megan in five-year increments, as far as I can remember.

Twenty Years Ago:

I was four, had the birthday party at Farrell’s, which my family will never ever let me forget because I was supposedly being a brat. Started preschool at Beaverton Christian and was about a head taller than everybody else in the class, which was only the beginning of several years of that torture. Loved dress-up, Barbie, My Little Pony, and Popples. Started ballet. That was cool.

Fifteen Years Ago:

I was nine, in fourth grade with Mrs. Caudle at Greenway Elementary. Best friend Emily had moved to California earlier that year, so I had to make new “best friends”, Maura and Sylvia. Was bribed by Mrs. Caudle with Ghirardelli’s chocolate to speak quieter in class (thus began the chocolate cravings). Started playing soccer and was always stuck playing goalie. Still in ballet at this point (weird). Still taller than everybody my age.

Ten Years Ago:

Fourteen, freshman (and only) year at Beaverton High School. Ended up reuniting with previously mentioned soccer teammates who all went to a different middle school, including Melissa, who became one of my best high school friends. Took private voice and piano lessons, loved seminary (with brother Tom falling asleep in the back of the room) with crazy Bro. Jansen. Was coerced into being in three of the four choirs (originally only thought I’d be in one) by Mr. Brownell, who left me in charge . . . a lot (something that continued through the rest of high school, even at a different school). Still tall, but several boys my age finally started passing me, even though I still had a couple inches to go.

Five Years Ago:

Nineteen, sophomore year of college at BYU, first year of several living in Centennial apartments. Finally figured out my major, switching from English to English Language, thanks to an awesome professor, Dr. Eggington. Second year of singing first soprano in Women’s Chorus. First college boyfriend, Mike (who was two inches shorter than me). Constantly over at Carol’s place to escape my own apartment. Still tall, and have definitely stopped growing.

One Year Ago:

Just graduated, still living in Provo for some reason. Finally moved out of Centennial, looking for grown-up work and not succeeding one bit. Always hanging out with Esther and Becky (which is different from now how?). Went home for Mom’s piano recital that was intensely awesome, sang and goofed around with Hayley and Jenna in WG 11. Still tall. Still loving it.

And another photo for your viewing pleasure: Megan at age 16.

"Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory." -Albert Schweitzer


Monday, October 20, 2008

That's His Name - - Henry Jones, Jr.!

So the other night, Esther and I were at Kelly and Jeremie's place, hats were being discussed, and Kelly brought out his "Indiana Jones" hat, which he promptly placed on my head because I was wearing brown. He then decided that I looked really cool with it, so he brought out the camera for the precious Kodak moment. So here they are--proof that Megan can pull off hats . . . as long as they belong to other people.

Also went on a drive yesterday with Esther up the canyon, saw the leaves. Very pretty. Made me happy. The week has started out very slow, but hopefully it will pick up. We shall see.

"You were named after the dog?" -Sallah, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Eight Day!

All right, I made the mistake of actually reading my brother’s and sister-in-law’s blog and I was tagged. So read on, all ye who enter here:

8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:

1. The Office—it’s awesome. That’s all there is to it.
2. The Muppet Show—it may be about thirty years old, but I will always love it.
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer—totally stupid, but there are some truly hilarious episodes.
4. Ugly Betty—what girl doesn’t feel like a fish out of water, really?
5. Home Improvement—classic Jensen family show.
6. Gilmore Girls—fantastic dialog.
7. Good Eats—Alton Brown is crazy smart and weird.
8. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman—maybe this is another nostalgia-type show, as many others listed, but I still enjoy it.

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:

1. Went to work. Blech. Boring day.
2. Went to Macy’s and laughed out loud at the orange sectional that looks exactly like the old orange chair from my grandparents’ house.
3. Bought a straightener that works freakishly well.
4. Mommy called. Yay!
5. Took Esther to the temple and completely missed the entrance. Oops!
6. Watched The Empire Strikes Back and was reminded of how awesome Yoda is.
7. Gave a silly concert to no one while I did the dishes. Ah, dumb novelty songs.
8. Stayed up chatting and laughing with Esther for about half an hour longer than I should have.

8 Favorite Places to Eat:

1. Carabbas—Italian grill. It’s excessively yummy. The food served there, not the actual restaurant. I've eaten there on my birthday for the last . . . five years.
2. Thai Ruby—Obviously, it’s a Thai restaurant. It’s in Provo. I’m going there on Saturday. Yay!
3. Tucanos—All-you-can-eat Brazilian meat! So expensive, but so good for a carnivorous being like me.
4. Mos—that had to go in there as a shout-out to Oregon and the Jensens.
5. Applebees—simply because I went there at least three or four times in the course of the summer.
6. My home—at least, when I’ve made something scrumptious, which doesn’t happen too often.
7. California Pizza Kitchen—they’ve got some crazy good pizzas there.
8. The Bombay House—only been there once, which I find sad, but I loved it.

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

1. Going to sleep tonight.
2. Brett’s wedding—family gatherings are always good.
3. Going home again for Christmas.
4. Thai Ruby on Saturday with Becky.
5. My “free Friday” night with Esther tomorrow.
6. Stopping the stupid weight fluctuation I’ve been going through.
7. Finding a man. Y’all know that was going to make the list somehow.
8. Finding a job that I don’t want to kill half of my co-workers.

8 Things on My Wish List:

1. A down comforter. I need something to keep me warm on those cold winter nights. ;)
2. A trip to Germany and England, if not to most of Europe.
3. A man. (Again, it had to manifest itself—I couldn’t help it!)
4. A Steinway Grand. Doesn’t have to be 9 feet.
5. A presidential candidate that doesn’t fall under the category of “the lesser of two evils”.
6. More patience. I need it. Now! (That was supposed to be ironic. Did it work?)
7. Hair that doesn’t split at the ends.
8. To see my family more often than I do. All of them. They’re really great.

8 people to tag? Nah, I’m not going to do that. I’m not sure eight people even read this. Maybe five. Anyway, readers, you can do this if you want, but I am not naming names, like Lisa did. Although, I did have to think quite a bit about the things on my wish list and tv shows I love to watch (as if it wasn’t obvious, I don’t watch a lot of shows that are extremely current). So thanks, Lisa, in a bizarre way.

“Say eight! Say eight!” – Brian Regan


Monday, October 6, 2008

We Are Family: I Got All My Sisters (and Brothers) With Me

I am back in Provo now. -sigh- Nah, being back is a good thing. And the first day back at work really didn’t drag as long as I was afraid it would. Woohoo! But my vacation up to Oregon was fantastic! However, it wasn’t until I was on my way back to Utah that I realized all the pictures I took were of the kids! Not that having pictures of my adorable (and crazy) nieces and nephews is bad, but you can’t even tell I was in Oregon! And of course I forgot my camera when I saw my friends and went places. Oh, well.

It was really great, though, to be with the family. It was a crazy Saturday and Sunday when we were first there, because the house was intensely crowded with people, but so cool, nonetheless, that we have such an awesome family. We took up quite a few seats in Tom and Lisa’s ward when little Lucy was blessed. Good times. She’s very cute and adorable. Jack is amazingly insane, but he, Andrew, and Jake had a really good time running around like maniacs. It was really entertaining when Andrew needed to apologize to Jack for pushing him, but Jack was having none of Andrew’s attempts to hug him (not because he was mad, just because he didn’t want to be hugged). Andrew was quite indignant, actually, but that didn’t last too long. I really wonder how many times these kids watched Shrek, because I think it was on most every morning during our stay. I got to have some nice alone time with Mom and Dad, too, which was great. I’ve got a wonderful family.

I got to see some friends and catch up with them while I was there, too. So fun to see the fun plans my old friends are making in their lives. Lunch with Kate was great, hanging with Robert was fun, and going around the Fruit Loop above Hood River and visiting Alpacas with Melissa was awesome. I’m pretty awful at keeping in touch with people across long distances, so I was really glad I got to see some of my old Oregon friends. The weather was really great while we there, too. It only rained on Thursday, which was really a surprise. It was also about ten degrees warmer than any of us thought it was going to be, but no complaints about that, really.

As predicted, the twelve-hour drives there and back weren’t excessively fun, but that was to be expected. Listening to the “Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party” eight times before we got into Clinton Friday night was especially hilarious (“Play it again!” “Do it again!”), because I’m pretty sure Kelly doesn’t want her kids memorizing the lyrics to “Baby Got Back”.

After getting to Clinton, I immediately made the switch to my car and drove to Stansbury Park, where I spent General Conference with Esther and her parents. What an awesome weekend. I loved listening to the prophet and the apostles. Elder Wirthlin’s story about his daughter made me laugh about the hardest I ever have during conference, and the primary choir was just amazing to watch, especially during the closing song and you could tell they were so ready to get out of those seats after over two hours of sitting there (kids shoving each other on camera . . . priceless). Of course, entertainment is not the point of General Conference, but those were pretty sweet moments.

So now I’m back and living the normal life. Good times. It was a really nice vacation, though, and I feel mostly rejuvenated. Yay!

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." -Charles Kuralt


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Storybook Love

I love Jim Halpert. Yes, he is fictional, but I love Jim Halpert. Yay, Jim and Pam!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Want to Be a Pirate in the "Pirates of Penzance" . . .

Ahoy, me mateys and beauties! For those of you who don't know, Friday the 19th of September was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And for those of you don't know, I thoroughly enjoy this day (when i remember that it's coming up, at least). That's not to say that I dress up and speak pirate-ese every moment of the day (first off, no desire; second off, i don't have the vocabulary to pull it off), but I do manage to get in a good amount of "Avast"s and "ye"s. So to "celebrate", Esther and I bought some Chips "Ahoy" cookies (her idea--brilliant) and watched "Pirates of the Caribbean" (the first one, which, let's face it, is the only one worth watching). Our neighbor Alicia joined us about halfway through the movie, and the three of us had a nice discussion about "North and South" afterward, which naturally led us to watch the last five minutes of that, as well, like the bunch of girls we are. So I hope that everyone's TLAPD was fantastic, even if you didn't know it WAS TLAPD. Arrr!!!

The next day, Esther, Becky, Jeremie, and I hiked to Stewart Falls. The four of us have all managed to graduate from BYU without ever having hiked there, which is kind of strange, considering it seems to be a very popular hike among students here. Go figure. So we went, and it was really cool. It's really not much of a hike, just a two-mile trail to the falls, but the scenery was beautiful, so I decided it's one of my new favorite spots. The entire morning the weather was vacillating between stormy and fair. In fact, it started raining (and hailing) about ten minutes into the walk. That didn't last very long, but the clouds did continue to look threatening. But all in all, it was a good hike/walk, especially to watch Becky and Jeremie slide down a hill on their rear ends (it's a requirement for becky's butt to get dirty when outdoors, we've decided).

Sunday brought us up to Clinton, where we went to my sister's house for dinner. I wasn't sure if my roommates would enjoy having to simultaneously entertain and be entertained by my nieces and nephews, but I think they had a good time (although esther did make the comment that she doubts her future ability as a mother because she's not sure she'll be able to keep up with the "lightning bolts of energy"--a similar thought that has crossed my mind whenever i have been around my nephew andrew). The food was yummy, and I was flattered by Kelly continually going back for more of the salad that I brought. The day before was my niece Nicole's birthday, so the dinner was complete with birthday cake and then watching her open her presents. Good times.

I keep on counting the days until I leave for Oregon. I'm getting more and more excited to go! I have two more days of work, then I'll drive up to Kelly's Thursday night, and we'll all make the drive up on Friday. I'm really looking forward to going home. The days at work have just felt like they've been dragging. Today, however, I did have a little break-up in the monotony by going on an LNCares activity to an elementary school (those halls are tiny!) and painting basketball and tetherball poles. Yeeha! So let's hope I don't explode in the next couple of days.

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." -E.B. White


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me . . .

Time flies when you're having fun, eh? Well, not that time has absolutely been flying by the last couple of weeks; I just didn't realize it's been a little while since my last post. Not that it really matters. Nothing too grand and exciting to report in my life, necessarily. Just keep on living life, and it's going well. I've started to really try and incorporate better habits into my every-day life, and while I still never want to get out of bed in the morning (for purely selfish reasons, like wanting to sleep in), I'm feeling really good. And not just about health habits, either. I realized a few weeks ago that I really was out of habit with reading my scriptures, and that's just no good. I don't really do bad things with my time, but I knew I wasn't doing enough good things, so I made the goal to read every day, and I gotta say, I feel so much better about things. It's great!

This last week, I've been going around and meeting all the new girls who have moved into the ward. Can't remember any of the names because meeting all of them was kind of whirlwind-y, but I'm glad I went with Rebecca (our RS president) to do it. I'm now the Compassionate Service Leader, and I'm excited to be doing something that I will definitely be learning from. I love music callings, but I do like to branch out every once in a while, too. And having this calling will get me looking out for other people, rather than focusing so much on myself, which is really something I need to work on. Our ward is PACKED now. I've played the piano in sacrament meeting the last couple of weeks, and it's absolutely incredible to look out at the congregation and see how much the ward burgeoned with the advent of fall semester. Wow!

Last Saturday, Becky, Esther, and I had another bbq. I guess it's appropriate. We had one in May, so our two bbq's have just been bookends on the summer. As ever, good food, good people. Megan brought her niece with her, and all the girls were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over her. (megan also brought lil' smokies with her, which made me really happy) After it got dark and people were starting to take off, Kelly decided to make an Esther taco with the blanket Esther was using, and he proceeded to drag her around the yard in that state. What a goof. Becky got Lil' Smokies all over her shoulder, which amused us greatly. -sigh-
We love asparagus!

Becky protects the Esther Taco from the likes of me.

I've made peach cobbler twice in the last couple of weeks, and that's always a reason to smile. I love peach cobbler! Peaches are great, and they're especially great this time of year. Yay for harvest time! (and no, they didn't come from a can, and they weren't put there by a man in a factory downtown) I'm looking forward to the end of next week, because I'll be heading up to Oregon with my sister, Kelly, and her children for a week! The drive probably won't be too fun, but I'm excited to see my family and home for a week (and get paid to take vacation! i love being an adult for that reason!).

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." -Victor Borge


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Beauty, The Splendor, The Wonder of My Hair

Thank goodness this three-day weekend was good! I always am afraid I'm going to waste my extra time, but I did all right this time around. The one disappointing thing was that I didn't get to see my grandparents like I almost did (they came into Provo for the football game), but you win some, you lose some. But yeah, good weekend all around! Yay!

Friday evening wasn't anything overly special, but I did get to see my friend Andrew, who is a friend from back home and I haven't talked to for a few months. Yay for friends! Speaking of friends, what made Saturday really awesome was that I got to see Carol! She came down from Logan with her roommate and a couple of friends to hike around Timp, but she wasn't feeling so hot, so she dropped them off so they could hike and came down to Provo and dropped in on me! I was really excited to see her. We went to lunch and chatted and caught up from the last couple of months. I should really take the time to head to Logan to visit her, though. She's great, and I'm always really glad to hear from her. I also watched the first half of the football game, which was excellent before going out to dinner (i know, i know, my resolution to stop eating out! but i didn't pay this time) with Kelly. The Chinese made us both feel a little gross, though. Oh well. I survived, and after seeing him crash on his couch, I'm sure he found a way to survive, too.

Sunday I drove up to Salt Lake to my uncle Floyd's for my cousin Tina's daughter's blessing. Lots of people, and most of them I didn't know because they were Sam's family, but it was fun. Kelly and Nate and the kids came down from Clinton, and Nicole was my little tag-along, which was kind of cool except when she got mad that I played frisbee with Jake and Andrew. Oh, well. After being with the family, I headed over to Stansbury Park, where Esther had been for the weekend. We were going to go hiking yesterday (Monday) around there, but the weather decided to interfere with our wonderful plans. The storm hit around 5 or so (which is, of course, when I was driving to Stansbury) and continued until yesterday morning. So no hiking for us.

So that was also an unfortunate turn of events, not to hike, but it was nice to have a lazy day at the Morris residence. We had BLTs for lunch (yum!) and watched a movie, played with Sparky, and highlighted my hair! I haven't highlighted my hair in several years, and it's never particularly fun to go through the torture of that ridiculous-looking cap, but we got through all right, and were all pleased with the final result. Woohoo! All in all, Labor Day was a very relaxing day. And the entire weekend was just good. Made me happy.

So this is the lighter hair. Wa-hoo.

Quote of the Day: "Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts." -Jim Morrison


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I keep on telling myself I am going to stop eating out so much, and what happens? I go out to eat three days in a row! But no more. I am making a stand. For at least a week. (that sounds pathetic, yes, but my friends and I have kept on finding excuses to eat out!) Monday night, Esther and I stuffed ourselves silly with Thai food. Very good, but we definitely ate more than was good for us. Then Tuesday afternoon, we had an office lunch for an employee who is leaving. And last night was “Girls’ Night Out” with some friends, and naturally that includes going out to dinner! Naturally.

Actually, “Girls’ Night Out” ended up being really fun. Those of us who went out to eat had a really good time being goofy and weird together, flirting with the waiter (sorry, Mom, I didn’t leave my number with the receipt), and leaving a business card magnet with the fellas at the neighboring table. Oh, yeah. It was a good night for scoping out the guys. Well, not necessarily in the sense that there were a lot of guys worth scoping out, and we definitely focused on our food, but we were in the mood to “shop”, if you know what I mean. Maybe you don’t. Meh. Doesn’t matter. We also watched a chick flick when we got back to Mary and Andrea’s, and half the commentary was about the two very attractive actors in “Sweet Home Alabama”. Who to choose? Who to choose? And all of it was topped off with a stirring interpretive dance performance by Andrea and Beth of a song I had never heard. I can’t fully describe the dance, but it was completely riotous. I was on the floor, crying because I was laughing so hard. That’s the beauty of girls’ nights. Don’t get me wrong. We all know I love boys (when they’re not being moronic), but having a night with my gal pals when we can act completely silly and stupid with each other and laugh until it hurts is quite awesome.

I am grateful today for my musical gifts. On Sunday, I walked into sacrament meeting and there wasn’t anybody playing prelude music, and I immediately saw the bishop make a beeline straight for me. I knew right away he was going to ask me to play the piano, and that’s totally fine. I can do it, and I like it, too. (go figure) I’m glad that I can help out in that way, that I am gifted enough that people know they can ask me to do that. Not that always being asked at the last minute to accompany a musical number is the greatest feeling (believe me, it’s not, I’ve been there), but I’m grateful that I have the talent to do so. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Quote of the Day: “We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.” –Francois de La Rochefoucauld


Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Life, To Life, L'chai-im!

Well, all. There is a new Jensen in the family! And I'm way happy that it's a girl. We've managed to keep the Jensen family very balanced in terms of gender-ratios. With the addition of Lucy June, we have now exactly seven boys and seven girls! Not to say that leaning any which way is bad (i would be a total hypocrite in saying that, considering how many boys i grew up with as cousins), but it's kind of cool. Anyway, she was born last night at an extremely healthy poundage (hmm, is that a word?) of 9 lbs. 3 oz. Managed to beat her aunt Megan by three ounces, so that's pretty impressive. The sad part of all this is that Tom and Lisa are up in Oregon and I'm here . . . in Utah . . . a thousand miles away. -insert pouty lip here- Anyway, all is well, and it's always awesome to welcome a new little life into the world!

(for family members who read this, you'll probably
recognize that I stole these from Tom)

In other news, our house is looking really bad, what with "squatters" and Becky moving in and trying to figure out where we're going to put everything (we now have three standing lamps in our living room, which is totally laughable). But hopefully all the clutter will be clear very, very soon. (if becky is reading this, hint, hint! i love you) So far I haven't bothered anyone with playing the piano. Even our duplex neighbors have said that they "love" to hear me play. And it's become a natural part of the house. Yay!

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." - Leo J. Burke