Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Girls and Healing

I just discovered this website. And I think it's brilliant. There's something about voicing your deepest darkest secrets and bringing the darkness to light that is so healing and so therapeutic. When that which is dark and shameful, and embarrassing is brought to the forefront and the world does not fall down around us, or does, then healing can begin. I love it. And on a website like this where you can learn from the experiences of others, or relate to them and realize you are not alone, its great.

I've recently began to realize the magnitude of the way women view themselves. In our society women of every age, little girls, teenagers, young adult women, middle-aged women, moms, grandmas, and everything in between are never pretty enough, smart enough, do enough, are enough. I'm so lucky that I grew up in "realistic" family. I always knew there were certain things I wasn't great at. But I also knew that it didn't matter. Regardless of whether I was as thin as kids at school thought I should be, I could be happy. I was still going to grow up and be successful and be a good person. Regardless of whether I was as smart as was expected of me, I was still going to do just fine.

I've always known I have flaws, but I am not flawed.

Girls today are not given that message. When you have flaws, you can get rid of them or improve on them. When you are flawed, it is just the way it is and it can't be fixed. My family somehow gave me the message that there is always room for improvement, but you are not your weaknesses, and you can be happy and confident along the road of growth.

And, as a side note: Healing is so powerful. This might sound weird and maybe its a therapist thing, maybe its a human thing, but I think you can feel when healing is happening for others. For example, when I opened the website listed above I literally felt healing flow out of the screen. Or when I walk past the doors of therapy rooms, from time to time, through the door I can feel the power of what is happening inside. Having felt this makes me want so badly to be a great therapist. I just don't know how to be one yet. I'm trying, but it's so forced. I don't know how to help people heal. But I want to. Maybe I'm taking the wrong approach on this. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Hello blog reader. It's been a while. Soon (when I get a spare moment, rather than minute) you'll hear all about my adventures from this semester. For now the simple thought that's on my mind will have to do.

I go home in 10 days. That fact makes me so happy I could cry. In fact, I'm getting a little teary with excitement right now. Home :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tic, Tic, Tic

Sometimes its fun to give a little window into the life of a Tourettic grad student. I say things that I can and can't do and people often say "Oh, I never thought of that." I smile.

So here are some things in my life that are influenced by Chronic Motor Tic Disorder (the official name of my always present friend).
1. The laptop I'm typing on doesn't have the "tap click" turned on. I don't know what its really called, but you know the square where you move your finger around and it directs the arrow on the screen? And when you want to click something you just tap? Yea. Mine you have to click the button instead of tap. When I used to have the tap turned on, I tapped a little too much and could never stay on the page I wanted.
2. I take a long time to put on mascara. No, I'm not a diva. I just have to pause a lot so my arm can tic. Otherwise it would end up all over my face, or worse, in my eyeball :)
3. I really like straws. Open glasses are all well and good, but when you have a glass tilted at your face, and your arm jerks, you get messy. Wonder why I always order water? I don't want to be sticky by the end of my meal.
4. My shirts have loose seams. If I wear shirts that are constricting at the seams at all, they rip when my arm flies at 50 MPH (exaggeration of course).
5. I get asked if I have hiccups or cold chills at least twice a day. Even when its 90 degrees outside. And its really funny when the person sitting next to you in Sunday School/at the movies/in the library starts to notice you are moving a lot and in interesting ways so they begin to watch you out of the corner of their eye, while looking very confused, and they think you can't see them. I like to blow them a little kiss when I see that. Not really, but can you imagine how funny that would be.
6. In between writing I have to put my pen down. I can't hold it in my hand or else ink will end up in places its not supposed to be.
7. Breathing is a task. I have to essentially gulp in between abdomen jerks so I get enough oxygen. If I get light headed you can know my abs are probably just ticcing a lot and I'm not getting enough air.
8. Allow me to demonstrate something. Take one of your muscles, lets say your bicep. Now contract that muscle. Now contract again. And again. Now contract that muscle every few seconds randomly all day, every day for the rest of your life. Now imagine your other bicep, your abs, your thighs, and various other muscles participating in these contractions. That's me.
You don't want to arm wrestle me. My muscles are working out all day every day.
9. I'm grateful when people can ask me about what is happening with my body. And can even joke with me about it.
10. I'm even more grateful when people know I have it and get so used to it, they forget I have it and don't notice the tics anymore. That is a true tender mercy.

I have something that makes me totally different from all but 100,000 people in the U.S. Obviously, if I'm as awesome as I am now, God had to give me Tourette's or else I would have been SO AWESOME the Earth would not be able to contain my awesomeness. I had to have something to "hold me back" in the eyes of others. But in reality, Tic Disorder is more propelling me forward, figuratively and literally :)

So if you ever wonder why I am so high strung, or get so excited about things, or am just plain crazy, remember I'm just doped up. Meaning I have a lot of dopamine. In my substantia nigra to be exact.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where Are You Hiding?

So remember Miranda... the overly motivated, driven, go-getter Miranda? Her friend, named motivation, has decided not to be friends anymore and has gone into hiding. This is a problem. I can't get anything done, and have become friends with this evil little thing called apathy. Not good. Motivation, come back! Let's be friends again! I promise I'll give up Disney Channel and everything. Be my friend.

On another note, to avoid getting real work done, but still pretending to be productive I research what I want to do in the future. In thinking about the future I realized, by next December I'm going to have to start narrowing my choices. How did that happen so quick? I know its a whole year away, but it always sneaks up faster than I expect. It was less than a year ago that I was clueless as to what came next in my life while applying to grad school and praying like crazy :)

So, because I like daydreaming and have this problem where I live more in the future than the present, here are my options for after graduation: 1. Get a job (my least favorite) 2. Serve a mission for my church (my favorite) 3. Teach for America 4. Go for a PhD 5. Find a random internship abroad. If I had to guess right now, I would say I'll serve a mission, come home, get a job until the school year starts and then do Teach for America. But we all know how things work out when you plan :)

We'll see. Maybe I should learn to live in the present and do some homework every once in a while before I start planning post-master's life.

P.S. I start seeing clients REALLY soon. Like this week/next week soon. Woot/scaredness!
P.P.S. I became an aunt for the 6th time this week. My new niece is Cora Ann. I can't wait until Christmas!!! It's days like this when I really wish I didn't live in Utah. Alas, I will see my wonderful, family soon enough.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beyond the Clouds

I love hot air balloons. For lots of reasons. My brother would probably say because we're both full of hot air :) Hot air balloons have always been profound to me. This summer as I drove to Oakcrest each Monday morning, I would pass through the small town of Heber, UT. And every time I did I saw hot air air balloons rising into the sky going where ever they wanted soaring to great heights all while the passengers are contained by a cube with the top cut off. Some times when we look at the sky we see low dreary clouds and our brain pictures them as the limit to the sky. But hot air balloons can go straight through those clouds to the never ending possibilities on the other side. I love it. I think we should all be a little more hot air balloon-like. Bursting through the clouds of our life so we can realize the amazing potential on the other side.
Sometimes we see a single hot air balloon in the sky on its own journey that its enjoying and exploring independently. Other times we see huge groups or festivals of hot air balloons that fill the sky with bubble shaped adventure. Like with life, sometimes we have to leave the world behind to reach new heights. Other times, our friends, family, and those around us are on the voyage with us and we all are rising above the blanness and complication of life on land.
Not only that, but have you ever seen a dreary hot air balloon? I think not! They are always so colorful and vibrant and happiness invoking.
Now, if you are thinking, "I would love to be like that but hot air balloons have hot air which comes from propane, and I don't have either of those things." I have two words for you. Jesus Christ. The Savior is the propane and when you follow Him you allow for your balloon to be filled with hot air which lifts you off the ground. That's it. Love and follow the Savior.
To sum up... be a hot air balloon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goldie Girl

I love my last name. I love it more than my first name. Maybe it's because I have golden hair, so it fits me (not golden as in the blondies that fake "gold" but actually literally gold). Maybe it's because I am known as Goldielocks to very significant people in my life. Maybe it's because all of my girls at Oakcrest were "Goldie Girls" and that makes me forever linked to them. But I think mostly it's because of the connection and love that I feel with my family, especially my mom and sisters when I think of my last name. It will be a sad day when I have to give up that beautiful, sweet, good feeling last name. But until then, I'm happy being a Goldie Girl and love all the meanings that has in my life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spilled Milk, More Like Warm Milk

Do you ever pour yourself a cold delicious glass of milk, drink approximately half of the contents of the glass, set the glass down on the counter or the floor next to the couch where you are reading, get side tracked, come back to the milky deliciousness an hour later, take a big swig and realize that in your distraction your milk reached room temperature and you want to gag?

Me neither.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I wish fall in Utah looked like fall in Ohio.

The brightest blessings come in the darkest of moments.

Sometimes I wish Tic Disorder didn't hurt so much.

There's too much good in my life to be sad.

Things I'm looking forward to right now:
Seeing my Oakcrest family
General conference
A dance/sleep in the living room with mattresses on the floor party with my roommates
A killer game of sardines this weekend.

Life is good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Everybody, Everybody Wants to Be Loved

If you can't tell yet, there is and Ingrid Michaelson song for everything in my life.

Last week I was talking with a friend and he mentioned how we all have the basic need to be loved and we sometimes do crazy things to fulfill that need. That got me thinking.

Since I moved to Utah I have been void of almost all my close friends and my family. I realized I have been doing what I consider pretty crazy things to fill that void and to feel loved. So here's what I've learned about that. It is good to have "significant other" at some point to fill some of that need to be loved. But right now, my family loves me, and I have so many friends that love me. Even though most are far away, that should be enough. But, it's not.

The gap left over needs to be filled with the love Heavenly Father and the Savior offer. I need to develop my relationship with deity better and get myself in a place where I can allow Christ's love to come into my life and fill in all the empty spaces, instead of the few I'm letting him fill right now.

During this process, love freely. It's what will get you the love you need from the people in your life and from the man upstairs. If you know me well, you know when I love something I love it completely. So when that thing or person is gone, it's tough and hurts a lot. And as I've mentioned I've had a lot of things leave my life in the past 5 months. I think that's keeping me from loving as completely as I usually do. Don't do that. Don't follow my example. Love, love, love.

Life is great. The gospel is great. You are great.

I'm happy where I am. It's been difficult to get to that point (mainly because I'm not a fan of Utah. My heart is in the Midwest), and it's truer some days than others, but I'm happy. And God loves me. What more could I ask for?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Treasures of Old

I love going through old stuff and finding things from the good old days.

Oh, to be young again.

Yes, I Am Alive

Wondering where I've been the past 3 months? I'll tell you.

I finished Oakcrest. Leaving that place may have been more bitter than leaving my home. I still feel weird introducing myself as Miranda. After Oakcrest was over somethings happened that really got me in a funk. A couple weeks later, we had a meeting and I got to see some of my favorite 2010 staff. After that, life was good again. There's something about being Goldielocks and seeing the people I love and grew so much with that just makes me happy and makes everything in life, no matter how confusing or sad, good. I miss it every day.

I also got to go home! I saw Ellas, and Prestons, and Brennens, and pregnant sisters, and parents, and old friends. It was wonderful.

So now for the latest...... I started GRAD SCHOOL. Yep, grad school. Yep, BYU! Yep, the thing that will be the death of me. Yep, reading more pages than my brain can hold. Yep, staying up til the wee hours of the night trying to remember what I'm reading. Yep, having no social life. Yep, helping people make their relationships and families better and helping to fulfill the plan of salvation. I don't think grad school cold have a better pay off than that.

I LOVE my program. I really like my cohort and I think although it is going to be tough I'm going to grow a lot and it's going to be great.

In other news... I was SO blessed with the roommates I got for the year. They are the nicest. And they're clean, and go to bed early, and don't watch much TV. Could I be any luckier?! They are perfect for me! It is going to be a great year.

On a different note the past three months have been filled with a lot of heart break for me. I have had things, places, situations, and people taken out of my life that I really wish were still there. It's been rough. However, I would like to say a little something about healing. The very first day of one of my classes the first thing the professor said was something to the likes of "I want to be very clear where healing comes from. It does not come from me as a therapist and therapy only facilitates it. Healing is a divine gift. It is a gift from Deity." I know that to be true.

Sometimes things happen in life that we don't understand, and are just difficult and we don't know how to fix it. We want to do something to ease our pain but we don't know how. I've learned time and time again, if I know how to do nothing else but pray and keep the commandments, I know enough. When we strive to keep the commandments and develop a stronger relationship with our Father in Heaven and Savior, no matter what is going on in life, we will feel the healing power of the atonement come into our lives and heal our wounded heart. We can feel peace and happiness amidst the junk going on around us. I've really had to apply that the past few months. And it's been great.

Here's to a happy fall!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Worth It

Last week a girl wrote this to me on the last day of camp:
"My testimony that I wasn't even sure was there... has grown so much this week. It has become something that will affect my life forever. This week has been one of the most spiritual weeks of my life."
When things get tough, when I've had enough, when I want to pull out my hair and scream, when I'm tired and worn, when I'm homesick beyond all homesick worse than any of the camper's homesickness, this makes it all worth it.

Friday, June 18, 2010


For the summer, Monday morning through Friday afternoon I am up in the mountains of Utah with no cell phone, no computer, and no mp3 player. Its great. And on the weekends I come home and SLEEEEEEP because during the week, I don't get much :)
A side effect of this is going to be a lack of blogging. But I wanted to give you a little taste of my life right now.
I've lived through:
Flying asteroids (aka flour bombs)...

A giant slide sandwich...

Some messy but delicious cookouts...

13 year old girls hurling me down a zipline...

Golf ball sized hail...

A GIANT slip n' slide...

My first concert...
Lots of love...
Some sweet paper costume parties...
My favorite being Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus during Blast from the Past week...
(I make a spot on Ms. Frizzle if I do say so myself)
And 52 amazing girls.

I can't believe the summer is already half way over. I'm trying to savor every minute. Its been wonderful, tiring, stressful, rewarding, joyful, sorrowful, and great all at the same time. I've never felt so much love for those around me as I do at Oakcrest. It truly is a magical place where I get to teach, testify, stay up late giggling, and have tons of fun. I'm having the time of my life. So here's to the next 5 weeks! May they be as fantastic as the last!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thought Bubble

I start camp tomorrow morning.
I am:
Under prepared,
Excited beyond belief,
& Tired
All at the same time. Is this normal?
Best 10 weeks of my life.... here I come.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Favorite Place on Earth


From the driveway I walked hundreds of times after getting off the bus....

To the tree house we built with my dad...

To the sweet bird setup of my dad's that we watched for hours from the kitchen window...
To the amazing view from my front porch...
Ask where my favorite place on earth is, I'll always say home.

You're very welcome :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little happinesses

In case you didn't already know... I'm in UTAH!!!!! I've been living here for the past couple of weeks getting ready to start work for an LDS girls' camp for the summer. I'm stoked. While walking around campus today I suddenly saw movement on the grass not 2 feet from my feet. It was this little guy. There are ducks randomly all around campus. It makes my heart happy.

In other news... have you ever felt the prayers of other people for you? You don't hear them but you can feel their power working in your life and you know others have been praying for you. To any of you that might have been praying for me over the last couple weeks as I've settled and had a little difficulty adjusting, thanks. I felt them. Majorly.

And FINALLY! Yesterday, I finally had my moment. Since I got here I haven't really settled in. I've been going from one thing to the next trying to get ready for camp, finish my online classes and sneak a little fun in. I've questioned whether I am where I'm supposed to be even though I already had that confirmation before I left home. But, finally, yesterday, as I drove back to my apartment and looked across the mountains and contemplated where my life has taken me, I had my moment. I know I'm right where I need to be doing just what I need to be doing. It's a great feeling.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Final Goodbye

My last full day in Portsmouth, Ohio at Shawnee State University, Andrea (one of my very best friends who I met in that very town at that very school) and I walked around Portsmouth reminiscing about our years there. I can't believe that phase of my life is over. It came and went so quick. So to celebrate/mourn my movin' on, here are some of the things I loved/made me smile in Portsmouth.
Springtime on campus,

Winter's snowfalls/SNOW DAYS!!

Living next to the Ohio River/bridge,
The amazing flood wall covered in murals,

The class of the local folk,



Epic basketball games,

Multiple costume parties,

Cookie Paluza Extravaganzas,

My best friend getting married,

And my last day with this wonderful girl who I will sorely miss while I'm in Utah.

There you have it. My Portsmouth experience in a very large nutshell. As much as I disliked parts of Portsmouth, I have to say, I will miss it. I learned a ton in my two short years there. I loved my professors, my classmates, and all the people that let me experience a little of the Appalachian area. A little piece of my heart will always be in that town at that school.

A word to the wise, don't let one day of any part of your life pass unlived to the fullest. Before you know it, you'll be in a new place, doing new things and your memories will be just that... memories. Make those memories everything you dream and more :)