Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The First of Many

This will be the first of a series of posts taken from my mission.  There was a period of time during which I wasn't able to post to my blog, so I'll probably take from the emails I sent home then.  I might also add editor's notes, or pictures, etc.  Whatever I can think of that would make things more fun.  Hope you enjoy it! (I know you will.)

{Originally sent March 30th, 2009}

Dear friends and family,

I hope you all are doing great!

Things are going awesome down here in the Bear Creek ward. We just had a baptism last night! The man's name is Dolores, and he's thirty-three years old.  Hna. McMurtrey and I found him one day while we were knocking doors in a trailer park. We were actually on our way to the car to leave, when he just happened to walk out of his house and we just happened to stop and talk to him, and set up an appointment. After our first appointment, he came to church the very same day, and he's been rock solid ever since. He told us a couple of appointments into the lessons about how before we found him he'd been praying to find the true church, and then he went on to say how he never goes outside, but he just happened to go outside at the very moment we were passing his house. We just started teaching his brother, Victor, and he came to church yesterday as well, and stayed for the baptism. [Shortly after I left that area, Victor got baptized.  I think Dolores may have even baptized him!]

We also had some great first lessons this week. We found quite a few people with great potential and we hope to have several more baptisms in the near future.

Some things that I love about Houston:

Hibiscus flowers and palm trees grow naturally here! It's gorgeous!

 [Okay, so this is actually a banana plant (I think) that i took a picture of in a member's yard, but isn't that cool anyway!?]

[These are a couple of the pretty palm trees I was talking about.  Some were uglier than others.  These were the pretty kind. (And no, I'm not discriminating... they're trees for goodness sakes!)]

[I didn't actually take this photo (mine weren't nearly as good as this), but I want you to get the full gorgeous effect, and that's what they looked like!  Everywhere!]

Little gecko/lizard guys live here as well. It's so fun to see them just running along outside the edge of a house, or whatever.

[Alright, I didn't actually take this one either, though I do have some photos somewhere of lizards we saw on a few occasions, I don't know where they are right now ( I guess it will have to be later gator? :)]

Spring is long and beautiful. Started on the first of February and the weather is still great at the perfect temperature.

Also, I'm proud to say that I already wore out my first pair of shoes! Proof that I've been working hard :).

Again I hope things are going well. I'd love to hear about what's going on in YOUR life!

Hermana Austin Lee

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blogger's Block

I have the most horrible news.  I think I may have blogger's block. 

This is a serious problem. 

I have about 5 half composed posts in my files waiting to be finished, and it just keeps not happening.

I really really want to finish them so that you can read the delectable goodness before it's completely outdated, but it could be done so very descriptively and beautifully and I think (hope) I'm capable of producing that kind of writing.

I need to be inspired!

Or maybe I just don't have the patience to sit and write them the way I feel they deserve to be written.

Either way... what i really need to know is if anyone knows of a cure?

Pretty please?



Alright folks, we're fixed (the blog, I mean)!  Feel free to leave as many comments as your little heart desires.

ps. y'all are great.  seriously, i have the best friends ever.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Is anyone else having trouble getting to/commenting on here? I've officially heard from about 3 people now that they've had issues, but no specifics as to what the problem is (?).

I thought it was a little weird when no one commented on my letter post (i thought it was pretty funny... if i do say so myself).

Someone email or facebook or something and tell me what's going on! Is there an error message? Does the link not work?

I will fix this. Do not fear.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Little Girls

I found these fabulous ads on the Dove website. They do an excellent job of showing what the media does to the population, even little girls, without us even catching on.

Watch them! Show them to your little girls or teenage daughters or grown friends! They're great!

(Go to the actual Dove website to see versions that are a little clearer.)

I think my favorite is the one below (called Onslaught).  The music is fabulous (just the right mix of creepy and urgent) and the effect of all the images flying towards the screen really helps get the point across (in my little opinion).

And I just thought the one below was cute.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SO dumb. Rar.

I am so annoyed.

A few days ago I was downstairs with the kids I nanny, and an episode of My Wife and Kids came on.Italic I wasn't really watching, but then one of the characters (who was pregnant) announced that she wanted to have her baby at home.

And then the parents freaked out.

And then it just went downhill from there.

Just wait until the midwife comes onto the scene.
No wonder kids and parents and everyone nowadays have such a negative attitude towards homebirth and midwives.

I won't even get started. I am completely appalled.

But I will say this:

It is completely unfair to be teaching teens and tweens and adults or anyone else who might watch this show, that midwives are nothing but uneducated, ridiculous hippies. Even in the name of entertainment. There are huge numbers of activities that would be so much healthier as forms of entertainment (don't get me started on that either). Why do we continue to perpetuate all of those ridiculous wives tales that keep rolling around? What does that say about our society?

This is not the stone age anymore folks. It's time we got past our prejudices and misconceptions and really learned the truth. Not just about natural birth, but about everything.

And yes, I have watched the rest of the episode, and no, it definitely does NOT get any better. In fact it gets more stupid and more unrealistic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage Beauty

I'm dying for one of these (from Byrd & Belle):

Isn't it beautiful?

I just recently ordered a laptop for myself (from SONY), and it will need a cover when it comes.

And the laptop I ordered has a 13.3 in. display. Just the right size for aforementioned cover.

Toying with the idea of buying it for myself, but my birthday IS next week...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friends, Not Food.

I found these cute descriptions in National Geographic and I can't help but share them. It explains the different intelligence levels of several different types of animals. I thought it was adorable and hopefully you will too!

Each description was determined through studies done at various aquariums, zoos, or universities, etc.
(which has been listed below each description).

Giant Pacific Octopus
Has distinct personality, uses tools, recognizes individuals
National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD

"With sizable brains and dexterous arms, octopuses are known to block their dens with rocks and amuse themsevles shooting water at plastic-bottle targets (the first reported invertebrate play behavior) and at lab staff. They may even express basic emotions by changing color, says Seattle Aquarium's Roland Anderson."

African Cichlid
Determines social rank through observation, a step on the way to logical reasoning.
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

African Grey Parrot
Counted; knew colors, shapes, and sizes; had basic grasp of the abstract concept of zero.
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Asian Elephant
Retains long memories and social ties; possesses a sense of self.
National Zoo, Washington, DC

Black Leicester Longwool
Sheep recognize individual faces and remember them long term.
Hopping Acres Farm, Bruceton Mills, WV

New Caledonian Crow
Solves problems and creates and uses tools--once thought the domain solely of primates.
Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Border Collie
Retains an ever growing vocabulary that rivals that of a toddler's.
Vienna, Austria

So fun to see that animals have people like qualities too! I love that the elephant has a sense of self, and that the octopus can show emotion by changing colors.

Just more proof that "[Animals] are friends, not food!"

All of the information for this post is courtesy of National Geographic Magazine.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Letter

Dear Cute-boy-that-I-met-at-that-party-last-week,

You should call me. I know that you didn't even get my phone number, but I'm sure I must have flabbergasted you with my beauty and wit. Isn't that enough to send you searching high and low in pursuit of me? I'm sure we're soul mates and that there are many great adventures awaiting us. But you'll probably have to call me first.

Do you have a horse? Possibly a crown? Orem is just a short horse ride away. A prince on a horse in search of his soul mate might even get to bypass the red lights. And then we could ride off into the sunset together.

My window is at ground level. You could knock on it, and I would be happy to respond to your charming inquiries. And yes, I'm sure that even your knock is charming.

I know we only spent maybe ten minutes talking, but I was still hoping you might show a little more interest. Did my unmatched beauty and intelligence intimidate you? I understand. I would be intimidated too if I were you, but sometimes a little bit of courage is in order.

That was one of those times.

All I'm saying is I'm not getting any younger. But no pressure.

Until then, I'll just be here.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's Up?

Things have been pretty average around here lately. I've been meaning to blog more, but somehow I often don't have the time, or don't think that I have anything really blogworthy.

But. I know there is plenty in my life that is blogworthy. Right?

I'm a nanny in Orem for some of the cutest little kids ever.

I live with the family for whom I nanny, which I love. It's great to be part of a family, but still close to where all my college friends and all the BYU festivities are taking place.

Soon I will get a laptop, so that I can get all my pictures and things organized and can post more consistently.

I have a list of good doctors in the area that I'm going to check out, so that I can find one that I really trust, and get to working to be all healthy and happy again.

I'm starting to feel organized and in control of my life! Yay! My bedroom is coming together nicely, and I have plans to embark on all sorts of decorating endeavors once I get the rest of my life in order. So excited.

I have lots of time to read, and am enjoying (understatement) really delving into reading non-fiction on the topics that are interesting me most at the moment.

I'm going to apply to be a blogger for About-Face, a blog about teen body image and how the media effects teenage girls' perceptions of their bodies (one of the topics I've been most interested in recently).

Finally, I'm beginning to feel happy again. It's the most amazing feeling. I'm excited for everyday... to discover new things about myself, and to spend time with my friends, and to learn about everything the world has to offer.

ps~Big news: One of my best friends, Caitlin, had her baby! Congratulations and props to her for a being brave enough to give birth completely naturally. The little guy is my god son, he is named Atticus, and he was born on September 6th, weighing in at 7 lbs. 5 oz. Both mom and baby are doing fabulously (with the exception of being tired, of course), and they are both hoping to return home today! You can go to Cait and Tim's blog to see lots of pictures.