Friday, December 30, 2011

Kissing, Part II

Think back. To this past February. I posted this.
Go back, re-read, have a good laugh, yada yada.

I have decided to do some follow up posts regarding this lovely little topic.
Because, well, let's face it.
We all love kissing. Even those of you who haven't tried it yet!
And if you would like to deny that you love it, you're either not human or you're a lying idiot.

Okay. First things first, here.
If you are an inexperienced kisser, or if you are an experienced kisser but are bold enough to say that you still have no idea what in the dickens you're doing,
PRACTICE.Practice makes perfect, people.
I can honestly testify of this.
The worst kiss I've ever had was with the same person who enlightened me with the best kiss I've ever had.
That darling thing was devoted to learning the ways.
So, of course, being the brilliant artist that I am, I taught him.
And now he will go on, hopefully, to make many women weak in the knees and light in the head.
I am so proud.

My next item of business is for you experienced kissers:
Do the world a solid and don't leave any man behind!
This doesn't mean kiss anyone/everyone (I mean you can if you want but.. be safe).
This means that it is your responsibility, as one of the gifted ones, to pass the artistry along!
If you come into contact with a most horrific kisser, it is your duty to make them better.
Plus, you don't want your name left on one steamy, but true, rumor when the other person is not skilled.
Because their next victim will know that you were once there.
And you did absolutely nothing to save this poor soul.
That just gives you a bad name.
So, all in all,
Don't let us down.

And to conclude today's message:

Monica:  What you guys don't understand is, for us, kissing is as important as any part of it.
Joey:  Yeah, right! .....You serious?
Phoebe:  Oh, yeah!
Rachel:  Everything you need to know is in that first kiss.
Monica:  Absolutely.
Chandler:  Yeah, I think for us, kissing is pretty much like an opening act, you know? I mean, it's like the stand-up comedian you have to sit through before Pink Floyd comes out.
Ross:  Yeah, and-and it's not that we don't like the comedian, it's that-that... that's now why we bought the ticket...
Chandler:  The problem is, though, after the concert's over, no matter how great the show was, you girls are always looking for the comedian again, you know? I mean, we're in the car, we're fighting traffic... basically trying to stay awake.
Rachel:  Yeah, well, word of advice: Bring back the comedian. Otherwise next time you're gonna find yourself sitting at home, listening to that album alone.

"The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because the kiss already has within it that surrender."
-Emil Ludwig

You know you love me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"he's very nice."

"he's something," i replied.
she considered this, zipping her purse shut. then she said,

"well, everyone is."

what happened to goodbye--sarah dessen

Sunday, December 18, 2011


if the sidebar that says 186 people read this blog means that at least even 5 people do, then i have a responsibility. because this is a platform. and i'm a spokesman. and if you're going to spend your time reading my words they shouldn't be about me.
i don't care about you reading any of this blog. but i want to you know one thing.
i want you to know that God lives. that He loves you. that His son, Jesus Christ, knows you personally. that He knows what it felt like when you stubbed your toe and He knows how much your heart hurt that night when you couldn't do anything except fall onto the floor on your face. and He knows the loneliness you sometimes feel when you look at the stars and He knows what it's like to be torn.
He was born years ago in Bethlehem and the stars shone bright and we were angels and we sang upon his arrival.
He is real. He died for us. and He lives.
i don't care if you know how much i love art or chocolate or about my adventures with a film camera. no, that is not important. but please know this about me:
my name is hannah, i am a daughter of a magnificent and perfect Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ is my brother, and i will return to live with both of them, along with my family, through the grace and atonement of the Holy One. i know, with an unshakeable knowledge, of His reality. i know this because i am happy. i am whole. i am pure. my soul has healed. my fear is gone. and i have hope. and because when i had my rock bottom and the tears streamed down my face along with whispers begging for safety and help and security, i felt His love enter my heart and make my burdens light. i know because that night, i sat on a grassy hill under the stars and i said out loud that i could do it. that wasn't me speaking. how would i ever think that i could do it two hours later? i couldn't have. there was a greater power working within me and around me and that has never left. i have been guided with a gentle hand through treacherous terrain and i am safe. and i always will be.

He is real. and i love Him.

and that is the only thing i have ever written that you are allowed to quote me on.

whatever God you believe in, believe. and share the light you get from that belief. whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, take this time to be grateful, joyful, full, warm, to see the beauty of the world, and to realize that the things that have happened to you that are the most beautiful came from something much greater than you.

have yourselves a merry little Christmas, and remember. remember why it is merry. remember why it is Christmas at all.

Do you ever hate yourself?

I mean, not completely.
But you look back at something that you did and you just wish that, more than anything, you could go back for a redo.
Because sometimes we make poor choices when it comes to being "in the moment."
Life would be a much smoother road if we had some time to think about the pros and cons of every decision that we have to make.

And, a lot of times, you hear people say that they would go back and redo something in a heartbeat.
Because they have the hardest time getting past the shame of something they chose.
Or didn't choose, for that matter.

Today, I thought hard about this..

I've made a lot of mistakes.
And done a lot of things I wish I didn't do.
And I have often wished that I could go back..
Often wished I could start over and make myself out to be less of a fool.

But, realistically,
if I ever had the chance to go back, to rewind,

...I'd probably do it the same.

Broken hearts, stupid hair cuts, and all the rest.

Wouldn't you?

No regrets.
Only lessons learned.


P.S. Go see My Week With Marilyn. It's what inspired the above photo. 
I guarantee you'll love it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

and thus we can see

that i have the most beautiful friends in the entire. world.

just some of my favorite photos from black and white roll of film i filled with faces.

happy testing.


Finals Week.

I'm supposed to be stressed.
And constantly studying.

Instead, I am reading NBA player profiles and watching entire seasons of Friends at a time.

So I fail all my finals.
So long as I have basketball and Chandler Bing--the two things I love most in this world--I am content.

Merry Finals Week.

Kiss someone for the heck of it.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


i am moving next semester to the most beautiful dorm room you have ever seen, i can assure you.
also the biggest one you've ever seen. and well, once we get settled, it'll be the cutest one you've ever seen, too.
the building that i am living in now is going to be torn down.
i was the last one to sit on the nasty blue couch and to tiptoe down the probably infested carpet. i was the last one to sleep in this bed. i was the last one to run up the stairs and to get locked out of this door and to stare at the beautiful tree out the window. i was the last one to scream when i opened that mailbox. i was the last one to laugh at the brick featuring a very scary looking cougar. i was the last to do my homework on the balcony while it rained. i was the last to live here.
and i've lived here.
and girls have been living here for sixty years. (really, that's how old this place is.) there have been so many adventures in these halls.
i'm moving into a building and i'll be the first to live in there. i'll be the first to people-watch out the windows and to look at the temple glow in the night before i go to bed. i'll be the first to study her brains out on the new couch that will look so tacky in ten years. i will be the first to do dishes in that dishwasher and hang pictures on the walls and dance in the kitchen. when people wonder about the first girl to sleep in that bed, it will have been me.

and it's so strange but also kind of beautiful that the spaces we live in can be so temporary. they are so personal but they aren't ours. we've shared them with countless others and our lives happen in them. we've slept in the same beds. we've dreamed in them and studied in them and cried in them and laughed in them and watched movies in them and stared at the ceiling in them and wrote in our journals in them. and we shared that all.

homes are special places.
and maybe this isn't all the way home,
but in all actuality it kind of is.
and i feel blessed to feel that way.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Please don't stop the music.

I made a playlist of my very favorite songs.
And it's all I've been listening to lately.
And now I am just so giddy with happiness about how fantastic all of my favorite songs are
that I just want to share them with you!
Because they are all so beautiful.
So, without any further ado, I am pleased to present to you
my ten favorite songs of all time
(for now).

Let the countdown begin:

10. The Way You Look Tonight 

-Frank Sinatra

I love this one because of the terribly wonderful 90's chick flick, "My Best Friend's Wedding."
If you haven't seen it, you absolutely must.
Ever since my obsession with that film and Julia Roberts as a child, I have been absolutely smitten by everything about this song.
You're all invited to my wedding.
Ari Kokol will be singing this at the reception while my husband and I share our first dance as a married couple.

9. Man In The Mirror

-Michael Jackson

This one makes me cry every time. The music video is amazing.
For my 11th birthday, my mother bought me the DVD of "Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits." I was seriously thrilled. It's still, to this day, one of my favorite birthday gifts of all time.
I used to watch all of the music videos daily. I could not rest until I watched the entire thing.
"Black or White" (which is my second favorite of MJ's songs) was always my favorite music video. I would dance the entire thing.
But this one, even at age 11, would make me cry.
It's just one of those things that hits close to home. You know?
I cried when Michael Jackson died. He is absolutely and completely legendary.
And beyond brilliant.

8. High and Dry
Radiohead has a huge piece of my heart.
And, no matter the situation, or how stressed or upset I might be,
this song calms me down.
The reasoning behind this is unclear. 
But all I know is that whenever I listen to this song, I inhale a little bit longer and let the tears come freely if they feel they must fall.
The music video is fantastic. And Thom Yorke is beautiful.

7. Streets On Fire
-Lupe Fiasco

This song doesn't have an official music video. But it definitely deserves a listen.
I don't know how most people feel about rap music, but it is in my top three (if not my top one) of favorite music genres. It speaks to me (literally, haha).
A lot of people think of it's disgusting qualities and nothing else.
But rap can be some of the most beautifully expressed art, in my opinion.
Lupe Fiasco is such a man.
His words are real.
And I love him.
This song has a lot of significant meaning to me.
Whenever I sit and really listen to the words, I get the chills.

6. Sigh No More
-Mumford and Sons
This song also doesn't have an official music video.
So this is as good as it gets.
"Love, it will not betray you, dismay, or enslave you. It will set you free."
I feel like I have no need to explain why this is in my top ten.
But I will, anyway.
I just have this image ingrained in my mind of him, sitting in my passengers seat, with the window down, singing this chorus at the very top of his lungs.
And that may or may not be a contributing factor as to why I love this song so very much.
That, and Marcus Mumford's utter brilliance.

5. Float On
-Modest Mouse

Thank you, Modest Mouse, for helping me get through some of my toughest times.
"Sometimes, life's okay."

4. The Tourist
Yes. Another with no official music video. 
And, yes. Another Radiohead. Because, well, it's Radiohead.
Sit in an empty field in the middle of the night. 
Let it be just you, the crickets, the stars, and this song.
You will be a changed person.

3. Your Song
-Elton John

The official video for this one is, in fact, a live performance.
I originally fell in love with this song the very first time I watched "Moulin Rouge."
Elton John is a beautiful human who wrote the most beautiful song.
This one has a special place in my heart. It's the same place in my heart where the human that I directly associate this song with resides.Shelbie Judith Anne Elizabeth Shill? This one's for you.

2. Ain't No Sunshine
-Bill Withers

I fell in love with this song because of yet another one of Julia Roberts' phenomenal performances in the 90's classic, "Notting Hill."
The 90's were glorious days for chick flicks...
This song is so simple yet so powerful.
It's the perfect heartbreak song.
Bill Withers deserves and award for this song. It's perfect. In every way.

for number one,

drum roll, please.
1. Let It Be

-The Beatles

If you know me at all,
you knew this already.

This song is my solace.

And there you have it.
My favorite songs.

What are you top ten songs?
And what's the importance of each of those songs to you?

Music speaks directly to the heart.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

to create

there is an irresistible urge that comes sometimes. it comes from deep inside my heart. it comes when i am inspired. i have weeks of inspiration; my mind goes one million miles a minute for days at a time and i write down ideas and i even act on some of them. and i have so many things i want to create.
i walk inside the hfac and i want to stay. i peer inside the classroom windows and all i can see is equipment and colorful posters, and i want to be inside. i want to create.
i want to paint every day, i want to take photos, i want to sing, i want to choreograph because i can't dance myself. i want to assemble, to write, to sculpt, to arrange. i want to create.
i think about the end of my life. i think about what i want to leave behind. and it will be nothing if i don't create.
sometimes i wonder if what i am doing is right. i am studying the creators and the creations. i am studying, not creating. i long to be the creator. but i am not talented like that. my creations have significance to me, i could not ask for them to be displayed. demand for them to mean something to others. plus, i think the greatest artists never set foot in art school. it's something they just are. i think a school telling you what and how to create takes all the creativity out of you.
but then i sit in a lecture hall under a towering slide of stella or rothko and all the others around me don't understand. they don't feel anything. but i do. and there's not that many people like me.
so i remember that i can teach people how to see. how to feel. and maybe if i can teach people that, i can create a world that is a safer place for creators. i can create beautiful minds that will create beautiful manifestations.
so maybe that's my role in this line of creation. i won't ever make objects that are meaningful to you. but maybe i can teach you to make them yourself.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December. The First.

Today marks the beginning of the end of 2011.

It's cold outside.
But I don't dress warm because the feeling of the hairs on my arms standing up straight makes me feel alive.
And I'm grateful.
Grateful to be alive.

December is my month to reflect.

What have I really spent the last 11 months doing?
Was 2011 worth it?
Am I happy with who I am?
What have I learned?

The answers to all of these are endless.
And it's the years with the endless answers that I know were good ones.
Because that means I'm different. And I usually find that "different,"
in a progressive sort of way,
means "better."

This was the hardest year yet.
And I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be my hardest year ever.
Only time will tell.

And as pleased as I'm going to be when it's over in 31 days,
I will be sad, too.
Because this was a learning period for me. A chapter.

The chapter right before things start to look up.
The one where the problems are over and I'm learning to heal.
The one that marks the end of the misery and the beginning of the rest of my life.


Monday, November 28, 2011

kind over matter.

good news, friends.
a sunday smile
is back in business.
after spending several hours watching a cheesy hallmark movie last weekend i felt that i was lacking in the service area. i subsequently stayed up until 3 am searching for "kindness" on the internet and boy oh boy did i find it. i've got a whole board of it on pinterest now. so needless to say i feel good about the whole thing and i need to start it up again--it was good to share it on the blog, because it made sure i was doing worthwhile things.
but, for my sanity's sake, it's not going to be "a sunday smile" anymore.
because sometimes i just can't think of anything kind to do by sunday that's worth blogging about.
if you haven't been a longtime reader or seen the past sunday smile posts, i'll fill you in. you can follow the above link to find my first post. too lazy to find all of them and link 'em up. but the gist is that i tried to do something kind to make someone smile by each sunday. sunday smile was mostly dominated by sticky notes inspired by operation beautiful.
well this time around i'm calling it kind over matter, which is a name partially stolen from this blog here. but also because when it comes to going out of your way to be kind, there are many distractions and bigger priorities. it's hard to find the time. so i'm challenging myself (and you) to forget myself for just an hour or so whenever i can and be kind, regardless of all the "matter" going on in my life.
oh so that's that. it probably won't happen every week, but i'll be trying my darn hardest.
first order of business?
get back to sticky-noting!!
last year when i began to write encouraging sticky notes and leave them in school bathrooms, i saw the impact of it big time. i know a lot of you started doing it as well, and i can promise you that it made a world of difference to some of the girls who saw them. i know that firsthand.
and why did i ever stop doing something that made other people smile, let alone the fact that it made me feel wonderful? who knows. life stopped me. and that's no excuse.
so we're getting back to that. grab your pad of sticky notes and your pilot g2 pen, 'cause we're about to cover the world with kindness. public bathrooms? duh. desks at school? yup. random people's doors? you bet. hardcore sticky-noting going down in heritage halls, friends. join me.
to officially join the kindness brigade leave a comment saying you promise. and continue to comment and let me know what kind of wonderful nice things you've thought of to do for others. i'm sure i'll need ideas.
and just for some added inspiration here's a nice little graphic i've made for you.

have a great day. sticky note it up. & take pictures and email them--maybe i'll post about you. wink wink.

love you.

Disappointment & Regret.

She wanted the truth, but I gave her a lie.
And she took it and ran.

They wanted perfection, but I gave them mediocre.
And I couldn't tell if they were proud.

He wanted my heart, but I gave him my mask.
And he pretended he couldn't tell.

She wanted a friend, but I gave her an enemy.
And neither of us really ever understood.

We wanted forever, but I gave us a minute.
And we both cried.

He wanted my body, but I gave him my soul.
And he ripped it to shreds.

I wanted a lot, but I gave a little.
And, boy, did I learn my lesson.

One of these days,
I'll get it right.

You'll see.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


check out the new about me pages.

[Edit by Mallory]: I am the worst at Hannah's drawing tablet.
I promise that I don't completely write like a five year old in real life..

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Take these broken wings..

Churning stomach. Sweaty palms. Shortness of breath. Inability to form sentences. Light-headedness. Trembling of hands.  Dizziness. Uneasiness of stomach. Recurring headache. Vomiting. Mood swings. Mild confusion and amnesia. Chills. Fatigue. A loss of appetite. Fever (which may be persistent). Blurred vision. Tingling and numbness within the hands and feet.

All the usual symptoms.

It happens every time.

Because you know that seeing just that one haunting face could throw you for a loop.
And not just any loop.
A loop that your mother never prepared you for when she taught you all important life lessons via bedtime stories.

It's too much to handle.

But this time, it will be different.
This time, you'll hold your head high. 
This time, you'll be the one causing fear instead of feeling it.
This time, you'll be confident and maybe, just maybe, flash 'em a smile or two.
This time, you'll throw on your best pair of heels and not spend too much time on your make up.
This time, you'll act like it was no big deal.

This time, it will be different.
Because, this time, you are different.

The seasons will change, ready or not.
The same goes for people.
And yourself.

Face it fearlessly. You have no need to worry.
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arrive.


Monday, November 21, 2011


"the arts let us find not just the beauty in our surroundings, but in ourselves.
they not only define, but they refine."

i heard these words spoken at a musical performance several months ago and i've had them saved in a draft since. they really struck me.

we all know by now that "beauty" is ever my muse and my reason.
i look for it in every detail and i find it. it inspires me and builds my faith and hope and joy.
and this is another reason why i am studying the history of art.
not only is this tendency healthy to the way i view the world and others but it's healthy to the way i view myself.
because when my eyes (but more importantly my heart) are trained to notice and love imperfection, i can allow myself to be imperfect and find joy in that fact.

i leave a messy trail behind me. i fail sometimes. i can't find the right words. i'm not the most fit or skinny girl in the world, by far.
oh, but at the end of the day, i find that i like messes anyway. failure teaches me to win. i can't speak, so i listen. and my heart covers far more ground than i could with my running shoes.

and everyone deserves to see the beauty in their flaws. think about the people you love most. you love their flaws, too, don't you? so why don't you feel that way about yourself?

i think you're much more beautiful than the face on that magazine. and that i can guarantee.

just something to think about.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Child o Mine.

It was what seemed to be early morning in the fall. I was walking on a pathway that ran straight through a park with many tall trees. It was cold and I could see my breath freezing midair. I was walking a dog. A dalmatian wearing a red collar on a red leash. I specifically recall looking down at myself. I was wearing a tan sweater and a black jacket. I smiled at the simplicity of my state of being. There was a tall, manly figure wearing a red sweater walking on my left hand side. He had dark skin and hair, but I couldn't see his face. He spoke, but I can't remember what he said. All I remember is that his voice was deep and soothing. It tingled all of my senses and I loved him. I knew that I loved this faceless person. And upon that realization, I grabbed his hand and squeezed it tightly. Suddenly, I heard laughter up ahead. Much laughter. I looked and saw three small figures running through the trees, chasing one another. They screamed and laughed and yelled back at me to join them. "Come on!" one of them shouted with and instructive hand to chase them. I passed the leash to the man on my left and ran up ahead. I chased them for many minutes, but never came close enough to see their faces. There was so much laughter and so many trees and so many autumn colors.
There was so much love. I could feel it all.
And I didn't want anything to stop this wonderful place I was in with the five beings that I loved more than anything.
I didn't see a single face. But I felt individual love.
And I wanted to be with all of these faceless people for the rest of my life.

And then I woke up.

It was so vivid. So clear. So perfect.

I don't want to call it revelation.
But I do want to call it hope.
Hope that this dream will maybe be a reality.
And hope that this kind of happiness is in the plan for me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

never perfect.

i had one of those little realizations last week.
an aha moment, if you will. (thanks for the phrase, oprah.)
in book of mormon we were talking about how life is never perfect. we never have perfect grades, a great boyfriend, happy family, awesome social life, tons of money, a job that we love, and time for ourselves all at the same time. we might have a few, even just one, and when we're in a real trial, maybe none at all.  God doesn't ever let life stay perfect for us because life wasn't designed to be perfect, it was designed to teach us.
so i got to thinking about all the things i want, and how down i can get about not having them sometimes. but then i realized i have most of the blessings listed above and many, many more. if i got everything i wanted, life would literally be perfect, and something would have to be taken away in order for me to grow. and i don't want any of the blessings i have taken away. they are far too precious to me.
i don't have perfect grades, but i have good ones. i have the opportunity to attend a university filled with the spirit of the Lord and the spirit of learning. i certainly don't have a boyfriend, but besides kisses, there is nothing a boyfriend can give me that i don't already have. my family is far from the ideal american home but we're growing together. i haven't made 10,000 new friends here at BYU, but my roommates are more than i could have ever asked for and i've seen my dear ones from high school so much more often than i'd hoped, and i love them so much and i'd like to keep it that way. i don't have a job, but i do have enough money. and i'm busy, but i still have enough time to make snowflakes out of paper & play mafia with my family home evening group on monday nights.
my life is far from perfect. but it is good. and there is nothing to complain about. i have it easy compared to a vast majority of the earth's population and i could not ask for anything more, even though i still do sometimes.
i am happy and i have enough and i would not trade what i do have for anything that i do not.

it's the grateful month. and that i am.

Monday, November 14, 2011

some things that i like.

  • we got a christmas tree and it makes this whole cinderblock place seem so cheery. we've also invited everyone that comes over to make snowflakes and this place is turning into a winter wonderland.
  • my new short and sassy haircut.
  • the very most thing i love about freshman boys: i care so little about them that i wear my pajamas to every social function and it's fine. never once have i worn normal clothes besides when i go to church.
  • my boy steve is in the mtc.
  • music at ten and sitting and listening and not worrying about a single thing for however long it lasts.
  • when the boys who have crushes on my roommates come over and bring martinelli's. poppin' bottles, that's what we call it.
  • how i've lived off of absolutely no food for two weeks.
  • the nose of a boy named peter. & his kind compliment of telling me i could pull of a beret if i wanted to.
  • sparkles.
  • gray nailpolish.
  • touching swooshy hair.
  • spending 11/11/11 11:11 watching a knight's tale with my girls.
  • the new h&m!
  • the police. especially sting.
  • a new roll of film developed. (now to figure out how to scan it...)
  • my little brother and our half hour phone conversations "talking about life".
  • cheese heads.
  • when my plants teacher brings us every kind of fruit ever and i get all my nutrition for free.
  • those boys in my ward who sing disney songs to us every sunday night.
  • my roommates.
  • how excited people at college get about christmas because it means going home. & that we've all been listening to christmas music since halloween.

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

He was the most beautiful man...

And it was that moment, when we stood hand in hand, watching the lightning crash across the sky, and he told me he liked the way that my hair smelled like coconut when it rained, that I was the most free.

"There will be another time for us. This isn't the only chance we'll get. You'll see."

Whenever he said that, I believed him.

And I still do.


But now it's more complicated.

Because we both have dreams.
Huge dreams.

And, somehow, they don't seem to allow the other one in.

But, no matter where I end up, or who I end up with, 
I will always miss kissing that soft spot on his face where no one except me ever kissed him.

Friday, November 11, 2011


happiness is not a bright yellow sweater you will find one day to slip over your head and wear proudly with your static-y hair. there are sweaters like that, but their tags read "excitement", not happiness, and they are usually red. the problem with these sweaters is that they can unravel as soon as you attach them to something and they also hurt other people's eyes sometimes.
happiness is a window that's been shattered. there are shards of iridescent glass everywhere. some of them stuck in people's hair and clothes, but most people have to slow down to gather those shards of glass and keep them in a stack inside their ribcages.
then again, maybe it wasn't a window that shattered, maybe it was a mirror.
joy is not a bluebird that lands on your shoulder one sunny morning when you smell especially nice. it doesn't always sing in your ear and cause others to spontaneously dance around you.
joy is a light that is born in your heart and is reflected more and more with each shard of happiness you gather. its light spreads throughout your veins and makes your bones glow. it covers you with a layer of sunshine right below your skin, because yes, the world may hurt your body but underneath your armor of light they can never hurt you.
happiness is not a brilliantly cold waterfall that rushes over your tan skin in summertime while you laugh in a forest green swimsuit. 
happiness is a still pool of water that you balance on your head as you walk with grace and surety.
joy is not a sparkly purple butterfly that you can chase through a meadow and catch with a net.
joy is separate, shimmering crystals that fall from sparkly purple butterflies and gather in the corners of your eyes and the part of your hair as you lay in the meadow and watch the sky.
peace cannot be found at the end of a red string twisting and turning around tall sequoias.
peace is right inside you.

these are not things to be chased after continuously. they are the culmination of experiences of love and they only come when you take the time to feel them. happiness is not the way you see the world, that is a byproduct. happiness comes from the way you see you, and the way you see you affects how you see everything else. these things are quiet, they are still, and they come from within. they do not beg to be flaunted but when others look, they'll be able to tell. they do not crash over you and change your life, they are the very essence of your existence. they are you, and you create them. stop looking, start feeling. you'll find them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The angry, the distasteful, and the undeniably attractive.

There are a lot of angry people in Salt Lake City.

I don't know why.

But, seeing as Salt Lake is my current place of residence, it's kind of a bummer sometimes.
My people-watching consists of many frowny and scowly faces.
And that makes me sad.

I just want to go up to people and say,
"Do you need a hug? Or a role model?"

But, instead, I take the safer route by just smiling at them as they pass by on the streets.
Sometimes they smile back.
Most of the time they don't.

And I think that's what I love the most about this city.

It's horrendously beautiful.
It's terrifyingly perfect.
It's disgustingly stunning.

It's real.

And, for now, it's home.

Monday, November 7, 2011

what's new II

p.s. i use photoshop.

words of wisdom from our very own fly, mallory.

"hannah, you don't have to know someone to marry them. there just has to be a mutual attraction."

thank you, mallory. my life is easy now.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

And at once, I knew I was not magnificent.

It was ten o'clock at night.
I pulled into the driveway and parked my car.
I took my keys out of the ignition and drew in a deep, cold breath.
When I stepped out of the car, I saw that she was outside waiting for me underneath the porch light.

She smiled as I walked toward her.
She threw her arms around me and said, "Welcome home."
Then she kissed my forehead and told me to come inside.

"It's nice to have company. It get's lonely. Especially since my being an empty-nester is so recent. I miss having people around. You know that you're welcome anytime." She was so real in the way that she spoke. And I did feel welcome. I felt loved. And I felt wanted.
"So. How about a cup of coffee?" she asked as we walked into her kitchen.
It was very late, and I didn't need the caffeine. But, for some reason, a cup of coffee seemed like the perfect remedy to cure my broken spirit. I said yes as she pulled two ceramic mugs down from the cupboard. She filled them both to the brim and handed one to me. Then we went into her room and both took a seat on the queen sized bed.

She looked at me, smiled, and said, "Tell me everything."

I laughed and automatically began to speak.
And didn't stop. For a long time.

She never broke eye contact and nodded her head as she listened to me ramble on and on about things I had never felt the need to say before.
I rambled about the questions that I couldn't find answers to.
I rambled about the problems I couldn't seem to solve.
I rambled about the feelings that I never allowed myself to ramble about before.
I rambled about my dreams and how hopeless they seem.

Then, I opened my mouth and tried to ramble about the past, and how I wish so terribly that it were the present.
But I couldn't get out more than a sentence on that topic before my eyes welled up.
I knew the waterfall would pour if I said another word on the subject.
She saw this struggle as I stopped talking and put her hand on my shoulder.

"Hey," she said.
"It's okay to cry."

I laughed after she said this. And cried too.
Then we laughed and cried together.

No one had ever said that to me before.
It's a line I've heard in movies, no doubt, and probably read in many books.
But no one had ever said, to my face, that it was okay to cry.

It was nice to hear.
It was nice to know that I didn't need to keep it all together all the time.
And breaking down is allowed.

It's okay to cry.
There is strength in tears.

Then she took me out for a late-night slice of banana cream pie at the local diner.

Sometimes, life's okay.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


today was a cloudy day.
so i went where i always go. to the art.
i went to see the exhibit of student's ceramics in the hfac. if you're here, you should go see it. it's called the mud show.
immediately all my bothers floated away. i walked through slowly and the clicks of my heels echoed. i was alone.
i told the pieces thank you. thank you for accepting me and making me feel like i belong. and my eyes fogged the sight of the star watchers.
i went out the back of the building and into the little statue park. i sat on the bench in front of the pool of water and i watched the shadows of the leaves floating in it.
i listened to the song playing in my head--i realized that it was more holiness give me.
more gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
i knew that today wasn't a day to think about myself. today was a day to think about everything else. when i'm not noticing beauty, something is wrong.
so i walked home and i packed a bag with my film camera and gear. i clipped a green pen to my shirt and i carried a notebook. i chose not to bring music. i chose to listen to the wind.
as i was walking across the street, i met a boy named joe. he told me he liked my shirt. he asked me what my story was.
i told him where i was from. but that's not my story.
he told me where he was from and what he was studying, but that's not his story either.
we said goodbye.
i took photos of the leaves in the pool and the ceramics that made me cry. i wandered and i took notes. i explored.
i sat on a ledge and i thought about stories.
i'm hungry for stories. i have so many details; i want to know the story.
i want to know why people are here and i want to know why they love home. i want to know the last thing they cried about or laughed about. i want to know what they would do right now if they had any choice. i want to know if they are in love and i want to know what made them fall in love.
i want to hear those stories about their rock bottom and i want to hear about where their mountaintop is. i want to know dreams and fears and i want to hear about strength.
i want to find someone new and sit with them for hours and listen to their story.

and i think, a little bit, i want to tell mine. we always find out so much about ourselves when we're letting someone else into our hearts, don't you think?

what's your story?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh, The Awkward Phase.

The most wonderful phase.
You know about the awkward phase, don't you?
You must. Because, unless you are six years old, you have already lived through it.
Or, in some cases, are currently in it.

It generally starts close to age seven and usually ends around age thirteen.
For some, it begins sooner. For some, it lasts shorter. And for some, it lasts much longer.

And our mothers were so nice to us, telling us we were the most beautiful things in the world.
Which, to them, I'm sure that we really were the most beautiful things.
And, in that phase, I definitely thought I was the hottest thing.
I think we all did.
And, looking back...
The awkward phase truly was the most glorious time of my life.

Remember being in that phase?
And all the awkward things you did?
And all the awkward things you wore?
And all the awkward things you said?

I sure do.

The choker necklaces. The butterfly clips. The strange teeth. The misunderstood mind. The love for the Disney Channel. The overalls. The chicken scratch handwriting. The constant singing of Britney Spears. The thinking it's awesome to put your younger siblings through hell.
It's all so clear to me.

Those were the glory days.
You see, it doesn't matter what you do in the awkward phase.
Because you're ugly no matter what. And so is everybody else in the phase
And that's what made us all awesome when we were at this point in our lives.

We were all awkward together.
We were all ugly together.
We were all awesome together.

Meet me, in my awkward prime:

I was not cute.
But you better believe that I was awesome.

Sometimes I'm pretty sure that I'm still in the awkward phase.
Because sometimes I show the symptoms.
And, to be clear, let's review the symptoms of the awkward phase.

You might be in the awkward phase if...
- you talk to yourself in the mirror.
- people laugh when you are dancing.
- you make funny faces when you are by yourself in public.
- nobody knows how to respond to some of the things you say.
- it's difficult to be taken seriously.
- people tell you that you look hilarious when you are hysterically crying.
- you sometimes say things louder than you had originally intended.
- you always have dirt under your fingernails.
- potty humor is funnier to you than it should be.
- your idea of flirting involves insults and wiping boogers.
- your laugh makes people feel uncomfortable.
or if
- you do weird things without warning for no comprehensible reason.

If any of these apply to you, you might be in the awkward phase.

I love the awkward phase.
I have two brothers who are currently in the midst of the awkward phase.
And every second of being with them is an absolute hoot.

Long Live the Awkward Phase.

Those days consisted of some good times.
I met a lot of my very best friends in the awkward phase.

To name a few.

We were so cute and ugly and awkward.

Embrace your inner awkward.

Awkward is as awkward does.

Awkwardly yours, 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

i was having a hard day, so i got out my journal, and this is what came out of my pen. take it to heart; it's true.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oh, Brother.

Meet Daniel, my youngest brother:

Don't tell me that you don't think he's the cutest kid ever.
How could anyone not love that freckled little face?

Daniel has been through a lot for only being ten.
He's very brave.
And the kid is a comic genius.

I love him so much.

He is my biggest hero.
And I am his biggest fan.
Especially because he created his own costume for Halloween:

Only cool ten year old kids love Michael Jackson.

And only the coolest want to dress up as him for Halloween.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween.
Full of sugar and laughs.
I know I did.

Three cheers for a perfect October.
And I raise my glass to November.
May it bring scarves and smiles and turkey and new friends.

"Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your whole heart into it, take yourself out of it."

Love, Mal

Monday, October 31, 2011

well, you dared me.

remember that time there was a cute boy in my class & you dared me to sit by him?
well, i did.
we're friends now and he invited me over to listen to music at his house last night.
it also was great that the last song played was re: stacks. i don't know if you've noticed, but that song is a big part of my life.

also, that is the crew on halloween, mostly. mallory dressed up nice don't you think?
i sported a nice boy-scout-meets-britney outfit.

go make things happen.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I can't remember why I said what I said but I said it.

And when you grow up, you learn to never take back the things that you say.

Even if you realize that you didn't mean what you said.

You still hold to it.

And that's what I did.

I said it.
And I pretended to mean it.
Even though I didn't mean it.

I feel like my life consists of the same story over and over again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

take care of that soul in there, too.

it's the only thing that'll live forever.
take care of your body; that is wonderful.
learn hard to work hard to pay for life.
but don't forget that life doesn't last very long. remember the life of your soul.
give your soul something to smile about.
go paint,
go take photos,
go dance in the kitchen,
go make a new friend.
spend your time letting people know you love them.
souls are a precious thing. remember that not only does yours live forever, but everyone else's does, too.
even that girl you made fun of yesterday.
even that friend you've been meaning to call.

"speak your love and then speak it again."
-howard w. hunter

note to self.

photo taken on bainbridge island, seattle.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Those boys...

The one with the weird sense of humor and the glasses and the sixth grade crush.

The one with the dark hair and the best friends since fourth grade and the "I'll never let you fall."

The one with the "I'm about to hold your hand" and the confusion and the spying from across the street.

The one with the voice and the eyes and the smell and the late summer nights in the bed of that truck.

The one with the curls and the cigarette smoke and the snowy walk around the city all night long.

The one with the goodbye and the 6'4" and the complicated and the "Someday" by John Legend.

The one with the freckles and the v-neck and the stories and the Radiohead fogging the windows.

The one with the secrets and the plaid and the Skinny Love and the "you're still a good person."

The one with the Beatles and the bridge and the potential love and the let down.

The one with the park and the best kind of kissing and the "babe" and the tears.

Those are my ten. My favorite ten. My top ten.
The best ten.

Ten of my favorite stories.

Ten bridges I burned.
Ten bridges I wish I could rebuild.

Ten boys men that put me one step closer to figuring myself out.

And even though I've disliked each of them at one point or another,
and even though some of them seemed to have done unforgivable things,
I love them. Really and truly, I love them all.
Some, like a brother. Some, like a best friend. Some, like a significant other. Some, like a memory.
And some, like a complete stranger.

Ten different kinds of love. Ten strong kinds of love. Ten important kinds of love.

I sometimes wish I could hate some of them.
Because, thinking back, maybe some of them deserve to be hated by me.
But then I remember that if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be me.
I wouldn't have learned something extremely important.
So I have no choice but to love them.

Ten lessons.
Ten opportunities.
Ten thousand laughs.
Ten reminiscent smiles.

And ten cheers.

For having made it this far.

I feel like writing ten thank-you cards.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

always an evolution.

i think it can be a little surprising sometimes when our identities shift.
i'm changing into a better girl, and she's turning out different than i expected.
i thought i was one thing, but i've found out i'm even more.
i thought i had myself figured out, but i don't think i ever will.

the core of me is still the same, yes.
but i'm finding that i'd rather wear a windbreaker and boots than a dress and red lipstick.
i don't care about finding new music. i find myself listening to rihanna and the beibs lately (although that's mostly a result of my roommates)
my roommates are becoming my sisters.
plants are making me smile like cloud nine.
i want to raise chickens when i have a home.
i want to be camping in the woods more than i want to be in a big city.
and i eat pomegranate seeds for a snack more than bagels.
i'm not afraid of being alone.
my plants class friends and my fhe brothers and my roommate's boyfriend are literally the only boys i talk to. ever.
and if i could pick my words, they'd be calm, low-maintenance, love, peace, and learning.

it's different, and i like it.
i always forget that i keep changing.
my self-confidence has to keep renewing as a result of that. i loved who i was but i'm not exactly that anymore. now i'm different and i love who i am, and that took a little adjustment.

welcome to the world, new han. it's still just as beautiful, just a slightly different perspective.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eleanor Rigby.

I love looking at people.

People-watching is different from people-looking.

I find myself people-looking more often than people-watching.

To people-watch is to closely observe.
To people-look is to merely glance, take note, and relate.
I find it to be much less invasive and much more eye-opening.
You see, I find that people-watching has much more to do with others and nearly nothing to do with myself. But people-looking seems to be more about me.
I don't mean to be selfish, but sometimes it's best to worry about one's self before worrying about others.

It's a cycle. We should all be selfish before we are selfless. If we don't take care of ourselves first, then someone else will have to and then everyone is just looking after someone else, so we're all being looked after as well as looking after, and that puts a burden on others, don't you think? If we would have just worried about ourselves first, then others wouldn't have had to worry about us. 
So being selfish is almost selfless.
Kind of.

When I people-look, I look at faces.
I look at the face that is covering up a broken inside.

Every person is broken.

And that gives me something to reflect on.

All the lonely people. Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people. Where do they all belong?

I don't mean to relate everything to The Beatles, but they are all too inspiring.
All of these lonely, broken people. Growing up, doing the best they can, working hard to graduate high school to get into a university to get a good job to make money to provide for a family that will start the same cycle that they went through and then they die.
Why does it all happen? Why are we all working for the same goal?
We all work hard to get to a place where we will simply have to work harder. And then we die.
Who/what are we doing it for? Why are we doing it at all?

I'm not trying to be pessimistic.
Because life is so beautiful, and there is no way around that astounding beauty.
But it isn't always easy to see that beauty.
We're often blinded by questions and doubt and misunderstanding.
But there is always a silver lining. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

That's what I learn from people-looking:
That hard work means more hard work. And accomplishment means hard work. And forgiveness means hard work. And love means hard work. And broken hearts mean new opportunities to love which means hard work. And marriage means hard work. And kids mean hard work. And the hard work never ends.

But I also learn that failure means success. And losing means winning. And working means earning.
And maybe life means hard work. But life also means accomplishment.

Life means glory.
Life is glorious.


Thursday, October 20, 2011


It is one thing to be alive.
But it is something different to feel alive.

This morning, I woke up more tired than I was when I had fallen asleep.
My eyes were empty and weary. My legs were sore from my late night work out. My neck was stiff.

I rolled out of bed. And I smiled.

The night's dreams were terrible and reminded me of a cold past I had worked hard to forget.
But I smiled anyway. Because it was morning. It was a new day. And I was a new me.
And it was the beginning of the rest of my life.

I took a shower and let my hair dry to its regular curly state.
I put on my coral sweater and thought to myself, "It's going to be a very good day."

I feel alive today.
I can't describe it.
But I feel more human than ever, and it's so wonderfully refreshing.

Things are so simple. Life is so simple. I feel so simple.

And within that simplicity lies the beauty that I possess because I am alive.
I am living.
And, oh, how wonderful that is.

I want to stand on a mountain and raise my arms and shout to the world.
And I want the whole world to hear me. Every living thing.
I want the earth to know I'm alive.

Because I am.

And in the still of the empty silence, I can feel my heart beat.
I close my eyes and think, "I'm alive."
And that is enough for me.

As long as my heart beats and my mind wonders and my lungs accept the oxygen I feed them,
I am perfect.

I am living. I am free.
And I am the only one who has control over me.

It is a great gift to be alive.
And it's even greater to feel it.

Photo credit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


lately i've been learning the difference between forced growth and chosen growth.
both are a lot of hard work. they feel very different, though. but in the end, either way, i'm growing closer to the light.

maybe that's why i relate to plants so much.
there's a lot of plant analogies i could give you right now about growing. but i don't want you to know how nerdy i am becoming. 
laura found me a heart-shaped leaf.
& my mom and neal told me i can have free reign of the greenhouse.

i think maybe, these days, my favorite color is green.
it's the color of life.

taken at the montreal market.

Monday, October 17, 2011

those days.

those days when you're not smiling, and nothing in particular went wrong.
it happens to the best of us.

did you know bamboo can grow up to 47 inches a day?
did you know bears and pumas don't have hairballs because all the grass they eat does something to the way they digest?
did you know one in every 30 million lobsters is born yellow?

bon iver is quickly becoming the only thing i want to listen to.

i ain't living in the dark no more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Three words:

My heart. My soul.
My everything.

And, just so you know, I cry every time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I have this issue.

With stairs.

I have a lot of issues with stairs.

They create a lot of internal angst and discomfort for me.
And I never know how to explain to people that the stairs and I are not friends.

One issue with stairs that I have is falling.
I fall down the stairs.
I fall down the stairs often.

In fact, I currently have a bruise on my back side that looks like this:
Please note that I drew this picture up to scale. There was no exaggeration done in the creation of this drawing.

Yes. That bruise is on my back left side. It has been there for almost two weeks now.
And this, my friends, is due to a nice little spill down a lovely wooden staircase.

I will have you all know that I am NOT a clumsy clumsicle.
I am VERY poised.
It's just that...
Those stupid stairs are out to get me! I know it!

And then, all of the sudden, 

It's terrible. Really. I don't know what I ever did to those stairs, but they are SO MEAN TO ME.

Another issue I have with stairs it that I can't walk up them in front of anyone.
And it's all my mother's fault.
You see, when I was a child, my mother would chase me up the stairs and pinch my bottom.
And I hated it.
And as fun as I'm sure it was for her, it has ruined me.

Now, no matter where I am, or what staircase I am climbing, I have to be last.
Sometimes, when needing to climb a public staircase, I have to wait for several minutes for people to stop arriving so that I can walk up those stairs in peace.
I have been late to so many important things because of STAIRS.
Yes. I am just that broken.
It makes for an awkward situation sometimes.
Or.. all the time.

Let me give you one of many scenarios in which I cause an awkward scene due to public stairs.
I go to a public staircase and wait for several people to go up so that I can take my turn. 
Just when I think the coast is clear, I begin my ascent to the top.

A few steps into my climb, I notice someone approaching the staircase below me.
So, out of sheer terror, I begin sprinting up the staircase.
The people in front of me notice me sprinting, and, out of sheer terror, they begin sprinting, too.

And it's all just really awkward.
I just dread staircases.

The other problem with my life is that I also hate elevators. 
Because I feel like I'm going to suffocate 100% of the time.
And because I had a bad experience on the Tower of Terror at Disneyland.

I am broken.
So very broken.
And I'm waiting for the day where I wake up with wings so that getting around isn't so dreadful.

Monday, October 10, 2011