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