Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sibling Chronicles part 3 of 6...

So I think Cami is going to explode if I don't write this soon. So I best continue with my saga.So! I don't even know where to start! Lets see here... The earliest memories I can remember of Cami and I are first, when my friend Caitlin would come over, she and I would love to call Cami "mommy." I do not know why we did, but we loved it. I am not so sure how that made Cami feel, but we always referred to Cami as mommy. Haha! Also, Cami was my coach on my soccer team when I was in kindergarten! I thought it was SOOOOOOOOOO cool, and would brag all the time to my friends.

I also thought it was so cool as well when we were playing mother may I, or just playing around in the front yard, and Cami would always do her gymnastics moves.

I think the time when Cami and I really started to connect though, was a little later in life. I used to feel so privileged when we sang with mom and amber and the twins, that I got to sing soprano with Cami, because she was in Women's Chorus, and had such an amazing voice, and I was the one who got to sing along with her! I do believe that Cami contributed a lot to my singing voice today, because I always wanted to sound just like her.

And of course, let us not forget who influenced my choice in musical instrument! I can remember very far back, always wanting to play Cami's viola, because it was so pretty, and Cami was so good. She definitely influenced my decision, because every time Cami played, it sounded so deep and strong, and I felt that a viola was so much more hard core than a violin. So Cami started me on my way to becoming the greatest violist in the world! Of course, I am not any where NEAR to being a good violist, and not nearly even on Cami's level, but she was so nice to always give me lessons, and help me a long my way! She got me through three years of orchestra on her lessons alone! And Miss Wilson was always impressed with my playing.

I think the one time I have most admired my sister Cami the most is when she was in Nunsense. She was in this at the very beginning of my passion for musicals, but man oh man. Cami did such an amazing job in that play, and was practically made for the part! I have always seen Cami as someone who could do anything. And this play demonstrated that. She danced so many types of dances, acted, sang, everything!

Cami CAN do anything. She was so well rounded growing up, which I always admired. She played sports, yet was in choir and orchestra. She was very social, always had boys after her, always looked pretty. I always hoped I would grow up to look like Cami. And I always thought out of all the siblings in our family, Cami and I looked the most alike. I don't know why, but I still kind of do!

Ok, so also, some of the happiest times of my life, were, of course after Cami married Jake, and Jake and I immediately connected, mainly due to our status as youngest child. I think Cami and my relationship grew to more than siblinghood at this point in life. Drew and I and Cami and Jake would hang out ALL the time. We all got passes to 7 Peaks, and would have sleep overs then go the next day, I would baby sit Jeffy, then have a grueling game of Monkey Ball tournament.

Which brings me to another point... Chosen, chosen, chosen, chosen.... Cami's first born is the Chosen one, lets not forget. I believe this still to be true, because like a prophecy, in the 6th HP book, Harry is designated the Chosen One, when I started calling Jeffy that 6 years before. Chosen indeed.

Cami and I have connections through the most influential things in my life. It has been so fun having Cami to talk to when it comes to my favorite literary series. After all, Drew wasn't around when Series of Unfortunate Events OR Harry Potter 7 came out, and Cami was just as good to discuss. I am SO happy that Cami has read my favorites, and recently the Twilight series as well, not only to discuss and such, but to justify to mum. Because mom can't argue my love for Harry Potter if Cami likes it as well! So there. Cami understands, mom!

And of course, let us not forget how I lived with Cami the summer after Graduation! I think that summer saved my life. High school was such a horrid experience, when it was supposed to be the best years of my life, and so Cami came up with the clever idea to get me an AWESOME job at the summer preschool program. Cami has always been so helpful with my problems in life. She has been through a lot, and doesn't sugar coat things, but tells you how it is. I have always felt comfortable telling my problems to Cami, because she always has something to say in response, and adds lots of input and advice.

But of course, my summer at Cami's was amazing fun! She did everything possible to make me feel at home and welcome, and make sure I had a fun time! We went to the malls, watched lifetime movies and MXC, had some SERIOUS Giant Journaling sessions, she even planned a trip to Hershey, PA to go to the Land of Chocolate!!!!! Cami alway hot meals on the table for her family, fun activities for her boys to do, lots of fun friends who enjoyed having Cami around, and was extremely organized. I gained a whole new admiration that summer for Cami's patience and strength. I don't think any of you can know how amazing Cami is until you see the lengths she goes to to sacrifice for other people's happiness. Sometimes her boys could be a bit... opposing, but she knew exactly how to handle it, and was so very patient with them. I don't think I could be that patient! Cami was always working so hard to make the best ward activities as well, which were amazing with a huge turn out. Everyone would rave about the wonderful activities, which Jake and Cami were so incredible at planning. They are seriously an unstoppable super team! I am talking camp outs, game nights, breakfasts in the park, all successes!

So basically, it was such a fun summer to spend with my big sister Cami, and her amazing husband Jake, who really is quite amazing. Jake is probably the most selfless person I have ever met. He is so wonderful to Cami, and such a cute dad to his boys. Jake will do anything to make his family happy, and will not hesitate for one second to do something when someone is in need. One day, about a week after I had been there, I was bawling my eyes out because I had some REALLY bad cramps, and Cami comforted me, which Jake immediately ran out the door to buy me any medication I needed without question. I never felt homesick for one second during my stay at Cami and Jake's, but always felt wanted and taken care of.

Cami has always been there for me, whether it be some ridiculous boy problem, or me having some kind of break down, or just in need of someone to talk to. I have always appreciated how Cami has always laughed at my jokes and interesting ways, and I always look forward to our times we are able to share. Cami always knows what to say, and is basically super woman with everything she does. As Mr. T says, R is for the room up in heaven that I know she'll get! I am grateful for my big sister Cami, and everything that she has contributed in my life, and how she is so genuinely concerned for my well being, and is always happy to help out in any way. She has such a wonderful family whom I love so much, especially her adorable boys who are absolutely hilarious and cute. Thanks Cami for all you have done for me!
And lets not forget who the first person was to do the Worst Music Video Ever dance with me...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

People who have no soul...

Before I continue with my sibling chronicles, I wanted to vent a bit.

Today, I was driving in the parking lot at UVSC. Parking is a joke there, because I usually have to wait 10 minutes for a good spot, or walk for ten minutes from a bad spot. I usually wait. So I was just driving around the front, waiting for someone to come out. Finally, a girl walks out, so I follow her for a while, then turn on my blinker to seal the deal, and turns out she is at the very end of the row, which still isn't a bad spot. So, some IDIOT girl coming from the opposite end of the lot sees the girl too. I am waiting right behind her, with my blinker on, prepared to take the spot. And sure enough, the girl pulls out, and that RETARDED girl pulls in, taking my spot that I waited for, for a good 10 minutes. This happened on last week as well, so I wasn't just going to sit back. I honked several times at her. She didn't even turn her head! I honked a few more times, didn't even look at me. If she feels that she can just be the biggest jerk in the world and take my rightful spot, then she could at least have the decency to acknowledge my presence. I was on the phone with mom at the time, and I yelled for a good 5 minutes afterward. I then drove around and PASSED the girl walked up to park in a better spot than she had. Ha.

The nerve. There is absolutely NO excuse for that behavior. NO excuse. That is pure selfishness and disregard for human beings. That girl has no soul, and is going to burn in (fine)h---.

Besides! With the Magellan in my car right now, I look a LOT like a cop! How did she know I wasn't one?? I would have totally ticketed the CRAP out of her for that...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Surprise!

Between the chronicles, here is a family surprise, thanks to megan for the idea.

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9567365607

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Sibling Chronicles: Part 2 of 6.

Next of course is Mattie!

Where ever so start! Matt has introduced me to some of the most influential things ever in my life. Think about it! 2 Stupid Dogs (I wish it would snow!), Brak, Strong Bad, need I go on? We all know how I obsessed, and still do, over these things. Just the other day, I found tapes Matt and I recorded back in the day, which were appropriately labeled "Matt and Lili's tapes of 2 Stupid Dogs!!!!" Haha. I love watching those old tapes. Such marvelous memories. It was fun to have something to relate to my older brother with at such a young age. Can you imagine an Elise with out these essential and crucial things???

Let us definitely NOT forget who gave me my very first CD ever! Which was Deep Blue Something. Every time I hear Breakfast at Tiffany's, I cannot help but think of when Mattie gave me that CD. I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, and I not only listened to the one Song, but memorized the WHOLE CD, which I could still sing for you this day.

I believe we ALL have Mattie to thank for the beatles influence in our lives. I remember so vividly sitting in that Beatles draped room, with the insense burning, thinking I would NOT want to be in this room during an earthquake, because of all the pins that would come out and stick into me. Ha ha!

Also, Matt gave me my very first beanie baby. That was huge. I then went on to have over 60 beanie babies, but always kept Ringo (my cow) with me. Infact, since then, I have made him a cape and he sits on my desk. "Moo!" he says. We even have a picture of the day Matt came home from his mission holding that cow, saying, "MOO!" Ha ha. I remember being so concerned when Matt left on his mission, because Jordan wasn't a baby, and he wouldn't remember him! But he did indeed. I also remember the night matt came home, sitting at the window in the mud hall on a chair, listening SOOOO hard for the trooper, I was so excited.

Matt also bought me my first guitar while on his mission! Wow, Matt! I never realized all these firsts! It was a mini guitar, which I used to play at multiple talent shows. I became legend at girls camp and activities with that guitar. It now resides in my apartment next to the couch. The first song I learned was Elenor Rigby.

Also, I feel like I must throw in another extremely vivid memory involving Cortnie. She was baby sitting us while the fam was away, and she would pick us up from swim team, buy us those little ice creams you eat with wooden spoons, and take us to that park in AF with that AWESOME swingset that revolves (which is no longer there. BOO!) I also recall a time when Em and I went to sleep over at Cortnie's where I watched ET and Ghost Busters for the very first time. I was always reminded of Edward Scissor Hands when I went to Cortnie's most likely because of the play house in the back yard. I had such a good time!

Through the years, it has been fun to share with Mattie all our common interests, from way back in the day with Brak, to today with flight of the Conchords and Homestar Runner. Matt and Cortnie have never failed to be on top of things such as birthdays and Christmas, and always put SOOOO much thought into everything! It was so fun in Maryland last summer to be with 3 siblings I don't get to see very often, but what was more exciting is that they each wanted to have me around! Matt and I had a marvelous time playing many (intense) games of monopoly and lego star wars, and Cortnie made some of the best stew I have ever tasted in my life. I always love how Matt and Cortnie have such a practical take on life. I was so happy when they told me they took mid night trips to ihop with Jack, and thought that was so awesome! So impulsive! They are so genuine and fun to hang around, and know how to make you feel extremely comfortable and welcome at all times.

I am so happy I have such a relationship with Mattie. I recall back in 3rd grade writing and drawing a picture in my journal at school of how much I love and missed my missionary brother. I am so happy he married such a beautiful, wonderful wife, and raised such a extraordinary child full of personality. Matt always gives me calls just to check up on me, and see what's going on in my life, which may not seem like much, but it really means a lot. I have always felt that Mattie and I have had a special bond that was different than the rest of our siblings, and I am grateful my big brother, and how it has always been so easy and comfortable to talk to and confide in. I am SOOOOO happy the Grahams are back here in Utah with us! It is so fun to see Mattie and Cortnie and Jack more often, and I can't wait for all the fun times we are going to have, including perhaps a trip to Disneyland here and there? ... Anyway, thank you Mattie for always being there, even when you lived across the country. It has always felt like you have loved me and looked after me, no matter where you were. Plus you look awesome in tails! Haha! Much love!Sorry for the photos, I wanted to scan in that pic of us being frownies when I was a baby. I love that picture!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Sibling Chronicles: Part 1 of 6.

In Relief Society last Sunday, I bore my testimony about the closeness of each one of my siblings, and how I felt so blessed that I was comfortable in confiding my inner most feelings and thoughts with each one with out hesitation. So I thought for my next few posts I was going to write about memories I have had with each of my siblings, just for fun, because I love all of them, and could never pick a favorite. So I am going to go through and say what I remember and love most about each sibling.

Amber is first.

I think one of the most wonderful things about Amber and I is even though we are so far apart in age, being the oldest and youngest, we still have never had a gap between us when it comes to our relationship. Amber has been like my second mum at times, or best friend at other times. Surprisingly, as early as Amber moved out, i still have very vivid memories of her living at home. I remember us three girls crawling into Amber's bed, and I always slept next to Amber to put my legs into the "oven" which was really just me putting my legs next to Amber's to warm up. This is something I have never forgotten, especially how excited I used to get when such an opportunity arose to sleep in Amber's bed. Not to mention sleeping in Amber's room every Christmas as well. My heart simply glows when I think back to those days.

Through out the years, we have always been close, but it wasn't until my last years in high school that I realized how important my and Amber's relationship was. Amber's house practically became my second home whether it be because of my latest break up with the boyfriend, or just to do a few jobs here and there. Amber always knew exactly how to cheer me up, and didn't necessarily make light of the situation when I was feeling down, but found a way to see the bright side, or take a jab at the ridiculous that is reality. Which always made me feel better. Not to mention Todd always being there as well. Sometimes when life gets you down, the only way to make you feel better is to sit and listen to Amber and Todd bring you back to reality. I don't think I could have survived most of the Jordan Roper crap if it hadn't been for Todd making fun of him, and reminding me of my worth, and making threats to beat him up. It was very comforting.My friends at college also find Amber and Todd to be quite entertaining. When asking them if they wanted to have movie night at the Pecks, the agreed, then asked if Amber and Todd were going to be there. I told them they were vacationing, and so my friends decided to reschedule to another time, just so we could see them.

And despite the rocky beginnings I have had with the kids, I have always loved them with all my heart, and have seen them as my younger siblings. I feel so blessed to be so close to my nieces and nephew, because they are SO smart and hilarious (just like their mum and dad) and I can already tell are going to turn out wonderful.

It is so fun when we find opportunities to spend time together, whether it be laser tagging or going all the way to Disneyland! And that reminds me... Even when I do things like, say, crash Amber's main mode of transportation, or perhaps land her 2 year old in the hospital for overdosing on medicine while she is out of town, she still finds it in her heart to forgive me, and invite me back to her home! Incredible! Anyway, I think I would die with out Amber, and I love her to death, and am grateful for her influence in my life, which has shaped me to be who I am today. Much thanks and love to Amber.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A new post is due...

So it has been a while since I made a genuine post, so I thought I may as well.

I guess I will post things that are making my life happy right now. I like to dwell on those things. So here goes.

Obviously the first thing would be Jeff.

Jeff is... the best. Jeff makes every day easier to live. Oh the times we have together. Just last night, we sat on the couch with my lap top on my lap watching MXC, and I just thought how much I really do enjoy my time with Jeff. Not just when we do extravagant things like ropes courses or go to San Francisco, but even just sitting in my apartment playing the piano and singing, or watching ridiculous shows on TV like Ninja Warrior or Man Vs. Wild or Iron Chef. Such wonderful times we do have together. Jeff is one thing that I am overly grateful for right now, as I can confide in him, and always turn to him for council or advice which he is more than willing to give. And also he is just so attractive which makes it that much easier to like him. Anyway, thank you Jeff.


Other things that make me happy... I have decided to still enjoy Harry Potter, despite what JK Rowling has said. My childhood was not a waste. When Harry Potter first entered my life, there was no talk of homosexuality or world issues like there is today, so I am going to remain in the state that I grew up with regarding Harry Potter. Besides, it isn't written in the books, hence, not cannon. JK Rowling could say that Harry's parents actually were vacationing for 17 years in Cancun, but it would make no difference, because the books are over, so nothing matters any more. I still love the books that I have devoted so much time to, and I am going to rise above this issue. My problem is with the author selling out, not with the story in itself.

Another bittersweet thing that is happening. I am moving out of my apartment at the Riviera and into the Belmont with my old roommates. I will be very sad to leave my current roommates, especially my best friend, Nicole. We have had so much fun this year living together, and it will be hard to leave. But I think it will be best for me if I live with Megan, Miri, and Jennie again. We went through a lot together, and next semester, I can already tell, is going to be very difficult for me, and I feel that with my close relationship and deep roots that I have with those girls will help me deal a lot more smoothly. It is going to be hard to leave my roommates, but I need to go to the place that I am most comfortable and stable, and that is at the Belmont. I am very excited to see what awaits me there.

Anyway, I guess I will end this now. There are a lot of things going through my mind, but it is good to know there are still stable things in my life, and changes to look forward to. Tis all for now! Ta!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A few comics to share.

These are a few comics that I love. Enjoy.



Friday, November 02, 2007

This is a HILARIOUS article that I found on facebook. This explains EXACTLY why JK Rowling is ridiculous for "outing" Dumbledore, especially AFTER the book series ended. Plus the title is amazing. Illustrations were provided by... me.

In other news, the Velveteen Rabbit liked gophers...

Oct. 23, 2007

I don't know if you've heard the news yet, but it turns out that everyone's favorite wizard headmaster was ... gay. No really, it's true. Albus Dumbledore apparently loved other wizards, according to a recent revelation by his creator, J.K. Rowling.

Finally, a reason for conservatives to hate the Harry Potter series.

What Rowling didn't say was that everyone else at Hogwarts and Company was hiding in a different kind of magic closet. I probably shouldn't break my nondisclosure agreements with Scholastic

, but I think the literary public has a right to know.

Remember Fleur Delacour, the pretty French witch with whom everyone in Book 4 was smitten? The truth is, she was secretly struggling with a cocaine addiction, and when she went to school, she left behind a 2-year-old daughter.

Then there's Hermione Granger, whose overachieving ambition actually stemmed from an anguished crisis of faith. Having been written into a world with no god and no Sartre, she was merely working to find validation of her little half-muggle soul.

And remember Dobby the house elf? Totally addicted to Valium. Why do you think he kept hitting his head against everything? To numb the pain ... of numbing the pain.

Professor McGonagall, seemingly stern and rule-abiding, actually once started and ran an underground betting ring at Hogwarts.

She shut it down when professors started calculating odds of whom Voldem

ort would kill next, but before that, she was really raking in the galleons.

And let's not even get into what kind of closets all the Weasley children were involved in. Suffice it to say, if they were American they all would have been in favor of lessening the authority of the DEA.

I'm not sure why J. K. Rowling is hiding all of this. These characters' actions aren't the same as sexual orientation, but their backgrounds all shed light on where everyone was coming from. Readers would have loved to know all of this sooner.

Rowling revealed Dumbledore's secret in response to a question during her book tour. But what if no one had ever asked? These are things ardent fans need to know.

After all, Rowling called her novels a "prolonged argument for tolerance" and urg

ed her fans to "question authority," according to the BBC. In response, her fans defiantly let go of their parents' hands and declared they were going to the sixth Harry Potter movie with their grandparents instead.

A gay rights campaigner told the BBC he was disappointed Rowlin

g didn't "make Dumbledore's sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book."

But Rowling obviously didn't do this to keep kids intolerant. Realistically, she just couldn't bring up Dumbledore's history because then the Ministry of Magic would have started conducting investigations into his relationships with all the little boy wizards, and uptight ministry employees like Dolores Umbridge would have set in motion a slanderous job-ending witchunt. Or wizardhunt.

Then Harry wouldn't have been able to train at Hogwarts, an

d then the Dark Lord would have prevailed in our imaginations.

And then, the terrorists would have won."

Grace Maalouf is a junior University Scholars major from Fort Worth.