Home > Up Close

Book Review: Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from the Book of Mormon

By Julia Blue

A year ago we reviewed the first book in the Girls Who Choose God series, Stories of Strong Women from the Bible. Today we are very pleased to share that it was so well-received, a second book, Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from the Book of Mormon, has been published. This guest post by author …

Read More

I believe in Romance

By Maralise Petersen

“Oh boy–they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!
And that thought had a brother: ‘There are right people to lynch.’ Who? People not well connected. So it goes.”

–Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

I survived and even enjoyed my time in Public Humiliation, I mean Public Education. Somehow, I figured out how to successfully navigate the pettiness and repeated embarrassments that come with the often harmful combination of puberty and immaturity. But that was a very long time ago. I’m a little more cynical now, a bit more judgmental, and sometimes a tad unstable. But, I digress.

Read More

Hungry?

By Angela W. Schultz

I stretched back, luxuriating in the warm water, watching the stars through rising steam, and reflecting on the wonderfully nourishing evening I had just spent with a group of friends. After sharing a potluck dinner (tabouli, garlic bread, hummus, fresh fruits and vegetables) outside on a beautiful late summer evening, we took turns sharing books, poems, and ideas we had found to be inspiring, and then we retired to the hot baths (part of a commercial hot springs owned by one of the group). I closed my eyes sleepily, wanting nothing further that day, either emotionally or physically.

Then E began to speak.

Read More

Eating Empathy or Expanding my Current Level of Mental Illness (Thanks Anne Lamott)

By Maralise Petersen

A few weeks ago, I realized that if I didn’t amend my current intake of multiple spoonfuls of Nutella for breakfast, Banana mit nutella for lunch, and bread mit Nutella for dinner, I might just explode. Or, at least not fit into my formal gown for the Marine Ball. Either way, it would be a tragedy. “Dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria” (name that movie). And I thought, “What the heck…let’s get jiggy with it and go all gluten free and stuff.” Ok, so that wasn’t my exact thought but it was pretty close.

Read More

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Food

By Maralise Petersen

My husband visited his grandmother this week at her home in the Alzheimer’s unit of the local long-term nursing facility. It was lunchtime so he brought a sandwich, sat down beside her and began eating. And instead of dismissing him with the claim that she’ll call him later (which happened during his last visit) or treating him like a stranger, instead she said, “Ohhhhh, you got yourself something to eat. Good.” The act of him eating triggered something in her brain that made her realize that this man (her first grandson) was her own.

Read More

What We Might Be Missing

By Heather Herrick

Something has been on my mind lately. After a long hiatus our relief society is starting a book club. Last time they launched a book club in this ward one of my visiting teachers volunteered to head it up. We had more than one conversation about her difficulty in choosing books for the group.

Read More

My Book Report

By Justine Dorton

My 15 hour book challenge turned into more like 25 hours of reading — or, rather devouring — books and articles and websites. Let’s just be honest and divulge right up front: my husband was out of town, and I wanted to have my fair share of therapeutic aloneness. Add to that my pre-schooler’s fantastical love of her cousin, I found myself with a bunch of time during the day to ignore household chores.

Read More

Sometimes

By Maralise Petersen

I forget you don’t know me.

You see, if you knew me you might know that I love loud clothes and found art and street food. You might know that I’m the pessimist of the family, that no matter how old I get my mom still calls me “baby,” and that rearranging furniture is not a chore, but a PRIVILEGE for me. You might remember me from grade school, the girl with ruffly underwear paired with stretch pants or from college, the one who left the library only when it locked its doors. You might know that I like to eat alone and that my children are wild. But, you don’t know me. You probably never will.

Read More

Scattered

By Maralise Petersen

“Because whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal. ”

–Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) in Nora Ephron’s “You’ve Got Mail.”

For some reason, “You’ve Got Mail” has followed us from house to house, from state to state, and now from country to country. It’s always one of the shows that I throw into the “movies to keep us sane while our world crumbles around us” pile. I have often turned it on after figuring out where to put the too-big couch or after filling the-largest-garbage-sack-ever-made with items that I can’t believe I moved in the first place (like old toothbrushes or the almost-gone bottle of Windex or the broken bookshelf).

We move. That’s what we do. The problem is that I am SO not cut out for nomad-hood.

Read More