Thursday, January 23, 2014
Photo: from last March. That was a good day. 

Today was a good day.

Olivia and I left the house at 8:00 AM with Dad – he had to go to school. We said "bye" at the curb, and drove on to Sprouts for groceries where we enjoyed a breakfast of pureed kale, apples, and mangoes in a squeezable pouch (for her), and a lemon Lara Bar and a banana (for me). I wasn’t going to head right home after putting real clothes on the both of us and after wrestling baby girl into the car so early in the morning. Had to make all that work worth it. 

We took our sweet time shopping and then went back to BYU. We thought Dad might like a banana, too, since he didn’t get the breakfast of champions like we did. And I felt like going to the MOA. Of course the fabulous, new Carl Bloch exhibit is showing, but there’s another that has become nothing but a refuge for me – Shaping America. We visit it often. Its portion about our nation’s “quest for beauty” taught me how women were perceived and so respected during America’s cultural reformation (1910ish). Here – this is some of what a plaque says about it that sits next to a stunning portrait of a strong, bright Americana woman:

“Reformers believed that beauty would elevate the masses. They emphasized beauty in home decoration…they named women as the nation’s cultural guardians.”

...I don't think that designation was just dished out. Greater America saw women then for who we are - creators, beautifiers, and guardians. A guardian of culture. That’s me. One who can elevate the masses! That’s every woman in this world, no matter marital status, baby count, or job title. Isn’t that amazing? And motivating? And comforting? Women being such women today is so needed. It is still so noble.

I love being a woman. I'm so set on adding beauty to this world and guarding good culture. Rah rah, rah rah rah!


Fave Links – all about good culture!

1 | On literacy and illustration - Design of the Picture Book. Such a cool site devoted to analyzing and appreciating how beautiful picture books can be (picture books are 1/3 of my favorite genres)!

2 | On hosting and homemaking - how to fold a napkin into a really pretty bow. One day I'll host a fancy dinner and I will do this for my guests. 

3 | On painting - and appreciating it! This girl is young and already so aware! I hope to help Olivia take note of art like this, too, as she grows. 

4 | On handcrafts and toys - that are dainty and modern all at once. So fun. 

5 | On nature and traveling - a drive up America's Pacific Coast. If we go to law school in CA (it's possible!), I will see these sights. With my children. 


  1. So remember how I mentioned that we should get together, this post confirmed that. I need some of your light in my life - your perspective and genuine love for simplicity. I'm so happy you visit the MOA like you do. Miss Olivia is lucky to have a mother like you!

    1. Kels I thought of you and getting together YESTERDAY - I feel the same. Just waiting to 100% banish our colds (we're really close!)! Let's soak up the MOA together!

  2. Jeni, I read almost all your blog posts and love them. This makes me think of the phrase I loved by Sister Dalton in conference, "I will forever praise God for being a woman." or something like that. Anyway, you are the epitome of the woman I want to be--focused on what's truly important in life and loving it.

    1. Doesn't Sister Dalton make you want to shout from the rooftops that life is beautiful and so are we? I love her. And oh my, I love you, Faith! You've always made me feel more than good. I still have a note from you from Jeru because of how you touched me so. Can I be YOU? Please?? :) xoxox


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