Monday, December 3, 2012

i am a mormon

i have been thinking about this phrase a bit. during Thanksgiving, i was home in alpine and there was a Sunday School lesson about being called a mormon. yesterday i taught a lesson in primary about Mormon giving the plate to Moroni. it had me thinking about what type of man Mormon was and the the father he was that Moroni was the type of and powerful disciple who would be willing to wander for 34 year alone because he would not deny Christ. i wondered about the experiences that Moroni must have had that his relationship with Christ was so strong. 

in remembering more about them from the scriptures (Mormon was 10 years old when he was told to take care of the plates when he was 24 years old). At 15 he saw Jesus Christ. At 16 he was in charge of the Nephite armies. he was a man who while leading the armies and desperately trying to help them come until Christ, lead them through battles with the Lamanites, ALL while he combined the records and created the Book of Mormon. 

the prophet Mormon was a man who was firm in his faith in Jesus Christ. he did everything he could to lead others to the peace and power of knowing and following the Son of God. 

if someone were to say, "You are a Denise," i would be THRILLED! that is my mom and i am constantly wanted to be like her. if someone were to say, "You are a Roland," again, i would be DELIGHTED because i desperately want the calm and patience and wisdom of my dad. 

the fact that i get to call myself a Mormon is a pretty incredible thing. i get to be known as one who is trying to pattern my life after a great, great man: a man who didn't get in the way of Christ's love and teachings, a man whose entire life was spent in the service of God. 

i am honored and proud to be a mormon and just hope to really and truly be worthy of such a name. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

perk of being home sick . . .

 . . .  is that i can update my blog. 

i actually should be writing for my memoirs writing class i am in. it's pretty cool. it's at the harvard extension school. it's about 18 people and we write 3 pages on anything we want each week. then everyone in the class writes a sentence of feedback. 

the first class was intense. julie - my dear friend i work with - is in the class too. thank goodness! the first day, we sat around a table and the teacher asked what we were going to write about. What!? um, didn't realize we needed to be decided writers on the first day. 

i had no idea and when it came to my turn, i said i was a religious teacher/speaker and wanted to form stories better to teach with. Oh wow. the groans and complaints. although julie and i have very different beliefs, she was just about ready to stand up and make people respect me. :) it was pretty interesting. and yet, i understand. we have all been around over zealous believers. so when that is the vision you have, then i would have groaned too. 

i wanted to write stories/memoirs of faith. and i will. but maybe not for a few more weeks. 

but this is what i wrote today. it's 3 pages double-spaced, so so pressure if you don't want to read!

Emily Snyder
September 18, 2012


My mom had come to help. It was my first apartment all to myself. It was my first time creating my own home. 

It was a big deal for me. All my life, the only thing I have wanted to do or be is a mother. I have a mother who truly loves her role as mother. She and my dad have worked hard to make sure she could be a full-time mother. My mom had a mother who dearly loved the divine role of motherhood. While I know that there are many wonderful and incredible things I can do to change the world, the only want I want to do is be a mother.

In the Mormon culture, many people get married in their early twenties. I hoped that would be among that number. In every apartment I lived in, I never made it a home; I would make home when I was married – which, I had hoped, would be any day. I was always amazed at roommates I had that invested so much time and money into decorating the rooms, or buying dishes, etc. I bought cheap mis-matched plates from the Goodwill down the street. I brought a few things from home, but had posters laminated that I put on my walls with pushpins. That’s all I was going to invest in my daily surroundings.

After graduating from BYU and not having earned what my uncle called my MRS degree, I slowly started realizing that I was okay without anyone by my side. I was worth a bit more. I started investing a bit more in my apartments. I bought a red love seat. In one apartment, I had enough space in my bedroom that the love seat was in my room. As much as my friends joked about it being the love couch, it only was ever used for therapy sessions as friends wanted to come and talk.

In one apartments, I was really creative and started using my purse collection as my wall d├ęcor. I used the removable 3M hooks to hang various black purses with a few key red ones scattered among them. I made a quilt with my mom that was a beautiful black, red, and white quilt with fun giant red ric-rac. I was trying to make my own space and home even though I had yet to find a man to create my real home with.

I don’t know how to date. All my relationships end up very serious and engagement or almost engagement. What’s the point of dating if this isn’t someone that I want to spend eternity with? Perhaps I wanted it too much. Perhaps I was too willing to look past the red flags until things were too close. But after another broken relationship, and realizing I was going to suffocate in my current teaching job, I was done.

There was nothing left for me in Utah. I had tried dating online. I had tried set-ups. I tried playing the games. I tried “being myself.” I was done. I was done hoping that I would find my prince charming. And with the encouragement of my sister, I jumped: I quite my job and decided I was moving to Boston.

After being here for 9 months and living with a family I not-so-kindly refer to as “the pickle people” for the entire shelf of pickles they stored in their fridge, I was finally in my own apartment.

I left my dreams of finding a life with someone in Utah. And I was finally creating a home of my own. I had come out with nothing more than I could pack in my car. And now I was furnishing my own space. I found year old pottery barn couches on craigslist. I discovered an antique store in Pembroke, MA and fell in love with a book shelf and old wooden ironing board. I rented a van and picked these things up by myself. A friend and her kids were here to help me unload. But, all alone I was creating my home.

The next weekend my mom was here to help me create order of the moving chaos. As we drove to Ikea, we got in some sort of an argument. I have no idea what it was about. But I soon started crying. In the past 9 months, I hadn’t been able to get mad at someone. I was this city I knew was the home of my heart. I had a wonderful group of people to love and who loved me. But no one that I knew would love me through an argument. I hadn’t had a frustrating experience with anyone in 9 months. I was playing it safe.

But with my mom, I could be a brat. I could be a selfish and whiny 33-year-old adult. And my mom would still love me.   She wasn’t too thrilled when I shared my epiphany. Not exactly the words of gratitude I am sure she imagined. Yet, in facing a life that I hadn’t ever imagined or planned on, in living a life that looks very different from the norm of my culture, I realized that I could create a home. It was okay not to have the deep, safe relationships I had imagined. I could have that with myself. I could find home in myself.
But just in case, my mom made me a quilt for my wall. It’s a hug for the moments I forget. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

past moments

i was talking to becca after i got home from europe this past week. i was telling her about an experience i had at a design company, marimekko. she suggested that i write it up and share it. that such moments are most valuable if they can inspire others. i have thought about this a number of times since that conversation. i have thought about how one of the most beautiful parts of the mormon religion is that we do share. we gather to lift and inspire one another with the thoughts and experiences we have had with the Spirit. 

so i will be working on that post. it has brought me back to my blog and found these pictures i haven't shared. i don't know that there is much to share that is inspiring, but just the joys of boston life. which often inspiring just being here! 

a professor i work with gifted me with tickets to a red sox game in his amazing seats! i am a big fan of fenway. i love the history and charm of the stadium. i love that there is such pride in the team regardless of how well they are doing. 

there is a beautiful cemetery, mt. auburn. before i moved to new england, i never would have thought that cemetery's were beautiful places to walk around. now - i get it. it is a beautiful park. which, if you notice the picture where my skirt is flying - with all the trees, it is a favorite location during the fall. 

i was in love with all these signs. 

and the tiny turtles!!!

yes, this how you say "hi!" in russian!

although i look drugged, i was just delighted. 

there are bunnies at work! they appear on the lawn all the time here at HBS. 

one of my all-time dearest friends is mrs. emily larsen doxford. we have been friends for oodles of years and oodles plus experiences. you may have seen her in most of my nyc pictures because she lets me crash at her place and play when i go down. but this time, she was in BOSTON! her little sister will be attending Harvard's Graduate School of Education and they were checking out apartments, etc. 

the preece's came back to visit!! mike has lost 25 pounds so we needed to fatten him up with yummy kimball's ice cream. then we had a "ward" dinner with them around. it was on the lawn just in front of the Longfellow Park building. if you look at the picture with me and Jennie, you can see Henry Longfellow's house. yup, no biggie. :)

ty moved a few months ago. boo. it' s been fun to have him around boston. we served together in russia, but met at a reunion a few years after. 

pam and richard norby came to visit!! i got to know them when pam was called to the Relief Society general board and i was the secretary that got to help the board members. richard was the stake president of a singles ward in orem and he asked me to teach institute (crazy man). so needlesstosay, i love them! they both were released from their callings about the same time as their 40th wedding anniversary. so they came to play with me! we had a wonderful time and had some sweet, sweet chats. 

this is frank of frank's hot dogs - holy amazing!!

remember how i love pinterest? ya, i do. i love the quotes and the design of the quotes. these are ones that are hitting home right now. i am trying to actually live life the way i want to and not let life take over. 
here's hoping!

this is dearest leah. who moved. ugh. ugh. ugh. i moved into my apartment because it was a stone's throw from leah. she was my first friend here. i was at home with her - which, i am realizing more and more - is a big, big deal. we had just had a lovely dinner at our friend's house and took a walk to Tufts campus. their mascot is an elephant named Jumbo. we just had to pose by him!

adventure with CT! this is just before he left for China for the summer. i love adventuring with him!

clay's book release party at innosight. talk about the coolest cake ever!!

this is matt eyring's assistant who makes things run there. i loved that we matched. and i really love that i look like i am size 2. i am not. this is good inspiration!

messy desk. it drives me crazy when it looks like this!

my friend jill came to visit! we had to stop to see the chickens on our way to strawberry picking - it smelled so bad, but we had a blast! we picked berries, went walking on the minute man trail, drove through concord, went to a lovely lunch at pickadilly place in charming new hampshire, visited my friend's farm, you name it - we did it!

clay's son was married over memorial day weekend. the reception in boston was a few weeks later. i took a day from work to help get ready. these are clay's grandkids who decided i was the jungle gym for the day!

brian's brother danny came to play for the summer - we started the months of fun with a red sox game!

oops out of order, but more berry day with jill :)

adventures in maine with brian, danny, and linda!

and sunday picnic at robinson park. 

sad to think the summer is over. but guess what is next?!?! new england in the fall!!