Saturday, February 16, 2013


becca inspired me. sorry to be a copy cat, becc! except, i didn't clean up too much. it's just as is. including obviously restarting pandora just before i took the picture!

here is a little tour of my little office. this is what i look at all day everyday. including today. i am pausing work to have fun for a bit today. the pile in front of the the screens are the people i need to respond to. i print out the emails i need to review with clay and take them in when we can chat. then i write his response or what needs to happen on it. so that i can find things easily. it was better than Christmas was i was given the second monitor! i can have the calendar up all the time while i work and change things. the calendar is the driver of all life!

i have this little window that looks out to a hallway. there are a clay's books to advertise just a bit. :) just outside the window is a little food cart. so i get people walking by and looking at random moments. i can be awkward or fun - depending on the person. :)

i put quotes up all over the place to help remind me to be a nice person. one of today's projects is to take them down and put a beautiful fabric up. and then just a few pictures. i love the paper source calendar sitting here so i want to put that up. and i need a picture for the mirror frame one of the professors gave me for Christmas. i am thinking of getting paper boxes for the piles. they are for the various projects we are working on currently, so i need them out, but still neat . . . 

it will be the middle gray one. i cut it this morning and found ribbon to make a "border" so that i don't need to hem it. :)

more quote and books some books clay receives. that would be my cereal bowl - sorry! and the numbers are the count down until i head to california and utah for some events. i am doing suzanne somers eating and it's to help me keep focused and stay eating wisely. :)

there was quite the saga about my wall. it's a long story. but i wanted to have something up that was clay-centric and fun and professional. i had book covers cut into smaller frames that i had him sign. it was cool and not in-your-face. but another profesor didn't like them and a story that is worthy of an Office-episode ensued. so instead, i framed some of clay's Tray-Liner Collection. he collects tray liners from fast food restaurants around the world. he used to have them up on his wall when he worked at BCG to let people know that they were going to work and not eat at fancy-schmancy places! i have the one from Germany on the left. and then i got to be with him when we got the middle one from Finland and the right one from Russia!

i love the girls i work with. there are four of us in our little "quad."  in this space there are 4 desks just like mine. when two of them went to target one day, they brought back stickers and certificates from the dollar section and said that as a teacher, i needed to do something with them. so we have a sticker chart. we get stickers when we do nice things for each other (kate was here, and then moved to a new job. instead of taking her off, we just added molly). :)

clay's office. the proffesor's offices are in a long hall. the "paneling" is actually filing cabinets. smart!

just before you walk into our hallway, you see this. it's from a greek bath in 300 BC. gotta love HBS. there is water surrounding so that it doesn't crumble. but pretty stinking cool!

 happy home away from home!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

magic penny

i have been pretty excited to meet with a therapist last night. i have things pretty mentally organized in my head about where i need some help processing through things. but yesterday afternoon, i received a call that my friend was going into labor and i had volunteered to be the evening sitter when that happened!! so therapist was canceled and i hung out with the sweetest kids - second to my nieces and nephews. they went straight to bed when i put them down. we did sing some hymns they chose from the hymnbook and read a story each and said a prayer together. but when i closed the door, they were silent!

these were the books they chose to read from the bag i brought. these are FAVORITES of mine! 

"Loretta Ace Pinky Scout" is one a dear friend gave me years ago. it's about realizing that no one is perfect and that no one should be perfect. it's marvelous!

my mom gave us each a copy of "We Were Tired of Living in A House" for Christmas. they are out of print, so she search high and low and then made fabric covers for them with a note about how much we loved this book growing up and how much it means to her and dad that we are living in different locations, but still love to come home. 

i had called my mom on my way home from work and told her i was going to babysit instead of go to the therapist. and then shared with her the sweetness of the day:

  • i had received 2 facebooks messages from former students who missed me and and one asked for my help because i had influenced their life in powerful ways. 
  • then a former missionary companion who means the world to me happened to call. i called her back  (which was a conscious decision, because of the anxiety/nervousness i have with any phone calls any more!!) and even though it was the middle of kids needing her, we chatted for a good 20 minutes. 
  • then i met by phone, a couple with whom i had a sweet and tender conversation. the kind of people that you know will be in your life for a reason. 
  • i received my information packet for BYU Women's Conference and a note from the man i will be speaking with that was real and honest. 
i cried to my mom at the reality of the incredible people i have in my life. in the fears and inadequacy of feeling like a failure of a friend to so many people, it was a humbling experience to have deep and tender reminders that i am going something right. 

i am remembering the song i learned in kindergarten (blessed teacher that i had), "Love is like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, spend it, you'll have so many, they'll roll all over the floor. So. Love is like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won't have any . . . " 

fear of relationships hasn't always been a problem. it is just something recently that i have struggled with. recently being in the past 5 years ish. some painful situations with treasured friends threw my confidence and i am realizing and accepting the impact those experiences have had. and i am realizing that i have healed as much as i can on my own and i need so help to close the wounds. 

but yesterday was a sharp wake up call from the Lord that i do know how to love and let people in. i just need to learn how again. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


i work for a man who a a masterful and sincere missionary. one day, as i read a beautiful letter from someone who had met with clay, i walked into clay's office with tears in my eyes and asked how he did it? how did he share so freely that people asked for more? i told him i had read his books, i had heard him talk, but i just couldn't figure out how he did it. 

with all humility and no airs, he quietly said he honestly felt like the Lord trusted him. trusted him to open his mouth and invite at every moment possible. and thus, people were lead to him. 

i have thought about this a lot. i have often had the image in my mind of the Lord and the Savior facing a situation and wondering what to do. and then realizing, wait, emily is there and They then moving to another situation because They know i will take care of whatever needed to be taken care of.

but i currently am not sure what situations They would feel this way about with me. i work hard to teach lessons and talks that hopefully bring people to the Savior. but i am not sure what else He can trust me with. i wonder what the Lord trusts me with currently and what i WANT Him to trust me with? this has been the question on my mind as of late. and this is going to be seriously on my mind for the next little bit. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

blizzard and beliefs

it has been a snowed-in weekend. which i love. maybe i am just to an acceptance stage, or maybe it's because it's winter and a part of me loves to hibernate, but i am pretty lazy right now in life. yesterday, i caught up on a number of shows and watched a movie. i decided to make cookies at 9:00 pm. bad choice. they were awful. i tried to 1/2 the recipe and it's tricky to divide 3 eggs in half. boo!

mine looked like number 5 here when typically they look like 1 or 8. blast. too much egg and not enough flour. 

the snow has been beautiful. pretty great to live in an apartment and not have to worry about shoveling the snow. there was so much wind that it came through the screens and when i opened the windows, there was lots of snow on my window pane. 

i decided it was a good weekend to try to write some thoughts. i had lunch with a colleague this past week. he received his MBA at HBS then went on to lead a company which got bought for lots of money. so he came back to cambridge and went to the Divinity school. we have some good talks and we were talking about beliefs the other day. 

i want to record and try to put into words some of my beliefs about womanhood. 

i believe that i am created as a mother. i belief that having and raising children is my divine purpose. i believe that there is no greater work in the eternities than creating a space for learning and growth and developing. and i feel that there is no role greater for me than to be a wife and mother. 

a number of years ago, while i was teaching, i was researching further dream jobs. i was looking into organizational behavior. i really wanted to figure out how to help people be their best selves so that they could give more of their best work. i was thinking about different organizations and their products. and realized the that only product that i care about is people. i care about producing great people - not great airplanes, or post-it notes, or software, etc. it was a big moment to realize that there was no greater place i could put energy than in developing greater people. and that is the business of education - the creating of people. 

mrs. schroeder was one of the greatest keys to my teacher training. she told me one day that the goal is to create capable, and wonderful citizens who contribute to the world. it changed my life. i wasn't there to teach the math lesson and get high scores on the state testing. i was there to create powerful people. 

maybe because i saw so many "products" of parenting in my students, i have become even more passionate about the power of parenting and motherhood. there is no greater arena to create people than in a home. THAT is the beauty and power of mother: to create the capable, wonderful citizens of the world. AND in the gospel, to create dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ. 

eternity is real to me. it is often easy for me to realize that this earth life isn't the end. i love the vision i remember while attending the Temple. i am a mother. my eternal role is to create life and to nurture that life to become all it can, and chooses to become. i am to create vision for my children. and until i have children of my own, i get to practice with the people in my life. 

and i'll be honest. sometimes that is hard. people scare me. for some reasons i do understand, and many that i don't, i am very fearful to create relationships. in fact, i am going to see a therapist this week to try to start working through this. i get anxious to be with girls one-on-one. i need a task to do and i am much better. but the expectation that i need to be something for that person creates a lot of fear and nervousness that i often retreat from friendships. it is a big deal when i swallow that fear and interact. but i know it is an essential skill and trait and i need to practice this in order to be the mother i want to be. for i truly believe, that each thing i learn enriches all my mothering skills. 

i don't have a problem with men holding a responsibility to govern the affairs of the church. i have a voice and thoughts and insights that i want to be heard. but that doesn't mean i need to be in charge of something to have an influence. in fact, i can often have much more influence without being in charge.  i don't believe that programs will change people's hearts and i don't believe that the only way to be a leader is to have a position. 

i believe that i have equal access to the powers of heaven. i don't believe that the power of the priesthood is only accessible through righteous priesthood holders. i believe that they are just that - humble holders of a responsibility. just as i am a humble holder of the responsibility to nurture and create an environment to create wonderful people. i can't do that to the best of my ability without someone at my side - someone who is my equal and who can understand my heart and gives strength when i have no more. and vice versa - a man can not be the ultimate of his role as a priesthood holder without a woman at his side to invite a softness and perspective unique to women. 

maybe this is too much to share here. in this arena. 
my thoughts are edited or refined. they are simply my heart right now. 

i deeply want to understand other's hearts. i want to understand people's thoughts that disagree with me. i often have an internal conflict that the gospel of Jesus Christ should and can be taught to all people, for all people to accept and embrace. so there must be a way to teach it so that all people want to embrace it. and i recognize that the Savior  - as the perfect teacher and perfect leader - was hated. He didn't convince everyone that the doctrines were correct. He was bold and didn't apologize for the Truth of the eternities. He was so bold that He was brutally persecuted and killed. as were His Apostles. there is a part of me that recognizes that this searching for truth and teaching it isn't something that will always end well in this life. and the other part of me recognizes that the Savior was constantly wanting to understand and be with people who didn't agree with Him. no wonder he needed to flee to the mountains to find time to just BE with His Father and reset.