Happy Holidays

I don't get to go home for the Holidays this year (which I can't think about or I might have a small-ish break down) so moving on to the fact that I get to have a New York Christmas & New Year Eve which am pretty stoked for! Can you say watch the ball drop from Aubrey's rooftop complete with twinkle lights AND party hats?? Aubrey and her family are also adopting me this weekend for Christmas and I am so excited to see that adorable little town and family of hers (again)

These are pictures from the Ward Christmas party on Saturday (taken by alpha) and I felt it was necessary to post them here. I love my little Ward family more than I can express.

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yes I may just be copy and pasting what brissa said about this
but once you watch it, you will be over any copyright infringement
harsh feeling issues you may have towards me.

"the climax makes my heart pound
and cuts my breath short.
all the holy's.
the way he strings words together.
pilot lights.
movie screens appearing on awakened planets.
falling for a swish of light.
black construction paper night."

those holy's guys.
gets me every time.
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"look into my eyes"

No Doubt
Jay Z/ Linkin Park
Neil Young
Good Charlotte
The Notorious B.I.G
Ace Of Base
50 Cent
Jackson Browne
Christina Aguilera
Alanis Morissette

3 hours going strong listening to music from our childhood.
Depicted in this picture is Danica confessing things shes never told anyone.
3000 miles apart and still family bonding.

Go here to listen to my whole childhood.
This might be the best playlist in the existence of playlists.

3 in the morning and I am loving life right now.
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"I'm Christian, unless you're gay"

I read this post earlier in the week and it's surprised me how much its come up in my conversation. Lately I've been having a hard time transferring exactly what this brain of mine is thinking into coherent words and usually it just seems to come out wrong. There are parts in this blog post that are exactly what I have been feeling and I am very grateful someone else could put it into words for me. Go here to read the whole post if you'd like. It's lengthy and he drills it into you pretty hard but it's a really good reminder I think for everyone.

"We shouldn’t choose who we will love and who we won’t.

 “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.”

That’s the message we’re sending, you know.

“I’m Christian, unless I’m hotter than you.”

“I’m Christian, unless I’m uglier than you.”

“I’m Christian, unless I found out you cheated on your income taxes.”

“I’m Christian, unless you cut me off in traffic.”

“I’m Christian, unless you fall in love with the person I once fell in love with.”

“I’m Christian, unless you’re that guy who smells like crap on the subway.”

“I’m Christian, unless you’re of a different religion.”

..Come on. Don’t we understand? Don’t we get it? To put our arm around someone who is gay, someone who has an addiction, somebody who lives a different lifestyle, someone who is not what we think they should be… 

Doing that has nothing to do with enabling them or accepting what they do as okay by us. It has nothing to do with encouraging them in their practice of what you or I might feel or believe is wrong vs right. 

It has everything to do with being a good human being. A good person. A good friend."

It has everything to do with being an example of the believers.
It has everything to do with following Christ, 
with striving to become like him.
With loving others as He would.

That's it.
Right there. 

That Love- it's everything. 

No excuses.


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kind of, sort of, technically.. a year?

This happened exactly one year ago today. whaaaa? New York has officially been in my life for a year! It was exactly a year ago I decided to move out here with out a plan, with only a shannon and measly amount of money in my bank account.

I had no idea a year ago that the decison I made on that random Tuesday in November would turn me into the person I am today. And to be honest, I still can't believe that I live here.

I am grateful for New York
and I am grateful for everything wonderful that comes with that amazingly, beautiful, fantastic word.

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Don't swim in the water

I went for a walk today along the Hudson
which has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the city.
If you can get over this fact (which just might be my favorite article title of all time),
you can find some real beauty in the place.

Took some pictures,
made a few realizations about my life,
even ate a haagen daz ice cream bar.
I don't know why I just lied to you,
I really had two. One more is sitting in my freezer.

These pictures have inspired a project I might attempt, we shall see.

For now enjoy these gems.

  Teeth by thaogetdownstaydown

  Wye Oak: Civilian by -gaga

  Sufjan Stevens - Vesuvius by boththings

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Beauty in the Cesspool


What would pursuade almost 2 million people to live on a island the size of my pinky finger? (No, that number doesn't even included the millions and millions of people who commute into the city everyday or any of the tourists.)

This is how my brain see's it. It's like everyone in the world knows there is this secret when it comes to NY. But does anyone even know the secret? No. Even the people who experience NY every day don't know what the secret is but the fact that the secret is there makes this place feel almost magical. Cheesy? Embrace it.

And I think if that myth of a secret was taken away, we would all realize how insane we've been for putting up with the cesspool subways, and almost 1000 dollars every month to rent a shared room (which I am positive was a shoe box when the landlord first said "yeahhh this looks like something someone would pay thousands of dollars to live in, lets kick the little mice out of their home and shove 4 fully sized humans into it, they'll fit!) when we could be paying off a house with that kind of money,
But I've been sucked in.
I've been sucked in despite the possibility of contracting something fatal everytime I step onto a subway.
Despite when step outside in the mornings and take a deep breath, it always ends in me gagging a lil' due to the giant pile of trash that sat overnight and made the whole street smell.

There is a ridiculously long list of all the great things I love about Manhattan and normally here is where I would insert that list but this post is already waaay to long so I will save that post for another day.

Straight up?
Living here makes me happy. It pushes me every.single.day. Sometimes on the really really hard days I day dream about moving back to Utah where its easier and I wouldn't have to work as hard because Utah is my comfort zone, but the results that come from me pushing myself every day are incredible.

That picture explains how I feel about NY. Beauty in the Cesspool. And I don't think that will ever change.
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Gary Ceran

I've listened to this podcast twice now.
This man is absolutly incrediable.

He lost his wife and two kids in a car crash involving a drunk driver.
Not to mention he and his wife lost five children previous to the crash.
The things he has gone through makes the stress in my life seem this small.
If you do anything today, make it listening to this podcast
..well and maybe eating some food. preferably chipotle.

*pictures from my apt. window sooc
did you know love living in manhattan and seeing this view every day?
well, i do.
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4 plus 4

Picture is a still from the wedding i filimed last weekend (all by myself i might add!)

               8 months (tomorrow!) have gone by.
                 Scary how fast time goes,
                      and yet how absolutely wonderful the changes that come with it can be.

               It's starting to smell of fall here in the NYC.
                  Boots, cardigans, beanies, 
                 and my moms pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are what my nostrils are telling me.
                What are your olfactories telling you?

              (p.s. number 3 is uhh-mazing..
          but really all of them are worth the listening)

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gratitude at a late hour

Heavenly Father is patient with me. He is kind and forgiving when I make the same mistake for the thousandth time. He knows every thing about me. Every weakness, every imperfection. & yet somehow he still manages to love me and bless my life in countless ways.
He is blessing me with this wonderful place called NYC, and I don't think I could ever explain how grateful I am.

Chelsea Babbitt said it better than I could:

It was then I realized
I am truly happy. Not for the moment, not for a time, but for everything.

I am thankful for everything that has brought me to this point with no end and no amount or number calculated could describe how happy I am to be exactly where the Lord has brought me to right at this exact point in my life.

I have a long ways to go before I am satisfied however, there is always something more to learn and develop and grow to be better from, but I know I am on the right path to that end.

It's amazing what happens when you submit to the lord to guide your life. He has greater things in store for you than you could ever imagine.

For the 12,333,543,232,343,545,454 time.

p.s. i survived the hurricane and came out without a scratch. i can't say the same for this unfortunate car down the street from me. 
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Hurricane what?

Its been all emergency preparation/hurry and grab water flashlights and canned goods at the grocery store before it runs out here in NYC. I am pretty sure these past few days city has been having a collective panic attack all together. Between this hurricane and the earthquake a few days ago its been one strange week out here.

But all is well my friends. Me and my apartment are well stocked up for this weekend. We have a prime spot in my roommates room to watch the storm from(a stairwell just in case things get nasty), and plenty of junk food to keep us happy all weekend.

As much as I don't think anything is going to happen, i know prayers are always a good thing. So all my homies in the 801, please keep the east coast in your thoughts this weekend!

Here's to a safe weekend!

and i couldn't resist..

  The Cults - Go Outside by pcagx 

  White Hinterland - Icarus by erinaomi

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And you thought it wasn't possible to star gaze in NYC.

you were so wrong.
do you see those 3 dots??
straight up beautiful.
it just doesn't get better folks...

and don't get mad, more music.
(feel free to collectivity groan)
I have a problem where my subconscious nags at me
until I share my musical findings with the blogging world.
It's a curse...
and a blessing.
...peace and blessings.

this post officially has waaay to many ...'s in it.
i hate ...'s don't you?

meow on to the music.

**I apologize, I realized after I hit publish that I wrote this half asleep, with a head cold. Literally, this whole post doesn't make any sense. I'm afraid this cloud in my head (I am calling it cloud irene in honor of the hurricane about to hit us this weekend) came to invade my head and sense of judgment and all things rational. All I have to say now is that this time next week, I will have survived my first hurricane and earthquake, all within a few days of each other. (double fist pump) untz untz untz untz.
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a wedding in the catskill's

Over the weekend I assisted on a wedding in the Catskill Mountains where we took a chair lift up to where the ceremony took place. It was incredible how great it felt getting out of the city, even if it was for work and just for 24 hours. I love my city but I've been missing nature in my life and central park is just not cutting it.

I don't think I can say this enough:
Filming weddings is what i want to do for the rest of my life. 
If I had a rooftop I would be shouting this from it.

I was so focused on the wedding I didn't even think about getting a picture for the blog so this has resulted in me stealing two pictures of the weekedn from Josh's FB page. Go check his stuff out, he does not disappoint.
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"far from what I once was, but not yet what i'm going to be"

This quote is a subject that keeps coming up in conversations lately and it pretty much sums up what i have been feeling lately. My experience out here has been, well, lets just say it's had it's ups and downs. Until my move a couple months ago into Manhattan, I could not wait unitl the moment Heavenly Father said "Okay Madi, you've learned what you needed, now come back to Utah." I basically gave the big man upstairs an ultimatum (thats awful I know) and said if things don't get better, I don't care what you think I am packing my bags and going home.

In Logan I felt like life could not get better and i've come to realize how unique my experience was there. And dispite me saying "New York?? But life is already perfect why do I need to move half way across the country? Can't I just learn what you would teach me out there, here?" He got me out of my comfort- blanket-utah and knew that this is exactly what i needed. Sending me out here only knowing one person was the only way I could have grown a love, friendship, and appreciation for Him. This is my alone time with Heavenly Father, to get to know Him and myself a little better.

So here we go, i think it's time and i'm just gonna say it.

 I am HAPPY here.


Thats kind of a big deal if you didn't know.

I put my move back to Utah date for January and was counting down the days until it came, but I don't know anymore. The closer it gets the more I love it here and I can't see myself moving away so soon. I HAVE SO MUCH MORE I NEED TO LEARN!!! January will mark a year of me living here and thats just not enough time. At least not enough time for me.
 I would say i'm about 60/40.


What do you think?
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Lighten Up

About a year ago I posted a quote here on the blog. During my talk yesterday I used more quotes from Chieko Okazaki's* book Lighten Up and I thought I would share here as well.

"If there is one great constant in the universe is the unfailing love of the Savior, the other great constant is his unfailing respect for human agency. He will not override your will, even for your own good. He will not compel you to accept his help. He will not force you to accept his companionship. He leaves you free to choose.

I beg you to open the door and let him in. give him your whole heart, all the pieces, and let him heal you.

He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people do not need a Savior. He came to save us in our imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living makes mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief."

Chieko N. Okazaki, Lighten Up

*Sister Okazaki was the 1st counselor in the relief society general presidency but did you know she passed away just a couple of weeks ago? I am so grateful we have her talks and books to go back to. She was an absolutely incrediable woman.
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because its a requirement to share good music

   VCR - The XX by tracks_arte

   Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal by subpop

   Harvest Moon - Neil Young by houligen

and because I am trying to take life for today, 
and not for what it was or will be,

Every time I look out my window this is what I see 
and I remember that this is my city 
and for this moment it's all i need.
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untz untz untz untz

I am giving a talk in church on sunday. 
And to be honest, 
the rough draft has sort of turned into 
a Harry Potter, Buddhism fest. 
I may even throw in there a little Judaism and Confucianism.
How do you feel about it?

I feel its gonna be a party.
(fist pump)

on another note,

Isn't he just the ugliest cutest thing in the whole entire world?
I can't wait to spend the next few weeks with him.
He loves me can't you tell?
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