Thursday, February 27, 2014

sacred gifts


although a museum has always tickled my fancy, it was while living in france that i truly grew to appreciate being up close and personal with works of art. seeing the texture of every delicate brush stroke, the way each color fades and blends into the next, standing in front of an original painting that is hundreds of years old–it really gives you a chance to think, even ponder, what the artist was really trying to capture, what they were imagining as they put their brush to canvas. 

there is nothing like seeing a painting that took up half a page in your art history text book take up an entire wall in the louvre. it's hard to explain the beauty of seeing the delicate hand of adam reaching toward the finger of God, while you stand staring at the ceiling of the chapel where Michaelangelo once stood, on scaffolding, and painted. 

a painting cannot be appreciated in seconds, or even minutes. the real thing takes time, and the more time you are willing to give, the more you will learn, the more you will receive. when you lose yourself in a static work of art, you find detail, emotion, even movement, and that is truly magical. being able to let myself go while pondering art has often been a spiritual experience, and that was definitely the case as i took in the beauty of the Sacred Gifts exhibit. 

the exhibit was entitled as such because Christ, our Savior, and his redeeming grace are sacred gifts to us from our Heavenly Father; however, the privilege of spending just a few hours in the museum was truly a sacred gift to me. 

several of the paintings in the exhibit captured Christ and his emotions and feelings in ways i had never seen depicted before. they opened my eyes to the dynamic personality i believe Jesus has. 

accompanying the paintings were words and videos from the pastors and priests of the churches in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and New York, sharing their love for Christ and these beautiful altar pieces and paintings. they each had a personal connection to a painting, and their messages filled my heart with joy. there are so many believers in this world. whether worshipping God means attending church for three hours on Sunday or appreciating the beauty of his creations while hiking through the mountains. i am grateful that there are so many that believe in the goodness of God, that feel his love.

no matter what your beliefs or your religion, i think there is a spiritual experience to be had in viewing any great work of art. if you live in utah, you need to visit the Sacred Gifts exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art. it opened my eyes and filled my heart, and i hope it does the same for you. 

though they do no justice, i would like to share three of my favorite paintings with you. these three paintings were ones that captured different, distinct traits of the Savior, and i loved each of them for different reasons.

Meekness
Heinrich Hofmann, Portrait of Christ

Hofmann painted this portrait to display in his own home, never planning to share it with the public. In 1905, he said of the painting, "I wanted to hang it over my bed and when I went to rest in the evening, it should look at me, earnestly scrutinizing, and ask: 'Have you lived this day in my spirit according to my commandments?'" the light color of the Savior's robes and the calmness expressed in his face depict a caring, meek man. He does not scrutinize us in a condescending way, but as an honest, earnest friend. i love seeing how an artist painted Christ not for the public eye, but as he truly imagined him. 

Understanding and realness
Carl Bloch, The Mocking of Christ
  "And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put itupon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!" Matthew 27:29

the texture of this painting by Carl Bloch makes it so unique. the blood dripping from the crown of thorns is raised, giving the painting an almost haunting, realistic feel. Christ gazes straight into the eyes of the viewer with an expression of the understanding of his fate. He knew what he was doing, and though it went against his natural, human will, he was willing to make that sacrifice for us. He is a real person, has real feelings, and understood what he was charged to do: i love how Bloch captures that in this painting. 

Empathy and depth of feeling
Frans Schwartz, Agony in the Garden
“And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43)

i've never seen a painting of Christ where he looked so sorrowful, so low, but i know this is how he must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. this painting captures, for me, the empathy that Christ has because of his Atonement. He can feel every sorrow, trial, and sickness with us. just as the angel comforts Him with the power of touch, Christ can comfort us in our times of agony and pain. the deep blues and the intense shading point to the depth of sorrow the Savior feels, which is contrasted by the glittering lightness of the comforting angel, hinting at the hope we can have for a brighter day ahead. this painting moved me. 

i hope that if you are near, you will go and see these paintings, and that they will move you too. if you are not close by, find an exhibit near you that changes you, and share it. 

don't forget to take your time. there is more to art than meets the eye.


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many thanks to my sweet, sweet mother for encouraging us to go to this exhibit and for flying out here and going with us. she is a beautiful example to me, and i loved experiencing the beauty of the exhibit with her. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

love and hearts

quick throw back:

on Valentine's Day five years ago, i was in Washington visiting Mindy's hometown the first of many times. i was a little bummed to be away from my valentine, but i still got a bouquet of flowers and a very freshman-year-andrew-like "love note"

flowers:

note:
 transcription: "HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
I hope you are having fun in Washington without me, but if you get bored, there is a sudoku on the back. See you in a couple days.
Love,
Anj" 

despite the less-than-lovey-dovey note, i was still pretty pumped.
reunited at last... during visiting hours of course.

fast forward:

anj has definitely learned. his notes have gotten lovey-dovier, and we've spent the last three Valentine's Days in the same state. last year we ate dinner with two other random couples to beat the line, so it was nice to be at our own table this year. 

we started the celebrations with a quality ward party. i love photobooths. and andrew.
and lunges.
 also have you ever gotten pizza in the mail before? no? me neither. until the day before Valentine's Day! my sweet grandma sent us some deep dish pizza, from CHICAGO, in the mail!!!!!!!
it was delish!
 i got some super fun valentines at work, including a one direction card and this soda from stacy:
clever, right?
 i wore these socks because, why not? 
 anj surprised me with an absolutely beautiful bouquet of flowers. 
 this perfect, delectable cookie came as no surprise because Valentine's Day is not complete without a cookie mailed fresh from momma bodine. (who knew so many good things could arrive in the mail?)
 although my v-day date outfit was a little subtle, anj went all out with an adorable pink shirt and tie.
for dinner, we joined all the cowboys in provo at outback steakhouse. the wait was long, but the service was good, the steak was great, and the company was even better, so it was way worth it.
we exhanged valentines (anj wrote me a POEM!) and said lots of lovey-dovey, nice things about each other.
does it get any better than that?

i hope you all felt loved in some way on love day. 
it has to be one of my favorites because i love love! 
and i love my love. xoxo.




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

i really only blog about disneyland

i love disneyland.
(and this guy)


it's a little scary. for example, at least 5 different people told me i was just going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE "Saving Mr. Banks" and that i would just BAWL the whole time. the only time i actually shed tears was when the camera panned into disneyland. 

i cried because they were showing disneyland. really.


anyway. what more could a disney-loving person such as myself want than going to the place i love most with the person i love most? considering he hadn't been since about 5th grade, it was about time anj and i made our way to the happiest place on earth. 

we actually managed to keep it a secret (despite a certain someone almost spoiling it the day before) until 5 AM when i jumped on a sound asleep andrew and yelled "WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!!!!" he was just as excited as i wanted him to be, a.k.a. REALLY EXCITED.

despite having lost my license they let me on the plane, a christmas miracle, and we headed to LA.

it's 5 am. woohoo. 
after hitting soaring over california (love that orangey scent), we booked it to midway mania to beat the lines.
 we decided to let anj take on mom because she always wins and he might have some beginner's luck.
she still won.
 we were super pumped to see our pic for this ride... unfortunately someone decided to place her hands directly over our faces. drats! dave still looks good, along with those ladies in the front.
 the ride in cars land had a 2 hour wait so we skipped it. ain't nobody got time for that.
(except for the 5+ billion people in the line)
 how could you not love being in disneyland with this guy!?!
 and all these guys too?
"we're smooching right down the middle of main street u.s.a."
 to keep the tradition alive we decided to match again for this disney excursion.
 andrew had to experience disneyland in true bodine style, so of course that meant lots of TREATS.
he thought he was only going to want one mickey beignet, ha! 
and the cotton candy. THE COTTON CANDY.
(don't worry we all shared one)
continuing in true bodine fashion, you have to have a close up in line for the matterhorn. for some reason it makes everyone look really photogenic. also anj is just cute.
it can make you look good even if you recently had a gum graft and might look a titch swollen!
also, we got to meet up with my aunt sue and all her cute kiddos. 
so fun to see people you know in d-land.
thanks for letting me borrow your ears, jazelle!
matterhorn bobsleds just got a little bumpier.
ho, ho, ho! merry christmas! if this is our christmas card picture next year, don't judge.
lucky for us, sue gave us all 9 of their fast passes which meant we ruled the park! even though it was a super crowded day, we hit all the important rides and beat the crowds.
more people i know?!!? running into the zylstras was also a treat!
don't ask.
you can ask about this one. everyone was supposed to be doing the whole butterfly thing but anj "wanted to look around and see what was happening" a.k.a. got really scared. the best was when we came off the ride to check out our pic, a bunch of kids were just laughing and pointing at andrew's face. YES.
of course we made time to see the world of color christmas edition show. it was just so nice to be snuggling up with my honey, singing along to disney-fied christmas songs, and partaking in all the disney magic. i loved it.
post w.o.c. we booked it back over to disneyland for a few more rides and finished the night off with it's a small world. 
it was a perfect magical last ride.
i think you could say the day was a success. 
anj finally got the disney experience of a lifetime, 
and i finally got my dream kiss with my very own prince on the castle bridge. 

xoxo.






Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry, Merry Christmas

Just wanted to share our Christmas card with you and yours!



May you remember Christ this season and feel His love. He loves and knows each of us, that I know. 
Merry Christmas!




Monday, November 11, 2013

the happiest place on earth


sometimes you just need to go to disneyland.
maybe you haven't been in a while. maybe you've never seen it all decked out for halloween.
whatever the reason, sometimes you just need to go.
so you do.

a few weeks ago i met up with my mom/bff in the john wayne airport, hopped in a taxi, and headed to the happiest place on earth. it was a cloudy but warm thursday in october (a perfect disney day), and we were ready to do the day right. 

from fast passing world of color first thing, to waiting no more than twenty minutes in any line, to eating every (necessary) sweet and savory disney treat... i'll say we did it right. in fact, we did it better than right. 
we do disneyland best. 


don't believe me? i'll show you. (of course)

i prepared by getting my nails done. 
and we started the day off right with toy story midway mania. mom won. (she always wins)
and then we had several requests to remake our carrousel picture of disneylands past. 
so we did.
we had to ride the carrousel, sans music, and it wasn't the best. 
we still had fun, of course. 
also... we had to resort to the CA adventure carrousel for our remake because king arthur's carrousel was CLOSED!!! disappointing. but still fun, like i said.
 after hitting screamin' we headed to cars land, which is new and particularly adorable.
 cute, right?
disney secret #1: if ever the line is long, go for the single rider pass! you get to sneak up the back of the line and hop in whenever there is an empty spot because of an odd-numbered group. half the time you end up in the same car!
this happened to be the other half of the time...
when this family wanted a cute picture, my mom decided not only to join them, but to ask the father if he would so kindly send her the picture. awesome. (as you can see he did)
we liked cars land. people liked our matching shirts.
then we headed over to disneyland, which really is one of my very favorite places. 
seeing it all decked out for halloween was a (spooky) treat!
 running into mickey as we walked in the gates wasn't bad either. 
 #twinning
pumpkins everywhere. i love pumpkins! and i love mickey pumpkins.
we spent most of the day just looking really good. 
           
we couldn't get over the holiday decor.
disneyland is just plain magical.
 they also had a little dia de los muertos section which we loved. 
there was a disney worker doing face painting, so we got cute skulls on our arms. (close enough)
 disney secret #2: eat dole whip. it's the best ever. and go inside the tiki room gate to beat the line, you can just walk back out the way you came in!
 what's a disney trip without a castle picture?
 or the obligatory picture of your picture? (our heart failed. and we held it up way longer than we needed to)
 space mountain ghost galaxy was not as frightening as this sign/her face make it look.
disney secret #3: bengal barbecue (across from indy) is THE best place to eat in the park. get the veggie skewer. it rocks. also get a mint julep. and mickey beignets. and cotton candy. and a giant pickle. 
we <3 food
 besides eating everything, we also did several more rides (pirates, storybook cruise, indy, star tours, astro blasters, haunted mansion... etc. etc.), laughed way more than necessary, took a miljion pictures, strolled around the park, never used a map, and reveled in all the halloween disney glory. 
our perfect disney day ended with the wonderful world of color.
disney secret #4: if you went to disneyland and all you did was watch this show, it would be worth it. we laugh, we cry, we dance, we sing along. 
it's magical.
 moral of the story: we went to disneyland, we did it right, we did it best,
and we loved it.

^^ wouldn't be a disney trip without a too-early-in-the-AM-airport-zebra-hot-chocolate.


thanks for a perfect disney day, mom.