Wednesday, December 22, 2010

love letters

assemblage becoming beleaguer brood bucolic bungalow chatoyant comely conflate cynosure dalliance demesne demure denouement desuetude desultory diaphanous dissemble dulcet ebullience effervescent efflorescence elision elixir eloquence embrocation emollient ephemeral epiphany erstwhile ethereal evanescent evocative fetching felicity forbearance fugacious furtive gambol glamour gossamer halcyon harbinger imbroglio imbue incipient ineffable ingénue inglenook insouciance inure labyrinthine lagniappe lagoon languor lassitude leisure lilt lissome lithe love mellifluous moiety mondegreen murmurous nemesis offing onomatopoeia opulent palimpsest panacea panoply pastiche penumbra petrichor plethora propinquity pyrrhic quintessential ratatouille ravel redolent riparian ripple scintilla sempiternal seraglio serendipity summery sumptuous surreptitious susurrous talisman tintinnabulation umbrella untoward vestigial wafture wherewithal woebegone

Monday, December 6, 2010

have a holly jolly keckmas

Get ready for some cheese! For reasons somewhat about to be explained, I took a stab at our family Christmas letter this year. It is slightly obnoxious. Isn't that required for a family Christmas letter, though? Anyway, you might as well read this, since I'm clearly not posting anything else around here.

Dear dears,

Merry Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and a fine time to begin a freelance writing career. When Mom decided it was more worth it to bribe us kids than come up with ideas for another family Christmas letter herself, I jumped at the chance. Ah Mom, still finding ways to teach us to sharpen our creative talents and better understand basic economic principles.

With retirement from the army looming ahead of them in early 2012, Gary & Melissa seem to have decided that the lifestyle transition will go more smoothly if they begin gallivanting across the globe and leisurely entertaining guests now. They have spent the year in such thrilling and exotic locales as New York City, the Bahamas, Germany, Florida, Cancun, and…Fort Bragg. When they can be convinced to spend time in their current home state of Maryland, they fill their weekends with hiking trips, historic site explorations, small town adventures, big city attractions, and sports games and concerts and 5K runs and more—all of which is very well documented on Facebook. Add my mom, she’s got great photos and great status updates! Somehow between all of this they still manage to work hard and serve often. Dad enjoys his work as the Commandant (doesn’t that sound so distinguished? Commandant?) of the Defense Information School and stays busy with his responsibilities in the bishopric at church. Mom works in the temple weekly, serves in the Relief Society presidency, acts as surrogate grandma for all the darling little children at church, volunteers with other military wives, and generally gives away all her time helping young mothers and families any way she can. Mom & Dad will be joining the kiddos in Utah for Christmas this year, marking the first time since 2005 that the whole family will spend the holiday together.I personally can’t wait to let Mom do all the cooking and Dad do all my home repairs.

The Utah Keck contingency is all rather fantastic. Brad & Tiffany once again stole the show this year by providing another perfect grandchild/nephew in February, Joel David Keck. Kyle is proving to be a proud and loving big brother, and the two of them together amount to more adorable than I ever knew was possible. Despite being the youngest member of the Primary, Kyle was given two crucial parts in the annual church program, and can still recite the importance of sharing your toys to show love for Heavenly Father. Brad & Tiffany, possibly inspired by our parents’ jetsetting, have booked tickets for early 2011 to New Zealand, Tahiti, and Moorea. And with all the running and 5Ks they’ve been doing this year, they’ll be ready to hit those beaches!

I apparently decided this year that my life was boring and needed to be all shaken up. I thought a trip to Australia in May might do the trick, but I guess it wasn’t enough, and so over the course of a single scorching week in July I turned 27, took a new job as Marketing & Communications Manager at The Leonardo (google us!), moved to a new apartment in downtown—and I mean downtown, I never drive anymore—Salt Lake City, and became Relief Society president of my singles ward. Things are busy.

Jason & Kimberly gave us exciting news at Thanksgiving. Oops, that is a dangerous way to begin a paragraph about a young married couple. Nope, no babies on the way just now, but a diploma instead! Kimberly will graduate from BYU in April with a degree in English, which is a thrill and will be very helpful for the two of them moving forward with other future planning, including a semester abroad in Egypt for Jason’s Linguistics/Arabic studies. They were able to visit California in August for Kimberly’s sister’s wedding, and continue to be just delightful little marrieds.

Erica is doing college up right, having buckets of fun with roommates and friends, cheering the BYU Cougars on at football and basketball games, pulling plenty of late nights, and still finding time here and there to study, probably in place of sleeping. She is enjoying her studies of English Language (the non-literature side of English—think grammar and phonetics and editing and all those glorious things). She spent an incredible summer term in the UK, making her family insanely jealous as she fell in love with the British Isles, but not so much with the British food.

We are so grateful for this Christmas season, and for the opportunity it affords us to talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, and preach of Christ. How wonderful to celebrate the Savior’s birth! We hope you will feel of His love all year round, and especially now in this season of remembrance and celebration.


Tracy, but really each and every, Keck

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

come gather round people

If you had asked me a year ago what I really wanted, I would have listed a lot of things. I would have said I wanted a job doing something I could be passionate about, I wanted to live in downtown Salt Lake, really downtown, I wanted to be able to walk or take public transportation to everything and leave my car parked all the time, I wanted that parked car to be paid off, I wanted lots of great single friends to constantly do fun things with, I wanted to be actively involved in church service and activities, I wanted to see more of this little old world, I wanted to take care of my body better, I wanted to discover new music and new movies and new books and new styles, I wanted this quaint and wonderful and exhilarating little young professional life.

Not to brag, but, check check check check check check check check check check.

And I'm feeling extra specially grateful for how things really can change and get better and better all the time. And I wanted people to know that I've just been too busy loving every little thing about my new life too much to write on this here blog. I've got to enjoy it while it lasts.

(Okay sort of to brag.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

it pours

Monday, June 14, 2010

big T

Here's what happened at lunch today.

Friday, June 11, 2010

wherever I'm with you

Scribbed in a little notebook, Sunday, May 16th:

I’ve been in Australia just three days. It’s been lovely and I’ve enjoyed it and never felt like too much of an outsider. It’s been comfortable and safe and I’ve been happy to be here. But then today, settled on a pew in Sacrament meeting, I realized that until that moment, I hadn’t yet quite felt at home in Australia. I realized it because, sitting there holding my green hymnbook in a meeting that had started the customary five minutes late, seeing men in suits and women in dresses, there, in the chapel, I was home. I was among family, with people who knew me and understood me and spoke my language, as comfortable and as belonging as any other person in the room. I was home.

As I sat there, overwhelmed by the feeling of love and unity and home being among the saints, a question kept coming to mind—how can I leave? I had been planning to depart before Sunday School and Relief Society to journey on to the next destination in our Aussie adventure, but as Sacrament meeting went on, the question wouldn’t go away—how can I leave? I have a chance to be in the comfort of what feels like my own home for a few precious hours while on this faraway continent. How can I leave? What out there in Australia could be any better than this?

As the question rang through me, I realized it applied on a much grander scale than that of those few hours while on vacation. The Church, its people, its teachings, are my home. Here I am wanted, I belong, I am comfortable, I am safe. Here I am loved, and always will be. How then can I ever leave?

And though while I sat in church in Australia, it may have initially seemed that the familiarity and comfort came from the green hymnbooks, the ubiquitous LDS typeface, the standard wardrobe, the manuals, I know that the true reason that the chapel felt like home was because of the love of my Savior that I felt there. It was the truths of the Gospel that were being taught. It was the presence of the Spirit and the shared desire to come closer to Christ. These things are what united me with those gathered in a small chapel in a huge high-rise in downtown Sydney, and those things are what will unite me with the Church and its gospel for all of my life. This gospel is my home. How can I leave?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


These guys.

Am I right?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

sloop john b

There is nothing awesome about still being at work at 10:09.


I guess that's false.

Because in July I'll suddenly have all these free days off, in exchange for these ridic hours that June is demanding.

And that's kind of a lot awesome.

All right, summer months and work schedule. We're cool.

Monday, May 10, 2010

vegemite sandwich

I wish that I wrote on here more often

so that

it would be more appropriate for me to say something along the lines of

"sorry homies, no new posts for a while--

I'll be in Australia"

(I leave tomorrow)

Friday, April 2, 2010

good enough for me

On Tuesday, these delights came back into my life.

On Thursday, they were gone again.

But this story has a happy ending!

Six minute walk to more.

{and no, I didn't share one crumb}

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

rose is a rose

When I have babies and they need names, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go right down to the cemetery and stroll among those beautiful old headstones and when I notice one that's extra crumbled and weathered and whose engraving I can barely make out, I'm gonna take that eroding, etched word and give it brand new life.

Friday, March 19, 2010

no barking, no smog

Yesterday I'm like ugh I don't like this Verizon bill. So I go to the Verizon store and talk about it and they're all, yeah, you have a good point, this bill is terrible. Why don't we take twenty bucks off this bill, and then we'll go ahead and knock it off all future months too. And I'm like yeah I'm down, I can work with that, it's just also see I've had this issue where sometimes I don't get to go home all day and my phone battery gets low. And they say you know what we can do for that? We can give you a car charger, right here, right now, you'll never have to worry about going home to plug in your phone again. And I'm so down with that so I take my reduced bill and my free charger and skip on down to Urban Outfitters. And I'm glancing around there, not really looking for anything, just looking, and then my eyes fall on the most perfect skirt I've seen in months. And I try it on and it fits more perfectly than anything has in months. And I look at the price tag and there's a bright orange sticker telling me that what once was $52.00 now is $19.99. And I think yeah I can do this, this perfect skirt and I can become one for twenty bucks. So I walk up to the counter and the checker lady is friendly, she compliments my skirt because it is perfect after all, and she does her thing, scans that bar code, and gives a happy little--oh! Whaddayaknow, she says, it's on sale even more, she says. $9.99 flashes on that screen. $9.99 for the most perfect skirt in months. No bag, I say, I'll just carry it, I say. So I wrap my skirt around my charger and I've got a nice little pack. I'm on my way. Skip on down the stairs back to my car, the car that just a few minutes ago had pulled into the primest of prime free one hour parking spots. And I'm off, phone filling up with juice right there in my car, no traffic getting in my way, only one tiny little stop sign to slow me down. But oops it doesn't slow me down quite quite enough because in my rear view mirror it's the law. And I smile, I smile? I slow down and pull over, I'm on the quietest of quiet streets with the widest of wide shoulders and there's plenty of space and privacy for me to pull right over without the whole 6:00 commuting work force checking out my troubles. And Officer Parker walks up and says hello I'm Officer Parker with the SLCPD and you didn't stop at that stop sign. And I smile and apologize and giggle a little and he's all what's the deal with the giggle and the happiness and I'm all it's just, you see, Officer Parker, sir, I've never been pulled over before, and it's a bit of a thrill, you see, to be having this experience, sir. And I probably giggle some more and I don't think he means to but Officer Parker laughs as well but you can't call his a giggle. And he wants my license and reg and proof of insur and I've got them, right on hand, quick as a flash, from my week-old organization job in the glove compartment. And he takes them for a spin in his car while I take a few pictures of that flashing red and flashing blue, and before I know it here's Officer Parker back at the window, smile on his face, my documents in his hand, reminding me to come to a complete stop at all stop signs, and telling me to enjoy my shopping. And I try to give him my best million dollar because he's earned it, he's made my day. And then I'm off again and headed to things that are too secret for my blog but let me tell you what, Thursday continues in that vein.

It was a good day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

modern love

It's the weirdest thing, see, I'm so excited for Valentine's Day this year. I have no reason to be! I'm not in love, in the traditional sense. But every minute I keep shoving love and hearts and pink and candy in everyone's face. One of my most incredibile friends (Deanna! It's you!) asked me what specifically I love about Valentine's Day and I realized I had not one little answer for her. But I guess the answer is lying right there in the question? The word love?

Lately it's like I only come around this blog (that's website to you, Brad) if I want to gush about ohhhh the woooorld is so beeeauuutiful and life is so amaaaaazing and I'm so lucky lucky lucky and I LOVE EVERYTHING. That's pretty obnoxious, right? I would be annoyed by it. Guess what, I totally don't care, I'm doing it again.

I LOVE EVERYTHING. And that right there is why I love Valentine's Day. Because it's a time of year where for once it's socially appropriate to tell everyone, straight up, flat out, hey I love you. Maybe we never see each other outside of M-F 9:00-5:00 but I love you for working through a lunch to help me meet a deadline. Maybe you are old and married with kids and not at all in the same stage of life as I am but I love you for listening to my dating woes and thrills. Maybe I actually only e-know you but I love you for clicking like on my facebook pictures and sending me funny little messages. Maybe we don't know each other's names and will never know each other's stories but I love you for acting like you recognize me every time I check out at your aisle at Rite Aid. Maybe I have a crush on you and want to spend more time with you and it's creepy to tell you that I love you but I love you for making my day a little more exciting when my phone rings and your name pops on the screen. Maybe I have known you for my entire life, or yours, and we have been through every possible up and down together yet still have so much to know about each other, but I love you for sticking so hard by my side that whole time and for the guarantee that you're always going to stay there (that one is for Kecks). Maybe we haven't even met yet and you are just a half-formed idea of a friend or a child or a lover out there in my future but I already love you for the daydreams you give me. Man oh man how could I NOT love Valentine's Day?? I get to SAY these things instead of just feeling them!

Of course it could be attributed to such simpler things--an abundance of good music indulging my ears lately, Utah unrelentingly driving the point home that it is so so beautiful, an inordinate number of babies coming into my life, that Google Super Bowl ad--but I really think this barrage of love I've been feeling is real and deep and lasting. It's so hip to be disinterested and unmoved and unimpressed by things and I reject that. I am interested, I am moved, I am impressed. By you, probably. The other day--too few days ago--I decided I wanted to write a little Valentine's love letter to every single person I love and then realized there literally was not time. I made my list of people and used up sheet after sheet after sheet in my favorite notebook (Julia! This love shout-out is for you!) and a few pages in became overwhelmed at how many wonderful people are in my life. And then I was crying and laughing and turned the music up louder in celebration that I never have reason to be lonely ever ever ever.

So, happy Valentine's Day, love. I'm so glad I know you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


The most important thing to happen to my cell phone today was this picture message I got from my mom. She and Pops are setting sail on a luxury cruise liner.

Our dancing waiters. It almost makes me cry to see all these people from all over the world singing and dancing together. Maybe that is the key to world peace. We are underway so soon will lose service. Talk to you sunday

Saturday, February 6, 2010

new kid in town

Oh how things have changed since yesterday. Suddenly there is a whole new person in my life who will be important and relevant not just for a while but for a forever. It’s weird, right? I keep seeing all over the place—on facebooks, on blogs, on texts (we’re so 2010)—things about Joel David Keck. Wait, who? I know all the Kecks, and there isn’t one named Joel, let alone Joel David. The only Joel David I know is some serial killer, and I only know him because he was referenced on some Seinfeld episode. But suddenly out of nowhere, this supposed “Joel David Keck” is a central figure in my life. I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet. I’m trying.

I didn’t know Kyle when he was only a few hours old. He was born around Christmas which of course complicated things, so by the time I met few-week-old Kyle he didn’t look alien and unknown and personality-free. He seemed like a real human already. So it’s different getting to know this Joel, who is so fresh and new and unspotted that we can’t even assume one little thing about him. I can’t even guarantee he has eyes yet; all I’ve seen are lids. But maybe that just makes me so much more excited for him. I’ve talked with a friend or two about how it’s kind of the worst when someone assumes they know us from the start—acting all “oh these are your good qualities and such-and-such are your bad,” when they’ve no right to be making such assessments. So maybe it’s the best possible thing for mine and Joel’s relationship that neither of us can safely assume even one thing about the other. We’re starting with the blankest possible slate, and I think that will translate to it being the very truest slate. No false hopes or disillusionment or pretense on either side. Just knowing-really-knowing each other for as long as he shall live. I’ve never quite been privy to such a relationship before and I can’t wait to learn what it’s like.

He’s a fast heart-winner, though. I was worried I could never possibly love another like I do my Kyle 2 but Joel took about 1.5 seconds to put those worries to rest. And maybe someday I’ll get bored of this. Brad and Jason and Erica will have so many millions of babies that I’ll be all eh ain’t no thang, babies, whatever. But I love that for now, Joel’s existence, and Kyle’s, are such big deals. The biggest deals.

I mean look at him! He’s all, “whaaaaat?!???!? Are you being serious right now??? I just got out of a womb and you’re making me get this cold hard metal crap all over me? Can’t a guy get some sleep?” And man oh man can I relate to every teensy little bit of that. Holy cow, I love this picture, I love this kid.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

gimme a break

yesterday some Brit candy bar tried to bring me down

but today Valentine's Kit Kat totally had my back

Monday, February 1, 2010

enough with the air quotes

There is this little device used commonly in English that quite frankly I have had ENOUGH of. Clearly it's not the practice of ending a sentence with a preposition. No, it's something much more malignant. Three little words affixed to the beginning of a phrase, which add absolutely no value or meaning to said phrase. The only purpose they serve--or at least, fulfill--is to portray their speaker as irritatingly timid and unsure. Are you ready for it?

just. thought. I'd.

"Want to go out tonight? No? Just thought I'd ask." "Just thought I'd stop by and say hi." "Just thought I'd see what's going on this weekend." "Do you know when the concert is? Just thought I'd check."

You don't need to announce that you thought of doing a thing before you actually did it. That you first thought of it is implied by the fact that YOU THEN IMMEDIATELY DID IT. Sheesh.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


All right, fine. Here's what's up.

I quit my job at BYU. I think sometimes they still miss me. I guess I hope they do. I work in South Jordan. I do marketing. I have no background in marketing. I have a background in language. I use a lot of it at work. I love it. I have friends there. I have friends I hang out with in my free time there. I have friends whose facebook walls I want to write on there. I moved to Salt Lake. I call it downtown Salt Lake even though it's not exactly quite. I think it's close enough to merit the label.
I had to buy rugs because my apartment floor is so hard. I think my fireplace is the best one I've seen. I think my fireplace is the best one for me. I have done laundry twice and the dishes once. I keep things clean. I had a virus killing my computer for over a month. I got it fixed yesterday. I feel like a brand new me. I feel like a brand new computer owner, anyway. I went home to Baltimore. I am pleased to have Baltimore as the place I go home to. I don't think it's weird to go home to a place I never lived. I get asked that a lot. I am sure of my answer. I have so much software to install. I see friends more these days which is lovely. I see family less these days which is not. I never bother with all the syllables of a word anymore. I just noticed that somehow every single song in my iTunes is in there three times. I am not excited about this. I have a bunch of strangers coming to dinner tonight. I will cook for the third time this life phase. I am not confident it will be good. I don't care too much. I am getting a new nephew so soon. I like him already. I probably love him. I keep hitting snooze on the alarm clock even though I am awake. I don't know why I don't just turn it off. I plan on writing things here a lot more often. We will see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It's like I want to post about things but every time I open up this screen all I have to say is

blah blagh blurk blech boogledy woogledy wiggledy wibble wobble woop woop woop do de do de do flim flam flah flurg yoeeyoeeyo yyyyyeah

Do you get my gist?

It's hard to put things into words, is what I'm saying.