Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Sense of Accomplishment

This is your fair warning - you don't have to keep reading if you don't want to hear how awesome I feel right now.'ve been warned.

I just got my grades from UVU for Fall semester. All I have to say is 4.0!! I am feeling pretty freaking awesome about that! I know for most of you that might not be a huge deal, but I didn't get very many 4.0 semesters in college and then after 7 years of being out of college, going back full-time while balancing work and stuff...not to mention the fact that two of those classes were Statistics and's pretty epic.

I have a new found respect and admiration for those who successfully balance full-time work and full-time school. It totally sucks!! And I can't even imagine throwing a family into that mix! That's just nuts! I almost died and I only have to worry about me! Luckily I narrowly escaped death and I'm gearing up for another semester of this craziness. But this moment of euphoria is almost worth the last three months of stress and struggle and pounding my brain against lots of hard objects. Almost.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Exercise is Overrated

Dear Gym,
I would like to say I missed you and that last night was a wonderful, long-anticipated reunion after the semester from you-know-where...but lying is a sin.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thank Goodness!

Lately I've been having some pretty crazy dreams. Last night I dreamt that I was on vacation with the family.  There are only two things that I remember in vivid detail:
1- We went to this huge shopping mall and kept stopping to buy and eat food. And my mom was totally obsessed with eating ice cream. She kept stopping at every ice cream stand to buy some. Pretty sure I have no idea what my subconscious was telling me with this one!
2 - It was Sunday. And it was Fast Sunday - but somehow I didn't know it was Sunday, or Fast Sunday, until half way through our shopping and ice cream eating spree. And I was MORTIFIED. Quotes from General Authorities about keeping The Sabbath Day holy kept running through my mind. I told the fam and they were all like, 'Oh yeah. Oops.' and kept eating their ice cream. I seriously had a full-on panic attack in my dream. I didn't know what to do. I was sure it was the end of my life and my eternal salvation.
Thankfully I woke up. And even more thankfully, I still have time to make sure that dream doesn't come true next Fast Sunday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Can be Thankful - Sometimes

It seems fitting that my next post...following the last post about Thanksgiving....should rightly belong to the holiday I tried to defend. I feel a little overwhelmed thinking about everything I am grateful for. So - I narrowed it down to three - but please realize that these three categories encapsulate my entire life...and that's a lot. So they might be really fat - although not nearly as fat as if I tried to honestly include everything (and everyone) in them. Just warning you.

First, I am grateful for people. I am grateful for people who make life bearable - the people who randomly smile when you're feeling down, or the people who turn around in line and start a happy little convo with you while you're waiting to check out, or the people who are really good at their jobs and rarely get noticed but make my job and my life so much easier. I am grateful for the people who don't know that I noticed them - the mother who tenderly consoled her crying child instead of getting frustrated, the elderly man who laughs and jokes even though he has no knee joint, no hip joint and can't even get himself out of bed, the couple who have been married for a decade and are somehow still madly in love, the professor who courageously teaches truth in the face of opposition. If you are reading this - you are a people. But not just any people. You are a people that has made a difference. If I start to list you all by name - Blogger will kick my post out because it would be long enough to quite probably circumvent the entire globe. So, you better just know who you are - and you should know that I love you. I could not survive without you. I am grateful for so many amazing people I call my friends. You define me. I am better because of you. I am grateful for people (all crazy million of them) that I call my family. They are my whole world. I am grateful for people!

Second, I am grateful for things. I am grateful for things like a house, a car, a job, a computer, the Internet, my glasses, school - things that make it easier for me to spend time with and take care of and love the people in my life. I am grateful that modern conveniences free up so much time and space in my brain that I can focus more on what I truly love the most - people!

And lastly, and arguably most importantly, I am grateful for my Savior. I have people and things because of Him and His tender care toward me. In fact, I have EVERYTHING because of Him. If I start the list - it would be longer than my people list. There simply are not words to express how grateful I am for Him and for His Gospel, His living prophet, His scriptures, His doctrines of salvation, His magnificent life and awesome Atonement. But you should know that I am grateful for Him.

As you can see - I have a LOT to be grateful for. So, thanks for reading through my list of blessings with me!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas in November

A lot of friends have been talking about how much they hate Christmas creeping into (or completely taking over) November. So I started thinking about the issue - because apparently it's a big one and obviously something I should be thinking about, right?
I think Thanksgiving suffers from severe middle-child syndrome. Halloween comes first and is a little bit crazy but well recognized, highly celebrated and ridiculously loved. Then there's Christmas, the ever impatient youngest child who can't wait their turn...ever. Plus Christmas is the 'favorite' child - it's loved, celebrated, commercialized, overpriced and way over represented.
And Thanksgiving just sits back and gets run over by these two crazy holidays on either side of it. It never complains when people forget it or when international businesses schedule important meetings that day (ugh...speaking from experience on that). Thanksgiving doesn't mind giving the lime light to the other two. Why? Because it's THANKSGIVING - it's humble and grateful for what it has and for the little recognition receives from Thanksgiving die-hards. By very definition it won't fight to be on top - it goes against it's nature.
But, truly, Thanksgiving and Christmas have a lot in common. Turkey, pie, mashed potatoes, post turkey naps, days off of work, extra pounds to eat and gain, great family and friends to celebrate with, pie - did I mention pie? No, seriously though, isn't the purpose between the two holidays essentially the same? To remember? One holiday celebrates remembering the blessings we receive and the people who enrich our lives. The other is an opportunity to remember the birth of The Son of God - the source of all those blessings. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you take commercialism, presents, neighborhood treats, Black Friday, crazy holiday lights, decorations and fuss out of the picture - Thanksgiving and Christmas should really be friends and play nicely in the sandbox. And Thanksgiving should come first and get due recognition for it's highly important place in the end-of-year holiday line-up - first remember the blessings, then remember the Source.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Battle of The Bands

On my right is my boss - blasting classical Christmas music. On my left is my co-worker - blasting oldies in an effort to drown out the classical Christmas music. Then there's me - plugged into Pandora, listening to Adele "Someone Like You". And not only is the music blasting - but randomly, my co-worker starts singing along to her oldies station so my boss starts humming Christmas tunes really loudly. I sorta feel obligated to unplug my iPod and start singing out loud too. Too bad our other co-worker isn't here to blast and sing along to her Spanish tunes. That would be the icing on the cake.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mom's are Great!

Saturday I went to a bridal shower with my Mom. On the way, I needed a potty stop so she asked me if I wanted her to stop at Monk-donalds so I could go to the bathroom. I think we've been watching too many back-to-back episodes of Monk lately. What do you think?

Then, out of nowhere she waved at some random people on the side of the road. So, I asked her, 'Do you even know them?' To which she responded, 'It's the MISSIONARIES! Those are the people that wear nametags and black suits. Have you been home from your mission so long that you don't even recognize what missionaries look like anymore?!'

Maybe I have been home that long! Anyway, I love my Mom! She always keeps me laughing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission

Recently, a good friend posted about the mission and it got me thinking about my mission and what it means to me. It has been a great chance to reflect - especially since the years after the mission keep flying by and I notice that, slowly, the evidences of my mission have started to fade into the background of my all-too-busy life. So, this post is really to remind myself what the mission means to me - but thanks for reading along with me. :) I cannot possibly post all of my reflections here because, as Elder Holland says frequently, "My mission meant EVERYTHING to me!". I pretty much feel the same way. But here are a few (or quite a few) of the ways that the mission means everything to me:

- It means I set the alarm for 7:00...and I'm grateful for that extra 30 minutes.
- It means I have a greater appreciation for being able to do whatever I want, all by myself!
- It means I recognize how awesome it is that I don't have to wear nylons (or a dress) everywhere I go.
- It means I am overwhelmingly grateful on cold winter days that I am inside, sipping hot cocoa instead of knocking doors.
- It means I know how to set a goal, write it down, and make it happen.
- It means I know how to plan my days, hour by hour, to make sure I am using my time wisely.
- It means I am better at studying - the scriptures and for school.
- It means I have marginally mastered the Spanish language - or at least the missionary appropriate vocabulary.
- It means I have a greater cultural awareness and deep love for Latino's and people around the world (and Cheesesteaks...and Rita's Waterice...and Tastykakes...and Pesto Pizza).
- It means I have greater empathy for the struggles others face and greater respect for the challenges they conquer.
- It means I have a greater understanding, love and reverence for the Prophet Joseph.
- It means I understand why The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and I am intimately acquainted with the power of it's pages.
- It means I have a testimony of fasting, prayer and the power of unity.
- It means I understand and love the Plan of Salvation.
- It means I recognize my need for the Sacrament and temple attendance to frequently renew the covenants I have made.
- And above all, it means that I know and love my Savior; that I am extraordinarily grateful for His magnificent Atonement and that I recognize my absolute dependence on Him to be cleansed, sanctified and one day exalted.

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what my mission means to me, but I am so grateful that, in spite of my weaknesses and imperfections, The Lord did call me on a mission.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If You Want to Destroy My Sweater!

I bought the dog a new sweater. I know. You don't even have to say it. But isn't it cute?!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's All About Perspective

Last week in my observations, we worked with a sweet, sweet lady. I've worked with her a few times before. She is legally blind, 95 years old and has had her hip dislocated over 13 times. Other than that, she is very alert, has a great sense of humor and still gets around very well on her own. She has had a rough life, she was widowed very young with three small daughters. All she knew how to be when her husband died was a housewife - so she had to go back to school and get an education and then enter the workforce to support her family. She never remarried but she lived life to it's fullest, always up for whatever next great adventure lie ahead. She is a great patient and always has a great story to tell and a positive outlook on life.

For therapy this past week, the therapist asked her what question she would ask a potential employee if she were interviewing them for a job. Her response, "Do you fool around after work?" It was so uncharacteristic that the therapist and I couldn't stop laughing - we definitely didn't see that coming. And she chuckled to herself a little bit - thinking she was pretty funny.

A little while later, the therapist asked her what questions she would ask the employer if she were interviewing for a position at their company. Her response, "How many single guys work here?" Again we laughed - we should have expected it, but we still didn't see it coming. But it was even funnier when the therapist started writing that down on the paper as one of her questions, she grabbed his hand and said, adamantly, through her chuckling, "Don't write that down! I would NEVER ask them that!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Friend Named Elsie

Last week while I was shadowing the Occupational Therapist at Orem Rehab, I was able to watch a therapy session with a sweet little lady named Elsie. I'm not quite sure what her diagnosis is, but Elsie is hunched over in a wheelchair and she has a few symptoms of Downs Syndrome - one of which is that her tongue is very large and fills her whole mouth, so it's really hard to understand what she is saying. She is very alert, but has pretty severely dimished congition - so it's like working with a young child. She is a permanent resident there at the Nursing home. I've seen her a couple of times, but haven't had a chance to talk with her or be there when she had therapy sessions. So Thursday was a first in a lot of ways.

I was first impressed when the therapist introduced me to Elsie, that she said she remembered me from when she had seen me in the hall a few weeks earlier. What a great memory! They played a matching game to start out therapy. It was a simple game but when Elsie made a match, the therapist would get excited and praise her. And Elsie would laugh and laugh! Then the therapist would set the game up a little differently and tease her that she wouldn't be able to figure it out this time - to which Elsie always replied, with a grin, 'She likes to tease me!'. Then she would figure out the game and the therapist would act so surprised and Elsie would laugh some more.

After a few more rounds of cards, we set up a bean bag toss. Elsie thought that was the greatest thing ever. She laughed and laughed every time she got the bean bag through the hole. And she was elated when I counted the bean bags she had made through the hole and she had beaten her record from the day before. When we started picking up the bean bags, the therapist threw them on to Elsie's lap and Elsie would throw them back into the bucket. Elsie thought it was the funniest thing that the therapist could throw them onto her lap so fast. She giggled the whole time and there were a few times where she had to stop for a minute because she started laughing so hard.

After bean bags, we played catch with a soft dodgeball for a little while. Elsie had a blast. She kept throwing the ball crazy so the therapist had to go after it. And when she didn't catch the ball and it rolled off her lap or her feet, she laughed and laughed some more. And of course, every time Elsie laughed - we laughed too.

40 minutes after therapy had started, we got Elsie some orange juice and took her back to the hall by her room. She laughed and joked with the therapist the whole way back. As we were walking back to the gym, the therapist told me a little bit about Elsie's history. She used to be mean and abusive and angry. She swore at the nurses and hit them and didn't want to do therapy with anyone and yelled at people when they went past her in the hall. But this therapist (who in my opinion is a phenominal therapist - I've followed her quite a bit) decided that Elsie needed something more. So she took the time to build a friendship with her. And now Elsie is full of life and energy, she loves therapy and the therapist and her whole demeanor is completely different.

Elsie is a perfect example of why I love Thursdays. Thursday reminds me that super heroes are real - but they spend their days in therapy gyms instead of underground secret caverns. They wear normal street clothes instead of stretchy pants and capes. And even though they can't fly and there aren't beacons in the sky calling them to the rescue - they still save lives. And the coolest part? Everyone can be a super hero - even me. : )

Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh The People We Meet

Every week I have an epic battle. It IS epic - just trust me. I sit Monday - Wednesday in my nice little cubicle, in front of my computer with two screens and have little human interaction. And I get a fat paycheck at the end of every two weeks - thanking me for dutifully staring at my computer screens - both of them. And Monday - Wednesday, every week, I wonder if I'm nuts to be taking classes again after more years than I have fingers to count them on. And every week I wonder if I've lost it completely to be taking 15 credits while working full time. And every week I want to quit...give up...stop trying....and just keep enjoying my quiet cubicle and fat paycheck.

Then comes Thursday.

Thursday means taking PTO and peeling  my eyeballs away from my computer screens for the day. Thursday means spending 8 1/2 hours happily bouncing between patients and therapists at various locations where I shadow Occupational Therapists. Thursday reminds me that my contribution to society MUST be more than staring at two computer screens every day. Thursday is what reminds me that the classes and stress and lack of sleep are all worth it. Thursday reminds me what it feels like to make a difference - to be someone's hero. So, here's to Thursday - and all the grand adventures and people it brings!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'Nough Said

Yesterday in my Human Development class, we had to watch the original-made-in-the-80's-women-with-big-hair-and-funky-clothes-way-too-much-of-an-overshare birthing video. 'nough said.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I AM Smarter Than a 5th Grader

Ok - so maybe I can't prove that I'm smarter than a 5th grader (and I highly doubt that I am) but I did feel smart today when I was working on a Chemistry assignment and my co-workers asked me to read them the question I was working on to see if they could figure out the answer. I didn't even finish reading the question before they started blurting out ridiculous and random answers. Then I finished the question - and got it right. :) Somedays I love being back in school!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favourite Animal is Puppies

So, I've posted about the terrors of my tiny puppy. And the things she's shredded and eaten. And how naughty she is. But today I'm going to be a bit more positive and post a few of my recent favorite pics of her - I think you'll see by the end why, inspite of all the horribly naughty things she does, I could never get rid of this dog!
This is her favorite thing to do when the fan is on.
Her 'inside dog' version of sticking her head out the window maybe???
Aren't I adorable? Don't you want to FEED me?

I think this picture should go on the Christmas card this year.

Smile for the camera!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Very Bad Idea

Note to self:
Don't stalk your ex-boyfriend's that you almost married and then ran away from - because when you see that they are married with cute babies and are still ridiculously good looking - it sort of makes you want to cry.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tiny Terror

It never ceases to amaze (and frighten) me when I come home each night to see what my tiny terror has done in my absence.

This week she:
- Dug/chewed a 7"x3" hole in my carpet - all the way to floor boards
- Figured out how to break out of her gate and run FREEEEEE through the house
- Chewed through my $50 bath mat
- Ate an entire garbage can full of paper towels and other assorted non-digestibles
- Played ball in my shower
- Left jerky bits and rawhide pieces all over my comforter
- Left a nice little present on the floor for me to clean up
- Learned she is strong enough to move the safe on top of the aforementioned hole and continued making said hole even bigger
- Licked the inside of my nose
- Chased my parent's neighbor up the street

And yet, somehow I still can't get enough of that furry little face. Go figure.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Sharp Knife

I have had 'If I Die Young' by The Band Perry stuck in my head for days - as morbid as it is, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. So today I looked up the meaning. This is what the 'official' interview said:

The meaning of the song is simple, it’s about making the most of whatever time you are given, whether it’s 2 years or 20 years. The Band Perry goes on to says that even at their young ages they have all lived and loved and if it all ends at this moment, look what they’ve gotten to do. “Whatever time we’re given will be absolutely enough as long as we make the most of it” (Borrowed from here).

A sister in our ward passed away this morning after an almost year long battle with cancer. With the meaning of the song fresh in my mind, I think it is an appropriately somber tribute to her. She definitely made the most of every moment she had. She was a great example of faith, courage and optimism in the face of overwhelming adversity. She "fought a good fight", she "finished her course" and she surely "kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7). And though her life was 'severed by the sharp knife of a short life' - how grateful I am for the legacy she has left behind. I only hope I can follow in her footsteps and make the most of everything I am given.

Friday, September 9, 2011

False Sense of Security

This is my current relationship with my classes:
I feel safe...for the moment. Things are going well and I seem to have a real shot at passing these classes. But, I am fully aware that a few chapters down the semester, I will be forced into the icy water and will surely be swept down stream and drowned. But until then, I'm grateful for this false sense of security.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bring on the Homework, Books & Teachers Dirty Looks

This week marks the official first week of the end of my life. I started classes at UVU this week. All the horribly painful classes I strategically avoided by majoring in English. All the incredibly difficult classes that are pre-requisites to applying to my Master's program. Like Chemistry, and Statistics and Physics and Anatomy. Blah.

Things I hate about college 2.0:

- You pay you right arm & 2 yrs of post-graduate income in tuition for 1 part-time semester. Then you pay your first born child, left leg and another year of income to cover books. No WONDER people take years off to save up for college - I make pretty good money and I still can't afford it all!!

- If you have a normal job, you can't do anything. You can't buy books because the Bookstore closes before you get out of class. You can't get a parking permit - because the office closes before you even get off of work. You can, however, get your student ID card that gives you access to absolutely nothing. Awesome.

Things I love about college 2.0:

- For a mere $40, you can get a night parking pass that allows you to steal precious parking from faculty members without getting a ticket. Bwa ha ha.

- My stats teacher is giving us extra credit for 'smiling in class and having a positive attitude'. I can totally fake that one - even in Stats!

- On the first day of class, my Life-span Development teacher said, 'If you came here to learn about Freud, you definitely have the wrong teacher. In fact, I do my absolute best to disprove every theory Freud ever had.' That is freaking awesome!! (Don't hate me if you're a Freud fan...I most certainly am not. But we can still be friends).

So, I guess it's not all bad. But if you never hear from me again - you know it was death by Sciences! I...Need...English...Classes...

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Clean Post

When I was a little kid and tried to manipulate my Mother into letting me get a puppy, she would always ask how I would keep it clean. I would answer that if I had a puppy, it could just shower with me every morning. Then it would always be clean and I would never have to bathe it. Foolproof plan right?

Well, I don't have a fan in my bathroom right now and so I have to leave the door open just a crack. And without fail, every morning, a little, furry head pokes around the corner of the shower curtain. As much as I thought that was a great idea as a child - I certainly DO NOT appreciate it now. So when that furry little head pokes into the shower - I yell. A lot. And throw things. Occasionally. Until she leaves me to finish my shower in peace.

The other day while I was showering, I was noting that my superior training skills had finally paid off and the dog was not sticking her head in the shower. Then, I felt something on my leg. So I turned around. Piper had climbed in the shower and was standing right behind me. In. My. Shower! Good thing my neighbors only speak Spanish and I only yell in English! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Einstein Bagels and a Dog

People say having a kid changes things. Well, I am not comparing my dog to your children, but getting a dog  definitely changes things too. Some things are dramatic - like the 'used to be office now turned puppy' room. Or the 'I left my puppy with my not-so-observant brother and now there is a crater' hole at the top of my stairs.

Others are more subtle, like the 'I can't snooze my alarm because it's not fair to the puppy' feeling in the morning. Or the 'I just spent more money on dog toys than I did on food for me' moment of realization.

Some changes are even more subtle. Like this weekend when my Mom and I went to Einstein Bagels for lunch. Who knew they have 'doggy bagels'? I didn't. But I do now. Why? Because I notice things like that now. And, if you ask if I bought one for my dog....sadly, I would have to say yes. Because of the subtle, almost subconcious, nagging thought of her tiny little face begging for a bagel. Afterall, if I get bagels for lunch, isn't it only fair that she gets one too?

Monday, July 25, 2011


I have a minor obsession with Corvette's. Check out the website and I think you'll agree that they are beautiful cars. I rode in one once. It cost as much as my house. It also went from 0 to 80 in 2.5 seconds. It just doesn't get any better than that.

As part of this distracting obsession, I notice when there's a Corvette. And I offer it a moment of pause and reverence. Usually accompanied by a not-so-silent "Mmmm" or "Ooooh" or "Ah" or other covetous sound. Well, when I was in Arizona, I saw an awful lot of Corvette's. So my conversations with Merideth were frequently interrupted by 'ooh's and 'ah's. After water aerobics one day, we walked out into the parking lot and I let out an 'Mmmm'. To which Merideth bewilderedly responded, "Buick?"

Looking over, I realized all she could see was a lot of empty parking stalls and a buick sitting all alone in the middle. Ha HA! Sorry Buick - but my "Mmm" was most definitely not meant for you.

Friday, July 22, 2011


This post was supposed to be posted a month ago. Pretend that's what happened, ok? As part of my 'take back', I flew to Arizona to visit Merideth! :) :) Best idea...EVER! Here are some of the highlights - not in any particular order.:)
- Water aerobics (although sadly, not with the howling instructor)
- Getting addicted to Drop Dead Diva
- Learning that Utah is not really hot at all
- Shopping at Charming Charlie's
- Chatting oustside in the dark (the only time it is safe to be chatting outside in AZ)
- Homemade Chocolate Lava cake with Strawberry Vanilla ice cream
- Grasshopper pie
- Kalua pork
- Grilled corn
- Fresh Wood Fired pizza
And best of all,

Thanks my friend for a wonderful vacation!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The 26 Year Old Tag Along

So, this weekend my singles ward had a party on Friday night. Rumor has it there was dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Then, Saturday the stake had a hoe down - again, dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Several people even got dates out of these great dance parties. Where was I? Not at the party. Not at the hoe down. No, I was watching a movie with my Mom and Dad both nights. And suddenly it begins to make sense why I have no social life.

Dear next awesome singles ward event,
I promise to at least seriously consider coming, instead of being perfectly content to hang out with my parents watching movies.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life Lessons

In light of my last post, here are a few life lessons I've learned from my cousin:

- "15 minutes + dark alley = happy big brother" (posted on Facebook after his younger sister's boyfriend broke up with her)

- "I will break both his thumbs. Have you ever seen a guy zip up his pants with broken thumbs? You can't do ANYTHING with broken thumbs." (again said after his sisters boyfriend broke up with her)

- Family is everything. Without family, there isn't anything else.

- Your Mother is someone you should adore, trust, confide in and seek council from. She is your greatest friend and biggest fan.

- Bear your testimony to your children and siblings often - you never know when you'll run out of opportunities to do so.

- Tell your spouse how much you adore them every day - because if it ends up being your last one, you will have no regrets and neither will they.

- 'It takes a bigger man to change a diaper than it does to leave it for your wife. It takes a bigger man to help with the dishes or clean the house than to leave it for your wife. There is no such thing as women's work - it's all just work."

- Learn the scriptures. Don't just read them - make them part of you.

- Always keep Christ at the center of everything you do. If He is already a part of your home and your heart, it will be much easier for Him to comfort you through the trying times in life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life is Fragile

Two weeks ago our family was reminded just how fragile life is. My cousin passed away very unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. He was only 34 years old and left behind his wife and their 5 young children. Not to mention leaving a grieving mother, father, sisters and countless family members and friends whose lives have been changed by the wonderful man that he was. It was very much a tragedy.
As we attended his funeral and as I had conversations with family members, I was reminded of a few beautiful, simple truths for which I am extremely grateful.

God lives. He is our loving Father in Heaven. He has a plan - a perfect plan. And though we may not understand it at times, it is still perfect. When He calls us to pass through trials such as this, we most certainly are not alone. Because of the Atonement of our Savior, families truly can be together forever. Death cannot rob us of the promised blessings of the saving ordinances of The Gospel - especially the bond of a temple sealing.

How grateful I am for those precious truths and so many others. How grateful I am that because of the Gospel, Marks widow could stand and bear testimony of The Savior and express faith and courage in the face of such a horrible, life-shattering tragedy. How grateful I am for the opportunity to learn from Mark's example and try to be more like him, in an effort, ultimately, to be more like The Savior.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Old Fart

I like running ahead of the group - (figuratively of course. Those of you who may have had the misfortunate of being in PE with me will surely remember the chubby, out of shape, socially awkward teenager wheezing miles behind the last runner...). I seem to have been the youngest in a lot of things - most of my college classes, the sisters in my branch at the MTC, my department at work. I like being the youngest. I like having a false, unearned sense that I am doing something with my life sooner than the average person.

But I have reached a horrible point in my life - that sense of accomplishment has completely crumbled. I am no longer the youngest. I have passed the mark of 'mid-20's'. I find myself telling people that I am 27 and calculating life as though I were 27 and only have 3 more years until I'm 30 and kicked out of my singles ward, because obviously once you pass the mark of 25, what's one more year? But I'm NOT 27 - I am barely 26! It's like Christmas every time I remember that I have 4 years until I'm 30 and kicked out of my singles ward (among other things). And what was previously completely unachievable in 3 years is most certainly attainable in 4! I just hope I don't squander this precious little secret year that I've found. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Take Back

A good friend of mine declared this as the summer for taking back her life. I am officially jumping on her bandwagon and declaring this as the summer of reclaiming my life. I have spent too long trying to do the responsible thing and planning for a future outside my reach. I am done waiting and planning and hoping. Life is what we make of it - it's time to start making!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Squeakquel

So last night my family and I watched The Chipmunks, The Squeakquel. At one part in the movie, the girl chipmunks are singing in the band room of the school and the camera cuts to a bunch of clips of kids throughout the school dancing to the high pitched voices being broadcast loudly on the PA system. And then it cuts back to the band room, now filled with students cheering and dancing to the music. While watching this scene, Matthew said sarcastically, "Right."

I just stared at him.. Seriously?! The fact that the whole movie is based on chipmunks with more intelligence than the average 5th grader who sing, dance and wear trendy little outfits - that's not unrealistic. The fact that they drive motorcycles and fly themselves around town on remote control helicopters - that's not unbelievable. But students dancing to their music or stopping in the band room to gawk at them - that my friends is mind blowing, absolutely not possible and completely incomprehensible.

I know the kid is a genius - but he seriously needs to get out more.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Puppy Love

Note to self: Surgery + Small Puppy = lot's of disasters.

Somehow my dog knows I can't chase her. So she does naughty things. Like eating the dressings off my foot. Or stealing my socks. Or jumping on my face. Or making a mess of everything - including the contents of every garbage can in my house. Or barking at the door or other random things because I can't punish her. Or stealing my mac and cheese and putting her adorable little face in every bite of food I try to take. And that short list doesn't even touch what she's managed to do this week. But, inspite of her being so naughty - she is just too stinking cute!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Fell For You

Today marks 7 days since I went in for foot surgery. It's been an interesting 7 days. Here are the highlights:

Day 1 - Thursday
- Showed up to the hospital exactly on time - only to find my appointment had been moved up and no one bothered to tell me. Consequently, the doctor and I arrived at exactly the same time
- Was momentarily extremely impressed with the hospital gown that hooks in to a never-ending source of warm air before going under
- Spent a pleasant afternoon on a warm beach with crashing waves (which I hope wasn't me drooling)
- Impressed the nurse with my mad wheelchair navigation skills on my post-op potty run
- Made record surgery time by walking (okay, being wheeled out) of the hospital exactly 2 hours and 1 minute after walking in ... approximately
- Realized that allergies to pain meds = no pain meds that work = ouch + vomiting!
- Spent a disgusting amount of time in the chair at my parents' house
- Still made it home (somehow) to sleep in my own bed

Day 2 - Friday
- Spent the entire day in the chair at my parents' house
- Found a precious, albeit illegal stash of meds in my Mom's safe and finally found pain relief

Day 3 - Saturday
- Took my first post-op shower...sitting on a bucket
- Switched things up a bit by sitting half of the day in my chair and the other half in the chair at my parents' house

Day 4 - Sunday
- Went to Sacrament Meeting
- Became horribly aware of how awkward I look using crutches
- Was almost overwhelmed by all the wonderful people in the ward that offered to help me out
- Slept in my chair through the rest of church

Day 5 - Monday
- Started working from home
- Tripped on a dog toy and fell on my bad foot
- Cried like a baby for a really long time
- Recovered enough to spend the evening sitting in the chair at my parents' surrounded by family friends for a fantastic family home evening
- Ate way too much chocolate cake and homemade raspberry ice cream - but felt fully justified as compensation for my earlier pain and suffering

Day 6 - Tuesday
- Passed the post-op follow up with the doctor with flying...or swollen colors
- Watched 7 episodes of Psych
- Went out to eat for lunch
- Got more weird looks at the awkwardness that is me on crutches
- Got a knee scooter - watch out world!

Day 7 - Wednesday
-Wrote this blog...aren't you glad?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Career Killer

I got an email from my client last week. My boss, my boss' boss and several other people were copied. She single handedly killed my career. I mean seriously, who writes things like 'Who needs luck when they have KRISTINE! Go get 'em Tiger!"

Yep. There goes my career. My honor. My family name. My self respect. My dignity. My credibility with ANYONE in the office. Oh, and did I mention my career?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Courtesy of my dog - apparently I am now a hoarder. This is how lunch with the coworkers went down last week:

I pulled off my straw wrapper, wadded it into a little ball and stuck it in my pocket. My coworker leaned over and said, "You don't have to keep that, you know."

It took me like two minutes to figure out what the heck she was talking about. Then it dawned on me. My dog has conditioned me to put all small objects, pieces of paper and anything eatable, breathable or chewable in my pocket.

And that was the beginning of the harrasments of what my closets must look like - all stuffed with tiny balls of straw wrappers and old junk mailers. Thanks Piper. Thanks so much.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Potty Talk

I used to be totally fine with bathroom conversation. The casual kind when friends went to the bathroom together and conversation continued as usual. Then I had a co-worker who was horribly terrified of talking to anyone in the bathroom. Thanks to her, now, I awkwardly avoid eye contact and conversation whenever I'm in the bathroom.

I walked into the bathroom at work this morning. There were two ladies from 'the other side of the building'. They were engaged in jovial conversation - which promptly ceased as soon as I walked in. The lady by the counter stared at me as I awkwardly made my way to a stall. The other lady was still in a stall and obviously wasn't bothered by my presence - she continued the conversation. I wasn't really interested in what they were discussing, so I didn't really pay attention. Then, out of nowhere, I hear: "Well, Mike has been known to inspire several man crushes."

How do you even react to that?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One of Those Mornings

So...this morning started out well. This is what I found:

Don't worry - it's on my elbow. Not somewhere scandalous like my ankle. But I don't know how it got there. It's a deep one - you would think I would have noticed something...pain maybe? Nope. Not a thing. No clue how I got it.

See that big crack across the building? Yeah, not so much a crack in the building - but the crack in my windshield that I witnessed being created on my way to work this morning.

And finally, this is what my bathroom looked like when I got in the shower:

This is what it looked like when I got out:

Please tell me the rest of the day isn't going to be like this!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cats and Dogs

My brother's cat, Kronos and Piper have a close and loving relationship. See -

Sorry it's a little dark. And please ignore my brother yelling at the cat to not beat down the dog with claws. Apparently the beat down is fine - just not the claws.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Naughty Little Puppy

Piper is a pill. Here is the prequel to this story: She LOVES food. She is most definitely my dog. :) We have never fed her from the table because we didn't want her to learn that meal time for us was meal time for her. Little did we know that it is not a learned behavior - I swear she was born with it! Since the day we brought her home, anytime anyone eats anything, she is right there, looking up at you with pitiful little eyes - just begging you to share your tasty morsels with her. Then she roams around the floor looking for crumbs. And if it hits the floor - it's hers. Doesn't matter what it is or if you meant to drop it - you have surrendered it.

So, the other night I came home and grabbed a snack size box of Cheerios out of the cupboard - thinking it would be a good evening snack. Well, I started reading and stopped paying attention to my Cheerios. I bumped the box and it toppled on to the floor. I quickly started cleaning up the pile - but she was faster. She started inhaling the Cheerios as fast as she could. You could hear her almost choking because she was eating them so fast. You can say dogs are dumb - but she knew exactly what she was doing. The good news is, it was a whole serving of heart-healthy whole grains .... plus, maybe it will lower her cholesterol!