Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Book Group

Tonight I went to book group for the 2nd time in the new ward, AND for the 2nd time I REALLY enjoyed myself. We had read and were discussing The Chosen which was quite interesting. One person brought questions to discuss (from an online printout) which proved to be rather interesting. We talked about the female roles (or lack thereof) and about raising a child in silence.

It was interesting to hear the many discussions about the allegedly abusive practice of raising a child in silence. While I personally believe in open honest discussion and talking about feelings and stuff, I can see why they might have thought it was worthwhile to never speak a word. They learned it from their fathers and had every intention of passing it down because of the crucial things they learned from it. Anyway, the discussion was great, the people are fantastic, I seriously had a lot of fun.

We decided that this month’s book is Hattie Big Sky (thanks mom for providing it!) and I’m excited/nervous to see how everybody likes it because it was my suggestion. I loved it, my mom loved it, my sisters loved it, it’s kinda fluffy, I just hope our book group loves it. I guess we’ll see....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dr. Dave's cookie recipe

Due to the overwhelming response (read: Emily and Aubrie asked for it) to the latest post about the fantastic cookie recipe, here is the recipe.

Dr. Dave's Amazingly Soft Cookies:
(Chocolate Chippers)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (or whatever, nobody really follows this measurement anyway)
Directions: Cream shortening and sugars together. Add egg, vanilla, salt, and soda, mixing slowly. Add flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes (I did 9 minutes and removed them from the pan after 2 more minutes), or until barely brown. Yield: one dozen (for me that was after Josh ate a bunch of the dough.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cookies and Games

I've officially decided I'm a hermit at heart. I'm not outgoing, I don't like making new friends. I like hanging out with people I already know and love, and when I get attached to one person/thing I always have a hard time losing them because I'm scared of making new friends. My favorite days are almost always spent with 1-3 of my very closest friends. And without fail, I ALWAYS love my days where just Josh and I hang out and do whatever we want. Yesterday was a perfect example.

Since Stake Conference is next week we had fast Sunday this week. For the first time in FAR too long we fasted together really well. For some reason it's something we both really struggle with, and we struggle together which makes it more of a struggle. Anyway, this week we talked about it early in the week and somehow remembered to fast the whole day - the right way. It was great. After church we came home a slept (a classic coping tool for fasting) and then we read a book together. My mom gave me "The Wednesday Wars" for my birthday, I read the first 2 pages and decided Josh would really like it, so I suggested we read it together. He let me read him the first chapter and he did like it! Then he fell asleep again.

Once he woke up, we cooked dinner together. Yes, that's right, we cooked together. As in he helped me the ENTIRE time. Not 1 minute of computer games. Not 1 nap or even an extended blink. He stayed in the kitchen with me the ENTIRE time while we invented a new recipe together. It was fantastic and I loved every minute of it. While it was cooking, he even helped me clean up. You should know that the reason this never happens is not because I'm married to a male chauvinist pig, but because he's at school every night while I cook, I don't usually waste our together time cooking when he's not home, AND on Sundays we almost always have a family event to go to.

After we ate our new invention dinner we played games all night long. I lost A LOT. But only because Josh didn't dare play Risk with me. We played Attika, Farkle (and other dice games), learned a whole bunch of new games. I lost A LOT and Josh won a lot. It's funny, I didn't realize that I beat him so much until I lost! (ha ha ha Josh, it's in writing which makes it true! Blog THAT baby!)

In the middle of all the gaming, we made cookies. When we first moved in Dr. Dave and his family brought us cookies and they were the SOFTEST chocolate chip cookies I've ever eaten in my entire life. Seriously, EVER. And I've eaten a lot of chocolate chip cookies. So, I asked for the recipe and finally tried them out on Sunday. Oh man! Those are some GOOOOOD cookies. This is my new favorite chocolate chip recipe. The best part is that it only makes 1 doz (after Josh eats half of the cookie dough) so I don't have to bake all day long. Seriously, GOOD recipe from Dr. Dave's wife! Thank you!

My marriage is enriched

So last fall Josh and I had the INCREDIBLE opportunity to attend a Marriage Enrichment weekend. I highly recommend this experience, whether you love your spouse and think "if our marriage were any more enriched, we'd get twinkled right now, and I just don't want to leave this earth just yet…" or if you look at your spouse and think "how did that happen? When/why/how did I fall in love with this person, and how do I get out of it as quickly and painlessly as possible?" or if you sometimes forget you're married because it's not significantly painful or excessively thrilling, it's just one of those things that is. Or anywhere else in between. Our weekend was fantastic, we loved it and really did feel strengthened.

One of the cool things is that they continue to do is put on a fireside of sorts. There are about 3 a year, and you can go even if you don't want to do a weekend (it's free and a cool feel-good date). We went with Josh's parents out to dinner first, then to the meeting. The guest speaker was Ron McMillan who was a fantastic speaker.

He talked about a lot of things, and lead into the most important concept in a really cool way. But, the coolest part for me was when he talked about Silence and Violence. He said that any time a human feels strong emotion (anger, hurt, fear, etc.) they always have 1 of 2 responses. Silence or Violence. He talked about how it's the same as the famous "fight or flight" concept. It's really helpful when you're facing a tiger in the woods and you can either get ready to kill him with your bare hands or run faster than a speeding bullet. BUT when it comes to discussing your innermost feelings in a complex and critical social relationship like a marriage, this instinct is not the greatest thing.

Somebody in the back of the class said something about how silence isn't really bad. "If I know that discussing a specific topic is going to cause pain, argument, and an explosion, isn't it true that it would be better to intentionally choose silence over violence?" What I loved was Brother McMillan's response. He said that it is a subject he feels very strongly about and it is his opinion that there is an appropriate way to handle a situation like that and it absolutely is not to say nothing to your spouse during a discussion of that or any other type. Then he talked about some studies, and how they've found that when a child is responded to with silence (or rather not responded to at all) the child feels inadequate, not worth spending the time to answer, guilty, unloved, and a whole slew of other negative emotions. So, instead of responding with silence which conveys a million negative messages, the correct response involves 3 important parts. You say: 1) "This is something that's important to me" which means I love you and because it's important to you, it's important to me. 2) "I'd like to take some time to think about this" which means I do want to talk to you because I love you. and 3) "Can we talk about this at ______ time after I've had a chance to give it some thought?" which means I'm not going to blow you off, and you can tell because I'm planning a specific time to bring this up again. I seriously wanted to cry when he talked about the child's response to silence because those are all of the things I feel when I get zero response from Josh or anyone else. So, it was good to be validated in those icky feelings.

The main point of the whole thing was this really cool concept. It was the chain of action and here is how it goes.
1. You see or hear something - data import. i.e. You've just walked out of the movie theater late on a Friday night. You're walking toward your car which is parked back behind the building when you see a large man in a coat leaning against the side of the building. 1. See/hear something.
2. You tell a story - data analysis. i.e. "I'll bet the theater has thought ahead and decided to provide a security guard to walk me to my car tonight so I make it there safely. How thoughtful of them." You tell yourself a story.
3. Feeling - based on the story you tell yourself you feel something. i.e. safe, comfortable, cared about, maybe relief.
4. Action - Based on your feeling, you act a certain way. i.e. Keep walking toward your car, look the guy straight in the eye, wave, and say "hi-ya".
Now, if you rewind let's take another scenario.
1. See/hear something - i.e. You've just walked out of the movies late on a Friday night. You're walking toward your car which is parked back behind the building when you see a large man in a coat leaning against the side of the building.
2. You tell a story - i.e. "That man means me harm. he's been waiting for me and now that I'm here...."
3. Feeling - i.e. fear, anxiety, stress, hatred.
4. Action - Silence (run away, flight) or Violence (hit him, call the cops, fight).

Now, since we all know those are 2 VERY different actions, with VERY different results we care the most about what makes the difference. Every single time it's the story you tell your self that changes the action. Most often these stories are based on what we are taught or what we've experienced in our lives. So, if you want to change your actions, you have to change your feelings, in order to change your feelings, you have to change your story. There's also this thing called the fundamental attribution error which means that most people (fundamental) assume (or attribute) things (that are generally incorrect or an error). Which means that we usually assume the worst (granted this is a general rule, and of course there are exceptions, but it is a general rule, so it works a lot of the time). For example, I'm walking down the hall and say "hi" to someone else walking the other way. They don't respond. I assume "oh my gosh, they hate me!" "I must looks scary" "I wonder if people are intimidated by me" "did my 'hi' sound sarcastic?". When in reality it could be any of those or 10 zillion other things. Most of which probably aren't that bad.

SO instead of telling ourselves a story, which means we're picking 1 of 10 zillion and 4 things and assuming it's correct (lets face it, odds are not in our favor when we do that) we ask a question. "Why would a reasonable, rational, descent human being do that?" Then we come up with a whole bunch of other things, and the bottom line is that we don't know. That means that our story is replaced with a big fat question mark. And what feelings does a question mark cause? Curiosity. Concern. Desire to know. And what actions do you take when you feel those things? You dialogue. Dialoguing is when 2 people join together and communicate with each other openly and honestly with the desire to understand each other.

So, the next time Josh is late picking me up from work, and I've been waiting for 20 minutes, and I know he knows that I HATE having plans changed on me without notice, and he hasn't even bothered to call, and I'm convinced that he doesn't love me or care about me. Instead, of assuming all of those things (which is 1 possibility out of 10 zillion and 4) I can ask "Why would a reasonable, rational, descent human being do that?" And I come up with a big fat question mark. Then we he FINALLY arrives, instead of being hurt and angry and frustrated, I'm curious and concerned and I say "what happened that made you late honey?" instead of "where the heck have you been? Don't you know I've been waiting for you all day long and it freaks me out when you're late? Don't you care about me at all?!?!?!" Obviously one of those conversations will lead to a happier drive home than the other. And honestly, I prefer being happy.

Anyway the whole point is that the night was fantastic, and we had a great time, and every single time we go to stuff like that we come away loving each other more and having a greater desire to make our relationship stronger. I think we both love this weird relationship touchy feely stuff and that makes me happy. We could easily go to lectures like this every weekend and never get sick of it. I love it, and I love that Josh loves it with me. *Sigh* I'm whooped.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Administrative Assistant's Day

I'm not sure if you're aware of the apparent MAJOR holiday today or not, but in case you don't know the Wednesday of the last FULL week in April is Administrative Assistant's Day. Who knew? Not me, that's for sure. I guess my bosses did know it though.

Kim came down and asked if I had lunch plans, when I said no she asked where I wanted to go for Administrative Assistant's Day. We eventually decided on Sam Pan which was fantastic. She took me to lunch, then when I came back, I had these beautiful HUGE sunflowers on my desk from David. He came down about half an hour later to ask if I was ready for cake.

Geez! I'm a secretary for cryin' out loud! I think the whole thing is crazy, and mostly I think David just wanted an excuse for chocolate cake because on my birthday I chose an Orange Chiffon cake instead of chocolate cake, with chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, and chocolate frosting (which is his favorite). So, today we had his favorite and they made a big deal about how they can't live without me.

Not a bad day if you ask me....


So, this is how it goes:
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. Hanging out with Carly and the neighborhood clan - getting in trouble with my mom for talking on the phone too late.
2. Convincing myself that I really knew what it meant to be in love.
3. Crying over my latest "way too hard" English assignment "Do these people even know how long 2 pages are?!?!?!" This is funny because that is an actual quote from my journal. It's also funny because my average blog post is....well let's just say I don't hurt for words these days. :)
4. Explaining to the "Oremers" that their handwriting was cuter than mine because Orem water has some "cute-handwriting supplement" in it and Lindon water does NOT (clearly).
5. Apparently writing in my journal quite a bit.

1. Run at least 5 miles - this is mandatory since it will be the first time this week, and I only have 4 more days to do my other 3 runs.
2. Watch 27 Dresses with Jamie
3. Read at least 2 chapters of "The Chosen" for book group
4. 2 loads of laundry through the FULL cycle (no cheating and skipping the putting away part...)
5. Anxiously await Josh's return from school whilst sitting on the love sac and seeing all of the "hidden potential" in my living room.

1. Almonds
2. Fruit Snacks
3. Popcorn
4. Frozen Gogurt
5. Ice - crushed up yummy ice. (4 of my 5 are Costco items - no wonder they love me there!)
6. Cheesecake, I have cheesecake in my fridge, and I can't WAIT to get home and eat it right out of the pan! Mmm....that's also on my to do list.

1. Pay off my primary home and NEVER refinance it.
2. Buy my husband "the dream truck" and 4 wheelers.
3. Pay someone to invest it for me so I don't have to choose how to do it.
4. Travel a lot! (cruises, trips to the other side of the world)
5. Build my dream vacation homes (one on the beach, and a cabin in the mountains).

1. I pop my knuckles.
2. Slouching - SO ugly!
3. Repeating myself and using filler words "good times, good times" "ya gotta love it" "you know you know" ew, I bug me sometimes.
4. Watching the last 10 minutes of Law and Order: SVU instead of asking Josh how school was.
5. Not grocery shopping even though the fridge has been empty for 2 weeks.

1. Those really cool shirts that change color when you breathe on them. I hope they get cool again so my kids can wear them, but some things you should just grow out of.
2. My elephant jammies - I think that says enough.
3. braces - I hope.
4. Socks with sandals.
5. Claw bangs! To think I spent HOURS watching my sisters do it so I could learn how....I never did master it, stupid widows peak.

1. Lindon
2. Fresno
3. Salt Lake
4. Avenues (it feels different from Salt Lake)
5. My very own home in North Salt Lake

1. Legal secretary
2. Intern at the Developmental Center
3. Data Processing for Fair Credit Foundation
4. Administrative Assistant for David Allen
5. Data Entry for Alpine Medical Billing

1. I used to swim at least a half mile every single day and LOVED it.
2. Against all that I stand for and believe in, I'm learning to like running/walking.
3. I'm still scared of the dark - unless there's noise to distract me, TV, music, book (on tape), talking on the phone, humming, for some reason I think bad guys are scared of noise...
4. I desperately want to have a baby.
5. I am married to the greatest man on the planet - I hate to break it to the rest of you women, but there's no hope for you getting anyone better than I did.

I tag Jamie, Laura, Anna Hill (that means you have to start a blog Anna!), Aubrie, and Stick. Of course anyone else who wants to do it.

Monday, April 21, 2008


This blog is to introduce a new game that we have named "Bolt!" it's because online I saw it called "BolO Ladder Toss" and Bolt! sounds cooler. So, we've renamed it. Josh and I were looking for something REALLY cool to give Randy for his birthday and house warming present. We shopped and shopped and couldn't' find anything cool enough. Then we remembered this game that Josh's family plays and realized it was the perfect gift. So, we built it and presented it to Randy yesterday. Fortunately he liked it. :)

Here is the recipe for the game:

PVC pipe (we used 3/4 inch) cut in the following lengths:
18 at 32" each
4 at 20" each
4 at 18" each
4 at 16" each
12 PVC connector elbows
12 PVC Tee joints
12 golf balls (you need at least 2 different colors to distinguish between 2 teams)
6 lengths of nylon rope (you want the space between the golf balls to be about 16"-18" so cut them a little longer than that to allow for knot tying.

Build 2 of the stands as shown in the photo diagram.

The space between the top and second rung should be 16 inches, between 2nd and 3rd run is 18 inches and between the 3rd rung and the ground is 20 inches. Drill holes through the golf balls. Thread the nylon rope through 2 golf balls and tie the ends (so there is 1 golf ball at each end). We also burned the ends of the rope so they wouldn't fray and fall apart.
To play:
Set up the 2 stands about 20 feet apart (depending on your desired field size). 1 person from each team should stand by each Bolt! stand. (If it's boys against girls, Jamie and Cameron stand at one end of the field, and Josh and Amy stand at the other.) 2 players (on the same end of the field) have 3 BOLT golf ties each and alternate throwing them one at a time to try to "ring" a rung on the ladder. The top rung is 3 points, middle is 2 points and the bottom is 1 point.
After both players have thrown all 3 of their golf ties, THEN you score, if any golf ties were knocked or blown off by other throws, they do not count for points. They have to last through the round (all 6 throws) to count. If there are 2 golf ties from opposing teams occupying the same rung, no points are awarded (so you can "steal" or negate somebody else's points by ringing a tie on the rung they already hit OR by knocking their tie off the rung). If (when) the girls team has 2 golf ties on the 3 point rung, and the boys only managed to get 1 tie on the 3 point rung (because girls rule and boys drool), the girls are then awarded 3 points (the boys steal or ruin our first hit, but the second one still counts...). The first team to get EXACTLY 21 points wins.
If a team goes over 21 points, they revert back to 11 points and the game is still in play. This goes on until somebody hits 21 exactly.
A sample round would look like this:
Jamie throws (because Cameron lets girls go first) and hits the 2 point rung. Cameron throws and hits the 1 point rung. Jamie throws and it hits the 3 point, but bounces off. Cameron throws and hits air. Jamie throws and hits 3 point line. Cameron throws and hits the 2 point line. Scoring for that toss would be: Girls: 3 Boys: 1 (both hits on the 2 point line wash each other and nobody gets points).
Then Josh and Amy remove the golf ties from the Stand and throw toward the stand Jamie and Cameron are by. Since Cameron was the last person to "score" (by hitting the 2 point line) the boys go first. Josh hits the 3 (miracle of miracles!). Amy hits the 3 (that never happens, but it sounds like fun). Josh hits the squirrel behind the Stand. Amy hits Cameron's toe (I'm not very good at this game). Josh hits the 2 point line. Amy hits Jamie (I overcompensated). Girls: 3 (thanks Jamie!) Boys: 3 (1 from Cameron's previous and 2 from Josh). Then it's Jamie and Cameron's turn again. The boys never really get higher than 5 points, and the girls go on to get 22 (which makes them go back to 11) and then back up to 21 while the boys are still trying desperately to get even 1 point (the boys are embarrassed that the girls lapped them, but that's life). Jamie and I pretty much school Cameron and Josh at all the games we play.
This game is HIGHLY recommended for pretty much anybody for a few reasons. 1. The girls pretty much always win. 2. It's storable - and EASILY set up. We take it camping, to picnics, in the backyard anywhere. It's really easy because it all breaks down to the PVC pipes and it's very mobile. 3. Everybody looks like a dork doing it, so I don't get embarrassed as much. 4. Sometimes Garret (my 8 year old nephew) throws the best hand of the game - and that's just plain cool.

Long goodbyes

This weekend marked one of the saddest occasions of my entire life. Seriously EVER.

Despite Josh and I praying with real intent somehow Cameron and Jamie couldn't find anything to keep them in Utah any longer. Cameron succesfully passed all of his classes resulting in graduation from the U. None of their families moved to Utah. The Ocean didn't flood all of the states between Washington and Utah (creating a beach closer to Utah). The climate didn't change to constant rain and real green trees (I vividly remember being 16 years old, driving to California for a school trip and realizing that trees and grass were really green. I'd never seen the color green in real life before - just Utah's pathetic attempt). The Columbia River didn't change it's course and start running through Salt Lake City, and Cameron's dream job didn't fall into his lap (without him applying anywhere) offering to pay him disgustingly huge amounts of money that he couldn't turn down. Since NONE of these prayers were answered in the affirmative, Jamie and Cameron are leaving. They are moving to Richland (or somewhere close to that) Washington AND we aren't.

Jamie and I met during my second year at college and she has been my very best friend ever since. We moved out of the dorms together, and we were roommates until Cameron stole her from me. I got married just after she did, and we've both been there for all of the big things in each other's life since then (broken hearts, weddings, first beach experiences, babies, moving, job changes, losing our husbands to school/work, getting our husbands back, the list goes on and on). Fortunately Josh and Cameron get along (which isn't surprising given that they both get along with virtually everyone they meet) just as well, and we have seriously had more fun together than I ever could have imagined. I can't even begin to list the fun things we've done together - in fact it's probably easier to list the fun things we haven't done together which includes: leaving the country, and.....well that's all I can think of. I think we've done everything else. The boys go shooting, play nintendo, and covet guns on the internet, while Jamie and reminisce (who knew that was such an ugly looking word?), color, cook, play with Evie, and covet house stuff on the internet. This was seriously the perfect match and I'm struggling to realize that it won't be quite like that anymore.

Saturday we celebrated our birthdays (mine last week, Jamie's next week, it's like fate!) by going out to dinner, and coming back to our place for games. We played, ate ice cream, and hung out for probably the last time like that. We'll see them again, but with graduation, Evie's blessing, and them getting ready to move (on top of the horrible schedules of Josh and Cameron) that was probably the last time the 4 of us had game night. As they were leaving I started to go upstairs and just cried. Fortunately Josh is kind and understanding and he let me cry for longer than I probably needed to, but it felt good to know at least he wasn't leaving me. I just don't do well with change, and this is like losing a sister. Fortunately there is no doubt in my mind that we will keep in touch. Our kids will know each other, and we will be life long "family friends" where everybody gets along (our kids will like each other, and THEY WILL LIKE IT!). Who knows, maybe we'll follow them to Washington eventually, but in the mean time, I'm getting used to saying goodbye, and trying to come to terms with the fact that they won't live 5 minutes away anymore.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mr. Dave

This afternoon I got one of those phone calls that makes my blood go cold. Josh called and asked if I got the message he forwarded me from our Executive Secretary. We’ve been comfortably attending church in our ENORMOUS ward that has too many people and not many empty callings. I knew very well we would lie low at least until the ward splits again – that’s supposedly coming up in June. So, I didn’t even suspect any kind of calling for months. “A member of the bishopric would like to see you Wednesday night”. That was this afternoon in the middle of a very hectic day at work. I immediately made the phone call to set up the appointment so I wouldn’t chicken out and blow it off.

On my way over to the church I was praying and hoping that I wouldn’t be put in nursery because I just can’t handle being around babies all the time when I so desperately want one of my own. I seriously break down crying every week after church because everybody else in the entire world has a baby, or will soon, and I know I am the only person on the planet who isn’t a mom right now and it breaks my heart. I seriously knew that if I had a calling that required me to see how incredibly adorable all children are, I would be seriously depressed. I knew I would accept the calling and try real hard to be OK with it, but it would be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

Well, when I talked to Brother Royal (who is one of the people in our ward who absolutely blows me away by his goodness) he said that the Primary had a need.....this is where I started to tear up in the incredibly long pause that he leaves before saying what the exact calling will be. He asked me if I’d play the piano in Primary. As soon as he said that my entire being calmed down and I just smiled at him. I told him I would love to. There is another pianist, so we can work out however we want to trade off who plays when.

On my way home I realized how perfect it is to be around kids all the time. During the part of my life when I don’t have any of my own children, I get to borrow an entire ward’s worth of kids for an hour or 2 every Sunday. The fact that it’s piano and not teaching makes it even better because it will require work and practice on my part, but I get to hide behind the piano and be cute and sing. I get to know exactly how things will go during primary, know which songs to practice, get to know the people in the ward who are in the primary, and I get do music!

I haven’t even done anything for the calling (other than running home finding the songs of the year on and practicing all of them, just in case) and I already love it. It is perfect and I’m THRILLED. I feel like I have a talent that will fill a need, I’ll be challenged, and I’ll learn. I can’t wait to start. I had forgotten how powerful music can be, and that the real purpose is not for American Idol, but to bring the spirit to our lives. I’m so thankful that I am loved and that I know my Heavenly Father is aware of my life, my circumstances, and of course my feelings.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I love the snow. It really makes me happy. I think one of the reasons I love Spring so much is that it’s so unpredictable. That means a few good things for me, (1) I don’t HAVE to have a full wardrobe for warm weather and a whole wardrobe for cool weather. If I have half of each, in the spring time it’s OK. Yesterday I wore my summeriest (it’s a word according to Egbert’s Dictionary of Cool Words) clothes. Today, I can wear a turtleneck and nobody even looks at me weird because it suits the weather

Yesterday Josh brought me a picnic lunch to work (he loves me and I’m spoiled rotten) and ate with me at the park. After eating we just sat on the blanket and watched kids play at the park. We both dozed a little and enjoyed the beautiful spring day (80 degrees outside with a blue sky, green grass, and the sun shining) and the cool breeze. I even got a little pink, first sun-color (it doesn’t quite count as a sun-burn) of the season for me!

Today I’m sitting at my desk watching snowflakes the size of quarters fall on the daffodils. It’s starting to pile up on the grass and I can’t see past the house across the street. I’m seriously considering building a snowman tonight.

Yesterday when I got home from work, our house was 78 degrees and I seriously considered turning on the a/c but opted for opening the windows instead. We slept with the windows open all night long, and we were still too hot.

Today I’m literally going to go home and curl up in a blanket just to try to keep warm. I’m hoping we remembered to turn the heat back on so nothing freezes in the house. I can’t wait to pull on my sweat pants and a hoodie and curl up with a good book. Mmmmm I love both kinds of weather and I love Springtime in Utah for giving me both!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I guess some things never change.

Sometimes I feel like I'm still an awkward teenager stuck in high school: completely insecure with who I am and mostly what I look like. I feel like I will never be able to be friends with the pretty-girls and that they're all (as if all attractive females are in a club) hating my guts and thinking of ways to embarrass me. I recognize this is a completely ridiculous thought, and I recognize that I actually am friends with a lot of pretty girls, I even recognize that nobody really wants to waste their time thinking of ways to mike my life difficult, but I am still completely intimidated by those I don't know.

Today I went over to the clubhouse to exercise at my regular time. I finally found a time that there are very rarely people there, and that makes me like it better. 9:00 has officially become my "working out" time and I know the other people who go at that time, and they are nice (and pretty - which dis-proves my point).

After biking for 4 miles, the elliptical machine became available (somehow Jazz games being on always attract men to come in). Any other night there are no men in the clubhouse, but when a Jazz game is on, they all "work out" during the entire game. And by "work out" I mean sit on the weight machines and take turns walking on the elliptical while yelling at the players/coach/refs to "pass it pass it! Come on! Awwww!" and asking each other questions that nobody answers because those who should be listening are busy yelling the previous phrases. Shouts of "can you believe that? are you kidding me? when are they going to give up?" make it impossible for me to focus on reading, and force me to waste my time watching a Jazz game. After the game, they linger to watch the "post game commentary" while standing on the work out machines, and sitting on the chairs (read: weight machines). After they leave, I change the channel, and start watching a little Law and Order, when in walks the pretty girl of the day.

I probably weigh twice as much as she does, and at this point, I've been biking/walking for about 30 minutes, so I'm not pretty. When I went through my step aerobics phase, I decided that it was OK that the people on the video looked good while working out because I knew it was only because they would break for makeup and hair every 2 minutes, which is approximately how long it takes for me to go from looking like I just got home from work, to looking like I've been running from a serial killer for 26.2 miles. I don't think I've ever met anyone who looks exactly as pretty when they run as they do when they are normal.

She's wearing Bermuda shorts - I'm wearing Josh's old basketball shorts. She's wearing a CUTE fitted pocketed sweater, I'm wearing a shirt that says "Hershey's. You never forget your first love." She's wearing tiny white cheerleading/ballet slipper shoes. I'm wearing running shoes I got from Big 5. She has fresh makeup on - I've never understood how prettygirls ALWAYS look like they JUST finished applying makeup. And her hair is pulled up in a fashionable cute pony tail tucked neatly under her hat. Yes, that's right, she's wearing a really cute newsie's hat. And it looks really good on her. While she runs she lands gently on the treadmill on the balls of her feet. Somehow I manage to thump on the elliptical (I still haven't figured out how exactly how one can thump on a machine that only makes rounded smooth movements). My hair pulled back in a ponytail is frizzy and falling out. My face is red and yes, I'm sweating. I realize you're not supposed to admit to such disgusting acts, but I sweat when I run. I can't help it, and I hear it's good for you, so deal with it.

As she runs her cheeks never even flush, not even a little bit. Her hair doesn't fall out, and somehow her hat doesn't even move from it's perfect place on the top of her head. I swear it must have been super glued to her head. She didn't even breath hard, meanwhile my heart rate is literally 190 and I'm about to die. Needless to say I left as soon as I could justify it.

In her defense, she's probably a very nice girl, and in reality she did nothing to make me feel uncomfortable, but the second she walked in, I felt like a big icky blob of socially unacceptable human-ness. I thought after you grew up all of that insecurity magically disappeared, but apparently, some things never change.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Best birthday EVER!

This day just keeps getting better and better. We came home from work, walked in the door and this is what I saw. :)

I have a cute couch that matches something! It's beautiful, and SOOO comfy, and pretty trendy if you ask me. I wanted it soo much, and I absolutely knew I wouldn't have it for a long long time and then I came home and it's here! I love love love it!

I have to say that there aren't many husbands who could pull off a surprise couch without me even suspecting a little bit. My husband is amazing and I am the luckiest girl of all time! He's been lying to me all week long - he even pretended that he had to go to school this morning at 8:00 so I had to go to work early, but he was really just meeting his dad to help him bring it home. He called the store in advance and put it on hold and everything. He did some serious planning behind my back, and I don't have a clue how he pulled it off. I'm so glad he did though! Anybody wanna come sit on my couch? I guess we could play some games or watch a movie and stuff too - I just feel the need to have a party to show off my beautiful living room!

Happy Birthday Eve

Some days are just plain good days. I’ve never been much of a birthday celebrator, but this year I have decided to change my ways. I’m celebrating. I’m having parties with every family and with Jamie and Cameron. I’m celebrating with my sisters and I’m making Josh take me out.

Gramma Huggie always says you should celebrate your birthweek instead of your birthday. I’ve never taken it that far, but this year I started using the “but it’s my birthday” excuse – which I’ve never used before – at the beginning of the week.

“Josh, will you get me a drink of water for my birthday?”
“Can I have a birthday kiss?”
“Josh, will you do the dishes for me because it’s my birthday?”
“It’s my birthday, do I have to go to work today?”“Josh, tell me I don’t have to cook tonight for my birthday?”
“Let’s take a nap because it’s my birthday.”

My birthday isn’t until tomorrow, but I’ve been using it all week long, and truthfully, it’s been kinda fun.

This morning when the alarm went off, Josh rolled over, hugged me and whispered “happy birthday eve”. I literally came out of my peaceful slumber smiling. That almost never happens! What better way to start the day! Today is definitely a “today I love you” kind of day and that makes me happy. I think this is going to be a very good birthday year. I’ve already had more fun for my birthday than any other year (with the exception of the engagement, which story shall be told on the morrow) and it hasn't even started yet!

Confessions of the environmentally un-friendly.

Do you ever feel guilty just by being around somebody? There are a lot of people in the world who are FAR better at a lot of things than I am. And a lot of people who care about a lot of causes I don’t even think twice about. Sometimes I have to laugh at some of them (Save the polar bears from global warming? That’s your major concern in life?) and some I just feel guilty about as I continue to ignore the problem.

There is a person in my office who comes in once a week (on Fridays) to do small projects and keep things caught up for us. She’s probably the most environmentally friendly person I’ve ever met in real life. (I hear a lot about tree-huggers and hippies, but I don’t really know any.) A lot of people “do their part” by recycling (only if the city does it, heaven forbid we go out of our way to do so), not drinking bottled water, not being wasteful, etc. But this woman takes it to the extreme.

I work in a house between Ensign Peak and the State Capitol building. It’s UP a hill. And not a small one. Seriously, in the snow my car can’t get up the hill because it’s long and steep. She lives in Sugar House, and because she thinks it’s wasteful and environmentally un-friendly to drive, she takes the bus downtown and walks the 4-5 miles up the hill to work in the morning (adding about an hour to her commute). She’s the kind of person that has probably been taking her own bags to the grocery store for WAY longer than it’s been the cool thing to do. She doesn’t waste ANYTHING and doesn’t use anything disposable. She brings a Ziplock bag with cereal in it for lunch and I’m pretty sure has used the same Ziplock bag every day since she was born. Her husband owns some property in a town outside of St. George and she likes that town better than St. George because they don’t allow grass. She can’t believe people in St. George use so much water on their lawns and thinks it’s disgusting how wasteful they are. She also doesn’t want to live in St. George because she’d have to drive to the grocery store instead of walking or riding her bike. To top it all of she has used the same Arrowhead water bottle (just refilling it with tap water) since she started here more than a year ago.

Since she’s so vocal about how disgusted she is when she sees a car with only one person in it, people watering their lawns in a “dessert” (Salt Lake City), or somebody wasting gas driving to get fast food for lunch and then throwing away the paper bag and cup it came in, I’m pretty sure she’s also disgusted when I drink a bottle of water, and throw away the empty bottle when I’m done. We recycle the bottles - which makes me feel a little better, but I don’t compost my produce peels, grow my own wheat, or hike up the hill to work. Don’t tell her, but I even get plastic bags at the grocery store – and sometimes I don’t reuse OR recycle them.

I am a garbage folder, it’s a weird habit I’ve had longer than I can remember, but I don’t to throw things away unless they are smaller than they started. So, I squish my water bottles before I throw them away and they make a loud plastic crunching sound. Except on Fridays. I have a water bottle in my recycle can that is full of air and is taking up 3 times more space than it needs to and it’s making me crazy – BUT not as crazy as it would make me to have her glare at me for being so wasteful.

I think I am a wasteful person actually. I’m a leftovers-thrower-awayer. I drive to the grocery store for just 1 thing. I turn the lights on in my house well before the sun goes down. I leave the TV on while I’m cooking and can’t really watch it. I don’t even recycle paper anymore. I have 20-something pairs of shoes (all made in sweat shops I’m sure), and some of them I haven’t worn for months (proving that I don’t need them). I throw away water bottles when I’m done with them. I don’t rinse and re-use ziplock bags. I let the water run while I’m brushing my teeth and while I’m soaping up in the shower. I take long showers to get warm when I’m cold. If there is something scary in my food (a hair, or anything questionable in raw meat when I'm cooking) I’ll throw the whole thing away instead of picking around it. I don't think I've ever used all of a bottle of lotion or tube of chapstick.

I do have a few (3 counts as “few” right?) redeeming qualities I guess….like I NEVER throw away paperclips or rubber bands. I often re-use my grocery sacks. And I usually turn off my thermostat when we aren’t home.

For now I guess I’ll have to ignore the full-of-air water bottle that is taunting me and be confident that at least I threw it in the recycle can instead of the garbage. Maybe that will save a tree somewhere....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

1,120 hours

The good news of the day today is that in exactly 1 month, 16 days, 16 hours, 3 minutes, 32 seconds that's 46 days, 16 hours, 3 minutes and 32 seconds or 4,032,212 seconds, 67,203 minutes, 1120 hours, 6 weeks Josh will officially be finished with school.

His last class is Thursday the 24th of May and he has his final clinic assignment on Saturday the 26th.

In some ways this year has flown by - like it kinda surprises me that we really already survived almost a whole year of not seeing each other more than a couple hours a day (during which we're getting ready for bed or ready for the day) with the exception of Sundays. I've gotten used to my week nights alone (sad but true) and I can't believe it's already over!

In other ways this year has absolutely dragged on. I can't even remember what we did before school. When we first started to discuss the possibility of night school, it sounded insane and I won't say it hasn't been hard. More for Josh than me I think. He has absolutely zero spare time, and since Saturday clinic started in November, he literally doesn't have a day off. He works all day M-F, comes home for "dinner" which usually includes very little food - more things like popcorn or chips & salsa. He heads out to school and comes home just in time to fall asleep. Weekends he gets up early, goes to school and finishes up his route with work. I can't imagine how excited he is to be done. And I can't express how excited I am to get my husband back. I miss him, and I'm thrilled to have time to hang out with him. We'll be able to barbecue - eat dinner together (before 11 pm), play games, make friends on weekdays, watch movies together, go on walks/hikes together, picnics.

Last summer was LOOONG to say the least. We had too few vacations, dates, and nights with our friends. This summer will be fantastic. Although Jamie and Cameron are moving :'( we'll have free weeknights. We'll get to hang out with our family. We have camping trips planned starting in June and going through the end of August. We'll get to swim in our community pool, camp less than 10 minutes away, play games with our neighbors and family, go on a cruise to Alaska and stop paying $$ to school. This will be our free summer and I can't wait!

Monday, April 7, 2008

One of these things....

Do you ever have moments when you just know you're not thinking clearly? It happens to me far more often than I'd like to admit. But, sometimes I see something, I KNOW it's wrong, and then I second guess myself and try to convince myself it's right. That's what happened last night.

I got up at 2:30 to get a drink of water - only I opened the fridge instead of the cupboard - first sign that I'm not quite coherent. After I figured out I wouldn't find a cup in there and started to turn toward the cupboard, I caught myself. I opened the fridge again thinking I saw something strange, but I already couldn't remember what it was. After I got my drink and got back in bed, I realized what it was.

When Josh comes home from school and is too tired to think straight, he doesn't always put things away quite where they go, but at least he puts it things away somewhere. In the middle of the night, I lay awake trying to decide if chips belong in the fridge or not. I finally decided that they definitely did not because of the magnet on the chip clip. It would be too cold when you took it off, and if the magnet was strong enough, it might stick to the door from the inside of the fridge. If chips did belong in the fridge, they wouldn't make chip clips with tiny metal parts on them in order to avoid bags of chips being stuck to the door, and frostbite on people who unknowingly touch said magnet.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Old Wives Tales

Isn’t it funny the things we do and believe just because someone told us to? The traditions we pass down without realizing it?

My boss Kim was telling me about cooking the ham in her family. For some reason her husband’s family always cut off the two ends of the ham before cooking it. When she asked why they simply responded “I don’t know, my mother always did it that way?” the next time they saw the mother, they asked the same question only to get the same response. Eventually they asked the grandmother. “Because the ham was always bigger than the pan and the middle is the best part.” 3 generations of women always thought that’s just how to cook a ham and never realized why!

I’ve been wondering what things I think work that may not really have the impact I assumed they did. I put eggshells in the disposal because it “sharpens the blades”. If I ever got gum in my hair, I would immediately try to wash it out with ice cubes and peanut butter. I drink garlic and cayenne pepper when I’m sick (thanks to the in-laws). When we have kids, I’ll hold my ring over my belly to see if it’s a boy or a girl. I try to blow out all of the candles on my birthday cake so my wish will come true. I avoid stepping on cracks (and my mother has never broken her back, so I know it works!). I know I will have exactly 3, 4, 6, 10, or 13 children because that’s how many seeds have been in my apples, how many seeds left on the dandelion after I blew on it, and the number I counted to while twisting the stem off every apple I’ve ever eaten.

However, today I have the best of them all. The ultimate cure for hiccups, and it works no matter what. Nobody knows why, but it does. About a month ago I had the hiccups at work. And not the cute little kind, the loud embarrassing owie kind. After 20 minutes of avoiding phone calls and trying to keep my hics down instead of up, my boss Gabe called me and I answered because I knew he could ignore it and we could discuss something else. I gave him the heads up that I had loud annoying hiccups and I apologized for hiccing up through the whole conversation. At the end of it, he told me to get somebody to plug my ears, and to close my eyes and lean by head back as far as it would go while I drank 8 ounces of water.

I’ve heard a lot of hiccups cures, and I have to say that this is by far the weirdest. I’ve heard of drinking upside down, holding your breath, having someone give you $100 for the next offense, drinking a lot, being scared, and a lot of others. Unfortunately only being scared by one Cameron Mark Burch works for me and none of the others are even close. Even more unfortunately Cameron doesn’t live at my house, or follow me to work in case of a sneak attack of the hiccups.

So, since it hurt, and I had work to do, and most of it involved people, I figured I had nothing to lose. Josh was here to pick me up, so I made him plug my ears, while I leaned my head back and drank. And whah la! (I don’t really know how that is spelled, so I did it as phonetically as possible.) My hiccups were gone. And not just temporarily either, they were really cured. So, there you have it.

Today Josh got the loud owie hiccups and I told him he had to try the cure. After showing me that he could get rid of them just by holding his breath (immediately followed by a hiccup) and that my “stupid old wives tale” wouldn’t work, I forced him to pull over so we could try it. He rolled his eyes, and I told him he had to because I try crazy psycho things for him all the time.

I’m sure we looked cool on the side of the road outside the capital building, with the car running, Josh’s seat leaned back with him sitting up and me trying to get to his ears. As we drove up he started fake-hiccuping (which usually spurs real hiccups) but could only get 1 ½ out before he started laughing too hard.

I'm not saying that they're all true, but here's to the things we do because they really do work instead of because we know no other way.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gets me every time

Google is the master at a lot of things. If I didn’t have google, I don’t know where I’d be. :) I use it for blogging, photos (I heart Picassa), e-mail (take THAT hotmail!), I would use it for calendaring if it weren’t for my job that forces me to use Outlook, and of course the search engine that started it all.

Every time I turn around google is releasing some cool new feature or program that I can’t wait to use. I’ve come to expect great things from them, and the constant improvements seem to have no end in sight. But, today I’d like to recognize the google genius behind April Fools day.

Last year when I logged into my gmail I saw the “new! Gmail paper” link and of course wanted to know what cool new thing they had come up with. Here is the outline of what it is. I read it, and re-read it. And then couldn’t figure out why anyone in their right mind would want e-mails printed. Then looked at my calendar and could NOT stop laughing. I seriously thought they had instituted this program and couldn’t figure out why!

This year, I logged into gmail, and saw the “New Gmail custom time” link and of course clicked it. My exact words were “how cool is that?!?!” and then I was trying to figure out how gmail took over the world, and somehow wrote something that would overpower every single computer’s date/time stamping abilities. Then I looked at my calendar and laughed at myself. Geez, I’m a dork sometimes!
So, google geniuses, rest assured that you get me every year. I can't wait to see what you come up with next year!
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