Friday, December 4, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
"Probably someone visiting next door," Liz said.
Being in a complex, you often hear the comings and goings of the next door neighbors. We continued to get ready for church. The blowdryers ran, the curling irons heated and sounds of running shower water filled the air.
A real knock at the door approached. "Come in!" several of us shouted simultaneously. The door creaked open.
"Why is there a dead fish on your doormat?"
We all went over to where a frozen dead fish, laying on its back, looked up at us. I could hear the "glug, glug, glug" of my stomach churning.
Freddie the fish chilled on the frontdoorstep until we were about to leave for church.
Melissa and Liz started rounding up the usual suspects. Lance was out of town and Levi claims he wasn't around during the hour of dropoff. We're still checking out the alibis.
For the person who put the dead fish there--whoever you are-- beware! I watch Bones, Law and Order, and Cake Boss. (So the last one doesn't have anything to do with this, but I do love seeing the elaborate cakes they make...)
If there's anything I've learned from Hollywood, it's that there is always evidence left behind. We will find you. If it's the last thing we do!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This could be because we have a fall break, or maybe it's a choice of Utah to observe Pioneer Day instead. Either way, we're missing out on the purpose of a vital holiday in our nation.
I challenge everyone to do something this Veteran's Day to make it a real holiday (especially my friends in Utah!).
My mom mentioned that she is writing to all the Soldiers she knows today.
Her class is leading the school in their annual drive for care packages. Soon they'll gather all the items students have brought and send hundreds and hundreds of packages to different units who are so faithfully serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
One thought I had this morning was from a book I read this summer on WWII. An army man commented that even though they were paid no one would let them spend their money while on leave. Broadway shows were shockingly discounted for our troops, meals were free, and no one let them leave a shop without some token of appreciation.
As I went into the dining area, I noticed a Soldier getting his breakfast and thought about that quote I'd read. Before going in, I went up to the cashier and handed her some money. "I want to pay for the man in uniform," I told her, then went to get my drink.
I hope that we can get to the point that our military men and women are treated with the respect and honor they deserve! I can't thank them enough for the sacrifices they are making for me so that I can live in a country where I can freely choose who I want to be, where I want to go and what I want to do with my life.
Thank you again, and may you have God's protection.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I don't care if you just got out of the shower.
Your choice of breakfast cereal holds no interest for me.
If I wanted to know how the Dodgers are doing, I would turn on ESPN.
It would be nice to know once in a while how you're doing, instead of just what you think about the lastest politics.
If you're my friend, I could probably tell you which character of Twilight you're most like better than some automated quiz a bored ninth grader created. (fyi Just because you take the quiz doesn't mean you need to post it.)
Overly sappy sentiments are better left in a message between you and your significant other instead of advertised on your status update.
Everyone can tell when you're saying something you'd be embarrassed to say to someone's face. If you wouldn't say it in public, don't post it.
I would like to know...
...About birthdays, anniversaries, and other momentous occasions you're having. It's nice to be able to celebrate in a little way for you!
...How you're doing! Isn't that the point of staying in touch? To see how each other are doing?
...Interesting articles or information you've found--in reasonable quantities.
I hate the feeling of hiding your updates on my wall, but less is more. And sometimes you're giving too much.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This was a "desk" concept. Several people used this same idea. This was an easy one, setting the timer and strategically placing the objects on the page to try and make it look cool. The real magic happened in the developer. If you've never seen a picture developed old school, I highly suggest finding your closest dark room and have a gander.
Monday, August 24, 2009
One of the seminars I attended was about making college scholarship material that would be reusable on several applications and "wow" the panel/committee who decided who got money. One of the things the brother talked about was rephrasing to make accomplishments/roles sound impressive while keeping them honest and not puffed up.
For example, if you were a Laurel class president you could say:
"I was president of the local chapter of the largest organization in the United States for women ages sixteen to eighteen".
Sounds good huh?
I had been invited previous to that night to take a midnight hike up Mount Timpanogos-- one of the largest peaks in Utah-- and try to hit the summit to watch the sun rise. When I was sitting on my couch with a book in hand and a box of truffles in my lap this sounded plausible. Sure I could hike 18 miles, though I had never hiked that far and hadn't even done a short hike in about 6 years.
So off I went, thinking this would be so much fun. Let's just say this was a tall mountain. A very, very tall mountain. (Or as that brother would have put it, it was a high peak of a challenging distance.)
One of the guys in the group was very patient, coaching me along as everyone else went up ahead, to meet the other half of the group who had camped out for the night. I thought I was doing okay until we started to hit some rocky ground. "Okay, we have to go up this slide of rocks," he said, after scouting out where the trail picked up. As far as I was concerned it wasn't where it was supposed to be.
I started to implement the idea of rephrasing the comments. As I prepared myself for the steep climb up the loose rocks, I thought, "I will ascend the stony way."
Later, as we were getting closer to Emerald Lake and my feet felt like lead, my legs like rubber, I told myself, "I am unbalanced and at a loss for energy."
As everyone else went the last couple hours to the summit, I used someone's sleeping bag and slept in a little shed built by the glacier lake. Instead of worrying about the hard, concrete floor, I changed the content to "a quaint little one room cabin on the edge of an exotic body of water."
After a few hours of rest, I got a head start to where a couple of people were waiting for us to meet up with them. While giving me directions, one of the guys told me to walk along the edge of the cliff. I asked him politely if he would tell me to “take the path along the ledge,” instead.
Through this method of easing the terminology I was able to make it safely back to civilization with the knowledge that I probably shouldn’t have tried hiking Mt. Timp in the first place (what can I say… hindsight is 20/20).
Still, in the process I think I was able to prove that 1)what you learn can apply in all areas of your life and 2) It really does matter how you say things!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The next goal is to train to do the Pacific Northwest coastline next summer!
Friday, July 24, 2009
The Lord would have us lead a different way. His way.
When I first entered the Florida Orlando Mission, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was assured—as I’m sure most new missionaries are—that my trainer was the best of the best. I came to find out that Sister Powell had trained once before and had been an example and leader in our mission. While we served together, she was called to lead all the sisters, giving me opportunities to serve with many sisters I would not have otherwise. Sister Powell was gentle, kind and understanding, and showed me so from my first day.
During our first week together, Sister Powell and I lived with two other Sisters in a neighboring area. This was because our area was new for Sisters and there was not yet an apartment for us to stay in. As the arrangements were completed, we were able to go into a new apartment. Furniture from storage was brought for us to use. We had a queen-sized and a twin-sized, which had been donated from our ward.
“Who’s getting the big bed?” asked an Elder who had been helping with the move.
As my experience in seniority and leadership up to this point had been entirely worldly, the answer seemed obvious. “Sister Powell, of course,” I said as we finished loading up a truck.
The morning had been long and arduous, and we still had the rest of the day to go. I fell asleep during our lunch and woke up to Sister Powell putting her own sheets onto the twin bed. The other was already made up and ready. “But you were supposed to have that one,” I told her.
“I was making it up, thinking how nice it would be to sleep in a big bed,” she said. “Then I realized how selfish that was and how I’m supposed to be serving you.”
She continued to make the other bed, insisting against all argument that she would get better sleep away from the large window by the bed she’d prepared for me.
This was the first of many occasions I found Sister Powell showing what it truly meant to be a leader in the Kingdom of God. She showed her love of Christ by serving “the least of these” (Matt 25:40) and served with all her “heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2). She taught me that a true leader doesn’t take advantage, but instead finds ways to bear the yoke of those they have stewardship over. They are willing to take responsibility, strive to be humble, and find new ways to be obedient to allow themselves to be close to the spirit.
As my time came to lead others in the mission field, I tried to emulate the example Sister Powell set for me. I strove to put the needs of the Sisters I was called to lead first, and I hope I was the sort of leader that would give up the big bed.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
This summer I was invited to live with a dear, sweet family with four little nerd bombers that I simply love to pieces. (By the way, nerd bombers is my new favorite phrase). They live in Mesa, AZ and moved here while I was on my mission. While I lived in Reno, I nannied for the four previously mentioned nerd bombers and they were my only way to relate to Sister Goodman when she'd talk about how much she missed her nieces and nephews. I've had fun with them at the library, taking long walks in the Phoenix heat, going swimming, and getting crafty.
Though I've had no luck finding a second job to suppliment my income, I've taken it as a sign to take the extra time and do something that I've wanted to for a long time: sell my jewelry. As I'm sure most anyone who will read this already knows (because I'm pestering anyone who will hear with the info) I have started to design and sell pieces on etsy at www.jewelrie.etsy.com. Hopefully I will find some success. Next summer I'm wanting to sell at little city events throughout Provo/SLC. We'll see if I can help support my hobby and earn some college money while I'm at it!
Last, as of this past week I completed one of the most difficult tasks I've ever undertaken: I went a full year without chocolate. A roommate of mine came home one day, deciding that we should show we had self control by doing this. I did it mostly to support her. So did her sister. The three of us accomplished what we set out to do, some of us more stoically than others. There are many lessons I got out of my chocolate fast. Here I will leave you with the top 10:
1) Recies Pieces do not have chocolate in them.
2) 99% of the time, when someone wants to do something nice for you, they make you something with chocolate in it.
3)I have true friends who would call for a full intervention if I'd tried to go for another year (Thanks Chessie!)
4) Some people consider Oreos chocolate-- even though they don't have any real chocolate in them!
5)Approx. 79% of the girls I know believe that they would die if they went without chocolate for a year.
6) The other 21% suggest to "just keep going" because "you're on a roll"... they are the crazy ones.
7) Don't leave your really good chocolate in the fridge where nerd bomber #1 can reach it.
8) Chocolate starts looking good for breakfast when you haven't had it for a year.
9) Some people are cruel and tease you with chocolate... right when you're craving it the most.
10) I can do anything!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Over the years, the whiteness has perpetuated. Once I went to college there was little to no reason for me to go out and tan. In fact, tanning for me is to burn and peal in the hopes that the layers beneath might toughen up before summer's end. When Ido tan I don't so much end up with tan lines, but areas of graduated whiteness. So I stayed indoors, where I read lots of books and refined crafty, crafty skills. Then I went on a mission. Even in the Florida sun my "graduated whitness" lines ended somewhere between my shoulder and elbow, and below midcalf range.
This summer I'm in Phoenix. It's hot. Like HOT hot. It's a good excuse to use the family pass the Wrights have and take the kids swimming a lot. With the security of 50 SPF sunscreen, I went out with them. By the end of last week my back was red as a tomato; my neck was scarlet; my arms were threatening to blister and bubble; my legs... still white as ever. I was amazed. I went out again and again. Nothing.
This week I tried a little experiment. I slathered myself with plenty of sunscreen everywhere, except my legs. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not even a little pink.
My conclusion? I have a superpower! My legs have gotten so white that they reflect the heat of the sun! Who knew, right? I just need to find a way to use these powers for good... and a cool superhero name.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
In case you were wondering, the best kind of gossip comes from primary. Whether it's finding out that there is shoe-throwing going on in the house, or the kind of language older siblings are using when a sunbeam cries out "I'm tired of this crap!" right in the middle of share-time, there is always a story.
There were a wide range of kids in our class. One that asked straight off whether or not I'd remembered snack, a drama queen who cried when leaving her mom, the sweet little ones who were content to sit next to you and lean their head against your shoulder, and the spit fire who-- ever obstinant-- would smack her gum loudly to get your attention.
A couple weeks ago, the aforementioned spit fire was sitting on my lap after showing how reverent she could be. Turning around to look at me, and serious as the child ever was, she told me "I trust you." She turned back around to sing loudly with the music director while that sunk in. Throughout my experience first babysitting, then in daycare work and also in nannying I've found that the heaviest responsibility a person can shoulder is to hold the trust of a child. To have such an innocent person tell you they trust you is a great responsibility.
I realized while I thought about what this primary child had just told me that someone else trusted me too. My Heavenly Father. I'm grateful I had the chance to teach primary. Children have a way of keeping things in perspective that seems to get lost amid the social life of a singles' ward.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"Fish are Friends... Not Food!"
An actual dragon... seriously!