Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .. If people want a church, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham 's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina ) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem ( Dr Spock 's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Well, it is so wonderful to finally have insurance and get all the blood tests done and whatnot to figure out why I am so blasted tired all of the time. It turns out that I am extremely vitamin d deficient. This also pulls together all the symptoms that I had, which are very similar to PCOS and hypothyroidism. I was convinced of hypothyroidism and my friend was convinced PCOS.
As it turns out, most people are somewhat deficient of vitamin d. We just don't spend much time outside anymore, and when we do we are too slathered up with sunscreen to really be able to produce vitamin d, which is a chemical reaction created by the sun. The levels that the doctor told me were normal was between 30-80, but about 50-80 is best. Want to know my level? Oh yeah, I'm totally rocking the scale at a lovely 16.
So now I am on a prescription vitamin d pill that is gi-normous and I only have to take it once a week in order to get my levels up. Hopefully that will take care of some other issues I have had for a long time now, too...like my ever-present shin splints and knee pain. Here's hoping.
Anyway, here are some of the symptoms that I found through different articles:
High blood pressure*
Weight issues, hard to lose, weight gain, etc.*
Affects insulin resistance
Muscle pain/weak bones*
and even intestinal issues*
*all symptoms I have.
This could go back as far as when I started working out in gymnastics more and so didn't spend much time in the sun. That was when some of my symptoms started.
Oh, and just a note: When the doctor is talking to you about vitamin d deficiency, don't make a joke about osteomalacia. He won't laugh.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
My parents have tried everything to redeem his name and have the report marked at least as an accidental death, but apparently in this case the dead do not have the same rights as the living. He was not given a fair investigation, and although we can prove that his death is not self-inflicted, it still shows suicide on the official report.
I guess in my own little way, I want to be able to show the world how great of a guy my brother was. I am going to celebrate his memory by sharing a few of the experiences we had and the best things about my baby brother.
1. Andrew was probably one of the most empathetic people that I have ever known. He truly could feel what other people felt. He may not have always known what to do about it, but I remember his holding me as I cried on his shoulder and when we were little and I got in trouble, he would cry for me.
2. We always played together. It didn't matter what age we were. Our friends would get together when we were in high school and play laser tag almost every weekend. We ALWAYS had fun.
3. During the years when it was just he and I who lived at home we went on road trips with out parents quite often. I remember driving late at night, listening to Louis Armstrong sing "What a Wonderful World" and Andrew and I taking turns trying to imitate Louis' low gravely voice as we sang along to the song. It is still amazingly soothing to listen to jazz while driving late at night.
4. I was sick with food poisoning and didn't have the strength to get up the stairs to my room. He found me at the bottom of the stairs and carried me up to my bed.
5. Randomly we would run errands with each other. I would bounce on his bed to wake him up, saying "get up, get up, get up, get up..." over and over again. He would wake up and come do whatever it was that I wanted to do.
6. He always changed my oil and my brakes for me.
7. The first time I tried using eyeliner I went out and asked what he thought about it. Well, actually I asked if he thought I looked like a hooker. His response? "half and half."
8. He was never above wrestling. In the later years he always won, but I blame that on his being taller than me.
9. He let me practice learning to cut hair on him. Not like it was hard to do with his short haircut.
10. He was never afraid to tell someone that he loved them, nor was he afraid to show it.
11. We always watched all the cheesy family channel movies together, laughing at the same jokes.
12. He and I and my parents would sit on the loft talking until 3 in the morning. We always talked about everything, well almost everything.
13. We LOVED to watch movies together. When we were little we would watch Thoroughly Modern Millie and rewind the part where the apple shrivels over and over again. We also watched the Ewok Adventure all snuggled up in blankets with our knees to our chests because it was so scary.
14. We always fought over who got the most of my mom's pie. We both wanted the extra piece. Of course I also blame him for my eating so fast all of the time. I had to beat him to dessert for the pie.
15. The last day he came swimming with me in 65 degree weather because I wanted him to, we watched old Home Improvement reruns together, laughing hysterically and when he left he gave me a big wet kiss on my cheek just to annoy me. I said, "Just you wait. I'm going to get you back for that."
I miss him. He was my best friend. He would have loved my husband, and we all would have had so much fun. I wish there was something that I could do for him even now as I remember the hard times and the fun times. He always did so much for me. I just have to remember that he is watching down on me and laughing at all the same jokes. He's just waiting for me to come home.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
For Todd's cake, I actually bought the cake from Costco already with the green background, which is why this cake is shaped well...my oven sucks and my cakes are lopsided when I bake them at home. Buying this cake from Costco was probably one of the best ideas that I have already had. They did the not so fun part and I got to decorate. In decorating, I used real sticks, a real banana and plenty of fondant. The outside "bamboo" is actually Pirouline Cookies. We just cut them at an angle to look like bamboo. Oh, and when I say "we" I mean it, because not only did the girls help with getting the fondant ready, they also put up most of the "bamboo" around the cake. I think that they did an excellent job.
I actually got quite the smile from Todd when he saw his cake, and YES...sticking my tongue out really does help when you are carrying a heavy carrot cake. (yuck, I hate carrot cake, but it is one of the few cakes that Todd will eat. He says it is selfless love on my part, given that I LOVE cake and still bought one that I don't like.)
Quick photoshop, so my blackout background kind of looks poopy.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
- On average, girls are losing their virginity at 15 years of age.
- 14 percent of teens who are having sex say they’re doing it AT school.
- 52 percent of survey respondents say they do not use protection when having sex.
- One in three says she fears having a sexually transmitted disease.
- 24 percent of teens with STDs say they still have unprotected sex.
- One in five girls says she wants to be a teen mom.
- About 50 percent acknowledge that they’ve hit someone.
- One out of three teens has tried drugs
Also, the next interview down discusses the correlation between teenage pregnancy and how much television our kids watch, stating that kids don't need TVs in their rooms, which is what my family's rule always was. I find these clips especially interesting, because the advice given is what those of us who grew up in the church have heard our whole lives.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It all started out because my brother-in-law had a spare tabletop...random, I know. Long story short, he got it with a bunch of other stuff at an auction. It is a pretty nice tabletop, so when he was just going to throw it away, my parents saved it from the trash heap. They were being very thoughtful because they felt it would look nice in our travel room. The only problem is that the tabletop was just that...no legs.
So about this point, I can see you wondering whether I am suddenly going to become this all-powerful crafty person, or become a regular Tim Allen. I'm pretty sure that you are leaning toward an Auna-ba-nauna version of Tool Time.
LUCKILY, my daddy was here to help me with this table. We made a trip to Lowe's the night before and picked up ready to screw in legs that we would just need to screw in and stain. Alas, it was not to be so. The next day when we started our "simple" project, we realized that the screws on the legs were too big for where the table already had places for them. This meant that we had to go back to Lowe's. To make certain that we wouldn't make the same mistake, we took the table top with us. (It is only a small coffee table size.)
When we got to Lowe's I returned the old legs and we went in search of new ones. Rolling the table back toward lumber on the top of our cart, we found the legs and tried different styles. None of them were fabulous, but the same style we had just brought back was doable. We tried all sorts of different table kits looking for screws that would fit and realized that this was going to be a serious project, because everything was either too small or too big. I was beginning to feel a bit like Goldilocks. Finally we decided that we would have to go find the screws separate from the legs, buy the same legs we returned, but for some reason for a higher price, and some dowel. Why dowel, you ask? Well, that is because we took the screws out of the legs, pounded dowels into the holes and then re-drilled for a slightly smaller double sided screw.
This would have worked great, especially after we found the color of stain that we wanted, if only I had been able to find my pliers at my house. I KNOW I have some. I can see them in my mind. Where Todd put them, however, is a mystery. So, I ended up borrowing pliers and a pair of vise grips from my neighbor. We finally got the screws out and everything drilled back how it should be, but we were presented with a problem when putting the new screws in. We couldn't grip the place where the threads were because we needed them to screw, but we could only get the screw into the leg so far. I though to myself, I wonder if I screw this into the table, if it will tighten in once it reaches as far as the screw goes into the table? Did that work, you ask? No. Of course not. Instead, I screwed the leg right through the other side of the table. Fabulous. "Never give up. Never surrender."
To finish this story, since this blog entry is getting absolutely gargantuan, the color of stain we chose was wrong...in fact, we had the right color at the house all along, my dad had to go BACK to Lowe's and got some bolts that we used to tighten the screws into the legs by facing them in opposing directions on the screw and giving us a grip. Superglue to the rescue, which helped fix the veneer on the top of the table and we were done. OK, so last of all? Maybe we should have measured the height of the legs. We flipped the table over and "Oh yeah...this might be a bit too tall."
We'd had enough. We just cut the ends of the legs off. So, if you would like to see our Murphy's Law table, it is now on display in our travel room. Please, just don't put your feet up on it, as I haven't finished creating supports for the spindly legs. Gotta love a FREE tabletop. Oh wait, that was supposed to be free and easy? Doh!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Anyway, I am so excited, because I have officially brought Todd over to the dark side. He now enjoys the Fox TV show, Bones, as much as I do. It is truly the only show I watch on a regular basis...well, that and the Disney channel, but you can only watch the same episode of Hannah Montana so many times.
Oh, and the reason for 2 pics, is that the bottom one is my fav, but it didn't have the TV title on it. Sigh. How HOTT is David Boreanaz?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have been going through pics that were taken while in New Zealand and I realized that there are about a million pictures of a bird. Same bird, many of the same poses, some more picturesque than others, but seriously...that is a lot of pics of one bird. I think both Todd and I must have taken the camera at different times because this bird ate breakfast with us out on the deck of our hotel.
I've also included a pic of the dock at our hotel. We were lucky to stay in some amazing locations.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The week of work went well with record numbers for Todd's team, hopefully it will continue to work out that way with the follow-up team and after the paperwork is all finished. We saw over 2000 people in 6 days of sessions. Obtaining more than just a tourist view of the country was fabulous. The people were all so amazing and it was very difficult to have a desire to come home. During this time we traveled into a few of the bigger towns/cities, ending up in Auckland. We didn't have time to really see much during this time, driving several hours through the windy roads after dark and getting up to work in the morning.
After the work week, however, was when the vacation began. We had made plans previously to go to the beach Saturday night, but Todd surprised me with fantastic seats to Phantom of the Opera. I wasn't about to complain. Sunday we headed up North to the Bay of Islands. The day was a slow start due to entering paperwork and then we were off to a scenic drive to Russell. We had a day cruise booked for Monday, so Sunday was free to drive slowly and stop in small towns, scenic views, etc. We had brunch at a tea shoppe, hiked through forest to the top of a small waterfall, viewed beaches and more. After that, it was decided that we better get a bit more distance behind us, so we drove to Wharangei (said Fahng-a-rhey) to their falls.
The falls were GORGEOUS and there was a small pond at the top with local kids swimming and swinging into it on a rope swing. One kid even climbed clear up in a tree and jumped in. Yeah, we don't get away with that sort of stuff anymore in the States. sigh. On our way up, Todd decided that he wanted to join the kids so stripped down to his shorts and hopped on the rope, swinging into the lake. The kids all loved it and he got out and swung on the rope again.
It wasn't until we got to the car, Todd in wet shorts, that we realized we didn't have the car keys. Ummm...oops. Not sure where we had left them, we searched all the trails we had walked down, and any tree or rock we had sat on to no avail. Best we could figure was that Todd had the keys in his pocket when he swung into the pond. Fabulous, eh? especially since nobody can even get down to the bottom of the pond AND it flows into the waterfall.
To make a short story even shorter, a group of people let us use their cell phones so that it was local, the kids we offered a hundred bucks to couldn't swim down far enough to find keys, we couldn't get a hold of the rental company, but Ford Roadside Assistance towed us to a Ford dealership, the tow truck man actually rang a different car rental shoppe manager at their home and they came and rented us an additional car. The next day we finally were able to get a hold of the original car rental place, who was not at all helpful (I'm now boycotting Europcar for their horrible customer service and leaving us in the lurch) and found out we had to have new keys made for the car. We did make it to Russell just in time to catch the last ferry over and made our cruise around the islands (my new life goal is now to buy and island down there). It was BEAUTIFUL and I will have some pics up later. Of course we had to spend our last day driving around to fix up everything with the car and switch out vehicles, which meant we didn't get to go to the black beach. Sigh...next year.
So now I am home with some new jewelry, a cheap guitar (random, I know), a sweater made out of Possum fur, and a $700 NZD bill for keys that I will never again use. Thank Heavens for the exchange rate. Oh, and the possum fur is super soft. I flew back into the states, am shocked at their horrible customer service (so spoiled in New Zealand), check our bags a few times...all 7 bags checked and 4 carry-ons, watching as the guitar gets thrown onto the luggage ramp regardless of the fragile sticker and then sit alone on the plane because Todd and I don't have seats together. We picked up our luggage in SLC and Todd waited for me to go get the truck out of parking. I get into the truck, oh blessed normal-sized truck, back out, pull onto the wrong lane of traffic while turning on my blinker...doh! stupid windshield wipers!
Monday, October 27, 2008
When I arrived in Auckland at 5:45 in the AM, I waited for my luggage, which had jumped airlines from Delta to Qantas, so I wasn't positive that it would make the entire trip. I continued to wait, slowly starting to freak out because Todd really needed the paperwork I was hauling, oh yeah, and my clothes for the trip. Well, finally my luggage came out in a much less than pristine condition due to being inspected pretty much at every location because of its weight. I was the last one to leave that carousel.
After I got through customs and had my luggage inspected, once again, I went out to the airport lobby to collect my car from Alamo. Alamo exists in New Zealand you ask? No, it doesn't. In fact, nobody has heard of Alamo in New Zealand. So as I am searching the different counters and talking to each car rental company to see if they are an affiliate of Alamo, I don't hear my name being paged over the intercom. I finally find that Eurocar is an affiliate, but my reservation hasn't arrived in their computer. Apparently I shouldn't use travelocity, as I was informed. I finally get a car after having been at the airport for 2 hours trying to sort everything out and go to load my luggage, accidentally nearly putting my luggage in the driver's side of the car, given that it is on the opposite side in New Zealand. Yes, they drive on the opposite side of the road.
Now, imagine my regret to find that in all of my packing I remembered everything except to print off the maps from google maps, my favorite map website. I made sure to obtain a map from the car rental company and set off in my adventure 2 hours later than anticipated to meet up with Todd in Taupo, 3-4 hours south of Auckland. As I pulled out onto the wrong side of the road, it just felt wrong. I will admit that it was a little exhilerating to be justified in doing something that felt just a little wrong. The exhileration soon left me, however, as I found how hard it is to judge spacial distances when I am driving from what I am used to being the passenger side.
Here I am, rushing to get to Taupo, without real directions, turning the wrong direction and going just a little out of my mind. I turn left onto the road, and instead of turning my blinker on, turn the windshield wipers on. I get lost, go to ask questions at a gas station, forget to put the car in park because the gear shift is on the opposite side. I get back into the car, start to pull out, turn on the windshield wipers again, pull onto the road, turn left onto the freeway, turn the blasted windshield wipers on again, get to close to the side of the road, go too fast because 100 km really isn't that fast. It definitely sounds like it should be faster. I change lanes...STUPID WINDSHIELD WIPERS!!! I've had enough, no more turn signals for me. I drive through towns, apparently there are only highways, no freeways. How fast can I speed without getting a ticket? I can't afford another ticket due to the fact that I recently got one while test driving a challenger (Todd will probably frame that ticket. Challengers are his favorite.) I do the conversion in my head. If I can go 10 over without a ticket in the US, does that mean I can go 16 k's over and not get a ticket while I am here? Not sure, not worth it...time sure does fly when you are rushing. I go through a town where there is a building shaped like a dog. What the dirty?! It's a bar. Only one more town and then I am in Taupo.
I drove all the way into Taupo to ask directions and find that I passed the hotel on my way into town, about 10k's away. I turn around, drive back up highway 1, go to turn left. I'm finally there, so the windshield wipers didn't bother me as much this time. Seriously, they should switch them back to the correct side and put the blinker button back where it belongs. I pull up to the hotel where Todd is waiting. "So I take it that you didn't get the minivan I reserved for you at Hertz, did you?" Wait, what? I didn't hear the page...ok, none of the pages at the airport. Now, we don't have a large enough vehicle for all the boxes, but dangit, I'm not dealing with those stupid windshield wipers again.
The moral of this story? Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong...never buy a european car, because the windshield wipers won't be in the right place ....and I drove on the wrong side of the road and lived to tell about it.
More on New Zealand to come. It's a beautiful country full of wonderful, kind people, and best of all it is springtime here.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Kailey is my very Johnny Depp pirate with skin so pretty that I couldn't get it to look dirty enough.
Jessica is my Tinkerbell, her very being oozes the attitude and looks associated with the Disney fairy.
Austin is a storm trooper. His dream come true...this was the costume I didn't put together.
I apologize that this isn't my best collage. It was thrown together in the midst of a mad rush of packing. And, as always, just click on the picture for it's full size.
Friday, October 17, 2008
This is a picture of the cake that I made Todd for his birthday last year. Notice the theme is even on his t-shirt. Gotta love football season. Go Redskins.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
To celebrate the changing season and Halloween we went to Frightmares at Lagoon on Friday night. Can I tell you how much I love Lagoon on a cold night? I think it must evoke some sort of childhood memory. Growing up we went to Lagoon once a year right before it closed for the winter. We packed a cooler and stayed all day and almost till it closed. It seems like many of the years that we went, we chose a rainy day. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but Lagoon on a cold, brisk day and staying late at night will always seem fantastic to me.
Also, this weekend, Todd and I attended the BYU v NMU football game. Now, I will be the first to say, that I am a fairweather friend of football in general. The closest I have come to football fan-dom was being a trainer during high school and a few flag football games in college (I played in these). So, when I hear that we are sitting at a football game during what is supposed to be a snowstorm, I wasn't very excited. I did take one for the team and bundle up, finding out that I couldn't bring my hot chocolate in with me after I got there, and sat through the entire game. Luckily, there was no snow, BYU won and we sat on the side where most of the wind was blocked. Oh, and did I mention that Todd dyed his hair and eyebrows blue? All those factors made for a pretty OK experience. Now Todd will keep me, and keep hoping that someday we will attend a Redskins football game. For that...hmm...I am thinking he gets to come to Shakespeare. I think I just heard Todd mentally groan.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I know I am getting this post up a bit late, but I finally downloaded some pics onto my computer and as I was looking at them, I was reminded of how excited Jessica and Kailey were on their birthday. This was the first birthday that they had each had their own cake.
I won't claim that these were my finest cakes, in fact, they are extremely basic. All I had to incorporate was a tutu for Jessica and sunflowers for Kailey, and due to changed schedules, I was in a huge rush to make sure they got done. It didn't matter, though. I have never had a cake (or two cakes, rather) be so appreciated in my life...and for those of you who have seen the picture, last year I made a cake that was a replica of a Redskins helmet for Todd. All I got from him was a, "looks nice." Bah Humbug to him.
The sad part of this story is that our weekend was so crazy and mixed up between moving and a split weekend with the kids, that the girls didn't even get to eat their cake. Now what was a girl like me to do when the house was all empty and I was left with two cakes? Sadly, I threw them away...well, after a bite or two.
Anyway, I have posted a few pics of the cakes of the girls' expressions when they saw their cakes. We actually blindfolded them and sat them down before they could see their cakes. We even did it individually so that we could get a picture of each girl's expression. Enjoy!
Oh, and here's a quick hint if you didn't already know...click on the pic for a full-sized version and to actually be able to see the girls' faces.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
OK, here are a few pics from this latest camping trip. As you can see, we went for a few artsy fartsy photos. I have mainly black and white photos up here, but we also got some great leaves-changing-color photos as well.
We went up American Fork Canyon to a campground called Timpooneke. I looked up places online and thought the name was great, so we gave it a try. It was clear up the mountain near the top of the Alpine Loop so the leaves were all changing colors and beautiful.
Being that this was just a short trip, we thought that packing would be quick and easy and so didn't go through the usual list-making process. Not so true, as Murphy's Law would dictate. We forgot pancake mix, kindling, lighter fluid, we didn't get up there very early and almost didn't get a campsite, etc. That'll teach me not to plan better. We should never forget pancake mix when going camping. I mean, that is the food of campers everywhere. Trust me, that will never happen again. Next time we just will forget the matches or something like that.
As it was, we had a blast this last time just being in nature. Jessica had a bit too much fun with the fire soot and worked her way up to a completely black face covered in ash. Fantastic for photos, not so much for cleaning. We had to wash her off in the freezing water and warm her up in the sun. The pictures were totally worth it, though.
I sure do miss the South and would move back there in a heartbeat if I could. I guess I will just have to visit more often...or those of you who still live in the South could come visit me. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Oh, and while we were in Columbia we found a new favorite place to eat called Firehouse Subs. Absolutely fantastic, and I recommend it to everyone...so yes, our trip was fruitful.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Todd is very athletic. He plays basketball several times a week, flag football, etc. Any opportunity to play sports and he is there. I, on the other hand, love the social aspect of sports, but am not the most talented when it comes to any sport involving a ball. What can I say? I did dance and gymnastics while growing up. So the other day when Todd wanted me to help teach his girls how to play football, basketball and baseball (mini-lessons that had been requested) I was willing, but not wanting to make a fool of myself.
The first sport was football (Todd's real true love) and we taught Jessica how to hand off the ball and run for it. She already knew the basics from some TV commercial where one of the NFL Pros showed them how to "flick the booger" for a nice spiral. Dangit all, she can throw a spiral and I can't.
Next was basketball. Now, I have been shooting around a little bit lately because we have a fantastic hoop in our driveway and Todd and I have been competing over our free throw shot averages. Needless to say, me and my 40% average weren't doing too badly. I was starting to feel a little athletic and like I should grunt and slap someone's backside or something. Unfortunately, basketball was the shortest of the lessons.
Next came baseball. I will, however, let you in on a secret. Although I sucked at it, I was on a softball team. Of course, Todd knows about the team...and that I was most certainly NOT MVP of any game or season. So imagine Todd's surprise when I lobbed the ball at him, and it was a decent throw. (Sorry, I'm trying not to giggle right now.) Not only was he surprised that I could throw, but insomuch that he forgot to catch the ball. It bounced right off his forehead high into the air. And I, being the good little wife that I am, threw my head back and guffawed wholeheartedly. Of course, I made sure he was OK, too.
I do not think he will underestimate me again.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Also, I am working on finally getting the house decorated, instead of just having furniture arranged. I have some excellent ideas for the travel room and that huge wall where the stairs are. I am actually quite excited about a few of the ideas, but they are top secret until they are finished...then I will post a pic. Soon it will really start feeling like home.
Along those lines, Todd and I have finally started having time to do things like invite neighbors over for dinner and experiment with some of the wedding gifts. We had a great couple over the other night who didn't mind that I burned the green beans (thus the reason Todd usually does all the cooking) and that it was our first attempt at making ice cream. They just helped finish up making dinner and we had a blast chatting. The husband was someone who Todd had met through early morning basketball and we laughed about all their basketball escapades. All I have to say about that is that church ball scares me.
There are a bunch of guys and a couple girls that get together Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 5:30 in the "a of m." Seriously, I don't know if I would be willing to do it, however, for those of you who noticed...that was the reason for Todd's recent loss of his "bowl-full-of-jelly" belly. Now I have to do something to be able to keep up with him in the never-ending battle against the bulge. Any ideas? This is always such a difficult thing for me. Alas, I may be condemned to never fully rid myself of my overly round face and perpetual double chin. Sigh.
Speaking of such things reminds me that I have to take the dog for a run now. Well, I will ride my bike. She's too fast for me.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
To You, thank you.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This is the first year that I have "had" someone, if you know what I mean, and so fit into the grown up crowd. Of course Todd was out of town on business and so it was just me and the kids. That didn't matter though. I have finally ranked into the higher echelons of adulthood. I didn't realize that all that meant was keeping an eye on all the children and bringing my own food to cook.
We all had a blast, though. Two days and hours of swimming in the sun later we have returned with a little more color (although we tried hard not to burn), a little more tired and with a few new friends.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
These are a few of the many wedding things and/or tasks. Lots to do, too little time, and to top it all off, the most tragic thing of it all...I have officially run out of time for the LGN workout to actually be effective.
Monday, August 4, 2008
I read "Breaking Dawn" today and although it was extremely predictable with a few twists thrown in, Stephanie Meyers was still able to pull me into her writing. I think that it is her easy-to-read writing style and her character voice. It seems to create a cadence that rolls of your tongue...even though it is in your mind as you read. That, and I am a sucker for a good 'ole predictable romance. ;)
Friday, August 1, 2008
"In other breaking news..." we now officially have most of the wedding plans done. Wahoo! I do need to finish flowers and finalize the cake and a few other miscellaneous things, but the end is near! The end of single life, that is. I will say that my first attempt at wedding hair was not exactly disastrous, but definitely not how I envisioned, so it is back to the drawing board for me. Of course, we have an absolutely fantastic photographer who, due to not enough time, is willing to do another bridal/family wedding shoot with me. How amazing is that? She (Ashley) was the one who suggested it because she didn't have the time (due to fading natural light) to try many of the ideas she had been thinking about with me. I will have to try new hair at that one. She has a couple of the engagement photos posted on her site. She has a lot of other great shots and styles on there, too. You should check 'em out.
Monday, July 21, 2008
So the poor little kitty is going to have to get declawed. I feel so horrible about it, but we can't get her to only scratch her scratching box. She has a tendency to scratch up walls in addition to furniture. Plus, the last straw was when a dog scared her while Kailey was holding her and she scratched up poor Kailey's neck and jaw pretty badly.
I have done my research, though. I found that there is a place called Timpanogas Pet Hospital in Pleasant Grove that uses a laser to declaw. The vet was even cited in several national articles as being one of the first to use lasers to perform this caturgery. After reading all of the different blogs and sites that talk about how cruel it is to declaw cats it was a relief to find a kinder solution. It was also good to talk to the hospital and find out that the end knuckle of the cat is NOT cut off. They go in and cut out the nailbed, exactly what they do to humans who have to have nails removed.
So although I am still wary of declawing, I am feeling much better about it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The fourth of July was definitely an adventure. Todd the kids and I had a camp out the night before so that we could get up at 5AM in order to get ready and drive down to the balloon festival by 6:15. Then off to the morningside breakfast at my parents' ward where a soldier spoke about his experiences in the Middle East. After that, of course, we had to hit the lake. Several hours and many bruises later we were thoroughly tired. Then dutch oven chicken for dinner, some afternoon naps and we were ready for the fireworks. Here is a photo of some of the pics we took during the balloon festival. Todd's fav is the one of me in the center...obviously.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
When I think about all of the wedding excitement I have shared with so many friends it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to realize that either they don't share that same excitement for me, or that they are too far away to do anything about it. I am among the last of my friends to get married, all of who I have hosted a wedding shower for, done hair, worked with their mothers to accomplish plans (in some instances putting my life on hold), flowers for some, scrapbook pages for others, etc. Hundreds of dollars and hours of work.
Now, I am not begrudging the things I have done for others. I did those things because I wanted to show how much their friendship means to me and I wanted to show support. I also don't want to obligate any of my five readers to do anything they wouldn't normally do. It is just something that has been on my mind as of late, especially since my own sister doesn't seem to care. The sister I am supposed to be closest to seems not to care about me at all lately, skipping my graduation, my birthday and the family wedding shower that it was painfully obvious my mother was forcing her to co-host. Most of these things are once-in-a-lifetime things that force me to plead... why can't we just be happy for each other when good things happen?
In conjunction with that question is of course the difficult time that Todd's ex-wife is having with everything. They have been divorced for 6 years (give or take) but it is still hard for her to see him happy, and especially to see him move on, as it would be for anybody. She has been pretty supportive about everything, and I feel that we have gone out of our way to help in this transition. In the year and a half that I have been friends/dating Todd, I have made sure to volunteer to help in many ways, taking the kids when it seems like she needs a break, making sure to approve most everything that we do by her, running errands for her regarding the kids, taking them to buy glasses, spending money on all sorts of things that she used to have to spend money on, picking them up from things and volunteering to watch them so that they don't have to go to daycare during the times when they are off-track from school. All of this originally because I empathize with the plight of a single mother and lately because I am trying to step into the role of the step-parent without too many waves (not possible, btw). I am not meaning to toot my own horn, but only using this to describe why I would be shocked that out of all the times she could have asked, it is now that she demands more child support. Now when I am still jobless, we are transitioning into a new house and a new marriage, and there are extra expenditures that normally would not be an issue.
It is really hard for me to realize that I cannot have my own life with my husband, that regardless of what I want and what I do, there will always be another woman, a past and a family that will affect my life, dreams, goals, geography and finances. This loss of control is really hard for me. I guess that just goes along with the territory of being the second wife, a title I had never aspired to, but fell into... but that is a whole other blog.
So, there are my wedding woes. I guess I should feel lucky for how few there are. Most everything else has fallen into place beautifully and as of yet I feel as though I have avoided bridezilla status.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Soooo...I registered at Bed Bath and Beyond (BB&B). Holy trash their stuff is expensive. I also got talked into registering for china, which I love and would totally use, but it is mucho costly. That actually stressed me out quite a bit. I mean, are people really willing to spend that much on a wedding present? Of course the old fashioned side of me is in love with the idea. I hope that no one thinks I am presumptuous for registering for it. LOL...registering and the worries I associate with it have actually been the most stressful part of my planning so far. I guess this is where I have to admit that there is a small part of my mother that lives in me. Dagnabit. I tried so hard to avoid it, but don't we all?
Well, there is still a lot to do, but it should be a lot of fun, even if it is in the afternoon (something my mom is not happy about). C'est la vie.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Have you ever noticed how sometimes everything works out well and other times everything just seems to collide at the wrong time? Well, lately, life is a combination of those things. Todd and I decided to buy a house, but that would end up making our finances pretty tight until I get a job. Well, so many things have fallen into place with the engagement. I found a really cheap super fantastic dress, we found someone to rent Todd's house, the roommate thing with me has worked out exceptionally well, with all of us moving out at the same time, etc. Well, it also seems as though so many extra little financial things came up at the same time. Just the other day Todd's house got broken into and his laptop got stolen (yet another reason of why to move from West Valley). However, he HAS to have a computer for work, as do I. That means....new mac time. We ended up going for the MacBook Pro this time. It didn't make sense to buy a new computer and not upgrade when we had plans of upgrading as soon as things settled down. Oi Vey, though. This whole money thing stresses me out. I am too much of my mother's daughter in some ways. Always the scrimper and saver.
In fact, I even scrimp and save for other people. Todd and I went and registered at Bed Bath and Beyond (apparently there isn't' actually a "Beyond" section) and I was sooooo stressed. We even registered for china...do people still do that? I love the idea and I know it is tradition so we did it. It is beautiful, but everything there costs a lot of money and I was stressed trying to come up with things that people would actually want to buy for us (cost-wise), but also that we would need. I don't want to have to do the whole refund thing. Am I dumb in worrying about this? I think it caused me lots of undue stress yesterday.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Todd and I have been dating for about a year. Most of that time we were classified as friends...but we were dating. We met at a random waffle party at a mutual friend's house in the middle of the night. He told me I was pretty. I thought he was a creepy old man. Later we chatted, amidst others' interference. Turns out he wasn't creepy. Just old. Well, ok, just 7 years older than me. Once we had the opportunity to chat we became fast friends. He used to be a loner. I broke him of that habit. He tells me thanks for that. Now he always uses the word "we".
Todd has three kids, twin girls that are 10 and a boy who is 8, and an ex-wife who he is still good friends with. He used them against me. They are so blasted great. How could I not let my guard down? The kids are excited to call me their step-mom. That sounds so weird.
He also used his kids to propose. We had discussed marriage a lot, but hadn't let the kids in on it. We didn't want them to be devastated if it didn't work out. We decided when we bought a house that it would be a good time to tell them. We took them to the house, let them pick which bedrooms they wanted and while they were standing in their own rooms, we told them that those really were their rooms. I cannot even describe their excitement. Then they asked where my room was, or the guest room, rather. Todd handed his son the ring and asked him to give it to me. The girls saw what it was and asked if we were getting married. Todd said, well, why don't you ask her? I said yes. The kids said, "Andrea, this is the best day of my life." Todd just smiled.
The official date is August 16th in the early afternoon. Hold the date. All five of you are invited. Leave me a comment with your address. You'll get an invite.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I've been tagged by Tamaran, so here's about me:
A. ATTACHED OR SINGLE? Attached, still working on the very.
B. BEST FRIEND? Todd. Other than that, I'm cycled through according to other friends' marriages.
C. CAKE OR PIE? Pie. I mean, is that really even a question? Gotta love Mom's Cherry Apple Pie and Cherry Cream Pie.
D. DAY OF CHOICE? May 19th. Does it have to be a day of the week? Because my favorite day is my birthday.
E. ESSENTIAL ITEMS? Clothing. I would hate to be caught without any.
F. FAVORITE COLORS? Blue, at least for now.
G. GUMMY BEARS OR WORMS? Gummy bears. Gotta love the Black Forest ones.
H. HOMETOWN? Provo, Utah.
I. INDULGENCE? Ice Cream and French Fries. And yes, I do have to eat them together.
J. JANUARY OR JULY? July. Wakeboarding season.
K. KIDS? Maybe...we'll see.
L. LIFE ISN’T COMPLETE WITHOUT? A good book.
M. MARRIAGE DATE? August 2008 is what is projected. We'll see.
N. NUMBER OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS? 2 sisters and a brother.
O. ORANGES OR APPLES? Apples, as long as they are in a pie.
P. PHOBIAS OR FEARS? Fish.
Q. QUOTE? "Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."- Thomas Henry Huxley
R. REASON TO SMILE? When is there truly a reason not to?
S. SUPERMAN OR WONDER WOMAN? Wonder Woman
T. TAG 5 PEOPLE… I'm ending this part of the tag.
U. UNKNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I once dressed up as Fiona from Shrek for a movie promotion...green body paint and all
V. VEGETABLES? Home grown tomatoes.
W. WORST HABIT? Falling asleep...anytime and anywhere.
X. X-RAY OR ULTRASOUND? Ultrasound
Y. YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Dessert
Z. ZODIAC SIGN? Taurus
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I have had a few interviews. Some that don't pay well enough, some that aren't a great fit for me and one that pays well enough and that I would LOVE. It is in Lehi and is for a company called Living Young Essential Oils. I would be a product marketing manager and would help design new products, pricing and marketing. How cool is that? I only interviewed at the beginning of the week and am crossing my fingers in hopes of a second interview. I am hoping that everyone else will cross their fingers for me too. Well, all of the six people that read my blog.
Wish me luck!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Winder Farms General Manager
Miller Sportspark Events Coordinator
ABC/CW 30 News Events Coordinator and Marketing
All of those sound really fun to me. None of them require completely just sitting behind a desk. I would be able to get out and do fun things. Yay. Hopefully I will hear back from more than the Winder Farms dude.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The pic is from this year's Mountain View HOSA chapter.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
Mix eggs, flour, milk and salt. Melt butter and put all of it in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, making sure to coat the entire pan. Pour batter into the pan. Cook for 20 minutes or till top starts to brown at 400 degrees. Coat lightly with powdered sugar when it comes out of the oven. Yummy. I use maple syrup, but coconut syrup is very tasty, too.
Let me know what you think!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
AAAANNNNNDDDD we're off on the great race for the "Hi, I'm a new graduate with knowledge but not enough experience" job!
I can't believe this time has finally come. My new motto has become..."a resume a day keeps the debt away." I know, it's real original. I never claimed to be creative. ANYWAY, here is my plan. I am handing in a resume a day and hoping for a 20% return rate on what I send out. Hopefully my response rate won't be 100% negative. My goal is to have a job lined up before graduation. I really hate having to find a job and go through a million interviews. A lot of my classmates already have jobs lined up. Heck! Some of them have even started their jobs! I have one buddy who has to commute now because he relocated for his job and has a couple classes to finish before he has all his requirements finished.
So here are some places that I have looked for job openings: Craig's list is actually a great resource for finding jobs. I have had the highest return rate on my resume from the jobs posted here. The school has a place where you can look for jobs, but about 50 bajillion (no exaggeration) other students who are in the same position as me are looking at this site. I have also looked on the sites of major corporations that I am already familiar with. This tends to be more vague because they aren't necessarily hiring, have recruiters and also people from all over the country who are familiar with them. I have had a few people who have suggested their workplace. Personal contacts and recommendations are great, however, it is very difficult to find a job that you really want when people are just trying to fix your unemployment for you. I may have to start cold calling different companies in the area, since I have decided that I do in fact want to stay in this area. Probably the best way to find a job is through networking. My school has drilled this into my head. Networking, networking, networking. So you want to know what I have done? Not enough networking. Obviously. Otherwise I would have a job. Don't get me wrong, I have gone to the networking dinners and all that. I just found that particular form of networking inadequate. It seemed that there were never really many employers there. Just people who had already graduated from the U and not all that long ago, either.
Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I am looking for a job in marketing or business management that is willing to take someone without a whole lot of practical experience. My undergrad is PR/Advertising and I'm just finishing up my MBA. My emphases are marketing and entrepreneurship. Let me know!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
How many times can I hear that question? It seems like lately I hear it a lot. In fact, it ranks up there with, "What are you going to do when you graduate?" Uh, duh...I'm going to work. I'm still taking suggestions as to where.
Here is the scoop on what I am up to. As of today there are 44 days of school left. Yes, I am counting and have been since like 200 days ago. My mom and I are still having the continual debate on what I will wear to graduation. She claims that due to my BYU heritage, I should wear a blue bra that day to show that BYU is closest to my heart...even though I am graduating from the University of Utah. I told her that if that was the case, that I am wearing a bright red dress, only red really isn't my best color. I guess you do what you've gotta do in order to prove a point.
I'm also debating on when to take my Europe trip. Oh, I'm going on a Europe trip when I graduate. I have been planning on that since before I started college. The question is...should I wait until Delta has a direct flight to Paris and one of my best friend's has moved to Italy? I am definitely leaning towards that idea right now. Of course...a free place to stay AND a chance to see my best friend? That's pretty much a no-brainer. So glad I went to grad school.
As for the rest of what is going on? Well, I am taking suggestions for what to do next and where to work. Other than that, I am taking life one day at a time.