Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Holiday Thoughts

Hmmm . . . Do you ever feel a little melancholy after a great event, like Christmas? I think that's what I'm feeling tonight - like Christmas is over, and I need to get back to life and it's responsibilities, which I'm dreading. I'm thinking about the new year and all of the things that I need to get done before the semester is over. I'm thinking about the goals that I want to set and tackle - they're not going to be easy ones for me.

However, if I can get myself to focus on the fun over the past week, I can think of happier things. I've gotten to spend the past several days surrounded by most of my family, and I'm including a picture of my brother and sister-in-law in here because I took a picture of them this morning, and I'm not sure when I will see them again. I've played LOTS of games. I've watched some good movies. I've received nice gifts. I've given away many. I've thought about the Savior and His greatest gift. I ought to let those things help make me ready to tackle what's ahead.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy One Year Anniversary!

Guess what, everyone? Today marks an important day for me. Today makes one year that I have had my blog. Last year on this day, I began this blog, hoping to contribute to it at least monthly. I exceeded my expectations and posted at least weekly, so this has proven to be my kind of project. I decided that I wanted to change the layout for year two. I hope you like it. Maybe I'll start changing it more often. Who knows? Thank you for reading. It's certainly fun to try writing, and it's fun to read your blogs, too, although I have been terrible at it since around the start of Nablopomo - sorry! I hope this year brings fun new adventures for all of us. Take care!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a moment tonight to wish you all a very merry Christmas!! Isn't Christmas the best holiday of the year? I think so. I love it! I love what it represents! Most of my family was at my parents' this year - all of us except my very prego sister and her husband, so we will definitely excuse them for that. We ate tamales and posole last night, looked at lights, visited some quasi-relatives, and spent time around the tree singing carols and listening to my dad read Twas the Night Before Christmas and those famous Luke 2 verses to us. I got to share my little message, too, only this year it wasn't so little. I think I need to cut down next year.
This morning, we woke up and went to see what Santa had left for us - wheat grinders and wheat!! "Hoorah!" as Scrooge's nephew, Fred, would say. Okay, not very exciting, but definitely useful, and I'm very glad to have it. Now I'll just have to become an expert and grinding grain and knowing what to do with it after that. I received 4 books this year, which is exciting. One of them is a C.S. Lewis book I have never read before. The other three are by Alcott, and I have read them. I also got the live-action Peter Pan, which I love! The books and movie were all on my wish-list, so it was exciting to take them off the list. My grandparents sent their life stories, which I'm also excited to have. Besides an abundance of gifts, I have been over-indulging in the abundance of food around. My little brother says it's okay to put on weight during the holidays and not to worry about it, but I have a feeling that is because he's thin and it shouldn't be hard for him to take anything off that he might put on. I, on the other hand, am not the same and am dreading the consequences of my gluttony.
Mostly I'm glad for Christmas, thought, because of Christ. Without him I wouldn't have a family that could continue forever. Without him I wouldn't have anything worth having. He is the reason this day is merry.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Sad Day

Do you remember how they have titles every so often on the movie Babe? If you do, the title is supposed to read like the "A Tragic Day" chapter. Friday night, one of my bestest friends and her husband, Lu and The Colonel (although she calls him The Rock, so I guess that's what I will call him for the rest of the post), had a going away/graduation party at my place. The Rock just graduated, and he and Lu are moving to a tiny town (population: less than 2,000) where he will work at a mine. I am happy for them and their new adventure, but I am definitely sad to see such a great friend go. I know you've heard about these two many times before, but allow me to reminisce for a moment:

Out of the two, I met The Rock first - I believe it was at the Student Union when a group got together to watch a Phoenix Suns game. I was very new to the area. He was really nice. He came to my little gatherings at my place occasionally. I heard about Lu, but I didn't meet her until later in the summer. We really became friends, I think, after she asked me if I was interested in finding a place to live with her. After my last day of work, and after she took the bar, we spent a week of being homeless and driving up and down streets looking for a house. We also looked for roommates. Fortunately, we found both. We moved in, we shared a room, we were perfect together in my opinion. We are about the same age and like to think and talk about a lot of the same things. There are many things I like about Lu. Here are a few of them:

She is not big on P.D.A.

She is intelligent and likes to talk about politics, women, etc.

She loves to read - and she reads great books!!

She listens - I think we shared conversation really well.

She found a black couch and put it in our room.

She tells it like it is.

She's fun.

She's into good music.

And, even though intelligent, she can still enjoy silly things with me, like Twilight, which makes those silly things even better.

Anyway, I love Lu. She has been such a great part of my recent life, and I will really miss her. I definitely plan on visiting, but it won't be soon enough. I'm hoping she finds me a rich, mining man who will marry me, and we can be neighbors. :)

Good luck you two!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


1. Where is your cell phone? Floor
2. Your significant other? Earth?
3. Married? No
4. Your mother? School
5. Your father? Gas
6. Your favorite thing? Charity
7. Your dream last night? Forgetable
8. Your favorite drink? Horchata?
9. Your dream/goal? Family
10. The room you're in? Living
11. Your fear? Failure
12. In 20 years? Family
13. Where were you last night? Institute
14. What you're not? Perfect
15. Muffins? Blueberries
16. One of your wish list items? Books
17. Where you grew up? Yuma
18. The last thing you did? Apologize
19. What are you wearing? Clothes
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pet? Fish
22. Your computer? Slowing
23. Your life? Incomplete
24. Missing someone? Yes
25. Your car? Corolla
26. Something you're not wearing? Socks
27. Your favorite color? Yellow
28. When is the last time you laughed? Competition
29. Last time you cried? Saturday

30. Four places I go over and over: Home, Work, Institute, Rachel's
31. Four people who email me : Jared, Merissa, James, Brian
32. Four of my favorite foods: Steak, Sugar, Cheese, Mexican
33. Four places I would rather be: California, Yellowstone, Spain, Grandma's

Sunday, December 14, 2008


What a weekend I have had! Or, maybe I should just say, what a Saturday I had! This is what happened:

1. My sister and I hosted my other sister's baby shower. Stressful, but I think it turned out okay. I think my favorite part was making a cake out of diapers for her (my roommate told us about them). I think we used enough diapers in it to last Baby a couple of days (hopefully more).

2. I was supposed to go to a girl party, where I planned on getting as close to pretty as I could because I was planning on attending a birthday party later that night that I was pretty sure a particular boy would be attending, too. However, I did not go to the girl party because

She sent us a text.
3. I went to dinner with my local siblings and the brother-in-law elect. I mean, I didn't elect him, but my sister did, and he seems like a nice guy, and everyone keeps referring to the president-elect, so for now he can be Brother-in-law Elect.
4. I went to the birthday party, which was huge! There were a ton of people there.
Anyway, I was exhausted long before the day was over. I'm still exhausted. It's a good thing there's a break soon.
Speaking of item #2 above, as I told my roommates earlier tonight, there's nothing to emphasize your Old Maidenhood like your Baby Sister - who is almost a decade younger than you - getting engaged. I pretty much figure that if nothing made it official before that, it's got to be official now. Yup! It's all over for me now. My sisters should definitely be glad that our family is not like the Major-General's family from Pirates of Penzance or my singleness would have prevented their coupleness from ever happening. What a good lesson in humility this should be for me, right?
And now, a poem:
Before ruining in antsy nervousness,
I say,
Be a conscientious knosp!
You may think that has nothing to do with anything, but it does, I assure you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Tonight I watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, as I'm sure many of you did. It was wonderful, of course. I loved the Christmas messages. What I remember most, at the moment, is that I felt a little tinge of guilt, as I was reminded that I should focus on the simple message of Christmas and not so much on the gift-giving/receiving. I was also reminded that I need to look for service I can give this holiday season. I'm glad for those reminders because it's easy for me to get caught up in good, yet less important things.

I also taught a lesson on prophets today in Gospel Principles, so it was nice to be able to hear the prophet speak this evening. It is such a blessing to know that there is a prophet on the earth today. I feel lost with what I should be doing with my life career-wise, amongst other things, but I do have a prophet to listen to and receive important guidance from, and I am grateful for that. I'm grateful to know that Pres. Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today, and I'm happy that we can listen to him.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Win!!

I know that today is the day after NaBloPoMo ended for me, but I just had to write to tell you all that it paid off. When I checked my e-mail this afternoon there was this message telling me that I won a prize - wahoo! It appears to me that many random people donate prizes to people who complete NaBloPoMo. Then the girl-in-charge has a computer spit out random registered bloggers. Then she verifies that you did it and hooks you up with a prize - pretty sweet, eh? I thought that the prizes went to people who wrote amazing posts all month, so I didn't think I would win anything. Fortunately, it's much simpler than I thought. Anyway, I won scented oil and a thing to heat it in. When I looked at all the prizes that are being given away, it made me want to contribute next year. The prizes are all very random - from a free tarot card reading, to sock zombies, to home-made preserves, etc. I'll have to figure out what I can give.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NaBloPoMo Finale

Well, folks, it's pretty amazing - with this post I will officially complete NaBloPoMo. Hurrah!! I have actually finished something that I started. I'm still pretty bummed about Nanowrimo - I really wanted to win on that one, so this is my little consolation, finishing this. I'm sorry that the posts haven't all be exciting - some of them are pretty stupid, I know, but it gets kind of hard figuring out what to write about each day. If I look back over this past month, though, I should have quite a few reminders of what I was doing (or not doing) this month.

So, I just want to say that I am celebrating completing this. I have been nervous that I would forget one day or that I wouldn't get to my computer before midnight or that gnomes would steal my laptop or cut up the router, or something, but I guess I have shown myself that I can do something consistently for a month, and I'm so glad that gnomes did not sabotage anything. Yea! (Speaking of gnomes, I have inherited one - isn't that great?! Maybe I'll call him Charlie - any suggestions?)

You can celebrate my completing this because that means I won't be writing every day. Those of you who have been keeping up, pat yourself on the back for pushing through it - you're amazing. I am sorry that I have not been reading blogs this month, but I plan to start that up again. What a month! And now we're in the Christmas season with exciting things coming our way to write about. Over and out!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Nutcracker

It has been years since I have seen The Nutcracker. I used to watch it each Christmas, but it hasn't worked out for a long time now. Earlier today, Former Roommate and I were checking out what was going on in the area, and we saw that there was a company performing The Nutcracker. Former Roommate had never seen it and wasn't opposed to doing so, so we decided to go. The woman who sold us the tickets gave us a deal, which was nice of her. We were able to see everything pretty well, and I'm glad we went. It was relaxing and beautiful and I even cried at the beginning. What I like about ballet is that it reminds me that the human body is really wonderful. My favorite part of The Nutcracker is the Arabian dance. It is so beautiful. Today's performers did a great job, too. The girl was super flexible and just amazing. I wish that dance was a little longer. And, I'm happy that I finally got to see it again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Platonic Relationships

I feel like there was something I wanted to blog about, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe I'm just crazy. Oh wait! I am. Mystery solved. Instead, I will talk about platonic relationships. One of my friends once told me that he doesn't think a guy and girl can maintain a platonic relationship for a long time. I think I agree with him. I mean, my B.G.F. and I have been friends for a long time, and, as I think I have told you before, it is very much platonic. However, it doesn't feel quite right somehow. It probably doesn't help that he's REALLY good looking. I mean, let's be honest here - the guy's a babe. Tonight we hung out at his place for awhile. Then we went to a party, and one of my other friends met us there. When she and I left, I asked her if she'd noticed his hair - he's growing it out. Last time I was visiting, he told me that's what he was doing, but I had forgotten, so I was momentarily surprised when he opened the door this evening. I told him he looks like a bum. I meant a surfer bum - you know the type. I told Friend that sometimes he's really cute, but I also laughed about his hair - I think he's too old to still be doing that. At any rate, Friend pointed out that he's still a looker, and the whole way back to her house that's what I thought about. Anyways, I don't have a crush on him - we've been friends far too long for that, I think, but I still say that something feels a bit out of place in a boy/girl friendship that last forever at that level. So, I guess my friend was right and wrong. He was right in that it feels a little off, he was wrong in that I am proof that you can be friends with someone for a long time without it having to move into relationship or parting-of-ways status. And I'm glad for that because he's a great friend. The end.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For

At first I was going to write a list, but I think I'll just write a paragraph, which is still a list but not so vertical. What with today being Thanksgiving, I thought I would let you know some of the things I am thankful for. I am so thankful to know that there is a god and that He is our father. I am thankful to know that He sent His son to save us, and I am thankful that the Saviour was willing to suffer for us. I am thankful that I can repent. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for the earth - plants, trees, flowers, sunsets, mountains, moonlight, animals, etc. I am thankful for my country and the founding fathers and the constitution and history.

Things I'm Currently Obsessed With

- Robert Pattinson

- Twilight (I saw it for the second time today. Still liked it, although I noticed how emo it is this time. I also noticed Stephanie Myers' cameo this time.)

- Into the West - Annie Lennox (Return of the King)

- Alan Rickman

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Poor Bugs

I wish I had my camera with me this morning, not because the picture would have been nice but because you would have been able to see what I'm about to describe. Just before I went to unlock the bathroom doors, I noticed something in the corner between them. I thought it looked like an animal, and when I went to investigate, I found out that I was right. It was a bunny rabbit that was once probably very cute. In fact, just yesterday it was probably very cute. This morning, however, it was missing it's head, so it wasn't looking so good. Not only that, but its innards were popping out through its neck - gross! I felt bad for the rabbit. I also pictured one of my students being traumatized if she saw it, so I knew we had to get rid of the carcass. I got the T.A., she grabbed a trash bag, I grabbed gloves, and off we went. When we got there, I couldn't bring myself to pick it up, so we put the bag over it and put some rocks on the back to keep it from blowing away. Fortunately, the other teacher showed up at that time and removed the rabbit and cleaned things up. I just never know what I'll find when I go to work.

This is unrelated, but I'm still thinking about Twilight, and I may have to go watch it again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Twilight

Some nights it gets a little difficult for me to know what to blog about. Tonight, there is no question. Once again it's all about Twilight, but this time it's about the movie. Before I even give you my review, I have to tell you that I got to go to it with Lu, so that already should indicate a good evening to you (I wish I had taken my camera so I could have documented our evening). Lu was such a saint, too. When she came to pick me up I admitted to her that I was currently having a panic attack, and she offered to put off the movie viewing for another time. I didn't want to flake out, so I said that I still wanted to try to do it - not only that, but I probably would have had the same problem whenever we went to see it. It was really nice to know that she was willing to be flexible if I couldn't make it through. Anyway, we got there, and the previews were awful!! The only good one was for the next Harry Potter, and that one does look awesome, but the rest looked filthy. That definitely did not help my nerves. However, finally there appeared on the screen a scene of greenery and a girl named Bella, and things started to feel alright.

Now, I've heard several reviews of the movie. I've mostly noticed on Facebook that people think it's okay. One of my students said he liked it because of the action. Another student told me he heard it was awful. A sibling told me she didn't like the characterization so much. I have long been expecting a mediocre, not-true-to-the-book movie, and that's the feel that I have gotten from what others have said, only they have led me to believe it might be a little more disappointing. Maybe that's the best was to go to the movie - not expecting a lot. AND just going to enjoy it.

The reason I say that is because, I totally liked the movie! I thought it was great! It was pretty much like I thought it would be - only better. The trailers had shown me enough that I knew it was going to be pretty different plot-wise, so I just went and kind of enjoyed seeing how they were going to get the main points of the plot across. I think that it was very helpful to have read the book before. It helped me understand some of the character cues that I'm not sure other people would pick up on. I actually liked the characterization and think some of the characters did a good job portraying how they were feeling without having to say anything. There were only a few things that I had a problem with - one of them I think is kind of important - but I'm still okay with the movie overall. I would see it again. If you want to see it, just remember that it's not a masterpiece. It's not supposed to be. It's a teen romance, and that's okay. And I liked it. And, it was much more pure than I thought it might be, which was a huge relief.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Few Thoughts

At F.H.E. tonight we wrote stories for the activity. It was one of those random story-writing games, where you write a line or a sentence or two, then you pass the paper to someone else. They add their part and fold the paper so that the next person can't see what you wrote. The paper keeps getting passed along until you fill the page or feel like stopping. I really like that type of game. It was fun listening to everyone read the stories at the end. There was one that almost had me crying, it was so funny.

I still feel very upset about failing Nanowrimo, but I talked to my students about it today, and I hope they will push me until I finish.

I am trying to make yams for the first time.

I miss my baby sister. It never feels like she's here much anyway, and even when she is, she's usually doing homework or talking to a friend or boyfriend, but it's still not the same having her here. At least I get to see her later this week.

My prego sister and my youngest brother are going to my school's Thanksgiving meal tomorrow - yea!

I'm going to Twilight with Lu tomorrow night - what could be better?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Night of Woe

First of all, I am irritated because I just wrote a post, but it disappeared. "No worries," I thought. "Auto-save will have grabbed it," but it didn't. Okay, here's take 2:

Tonight is a sad night for me. I am failing Nanowrimo. For those of you who know me, that's probably not surprising, and I am a terrible procrastinator. I have been trying to come to grips with my failure, but it's very hard for me to. You see, writing the book by the deadline wasn't just about that to me. I had tied success with the goal to competency for being able to attempt other goals. Failure at it means I still don't know if I can do the others. I hope I can get away from that thought or I will doom myself, I think.

I told myself that if I wasn't to at least 30,000 words by the end of this weekend I would give up. Otherwise I am afraid I would spend all of next week tired and cranky. If I had made it to 30,000 words I would have tried to spit out 20,000 more by the end of the week. However, family wanted to visit and my apartment needed to be cleaned, so I didn't make it.

Many of you have given me words of encouragement. Thank you! You were all great! I'm sorry I didn't make it. I'm still planning on finishing, but it won't be by the deadline. I think I've come too far to not finish, so I'm trying to make a new goal. How about the end of the year? Complete it by the end of '08 and start '09 ready to move on to something else? I hope you all are getting done the things you want to. I'm trying to console myself by being glad that unless I forget to post, I should make NaBloPoMo. That's something (although not nearly as hard) right?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grandma Jackson

The grandmother to some of my cousins passed away Monday evening. I grew up pretty far away from my grandparents, but this woman lived in my hometown. She and her husband became another set of grandparents to us. We weren't super close to them - we didn't visit them very often. However, I have vague memories of being there when I was much younger. Not only that, but my family and I have gone to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas to them on Christmas Eve for years. Grandpa Jackson died several years ago, but we continued to make our annual visit after he passed. Two of Grandma Jackson's daughters and their families also live in my hometown, and those who are around are always gathered together for Christmas Eve. When we arrive each Christmas Eve, we knock and once Grandma Jackson or some other family member opens the door we start singing, and whoever answers the door hollers to everyone else, "The Christensens are here!" and some of them come to the door to listen to our one verse of the song. Then they invite us in, and we chat with everyone who is there. The Jacksons are a wonderful, friendly family, and they have always made us feel welcome and a part of them when we visit. Last year, when we got to Grandma Jackson's no one was there. Huh! We figured they must be at one of the kid's that year, and we knew we had two choices. "Let's track them down!" we said, so we did. When they opened the door, we sang as usual and told them afterwards that they couldn't hide from us - Nosiree!! And they said, "We were worried about that. It's not Christmas until the Christensens come and sing to us." It has become as much as a tradition for some of them as it has for us. I am so glad we went and found them last year - we didn't know it would be the last Christmas we would sing to Grandma.
My sisters and brother-in-law and I drove home yesterday to go to the viewing, where we were welcomed. Grandma Jackson looked so tiny. I'm glad I got to touch her hand one last time. Today we went to the funeral. My mom got to help play most of the music for it, and she did a wonderful job - I consider myself to be talented at sight-reading, but I could not have pulled off what she did today. The services were really beautiful. I didn't think I was going to be very emotional. I loved her, but I believe this life isn't the end, and she lived a very good, long life here, so I didn't think it would upset me too much. During the first song I learned otherwise. I was really glad that I had a tissue in my purse from the night before. I don't know why I bothered putting makeup on before it, either. Anyway, I learned that Grandma was a huge baseball fan. What I was really impressed with, though, was how one of her daughter's told us that Grandma had taught them not to gossip, and I thought about how I need to work on that. Pres. Nelson, the stake president, spoke last. He talked about how constant the Jackson family was. They were a pretty solid, faithful family and a good example to all those around them. I also thought about how I need to try to lead a quiet, constant life like Grandma Jackson did.
After the funeral I got to visit with my aunt and uncle and their children, as well as some of my cousin's cousins, who are kind of like cousins to me, too. I had been thinking, "What will it be like this Christmas without a Grandma Jackson to go sing to?" My quasi-cousin also questioned what it would be like for them when we didn't show up singing this year. I told her mom maybe we would still find them this year and she told me where we should go, so the tradition will hopefully live on. I think it will be a little bittersweet this year, though.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sarah McLachlan

Do you ever dream about celebrities? Sarah McLachlan was in my dream last night. She was really nice. I think we talked about how I was going to her concert. It was like she was a part of some concert where several different artists were performing. I went to find my spot, I think, and then I saw a couple of my cousin's cousins, and I talked to them a little. Sarah will be performing here soon, and one of the local radio stations has been advertising the concert a lot, so that must be why she showed up. She was really nice in my dream, though, so I highly recommend seeing her if you get the chance sometime.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gas Prices

I remembered something that I wanted to post about last night that I couldn't remember last night. I don't know what gas prices are like where you live (unless you live where I live), but they are down to under $2.00/gallon at some stations. If I had my camera with me yesterday or today, I would have taken a picture of the prices for you all. I saw one gas station today at $1.95/gallon. I ended up paying a little more than than at the station I stopped at: $1.99/gallon, I think. Can you believe it? When was the last time prices were that low? Why are they that low again? I don't know, but I'm sure glad, and I hope they stay that way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Gettysburg Address

Today is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Isn't that neat? I finished reading Twilight to my students yesterday, so I decided to do what I used to do at the end of the day - look up some "This day in history" stuff, and that's what I found. It's a great speech, isn't it? And it was given by a true statesman, I believe. I wanted to rant about politics tonight, but I don't have enough time, so I'll just leave this little positive moment in history with you all:

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . .can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . .that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . .that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . .and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . .shall not perish from this earth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Tragedy! Today was supposed to be a marathon book-writing day for me. I left work about as soon as I could and headed home with the intention of taking a nap (I was pretty tired from last night) and then spending the rest of the evening writing. When I got home I realized that I didn't have my laptop! It must still be on my desk at work. No! So, I stole my sister's laptop and wrote for awhile, and I used my youngest brother's laptop for a bit (including right now), and I may borrow my roommate's for another little while. Uggh! I'm not sure if I'm going to make it at this point, but I haven't given up yet. I hope to have another marathon day on Thursday, and hopefully I'll remember that I kind of need my computer if that's going to work out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marathon Workday

I spent 13 hours at work today!! Crazy! My nurse sisters is probably thinking right now, Big deal. That's a normal workday for me. While I'm not trying to minimize that, I just want to remind you all that I will go to work tomorrow through Friday. We had our open house tonight, and it went really well, I think. It was pretty mellow, we just had guests until after 9:00 tonight. One of my students had put together a slide show of the kids, which was really nice. At any rate, I'm exhausted, so I'm going to bed. Good night!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fiddler on the Roof

Today, my dad pointed out that I've been blogging a lot lately. In case any of you have forgotten, there is a reason for this. I joined Nablopomo, which means I committed to write daily for one month. Don't worry; it won't last forever. After the end of this month, I will stop posting so often. If some of you are getting a little tired of all the posts, just remember, you don't have to read all of them - I'll never know.

This evening, my roommate and I (my bro was there for part of it, too), watched most of Fiddler on the Roof. I have really been wanting to watch one specific scene. We kind of decided to watch the songs we like, but I actually like almost all of the songs, and my roommate wanted to watch the only one that I was okay with skipping. Hence, we pretty much watched the movie. It's so good. During the 2nd daughter's song I started to cry. The scene that I have been wanting to watch, though, is the one that really gets the tears flowing. It's the third daughter's song, and I tell you what, tonight was no exception. The bad thing about crying tonight is that I had makeup on. Well, once I start to tear up a little, I think makeup starts getting into my eyes, which aggravates them, which means I have a hard time watching the scene because my eyes are in pain and don't want to stay open. Oh well. It was still great - and sad. I just feel so bad for Tevia, who bends and bends until he just doesn't feel he can anymore, and I don't blame him. I also love his relationship with God, which we didn't actually watch much of tonight, since that's dialogue. I've actually had his "on the other hand" monologue go through my mind as I've thought about different societal issues and how to deal with them, and I have had his "No! There is no other hand!" decision come to me. I love good movies or books that have wonderful messages in them and that help articulate how I feel sometimes!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Leaky Washer

There once was an apartment where four girls resided. They loved their apartment. It was nice. It had a washer and dryer. One day one of the girls noticed a big pool of water in front of the washing machine! Oh no! The girl went to the manager and told her of the leaky washer, and the manager told the girl that someone would come look at - on Monday!! That meant a weekend without a washer! Can the girl who has decided not to do laundry until it is fixed make it that long? It remains to be seen. Not only that, but can the floor make it through days of wetness without getting moldy? Can a post get any more stupid? I don't know, but I didn't have anything in mind to write about, and I really want to get to Harry Potter.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I know I've sung their praises before, but I love Lu and her husband, The Rock. While driving home today, Lu called to see if I could do something for her back, which apparently hasn't been very happy lately. She was en route to her home, but I figured that she and I would probably get there around the same time. When I did arrive, I was surprised to find The Rock there - but no Lu.
"Hi, The Rock! Has Lu called?"
"I don't know." He checks his phone. "Yes, she has."
"Well, we didn't think you were here, and she wants me to work on her back . . . And, can I come in and wash my hands?"
So I came in and washed my hands, which had remnants of sanitized pop on them from my trying to pick up garbage that spilled out of a dipped bag before I left work. Then I squirted tons of hand sanitizer on my hands - hence, sanitized pop.
"Do you mind if I take Lu for awhile tonight?"
"No. That's fine." Lest you think I am awful for taking my BF away from her husband, he was already planning on spending the evening studying.
I really appreciate it that I still get to hang with her sometimes, and that he doesn't mind.
And, I just love Lu. She showed up about then, and we left for my place. We took care of business, went to my ward's barbecue, and then finished off the evening by watching High School Musical, which neither of us had seen before. Nor had I been planning on watching it, but it seemed like an okay idea at the time, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Cute. High school. Good choreography.
Thanks for a great evening, Lu!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I missed it!

Right before I left Dashboard to come in here and blog, I noticed that I have 106 posts. I like commemorating things, and somehow I missed my hundredth post. I don't even know which one it was. Sad days. I guess I'll have to wait until I get to 200 or something.

Changing the subject, do you live in an apartment? I do, and it makes for an interesting life sometimes. The neighbors that we used to have were generally pretty quiet - except for when they were having a party, which meant what sounded like a lot of drunken college students dancing to songs that have lyrics like "She moves her body like a cyclone." The most exciting night, I had fallen asleep on the couch, I think, when I was woken up by police banging on the door and yelling to announce themselves and demand that the door be opened. They proceeded to do this for what felt like a very long time, to no avail. I'm not exactly sure where the party moved to - did everyone jump out of the windows? I'm not even absolutely positive that it was my neighbors, but I'm pretty sure. What I do know is that it stayed quiet the rest of the night.

Now we have neighbors who don't throw wild parties, or at least I haven't noticed them. However, they do seem to be morning people. While my roommates and I are struggling to keep our eyes open to read scriptures in the morning, they're chatting and laughing, and they continue that all the way to their car/cars, I presume, because we can hear them as they leave their place and pass ours. Houses are nice and quieter, but it's kind of fun having neighbors sometimes, too (or obnoxious, but that's okay - I should remind myself that I'm somebody's neighbor, as well).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What to Do When Having a George Costanza Moment

Tonight I got home later than I would have liked to, but happy with the evening. I thought that hot chocolate sounded really good, and I was looking forward to having some. When I went into my apartment, however, I noticed that my sister and one of my roommates had the leftover apple pie out. I love apple pie. I wanted some. I hoped they would divide the pie into three pieces; it looked like there was enough. They didn't. In all fairness, my sister asked me if I wanted a bite, but as she had not had any when we first had it, I declined her offer. She was like, "Don't you want some?" "Yes," I replied. "This is cruel. I had to smell pie baking all during my class tonight, and then I didn't get any because I had a meeting while my class was sharing the pies." I still declined her offer. Instead I persisted in hoping Roommate would cut me a slice, but she didn't, of course. So, I totally went into this George Costanza moment, where I wouldn't say, "Hey, I know I didn't care about eating the apple pie until I saw it. In fact, I was looking forward to hot chocolate. But, now that I see the apple pie and am reminded that we have some, I really want some, too, and I'm going to feel totally slighted if you don't share!" but I sure felt it. So, I was upset that I didn't get apple pie, and I was irritated with myself for being childish and not just asking for some if I wanted it that badly and selfish for not being content to let my roommates enjoy their slices of apple pie and making some hot chocolate for myself to enjoy.

Fortunately, I did something I don't normally do. I made this goal that I won't blog until I've prayed at night because I've been falling asleep a lot lately without praying. I wanted to blog, but I remembered my rule and prayed first. I feel much better now, other than stirring some of that back up in writing. So, my point is, when I'm having a George moment, I should probably get out of the situation and pray. You all are probably a little more grown up than I am, but if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, it might work for you, too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This morning my roommate and I went shopping so that she could buy new bicycling clothes. While she was working on that, I found the book section of this outdoorsy store. While in the book section I found a beautiful, hard-bound book that I believe was called The Endurance, or something like that. I used to have a different book with almost the same title that recounted the same story - perhaps you have heard about it already. Back in the early 1900s there was a ship captain, Capt. Shakleton, who led an expedition to Antarctica. I don't remember their exact mission. At any rate, they became shiprecked and had to go through a lot. The amazing thing is that every man survived. They all made it. The name of the ship was The Endurance. Or maybe it was just Endurance. I am reminded that Shakleton's family's motto was "By endurance we conquer." This is a good phrase that is applicable to many different things we go through in our lives. For now, I think I will apply it to writing my book. It's too late for me to figure out the exact count, but today I wrote around 2300 words - yea! I just have to keep doing that. I have received more words of encouragement and thank you for them. Well, that's all I've got for tonight. You should all read it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cornish Pasties

Tonight my roommate and I went to a restaurant for Cornish pasties. I've never had a pasty (pronounced pass-tee, my roommate taught me) before, so it was quite the treat. Basically, it's meet and vegetables baked inside a thin dough. My filling was like a stew; it included rutabaga. It might be the first time I've had rutabaga, only I forgot that was one of the ingredients, which means I didn't pay attention, which means I still don't know what is looks or tastes like. My roommate's filling was lamb and mint, which was kind of interesting and good. Anyways, it was pretty good. However, I hadn't eaten much throughout the day, and then we didn't eat until around 9:00 tonight, so I think my body wasn't exactly sure how to take something so heavy under those circumstances. Oh well. I'm glad we were able to do it.

If you can't tell, Nanowrimo has not been going so well. I just received a couple of pep talks, though - one from a nanowrimo person and one from a friend. Friend wrote this to me: "Keep going! You have to keep writing! You can't give up now!! You've never given up on anything in your life, and you're not going to start now!!!" Here's my question: Is this a quote from something, or did he write quote marks to indicate to me that I should picture him saying it to me? I feel like it might be a quote - at least the last two sentences. If any of you recognize it, I would appreciate knowing what it's from. I suppose I could always just ask him, but I guess I'm asking you anyway.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


My roommates and I really like squash - I like spaghetti, banana, butternut, and probably more. One of my roommates and I talked about how we didn't grow up eating it. We were curious about why, as it is such an "exemplary vegetable" (name the quote). Roommate talked to her mom, and we found out why she didn't eat it; her mom despises it. Roommate even gave me the phone so her mom could tell me herself about her abhorrence of the food. I finally asked my parents tonight about why we didn't eat it, and there really isn't a reason. I thought that perhaps they don't like it, but it turns out they do. They said that when we lived in Utah we used to eat more of it. They just didn't buy it much after we moved, which is when I was still quite young. I'm kind of surprised it isn't a super popular food to eat; it's so easy to prepare. You just cut it in half and stick it in the oven for around an hour, then you put butter and salt & pepper or brown sugar on it and . . . Voila! Yumminess!

Regardless of the reasons we didn't grow up eating it, I'm glad that my roommates and I have discovered it's deliciousness. We just had some for dinner tonight. We invited some boys to come eat with us, and though they were not very familiar with it, they seemed to enjoy it. So, squash, beware!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bed Sheets and Toilet Bowl Brushes

Tonight as I was putting clean sheets on my bed, I thought a little about some little things that define me. Do you ever notice little things in your life that prove that you actually are your own person. Lest you think I'm going to get deep here, let me get to the point. I have flannel sheets. I didn't grow up with flannel sheets, but I thought they looked so soft and warm that I bought them. I don't know if I ever want to go back. I recently bought a feather pillow. I really like it. Unless I get rich enough that I decide I can buy one of those expensive, weird-shaped pillows, I could see myself sticking with feathers. That's another thing I didn't grow up with, although I do remember enjoying the feather-pillows at my grandparents' house. One other, non-bed related thing I thought about is how I clean. I learned from a former roommate that when you clean the toilet, you can leave the brush suspended between the seat and the bowl after you finish cleaning. The brush can dry before you put it back in its little holder, which means the holder doesn't get nasty water building up in it, which means you end up with a funky-colored, really gross brush after awhile. I thought about how I will probably consciously teach my children to deal with the toilet-bowl brush that way someday. These are some of the little things that define me that I thought of today (and now you'll probably never be curious to know what I'm thinking about again).

Friday, November 7, 2008

426 Today - 7774 Total

Today I just want to give a big THANK YOU to one of my friends who actually reads my blog. First of all, it makes me so happy that someone actually reads it - usually I just figure that some of the members of my family read it out of guilt and to humor me, but I don't really think many others do. I got the nicest comment of encouragement from my friend Katy today. You should check out her blog, which I have a link to on the right. Her blog is really fun to read - I totally enjoy it.

I have not worked on my book yet today, so I can't post today's work count yet, and since I'm less than an hour from midnight, the count's not going to be very good tonight. Before I sign off of here, though, I wanted to say that my roommates and I watched the first Harry Potter tonight, and everyone looked so cute!! They were so young and adorable. I'll be excited next summer to see number 6 (that's the one we're on, right?).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1813 Today - 7348 Total

I know I'm still behind in my word count, but I think I'm going to be okay with today's efforts. I had my first what-am-I-thinking, why-am-I-doing-this? sort of moments today. My book is going to be awful; I've known that since before I started. Today, though, I just didn't want to keep writing. I was still planning on it, but I thought I'd quite for the day a little while ago. I forced myself to keep going until I'd written more than I had yesterday. Nanowrimo must really have this thing down, too, because I received my first little pep talk from an author since the month began. He encouraged us to plow ahead. He says that page 70 is the hardest to write. I'm not even near 70 yet, so I can only imagine. When I get to my 70th page, I'll have to let you know if I agree.

The bad thing about blogging after working on my story is that I'm all burned out and don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to talk about on here. I mean, it seems to me like I've had a couple of brilliant posting ideas hit me recently, but my brain feels like mush now. The lack of sleep I've experienced lately can't help anything, either. I'd better just go to bed. Good night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1678 Today - 5535 Total

As you all can see, I'm getting pretty behind with Nanowrimo, and this is only the first week - yikes!! I'm blaming it on the elections, though, which I feel were a bit more important than my poor attempt at a book. I'm going to have a lot of work ahead of me over the next few days. Let's see if I'm up to it. I think I can do it.
Since I don't have anything profound to write about, I will announce that I have had my first two graduates within the last couple of weeks. Isn't that exciting? It's so nice to see the kids finish. I'm hoping for at least 4 more this year out of the students that I currently have. Then, if I don't come back next school year I think I can feel like I've accomplished my goal. I'm not certain about all four of those students, but I'm going to try to encourage them through their courses. Actually, I should have a few more than that. I guess I've got my work cut out for me not only in my writing, but more importantly, in my job. Isn't it great to have goals?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

1499 Today - 3857 Total


Well, the title says it. Today was election day. It wasn't just any election day, either. A black man was elected president. Yea for the fact that color did not keep someone from winning. Despite my being glad that that can finally happen in this country, I kind of surprise myself with the depth of lugubrious feelings I'm experiencing. I knew what the outcome of the presidential race would be. I don't even really care for McCain. In fact, I am remembering that there was a time when I thought I would vote for Obama. Wow. Strange how much one can change how they feel about someone or something. Somehow, I feel very depressed in spirit about the outcome of the race. Perhaps I should be happy that democracy works and that the majority of voters in this country got what they wanted. I just watched McCain's speech, and he was good and gracious about the outcome. My roommate assures me that I will not regret this - that things will change for the better, but I can't help but feel differently. It's not that I thought McCain would be an amazing president. I just am troubled because I feel Obama will take us in unhealthy directions if he's able to. I studied history - I love our nation's foundation. I love the founding fathers. I love the constitution. We, as a country, have strayed so far from our foundations - I don't even think most people know what those foundations were. I don't know all of it myself, that's for sure. But, from what I do know, I'm nervous. From what I know of other countries we seem to be following, I'm more nervous. I guess it remains to be seen. It would be great if four years from now I could be seen saying, "Thank you all Obama supporters. You guys were right." At this point, I don't feel confident in that happening, though.

I must remind myself that, as I told a few others, the president was not the part of the ballot I was most concerned about. I was most concerned about Prop 102, and it looks like it has passed. God be thanked!

Obama is a good politician. He is a good speaker. I just watched his address. He referred to the foundation of our country, which I found interesting since that's what I talked about above. He said a few things that heartened me. He encouraged us to be active. That reminded me that I can still be excited about government because I still have the right to work for what I want and believe in. Obama just said, "God bless America." I pray He does. That's the only way we can make it, and I would have believed that no matter who won the race.

230 Words Yesterday = 2358 Total

Monday, November 3, 2008

Defying Gravity

I'm stealing tonight's post from my roommate. I found this on her blog, and I thought I would try it. Here goes (first of all, let me say that I didn't put my whole library on shuffle. I took out the songs that I thought might be sacrilegious - um, and then I still skipped a few religious-sounding ones that popped up, so I cheated a little, but here's what ended up coming out):

1. Put your music library on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

Larghetto From Clarinet Quintet In A (Lifescapes)

Pieces of the Sun (Test Your Reflex)

Finale "Wicked" (Wicked)

You Might Think (The Cars)

Crash and Burn (Savage Garden)

Arioso From Cantata No. 156 (Lifescapes)

I Know There's Something (Frida)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Wimoweh (The Tokens)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Wisdom (Gran Ronde)

Somos Novios - It's Impossible (Andrea Bocelli & Christina Aguilera)

This Magic Moment (Jay & The Americans)

Candle On the Water (Helen Reddy)

Green Onions (Booker T. & The MG's)

What Is This Feeling? (Wicked)

Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers)

Cars (Gary Numan)

I Will Follow You Into The Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)

Crazy (Gnarles Barkley)

Tequila (The Champs)

D.A.N.C.E. (Justice)

Minuet From Sonata In G-Op 49, No. 2 (Lifescapes)

We Got the Beat (The Go-Go's)

You Give Me Something (James Morrison)

Indiana Jones Theme - from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra & Richard Edlinger)

Buildings and Mountains (The Republic Tigers)

In Her Eyes (Josh Groban)

Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", Op. 132, III. Andante Espressivo (Fritz Reiner)

O Fortuna - From Carmina Burana (Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir)

Then I Kissed Her (The Beach Boys)

Theme From Moses (Yo-Yo Ma, Roma Sinfonietta, & Ennio Morricone)

Defying Gravity (Wicked)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaBloPoMo 2

No word count for today, as it's Sunday, but tomorrow night I hope to tell you I'm at around 4000 words. This weekend I went home to visit family. An uncle and aunt came down from Idaho. They spent the night at my parents' place. They're the ones in the picture. It was nice visiting with them - I love family!! It was great to see my parents, as well, and it was nice to relax a little. Well, I'm feeling totally un-creative at the moment, so I'll sign off. Before I do, however, I will ask you something - if any of you want to throw out a random part of speech (noun/adj/verb/adv - you know, that kind of thing), I will try to include it in my story the next day. Happy first week of November!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ready, Set, WRITE!! No, BLOG!! No . . .

November 1st - the countdown begins. 30 days of posting on here and one month to write at least 50,000 words of a book. And with this post I will fulfill today's requirements. I spent several hours writing today, but I got up a lot and did other things, so I'm hoping that during the week, when I don't have several hours to kill, I can write enough words to stay on pace for having the book written by the end of the month. The way I figure it, I need to write 2000 words a day because I'm not planning on writing on Sundays. That's the day I worship and it will be my day of rest from writing, as well. I'm not sure what to blog about each day, but my roommate is an experienced NaBloPoMo-er, so maybe I can ask her for ideas. I will probably give you a daily update on my word count, which today is 2128 words. W00T! Wish me luck and send creative vibes my way.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prop 102

I got to volunteer to call more people for Proposition 102 tonight. It was enjoyable. Really. Last time I was glad to do it, but this time it was actually kind of fun. There were several of us in one of my friend's apartments, and we just sat around the living room calling people - Republicans, I should say. If we had been calling other political parties, I do not think we would have had as many pleasant calls as we did. Somebody also made sure we had pizza, pop, and cookies. Yum! I'm just glad to have been able to help make calls. I struggle knowing if I have done enough to show my support for the cause. I haven't felt to put a sticker on my car; I'm a teacher and try to be very neutral around my kids, and since I work at a very small school, they know my car. Maybe I should have put one on anyway. I have thought about putting a sign in my window at home, but since I live with other people I haven't wanted to do something they might not be totally comfortable with. I've been toying with writing something on Facebook, which would be visible to lots of friends, but I haven't done it yet. One of the sad things about the proposition is that some people think it means anti-gay. I don't think that's the point. The amendment is pro-family, and that is something that I definitely support. I believe that children have the right to be born into a home with a mother and father. I do not believe that anyone should be able to take that away. Marriage is an important social institution, and I believe it should be preserved. Anyway, after those scattered thoughts, I have to say that I don't know if I have done enough, but I am glad for the opportunities that I have taken to be involved. It has been a good experience for me, and I hope I will remember it in the future and not be hesitant to become involved in other legislation I believe in. The outcome of Prop 102 looks like it could go either way; I hope you will research it and want to support it, as well.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Well, folks, I'm down to less than a week until I start my experimental month of trying to blog everyday AND write a 150 page novel. I've told myself if I can do this, I can handle some other things in my life that I think I should do but have been too scared to try. I'm not too worried about being able to post here everyday - it probably won't be very interesting for you, but you can just skim and see which posts look like they might be okay reads. I'm definitely nervous about writing the book, since I already tried that this summer and it didn't work out so well. I was originally planning on trying to continue my failed attempt from the summer, but I'm thinking about writing a totally different book now. I also just borrowed two Shannon Hale books from one of my former roommates, so I would assume that she will influence my writing.

Changing the subject now, I went to Mesa for a little visit this weekend. Former Roommate and I went to the state fair. I ate a fried Snickers - it was fabulous!! Actually, it really did taste pretty good - better than I was expecting. We also split a funnel cake, which I had never had before. Besides clogging our arteries, we pet sheep, llamas, etc., looked at art, and learned a little about how to spin cloth. That was cool! There was this lady sitting at a spinning wheel, making this blue wool into thread, and we stopped and asked her about it. It made me think of Gandhi, who spun his own cloth. Anyway, the lady was nice and explained the process to us. She made it look easy, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be nearly as pretty if I were to try it. Nonetheless, I saw it happen before my very eyes, and I now know that it really is possible to make wool turn into thread that can become clothes. If I ever get into crocheting/knitting maybe I'll learn how to spin, too. After walking around for a couple of hours, I was pretty pooped, which I am right now, as well, so I'll sign off and wish you all a good week. Cuidense!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Tonight I am happy for several different reasons. Here are two of them:

1) I am getting better!

2) My roommates and I received a postcard from Sweden - cool! Receiving mail is one of the best things in the world (I should remember that and make sure other people receive mail, too).

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I just wanted to give you an update on my health. At some point during church today I realized that the sick feeling was gone!! Wahoo! It's not that I'm not still having any symptoms, but I feel better. I'm so glad and grateful to the Lord. Work should be better this week than last, which is a good thing because grades are due at the end of the week, and I've got A LOT to get done before then. Those of you who were praying for me - thank you!


I know I should be in bed and asleep right now, especially since I have church tomorrow, but I feel like writing for a few minutes. I'm on kind of a weird sleep schedule at the moment, anyway, due to the first reason I want to write:

1) I am sick. Uggh!! I don't feel like I can really complain because I'd much rather be this kind of sick than many other kinds of sick, but I want to write about it because I'm sure you can all empathize with how miserable and ridiculous I feel. If you have not watched Sick Day on, I highly recommend it because I strongly resemble Strongbad right now. It all began Tuesday afternoon with a scratchy throat. By that evening it had progressed to painful sore throat. I wanted to call out Wednesday but was not positive that the rest of the staff would be there, so I went and was grouchy with my students all day - I even yelled at them for the first time ever ("EVERYONE SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!"), which was kind of interesting because they actually did what I told them to do - out of shock, I think. Thursday, I did call out and spent a glorious day at home, resting, grading, and cleaning. Friday, I wanted to call out but didn't. And here I am on Saturday night. I no longer have a sore throat, but I have gone through over half of a box of Puffs tissues. Not only do I have a limitless amount of mucus to deal with, but the cold is moving to my left eye, and it keeps tearing up. I can't wait to go to church tomorrow so that all of the uninterested-in-me guys can have their uninterest in me confirmed when they see my watery eyes and my chapped skin. Doesn't that sound attractive?

2. I returned a call to one of my grandmothers this evening, and she asked me if there are any men in my life, which is actually not something my grandparents normally ask me. Anyway, the answer was obvious, which leads me to my next thought - if any of you know a single guy who doesn't mind providing and is okay with having a wife who will take care of the house, will you send him my way? I believe I compared myself to Charlotte Lucas once and the comparison seems pretty accurate tonight. Who cares about romance - I just want a house and security. Since nobody has responded to my career questions last week, maybe you'll have some ideas addressing this issue?

Pleasant dreams and good health to you all!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I'm not saying I think you should all buy me presents. In fact, I feel kind of presumptuous for doing this. However, I created a wish list on to make knowing what I want for Christmas and other occasions easier for my family. It just seemed like it might be convenient to post it on my blog, so that's what I'm doing, as you can see if you look to the right. Once again, this is not a cry out for presents. However, if you browse it, perhaps you will see some things that you would like to have, as well.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I'm also joining NaBloPoMo, which stands for National Blog Posting Month. Actually, I just joined it, but I'm not planning on starting it until November 1st, so I can try to do it at the exact same time as Nanowrimo. We'll see if I make it with both or not.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Announcing . . .

So this year I'm doing something crazy. I joined Nanowrimo, which I believe stands for national novel writing month. What that means is that I committed myself to write a 150 novel during the month of November. I think that comes out to around 6 pages a day. I get to post this fabulous picture from the site, to show you I'm doing it. The reason I'm telling you is so that I will humiliate myself if I don't finish. Let's hope that's incentive enough to get me to follow through.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The other day one of my co-workers pointed out to me that I should be going to conferences and things for teaching certification purposes. *Groan!! That put me in reality-check land by reminding me that I can't stay at my job forever if I don't do the things the state says I should do to be able to continue to teach. And that reminded me that I don't want to do this forever - perhaps mostly for that reason. I don't know if it's because I'm scared or lazy or both or what, but now I'm reminded that I better get on it and figure out what to do with my life if teaching is not it.

When I graduated from school my plan was not to teach forever. I thought I would teach for a few years at a charter school while working on certification to work at a traditional school. Then I planned on working at a traditional school while in grad school for a higher degree in history. I'm not really sure if I had a plan for after that, other than maybe teaching at a college level or doing research or something, but it wasn't to be a high school teacher for the rest of my life. Actually, my dream was to do something philanthropic.

However, what to do next? Especially with a degree in history and the economy the way it is. Part of my beef with jobs that require you to do more than 40 hours a week is that I want to do other things after eight hours a day, like attend Institute classes, do service, and relax. Is that selfish? Probably, but I don't handle a lot of things at once very well. I feel bad for saying that I want time to do service because while that is very true, it's few and far between that I actually do it. I guess I want the opportunity, though, and I don't want to be so busy doing other things that I can't.

My question to you all, then, is this: What should I do with my life? Before you answer my question, I should probably tell you that I want (and probably need) something that is low stress. I don't want a job that takes a lot of chutzpah (my roommate helped me figure out that word - the one that came to my mind was vulgar) or involves a lot of responsibility (that goes back to the stress issue). I also need to be able to provide. Do those requirements and expectations not work together? Probably not, eh? If you have any ideas, though, please feel free to shoot them my way.

I was discussing my dilemma with Roommate earlier tonight, and she said something like, "Maybe we're going about this all wrong. Maybe we should be focusing on trying to get a husband more than trying to figure out a career." While there is nothing I would like better than a man to take care of me (and I would be totally okay with staying home and cleaning the house and making dinner), and while I feel very much at a loss as to what my options are career-wise, I feel even less able to secure a husband, so I think we're going to have to focus on the job question.

I hope that someday (the near future would be preferable) everything will make sense to me and I'll feel like I know what my course is. As was pointed out at church today (our topic this month is about the exact things I'm worried about - imagine that), the Lord's timetable is different than ours, so I need to be patient and try to put one foot in front of the other, for the time being. And Mom and Dad, don't get too worried about this - I will try to be responsible about it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Almost Forgot!

About the birthday - two things I forgot.

1. One of my coworkers and two of my roommates gave me flowers, which I LOVE, which means that I have "three! three bouquets of flowers - ah, ah, ah!"

2. One of my friends here, who I love, gave me the best, almost-most-painful gift for him that he could have given. Besides the box of cereal, which is his trademark gift, he also gave me . . . a HUG!!!! Whoa! That might not sound big, but for those of you who know him, you know it was. He does not like girls to touch him - unless he wants a piece of their pie, of course. I have joked around with him about it several times, but he has never permitted me to do it. Then, before he left my party the other night, he opened his arms for a hug.
"Are you serious?!!" I asked, rather incredulously, well, really incredulously probably.
"Well, yeah, but I'm sweaty," which was true. He had played racket ball before coming to the party.
I was uber surprised, but I definitely wasn't going to miss out on my chance, sweat or no sweat. And, I have to say, for a person so anti-hugs, he was pretty good at it, even in spite of his trying to not hold me and keeping his arms from touching me all the way. :)
I only regret not having a picture to prove it really happened.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was my birthday Thursday - I'm definitely getting old. I am bad at being social and doing things with people, so I decided my birthday would finally be a good time to try to see a lot of people that I haven't done anything with for awhile. To start off the celebration, my siblings that live in my town took me out to Texas Roadhouse, where I had the most amazing steak ever. It was perfect - thin layer of grey meat on the outside, red on the inside. My compliments definitely to the chef. The hostess asked if it was any of our birthdays, so they found out early on. They made me sit on a saddle and everyone yelled "Yee-haw!" for me. My youngest brother wrote me a poem, which was really beautiful and made me cry. I also received a CD of cello music and Fiddler on the Roof from my siblings. When I got home, my roommates had the apartment nicely decorated and beautiful and clean. Many people came by for cake and ice cream, and I received some really nice cards. All in all, it was a nice birthday. I'm curious about what this next year will bring.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Riding the Storm

I need to study the gospel and get to bed soon, but I felt like writing a little first. It was my birthday yesterday - I am 28 years old now - wow! I will try to post on that in the next couple of days. My birthday made me reflect back to a year ago and where I was at. I don't think I was very well. Interestingly enough, this year's birthday found me much better than last years, but not all better. Baby steps, I guess, right? Well, maybe I already mentioned it before, but I've been told I might just have to ride out the storm for my entire life and just try to appreciate the good moments, whenever they may be. I guess that's what everyone has to do, though, right? We all have our different challenges.

On to a better subject - I am very excited about tomorrow and the next day because the next two days will be full of General Conference. I am really looking forward to it and hoping to receive some direction, which, if I'm listening with the Spirit, I have faith I will.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Call Center

Thursday evening I got to work at a phone bank for YESforMarriage (you should check out their website), which is promoting Proposition 102 in Arizona. I made over 100 calls to do research for the group. I noticed all the calls we made were to registered Republicans, which means I didn't deal with as many angry people as I think I would have had I been calling people of other political parties. I called people, read the proposition to them, which states "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state," and then asked them if they would support the amendment. Basically, YESforMarriage is figuring out who to send information to. If I understood correctly, only the people who were undecided will receive more information. Most of the people I called didn't answer their phone, so I left many messages. I think one of my favorite parts of the evening was when people asked, "Wait - so if I vote 'Yes,' what does that mean?" and being able to explain it to them. Some of them then decided that they supported it, and some of them decided that they definitely did not support it. I believe that people should understand what they are voting for, so I was glad to help clarify the amendment for them, even for those who will not vote like I will on the issue. Additionally, I believe in being an active citizen, but I have not walked that walk before, so it was nice to finally do something.

Moving away from civic matters, I attended the Relief Society General Meeting last night. It was great, of course. I especially enjoyed Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. He spoke about our need to be creative (as in, create things) and compassionate, as our Father in Heaven is. I was also impressed by the non-profit group our stake donated various items to. It's called "The Giving Tree." It is an organization that offers aid to the local homeless population - particularly to homeless children. I was brought to tears several times as the founder spoke, and I want to get involved and volunteer a little. It was neat to see my church and a Christian group working together because non-denominational groups usually don't seem to like Latter-Day Saints very much. The founder has had a really good experience with an LDS family from around Salt Lake that, rather than exchange presents at Christmas, comes down each year for two weeks to give service with "The Giving Tree." The founder is amazing! She wanted kids badly, but went through a number of miscarriages (she has had two biological children), so God sent her other children, she says. She and her husband have taken care of many, many homeless kids. They now have five homes, and I am hoping to volunteer at one of them. She said they need people to rock the kids, read to them, etc. I can do that. I just need to commit to it. Well, I guess my post is ending on another civic note, but that's not a bad thing. It's good to think about how we can contribute - and better to actually do something.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eight Thoughts

1. Tonight I miss someone who doesn't really know I exist, at least, not the way I want him to.

2. Lu was an amazing bunk mate!!

3. The exterminator came to my school this past week, for which I am very grateful.

4. Tonight I got to listen to Lacy Nymeyer speak about her Olympic experience. I thought about how amazing the gifts are that Heavenly Father blesses us with. It made me very grateful for the abilities He gives us. I mean, He didn't bless me to be a fast swimmer - granted, I've never tried - but isn't it wonderful that He blessed someone to be! And He has blessed all of us with different gifts and talents. Some talents are less noticeable that Lacy's, but we have them, nonetheless, to glorify God and to build His kingdom. Yea!

5. I received a Facebook message from one of my best friends this week that said something like, "Jamie, I was talking to someone about you. Call me sometime." (By the way, she just got engaged - Congratulations, my dear friend. I LOVE you and am so happy for you!) I called her and found out she had been talking to her old-as-I-am single cousin, and was wondering if I would be okay with writing him. She was so cute and timid about it, not wanting to upset me, I think, but I assured her I don't mind. I'm usually kind of amused about this type of thing, and nothing has ever come of it. In fact, usually someone asks me if they can set me up with someone, and then they never do. Well, she sent me his email address and I wrote him, and here I am, a couple of days later, with no reply. I guess it shows my desperation that I actually wrote a guy I don't know, who lives far away, the day I got his info. Perhaps my letter was a little too much to handle. Or maybe he's a normal guy and won't write very often (no offense to any males out there, but it's not uncommon for you to take awhile to correspond). Or maybe I haven't given him enough time to write back - It really has only been a couple of days, so that's probably the case, and I'm just antsy to see if he's actually going to write.
*Addendum - yes, I just didn't give him enough time. He wrote.

6. I got to visit my B.G.F. (Best Guy Friend - that probably sounds lame, but I'm not sure what else to call him) yesterday, and I told him he's made a lot of changes for the better over the years that I've known him. He told me he feels like he's less judgemental these days. I told him I think I've gotten worse over the years - I'm more judgemental and opinionated, I think. "Jamie," he says, "You need to sin more. Then you won't be so judgemental." For some reason, I don't think that's the answer.

7. I got pulled over for the first time. Friday night, while driving up to Mesa, I was talking to my mom on the phone (bad Jamie! I know), when I suddenly noticed lights behind me. "Mom, I think I'm being pulled over." So she hung up while I pulled over. Was I speeding? I didn't think so. The officer asked for the normal documentation, which took me a minute to find. Then he asked me to walk back to his car. Does he think I'm drunk? I don't think I was swerving. I asked if I could move my car farther onto the shoulder first, which I did. When I walked back to his car, I found out the reason for the whole thing. "Did you know you have a headlight out?" Oh, that! "Yes. I've had it replaced a couple of times, so I don't think it's the bulb." The officer was nice, and I actually felt pretty calm throughout the ordeal. He gave me a warning, and now I just need to get my car in, and hopefully they'll fix the real problem, whatever that is.

8. Today I got to listen to my brother speak in his sacrament meeting. He is a good speaker, and he gave a very good talk. I also got to teach the Gospel Principles lesson on Heavenly Father. I'm so glad for the lesson. I know there is a god - I take that for granted. It's amazing to know that. It's amazing to know what He looks like (as in, He has a body of flesh and bone) and what He is like. We are His children. He loves us!! He really does - enough that He sent His Son. He wants us to return to Him. He is just, but He is also merciful. He forgives me even though I am so imperfect and I don't deserve it. I love Him, but I don't love Him enough. I hope I can.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I didn't see any brown recluses Thursday or Friday - thank goodness! Pest control should be coming Tuesday, I believe, so hopefully I won't have any more experiences with those crawly guys. I'll be pretty cautious in the morning, thought, since they've had a whole weekend without people there.
Even without the recluses the last couple of work days this past week, I did not get by without seeing more creepy-crawlies. This time it was tarantulas. They were not inside my room. They were outside the rec center next door. I'm not sure if it was the same guy both days, or if I saw two different ones. Isn't he great? Even though tarantulas are big, hairy, and ugly, they don't scare me so much. Not that I would want to have a face-off with one, but I feel more like they will follow my rules - stay outside my classroom. Not only that, but I don't think they're poisonous, and they eat bugs, so they can stay, in my opinion. I was actually tempted to let one of them crawl on my hand, in fact, but I wasn't quite brave enough to go that far.
Perhaps I seem unfair in my views of arachnids, but it has to do with the level of danger I feel associated with each one, I guess. Tarantulas - okay. Brown Recluses - bad.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Attack of the Brown Recluses

I am totally creeped out because my school seems to have an infestation of brown recluse spiders, which, as you can see, are pretty scary. Yuck!! Yesterday morning when I got to school I noticed a big, ugly spider up in the corner by my door. He looked a lot like this guy. Since I am enough arachnophobic that I can't even kill the things, I went outside and got the case manager. I told him I thought it might even be a recluse. He followed me inside and said that, sure enough, it was. Then he got a fly-swatter and killed it. I later learned that the teacher next door had a scorpion make a run for it to get under his desk that day, as well. I wouldn't have been happy with that, either. Anyway, back to recluses. I dreamt about one last night. Then, when I got to school this morning, one of the students, who had arrived really early, came and told the T.A. and me that there was a spider on the ceiling by the other teacher's door. We went to check and it was . . . another brown recluse!! Fortunately, another student arrived and killed it for us. Right after he finished doing that, one of my students came in and told me he'd just killed one that had fallen to the floor in front of him right when he opened the door to come in. By this time I was totally creeped out, especially when I thought about how I'd been standing in the doorway for a few seconds while I unlocked the door a little earlier. My student didn't know where the spider had dropped from; my theory is that he was on the emergency exit sign that's connected to the ceiling in front of my door - icky! icky! icky! I don't like spiders, in general, and it doesn't help to know that they're really poisonous. I looked them up on Wikipedia tonight, and it says that they rarely bite people, but it still freaks me out. Somebody is supposed to come spray, or something, on Friday. I just hope my students and I all live that long.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Have A Bed!

After not having one for the last week and a half or so, I am so excited to announce that I have a bed again. I gave my mattress to my little bro., who just moved over here, and barely got a new one for myself. One of my friends very kindly picked it up for me yesterday and brought it over last night. I was so excited to sleep on it, but, alas!, it was not meant to be. It was super late, but I decided to wash my sheets, so they would be nice and clean for my nice, clean, new mattress. They got all bunched up in the dryer and didn't dry - I was so tired that I gave up and slept on the couch again. However, tonight will be different! I have my clean sheets on the mattress, which awaits me. I just need to read the scriptures (Elder Holland asked us all to read D&C 121-123 by tomorrow, at the latest!) and pray, and then I can see if I wake up refreshed in the manana. It's a Sealy, pillow-top mattress, and the salesman assured me that it's right for my body type. After my $10 D.I. mattress, anything should feel good, right?

Moving on to a couple of other topics - I have to admit that I did not finish Eclipse this weekend. I feel kind of ashamed, and yet, at the same time, I'm thinking it's probably good I didn't finish yet because it shows that I was a little stronger than my obsession.

And, for those who saw the fireside tonight, wasn't it great? For those of you who didn't see it, Elder Holland spoke on our own personal Liberty Jail times in life. He talked about Heavenly Father's love for us and the benefits of going through trying times. It was great and definitely something I needed to hear. I love the Lord. I love His apostles. Elder Holland is one of them, and it is great to know that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I need to read the scriptures, pray, and go to bed, but I just wanted to say that the last two weeks or so have been pretty great. I've felt pretty good - yea! Remember when I wrote about the one perfect day? It's not that the last two weeks have been quite like that, but I think I could have happily gone through the rest of my life if it were to remain that way.

Well, those two weeks are over, and I'm falling in another pit of guilt and anxiousness, which is to be expected, I guess. And, I'm not horrible yet. The days might get worse and worse for awhile. But, at least I have these two blessed weeks to remember, and I hope that will pull me through until the next reprieve.

Isn't the Lord amazing? While I'm falling down right now, He blessed me to make it through the first couple of weeks feeling relatively well with my students. Tender Mercies.

Why do I share my health problems with whoever reads this? I don't know, but it makes me feel better to be open. I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable to read about it . . . and I really hope my secret crush doesn't read it because that's probably potential-dating-suicide on my part, but I am who I am. I cannot change this part of me, and the more that people realize that everyone has challenges in their life, the more compassionate I hope we can be with each other.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Moon

Like I said last week, I'm figuring on reading one Stephanie Meyer book a week, which means that this past week I read New Moon. I didn't have to read it all in a couple of days this time. I read a little each day until Friday night and Saturday, when I read the bulk. I liked it. I don't know if it's as good as Twilight was, but it still had a definite pull on me. In fact, I kind of feel guilty for reading because I'm sure I could have done something better with my time. I have come up with a goal to help me not be so guilty of wasting my time this week - I'm going to try not to read unless I'm working out. The bad thing is, I won't start that goal until tomorrow afternoon. I will probably read for awhile in the morning while I wait for my roommate to get back from her bike ride, at which point she and I will waste a lot of money to go to a Cornish restaurant in Phoenix to try pasties. Maybe I will let you know how that goes. I also need to finally buy a bed tomorrow - it would be nice to have one.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I started reading Twilight last Wednesday evening, and - oh no!! - I am obsessed. I have been hearing from people for a long time now how good they are, how you can't put them down once you get started, and now I'm living that reality. My friend let me borrow it Wednesday. I took it with me while I worked out and got about 40 pages in. When I entered the exercise room there was a girl on the elliptical. As I sat down on a bike, she noticed the book and exclaimed, "Oh! You're going to love that!" So, maybe the book's not that evil because it helped me make a friend.

I couldn't read Thursday because my little brother and sister moved to town (Yea!! Welcome, you two!). Friday night I just wanted to read, and I was up way later than I should have been getting a couple hundred pages in. Saturday morning (okay, so late Saturday morning - when I finally got up) I told my roommates that I HAD to finish that night. I knew I had to because I knew that if I didn't finish I wouldn't be able to think about anything else on Sunday, and Sunday is not a day to be thinking about vampire romances.

I went to a birthday party and a couple of friends had me over for dinner, but the time surrounding these activities was spent engrossed in the novel. Fortunately, I did finish last night, but man oh man, I feel like I'm going to be no good until I just get it over with and get the rest of the series read. I don't see myself being able to do more than one a week, due to a full-time job and various other responsibilities/activities, so I feel like life will be a meaningless blur to me for the next three weeks, outside of the time I am able to read. I will be like Bella, who hazes her way through moments without Edward, always waiting for the next opportunity to be with him.

Uggh!! It's not like the book was a brilliant work of literature. It's just a teen romance. It reminded me of A Long Fatal Love Chase, by Louisa May Alcott, which is one of her not-so-great novels. You just love it because it pulls you through an adventure, with exciting happenings in every chapter. And, like my friend Lu told me, "I know why girls like it!" It's every girl's dream to have a gorgeous, dangerous dude who loves you and just wants to protect you, even though you're just a normal girl, with nothing special to offer. So it feeds into our fantasies.

It doesn't help that I've had a secret crush on vampires for a long time now, either. I think it started with seeing my high school's production of Dracula. I even used to dream about vampires occasionally. So, though I have never read a vampire book before, I was fairly certain that I would enjoy Twilight. I just didn't bargain on getting so sucked in.

I feel kind of guilty spending my whole weekend reading a book, but I do have to say that it was a relaxing way to spend it after the first week with my students. So, way to go, Stephanie Meyer! You've got me hooked.

And, p.s. Lu - anytime you want to have that chat just let me know - only I might not be available for awhile, for obvious reasons (for you, though, I think I could make an exception).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What a Week!

Okay, first of all, the layout to Blogger is a little different - I don't like change, so that was a little upsetting. Second of all, I have to get up pretty early again starting tomorrow because it's back south I go to teach. Last week was full of teacher meetings at the main cite, which I live near, tomorrow the kids start, which means I commute around 45 min one way. Which means that I should have been in bed an hour ago, but I was panicky, so I stayed up and had some fun with my roommates. I would love to blog in greater detail about my adventures from the past week, but since I don't have time, I will list them:

Eat yummy dinner prepared by Friend
Get caught in major monsoon with Roommate and Friend while wearing bad sandals that tore up my feet (I hoped we wouldn't get struck by lightening, which happened to a small boy at the same park recently - thankfully, we didn't get struck)
Spent an hour to go what normally takes 15 min in trying to drive home from Friend's - the roads were flooded, several cars appeared to have flooded engines.
Arrive at home to find electricity out - yea for candles!

Wake up feeling sick
Sister and Brother-in-law come and make yummy breakfast
Go to Sam's Club
Go to dentist for annual checkup and 6 month cleaning - find out dentist wants to remove old filling because he's sure there's a cavity under it
Get home for Missionary meeting a few minutes after the others have arrived (thank you for letting them in, Roommate!)
Get a massage from a male massage therapist (I hope there's nothing morally wrong with that!) - I felt very relaxed after, which was nice, for a change
Eat at a ridiculously expensive fondue restaurant with Roommate

Speak in church, which means I spent the time leading up to that talk feeling crazy nervous, but that's to be expected.

And, I also watched part of Jim Henson's Storyteller series, which was great! I love Henson!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tender Mercies

So little to write about, so much time to write it in . . . Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!

The care-free summer life of Jamie has ended and the normal work-life begins again tomorrow. I should be in bed now and not typing (thank goodness I don't have to drive to Sahuarita in the morning - we're meeting up here), so the many things I would like to blog about will have to wait. P.S. Wish me luck getting back into the swing of things - I never like this part.

Instead, I will just say that the Lord is good. He loves me. Yea! Today the talks at church addressed a question about being worthy to enter the temple. I have been feeling quite guilty about many things lately, so I was dreading the talks. Oh great! Now I'm going to feel awful and I won't be able to sleep or live with myself!

Boy was I wrong! When the guy who gave the last talk got up, I was really dreading hearing from him. He's an amazing speaker, but I was worried that when he talked about worthiness I would just feel horrible. I was tempted to get up and take a long bathroom break, you know? Anyway, Speaker must have been inspired because he gave an amazing talk. As he started into it, I quickly realized that this was not going to be a guilt-inducing talk, but on the contrary, it made me feel like I've been looking at things all wrong. By the end I felt so hopeful, and I was wanting to believe that I really can be perfected in Christ. I felt like it was very much what I needed to hear. And from what I gather, there were a lot of people in the congregation who felt the same way.

It was a tender mercy of the Lord, and I am grateful for it. Heavenly Father's plan is perfect. Christ's atonement is real, and I can come to Him. Isn't that amazing? I am unworthy, but I should remember, like Nephi, that "nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted." I hope that you trust in Him, too.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yea! Devin's Home!

After two years of serving the Lord in Colorado, my little bro is back home. My sister and I went to Yuma on Friday, and then the family and a few others went to the airport to meet him when he arrived that evening. He looked great, and it was so fun to see him and hug him and welcome him back. I feel like I have a lot in common with him and am way excited that he will be living near me. I told him that I expect to see him weakly, at least, and was very happy with his response - "Of course! We're family!" He said it like it was stupid for me to think I should need to tell him I want to see him on a regular basis - I'm glad he feels that way about spending time together.
There is nothing more important to me than my family. I just wanted to say that. I think my dad would question my feeling that way in high school, but I think they have always been most important to me. My bff's in high school and I always had an understanding that if something family was going on with one of us, that would come first. You might not believe me, Dad, but it's true. And, in retrospect, don't you agree that I really didn't spend that much time away?
The entire family was together Saturday and Sunday, which was nice. I wish we would have arranged to have pictures taken. We hadn't, so after we got home from church on Sunday, I asked everyone to move to the backyard, where one of our neighbors took some pictures of us. I think my sister and sister-in-law got better ones, but I only have mine, so that is what I will post. This weekend was the first time the whole family, including in-laws, have been together, and it probably won't happen again for a long time, as my brother and sister-in-law are moving far away soon (good luck!). So, what I'm wanting to say is that I am glad for the moment this weekend, and WELCOME HOME, LITTLE BRO! (And aren't we a handsome family?)