Sunday, December 16, 2012

God's Love

Today I spoke in church about the spirit of Christmas.  On Friday I was upset with the events in Connecticut - what a horrible, horrible tragedy.  I was particularly upset because it involved children.  I already posted on Facebook, but while I was driving home from work and talking to my mom about the massacre, I noticed a rainbow that stretched across the sky.  The rainbow is a symbol of God's love, and I was grateful for it on that particular day.

Back to speaking in church.  The spirit of Christmas comes from being focused on the Savior and trying to do the things He would do, I think.  He is the ultimate symbol of God's love for us; through Him, we can hope to return to Heavenly Father.  I'm so grateful for the gift of the Savior and that we can turn to Christ for healing and find peace.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I bought gas for $2.85/gallon the other night - can you believe it?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Devotional

This evening is my church's annual Christmas devotional.  It's always wonderful, with great music and spoken word.  Here is a link if you would like to watch it:
Merry Christmas!

Exciting Times at School

This week I had my most exciting day of school - and not in a good way.  All of the following went down in about an hour: two medical issues, one which required the paramedics, and two physical altercations.  Nice, huh?  And do you know what prompted the fights?  Phones - kids having their phones and using them during school time.  Then I was asked to take a technology survey on Friday - questions about how technology is used in the classroom and what types of technology would be helpful to the learning environment.  For some reason, I think the events of a few days before influenced my opinion on some of the questions.  Ugh.  Technology moves so rapidly, and it can be used for such good things, but unfortunately it can also be used to bully, annoy, spread gossip, etc.  And sometimes teenagers (probably adults, too) seem to lack the maturity to use it for good.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Alone Time

How are you at alone time?  I don't like to be in big crowds for very long; I'm much more of a one-on-one or small group girl.  However, I don't like being alone for very long either.  I don't think that means that I have to be doing something with someone at all times; I just usually like there to be someone else around.  Sometimes it's nice to have some time to myself, and I have found that I have adjusted to practically no social life pretty well (too well, probably), but there's a limit to that, and then I start feeling stir-crazy.  I should probably learn to love the silence a little more, huh?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Being Female

Sometimes it's just not so much fun being female.  One of my former missionary companions put something on Facebook about her pregnant hormones.  I feel like my body's out of whack sometimes, and I am not now, nor have I ever been pregnant.  And it's not just once a month.  I don't know what male hormones are like, but it stinks feeling shaky for seemingly no reason.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm missing some nutrient, and then I try to figure out if there's something I can eat that will help.  Or I suddenly feel super hungry, and I think it's tied to whatever's going on inside me.  It could be much worse, and I like being a girl, don't get me wrong, it just comes with its challenges, that's all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


It's almost Thanksgiving!!!  Isn't that great?  Weird that we're already there again, but it's so nice to be there.  I bought a couple of turkeys and a ham for our school Thanksgiving meal - I have never been super involved in the prep for it, so I'm a little nervous and hope that everything comes together.  We don't have as many students who I feel like ought to be involved in the prep as we have in the past, unfortunately, and this is kind of happening last minute.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy it, though, and hopefully we will have plenty of food.

Then there's actual Thanksgiving with some of my family on Thursday.  Hopefully I won't have put on too many pounds by the end of the week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dr. Who and Thursdays

I think for many people Friday is Favorite Day, as it is usually the last day of the work week and the beginning of the weekend.  However, do you ever have times in your life where a different day is your favorite?  I don't know if Thursdays are my favorite, but I sure like them, and they are definitely close to it for now.  One roommate says that they are her favorite.  This is because Thursday nights are Dr. Who nights for us.  The Boys (3 friends) and my roommate and I get together and watch a couple of episodes.  It's so fun when I get to thinking about / realizing what day it is on a Thursday.  It brightens everything because I know that after dinner that evening some fun, geeky friends are going to show up, and we're going to watch this silly show (that sometimes scares me pretty good).  So fun.  And we have lots of seasons to go, so the tradition should last for awhile longer.  :)

Monday, November 12, 2012


I really like this time of year in my town.  A couple of my roommates and I went to a park and had a picnic today.  We sat on a hill and ate and watched the ducks, people, and kiddie train that drove around the pond.  Then we walked over to the rose garden and meandered through it, pausing to smell many of the different kinds of roses that are there.  I'm glad to live where I do - an acquaintance told me that it was in the 30s in his town.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anne of Avonlea

(Hope this isn't a spoiler to anyone.)  Don't you just love it when Anne finally realizes that she loves Gilbert, and he doesn't die, and they appear to have a happily ever after in their future?

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This evening I was at a church meeting.  While there, I observed a husband putting his arm around his wife, who was leaning on his shoulder.  I want that.  Do you ever consciously notice things that you want to be a part of your life?

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Kind of bummed that I've already lost Nablopomo - ugh.  I didn't even think about it last night.  My roommate ended up getting free tickets to a dress rehearsal of the opera "Romeo and Juliet."  I've never been to an opera, so I thought I should go, and I kind of wanted to go.  Roommate and a friend and I went.  It was three hours, but it didn't feel that long.  The music was beautiful.  I have been getting to bed too late all week, though, so I was already tired.  I didn't get to eat before the performance, so I did that after, meaning I got to bed pretty late last night - again - and without a thought to post something on here.  Oh well.  I am now more cultured.  I have to admit, though, that I thought about Bugs Bunny a little bit - he was good prep for the real thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

I'm anxious about what the outcome of today's election will be.  I feel so opposed to Pres. Obama and many things that he has done over the pat four years.  My roommate - who supports him - told me four years ago to just wait four years and see how much better things were going to be, or something like that.  Now, four years later, I feel as though the country and it's path have continued in a direction that is unhealthy and will lead to worse consequences than we are currently seeing.  I love the Constitution and I love the Founding Fathers.  I love the American Dream.  I love our W.A.S.P. / Judeo-Christian heritage.  I want someone in office who loves those things, too.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Tomorrow a big choice will be made. One thing that is echoed through a writing sample that I had my students complete is the unrealistic demand for "give us tons of service while lowering the cost to me." It's not just my teenagers that feel this way. I feel that we are, unfortunately, too reliant on someone else (like the government) to provide for us while not being willing to understand the cost. I feel like we've lost pride in self-sufficiency, and we refuse to tighten the purse strings when we can't afford everything we want (just look at my finances, for ex). We live in a time where we have been provided so much without having to work for it - so we don't appreciate it. We take it for granted and demand more. We're not totally evil, though. We want everyone else to have everything, too. Unfortunately, we don't have the funds (to the amount of $16 trillion of debt - a number so big that we can't really wrap our minds around it). But, never mind that. We keep getting away with over-consuming, and we don't see the consequences of that, so why should our national over-spending be a problem? We'll keep spending and demanding more, and we'll let the government take care of it and find a small group (say 1%) to be angry at.

Tomorrow feels like a big deal to me because I feel like it will tell me if I am part of a traditional minority living in a too-quickly-approaching post-America society or if there are still those who believe in the American experiment and WASP-ish ideals.

And, by the way, I support Romney.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Before leaving the hospital this evening, I pulled my niece onto my lap, and she let me hug and kiss her and tell her how special she is.  Then she told me that there would be no raspberries (She likes giving those.).  I wondered if she thought it would hurt her, or something, so I said, "Maybe next time."  Then she explained that it was dark, and that's why.  So silly sometimes.

The plan is for her to go home tomorrow.  I hope that's how it goes and that she's well and happy and healed in no time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today I got to visit my niece and hang out at the hospital for awhile.  The word yesterday was that she was grouchy and maybe not excited for visitors.  She must have been feelings better today.  When I walked to her room, she looked through the glass, smiled shyly, and sort of melted into her bed a little, which was cute.  I went in and hugged her, and while we talked, I said something about Buckles, her teddy bear that was there with her.  I erroneously referred to the bear as a male, and she corrected me.  She told me that Buckles didn't like it at the hospital.  Buckles wanted to be at her house.  It was interesting from a psychological standpoint to hear her tell me her feelings by attributing them to her stuffed animal. It also pulled at my heart-strings a little.  Something else that tugged at them was seeing her little body in this big hospital bed; she seems too small to be there.  I love that girl and hope her recovery continues and is speedy.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Happy Nablopomo 2012.  Yes, it's that time of the year again when I try to remember to blog each day.  Hopefully I will remember and actually post all month long, so I can feel like I have accomplished something - completed some goal, regardless how silly or unimportant.  Stay tuned.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Today I found out that my niece had appendicitis.  My sister knew she wasn't feeling well; my niece didn't even go trick-or-treating last night, so you know it must be serious.  They went to the doctor today, and he thought she had pneumonia.  He sent them to the E.R., and they figured out that it was really what it was.  They operated and found that the appendix had ruptured (which, from what my sister said, is normally the case for children her age who get it), so she gets to spend several days in the hospital.  And I wonder - how do you keep a child who's not even 4 occupied and in okay spirits in a hospital for that long?  I know that there are other children who spend lots of time in the hospital.  :(

When I found out the news earlier today I thought about modern medicine and how grateful I am to live in the time I do.  Otherwise - well, I don't like to think about it.  I'm glad to live in a prosperous country, too, where there's access to help.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


First of all, I've been looking at the statistics for who visits my silly little blog, and I want to say thank you to those who do.  And to those of you in Russia - wow.  So cool.  Isn't it neat how technology helps to make the world smaller and more connected?

Okay, now for the post:

In my church, we take turns serving in different unpaid positions.  We don't choose them, but we believe that our church leaders are inspired to call us to serve in those different positions.  A couple of years ago or so, I was asked to be in the Stake Young Women presidency.  A stake is a geographical region.  Within a stake are many wards (congregations).  Within each ward is a young women program, which is for girls between the ages of 12-18.  So what I do is work with the ward young women leaders who are part of my stake - does that make sense?

This evening we had a youth fireside (devotional?) for our stake.  All of the youth, boys and girls, from 12-18 years of age were invited to attend.  Unfortunately, there was not much of a turnout.  For those of us who were there, though, I feel like it was a really great evening.  There were five people who spoke, and the topic was service.  Two of the speakers were teenagers - one boy and one girl.  They did such a great job.  I was especially impressed with the boy who spoke.  He talked about how serving others is necessary for one to be happy.  He also made some comment like, "You can do all of the cookie-cutter [good] things, but if you don't give service that's all you are - a cookie-cutter."  He also mentioned how many people today are not accustomed to being served, which I think can be true. It's easy for us to be self-serving and to get so caught up in our busy lives that we don't reach out to others like we should.

I was just impressed to hear this boy, who seems to understand how wonderful service is and how necessary and important it is.  Teens can really be given a bad rap, but there are some very amazing ones, and I was glad to be with some of them tonight.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This weekend I met up with a guy who was passing through on his way home from some job training. He added a new one to my list of interesting issues from the guys I meet.  Amnesia.  I don't know if I've ever met someone with amnesia before.  He claims to not remember anything before this war injury from about a decade ago.  Can you imagine having a good portion of your life erased from memory?  So weird.  He said something like it's not strange to him because he doesn't know what it is that he doesn't recall.  I don't know if I'd feel the same way; I kind of hope I never find out.

He also said that there are certain emotions that he doesn't feel now, so I offended him by kind of asking if he's a sociopath.  Ahem.  I know that's not the most flattering thing to ask someone, but I was trying to understand.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Break

I just got back from my fall break - I didn't post last Sunday because I was vacationing.  It was a good week, and it included several first (and last) dates.  Picnic dinner and walk, corn maze, putt-putt and ice cream.  I think the putt-putt guy was my fave, but there wasn't really chemistry with any of them.  So it started out as a kind of exciting week with new people to meet and fun to look forward to, and it ended in a little depression and questions such as:

  • Is it worth it to go out with a ton of guys - does that actually help you find a keeper, or does it just mean a lot more "not going to go anywhere" dates?
  • Should I stop paying money to a site to "meet" people?
  • Will I ever find anyone I connect with?

Okay, a little dramatic, but you get to feeling a little dramatic sometimes when you don't see success.

Other than that, it was a good week, and now I've actually been to a corn maze.  It was really nice to go to my mission reunion and see my mission president and his wife, as well as a couple of missionaries I served with.  I got to spend some time with my brother and his family, and I watched a bunch of Monk with my grandma, which is always a good time.

General Conference was amazing, as always.  As I go back through the talks, maybe I will post on them.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simple Joys

I found out that my parents were going to be visiting my sister and her family this weekend.  I was planning on visiting, too.  My birthday is coming up, so at last minute I texted the family to see if they wanted to meet me at a Mexican restaurant when I got up there.  I'm so glad they did; the food was delicious.  Perhaps more fun than eating great food, though, was watching my nephew delight in eating his great food.  He loves food - a lot.  He can pack it in, too.  He looked so happy to have food to eat and just stayed pretty joyful throughout the meal.

Later, back at my sister's house, she presented me with cupcakes decorated and arranged to look like a flower.  My niece asked me what color of cupcake I wanted because she was hoping for one of the pink ones, I think.  My favorite color is yellow, so I took the center of the flower, and she got one of the many pink petals.  Once again, it was so fun to watch my nephew.  First, while everyone was singing to me, he was fun because he just grinned and looked sort of embarrassed (I don't know if he thought it was his birthday.).  Then, once he got his cupcake, he spent his time trying to shove as much of it in his mouth in as little time as possible.  My dad got some great pictures.  If he emails them to me, maybe I'll post one (or more) on here.

Also, my nephew is starting to say a few words.  My sister tried to get him to say "I love you" to me, and he did!  It came out something like "I-uh-oo."  So cute.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


This weekend I was involved in a conference for my stake's youth.  Yesterday we had different classes that the kids could attend.  Lacey Nymeyer, part of the women's Olympic swim team in 2008, was one of the speakers.  I am a little acquainted with her, so I wanted to attend one of her classes.  I have heard her speak before - I feel like she's a really good motivational speaker.  She's also beautiful and kind and a woman of faith.

She had her medal (the freestyle relay team she was a part of won the silver) with her, and she let the kids come up and hold it.  I thought that was really cool of her, and I had to go up and touch it, too, so that I can say that I've touched an Olympic medal.  What an experience it must have been for her to be a part of the Olympics.  I was impressed with how much she said it meant for her to represent a country that she loves so much.  I loved the patriotism I felt from her - so cool.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Doing the Right Thing

Once again, it's taken me a couple of weeks to write - I don't know what's wrong with me.  Anyhow, this guy who I've been talking to A LOT lately, confessed to me that he's married (waiting on divorce to be final).  That was kind of weird.  When I talked to my sister about it, she said, "You were the other woman!"  Eeek!  Anyway, I'm not talking to him anymore, and from a little research this evening, maybe he's doing the right thing.  :)  I don't know, and I can't ask him, but I'm encouraged.

I mess up in plenty of areas, so I don't say this self-righteously - you never regret doing the right thing, even if it's hard to do in the moment.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I forgot to write last weekend - I think I was busy somebody, but it's weird that I didn't think about it.  I got to go visit my niece and nephew yesterday.  I think I was covered in baby snot by the time I left, but it was still great to see the kids.  My nephew is so sweet and cuddly - even when he's not sick.  We wrestled a bunch, too.  My niece asked if I was going to spend the night and then kept asking why I wasn't going, too, which was gratifying.  Babies are just great, aren't they?

Here's a picture of my niece and me from a couple of weeks ago:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Easy on the Eyes

Last night was the ex-boy's reception, so I made sure to go out of town for the weekend in order to avoid it.  I spent Friday night with one of my former roommates, which was nice, as always.  Yesterday I spent most of the day with my sister and her kids.  It was my sister's anniversary, so I baby-sat for awhile, too.  My nephew was sick, so he was cuddly and spent a lot of time just laying against my chest, which was sweet (although sad that he was feeling so unwell), but he also seemed to not want to swallow his spit, or something, so he kept ejecting it, meaning that I ended up with a lot of baby spit on me.  Then I substitute taught a children's Sunday school class today; I hope I didn't start a little epidemic in my congregation.

Besides seeing the kids, which is always a highlight for me, I had a date yesterday morning.  I think it was a really nice blessing to have a date on this particular weekend.  There's this guy who I have never met in person who was going to be down relatively near my sister's place, and he and I met up for breakfast (He had to catch his flight back home yesterday morning, too.).  I didn't feel any sparks, but it was a pleasant breakfast and a nice way to start the day (even though I do not love getting up early).  Definitely one of the better-looking guys that I've been out with - tall, dark, handsome, deep voice, masculine build.  :)  The odds that I will see him again aren't good, but it's nice to go out sometimes, and, as I already said, it was especially nice this weekend.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


So the boy and my friend are getting married in just over a day.  I feel a little more affected by it than I would like, but that's how it is, I guess.  I made a goal to get rid of a gift from him before the wedding, and I still haven't done it, so tomorrow is the day.  Then there will be one less thing to remind me of us.  Fortunately, I have plans Tuesday evening (They just happened; I didn't make them on purpose.), so hopefully I will be good and distracted.  In the words of a friend, "You silly girl!"

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I was thinking about Montreal this evening, and I felt closer to tearing up about it than I have in a long time.  I was a little homesick; I hope I get to go back someday.  I wonder if that is at all related to how I felt yesterday while typing up a bunch of texts that I don't want to lose when I change my phone.  They had nothing to do with my mission, but they brought memories and melancholy for a specific part of my past; maybe those feelings are now extending to other parts of my history.  And I don't think it's bad to look back and miss things sometimes - just don't get stuck back there because there's a lot of good in the present and there are more memories to be created in the future.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Congrats, Bro!

My youngest brother got a job offer a few days ago.  So excited for him.  The only downside for me is that it will be the first time in six years since I have had no family around.  That's the way it goes, though, eh.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Evening Rain & The Frogs

Late afternoon we had this terrific storm.  At one point, there was a brilliant flash of lightning that was immediately followed by a loud clap of thunder that I think made me jump - or I at least came close to it.  It even hailed a little (hopefully not enough to damage my car).  Anyhow, after the storm and supper I asked my roommate if she wanted to go for a walk.  We live close to a normally dry riverbed, so we headed that direction to see if anything was in it.  We detoured a little when we got there to observe a temporary pond, where we could hear the frogs calling out.  Back on the walk and a ways down, we stopped on a bridge and watched the frogs do their thing down below - ah, nature, right? - for a little while.  It was humorous watching them kick along through the water.  Every-so-often we turned behind us to watch a rainbow, and we eventually could see it in a complete arc.  It was such a beautiful walk with the sunset, the cool, moist air, the line of clouds by some of our mountains, and the scent of wet plants blowing around us.  I'm glad we took the opportunity to enjoy some of God's creations this evening.  What a lovely end to a beautiful Sabbath.

Monday, July 9, 2012

4th of July

I got to go home for the 4th this year and spend it with most of my family.  It was really great even though we were pretty crowded.  I feel like all I'm doing this summer is traveling, sleeping, and reading - it's been so nice, but I know that it's going to be over soon, and then it will be back to work and more responsibility.

I am so grateful to live in the U.S.  I am frustrated with the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act, I don't understand why anyone still supports Pres. Obama, etc.  I think it's a testament to how inspired the Founding Fathers were when they set up our government the way they did because even with a cruddy economy, corrupt leaders, and way too much government, I still live pretty well, and I still have a lot of freedom.  I really need to use that freedom to actively work to uphold our Constitution and the things that our ancestors fought for.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh, and Happy Canada Day!


I have been pretty busy throughout my vacation so far - shameful, but I think I was working really hard and feeling so stressed at the end of the semester that it's felt really good to take a breather, albeit and extended, longer-than-I-should-allow-myself one.  So far I have read a couple of good books, and I am well into my third.

Dracula: the Bram Stoker one.  I enjoyed it; I've always had this thing for vampires (well before Twilight), but I have never read the original story.  One of my friends gave it to me as a gift quite awhile back, and I finally got around to reading it.  I have to admit that I'm glad that I read a lot of it while on vacation and sharing a room with my mom because it was a little creepy.  But it was also full of brave characters and good conquering evil and gender stereotypes from the time, which I also liked.

Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer.  Juvenile fiction.  It was a very quick read (I could have easily kept reading all the way through, but I finally made myself go to bed and split it into a couple of days).  The story is written as letters between two cousins in Victorian England times.  I learned after reading it that it seems the authors wrote the book as a game.  They wrote actual letters to each other - one as one character, the other as the other, I believe.  And they didn't talk plot hardly at all, which sounds neat.  Cool idea, and it turned into something fun and entertaining to read.

These is My Words, by Nancy E. Turner.  Maybe you've already read it, as I think it's kind of popular.  I'm only somewhere around the middle of it, but, man!, am I enjoying it.  It is written as the journal of a woman who lived in the Arizona territories in the late nineteenth century.  I believe it is based on an actual woman, and I want to know how much is true because it's quite the sensational story so far.

Anyway, I recommend all of the books.  I'm looking forward to reading more before the summer's over (which is in one month for me - boo!), and I feel almost justified because I am a reviewer for a friend's website (although someone already did These is . . ., I think).

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I just went in for a filling recently - on one of my wisdom teeth.  My mouth is still a little sore.  My dentist pointed out on the x-rays things that were invisible to my untrained eyes and asked me if I floss.  "No."  Embarrassing but true.  He then explained to me that the things that I didn't see will, in time, turn into many cavities, but if I floss, they may not get worse.  Tonight I decided to start to try to form the habit, and I realized extra reasons that I don't like flossing, besides just not liking to take the time.  One of them is - I don't like knowing what's still there.  Yuck.  I have lived with girls before who have made "flossing parties" a nightly ritual.  If I want to make this something I actually do daily, maybe I need to do the same.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Do Hard Things

Well, I had an interesting week.  I had a man talk to me online who I found out is interested in a polygamous relationship - whoa! And disturbing.  While still kind of upset by that encounter, I felt something on my ankle, which turned out to be a roach!  So I was all kinds of grossed out that night.  Besides those two things that kind of happened to me, I willfully did a couple of tough-for-me things.  I went to brunch with my ex-boyfriend's fiance - my good friend.  I'm glad I went; I think it was good for us to see each other and visit.  It just wasn't the easiest thing to do is all.  The next day, I went to a board meeting for my school and voiced my opinion about salary stuff.  Not a very comfortable thing to do, but I felt like it needed to be done.  One of my roommates told me that she has appreciated a church leader's changing the statement, "I can do hard things," to "I do hard things."  I haven't verified the statement, but I like it.  We all do hard things.  They may not seem like a big deal to others, and maybe many of them aren't really that big of a deal, but there are things that we each do that are kind of difficult for us, which is good.

Monday, June 4, 2012


He also unfriended me, which I guess makes sense, but - ouch x 2


It's kind of interesting - I feel like I don't really trust things to work out magically for myself ever, but there is always that irrepressible hope that will be alive in me that something will actually work out and be wonderful.  Take the past couple of weeks, for example.  I'm going out of town later this week, and I decided that as long as I'm paying to be online, I might as well try to get some dates while on vacation.  So I was forward and tried.  I had one guy take the bait and agree to a date.  I wasn't expecting to hear much from him between then and the date, but we emailed a couple of times.  Then one day he saw that I was online and I.M.'d, and we had a pretty good conversation, which was encouraging.  I sent him my number, he replied, and he invited me to be in touch.  Then a week ago he spent several hours texting me (a little overkill for me but still nice).  Then we actually talked on the phone the next day for well over an hour.

(Which, allow me to insert a little observation about online dating here.  When you meet someone in person, you take everything in at once.  Your impression is based on a combination of sensory input.  Online is different - in a strange way, impressions are formed more thoroughly, or at least over and over.  First, you take in how the person writes.  If grammar isn't a big deal, maybe you don't notice so much.  But if you're like me, you definitely notice, and the writing makes an impression on you.  Does he write intelligently?  Or is it text shorthand?  How's his grammar?
Then maybe you speak on the phone - yet another layer where opinions are formed.  Does he have a nice voice?  Is it high?  Low?  Does he have an accent (like the rancher I went out with awhile back)?
Finally you may actually meet, and then the physical appearance is added in.  You already have an idea on this because of pictures, but this is where you find out better the potential for attraction.
I think we make all of these judgements with people we meet normally - well, you don't see how the person writes, but by talking to them you get an idea of some of the same things - but do you see how online drags it out and can make each part of the person a little more important?  Anyway, I've been thinking about that with this most recent boy.)

So what started as just a thought of a fun one-time date started to change into something more hopeful.  I stalked him early on and found his websites and thought they were kind of neat, too.  Anyway, I hope you don't think I'm too stupid for looking forward to meeting the guy, and I hope you can understand my disappointment when the dude texted me today to bail.  It's just a shame that I don't get to actually meet him in person because I feel like we might be the same kind of nerds and we might have actually had a good time.  I felt like things changed after that conversation last week, and I guess I was right - sometimes it stinks to be right, by the way.  Not that I'm often right, but sometimes I am, and some of those times I would rather not be.  Well, he was a nice guy, and I guess if he doesn't want to go out, it's good that he let me know now.  He wasn't a jerk - he just met someone else he'd rather get to know or something.  I just wish I could suppress the hope a little bit so that I wouldn't feel the disappointment quite as much.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


So I shouldn't be stressed about school anymore because my students already had their last day, and I should just need to enter grades, but that is not the case this year.  I have a student who did a tremendous amount of work in the past few weeks in order to graduate this year.  Said student has completed so many courses and put in so many hours to try to make up for lots of procrastination.  I have been more lenient than I normally am with this student, as well as some others who also were down to the wire on whether or not they were going to graduate.  However, I've been stressing if I've been too lenient with this one.  My co-worker praises me for being super ethical, so I've been questioning myself on some of this student's work.  Do I pass the student even though some of the work is not to the standard I think it should be at because this student has done so much recently and worked so feverishly to finish?  Or do I make the student do some corrections with me to try to improve the assignment(s) to a point that I feel a little better about?  One of my friends, also a teacher, gave me her thoughts, but if any of you have some, I would love to hear them.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

First Sighting

Today I had my first sighting of the happy couple.  I have been avoiding being places where I have thought I would see them because it just feels uncomfortable to me.  A week ago my roommate and I went to an activity.  As I pulled up, I saw a familiar motorcycle.  I hadn't anticipated him being there, and I didn't feel like I could do it, so I went home.  This weekend I stayed away from two parties.  But today, while I was attending a different congregation for church, my ex-boyfriend and my friend came walking by, hand in hand.  Fortunately for me, I just had another dream about them last night, and they were holding hands in that, so I figure I had already been through that.  Anyway, the other two members of the presidency that I'm a part of at church were there with me.  One of them offered to tell me a worse story to cheer me up and the other one told me she would set me up with her 23 year old son if I wanted.  :)  I love how they try to take care of me.

Anyway, I continue to feel foolish and immature, but I just don't like the idea of seeing them because it hurts.  It feels uncomfortable.  As one of my roommates said, "They're fine and happy, and you're left in the dust."  I told Lu that I don't know if I'll be able to handle it until I'm in another relationship and she suggested that that is because it is then that I will feel like my heart is safe - there might be some truth to that.  In the meantime, I might continue to avoid seeing them as much as I can - except for in my dreams, which they seem to visit frequently.  Now I just have to decide if I can go through with getting together with my friend, which I think she wants to do.  If I don't want to deal with it, (as Lu pointed out) she's in happy engaged land, so she will be okay.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another Dream

I still really want to write about my thoughts on morality and it's decay in our society, but I don't have time.  Therefore, I will only say that I had another dream last night - this time he was the only one that was physically present in it.  My friend wasn't there, but she was still in my thoughts.  My sister told me she doesn't think I should write out my dreams on here, so I won't go into detail.  However, it was actually a nice dream with some closure - only it was just a dream.  I woke up and thought, "Oh, it was a dream.  It wouldn't really happen that way."  Sigh.  It's bothering me more that my friend and I haven't talked - I think I need to work on changing that.  And maybe if I face them - in the flesh - I won't have to keep up with them in my dreams.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I think it's been awhile since I have dreamed about the ex-boy, but the last couple of nights both he and his fiance have paid me visits.  A couple of nights ago, I was going to a church activity with my family.  I saw them, and I think I told my dad that I couldn't stay, and I tried to leave.  They may have seen me as I walked down the street with my mother (in the rain, I think), but I didn't look to see if they noticed me.

Last night, they were taking engagement pictures.  I think my friend's mother was driving a van to his place.  I was sitting in the back, and I think my friend, his fiance, was up front, along with her sister, maybe (who is also my friend).  I told my friend that I would probably leave his place before he got there.  He showed up while I was outside behind his house.  I delayed getting out of there for a moment, thinking it was too late to make my escape.  But then I still decided to go, and I walked across the back of his house and to a nearby university, where I think I kept walking through different places, trying to stay away and unseen by him.  As I came out of one building, I saw a good friend of mine (also a good friend of the ex's) with his wife.  I was surprised to see them because they live abroad, but there they were.  I asked them if they were there to see my ex, or if they had already seen them, or something.  "What?"  So I pointed up these stairs and down the way a little bit, to where my ex and his fiance were in the middle of pictures - I think they were kissing.  Then I went in the building, to try to find a football game that my friend who's abroad encouraged me to attend.  Random dream and not random at the same time - good ol' sub-conscious.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Can a Girl Believe What a Boy Tells Her?

It's kind of amazing how dense I am when it comes to figuring out dudes. That date that I have mentioned recently - I still believe it was a total blessing, and I'm very grateful that it happened when it did because:
a) it made the ex-boy's engagement much more bearable
b) I liked it.

However, once again I'm feeling pretty confused at being told one thing and then feeling like the guy 180'd on what he said. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm scared that I might not be. Uggh. Frustration!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I hope that you have had a good one. An apostle from my church just made the following statement last week:

"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable [He spoke of the parable of the laborers of the vineyard - Matthew 20.], but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

"Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. 'Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,' and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast 'without money and without price' at the table of the Lord."

(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Laborers in the Vineyard," April 2012 General Conference)

Isn't it amazing what Christ's atonement can do for us? We just have to let it. We have to be willing to try to believe that the Savior can and will help us, no matter what we have or have not done. That's the tricky part because we will have thoughts that we can't change or that we've gone too far. Or we hold on to hurt and pain and anger and refuse to let go of the things that hold us back from feeling Christ's love like we could feel it.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was such an important event because it gives us hope that He really was the Son of God and that Heavenly Father's plan for us really will be fulfilled. And, because Christ was resurrected, we will all be resurrected. The resurrection lets us know that we really can trust in the Savior and turn to Him. I believe I will spend the rest of my life trying to learn how to let Him help me, but He is loving and patient and will allow me to keep learning throughout my life, for which I am very grateful.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

One Year

Funny how we remember certain anniversaries. Interesting how much has happened from that day to this. I feel like more has happened for him than for me - I mean, several girls later and now a fiance for him. But he always was busier and had more going on than I did. His life pace was always quicker. I guess I've done some things that I had a little more control over. I hope I'm better today than I was one year ago tonight. I know it's better that I am where I am than where I wanted to be - silly that we don't always want what is best for us. And there are so many areas of myself that need improvement, so I can keep working on them and be a better version of me for someone else.

Friday, March 30, 2012

It Finally Happened

If I had written last night, my post would have been, "He thinks I'm cuuuuttteee!" (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) because that's what the nice guy I went out with last night told me. But I didn't write it last night, and I just found out that my ex-boy and my dear friend are engaged, and so my thoughts are now in this numb, strange place. I'm glad the thought came to me that it might happen this weekend - even though I didn't even know if they were still dating or how that was going. But I got an email from him the other day - not saying anything about any of that. Then I noticed on Facebook that it was her birthday. It's also General Conference this weekend, and she lives near the conference, so I had some thoughts about where he might be.

Such a strange feeling it is to find out things sometimes - things that we have no control over. I think I'm in shock at the moment, and that's such a weird thing to go through. Hints of tears and wondering if I will get to more than hints at some point. Well, Devin just called, which helped to get that going a little. He's going to let me hang out with him for a little while this evening. "That's probably kind of awkward. You probably still want to be good friends with her." Yes and yes.

The mixture of feelings is so strange because they are so different. There's the relief of the finality of it. The thought that maybe I will be able to let go of my commitment to him a little more. The thought that it's going to be a heck of a reception for me to attend - hey, I've even had a gift for my friend if it worked out (one that she gave me when I was dating him, but now it should be hers). A little hurt - but maybe the hurt is more about not being in control. A calmness that I can't figure out - is it a blessing from God? shock? something unhealthy because I'm hiding stronger feelings somewhere inside me?

And I was just going to come home and read The Hunger Games and daydream about the rancher. :}

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dating in the 21st Century

I just noticed that I have 400 posts on here - crazy! Anyhow, it's so late that I don't have time to really get into everything I want to write about. This past week was my Spring Break, so I drove North to visit some family and friends. It was really nice to spend some time with my grandparents and my brother and his family (who just moved into a beautiful house - congrats!). I also saw some dear friends, which was great. I went to dinner with one friend, and he chose to go to a different place than I had planned - I'm glad he did because while we were there, in came an uncle of mine, who doesn't live in that town. I would not have seen him otherwise, so that was kind of cool. I also saw a few of my cousins and their families, and it was fun to see their babies and get to know their wives a little bit. I'm glad that I had the chance to go on that little roadtrip.

To address the title of my post - I have joined another online site. I have been kind of unimpressed by what I have seen so far, but I think society is changing so much with technology, and I feel like online is another facet of the dating scene now, so here I am (or, at least, maybe the older a person gets, the more it becomes part of the scene). I actually went on this group get-to-know-more-people thing last night. One of my friends puts together some sort of activity every-so-often, and we invite a ton of people, and then she puts everyone into different groups, so that we can become acquainted with more people while doing something fun. Last night's activity was going to dinner at a local restaurant (but one that is international in theme - the one I went to was Malaysian - yummy!) and then meeting back up for dessert with everyone. My friend made me one of the table captains, which meant that I was just in charge of trying to keep people in my group informed (which I didn't do because I was driving back from my trip - but I had a partner, fortunately) about where to go and when, etc., and I was supposed to try to keep the conversation going at dinner. Anyhow, I didn't know the other table captain - a dude. He seemed really nice, though, and I was reminded that there are people near my age who are in similar places in their lives. I am glad for the reminder that I do have peers.

However, although I would happily get to know him better, he showed absolutely no interest in me, while at the same time, this other guy has written me, and he'll be near my town this week, and do I want to go to dinner? I still don't like the stigma that I feel comes with online dating. More importantly, I don't like not knowing if the person is who he says he is. Even with a blind date, although I don't know the guy, someone that I do know does and is recommending the person. But online - there isn't that kind of reference for the person. But I'm trying to keep an open mind, so I hope the men are legit (although it probably wouldn't hurt to buy some pepper spray, right?).

Sunday, March 11, 2012


A couple of posts ago, I wrote about a guy who I met online. I was sad that I didn't want to continue. I wrote him to end things, and then he wrote such a nice email back that I second-guessed myself and thought to continue. So, I tried, and he was great, but I finally decided that I was just wasting our time. I drove up, we went to dinner, we talked, and I came home. Then I went to a single's conference this weekend, and I thought, 'Why couldn't I want to date him? Then I wouldn't have to be here doing this singles thing that I really don't like being a part of.' Not only that, but he's a decent guy, and I think we have a lot in common, and he was so nice and treated me so well. He built me up and made me feel valued (I mean, this is all premature - but the initial impressions were positive.), but for some reason that I can't figure out - I didn't want to date him. I just wasn't feeling it, you know? And even though I'm saying these things, I feel pretty okay with not getting in deeper. It's just kind of a shame, that's all. So back to the drawing board. And back to trying to figure out how to meet some dudes - it feels pretty tricky.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Phone Call from Garrett in Regards to My Weight Loss

"Hey, Jamie, Marlene says you're a babe!"

I love Marlene. And Garrett.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Are you online?

I recently went online - people have been telling me for years that maybe I should, but I have always avoided it because of the stigma. Also, most sites cost money. Also, my last relationship taught me that it's important to be with people - I don't think it's good enough to know someone over the net. My friend pointed out that it doesn't have to be long distance - it can just help you connect to people in your area, which is true, but I haven't thought of it like that.

Anyhow, I noticed a comment from a friend of mine about this particular site, and I investigated and decided to sign in because it was free. I didn't really think about what I could be getting myself into, so when I got a long email from a man, I got kind of nervous and thought, "Wait! I'm not that serious about it. Maybe I shouldn't have signed up. Now what?" This man asked if I would do him the courtesy of writing back, even if it was to tell him that I wasn't interested.

I took several days, but finally I did write. He has kids, so I was honest and told him that's not what I want (I do want kids, but I'd kind of like to start a family with someone else who's ready to start a family). I also told him that we could just be pen-pals if he wanted and that it would be a long shot for anything else. Since then, we've written back and forth daily. He writes long emails, and you know how much I can write, so I've learned several things about him. I have been somewhat surprised to find that we have many things in common.

He doesn't live in my city, but I went out of town on Thursday, and I was going to be near his town, so I suggested we meet. Even with the kids and one or two other concerns, I wanted to give him a chance (I mean, he's giving me one, right?). I figured that meeting up would give me the opportunity to figure out if there was any chemistry between us, besides just having things in common. We met at a restaurant for dinner, and I spent three hours there talking with him, but I just didn't feel anything. In fact, I think I felt kind of turned off. It wasn't a bad date. It was fine, and we obviously had things to talk about, but I did not accept his offer to do something the next night.

I think he's a decent guy, and the fact that he has a bunch of kids doesn't really bother me. In fact, they kind of tug at my heart-strings and at the mother part of me because they're innocent little people who ought to be part of a forever family.

You also know how much I want to get on with that part of my life, so it's kind of depressing to feel like, "No." I want it to work with someone. Most guys are totally not interested in giving me that kind of chance, so it's frustrating when a good guy is willing to try and I don't feel like I can in return. It's tempting to try to force it, but I think I've already been down that road, and it didn't work. Not only that, but maybe he would take me up on it, and it would be unfair to him and to me. So I think I know what I need to do, but I have to make myself actually do it, and I don't quite want to.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Well, I have made it through another week. I don't really have much to share. I don't feel very well; I think I've got to find a way to add in some exercise - endorphins, you know? I just looked up the word and learned that they are produced when eating spicy food - I could do that. Acupuncture seems to help, too - maybe I should go do that again sometime.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tender Mercies II

Last night I attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert that was part of Arizona's centennial celebration. I had been getting progressively anxious that I would see the ex-boy and his girlfriend there (my good friend, remember?). I feel like I've been doing so well since feeling so hurt awhile back and deciding to pretend like he doesn't exist, but that hasn't been working as well lately. I think it has to do with his birthday being tomorrow, with Valentine's Day being Tuesday (I still have the bouquet of flowers he gave me last year.), and with knowing that he was also buying tickets to the concert. His girlfriend is away at grad school, but the concert, his birthday, and Valentine's Day all being now made me think that he would probably fly her down for the weekend. Whether or not that happened, I don't know, but I definitely stressed it because I just didn't feel like I could deal with seeing them together. I'm very stupid, I know, but that's how it is. So instead of not worrying about it unless it actually happened, I became progressively more upset about it each day leading up to the concert. Anyway, I went to the concert, and I didn't see him, so that was a wonderful blessing.

Another wonderful blessing was seeing the concert. The Choir is so good! My friend isn't in it anymore, so I don't have him to look for in it, but it's just a great choir. They sang a variety of songs, and each number was beautiful. I recommend attending one of their concerts at least once in your life (that includes their broadcasts. You can attend their broadcasts for free, by the way.).

And the other super big blessing of the evening was running into a friend of mine who I haven't seen for seven years (if I calculated correctly). Once upon a time, I attended a community college. My first semester there I had four wonderful roommates. One of my roommates had an older brother who was also attending the college. He was totally good-looking, very cool, and one of the most eligible bachelors on campus. Because I lived with and was friends with his sister, I got to be friends with him, too. I knew he would never date me, so I set out for a brother/sister relationship, and it worked. He became a kind older brother to me, and I loved him. I graduated and went on my mission. When I got back, I attended my roommate's wedding and got to see him there, which was really nice. I think that was seven years ago. Since that time, I have thought about him occasionally, and I have stalked him a little on Facebook. During intermission last night, this couple had to get past us to get to the aisle. As they passed by, I had to do a double-take. He was already in the aisle when I finally said, "Brother?" Okay, I really said his name, but anyhow. He turned around and looked at me for a minute, and then, "What the heck?" and I got myself out to the aisle and into a hug. I met his wife. They went potty, and while I waited I sat and almost cried because it was so neat to run into him (and my emotions have been running kind of high). I didn't even think he lived in the state - which I guess he does, but still - what are the odds? When he and his wife returned, I realized that there was nobody sitting in the seats between him and my little group, so I just went over and sat by him the rest of the time. We didn't get to talk much, since it was a concert. I wanted to link my arm in his and just enjoy the contact with someone I really care about, but he's married, and I don't know if that's okay, so I didn't. But at least I got to sit next to him and be by my friend. I didn't get to talk to him after the concert, either; his father-in-law is in the Choir, so my friend and his wife jetted to go meet up with dad. But I saw him and hugged him, and I met his wife, who seems really nice, and it was great to have that brief reunion. And now I know where he's at, so maybe I can take a little road-trip sometime.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kindred Spirits

I went to my first "focus class" at the dance studio today. After my last private lesson, while Bob was doing paperwork, I told him I had a question. I explained that I was too poor to continue private lessons, but I wondered if I could attend his focus class without buying the private ones. And I found out that I can! Not only that, but the punch cards can be used for any of the focus classes. I'm glad about that because I want to attend the class that Bob teaches, but it focuses on creating muscle memory, and usually you don't actually dance with anyone during it - meaning, I might want to go to some of the other classes so I can practice dancing. During my last private lesson, Bob mostly worked on Cuban motion with me, and did some of the things he teaches in the focus class. I had wanted to go and just dance my heart out, since I knew I might not be dancing for awhile again, but he's the teacher, so we did what he wanted to do. Much of the lesson was spent with him facing me, holding my hands, and walking slowly across the dance floor one way and then the other. Eventually he had us just doing a box - very slowly again. He sped it up quite gradually. Anyway, while we were doing those exercises, I stared at my legs and feet because he was trying to teach me the correct way to distribute my weight and drive through the floor on one leg, which lets the opposite hip and leg naturally do what they're supposed to do. I don't know how long we were doing the box step, but eventually he stopped or did something that got me to look up. When I did, I noticed that his face was totally red. "Did you know that I was laughing at you?" Obviously not. I guess that he was enjoying how zoned I was while trying to execute the steps correctly (and not doing a very good job at it, I don't think). I'm glad I could be entertainment, I guess.

I didn't get to class early today, so I just walked in and quietly found a spot on the dance floor. It took awhile for Bob to notice that I was there, but when he did - "Oh. Everybody, this is Jamie. Jamie, this is everybody." And I was surprised and pleased that he knows my name. Isn't that silly? He's been teaching me, so it makes sense, but for some reason it often surprises me when people know my name. Maybe part of that is because I'm so terrible at remembering names, myself.

Later on, he suddenly asked me how I was doing, or what was up, or something. I can't recall what he had us all working on at the time, but I was busy being frustrated with myself over not doing whatever-it-was correctly. Then he explained to the other woman there, "She just had this look on her face. I needed to check in." So I don't know what is going on with my facial expressions - a long time ago the mother of one of my friends told me that I had a great poker face, but that must not always be the case.

I think that Bob is a kindred spirit, though, so I really like him, and he can say about anything to me that he wants to. I was leaving the studio right when he was going outside for a smoke, so I told him a little about The Artist for a few minutes. I feel like he would probably like it. We also talked The Hunger Games, which I still need to read (and intend to read before the movie comes out). And we talked steampunk, which he seems to really like. I don't think I have read anything that could be classified as steampunk, but I like some of the art okay. Maybe I should give it a try. Have any of you read it? Opinions?

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Artist

Have you been to see The Artist yet? If not, I totally recommend it. My brother showed me a trailer for it awhile back. It's won quite a few awards and is up for an oscar. If you haven't heard of the film, it is about a silent film actor and what he goes through with the advent of talkies. It's in black & white, and it's mostly silent. The movie is arty enough that I think it's pleasing critics, but it's also very sweet and can appeal to regular folk (well, regular people who like old movies). It did take a few minutes for me to get used to no speaking - it was interesting to hear the silence of the theater and know that if I laughed, everyone else would know, too - but I got used to it. It's kind of neat seeing how much you can understand without words. I think that the leads gave good performances - especially the male lead. He had the perfect look for the part, too. The music was beautiful. My brother pointed out to me that they use music from Vertigo in a part of the film, which worked really well. I cried quite a bit, which means that I connected with the main character and what he was going through. But it's not a depressing movie. It's beautiful and sweet, and I would love to own it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I haven't subjected you to details of my last dance lesson yet. Shame on me. And I won't do it tonight, either. I just wanted to post quickly about a couple of compliments I received today. During lunch, I went into Robert's office to retrieve my food from the refrigerator, and suddenly one of my students exclaimed, "Have you lost weight, Jamie?! You look skinnier." When Robert started giving her a bad time about something (he was joking), I immediately told him that she could do whatever she wanted because - you know - she made my day. Then, after class this evening, one of my friends complimented my outfit.

Aren't compliments the best? They can make a person uncomfortable, but they're nice, all the same.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Favorite Emilee (no offense to the others)

I have stayed up far too late tonight (which happens most nights) not writing on here, and now I don't have time to write all I wanted to. Well, maybe I will anyway. Here goes:

My sister and her family were in town this weekend. I didn't get to see them until today, however. Anyhow, Britt's parents attend the same congregation that I do. I was one of the speakers at church, so I didn't get to sit with my family during that hour, but I did get to see them walk in. It was so fun watching my niece's face when she saw me, and it was cute watching her tell her mother where I was and then tell her father the same thing when he came in. (It was also cute listening to her tell us how she "wasn't reverent" while I was speaking today.)

After the meeting was over, I started heading down to get my hug, and fortunately, it looked like Emilee was ready for the hug, too, because she ran to and flung her arms around me and just held on for awhile after I picked her up. I think that is one of the best things ever - having a baby with his/her little arms tight around your neck because he/she just loves you.

She did that again when her family was going to leave my house after lunch this afternoon. She said she wanted to stay with Jamie, and she just held me. Can you see why I love her so much?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pearl of Wisdom From Grandma

"Jamie, I know you've experienced a lot of hurt - a lot of heartache - this past year. But look at the things it has led you to do." Which is true. I would not be taking dance if it hadn't been for how hurt and confused I was about that aspect of my relationship. And going to these dance lessons has been good for me for more reasons than just discovering that I enjoy dancing and might even be able to improve with enough practice. It has been something that I have gone to on my own - without any roommates or friends or boyfriends - which is not how I like to roll. So it has gotten me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one. I doubt I would be having the opportunity to try to learn how to be a better teacher (and to try to do so by the Spirit) if I was still with the boy - I don't know if I have written about it, but I have been given the chance to be instructor of a weekly religion class. I won't be teaching it every week, but I will be coordinating things, and I'm so glad for the chance. I wouldn't be working on losing weight right now, either, I'm pretty sure. My grandmother brought up how challenges help us, and they do - or they may, is maybe more appropriate to say. I'm not saying that I want to be single and have the time to do these things, but, whatever our circumstances, God gives us opportunities to grow and helps us find ways to become more, and I feel like I'm being put back together again, which is a good feeling.

Last Week - First Group Class

Did I mention that somewhere in the past three weeks Bob decided that I am at an Intermediate Bronze dance level instead of a Very Beginner? Or, at least, he suggested that for my group class I attend an Intermediate Bronze. I went tonight. It was tango, which I think I may have only ever danced with Bob during my first lesson. I don't recall if I did it at social dance at BYU-I, and I don't think Warren taught it in his class, although it's totally possible that I've done it more and just don't recall.

Anyhow, I was a little nervous about being able to hang with the group, so I Youtube'd an instructional video just to remind myself of the basic step. I think I kept up with the class okay. That doesn't mean I was good. It just means that maybe Bob was right and I was at an appropriate level class. Cristina, the instructor, kept us switching partners very regularly during the whole hour, so I got to dance with each man several times. One of the men complimented my connection - I should tell my friend Brian - that is one of the things that he always stresses about dancing - the importance of a good connection. Maybe I should thank Warren and him because I have been told I have good form. Although there was another man who I danced with tonight who may have disagreed with that. He corrected the positioning of my right arm more than once (which I'm glad for. How can I improve if nobody corrects me?). Another man was my favorite. I wouldn't say that dancing with him was better than dancing with any of the other men, but he was really positive and encouraging and complimentary. "That was really good." "You've danced this a lot, haven't you?" What a sweet-heart. His wife is lucky.

Oh - here's the funniest part of tonight. Cristina tried to teach us that sexy move where the woman comes up and then down the man's right leg with her left. It looks so beautiful when pro's do it, but I'm sure I looked like a total doofus. Knowing that probably made me that much worse at it. One man said something about my looking embarrassed, to which I explained, "Well, yeah. I don't know how to be all tango-y about it." Sometime tonight I remembered Bob telling me that you're not supposed to smile during tango, which probably made me smile more. Maybe I just needed a rose between my teeth.

Anyways, I'm glad I was able to go, but I much prefer dancing with Bob and can't wait for Thursday.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I'm still in love with dance, and I'm not looking forward to this week being my last private lesson - I'm hoping to be able to go to this group thing, but I will have to find out if I can do that without purchasing regular lessons. My instructor told me I could go to the practice dance that was Friday, so I did, and once again I got to watch people be impressed when they found out who's been teaching me. I'm glad that I have had such a great teacher and great lead - someone (one of the other instructors?) was telling me that he's so good that he can lead anyone in anything, which I think must be true because he went over West Coast with me on Thursday, and it was enjoyable, and then a man asked me to West Coast with him at the practice dance, and I was dreadful.

Other than dance, my life is feeling a bit busy at the moment as I try to adjust to a new task in it. Figuring out how to balance everything can be a challenge, but it is also good to feel like you're doing things that will help you develop new talents and skills and become a better human being with more to offer.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm in Love

. . . with dance. It feels good to have a new love - and one that won't hurt me. I had my second private lesson this week. Bob, my instructor, asked me what I wanted to do, and I didn't really care, so I said waltz because during my first lesson I remember him telling me that he really likes it. That was the only thing we did. He corrected my right hand over and over, and he tried to teach me that count one = drive, count two = sway or swing (I can't recall what the term was that he used because when he explained it I said, "Oh - anticipate," and he said, "Yes!" and we talked about that word for it, so that's what stuck.), and count three = rise and drop/fall (once again, I can't recall the exact words - uggh! I mean, I don't think you care, but I do - what if he quizzes me about it next week?). We practiced several times, and then he would say, "Yes? How do you feel about that?" and I would say, "I kind of get it, but I think I need to do it over and over and over." Which is what I need - I need to practice it a thousand times, and then maybe I will dance the steps like they are supposed to be danced. He taught me that you are supposed to feel like you are moving backward when you step forward, and there was this time where I think he really helped me do that, and it felt so incredible. And I was high for the rest of the evening, and I wanted to keep practicing.

My groupon includes one "Practice Party," which is a dance they hold most Fridays. All of the dances are posted on lists throughout the room; I would imagine it is so you don't have to wonder what it is if you're not so good at distinguishing them, like me. I was planning on saving my dance for the end of my private lessons, but Bob told me he expected to see me there, and he didn't accept the excuses I made, so I decided to go tonight. It was great! I didn't dance the whole evening; in fact, I sat there for most of it. However, I did dance a little at the beginning and a little at the end. One of the instructors danced with me, and even though I stink, he told me that I do have a good frame (which is part of what Bob has worked on with me). Another man I danced with (who was pretty good) told me the same thing, so that gives me hope that I have something kind of okay. There were a couple of nice men who were really patient when they asked me for dances that I don't know or am particularly challenged at, like west coast swing. Warren did that one with me a lot, and that was probably my saving grace on that dance tonight. The last dance was bachata - one of my favorite Latin dances. I had thought of asking Bob if he would do that one with me, but I ended up asking this guy that I had danced with earlier. I think he said he didn't know it, but it's really easy (probably why I like it so much), and we didn't get fancy with it, so it went alright.

I kept hoping Bob would notice me and come dance with me, but I don't think he did for most of the evening. Watching him dance with other people - especially those who are more proficient - was interesting, though. He looks really good out there - smooth - like butter. There was one time that this woman pointed out a couple of sets of instructors who were dancing a bolero, and I really enjoyed watching one of the couples. So beautiful.

Bob finally did notice me, and he danced with me a couple of times. We danced 2 step the first time, which he hasn't taught me, but fortunately the basic step for that is not hard, and I've done it before. I think I came out of one of my shoes on that one - oops! He told me that I'm ready to go dance at this bar that plays country stuff (too bad I don't like country). The second one was cha-cha, and he kind of "Ba, ba, ba-ba-ba"-ed it, probably for my benefit.

And so I have discovered that I do like to dance. In fact, I think I'm in love with it. I haven't felt this excited about something for a long time - not since I took African history maybe, and that was years ago (Yes, I am a nerd, but you already know that). It brings joy to my soul. It makes a wonderful deposit into my emotional bank account. It gives me energy and renewal. And I haven't felt like I've had many deposits for kind of a long time, so maybe that's why it's so exciting to me. If the honeymoon doesn't end before my lessons do, it's going to be a sad Jamie that last day.

Not only that, but I didn't realize how much I lucked out on getting Bob. During last night's lesson I thought I overheard one of the other instructors telling her students that Bob was co-owner of the place, but I wasn't sure if I heard correctly. Tonight, when other people there would ask me who my instructor was, after hearing my reply I got responses like, "Wow. All the way to the top, huh?" "You mean, Bob, like, Bob who owns this place. Wow. He doesn't usually take new students." Etc. It makes me feel more intimidated - and more lucky. And it's going to make it even harder for me to say, "I can't. You don't know how badly I want to continue taking lessons, but I can't afford it," because it sounds like I've lucked out on landing him as an instructor. I definitely feel like he's a good teacher. He explains things in ways that make sense, and dancing with him is really fun. He's so good that he makes up for me stinking so bad. However, I noticed that coaching (which is different from private lessons, I believe) from him is $80 for one hour. ONE hour - $80. Do you see why I feel so sad? I'm thinking I need to get a second job. I need to write a best-seller. Something. If you have any ideas or are independently wealthy and feel like sponsoring me in what could be a passion in life (and I don't have many of those), let me know.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Awhile back I bought a groupon for private dance lessons - have I already mentioned that? I have this thing with dance after dating the boy. He was so into it, and I felt so inadequate about it, that I came to not like it so much - at least ballroom. So I bought this groupon because it was cheap, and I kind of have this need to prove myself now. And I wanted to know if I could learn to like it again. I made a goal to set up lessons at the new year, and I did. I had my first lesson on Thursday. I was so nervous by the time I got to the ballroom that I was afraid I might spend much of my lesson in the bathroom, vomiting (sorry if that's too much info), and I felt like I might have an emotional breakdown if the instructor asked me what I was hoping to get out the lessons.

However, I made it into the ballroom. I filled out paperwork. I met my instructor (who, incidentally, reminded me of the guy friend who I admire most). I didn't vomit. I didn't cry. We danced. In our half hour lesson (which actually went over, wasn't that nice of him?) we went over the basics on foxtrot, waltz, rumba, cha-cha, east coast swing, and salsa, if I recall correctly. And I liked it. I loved the direct instruction. I feel like this is what I've been waiting for. I already know the basic steps, but I feel like I never get better. The group setting I've experienced hasn't felt helpful. This time I had someone who knows what he's doing and was there for me and able to give me feedback, pointers, and instruction in a way that I could mostly understand.

I think he told me he's easy the first lesson, but things change after that, so I will have to see how I feel about things after the next lesson. If I continue to like it, though, those four lessons are going to end way too soon because I don't think I can afford more. Maybe I will have to get a second job. You see, I feel like other people have at least one or two things that they're really into. I don't feel like I have that. I try to justify it by saying, "I like people, not things," but I think it would be nice to enjoy something enough to be willing to put in the time to become proficient at it. And I don't know if I can be a proficient dancer, but I kind of want to find out.

Methods of Losing Weight

I have experienced all of the following within the last year-ish:

1) Get into a relationship, decide you might want to marry the person, and then get broken up with. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time with this. It is not a very dependable method, however, as I feel like one's body can react on the other extreme, in which case you just put on the pounds, probably only making you feel that much worse. Not only that, maybe the person won't break up with you. Maybe you actually will get married, and then you'll put on more weight (although maybe you won't care then). So this isn't a very good route to go.

2) Get sick. I just lost three pounds in two days that way. Once again, I don't think this is very dependable because you can't count on being sick for appropriate amounts of time to lose weight and not have to see a doctor. And being sick isn't fun, either.

3) Diet. This is my most successful method for weight-loss so far. The drawbacks are that you have to be willing to do it FOREVER. And you might be cranky at first. However, unlike the first two methods, I think you come out of most of the cranky phase and can still have fun with life.

I am hoping to implement another method soon, which I have used before - exercise. I haven't been successful at losing weight through exercise for several years. It took working out for quite awhile each day to see results with that, and I'm not willing to put that much time into it on a regular basis. I was good at running for awhile after the last breakup, but that didn't work. I mean, I felt like I was in better shape, physically (probably mentally, too), but I didn't lose weight. Now, if I could run in conjunction with my diet, that might be a breakthrough for me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oh, and Happy New Year

What a year 2011 was for me. I thought I was in love one other time in my life - perhaps I was, but this year I experienced my first love and my first real expectations of marriage. This year I have experienced a broken heart unlike any other heartache I have felt before. I have experienced one of the happiest nights of my life and some of the saddest - though, not the hardest, I would say, for which I am grateful. I went through a down in my mental health that took awhile to get through - part of getting through it was forcing myself to not avoid, and I'm glad I forced myself through it. I saw numbers on the scale that I haven't seen for a long time (Yea!). I failed out of one part of my life. I began another part. This new part is different from the old in significant ways, but similar in others - similar in my faith in God and Christ and His church. And that is what always makes life worth it.

I decided awhile ago that I have entered Jamie's Lonely Time, and while 2012 is beginning that way, by the end of this new year I hope to be done with that and into a new place. I haven't actually written down goals yet, but I'm hoping to form new relationships and learn new things - oh, and keep dropping pounds. Recently I texted some of my siblings and quoted a line from the Harrison Ford Sabrina. My brother-in-law wanted to know if that meant that I was going to cut my hair, get a black dress, and wear dark lipstick. Although that's not my literal plan, and I can't go to Paris to find myself, I do hope that I can transform myself into something better and more confident and content.

I wish you a very good and meaningful 2012 full of growth and happiness (happiness even when life doesn't go the way you envision it).

Low Expectations

One of the positive aspects of having low expectations about something is that the thing you have them about will generally either meet those low expectations or be better than them. If it meets them, then you are at least prepared and hopefully able to deal with the thing. However, if it is better than what you expected, then you are pleasantly surprised.

One of my friends was in town this week. I always like to see him when I get a chance; given the news I received earlier in the week, I especially hoped to get some time with my friend. He called me and asked if I was going to this dance for the 18-30 year old people at one of the churches. I didn't want to remind him that I am 31, but I did tell him that I hadn't been planning on attending. "Jamie, you gotta go with me!"

"But I already have plans to go to another party that evening that will be with people who are closer to my age, and I think I will be much more comfortable there," I could have said. But this is my friend, one of the bookend boys I wrote about a couple of years ago, and I didn't want to pass up the chance to see him before he left for school again. So I said okay, and I was excited to have at least a friend date because I don't think I have had even one of those for a very long time.

Then I proceeded to NOT look forward to the dance more and more, as well as be kind of bummed that I wasn't going to go hang out with "my people" (even though I don't really know them and was just making an assumption that they were my people - however, whether or not that assumption was true, it seems much more certain than a dance full of 18-30 year old people who would probably be on the younger side).

Friday was the day of the dance. I spent most of the day alone, which isn't good for me in my current mood, but I finally began to clean the laundry room with a vengeance, and that helped. I texted Bookend Boy for a time, so I would know when I needed to be ready for my friend date. He replied and in addition to answering my question, informed me that some other people needed a ride, so we would just have a little party.

The news made me only that much more excited - or not. After offering to drive myself, he called and told me who he was bringing, and I was happy to realize I would feel comfortable with the other kids. He came and picked me up and the four of us went to the dance and - I had a good time. It's been so long since I've danced, and though I think I have been somewhat ruined by realizing how stupid the way we dance looks, and I feel like ballroom or salsa, etc., are really the way to dance, I have to admit that I kind of like bopping around a little. And it was great to see my friend, of course. He's a really good example of kindness to me; I love being around people like him because they remind me to try to be better.