Sunday, November 30, 2008

not my mother's thanksgiving...

like george washington-i cannot tell a lie. i think i just got home from one of the greatest holidays in my recent past. i went to idaho (i know...great destination)and spent the holiday with an old roommate. the theme for this holiday was "not my mother's thanksgiving". if the title is not enough to imply it, this was our first non-mission thanksgiving away from home. that means, no mom, no grandma, nor aunt to do all the cooking. we were left to fend for ourselves. once again...no lies-i'm pretty sure it was the BEST turkey i've had in my life (and i don't think it was just because we cooked it ourselves). seriously though...it was one of the best weekends i've had in a really long time. lots of rest and relaxation in the form of movies (at least 11 of them) and the wii (we'll not count the hours) and people who love me...always a good combination.
***ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC***
my holiday fling with guitar hero has officially been terminated. indefinitely. when use of my right arm is re-established, negotiations may be opened to redefine this relationship.
***and now-back to our regularly scheduled program***
as i layed in bed thanksgiving morning (extremely thankful for an exceptionally comfortable bed), i contemplated past thanksgivings--the so-called landmarks in my life.
~turkey on a styrofoam plate and a mixed tape of the carpenters~
when i was approximately 15, we spent our holiday painting my grandparents living room. it was great. mom and kelly made turkey, stuffing, rolls, and pie while the rest of us covered the piano and furniture and painted the walls. we took turns eating as the styrofoam plates of turkey were passed around. we also took turns flipping the tapes over and that is where i learned the fatefully true lyrics "rainy days and mondays always get me down"(...still can't figure out how i survived chile). i think it was that year that i realized that it's not just about food. it's about family and being thankful.
~pumpkin pie in south america~
speaking of chile...my thanksgiving there was one of the greatest-not going to lie. it was the year that president hinckley challenged all members of the church to read the book of mormon between august and december. oddly enough, i finished it on thanksgiving day. i would call that strangely appropriate. we had district meeting in our chapel that day so the elders asked us if we could meet them there early so they could have leadership meeting before hand. we let them in and hid in a classroom and i finished the book of mormon. i took moroni's challenge and received my answer. it wasn't any different than any other time that i'd prayed about the book, but it came. i had never been so grateful for the scriptures and a heavenly father who loves me enough to give me a personal relationship with him and the holy ghost and-through those relationships-a testimony of his gospel. i found that appropriate for a thanksgiving day, right? i would have been totally content with that, but i got a phone call later that day as i was wandering around camino real in the rain that just iced the cake. one of the assistants asked to meet us back at the church, that he had something for us. when we found him there, he had a slice of pumpkin pie for us. GLORY!!! there are perks to being in the same town as the mission home and having gringos for mission presidents. it was perfect. all was right with the world-a loving heavenly father and pumpkin pie. what more could i have asked for?
~not my mother's thanksgiving~
this was the beginning of my future thanksgivings. (i know, cheesy. get over it.) it wasn't like mom's, but hey, i'm okay with that. at some point, i'm going to have to take over and do it for myself. for practice we brined, basted, and carved our own turkey. we mashed potatoes. we had pie. we started our own traditions. it's okay. we can be grateful for the future and the adventures it brings-adventures in turkey only being a small part of what the future holds for me...
all in all, i'd consider the holiday a grand success-one of those experiences that go down in the memory books as a first. i'm looking forward to many more...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just for the record...

I watched the BYU/UTAH football game today. ALL of it. That means I watched a full football game. Yay me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the whistler...

once upon a time i worked in an office. we listened the radio quite a bit-it happens in offices. one day, while listening to said-radio, they had a short news bleep about whistlers. yay for useless factoids that will be forever ingrained in my brain. one out of five people in an office is a whistler. the whistler will also drive the other four crazy. at the time, i was in an office of 11. we had one whistler. she didn't whistle all the time, nor did she do a bad job when she did whistle, but i was acutely aware of her musical habit.
flash forward two years. i still work in an office. (it's kind of a familiar story...) we have a fellow in the office who studied in new york, but is originally from china. he speaks english really well, but there are a few bits of culture that he missed, for example-the 80's. he recently has discovered the glory of youtube. apparently he taught himself how to moonwalk watching youtube...he broke that one out the other day and had us all rolling because of it.
today, they added a bit of mood music to my friday afternoon ritual, a little bit of phantom of the opera. it's quality entertainment. the same moon-walking doctor apparently has recently discovered the glory of phantom as well. he whistles it now. the thing that really amuses me is that he just whistles it. he doesn't whistle along with the music. he whistles the music. it doesn't matter whether he is 3 bars ahead or 4 bars behind, or whether he is even whistling the same song-it just brings him joy to be vocally(if i can use that word) participating. good for him. the thing that i find ironic is that there were 5 of us in the office that day. 1 out of 5...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

oh boy.

so i've had a cold. no big deal, right? they come a few times yearly. as my mother pointed out to me, it only happens when i don't sleep. ha. sleep! who needs it? seriously. okay, now that i'm over my pride, i fully accept and support that statement. i only get sick when i quit sleeping. ironically (or not at all), my favorite method of kicking the cold is sleeping it off. that's exactly what i did with this one. after 3-hour naps daily, and a weekend full of r&r, I FEEL AMAZING!!! gotta a love the great 'recovered' feeling however i'm completely amused by the few after effects of the cold...namely, my voice. it's all sorts of amazing. i called a restaurant to order a salad for dinner and the girl that took my order called me BOTH 'sir' and 'ma'am'-poor girl, that's awkward. they told me at work today that i have a sultry phone voice. ha. then i realized how many people i talk to on the phone daily...how many people come home from work to find my voice on their answering machine. it's a good thing i don't have a 900 number. the cough that accompanies the voice. also beyond amazing. it's quite the combination... unproductive smoker's cough + my hot voice. i suppose that's my cue...i'm not done with the naps and orange juice diet.

Monday, November 10, 2008

leaves...

i literally have a park in my back yard. there are also lots of trees with really great leaves. last week they all fell and i seriously considered joining the 6-year-old children as they jumped in the leaves and successfully destroyed the carefully raked piles. i really wish i had...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

-painful optimism-

What the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Means to Me…
There is no place to really start. There is no beginning to the blessings that I have received and there will be no end to them either.
Really this week I have profoundly felt my innate sense of optimism. This baffles me completely because this has not been the greatest week for my sense of…anything (period). Really I hate politics and the fact that elections occurred…well, let’s put it this way, I was glad that I spent Tuesday night in the temple, hiding from the world. As I left the temple, I mentally outlined the blog that I would compose as I drank my cup of cocoa and went to bed. I didn’t want to watch the results. I just wanted to hear it on the radio the next morning as I got ready for work. Honestly, I didn’t care who won. My theory is that “choosing the lesser of the two evils” is STILL choosing evil. The next four years have potential to be very difficult—no matter who is in office. Somehow, as I got ready for bed and blogging, my roommate called me and invited me to an election party. Still not quite sure how it happened, but I went—sporting my bright green scarf (none of this red and blue business). I sat there and watched the celebration as Obama was declared the president-elect, and actually managed to sit through all of McCain’s concession speech (very well done, I might add). I suppose the thing that surprised me the most was that as much as I really didn’t care about the result of the presidential election, I really wanted to know what was going on in California with Proposition 8. I was surprised by this fascination because I really don’t have any connections to California. I know people, but didn’t really feel the connection to actual election. Oh wait, then I thought about the actual proposition.
IT IS BASED ON EVERYTHING THAT THE CHURCH MEANS TO ME!
The family is central to God’s plan for us and essential in our growth and development to become like him. I believe that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (THE FAMILY: PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD). I imagine that if I had lived in California, I would have left hangy-thingys [yes. it’s a technical phrase.] on doors and I could have possibly stood on street corners with signs, but that’s all I can really do. I can’t force anyone to cast their vote one way or another. It’s all part of the agency. Principles can be taught, but application is self-initiated. My understanding of democracy is that each can cast his or her own vote and be heard. California voted and the proposition passed. Marriage has been defined as a union between man and woman. I’m not saying it’ll last forever…it’s not the first time that California has voted on this proposition. Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed at some point, but for now, the majority of the public agree with me. I’m currently fascinated by the (vocal) minority’s response. Protests…police…wow. I’d like to think that I can understand where they are coming from. I work in a doctor’s office. I’ve learned a few things since I’ve started working there: 1) I don’t know everything. 2) Sometimes there is no immediate answer. 3) Sometimes there is nothing to be done. 4) Sometimes things happen that I have no control over that I get to learn to deal with. Perhaps it would benefit them well to learn some of the same lessons. Unitarian minister, Jenkins Lloyd Jones, (probably unintentionally) made a legendary statement:
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed….Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
Things happen that we don’t like and we don’t plan for. Sometimes we have to deal with it anyway. The odds are we’re not the first to go through it and we probably won’t be the last either. The amazing thing is that they we are given the opportunity. Whether California made the right decision or not [for the record, I believe it did], it was given the liberty to make a decision. There are so many places in this world that still don’t have that blessing.
Beyond my fascination with Proposition 8, I have felt almost surreally optimistic for the future of our country. Approximately half of the country is thrilled for the future, and at the same time, the other half is planning their quick get-a-way to Canada, Mexico, or their country of choice. Really, is that necessary? This country was discovered and settled under God’s power. It was discovered so that His church could be restored and so that His children could have the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with Him. He loves His children and will do everything He can to help them. He isn’t going to let us fail…”come what may—and love it!” Really, we live in a wonderful time. We have a prophet on the earth. We are children of God. He loves us and has a plan for us. He really wants us to be happy, but will not thrust happiness upon us. We get to choose to have it.
Now, re-reading this, it’s rather political. I’m kind of excited about that. That means that I’m in the midst of developing a political opinion. Check that one off the “I’d like to think I could…” list. Religion may be separate from state in the political world that we live in, but in MY world, politics can’t exist without it. Right and wrong will always be defined and politics will always attempt to gray out that line.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

deer in the headlights...

i was wandering around walmart at 10:00pm on saturday and ran into a friend of mine. she looked at me, kind of shook her head, and said, "sorry i keep blinking. my eyes just don't want to stay open." i told her not to worry and that i was having a similar experience. at the time, i felt like i had the glossy-eyed, deer in the headlights-kind of look on my face. these are my theories as to why...
1) spuratic sleeping patterns
2) lack of vitamin d and/or sunshine
3) not sleeping at night
4) imbalanced blood sugar levels
5) christmas music at 3:00 am on Halloween night
6) i was wearing glasses-not contacts. the prescriptions are VERY different.
7) did i mention something about not sleeping?
my goals for the week to void the glaze are: a) sleeping (regularly-for decent amounts of time), b) eating (balanced meals that consist of more than almonds, cheese and crackers, and pear sauce), c) looking for sunshine (even on a cloudy day), and d) drinking vitamin d fortified milk. wish me luck...