Sunday, October 21, 2012

Holland

It's 10 DAYS until Halloween. A lot of years, I've mentally skipped that and moved on to the 65 days until Christmas, but this year is different.  The past couple of years have been different.  More exciting than Halloween and Christmas has been fall.  32 days until Thanksgiving! The weather is cooling down.  The leaves are turning colors-not just in the mountains, but in my back yard. Fall food is in season. Right now I am so grateful for the blessings that I have.  As of this point I maintain that I may or may not have the best calling in the church. I am so grateful for the kids that I have the opportunity to work with.  Today we had sacrament meeting with one of the visiting wards that came and did an activity with us last week.  One of the mothers of one of our special needs kids spoke and shared a story that somehow applied.  She said she found it in Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul under disabilities. (Her daughter has cerebral palsy.) The story is called
Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.
Having a child is like planning a vacation to Italy. You purchase your guide books, study conversational Italian, and make plans for all the sights you will see. It will be glorious. After months of preparation you pack your bags and hop on your plane. Eight hours later the plane lands and the stewardess says, "Welcome to Holland."
Holland?! I planned for Italy. I signed up for Italy!
There has been a change in plans. You landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that you aren't in a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, ridden with famine and disease. It's just different.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks, learn a new language, and get to know different people than you were originally planning.  After a while you notice that it's not a bad place. It's just different. It's slower paced and less flashy, but it has windmills. It has tulips. It even has Rembrandts.  It is hard to give up Italy. It has been a dream, a goal, for so long. People will continue to talk about it for as long as they go and come. You will change. You will learn to love Holland for everything that it is instead.
As a 30 year old, never married, single in the LDS community sometimes I feel like I've been shipped to Holland especially when the kids I grew up with are on their second, even third trips to Italy.  This calling has helped me to notice that Holland really is amazing. These kids are my Rembrandts. I am so blessed. I think I'm going to learn Dutch. Or at least how to make stroopwafels.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

why I am awesome; or, why my parents think my life is better than television

As is typical with a growing practice, work is getting busy. Some days I would go so far as to say crazy busy.  One of the girls has recently had surgery and while she's recovering my schedule has changed a little bit. Because we're all helping cover for her, there hasn't really been anyone to cover for me while I spend a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies. All this leads up to me working today. I like my Fridays off, but I don't mind working Fridays every once in a while because it's SUPER quiet and I can be more productive when there's no one around. Flash forward to today. I'm at work.  I arrive just after the good doctor goes in with his last patient. I let the girl at the desk know that I'm in my office upstairs and to not set the alarm when she leaves. I can set it when I leave.  She tells me that she's leaving soon so I volunteer to text the doctor and let him know that I'm here so he doesn't set the alarm on me and we don't interrupt his visit.  He doesn't like it when we interrupt. It destroys his biofeedback. Nicely done.  Way to be a thinker.
So I go upstairs and start working. I'm on the phone with an insurance company when all of a sudden I notice a shrill beeping coming up the stairs from the back door. Grrrrrrrr. He did NOT get the memo. This means I have 60 seconds to sprint across the top floor of the office, down all 21 stairs, around the corner, down the hall, and deactivate the alarm before the the alarms goes off and the city police and fire department are on their merry way to rescue me from the emergency.  So I sprinted. Across the top floor, down all 21 stairs (highly grateful for fire code that requires handles on both sides of the staircase and conversely terrified by the fact that my feet are not used to the new flip flops on them), around the corner and deactivated the alarm with 23 seconds remaining. Awesome. As much as I'd like to spend quality time with the fire department...crisis averted.
10 minutes later I got a phone call from the doctor. "HEY! Are you there? I just left the office and set the alarm! Are you okay?" I got it Doc. No worries. "I just got your text! I'm at Home Depot. I'm sorry." It's okay. I am that good.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Voices Inside My Head

I had a conversation with my roommate this morning. We were discussing the voices (or lack thereof) inside our heads.  She just bought a new pair of shoes and apparently had a conversation with me (discussing pros and cons and actual necessity) in her head before she did so. I'm flattered? We discussed the fact that she frequently hears me, her parents, her boss, and a few others when she is stressed, busy, excited, or just needs someone to be excited with her.  I may have laughed at her a little.  She asked me about the voices inside my head. I told her that I don't really have any.  She told me that I was weird because I don't hear voices. "Everybody has voices!"   I decided that there are phrases that I hear, but I have adopted the actual voice that projects them in my mind.  I guess that is why I like quotes so much. Here are some of the most prominent:
  • "Make it a good day!"
Mom told us this every morning as we walked out the door to school. It has helped a lot. So many times my attitude has changed drastically as I have tried to MAKE it a good day.  Sometimes my attitude is the only thing I CAN change in a situation. 
  • "What good can possibly come from a day that begins with waking up in the morning?"
Dad's counter quip to Mom's morning advice. Believe it or not, I'm a night owl. I tell my patients that I'm a morning person by necessity, not choice. 
  • "Wise people learn from experience.  Super-wise people learn from other's experience. Super-super-wise people learn from the Lord to begin with."
Squeeg (the brother) spoke in stake conference when he was 15-16ish.  I was in calculus at the time and amused myself by taking derivatives and integrals of random equations. I snapped out of it long enough to hear him make that statement. I try to apply that statement as much as possible. It makes me feel: 1) educated, and 2) ahead of the game. If I learn it from others, I don't have to go through the pain of learning it by myself.
  • "It's Thankful Thursday! What are you thankful for?"
One of the girls that I used to visit teach used to send me Thankful Thursday texts with lists of things that she was thankful for.  It's amazing how having time scheduled for gratitude can change perception and reality in my mind.  I like Thankful Thursdays.
I hope you all appreciate the voices in your head. Make them a positive rather than a negative. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

must. blog.

I've reached that point again. I feel like someone else should be updating this thing. It has been over a month. I'm an exciting person. I have things I could be talking about. Right? Right. About that...
-I went to New York. I checked something off my bucket list. I went to Guilford Lake. As spell check is telling me that Guilford is spelled wrong, I'm guessing the rest of you are looking at that and wondering where on earth this place is.  It's a small lake upstate in New York. My uncle's family has a cottage on the lake. They built it somewhere around 1920. They've been going there every summer ever since. I've always had an open invitation to come visit, but let's be honest.  How often do I spend time in upstate New York?  My cousin got married there so I booked a flight and had one of the best weekends of my summer. I spent a little time in the city-went to the Manhattan LDS Temple and saw Jim Parsons in HARVEY, but the bulk of it was at Guilford. I will go back someday.
-I have the BEST. CALLING. EVER. I work in special needs mutual. It's a new thing. I'm still not quite sure that I know exactly what I'm doing, but I am having a good time.  I'm looking forward to working with the other leaders and the kids are FANTASTIC. I'm sure you'll hear more about that later.
-I love good food. I don't think I can really express how much I love good food. I'm always on the lookout for something tasty. Roommate and I made some delightful fish tacos the other day. That also took us to a Latin market. I've forgotten exactly how much I love all things Latin. I should go back. Soon.
-I LOVE HARVEST TIME!!! Yesterday after church I picked 8 cucumbers, 6 tomatoes, and a green pepper. Today's lunch was a quesadilla filled with cream cheese and jalapeno peppers, topped with fresh tomatoes. I have no words.
-Apparently I am incapable of NOT talking about food so I guess it's okay for me to mention that we picked plums today. And made jam. Roommate may have cried when she dropped our last jar from last year. We are now replenishing the supply. I feel good about that. It's yummy stuff. Just don't ask about the sugar content. Ignorance is bliss.
-The nephews are always good for a chuckle.  The highlight of the 4-year-old's 4th birthday was getting to use scissors for the first time. The 2-year-old (who thinks he is 3) thinks they should name their new baby sister Sally Djibouti.
I think I have a recurring goal. Every 3 months or so, I decide I need to blog more. I'd like to think I could, but as of this point, I'm making no promises.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Epic Fail:

So I tried to bake rolls today.
-spoiled milk.
-not enough flour.
-no emergency reserve of flour.
-substitute bisquick for flour?
-shut off oven and cool ridiculously warm house.
-scrapped bread however doesn't look too bad.
-tried bisquick biscuits.
-didn't count something right because this isn't biscuit dough.
-scrap it.
-start over.
-remixed biscuit dough, careful to not over mix-there's nothing worse than tough biscuits.
-throw biscuits in the oven with 5 minutes to spare. (awesome!)
-timer goes off.
-check biscuits-they're still really white. weird.
-give them another 5 minutes.
-still. no color whatsoever.
-touch biscuit.
-still doughy.
-check oven.
-IT' NOT ON.
-turn on oven.
-set timer for 5 minutes.
-timer goes off.
-biscuits overly brown.
-ARGH! there's no winning this one.
-throw biscuits in a bowl
-arrive 20 minutes late for dinner. highly apologetic.
This is why bread is still on my bucket list of things to learn before I die.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

post script

My mother reprimanded me for throwing licorice.
I am thoroughly repentant.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cool points of interest from today:

*We picked our first tomatoes in our garden today.
*I had an interesting conversation with a Buddhist friend today. We talked about death. I know...slightly morbid. But it was kind of cool.  He's Buddhist. And a doctor.  We were discussing the actual moment of passing.  He asked me if I had ever seen anyone die. (I was there when my grandfather passed away.)  His first death was actually in surgery.  A man died on the operating table.  He asked me if it had felt like something left the body when it died.  I said yes.  He said he doesn't believe in souls (because he is Buddhist), but the scientist in him wants to know if something actually leaves the body and how much it weighs.  He wants to weigh the body both before and after death to see if there is the slightest change.  Oh Oscar.  Just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
*I went on my first actual bike ride in about 15 years tonight. My bum hurts.
*I took dinner to a family in the ward tonight.  They have a 4-year-old little boy.  When I ran in and dropped off food, the little boy said, "are you mommy's teacher?" I said yes, but I wasn't teaching, just dropping off food this time.  He said "Thank you so much for this wonderful food!" He's adorable.  Bless the 4-year-olds.
*I may have maimed my roommate this evening. I tossed a piece of licorice to her and apparently threw it harder than I thought. I heard it across the room.  It also left a welt and a lump on her forehead. I'm a bad person. I promise I won't throw licorice, ever again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pretty Sure Old English Makes Everything Better:

The Hokey Pokey

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinsitral pedestral to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from heaven's yoke.
Bessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say,  'tis what it's all about.

Thank you Facebook for sharing this wonderful moment with me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Problematic

I have so many things to write about and very little desire to do so. I guess that's what happens when you get home SUPER LATE/EARLY and then have to recover quickly for the upcoming work week. Here's the slightly expanded bullet list:

  • Just got back from Washington. Fantastic trip. Love my family. So much fun to spend time with them. Highlights: flying kites on the beach, family barbecues, hiking in Olympic National Park, sunsets on the Oregon Coast. 
  • Ran my first 12k in Washington. Less than 13 minute miles. Kind of impressed with myself. The course was beautiful-basically ran through a green tunnel with the Puget Sound on one side. Downfall? There are no rolling hills to train on in Utah. Kind of had a hard time getting myself in the mental groove. Still can't run listening to music. Can't find a steady pace with it. I suppose that means I'm still on a quest for the ideal play list. 
  • It rained. A lot. I know. The Pacific Northwest? Unheard of. I'd forgotten how wet it really can be. We still camped in it. I came home with a cold. It's okay. Ironically enough, the warmest we got was at Crater Lake (7000 feet with lots of snow?). Personal favorite moment was watching the two single guys dressed for Hawaii-not kidding fluorescent tank tops, shorts, and sandals wandering around in the snow with British accents. I giggled. 
  • Miracle of the day? It happened. We actually got home around 5:00 am. It was a long, rough night. I couldn't really sleep until about 7:30 so I opted out of 9:00 am church. We planned on waking up in time for the 1:00 pm meetings at our building but at the last minute decided to go to church with roommate's brother to his singles ward. As we drove to American Fork, roommate commented about how her car felt funny and that she should go get her tires rotated tomorrow. Cue: Strange noise and tug on the car. She shredded her tire. We called her parents and her father and brother came as a rescue party. We were putting rocks behind the tires when a van passed us and stared backing up toward us. We assumed it was the rescue party. As it turned out it was our own Good Samaritan Couple. Cliff and Karen. Bless you both for your willingness to serve on a hot Sunday afternoon. He works at Les Schwab. We could have easily changed the tire, but he did it super fast. She stood and talked to us for a minute and told us that their church had a camp out earlier in the weekend so they cancelled their Sunday meetings. Maybe he wanted to get his Sunday worship in anyway? I was grateful. There are good people in the world. Pay it forward, yeah?
All in all I call it a good trip. I don't have plans for a while. I'm hoping that means my life will fall back into its general consistency which allows me to do such niceties as blog.  Happy Sabbath.


***Oh yeah. Update. I still don't really use the internet at home. It's SO NICE. Technology doesn't have to be such a huge part of my life. I'm okay with it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nebraska in all it's glory...

So I decided to come home for Memorial Day. Every time I come home I have that realization that I really do like this place. Nebraska really is a great place to live. I don't even mind the weather (ie, the humidity). Roommate and I are still training for the 12k in 2 weeks. I think after this trip we're finally convinced that we might survive it. We ran 6.2 miles through the biking/walking trails of Lincoln. Side note: they ROCK! Side note.5: I didn't say we were fast, I just said we did it. My legs were super tight after the drive. I think they were rebelling to 14 hours in the car. We'll have to see what happens after the drive home. They may not speak to me after it all. Wish me luck...

Friday, May 18, 2012

oh air conditioning...

I'm currently sitting at my car dealership getting my oil changed and having them look at my air conditioning before the wickedly warm summer months arrive. We apparently broke a record last week with 90. I didn't mind the lack of air conditioning in my car, but the girl I carpool with doesn't like being warm or sweating-she's from Oregon. I'm sorry I didn't blog last Sunday. I honestly didn't have time. (It's amazing what you have time to do when you are killing time on the internet all the time.) I chose to spend the day with some old roommates, one of which has recently become a mother. We played with the baby and discussed everything from "If you could ask God one question, what would it be?" to "If you could throw a party with no monetary restraints, what would you do?" I miss those girls. The year I lived with them was a great year. [insert transition] I've recently had a paradigm shift of sorts. I got a new/additional calling at church. I'm going to be the stake leader for Special Needs Mutual. I've only been twice and they are taking their summer recess so I'm going to get a break, but I'm so excited for the calling. The youth amaze me. I could say so much, but I don't feel the need to express this all online so ask me about it someday if you really want to know. Last night was the closing social and I like any other new leader, manned the drink table. It was so fun to watch the kids, but the thing that blew my mind was the music they played: the Macarena, the Backstreet Boys, etc. I remember when those came out. I was riding the bus to middle school the first time I heard the Backstreet Boys. The Macarena phased in to Junior High. Those songs are SO OLD and yet the kids had a great time. I guess some music is really timeless. ***garden update*** My garden is growing!!! I have peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and possibly spinach growing. THEY AREN'T DEAD!!! I'm feeling good about that. Yay me!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I have a goal...

Last week I registered for a 12K. This concept is totally daunting to me, but I think I can do it. Right now, it's not about time. Can I finish in x hours? x minutes? etc. Nope. It's about, "can I finish without stopping?" Friday afternoon roommate decided that she wanted to run a 5k. Currently my favorite idea in the world is that she asked me Friday afternoon and we ran it Saturday morning. No problem. Did I have a fantastic time? Sure. I had a great time. Running around a farm is all sorts of fun in the spring time. I saw lambs, goslings, and a bunch of other delightful animals (including dogs chasing geese and brides posing for bridals waiting for the perfect moment to take the picture so there isn't a runner in the background). My actual time, not that great. The important part was that I finished. I didn't stop. I wanted to. There were hills and I didn't want to run up them, but I did. It was good for me, right? Right. Perfect reward the experience? Breakfast with the old roommate her new baby. Okay. He's not that new, but he's still new to me. We had a good time. Perfect reward part 2? Evening in a hot tub at a resort with old friends. So fun and relaxing. This weeks goal? Go farther. Done. In other news, I also planted tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. My peas look lovely. Not seeing much of the lettuce and spinach. Don't know exactly how I feel about that, but we'll figure it out soon enough. I may even plant something else over it. We'll see how ambitious I get. Happy Sabbath.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

we interrupt your regularly scheduled program...

So I don't journal on the days that I blog and this would have been an awesome journal entry, but for some reason I thought my mom would get a kick out of it, so I'm journaling on the blog today. [I'm typing this in my bed and just realized that my contacts are still in. Probably should take care of that before I go to sleep.] First, a little bit of back story. I'm currently training for a 12k. I plan on running it in Washington with a variety of family members and then my parents have booked us a cabin on the beach for the following week. I don't really know what the definition of "cabin" is, but I do know that there could be some camping involved. More back story of a different variety. My roommate and I were camping buddies long before we were roommates. For as long as I've known her, I have secretly coveted her REI camp bed. It's something like 2 inches thick and is lovely when it comes to camping trips...not that I've ever used it because she's always had it. On our last camping trip I may sat on her bed for a few minutes while I was changing my clothes. It was heavenly. Flash forward to present day. I got a package in the mail today. Roommate has a bookmark on steepandcheap.com on her computer. A couple days ago she found a Thermarest bed pad for 46% off. It was camoflague. That was it's only downfall that I could come up with, I decided to spring for it. When the ad said something about XL we thought it was talking about the thickness of the pad itself. Nope. Its dimensions are huge. We're currently concerned as to whether it will fit in the tent or not. Literally, it's the size of a door. I blew it up and it's probably at least 3 inches thick. I tried it after my run tonight (4 miles!!! I just might survive this 12k). It was lovely. I'm officially preparing myself for accusations of "city folk" from my little brother when he see's it, but you know what? I'll sleep better than he will... And now-back to your regularly scheduled break in internet usage.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The world is too much with us....

So this title has a bit of a story behind it. I was hesitant to name it this because I was afraid I'd end up with some 007 junkie looking for THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH so I double-checked IMDB to make sure that it wasn't the same. I totally spaced William Wordsworth. I'm a horrible English major. These are things that I should know!!! Apparently I'm out of literary shape. Urgh. Anyhow-yes. Week one sans internet at home. Honestly, it was lovely. I finished LITTLE WOMEN which I started last June while I was in New York. Once again, out of shape. We ran a 5k. Very exclusive. Roommate and I ran the mileage around Utah lake. It was kind of nice. I had time to garden after work (Our peas are doing very well...the spinach and lettuce are a little lacking). We went on a scooter ride to the cemetery and I found my grandfather's grave. That was a miracle all in itself. I'm the child/grandchild who lives the closest and up until this week I always had to call someone else to help me find it. I think overall, I decided that I like the lack of technology in my world because it allows me to separate myself from the scary world that is out there. I have journaled and read my scriptures every day this week. I ran 5 out of 7 days. I cleaned my room. I was social with people that I'm not typically social with. I enjoyed the sunset (even though it was colder this week than last week). I appreciated the fact that my back lawn isn't a dandelion field like it used to be. I did forget to go pick up my mail, but hey...that's just something else to do next week, right? The chronicles continue...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Experiments...

I really wanted to call this one "Scientific Progress Goes Boink" but then I decided that if I did that I'd end up with a bunch of Calvin and Hobbes junkies reading my Beatrix Potter-esque post. That probably wouldn't be super appropriate so we went more for the Little Women/Louisa May Alcott "Experiments". Whatever. I've been reading a little bit more than I have over the past few years. So. Friday. I slept in a bit to make up for the ridiculous week I had a work. I then decided that I needed to over-compensate for the sleeping in. I cleaned my bathroom, did some laundry and one thing led to another and I found myself in my back yard with a butter knife digging up dandelions. I blame my mother. There were at least two 5-gallon buckets full of dandelions, before I had to quit and shower. As I listened to Roommate read me SALT, A HISTORY OF THE WORLD, I decided that I spend too much time wasting my time on the internet. I should do other things with my life (case in point: read, garden, clean, sew, etc.) Then I remembered the summer I spent in a very Potter-esque garden and how much I loved it. Sorry about the nostalgia. Moving on. Dandelions. Right. More than anything that evening I wanted to keep working in the garden, have a light supper, read a little, and got to bed. I didn't get to because I was being social that night. I decided thought that I was going to do so as frequently as possible this summer. I remembered reading a story about a woman who went an entire year without electricity and all of its subsequent benefits. I think she turned it into a book deal eventually, but I liked the concept. I can't eliminate all of it, but I think I can eliminate the laptop. I think I'm making it an official goal. I'll pull it out on Sundays so I can blog about all my awesome stories and such, but other than that...I think this is the summer that my laptop is going to live in my closet. Wish me luck... Till next Sunday...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

waxing philosophical.

So I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and feel like there are so many profound things to be said or read or communicated. We live in a time and place where it is so easy to share things that we are thinking and feeling. At the same time, I feel like communication is something that is seriously lacking in today's society. One of the great ironies of the world? Perhaps. Does that make it okay? Not really. How do I plan to change it? Support those things which I feel to be important.
A few examples:
1) I went to XANADU at the local theater last night. Who knew that Australian accents, roller skates, and obscene amounts of glitter could be so fun? I really would like to try anti-gravity yoga sometime.
2) I'm going to my first caucus meetings tomorrow. I WILL be an informed voter this year.
3) It's pi day. There was chicken pot pie on the menu.
I plan on making my list longer every day.
Happy Wednesday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dear Walgreens...

Have you ever looked at your cold and flu aisle from the point of view of a person who has a cold or the flu? Speaking as one who has recently decided that she might have a cold(Okay. Fine. One who HAS a cold.)...it's EXHAUSTING! I left work with instruction/recommendations. "The doctor likes Zycam. I like Vitamin C....All you really need is vitamin C and zinc." 45 minutes later I find myself in your cold and flu aisle. Dissolvable? Chewable? Sprayable?...cherry? lemon/lime? strawberry? mint? mixed berry? All I really need is something that will make me feel better. That's all I want. I don't really care what form it comes in.
JUST MAKE ME FEEL BETTER PLEASE!!!
The One with the Cold

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dear White Dodge Ram Driver...

I can't express my gratitude at how kind you were last night. Normally, when I get off the freeway I cringe when I notice a large truck following me down the exit ramp. My retinas appreciated the fact that you turned off your headlights as you pulled up behind me. It was so very kind of you to also follow me at a distance so that you would not blind me yet again. I get the feeling that you too have be blinded by blaring headlights in your rear view mirror.
Thank you.
The Charcoal Honda Accord Driver

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I know. You all thought I was dead.

I did too for a while. And then there was this phase of sketchy internet connections. And then there was all the traveling in December. And on top of the December travel schedule there was the end of policy year at work which just makes my life absolutely delightful. There may have been some overtime. Oh yes-and then there were all the last minute hand made Christmas gifts. Yup. It's been awesome.
On January 1st this year, I did something that I've never actually done before. I sat down and wrote out my list of new years resolutions. Don't get me wrong here, I set resolutions each year, but I don't think I have ever ACTUALLY WRITTEN THEM OUT on the 1ST. Why would I do that? That would be the practical thing to do.
Keeping the previous paragraph in mind, I think don't think this has been a normal year for me-resolution wise. I've re-read my list a few times over the past 28 days and have done my best to keep said-goals in the fore front of my thought processes. I'd like to make and addendum to my list. I think my dear friend Campbell said it best, "COMMIT Williams. COMMIT!" I think I regularly observe my inability to commit to things. The most recent is my list of books that I'm reading. I can think of at least 5 that I've started and haven't finished. I'm adding all of those books to my list of resolutions for the year. I will learn how to finish things. Even books.