Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Birthday...

I am not a big birthday person... I don't go around telling people when my birthday is, last year I even took it off of facebook so people wouldn't be notified and tell me happy birthday. But, somewhere in between not wanting people to make a big deal out of it and strategically making sure my newer family members weren't aware of the day I realized that people want to help me celebrate and I should probably let them.

The husband is amazing! He took me shopping for new bedding a few weeks ago and I thought that and some new jeans I desperately needed would be the rest of my birthday presents. But, he also ordered me a few favorite books (The Alchemist and The Little Prince) and we went out to dinner with some friends at a place called Naked Fish in SLC. Because of my strict diet there are few places I can enjoy eating out but a sushi place was perfect! I really enjoyed the atmosphere and live jazz music. We had great company, our friends the Tates.

My little sister took me shoe shopping. If you know me you know I don't like shopping very much... But, shopping with my sister is one of the few exceptions. I love my new boots Em, thanks!

My dear friend Melanie brought me flowers, Angela sent me a card from her mission...

all of the calls, texts, cards and letters from friends and family meant so much.

I think the thing I look forward to the most every year is the call I get from my mom's side of the family. Each year my mom and anyone she can get to help will call and sing me happy birthday. This year, I got to hear from my younger siblings and nieces. My mom even made everyone sing to me once on the answering machine and once while I was on the phone. Now I just have to figure out how to upload that message as an mp3 so I can save it on itunes.

Usually 23 isn't a special birthday.... but it was the best one I have had in a long time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

going private...

someone near to me used the information on my blog against someone I care about very much, that is all I am going to say except:
be careful online... you might never know who is reading

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

At first glance...

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by life. This past week has been one of those sometimes. There was just so much going on that I had a difficult time seeing the good in all of the unfortunate and hectic. I have been pretty down and out about this diet, focusing on the things I can't have rather than the ones I can. I have been seeing my mom's car wreck as yet one more thing the family can't deal with and to top it all off I have four tests within the next week.

But guess what?
I and my family are incredibly blessed.

I have found out that I love avocados, almond butter and coconut milk. I have also found out that my cousin will look out for me, same as always and that there are friends in unexpected common ground.

My mom has been going nonstop for who knows how many years, and although this is painful for her I am amazed how resilient my family is and that no matter how different we all are when there is a crisis we come together and support each other the best way we can.

And as for those four tests? I have never been more grateful to be able to earn an education without accruing any debt in an economy like ours.

But more than anything I am realizing more each day how right the choice to marry Gabe was. He is my anchor, my best friend, my mentor and my coach. He pushes me to do things I need to and helps encourage my dreams. He is by my side through it all and keeps me in check.

What a life, I love it !

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's been a year...

Seriously, this year has been intense and yes, I know January isn't quite over yet. Here are some of the ups and downs this month:

1. I was 'diagnosed' with diabetes in December. I immediately went on the diet, took my blood sugar levels, started exercising more and had the husband step in as my control when I really wanted something that I knew would just make me sick in the end. The good news is that I don't have diabetes (more like AWESOME news) and even better they finally figured out what is wrong with me.
I have waaay to much yeast in my system. The average person has a level of 3 (on a scale of 1 - 100) in their system at any given time. When I went in to the doctor I was told my levels were higher than they can record so I got a 100.
So, for the next three months I am on an incredibly strict diet. No yeast, no refined sugars, no fruits (except grapefruit, kiwi, green apples and blueberries in moderation), no foods containing gluten, no mushrooms, no peanuts peanut butter or pistachios, no cider or root beer, no aged moldy or processed cheeses no processed fried smoked or pickled meats and no packaged processed or refined foods.
Oh and I am moderately allergic to milk so no milk or ice cream

I am not joking...

So the next adventure in our lives is finding foods I can eat. If you have any ideas please let me know!

2. My mother was rear-ended by a semi.
Thankfully, she only received a concussion and whiplash. She is still having some major issues that are related to both of those things. Mostly, she is having to deal with not being able to do anything for herself.

these were probably three of the most major events. Add in school, work, friends, getting back into shape and our callings at church and you have yourself one busy schedule.

One of these days I will get enough sleep...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the book case

For Christmas we got a book case and this weekend we finally put it together... Ok, so mostly Gabe put it together and I would help intermittently as requested. We are still deciding how we want to decorate the top and large space, If you have any ideas throw them out there :)

The beginning...

It was kind of a mess but we finally put it together...

And now we are almost finished decorating it

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a picture might be worth a thousand words... but what are your words worth?

"It is by words … [that] every being works when he works by faith. God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’ Joshua spake, and the great lights which God had created stood still. Elijah commanded, and the heavens were stayed for the space of three years and six months, so that it did not rain. … All this was done by faith. … Faith, then, works by words; and with [words] its mightiest works have been, and will be, performed." -Jeffrey R Holland

That quote is from a talk called The Tongue of Angels given... I am not sure when. Later on the in talk Elder Holland says (quoting James 3:2-10) “Behold also … ships, which though they be … great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm.” Then James makes his point: “The tongue is [also] a little member. … [But] behold, how great a [forest (Greek)] a little fire [can burn]."

I remember coming across these passages from the Bible when I was in high school debate and thinking how true this was. Once again, while studying the Salem Witch Trials in my current American Lit. class I recall how true the words of James are.

Words, your words, are a powerful thing. They can uplift someone or break them down. Words start and end wars and lives.

Just because someone is powerful doesn't mean their words uplift (think Hitler, Stalin... you get the picture)and just because someone is meek doesn't mean their words can't lead (Moses, Paul, Gandhi, Mother Teresa)

Whether a person is a homemaker who raises the next generation or a corporate leader who makes billions, their words are heard.

Thinking about this makes me want to choose my words more wisely and more deliberately. I want to be more kind and less quick to judge, more uplifting and less jesting.

And now it's your turn to decide. What will your words say about you?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

finally, a day off!

Monday I went to IKEA for the first time. While it can be overwhelming at first, it seems like everything in the store is there to please the customer. No wonder it is so popular! If you haven't been I recommend finding the nearest one, getting a shopping buddy and going!

The initial reason for us going to IKEA was to get a new bedroom set (sheets, duvet cover, pillows)for my birthday present. But nothing there quite matched what we were looking for. I probably have the most patient husband ever because he let me go to five different stores to finally find something I liked within our budget. I finally picked something we both like (I didn't want Gabe to have to wake up to a girly room every morning) and will post pictures soon. But, my favorite part of the day was getting to spend so much time with the husband. Because we no longer work together and I have 3 night classes, seeing each other during the week is becoming more rare. Usually when we are spending time it is cleaning, grocery shopping, doing homework or sleeping because both of us are exhausted. Getting out and going somewhere without a super busy schedule laid out for the day was such a needed break.
All of the homework and housework that has added up because of it might not be so great...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Condoleeza Rice

I have been a huge Condi fan since the seventh grade. While other kids were drooling over JT, I dreamed of meeting the Secretary of State even before she had that title. Besides letting you know that I am a HUGE nerd the point of this post is that she came to my college yesterday. I really respect her and thought I would share some of her quotes from the day.

“Today’s headlines and history’s judgments are rarely the same.”

“Failed and failing states are the problem, and we have to help them heal, and it’s tough. But if we abandon Afghanistan again, we are going to pay for it....We’ve got to complete that job, and we can’t just complete it any old way, we have to have a vision for the Afghanistan people.”

“The great thing about democracy is that if we’re fed up with the people that govern us, we can throw the bums out. But authoritarians can’t do that…. Every dictator, every authoritarian, fears the moment when their people are no longer fearful of them. And because they have no way to express themselves peacefully, people turn to violence.”

“The only legitimate government, the only form of government that is true to the non-negotiable demands of human dignity is democracy. So the United States has to advocate for it.”

“The truth is that our founding fathers gave us political organizations that are, by their nature, slow…. So, we have these very difficult situations, and we’ve got to have time. I hope we turn down the volume a little bit, step back, realize that political disagreement is just that, it’s disagreement. Just because somebody disagrees with you, it’s not because they’re morally flawed.”

“As educated people, as people who are being given the gift of the transformative power of education, you have special responsibilities. You are fortunate that you are in a place here at Brigham Young University that believes that faith and reason go together, that does not see your intellect and your faith as enemies of each other, but sees them as integrally related in what you are.”

“I’ve learned from my father that it was fine to ask questions, fine to learn the whole range of human knowledge… but there were some things that one could not see; there are some things that one could not prove. The essence of being human is the knowledge of what is, combined with the belief of what might be.... Take advantage of this place of faith and reason….The world too easily dismisses the role of faith in our society and in our world.”

“I encourage you to find your passion while you’re here. Find what you’re passionate about, what will make you get up every day for the rest of your life…. You will find as I often did that I was more fulfilled in overcoming and mastering something difficult than something that came easy to me. When you overcome something that’s hard, you know you can meet life’s challenges, no matter how hard they are.”

“You might not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your response to your circumstances. If you can keep that in mind, you will not give way to aggrievement and entitlement, both of which rob you of your ability to control your own life.”

“Whenever you’re lacking in optimism, remember your special responsibility because of where you are and what you’ve been granted, to hold up those who don’t fall to cynicism, and to hold up those who can see a world not as it is but a world as it should be.”

“The United States also is a very innovative and creative place. We believe that growth comes from the private sector. I spent eight years in Washington, D.C., and Washington, D.C., is a lot of things, but innovative, creative and risk taking, not so much.”

“Ours is the log cabin. It doesn’t matter where you came from; it matters where you’re going. Across the world, that is admired about the United States and it is what has lead people to come here for generations from across the world.… This great American dream, this great American myth, must be true not only for those who come here; it has to be true for those who are already here.”

“We are held together by an ideal and a promise. That’s why we have to make certain that it is true for every child that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re going.”

“We don’t have high enough standards for our children. We don’t have high enough standards for our teachers. If you’re not a good teacher, have someone help you become a better teacher, or get on to another profession. Our children can’t afford that.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This Messy Life...

My life (as I am sure many people's) seems to go like this:
Everything is smooth, going great, no worries.
And then...
Problem. Problem. Problem. BIG problem. Meeting. New Job. In-laws visiting. Test. Etc.

Then... Smooth as buttah once again.

Why is that? I have heard things come in threes (deaths, births, issues, etc) But to me it seems that I either have everything going on at once or nothing at all. Maybe I am supposed to be learning a lesson in preparing in the calm for the storm. Or maybe this is just life


Monday, January 10, 2011

Really Doc?

Today, I went to the doctor.
While giving my doctor a list of my symptoms he entered them into his ultra thin super cool and most definitely brand new Apple notebook.
He thought he was pretty snazzy, until I asked him if he was using WebMD (jokingly).
To my surprise he chuckled and said kind of.

Kind of ridiculous.
Oh well... I guess my $15 copay goes towards all the tests they gave me and sitting on their super plush leather sofa.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things and People I Admire. . .

As I was thinking about the people in my life I realized how many of them I admire for different reasons. We may not agree on who to vote for or where is the best place to live or what college football team is the best or even what religion but, I am so grateful to have the vast amount of people in my life that I am able to admire and even emulate to a certain degree.

If I started to name people this post could go on for quite some time. So instead, I have decided to look at some of the qualities I like and admire about those people. If you're reading this you are most likely one of them or... I dont know you're reading it ;)

1. Dedication. Whether it is to a personal business, something you are passionate about or running a household I am impressed by the dedication I have seen in those I know. Dedication seems to be a determining factor in successes of life however, if not handled carefully it can get out of hand. The proper balance of dedication I have been exposed to is something that has been a motivation in my life. Through it I have seen degrees earned, businesses continue even through hardship and families succeed.

2. Passion. The dictionary defines passion as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling or as the edible fruit of any of various passionflowers, esp granadilla.
I'm pretty sure the first definition is what I'm looking for. My brother Kris tells me I am dramatic all the time and that everything I do is dramatic. The truth is I hate drama, quite passionately actually. Anyways, don't mistake being passionate with being dramatic. Passion takes you places, being dramatic doesn't. Unless of course that place you want to go is reality tv or daytime television.

3. Morals. I don't like watching the news very much... In fact, unless it is The Daily Show or The Colbert Report I rarely do. It just seems like the more I watch the more immoral our society is. But, one thing I truly admire about people is the morals they have; the integrity to work when no one is watching, returning a wallet to someone you greatly dislike even though you found it outside on the ground, and rising above the hateful gossip of others when it would be easier to just give in or fight back. Bravo.

4. The ability to see beauty in the simple.
I feel like this is pretty self explanatory.

5. Humor. I love a good laugh. I love being able to laugh at a ridiculous and frustrating situation that is out of my control. Way to be funny my dear loved ones.

You are truly amazing and have most likely influenced my life for the better. Thanks. I would like to think I am doing a pretty good job at succeeding these days.