Sunday, April 26, 2009


I realize that I am a member of many majorities in Southeast Idaho--I am LDS, and I am Caucasian. Because of this, I can't always relate, understand, or empathize with some other groups. I have friends from all backgrounds and am incredibly grateful for them. We have so much in common and have a great time together. However, we all know that some of our friends face more barriers--negative stereotypes, lack of support from others, and even just being misunderstood by others. I really don't think I will ever understand some of the struggles and barriers they face. I appreciate and recognize how easy my life is. I also appreciate how beautiful the lives of my friends really are! They are my heroes!

In December my co-worker Guillermo told me about the Hispanic Youth Symposium. I fell in love and wanted to participate from the moment I heard about the program. Well, months flew by, and I actually just arrived home from the conference a few hours ago. (I am exhausted after about 3.5 hours of sleep and refuse to do anything that requires lots of energy tonight, so I chose to blog!)

I will post pictures later this week, but I have to say that I had a life-changing experience. I fell in love with the culture, the music, the language, and the people! I plan to attend next year's symposium and WILL speak some decent Spanish by then. Just wait and see!

I was, for one of the very first times, a minority. I felt at times like a bit of an outsider--I didn't understand some jokes, couldn't master some of those dance moves, and couldn't truly relate to experiences people shared. I felt a bit left out--however, I was surrounded by about 400 extremely loving people. I was accepted and included every step of the way. I may not completely fit in--but I felt like I really did. I was part of their familia!

Why don't we all include others a bit more, share a bit more, forget differences a bit more, teach others a bit more? I hope to remember those who may feel out of place, who may not feel included. We really are all one big familia!

Si, se puede!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Stress Relief

I won't lie--life around here has been a bit stressful.

Dane has been so busy with working 40 hours a week, group projects, and the upcoming "Finals Week." (I think that week deserves to be capitalized, simply because of the stress and emotion that even thinking of that week evokes!) I can't tell you how grateful I am not to have finals week right now!

Work has been crazy, with layoffs, budget cuts, and complete departmental changes in my office. I generally feel optimistic, but so many negative things have happened to my group! I can't help but feel protective and supportive, but I hate being around so much negative energy! I want to stand up for the people around me, but I don't want to be so negative while doing so! Today I spent a lot of time listening to complaints, and I even gave in and participated. I love my job and feel like the stress helps me to work harder and better. There has been a lot of negative stress these past few days, however. I had a productive workday, but the negative energy around me was a bit challenging. I am trying so hard to be positive for the long-haul, and I am a bit disappointed that I gave in these last few days and complained so much. Tomorrow I will be better!

Anyway, for the next few days, I am going to post about some of my stress-relievers. (Maybe I won't feel quite as stressed out as a result!) I think tonight I will just do some chores and relax---oh, and finish my new favorite book--today's true stress-reliever!

Now, please don't judge me about this book choice. I am an avid reader and appreciate most genres and styles of fiction. Yesterday I purchased "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" by Jeff Kinney. (I have a new goal of obtaining at least one book per month to support my dream of a beautiful and full library.) I can't tell you how much I LOVE these books! Thanks, Kelli and Kayla! I hope I don't annoy Dane too much with all of my laughter while reading. I laugh so hard that I cry when I read these books.

Now, I am not telling everyone to run out and buy this particular book--I think it is written for a middle school-aged audience! Some of you, understandably, may not enjoy such books. Right now it is just doing its trick--relieving some stress!

Until I finally put my pictures onto this computer, here is a picture of the book! (I got the picture from

Oh, and I think there is a movie based on the books coming out this summer. I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Timer

So, for the first time, I am really getting into American Idol. In the past I wondered what this silly craze was about, but I am now hooked. Doesn't it always seem to work that way?!

In the past I really only made it to the end of the initial auditions--you know, where only really good singers and the really awkward moments are shown. I felt terrible for some of the people who were only shown to make people laugh. Those poor peeps!

I think that Simon can be pretty brutal sometimes, but I have to admit I like his honestly. I love people who have the ability to say what they truly think and feel. Now, I do believe that we have to watch this instinct at times to protect ourselves and others. Sometimes we say just a little too much!

Back to the show--I am going out on a limb here to predict the final two. Does anyone agree with me?

My first pick is Adam Lambert--he is definitely a shoe-in. I had kinda liked the Gary Joules version of "Mad World" before last week, but I fell in love with the song when Adam sang it. Whew! I had goose-bumps at the end of that show! One last thing--his hair is fabulous!

I don't expect others to agree with my second choice, but I have to stay true! I just love Allison. She has a unique voice and beautiful look. Now, if you know me, I am a pretty plain person--but I have always secretly dreamed of having crazy, standout looks. I applaud people that set themselves positive attitude, dress, hair color, personality, etc! Go, Allison!

Quick note: I got the pictures from (I am a college graduate who reveres and yet fears plagiarism laws!)