Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snow Day!

I seriously thought it was a joke when by boss texted me last Tuesday morning to say that ISU was closed! What!? In all my years on the ISU campus (7 years and three months or so), ISU has never closed the campus down--even though I hoped and wished the powers on that campus would do it! My wish finally came true that day, and I enjoyed a full day of homework and errands (with a little fun mixed in).

With all of the snow around us, we had no other choice. The day's activity was our only logical option! This pair of 25-year-olds hit up some stores for boots and sleds, then braved the cold at Bartz Field to do some sledding! (Don't judge us for not bringing any children with us. Boy, did we look silly among all the 10-year-old children and dating teenagers.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's a Great Time to be Grateful

The holiday season just naturally oozes gratitude, especially Thanksgiving. It is a great time of year to slow down, soak in some life, and consider the many, many blessings you have. Dane's cousins and their friends participate in the annual "Thanksgiving Challenge," and I think it is a great idea! So, for the third year now, I scribbled my thousand bits of gratitude on many, many pieces of paper. I found that I am thankful for everything from my family members to a warm apartment to Andes Mints. So many things! Each year I think that coming up with 1,000 things will be far too difficult; each year I am surprised by just how easy the task really is. I hope that this little tradition makes its way to your home someday too. I asked Mykel if I could share their challenge with the girls in my Young Women's group. She told me that spreading it all over is nothing but a good thing (something to that extent anyway). So, spread the word! Ipromise your heart will be even more full as you spend even more time contemplating the things that make your life so full and wonderful. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First Spiritual Analogy

My old roommate Linzy is the queen of spiritual analogies! Seriouly! This woman can find inspiration in almost any daily task. I appreciate and admire her ability to recognize important lessons in even the most simple things. Now that she has two adorable little boys, she has even more material for growth and learning. What a beautiful mother she is too! I have been trying to acquire some of her skills and talent in paying more attention to life. So, here is my very first attempt at an analogy, taken from my own daily experience. (This is a big moment for me!)

On Saturday, which was quite snowy and rainy, I made the short trek to Idaho Falls to be with my family to help with some wedding planning. I remembered before I left that a windshield wiper blade was in seriously need of repair (ahh, replacement--I am not as cheap as I used to be). Visibility was pretty low with the bad wipers that morning as I did my weekly Bountiful Basket pickup. There was a patch of wet snow/slush that just would not be removed by the wipers. Dane made a quick stop with me to help replace them. Bless his heart! The quick moments for the replacement made the visibility increase so much, making the car ride much better.

As I was driving along, I realized a teaching moment. Sometimes I get so distracted by things going on all around me. These things can be good, but sometimes they mask the clarity that the Gospel provides. As I live life with the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, filled with scripture student and prayer, my view becomes more and more clear. I can see my destination, and the path ahead of me. When I allow myself to replace the most important things with business, I can lose sight of all the reality of a loving Father in Heaven all around me. In a way, I can forget to change the windshield wipers, leaving a fuzzy view of everything around me. Plus, it's not a safe way to live. Everything becomes more sharp and crisp as I see through spiritual eyes everything around me.

(image found here)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Wedding Planners

Ready, Set, Go:
The wedding planning has begun! I am feeling pretty stoked for this wedding. Kayla is going to be a stunning bride, and I am excited to welcome Patrick into the family. He is a great guy, and we couldn't be happier for Kay-Kay!

Kayla is doing a peacock them for her wedding, so white, deep turquoise, and black are her colors. Little peacock feathers will be incorporated in the cake, floral arrangements, and centerpieces. We asked one person about what she thought of the theme, and she mentioned that she has seen everything, including some zebra and leopard prints. We got a feeling that she thought our theme was a little weird. I personally love the idea!

The Four Planners:
Four loud women, a big snow storm, and wedding plans can equal one crazy day! After a couple of minor breakdowns along the way, the perfect dress was snagged, refreshments were determined, and decorations were settled. We had a big list to accomplish, which probably added a bit to the excitement.

Icing on the Cake:
Seriously, though that day was crazy and busy, seeing Kayla's expression when she tried on that dress was priceless. I was so happy for her and glad that she found something that made her look beautiful. The pictures just can't do justice for that moment. What a great day for her!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

in the moment

Fritz and Laura Perls seem to have a pretty fresh perspective on things. They together agree that it is most powerful for a person to live in the present and really develop an awareness of self. (Please don't mind my psychobabble.) So, I decided that I would stop futuring and thinking about what comes next and really focus on how I feel at this exact moment, this particular gestalt. (We just got done discussing this in class, of course! Do I really understand the theory? Probably not, but I'll still give it a shot.)

right now:

*munching on some delicious "Special K with Red Berries" and hoping I will stop soon
*seriously trying to decide if it is too late to take a nap
*wondering why I am putting this on the blog
*noticing that my legs are really sore (from basketball and walking a lot)
*sensing some serious tension in my shoulders
*feeling excited to share the H.A.L.O. club's salsa with Dane when he gets in the door
*preparing myself for a wonderful reading of Sweeney's book on Adlerian Counseling
*turning off the television because I am a little upset about the contaminated sea food news
*enjoying the peace and quiet around me, only hearing our little heater work its magic
*ahh--really trying not to think about the future--can't help it
*getting ready to go ahead and get my journal entry done early tonight
*checking out my red Christmas socks

I am thinking that Gestalt counseling could be my cup of tea. It really empowers you to stop focusing on the past and worrying too much about the future. Enjoy the moment and really live in it. Have great, connecting conversations with people. Think beyond the to-do list (hard, I know). Love and embrace the real you, not some ideal person out there. Find joy in the little moments. So far it sounds pretty good to me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

i can feel it

it's going to be a good week. i can feel it. i told dane that yesterday because sometimes saying things makes them happen, but also because i know that this week holds something special. thanksgiving is getting so close, and i am itching for a few days away from the job. it calls for a wonderful fhe celebration with the stokes family next week. excited to see them. katie makes me want to be a better person. don't you think we should surround ourselves with those types of people? dane and i played basketball tonight for fhe. i haven't really played for years. it felt amazing. i almost died of exhaustion, but i feel so relaxed and healthy now. i just need to get the eating under control at this point. chocolate is such a temptation. so happy that the stake yw presidency is taking care of mutual this week. we are going to have a great personal progress party. time to really get started on my personal progress. i am working on the annual thanksgiving challenge. a thousand things that i am grateful for. so easy, but so hard at the same time. i think it is a great way to spend my time. bunco is coming up this week. i can hardly wait to spend time with some fabulous girls. i sometimes get really shy when i get around a big group of girls, but it is a good growing experience. i have about a thousand things to do today, just like everyone else. instead of beating myself up for only checking some of the things off, i am going to enjoy my time. maybe i will put my to-do list away for the rest of the week. i think that is a great idea. the relief society is also putting on an activity this week. i miss feeling a part of relief society, and was ecstatic to add that to this week's calendar. on saturday the girls and i are going wedding dress shopping with kayla. it is going to be a great day. that girl is getting married. it freaks me out a bit. our family really does feel complete now though, and patrick is great. they both seem very happy. i am reading some extra materials for class. want to be that ideal student. ready to really excel in this program. in life. i am working on loving life and being more gentle with myself. i think i will go to bed early tonight. a little extra rest will encourage an early wake up. today was a good day, and this is going to be one normal, but incredible, week. i can feel it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I saw this on my sister's blog, and after laughing through the entire thing, decided to share it here.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Boys Vs Girls

I am always down for a little boys vs girls action; now that Kayla is engaged, we have an even number of boys and girls in the family. (Our family feels so complete now!) So, it was time for the family's first battle of the sexes for months! Thank you, Family Feud!

Results: The boys won. Both games. (No, I am not a sore loser this time. Next time, the girls will just have to give the boys a dose of their own medicine.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Extreme" Excitement

As I think most everyone around here knows, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" paid a visit to Pocatello in August. I was incredibly disappointed to discover that I wouldn't be able to volunteer. (Seriously, getting involved is the best!) When the big reveal came, I decided that I still wanted to have a little piece in this great occasion. So--a few coworkers and I braved the massive crowds for the opportunity to say, "Move that bus!"

I think that Guillermo and I were the most excited for the event. Someone down there is a picture of Ty, who slapped my hand as he ran by. Though I usually hate gestures like this (because I am afraid of germs), I was in heaven. Starstruck!

Poor Guillermo waited for about two hours then had to leave for a dentist appointment, missing the actual reveal. Guillermo and Craig stood directly in the sun with the huge masses of people, while Josh and I just headed for shade. My friend Mickenzie arrived when I was there and had an extra pass, so the two of us moved closer to the bus. When we were waiting, someone came over and moved our group to the very front of the crowd. Seriously, some people had been standing there all day, and Mickenzie and I were able to move like it was nobody's business. So fast!

Mickenzie and I could hardly believe our luck and felt so blessed. I couldn't help but start crying as we were close for all of the action. My very favorite part was seeing ISU's President Vailas award full-tuition scholarships for all of the children. I beamed with pride for my alma mater. (Insert fight song here!) The two of us girls were so touched by the family and so happy to see something great like this happen in Pocatello. What a blessing! The family is just beautiful and seemed so genuinely grateful.

Well, tonight I will be with my family in Idaho Falls, but I hope to catch at least a few moments of the show with them or via dvr. If you get a chance, tune in and support the family. (And you might even see me cheering (and in reality, bawling my eyes out) in the crowd!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

Right now I am sitting in my office answering nonexistent instant message for an online college fair--I think I am the only one around here, and it is quite peaceful--so what better time to jump back into blogging? Here are a few of those random musings just swishing around this head of mine.

Let's be honest, I really blog for me. Blogging and journaling are two of my favorite hobbies, though I wish I would put a little bit more thoughtfulness into each. I feel like everything just gets so scrambled on its way out. It really is so therapeutic to scribble a few thoughts down though. Tonight I think I will have an extended journaling experience--nice and long and relaxing.

In theories, we are discussing existentialism. I felt so silly when the girl next to me remarked that she has been an existentialist since high school. She had read Frankyl and Kirkegaard back then. I had never even heard of Kirkegaard until today and anxiously giggled when I mentioned that I loved "Man's Search for Meaning." Seriously, I feel a major lack of self-awareness in a program centered around personal meaning.

In my trek to really absorb this program I asked a professor for some extra reading materials to really enhance my experience with the theories and constructs. And, as silly as this sounds, I can't wait to crack open those books tonight. I am working to become a more fully engaged student. (Let's see how long this lasts.)

Today I discovered that Temple Grandin is indeed speaking at ISU in the spring. Shut up! I can hardly wait. I recently learned about her during an episode of Oprah (one of my primary educators and socialization agents) and can't wait to see her in person. She is an inspiring person, so I need to read up and prep for her appearance.

I am going to buy Dane and myself matching harmonicas in preparation for our self-paced, self-given harmonica lessons. Someday we will be able to play the solo in "Heart of Gold" together. Lessons might be postponed until Christmas Break, but the idea is still headed straight for my vision board.

ISU is receiving submissions for their "Black Rock and Sage" compilation of poetry, music, and artwork. This year I am finally going to submit some poetry (that has to first be written), thus working past my fear of sharing any poetry. Public mockery may ensue, but I am still going to try.

I have spent some great time with children lately and can hardly wait to have my own! I will cherish each moment (well, I say that now) and can't wait to soak up motherhood in all of its goodness.

Well, there are my current ramblings. And just in time, as my shift for the college fair is over. Now to the house for deep cleaning the kitchen, some scholarly reading, and the newest "Modern Family" episode. Happy Wednesday night!