Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 - A Year Full of Things I'd Never Done Before

I can't believe 2008 is almost over. Time seems to pass so quickly. This has been a year of discovery for me. I grew up a lot this year, discovered interests I didn't think I had, and came to know myself a lot better. I wish I had fun pictures of all of the events listed below, but I don't. I'll be better about that next year - maybe.
  • Lost 65 pounds!!!
  • Hiked up to the Y.
  • Went to Lake Tahoe, one of the prettiest places I've ever been.
  • Went RUNNING and liked it!!!
  • Lived in two different places. Haven't done that since my mission.
  • Didn't miss one day of scripture reading.
  • Spent time in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. While I had been there before, it was never for any length of time.
  • Taught Gospel Doctrine.
  • Visited some great Church History sites in Salt Lake. I can't believe I grew up there and had never been to some of those places.
  • Saw the Hoover Dam. We didn't mean to, but we did.
  • Experienced 120 degree weather.
  • Crashed into a snow bank.
  • Rock climbed.
  • Watched a full day of football.
  • Watched a baseball game, actually quite a few, all the way through and can't wait for next season to start!
  • Had church at 2 in the afternoon. Seriously, who has church that late when there are only 3 wards in your building?
Can't wait to see what 2009 will bring!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas seemed to come so quickly this year. This evening as I sit in my living room by the Christmas tree, I can't believe it's just about over. I'm not ready to take down the tree, pack up the decorations (all three of them), or put away the Christmas music.

But, this was a good Christmas. The season was not as stressful for me as it has been in the past. I did not nearly work the amount of extra hours that I usually do, and I actually did spend the night at my parents house on Christmas Eve, something I almost never do because I'm so very tired. However, I did go to bed at 10:00.

This morning I woke up early, started a fire, and read my scriptures. Everyone seemed to sleep longer than usual, so it was a nice quiet time - time spent really thinking and being grateful for a Savior whose birth we celebrated today.

Then I went for a run - the first one I've actually done outside. It was windy and cold and much harder than I thought. But, again, it was a good time for some thinking.

We were missing quite a few members of our family, a thought which even now brings tears to my eyes. I really missed watching the kids open their presents, something I think I haven't missed since Brigham was born. I missed my brother and his sweet wife and their two boys, and wished that Jamie and Spencer and their cute kids could have been here. Christmas just didn't feel quite the same without you all. I love you!

Dad made breakfast this morning. He had it started even before mom and Anna were awake. After Dre and Sean came back, we opened presents. Mom and Dad gave us these great books with some family history things and some pictures that I haven't seen in a long time. It was fun to laugh as we talked about old memories.

We all pitched in and got mom and dad a personalized picture of the Salt Lake Temple. Mom cried and dad was glad that it had the date on it so the two of them wouldn't have to try and remember in which year they were married. (Doesn't mom look cute in her pj's?)

Josh and Angela and the girls came in the afternoon. Fortunately the big snowstorm that we were supposed to get held off so that they could come. I can't believe how old the girls are getting and how quickly they are growing up. I love the pictures they gave me and the thoughtful gifts from Angela.

I suppose the last picture needs an explanation. Well, those of you who know Josh, probably don't need one. Dre was showing him how to correctly wear a lava-lava. Who knows when that could come in handy for him?

By the way, if you look closely at the Christmas tree, you'll see that mom took old family photographs and made those ornaments. What a talented mom I have.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Be Near Me, Lord Jesus

I'm sitting in my living room, Christmas tree lights on, candles lit, and the only sound is the ticking of the clock. I think this room, just like it is, has to be my favorite in my house. It lends itself to pensive moments, quiet study, and an occasional nap.

This is the first day all season where my thoughts have been full of the blessings of the Savior. Not something I'm proud of. I too easily get caught up in the chaos. But today I was reminded of why we celebrate this time of year.

The fact is, the birth of the Savior was only the beginning of several events that would affect all of us. His sacrifice made it possible for us to be with him forever. He loves us and is with us. President Kimball said that "the Lord stands knocking. He never retreats....If we ever move apart, it is we who move and not the Lord." Interesting thing to realize. How many times have I moved apart?

"Be near me, Lord Jesus. I ask thee to stay close by me, forever, and love me, I pray."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we hang stockings in the office for each employee. I put in a silly poem I made up, tell them who their secret person is, and then watch throughout the month of December as they sneak gifts into someone's stocking.

I love how excited they get when they pull something out. You can tell that their Secret Santa put a lot of thought into the gift. Every once in a while I'll check the list to see who is giving to whom. It always makes me smile.

I made the decision when we first started this tradition, that my name would be excluded. I didn't think it was right to make someone buy a present for their boss. Plus, I would always know who it was, since I do the names.

This year, though, one of my employees has been leaving gifts on my desk, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas. Their comments have been clever and have brought a smile to my grumpy (not all the time) face. I've enjoyed the pears and the pineapple, the soup and bread, not to mention the soap, the lotion, the adorable stuffed turtle, the notebook (which has been great for leaving list for people at work), and I can't wait to make something yummy with the eggs they left this morning.

Thank you, my "true friend" as you call yourself. You can't know how grateful I am.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Being Prepared

I have been pretty sick for the past couple of days. Some stomach issues that are especially bothersome at night have forced me to spend most of the last three nights kneeling at the base of the toilet, preventing me from sleeping, and I haven't been able to eat anything but toast since Saturday night. Finally, late last night things seemed to calm down. I was able to sleep a little, and got up early this morning, feeling energized and hungry.

I had a great study time, ate a bowl of oatmeal, and thought I would rest for a little while before doing fun things like laundry and dishes. When I got up, I threw a load of towels in the wash and turned on the TV to watch a movie while I folded laundry.

Suddenly there was a strange noise in my house that sounded like an alarm going off. I realized that the power had just gone off. Normally this would have been a bit of a nuisance to have no power for a little while, but I remembered a letter I'd received sometime last week. This letter informed me that on Wednesday, December 17th, from 10 am to 2 pm, the power in my area would be shut off for some maintenance work.

Four whole hours I would be without power on my last day off before Christmas. I was mad at myself for forgetting about the letter and forgetting it was Wednesday and not planning ahead. I was even mad that they'd only told me once about the power. This is a busy time for me. How was I expected to remember with only one reminder?

As I figured out which activities I could do without power (since I do dishes like the pioneers, that was my first project.), I started thinking more about being prepared. It's more than just 72 hour kits and supplies of food. I need to be prepared temporally as well as spiritually.

I have a long way to go to make sure that happens. The silly power outage today was a reminder that I can't procrastinate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


A couple of months ago my sister, Dre, and I were having a conversation that had something to do with exercise. Somehow, by the end, she had convinced me that I should run a race with her sometime next spring - something I've never done before.

I thought about this for quite a while. Although I have spend more time exercising the last eight months than at any other time in my long life, I was too chicken to run where people could actually see me. So I bought a treadmill.

We've become pretty attached. I look forward to it every day. When things are tough at work, I think of going home to run (okay, maybe I'm just walking fast). It's great for stress. I think I sleep better and have more energy.

I know to do the 5K in the spring I have to actually be able to run faster than a 30 minute mile :), but I sure am looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Christmas Tree

Last year was the first year I actually put up a Christmas tree. I avoided it for oh so long for many reasons - none of them good. One reason was that working in retail killed the holiday season for me. I thought that the last thing I wanted when I got home from work was another reminder of why I was so tired and crabby. However, I've discovered that decorating my home for Christmas brings an element of peace and joy that my holiday season has been lacking all these years.

Now I love the feeling of reading by the light of the Christmas tree in the mornings with the fire going. I love coming home at night and turning on the tree lights and the fireplace and enjoying the peace.

Now if only I could find a man to enjoy it with me... :)