Wednesday, April 29, 2009

OHIO



While wallowing in the misery that is, and will always be, the thought of being registered for a STATS class (my personal hell on earth...), I have been thinking about home and the wonderful place that Troy actually is.

I must say, Troy exhibits several characteristics that just compliment my personality. For instance, Troy has always been an elitist and exclusive type of community. Although I have always found myself on the outside of these exclusive clubs - i.e. the basketball team, the popular kids, the rich kids, the kids in with large groups of friends... I find myself supporting these not-so-secret combinations. I don't have to tell you, dear reader, that I like to be exclusive. I like having my own private group or club or gathering. I enjoy inside jokes.

Troy is also a quaint little town and does really dumb things with its money. I am quaint. I think that if friendships were based off of mutual likes and dislikes - I wouldn't have the friends I do. The people that I cherish most have some of the most opposite interests and likes than I do. In fact, my interests are so "odd" (to them, not to me) that I don't think I would have ANY friends if I had to find a single person that shared my interests. Further, these interests often lead me to spending money on things that I probably don't need or won't use - but I swear I think I will use them when I purchase them. This is like Troy's thought process concerning potential look-out towers on the Adams Street Bridge (why?) and the Troy Water Park (I personally liked the regular SWIMMING pools better) or the gigantic football stadium and basketball gymnasium when our sports teams SUCK. But whatever. They all probably sound like a good idea at the time.

The thing I like most about Troy is that they know what's beautiful. Troy is full of pretty parks, and well-kept public areas. The river, the levee, the square, the cemeteries, the parks all around, the historical buildings... All pretty well-kept, all beautiful in their own right. I love that we have trees all over the place (forget Lindon, the city of trees - Troy has gotten the arbor award for ten years in a row - or something like that...) and I just love it. I love the bike path that they have created and extended. I love the green grass that is everywhere. I love love love the beauty of Troy. Did I mention the historical houses? I want one. Anyway, I like to think that I, too, appreciate beautiful things. And sometimes, I can be quite beautiful myself. (It takes a lot of work...but it happens on occasion.)

Of course, being beautiful in Ohio is a titch difficult. For some reason, my hair and even my make-up refuse to cooperate. I think it's the ever-present humidity. It doesn't matter what I do to my hair or how much make-up I put on...but the middle of the day, or within a few hours, all evidence of that effort is gone. GONE! Ohio is a magical place. It makes hours of preparation disappear in a matter of minutes. I am also magical. Or...not really. But I'd like to be.

I was so glad to go back to Troy this past week and be home. The weather even started to cooperate a few days in and it was absolutely WONDERFUL! I love Ohio. I love Troy. And most of all, I loved the time I got to spend with my family. They're my favorites.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

100th Post - Oscar Night

100 Things You Still Don't Know About Me...

Yeah right. Who has time for that? Actually, I just wanted to post pictures from tonight's OSCAR NIGHT - which had the potential to be AWESOME, but was instead, just fun. No one showed up. That could be because 1) we're all in the midst of moving or 2) studying for finals or more likely, 3) both. The few people that represented our ward are awesome because not only did they come, but they were the loudest bunch there. I love it.


FHE VIDEO

The FHE video is finished and FINALLY posted on youtube!

(Camille, I have loaded a few other videos on youtube as well. If you click on my screen name it will take you to all the other videos I have loaded, you might be interested in some of them.)


Thursday, April 16, 2009

To do or Not to do

Finals are here again.

To do:
  • Study my brains out
  • Pack
  • Move stuff over to Roberta's (where I'm moving to)
  • Clean
  • Laundry

Things I've actually done over the last few days:
  • Co-thrown Kira's bridal shower
  • Celebrated Chris' birthday
  • Discovered a new movie: Under the Greenwood
  • Worked on my book
  • Packed 1/2 my clothes
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Took a bath
  • Took 1 final
  • Finished ALL my classes
  • Made an S CD for Kira
  • FTC
  • Had my handwriting analyzed
  • Located a lost favorite book
  • Cleaned out the trunk of my car
  • Made arrangements for a couple trips: Here I come OHIO, CALIFORNIA, NEW MEXICO, COLORADO, and IDAHO!!!
  • CURSED at the SNOW!!!
  • Turned down free Shirley Temples and a trip to get yogurt...all for the sake of studying
I foresee a problem.

Guess I'll get on it, right now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Single Vs. Married

I decided today...just today, mind you. That I am inherently happy being single for the time being.

Shocker.

I have MANY married friends, and a few engaged friends...and I love them. I love their stories about their husbands and the crazy antics and wars that they get in. I'm very happy for them.

And as much as I want to be married - I am incredibly content with being single right now.

Interesting.

So get me a passport, find me a job - I'm here to stay single for a while. And I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

In which she reflects on FHE

"Well-planned family home evenings can be a source of long-lasting joy and influence. These evenings are times for group activity, for organizing, for the expressions of love, for the bearing of testimony, for learning gospel principles, for family fun and recreation, and of all things, for family unity and solidarity."(Family Home Evenings, 1970-71, p. v — Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and N. Eldon Tanner)

"Family home evening is for everyone. It is for families with parents and children, for families with just one parent, and for parents who have no children at home. It is for home evening groups of single adults and for those who live alone or with roommates. . . . Regular participation in family home evening will develop increased personal worth, family unity, love for our fellow men, and trust in our Father in heaven."(Family Home Evening, 1976 — Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, and Marion G. Romney)


I admit it. When I was called to be an FHE "mom" in our single's ward, I was not particularly happy about it. I had preconceived notions that FHE was boring and a waste of time and that no one went... In fact, I was convinced that the only reason I was called, was because I didn't go myself. But I accepted the call, was given a co-chair, and thus began my tenure as FHE mom.

The summer went by rather fast, and between family visits and vacations, I didn't do a whole lot. In fact, I'm pretty sure Mathieu did all the work. I was really grateful. And I still hadn't grasped the whole meaning of FHE. So when they divided my group, which I had become somewhat fond of, I was disappointed and relieved at the same time. The changes that were made were life altering. That sounds dramatic...maybe it is a bit.

I was given a co-chair who was fresh off his mission, had never served as FHE co-chair, and was excited to. We didn't know each other well, but he was willing to help out, so I was pleased. So far I had not suffered being paired with someone who was worthless - unlike my sister, who when Amy was FHE mom, had a hard time getting participation from her co-chair much less the rest of the family. We had half our original members, and another few apartments from the ward.

Our first activity together involved HeeHaw Farms, sneaking in and playing on the hay-slide. It ended with a trip to a Gellato shop. Turns out, we had a great group! They were all willing to break in to HeeHaw farms, and none of them ended up in HeeHaw jail. Other activities were equally fun, and by the end our group was rather close-knit. We still had people that didn't come. We had others that came irregularly. But the truth was, I loved my family. And that's truly what they had become.

When we were reorganized again, Colin and I were devastated to be losing half our family. But we made do. Our new group turned out to be smaller, and yet just as fun. (Turns out, I have a pretty fantastic ward and I'm sure that just about anyone could be put in and it would be just as fun.)

In my patriarchal blessing, it says that I will come to know the importance of FHE (this is not a direct quote, but close enough) and I always thought that meant when I had my own children.

I think the principle, as mentioned above, is the fact that when people get together to worship God - even if that means they are dressing up in hoodrat clothes (though probably not breaking into HeeHaw Farms) and having good, clean fun - that a bonding occurs and friendships are made. More than that, families are made.

My time at the Omni has been one of the greatest times of my life. I have made friendships that I will cherish, and truly miss when I move out.

I feel like maybe I've posted about this before, but after tonight, I had to do it again. Our video for our Stake Oscar night was filmed today. Granted, we didn't have the best attendance, and that was after we combined with another group. However, I sent out an email asking people to be prepared, meaning: be camera ready, think about what they would say for their lines, etc. And they did it. Not only was I a little surprised that they had actually thought about this, but they were funny. There was not a single idea (except my own) that I turned my nose up and thought, "Now, they're just going to ruin our film." We've got some really talented, funny people in our ward and I'm so impressed with each and every one of them. I reallly do love them.

So, ok - You got me. Callings really are meant for us. They are inspired when we are given them. I'm so grateful for my opportunity to serve the ward in the capacity that I have. Even when I've felt burnt out. Even when I didn't want to go. There has not been a single time in this ward when I've left FHE and thought, "Now that was a waste of my time." And it was because of my family.



Sunday, April 05, 2009

Self-Discoveries While Studying

A large homework assignment is a great way to learn a few things about yourself. Writing my research paper (due tomorrow) has been no exception. And here's what I've learned:
  1. I am more than easily distracted. I am in a perpetual state of distraction.
  2. Whenever I get on a roll, it scares me. It's time to take a break and check Facebook, eat or find a roommate. (See #1)
  3. I'll lose a lot of weight when I don't have big projects and tests like this. Homework makes me want to stuff my face. Continually. I'm insatiable when I'm studying.
  4. Al Capone's Son, Sonny, went to school with Dezi Arnez in Florida. Mary Todd Lincoln was clinically insane, and abused poor Abe (who had lots of his own health problems) Turns out, had Abe not been assisinated, he probably would have died of cancer within the next year, anyway. John Wilkes Booth may have just done our President a huge favor.
  5. Bras are uncomfortable. Especially if your skin is of a lobster-ish condition.
  6. Eric Clapton is good study music.
  7. Just because you are on page 8 of 12 - does not mean you will be done in a mere hour's time. Turns out, those last 4 pages will kill you. Literally.
  8. I still have my presentation to go.
Did I mention how glad I will be when this is all over?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Good-bye ER

After 15 seasons, ER had its series finale tonight. Knowing that my roommate and I are both fans of the show, we decided to mark the occasion with a little dinner and gathering. Despite the fact that our friends have little interest, and even less understanding of the show and its history - they were easily persuaded with dinner.

So we put on our scrubs and ate our "Blood and Guts" and watched, waiting for the tears. After all, this show has been a big part of our lives growing up. My mom used to watch it every Thursday night. She would make us all go to bed so that she could watch the show in peace. As I got older, I would make up excuses to come downstairs and watch it. When I got even older, I would climb into her bed and watch with her - or pretend to go upstairs and instead watch in the front room. I was hooked when I saw one of the new doctors was played by a girl who had been in another television series I enjoyed watching. She was killed off a few seasons later.

When I came out to Utah, watching ER always reminded me of my mom - so any night that I didn't have to work, I turned it on and tried to stay caught up. This season, I've missed only one episode.

I thought I would be more emotional. We shouldn't be so attached to our television series, but we are. But, the finale surprised me. It tied up a few loose endings. But mostly, it was business as usual. Almost boring. I guess it's weird to think that it will never be one again, and then again, I am not really losing anything.

The point is: Dinner was good. The cheesecake was a success. I have one less thing to watch on Thursdays. And now, I have scrubs - that I may never take off again.




Success...

Many moons ago, I tried a new recipe and it turned into a failed disaster. (Read about it by clicking my redundant description.)

I swore off all cheesecakes after that. Never was I going to pay money for all the ingredients, invest hours of my time and ultimately wind up with a giant mess under my stove top.

However, I've been dying to show my domestic prowess in the last few weeks, and let's face it - a homemade cheese cake is the exact way to do it. And so, the process began again. The cream cheese was on sale and I bought store brand graham crackers and made them chocolate myself (add cocoa powder and a bit o' sugar). I went cheap and then to make sure I wasn't sure what was the cost of ingredients, I bought a few other foodstuffs to last for the rest of the week.

It's always risky trying a new recipe, but I found a Red Velvet Cheesecake that was begging to be made on the series finale of ER. (Blood red, anybody?) And so, I did it.

And it was a success.

Or, at least it looks successful. We'll have to taste it during our ER party tonight.

*************
Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 25 min.; Stand: 1 hr.; Chill: 8 hrs. The cheesecake's deep red filling and snowy topping is wonderfully dramatic. Fresh mint sprigs add a pop of Christmas color.

Yield

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

But that's not fair!


Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. Sometimes these meetings are really good, and sometimes they aren't...this was one of the times where they were really good. Or rather, I heard something that has stuck with me the past few days.

One of the guys in our ward got up and started talking about the Atonement. Not in the typical way. Not in the way where he'd admitted to doing something wrong and then was forgiven, or given a second chance because Christ suffered for our sins. Though, he certainly could have done that.

No, this guy got up and reminded us how much the Atonement actually covers. I think we oftentimes forget that the Atonement doesn't just cover our sins. It is a great portion of what the Savior did for us, when He paid the price for our sins - but that's not all. Not only did He do that, but He suffered for our pains, our weaknesses, our emotional scars and all manner of suffering. The guy in my ward also mentioned, that Christ's Atonement also covers all injustices. Any time we say "that's not fair" we can remember that whatever it is, it has already been taken care of through Christ. And that's why we can turn to Him whenever we need Him.

We are so blessed to have this knowledge of our Savior. To know that the Savior lives, that He loves us and that He has paid the ultimate price to have us back in our Father's presence. It's my testimony, and if it isn't yours - I suggest you look into it.

YUM YUM

Dear Kris,

I know you're married. But do you realize what you do to women? Do you realize that you are perfection with a microphone? Sing to me anytime. Oh, and you're a humble Christian boy? *SWOON* What else can I do?

I don't know if you'll win American Idol (Adam is quite the competition) but I'll buy your CD. Especially if it comes with a life-sized poster.

Love,
An obsessed fan.

PS - if you think I'm crazy, you haven't met my friends.

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