Saturday, May 29, 2010

Missing You

Missing people, things, etc. is a fairly normal thing. We miss our best friend from elementary school that we don't talk to anymore. Or our grandparents who have passed away. Sometimes I miss school.........ok, not really the last one. We miss exes. We miss family who lives far away. We miss family activities and traditions.

But missing things we've never had doesn't really make sense at all. And yet, sometimes there isn't another way to describe the empty feeling. You're just missing....whatever it is.

I miss playing the piano. I've never learned how to play, but I see a piano and I miss playing it. I think I could have been good if ever I had taken the time to practice and to learn how to read the bass clef. I only ever had a handful of lessons and then because of scheduling and moving out to Utah, they stopped and I never really learned how to play anything harder than March of the Fairies.

I miss having a young, fit body. That sounds disturbing, but it's true nonetheless. I haven't been thin since I was about six years old, so missing this...well, it's sort of ridiculous. I've never really been in shape. I have never played sports well because of it. Still, the older I get, the less likely I will ever have such a thing.

And then of course, when I'm laying down at night waiting for sleep to come, sometimes I miss the person who would be sleeping beside me. Someone who would have already warmed up that other side and would curl an arm around me and pull me close. This, I can safely say, has never happened. And therefore is perposterous to miss.

But sometimes you miss things that you have no right, no reason, no experience to miss. And miss it you do. It all comes and goes. I realize that I have great friends to fill the place of that long-lost friend from elementary school. I can't play the piano, but I can enjoy practicing my flute or singing or listening to others play the piano. I play racquetball or tennis and find dresses or something that flatters my body despite my size. And in the end, I realize that I have a fairly full and content life and I don't need to be missing anything at all. (Except my family, who no matter what lives 2000+ miles away and still does family activities without me - of which, I will always miss.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Open Bookshelf

I have a small, pleasantly full bookshelf sitting in my room. It is one of my favorite things. I love that I have books. Not so much when I move...but any other time, I really love that I have my own library. I've read 94% of the books that are on my shelf. There are just a few exceptions where I haven't gotten to them or I had to stop reading them because they bored me to tears or because they are text books. Regardless, I love them.

I love them so much that I often say, "feel free to borrow _________ when ever you'd like." And then I realize that no one seems to like the same books I do. With the exception of my text books and few travel books, small bit of classics, Latin dictionaries, etc. I have a very specific taste in novels and they litter my bookshelf. I think they are very attractive. All matching and organized by author and genre. But others do not really like the idea of my books.

My bookshelf also finds itself to be full of the same author. I love finding an author that I can trust. One that will deliver each and every time. And when I do, I tend to go crazy and buy all the books that that particular author has put out.and that is what my bookshelf reflects right now.

I wish I had a bookshelf that were bigger and fuller of different things. I would buy more classics. I would definitely buy more church books. I would complete my Outlander series. I would have room to fit the 20 odd books that I accidentally won on Ebay yesterday for so cheap... all by the same author. Actually, I could probably do all those things if I had more money, not necessarily more space on my bookshelf.

Regardless, I am always open to sharing my books, if anyone is interested.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where My Girlfriends At?


Becca and I have stumbled upon a bit of a problem. When we organize events, we like to try and have even numbers of guys and girls. That way, guys can't complain about it being a "sausage fest", we don't get annoyed with girlish drama and couples don't feel isolated.

While planning a recent activity (recent as in last night) we realized that the smaller we tried to make it, the more the girls got cut. Apparently, we are lacking in girlfriends among our most intimate of social circles. Most of our very best girlfriends have either gotten married, had babies or moved out of the state. The few that were left were working or out of town.

In the end, it worked out fine. It was fairly even. But the whole time I was wondering, "Where my girlfriends at?" It made me really miss those that have taken off in the past year or so.

Not that I don't love my guy friends. I mean, really.... it's a non-issue that we have more guy friends than girl friends. To me, this is preferable. Guys are hilarious, and they smell really, really good. And they're fun to cuddle with. And give good hugs. And make me laugh, a lot.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In which she proves that she is not nearly as talented as her mother...

My mom is very talented - or as I was thinking in a Scottish accent just now, "verra talented" - when it comes to lots of things, but right now I am discussing cakes. My recent adventures with decorating cupcakes made me want to make more and to have fun experimenting with different tips and different things my mom has attempted to teach me over the years.

I'm not even close.

For some reason, I can't ever get the frosting consistency anywhere near to where it is supposed to be. It's usually so runny that the Crisco and the water start separating. This is not good for any sort of decorating purposes. Even when I think I have it close... I don't.

I can never get the cake out of the pan. So my cake usually looks like this:

Yup. That's yummy looking.

And by the end of it all, I get frustrated that my roses won't turn out (have I ever been able to make a rose? No. Does that keep me from trying? No.) And then I just get bored, because everything I want to do, I can't actually execute.

So then my cake looks like this:

The important thing is that in the end, it usually tastes fine. Good even. My mom did teach me how to bake a cake properly (one box + good timing = deliciously moist cake ((p.s. if you can come up with a better word than moist to describe a perfectly cooked cake that isn't dry, I'll give you bonus points))) and the frosting's flavor is never really off. It has been, but this time it wasn't.

In the end, I'm always looking something along the lines of this:

Wondering why I even bothered to decorate the cake in the first place. Next time, I should just buy the frosting with the rainbow chips. I feel sorry for my children.... they are going to have ugly birthday cakes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Irrational

Look, I know I am not always the most rational or logical person in the world. So when I admit that there are a few things that irrationally irritate me to death, well, just know that I do realize that it is irrational. I just can't help it.

Like faxes. I hate faxes. I hate when people ask me to fax them something and I hate even more when a fax shows up and is requesting for information. Seriously? Don't you know that there is a magical thing called EMAIL? And you can't get information just that much quicker and without wasting paper and without all the annoying beeping and sputtering and jamming my fax machine? Do you really think I am going to run over and jump to the fax machine when I hear it go off and it has already made me angry because it just sucked up 15 pages instead of the one it needed and then read your question and want to answer it? No. I want to ignore it. Because faxes are obsolete. And annoying.

Another thing: Snow in May. I don't care that it means that we aren't going to be in a drought this summer. Whoopie-do. It's MAY! I was enjoying the new, baby leaves and the flowers and the fact that we might just have warmer weather. Oh wait, we're going to be in the 70s by Wednesday. What the heck is that about? Should I be grateful that I got the opportunity to don my coat one more time this year? NO WAY. Man, I was ticked this morning.

And finally, my friend Meghan was telling me about this returned missionary who spoke in her ward yesterday that just really bugged me.

Meghan: anyway, he kept going on and on about this story about this guy and then he told about how 6 weeks before he was going home, the sister missionaries were teaching the guy's wife
and he went on this ramble/tirade about how sisters missionaries and sweet and nice (said very condescendingly) and made great cooks and stuff, but weren't "in-tune and forceful" enough to be missionaries...
...are sweet and nice
I seriously almost chocked him with my eyes
and Jared was going apoplectic because his lesson the previous week was about respecting women and all the YM had this horrible attitude, so he was like "great, now they're going to think it's ok to be misogynistic douches"
and we muttered the rest of the time with the people in the bench behind us
 Unacceptable. There are no...pleasant...words for attitudes like that.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Dinner and Baking

It is fairly known that I've given up baking and cooking since moving into my new apartment. I want to blame the fact that it is because of a messy kitchen, but since two of my roommates have moved out, it hasn't been as bad as it was. And I want to blame that I haven't been grocery shopping for over two months, but I actually did go and pick some things up yesterday. So... I guess it's time to pick it up again.

I kicked off my new cooking/baking practices today with Colin. He has been introduced to my mom's chicken enchiladas before, but we were totally able to top what I made last time into something even more delicious. You see, at home, there is little we can eat by way of flavor: no onions, no peppers, no spices, etc. Not because of my mom, oh no, but because of the pickier eaters living under the roof. (Imagine what my life was like five years ago when I discovered green peppers and spices and herbs! A bloody miracle, that's what.) But it doesn't matter - my mom is a GREAT cook. And her food, even if it could be considered bland, is DELICIOUS.

But...that doesn't stop me from making my own tweaks when I make those familiar meals for myself. So I took her regular chicken enchiladas: tortillas covered in cream of chicken soup with chicken and cheese in the middle and more cheese on the top, and I added black beans, green peppers and tomatoes on a fresh flour tortilla. Instant culinary masterpiece! They were seriously the best enchiladas I have ever made.

Afterward, Colin and I took our skills to baking and made some cherry chip cupcakes. While making Mom's dinners with a little more pizazz seems to work out for me, for the LIFE I can't get her frosting right. Mom, what does it mean when the color and everything starts to separate? I always make the frosting just a little too runny. Sigh. It doesn't matter.... Colin and I had fun decorating the cupcakes and in the end, when I tasted them, they were so rich and moist and delicious that it didn't matter that the frosting had been too soft. * shrugs shoulders* I guess I'll figure it out eventually. The truth is, I'll never have the patience to be as amazing as my mom, so I don't know why I even bother.

The worst part about doing all this in the kitchen is the clean up. It's an absolute wreck out there, and I really do not want to go and clean up. In fact, I'm feeling the need to go to bed on time tonight...which means getting ready in eight minutes.

Sigh.

First Relief Society Lesson

If you want some good reading material, I recommend reading President Uchtdorf's Two Principles for Any Economy which was one of the talks that I had to teach from in Relief Society at Church today. The other was President Eyring's Be Ready. Which was also fabulous.

Overall the lesson seemed to go pretty well. I got several comments after and then some after ward prayer that either says that the girls in my ward are super nice (they are) or that it went OK. I was very grateful that I had several girls who participated and said some really great comments. The whole flow of my lesson went pretty well, with only one major pause, but I think that worked to my advantage. I have really no idea what the girls were thinking during the lesson, but I didn't notice the few girls who always sit in the back and whisper and talk, so either I was too nervous to notice them, they were actually listening, or more than likely, weren't there today. Which was great.

I wished the whole Sunday that I could move Relief Society to be the first meeting. I just wanted to get it over with. I wasn't nervous, just anxious to see how it all panned out. In the end, I'm just grateful that the Spirit is really who teaches and has very little to do with me. Once I've prepared and prayed, there really isn't much more I can do.

There were a few amazing quotes. I'd put a few of President Uchtdorf's on my wall if I could.

Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow and a doorway to possibility.

Let us not devote our God-given talents and energies solely to setting early anchors, but rather let us spend our days growing spiritual wings. For, as [daughters] of the Most High God, we were created to soar unto new horizons.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Header

Florida 2010

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to go to Florida and visit one of my best friends who's husband is studying at Ave Maria Law School down in Naples. It was so good to see her and spend time in the warm weather (I heard it snowed in Utah while I was away, and I was not sorry to have missed that...)

While I was there I got to just relax, which was fabulous. I read out by the pool. We played tennis. We went to the beach. Walked through a nature preserve on Sanibel Island. Got attacked by a shark....that turned out to only be a friendly dolphin. And I met Jessica and Tyler's friends from Mississippi: Amanda and Daniel. They were really fun!

I haven't seen my uncle Fred for years, and so I called him up and he offered to take us out on a little boat ride. It was really pleasant, and beautiful to go through the "no wake" zone and then just relax on our own little (literally, very little) beach. Jess and Amanda are the most economical, frugal people I have ever met, and so we did everything for basically free. Which meant, the only money I spent was on my ticket and a few books to read at the pool and on the plane. Fabulous.

I got some sun. And I've been molting for the past two weeks, though I've kept some of the color thus far. I really didn't want to leave. ESPECIALLY when I checked in at the airport and the monitor read, "Current temperature in Salt Lake City: 42 degrees." It's taken these two weeks to actually start warming up...UUUUGH.

On my lay-over in Cincinnati, I was able to switch my flight to a later one and my Mom, sisters and baby Kelsie came to see me for an hour. It was seriously almost the highlight of the trip, because I really do miss my family on a daily basis.

I can't wait until the next cheap plane ticket to pop up! Maybe next time I will go visit my cousin Simon in North Carolina!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Country Music: Explained

I don't like country music. Or I say I don't...because most the time I can only listen to one, maybe two songs, before I have to change the station.

But once in an inexplicable moment, and despite the strange looks I get from the majority of the guys in the office or even to my own chagrin, I will turn on the country. I didn't ever really think I could explain why I got in these moods, but after yesterdays emotional breakdown, I think I've figured it out.

I play country music when I have a lot of unexplained emotions. I'm usually on the verge of tears or seconds away from pushing a guy against a wall or waiting for an excuse to run down some poor pedestrian. It doesn't matter whether I'm happy, sad or lonely. I could be excited or...whatever emotion, if it is more intense than normal (my emotions tend to run on the intense side always) then I turn on the country music and sing my lungs out.

Usually it's a particular playlist.

Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
Your Man - Josh Turner
No Rush - Josh Turner
Real Good Man - Tim McGraw
I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes - Dierks Bentley
I'll Take That as a Yes - Phil Vassar
Nothing on But the Radio - Gary Allen
Like We Never Loved at All - Faith Hill (& Tim McGraw)
Rodeo - Garth Brooks
Who's Your Daddy - Toby Keith
You Wouldn't Be Gone - Blake Shelton
Let Me Touch You - Alison Krauss
When You Say Nothing at All - Alison Krauss
Whiskey Lullaby - Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley

Yes, Garth. He's on the list. Even though when I was 16, I tried desperately to like him and I've only found maybe 3-5 songs that I like of his despite his many, many albums. Normally I just say that I can't stand him. Normally I say that I can't stand country. But at least my play list is a good country list.

Ah, well...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

I don't think this year's tribute to Mom will by as eloquent as this was last year. All that I listed then is still true. I will simply give the latest reason of why my mom is the best.

On my return flight from Florida, I had a layover in Cincinnati. Cincinnati airport happens to be about an hour and a half away from home, and when we flew over the Ohio river it made me utterly homesick, and I had this heartbreaking pain from missing my family. I was trapped at an airport, and only an hour and a half away from them! And there was no way I was going to be able to see them before my next flight took me to freaking Utah.

When I'm flying, I hate being in a rush. So I typically go straight to my gate and entertain myself there. That way, if any changes are made in the gates, I have plenty of time to find out and relocate. So I found my gate, made sure it was close and then called my mom to tell her how much I missed her. How much it was killing me that we were so close.

I walked over to the departure screen and noticed that there was another flight that left at 6:50 p.m. instead of the scheduled 4:20 p.m.

"If I pay to change my flight to the later one, will you come?" I ask. Knowing it's a long shot. Knowing that even if she leaves right that second, she won't make it until 5 p.m. and we'd only have an hour. Knowing that it's probably not worth the gas. And there isn't much we can do around the airport or in the airport or for that short amount of time.

"Sure," she responds.

That "sure" was enough. Within minutes, I had switched flights (for absolute FREE) and Mom had gathered all the girls so that they could head to Cincinnati. They hit traffic. We couldn't find anywhere nearby to eat (no one coming/going to the Cincinnati airport likes to eat apparently) and by the time they got there we literally had 60 minutes to spend time with each other.

If this isn't an example of pure love and devotion to her children, I'm not sure what is. I know that I felt incontestably loved.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving us so well. You're truly the best!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Book of Mormon

I LOVE Elder Holland.



He always tells it exactly like it is.

[video in embedded in this post]

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Being in Cincinnati trapped in the airpopt but so close to Ohio is absolutely KILLING me! :(

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I feel SALTY! A great day on our own private beach and learning to steer a boat... I'm toasted. But it was worth it! (Thanks Uncle Fred!)

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