Monday, November 28, 2011

Ten Thoughts In My Head Today

1. Man, 5:30 is early!

2. This tree sure drinks a lot of water. I really hope it lives through Christmas. Or at least through Saturday.

3. Why did I only bring healthy snacks to work with me?!

4. Ooh! I love getting my hair cut! And I'm glad we went with just the blonde this time.

5. Wow - you can definitely tell that I haven't been to the gym in a couple of weeks.

6. Would it kill them to put some fans in this gym?! I'm sweating like a pig! But I'm running surprising well for my recent lack of gym time. Well...running and walking. It's all cardio.

7. How are people buying tickets for Wicked already?! They weren't supposed to go on sale until Saturday! Drat those online codes!!!

8. If I eat a very healthy lunch then I don't have to feel bad when I just eat cereal or toast for dinner, right? Right.

9. Oh man! Has my slip really been showing like that all day? How embarrassing!

10. I love the little outdoor ice skating rink by my house. It's not New York City, but I still think it would be a fun little winter date to go there.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Christmas!

I love Thanksgiving!

And ours was wonderful this year. Food, family, and friends all rolled into one great weekend. We played new games, I laughed until I cried, and my mom and I even made our own cinnamon rolls.

One of the fun parts of Thanksgiving weekend is that we then get to prep for Christmas! Hooray!

Two of my roommates have fake trees, but we heard that WiseBuys had trees for $10, so Ariane and I decided that we should go check them out and maybe get a real one for the house this year. We looked at about two trees before we decided on one. It's a beauty! It's about 9 feet tall and it smells like delightful evergreen. I think this is the tallest tree I've ever had in my life. OK - maybe one of the Boston Christmas trees was taller, but probably not by much. This one just seems so huge!

However...somehow I always manage to get myself into projects that require putting large things on top of cars. There was the gigantic dry erase board in 2004, and yesterday there was the tree. We did pay the extra $2 to have it netted, which was very helpful. But this was a 9 foot pine tree! And Ari and I had to hoist it up on top of her car and then make sure that it didn't fall off on the drive home. And we're GIRLS!

This was no simple feat, but we did manage. I guess that's the thing about buying a tree at WiseBuys. They'll net it for you, but they can't take it any farther than their little lot. So we lugged it to the car and then got it on the roof and tied down. I got pine needles everywhere. My hair, my shirt - I even found one later that day that had gone down my pants. How does that even happen?! Also...this may not be a good omen for our $10 tree. Should it really be losing that many needles? Let's hope that it lasts at least a week. :)

We got it home, in the stand, in the house, standing up relatively straightly, and decorated. Here are a couple of shots.

Not bad, huh?

I'm now sitting snugly on the couch, wrapped up in my blanket looking at the tree with its beautiful lights, and White Christmas is playing on the television. White Christmas is one of my absolute favorite Christmas movies. 

Ahh...Christmas contentment.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Not-So-Hidden Talent

It's time for me to admit one of my talents.

I feel that I should no longer hide my candle under a bushel.

Perhaps I can help someone somewhere because of the natural gift that I have been given.

So here goes.

I am amazing at watching television.

Scoff if you will, but I believe that this takes stamina, discernment, a sharp eye, and impeccable taste. I can whip through the guide and know what's worth wasting my time on and what's not. I can learn, laugh, cry, travel, and cook all from my couch. I can get sucked in for hours. That sounds sad. But it's not because I do leave my couch and live life too. And that's happy.

Being sick this week allowed me the opportunity to put my skill to great use. Because...realistically, most days are so busy that I don't have a ton of time to devote to developing under-valued talent.

Yesterday was kind of a marathon event for me, so let's see if I can give an accurate recap. I woke up WAY too early, but then I compensated by going back to sleep from 10:30am to 1:40pm. I guess that's what happens when your body is recovering?

Here's what I watched in no particular order: The Muppets Take Manhattan (got that for $5 at Wal-mart), part of The Next Iron Chef, two episodes of International House Hunters (they were in Holland!), Survivor, two and a half episodes of Psych, two and a half episodes of Designing Women (what a find on a Saturday!), the end of the USC/Oregon football game, some of the Cal/Stanford game, the finale of Top Chef Just Desserts, Gilmore Girls, Keeping Up Appearances, the end of last week's The Sing-Off, and I think something else that I'm forgetting right now. But even if I'm not forgetting anything, that's kind of a lot of TV.

Really...days like this are only justified when I'm not feeling well. Which is probably why they're fun. They only happen every once in a while. But when they do happen, I know that I am letting my little light shine. :)

On another note, I only have to work three days this week!!! What a fun thought!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

1. I have the sniffles. So I am resting in the hopes that they do not turn into a full blown cold. Of course, I also made a deal with my immune system that if it could keep me going just long enough to get through the work week that it could let me be sick all weekend. So far so good. We'll see what happens on Saturday.

2. I would much rather have the sniffles than a sore throat. That's how this started. Just a little scratchy throat on Tuesday morning, but by noon it was on fire. At several points I wondered if it would just be easier to rip my throat out of my body. Don't worry. Instead I went to CVS after work and bought soup, Gatorade, Airborn, and lozenges. And then I went to the youth Etiquette Dinner and prepped, plated, and served food to the unsuspecting masses. Let's hope I didn't pass anything along. :)

3. Do you ever miss a place? This fall I've been missing BYU. Maybe it's because it's the time of year when school begins and football games are being played, and there's a part of me that still longs to be in school. But today I wasn't wanting to be in Provo. I missed Europe today. I know that's very general, and I've only been to three European countries, but I just wanted to be there. And because I've lived there, I feel like I'm allowed to want to be there in a way that is different than just wanting to visit a place you've seen in the movies, you know? Like...I want to visit the Nora Ephron-created, romanticized New York City in You've Got Mail, but I can't really miss that or know what it's really like on West 89th Street, because I've never been there. But I can still see parts of Europe in my mind's eye and I can still feel parts of it in my soul. And today I wanted to be transported there. I wanted to speak Dutch and have someone understand me. I wanted to get on a train. I wanted to ride a bike and visit a museum, and be there again. And then I woke up from that daydream and I was still going through attorney's mail. Someday Europe. I'll be back.

4. Why do I love and hate Costco so much at the same time? They have so much good stuff, which makes me want to buy it all, but then I would be out of money in no time. They have the softest blankets, and fun movies, and great books - all topped off with delicious free food samples. Aaacckkkk!!!! It's a dilemma every time I walk in the door. And they've got us all paranoid that if we don't buy what we think we want the moment we see it, it'll be gone. Because everyone knows that if you wait on something that you see at Costco (especially non-everyday items), you might as well give up on ever seeing it again. Heck - you can't even second-guess yourself during your own shopping trip. You may decide that you want to walk around the store while you think about whether or not to get that Nordic-ware bake set. By the time you get back around...gone. I'll have you know that there were only four - yes four - copies of the Doris Day movie collection on the shelf tonight. Do you think they'll be there the next time I go back? NO! I hesitated and therefore I am lost. I'm sorry Doris. Next time I'll know better.

OK - I'm now going to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls (I'm in season 3 right now), take a bath, and go to bed. I was watching GG yesterday while resting, and Kirk had a great line. Rory and Lorelai each made a funny comment and he said something like, "I'm sorry. I'm a little fuzzy right now which is why I missed your comedic hyperbole." I just love a show that can use the phrase "comedic hyperbole." But my point in using this quote beyond illustrating the writing genius of Amy Sherman-Palladino is that I'm a little fuzzy tonight, and I may be missing more than comedic hyperbole. I just realized that I wrote some LONG paragraphs. The great part is that you can stop reading any time. When people talk to me they can't get me to be quiet, but when I blog people can take me in whatever dose they choose. Anyone still with me? Yep...time for Gilmore Girls. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Call Me Schnookums

OK - I haven't really been inspired AT ALL to blog lately.

But at the urging of my sister and Corrie and because I just laughed out loud with no one else around, I will post this.

My friend, Erin, writes one of the wittiest blogs I have ever read. AND she wrote a book, which I think is amazing and I want to be just like her someday. (Buy her book!)

Anyway, she has started adding advertisements to her blog. Just by clicking on them I am pretty much sending her money. Not bad, huh?

So I clicked on one this evening. It was to see if I would qualify for a grant to go back to school. But I didn't stop there. I actually went through all the questions. However, at the end they want all of your contact information, which I'm not too keen on giving out. (Besides...I apparently only qualified for one program - an online Master's of Education through Grand Canyon University (who?) with no financial aid. Totally bogus!)

So I just created myself a new internet identity. It's Schnookums McGee. I live at 501 Pleasant Way, in case you wanted to know.

The best part was at the very end when I submitted all of my information. The advertisement at the bottom said something like, "If you liked this, Schnookums, you might also like..." My computer called me Schnookums! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

This kind of sounds like the dumbest thing as I'm writing it, but I just found it hilarious.

Also - conundrum of the day: why do stores that sell skin care and make-up products have the worst lighting of all time? How do I know if that tinted moisturizer actually IS the right one? I walked around Sephora today looking in about a half-dozen different mirrors. All with very different yet equally horrible lighting. Baffling. The staff kept asking me if I needed help. I wanted to shout at them and say, "YES! Please help by creating a not lame environment for me to test your products, stupid!" So I didn't buy either moisturizer. I asked for samples of both and I'll test them in my own light. For cryin' out loud.

Today I'm thankful for a gift card that I found that I'd forgotten about and scripture study and my toothbrush.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let's Be Thankful

Many moons ago (I'm going to say November 2004), my good friend (and then roommate) AmyAnn, taped several pieces of construction paper to the closet door in the entryway of our apartment. Next to these she fastened a string with a pen attached to it. On the paper in big, bold letters she wrote, "I'm Thankful For..."

Throughout the month of November (and beyond), we (and most people who came to visit) would write what we were thankful for that day. Whenever we felt happy - and especially when we felt unhappy, frustrated, or grumpy - we were reminded to go to the Thankful Board and find something for which we were grateful.

I learned a very important lesson from this Thankful Board. Gratitude has an amazing power to change our hearts and lift our souls! And I have so much for which to be thankful!

So as we approach Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays!), I'm going to make an effort to be more thankful. Starting right now.

I am thankful to work with the Young Women of my ward. Tonight was their annual Night of Excellence, and I can truly say that they are EXCELLENT! They amaze me, and I am grateful that for a few hours each week I get to bask in their stellar-ness.

I'm also grateful that I get to serve with such superior women. They teach me a lot. And put up with a lot from me. So I am thankful to know them and associate with them.

This isn't all of us. We were a few short tonight. But here's us tonight.

Let's all be grateful!


This year, I decided to make my costume for Halloween. Ok - I decided to ask my incredibly talented grandma to teach me how to sew by making a costume for me for Halloween. :)

We had a great time! It is always fun to spend time with my grandparents, but it's also really fun to have a project. Here are a few of my pictures from the weekend.

Here's me in my Alice in Wonderland costume. I LOVE it!!! I really felt like Alice.

Koreen, Nicole, Christina, and I ventured to Berkeley for a Halloween party on Friday. After I finished changing into my costume in the car (quite an adventure in itself!), we enjoyed the festivities for a bit.

There was another Alice there...

The Berkeley Institute building used to be a mansion, so we climbed up to the attic to look around. Guess what we found? A tiny door! Of course, Alice had to check it out. That's what she does!

Then we found an even smaller door! So...I popped through to say hello.

And then I needed to climb through a window...

...and out onto the roof. (Sorry that the pictures are sideways).

And, I couldn't end my Halloween post without a tribute to Grandma and Grandpa. Here they are at their friends' Halloween party. Don't they look fantastic?! Hmm...I wonder where I get my excitement for dressing up? :)