Happy Birthday

I am so incredibly grateful for my Uncle Pete and Aunt Michelle. Not just because they are the best sort of people, who make you feel loved unconditionally, and not just because Michelle is the greatest hostess on the planet, but because they now reside in the beautiful metropolis of Cheyenne, WY. The perfect break in a road trip between the SLC and the paradise that is Kearney, Ne.

I LOVE my Uncle Pete and Aunt Michelle so so much. Which is why I loved spending time with Michelle this trip, but was sad that my Uncle Pete was working nights. He arrived home at like 4 or 5 in the morning so when Katy and I were up and leaving at 8 he got up for a second to say hello-goodbye:

ME: Unlce Pete! You have to be so tired. You shouldn't be getting up just because we are here.
P: Well I am going right back to bed I just wanted to say hey.
P: Well...Happy Birthday.... Wait that's not it... Um what is it? Oh yeah. Merry Christmas.

The poor guy was so tired. On the way back we got to visit with him for a few more minutes. I was grateful for whatever time he had though, and that he crawled out of bed so tired, to wish us Happy Birthday.

Comment Moderation

Due to some recently made comments using language that I feel is not appropriate for this content, I will now be moderating all comments on my blog. Don't worry I will still be getting your comments it may just take a few hours for them to appear on the blog itself.

I love comments so keep them coming! It provides some validation, other than my stat counter, that someone is listening.

To the nasty person who has left inappropriate comments: If you don't like who and what I am please simply stop reading my blog.


Random thoughts... while I freeze to death.

1. The open mouth chewer came into my office this morning. Eating an apple. Chomp chomp chomp went his OPEN mouth. While I was sprayed with apple juice and pieces. Really? He has to realize how awful that is. HE HAS to! Right? I know there could be worse things, but AARRRGHH!

2. Katy and I love road tripping because it is always an adventure. OH BOY did we get our adventure this time. I should have known the GPS was wrong when we passed the sign that said "No winter maintenance." Ha but I didn't want to turn around and go back 20 miles to the freeway.  So an hour and 2 lumber jacks later we are back on the road. I intend to blog this entire story later when I have my pictures. Sadly there were no pictures taken of the lumber jacks who came to our rescue.

3. Why do I ALWAYS get the Christmas flu? This year I was the only one! Sucky!

4. I love being home and this year it was made extra great because both of my littlest sibs were extra sweet and cuddly. All I want to do it hold them and normally they don't let me. This time they crawled up into my lap every chance they got. LOVED IT!  I also got to give my Logan boy lots of cuddle time. He loves to cuddle which I think is great, I am always a willing cuddler.

5. I am currently freezing to death and can't wait to leave work, make a fantastic dinner, read a good book, and be warm the rest of the night.

6. I miss my sibs already. I am dreading the idea of us all growing up and getting big girl/boy jobs all over the country. I want to be able to spend time with any of them any old time I want. I am so blessed by the siblings I have been given. Each and every one of them. I can't wait to meet Caleb, due next month, I am sure he will be great, but he has some pretty stiff competition.



I had an interesting experience recently.

There is a new guy in my ward who Served in the Omaha, NE mission. He even spent a small period of time in the Kearney ward. Before he knew who I was related to in the ward we chatted about people. I asked him for general impressions of people... and he gave them to me.

It was interesting to hear this stranger praise the people I love the most and try to avoid talking about the ones I think make life difficult for the rest. I gave him no leading questions. He didn't know whom in the ward I was related to. He had no invested emotions based on being related to someone or having this or that history. Just one outsider in The Lord's Service observing a group of people and their dynamic.

I never want to be that person who is known throughout the area as poison.


New Jersey, The greatest place on earth

My boss the other day asked me why anyone in the world would want to live in New Jersey when they could live right here with the Rockies out their back door. Well I have an answer for him.

In New Jersey we have the best Fall foliage, because we actually have trees, lots of them. And you don't have to drive up the canyon to see them.

EVERY road you travel down will look like this.

Because we have Diversity. Because I got to experience a myriad of cultures in my home town. And they can all cook! Italians, Greeks, and Puerto Ricans are a few of my favorites.

Because we have cheesesteaks (real ones), with salt and vinegar fries

Because even the ladies in my high school cafeteria could make a better meatball sub than any I've had since.
And let us not forget. You can get a real honest to goodness cannoli. And you have more than one option.

In my great state you are never more than a quick drive from sacred ground such as:
Valley Forge


Or Independence Hall

Because you'll pass ten of these road side stand on your way home and you'll never have a better tomato than a fresh Jersey Tomato.

Because in New Jersey you can pick your own Blueberries. (You haven't had a blueberry unless you've picked your own)

And you never have to pump your own gas.
Because we have this

And this

And not as much of this as you might think. However, this does look like it could be a picture from my Senior trip. (But these guys are from New York)

Because you picture NJ like this...

 But it's more like this
And this

And this. (I worked here)

So all I suppose I really want to say it that I hate the sterotypes. Don't say you hate something until you have experienced it. I'll take any of you home with me and you will meet the best people, see the best sights, and eat the very best food.


Insulting My Mom

To me insulting someone's preferred genre of music is like insulting their mom. Just don't do it. Music is so important to people. Music is so powerful. If you insult it you are insulting a little piece of them.

In my case it feels even more like you are insulting my mom because part of the reason I love the genre I do, is because growing up my mom always had the radio on. Those songs have become the soundtrack of almost every good memory I have of her.

I vent a lot about this, I know, but recently it has come to my attention that these same people are now fond of making fun of where I am from. Like there is nothing good in Nebraska. It is my home and almost everything I love is tucked away in that beautiful state. My dad grew up In Battle Mountain, NV and deals with the same things. He knows and loves the good people, the desert, and the memories he created there. So why is it okay to make fun of it in front of him?

Then you have my poor mother from Ogden, UT... Don't even get me started about people's opinions of that place.

In the end it seems that these expressed opinions only make me feel that they are simply closed minded. If you can't fathom one good thing about places, cultures, even styles that are different than yours then my heart is sad for you. There is good, beauty, and something to love in all things. You are limiting yourself and missing out.

Please be kind.

**There will be a post to follow on The Garden State which is also my home and the subject of much criticism made by those who have no idea what they are talking about.  i. e. My boss (Who I like anyway)


Happy B-Day Mom!

I almost forgot to do a Happy Birthday Post for my BEST friend!

I've gone on and on in earlier posts about my mom and how wonderful she is. So my birthday ode to mom will be about something I have learned recently.

My mom loved horses, and restoring cars, and John Wayne movies. I wanted nothing more growing up, than to be what she wanted me to be. I assumed that what she wanted me to be was someone that encompassed all the things she loved. What I have come to realize is that her kids were the things she loved the most and she wanted us to be US.

Forever I tried to like what she liked. When I wanted to watch My Fair Lady instead of  practicing barrels I was sure she was disappointed in me. I loved my horse, I did. But I loved other things too. What I didn't realize until later was that she was trying just as hard to like and be interested in the things I was interested in.

I now have my own taste, style, likes, loves, and dislikes. But I know that is okay because my mom taught me that who I am is exactly who she loves. I have the ability to be the nomad I am, to take risks, to develop into me because my parents, that's right both of them, have given me a safe place to land, unconditional love and support. I will be forever grateful for parents who gave me the freedom to be just like them... with a twist!


One time in college my good friend Linds tripped and instead of catching herself she decided to protect her Diet Coke. Around the same time we had a mutual friend who performed a similar feat in order to preserve her sandwich. Both had Band-Aids on both knees, but the joy of good food and essential drink.

The other day I had the meatball sub at the Mediterranean market. When I say it was to die for I only ALMOST meant it. I think if I was shot in the GROIN I would head off to the hospital and get my sandwich another time. But who knows until you are in the situation. Maybe I should find out in which exact deli this man picked up a sandwich that was worth risking his life for.


J: So do you have any fun plans this weekend?
Me: I am going to sit at home in stretchy pants and work on Christmas presents.
J: So you aren't going to go out and eat anywhere new and fun?
Me: No, that is how you end up in stretchy pants.

A random selection

1. I think we are driving home for Christmas. I am VERY excited for the adventure! Current weather prediction for I-80 that day is heavy snow. Should be a good time!

2. This morning I had an apple as part of a well balanced breakfast and it tasted like a carrot. Suspish. I wonder if God is trying to sneak veggies into my meal? That would be ridiculous though because we both know I LOVE veggies, just not in my breakfast apple.

3. Someone has a crush on me. This is great because he isn't creepy and he didn't go for Katy first. It is fun to talk to him and listen to him trip over himself. I know that sounds mean but I am so used to being on the other side of the coin. This side is more fun!

4. I am making all my Christmas presents this year. I have about half of them done and I think they will be better than store bought. I put a lot of thought into each of them and a lot of time.


Cancer makes my heart hurt

Cancer seems to be effecting more and more people in my life. More than half of my best friends have lost a parent to cancer at a very young age.

My old seminary teacher was JUST diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and the dad of one of my good friends here locally was just diagnosed and is also already stage 4. My heart is breaking for these families.

One of my favorite roommates from college fought cancer, went into remission and went on a mission. Fought it again, went into remission and got married. She has just now gone into remission again. People my age should be having babies and planning their future. Not fighting cancer.

Is my perception just changing or are more and more people's lives affected by cancer? It makes my heart hurt to see what it is doing to the lives of so many people I love.

Maybe I should wear more sunscreen...


Talent Shows

As our ward talent show is forth coming and we have been discussing it in ward counsel I can't help thinking about past talent shows. To me a talent show is just an excuse to get up and make a fool of yourself in front of the ward. It is always a good time for those of us who are simply observers.

Some of my favorite talent show moments:

* When Ren sang Captain Vegtable and dressed up!
* When a girl in college put on a Santa hat and sang "Santa Baby" to the Bishop while doing a slightly inappropriate dance.
* When one of the Rich boys demonstrated his nunchuck skills and accidentally let go of one and it went flying across the stage to where the small children were watching with wide eyes. 
* When a group of boys sang The Eagles classic "Lying Eyes."
* When a girl in my ssingles ward did her talent as being able to name what episode of Stargate was being shown in the first ten seconds.
*When a girl did interpretive dance and her roommates switched the tape to a Muppet song last second.
* When Brother Sama dressed up as a woman and danced around while his wife and daughter sang The Oak Ridge Boys classic "Elvira."

If you think I am being mean, the above list should show you that, yes indeed talent shows are for people to make fools of themselves for the entertainment of others. I LOVE THEM! Can't wait to add to the list after the 18th Ward Talent Show!


People are Crazy

I think people are crazy who tell you to live every day like it was your last. 
Because if today was MY last day I would certainly call into work and say something like 
"Uh hey guys. I'm gonna be kinda busy today.. 
and um I won't be in tomorrow because it looks like I have dying on my schedule sometime before then."
I would probably stop in and say goodbye, but certainly wouldn't be putting in a full day.

I just CAN'T live every day that way. I need some cash flow, and as much as we like to tease each other, I am sure my boss would get sick of that call quickly. And he would probably like it if I came into work most days.

I would also probably spend too much, eat too much, and stay up way too late. 

Just seems like a bad pattern to observe daily.


Happy Birthday Kyle!

To me, birthdays are a day to celebrate that someone special was born. I am so blessed to have Kyle as one of my closest friends.

I appreciate having a friend who genuinely cares about those around him.
One that goes out of his way to make things right again.
Someone who is actually good at listening.
Someone who appreciates the quiet, just together time.
A man who expresses gratitude.
Someone who hasn't lost sight of the important things in life.
A man who treats all women like the queens etc. they have the potential to be.
Someone who enjoys God's creations and loves to be among them.
A friend that will delve into deep conversations on deep topics, but also laughs at my stupid jokes.
Someone who allows me to serve.
A man who will do whatever it takes to keep me safe.
Someone who makes time.
Who loves enough to voice concerns.
Who speaks volumes with just a look.
A friend to whom it is okay to show weakness. 
And he look AMAZING in his gray suit!

His friendship is more than I deserve and I am blessed to be a part of his life.

Brain Dump

1. I want to make Christmas presents for everyone on my list this year but worry that they won't be as well received as a purchased one.

2. I don't know how I am getting home for Christmas yet. When do I panic?

3. I think I know why I hate Christmas music. It reminds me of my mom. Then I think about how Christmas isn't the same without her. Then I feel guilty because Christmas isn't about moms right? It's about The Savior. But I feel like it is very much not the same without a mommy.

4. I can't get the image of my boss running through the parking lot after a flock of Canadian geese out of my head. He is a funny guy.

5. How long do you keep a friend's secret, in the name of being a good friend who can keep secrets, when you know the secret is hurting both of you?

6. I judge people who watch too much TV but I love to sit at home and watch movies. I could do it all night every night. Thank goodness I have too many things going on to allow that to happen.

7. I had a chat with a friend today in which hatchets were buried. I am so grateful for friends who can shovel. Really if you are reading this you have no idea what that meant to me. THANK YOU! 

7. I am still thinking about the geese outside because they are adorable and you can see them eating big red berries off our bushes through the window. Precious!

8. I wish I had the money to help everyone in my life that needs it so desperately right now.

9. I need to go buy yet another smaller pair of jeans! I should be happy but I hate all the money I have spent on pants the past few months.

10. I need to put up my Christmas tree but I am putting it off because I desperately miss the man who helped me put it up last year. I miss having his spirit in my home. Maybe we'll just let Katy decorate for Christmas this year.