Monday, June 29, 2009

The Sisterhood Expands--Again

Once upon a time when I was just about to graduate from college, I had four best friends. We connected because we all worked for the student-run newspaper on campus. (Well, that's how our connections started but it continued because we understood each other and all shared a great love of books.) At the conclusion of the semester, all four of us would be going separate directions: I was heading to Salt Lake City for an internship, the Bibliophile was going to Washington, D.C. for an internship, another friend was heading home to South Dakota to prepare for a mission and the fourth friend was staying in Rexburg for the summer. It seemed our friendship would soon be at an end. But such was not the case.

That semester the three of them had all taken a Young Adult lit class together and had read "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" for it. I had finished my semester a week early because the building where four of my classes were held was going to be renovated, so we had to be done a week early. Yes, I know I'm so spoiled to be done a whole week early my last semester, but it also stressful at the same time. During the week between when I finished most of my classes and graduation, I also read the first Sisterhood book.

For anyone unfamiliar with the book, it's about a set of four girls who have been best friends for their entire lives. They are about to spend their first summer apart and right before they part ways, they find a pair of jeans in a thrift shop that magically fits all four of them, even though they are very different sizes. It's a way of keeping them together even when they're apart.

The night before we were to make our parting, I decided to make a special gift to commemorate our friendship. I purchased a notebook and a pair of Barbie pants to put in it and we formed our own Sisterhood. (If you'd like to hear about the ritual where we inaugurated our Notebook, I'd be happy to tell you sometime. It's a good story, but this entry is long enough.) The Notebook is supposed to be passed between all four of us equally, but, unfortunately, it tends to get stuck with some members of the Sisterhood longer than others. Oh well! We have maintained our friendship and that's what's important anyway.

This weekend the Bibliophile and I had the opportunity to return to our alma mater to see the second member of our Sisterhood get married. (One of our members got married that first summer after we graduated and now has two adorable children.) This is the first time in four years that all four of us have been together, and it was a special experience. Here are a few pictures.
This is the four of us.

The four of us with the new addition. He looked slightly taken aback when the Bibliophile welcomed him to the Sisterhood. She just smiled and told him she was sure he'd probably never thought he would hear such words. I think he's okay with it thought because he's just a little bit attached to his wife. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ode to a Wonderful Dad

I guess this month instead of posting one entry at a time, I'm going to post several all at once. Isn't that exciting?! I suppose it could just mean that I have a lot to say at some times and not much at other times.

In case you hadn't heard, today is Father's Day, a day set aside for all of us to remember our fathers. I know that not everybody was blessed in the father department, but I certainly have been. My dad is wonderful and has taught me many things throughout my life. He has also been a wonderful example of the type of life I want to live and has raised me to be a righteous daughter of God. He has been a loving and kind voice of wisdom in my siblings' and my life. He may not always have much to say (after I reach a certain point in any given telephone conversation, he says, "Well, I can't think of anything else to say--here's your mother" which I find funny) but he always listens. He also doesn't jump to conclusions or fly off the handle at the drop of a hat, both qualities I need to learn to emulate.

Among other things, my dad has taught me that respecting my parents is essential, to never ever get into a scratching war with my sister, that getting your mouth washed out with soap is NOT a pleasant experience, that teasing is often a sign of affection and it's good to be teasable (I think I just made that word up. Cool!), that one of the most torturous ways to end a fight with your sibling is to hug each other even though you may not like each other at that moment in time, that being a voracious reader is a wonderful thing, that it's okay for parents to get involved in the neighborhood water fight, that there's always time for a nap, and that true love conquers everything, even the smell of rotting dog (hence the reason he still likes being around his pooch, when all the rest of us can't hardly stand to be in the same room with him).

Here are a few pictures of my dad, for your viewing pleasure. This first one is my parents. Aren't they cute?
He also taught me that a) it's good for couples to do things together and b) that it's okay for men to enjoy dancing.
Look at him being a good sport when I'm having some fun at his expense. This was two years ago after he had an emergency surgery on his knee and the Bibliophile and I took a trip home to my parents' house to help out for a couple days. I tucked him right up into bed. Doesn't he look cute?
Here's him being proud of his offspring, or rather, the offspring of his offspring. Yes, that sounds funny, but I like it, so I'm going to leave it. In any case, my dad is a wonderful grandfather and loves all of his grandchildren very much.
My dad is also really good at documenting events with photos. Here he is taking pictures in Yellowstone. And I'm a smart aleck so I took a picture of him, taking a picture. :)

Let's be honest--I, too, am notorious for documenting events with photos so there's tons more I could put here. However, it's late and I'm exhausted, so I'm going to put this last picture of him and me at Iguacu Falls in Brazil. It was a during our wonderful trip to Paraguay last fall.

Suffice it to say that I sure do love and appreciate my dad! Happy Father's Dad, Papa-Daddy!!

The Return of the Bibliophile

So something very exciting happened yesterday! No, I did not win the lottery or meet the man of my dreams. I didn't do something adventurous and out of the ordinary. It wasn't happy because it stayed sunny all day instead of raining (probably because that's not what happened at all) and it wasn't because I ate at Cafe Rio, although that contributed to the special something I am referring to.

I am delighted because the Bibliophile returned to Salt Lake City!!! Yay!! The Bibliophile is my former roommate and great friend. We lived together for almost two years. She moved out last April so she could finish her last semester of school and shortly afterwards moved across the country. Happy for her that she was close to her family but sad for me as she was now 2,000 miles away. I got to visit her in March when I went to D.C., which was wonderful, but it's so great to have her back on SLC!!

She has many people she'd like to see while she's here, so I'm trying to help facilitate that as much as I can. Our dinner/ice creaming plans with a couple good friends fell through last night, but we had several close friends over for dinner tonight, and we visited our old ward today so she got to see more people she knows. Tomorrow she'll head Utah County direction to stay with a good friend for a couple days and then come back on Wednesday. Friday we'll be heading to Rexburg for our friend's wedding, which is mainly the reason she came out here.

Anyway, the point of this whole rambling post is that I'm delighted she's here!! She is one of my closest friends, and it's wonderful to have her back again, even for a short time. I'm sure she wouldn't like me to say this, but she is truly a kindred spirit. I may or may not have stories about her to post here later. . . :)

In the meantime, enjoy these couple pictures of her that I took last night, especially the second one. Let's hear it for sass!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And back to the drawing board. . .

I'm still debating if I should write this or not, but since I like to use my blog to talk about things going on in my life, I guess I will. Here goes.

For the last two months I've been having this pain in my left side, just underneath my ribs, off and on. It started back in April, and, truthfully, I didn't think much about it. I thought at first that it was just a pulled muscle or something and when it didn't go away I decided it was just something I had to live with. And I was okay with that.

Well, a couple weeks ago the pain intensified. Instead of hurting occasionally, it started hurting constantly. I was still content to live with it until I visited my sister a couple weeks ago. I hadn't really talked much about it for a variety of reasons, the most important being that I didn't want to make a big deal of nothing. My sister pointed out that this pain could be something serious so I'd better get it taken care of.

I called the doctor just over a week ago, expecting it would take several weeks to get an appointment. I was shocked when I got in that day (they must've had a last-minute cancellation). The doctor was concerned about the pain in my side and another pain that had cropped up. I thought they were connected, but she said they were two separate things. She scheduled me an appointment for an ultrasound. Again, I thought it was going to take at least a week, so I was surprised when the appointment was set up for the next day.

For anyone who hasn't had one, an ultrasound is not a big deal. The problem with mine was waiting for the results. The radiologist who did my scan said they should be back to the doctor's office by the next morning at the very latest. I waited for two days and heard nothing so I called in and left a message. It took clear until this morning before I heard anything back. I was quite frustrated, mostly because I wanted to know how to proceed.

The diagnosis was also frustrating: pretty much we've done everything we can to help you so try these two other types of doctors to figure out what is causing your pain. Good luck with that! It was a relief on the one hand and completely frustrating on the other. Now the question is, where do I turn next? I think my plan will be to see a GI doctor, but since he/she is a specialist, I'm guessing it'll take a long time to get in. I'll just have to try it and see.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My New Goal

It may or may not be silly to post several times in one night, but in any case, I am choosing to do so. There's no time like the present, right?!

So we were having a lesson about the Word of Wisdom in church on Sunday. I know some people find this topic to be to be either difficult to teach or boring, but I enjoyed the lesson. It was team taught because the teachers decided to combine both Sunday School classes, and although it could've gone either way, I thought the teachers did a great job. I was also impressed by some of the profound comments made during the lesson.

The part that stuck out to me, and encouraged me to set a new goal, was the part about sleep. Okay, this isn't actually in the Word of Wisdom, but one of the teachers had us visit Section 88:124 (I believe, but I'm too lazy to go look it up) which mentions going to bed early and arising early.

I must confess: I suck at going to bed. I am the world's worst nighthawk, even when there isn't really anything pressing that I need to be doing. I just always seem to find distractions to keep me from getting into my nice, comfortable bed at a reasonable hour unless I'm sick. However, when we talked not only about not sleeping too long but also getting the proper amount of rest, I was struck with the idea because I realized it's definitely something I need to work on.

I made a goal for myself, which I haven't done exceptionally well at keeping this week, but I'm committed to doing better. I promised myself to be in bed by 11 each night. Sometimes it might be closer to 11:30, but my goal is to make it well before midnight. I just know that it will help me feel better and be able to be more productive at work so I'm not lagging from exhaustion. By writing this in my blog, I am recommitting myself to follow through with it. I may occasionally post progress checks to make sure I'm really doing it, so bear with me. Accountability is the key to accomplishing any goal.

Sleep is so good for my body and helps me feel refreshed. Here is my commitment to make sure I get an adequate amount of it. . . :)

My Life Would Suck Without You!!

My poor neglected blog! I am sometimes so faithful about writing in it, but for whatever reason, this month it's a struggle for me! And I've had some great things happen recently which I need to tell about.

Let's start with the Kelly Clarkson concert last Thursday. It was awesome!! She sounds just as great live as she does on her CDs. She performed some classic Kelly Clarkson tunes ("Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone", "Miss Independence") as well as some tunes from her new CD, which I love! I was hoping that she would perform at least one or two of my favorite songs on the CD ("Long Shot" and "Impossible"), but, alas, she did not. It was still a great concert. She closed out by singing "My Life Would Suck Without You." I have to admit that initially I was not impressed with this song, but after I used it to sass Speak one night it's sort of become an anthem from one of us to the other, so I really love it now. :)

My only beef with the concert was a) the choice of venue and b) that she only sang for an hour! I was hoping for an hour and a half to two hours but no such luck. One of my friends who attended the concert with me said that singers sometimes struggle with singing in Utah because of the elevation, so that may be why she didn't sing very long. It could've also been because the tickets weren't that expensive, but it's okay. Utah Valley University put on the concert and it was held in their baseball field. Umm, the diamond shape doesn't really lend itself to being a great location for a concert, especially when they jealously protect the playing area (not that I blame them or anything.) I really did enjoy myself! I'm posting some pictures below for your enjoyment!

Before I go though, I have to tell you one of my favorite parts of the concert which, ironically enough, doesn't have anything to do with the singing. So the weather was iffy when we went, but we were told the concert would go on, rain or shine. Luckily it only sprinkled on us and the clouds moved completely out by the time the concert ended. However, for a good part of the time Kelly was singing, there was a huge double rainbow across the whole sky. It was truly beautiful! I tried to capture it on film but couldn't quite get all of it. I'm posting a couple pictures I took of the pieces of it.
Andrea and I are excited to see Kelly!

Here's where Kelly will be singing shortly. Check out the crowd!

Here's the major portion of the rainbow. I really wish I could've caught the whole thing. Oh well!

Here is the side by the stage. I loved the double rainbow. It was so beautiful!

Here's the crowd jamming to one of Kelly's songs. I think it was either "Since U Been Gone" or "Breakaway" but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Queen! of the Exclamation Point

After my last entry, I just decided I am in definite need of something more cheery! I didn't mean for it to be depressing or anything, but I think that's how it came out. Whoops! However, I'm hoping to cleanse that feeling with this much more fun entry!

Have I ever mentioned before that I happen to be the Queen! of the Exclamation Point?! It may be sad, but, alas, it's true! I am addicted to this perhaps slightly quirky, but nevertheless fun punctuation mark. (Hmm, that description could also fit me too. What a strange coincidence. . .)Many a sentence have I closed with not just one but several exclamation points.

If you were to look up the exclamation point in a grammar text of some type (which I am not going to do just for the sake of this entry, even though I could) I'm sure it would tell you something to the effect that exclamation points are used to show emphasis or excitement. And yes, I use them for both! I am a relatively happy and somewhat easily excitable person, and I sometimes communicate this with the use of an exclamation point, or when I'm super excited about something, several all in a row, like this!!!!!

I suppose this isn't so abnormal; many people choose to occasionally use an exclamation point. My problem is that I overuse it. If I were to consult recent emails, blog posts and Facebook wall posts, I'm quite certain I would discover I use it more often than not! And yes, I used one on that last sentence for the sake of emphasis. :) Just trying to prove my point.

Anyway, I wanted to share this most important part of expressing myself with you!! If you are the lucky recipient of a fun message from me in the next little while that may or may not contain what seems to be an excessive amount of exclamation points (!), please know that I do it out of love and excitement. You can't very well sense my excitement from something I write to you if I don't use at least one exclamation point! And if I use many, that just means I'm even more excited about whatever I'm saying to you! For really big news, I may use even more!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A little trip inside my brain. . .

I'm beginning this post without knowing for sure what it's going to be about. My head is stuffed to overflowing with any number of thoughts I could write about from the joys of being a complicated female (why-oh-why do we have to feel so many emotions all at the same time?) to the fact that I am now an expert on all things sunflower (okay not really but I did do a cute little presentation about them for three hours at the event I was helping with tonight) to how I couldn't be happier that tomorrow's Friday!!

I guess perhaps I'll just discuss a hodge podge of all these ideas. First of all--being a complicated female. Once upon a time when I was but a wee sophomore in college (yes that was many moons ago I'm afraid), one of my home evening brothers asked me if I understand girls. I gave him an ironic smile and said, "Well, considering that I'm a girl and I sometimes don't understand myself, no I guess I don't really understand girls."

I'm guessing most guys would agree with me on the idea that females are darn blasted hard to understand. And I hate that I'm saying this right now, but it's really true! This morning I had a bit of a meltdown of sorts (sans tears thank goodness, especially since I was at work although they hovered close to the surface) because I had so many feelings inside and they were making me crazy! As I talked it through with Smirk, I felt so much better and I kept bemoaning how complicated all of it was. I could talk about a single thing that was bothering me and have three or four different emotions attached to it simultaneously. Ugh! All I can say is, good luck understanding the ladies, men! Perhaps not all of us are that complicated, but I would guess a significant portion are, so have fun as you figure that out for yourself or even if you already have. . . ;)

Tonight I was helping at an event for work called Traveling Treasures. It's basically about 7 different free activities children can participate in that are all science-related, of course since it's done in connection with the Utah Museum of Natural History. The majority of the time I'm assigned to refreshment duty, but for the last several, I've helped out with the sunflower station where the kids learn about sunflowers and then plant one themselves. It's pretty cute. Anyway, I'm no expert on sunflowers but we had such a high turnout last time that I listened to the presentation many, many times so when the lady who normally does it wasn't there tonight, the Fashionista and Idid it.

I can now tell you that sunflowers are a composite flower, with both disc flowers and ray flowers, they are comprised of thousands of seeds, and they always turn whatever direction the sun is. After giving this presentation more times than I can even count (we had a great turnout at the event!), I feel like such an expert even though I'm really not. As part of the station, the kids plant sunflower seeds, and I wonder every time I do the event how many of them will really survive. But all you can do is teach them and hope for the best anyway. I was never successful at such a thing when I was a child, so I hope the ones I helped tonight do better than me.

Finally, tomorrow it's officially Friday!! Wa-hoo! This has been a long, icky week, and I won't be sad to wish it farewell! Bring on the weekend! I have some fun stuff coming up, so I'm pretty stoked. Anyway, thanks to everyone for reading this and having patience with my randomness, especially since it's so lengthy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bless the Gilmores!

Today was Monday, and like most people, I dislike Mondays. Not only is it the start of a new week but it's somewhat of a letdown after the two days of freedom the weekend affords. I try to do my best to make it an okay day, and sometimes I succeed. Today I failed miserably.

I must confess that it was a pretty icky day for a variety of reasons. I don't want to go into detail about why, but suffice it to say that it wasn't a good day. I came home feeling beaten and discouraged, but I'm happy to report that I feel okay now. This is because of a couple special friends I have, namely Lorelai and Rory Gilmore.

You may be shaking your head in confusion right now or looking at me (if this were an actual conversation rather than a blog post) like I'm an idiot or something because, well, they aren't real. And I agree--they are characters on a well known TV series that had a seven-year run. However, in the last six months, my very dear Speak has introduced me to the land of Stars Hollow and all the people in it, and it has become near and dear to my heart. I find Gilmoreland a very appropriate place to escape when I need to think about something other than my own life, when I'm sick or when I can't go home to Idaho because of inclement weather. There's something to be said about living in someone else's life, even for a short time. You can do this through movies, books, TV series or even by living vicariously through other people.

As I mentioned, Stars Hollow has become my escape of choice, and tonight it helped soothe me after a difficult day (in combination with a little ice cream). Something that allows you to escape can't be all bad, can it?!