Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another one down

Can you believe that tomorrow is New Year's Eve? I've been thinking about that all day. 2008 was a decent year, but I have some high hopes for 2009. Not specific hopes... any attempt to nail down my future these days seems to get derailed...just high ones. :) Anyway, I guess we'll see what the new year brings.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm a Failure at BYU

Despite the literal truth of this post title, I was actually referring to a quiz I took that I found on Nicole's blog. I found it funny and pretty spot-on. :)

How BYU are you?

[X] You have been kissed at lease once
[_] Your first kiss was on campus
[X] You've had a boyfriend/girlfriend
[X] You lived in the dorms your freshman year
[
] You went to Homecoming or Preference
[
] You hiked the Y
[_] You've taken a social dance class
[
] You regularly attended FHE for at least a semester
[X] You've participated in Choose to Give
[
] You've been to Liberty Square for a party at least once
[X] You've driven around south of campus for at least 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot
[X] You know the cougar fight song
[X] You've crossed the crosswalk without using the flags or biked through a red light
[_] You've been to Friday Night Live
[_] You've performed or witnessed an act that made it onto Police Beat
[
X] You've been on a "date" to the bell tower or duck pond
[
] You've been to the Bean Museum for FHE
[X] You've been to Divine Comedy
[X] You've been to International Cinema
[
] You are engaged
[
] You are married
[
] ...in the temple
[_] You were previously engaged/married
[_] You have kids or are expecting kids
[X] Your birth parents are still married
[X] ...in the temple
[X] You have at least three siblings
[_] You've taken a marriage prep or relations class
[X] You've taken at least one religion class that is not based on the scriptures
[
] You have slept on a couch in a restroom
[X] You have been to the BYU Creamery
[_] You have been in one of the BYU choirs
[_] You've been on a date to Fat Cats
[X] You have read Twilight
[X] ...book 2
[X] ...book 3
[X] ...book 4
[X] ...seen the movie
[X] ...more than once
[_] You've waited in line at the Bookstore for the Harry Potter or Twilight book premiere
[X] You have seen The Singles Ward or Sons of Provo
[
] You have walked out of a movie you found morally reprehensible
[X] You know where the "chastity line" is
[X] You can finish the phrase "Nothing good happens after ______"
[X] You read the Daily Universe at least 3x a week
[_] ...and it's the only newspaper you read
[X] You've personally known someone who was reported to the Honor Code Office
[_] You've participated in or watched a Mr. BYU contest
[_] You've received personal revelation that he/she is "the one" (or been told this)
[_] ...and told him/her about your revelation (or been told this)
[_] ...and then they rejected you (or rejected them)
[X] You've been to the Nickelcade
[
] You've been to Classic Skating
[_]You've ignored your parents' phone calls for at least 3 days
[_] ...and then they called the University Police
[_] You've been pulled over by the University Police
[X] You watch The Office religiously
[X] You mostly wear jeans and t-shirts or plain fitted shirts
[_] You own at least 3 things from American Eagle or Hollister
[_] Your sacrament meeting is a fashion show/scam session
[X] You've been on a date to the Provo River

You've kissed in a...
[X] ...campus parking lot
[X] ...Provo Canyon or Squaw Peak
[
] ...on temple grounds
[
] ...on a couch as soon as your roommates left the room

[X] You think UVU is not a real university
[X] You hate U of U with a passion

FOR GIRLS (don't answer if you're a guy)
[X] You own knee-length shorts
[X] You regularly wear camisoles/undershirts for modesty reasons
[_] You are a MFHD, RMYL, Elementary Education, or Exercise Science Major
[_] Your major crush ended up dating a MFHD, RMYL, Elementary Education, or Exercise Science major
[_] You have had at least one roommate who is in hair or dental school
[ ] You own The Italian Job or The Princess Bride
[X] You wear makeup at least 3x a week
[X] You do something with your hair (other than brush it/ponytail) at least 3x a week
[_] You went or plan on going on a mission
[_] ...because you couldn't get married


FOR GUYS (don't answer if you're a girl)
[_] You shave every (or almost every) morning
[_] You know when your hair is "too long"
[_] You know what the "divide by 2 and add 7" dating rule is
[_] ...and you follow it
[_] You've dated freshmen girls as a RM
[_] ...when you already knew better
[_] You've used the phrase "On my mission..." to a girl
[_] At least 3 girls have baked cookies or meals for you
[_] You went or plan on going on a mission
[_] ...because you wanted to get married

TOTAL: 38

A: 68-77
B: 60-67
C: 53-66
D: 45-52
F: 44 or below


Lol I guess maybe if I'd been more stereotypically "BYU" I'd have gotten better grades, because the outcome of this test very clearly mirrors the outcome of most tests I took down at school :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Reason for the Season

I can't believe Christmas is the day after tomorrow. If you're asking about my physical preparation...gifts bought and wrapped, treats made, cards delivered, I'm ready for Christmas. But I'm just not ready for the Christmas season to be over. This is my favorite time of year not for December 25th but for everything leading up to it. I love the scones at Winder Dairy, the 5400 light display, The Forgotten Carols, the lights on Temple Square, the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, the twelve days of Christmas, giving money to the Salvation Army workers, filling up and delivering the Christmas jar, the Nativity story displayed in the yards around the Bountiful Temple, the countdown to Christmas made out of red and green paperclips, anticipating the look on someone's face when they unwrap a well though-out gift you've given them, the "Merry Christmas"es said to and by strangers, a renewed belief in the divinity of Christ, and perhaps above all else, the extra time spent with family.

Thanks to Adiel for making this picture that we gave our young women tonight as a Christmas present. I hope it will help you as the big day approaches to keep your focus on the tiny babe that changed the world forever, the most humble One who offers salvation to all those who will take hold of His perfect hand, scarred for us, and let Him lead us back to our Father in Heaven.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas is Here

In addition to shopping for and preparing the Twelve Days of Christmas presents yesterday, I was able to enjoy the festive feeling of Christmas in the air. I actually pulled my butt out of bed at a decent time and was ready to hit the road by 9. I was derailed when my parents decided we should all have breakfast together, but eventually I started my shopping. I began by buying makeup. :) I've been contemplating a change lately for the winter weather. I usually do very neutral lipstick/gloss because I don't like to play up my lips. They're too big. But I've really been wanting to give RED a go. I tried it out yesterday and today at church and I think I like it.


After shopping, dropping the load off at home, and shopping again, I ended up at my brother-in-law's parents' house. They were decorating sugar cookies, and I was excited to join in. The ice skate DID take me a bit longer than it should have, with me being craftily challenged and all, but I had so much fun. That's Nic's beautiful sister, Kimmy, showing off the array of cookies in the center picture.

When the cookies were all frosted, Tyson and I headed downtown to see The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I don't know if you recall when I read that book earlier this year and loved it, but I loved the movie just as much. They did an excellent job following the story set forth in the book. If you can find a theater near you where it's playing, I highly recommend seeing it.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Our family is doing the Twelve Days of Christmas for one of our neighbors, so my dad asked me to come up with poems for each day. They're pretty corny, but I had fun staying up until 5am finishing them. If you're not doing the Twelve Days of Christmas for someone, I invite you to start! If you give their first gift today, they'll open the final gift on Christmas. You're welcome to borrow my ideas, I just ask that you attribute the poems to me somehow. You can include the address to my blog, my initials, whatever. :)

The poem we attached to introduce it all:

While presents and gifts can evoke great, big smiles,

This basket of goodies might keep you waiting awhile.

Because even though these presents are meant just for you,

There is a little something we ask that you do:

Just one present daily is all you can see

And that is the rule 'til Santa visits your tree.

In just twelve short days you'll know all that's inside.

And though they're not fancy we promise we've tried.

So look for the note that's attached to each bag

You'll see that the order is found there on the tag.

The Twelve Days of Christmas we leave at your door

With our wish of good tidings to you and all yours.

And each day's poem:

"On the first day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE."

I'm sure that you've noticed this time of the year

Birds leave for the season and are seldom found here

Since the trees that they live in have all fallen bare,

But lucky for us that partridge saved you a pear!


"On the second day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

TWO TURTLE DOVES."

Tradition or not, I don't care what you say

This is an improvement on the song's "second day"

Because who wouldn't think for their one true love

To grab delicious chocolate instead of real doves?


"On the third day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

THREE FRENCH HENS."

The country hens come from is of little effect

When the folks working at Campbell's go out to select

The chickens to make soup the way that they should

Because French hens or not, it sure tastes "Mmm Mmm good!"


"On the fourth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

FOUR CALLING BIRDS."

The call of a bird is pleasant and sweet,

And easier to hear in the sun and the heat.

So while the birds are south, there's nothing wrong

With enjoying this CD of four holiday songs.


"On the fifth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

FIVE GOLD RINGS."

With our Christmas budget and the economy down

The price of gold rings was making us frown

So these substitute rings will have to do

They're fruity and tasty and easy to chew!


"On the sixth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

SIX GEESE A LAYING."

While cooking and baking for the holiday cheer

Ingredients go missing this time of the year

So we thought we'd help save you from reaching that end

By giving you these eggs from our own feathered friends


"On the seventh day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING."

I'm sure that those swans after swimming in lakes

Need to find time to relax and just take

A shower or bath to fluff up their feathers

And let the hot water warm the chill from the weather.


"On the eighth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

EIGHT MAIDS A MILKING."

Preparing for Santa and his Christmas Eve snack

Means making sure cookies and milk you don't lack

And with eight maids out milking you'd expect a flood

But all that came out were these brown milk duds!


"On the ninth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

NINE LADIES DANCING."

I guess all the dancing just wore those girls out.

When we looked all around with a holler and shout,

All that was left was this one lady fair

Still dressed in her gown with her nice fancy hair.


"On the tenth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

TEN LORDS A LEAPING."

It's funny to think of this classic song

With its impractical gifts that can seem so wrong.

To keep ten lords leaping around like they're darts

They'd have needed the energy only found in Jump Starts!


"On the eleventh day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING."

From Frosty's garb to the trumpeter's horn,

Pipes have accompanied Christmas since the Savior was born.

And while this stuffed toy isn't exactly Bach,

There's no doubt about it…he knows how to rock!


"On the twelfth day of Christmas

my true love gave to me…

TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING."

The little drummer boy had a majestic trip

And his playing earned a smile from the Christ child's lips.

So this year we hope with the carols you hum

You'll be reminded of the meaning behind the Nutcracker's drum.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A future "must"

I've never been big on baths. In my mind, if you want to be clean, you take a shower. But today I got home from work and had some time to kill before going to the movies when out of nowhere I had the urge to take a bath. So I did. I just relaxed, listening to my ipod, and I suddenly decided that when I have my own house, a nice bathtub needs to be included.

By the way...

I just wanted you all to know that this week I surpassed my goal of reading 15,000 pages this year. It's been awhile since I actually achieved a goal, so I'm excited about this right now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Creative Still

So the Holiday Craft Frenzy hasn't ended. Over Thanksgiving, for example, my sisters and I endeavored to make ourselves some scarves. Yes, as in trying to create something you're supposed to wear. Jen insisted it was easy, and in retrospect perhaps it was. But I still hold that I wasn't thoroughly informed as to what I was getting myself into. However, after 150 hours of cutting strings of yarn (that were invariably much too long or much too short) and nearly cursing every 32 seconds, I ended up with a scarf that's not too shabby.

I'm perplexed as to what exactly is the best way to photograph a scarf, though. My first thought was my bed, but the black sheets weren't showing off the black scarf. So I pulled out my white blanket but I still don't know that you get the whole picture. Then I tried to go close up while wearing the scarf and that didn't work well either. I stopped short of wrapping myself completely in the scarf ("I am ashamed at your naked face. I must cover it with my jacket. You are now sexy in your culture.") but hopefully you get the idea.Then, for the YW activity I was in charge of on Tuesday, we made Christmas display plates. All of the young women's turned out better than mine. That's embarrassing.
But I still hold that this season's greatest stroke of creative genius came while Adiel and I were choreographing Tuesday night. The creativity wasn't necessarily displayed in the routine we came up with but rather our process in creating the routine. Allow me to explain. I have always drawn up formations with x's on paper. On Tuesday I wanted so badly to be able to watch the x's move and follow specific x's through the different formations, when suddenly Adiel pulled out a bottle of vitamins. Lol after numbering each, we were able to visualize those formation changes perfectly!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Holidays are Here!


What a week! I only worked on Monday and Tuesday, which makes for a great week right there. But of course to make things even better, I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my entire family. Having Matt home from school just made for a wonderful holiday. On Wednesday we headed up to a cabin my folks rented. Early Thursday morning Ashley and I went for a walk to try and look for some wildlife. We saw a few deer and some interesting footprints, but never found the moose for which we were hoping. As a family, we spent most of the time (when we weren't eating) just relaxing. We made crafts, read, watched movies, played ping pong, and just had a great Thanksgiving spending time with one another.

We got home from the cabin yesterday afternoon and almost as soon as I walked in the door I headed out for a marathon evening with Tyson. We had originally just planned to go see Quantum of Solace and then Tyson came up with the fabulous idea of seeing the Temple Square lights after. The movie was really good, as were the lights. When we were leaving downtown, Tyson suggested we call Jess and Tyler to see what they were doing for the night. I should mention we went to a 4:25 showing of the movie, so it was only a little after 7 at this point. Jessica wanted to eat at Olive Garden, so we met up for dinner. While we were eating, Jess and Tyler said they felt like going to a movie, and we convinced the boys to watch Twilight, even though Jessica and I had already seen it. Haha. We arrived at Jordan Commons at like 9:30 and, conveniently, there was a 9:45 showing with plenty of seats still left. I honestly don't think I've ever been to 2 movies in the theater in one day :) But it was way fun. I'm not nearly as addicted to the movie as I was the book, but I still think I could watch Twilight multiple times and still enjoy it.

So that's been my weekend so far, and we're only halfway through Saturday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wendy's Weekend

I ended up filling up my weekend quite a bit. I started off as soon as I got off work on Friday night. I think I'd venture to say that my dad, Jen, and I are the only real BYU fans left in the family. We've known for awhile about the firesides that the team hosts the night before games, and since this week's was in Salt Lake, we decided to make an evening out of it, stopping first to get some delicious Philly Cheesesteaks from Moochies. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. The fireside was neat, including a musical number from about 40 members of the team.

Saturday morning I woke up (early for me) for a 9 o'clock breakfast with our YW presidency. It was fun for us just to go and get to know each other a little bit better by just relaxing and making conversation that didn't revolve around 12-18 year old girls.

Directly after breakfast I left for a directors' meeting. I'm going to be choreographing for a local production of Once Upon a Mattress, and we had to organize some dates. It got me really excited, because I've never choreographed something like this before.

Penn State's win Saturday pretty much clinched their spot in the Rose Bowl this year. We are!

Unfortunately, the Rivalry Game was a bit of a let-down, as any of you who watched it will know.

My sour mood from the game was soon set aside when I went with my sisters to see Twilight. I'm convinced that if you don't expect anything from the show, you'll really enjoy it.

Sunday after my FOURTH TIME speaking in a Sacrament Meeting this year (part of some speaking circuit the Stake Presidency's families have to participate in), I got myself ready for 24: Redemption, a 2 hour event to bridge the gap between seasons 6 and 7 of the show. I cannot even begin to tell you how ready I am for January 11th.

Today Matt came home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday, and so our whole family was able to get together at Jen's house to celebrate my nephew's 9th birthday. It is so nice to have Matt home!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Do you want to know how I know I'm getting old? You might have heard me mention my love of the Disney Channel before. If I'm bored, channel 33 is the first one I check to see if I can catch an episode of Hannah Montana, The Suite Life, you name it. Am I embarrassed about that, since I am 22 years old? Nope. It's good, wholesome entertainment. My love of the Disney Channel started about 8 years ago with the series Even Stevens, starring Shia Labeouf. This was him then......and this was him tonight when I went to the movies to see Eagle Eye. Good show, but I was surprised to notice how grown-up Labeouf looks. He's changed quite a bit. And I'd venture to say that the change has been for the best :) Bottom line, I'd recommend the movie. For both the action and the actor.

Freaked out

I didn't include this in my weekly update, but I found it appropriate to mention tonight. On Tuesday night after YW, I got home when my dad was still at his church meetings. I walked downstairs to my bedroom, but when I tried to turn on my light all of the power in that half of the basement just went out. We have some odd wiring in our house--always have--so I didn't think much of it. I figured I needed to go flip the switch on the circuit breaker outside. I did that, but nothing changed. So I tried unplugging things, did the breaker thing again...nothing. It was just strange because that had never happened before. Well with the power out I started to scare myself. Then Bella, my dalmation, started acting really weird which only further freaked me out. I decided in order to stay sane I needed to just lay down on the couch upstairs (where there was light) and wait for my dad to come home. Yes, I know I sound like a five year-old, but that's how I felt. Oddly, the power just came back on all by itself the next day, and we still don't know what the problem was.


Then today when I got home from work, I was met by an odd sight. Sonny, my other dog, was just standing in the driveway looking at me as I pulled in. I immediately racked my brain for a reason he would have been outside, and I couldn't come up with any. I quickly got out of my car and called for him to follow me inside but stopped as I saw my side door wide open. I almost refused to go inside, but I made myself brave and checked everything out. It seemed like everything was in order, and my confidence was supported by the knowledge that Tyson was on his way over lol. Needless to say, the odd occurrences freak me out when I find myself home alone.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Strange Week

Man, the week really flies when you have one holiday and one sick day :) I can't believe it's already almost Friday. It has been an interesting week.

Tuesday was Veteran's Day, so the banks were closed. I have a tendency to over-plan when I have some free time, and this week was no different. I woke up in the morning and headed down to the school where my brother-in-law works so that I could watch him teach. I've been wanting to do that for a long time, but of course I'm always at work when he is. So I took advantage of the odd day off to make a visit. The morning started off with a Veteran's Day Assembly. I expected to get emotional, because that's just how I am when I hear about or pay tribute to the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. Now that Matt has entered the Army ROTC, it only brings it that much closer to home.

Anyway, it was an incredible experience. They had a veteran speak that had been deployed to Afghanistan right after September 11th, and his story was truly heroic. What really got me about the program though is when the 4th graders sang an armed forces medley...singing each of the branch's songs and asking veterans of each branch to stand when they heard their song. The Army was the first song sung, and most of the vets were from the Army. This old man stood up, and you could just see that he was touched hearing a song so close to his heart. Throughout the whole assembly I saw him wiping away tears with a hankie. Looking at him reminded me what it is to be patriotic. Like I said, it was just a very neat experience to be there for.

Then I got to sit in on two of my brother's classes. That was so fun! I always think it's interesting to observe someone you know in an arena in which you don't usually see them. Does that make sense? I've helped him grade some tests before, and so it was also fun to see the kids whose writing I'd read.

I left from the school to meet Ashley for lunch. Does anyone else absolutely love Arctic Circle? I've decided fries were only meant to be eaten with fry sauce...

Then I ran to my dad's office to help his secretary with some stuff and then headed to Jessica's doctor's appointment. Talk about something amazing! The doctor let me find the heart beat on the baby. How neat! I almost cried. Lol but that shouldn't surprise you coming from this bawl baby.

I had YW that night to round off a thoroughly eventful day. Wednesday was nothing spectacular until Book Club. Have any of you read Wuthering Heights? Everyone told me to be prepared for it to be a dark story, and it is. I'm only about halfway through, and although I dislike the characters AND the storyline, I'm enjoying reading the book. During Book Club we talked about that and how this story is just so different than any other you'll read, and I think that's why I like it so much. I'm so fascinated at the uniqueness of it all. I guess that's the whole point of a book club though, right? Forcing you to not only understand what you're reading but what you THINK about what you're reading. I'll let you know my overall thoughts when I finish the book.

This morning I woke up feeling crappy and called in sick to work. I stayed in bed until at least noon and then forced myself to do something. It worked out well because I got my room clean, which it desperately needed. And now after watching a fabulously entertaining episode of The Office, I think I'll get ready for bed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

iTunes it is!

I'm a fan of iTunes. I always have been. I can often spend much more money than I'd originally planned just clicking on "Buy Song" next to anything that sounds good. $0.99 is just so cheap for music! But since iTunes was released, I've only used it to buy one or two songs by an artist at a time. I've always been addicted to buying cd's, and if I want an entire album, I almost always spend the extra few dollars to buy it from Walmart or F.Y.E. Yes that's right--in 2008, I still enjoy a good hard copy of my music, even though it's immediately imported into iTunes.

But I think I've changed my mind about that practice. Tonight in an attempt to prepare for tomorrow's Christmas CD-making festivities, Jamie and I went to Borders to make use of a 40% off coupon I had. Unfortunately, all the Christmas CD's that caught my eye were on sale, so my coupon couldn't be used. But I was okay with that, being super psyched about the music I'd found. As soon as I got home, I ripped open the packaging to start importing my Celtic Woman Christmas CD. You see, I thought it was the Celtic Woman group whom I love. It was not. I was confused by the use of the EXACT SAME NAME (I do not believe that was a mere accident; I think it was intentional and deceitful), and I was so disappointed to hear some rather pathetic singing as iTunes imported the "off-brand" cd :( Faith Hill and Trans-Siberian Orchestra provided some consolation, but I think I see the wisdom in buying full cd's off of iTunes. At least you know 30 seconds of each song you're getting into.

So...thanks, Apple. I'm sure I'll be seeing more of you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Simple Sunday

I think God is a football fan. I also think he designed this world to host most college football games on Saturday so that we could use the next day to relax and get over the week's games. :) So far, it's working.

Today while I was at church I started reflecting on all the good things about this week. Adiel used to always do a "Things that made my day" post, and now you can humor me by reading about the things that made my week...

*Re-watching some episodes of Season 4 of The Office
*Tuesday's election results
*My branch manager's explanation of why his wife wants to go to Ireland
*Daddy-o taking me out to dinner Friday night since it was just the two of us home
*Finding a good movie to cry over
*Marie Callender's Chocolate Satin Pie
*Remembering my love of Mae
*Dr. Pepper
*Finding my favorite Maybelline eyeshadow in purple and for under $3

What made your day, your week, or your month? I'd love to hear.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Undeserving

This week in college football has me frustrated and angry. Yes, BYU won well over San Diego State, but let's be honest...that's nothing to write home about. What is simply eating away at me is Utah's lucky win over TCU and Penn State's unlucky loss to Iowa. Both games broke my heart. I know that everyone had been saying that any BYU fan should want Utah to win, because it was BYU's only chance to climb back on top of the conference, but I couldn't bring myself to root for something BYU couldn't obtain. So to watch TCU on top of the Utes all night long and then lose in a lucky, last-minute drive, I was just so upset. Utah didn't do anything phenomenal to win the game, but they'll likely get the BCS bid and the Conference title as a result.

Now let's look at Penn State. If ever there was a reason to hope for an undefeated season, it was this year and the possibility of a national championship for JoePa and his Nittany Lions. Anyone who tries to say that Iowa deserved to win that game is out of their mind. Penn State is a powerhouse compared to the hawkeyes, and there is no way this loss can be considered fair when, once again, the victory came from a lucky play with only seconds left in the game.

This brings me to my next rant...kickers. I sometimes get to feeling like it is ridiculous what a big impact such a small position can play. In all reality, TCU's two missed fieldgoals late in the game won it for Utah. Similarly, one lucky kick by Iowa beat a much better team in today's match-up. I love the game of college football, but I just hate how volatile everything is. One play can result in an undeserved win, and one loss can drop you ridiculously in the polls and dash all hopes for your Cinderalla season.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Artistic Autumn

Is there some rule stating people need to be craftier in the Fall? I've been hearing it all over the place...people telling me about crafty and creative things they've been doing. I'm not a crafty person, and if I'm being honest, I don't really even have a desire to be crafty, but I started realizing that the craft bug has given me a little bite this year.
So I know that most crafters would balk at the thought of counting these sweats as a craft, but you have to understand that on a normal day, I don't come within ten feet of curling ribbon. But I had fun wrapping up these sweats as a gift for my cheerleaders.I *DO* believe that any time someone pulls out the modge podge, you're required to count the task as a craft. Last week my sisters and I attended a craft class to make these little blocks. Now this is my type of craft...the blocks were already painted for us, and I was given a picture to copy. I think there was even a disclaimer on the materials stating, "No creativity required." :)
While I can't take credit for this beauty, I'm counting this as something creative that I was involved with. Adiel saw some similar quote pictures online and had the great idea of replicating the look for our girls. Adiel took care of the photographing, editing, quoting...basically all of the work. And I placed the order for the prints. :)

So I'm curious to know...Is it just me, or do people actually think more creatively during this time of year? I'd love to know what fun projects your sharp little minds have been working on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Look, New Life

Okay maybe I'm being over-dramatic in that post title, but I'm still kind of excited right now. Jen has started up another blog-revamp kick (the last one resulted in my former page's header), and I was her first victim. Just the other night I was looking at my blog and I had the thought "I don't think I'll ever change my blog. I love how clean my page looks." But today when I was at her house to help her husband correct some tests (he's a junior high teacher), Jen proceeded to call my blog "masculine," "stock," and "boring". I'll admit that I was being difficult at first, refusing to accept any of her proposed designs, but I'm pretty much in love with the new look now. You'll have to tell me what you think.

The "New Life" just comes from some excitement I'm feeling while looking forward to the future. I got my LSAT score on Friday, and even though I didn't do wonderfully, I think it should be good enough to get me in somewhere, even with my pathetic GPA. Since Friday, I've been checking out law schools online and getting emails from places where I might match up with their admission standards. I really want to go back East, and when I came home tonight to an information booklet that arrived in the mail from a Boston school, I can't stop looking through it. Boston. Can you imagine? Fulfilling my life's dream right in such a rich center of American History...I can't even get to sleep now just thinking about all of this. I know that my whole law school journey is still new, and I don't even know where I might actually get accepted, but it's so nice knowing that I'm moving forward, and it's exciting to think that right now I have NO IDEA where I could be a year from now.

I have to get up early, so I really should call it a night, but I just wanted to post about my excitement.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

http://www.vajoe.com/candidate_calculator.html

I don't want to get all political in this post, because I know we're all sick of the election already. But I just wanted to throw this out there for any of you that are still unsure who to vote for or who are maybe considering not voting. This is just a quick quiz you can take to figure out which candidate you match up with best on the main issues being talked about. I even took the test just to make sure I was confident about where I stood. Maybe you should check it out.

Barack Obama (Democrat)

61.90% match

You are number 201,569 to use the Candidate Calculator.

Barack Obama (Democrat)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Big Day

I'm watching a very loud BYU game right now and I'm realizing just what a big day it is for Brown family football. First, Utah doesn't play this week, so I don't have to deal with that. But more importantly, BYU needs to come up with a big win against UNLV to get back on track. And MOST importantly, Penn State needs to smother Ohio State. If we're serious about this National Championship idea, today is pivotal. We're at the home of the Buckeyes, which is big. If we keep our heads on straight, all should go well.

But as a side note, I just googled "Buckeyes" to make sure I was spelling it right, and the first result was a picture of the nittany lion head. Haha I think that's a good omen.

Let's go BLUE!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Going Well

Sometimes when I find myself with an unnecessarily negative attitude I find it helpful to remind myself of all the things going well in my life. So tonight you all will be subject to my creating such a list...

I'm glad that
*there will be new babies in our family this winter
*I talked to Matt on the phone last night
*there always seems to be another good book to read
*angel hair pasta, spaghetti sauce, and chicken patties can make such an easy and tasty dinner
*when David googled "Penn State vs. Illinois Game" he found my blog
*I have sisters who own sofa beds
*it's cold outside
*Nic's favorite movie is Goonies and not Ghostbusters
*I get to be in the YW presidency
*Penn State has continued its historic season
*I don't live with any Utah fans
*some musicians can still write personal and powerful songs
*I have money in my savings account again
*I get to go to sleep now!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nineteen Minutes

I just finished the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Did I tell you we're doing a book club? Yeah, we are. Anyway, this is the second selection. It's a book I've been wanting to read for awhile and I was thrilled when Jessica chose it as October's book. I read another book by Picoult awhile back and was thoroughly impressed by her ability to broach controversial subjects while remaining unbiased and allowing her narrators to speak to the heart of the reader, making you really wonder what you feel about a particular issue.

Anyway, without saying too much by way of storyline (because I know fellow book clubbers read my blog), I'm kind of bugged. I know that I have slack standards when it comes to morality in the books I read, and I was able to overlook Picoult's too-often use of bad language and borderline pornographic descriptions, but I can't stop wondering why authors compromise literary achievement in order to pull a quick one over on their readers. Does an ending need to be a surprise to be considered good? Can't we just sometimes let the story speak for itself, let the readers glean what they may, and let that be that?

Perfection

I'm not really in the mood to rehash tonight's game. But I would like to make some commentary on the inclination to support winning teams.

I'm being honest when I say that I have little experience with supporting champions. You all know that I've grown up as a Penn State and BYU fan, both teams boasting their most recent national championships more than twenty years ago. Or how about my high school alma mater, whose last state championship was in the 1940's. I've long been a Utah Jazz fanatic...and we all know of their lack of a championship banner. The teams I support do well but are rarely the best. So this season has been something totally different for me.

To watch, week after week, as both BYU and Penn State beat their opponents and moved up in the polls, I started to develop dreams bigger than I'd dare entertain before. I felt confident that Penn State could pull out a national title and allow JoePa to retire in the glory he deserves. I felt sure that this could be the year that BYU becomes BCS busters. But here's the catch... when you're used to being good a single win or loss can only affect you minimally. But when you're trying to stay perfect one game can destroy everything.

I'm usually unrealistically optimistic regarding my team's abilities, but now I feel pretty down on the season. I guess I can hold on to the hope that Penn State can still make this their year, and BYU still has a shot at winning the conference, but it's not the same as the rush I felt for the first several weeks of the season, watching history in the making.

My family probably thinks I'm far to emotionally invested in these games after watching me tonight, but I can't really help it. I don't know how to accept the mediocrity I'd previously become accustomed to when for once in my life I felt so sure of greatness.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So who is the real boss? The dog or a fish?

I'm watching The Office, and that's what Michael just said, so it became the title of this post.

Today was awesome because it was absolutely pointless. :) This week was tiring and stressful and getting out of bed every day was a chore. My eye twitched almost constantly (that's what it likes to do when I'm stressed) and I decided that if I could make it through the week, I would let myself sleep in today until my body naturally decided it wanted to roll out of bed. That happened to be 1pm.

The rest of my day consisted of a few hours on iTunes looking for songs for competition, spending some time at Jessica's house, watching BYU beat New Mexico, watching Penn State beat Wisconsin, hanging out with Annie (a childhood friend I hadn't seen in far too long), and now blogging. Quite the nothingness and I loved it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hurt Feelings

Jeez, do you ever feel like you've reverted back a few years and without meaning to you're suddenly acting and responding to situations the same you way you would have when you were much younger? I'm currently in that spot. I'm going to give you more details than I normally would just because I need to vent. And in my opinion, the elusive world known as blogging is a great place to do that.

Background information: When I was in high school, the Homecoming game was a big deal (as I'm sure it is most anywhere). Halftime was a huge production, with Dance Company, Drill Team, and Cheerleaders coordinating on a theme, learning a big group routine together, and putting together routines for each individual group. Practices would start at the end of summer, and it was always just really fun and awesome.

Well, now that I've been coaching for a couple of years, I really wanted to try and organize a similar show. I spoke with the coaches of the other organizations and planned things out, scheduling practices for this week (since Homecoming is Friday) for the big group piece. It remained undecided who was choreographing the group routine, but I really wanted to be a part o f it just because I had some fun ideas. With all the craziness of trying to get my cheerleaders ready, any attempt to nail down the group details was derailed so I was kind of developing the impression that the group routine wasn't going to happen.

However, I found out today that the group routine had been taken care of and additionally, it was choreographed to the song I had suggested and that I had had a lot of ideas for. I know I shouldn't care, but my feelings are just really hurt right now. Really all I should care about is that my desire for the group production is coming to fruition, but that's not how I'm feeling right now. I feel robbed of the chance to help bring my plan to action. But more than that, I feel like my idea was stolen from me in a way. I don't really know how to explain what I mean by that, but at least I've gotten it out of my system.
Okay, Wendy. Time to grow up and move on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday of Studying and Sisters

Well this has been quite the weekend. Since Kearns played on Thursday this week, my Friday night was free to spend some time with Ash and Nic at the Bountiful game. Go Braves? Weird. But they did do a good job, even if their cheerleaders have stupid cheers. :)

Yesterday morning was the dreaded LSAT. Yes, I know some people take like a year off school just to study for the test, but that's not how I roll. Lol I figured I'd give it a few weeks and then see how it went. To be honest, I don't know how it went. I felt like the time for the individual tests sped by, but the test itself took an eternity. I probably did really poorly, but who really cares? At least I took it, and if my score is good enough to get me into law school somewhere, that's great. If it doesn't, I'll go a different path with my life.

The sad thing about taking the LSAT yesterday is that I missed the first session of General Conference. Hopefully I'll catch it on On Demand. Anyway, I listened to the session on the radio during my drive home (I took the test down at UVSC). Did anyone not LOVE Elder Holland's talk? He was speaking as I pulled up to the house, so I just stayed in my car until his talk was over. I was just so touched by his admonition to be other people's angels. I think I'll try and take that advice to heart.

One of the best parts of General Conference weekends is our family Girls' Night. We went out to dinner and then did some shopping. This year we let my niece come with us, figuring that 3 is old enough to be a part of the fun. Well she was more than just a part. She was the main attraction! Lol Spending the night with her was a hoot. She was just so energetic and funny, and I love watching her turn into a real person. After shopping some of us went to the store for some grocery shopping and my niece was stuck on this rhyming game. I guess she's just started rhyming words, and sometimes she can't think of a rhyme and so she'll just ask. One of the best was, "What rhymes with cereal?" My solution to such words is just to change the first letter. I mean, do you think the 3 year old cares if bereal isn't a word? :) Anyway, fun night!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Penn State vs. Illinois Game

I think it seems fitting that my one hundredth post comes after one of the greatest experiences of my life. Last night was the Penn State-Illinois football game that was the reason for our trip back East. As with the rest of my posts this last week, there are a lot of pictures and not much writing. Enjoy the show...
This first picture comes more to prove to my cousin and brother that I really am doing this... This is my Game Crush. Lol I don't know his name, how old he is, or anything. I just know that he was funny at the game, is cute, and went to an extension campus of Penn State. So if you know this guy that sat in section NJU at last night's game, give him my number. If not, ignore this picture and go on to the next one :)
Kristine and me after seeing the players arrive. It's crazy how two girls raised on opposite sides of the country and only reunited a year and a half ago can have so much in common. It was so nice to see her again.
JoePa coming off of the team bus and walking into Beaver Stadium.
A blocked view of The Man, Daryll Clark
Keep in mind that this picture is taken from a zoomed camera just 16 rows from the top of Beaver Stadium. I think that fact that you can still tell it's Paterno and Zook meeting in the middle of the field is pretty impressive.
The last score of the game put Penn State up 38-24. That score helped move PSU comfortably into the number 6 spot nationally.
video video
These videos aren't spectacular, but I wanted to try and give you a chance to experience some of the atmosphere inside Beaver Stadium during a legendary White Out. It was indescribable. The amount of white, the crowd participation in cheers and songs, the caliber of football played, the company of extended family...it all made for one amazing trip.