Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome Home!

As you probably know, Matt got home from his mission Tuesday night. He spent two days traveling from Angola to South Africa to London to Montreal to Dallas and finally home. Needless to say, he was tired. But I think (hope) he’s glad to be back. I’m happy to say it seems like he never left. I was going to actually put some time into this post and make a collage of all these photos, but I don’t feel like it. So, enjoy :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming Home

I know I haven't yet blogged about last week's SYTYCD, but did any of you watch the Tabitha and Napoleon routine about the soldier coming home from Afghanistan? I loved it, of course, but my favorite part was how unpredictably perfect the song was.

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the World that I’m coming

But now that song is stuck in my head and I can't stop thinking about another type of soldier coming home from overseas...

Matt comes home tomorrow. I am seriously so excited.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day

I didn’t want to post anything earlier in case the surprise would somehow get leaked, but I have to admit: Sunday was my favorite Father’s Day ever. I’m not great at giving gifts, but every once in awhile, I’ll come up with an idea that gets me so excited. That’s what happened this year with my dad’s Father’s Day present. Before I explain the gift, let me give you some background. We grew up with my dad regularly reading and telling us bedtime stories. He liked to make up stories about a dog he had when he was a little boy, a beagle named Buster. They didn’t have the dog for very long (something about his dad selling the dog for a case of beer...) but we always loved the outrageous stories. Anyway, I decided to take one of the stories he made up when we were kids and turn it into a children’s book. You can look at the finished product here

On Sunday before dinner, I had my dad sit down with the youngest grandkids around him (to whom he loves to read). I made him close his eyes and then placed the book in his hands. He seemed excited and touched and read the book to the girls (while making his own commentary like, “9 innings? That’s 3 innings too long for a little league game,” or “Cleats? We didn’t have cleats back then”). I loved it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Compared to You, I’m Ridiculous

Have you noticed how miserable your situation can seem when you start making comparisons? When you measure life against the lives of others, you’re left with two possible outcomes: pride or depression. Who wants either? I think I’m more likely guilty of the former–I carefully make comparisons only when I know I’ll come out on top. That’s because I’m naturally prideful. But I guess some stupid hobbies that I developed in the last few days have opened my eyes to how people can walk through life so discontented. Typically, people with a “woe is me” attitude drive me insane. I’ll admit; I allow myself to complain over petty annoyances. But I think people are usually aware that I’m happy with life. I’ve never understood the girls my age whose only focus is marriage or kids. It’s frustrating for me to look at my life and feel complete and then have the attitude of someone in a similar situation subtly suggest that maybe I shouldn’t be content. Because haven’t I noticed? I’m not married. I’ve always felt that someone’s complaint over their station in life–a station at which I too sit–is also a judgment against me. If they think it’s weird that they’re single, doesn’t that mean they think it’s weird I’m single, too? That bothers me.

But in the last 48 hours, I’ve been acting really dumb. I started lamenting everything in my life, it seems. I have no money, my dog isn’t obedient, I’m not going to a Top Tier law school, my car isn’t nice, I’m lonely, my hair isn’t naturally flawless, I screwed up at BYU and will always have a crappy GPA, my bread is moldy... That’s right. I went to make lunch this morning and saw that my bread was moldy. And that’s where I drew the line. If I was going to continue to complain about my bread’s cultural evolution, I could not continue to live with myself.

So, I’m done. I need an attitude adjustment, and that’s what I’m setting out to accomplish. Farewell comparisons. Hello contentment; I’ve missed you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HANA Shine Shield from*

A few weeks back I ordered the HANA Shine Shield from I've read great reviews about it, and when I found it on sale for $14.99 (list price is $49.99 and the website usually has it on sale for $29.99) I thought I should jump on it, even though I've been doing my hair wavy every day since I haven't decided on a replacement straightener yet. This morning I received a notification from UPS that the package had been delivered. I didn't want to risk having my order stolen again, so I ran home on my lunch break to grab it. My first thought was, "Wow. That's a big box for a 6oz bottle of hair serum.

Silly me. I hadn't accounted for the monkey! Yes, that's right. My order was inside a satin drawstring pouch, held protectively in the arms of a stuffed monkey. Is that not the cutest thing in the world? And that's not all. Inside the box was also free hand sanitizer, perfumed roses, emery boards, and eyeshadow!

I haven't even tried the product yet and I'm already so impressed.

Maybe I'll borrow my roommate's straightener so I can give it a go. I'll let you know...

*See this and other blogazine posts on

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Criminal

I love to order from Barnes and Noble’s website. The books are always delivered quickly, and most of the time it’s cheaper than buying at the store. I still would rather shop for books in person, so I usually reserve online shopping for when I have a single, specific book I need to buy (like for school or Book Club). Last week, I saw that one of my favorite books was on sale for like $7 online, and since I didn’t yet own a copy I jumped right on it. As always, I got my “Scheduled to Ship” email almost immediately and the “On its Way” email shortly thereafter. Delivery was scheduled for Friday.

Friday morning I checked the tracking and saw that it was out for delivery as of 8:20am, so I was excited knowing that meant I’d have it when I got home.

Except, I didn’t.

Packages usually get left directly inside the door to our building, outside the “security gate” (that isn’t secure at all) and next to our mailboxes. I was surprised that not only was the package not there waiting but I didn’t have a “Sorry we missed you” tag or anything like that. Then I thought the UPS guy must have gotten in the gate and left it outside my apartment.


So, I thought I’d check the tracking again. Maybe there was a note saying I needed to pick it up from a local office. But I got online and there was a delivery confirmation saying the package had been delivered at 9:55am. At this point I started to freak out a little. Now, I know we’re talking about a measly $7 book. But it’s MY measly $7 book. Packages don’t actually get stolen, right? There was probably just a mix-up with the tracking information. It would be delivered tomorrow.

But it wasn’t.

I emailed Barnes and Noble, not knowing what else to do. Then I left this note by the building’s mailboxes:

I knew if someone had actually stolen my book, a note probably wouldn’t make much difference. But it made me feel better, like I was doing something to control the situation. All day Saturday and Sunday if Zipsie barked or I heard someone walking past our door I’d glance out the peephole, hoping to see my package miraculously returned. Alas, I did not.

Last night while I took Zipsie for a walk, I called my mom to ask her if that’s the sort of thing I should report to the police. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but I thought maybe it was important to contribute to a paper trail if this was happening a lot in the area. Mom suggested I contact UPS to see if I could get specific information about where the package was left and then call the local PD with the information.

Zipsie and I got home and hung out for a bit, me feeling angry and sad that I might have actually been stolen from, thinking I’d wait for an email back from Barnes and Noble before deciding what to do. This morning I woke up to take Zipsie out and opened the door to this:

No box, no note of apology explaining a mistake had been made, but my book with the packing slip inside.

For a brief moment I felt very grateful. I had prayed over the weekend that the book would just be returned, and I recognized that my prayer had been answered. But then, I felt angry. Really angry. And I still do. I brought the book inside and didn’t even feel happy looking at it. It’s like I don’t even want it anymore.

Is that the most illogical reaction ever?

And I think it’s important to point out the irony of this entire situation. The book involved?

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looking for a Straight Answer

I've used the same kind of straightener for about 3 years now. It's a Chi damp-to-dry, and while I never use it with my hair damp, I love it. It works great and I have no complaints. When I was in Omaha I noticed my hair wasn't straightening. It was also very humid that weekend, so I assumed the two went hand-in-hand. However, I got home and it still wasn't working. The iron heats to 200° Celcius, but each time I run it down a section of hair it will drop a few degrees. I'm not surprised that my Chi is broken, because I've had this particular one for about 17 months, which is the longest I've ever kept a Chi working. Unfortunately, it didn't die in the first year like they usually do so it's no longer under warranty.
So here's the question. I don't think I want to buy another damp-to-dry straightener. It costs more and I don't use the additional function. I had been thinking about just getting a regular Chi.
I posed the question on Facebook and a friend said to forget about the Chi and go with a GHD.

I was inclined to go with her suggestion, but just to double check, I posted a poll on Kaboodle. Everyone there is telling me to stick with the Chi. Now I don't know what to do, and in the meantime my hair remains in a ponytail.

I'd love to hear your opinion or any advice you have concerning straighteners you've tried. You can click on the pictures to read the reviews of each straightener I mentioned.