Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Day of 2007

Have you ever wasted away almost an entire day? I have. Today as a matter of fact. Granted I have not been feeling well, I have a bit of a cold, enough to make me feel icky and want to sleep and really never warming up despite being covered in multiple layers of clothing, a nice new fuzzy soft robe (Christmas present from H) and the heat in the house cranked up. So, I guess I should cut myself a bit of a break. But, I really could have done something today. Anything. I will be making rolls in a bit for our New Years Soiree over at Karens. We are basically partying with anything left over from Christmas or in our storage. So roast beef sandwiches, salad, chex mix, juice, some chocolates and whatever else we can find. Last year we did fondue and it was really pricey. All those dipping things cost money. I have to work 8 hours tomorrow so I guess that is the real reason I don't want to do anything today. I am rewarding myself in advance for all my hard work tomorrow. Like that logic? I haven't even showered, and yes it is 2:50 p.m. But showering would mean removing all my warm layers and I have no desire to do that. There is no real reason for me to post this kind of laziness but since I have run out of books to read, shows to watch and naps to take, I was left with posting on my blog.

Let's make 2008 a more industrious, goal-setting and goal-reaching kinda year. I have my goals....Do you?

1. Do better at Weight Watchers this year than last. I lost 20 pounds last year. I wanted it to be WAY more. But my goal is to do better in 2008 than in 2007. Not a bad goal, this is something I can live with.

2. Graduate from school. This goal is so close to being done and really will take minimal effort. But since it is a huge accomplishment for me, I am adding to my goal list for the year. This goal also includes deciding on nursing school and/or changing jobs.

3. Put more time into practicing my religion. Practicing piano, reading my scriptures, praying more regularly (mornings mostly), and opening my mouth to share the gospel whether through service, testimony or example.

Wishing you and yours a prosperous, productive, and peaceful New Year! Happy 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Newlyweds

Congratulations to Dane and Bridget. They both looked beautiful, thrilled and content all at once. All our best wishes and love to you!

The Happy Couple!

The Cake!

The Kiss!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas The Night Before Christmas

and I am quite certain that no one will read this post. We are ready for Christmas. The stockings are full, the presents are stacked under the tree and it is 10:45 at night. I am tired and ready for a good night's sleep before the mayhem of unwrapping begins at 9 a.m. I know its late to start, but I am getting up at 6 a.m. to get a start on my 8 hours of work I have to do. That way I can get in 3 hours beforehand when no one else is awake. Believe it or not, my children have never gotten up very early on Christmas morning. This is such a change for me because when I was a kid I would get up at 3, 4, 5, 6 until my parents would allow us to open presents.

And for the terrific, and very surprising news....... I got 99/100 on my history final. SHUT UP! I was sure I had blown half of the final and was seriously hoping for only a 90 at best, very, very best. I thought I might hit 85 if I was lucky. But 99? Sa-Weet. So I have a 95% in that class. Life is great!

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Day

Today is Joseph Smith's 202nd birthday. Happy Birthday to the man who shaped my faith in Jesus Christ and gave his life for his faith. One day I hope to thank him for his leading role in the restoration of the gospel.

Also, today I am posting my 100th post. Time flies when you're having fun! I sure have enjoyed this new adventure and feel so much more connected to family and friends.

Today is also a banner day because I am playing the piano for the primary kids during sacrament meeting. I have never, ever done this before and am starting to get nervous. I have practiced to a fault and if I flub up it is because I am nervous. But I have learned that through practice and prayer the Lord sustains me. I am looking forward to the peace that a prayer will bring while I am playing.

On a grim note: My children discovered their Christmas present from Santa. We got the first hint when Mackson left a note for Santa attached to the Christmas tree that said, "Santa, would you please be sure to leave some batteries for the RC car I am getting? Enjoy the cookies. Love, Mackson." That kid is bold. So after talking with Harold about what to do in this situation and whether or not they had actually seen the stash.....after prayer and scriptures the other night I say, "Who here knows what they are getting for Christmas?" I said this in a very snide voice, so they knew I knew. At this point Sav was already pouting on the couch about us making her go to bed at 10 p.m. on a non-school night. She points her toe at her brother and says it's his fault. Then Mack proceeds to blame Harold. (When we had had a particularly rough day getting the kids to cooperate last week Harold threatened to take back the gifts and proceeded to go down into the basement to fetch the presents. This gave away the secret location and Mack then gave Sav the info and they both checked it out.)

I asked them how it felt to know their presents in advance and if they were happy with themselves for ruining their own surprise and also ruining some of the fun for their mother and father. They were crying and wailing, blaming anyone but themselves. Harold started laughing and they cried harder, which made him laugh more. It was hysterical.

We debated about whether to take the presents back and get something different...but ultimately I couldn't be bothered. I am going to set those dang presents out on Christmas Eve while they are sitting there and will make sure they know my disappointment, hopefully this will teach them never to snoop again.

I snooped once when I was about 12 and found out a few gifts I was getting and it made for a horrible Christmas, I never snooped again. I hope my children learn their lesson this year. I sure have learned mine, I will be stowing gifts at my friend's houses instead of my own.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One Week's Worth of Blogging Shoved Into One Post.

Without going into too much detail, my finals pretty much went how I thought they would with one exception: My history final. I was completely prepared for 8 out of the 10 questions he asked, rolling the dice, hoping only one of the other two would show up. I was unlucky and he asked both of the questions I wasn't prepared for. So I had to flub an answer on how Mao was as a politician. Yikes. I'm just glad it's over.

I wanted to be done with school by today because today is the one-year anniversary of when I went into surgery. I have thought a lot lately about whether or not the life I have led this past year is one that the Lord would be pleased with. I am feeling like I have progressed both because of going back to school but also personally. I gained a greater testimony this year of the Savior and his love for us and that he knows us personally and that when you feel like no one else in the entire universe understands you or what you are going through that there is one person who does. I really have felt the Savior's love this year and I am not just talking about one year ago during surgery, though that was a big event, there have been other trials that have felt even bigger believe it or not. I guess that is what life is about. Progression, harder and harder, building spiritual muscles. I read on Collette's blog about believing, about how as her father in law was sick and dying that her mother in law said, Now is the time to decide whether you really believe what you profess to believe. That touched me so deeply and I want to make my testimony heard, I Believe. In those defining moments when you have to decide whether or not everything you profess to be true is really true, I am here to tell you, Yes, It's True.

I just realized that my surgery has some things in common with when I delivered my kids. So, here are my comparisons and if they don't shed a very flattering light on me or my husband.....well.....

1A: The night before I went into surgery I had to do a bowel prep. I was only allowed to have clear liquids from about 3 o'clock until after surgery. At around 8 or 9 after we picked up my parents from the airport we all went out to eat. I ordered French Onion Soup, broth only, and Sprite. Harold proceeded to have a huge meal with dessert and everything.

1B: When I was in labor with Mack and couldn't eat, Harold kept going to the Father's Cupboard and eating string cheese, danish, whatever he could find. I was ticked. And he had just had a huge meal at KFC prior to arriving at the hospital. I wasn't hungry so much as bitter that he would eat, knowing I couldn't, on both occasions.

Lesson Learned: Stress makes Harold eat.

2A: When I arrived back into my room after postop recovery one of the docs explained to me how surgery went and what they had found. Harold asked if I would remember any of what she said and she answered, "Probably not." I remembered everything, despite my drowsiness, I was just so exhausted from the surgery and from hearing the good news I could barely speak.

2B: After Mackson was born the doc kept saying he thought Mack would weigh in at over 10 pounds. I was shocked, but you wouldn't have known it. I was so tired from labor that I didn't even say one word for about 30 minutes after his delivery. I am sure I looked pretty hashed too.

Lesson Learned: Uterus or baby, my memory does come through for major events.

3A: While I was in labor, walking up and down the hallway of our apartment Harold cleaned the entire house in preparation for my delivery and my mother's visit.

3B: While dealing with the colon prep aftermath and lying on the couch, Harold cleaned the entire house in preparation for my mother.

Lesson Learned: Harold likes to come home to a clean house when he comes home from the hospital. And, he doesn't want my mother (or his for that matter) seeing a dirty house.

4A: My mother attended both of my births, and my father attended the first one as well.

4B: My mother and father were there in the waiting room with Harold during surgery.

Lesson Learned: No matter how old you get, my mother is still my mommy and my dad is still my daddy.

5A: My best friend in California, Lisa, came and saw me prior to Sav's birth. After Mack's birth Karen came and brought me donuts and chocolate milk.

5B: One of my dearest friends Robyne came with her husband to see me postop after surgery.

Lesson Learned: It is the best of friends who come to the hospital. (I know Karen would have been there had she not just had a c-section one week prior.)

LIFE LESSON LEARNED: I have the most amazing husband, children, friends, parents, and family. I love you all and on this most beloved of holidays may we all BELIEVE!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Miss Me?

Three days with no new blog. Man, you would think I was at the end of the semester or something, getting myself to my last day of classes, preparing for finals, writing terms papers. Oh yeah! I am doing all those things. :)

My bio professor finally announced no final, gave us the cut off amount of points for an A and that was that. At least one A this semester. Sweet. He also brought llamas to class yesterday. If I can get my pics from my phone to download I will definitely post them because these things were a mere 2 to 3 feet from me with no fence between us to keep me safe. The biggest one was the closest. Here is the deal: I sit in the front row, same seat, every day we have class. I was tempted to sit further back yesterday but I knew I would come off looking like a wimp. Instead I sat in my usual seat and put the collar up on my jacket and prayed that thing wouldn't spit. I asked the teacher if we were safe. He said no sudden movements and I should be okay. But I watched the big guy get edgy and it was making me edgy. We had an interesting discussion about the animals and I got a serious whiff of what my prof's farm smells like and we were excused for the semester.

Then during my final history class I had a couple of questions to clarify with the teacher's assistant about the study sheet they gave us for the final and the TA ended up helping me out in a way I cannot talk about, having been sworn to secrecy. I am serious....I think the young TA was taking pity on the old girl up front. Thanks dude, you rock!

Then my last prof brought in donuts and went over our final grades. I will be happy with a solid B in that class, which is somewhat disappointing based on the fact that English is my major and my best grades this semester are general ed requirements. Boy the tables really have turned for me.

I have plenty to do in the next couple of days. If I do another post between now and Tuesday night (which is my target time for being done with finals) it will be because I can't take studying any more and needed a break. Catch you on the flip side.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Biology Rocks

Okay, who ever thought they would hear me say that? or write it, whatever. I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, it has been fun to learn and fun to go to class. What I am about to tell you in no way effects how I truly feel about biology, but it doesn't hurt the love either.

Today in biology class my professor opened up the word document that contained the final and projected it onto the big screen. He did this the other day and foretold that he would do this every day as an incentive to keep us coming to class. I didn't need an incentive because I like going to that class, but I like looking at the final too.

So today he opens up the final and proceeds to go through every question, yes every single question. I madly type up notes so that I can study from them when some student in the class says that he has typed up the final and has now emailed it to everyone in the class. I check, sure enough the final is in my inbox. The teacher is cracking up at this point but then says, I didn't want to tell you this until Wednesday but for the final I will go ahead and post the final on blackboard (online teacher/student aid) and all you will have to do is email me your responses.

Let me recap. I saw the whole final, got all the answers in class and I have a copy of it in my email. Now all I have to do is send in my responses next week.

Yes, I will be getting an A in the class. A lot of that has to do with my teacher who rocks the planet, but I did study quite hard for the other tests and feel like I put in some serious time trying to learn the stuff and so I feel my A is deserved.

My teacher and I: This is what I call a symbiotic relationship.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another time to remember...

About one year ago (Dec 4 or 5) I had my first appointment with Karen Zempolich, M.D. She is a gyncelogic oncologist up at Huntsman Cancer Institute. I was referred to her because she could do the hysterectomy as well as lymph node sampling via a laparoscope. This way the procedure was less invasive and the short-term recovery was phenomenal. When I had been referred to her I called my insurance. This was a frustrating process that ended up bringing blessings. I remember one day when I had been on the phone with the insurance company, I had been bounced all over the place and wasn't sure if I could see the doctor I wanted or if Huntsman was a covered facility. This particular day was hard not because I wasn't getting answers, but because when you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis the last thing you want to do is talk about it on the phone with a stranger. It was the oddest thing. They talked about it like it was an every day occurrence, which it is, but not for me. My friend Karen and I were going to lunch that day and I came out to her car and just cried and cried. Frustration, anger, sadness, worry, I was experiencing it all. And I just needed to cry. I just need to take a minute to thank all my friends and family who listened to me cry and who comforted me, not with their words, but with their presence.

Dr. Zempolich asked when I wanted surgery, giving me a couple of options and I chose December 19th. I could have waited until January, but I knew it had to be the 19th. Harold and I both did. We made arrangements for the surgery and called my mother to let her know so that she and my father could get a flight down here. Also, Christmas preparations needed to be done in warp speed since I needed it done by the 18th. I had about 2 weeks to get everything done for the kids. We made it, we actually got everything done as quickly as we needed it to. Gifts bought, wrapped and under the tree.

It ended up that any procedure and any doctor at Huntsman was covered. My insurance set me up with a cancer specialist liason who I could contact directly which was a huge relief, and then they informed me that since Huntsman was 55+ miles from my house that my insurance would pay for lodging, gas and meals while we were up there. Wow, that was amazing!

Harold and I received so many blessings during this time. Even though we were stressed out and extremely worried, we knew that all would be well and that there were so many people who loved us and would help.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I was watching What Not To Wear the other day and got an itch to cut my hair. I called up my good friend Kim who is an amazing hair stylist and got it whacked off within the past hour. Here is my debut.....thought I might catch the new "do" from a couple of angles.

Lesson for the day: When you feel good, you look good.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Piano Practice

I have been so good. I diligently practice the piano every day, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour. Last night I trooped over to our building and got myself into the chapel and practiced on the piano there, to get ready for the 3 Christmas songs the primary kids are singing on the 23rd. I will do this again at least a couple of times, and the next 2 times I will bring someone to sing for me. I am getting better and better at the songs....but I'll admit--I cheat.....I leave off notes. I do. I can't help it. I need to make the song easier for myself and less stressful so I leave off notes. Karen was laughing at me about this last night when I made her sit and listen to me play. But she wasn't laughing in a make-fun kind of way, I like to think she appreciated that I improvised in a way that will help me be a better player (at least for now).

I have been praying pretty hard lately that I will get the help I need when I need it so these poor primary kids don't suffer.

On a lighter note: Last night a lady in the primary presidency called. Her daughter is getting baptized this weekend and she asked Harold to play the piano at the baptism. A slap in my face? Yep. Do I care? A little. I told Harold she was obviously looking for someone who could give her a mistake-free performance at this special occasion. Harold said she came to the wrong guy.

Reason 3579 why I love my Harold.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Teacher Evaluations

It's that time of year, not finals, not the end of another great year, but the time when I get to evaluate my teachers. I went online (I love the internet, I'm old enough to know what the world was like without it and I can honestly say life is a whole lot better with it than without it) and did it yesterday afternoon while I was waiting for my ride off campus. I couldn't help myself, I made comments on every single eval. And, I made sure in a couple of them that my comments were identifiable to me. Is that wrong? I put stuff like,

"I came back to school after years away to finish my education. I had originally taken Bio 100 as a freshman but wanted a better grade and therefore a better foundation should I decide to pursue nursing. I thoroughly enjoyed this class. The teacher was informative, knowledgable and didn't take himself too seriously."

Okay that wasn't a direct quote, but it was the jist of what I said. I kind of wanted the teacher to know that the old girl in the front row really enjoyed his class. I know he won't see this until after finals are over and grades are in, that is the reason I used that particular forum to voice my approval. I didn't want to go up to him and say, "Hey, I really, really enjoyed your class" right before the finals and final grades. My biggest fear is to look like a brown noser (a term we used to use in the 80s, for those of you who are too young to know).

Didn't you just hate the kid who immediately made contact with his/her professor on the first day of class? I know it is a smart thing to do, but I always hated that guy/girl and I never wanted to be that person. But I have read about being a successful student and I know that sitting on the front row is key, as well as making contact with your professors. So, I didn't run right up the first day, but I have sat on the front row and I eventually made contact with all my professors, or TAs (who are really the ones grading my stuff anyway) in an effort to be "successful."

Of course I will post my grades at the end of this semester, and I can let you all grade me. Was I a "successful" student or not. You decide.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Final Countdown

Here I am, two weeks away from finals week, plotting out my homework/studying course. I can't believe the semester has gone so fast. I have had more fun going to school this semester than ever before. I have enjoyed every part of school: The backpack, sitting on the front row of biology and history like a geek (see an 80s colloquialism book), feeling like the oldest one on the block and therefore the most wise (humor me here), walking up the hill to school(even though I am sure it hasn't done me a bit of good, cardio wise), the professors, the twilight zone, the idiotic games the student body play during lunch, the flirting (not mine), the whole atmosphere. I am feeling very grateful to have had the opportunity to go back to school. I am still wondering what I am going to do when I grow up. I still think about nursing school and am starting to check out scholarships, hoping that there will be one for a nontraditional student like myself who didn't get the most stellar grades back in the 80s and 90s.

Don't get me wrong, this semester hasn't been easy. The house has suffered, my children and husband have suffered, I have found it very difficult to get my homework done when no one else is around (for the most part) so that school doesn't interfere more than it already does, trying to get my job in too.

I guess what I really want to say here is that I have learned a few things about myself.

1. I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for as far as juggling many different life balls.
2. I have more brain cells than I thought I did and when I feel two of them rubbing together and making a spark I am delighted.
3. I am setting an example for my children. I originally wanted to finish school because I just wanted to finish. But now I think a lot more about how this affects them. They will see their 38-year-old mother doing homework, going to school, writing papers, taking tests and wanting to succeed. And in about 5 months they will watch me, looking pretty ridiculous in a cap and gown, walking to a podium to receive my diploma and they will be proud, as will Harold and my parents (all of whom have sacrificed a lot for my education in the past and present).

So before the next two weeks get ultra ugly......Thank you Harold, Sav, Mack, Dad and Mom. Your support and your love and encouragement have meant the world to me. I feel it every single day.