christmas 2007

I’m not going to bore you all with the details of my Christmas. It was absolutely fantastic, minus the tonsillectomy recovery part (although…I must say that it was totally worth it). We had a fabulous time at a condo in Park City with the entire family in tow.
T. loves “big boys” and was quite attached to Grandpa during the trip. He also loved playing with his cousin, J., who is so good with him. I wish I’d gotten a picture of them together.My dad brought this tree up from P-town and my brother brought the lights. Bows were courtesy of Wal-Mart. Not bad, considering we weren’t at home!T. was the only child there on Christmas itself and he definitely made out. Trains, trains and more trains.
Kind of a random picture while waiting for our table to be ready, but I wanted to throw it in because I think B. looks so cute in it. The process of trying to get all of the kiddies in one picture. Good times had by all…and with my lack of auto-focus, well…you can see that they are great pictures.
I love hanging out with my fam, especially the nieces and nephews. One of my favorite things is to do things with them that my mom would have done, if she were still alive. So this year, we baked sugar cookies and decorated them, the way she would have. Homemade dough, homemade frosting (which, incidentally, was not that good…I didn’t take the time to find the real recipe), and decorating with pastry bags, frosting tips, and sprinkles.
B. with her 3-D angel. We bought new cookie cutters (or as my dad corrected me, “dough cutters”) that create three dimensional cookies. Unfortunately, the moving to the cookie sheet and rising in the oven made it so only a few actually worked. But the ones that did looked great!
J. decorated this amazing tree! It was quite the masterpiece of frosting. I love that, even at 13, he will still hang out with us (sometimes).
B. with her cookies…putting the head back on her decapitated snowman.
I also finally felt good enough to play in the snow on Sunday, so we had a great time sledding and building a snowman (my dad is so good at getting the details taken care of…he was all ready with the eyes, nose, mouth, and hat, which even had hat pins, or nails) before all of the troops headed home. The good news is that some extended family is still in town, so I didn’t get too depressed once the house emptied out. It’s funny how that happens. I am such a homebody sometimes!My grandma’s beautiful tree, with large lights. This is what it has always looked like and I love the tradition.
And here’s my own little self-portrait a little late (I think the ornament one was weeks ago).

the joys of surgery

Good times. Thankfully, Grandma took good care of me. She even gave me a bell to ring in case I needed her and she couldn’t hear me. That’s some serious love! I could write an entire post about why I love being alive in the 21st century…but my painkillers (yes, that would be the beginning of the list) are about to kick in, so I’ll have to save it for another day.

spt – embrace your geekness

A geek is an individual who is highly intelligent (brainy) and technically oriented. They are most often associated with the computer, and computer systems world. A geek is usually formal, studious and into his technical world, often to the exclusion of all else. A geek is closely related to a “Nerd”. A nerd however, may or may not possess technical expertise.

Some people view the term “Geek” with a negative connotation. Are they jealous of your knowledge and skills, perhaps? We certainly think so.

do you have a “geekness” about you? we’re all together in this great big blogosphere, so i imagine we’ve all mastered the basics of desktop publishing. do you have a secret fascination with programming? were you in line last week for a new iphone? do you actually know what gigs and pixels and java script are?

or do you love a geek? is there someone you can go to when your beloved PC is misbehaving?

embrace your geek! make it a point to learn one new computer phrase this weekend. share a tip you’ve mastered. update your blog, if nothing else!!

Okay…so I’m not a really a “geek”. I’m more of a “nerd”. The “geek” award in my family goes to my brilliant sister, Erika. Whenever I have any kind of technical problem, she’s my go to girl. I have picked up a few things here and there, but she is definitely the geek of the family. (Erika, that’s meant as a compliment, I swear).

I will have to say that I have been pretty impressed with my html skills on the blog. I didn’t have any knowledge before starting the blog, but I have now learned quite a bit. Enough, in fact, to change my entire template, including backgrounds, colors, fonts and format. It’s like a little victory every time I learn something new. I would love to take a class, but I just don’t have time, so I have to struggle through trial and error and lots of Google searches. What I would like to learn how to do now is to make little pop-ups happen, like on Lelly’s blog, so that I can easily view if people have updated their blogs and so that my visitors can quickly check out my friends without having to actually click on them . Lelly, if you’d like to pass that information along, I’d greatly appreciate it. That will be my new knowledge for the week.

The one “geeky” thing I will be doing this week is dictating into my digital voice recorder (maybe I’m a geek because I own a dvr) then burning it to a cd, so I can listen to myself as I make my drive to and from Salt Lake on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m taking a study course for the GMAT and when I signed up for it, I was hoping that I could figure out public transportation, so I could study on the hour long commute. Well, Utah and public transportation are apparently not friends, so drive I must. As I was running on Saturday, it occurred to me that I can go through formulas and flash cards on the recorder, with prompts that will procure answers (hopefully), similar to how foreign language programs are set up, and then listen to them on the way up. After this thought, I also started to visualize different triangles in my head and the formulas for the lengths of each side based on the opposite angle. Does that qualify me as a geek? Or am I just stuck in Nerdsville?

Other than that, I’m just not super geeky. If this were “embrace your inner nerd”, I would have mountains to write, but it’s not, so I’ll keep it short.

Here’s to all of the geeks out there who make the world run smoothly! Thanks for being the way you are!

*An actual self-portrait will be added this evening. No time right now.

spt – stolen moments

Despite the *vacation* part of “summer vacation,” it seems we are all just as crazy as ever. Swim teams, scout trips, family vacations (and new family cars!), new babies, family reunions, rock concerts, and even stomach bus have kept us all hopping this summer!

Where do you go at the end of the day, when the house is quiet and you have a few stolen moments? Is there a special place in your home that becomes your retreat for reading, surfing, blogging, scrapbooking? Or is this the place where you enjoy steaming hot coffee in the morning before the day gets away from you?

What makes this a comforting spot for you? is it filled with photos? Mementos? An overstuffed chair? Do you shut the door against the world, or do you throw open your shutters and take in the view? Is there music playing? A DVD running? A candle burning?

In the insanity of summer, where do you spend your stolen moments?

This SPT challenge has caused me a bit of reflection. Initially, when I read it, I thought that this was definitely directed to the “marrieds with children”. With all the discussion of summer vacations, swim team, scout trips, etc. I kind of thought, “Well, this doesn’t really apply to me. I don’t have all of those things going on. Sure I’m busy, but I am a single woman, living (for all intents and purposes) on my own. My life is full of me time.” So, I really just put it out of my head and figured I wouldn’t participate this week.

But then, I started thinking about the things that I do that would qualify as “stolen moments” and an interesting thing happened. I began to realize a few things. First, somehow I grew up with an inherent need to have me time, so I build it into my life. I love to do things for people, but I also love to do things for me, so I do. Second, I really do appreciate that I have me time. And third, I am good at turning any alone time into a type of stolen moment.

My time is very important to me. You know how there are some people who just don’t really enjoy being alone. I am not one of those people. I really enjoy my own company and time for reflection. I love my, what I would call, stereotypical stolen moments: curling up with a good book (I wish I had an overstuffed chair), watching one of my favorite movies, spending hours perusing the shelves at Barnes and Noble, running (yes, I do truly enjoy it), taking a nice bubble bath. But I also love some not so traditional moments.

I love driving by myself. I often spend time in my car on the phone, so I can fit in conversations for which I might otherwise not have time, but I love those moments when I don’t have anyone to call and I can just turn on my music and drive. I love waiting at the airport (okay, not for delayed planes, but just the normal wait). I actually really enjoy that time, sitting at the gate, surrounded by people, but alone. I read, I listen to music, I write in my journal (yes, my blog is not my only journaling source…suprisingly, there are things I don’t share), and I love to watch people and make up their stories in my head. I love airport time.

I think there are lots of us single females out there who often pine away for the days when we will join the ranks of the “married with children”. But I have realized recently (and this challenge helped to remind me of this) that, as much as I want those things someday, I will miss my single life. I will miss these days when I don’t have to find time for me. But I’m hoping, that because I appreciate them now, I won’t look back and think, “Why didn’t I take advantage of all of that alone time when I had it?”

Lelly, thanks again for a great challenge. And sorry that there’s not an actual “self-portrait” of my “stolen moments”, but I haven’t been at the airport this week and I don’t take pictures of myself while driving. I already drive too crazy for my own good. No need to add self-portraits to the mix.

Happy 4th of July! (spt – yankee doodle dandy)

Rather than boring you with the play by play of my day (which was pretty fabulous!), I think I’ll just list a few things I love about our country. I don’t think our country is perfect, and my feelings are based on my experience in this country (which experience has been relatively privileged), but having lived in a couple of other countries, I definitely have an appreciation for some of the freedoms we enjoy.

  • I am grateful for the freedom of religion. And while, it isn’t perfect and people are still judged by/for their beliefs, I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in fear because of my beliefs.
  • I am grateful for the freedom of speech. While I don’t think people always use it wisely and sometimes I’d like to take it away from others, I am grateful for it.
  • I am grateful to live in a country that tries to help other countries. While the process and the efforts may be far from perfect, at least they exist.
  • I am grateful that public education is an expectation for all. I know it doesn’t happen for everyone, but I’m grateful that it is the goal.
  • I am grateful to live in a country where women are not treated as less than men. There are still chauvinists out there (just like there are, in my opinion, over-the-top feminists), but I can vote, I can own property, I will never be someone’s “property”, I can get the same education as a man, and the same jobs. But even better, I can choose to stay home and be a mom someday. Whatever I decide, it’s my choice. What an amazing blessing in a world where so many women don’t have those freedoms.
  • I am grateful that there are laws against the exploitation of children and that a government agency exists specifically to protect them.
  • I am grateful that, as I type this and can hear fireworks still going, I don’t worry that the sounds are anything but fireworks (and I realize this is not a “freedom” all people of this country enjoy).
  • I am grateful for all of the men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect the wonderful freedoms I enjoy.
    * This is my SPT for the week. I decided to go with the “What does Indepence Day mean to you?” option.