Showing posts from 2008

I am a Marilyn

Got this off Jen's blog. :)

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...
You Are a Marilyn!

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
* Be direct and clear
* Listen to me carefully
* Don't judge me for my anxiety
* Work things through with me
* Reassure me that everything is OK between us
* Laugh and make jokes with me
* Gently push me toward new experiences
* Try not to overreact to my overreacting.
What I Like About Being a Marilyn
* being committed and faithful to family and friends
* being responsible and hardworking
* being compassionate toward others
* having intellect and wit
* being a nonconformist
* confronting danger bravely
* being direct and assertive
What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
* the constant…

Nine Month Flu

So now that word is out I wanted to share my experiences thus far. If it's TMI for you, just skim. Austin and I had decided last year that August 2008 was when we'd start trying to get pregnant. I went off the pill end of June and we crossed our fingers. I took a test end of August. Negative. End of September I was getting really anxious as I had a few possible signs that I was pregnant but I've had that in the past and I'm pretty neurotic. I was supposed to wait until October 5th to take the test, but I was getting curious. I had to know. We had an early test left over from the month before so I decided to take it, not expecting anything really as it was really early but I just couldn't wait any longer. So on October 2nd (which was a Thursday) I took the test and lo and behold two pink lines. But one was really faint. So then I was uncertain. Was I or wasn't I? I im'ed Austin over gchat and let him know that I might be pregnant and told him what happened. …

Giving Thanks

I'm grateful for many things this year. I'd like to say thanks to all the many friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances in my life. Earlier this year I wrote posts specifically thanking people in my life. I still mean everything I said then. You can read (or reread as the case may be) my thanks here, here, and here.

This year I'm thankful for...

* my husband who really does so much for me and is my strength
* my family members, on both sides
* my friends, especially the new ones I've recently made
* the gospel
* my Savior
* my job
* Austin's job
* a home that keeps us warm and provides shelter
* a sense of humor


* my upcoming bundle of joy due June 12th. I know most of you already knew. The cat's out of the bag. Austin and I are now telling the world. (Which means I finally get to blog about it)

You can go to Austin's blog to see a picture of our little Squiggle. He/she is a little bigger than that now as that was 4 weeks ago.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone…

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving has come and gone once again. Though I took my camera to every event, I did not take any pictures. So you'll have to settle for words only. Austin and I had a great Thanksgiving. He wrote all about it for the most part, so I'll just sum up from my point of view.

The night before Thanksgiving Austin and I went over to my parent's as Troy, Jen, and family were there. They had decided to surprise us all. It was a wonderful surprise. That night was spent making pies (mostly by Mom) and singing karaoke.

Next day was all about food, food, and more food. We made my oh-so-famous cranberry sauce and pumpkin cheesecake and headed over to my parents. Mom's homemade rolls were excellent as always. The turkey was good as were the mashed potatoes. The gravy was absolutely superb, as was my cranberry sauce that I didn't personally eat. Everyone was there except for the Powells (who a lot of us had visited last Thanksgiving). Grandma and Grandpa McNeil also joined us…

Halloweeny Fun

I'm updating so you can all stop sending me dirty looks through cyberspace. I love Halloween. And yes I know that Thanksgiving is now approaching (a holiday I also love) but I'm writing about Halloween now so those of you sick of it will just have to deal with it.

I had two costumes this year. One for work and one for the family/friend Halloween parties. I decided on my work costume because of a conversation Charity and I had one day. We were discussing one day how we hated the term "comma nazi" because it has such a negative and derogatory connotation. So we decided to come up with a replacement. I decided that "comma ninja" was a much better alternative as one, ninjas kick the butt out of Nazis and two, it was a more accurate description. I approach editing in a subtle kick-butt approach, hi-yahing extra commas or karate chopping abused apostrophes. Like ninjas in the night, Charity and I sneak in and edit. Okay, so editors are nerdy. But most of you alrea…

"Tracie needs....."

So I saw this months and months ago and I planned to do it but I didn’t. So anyway, according to my search on Google, these are things that I supposedly need. (Do a search with your name and needs in quotations.)

Tracie needs... be pushed (I usually manage quite well on my own.)
.....a date (always) bite some chumps (Now where do I find some chumps?)
.....a dress (a pretty one that fits me and isn’t expensive)
.....a tumble (I think I’ve taken enough tumbles as it is, thank you.)
.....a breakthrough (hmmm....still waiting...) go to chuckle school (Awesome! I would love to go to Chuckle School.) take a vacation (Don’t we all?) lose the bad hair (Bah! I didn’t think it was that bad!)
.....needs help, but can she be saved in time? (This is the question)
.....a reality check (constantly)
.....a chuckle right now (always) pull the stick out of her gluteus maximus and relax (I’m quite relaxed now but sometimes this is true of me) win the lottery (y…

Fall has Fallen

I love fall. It is my favorite season by far. I love it when it cools down and there's the slightest twinge of crispness in the air. The air smells crisper, cleaner. The sky showcases beautiful sunsets. And all the leaves in the mountain change color. I have many fond memories of going up the canyon to see nature's paintbrush. Everywhere gold, red, green, brown, yellow, and orange. I think Utah is at its most beautiful when the mountains display a master's palette of autumn colors. Recently Austin and I went up with my mom, dad, and my younger brother to see the leaves before they started falling off and dying. We went probably a week too late to see it in its full splendor, but it was still quite beautiful. Here are some of the pics I (and Austin) took:

Alas, fall has fallen and now the seedlings of winter are on their way! It's already snowing! It's going to be a long, cold winter. :( If it were up to me, winter would last exactly 1 1/2 months. Beginning of Dece…

Avocado Cookies

Don’t these look yummy? They were. They absolutely were. A few weeks ago Tyler informed me that he had learned from the infallible Alton Brown that you could substitute avocado for butter and shortening when baking. Since I’m always on the lookout to make unhealthy treats a little bit healthier, I decided to try this idea out. So with Austin as my partner-in-cooking I set out to reinvent Mom’s chocolate chip cookies. I replaced all of the shortening and two-thirds of the butter with pureed avocado (I didn’t have enough avocado, otherwise I would’ve done all avocado.) It was quite the interesting concoction: green, wet, sticky, and a bit stretchy. I had to experiment with the cooking times quite a bit to get them so they were cooked on the inside and outside without burning but the final result was delicious. The cookies looked different but besides the slightly different texture, they tasted almost exactly the same. I will try this again. Project Status: Success!

The Struggle That Is Being Tracie

I write more blog posts than you think I do. In fact, I've written so many things, not just blog posts, it's amazing. But where is all this text you ask? In my head. Yes, it is a fact that if there were an invention that would somehow convert thoughts to text I would have many writings attributed to my name. Why is this? Well, because I'm most creative and can write the best when, ironically, I'm not trying to write. Say for instance, right before I go to sleep. I wrote a whole page of a novel yesterday before going to sleep, but it doesn't exist anywhere besides in my own brain. And even that has gotten fuzzy.

It drives me crazy that I can write out whole ideas, plots, concepts, articles, witticisms, etc. in my head and yet when I sit down to write I draw a big blank. My creativity is drowning in my own brain where it can't escape and will never live among the concrete things we call the written word. Today while I was resting, I wrote 3 blog posts that you ma…

Hurricane Ike

For those that haven't heard, Hurricane Ike is coming up on the Texan coast. Most of Houston and Galveston is being evacuated. Those not required to evacuate are hunkering down in their homes with emergency supplies. Austin's family is in Houston. I ask my family and friends to please keep them in your prayers for the next few days.

EDIT: The storm has now passed and Austin's family are gratefully safe. :)

A Quest for Wisdom

Yesterday I had the much fun experience of getting my wisdom teeth out. I've been dreading getting this done for months and months. I was extremely nervous and almost backed out a few times. I called HayLee the night before to get some reassurance that everything would be okay. And it was. It really wasn't that bad. I got up yesterday morning, ate breakfast (on Hay's recommendation), and drove to the dentist. I picked the movie Hitch to watch, and they got me set up on the nitrous oxide (a.k.a. laughing gas). The gas really helped to calm down my racing heart. Dr. Pincock came in and swabbed me with the bubblegum-ish numbifier stuff. I then got several shots, which frankly were probably the worst part of the whole thing. I got good and numb and then Dr. Pincock yanked out my three wisdom teeth (two on bottom, one on the top left). It was over before I knew it. I couldn't believe it was so fast. After going through it, I don't know why people would want to be put un…

Adventures in Babysitting

The last three days Austin and I tried our hand at parenting as we watched our nephews Tyson, Preston, and Mason while their parents were away on a cruise. I thought I would sum up my experiences in list format:
Number of times I was woken up in the middle of the night by a screaming child: 2
Number of times I changed soiled bed sheets: 1
Number of times I changed soiled clothing: 3
Number of times I drew bubble baths: 3
Number of sandwiches made: 8
Number of times I helped kids with homework: 5
Number of times I was asked for permission to play the computer or my Nintendo DS: 87
Number of times I said the phrase “be nice”: 212
Number of times I was walked in on while going to the bathroom or showering: 5
Number of times I walked/ran to the school: 6
Number of hours of sleep on average per night: 5
Number of times I was woken up before my alarm went off: every day
Number in minutes of time spent with Austin in the 3-day period: 20
Number in minutes of time to myself in the 3-day perio…

How My Mind Works

So I didn't exactly make my goal to blog every day in August. But I did blog much more, which is something you can all be grateful for. I blogged about 5x more in August in July so that is quite the improvement. This month I'll try to blog on average twice a week.

Anyway, so I was over at Charlotte's blog and she posted some results of online visual personality quizzes. I found this one to be particularly accurate. Here are my results:
About Me: You are a single-minded person who takes pride in making sound judgements and likes to earn the respect of others.

Interaction: You are idealistic and can be extremely loyal and accepting of others. You often remain on the sidelines in social situations choosing to observe rather than participate. Having said that, when you feel comfortable in a social setting, you come alive and enjoy interacting with like-minded people. You even have the chance to exercise that cheeky sense of humor of yours.

Thinking: You enjoy being well-infor…

I Have a New Niece!

Lilyan Mae McNeil was born on August 22, 2008 at 6:01pm. I'm so excited to have a new niece! She's utterly precious. Austin and I visited baby and parents in the hospital on Saturday and took them dinner yesterday evening. You can check out "Trent & Jess" under my blog list for more pics and information. Congrats to Trent & Jessica for the new addition to their family!

Shower Power

A few days ago Austin and I were taking a shower when all of the sudden the shower head goes shooting off! A hydrant-like spray of water then hit us with full force. It was pretty funny and shocking. Austin kept trying to fix it but it kept shooting off, causing me to squelch like a junior high girl several times. We kept trying to fix it until the rubber washer washed down the drain after another of its high-force attacks. Austin called our landlord and we got to take baths for a few days while we waited for it to get fixed. It was kinda fun (and annoying) taking a bath. It made me feel like I was living in the good ole days again when there were no massage showerheads and when the longer you're in the tub, the dirtier you got. Fortunately, our landlord got back to us and we have a new massage showerhead, which we didn't have before. (It's actually really fortunate that this happened as we've hated our showerhead since we've moved in as it leaked everywhere, causi…

Camptown ladies sing this song

Last weekend Austin and I went camping with Charity and James up at Rock Canyon. Their ward was having a campout, and they generously invited us to attend. After much packing and preparation, we barely made it up the mountain in our car. We discovered that our tent was much larger than I originally thought. (Not that it's huge or anything but I thought it wasn't big enough to hold the 4 of us. Turns out it could've.) Austin, with much sweat and vigor, put up our brand new still-in-the-box wedding present tent. Then we stuffed our faces with s'mores, turkey sausages, tin foil dinners, and s'mores. In that order.

After dinner we discovered that our mighty tent had fallen, as in completely apart on the ground. Since it was now dark, we had to use lanterns, flashlights, and James's car headlights to put it back together again. Fortunately, we learned how to do it the right way (with James's help) and got it up and standing again.

Putting the tent back together.

I Needed This on My Camping Trip

This is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. If you are particularly sensitive or easily offended, don't click on the link. For the rest of us (particularly women), check this out for something that made me laugh: P-Mate

Oh, by the way, I found out this is a real product.

Maybe I'll get one....

I Need New Eyes

Don't you hate when you're waiting around forever for something you want, and then when you finally get it, you don't like it? So about a month and a half ago I made an eye appointment because I was on my last pair of contacts and needed new ones. I go to my appointment to find out that wearing my contacts too long has caused an eye infection and that my eyes are too damaged to get an accurate reading. So I was to wear only my glasses and come back in a week. I HATE wearing my glasses full-time, but I wanted my eyes to heal so I wore them. I also had to put a substance similar to vaseline in my eyes at night every night. That was great gobby fun. No, it was annoying.

After a week of this, I went in again to find out that my eyes still hadn't healed so I was told to get eye drops and come back in ANOTHER week. I was not happy about this. But I used the eyes drops and came back discover my eyes STILL weren't healed and to come back at the end of the week, whi…

"I've made a huge tiny mistake"

I'm the worst wife ever. Last night I made a mistake. A horrible mistake. So I was cutting Austin's hair right? It was really long and poofy on the sides like it always gets. So I plug in the clippers and brush them off and WITHOUT THINKING cut into his hair WITHOUT putting on the right extension piece first. Yep, I am an idiot. Fortunately it didn't go all the way to his skin and we cut his hair short anyway. Since I did not want to have to shave his head and knowing that hair grows back quickly, I continued with the haircut. I tried to blend it in, but there is still an obvious streak on the back of Austin's head. We took a picture. It'll be posted when I get home. I'll just say I've never felt more awful. I wanted to cry. I hope he still love me.

A Ray of Light

So I've received some good financial news, which is good considering all the bad that has happened lately. I received a bonus from work so now I can buy a camera (and a new computer for Austin). And I also received a raise. It's only fifty cents, but it made me happy because I didn't know if we would ever get raises. It boosted my spirits though it won't really make any financial difference. Gotta accentuate the positive!

Workin' on Out

So remember how I said I while ago I wanted a gym pass? Well, I got one! For a really good price too. A perk of Austin's new job is gym passes to Gold's. They're not free, but it's a really good deal. Austin didn't have to sign a contract and for every time he goes, he get a dollar off. (If he doesn't go at all, it's $20.) So if we go 20 times in a month, it's free! (For Austin anyway.) I had to sign a two-year contract but it's okay because I love going to the gym. And mine is only 17/month. We were going to buy an elliptical because I really love them but the one I wanted at Walmart increased in price and we weren't really sure we'd have the room. So now we're going to go to the gym, which is close enough to walk to, 3 to 5 times a week! I'm obviously excited. :) Oh, so we went for the first time tonight. It was great, and it felt really good to work out again. I'm going to start my work-out-every-day thing again, starting toda…


Thanks Charlotte for the blog idea. After this post I will still be 4 posts behind.

SCATTERGORIES... USE the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following, they have to be real...places, names, things-nothing made up. Try to use different answers if the person that sent it has the same first letter. And you can't use your name for the boy/girl question...

What is your name? Tracie
4 letter word: Tiny
Vehicle: Toyota
TV show: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Body part: Toes
Girl name: Trixie
Boy name: Terrance
Occupation: Truck driver
Something you wear: Toga (thanks for the suggestion anonymous user. I accidentally forgot this one.)
Food: Tortilla chips
Something found in a bathroom: Towel
Excuse for being late: Traffic (boring, but true)
Something you shout: Thank you!

The Pirates of Madera

At long last Austin and I have finished the first draft of The Pirates of Madera, a one-act play we wrote for Troy. Many a time was spent procrastinating writing this thing but we still put a lot of work into it. Writing this we experienced bickerings, giggles, frustration, and long hours to finally get this done. We hope everyone, especially Troy and his activity group, enjoys it. It is currently up on Glass of Random for those that want to read it. If you don't have an invitation, let us know, and we'll email you an invite to be able to view our private fiction blog.

The Neverending Story

I just finished reading The Neverending Story for the first time. It's much different than the movies (particularly the second one). The first movie ends a little less than halfway through the book portion. Anyway, I really liked the book (though it did seem a little neverending to me). It totally put me in the mood to watch the movies. I LOVE the movies! If you didn't watch The Neverending Story growing up, I'd say your childhood was missing something. (Unless, of course, you weren't a child when it came out. ;) ) The story is one of the most imaginative stories I've ever read/watched. The movie was fascinating, scary, intense, sad, happy, and inspiring. Made you want to wish and dream. The book was the same way. I couldn't believe the imagination of the author. He created so many new and different things that were so creative. Made me wish I were that creative. I really liked the messages in the book as well. I remember watching the movie growing up and think…

Hiccups and Other Maladies

Is there anyone in the world who likes hiccuping? I sure don't. I don't mind sneezing. Sneezing feels relieving. Hiccuping is the most annoying thing. I had the hiccups consistently for over an hour last night. We tried everything to make them go away. I held my breath, drank water, Austin attempted to "scare" me, I stood up and stretched. Nothing worked! I hiccuped so much I started to feel nauseated. And my stomach felt all crampy. They eventually went away by themselves, but it really was horrible. At least it didn't become like this or this.

Okay, so the title isn't accurate. I don't really have any other maladies to relate. But I thought it made for a good title and I was getting tired of using the date as a title.

August 4

It seems that I will be posting a day late for things. I'm finding this goal really hard. Austin and I don't do enough to have anything to write about. Let's see..yesterday I drove up to work, which was really difficult as I got less than four hours sleep the night before. I'm feeling MUCH better today as one, yesterday I took a 2-hour nap and two,I went to bed and got to sleep in as I'm working from home today. I've been having a really difficult time sleeping lately. Must be all the stress. Am I the only one who really can't function on small amounts of sleep? I used to be able to pull all-nighters every once in a while and get by fine on four hours of sleep when I was a teenager. And then when I was 19 I pushed my body much too hard by staying up too late, waking up too early, and working 8-hour days exerting physical energy in a warehouse. After a few months of this, my body collapsed from pure exhaustion and fatigue. Ever since then I haven't been …

August 3

Agh! I'm doing horrible at this whole thing. It's past midnight so this will now post on August 4th instead of the 3rd. I vow to be better!

Random thoughts/musings for Sunday:

The mountain is on fire again. It seems to happen almost every summer.

The sunset was absolutely beautiful tonight. I got to see it as Austin and I took a walk around my parent's neighborhood.

My neck is absolutely killing me. It's completely stiff, and I have no idea why.

Tomorrow is Austin's first day at a new job. Everyone wish him luck!

I feel much better about things.

I want to get a gym pass.

Comcast's Internet isn't as "blazing fast" as they advertise.

I joined my first ever hate group so I can post on its forums. I can't say what it's for since it's something that's very popular among my readers. Charity, you know what it is.

I promise to make up for my lameness in blowing my goal the second day into it.

August 2

Austin and I went to see The Dark Night on this night. (August 2 that is.) I really liked it. I don't think I can say I loved it because it isn't the type of story that I could really get into. It didn't make me think or feel anything (for the most part). However, I did think the film quality and performances were very good. The cinematography was very well done. I found Gotham to be a believable and real city. I loved the effects on Two Face.

My problem with the movie is it didn't have enough Batman for me. I felt like he was pushed off to the side a little bit. I found myself wanting to see Batman (and Bruce Wayne) more. For this reason I liked the first movie more.

But you could say this movie wasn't about Batman. It was about the Joker. And if you take it that way, the movie did succeed. I thought Heath Ledger's performance was amazing. I couldn't believe it was him. He succeeded in creating one of the scariest bad guys ever. He was downright creepy. Wh…

It's a Brand New Day

Things are looking up a little. Austin has had a few job offers and has accepted one. I'll let him tell you about that whole thing. But anyway, I think we'll be okay. Though I am still mourning our loss of a car. Good thing I work from home most of the time now.

So, Charity and I were talking the other day about not having anything to write about and Charity remarked that we probably do have something to write up every day it's just that we don't happen to notice it as a "something" in our life. So Charity and I decided that we would blog every day during the month of August to write about all the "nothings" that happen in our life. So now you can look forward to reading a little something from me each day. :)

Raindrops keep falling on my head, threatening to drown me, until I remember the umbrella

When it rains, it pours. That seems to be our lot in life. I’m doing much better today, but I’ve been struggling the last little while as everything seems to be going down the crapper all at the same time. Because of everything that’s been going down, I finally slipped up on my goal. As many of you know, I recently made a commitment to work out every day no matter what. And I kept that commitment for exactly SIXTY days. For sixty days in a row I did at least one thing that was considered exercise. On the low end this meant doing 20 crunches before bed. On the high end this meant doing a highly vigorous, high-intensity 40-minute workout. Most days were somewhere between those two, but I did it without fail for sixty days. Until yesterday . . . when I forgot. Two months of work out the window just like that. Gone. Good-bye woo-hoo see ya. Sigh. It’s not hard to see why I forgot. Yesterday I became completely and utterly depressed, a state I’m not fond of being in. I was optimistic when …

Fun on the Twenty-Fourth

Last Thursday Austin and I hung out with the Beckstrom relatives. We went to Outback Steakhouse with (forgive any name misspellings) Aunt Karrie & Uncle Robert and their kids Emily & Nicholas; Uncle Jim & Aunt Jan and their kids Nikita, Max, Ivan, and Andre; and Uncle David & Aunt Vera and their kids Brett, Kiersten, and Dylan. With all those people (and knowing the Beckstroms), it was understandably boisterous inside. We celebrated Brett’s birthday (and teased him about his girlfriend who is indeed a very attractive girl).
Afterwards we went to SubZero, which is a really cool (as in liquid nitrogen cool) place. For those that haven’t been there, it’s pretty neat. You order what type of cream you’d like (with its corresponding percentage of fat: premium 14%, custard 10%, lowfat 6%, and yogurt 0%). Then you choose your flavors that get mixed into the cream. They have at least two dozen flavors to choose from and you can choose as many as you want. You then get one free …

Working from Home

As many of you know, I have been transitioning to working from home. Since it has now been a few weeks, I’d thought I share my feelings about it. And my feelings are that I love it. Working from home is one of the best things that has happened for me in the last while. Working from home is not without its drawbacks though. I’d thought I’d make a list of the pros and cons that I’ve experienced working from home.Pros:1.No driving!!!
2.I’m saving a lot of gas, which means I’m saving lots of money. (I was filling up about every 4 work days. With gas being about $50 to fill up now, you can imagine how much I was spending.)
3.No traffic!!
4.No more struggling to be on time for work. (One of the things I hated the most and stressed about a lot.)
5.I get two more hours to myself every day. (A result of not having to commute.)
6.I get an extra hour of sleep.
7.I sleep better at night because I’m not stressing about getting to work the next day.
8. I get to see Austin at lunchtime.
Cons: 1.It can be lo…

Thanksgiving Point

Everyone can shout for hooray. Why? Tracie is posting pics on her blog! Yay!

Anyway, these are the photos from our trip to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. You can all Ooo and Ah over them. Pictures include those of flowers, trees, water, and the various themed gardens, such as "The Rose Garden." There are also many pictures of water lilies. It was the first time that I had seen water lilies, and I found them to be absolutely gorgeous. If you ever have an opportunity to go, I highly recommend it. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and serene. Thanks Mom & Dad B. for making it possible for us to go!


10 years ago I was...
a geeky teenager in junior high spending all of my free time with Heidi

5 years ago I was...
living on my own for the very first time, waiting for Steve to go on his mission, and about to meet Jonathan and go through that whole disaster.

1 year ago I was...
living in Provo and taking summer classes and nannying the boys. I miss them :(

Yesterday I was... (at the time I started this)
Working from home (woo-hoo!) and visiting Austin's family

5 favorite snacks...
Anything and everything chocolate
Apples & other fruit
Fro-Yo (best frozen yogurt EVER!)
Western Family string cheese

5 favorite books...
The Princess Bride
The Death & Life of Superman
Harry Potter 1-7
Tale of Two Cities

5 Favorite movies...
The Princess Bride
Ferris Bueller's Day Off/Better Off Dead
The Little Mermaid
Ever After
10th Kingdom (technically a miniseries)

Honorable Mentions:
Star Wars Original Trilogy, When Harry Met Sally, Almost Heroes, Liar Liar, Moulin Roug…

Daily Exercise

(3 posts in a day!)I’ve recently made the decision that I was going to work out every day. No matter what. No excuses. It doesn’t matter how long I exercise or what exercise I do. The main thing I wanted to focus on was to create a habit of exercise in my life. Though I do want to lose weight, that is no longer my objective. My objective is to become healthier just by incorporating daily exercise into my life. So far, I’m doing pretty good. Fourteen days in a row now. Some days have been longer or more vigorous sessions. Some have been just a walk around the block. But I have done it, every day, for the past 14 days. Though I haven’t lost any weight yet (I’ve actually gained a pound), I can definitely feel changes. My body is getting stronger and firmer. My endurance is increasing. I feel better. I’m sleeping a little better as well. And the only thing I’ve changed is incorporating at least 10 minutes of daily exercise. Though I’m trying to eat better, I’m not really…

Father's Day

In honor of Father’s Day, (yes, I know it was yesterday, but better late than never.) I have decided to write a list of the TOP TEN reasons why my dad is so great/why I love him so much: 10. He gives good hugs and is always quick to give me one when I need it.
9. He’s taught me to be a hard worker and to be the very best I can be.
8. He’s the most persistent, resilient, ambitious person I’ve ever known. He doesn’t let anything stop him or get in the way of what he wants to accomplish. When obstacles or challenges come his way, he just finds a way around them.
7. If I need help with something, he’ll “make it happen.”
6. He loves my mom.
5. He’s a great example of charity and service, always willing to step in and help others when he can.
4. His family is the most important thing in the world to him and he’d do anything for us.
3. He’s a man of integrity.
2. He loves the gospel and listens to and follows the spirit.
1. He loves me! I love you, Fajha. Happy Fajh…

Work News, Dinner, College Reunion, Summerfest, & More

This weekend was quite the whirlwind for Austin and me. (Yes, this is correct usage. See CACCAAA for more information. I will soon write an entry on this subject.) Anyway, quite the whirlwind. First of all, good news! I found out on Friday that I’m going to be a work-from-home editor! I will be working a few days here at the office, but I believe the majority of my time will be spent working from home. I am quite excited about this for a number of reasons. I will be saving a lot of money on gas (with me currently having to fill up every 4 work days and gas being about $50 to fill up now). I will be saving lots of time (with the average commute being around 2 hours daily). I will be able to get more sleep on a regular basis as I won’t have to drive into work. It also works out great with our current plans. We also won’t have to move anymore, which we were both dreading. Now, on to the rest of the weekend! Charity and James came over for dinner Friday night. I made Tomato & Basil Ma…

Wake Up & Smell the Overbearing Perfume

I hate flowery perfume. What I hate even more are women who wear flowery perfume so strongly the smell persists even if they have vacated the room. Ever worse than that is women who wear said perfume in an attempt to cover up the smell of cigarettes. Then I have to deal with overly strong perfume AND smoke. Wonderful. Today’s experience reminded me of my English Honors class in 11th grade with Mrs. Bestor. I would dread every single day that I had the class, and not just because Mrs. Bestor was kind of a jerk. The smell of perfume in her classroom was so strong that it leached out the closed door into the hallway. But that wasn’t the worst part, oh no. Besides the perfume that was so thick you could see the fumes, Mrs. Bestor had to have the temperature stifling hot every day of the year, which made for a toxic combination: extreme heat and overbearing perfume. It was like a torture chamber of the worst kind. I would get headaches and struggle to stay awake, knowing if I fell asleep t…


Today at work I got tired of sitting on my butt, so I walked down all 16 flights of stairs and took a minute to walk around outside. It was glorious there. It was warm (unlike the often subarctic temperatures inside) and sunny with a gentle breezing carrying the scent of what I like to call “the great outdoors.” I then bemoaned the fact that I spend much of my life inside during the wonderful daylight hours. How I mourn for my lost youth. I miss having a summer: no school, no work besides maybe 2 or 3 hours, and all the free time in the world to spend outside. I can’t wait until I can be a stay-at-home mom if nothing other than the fact that I will be able to take my kids outside several times a week so they and I can enjoy one of God’s greatest gifts. (p.s. I do understand that being a mom is time-consuming, entails hard work, and requires lots of patience. My desires to be a mom go beyond my simple desire to quit my 40-hour work week plus 2-hour daily commute job.)

Friday Night

For once, Austin's giving me a chance to tell everyone what's going on. For all of you who have been complaining that I haven't been posting as regularly, blame Austin. It's no fun to write about stuff he's already written about. So, the other day I found randomly a list of events going on in Utah county. One of them was at the Museum of People & Cultures on BYU campus. The activity was called "Culture-Me-Mine." It was a date night activity consisting of looking at the museum's exhibit, a clay sculpting competition, a scavenger hunt, and couple's feud. (It also consisted of eating yummy brownies and cookies.) All for the low, low price of $5 a person. It was a pretty fun night. Austin and I had the chance to do something different for a date, and it was cheap! What more could you ask for? (Well, I guess you could ask for more, but I won't.)

You can see the "Man on a Couch" sculpture that Austin and I made together. It was pretty …

A Little Sunshine

So life does come with its little bits of sunshine. Once a month my work has a professional massage place come in and give ten-minute free massages to employees that sign up for them. I’ve never done it before, but Charity came and got me today and we both signed up. Man, it was great! This is probably the best I’ve ever felt at work. So relaxing and so good, even for ten minutes. I so needed it today. I’ve been stressing about a lot of different things (so glad I’m going on vacation next week) so it was good to have a breather and get my tense muscles relaxed.