Friday, March 23, 2012

Hometown Girl

This was such a fun read. From the first chapter of the book I connected with the main character, Jocelyn. She was living in Utah and, with some encouragement from her friends, left the comfort of what she knew to tackle a new life. She's inherited her grandmother's house, the house she spent much time in and where many memories lived. This book to me was of tackling the next big challenge, of confronting and embracing the past, of taking chances and of finding yourself. LOVED IT!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reality Check

This has been the most draining work-week ever...and it is only Tuesday! I thought that once I gave notice I would feel completely stress free and happy...and I did for a while, but that has worn off and it's MISERABLE. I'm learning some cold, hard facts about the company, and people, I work for and I'm realizing things aren't what I've been led to believe and I'm completely frustrated. 
If you know me, you know that I am usually a happy-go-lucky optimist, so this week is throwing me for a loop.
So, in an attempt to regain my optimism, sanity, and all-around happy demeanor, I have collected a few thoughts (thank you Pinterest!!).

Drawing of a cat 
ohh myy 
Life is like photography. 


And one more, just because I like it...

Choose the great adventure

Ok, I'm good to go. Make it a great week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On the Radio

I went through this very strange phase about a year ago. It started one night and I was driving home from the temple with a few friends. We were approaching an intersection and a car coming the opposite direction turned right in front of the car in the lane next to us and BAM...accident! I pulled over, along with another vehicle. The guy in the other car checked the people in the accident while I called 911. Within a few moments, the police were on the scene (thankfully no one was injured) and we were on our way.
The next day, I was driving to work and I saw two more accidents. Over the next 6 days I would see 7 car accidents, though only a witness to one.
Just after this week of horror (seriously, it makes you question your judgement to leave your house with this kind of record) we were driving home from something else and our friend, Shelly, introduced us to "the radio game". You ask a question and then randomly select a radio station. You must find a song, but you listen to the lyrics and derive an answer. In this particular instance, it was my turn to come up with a question. With the events of that previous week in mind, I asked "Will we make it home alive?" Lori pushed the radio button and the song that came on, and the lyrics we heard first were "Take my breath away". It was at that moment I started paying a LOT more attention to the road because all signs indicated that we wouldn't make it.
Try the game sometime. Some favorite questions as of late have been:
Q: "Will Cristy really move?"
A: "I'm already there" (AKA - yes)
Q: "Where will Lori serve a mission?"
A: "(Spanish music station)" (Somewhere Spanish speaking)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Catch the Bug

The indexing bug, that is. If you aren't familiar with indexing, you are seriously missing out! By using the Family Search program, you can index original data records by typing the information into the on screen form.
Our ward recently started a guys versus girls challenge...surprisingly the guys are winning (but not for long). Additionally, our stake instituted a challenge among all 10 wards. We have all gone indexing crazy!! Last week alone our ward indexed over 1700 names, and this is just the start. We also received an awesome note from a member of the stake - I've included the coolest part below:

I received a call from the Family History Department this week. The Department sends their congratulations to our Stake. The person said we are one of the top Indexing Stakes in the Church and wanted to know how we are doing it. The stats for new sign ups as well as the significant number of members signed up is impressive. 

If you want to learn more about indexing, ask me, or for a more complete explanation, as well as instructions on how to get started, click here. Be warned...once you start, it's really hard to start. I sat down to do one batch tonight, and ended up doing 4. Totally addictive, but so rewarding. Try it...I know you'll love it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A New Beginning

Every Wednesday I have a one on one meeting with my boss. We catch up on things that are going on and I tell her about any issues or concerns that I've been handling, mostly in an effort to keep everyone on the same page. Today, I went into her office and the conversation went slightly differently than anticipated. Instead of walking in and saying we have this issue, and this thing is happening, and you should know about this, she asked if anything new and exciting was going on. I made a fast decision and decided to tell her what was going sounded something like:
"I've decided to move to Georgia. My last day will be April 18th."
And then I heard the Hallelujah chorus. And then we lost power, probably because I was so excited I zapped the electricity...or it was an omen - I choose option 1.
So, even though I won't actually move for just over a month, today, March 14 @ 10:00 was the first day of my new life. No secrets from the boss or co-workers (that's been the worst to keep), no worrying about people in my personal life somehow finding people in my professional life and spilling the beans too early (paranoid much?). I can go ahead and plan everything...and then when my plans don't go according to plan, I'll make new plans. Either way, tomorrow is a new day - one day less left in Utah; one day closer to actually settling into my new life in Georgia (by the way...this would be the anonymous "decision" referenced in many recent posts, just in case you hadn't caught that). I'm not entirely sure what my new life is going to look like, but I am thrilled at the chance I have to do this now. This has been in the works for months and it's great to see things falling into place. 
And, just for fun...when I moved here I jokingly said I would stay here for two years. I arrived on April 22, 2010 and will leave on April 21, 2012. Two years to the day (if you don't count leap day...which I don't because it makes it that much cooler!).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Don't Come Down

We went to FHE last night and we had an excellent lesson given by one of the members of our bishopric. It's a story from the Book of Mormon about a man named Amalickiah (you can read the full account here). I've heard this story several times before, but really enjoyed hearing it again and wanted to record two specific thoughts.
To give you a VERY high level background of the story in case you are not familiar, Amalickiah is in charge of an army who is out to get the Lamanites who have fled to a mountain. This group appoints Lehonti to be their leader. Amalickiah and company have come to the bottom of the mountain and he sends a small number of men  up to Lehonti's camp and tells him to come down. Lehonti firmly says no. The embassy goes down and tells Amalickiah that he's not coming down. This pattern happens three times and all three times, Lehonti firmly states that he will not come down. The fourth time, Amalickiah comes up, almost to the camp and Lehonti gives in and comes down.
Amalickiah hatches a plan with Lehonti that Lehonti will bring his army down in the night and surround Amalickiah's men and ultimately make Amalickiah second in command as they will make an agreement that they don't want to fight. This plan works as Amalickiah planned, making Lehonti feel that he is still in charge. The next thing you know, Amalickiah has begun poisoning Lehonti - the account says "by degree" (please read the full account - I certainly haven't done it justice, but this will give you enough background to understand what I want to say...hopefully).
The two thoughts that I wanted to make specifically are as follows.
1 - Amalickiah made multiple attempts to bring Lehonti down from his camp...from his safe place, his place of high standards. Likewise, Satan will not stop attempting to ensnare us in his traps because we simply say no. He will continue to send us invitations to come down from safety. He may even come to us, almost to our camps of safety, and make us believe that we can come down, even just a little bit and everything will be fine, that we will be in charge, but that is not the case. We cannot come down.
2 - Amalickiah poisoned Lehonti by degrees. It wasn't a one time, sudden thing. It happened slowly. Lehonti thought he was in control and that things were going according to his plan without realizing that it was too late for him, that he was trapped in Amalickiah's plan. Again, Satan will poison us by degrees. He will do anything he can to draw us away. He will poison us using things we love. He will slip little lies, little temptations into things that we may view, and very well believe, to poison our Spirits.
As I reflected on these points, I began evaluating my life as it is right now. I live a pretty good life. There really aren't too many things out of sorts and I try to be obedient to those things that I know are right, not because I'm "supposed" to, but because I want to. I know who I want to be and what it takes to get there. Starting today, I'm committing to myself to be more aware of the influences I allow in my life, to realize that Satan's influence is real and that he is fighting with all of his might to mislead me...I will not come down. I'm up for the challenge...are you?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sunday Drive

Sunday afternoon in Provo was BEAUTIFUL!! Sunny and warm (50's is warm here) and no snow on the ground. It was son nice that Lori, Shelly, and I decided to go for a drive up Provo Canyon to Vivian Park. We actually drove all the way to the end of Vivian Park. On the way we saw turkeys (most of them were in the road and we had to wait for them to move. By the time I remembered I brought my camera, most had hidden in the bushes on the other side of the road. But, you can see a few of them.

 (Why did the turkey cross the road??)

There is still quite a bit of snow in some areas up the canyon. On the drive up, I was telling Shelly of our family's tradition to run barefoot in the snow on New Year's Eve. I joking suggested that we should do it this day, having NO intention of actually doing it. While I was out taking pictures of the turkeys, Lori and Shelly got out of the car behind me and I hear Shelly and Lori say "well, here's a good a place as any". I turn around and they are standing next to a snow bank. I tried to back out, I used the excuse that I needed to be the photographer, anything that would keep my toes nice and dry (I can't say warm because we thought since it was so nice in the valley that we would be fine wearing flip flops). They weren't having any of it and the next thing I hear is "one, two, three...jump!" 

Since they made me jump in, I made them stand still for a photo.

 The evidence of our temporary insanity.

We had to stop a few more times for some beautiful shots. I love being in these mountains, even in the winter.

And, one last picture. As we're driving back down the mountains, Shelly calls out from the back seat "DEER". How she even spotted it I'll never know. Keep in mind this was taken at full zoom.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Band of Sisters

This book belongs on my list of favorites. It is a tale of 5 women who bond while their husbands are deployed in Afghanistan. They share in the tragedy of death, the loneliness of deployment, and the joy of life. I read this book and connected with each of the characters, even though I've never experienced anything of which these women faced. It was a good reminder that people are not always what they appear, that with the Lord's help we can get through anything, and that there is really nothing more powerful or unifying than a group of righteous women.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This weekend Lori, Shelly, and I went to this great little restaurant called Spark. It's this great, little nonalcoholic bar and lounge. When you walk inside, you feel like you should be in some big city like New York or Boston, or at least Salt Lake, instead of actually in Provo. This is our second time here. The first was for a bachelorette party a few months ago. Saturday was just girls night out...and we had a Groupon. **Side note: have you heard of Groupon?? You select the city you are in (or closest to you...or one you wish you were in) and then everyday they send you really great deals. The one that took us to Spark was $10 for $20 worth of food. How can you turn that down? Obviously I couldn't! Check them out! Back to the post.** We like going for the drinks...I go specifically for their habanero lime lemonade - AMAZING! We also tried their herb fries and I did something that I NEVER thought I would do...I tried something containing blue cheese. I made it so long in my life and I ruined my streak, but I think I'm okay with was the dipping sauce for the fries and it was divine (and warm, which I think had to have helped it significantly).
So, if you're ever in downtown Provo and looking for a great little place to go, check out Spark. I'd tell you to tell them I sent you, but they don't know me...yet. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Snow Time

Friday morning I got a phone call at 6:30 AM. It was Lori telling me that I should get up right away since it had snowed the night before and it was going to take some time to clean off my car. I looked out my window and saw about an inch of snow...not too shabby. Since it was only an inch, I decided that wearing snow boots would be quite overrated, so I settled on wearing one of my regular pair of flats. I got outside and cleaned my car off (good thing I took the extra inch of fluffy snow that brushed right off followed by a layer of solid ice I had to scrape off) with no problem. 

Driving to work took much longer than expected. One of the lanes on I-15 hadn't been plowed (how do you plow the other three but not the last one??) and the other lanes, though mostly clear, were a little slick. We maxed our speed for the journey at 20 miles an hour...hello 35 minute commute. The closer I got to my office, the more snow I realized they had. I spent the drive talking to my dad and as I was walking in to the building, I realized I had a problem. Where Provo (only 10 miles away) had 1 inch of snow, American Fork had received 6 inches...and I didn't wear my snow boots. It was a very cold, snowy and wet walk into the building, and dad had a good laugh at me. 

Here is a picture of our lovely Friday surprise.'s March. Aren't we supposed to be done with this??

Friday, March 2, 2012


I mentioned roller coasters in my last post and I HAD to include a video of one of my favorites. This is Wicked at Lagoon in Farmington, Utah. I would go to this theme park just to ride this ride. It is so thrilling...straight up, straight down, and lots of twists and turns. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Letter to Myself

Dear Self,
     You are ridiculous at times – just thought you’d like to know. Sometimes you frustrate me. You make decisions, and then you freak out. In this particular instance, you made a decision and it took you four months to reach that point, which is improvement, but please. It took one moment of doubt to make you want to change your mind. Luckily, you are not a quitter (and if you doubt that, say it again). You have made big decisions before and you will continue to do so. In all cases, things turn out just how they are supposed to.
     Yesterday you remembered a great talk entitled “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence” by Jeffrey R. Holland. One quote in particular stands out and you must remember this: “Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”  Certainly, the decisions you make will not always be simple or easy; sometimes they’re downright scary and very complicated. You like to play the “what if” game, imagining every possible scenario (usually worst case scenario), forgetting that you are not in this alone. Self, remember - you did pray about it, you do trust and you do live for it…so go forward and see the beauty of life unfold.
     The next phase of your journey soon begins. Though there are certainly things that can cause you anxiety, everything will be fine. Life is like a roller coaster – hang on for the ride. Just like a roller coaster, this ride will be full of twists and turns and will fly by so quickly and before you know it, the ride will be over. Don’t take a moment for granted. Live in the present, savor each moment, and whatever you do, “cast not away therefore your confidence.”
Sincerely, and with great hope for the future,