Thursday, May 31, 2012


I’ve been feeling a bit sentimental lately as we are in the less than 40 days and 40 nights range before Lori leaves on her mission…I’m SOOOO not ready for this. In fact, I call Lori every morning to wake her up and chat for a few minutes before we both get going for the day. A couple of days ago I was sitting across the table from mom who, just as Lori picked up the phone mentioned that I only get to do this for a few more weeks and then I had to get through the call as if I wasn’t crying. Anyway, back to the story.

I was thinking of a day trip we took while living in Boston. Lori was home for the summer and one of her co-workers had told her about this really great town or place (I don’t even remember now what or where it was even) in New Hampshire. Lori decided that we would all jump in the car and we would drive there. Well, after an hour or so of driving, we weren’t even close and didn’t have any idea how far we had to go. We stopped at a rest area off the highway and picked up a map and found we had much more driving to do before we would even get there.

I’m ashamed to say that I was a little less than pleasant on this trip. I was irritated that we had been driving so long with no real direction, and when we got direction I didn’t like what it had to say (I guess I wasn’t feeling super adventuresome that day). Lori and Mom were both so chill about it, and that made me more frustrated. Every so often, mom would pipe up from the back seat and say, “we’re just making lemonade”.
Eventually I settled down and enjoyed the trip. We never made it where we were planning on going, but we stopped in some little town. There was a cute town center and a parade of some sort happening that day. The four of us were having such a great time and after a short visit it was time to head home. And that’s when it got fun.

We were cruising down the freeway at 70-ish miles an hour. New England is gorgeous in general, but we were driving by this huge lake off to the right with lots of trees behind it. As we’re flying down the road, dad looks out the window and says, “Hey look – missionaries!” We’re talking a good ½ mile or more across the lake. They were itty bitty over there. And then the next words out of his mouth floored me. He said, “Take this exit, we’re going to go find them”.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not usually a stalker, and I especially don’t stalk missionaries. Here we were, literally hunting them down. So, being the obedient daughter, I took the exit and we were off, taking roads that looked like we were heading towards that lake, driving through neighborhoods and laughing at the whole situation, knowing full well that we likely would never find them. But then it happened. We were at a stop sign, ready to turn right onto the road that would take us to the lake when who should pass us but the missionaries. I can only imagine their concern when we made eye contact and I turned the car around to follow them. For some bizarre reason they pulled over. Dad got out and probably scared them silly. Within just a few seconds, we were all out of our cars and getting to know one another. We chatted with them briefly and related the story of just how we had come to be there. And just as quickly as we found them, we left.

And then we laughed the whole way home. Best lemonade ever!

Speaking of lemonade, have you heard this song?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Picture

I found out something interesting tonight. When you type your blog address on Facebook, it puts up the most recent photo. Turns out my last photo is of a snake! YUCK!! So, in an attempt to make me stop cringing, I present you with this:

Who could resist that face? I can't...period. This is Sunshine. Occasionally she sits on my shoulder. And then I hum a song (I'll give you one guess).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free Advice

I'm pretty sure I've told you before, but I'm happy to tell you again. Don't mess with HR people. I promise, we're here to help you. If you come to me and yell at me, I'm irritated, but understand the need for getting everything out in the open. Often, that's when we get to the bottom of things and can find a resolution. I may not love it, but will overlook it, and will likely do whatever I can to calm you down. However, blaming me for your mistake will not help your case, though I'll still be willing to do what I can to help you. Accusing me of lying to you will push me right over the edge. In fact, it is at this point that I will go back through my emails over the last several months and will prove you wrong. HR actually stands for Humongous Records. If it happened (and we were involved), we have a record. Also, it is at this point that I stop thinking clearly and put my head down on my desk and make some sort of sound that is a cross between laughing and crying and talk very quickly to myself (it's not pretty, but it's how I get through).

So, you want to fight? Please, come and make my day. Just know that I am going to fight back, but will do so professionally. Because you refuse to call me and seem to think you need to have our conversation in writing, you have given me time to gather my records (and my thoughts) and I am ready to win. Tomorrow, it's on...and I will win (and you will thank me for my help - just prepare for it).

The moral of the nice to your HR people. They will always help you, but will be much more willing to do so if you're kind to them. Also, bring chocolate...bad day or not. HR people need chocolate just to make it through. Trust me, it's cheaper than therapy.

I now return you to your life.

Thank you and good night!

Changing Course

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about changing courses; about making a plan or decision and then at some point having to, or choosing to, alter it. I’ve realized in my life that very rarely have I made a decision and then followed through with it exactly. I’ve lived a life that I hadn’t really imagined for myself. I graduated high school and went to college fully anticipating that at the completion of a 4 year degree, I would be a kindergarten teacher. After one semester, I knew that a change was needed and I imagined myself entering the business world and climbing the corporate ladder. After that semester I ended up taking a break to save money and really decide what I wanted. Somewhere in there (about a year or so later), we were off to Boston and I found myself entering the corporate world.
That plan hasn’t gone the way I pictured either, just in case you were wondering. I went through a strange man-hating phase while we lived here. I knew some of the best men I’ve ever known in the ward we attended in Boston but, unfortunately, they weren’t the majority of people I knew. I saw them once a week at church and dreamed of one day finding a great guy just like them. But then Monday would roll around and it was back to the office of men who didn’t value or respect women, who felt women didn’t belong in “their world”, and, well, you get the idea. I realized that if I wanted to stay in the corporate world, I would have to change. And for a while, I did. I became SUPER independent. I had something to prove…I didn’t need anyone, especially not a man. Luckily, it only lasted three years (I know, only) and then I was off to Utah.
Utah wasn’t in my plans I had for myself. Well, they were every once in a while, but never seriously. When I moved there, I had no idea what to expect for my future. I had worked myself into this idea that I didn’t need anyone and was somewhere between talking myself into and out of wanting to get married someday, attempting to decide if I would be willing to change yet again to allow anyone into my life – even new friends. But, I got to Utah and, thanks to a wonderful sister and her great group of friends, I was welcomed in with open arms. I met so many great people, but the biggest shock of all was how many GREAT guys there were! These were not the men I was used to dealing with. I was used to men who were manipulative, greedy, chauvinistic, and all around unpleasant. These guys were so clean cut, considerate, and fun to be around…so totally opposite from what I thought I knew. This was another turning point (and one for the best!!).
So many things about Utah were unplanned, or at least different from what I had planned. Then Georgia crept in and I was off again. As my fingers fly over the keys and I recount some of the events from the last several years, I realize how many times my plans changed, with or without my knowledge at times. I realize how much I’ve changed and how it’s made me who I am today.
For the first time in my life I’m not making plans. I’m not looking for the escape hatch, or creating a loophole for myself. For the first time in my life, I feel settled, like I’ve found exactly what I’ve been searching for – I feel at peace in my life, and I realize now, that wasn’t what I planned either but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Words to Live By

I was perusing Pinterest again (oh, beloved Pinterest) and found this great quote. Hopefully by now you know how I feel about dreams - I love dreams. My dreams for my life are what keep me going and make me feel inspired. This quote struck me instantly and I felt empowered to do anything...and everything! Of course, I was just glancing and didn't think I would be writing an ode to this quote, so I didn't copy it down. So, to the best of my knowledge it went something like this...
If you're not willing to sacrifice for your dream, it's not your dream.
A lot of times when I write, not always, but often, there is some sort of back story or something that has triggered a thought and I'm like, "yeah, I should write that down". Other than finding this quote, there is no reasoning. I can't even verbalize exactly why I feel the way I do about this quote, but that won't stop me from trying. :)
Each time I say these words, I feel as if I have this entire fan club, or group of people cheering me on in my head. It's kind of a party in there all the time! Perhaps that's why I'm so easily distracted...Back to this moment, though. As I worked today and was getting frustrated with people and situations, I thought of these words and remembered that my work is a means to an end - sort of. I love to work and be busy, but I also love to play. I love to dream of trips I want to take, or other wonderful ways to spend time away. I work to be able to enjoy those dreams.
Tonight as I worked out, I was running on the treadmill which is something I NEVER do. Not even trying to be modest on that one. Running and I are not friends. On the list of things I'm not actually even supposed to do because of my back, running makes the top 3. But I'm stubborn, so I ran. I found this nifty little app for my iPod and it tells me when to run and when to walk and for how long. It's a glorious little tool. As I was running halfway through the workout, I wanted to push my speed down and walk. But each time I thought about that, I remembered these words. Was I willing to sacrifice 30 seconds of running to appease my laziness. I have a dream to be healthier - who doesn't? Was I willing to take the easy way out? Absolutely not (I may have to reconsider depending on how I feel tomorrow)! I made it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Should Have...

Several years ago I was at a Relief Society Enrichment Night activity and one of the women was talking about how we all, but specifically women, like to torment ourselves with guilt. We may not think we do, but we all recount the things we should done.

She explained that the when we say the word should we automatically feel guilt. I should have worked out this morning. I should have done the laundry. I should have done this differently. She suggested that instead of using the word should, we use the phrase "I would have liked...". For example: I would have liked to take the dog for a walk. I would have liked to have gone for a walk.

Now, I can't say that by doing this I feel less guilty, but for some reason I feel more inspired to try again tomorrow. Maybe that's the key. The guilt from "should" makes me feel like I missed the boat, it's too late; what's done is done. The guilt from "I would have liked..." is a building block and a checklist item.

So today, I would have liked to take a vacation day. Maybe tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Not in the Brochure

There were always three things that I didn't like about Georgia. The heat (which I'm better with now), the humidity (eh, it's okay I guess), and the bugs (no change). I would like to submit a fourth thing that I don't like...SNAKES!! We found this 4 1/2 foot rattlesnake about a quarter mile (probably a lot less) from our front door. Luckily, it is dead, but as we were sitting here, it's body was still moving a little bit like there was something in it trying to get out. I'm now officially creeped out!  Just before we drove away, our neighbor decided to mention that snakes travel in pairs...YIKES!! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Back in the kitchen - Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

Since I moved, I've missed spending time in the kitchen. Is that weird? Perhaps, but it's me, so there. :)

There's this fabulous little Mexican restaurant chain out west called Cafe Rio (just saying those two words make my mouth water). I didn't go there terribly often while I lived there, but when I did I always ordered the same thing...the Sweet Pork Barbacoa Salad. The pork on this salad is absolutely amazing, but what really addicts me to this salad is the dressing.

If you know me, you know I really don't like salad dressings, especially not creamy-based dressings. Personally, there aren't too many things that gross me out more, but this salad dressing makes me reevaluate my position entirely. Each time I went to the restaurant, I declined the offer for the dressing for the entire first year I lived in Utah, but at some point my resolve weakened and I tried this creamy, green and slightly spicy dressing, and my life hasn't been the same since.

Okay, in all seriousness though, the Creamy Tomatillo Dressing is life-changing. I decided a few days ago that I was really craving this flavor. So, I did what any smart cook would do - I jumped online and found this copy-cat recipe.

1 packet of buttermilk ranch dressing
1 Cup mayo
1 Cup buttermilk (the smallest carton is perfect)
1 bunch of cilantro
2 tomatillos husked (I didn't even know what these were until this dressing haha)
1 jalapeno (take the rib and seeds out)
Garlic powder (just a few shakes)
Juice from 1 lime

First, put the mayo, dressing mix, buttermilk, and garlic in a blender 
and mix until blended all together.

Cut up all the greens - tomatillos, jalapeno, cilantro and juice of the lime.
Add all the green ingredients 
and blend until mixed together and creamy
Then you will let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 min

If you have time to make it, hunt down the recipe for their pork (I haven't had time yet, but I will post it as soon as I do). If you want the full experience - start with a tortilla in a bowl or on a plate. Put on your pork and add beans (I recommend black beans). Then top with your favorite greens (I'm a romaine-type girl), pico de gallo, cilantro and corn tortilla strips (you can add anything else you like). And now the moment we've ALL been waiting for...add the dressing!! And then if you want - add a little more! You won't regret it (and if you do, don't call me.) :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I Wish I Could Say

There are days when I have no words to express how or what I feel. Today as I perused the blogging world, I came across this video on Stephanie Nielsen's site. Though I'm not a wife or mother at this time, the thoughts she expresses couldn't be more true for myself. What she describes as everyday life is the life I desire most.

Until then, though, we carry on. We live the life we're in, we make decisions that will hopefully bring us closer to our goals and to the people we want to be. 

As I sit at my desk, I watch a bird sitting on the power line outside my window. As he flies away into the bright, blue sky, I feel my heart take flight, I feel as if I'm soaring. My mind begins to move, my dreams awaken again. Moving to Georgia has given me new perspective and brought more joy to my life than almost any other decision I've made thus far in my life. Today, I feel as if I'm that little bird, taking off and soaring above everything!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Picture Randomness

So, it's been an extremely wonderful and busy two week since I moved to Georgia, and I'm loving every minute of it. One day I'll actually take some time to write, but today I just have a couple of pictures. Mostly, I just wanted you to know I'm still alive. Just busy living life instead of writing about it. :)

Before I left Utah, we went to this great little Boston-style pizza place called Nicolitalia. This is the sign posted on the drink machine. This falls under the heading of "only in Utah".

My company is wonderful and they let me take my job with me when I moved to Georgia. This is the view from my new office, and that would be the neighbor's house. So gorgeous and sunny here!

My Paco - so doggone tired! He was so tired he couldn't even roll all the way to his side.

My parents cat had kittens just a couple of days before I got home which makes them just barely two weeks  old! This is Shelly - she happens to be the cutest one and my favorite. Cute little angels - there are four of them. Also, if you want a cat, call us!! They're all going to need a home in a few weeks.