December 30, 2011

A little wow...

I'm on a bus, in Dallas, on the internet, by the Grassy Knoll. The fact that I can do that is pretty cool. I'll be back to post about our Bowl Game trip tomorrow or Monday when I am awake again.

December 28, 2011

Damn the (TSA) Man

I enjoy traveling but I hate TSA. In the next 7 weeks or so, I will be on about 15 flights which means in that time, I will be spending a LOT of time with airport security. As usual, I've been on the TSA.gov website getting updated information since I always take a printed paper with the most recent regulations & such which might apply to me. This time, it's about taking water, food and my glucose testing supplies. When we flew with Sophie last January, having those papers kept an 'agent' from taking formula and new, sealed water bottles from me. I've also been looking at my security options.

I will not ever go through a "body scanner." I have my radiology certification from my dental schooling and I refuse to be exposed to direct 'back scatter' radiation. In most offices, you're required to wear a Radiation Docimeter Badge to monitor the radiation you're exposed to. When you take dental x-rays, the beam is narrow and you're still supposed to be at least 6 feet away and behind a line wall. I asked a TSA employee at SEATAC in August why he wasn't wearing a badge and he said it 'wasn't necessary. The exposure is completely safe.' Just like Agent Orange was safe to spray.

I absolutely refuse to allow someone to do a body 'pat down' on me. Oh, and guess what? The TSA employees are now supposed to use the palms of their hands and "cup body parts for maximum screening." Um, hell no. ABC did an interview with one of the TSA screening CEOs (not sure what his actual title is) and using a mannequin showed and told how the 'pat downs' are to go now. That's legal groping. Not okay.

I will go through the metal detector.

If I am told scan or groping, I would be very tempted to do as the German Pirate Party did a while ago. You can find videos on youtube if you'd really like to see it but basically, they would rather be in control of what and when their body is shown. Basically, you can look but you can't touch. If that doesn't fly, I won't either.

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Since most of my family and some of Craig's live far away, we took a few videos this morning so we could share our very first Christmas together in our very first house with them. Unfortunately, all of the videos had to be trimmed to 54 seconds in order to be emailed from my phone (aka our video camera) and now there are a bunch of shorter clips. We hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and felt the true spirit of the season. We send lots of love and warm, snuggly hugs to all of you!
...

Some videos for family & such: 

The first three videos are of Sophie coming down the stairs and seeing what Santa left for her. Apparently she has been a VERY good girl this year!

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These next two clips are of Craig & the surprises Santa left for him. It looks like he, too, was a pretty good boy this year. 

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These last three clips are showing what Santa (with a little help from an elf who found a store selling EVERYTHING for at least 60% off) left for me this year. 


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December 24, 2011

A Few Things I Never Want to Forget

Seeing Sophie so excited and not really knowing what is exciting her so much. We love our Sophie more than we will ever be able to say.

Sitting by the fireplace with all of the lights off, except the ones on the Christmas tree, snuggling with Craig, listening to some of my favorite quiet Christmas songs. (Like a gorgeous piano solo of "O Come, O Come Emanuel")

Just being with Craig, my very bestest friend. I couldn't have ever imagined I'd find someone so perfectly perfect for me. Love him so much.

Finally taking the time to actually sit quietly, full of peace, thinking about the really important things.

...

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas full of love, family, good memories and meaning. 
Lots of love from us to you! 

December 20, 2011

A Tuesday thought...

Want to know the quickest way to irritate drives on I15 in Utah?


Drive the speed limit and obey all of the laws/rules of the road. Bryan my brother would be proud. I was called "number one" a couple times on my drive home from AF today.    :)

December 19, 2011

I woke up this morning with a familiar and distant pain. Something I haven't really felt quite this intensely in a while and it is making me do a lot of thinking. I learned in high school that not a whole lot of people really believe when others say they're in pain that they might actually be despite a lack of an obvious outward, physical cause. Broken bones, illnesses that result in very physical reactions, surgeries, diabetics who take insulin injections etc. receive the expected sympathies, care and support they need. What about the rest of the people? As mentioned before, I learned pretty quickly in 10th grade that unless you have a cast or some other outward showing, few people will believe you when you say you're in pain.

On my 16th birthday, at my birthday party, I broke my wrist. (It was a pretty rockin' party, though!) I had never broken a bone before and didn't know what it was 'supposed' to feel like. It was very painful, tingly and had the added bonus of shooting/stabbing pain that didn't go away when the bone had healed. In fact, it started spreading from my left hand to my wrist, up to my elbow and eventually to my shoulder. On some days, I would even feel the pain in my right wrist or an ankle or knee.  I was diagnosed with something called RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. (It's more frequently called CRPD now- Complex Regional Pain Disorder.) It didn't seem to matter what we did, the pain was there and it was an incredibly scary thing to experience. Worst part of it all- no, not the painful nerve blocks, MRI, missing school, going to physical therapy or not being able to do guard- people telling me I was 'fake,' 'making it up for attention,' or any number of other things I heard. Even my French teacher told me once in front of the whole class that it was all in my head and nothing was wrong with me. I spent a lot of that class period in the nurses office the last couple weeks of that semester.

When I came to BYU, gradually, the pain seemed to calm and wasn't nearly as bad as it had been in high school. However, it was still there. One doctor here just kept telling me I had fibromyalgia (chronic wide-spread pain). Since for some reason that is more socially acceptable than unexplainable pseudo nerve damage pain, that's what I call it now around people who don't understand or care to. There still isn't a whole lot known about RSD other than it is triggered by a trauma to the body, there is no cure and there really aren't a whole lot of pain management options that don't involve narcotics or the dreaded nerve blocks which put me on the couch for days. I have found that massage helps more than any of the above but of course, insurance doesn't cover 'alternative medicine.'

When I woke up this morning, it was felt in my left wrist and a couple other places on the left side of my body. I'm not looking for sympathy or whatever here, I just feel like "talking" about it helps me and perhaps might help you be a little more sensitive to others. I keep being reminded that we never really know the whole story with other people. In case you ever come across someone who tells you they're in pain, have nerve damage or whatever, just listen and try your best not to judge.

December 18, 2011

Up this week...

Just a reminder if you find these posts boring, I do a lot (read: most) of this writing for me. I'm not really into the pen & paper journaling thing but I like typing and being able to easily plop pictures in and such. That is all.

... 

Craig has slipped off to the basement all sneaky-like and I wasn't invited so I am getting my week in order. I am a goal-setting, to-do-list-writing, I-need-to-have-projects kind of person. I KNOW the list making comes from my mom (THANK YOU, Mom!) and I am just happier and far more sane if I have something I am working on. Color guard has always been great for me because the way I run things, it is basically a marathon of goals and to-do lists for about 4 months then I get to start all over each season with a new show/theme/style. Magical.

Anyway, since we moved into our house (which we LOVE) we've been discussing things we'd like to do to make it more "us." The first thing to go was the horrid orangey gold in the front room. It wasn't a nice color- it sort of burned the eyes. Now it is painted an off-white from chair rail down and a true red from the chair rail up to the ceiling.  

In the coming years, we'd like to get rid of the carpet on the main floor and in the hallway upstairs and put in hardwood or an engineered wood (not laminate). I hate feeling like I can never get the house really clean because vacuuming just doesn't get everything out of the carpet and I think it's just a bad idea to have carpet in high-traffic areas, anyway. I was turned into a believer when we had uncarpeted wood stairs in WV for the first time. (FYI- we have never worn shoes in our house.) One day, mom swept the stairs from the top to bottom and the crap from regular shoe-less traffic that was piled at the bottom was impressive/gross. Now just imagine piles of junk getting worked into your carpets.


The next thing on the "Change it" list is the brown color in the kitchen. We have gorgeous but very dark granite, dark flagstone tile and it's just too heavy and dark for me. I like kitchens being bright and inviting. I knew I wanted it lighter and then Craig picked out a nice creamy yellow yesterday.

Also learning from my mom, she has wanted her master bedroom done up for a while. (I happen to really like how their room is done, the pretty fabrics she has used, the table in the little reading area, the new slipcover on the couch that Abby also loves but that's sort of beside the point right now.) Basically, we want ours done so we've found some inspiration pictures we like (So, what if they're all Candice Olson rooms?) and we're going for it. I've never done a room this big but I'm sure it will be great or something. Right now we have picked an icy-blue lilac color. I think it'll look nice and relaxing against the black furniture and white bedspread. Other thoughts and suggestions are certainly welcomed!

Oh, and Christmas is next week so we, naturally, have Christmasy things on our list. Things like:


  • Finish sewing the cloth napkins for Christmas dinner (yes, I am doing that) 
  • Make some fun Christmas poppers for having by our plates
  • Not Christmas really but do some draping and figure out some costume things 
  • Bake LOTS of cookies, breads and everything else
  • Make my first Buche de Noel on my own. YIKES! 

No title needed

Ever have a day? You know, THAT day? It's 10:07 and it is certainly that day. I am seriously contemplating going back to bed and not getting up again until tomorrow.

December 13, 2011

The ULTIMATE "Check off" on my To Do list:

Yes, that's right. I finished my last final of my undergraduate career tonight. Pretty solidly, too. 92% isn't bad considering I didn't really care to study. Ahh. All of the presentations, group projects, massive papers, late night study sessions are done. It's a relief. And scary at the same time. I'm so glad I'm finishing now when I have other things, like Christmas & playing fun games with Sophie, to distract me.

Even though I am finished with my undergraduate college education, there are still things I would like to learn and study. Some courses I wanted to take but couldn't either because of work or class scheduling conflicts and other various goals. For now, this is my public list of things I'd like to do/learn/begin/ accomplish in the next 5 years:

  • Study Chemistry. I have somehow managed to get through junior high, high school and many years at the university with never taking a single chem course. I am very curious. 
  • Study Physiology. I was signed up for a Phys. class two winter semesters ago but had to drop it because it was going to be too much while designing a main stage show and directing my own senior project. 
  • Study Anatomy. Same story as above. I actually got the books and had an assigned lab and I was SO excited. I've been told if you take an anatomy course, that is really all you should be focusing on. 
  • Learn some real math. I hate learning for tests and being expected to learn at the same pace as others. I have family members who are exceptionally good at math and I would like to be able to do more than just hold my own in the practical math world. (It only skips two generations, right mom? There is still hope for Sophie?) 
  • Help Sophie learn to read and LOVE reading. She already enjoys her books a lot. She gets stacks of books and brings them to me, sits on my lap and says "dis" (this) until I read them all to her.  I want to take her to museums, shows, concerts and dance classes. I want her to learn to love learning about everything. I still haven't quite figured out *how* my mom & dad did it, but I loved reading more than anything. And make-believe playing and exploring and being bossy (mom didn't teach that. I was born with that) and mess making (she didn't teach that, either) and pretty much just trying to learn how to do everything. I'd like Sophie and any others who may join us in the next 5 years to love learning, too. 
  • Restudy everything I learned in my nutrition courses. Of all of the courses I took, those just might be the most practically useful in our home for a while. (Well, that combined with Microbiology.) 
  • I want to get better at sewing. When I was in high school at The Academy, I sewed for at least two hours a day, 4 days a week on pretty major projects. I wasn't amazing, but I was good. I remember a lot but not doing it for a time can make you forget. 
  • ...I'd also like to remember to send birthday cards etc. ON TIME. I won't really have an excuse now that I'm not running from class to class etc. 
  • Have more fun.
  • Design & decorate our master bedroom
  • Paint the kitchen a lighter color (too dark in the evening & winter)
  • Make a fabulous playroom -including the magic closet in the Harry Potter closet- in the basement
  • All of the stuff I want and none of the stuff I don't. Gosh. (Aka- spend more time with my "brudders") 
I think that's a pretty solid list for now. To my friends still working on graduation: you'll get there! Just hurry up so we can have lots of fun together. ;) 

December 12, 2011

Sophie, the 'model' child

Since pictures say much more than words, or so we've been told since elementary school, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. These were taken Thursday morning (notice all of the birthday hoopla still all over) in a new birthday outfit from Aunt Erin. I had my phone out and as Sophie was getting on her toy to play, all I said was "Sophie, smile for grandma" and she began doing all sorts of poses and happy faces. I just kept snapping away. Below are several of the ones I took. I couldn't have posed those if I wanted to. Little model child.

SMILES for grandma!

Where did she learn this?

On second thought, I believe we get to thank
Erin for this behavior. The new fabulous
dress brought out the diva in her.



Just so creative...

Look at me ride!

Sophie's First Movie



Wow! Those people are huge!
She waved at the people
on the screen a bit, too.
Very cute.
A couple times a year, our realtor (who also happens to be Craig's aunt-she's fantastic, by the way. Let me know if you are in the market for one) and our mortgage company put on private movie showing parties. We got to go see Harry Potter during the summer and it was great. Last weekend, we were invited to go see "The Polar Express" in one of the big theatres at Jordan Commons. Since it said kids of all ages welcome and it is a relatively short movie, we decided to take Sophie. She enjoyed it. And the popcorn. She hasn't had popcorn before that I'm aware of. When the movie started, she just sat perfectly still (for a long time but not the whole time. She's barely 1, after all) and just stared at the screen. I tried getting some pictures but they are a bit dark/fuzzy. After the movie was over, Santa came in to invite all of the kiddies to come out and say hello and get a little treat. As you'll see, Sophie wasn't impressed and 5 seconds was too long. About 5 minutes after we got to the car, buckled her in and helped her snuggle into her blankies, she was out. Enjoy the pictures!


Happy with a piece of
popcorn in her mouth
and each hand.

Yummy!


"I don't think so!"

Piggy, blanket & sippy. Good nap, Sophie! 

December 4, 2011

Some people...

Just read the MOST absurd 'article' I have ever read. I may post a link to it tomorrow, but considering how I know some of my readers will react, I may not. I would rather not get into a war of words this month.

Nutshell: A radical group of people who are LDS (every religion has them) have taken it upon themselves to point out all of the horrible things happening at BYU. I will quote their (short) list of grievances:


If you think BYU upholds traditional family values, think again. Certain department heads, professors,     guest lecturers, and students have become a law unto themselves, regularly preaching all manner of 
progressivism including socialism, radical feminism, anti-Americanism, revisionist history, outdated 
Darwinism, and popular homosexualism, and continue to be supported, employed, and welcomed.


Well, yes, perhaps all of those things are happening. Science classes do teach evolution. There ARE mothers on campus getting their education while raising kids. (Since I kept my name, I'm SURE I fall into their 'radical feminist' category.) Revisionist history? Um, honest history? And yes, I would certainly say based on the number of marriages and other assorted relationships, homosexuality is rampant. 


These people completely ruined their credibility many times throughout the article but the most ridiculous thing they said was that the recent statements by general authorities do nothing but confuse. Their idea is to stick to the bible 100%. If that's the case... no. I'm stopping right there. 


Good grief, people. Why not get all heated up about a real issue? What issue could be more important than letting every person who thinks differently than you know they're damned? Well, hunger, immigration reform, the election, the evil HOA making the owners of the "Up" house paint it brown. Really, just about ANYTHING. I absolutely do not care what preference people have. I just don't. We all have enough imperfections we need to be working on without worrying about someone else's problems.