Dec 28, 2004

Christmas break

Well, Christmas went well. I got an autmated kitty litter box (Littermaid Plus) but I still don't think it's going to be big enough. It's deeper than the one Jess bought for Baxy and Beau, but it's not long enough. I could see my cats making a mess outside the box even when they are inside it. So...we'll see.

What I really loved about this year was the look on my brother's face when he opened his gift from me. I gave him my old iBook -- cleaned it up for him, got rid of all my extra stuff, and since I even had the original packaging, CD's and manuals, the effect was, well, magical. He really had no idea that I would even consider giving him my iBook for Christmas. He absolutely loved it. It just warmed my heart seeing that joy on his face:)

I did meet this guy on ldsmingle.com who recently moved from Utah. I met him last night for dinner -- (his name is Mark). He's an interesting fellow :) Kind of scruffy, but he hast these really nice eyes and a nice smile...but... in many ways we feel differently about the gospel. He said he knows it is true, but feels like the church micromanages his life...and he has to keep telling himself the people aren't perfect, but the gospel is. I know where he's coming from...just like every other one of my friends who is having problems with the church. They all know the gospel and the doctrine is true, but they can't stand the people!! I feel this way too, actually....so many Mormons think they are so damn good and so much better than other people, like they have a corner on righteousness or truth or something...and that is NOT the way Christ taught us to behave. I think many of them will be surprised when judgment day comes and they find out they weren't as good as they would like to believe they were.

But, despite my dislike for many of the church's members, I still attend my meetings. I decided that I had to make a decision -- was I going to church for the people, or for Heavenly Father? Would I want Heavenly Father asking me, on my own judgment day, why I cared more about what people said or did or thought than what He thought? Besides, for my own spiritual growth, I need to retain my temple recommend. I can't do that if I don't attend my meetings. The thought of not having it pains me..not because I care one wink what other people might think, but because I know how I feel when I enter the House of the Lord. I need to regularly have that opportunity. It strengthens me, refreshes my spirit, and encourages me to continue to endure well. And in the temple, I do not have to deal with the idiosyncracies of the people. Yes, people are there (obviously) but it's not them who I'm listening to or conversing with. Being in the temple reminds me of why I am Mormon, and what the truth really is about.

But anyway...I'm at work (and I think there are three others here and that is it) so I have to go find something to do:) I guess I'll write more later!

Dec 14, 2004

I know...you need me to entertain you :)

Anyway, I've been told that I need to write more in my blog for the entertainment of a few friends and family members. OK ok, even though I don't know why what I write is so entertaining. I'm not an entertaining person by any means.

I had a fun weekend. I didn't cry at all over the weekend...can you believe it? I was so dreading my birthday but my friends did all they could to make it special, and they did. I had fun spending time with them and my sister on Friday, and the Tornado at Great Wolf Lodge was awesome:) Ok so I hate walking around in a bathing suit, but that was the only negative thing. It was cool:) And then Mommy, Tia Cia and Topher came down on Sunday and took me out to eat at Uno's. Auntie made me a beautiful tree skirt to match my tree (blue and silver). Tara cooked me a fabulous meal on Sunday night; pot roast, roasted vegetables and homemade dinner rolls.

I have almost all my Christmas shopping done. I only have to buy Dad his gift. He wants a vacuum cleaner; and that would be do-able if Laurie and Topher had money, but they don't. I don't blame them because I've been there and I completely understand. But I really want to buy Dad the vacuum cleaner. I suppose I could put it on my Sam's card, but I don't want to max those things out anymore than they already are.

I'm really going to miss Laurie. I would get into it, but since she now reads this stuff, I don't want to embarass her. But I love her, and she is one of my best friends. I love spending time with her, and I love that she loves my kitties as much as I do. I don't want her to leave in May for several reasons; one being that I AM jealous, and I'm upset because I was supposed to be married already and gone myself, but another because she's the best roommate I've ever had. No, I didn't expect us to live together forever. I guess I just thought I'd be the first one out. Now I feel like I'm being left behind in a world (or at least a place) where I don't want to be. I have many blessings and I'm not denying those, but I'm at a stagnant part of my life. I'm not moving forward. Having her leave is just going to make it more difficult for me. But, there's nothing I can do, and besides, I do want her to be happy. Aaron is one of the most awesome men I have ever met, and I know she would be extremely stupid to give that up.

Well, I'm getting all teary-eyed so I am going to end this for now.

Dec 7, 2004

The Lesson Builder 1.0

Ok, so I've been lazy. I don't know, but I haven't exactly been feeling like writing a whole lot lately. But yesterday I went to an after-work party at Luther's to celebrate the release of the Lesson Builder. It's a project that has been going on for 4.5 years...ever since I started working at DoIT as a student. Anyway, it's an excellent project, and allows professors of advanced language courses to dynamically create online lessons with advanced features to aid their students in further gaining an advanced level of proficiency in a foreign language. I guess the Yale University Press is even looking into buying it and selling it. This is awesome, because I created the whole GUI interface -- and it's gonna be sold around the nation!!

My final logo was also selected for the Sakai conference which is going to be in New Orleans later this week. It will be printed on hats, polos, t-shirts, bags, and lots of other things, besides flyers and the website. I think it's great that a logo of mine has been selected to represent one of the fasting growing open source initiatives in Academia (specifically open source CMS systems (course management systems). Our LessonBuilder will be demoed at this conference as well.

Our group is going places and gaining national acclaim for the work we produce. While I still know that I will eventually be a teacher (when I can afford to go back to school and afford to take a pay cut), it isn't so bad feeling pride in the work that I do and seeing it slowly gain recognition:)

I like pillows.

Big fluffy, down-filled pillows. I also like throws. I bought a faux fur and suede throw that is the best thing on the planet to wrap up in and sit in front of the fire and read a good book.

Yup.