Jan 30, 2005

This photo says it all

Phantom of the Opera

It was absolutely amazing. Magical. We were actually in the third row, and since the orchestra is pretty much underneath the stage, we were so close (we wouldn't have wanted to be any closer!). Heck, I even saw "Raoul" spit. These men and women have beautiful voices and such extreme talent. And the sets...the sets!. That chandelier was...well...I can't think of a word to describe it! The costumes were absolutely exquisite...but the music..and those voices...they moved me to tears several times during the two hour production.

Now I will have to go see the movie and compare. But having the opportunity to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece up close and personal was one of the most amazing experiences. I know I didn't show any emotion after it was out, and while my aunt and my mom raved on and on, I sat silently. I don't know why, but it seems I can't display emotions anymore, other than sadness and anger. It's like I have this wall up. But I do hope my Mom reads this and realizes that I thought it was simply breathtaking. It was the best birthday present ever from Auntie C:)

Jan 29, 2005

A hilarious riddle

Q: "If your stuck in the desert with only a canoe that has no wheels, how many pancakes does it take to cover a dead dog?"

A: "Penguins in a bathtub will only eat burritos."

Changing my life

Well folks, I am actually doing it. I mean, I've been slowly working towards this for the past two years, but I finally broke down last weekend and realized how very much I wanted to change. I am so sick of feeling bad about myself...so I made a change.

As those who know me know, I have been struggling with my weight for my entire life. I am fighting biology here, folks. I am not saying that I am not accountable for being overweight, because of course I am. But the fact is; I thought I could "be" like everyone else, and eat and exercise the way "I" wanted to. I've never been an overeater (only when Tom comes to visit ;) but I've struggled with loss of energy for some time now. I've always been lethargic...that is, if I'm not on the ski slopes, I'm basically not doing much to exercise.

A few years ago I joined Curves, and then after a year of that I switched to a full-out gym that offers everything. I started walking to work rather than taking the bus. I completely eliminated sugared sodas, and only had caffeinated ones when I was out to dinner and a caffeine free version wasn't available. (Caffeine is a diuretic, as you all know, and negatively affects weight management too).

But...although I may have lost a few pounds (more importantly I've been able to avoid gaining, and thus have been the same size for the past two years...hey, at least I'm not 20 lbs heavier). But, I don't want to maintain this weight, either. I don't like it. It's not me. When I look in the mirror I just don't see me there. While losing weight for me is harder than anything -- because I can work so hard and diet and barely see results -- I came to the conclusion that I have to do something drastic. While all the little changes I've made are well and good, they aren't enough. But they have proven valuable -- they have taught me that I CAN make a change that eventually will become a good habit.

So, I got prescribed a weight-loss aid. I have been using it for the past 5 days, and it has helped IMMENSELY. The funny thing is, while I never ate a heck of a LOT, I still had my cravings and I would find myself snacking during the day. Sure, it might be crackers and not candy bars, but it adds up, you know? But this medication has completely eliminated my appetite. I have to FORCE myself to eat :) I love that feeling...it reminds me of when I was on the phen-fen. I also have a ton of energy. I went to the gym that first day I was taking the meds and couldn't believe the energy I felt! I was on that ellyptical, running as if my life depended on it. I broke into a sweat (something I haven't done in awhile during my workouts) and I kept going. I would have gone longer except my exercise pants were starting to bind around my legs and it was hurting. But anyway...

I'm also making myself drink at least 64 oz of water a day. It is sooo hard because I have never liked water much (unless it's a hot sticky day in the summer), and it makes me have to go to the bathroom every half hour. But it's worth it. Drinking all that water has helped to flush out my system, is improving my skin, and I truly believe it's helping me eat less, too. I have only had 3 caffeine-free diet sodas in the past week -- compared to 2 or 3 a day (this is amazing!I). While yes, they are diet and yes they have nothing in them, I still believe that artificial sweeteners also negatively affect weight management. I don't care that it's not sugar, it is still somehow processed by the body -- right? Anyway, Propel fitness water is saving my life! I alter between those and regular water throughout the day. I also have made a commitment to not skip meals, even if I'm not hungry. ESPECIALLY breakfast. You need to have fuel to burn it..right? I was doing some research and learned that those who regularly skip breakfast tend to eat later in the day anyway (ah ha -- ME!) and also have problems with weight. If you eat breakfast, your body can start burning calories and fat sooner. If you wait until 12, then you lose 4 or 5 good hours of burning! I've also tried to not eat dinner at 10 or 11 like I used to. It's impossible to eat at 5 or 6, but 7 or 8 is better, and at least I'm not going to sleep right after dinner (NOT a good idea).

Laurie and Gilly wanted to go out to eat last night, and although I wasn't hungry, I did need to eat dinner, so we went to Applebee's. While normally I would have ordered a steak, or chicken or even a burger, guess what I ordered??? A SALAD. Can you believe it?? I hate greens...everyone knows that. But my sister has introduced me to asian chicken salads (and they use a low fat vinagrette...no fatty salad dressings) and I absolutely LOVE them. I had that with a bowl of soup and it was very satisfying. I also loved how when I got up and left, my stomach didn't feel heavy and I didn't feel like crap afterwards...like I normally do after eating.

So it's only been 5 days, but this time I am determined. I have a feeling that this time is different. I can feel it in my bones. My body is craving energy, and its crying out to me to find a way to get rid of the excess fat. I have lost a few pounds since Monday too -- and my clothes are fitting better. This really will encourage me to continue down this road.

I don't think I could do this without the meds. Like I said, I'm not a binge eater, but I would regularly have cravings and just the thought of not being able to eat "normally" always won out over wanting to be healthy and fit. But with the loss of appetite (I still get hungry, mind you, but now I'm seeing food as fuel, not as pleasure) I am able to better manage those cravings and in turn actually do something about what I hate most about myself.

I feel so free!!!!!

Jan 25, 2005


"You may be only one person in this world...but you may be the world to one person."

Jan 24, 2005


Sunday is opera day :) I am sooo looking forward to seeing Phantom. It's the last night, too. Hmmm I don't remember which show we're going to but I know it's not the last show...we are going to the 2pm show :) But anyway, being able to see it from four rows away will be soo amazing:)

I've specifically not gone to see the movie yet as to make this an unforgettable experience. I'll go see it after Sunday, though!

I'm hoping now that we have this new Overture center, other shows, such as Les Mis will come through as well. I still have a dream of seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, but who knows how long it will be there? Les Mis just ended last year, and I'll never see that one on Broadway.

But anyway..

I'm finding myself interested in Biblical Archaeology. Actually, I should say scriptural, because Book of Mormon archaelogy is fascinating to me too, and that's a heck of a lot closer than the middle east. I by no means need any physical proof to validate the scriptures -- I already have a firm, unwavering testimony of all the scriptures and their truths...but I just find it fascinating the idea of learning about artifacts that actually came from that time. It's reminding me of my anthropology courses at BYU..and again why I was fascinated. I have so many vast interests that it's easy to see why I had such a difficult time choosing a major, LOL. On the plus side, I have taken classes is a variety of subjects, but on the negative side, I'm not as "specialized" as I could be. Well, if you need a specialist in Iberian and Latin American history, culture and language, than I am pretty good (although with a Master's or phD I'd be better) but there is not much use for the knowledge that I have gained from my studies. Then again, I'm also a skilled specialist in e-Learning web development and design, but again, that's not what I want to be doing.

So I'm still trying to figure all that out. I'm supposed to teach -- yes, this has become quite obvious. But what??? What am I supposed to teach?? I have to know that before I know my next course of action.

But since I don't know yet, I've actually been thinking of moving out west to yes.. GASP....Utah. I don't know, but I need somewhere metropolitan. Yet part of me keeps thinking maybe I should be getting a degree and working for the Church Education System. I know that the jobs are extremely competitive...there are usually there are 250 applicants for each position...but that seems to be where my passion and my skills are -- in teaching religion. But then maybe I should get my doctorate in Theology and perhaps teach courses on Mormonism or Mormon history in secular universities?? I still don't know what God has in store for me. I don't know how I could possibly afford to go back to school, either...even if I had a fellowship, because I still have to work. But I know that miracles happen, and that through God, anything is possible. The fact that I have learned so much about the Atonement and have accepted the idea, and even somewhat embraced it...of moving back to Utah...well, that is so UNLIKE me it isn't even funny. But I truly want to do the will of my Father in Heaven, and I know that my desires will follow that path the more I listen to Him.

I still feel very stuck and very stagnant in my life, and I know come May I have no idea what to do. I will have to move out of here, there is no question about it...but to where? Another place here in Madison? Or an entirely different city...or state...altogether?

Part of me also wishes I had the time and the money to go to Indonesia to help the victims of the Tsunami. I guess they have a lot of money and donations flowing in, but not enough relief workers! How I'd love to go on my own "humanitarian" mission and help! I really want to make a difference in this world in some way.

I was told last February in blessings (Feb 9 and again the morning of the 10th, ironically) that I still had some things to do here in Madison. I think part of that, if not all of it, was becoming the gospel doctrine teacher. Has this been fulfilled yet? I do not know. I think things will start changing for me soon...well I pray they do. But the changes I would like to make to my life...number one to be a mother...well, I can't do anything about that. There are just some choices in life that cannot be made by only one person. And there is nothing I can do to change that. But I do have faith in Heavenly Father that He has a plan for me. I know that despite my sometimes lack of faith and my inability to understand why He has told me the things He has, that God does know me better than I know myself, and He has given me peace, strength, and resilience. He has made sure that I have learned so much in this past year, and even from my gravest mistakes. And for those, and for the painful experiences, I am grateful. I don't know why just yet, but I know that I am so very much closer to becoming the woman that God means me to be.

Jan 21, 2005


Check it out..I'm working on a website for my brother..xsnlinks.com. I only have the homepage done so far, but it's looking pretty cool.

On another note, I'm upset with the bureaucracy of the state. I guess, SUPPOSEDLY they accidentally gave me too much vacation last year; in fact, a whole extra week that I wasn't supposed to receive.

I'm the lowest paid employee in my group..in my department as a matter of fact, if you don't count the students, and now I'm the only one with only two weeks of vacation, while everyone else has at least three, if not more??

I don't THINK so. They are looking in to it, but if they take away that week from me, I cannot go on the cruise this summer.

I'm just really bummed at this point.

Jan 20, 2005

Homestar Runner

LOL check this out.....Strong Bad Emails. This is one of my favorites called "Virus". HAHAHA I love Strong Bad :D

Jan 18, 2005


I'm glad Aaron is going to be my brother-in-law. He treats my sister so well, and they literally seem to be made for each other. Plus, he's got a cute pug! Deccy is adorable and so cuddly when he's not hyper.

But anyway, I really am glad my sister doesn't have to go through all that I've been through in the past 11 years. I'm glad she found a man who knows how to treat her, and knows a good thing when he sees it. I'm glad Aaron is capable of seeing the beautiful, intelligent, remarkable woman that Laura is; and he is not going to throw it away for anything. He doesn't let fear or anything stop him. He simply recognizes the miracle that God has given him, and he most happily accepts it.

I thank Heavenly Father every day that my sister has found him. I know I get annoyed with her some times, and other times I'm downright mean (I am only human...no excuse, but it is really hard sometimes to be completely selfless and happy for her). While I'm not looking forward to her moving out in May, I do realize that, at least, her life is going in the direction that she has worked so hard for it to go, and she deserves to be happy.

She really does.

Jan 15, 2005


Hi. My life desperately needs renovation. Wanna help? I really do need a miracle right now.

But, better still, please find a place in your heart for the numerous who are suffering right now in Southeast Asia. Donate to the Red Cross, or to Save the Children, or through church efforts.

Be a miracle to someone. We are all needed, and we all need others. Be that miracle.

Jan 12, 2005

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Jan 11, 2005


Well, I got traction last night. Yup...for myself and for my car. I went out and bought those Falken Ziex ZE-512 tires that were rated so highly...and it cost me a pretty penny, but after seeing how bald my tires were, I realized that my safety is more important than the cost! I also bought myself a pair of boots...warm fur lined ones...for walking to work. $100 boots for $30 bucks.

Yeah, I rock.

Here's a photo of me today. You can kind of get an idea of the subtle (but effective) highlights April put in...and while you can't see that it's 4 inches shorter...it is. I hated to part with some of that length, but now it's healthy and happy.

Jan 10, 2005

What is with this crazy weather?

Ok...I have to admit I'm spooked by the earthquakes, storms, warm weather in Alaska, Tornadoes in Brazil...I mean the past three weeks have been absolutely crazy.

Which reminds me of Matthew 24:6-14: (See JST 1 for more information)

"6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

I find it amazing yet still a little unbelievable as I watch these events unfold before my eyes. I know we are living in the last dispensation, the one preceding the Second Coming...and I know we have been told we would witness these events. I also know that many innocent and good people will die because of the pestilences, calamities, wars, storms and earthquakes, and whatever else will happen. But seeing all this happen just reminds me of the parable of the 10 virgins...and that I need to have my oil lamp full.

"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:44).

Jan 9, 2005

Happy New Year

Well it's 2005. All I can say is I'm so glad that 2004 is over. So very glad.

So, I got my hair cut this weekend. Cut and colored twice, actually. Now it's about 4 inches shorter, but the cut is more evened out and I have some great chunky highlights. April did it and she did a great job. I haven't been to a real stylist in years, but since she's in my ward, and she does such an excellent job with Laurie's hair, well, I decided to try. I was happy that I did.

I can't say much because it's already past midnight and I'm only halfway through my lesson. I've been very contemplative tonight and not been able to focus. I've been so busy lately..with what...I can't honestly say (other than being gone every weekend for the past 6 weeks!) but for the most part, I'm grateful that my life isn't a complete humdrum.

I have a stack of books I still have yet to read. 7 to be exact. I've read most of one of them, and am halfway through two others, and have 3 I haven't even started yet. I used to be such an avid reader but I just haven't had much time to do it lately.

I want to buy a Jeep. A fully loaded Jeep Liberty. After the snow and ice storms we have been having this winter, I am so sick and tired of driving my really light car. I couldn't even get it out of the garage last Thursday because of the snow. Plus the Firehawk GTA's suck -- they have since I purchased the car. Truth be told, though, as much as I'd love a v6 4x4, I just don't want to get into anymore debt. I've been doing well at paying things off, lowering interest rates, and raising my credit score. It's pretty dang good now that I got those errors fixed! I'm proud of myself and many of the things I'm achieving. But I digress. As for my car..well, I think I will just have to shell out the $350 and get some decent all-season tires (I just can't afford separate winter tires). I'm sure a good pair of Falkens or Kumhos would do the job. I've been researching and reading reviews and both of these have good reviews from owners -- and they are less than $100 each. So I will probably stop in by Sears one of these days and get the tires. Now that my warranty has expired, that new-car itch seems to be coming over me. But I realize that I don't need to constantly have new and exciting things. I have realized that during my most depressive states, I tend to go shopping. Some people overeat, some people turn to alcohol or drugs...I go shopping, and it's not a good thing. I realized that after the purchase, however small (I rarely make big purchases but this past year has been full of several that I can think of, and I'm not too proud of that) doesn't fill that empty void. Temporarily I find joy in playing with my PDA or new phone, or maximizing the use of my computer, or buying a good pair of pants, or whatever. True, I always get amazing deals and I'm a great bargain hunter. But it doesn't make any difference...I still need to stop shopping. I know it's not an addiction quite yet, because I still window shop more than anything, and think and think about the purchase until I can't stand it any longer (I'm by no means a compulsive shopper) but I still know that the money could be better used in paying off debt, savings, or whatever. And it's certainly not buying me happiness! So why do I continue to shop??

I guess I need a hobby. Shopping has always been one of my favorite things to do -- especially around Christmastime. I'm notorious for my gifts...even if I don't have much money I find a way to give a thoughtful gift. This year, because they were smaller, I made up for it by wrapping them in beautiful boxes and glittering ribbons. I do believe in presentation. But, now the shopping-for-someone-else season is over, and I'm back to looking for winter boots, a new jacket (it's not like I don't already have half a dozen jackets!), computer add-ons, etc. Ok so I probably do need the boots (walking through the snow in high heels is NOT a good idea) but as for everything else -- NO.

But anyway...I decided on a hobby I wanted to begin with. I want to start with amateur professional photography. However, to get the low-end SLR digital camera, I would need at least $700 (and that is after several hours of research and finding the best price --retail is still at $1000) and that includes the lense. I would have to get the memory, case, printer, and additional lenses as my expertise grows. While everyone tells me it is a good investment, I still refuse to charge something that I do not need (that costs that much) to my credit card. Yet, my current hobby of shopping is probably costing me more than anything, and the camera would eventually pay for itself (especially if I got any good). *Sigh*. I'm holding off for now, but in the meantime, when I get bored or depressed, I still find myself driving to the mall or to Target or something. Yes, I usually come home empty handed, but still.

Now it's almost 1. I better get back to the lesson.